Sunday, August 22, 2010

Four years prostrate to the higher mind

There have been requests from hither and yon that I post the syllabi for the courses I'll be teaching this fall. I've decided not to post those directly, because I figure most of you could really care less when the final paper is due, or how many unexcused absences you're allowed before I fail you. I'm guessing what people actually want are reading lists, and those, I'm happy to share. So here's what I'm teaching this fall, in the order that I'm teaching it. 

The Fantastic as Place:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, JK Rowling
The City and the City, China Miéville
Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
Palimpsest, Catherynne M. Valente
The Magician's Book, Laura Miller
The Magicians, Lev Grossman

The Dream as Literary Form

Selections from the Bible - the dreams of Joseph, who had the coat of many colors, and Joseph, the husband of Mary (Douay-Rheims translation)
Selections from Book XV "Prophetic Acts and Visionary Dreams" of Ovid's Metamorphoses (Martin translation)
Book 19 of the Odyssey (Fagles translation)
Two chapters - "Dreambooks and their Audiences" and "Dreams and Fiction" - from Steven Kruger's Dreaming in the Middle Ages
The Book of the Duchess, Chaucer
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare
Hopefully, Seamus Heaney's The Midnight Verdict, if they can find me the copies. Otherwise, Cúirt an Mhéan Oíche, Brian Merriman (in translation, obvs.)
Watch: the Wizard of Oz
Memory and Dream, Charles de Lint
The Dream Hunters, Neil Gaiman


  1. Thanks for posting this. And while I don't want to know the rules for unexcused absences, I would like to see what assignments you give your students. Reading I can do on my own. Teachers give assignments that _sometimes_ open up new insights about the books.

    And, wow, this is a great list.

  2. Marc, I'm glad you like the lists. The classes have been great to teach so far. I probably won't post the paper topics, though, as without the lectures, they don't really add anything by way of what the classes are about. And I unfortunately don't have the hours in the day that would let me transcribe my lecture notes here.