Popular Reading

Low to Middling Genres, 1890–1945

Handouts, Worksheets, Assignments

I will add electronic versions of handouts and other course materials as we go along.

Some materials are only available to students enrolled in the course. These private materials can be found in the Resources section of the Sakai site.

Final Paper Assignment (12/18/12)

The assignment for the final paper due December 18, which also includes the assignments for the preliminary exercises: the topic description due November 7 and the annotated bibliography due November 19.

Presentation assignment (11/17/12)

The assignment for the presentation of research on the paper. Presentation dates will be December 3, 6, and 10.

Possible Bubbles of Spacetime Curvature in the South Pacific (11/02/12)

This article gives an elementary exposition of the physics you will need for our discussion of Francis Wayland Thurston’s learned article on November 12. Of course I assume most of you are already familiar with the basics of gravitational lensing and non-Euclidean geometry.

Library Research Guide for Our Course (11/02/12)

A specialized research guide for our course, by Humanities Librarian Kevin Mulcahy. Includes lots of references for working on the individual genres we’ve been discussing. Dr. Mulcahy will discuss this guide and some of the specific resources on it during our library session on November 8.

The Pulp Magazines Project (11/01/12)

This amazing digital archive, run by Patrick Belk and David Earle, is the source of the scanned images of Amazing we are reading from. It also has many other scans of early-twentieth-century pulps and excellent background material on the history of this important literary medium. See especially the general history of the pulps by Mike Ashley and the short history of Amazing by Andrew Ferguson.

Generic comparison exercise (10/15/12)

Exercise on comparing the way two genres work. Due on Sakai or in class on October 29 (N.B. not on 10/22 as on the earlier syllabus).

Romance and reception exercise (10/01/12)

Exercise on the reception of our “romance” novels. Due on Sakai or in class on October 11.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers (10/01/12)

The historical database suggested as a starting point for your romance reception work. You should remove the contemporary news databases “Ethnic NewsWatch” and “GenderWatch” from the search by clicking the “Searching: 6 databases” link at the top of the ProQuest search creen. That will narrow your search to the historical newspaper archives. Rutgers’s holdings are limited to American newspapers.

Accessing library databases off campus (10/01/12)

Webpage with RU library instructions for accessing off-campus resources. In general, you can simply add .proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu immediately after .com in the URL and you will be prompted to sign in with your NetID. Thus instead of www.oed.com (on-campus), use www.oed.com.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu (off-campus).

Exercise: Investigate a Device (09/27/12)

Assignment: exercise a device in Conan Doyle. Due September 27 (not Sept. 24 as originally specified) on Sakai or in class.

Critics on Mystery (09/17/12)

Handout with selected critical discussions of the genre of mystery. From class on Conan Doyle. Please bring into class on September 20 as well.

The Sign of [the] Four in Periodical Form (09/13/12)

Conan Doyle’s novel first appeared (with the extra “the” in the title) in the American magazine Lippincott’s Monthly 45 (February 1890): 147–223. A scan of this earliest publication is available through Rutgers Library in the American Periodicals historical database. It is instructive to browse the rest of the contents of the magazine that month.

Exercise: The Sign of Four (09/13/12)

Exercise on genre features in The Sign of Four.

Notes from the first class (09/06/12)

A few notes from the background material.

Warmup exercise (09/10/12)

An ungraded initial exercise: “fieldwork” on genre.

On Buying Books for the Course (09/06/12)

Webpage with advice about buying the course texts if you’re on a budget.