___SOUTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE___________________________
SYLLABUS FOR ENGLISH 233Z: Coming of Age across Cultures
Winter Quarter 2001
Mondays through Fridays, 9 - 9:50 a.m.
Room: AUT 134
Instructor: Judy Bentley
Office Phone: 768-6443
Office Hours: 10 - 10:50 a.m., Mondays-Fridays
Email address: email@example.com
Areas of Knowledge: Literature/History of Ideas
Requirements met: Integrated Studies (partial fulfillment)
The moment at which a person comes of age, or grows up, varies across
cultures, societies, and individuals. The transition from childhood to
adolescence to adulthood may occur too early or never be fully achieved. In
some societies and cultures, the process is clearly marked by rites of passage.
In multicultural and pluralistic societies, the process is immensely complicated by
In this course, we will read autobiographies and novels that portray the
―coming of age‖ process in several societies, including South Africa, Zimbabwe,
New Mexico and Mexico, New York and Japan, and other countries of your
choice. We will discuss the books as both literature and anthropological
accounts, evaluating their literary elements and merit and identifying
commonalities and differences in the growing up process.
Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom
Rudolfo Anaya Bless Me Ultima
Lydia Minatoya Talking to High Monks in the Snow
Tsitsi Dangarembga Nervous Conditions
A fifth novel or autobiography of your choice
A journal (notebook) exclusively for this class
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES ADDRESSED
1. Communication—Read and listen actively to learn and communicate. Speak
and write effectively for personal, academic and career purposes.
3. Human Relations—Use social interactive skills to work in groups effectively.
Recognize the diversity of cultural influences and values.
4. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving—Think critically in evaluating
information, solving problems and making decisions.
5. Personal Responsibility—Be motivated and able to continue learning and
adapt to change. Value one's own skills, abilities, ideas and art. Take pride
in one’s work. Be aware of civic and environmental issues.
7. Information Literacy--Access and evaluate information from a variety of
sources and contexts, including technology. Use information to achieve
personal, academic and career goals, as well s to participate in a democratic
1. Recognize elements of a global society, particularly commonalities and
differences in the coming of age process across cultures.
2. Recognize cultural elements of societies other than Western Europe or North
3. Identify common themes of adolescence.
4. Be able to work in large and small groups to share ideas and perceptions.
5. Compare and evaluate works of literature from different countries, using
literary elements and definitions of literature.
6. Analyze and evaluate a coming of age novel or autobiography.
7. Reflect in writing on your own coming of age.
The assignments for the course will consist of:
Reading: a book every two weeks, approximately 50 pages
per hour of class; four quizzes on the required reading 100 points
Twenty journal responses to the reading 100 points
Participation in daily class discussions 50 points
A reflective essay on coming of age and one of
the assigned books 50 points
An extended essay analyzing a coming of age novel or 75 points
autobiography, evaluating it as literature, relating
it to the society it reflects, and identifying elements of
the coming of age process revealed in the book
An oral presentation of that essay 25 points
360 – 400 points 3.5 – 4.00 A 240 – 279 points 0.5 – 1.4 D
320 – 359 points 2.5 – 3.4 B Fewer than 240 points F
280 – 319 points 1.5 – 2.4 C
1. Students will complete the assigned reading and journal entries before class
and be prepared for class discussion.
2. Students will participate in class discussions and use discussion styles that
allow and encourage everyone to participate.
3. Essays will be completed on time, typed, and follow the conventions of good
4. Late papers, including journal entries, will lose one point for every day they
are late. Missed quizzes may be done as out of class assignments, but they
forfeit five (out of 25) points.
5. Plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the assignment.
This course is supported by a website. Visit ENG 233Z at
http://lomas.sccd.ctc.edu:8900/ to access the syllabus, the supplementary
bibliography, the article by the instructor, and your progress in the course
Definitions: coming of age, adolescence, global society,
literature, literary elements, genre (autobiography, novel)
What is adolescence? How is it different across cultures?
What does it mean to come of age?
What is good literature?
How do cultural concepts of good literature differ?
Reading Assignment: Excerpts from Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in
Samoa; her autobiography, Blackberry Winter; Carol Gilligan's In a
Different Voice; Paul Goodman's Growing up Absurd; Erik Erikson on
Youth; Osayimwense Osa, African Children's and Youth Literature; Judy
Bentley and Peter Midgley, "Coming of Age in the New South Africa"
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #1 and #2
WEEK 2: Coming of Age in South Africa
Reading Assignment: Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom,
Parts 1, 2, and 3
Quiz #1 on Long Walk to Freedom
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #3 and #4
WEEK 3: Coming of Age in New Mexico and Mexico
Reading Assignment: Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima, "Uno" - "Diez"
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #5 and #6
WEEK 4: Coming of Age a Chicano, cont.
Reading Assignment: Bless Me, Ultima, "Trece" - "Veintidos"
Quiz #2 on Bless Me, Ultima
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #7 and #8
WEEK 5: Coming of Age an Asian-American
Reading Assignment: Lydia Minatoya, Talking to High Monks in the
Snow, Chapters 1 - 3
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #9 and #10
Analytical essay comparing Long Walk to Freedom and Bless Me,
WEEk 6: Coming of Age in Asia and America, cont.
Reading Assignment: Talking to High Monks in the Snow, Chapters 4 -
Quiz #3: Talking to High Monks in the Snow
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #11 and #12
WEEK 7: Coming of Age in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe
Reading Assignment: Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions,
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #13 and #14
WEEK 8: Coming of Age in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, cont.
Reading Assignment: Nervous Conditions, Chapters 6-10
Quiz #4 on Nervous Conditions
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #15 and #16
WEEK 9: Coming of Age in other countries
Reading Assignment: A book from the Supplemental Bibliography
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #17 and #18
WEEK 10: Coming of age in other countries, cont.
Writing Assignment: Journal entries #19 and #20
WEEK 11: Coming of age in other countries, cont.
Writing Assignment: Extended Essay on a book of your choice