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   Ethnicity              Symbols
   Music                   represented by
   Suspense/Thriller       historical and
                            political reality in
   Fashion &               fiction or fantastic
    Shopping                novels
   Poetry                 Subliminal
                            messages and
                            symbolism in media
                            and litterature.
Oral presentations

   Week 11: 2         Week 13: 2
    presentations       presentations

   Week 12: 2         Week 14: 1
    presentations       presentation
Francesca Lia Block
Francesca Lia Block
   The Weetzie Bat books
       Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Baby Be-
        Bop, Beautiful Boys, Cherokee Bat
        and the Goat Guys, Goat Girls.

   Girl Goddess #9 (short stories)

   The Hanged Man
Weetzie Bat -- Topics
 Drugs, alcohol
 Domestic violence, rape

 Suicide

 Homosexuality

 (Alternative) Parenthood

Weetzie Bat – Drugs, alcohol

   Pros                  Cons

Enlevait souffrances      Utilisé adultes,
Fête                       problèmes alcool,
                          Excès
Weetzie Bat – Domestic
              violence, rape
   Pros           Cons
       Witch          Singer
Weetzie Bat – Suicide

   Pros                    Cons
       Ends suffering          Bad relationships
                                Outcast
Weetzie Bat – Homosexuality

   Pros               Cons
       Normality          AIDS
                           Ne peuvent pas
                            avoir d’enfants
Weetzie Bat – (Alternative)
   Pros               Cons
       Happiness          Mother
       love
Weetzie Bat – AIDS, STDs

   Pros                      Cons
       Aide à se rendre          It kills
        compte de ce              Fear of hurting
        qu’on a                    others
Weetzie Bat – Fidelity

   Pros                      Cons
       Absence de                Mensonges
        tromperie morale          Destruction du
                                  Perte de
                                  Tromperie morale
Naming and Identity

Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

   Erik Erikson

   Lifelong development of personality
    and identity (opposed to Freud)
Eirkson’s essays

   Childhood and Society (1950)

   Young Man Luther (1958)

   Insight and Responsibility (1964)

   Vital Involvement in Old Age (1986)
8 stages of development

   1-Oral-sensory         5- Adolescence
       12-18 mo old           12-18 yrs old
   2- Muscular-anal       6- Young adulthood
       1.5-3 yrs old          19-40 yrs old
   3- Locomotor           7- Middle
       3-6 yrs old         adulthood
   4- Latency                 40-65 yrs old
       6-12 yrs old       8- Maturity
                               65 yrs old to

   In some young people, in some classes, at
    some periods in history, the personal identity
    crisis will be noiseless and contained within the
    rituals of passage marking a second birth; while
    in other people, classes, and periods, the crisis
    will be clearly marked off as a critical period
    intensified by collective strife or epidemic
    tension. Thus, the nature of the identity conflict
    often depends on the latent panic or, indeed,
    the intrinsic promise pervading a historical
   Some periods in history become identity vacua caused by the
    three basic forms of human apprehension: fears aroused by
    new facts, such as discoveries and inventions (including
    weapons), which radically expand and change the whole world
    image; anxieties aroused by symbolic dangers vaguely
    perceived as a consequence of the decay of existing ideologies;
    and, in the wake of disintegrating faith, the dread of an
    existential abyss devoid of spiritual meaning. But then, again, a
    historical period may (as, for example, the American Revolution
    did) present a singular chance for a collective renewal which
    opens up unlimited identities for those who, by a combination of
    unruliness, giftedness, and competence, represent a new
    leadership, a new elite, and new types rising to dominance in a
    new people.
   If there is something to all this, why would insights concerning
    such universal matters first come from psychoanalysis, a clinical
    science? The fact is that in all periods of history, mental
    disturbances of epidemiological significance or special
    fascination highlight a specific aspect of man's nature in conflict
    with "the times" and are met with by innovative insights: as
    happened to hysteria in Freud's early days. In our time, a state
    of identity confusion, not abnormal in itself, often seems to be
    accompanied by all the neurotic or near psychotic symptoms to
    which a young person is prone on the basis of constitution,
    early fate, and malignant circumstance.
   In fact, young individuals are subject to a more malignant
    disturbance than might have manifested itself during other
    stages of life, precisely because the adolescent process can
    induce the individual semi-deliberately to give in to some of his
    most regressed or repressed tendencies in order, as it were, to
    test rock bottom and to recover some of his as yet undeveloped
    childhood strengths. This, however, is safe only where a
    relatively stable society provides collective experiences of a
    ceremonial character, or where revolutionary leaders (such as
    Luther) provide new identity guidelines which permit the
    adolescent individual to take chances with himself. Historical
    crises, in turn, aggravate personal crises; and, indeed many
    young people have in the recent past been judged to suffer from
    a chronic malignant disturbance, where we now know that an
    aggravated developmental crisis was dominant. This, then, is
    the clinical anchorage for the conception of an identity crisis.
    (Erikson, 1970/1975, pp. 18-22)
Rites of passage

   Arnold van Gennep.
    Belgian anthropologist
Van Gennep
   3 part pattern in transitions between
    life stages
   1) initial phase: the individual is isolated from
    the community;
   2) period of disorder or confusion (called the
    liminal period): his or her former identity is
    broken down;
   3) individual's reincorporation into the
    community once he or she has made the
    passage to a new stage of existence and a new
   Masai, East Africa: 12-16 years old
       isolated, heads shaved, circumcised.
   Kikuyu, Kenya, 15 years old
       circumcised, adopted by ritual
        parents, isolated in groups for a period
        of eight days, songs, dances, eating
        special ceremonial foods.
   Carib girls, Surinam
       handle burning cotton.
   Jewish community
       Bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah.

   What are our rites of passage from
    childhood to adulthood?

   Adam

   Ferdinand de Saussure
Adam- The Book of Genesis
   18: And the LORD God said, It is not good that the
    man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for
    19: And out of the ground the LORD God formed every
    beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and
    brought them unto Adam to see what he would call
    them: and whatsoever Adam called every living
    creature, that was the name thereof.
    20: And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl
    of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam
    there was not found an help meet for him.
Ferdinand de Saussure

   Swiss linguist

   Cours de

   "Le lien unissant le signifiant au
    signifié est arbitraire, ou encore,
    puisque nous entendons par signe le
    total résultant de l’association d’un
    signifiant à un signifié, nous pouvons
    dire plus simplement : le signe
    linguistique est arbitraire. " (CLG, 100)
Jerry Spinelli, 1941-

   Most important novels:
     Space Station Seventh Grade (1982)
     Maniac Magee (Newberry Medal,
     Crash (1996)
     Wringer (1997)
     Stargirl (2000)
     Loser (2002)

   Space Station
    Seventh Grade,

   Maniac Magee,

   Crash, 1996

   Wringer, 1997

   Stargirl, 2000

   Loser, 2002
   First topic: Rites of passage

     What are the usual rites of passage in
      our society?
     Which rites of passage are depicted in
      Stargirl? What’s their importance in
      the novel?
     Are they meaningful? And for whom?

   Second topic: Identity

     How do we normally impose an
      identity on people we meet?
     How do the characters in Stargirl get
      their identity? What defines them?
     Are the characters’ public identities
      similar to their actual selves?
   Third topic: Naming and incantations

     Find naming events, as well as
      incantations that are normal in our
     What do names mean for the
      characters of Stargirl and of Holes?
     What is the importance of incantations
      for them? Are incantations still

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