ENGL 4106 – Spring 2013
The fictions in this course fall into three broad genres: gothic, modernist, and postmodernist. There is some overlap here; for example, Carter’s short stories have some gothic elements, and arguably Barth’s story “Lost in the Funhouse” does too. By contrast, you can argue that The Castle of Otranto anticipates trends in postmodernism. But the texts fit most straightforwardly into the following categories:
The Castle of Otranto – gothic
Orlando – modernist
Lost in the Funhouse – postmodernist
The Bloody Chamber – postmodernist
In the Skin of a Lion – postmodernist
Each group should take one fictional text you have read here and re-invent it in another genre from the course. You might develop a modernist or postmodernist version of The Castle of Otranto, or a gothic or postmodernist variation on Orlando, or a gothic or modernist version of one of Barth’s stories, etc.
Your reinvention should centre on a narrative, but it may also include audio-visual elements. You can write a short story or story cycle, make a movie, write a poem cycle, write and record a series of songs, produce a graphic novel or more traditionally illustrated book… I will be happy to help you track down resources on campus (both in terms of technological apparatus and in terms of tutorials on how to use the apparatus).
I am grading based on creativity, sophistication, and professionalism. As such, you should not simply resolve to meet some minimum length. Nevertheless, if you need suggestions about length, a short story or graphic novel might aim for around 10-15 pages; a film might aim for around 15-20 minutes; a cycle of poems or songs might include 5-6 poems/songs.
I will grade the projects based on 3 criteria:
Central idea – how sophisticated is your approach to this project? How well do you understand your chosen genre? How nuanced is your manipulation of that genre?
Originality – how original and inventive are the artistic elements of the project?
Professionalism – how polished is the project? Think of it as something you would be proud to exhibit publicly. I hope to be able to show these off within the department and beyond.
Along with the project, each group should submit ONE narrative of 1-2 pages, typed, double spaced, in MLA format, with university-level grammar. This narrative should explain why you made the artistic decisions that you did. The narrative should reflect a strong understanding of the two genres involved (the source genre and the genre of your revision) and should address not just the overarching product but the artistic details. 25% of your project grade will come from the narrative.
I encourage you to drop by during office hours any time you have questions or want to discuss the project, including – but not limited to – any help you may need to increase the project’s depth and sophistication.