I have been putting serious thought into what questions and learning objectives will make up the backbone of this course. It is honestly hard to articulate intelligently the abstract concepts and questions that prompted me to start this research project; my respect for my professors has definitely grown. This update consists of three different parts: course questions that will turn into course objectives, what type of scholarly sources I need, and possible assignments. (These lists can/will change.)
- Why witches? Why not create this class on any other archetype that is primarily women?
- What is a witch? Specifically, what characteristics do you associate with the “traditional witch” we are studying?
- What is the difference between a witch and a wizard? Is there a difference between men’s and women’s magic, and if so, what is it?
- Women and men have long been connected to different parts of earth and mythology. Some of them are apparent, like women and fertility. Others include healing, knowledge of herbs, water, the moon, change, cycles, and so on. Why it is do you think that women are associated with these things? Are there others that you can name?
- Similarly, what is it that you associate with witches? Have these things changed over time? Are those things associated with “bad” witches perversions of the the positives that are attributed to women? If so, how and why do you think that is the case? Is there something that sets apart these “bad witches” from succubi, sirens, and other evil mythological creatures that are female?
- What are the fears about women in power?
- What are the fantasies about women in power?
- How does the medium in which material is presented affect your response? For instance, do you think it is easier for you to analyze material when there are visuals? Do you think the visuals detract from the story? Are graphic novels a happy middle ground between novels and movies?
- Most of the materials we are looking at are written by men. How do you think history impacted the literature and film available concerning this subject created by women? If we’re exploring fears and fantasies, is it worthwhile to look at those things created by women?
Scholarly Sources to Find:
- A core textbook of some sort to provide history, background, and context.
- Article(s) on how perceptions of women have changed and about women in power.
- Article(s) talking about the differences in absorbing various media.
- Analysis/reviews of some of the sources being used in class to promote conversation and discussion.
- A journal to be kept throughout the entire class, 2-3 entries a week, some of which may be free-writes that we do in class or responses to the readings. Other thoughts and ideas can be recorded here as well. I would like to have one of the possible final projects be a collage essay that uses the journal as the launchpad. (I myself aim to start keeping journal entries on this blog as well.)
- There will need to be at least one assignment analyzing the differences between the different types of sources we have been reading and discussing.
- Class discussions will be graded on participation because my goal is for this class to be primarily discussion based.
- Another possible final project is to have the student pick a work of their own to analyze and discuss in either a paper or presentation.