Friday, December 18, 2009

Done. And. Done.

I submitted my last paper early this morning. Too early, really, to remember the exact time. But it's submitted.

And I'm officially on winter break.

Time to dive into the projects I've been playing at for a couple of months. Here's the first of three somewhat related enterprises on which I would love your feedback:

*Drafting a course in Mormon literature for a program internship.

I'm tentatively calling this "Reading the Mormon Experience: Contemporary Latter-day Saint Fiction, Poetry, and Drama." (That's the l-o-n-g title). I've considered making this a survey of Mormon literary history, starting with four weeks spent wading through Mormon lit's beginnings (the first century: 1830-1930)---reading early sermons, histories, auto/biographies, letters/journals/diaries, fiction, and poetry. But I don't know if I can justify spending---then spending the rest of the semester with more contemporary texts, but I'm not sure if I want to justify reading things from the first century when there are sources I could turn to that provide a fairly good review of this period, its significance for later Mormon lit, and the main concerns undertaken by Mormon lit. I'm thinking especially of Terryl Givens' People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture and Eugene England's "Dawning of a Brighter Day." Can you think of any others?

I wonder especially about justifying the first century stuff since this would be for a Idaho State and would constitute the first course of its kind in the department (as far as I know). I'm thinking, for the time being, that I should stick with texts that would be considered quality literature from the department's perspective (if that makes any sense). Or am I just glossing over a part of Mormon literary history that's needed to contextualize later work?

Aside from those concerns, I'm really interested in exploring the contemporary Mormon experience through contemporary Mormon fiction, poetry, and drama. And there's plenty of high quality stuff to occupy a semester (and beyond). I've started a list, but before I post that, I wonder what texts you informed readers of Mormon literature would like to see explored in such a course. Thoughts?

(More to come.)