Heroes and Villains (First-Year Writing)

“People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us. It's people who claim that they're good, or anyway better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.”  - Wicked   “A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.” - Once Upon a Time   “She had always found villains more exciting than heroes. They had ambition, passion. They made the stories happen. Villains didn't fear death.” -   Soman Chainani,  The School for Good and Evil

“People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us. It's people who claim that they're good, or anyway better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.” 
-Wicked

“A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.”
-Once Upon a Time

“She had always found villains more exciting than heroes. They had ambition, passion. They made the stories happen. Villains didn't fear death.”
- Soman Chainani, The School for Good and Evil

Course description: Pop culture’s latest obsession seems to be retelling the villain’s side of the story, altering tales we thought we knew, and providing us with evil protagonists. In this course, we will examine the idea of what it means to be a hero versus a villain in our culture. We will use these ideas to learn how to construct valid arguments, perform research, and examine arguments from both sides.

Heroes/villains in question: Peter Pan, Captain Hook, The Wicked Witch of the West, The Good Witch of the North, The Wizard of Oz, The Evil Queen, Maleficent, Walter White, Frank Underwood, V, (Milton's) Satan

Required texts:                  
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West: Gregory McGuire
Peter Pan: J. M. Barrie
Curious Researcher (CR)



SCHEDULE OF ASSIGNMENTS

Week 1
W Aug 20: Introduction to syllabus, diagnostic writing assignment
F Aug 22: Introduction to personal essay

Week 2
M Aug 25: Response due, Personal essay discussion continued, freewriting exercise        
W Aug 27: Begin discussion of heroes and villains, exercise and response due at end of class
F Aug 29: First Draft Personal essay due, Peer Response

Week 3
M Sep 1: Labor Day: No Class Meeting
W Sep 3: read Peter Pan (chapters) 1-5
F Sep 5: read Peter Pan 6-10, Response due

Week 4
M Sep 8: Peter Pan 11-14, Begin argument discussion: rhetorical strategies|
W Sep 10: Paradise Lost Book I, response due, discussion of elements
F Sep 12: Ethos exercises (lyrics), “The Right to Happiness,” C. S. Lewis, Final draft of Personal Essay due

Week 5
M Sep 15: Logos exercises (Monty Python logical fallacies), read “8 Reasons Not to Send Your Daughter to College”
W Sep 17: Pathos exercises, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” selection (in class), Wicked (pages) 1-31
F Sep 19: Wicked 32-93, Discussion of Argument Essay

Week 6
M Sep 22: Wicked 93-129, Outlining Argument Essay
W Sep 24: Wicked 130-178, response due
F Sep 26: Wicked 179- 223       

Week 7
M Sep 29: Wicked 224-286, Toulmin System Discussion
W Oct 1: Wicked 287-330, response due
F Oct 3: finish Wicked, group project in class

Week 8
M Oct 6: Library Research Day (meet in library lobby)
W Oct 8: First Draft of Argument Essay Due
F Oct 10: in class assignments

Week 9
M Oct 13: Fall Break: No Class Meeting
W Oct 15: No Class Meeting—Individual Conferences
F Oct 17: Introduction to Research Papers, samples viewed in class

Week 10
M Oct 20: Revised/Final Draft of Argument Essay Due, read CR Chapter 1
W Oct 22: CR Chapter 2, Discussion of Annotated Bibs and Research Proposals
F Oct 24: CR Chapter 3, questions due

Week 11
M Oct 27: Work on freewriting, questions, research ideas in class
W Oct 29: Research Proposals due, Peer Review on Proposals
F Oct 31: Once Upon a Time (film episode: the original of Hook), response in class

Week 12
M Nov 3: Comparative Analysis: Read "The Gunpowder Treason" (Blackboard), V for Vendetta film clips
W Nov 5: read CR Chapters 4 & 5
F Nov 7: Quoting/Paraphrasing/Summarizing review and exercises (review handouts on Blackboard before class)

Week 13
M Nov 10: Maleficent film, response due
W Nov 12: Annotated Bibs Due at conferences (no class meeting)
F Nov 14: Annotated Bibs Due at conferences (no class meeting)

Week 14
M Nov 17: Research Project Presentations  
W Nov 19: Research Project Presentations
F Nov 21: Library Day/ Optional Conferences (meet in library lobby)

Week 15
M Nov 24: Breaking Bad (film episode) Discussion of Walter White, response due
W Nov 26: Thanksgiving Break
F Nov 28: Thanksgiving Break

Week 16
M Dec 1: House of Cards (film episode) Discussion of Frank Underwood, response due
W Dec 3: Research Papers due
F Dec 5: Review Day

 

Taught at Belmont University, 2014