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Contemp Lit Final Project

Page history last edited by west0524 8 years, 11 months ago

As we continue reading our novels over the term, I ask that you keep one thing in mind:


Heroism and Villainy


Our essays are going to be built around making a personal connection to the slippery grey-area of the villain/antagonist in modern literature.  I highly advise you to hold onto your essays as they are returned, as they could be useful for you!


Your plan: Over the next several weeks, we will be building personal websites devoted to broadening our understanding of “the villain” in the modern world.


Your project, at the end of the term, will be an online repository of imagery, videos, texts, and definitions that tell me clearly what YOU believe villainy is in the modern world.


We will be doing this in segments.  Your first segment will be to build your website (I highly recommend pbworks.com, the same website our class webpage is hosted on) and find me an “official” definition of the villain.  This will be from an online dictionary/encyclopedia.  Once you have this definition, you will be compiling a list of traits: what is a villain?


Part of this process will be interacting with the official definition you’ve discovered.  No definition is perfect, and there will be a lot you disagree with, find lacking, or find over-simplified in the definition you find.  I expect you to “fill in the blanks” that you find in the definition, assembling a series of general ideas, characteristics, and traits that a villain today may possess.


I ask that you remember this: the trait in common with much of the literature we read in this class is that there is no pure “good” or “evil”.  Your constructed villainous characteristics must embrace this idea.


As we move through the semester, we will periodically have lab time in which I expect you to tackle one or two of the traits and find me “genres” – bodies of work which address this trait.  My hope is that you are able to finish a significant portion of your final project in class, although you will likely have to do at least some of this on your own time.



Your final project will have the following:


An official definition of villainy in the modern world


Your own take on the limitations of this definition.


At least five “genres” (styles of writing, video, audio, or imagery) that illustrate the traits you highlight as most important.


A minimum of two “genres” explaining the struggles this modern villain might have – who are the heroes combatting this?


A central essay (this will be your front page) in which you address each characteristic/trait you’ve highlighted, as well as the “heroes”, and explain to the reader why the “genre” you’ve chosen is an apt representation.


An MLA-formatted works cited page – this can be a single page accessed via the main page of your site, or you may provide an MLA citation on the page of each work you use.


This seems like a lot!  This is why we are starting this early, and starting it simply. 


This is also worth a SIGNIFICANT portion of your final grade, so I recommend doing it!



What is a genre?


A genre is, quite simply, anything.  It can be:

-       academic essays

-       creative short stories

-       news articles (online or via text)

-       novels

-       reviews

-       videos

-       songs

-       blogs

-       image galleries

-       poetry

-       paintings


Or anything else.  It can be work you’ve made or work you’ve found.  This is a web-based project, so I ask that you have a way to show it via your website. 


The only restrictions I have are that you (A) explain why this genre fits the trait you’ve assigned it to, and (B) have a good mixture of self-generated genres and found genres.


I ask that you think creatively, and not restrict yourself to defining the villainy to a single person or event. 


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