ENGL 206 Final Project Prompt

So far in class we’ve spent a good deal of time talking about baseball as time and place through different works of children’s literature. We’ve seen how issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability are all dramatized through sport, as well as how the field becomes a particular place to stage them. We have also spent a lot of time going through how words intersect with pictures in these texts.

The final project for this courses consists of two parts, a children’s book relating back to baseball and a critical reflection (3-5 pages) on the book  you produce. You will be required to do a bit of original research in selecting an appropriate topic (person, team, etc.) and an appropriate time/place in which these events happen.

This assignment will require you to:

  • synthesize course readings and discussions
  • apply your thoughts and knowledge in creative ways
  • meditate on the nature of what constitutes text and the possibilities inherent in different notions of textuality
  • reflect on the baseball, fields, and sports in general as special places in the human experience

For the book  I do not necessarily expect “great art,” but I do expect a thoughtful engagement with the subject and the theoretical perspectives we have discussed. Consider carefully your medium, your text, and how you present these. Stick figures are fine, but stick figures hastily scribbled on notebook paper the night before this assignment is due are not. Pay attention to how you are narrating this text visually and linguistically. What new interpretations come into being via how you articulate the relationships between images and words? I will not assign a specific “page length,” but a single image with no narrative arc does not by definition fulfill the assignment.

For the critical reflection you are encouraged to do a bit a independent research (a minimum of three critical sources not read in class). What was your experience like? How is rethinking textuality challenging/liberating/frustrating? Why did you make the representational choices you made? How do these illuminate or obscure what is in the original text? How do these choices enhance the original text or further obscure it?

We’ll be reading and discussing this in a bit more detail over the coming weeks, but go ahead and start thinking about these issues!