Assignments

  1. Learn Things: You’re going to no-joke come to every class and participate every time. This means: you will always have read the text before class, thought about it enough to have either one brilliant or three mediocre things to say, will actually say those things in class or at least think them very hard at other people, and will do your utmost best to learn something new. I will ask what you have learned, so be ready to say something.
  2. Weekly Responses: Each Monday you will post on our shared class blog. These should be substantial (~400 word) responses to ideas from the week’s assigned readings. You don’t need to discuss every reading, and you should not summarize them. Instead, do things like: identify a conflict between two authors, present a question that builds on an author’s argument, share a contemporary article or image to discuss, or connect the readings to Frankenstein. By each Thursday, you should leave at least one substantial comment (~100 words) on a classmate’s post.
  3. Paper 1: Authorship and Writing. Using the course readings so far as your theoretical perspective, compare two versions of one paragraph from Frankenstein in order to make an argument about how debates over the meaning of authorship would change the text’s meaning. (~1500 words. Your paper should have a thesis, should support that thesis with evidence from the text, should explicitly describe an intellectual debate over authorship or writing, and should clearly distinguish between two or more possible interpretations)
  4. Paper 2: Structural Analysis. Using one of the course readings from the second section of the course, identify three structural aspects of the text in order to demonstrate how Frankenstein’s meaning depends on an analysis of its underlying structure rather than its surface meaning. (~1500 words. Your paper should have a thesis, should support that thesis with evidence from the text, should identify three appropriate structural aspects of Frankenstein so far, and should clearly demonstrate how those structural aspects create a meaning that is otherwise not obvious).
  5. Annotated Bibliography. You will find five scholarly secondary sources (i.e. journal articles, book chapters, scholarly reviews, interviews) that offer specifically theoretical approaches to Frankenstein. Use electronic databases like JSTOR, EBSCOHost, and the CUNY+ catalog. Following MLA style, create an annotated Works Cited page with citations and one-paragraph evaluative summaries for each article.
  6. Final Collaborative Website Project. For your final project, you will work in groups to build a website that offers different theoretical perspectives on Frankenstein. Each group will collectively be responsible for writing one page on the site, finding Creative Commons images to use, and organizing your content. Individually, you will contribute a brief essay (~1000 words) that offers a literary argument about your text informed by a theoretical perspective and supported by secondary research. More details to come.