English 1102: Composition II

Renaissances: Disney Princesses and the Danish Prince

Section HP3: 9:05-9:55 MWF Clough Commons 123
Section J: 10:10-11:00 MWF Clough Commons 123
Section G3: 12:20-1:10 MWF Clough Commons 125


Instructor: Dr. Dori Coblentz

Office: Skiles 307

Office Hours: 11:15-12:15 MWF and by appointment

Contact: DoriCoblentz@gatech.edu

Course Goals and Learning Outcomes

In addition to the program-wide General Education Outcomes for English 1102, students will develop the:

  • LO1: Ability to make an original contribution to a discourse after researching existing contributions (group web project, video essay)
  • LO2: Ability to recognize and analyze how texts and performances make meaning (in-class essays, papers, and video essay)
  • LO3: Ability to recognize and fairly describe two sides of a controversy (video essay, group project)
  • LO4: Ability to analyze how texts influence and are influenced by their historical context (in-class discussion, papers, in-class essays)

Graded Components

  • Common First Week Video: 5%
  • Short Video Essay: 10%
  • Piazza Participation: 5%
  • In-Class Essays, Homework, and Asynchronous Virtual Classes: 10%
  • In-Class Participation: 5%
  • Group Project: 15%
  • Paper 1: 10%
  • Paper 2: 12.5%
  • Fairytale Project: 12.5%
  • Final Portfolio: 15%

Detailed assignment sheets will be provided for each of the following graded components. Use the following list as a guideline to help you plan your semester, but refer to the detailed assignment sheets when you are completing the projects.

Common First Week Video (5%):

Students in all sections of English 1101 and English 1102 share a common assignment, due August 27th. You will record a 60-90 second video addressing a specific aspect of multimodal (written, oral, visual, electronic, or nonverbal) communication that you will engage with over the course of the semester. You will describe challenges you have faced in the past using this form of communication and articulate a plan for the future to overcome these challenges.

Final Portfolio (15%):

All sections of English 1101 and 1102 will complete a portfolio project in lieu of a final exam. The portfolio will include a reflective essay and several examples of your work throughout the semester with brief introductions for each example.

Piazza Participation (5%):

Throughout the semester, students will post discussion questions and responses to the instructor’s prompts to Piazza. To earn a grade of 90%, students are required to make at least 15 (roughly once a week) contributions to Piazza. This part of the class trains your ability to ask good questions, and some of the best questions may be used as prompts for later in-class essays. During some weeks, I will pose my own questions for students to answer. I won’t count more than 3 Piazza posts per week to the final total (I want these to come in a steady trickle rather than all during the last week of class). .

You may sign up at: piazza.com/gatech/fall2018/engl1102

In-Class Essays, Homework, and Asynchronous Virtual Classes (10%):

This portion of your grade includes weekly in-class activities, asynchronous virtual class work, and graded homework. One class a month will be completed on your own time and in your own space. These asynchronous virtual classes ask you to watch a film or video essay and respond in writing. Do not come to class on asynchronous virtual class days.

Most Wednesdays we will devote to writing workshops or in-class essays (ICEs). Some of the work will be graded, and some will be ungraded. I will not necessarily announce graded in-class essays beforehand, but they will be completed roughly every 2-3 weeks. You cannot make up a missed ICE, but I will drop the lowest ICE grade. The ICE and homework portions of the grade test content knowledge and its strategic application. The in-class essays exercise your ability to recall and explain material in a higher-pressure, time-sensitive context.

In-Class Participation (5%):

This kind of class specifically trains interpersonal timing. Your physical presence in the classroom and your readiness to discuss course materials at any point is important to the final grade. As per our program-wide policy, missing classes in excess of four will subtract one-third of a letter grade per absence and eight missed classes results in a failure of the course. When I assess this portion of the grade, I ask the following questions:

Did the student arrive in class on time for each class period and remain in the classroom the whole time?

  • Being late once or twice during the semester is understandable, but a pattern of tardiness will have a significant impact on your grade.
  • If you have a medical issue that means you cannot remain in the classroom for all 50 minutes, please bring it to my attention.

Did the student answer my questions about the text in a thoughtful and insightful way?

  • This is a small section. I will call on every student more than once throughout the course of the semester with specific questions about the reading. If you haven’t done the reading and thought about it the days that I call on you, it will hurt your grade.

Did the student respond to their classmates’ questions and observations? Can they listen to other people as well as produce their own ideas?

Does the student show respect for others in the class? Do they promote an environment where others feel comfortable expressing their own views and opinions?

  • Be careful to strike a tone of respectful dialogue rather than sounding dogmatic or condescending. Don’t make assumptions about your classmates’ backgrounds and beliefs. We are interested in the mechanics of persuasion rather than expressions of dominance.
  • Be aware of your body language when other people are talking. Hostile body language (crossed arms, scowling, hmphing, expressions of incredulity, etc.) can discourage your classmates from fully presenting their arguments and, in turn, you from responding to them in a verbally persuasive way.

Paper 1 (10%):

Your first paper, due 9/21, is a 3-4 page (900-1200 word) comparative analysis of “Pocahontas Was a Mistake, and Here’s Why!” and “Odysseus’ Scar.” Both essays make arguments with historical, formal, and ethical components. Identify each of these components in a brief summary of Ellis and Auerbach’s arguments. Then, discuss the essays’ genre, audience, and medium of communication. How do Ellis and Auerbach establish credibility? How do they make a case for the timeliness of their work to the audience of their moment? How do they engage their readers’ and viewers’ reason? Their emotions? End with your impressions of why Ellis and Auerbach engage in the analysis of film and literature. How do they think it matters and why?

Paper 2 (12.5%):

Throughout the semester, we will engage in class discussion, Piazza posting, and in-class essay writing. Our prompt for Paper 2 will be drawn from student submissions from these sources. You can expect to choose from 3-5 prompts, writing a paper of 4-5 pages. The paper will compare The Lion King or The Little Mermaid to Hamlet or Comedy of Errors.


Pick a scene in The Comedy of Errors and a scene in The Little Mermaid in which water is visually or verbally prominent. In 4-5 pages, compare and contrast how the film and the play use water (tears, the ocean, rain, etc.) metaphorically to say something about identity, community, rebirth, or some combination of these themes. You may reference other parts of the film or play, but you should focus in depth on the selected scenes and explicate them carefully.

Fairytale Writing and Analysis Project (12.5%):

Take what you have learned about the tropes and conventions of fairytales and put them into practice by making your own. We will do a printmaking workshop and each student will emerge with a self-created book. Compose a fairy tale that includes themes of rebirth, selfhood, and sovereignty and copy it into your book. Then, write a brief introductory essay and explanatory footnotes to create a mini critical edition of the fairytale, in the style of the Folger editions of Hamlet and Comedy of Errors.

Short Video Essays (10%):

From mid-September through October, most classes will begin with the screening of two student video essays, followed by a guided discussion on the videos’ strengths and areas for growth. Use these short video essays (about 2 minutes) to set up a question or controversy regarding the Disney film we are studying that week. You won’t have time to fully resolve the debate, but you should pique your audience’s interest to learn more, and spur on class discussion for that day. The debate you introduce should be something arguable and specific, a point of conflict that people in our class might reasonably take different sides on (i.e. not an obvious truism such as “women are important in society”). Some examples of recent debates about Disney movies include “Pocahontas did more to undermine than advance respect for Native American people” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame ultimately promotes an ableist worldview.” Assume that your audience has basic familiarity with the film, and don’t spend much of your allotted time giving plot overview.

On your assigned day, I will screen your video, and the class will spend 3-5 minutes giving you feedback. Make note of the feedback and think about how to integrate it into a longer version of the essay. For your final project, all of the video essays on a film (probably 4-5 essays) will be revised, extended to 4-6 minutes, and collected into a single group web project on your film.

A revised version of the video will be part of your group’s final project. In this 4-6 minute version, you should show that you have built on the feedback and discussion generated by the initial questions you posed in the short video.

Web project (15%):

The web project will be a jointly produced, curated resource on a Disney Renaissance movie. In addition to the revised video essays, each site will feature a blog page with at least one 300+ word contribution from each group member (topics TBD). The site will also include hyperlinked introductions to the topics covered and a resource page.

Course Materials

WCP Common Policies

Review the WCP Common Policies here. You are responsible for knowing and adhering to these policies. By signing the syllabus agreement at the end of this document, you are verifying that you have read and understood both the syllabus and the WCP common policies.

According to the attendance policy adhered to by all sections of English 1101 and 1102, you may miss 4 classes without penalty. Each additional absence subtracts one-third of a letter grade per absence (for example, if you missed five classes your final grade would change from B+ to B).  If you miss eight or more classes, you fail the course.

Course Expectations & Guidelines

Late Policy

It’s important for you to be at every class meeting with your readings completed and your reading questions written. If you cannot meet a deadline you must contact me before the class in which it is due to discuss the situation. Each essay is to be turned in on time.  For each class period late, a full letter grade will be lowered (i.e. by 10%) unless you have made prior arrangements with me.

Revision Policy

Revisions are permitted for major (10% of the final grade or more) assignments assigned a grade of B- or lower. Specific arrangements must be discussed with me within a week of receiving the grade for the assignment that you want to revise.

Classroom and Online Environment

Arrive on time – excessive tardiness will affect your participation grade. You are welcome to use your laptop, tablet, or smart phone, but only for notes and other class-related things. It is discourteous to allow your attention to wander by using a phone or laptop to engage in activities that are not related to the class because the work we do is conversational in nature rather than content-driven.

Academic Integrity

Georgia Tech aims to cultivate a community based on trust, academic integrity, and honor. Students are expected to act according to the highest ethical standards.  For information on Georgia Tech’s Academic Honor Code, please visit http://www.catalog.gatech.edu/policies/honor-code/ or http://www.catalog.gatech.edu/rules/18/.

Any student suspected of cheating or plagiarizing on a quiz, exam, or assignment will be reported to the Office of Student Integrity, who will investigate the incident and identify the appropriate penalty for violations. If you are not sure whether or not you are plagiarizing, please contact me immediately and I will be happy to help you decide.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with learning needs that require special accommodation, contact the Office of Disability Services at (404) 894-2563 or http://disabilityservices.gatech.edu/, as soon as possible, to make an appointment to discuss your special needs and to obtain an accommodations letter.  Please also e-mail me as soon as possible in order to set up a time to discuss your learning needs.



Module 1: Genres of Persuasion

Week 1: Beginnings

8/20 Introductions

8/22 WOVEN Communication and the Disney Renaissance

Read http://time.com/3590521/disney-renaissance/

Optional: Chapter 1 of WOVENText

Submit an introduction post to Piazza

8/24 Multimodal Communication at Georgia Tech

Read WOVENText Chapter 2, “Critical Concepts of Communication”

“Copyrights and Fair Use for Filmmakers”

The Ultimate Guide to Fair Use and Copyrights for Filmmakers


What Made the Disney Renaissance Era so Special?

Registration/schedule change deadline

Week 2: Historical Context

8/27 The Other Renaissance

Read Renaissance Self-Fashioning Introduction and Epilogue at http://sixteenthcentury.pbworks.com/f/Greenblatt.pdf

Submit Common First Week video

8/29 Affordances

Read WOVENText Chapter 7, “Designing Multimodal Projects with Technologies”

Watch  Pocahontas Was a Mistake, and Here’s Why!
(about 40 minutes long)

Submit Post to Piazza the timestamp of a part “Pocahontas Was a Mistake” that you would like to discuss, with a brief note as to why you would like to discuss it. Due before class.

8/31 Beginnings of the Disney Renaissance

Read: http://hca.gilead.org.il/li_merma.html  “The Little Mermaid”

Watch: “The Little Mermaid: Bet You On Land, They Understand” (about 4 minutes long)

Choose groups for web project.

Week 3: Video Essay Genre

9/3 Labor Day – No Class

9/5 Videos

Video Essay Workshop in the library’s Homer Rice room
Watch: The Little Mermaid

Submit: Piazza Homework. Pick a line (from a song or from dialogue) in the film and write a 200-400 word post on its meaning. Some questions you could ask include: does the line indicate a direction the movie could have taken, but didn’t? Does it jar with some other part of the movie? Does it open a plot hole? Does the meaning communicated through the words complement or push against what is conveyed visually? Due by midnight 9/5

9/7 Literary Genres of Persuasion

Read: “Odysseus’ Scar”

Week 4: Shakespeare’s Selves

9/10 Comedy of Errors

Read: Comedy of Errors Introduction xiii-xxv and Act I.

WOVENText Chapter 14 on genre

9/12 Writing Workshop/ICE day
Submit: A draft of Paper 1 for peer review.

9/14 Developing your Project

Read: Comedy of Errors Act II.

WOVENText Chapter 21 “Exploring Topics and Creating a Research Proposal”

Week 5: The Rescuers Down Under

9/17 Asynchronous Virtual Class
Read: Comedy of Errors Acts III-IV

Submit: Find videos of two different productions of a scene that is handled differently in each production.  in 200-400 words, describe the differences (i.e. in costume, lines cut out, casting, intonation, etc.) and speculate as to why the changes were made. What do the changes suggest about the intended audience?  Due by midnight on Canvas 9/18

9/19 Writing Workshop and ICE
Student video essays 1 and 2

9/21 Families and Happy Endings

Read: Comedy of Errors V.

Submit: Student video essays 3 and 4.

Paper 1 due on Canvas by midnight.

Module 2: Selfhood, Rebirth, Royalty

Week 6: Beauty and the Beast

9/24 Fairytale Adaptations

Read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_and_the_Beast


Watch: Beauty and the Beast

Submit: Student video essays 1 and 2.

9/26 Writing Workshop/ICE day

Submit: Student video essays 3 and 4

9/28 What’s in a Rose?

Read: “Beauty and the Beast” http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/beauty.html

Submit: Student video essay 5.

Week 7: The Lion King

10/1 Dead Fathers

Read: Hamlet Intro and Act I.

Watch: The Lion King

Submit: Student video essays 1 and 2.

10/3 Lions and Laertes
Read: Hamlet Act II.

Watch: “The Lion King, or The History of King Simba I” (about 22 minutes long)

Submit: Student video essays 3 and 4.

10/5 Asynchronous Virtual Class 2

Watch “The Case for Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Submit to Canvas by October 10 at midnight

Choose one of the following prompts to respond to:

Ellis makes the case that adaptations speak to the needs of audiences in different historical moments. Choose either The Lion King or The Hunchback of Notre Dame and write 300-500 words on the film’s relation to its possible source(s). For example, for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, you might pick a change from the original to the new interpretations of the story and explain why you think the change was made. How did it impact audience, purpose, and argument?

If you write on The Lion King, you could argue for or against the position that The Lion King represents a rebirth of the Hamlet story. If you take this option, end with some thoughts on how and if it impacts the way we watch The Lion King if we think of it as being descended from Hamlet, again with reference to audience, purpose, and argument.

Week 8: Aladdin

10/8 Fall Break

10/10 Ghosts and Genies

Read: Hamlet Acts III and IV

Watch: Aladdin

Submit: Student video essays 1 and 2


Read: Hamlet Act V

Submit: Student video essays 3 and 4.

Week 9: Hercules

10/15 Creation, Adaptation

Read: “The Light Princess”


Watch: Hercules

Submit: Prompts (all students). Student video essays 1 and 2.

10/17 ICE/Writing Workshop day

Submit: Student video essays 3 and 4

10/19 Boiling Roses

Read: “The Fantastic Imagination”


Submit: Pre-writing on Paper 2 to Canvas

Module 3: Fairytale Renaissance

Week 10 Mulan

10/22 Group Think

Read: WOVENText Chapter 8 “Collaborating Cooperatively.”

Watch: Mulan

Submit: Student video essays 1 and 2.

10/24 Writing Workshop/ICE

Begin Sprint 1 for group project

Submit: Paper 2

10/26 Disappointments

Read: WOVENText Chapter 9 “Managing Expectations.”

Watch “That Time Disney Remade Beauty and the Beast” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpUx9DnQUkA (about 36 minutes)

Submit: Student video essays 3 and 4.

Group Work Plan due by midnight

Week 11


In Class: Fairytale project work

Piazza Homework: Ellis argues that the live action version of Beauty and the Beast only made changes to appease bad-faith criticism. Make a post of 200-400 words in which you compare the fairytale version of Beauty and the Beast to either the animated or live action version. Describe how each medium’s affordances constrain or enable the story’s telling in relation to a specific character, object, or place. Due 10/29 at midnight


Read Cover to Cover available on Canvas under Files

Group work – begin Sprint 2

11/2 Asynchronous Virtual Class 3

Read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brothers_Grimm

A fairytale of your choice from https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimmtales.html

Submit: In 300-500 words, briefly summarize the story and describe the lesson it teaches. Identify and explicate at least one symbol, allegory, or metaphor that the story uses. Discuss whether it supports or undermines the explicit primary lesson.

Due by midnight

Week 12

11/5: Asynchronous Virtual Class 3.5

Meet either in person or virtually with the rest of your video essay group to complete a draft for peer review on Wednesday.

11/7 Writing Workshop and group work.

Peer review of group web projects.

Begin Sprint 3


Read: Fairy Tale TBD based on Asynchronous Virtual Class responses

Week 13


Group Web Projects Due

Submit: Presentations on group projects

11/14 Bookmaking Workshop

Class will be held at the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking.


Submit: Piazza Homework. Post a link to a video essay that is relevant to the coursework we have done so far. In 200-400 words, explain why you chose it, indicate the audience that the essayist anticipates, and evaluate the essayist’s usages of the affordances of the medium. Reflect on how your experience making a video essay informs the way you watch other video essays. You may reuse parts of this reflection in your final portfolio.

Week 14


Read: Classmates’ Piazza postings about their chosen video essays

Submit: draft of Fairytale Critical Edition for peer review. Bring a hardcopy in of your book-in-progress, and have an electronic draft of the accompanying paper you will submit with the book (introduction, full text, footnotes, works cited, and reflection)

11/21 no class

11/23 no class

Week 15

11/26 Fairytale Critical Edition due.

Brief student presentations on fairytale critical editions

11/28 Student Evaluations and Mahara

11/30 Mahara

Week 16

12/3 Mahara

Final Exam Schedule:
Section HP3 (MWF 9:05-9:55) – Friday, Dec 7. Portfolios should be uploaded by 10:50 a.m.
Section J (MWF 10:10-11:00) – Wednesday, Dec 12. Portfolios should be uploaded by 10:50 a.m.
Section G3 (MWF 12:20-1:10) – Wednesday, Dec 12. Portfolios should be uploaded by 2:10 p.m.