FS 301: The Nobel Prize: How Books Work in the Age of Mass Media

Instructor: Katherine Arens
k.arens@mail.utexas.edu

ASSIGNMENTS
**Due Dates on Syllabus


1) Reading Goals

Most daily assignments consist of readings from Nobel-Prize-winning literature and from the Swedish Academy's comments on it. Your goal in reading them is the same as that for the Précis assignments (below): to see how the Nobel statements create an image of the authors and their works that may or may not do justice to the works themselves.

When there are readings on the syllabus other than the literature and comments from the Swedish Academy, a reading goal will be indicated to help you wade through the material and to set up class discussions.

All readings due the day indicated on syllabus. Where to find the readings? Check out the booklist and the table of contents of your copy package for details


2) Film Reviews (as part of third-hour activities)

That movie review should indicate what you liked best and what you liked least about each film (get the title, director, and date right to cite them) and indicate if you would recommend it to a friend. Note that these opinions must be substantiated withe details from the movie. You have permission in advance to hate the films!


3) Précis

These are short (1- page) assignment that are designed to encourage critical readings of the texts. We will model them in class before you have any due. See the attached pages for various descriptions of what a précis is.

Your assignments for this class are all analytical précis: that is, they track the logic and exposition of the essays or chapter assigned, and confollow the compare/contrast what the Swedish Academy says about an author with the particular text you read. This stacks the deck for your Focus and Logic/Goal statements, which will look a lot alike for all of them. When you get to the implications, you need to ask and answer questions about what's going on in the Academy's mind when they describe an author this way -- is it accurate, or what are they using the author to do?


4) Writing Assignments

The writing assignments in this class are designed to walk you through the procedures necessary to plan, research, and write original papers in the humanities -- to make you aware of the differences between a college-level research papers and those you've done before (or to confirm how good your high school teachers were, if you can already do this!).

The library session scheduled on our syllabus will be tailored to this class; there is a worksheet to guide your note-taking, or to motivate you to figure out quesitons to ask (attached). Read it before you come to this class.

The following are descriptions of each phase of the written assignments; check the syllabus for when each part of the assignment is due.

FIRST WRITING ASSIGNMENT

**WHAT YOU TURN IN: One page or less (250 words, max) indicating your choice, and your reason for picking a particular author and work(s) for your paper.

SECOND WRITING ASSIGNMENT

Phase 3: Decide what angle you want to approach your paper on,

which could be issues like the author's goal in treating history a particular way, the reception of the text, the use of literary form, the comparison of the original and the adaptation, the use of a theme for some specified goal (that you need to check in the author's own comments about the work, or what critics say about it), or . . . . Your choice, but then you have to figure out what kind of research you'll need to do to make your points -- will you need to look up more biography, reviews, historical setting?

Phase 4: Write the Abstract

See attached description of what's in an abstract.

**WHAT YOU TURN IN: You will turn in a finished abstract, AND an additional up-to-250 words on what research you will do, and how (in other words, you will integrate what you learned in the library session with your own topic ot make an efficient plan on how to proceed).

THIRD WRITING ASSIGNMENT

Phase 5: Précis

Once you've gotten feedback on your abstract and your research strategies, go out and do the research, and read what you find, taking notes or flagging what points you want to bring in.

Then write a précis of the paper you want to write. Include as a supplement the first paragraph of the paper (which should be a narrative version of the Focus, Logic and Goal sections of the précis).

**WHAT YOU TURN IN: a corrected abstract, the precis, and the first paragraph of the paper.

FOURTH WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Final Paper (due at end of semester)

Phase 6: Turn the Abstract into a Paper (7 pp. in length)

Then reread the formal description of a paper, and write it. Please be sure you're following correct form and bibliography/reference styles. If you decide to use a format that includes a bibliography, note that that bibliography can include both works cited and works consulted. If you use a footnote-only (or endnote-only) paper format, you'll have to add the consulted works introduced by prose (e.g. "For the best biography of Grass in English, see . . . ").

I will require at least 3 pieces of secondary literature (reviews, articles, book sections) to be considered and used in your paper -- and these must be BEYOND what the Swedish Academy lists.

**WHAT YOU TURN IN: the paper



WORKSHEET ON LIBRARY SESSION:

take notes and ask questions about what you need to be able to locate to do a research paper