Graduate Courses, Fall 2004

Times and locations of class meetings are subject to change. Consult the UF Schedule of Courses for an explanation of the class period abbreviations.

Course no. Time(s) Course title Instructor
downAML 6027 F 6-9
F 9-11
American Science-Fiction Literature & Film Gordon
downAML 6027 M 6-8 “American Modernism” Hegeman
downCRW 6130 T E1-E3 Graduate Fiction Workshop Ciment
downCRW 6130 M E1-E3 Graduate Fiction Workshop Robison
downCRW 6331 T E1-E3 Graduate Poetry Workshop Greger
downCRW 6331 M E1-E3 Workshop in Translation Wade
downENG 6075 T 6-8 Translation Leavey
downENG 6077 W 3-5 Theory: Forms: ImageTexT Ault
downENG 6077 T 3-5 Forms: Allegory Paxson
downENG 6138 R 9-11
screenings M E1-E3
Cinephilia & Classic Hollywood Ray
downENG 6138 T E1-E3 The Construction of Identity in Black Action Film & Independent Cinema Reid
downENG 6138 W 9-11
screenings M E1-E3
Post-WW II Cinema Alter
downENL 6226 M3-5
screenings F 9-11
Shakespeare, Transnational Film, & Mass Media Burt
downENL 6236 W 6-8 Eighteenth-Century Fiction New
downENL 6246 R 3-5 Jane Austen & the Culture of Romanticism Page
downENL 6256 R E1-E3 Victorian Liberalism & the Social Body Gilbert
downENL 6276 W E1-E3 Twentieth-Century British Literature Kershner
downENL 6276 T 9-11
screenings M E1-E3
English Novel: Twentieth Century Wolfreys
downLAE 6947 W 3-5 Writing Theories & Practices Dobrin
downLIT 6855 T 9-11 Issues in Cultural Studies: Medieval & Early Modern sorplus Shoaf
downLIT 6856 W 6-8 Into the Archive: Reading in the Baldwin Kidd
downLIT 6856 R 6-8 Introduction to Asian-American Studies Schueller
downLIT 6857 W 9-11 Caribbean Literature & the Haunting of History Rosenberg
downLIT 6857 R 9-11 Neo-Soul or Post-Black? Contemporary Black Cultural Studies Ongiri

AML 6027

American Science-Fiction Literature and Film

Andrew Gordon


  1. To survey twentieth-century American science-fiction (SF) literature and film.
  2. To develop critical skills in thinking about the role of SF within contemporary American culture. We will consider SF as the literature of science, technology, and change, and as perhaps the most characteristic American literature since 1945, a genre affecting all areas of our popular culture.

Texts: (at Goering’s, 1717 NW 1st Avenue, next to Bageland)

A packet of stories and articles: “Twilight” by John W. Campbell, “Heat Death” by Pamela Zoline, “The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick, “The Thing in All Its Guises” by Brooks Landon, “Alien and the Monstrous Feminine” by Barbara Creed, “Back to the Future” by Kaja Silverman.



  1. Ten one-two page (250–400 words) responses (25%) on the stories, novels, critical articles, or films. Sometimes we will use your response papers as the basis for class discussion. They may also develop ideas you can expand in the term paper.
  2. Term paper or SF story (45%). A research paper of about fifteen pages, concerning one or two works from the course. Alternately, if you are in the creative writing program or obtain my permission, the term paper may be a science-fiction story. Submit a first draft . I will make suggestions for revisions but reserve the right at that point to ask you to do the paper instead of the story. The grade is based on the final draft of the story. Make copies of your paper or story to distribute to your fellow students; we will discuss the papers and stories in the last class.
  3. One oral report to the class (15%). Report on an assigned author, novel, or film, or on another author or work of SF literature or film or on a book of criticism. (These reports may also help you prepare for your papers.) Alternately, you may discuss such topics as the Star Trek phenomenon, an SF TV series, SF music, SF comics or magazines, or SF videogames or computer games. You can use, if you wish, cassette tapes, slides, videotape, or power point. Two students may collaborate. 30–40 minutes each.
  4. Class attendance and participation (15%). Everyone is allowed one absence; after that, contact me with a valid explanation. Each unexcused late entrance into class or early departure counts as half an absence. Viewing the movies is part of the course. Attendance at the Friday screenings is not compulsory, but if you cannot attend, arrange to see the movie on your own.


AML 6027

“American Modernism”

Susan Hegeman

This course will interrogate the very applicability of the periodizing term “modernism” to the literary production of the U.S., circa 1900–1940. Traditional descriptions of the historical contexts of literary modernism emphasize the impact of crises such as World War I, and the international loci of Paris and London. Such narratives offer significant problems for the historian of American literature in the pre-WWII period. For example, we might be tempted to conclude that the U.S., which remained neutral until very late in WWI, was not affected by the upheavals that produced new aesthetic experiments, or that only the writers who emigrated to Paris counted as modernists. How do we construct an international frame for modernism that accounts for European modernists’ fascinations with “Americanism,” on the one hand, and strong regionalist and even nativist tendencies on the part of many U.S. writers, on the other?

The organization of this class takes a few things for granted. First, it assumes that the exercise of periodization is important not only for understanding literary history, but for understanding processes of cultural change generally. “Modernism” will therefore be understood not simply in terms of formal style, but as a particular historical conjuncture, occurring around the turn of the 20th century. Second (and more problematically) it assumes the relative coherence of the idea of “America.” Though this premise is subject to the related charges of nationalism and exceptionalism (the view that the U.S. has a special history or destiny, autonomous from the rest of the world and its history), it will be used in this class as a provisional idea, on the way to reimagining the literary production of the U.S. back into an international context. As we shall see, the cultural status of the U.S. was hotly debated in the early twentieth century, and so addressing the topic of “American modernism” brings us back into one of the crucial aesthetic debates of the period, both in the U.S. and abroad.

We will read historical and theoretical texts on modernism, and are likely to discuss works by the following authors, among others: Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, Hart Crane, John Dos Passos, Jean Toomer, and William Carlos Williams.


CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Workshop

Jill Ciment

This course is for MFA degree candidates in fiction only. Basically, it will be run in the ‘traditional’ writing workshop fashion – writer silent while his or her work is discussed. The emphasis this semester will be on structure. Both short stories and excerpts of novels are welcome. Optimally, students will turn in pieces that they have taken as far as they can on their own. The workshop should be a venue to test the waters, to try new things, to present first drafts as well as polished works, but ONLY after the writer has struggled with it to the nth degree. The idea is for students to rigorously challenge themselves. Everyone not presenting work should take their jobs as critics and editors as seriously as they take their own writing.

Attendance is important.

My job as mentor is to help each individual student develop his/her drafts into full-fledged fiction. I don’t believe my role is to make students feel better about their writing, but to give students honest criticism.

Reading will be assigned on an individual basis.


CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Workshop

Mary Robison

This class is for writers enrolled in the MFA program. We’ll meet each week for a three-hour session to regard and discuss your short stories or novel excerpts. Your submissions (two or three for the semester) will be scheduled and then distributed by you somewhat in advance. Stories will each be assigned a primary respondent, someone who will lead and conduct the discussion (until it is closed by me). You may be asked to read your submission aloud. You may be required to write a revision. You may have urged on you the works of specific others. The examination of your writing will be close and serious, the critique, thorough and tough, but always decent, always patient.


CRW 6331

Graduate Poetry Workshop

Debora Greger

We read. We write. We discuss. We revise.

Kirillov: Have you seen a leaf, a leaf from a tree?
Stavrogin: Yes.
Kirillov: I saw a yellow one lately, a little green. It was decayed at the edges. It was blown by the wind. When I was ten years old I used to shut my eyes in the winter on purpose and fancy a green leaf, bright, with veins on it, and the sun shining. I used to open my eyes and not believe them, because it was very nice, and I used to shut them again.
Stavrogin: What’s that? An allegory?
Kirillov: N-no . . . why? I’m not speaking of an allegory, but of a leaf, only a leaf.

– Dostoyevsky


CRW 6331

Workshop in Translation

Sidney Wade

“Poetry is what’s lost in the translation,” Robert Frost is supposed to have said. Regardless of whether or not he actually did say it (none of the assiduous researches devoted to the subject have managed to come up with an original text), it’s an assumption that will be discussed and challenged in this class. During this semester students will be asked to translate a minimum of six poems from another language. Before, during, and after the work of translation, we will be discussing a variety of issues involved in the endeavor, such as

  1. whether or not a fluent understanding of the original language is necessary to the translator;
  2. how the foreign and native literary landscapes influence the work of translation;
  3. how one deals with the challenges of form;
  4. are translations transcriptions? representations? imitations?
  5. issues of music, rhythm, speech, drama, nuance, etc.

Students will also be responsible for leading one class discussion on the weekly required reading. Students need not be fluent in the language they are translating from, but they must have a good understanding of their chosen language’s grammar. If the student is not fluent, he or she is required to obtain the services of a native speaker in providing literal line-by-line translations (trots).

Required texts:


ENG 6075


John Leavey

Translation indicates being situated. Translation is also always a situation that starts from the fact that being situated means “it” has already taken place: The limits, integrity and priority of language(s) abut us, and how they make translation possible as they define it as impossible will be the interests of this course.

One is situated and situates oneself in language(s), culture(s), institution(s), politics. The pluralizing of these words is not immediately given in our thinking or theories of translation, but their interchange is perhaps one site of translation that can help us understand the politics of literature and its others.

Like translation, this course will look at some moments of being situated without the hope of or the desire to totalize. Readings will be drawn from such authors as Derrida, Deleuze, Benjamin, Venuti, Robinson, and Badiou.

Requirements: A fifteen-page paper (75%), seminar presentation (15%), and seminar participation (10%).


ENG 6077

Theory: Forms: ImageTexT

Donald Ault

This seminar will involve an exploration of visual textuality across different media with attention to unique features of illuminated texts, marginal glosses, comics, animation, film, video games, computer graphics, and web design. The course will access developments on and open the possibility of graduate student contributions to the on-line journal ImageText <>.

Requirements: productive seminar participation and a final project.


ENG 6077

Forms: Allegory

James Paxson

This seminar will survey a range of literary texts and theoretical or critical statements on the device allegory, or “saying other.” Our own theoretical platforms will include philology, rhetoric, psychoanalysis, feminism, semiotics and deconstruction. Major theorists (Hugh of St. Victor, Dante, Coleridge, Walter Benjamin, Angus Fletcher, Paul de Man, Frederic Jameson, Maureen Quilligan, and Gordon Teskey) will punctuate an historically organized list of allegorical writers (Apuleius, de Pizan, Chaucer, Spenser, Bunyan, Poe, Kafka, Bulgakov, Coetzee, Auster) whose works incorporate especially the device’s master trope, prosopopeia or personification, and the narrative drive of interpretation and abstraction. Work includes: weekly reports on readings; one book review plus two conference-style papers or one term paper.


ENG 6138

Cinephilia and Classic Hollywood

Robert Ray

This course will offer a study of Classic Hollywood (1930–1950) seen through four of its most typical movies: Grand Hotel, The Philadelphia Story, The Maltese Falcon, and Meet Me in St. Louis. It will approach those films through a revised notion of cinephilia, whose theoretical roots lie in the Impressionist filmmakers’ celebration of photogenie and the Surrealists’ attention to the marvelous detail. This seminar will ask whether any genuinely useful writing about the movies can issue from cinephilia. Can we use what cinephilia offers – in Paul Willemen’s words, “the energy and the desire to write” – without foregoing the knowledge produced by post-’68 semiotic critique?

Readings will include the following:

Assignments: two 12-page papers, two oral reports.


ENG 6138

The Construction of Identity in Black Action Film and Independent Cinema

Mark A. Reid

Topics covered in this course include the visual representation of religious communities, gender, sexual, national, and multi-racial identity within the African Diaspora and North and West Africa. This course provides students with an opportunity to explore theoretical and cultural issues discussed and or dramatized in film, photography, and literature. In weekly seminars, students use various theoretical approaches to examine how African and African Diaspora visual artists imaginatively construct black identity in their works from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Africa. The central focus is on Blacks as producers of their image(s) as opposed to mere consumers of globally circulated master narratives that construct Blacks as the racialized Other. For comparative purposes, course screenings, readings, and class discussion will include works by non-black visual artists.


ENG 6138

Post-WW II Cinema

Nora Alter

In 1949 two French intellectuals, filmmaker Chris Marker and critic André Bazin, organized, what would be the first of series of annual retreats held in different locations in war devastated Germany. Sponsored by the left-wing cultural organization, Travail et Culture, these retreats were intended to help with the cultural redevelopment of Germany. Film criticism had ceased to exist in Germany in 1933 with the result that the immediate post-war filmic landscape was both a practical and theoretical void. The seminars included film screenings, lectures and discussions, and were attended by future German film critics such as Frieda Graf, Ulrich Gregor and Enno Patalas, as well as by filmmakers Wolfgang Staudte, Paul Rotha and others. This cultural initiative was all the more significant because it provided an alternative to the Hollywood staple offered by the American government’s cultural affairs division.

In this course we will examine the impact of what has been termed the French New Wave on German filmmaking. Although much scholarship has focused on the importance of U.S., and especially Hollywood, film production, our approach will instead focus on the immediate European influence. In particular, we will investigate the connection between theories of auteurism and its German equivalent: autoren and the development of New German Cinema. Cinema refers not just the actual films produced but to entire practice including the establishment of journals, festivals, and institutions.


ENL 6226

Shakespeare, Transnational Film, and Mass Media

Richard Burt

Shakespeare (the plays, the icon, the character) are frequently adapted, appropriated, and cited across an astonishingly wide variety of cultures and media, including film, television, comic books, pop music, and (genre) literature. Sometimes the use of Shakespeare is significant, sometimes not. In addition to examining the multitudinous ways Shakespeare appears and is valued globally from spaghetti Westerns to Madonna pop songs to Japanese manga and Bollywood films, we’ll take Shakespeare’s reproduction across global mass media as a point of departure to interrogate and explore a number of larger theoretical debates over film and (trans)national identity, popular culture and mass media, postcolonialism, cosmopolitanism, diaspora, and globalization, American studies, children’s literature and television, and queer theory. Attention will be paid both to the plays and to Shakespeare as a character. Films will include Shakespeare Wallah, Dil Chata Hai, Ran, Titus, and Hamlet (2000); comic books (including Classics Illustrated, Ranma 1/2, the Sandman, Superman, Batman, and manga, among others) and T.V. shows, music, and cartoons (including the Brady Bunch, Popeye, Rocky and Bullwinkle, among others) to be announced and to be placed on reserve. Required books: Richard Burt, Unspeakable ShaXXspeares and Shakespeare After Mass Media.


ENL 6236

Eighteenth-Century Fiction

Mel New

The theory behind this course is that before we can theorize about literature or criticize the writers of the past for being less intelligent, less politically astute, less socially aware, and less morally certain than the modern-day reader, it behooves us to read a great deal – indeed, to read so much that we are ultimately reduced to silence in the face of how much we do not know and do not comprehend. Only then will we be ready to be intelligent commentators on our reading. While this goes against the grain of much modern theory which instructs us to write first and think later, it is my own theory and will govern the shape of the course. We will be reading works by Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Smollett, Johnson, Goldsmith, and Austen – perhaps one or two more. There will be written work, but given the state of the library, I am not certain what form that will take. And there will be additional individual readings in the author of your choice, so that you get some idea of just how much you will need to read even about one single author before reducing that author to the very narrow dimensions of 21st-century thought.


ENL 6246

Jane Austen and the Culture of Romanticism

Judith W. Page

“The principle object . . . was to chuse incidents and situations from common life, and . . .to throw over them a certain colouring of imagination, whereby ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual way . . .”

– William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800)

“Also read again, and for the third time at least, Miss Austen’s very finely written novel of Pride and Prejudice. That young lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The Big Bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting, from the truth of the description and sentiment, is denied to me.”

– Sir Walter Scott (journal entry, March 14,1826)

“You are very, very kind in your hints as to the sort of Composition which might recommend me at present, & I am fully sensible that an Historical Romance . . . might be much more to the purpose of Profit or Popularity, than such pictures of domestic Life in the Country Villages as I deal in – but I could no more write a Romance than an Epic Poem. – I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my Life; & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first Chapter.”

– Jane Austen (letter to James Stanier Clarke, April 1,1816)

“Do not be angry with me for beginning another Letter to you. I have read the Corsair, mended my petticoat, & have nothing else to do.”

– Jane Austen (letter to Cassandra Austen, March 5, 1814)

Jane Austen lived from 1775 until 1817, but her critics and readers have not always placed her at home during these revolutionary times. Nor have they always recognized the powerful ways that she engages her world as she creates her own version of “ordinary life.” This course will focus on Austen’s writing (including juvenilia, letters, published novels, and uncompleted texts) in the context of the literature, culture, and politics of Romanticism. We will study Austen’s relationship to other women writers of the period, including Ann Radcliffe, Charlotte Smith, Maria Edgeworth, and Mary Wollstonecraft, as well as parallels to such contemporaries as William Wordsworth, S. T. Coleridge, and Lord Byron. We will also discuss several recent film adaptations of Austen’s fiction, considering the ways that such films re-imagine the past (including the vision of the English countryside) that Austen’s novels represent. In addition to selections from critics and theorists on Austen and Romanticism, we will read selected contemporary film criticism of the Austen adaptations.

Each student will produce a 20-page seminar paper in stages: a prospectus, an oral presentation of a first draft (around 8 pages), and the final draft.


ENL 6256

Victorian Liberalism and the Social Body

Pamela Gilbert

This course will examine key texts of Victorian liberalism, from forerunners Adam Smith and Malthus (not Victorians but influential in this period) through Eliot, Arnold and Mill and finally to the “New Liberals” (Green, Hobhouse) of the turn of the century. We will be examining one genealogy of the liberal vision of a unified social body in relation to key literary figures (e.g., Martineau, Eliot, Dickens), and its critiques (e.g., Engels, Spencer). Additionally, we will spend time reading and thinking about secondary works which interrogate and historicize our principal terms, such as Foucault, Poovey, Mehta, Habermas, etc.

Our goal will be to emerge with some sense of the history of liberalism and the “social body” in this period, and some ideas about how that history connects to theoretical debates today. Some of the questions we will engage include the following: What is the social? What is its history? How does it relate to the so-called public and private spheres? What are their origins? What forces and discourses construct them, and our understanding of them? How do they relate to nation, the state and the body? What is the place of subjectivity within or in relation to these constructs? Other terms which shall certainly demand attention as we progress are class, gender, race and empire. And you will bring other questions to connect the course issues to your own work and interests.

Having posed all these questions, I should add that the point of the class is not necessarily to emerge with the right answer(s). In fact, I suspect we shall discover how historically limited are the claims we can make not only in the response to, but in the posing of these questions. The class, as I envision it, should allow us to kick these terms around, allowing them to manifest all their rich confusion and ours – out of which, perhaps, we may emerge with some modestly workable strategies for thinking about the social body and the origins of late modern liberalism, and out of which, certainly, we shall emerge with a more productive understanding of and respect for the complexities of the material.

Tentative reading list: readings will be available at Goering’s, as handouts or online, except in the few cases where I ask you to find your own.


Requirements include attendance and participation, eight short (1–2 page) responses to the reading, one full length paper (21–25 pages) of which a draft is due several weeks before the end of term, and one turn preparing three discussion questions for the week. Late in the term, depending on the size of the class, you may informally present your paper argument for discussion.

Response papers are due each week to the class email list to be circulated and shared; you should post them at least 48 hours before class. (I will create an email list for the class, to which you may post papers, responses, questions, etc.) You may choose which eight weeks you will turn something in, but please do not turn them in late. You need not comment on the entire reading – you may comment on any portion of it. If you would like to tailor your final project for a particular purpose (dissertation chapter, for example), please let me know.


ENL 6276

Twentieth-Century British Literature

Brandon Kershner

This course will survey the twentieth-century British (and Irish) novel through the present day. In the first half of the course we will stress the emergence of modernism in the novel, with particular emphasis on formal concerns of the novelists, and the effects of literary impressionism. The second part of the course will be addressed particularly to works by women and to the exploration of an alternative canon. Thus we will miss some works conventionally taught in a course like this (by Greene, Waugh, Orwell, Huxley, or Carey, for instance) in favor of works by writers like Murdoch and Byatt. At the same time, we will investigate the vexed question of the relations of modernism and postmodernism in the British novel. Books may include:

The course will combine social and formal concerns: we will begin by emphasizing an evolution in the form of the novel and otherwise generally review the New Critical approach to modernist texts (while simultaneously putting it into question). Then, mostly through the idea of dialogism, we will attempt a bridge into questions of social context and ideology. Contemporary critical modes will be invoked, especially those in which poststructuralist insights are embedded in a social analysis: Bakhtin and Foucault should be especially useful, and we will pay particular attention to the possibilities of cultural studies.

Requirements include a ten-page paper due around midterm and a fifteen-page paper due near the course’s conclusion; a fifteen-minute oral presentation; and, depending on class preparedness, the possibility of a final exam.


ENL 6276

English Novel: Twentieth Century

Julian Wolfreys

This course will examine particular strands in the English novel as these are mediations of national, cultural, and historical identity, ideologies, and articulations of the subject. Particularly, we will consider fantasy, the grotesque, the surreal, and the subversive.

The success of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books has been read by some as a renewed interest in children’s books and in reading itself. Yet this is only part of the story. So popular have the books been that, in Great Britain at least, ‘adult’ versions have been published, thereby indicating a broader readership beyond the category of children’s fiction. What this suggests is that the ‘English’ imagination or psyche (if we can speak of such a thing) has a strong investment in narratives of fantasy and the fantastic, an investment which this course will explore as a particular cultural phenomenon crossing all genres and age groups, serving in part to mediate and define a particular projection of Englishness. Therefore, we will be reading novels from the 20th century belonging to both ‘adult’ and ‘children’s’ literature to explore what these might share in terms of their foci, their interests, and concerns. We will be asking questions such as: how do narratives of fantasy and the fantastic figure national identity? How might they be read as mediating ideological fears and interests? What are the dominant hegemonic concerns manifested in such narratives? To what extent is fantasy a peculiarly ‘English’ phenomenon and what are the signs of this cultural identity? In order to explore these questions we will look at images of the grotesque, the bizarre, the surreal, and the transgressive as figures for opening to analysis from other locations, politics, history, and culture.

Possible readings will include:

Assessments: Two Essays, one oral presentation.


LAE 6947

Writing Theories and Practices

Sid Dobrin

In this course, we will examine and critique the important theoretical issues and problems that concern contemporary scholars and teachers of composition and rhetoric. We will examine the evolution of composition as a formal area of study, review some of the major projects that have shaped or reshaped thinking in the field, and evaluate various theoretical and pedagogical trends. In addition, we will study how scholarship in related fields – literary criticism, philosophy, and cognitive psychology, to name a few – affects studies in composition and rhetoric. We will look particularly at how computer technology and composition studies intersect, giving pause to consider how teaching in computer environments might be approached theoretically and pedagogically. These discussions will be tied to discussions of how we, as teachers of writing, engage students, develop assignments, and fulfill institutional and personal goals of the composition classroom. In other words, we will work to bridge the gap between composition theory and our own pedagogies.


LIT 6855

Issues in Cultural Studies: Medieval and Early Modern sorplus

Al Shoaf

Throughout the courtly love tradition (better called the fin’amors tradition), the word sorplus is a powerful code for all forms of excess, most especially orgasm. It is used to suggest the ineffable joie that comes with the access as well as excess of love. (It is jouissance before Lacan dreamed he had invented it.) It is also a term of economics, materialism, and ethics as well. I propose to examine sorplus in a wide selection of European texts from Virgil to Shakespeare and to attempt to contextualize certain key questions. Among them, what kind of excess is poetry? Is there a vocabulary that can adequately describe the relationship between the sorplus of poetry and the sorplus of eros? Why does sorplus seem transgressive? What changes in the understanding of the erotic body parallel changes in the understanding of poetry as a form of knowledge? What is the relationship between pornography and erotica in the early modern period? On these and related questions we will bring to bear various theories and theorists, but we will be primarily concerned with how medieval and early modern writers were themselves already theorizing these questions and their implications. All readings will be in translation, but we will have access to the originals as well. Students will be expected to present a seminar report and to write a term paper for the course.


LIT 6856

Into the Archive: Reading in the Baldwin

Kenneth Kidd

This seminar has a dual focus and will be structured accordingly. First, everyone will develop one or more archival projects in the Baldwin Historical Library of Children’s Literature, one of the most comprehensive such archives in the world. Rita Smith, the Curator of the Baldwin, will work with us closely and will participate in the seminar. Every other week, we will concentrate on those archival projects by looking at primary texts, presenting analytical synopses, and discussing what we’ve discovered. You’ll be expected to give regular oral and written reports on your work in progress. The Baldwin is an extraordinary resource even for those not specializing in children’s literature, and one aim of the course is to encourage you to explore the collection. Second, we will read children’s literature scholarship and theoretical meditations on the archive, the collection, the canon, and the discipline. Every other week will be devoted primarily to such texts and their relevance to literary study past, present, and future. My hope is that the course will be both practical and theoretical, in ways that we can’t yet anticipate.

Possible readings:

Class will be conducted as a seminar. There will be several short writing assignments and a longer seminar paper (20–25 pp.); all assignments will be research-based and the longer paper must draw from theoretical as well as primary material. No exams will be given.


LIT 6856

Introduction to Asian-American Studies

Malini Schueller

Course Description: This course is an introduction to the central critical debates in Asian American studies as well as to major cultural and literary texts. Accordingly, the readings span a temporal range of Asian-American cultural production as well as the debates generated by the institutionalization of Asian-American studies to the present moment. We will read the work of critics such as Lisa Lowe, Rey Chow, Gary Okihiro and David Palumbo-Liu as well as important fictional and non-fictional works by Asian American writers. The course includes writings by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, and Filipino Americans, as well as Amerasians, but the point is not simply to emphasize the cultural and national multiplicity of Asian-American writing. Rather, the readings are organized according to major questions that frame Asian-American writing across different national boundaries: the narration of cultural conflict; stereotypes and cultural identity; racial difference; gender and ethnicity; postcolonial subjectivities; and racializing labor. At the center of the readings is the complex question of what it means to be Asian-American in the U.S.

Possible Texts:

Requirements: weekly response papers; long research paper; oral presentation.


LIT 6857

Caribbean Literature and the Haunting of History

Leah Rosenberg

In the late 19th century, the first Jamaica short stories told the history of the maroons and of the Morant Bay uprising of 1865. In the 1930s, C.L.R. James celebrated the Haitian Revolution as the fruition of the Enlightenment in his 1936 play and 1938 history both entitled The Black Jacobins. Caribbean historians – Eric Williams and Kamau Brathwaite – have transformed our understanding of plantation society, slavery, and the rise of capitalism. In recent decades, Caribbean writers have rewritten slave rebellions, labor strikes, carnival and revolution into postmodern and science fiction narratives of future planets, lesbian alliances, and cross cultural séances. In short, Caribbean writers have consistently placed history at the center of their work, with a variety of agendas from nationalism and feminism to elitist conservatism. This course examines literary representations of history in the context of colonial historiography, Caribbean revisionist historiography, and recent theories of history, in order to evaluate the relationship of literature to history. Because it is the bicentennial of the Haitian Revolution and because the Haitian Revolution became such a central event for Caribbean literature, we will begin with texts on Haiti, and also consider historical and literary representations of Jamaica, Grenada, and Cuba. Special attention will be paid to the use of different genre and narrative techniques to represent history, in particular, social realism, modernism, postmodernism, popular romance and science fiction. Literary authors will likely include: Herbert de Lisser, Alejo Carpentier, Aime Cesaire, Jean Rhys, V.S. Naipaul, Erna Brodber, Dionne Brand, Christina Garcia, Caryl Phillips, and Nalo Hopkinson. Historical and theoretical authors will likely include: Ranajit Guha, Kamau Brathwaite, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Eric Williams, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Edward Long, and Bryan Edwards.


LIT 6857

Neo-Soul or Post-Black? Contemporary Black Cultural Studies

Amy Abugo Ongiri

In 2001, curator Thelma Golden coined the term “post-black” in conversation with artist Glenn Ligon to refer to the work in “Freestyle,” the groundbreaking presentation of twenty-eight emerging African American artists at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Golden hoped the label would provide an explanatory model to understand emerging “artists who were adamant about not being labeled as ‘black’ artists, though their work was steeped, in fact deeply interested, in redefining complex notions of blackness.” While artists at the Studio Museum worked out the politics of Blackness for the new millennium through visual mediums, African American popular culture was deeply immersed in its attempt to reclaim a highly romanticized version of the Black sixties and seventies through the embrace of the “Neo-soul” movement. This course will explore the notion of Black culture deployed in various theoretical discourses, cultural practices and movements from academic discussions of critical race theory and minority discourse to the Black Arts movement and Afrocentrism. We will examine the political and cultural efficacy of “Blackness” as a marker as well as the resistance to the continuing reappearance of the spectre of Africanity in contemporary Euro-American culture. We will utilize the work of Fred Moten, Frantz Fanon, Mark Anthony Neal, Wahneema Lubiano, Homi Bhaba, Hortense Spillers, Elizabeth Alexander, Manthia Diawara, Paul Gilroy among others, as well as the films of Clair Denis, Charles Burnett, Haile Gerima, Julie Dash, Isaac Julien and Marlon Riggs.