Class Consciousness

Stephen W. Potts

UCSD Winter 2017: LTWL 120 Syllabus

LTWL 120: Popular Literature

Fantasy After Tolkien

Instructor: Stephen Potts
Office: Warren Lit 147
Hours: : Alternate Tu* 12:30-1:30, W 12-1:00, Th 12:30-1:30 and by appointment
Phone: (858) 822-4674

Books: Available at the Price Center and at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore at 5943 Balboa Ave., or through these links to

Requirements: Read the novels and join in the class discussions. Class participation can help your grade. In place of tests, you will be required to write a page of personal response to five of the six assigned readings; you decide which five. Each must be at least a page long (250-300 words) and will reflect your thoughtful, critical consideration of the novel. In addition, over the course of the quarter you will produce one long or two short research papers, adding up to 2500 words. A detailed handout on paper topics will magically appear by the third week. You may turn in papers at any time during the quarter as long as you don’t go past the deadlines on the syllabus below. Don’t procrastinate: Sloth is a Deadly Sin.

Grading standards: A = 100-95%, A- = 94-90%, B+ = 89-85%, B = 84-80%, etc. Experience shows that there will be relatively few final A’s, though plenty of A-minuses and B-pluses. I try to curve the final grades to increase the number of A’s, but I will need you to help by doing your best work. If you consider yourself a weak writer or don’t think you can keep up with the reading, consider the P/NP option.


Week Date Topic/Assignment
One 1/10 Introduction to Modern Fantasy
1/12 Out of Their Minds: Holdstock, Mythago Wood (Prologue through Part 2: Four)
Two 1/17* The Myths of Time: Mythago Wood (Part 2: Five-Ten)
1/19 Where Tales End: Mythago Wood (finish)
Three 1/24 Out of Africa: Butler, Wild Seed (Ch. 1-5)
1/26 The Shapeshifter and the Demon: Wild Seed (Ch. 6-8)
Four 1/31* Inhuman Needs: Wild Seed (finish)
2/2 A Basket of Sorrows: Hughart, Bridge of Birds (Ch. 1-10)
Five 2/7 A Bowl of Mysteries: Bridge of Birds (Ch. 11-20)
2/9 A Thousand Miracles: Bridge of Birds (finish)
First short paper deadline
Six 2/14* Soul Sacrifice: Powers, Last Call (Ch. 1-16)
2/16 The King of Las Vegas: Last Call (Ch. 17-33)
Seven 2/21 Playing for Keeps: Last Call (finish)
2/23 The City on the Sea: Miéville, The Scar (Ch. 1-11)
Eight 2/28* Crossing: The Scar (Ch. 12-26)
3/2 Double-Crossing: The Scar (Interlude V-Ch. 38)
Nine 3/7 The Wound in the World: The Scar (finish)
3/9 Pride and Prejudice and Magic: Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Ch. 1-12)
Ten 3/14* The Magician’s Apprentice: Strange and Norrell (Ch. 13-24)
3/16 The War Ends, But Not the Novel: Strange and Norrell (Ch. 25-31)
Finals Monday, 3/20 Single long paper deadline
Thursday, 3/23 Second short paper deadline
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