Totally Intimidated

I was sort of dreading teaching lit theory and felt totally intimidated by it, but I’ve sketched out my plan for this first week of theory (Aestheticism & Semiotics), and I think it’s actually going to be fun, esp. since I get to teach Christina Rossetti and Poe. Hopefully fun for the students too — my students have generally really enjoyed Poe, so fingers crossed.

Kind of a breakneck speed on the theory, though, which is going to take a little getting used to! We spent weeks and weeks on semiotics in grad school…

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(I’ll be adding some brief lecture videos to this, but I’m going to record them in the morning. Getting sleepy, and I’ll be more coherent right after coffee, I suspect.)

Part 1: Due by midnight, Tuesday 1/19

READ:
• Christina Rossetti poem, “Goblin Market” (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44996/goblin-market) or listen to a reading by Jane Aker on YouTube (26 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCo22wYXYm0
• Wikipedia page on “Goblin Market” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goblin_Market)
• browse illustrations from “Goblin Market” (do a google image search for ‘goblin market illustration’)

• Upstone, Aesthetics chapter, part 1 (stop at Symbolism)

WATCH (after reading the poem), optional:

• 5 minute movie based on the poem (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeksCf6PuSA)

WRITE:
• one journal entry for “Goblin Market” (you might consider Pater’s idea of ‘the ecstatic moment’ and how it’s portrayed in this poem) and one for part 1 of Aesthetics (2 entries) – for the second, you might address the idea of ‘art for art’s sake’ / beauty as the sole goal of art

• three more Slack comments on classmates’ entries (from this week or previous week)

Part 2: Class on Zoom Wednesday 1/3 @ 10
• review of Rossetti & Upstone
• discussion of art & morality
• brief intro to semiotics (Saussure / Barthes) and breakout room semiotic practice
• preview of Poe

• discussion of new aesthetic ideas around ‘great literature’ (and who gets to write it)

Part 3: Due by midnight, Sunday 1/24 (but strongly recommend you start sooner)

READ:
• Upstone, Aesthetics chapter, part 2 (start with Symbolism) — this is a little dense, so start it early and take it slow; she covers a lot very quickly
• Edgar Allen Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado” (https://www.poemuseum.org/the-cask-of-amontillado)

• Edgar Allen Poe, “The Raven” (https://www.eapoe.org/works/poems/ravenb.htm)

WRITE:
• one journal entry for each reading (3 readings)

• three comments on classmates’ journals (start with journals that don’t have responses yet)

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