Popular Literature

ENG 381: Popular Literature (WI; DL)

Instructor:  Ruth Y. Hsu (rhsu@hawaii.edu)

Summer Session II: 7/06/2020 to 8/14/2020) (asynchronous; online)

 Course Description: This online course focuses on popular literature published first in English. A working definition of popular literature: fiction, memoir, poetry, performance, film, etc. adopted by book clubs, or that have gained endorsements of cultural influencers, or that have often been adopted in high school or college courses or as the Common Text for a semester, or that have remained on major newspapers’ bestseller lists for many weeks. Popular literary works are often highly regarded by scholars for being artistic work that explores controversial social subjects or for deepening our appreciation towards diverse human aspirations and cultures.   

Feedback on writing assignments will be both written and verbal (via skype).

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • To gain an extensive understanding of popular literature appropriate for an upper-division course
  • To independently conceive and design a research-based paper on popular literature and related topics appropriate for an upper-division course
  • To enhance the ability to write cogent, well thought-out, evidence-based prose on popular literature and related topics appropriate for an upper-division, studies-in course

Primary reading list:  UNLESS INDICATED OTHERWISE, BOOKS ON READING LIST HAVE BEEN ORDERED THROUGH UHM BOOKSTORE. You may purchase the books on the reading list from UHM Bookstore. If you’re not physically in Hawai’i, you’re responsible for obtaining the textbooks yourself. Course reading list: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Fifth Season (Sci-Fi/speculative), The Weight of Ink (historical fiction), On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (novel).

Writing Requirements (brief): 1) Two critical analysis papers: Min. 1500 words per paper; 2) Three forum posts (via Laulima): Min. 500 words per post; 3) Exercises: on readings; how to develop strong, clear, analytical thesis statements; paragraph development, syntax.