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EN 104 - "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change": Identity and Transformation in Literature

Introduction


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to identity and transformation, with a particular focus on classic stories and traditions of metamorphosis. For further research assistance, please stop by the Reference Desk, or see our Ask a Librarian page for info on how to email, text, or call a reference librarian for help.

 


Research Basics


Visit Geisel Library's Research Help webpage for help with getting started.  In particular, check out the following:

  • Research Planner:  Create a timetable of milestones for completing your paper, with links to useful resources at each step
  • Research Strategy:  Helpful suggestions for every stage of the research process, from choosing a topic to citing your sources
  • Research Tutorials:  Web guides and videos on how to use library resources


Background Information


Before looking for books and journal articles on your topic, it is helpful to explore reference resources such as subject-specific encyclopedias. These resources can provide background information on authors and literary works, as well as the social issues, historical periods, and themes being addressed in this course. They can also help you determine keywords to search in the library catalog and journal databases. Use the bibliographies at the end of articles in reference resources to identify books and journal articles worth tracking down.

Starting Points

Encyclopedia of Identity
An excellent starting point.  Browse the Table of Contents for topic ideas.

Credo Reference
Search words like "identity" or "self" to find articles on national identity, self-knowledge, and self-determination.

Oxford Reference Online
This database includes numerous reference works for obtaining basic information on authors, concepts, and historical events.

Icons and Stories of Metamorphosis

Encyclopedia of Fantasy
     Ref PN56 .F34 E53

Encyclopedia of Gothic Literature
     Ref PN3435 .S58

Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
     Ref PN3433.4 .E53

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales
     Ref GR74 .G73 (3 vols.)

Icons of Horror and the Supernatural
     Ref PN56 .H6 I26 (2 vols.)

Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales
     Ref PN3437 .O94

Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature
     Ref PN1008.5 .O94 (4 vols.)

The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes
     Ref P96.H46 S87

Supernatural Literature of the World
     Ref PN56 .S8 S86 (3 vols.)

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead
     Ref GR830.V3 M45

Theory of Identity and Transformation

Encyclopedia of Human Development
     Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Encyclopedia of Philosophy
     Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Encyclopedia of Psychology (8 vols.)
     Ref BF31 .E52

Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
     Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Encyclopedia of Sociology
     Ref HM425 .E5 (print version, 5 vols.)

Handbook of Social Psychology
     General Collection HM251 .H224

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
     Ref CB9 .N49 (print version)

 

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Books


Geisel Library Catalog
There are two approaches to finding books in the Geisel Library catalog:

1)  Keyword Searching
If you have a specific topic in mind, try a Keyword search on terms that represent your topic of interest. Use the Boolean AND to combine together multiple concepts, and use the Boolean OR to expand your search with synonyms and related terms. Use the * (asterisk) to retrieve variant forms of a word; for example, identit* will find books with the words "identity" or "identities" in the catalog record.

Here are some examples of keyword searches related to this course's theme:

  • (change OR metamorphos*) AND identit*
  • self-concept OR self-awareness
  • Victorian AND (sex OR sexuality)
  • fairy tale* AND symbol*
  • vampir* AND (literature OR fiction)

2)  Subject Searching
If you have a general area of interest but haven't chosen a specific topic, try searching some of the phrases below as Subject Headings in the catalog. Subject searching is effective for finding books about broad concepts like fairy tales and self-knowledge. Skimming through these books may give you ideas about how to focus your research.

  • Fairy Tales - History and Criticism
  • Gothic Revival Literature
  • Horror Tales - History and Criticism
  • Identity (Psychology)
  • Identity (Psychology) in Literature
  • Metamorphosis in Literature
  • Self in Literature
  • Self (Philosophy)
  • Self-Knowledge, Theory of
  • Vampires

Here are some books found through keyword and subject searching:

Horror: A Thematic History in Fiction and Film
     PN56.H6 J66

Legends of Blood: The Vampire in History and Myth
      GR830.V3 B37

Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age
     HM131.G398

The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration
     Available in Ebrary

The Rise and Fall of Soul and Self: An Intellectual History of Personal Identity
     BD438.5 .M375

Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society
     PN6714 .F54

The Use of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
     GR550 .B47

WorldCat
By searching WorldCat, you can identify potentially useful books owned by other college libraries and have them delivered to Geisel Library for your use. Try searching the same keywords and subject headings that proved successful in the Geisel Library catalog. To request a book, open the book's WorldCat record, click the "Request via Interlibrary Loan" link, and follow the on-screen instructions. Allow 7-10 days for delivery. You will be emailed when your book arrives.

 

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Journal Articles


Below are several databases that may yield useful journal articles for your research. Try searching the same keywords that you used in the library catalog, combining concepts together using the Boolean AND and OR operators. Once you find relevant articles, examine their Subject Headings and conduct Subject searches on the ones that seem potentially fruitful.

If you find a useful article for which no full-text link is available, click on the WebBridge icon to determine whether the journal is available in Geisel Library or in full-text via another database. If the article isn't available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Within a week, you should receive an email indicating that the article is available to access. To learn how to use WebBridge, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins.; includes audio).

Starting Points

Academic Search Premier
This multi-disciplinary database is an excellent starting point for finding scholarly journal articles and popular magazine articles on a wide range of topics.

ProQuest Central
A massive database covering a wide range of subjects, with full-text of scholarly journal articles and newspaper articles.

PsycINFO
Start here for papers focusing on psychological aspects of identity formation and development. This database offers full-text of articles from scholarly psychology journals.    User Guide

Other Databases

JSTOR
Search here for full-text articles from major scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences.    User Guide

Literature Resource Center
Limit the content type to "Literature Criticism" to find full-text articles about works of literature from more than 100 literary journals.   User Guide

MLA International Bibliography
Start here for papers with a literary focus. This database provides citations for articles related to literature, language, and literary criticism.

SocINDEX
An excellent source for social perspectives on identity. This sociology database provides full-text journal articles and citations to books and conference papers.

CrossSearch

CrossSearch enables you to search across multiple databases at once to find journal articles. Try searching the General, English, Psychology, or Sociology subject categories, depending on your topic. If an article looks useful, click on the WebBridge icon to see if it is available in full-text or in Geisel Library's periodicals collection.  For tips on using CrossSearch, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins.; includes audio).

Journal Finder

Journal Finder will help you determine whether a particular article is available in Geisel Library's online databases or periodicals collection. Use it when you encounter citations to useful-looking articles in the bibliographies of reference books or other journal articles, and want to track down the full text. Search the journal's title in Journal Finder and use the resulting links to locate the article's full text in either a database or the library collection. If Journal Finder does not provide any links, you can request the journal article through Interlibrary Loan. To learn more about how to use the Journal Finder, please watch our video tutorial (3 mins.; includes audio).


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Selected Websites


The Sickly Taper
This guide to Gothic literature includes bibliographies of scholarly books and articles about vampires and werewolves. Search for the books in WorldCat, and use Journal Finder or Interlibrary Loan to obtain any articles of interest.

SurLaLune Fairy Tales
This website features around 50 of the most widely-known fairy tales, including annotations, historical background, and links to the texts of similar fairy tales from around the world.

 

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Citing Sources


For assistance with formatting your citations in MLA style, see the online resources available on the library's Citing Sources webpage.  You can also ask for the MLA Handbook (Ready Ref LB2369 .G53) at the library's reference desk.

 

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Contents

Book cover image for Modernity and Self-Identity

Professor
Ann-Maria Contarino

Library Liaison
Jeff Waller

Contents
Introduction
Research Basics
Background Information
Books
Journal Articles
Selected Websites
Citing Sources

Subject Guide
English