Saturday, November 26, 2011

SDSU Spring 2012 Children's Lit Course

English 502 Prof. Allison

Spring 2012, MW 2-3:15

Adolescence in Literature (undergraduate)


Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick

Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, Book One

Karen Hesse, Aleutian Sparrow

Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

Russell Hoban, Soonchild

Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Art Spiegelman, The Complete Maus


English 502 explores works in which key characters are adolescents as well as works that have been specifically written for adolescents, primarily the contemporary Young Adult novel. Adolescence is a time during which cognitive functions, argumentative capacity, self-identity, ego, sexual relationships and love, societal relationships, authority relationships, justice and conscience, bodily image, career, education--and of course much more--are developed, explored, challenged, outgrown. These issues are depicted in narratives that reveal the keen emotions and observations of teenagers. As we'll see, however, adolescence is as much a cultural construct as a clearly defined biological and cognitive phenomenon.

Some of the most exciting publishing being done these days is in Young Adult fiction, as represented by the booklist. Short stories and movies are part of the course as well.


Athol Fugard, Master Harold … and the Boys



Short stories: “A&P” John Updike; “After the Theater,” Anton Chekov; “Eveline,” James Joyce; “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates; “Greasy Lake,” T. Coraghassen Boyle; “South India Afternoon,” Amal Joseph Jolly

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