Contexts for Literature Assignment

English 210 Contexts for Literature Assignment
For this assignment, we're going to look at the publication context for some of the literature we’ll be reading. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, James Thurber, and others published their work in the magazines below, and your task will be to report back to the class on what you find about the magazine that the author appeared in.

Vanity Fair (from the 1920s):             AP2 .V33
The New Yorker                                     AP2 .N6763
The Saturday Evening Post                        AP2 .S2
The American Mercury                        905 Am345  (Deweys)
Hearst's International combined with Cosmopolitan. (A231; Locked Compact  Storage)
Collier’s                                                 F1 (Locked Compact Storage)
McClure’s                                                 A2366 (Locked Compact Storage)

Directions: You’ll be working in groups of 3-4 for this exercise, so get together and figure out whom you’re going to work with. Choose one author (Fitzgerald, Millay, or another one listed on the syllabus for this part of the course) and send one of your group members to the library to check out a bound volume of one of these magazines. On Laptop Day, that person will bring the volume to class, and you’ll all spend time looking at the magazine and looking up information about your author.You’ll then report those to the class

Note: The volume you choose does not HAVE to have one of these authors in it to qualify. .

Here are some questions to help guide your discussion:

1.  What can you tell about the audience for the magazine by reading through it? Was it directed at a younger or older audience? Rural or urban? The average person or the intellectual?

2.  Did you see anything by your author in it? Did you see any other authors that you recognized in the volume?

3. What kinds of pieces does the magazine publish? Does it publish stories, travel writing, opinion pieces, literary criticism, jokes, cartoons, plays, gossip, or other features? Does it have ads? If the magazine includes humorous pieces, what are they like, and what do they tell you about the audience?

4. Does the magazine have a certain outlook on life? What is it?

5.  Pick 1-2 pieces that you found interesting or unusual to mention in your presentation to the class.

6.  Does your author’s work fit into or stand out from the other pieces in this magazine?

7. How might your author have shaped his or her fiction or poetry in order to fit into this magazine?