T/Th 2-5, Swannanoa 209
Professor: Tina Hanlon (Dr. Bettina L.)
Office Hours: Tues., Wed., Thurs., 10-12
And by appointment
In Swannanoa 305, phone 6379
Permanent e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ferrum phone/voice mail: (540) 365-4327
Professor for Second Half of Term: Morag Styles
Homerton College, Cambridge, UK
This course will examine the history of poetry for children in Britain and America from oral traditions of earlier centuries to poets of the present day. In the first three weeks of the course, we will cover aspects of the oral tradition, including a wide range of nursery verse (nursery rhymes, counting rhymes, finger rhymes, nonsense), ballads, folk songs (including Appalachian texts), and pictorial versions of nursery verse. As well as considering a wide range of oral texts with a long history, we will also take account of contemporary adaptations. In the second phase of the course, we will explore the history of poetry for children, making links with the oral tradition where relevant. We will then turn our attention to contemporary poetry for children by considering some of the most highly regarded and/or popular American and British poets. We will examine the poetry in the context of the time in which it was produced and take account of how changing representations of childhood are embedded within the texts. There will also be opportunities for students to write and perform their own poetry.
Styles, Morag. From the Garden to the Street: 300 Years of Poetry for Children. London: Cassell, 1998.
Opie, Iona and Peter, eds. I Saw Esau. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 1992.
Dahl, Roald. Revolting Rhymes. Illus. Quentin Blake.
Sendak, Maurice. Nutshell Library.
Still, James. An Appalachian Mother Goose. Illus. Paul Brett Johnson. KY: Kentucky UP, 1998.
Yolen, Jane. The Ballad of the Pirate Queens. Illus. David Shannon.
Other required texts for Morag Styles' classes in weeks 4-6:
Patten, Brian, ed. Puffin Book of Utterly Brilliant Poetry
Rossetti, Christina. Sing-Song
Stevenson, Robert Louis. A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1885
Other readings will be in books on reserve in the Hollins U. library or on handouts or Web sites. As of 6/17/07, the reserve books are listed under Styles if you search online by name of author.
Class participation and reading (or viewing) assigned texts by class time are very important.
Journal writing, in and out of class, will allow you to write informally about the readings for each day and write some poetry of your own. The journal and oral report (10-15 minutes) will count as 25% of the course grade. The journal, handwritten or typed, must be submitted at least 4 times during the term, including the complete journal submitted by July 24. (Submit to Tina twice by July 5 and to Morag by July 13 and 24.) Journals are for informal writing and we won’t comment on style or editing unless you ask us to. These shorter writings can be reactions to your reading for that day or reactions to and further thoughts about previous class discussion (but don’t do the latter every time). (If you want some additional suggestions on things to try out in a reading journal, you might find something useful on the page for Tina's undergraduate course in Folktales and Literature, at http://www.ferrum.edu/thanlon/FolkLit/folkjournal02.htm). On most class days you will have an opportunity to read poems you have written or excerpts from your journal if you wish, as time permits.
Additional note from Morag about journal writing: The advice I gave my class last time was to write what mattered to them about [i] their expectations of the course, [ii] the role of poetry in their lives to date [iii] responses to poems by published poets (give an extract) that came to mind during the course [iv] responses to particular sessions on the course [v] poems you might feel inspired to write yourselves [vi] a response to critical reading on poetry and childhood….Be selective. Be personal if you wish. I want you to enjoy keeping this journal and I don’t expect it to be scholarly.
Additional note from Tina: If you wish to contribute original poems or annotations on poems about Appalachia, dragons, or ecology for any of Tina's web sites, she would be grateful, and you can develop these materials in your journal.
A critical research paper will count as 70% of the course grade. It should be 8-12 pages with at least 5 sources (at least 3 secondary sources) and MLA documentation. Due Tuesday, July 24. Be sure to consult with Tina or Morag about developing your focus and any other questions you have as the paper progresses. At least one conference to discuss a draft of the paper or part of the paper is recommended. The Hollins Writing Center is also available for assistance with papers.
The summer term goes fast, so topics need to be decided on as early as possible. In the first half of the course, research topics could focus on any type of verse from the oral traditions or picture-book adaptations or satires of such verse--either a study of a particular author/collector and/or illustrator, or a focus on a particular type of verse or tradition with a variety of examples. Ideally, about half the class would give oral reports in the first three weeks and half in weeks 4-6. If two students write about the same author or closely related topics, be sure oral reports are focused so that they don't overlap too much. If needed, you may e-mail Morag for advice before she arrives to teach in July. See handouts from Morag distributed in the first week for further guidance on weeks 4-6.
You should have attended the library orientation, or at least get a copy of the handout introducing some of the Hollins library basics and resources in children’s literature. Many books and articles are now available on the Internet or through databases and archives that the library subscribes to.
libraries can be good resources with large collections of picture books, videos
and other books for children and YA, including out-of-print books.
(The Hollins branch of the
On the class schedule, books or online texts from the required reading list and reserve books are ones you should be especially well prepared to discuss in class. In the first half of the course, feel free to browse or make selections from other recommended texts. Read as much as you have time for so that you have some background in the history of each type of verse.
For online research, a good place to start is the Children’s Literature Association Links page, http://chla.wikispaces.com/Links?token=3b4818ddea55632fac310be4b9b24d43, because you know these sites were selected by scholars in the field. Many Web sites have information on individual authors and valuable bibliographies and teaching resources.
Kay Vandergrift has been a leader in creating excellent Web pages on children’s literature. See http://scils.rutgers.edu/~kvander/index.html. Her Snow White site provides an excellent model of what can be done with Web pages on fairy tales. Her other sections have valuable overviews of topics such as Social History of Children’s Literature and illustrated children’s books.
The Eclipse Web site has annotated bibliographies and research guides on many nursery rhymes: http://eclipse.rutgers.edu/goose.
La Lune Fairy Tale Pages is one of the best sites on fairy tales,
with many classic texts (some annotated) and lists of variants, modern spin-offs,
illustrations, etc.: http://www.surlalunefairytales.com. Poems based
on fairy tales are listed.
Poems based on fairy tales are listed.
Tina Hanlon's Web sites focus on Appalachian literature—AppLit is at http://www.ferrum.edu/AppLit, and Dragons in Children’s Literature, www.ferrum.edu/thanlon/dragons. She also has some pages on ecology and children’s books—go to the page at www.ferrum.edu/thanlon for links. All these sites contain resources on poems and oral traditions. Your contributions and suggestions are welcome.
This page created 6/11/07