Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2001

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

Upper Division (3000–4000) Courses

Note: Only course descriptions are listed below. For a comprehensive summary of course numbers, sections, times and locations, titles, and instructors, see the following web page:

AML 3270

African American Literature I

Mildred Hill-Lubin

Office: 4334 Turlington
Telephone: 392-6650, Ext. 260
E-mail: mahl@english.ufl.edu

The course surveys the writings of African Americans up to 1945. It includes the folk (oral) literature, slave narratives, essays, poetry, and fiction. Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Weldon Johnson, W.E.B. Du Bois, and the Harlem Renaissance writers – Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neale Hurston – are among the authors studied. The class concludes with the reading of Richard Wright’s Native Son.

Texts

Requirements

Students are expected to attend class and participate in the class discussions and other activities. Participation counts heavily when grade average is border line.

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AML 3271

African/American Lit II

Mark A. Reid

Visit Dr. Reid’s web page for a description of this course: Dr. Reid’s Course Descriptions.

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AML 4170

Studies in American Literary Form: American Political Novel

Debra King

The novel is one of the most powerful ways that the average American is exposed to sociopolitical ideology. This influence is reciprocal. Literature has shaped our way of thinking and behaving but our behaviors, social concerns, and political struggles have also shaped it. This course is a survey of the ways in which politics and specific political issues have shaped American fiction from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Focus:

The qualifying definition of a “political novel” is debatable. Are propagandistic works political novels? What about historical romances, novels of sentiment, utopian, or postmodern and experimental fiction, do they fit into this category? Since the category of “political novel” is not always clearly demarcated, I use the title as a focusing aid. We will address questions of how the texts under survey influence and are influenced by the race, class, and gender politics of its sociohistorical production. We will seek to discover the connection between a novel’s literary “quality” and its efficacy as a political weapon. Finally, we will discuss the blatant or veiled ideologies the novels under survey advocate. What kind of ideological or socio-political legacies do these texts offer and what have we done with these legacies?

Tentative Texts:

Grade Distribution and Grading Method:

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AML 4170

Studies in American Literary Form: The Contemporary Historical Novel

Phillip E. Wegner

The central aim of this course is to introduce students to the work of four of the most interesting and important living American authors – Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, and Leslie Marmon Silko – by looking at recent efforts by each in the great literary genre of the historical novel. The historical novel has been a central form for U.S. letters since its earliest days, offering a vehicle by which its readers can imagine the present by exploring the past. Thus, transformations in the way we narrate these histories have a great deal to tell us about the conditions of our own moment. We will situate our readings by placing them within the context of the generic tradition of the historical novel, first examining the groundbreaking discussions of the genre offered by Georg Lukács and others, and then looking at excerpts from the work of the founder of the American historical novel, James Fenmore Cooper. We will then turn to our semester’s primary texts, all first published in the last decade: DeLillo’s Underworld, Morrison’s Paradise, Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon, and Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes. (These are all quite long and sometimes difficult novels, but also immensely rewarding, so be prepared to spend a good deal of time reading.) We will be looking at the ways each author represents events in U.S. history, the significance of the points of view each takes, the lessons they have to teach us about our present situation, and the visions of hope they offer for the future.

All students will be expected to read attentively the course materials and to engage in class discussion. In addition, I will be asking you to research further on the historical events the novels focus upon, and present your findings to the class. And finally, your formal written work will consist of a series of engagements with our class discussions of three of these novels.

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AML 4213

Studies in American Literature and Culture Before 1800

Carl Bredahl

No Course description available.

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AML 4242

Contemporary American Literature: Realism and Naturalism in 20th-Century Literature

Andrew Gordon

Spring 2001
T 5–6, Th 6
Office: 4323 TUR
Mailbox: 4301 TUR
E-mail: agordon@ufl.edu
Instructor’s home page: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/agordon

Readings:

Objectives:

An introduction to American Fiction since 1945. We will read some of the major authors and look at the techniques and themes of the novels and stories, with particular emphasis on African-American and Jewish-American fiction. We will consider the influence of the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and other political and historical events on the fiction and also take into account literary movements such as modernism and postmodernism and genres such as realism, naturalism, and metafiction.

About the Instructor:

Andrew M. Gordon has taught post-WW II American fiction, Jewish-American fiction, science fiction, and film at UF since 1975. He has been a Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature in Spain, Portugal, and the former Yugoslavia and a Visiting Professor in Hungary and Russia. His publications include An American Dreamer: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Fiction of Norman Mailer and many articles and reviews on contemporary American fiction and film. Most recently, with Professor Peter L. Rudnytsky, he co-edited Psychoanalyses/Feminisms. He also directs the Institute for the Psychological Study of the Arts.

Requirements:

Attendance and participation, twelve short quizzes, three papers, one oral report.

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AML 4311

Major Figures in Literature/Culture: Toni Morrison

Debra King

Critics herald Toni Morrison as the “most formally sophisticated novelist in the history of African-American literature.” She is certainly the most renowned. Morrison’s work has earned the highest accolades of praise in contemporary literary circles: the National Book Critics Circle Award and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Song of Solomon in 1977, the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Beloved in 1988, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993 (among others). She has published seven novels and several critical pieces. With themes such as those exploring the burdens of history, the social consequences of racism, sexism and classism, Morrison’s novels explore themes of naturalistic fiction while also engaging the more dramatic themes of modernism: death, love, rebirth, responsibility, and memory. Her novels are lyrical prose memorials to suffering and loss that move beyond characters’ victimization towards rectification, reconciliation, renewal and revival. We will evaluate what critics have to say about Morrison’s fiction as well as evaluate the author’s own creative and critical perspectives. In sum, this course introduces students to an extraordinary woman whose work, both fictional and critical, has shaken the foundations of American literature (and criticism) to reconstitute both it and the boundaries of its canon.

Grade Distribution and Grading Method:

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AML 4311

Major Figures in Literature/Culture: Sylvia Plath

Marsha Bryant

This course will examine Plath’s literary work (Collected Poems, The Bell Jar), her Letters Home and the newly expanded version of her Journals to plot the trajectory of her career. In addition, we will examine relevant cultural contexts from the 1950s and early 1960s (such as women’s education, dominant theories of motherhood & child rearing, and the ideology of both Mademoiselle magazine and Ladies’ Home Journal). Finally, we will assess Plath’s cultural afterlife through her martyrdom and celebrity in the media, the Hollywood treatments of her novel and her life, the biography industry on Plath, and Ted Hughes’s best-selling volume Birthday Letters. Assignments will include a panel presentation, an explication of a poem, a cultural analysis paper, a review of a Plath biography, an essay examination, and class participation.

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AML 4453

Cultural Anxieties of the Sixties: 1950-1972

Patricia Schmidt

“But I am not guilty,” said K.; “it’s a mistake. And, if it comes to that, how can any man be called guilty? We are all simply men here, one as much as the other.” “That is true,” said the priest, “but that’s how all guilty men talk.”

– Franz Kafka

Many astute critics of the state of modern fiction argue that the contemporary American novel grew out of the practical failure of various social utopian ideas of the twenties and thirties. The New Deal, McCarthy witch hunts, America’s use of the nuclear bomb, Russian totalitarianism, and the existential implications of the holocaust have all contributed to an impulse quite apart from that which informed novels of the twenties and thirties. In contrast to works informed by issues of social conscience, such as The Grapes of Wrath, authors of later works seem far more interested in the evil that underlies social injustice. As Jonathan Baumbach observed, “the novel of the fifties at its best goes beneath the particular social evil to the fact of evil itself and dramatizes the extent and implications of personal culpability in a self-destroying civilization. Social wrongs are still at issue in such recent novels as The Invisible Man, All the King’s Men, Catch 22..., but the question of repairing these wrongs seem nightmarishly beside the point. The rent in our lives persists unhealed by legislation.”

Interestingly enough, many of the non-fiction works of the fifties and sixties also turn in the direction of the metaphysical. Reisman and Whyte explore the effect of cultural norms on behavior, Galbraith assesses the influence of economic factors, while Camus directly examines the nature of being. The burden of living in a less than sane world becomes and remains a popular theme in a variety of films portraying individuals trapped in a world devoid of spirituality, innocence and goodness.

This particular line of inquiry will inform our readings and assignments this semester. And it is with this theme in mind that the following activities were chosen.

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AML 4685

Introduction to Asian-American Studies

Malini Johar Schueller

This course is designed to orient students with the central debates in Asian-American studies and to introduce them to key literary texts. 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 recur in Asian-American writing across different national boundaries: racial and cultural representation; legacies of imperialism; redefining feminism; transnational identities; and racializing labor. At the center of the readings is the question of what it means to be Asian-American in the U.S.

Readings will include novels, short stories, plays, poetry, personal narratives, and critical essays by Asian-Americans. Possible texts will include:

There will be a packet of theoretical and historical readings.

Requirements:

Weekly responses; attendance; 2-3 papers.

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AML 4685

Race and Ethnicity in American Literature and Culture: Jewish-American Fiction

Andrew Gordon

CROSS-LISTED WITH JST 3930


T8-9, R9
Office: 4323 TUR
Phone: 392-6650, ext 254
e-mail: agordon@ufl.edu
Instructor’s home page: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/agordon/

Objective:

This course traces the development of Jewish-American fiction within the context of twentieth-century American literatures and cultures and deals with the role of ethnic literatures within our multiethnic nation. Though diverse in form and style, most of the works we will read deal with problems of assimilation of Jews into American society and the quest of the protagonists for identity as both Americans and Jews. We begin with the influence of Eastern-European Yiddish literature (stories in translation) and then read a selection of Jewish-American stories and novels from the beginning of this century up to the present. We will study how Jewish-American authors contributed to traditions of naturalism, realism, modernism, and postmodernism in twentieth-century American fictions.

Texts (at Goering’s Books):

Requirements: Attendance and participation, two papers, reading quizzes, oral report, final exam.

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CRW 3110 Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Josh Russell

CRW 3110 provides you with a place to share your fiction and offer and receive constructive criticism; it also serves as a weekly reminder that you are not alone in the sometimes solitary endeavor of writing.

Stories:

In this workshop you will write three full-length (10-15 page) stories and bimonthly one- or two-page exercises. All work will be discussed in workshop. A revision of one full-length story is due the last time we meet. Type everything and make enough copies for everyone: one copy of each full-length story for each workshopper, enough copies of each exercise so that two people can share. Stories turned in late will lose their place in the queue and will have their grades lowered.

Workshop:

Your participation in the workshop community is important. On the days when your work is being discussed, prepare a list of five questions for the class. These questions should seek to focus the workshop’s attention on the aspects of your story you feel need to be addressed. When we are discussing another workshopper’s fiction, compose in triplicate a typed response (one copy for the writer, one copy for me, one copy for you) which carefully and wisely assess three of the story’s strengths and three of its weaknesses and offers its writer constructive criticism. I don’t allow cruelty in the workshop but your peers won’t learn anything if you aren’t tough. Remember this when your work is being discussed.

Presentations & Reviews:

The following short story collections are on reserve at Library West:

Each workshop member will choose a collection from the list above, read it, and offer a fifteen-minute critical presentation and a 500-word review.

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CRW 3110

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Nancy Reisman

This is a studio course, designed to help you building on the fiction-writing skills you’ve acquired in previous creative writing classes, and to refine both your own aesthetics and your understanding of fiction’s possibilities. The heart of this course is the fiction workshop, the development and discussion of your work-in-progress. We’ll focus on literary fiction, primarily on short forms, and revisit some essential questions: how do you as a reader and writer define ‘story’? How can language, rhythm, point of view and narration, character, image, and other aspects of fiction best shape the fictions you write? And how does your understanding of craft illuminate the work of published writers? As you develop and present your own projects, we’ll also read and discuss the work of several contemporary writers, including Kate Braverman, Michael Cunningham, Denis Johnson, Alice Munro, Grace Paley, and many others.

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CRW 3310

Poetry Writing

Debora Greger

Prerequisite: CRW 2300, with a grade of A or B.

For admission to the course, please submit a manuscript of four poems to the instructor by the end of October, 2000. Include your name; email address; home phone number; and, as evidence of meeting the prerequisite, the relevant course number and semester, and name of instructor. A list of those admitted will be posted outside the Creative Writing Suite, TUR 4211, by early November. Students admitted will be listed with Telegator so that they can pre-register.

“The Queen’s Swan Marker wants people who feed the Royal swans a diet of junk food to be prosecuted. David Barber, the official responsible for counting and marking swans which belong to the Queen, says he has already asked the Environment Agency whether it can prosecute people for pollution of they toss sandwiches into the river Thames. . . . He is arranging for signs to be displayed asking people to feed the birds grain, rather than left-over snacks, which he condemns as ‘junk food for swans.’ Mr Barber said: ‘We are not talking about a few sandwiches but about bagloads. The birds don’t actually die from eating bread but they get very thin and scrawny.’” – The Times (London)

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CRW 3310

Poetry Writing

William Logan

“Poorly depicted clouds – which most people would not notice as wrong – are so disturbing to Dr. Thornes that they almost spoil visits to museums. For a meteorologist, the distraction is as great as the ordinary viewer being confronted by a figure with three arms. . . . [He added that] too many artists had painted [clouds] as they would a backcloth in a theatre.” – The Guardian (London), 9 August 2000

This workshop will ask you to write at least a dozen poems, one per week, and to read a broad selection of modern poetry, from Robert Frost to Gjertrud Schnackenberg. Each week the workshop will consider for discussion poems from the past and poems from students.

This is an advanced workshop in poetry, for students who have already taken the intermediate workshop (CRW 2300) and want to press their understandings of poetic language even further.

Early admission is by manuscript and permission of the instructor. Please submit a manuscript of four poems to the instructor’s mailbox in Turlington 4012 by October 20, 2000. Include your name, e-mail address, and home phone number. A list of those admitted will be posted early in November. Students admitted will be registered. During Drop/Add, if seats remain, only the prerequisite is necessary for admission.

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CRW 4906

Senior Advanced Seminar in Poetry Writing

Michael Hofmann

This semester we will be reading a new anthology of narrative poems, and Flesh and Blood, for my money the best book by this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner, C. K. Williams. Observation, compression, suggestion, and framing will figure among the aspects of the contemporary poem for study.

Admission to the class will be largely on the basis of manuscripts submitted to me, with perhaps one or two places held open for deserving late entries. I look forward to a lively and stimulating class.

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ENC 3250

Professional Communication

Wayne Losano

Since this is an upper-division course, students will be expected to show some grasp of the basics of grammar, mechanics, style and the proper formatting of papers, although all of these will be reviewed. Students will be expected to produce a variety of papers – two longer ones (a proposal and a formal report) and several short ones memos, letters, etc.) and give an oral presentation/conference paper. Ideally, some writing required in other courses can be used for the longer papers of this course.

Close analysis of sample technical articles from recent journals will be part of the course.

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ENC 3250

Professional Communication

Blake Scott

This course aims to prepare you for writing and designing documents in professional workplace situations. We will produce a number of professional textswritten, oral, and onlinefor various audiences and purposes. The bulk of the course will be spent on a long-term service-learning project in which students write and design documents for local community service agencies, and reflect on their writing and larger experiences. This longer project will involve writing a letter of inquiry, a resume, a proposal, a set of documents for the agency, a progress report (oral), a final report, and a series of short reflective memos (online).

Because of the course’s service-learning components, students should have ample time in their schedules to visit their sponsoring agencies on a weekly basis. In addition, students should expect to do some collaborative work. A prerequisite of Technical Writing is strongly recommended.

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ENC 3254

Professional Writing in the Discipline

Variable

CALL 392-5421.

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ENC 3310

HONORS: Advanced Exposition

Marie Nelson

4348 Turlington
mnelson@lin.ufl.edu

The required text for this section of ENC 3310: Advanced Exposition will be Words Are on the Page: Writing about Language. We will begin with chapters titled “Names: Personal, Botanical, Geographical . . .” and continue with “Animal and Human Communication,” “Hardwired and Acquired” (a consideration of language acquisition), and “Writing: Invention and Discovery.” Each chapter ends with a series of Writing Possibilities, from which you are to choose one for a 1-2 page “start” – from which you will choose to develop your first 3–4 page paper. The next sequence, which includes “What Are You Doing with Words?” “Who\What Drives the Sentence?” “The Sounds of Language,” and “The Varying Sounds of English,” again, will require you to select topics for four 1–2 page “starts,” from which you will select a topic for your second 3–4 page paper, as will the third sequence, with its “Words and Word-Building,” ” -Nyms, -Types, and Polysemy,” “Metaphors We Think With,” and “Language of Schools” chapters.

Twelve chapters, then, are included in the text, consisting of examples drawn from sources as diverse as a quotation from Genesis followed by a short story by Ursula Le Guin, an “advice to the gardener” column I found in the Honolulu Advertiser; novels by Charles Dickens, Stephen King, and William Gibson; a play – The Crucible – by Arthur Miller; selections from Jonathan Kozol’s Death at an Early Age and his recently published Ordinary Resurrections, and of course the Gainesville Sun, the Alligator, and the Internet. You will be required to read twelve chapters of Words on the Page, then, and to write twelve starts, from which you are to develop three 3–5 page papers. I will not attempt to grade all the starts, but will return them with comments and ask you to bring them with you for writing conferences to be scheduled at the end of each four-chapter seqence. One revision, or further development, of one of the 3–5 page papers will also be required.

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ENC 3312

Argumentative Writing

Pat Schmidt

One purpose of this course is to develop skills which will enable you to frame arguments which carry real weight and to develop confidence in deciding the strength of arguments made by others. To do so requires us to be able to demonstrate clearly the reasons for our beliefs and cogency of logical inference.

What we are “about” is more than that, however. In the words of Wayne C. Booth and Marshall W. Gregory, the authors of the text we shall use for the course, we are if moral agents attempting to do something in or to the world.” Thus, it is hoped that in addition to skills, this course will nourish the quality of thought which underlies good writing through readings selected for the course and through class discussions.

Robert Maynard Hutchins tells a story which nicely addresses the need for this second loftier goal:

My father came home from India about thirty years ago with the story of a British woman who was plagued to death by the questions of her Indian servant. Finally she said to him, ‘Why don’t you use your common sense?’ He replied, ‘Lady, common sense is the gift of God; I have only a technical education.’

Argumentation is a good deal more than a skill. The rhetorical assumptions which undergird it comprise a habit of mind. The course will be informed by an exploration of those rhetorical assumptions.

Texts:

Requirements:

Papers must be typed and double spaced with title pages. A bibliography and footnotes (or endnotes) should be used where appropriate. If the paper is late, its grade drops one letter grade for every day late. Staple or clip the pages. No binder or covers, please.

This is a demanding course so be prepared to work.

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ENC 4260

Advanced Professional Communication: Scholarly Writing

Jane Douglas

Course Objectives:

If you were to randomly query Florida faculty members, you would discover that a surprising number of them learned how to write publishable research papers and grant applications entirely through sweat, anxiety, and hard work – not under the auspices of any course. You’re somewhat more fortunate; this course covers most things you’ll need to know to write publication-worthy research papers in a variety of disciplines, as well as how to translate your research into readable prose that can be understood by grants foundations and the general public alike. Along the way, you’ll learn the stylistic and organizational strategies for writing clear, efficient, and highly effective sentences, paragraphs, and documents. And you’ll also learn everything from how to formulate a robust hypothesis to how to handle your research discussion when your outcomes haven’t quite panned out as you expected.

Disclaimer and warning:

I’ve designed this course to accommodate the needs of students in the Florida University Scholars Program, specifically those who have been pursuing directed research prior to enrolling in the course. While you can benefit from this course without having lab or research experience, you should be prepared to work harder than your more experienced peers, as you’ll need to identify research issues, questions, and appropriate methods as soon as possible during the first weeks of this course.

Assignments:

Your primary assignments include a brief (4–5 pp.) research/grant proposal, a research paper of at least 4000 words (approximately 16 pages), and either a brief newspaper article (2–3 pp.) or a press release (2–3 pp.) that conveys to a general audience the importance and implications of your research.

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ENC 4956

Overseas Studies in Studies

Undergraduate Coordinator

Prerequisite: This course must be approved by the Undergraduate Coordinator before the student travels overseas. It may be repeated with a change of topic up to a maximum of 15-credit hours.

This study, which may count towards the English major, involves course work taken as part of an APPROVED study abroad program.

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ENG 3010

Modern Theory: Narratology

James Paxson

This course will introduce students to a dominant strand of twentieth-century literary theory and criticism: narratology, or the theory of narrative. Narratology grew out of structuralism-influenced literary criticism, so a significant portion of the course will be about the rise of structuralism in linguistics and criticism (and as an historical precursor to deconstruction), while the course will mainly take up some recent surveys and overviews of narratology. In turn, readings will be divided among theoretical writings and primary literary or cinematic texts – all chosen in that they represent one of narratology’s prominent topics: narrative framing or embedding. This formal effect has long been taken by many narratologists to be the self-reflexive narratological problem par excellence, i. e., the formal sign of “narrativity” itself.

Required literary texts include:

Required theory texts:

A number of recommended and reserve texts will be made available too. Note that this list of texts is subject to some trimming or change.

Course work includes: two research papers (7–10 pages); midterm; final exam; unannounced quizzes; required attendance and class participation.

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ENG 3011

The Major Theorists

Richard Brantley

We will focus on the following major moments in the history of criticism: the classic (Plato, Aristotle, Horace); the medieval (Aquinas, Dante); the Renaissance (Sidney, Bacon, Hobbes); the neoclassic (Pope, Johnson); the Romantic (Wordsworth, Schiller, Schelling, and de Stael); the Victorian (Emerson, Arnold); “the hermeneutics of suspicion” (Marx, Nietzsche, Freud); and the twentieth century (selections to be announced).

The text will be Critical Theory Since Plato: Revised Editon, edited by Hazard Adams.

Directions for the midterm and final are as follows:

“Identify the following fifteen passages (author and title). Comment on four. Take class discussion into account and go beyond it.” The 6,000-word journal (about 20 pages) is presented in two installments of 3,000 words each.

Journal entries may vary in length. They may range along a continuum, with subjective, creative responses at one end, and objective, expository responses at the other.

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ENG 3063

Advanced Grammar

Wayne Losano

Advanced Grammar, intended primarily for students planning to be writing teachers or professional editors, is an intensive study of as many aspects of formal traditional grammar as we can cram into one semester. This includes topics as simple as diction, verbs, and sentence patterns and as complex as morphemes, form classes, and rhetorical grammar. Students will be expected to learn essential terminology to enhance their credibility as teachers and editors, to review and share with the class recent relevant publications, and to edit appropriate documents. There is a possibility of a final exam and/or a major research paper, along with assorted in-class exercises.

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ENG 3113

Movies as a Narrative Art

Julian Smith

Prerequisite: Any of the following: ENG 2300, ENG 3115, ENG 3121, ENG 3122, or permission of instructor.

Course Description: This section of ENG 3113 is designed to explore the conventions of the mainstream “Hollywood” narrative film – and the cultural, social, political, and aesthetic implications of those conventions.

Course Meetings: We will meet for discussion on Tuesday, periods 8–9, Thursdays, period 9 – and on Wednesdays, periods 9–11, to see a film on videotape or laserdisk.

Required Essays: You are required to turn in at least two drafts of at least three essays of increasing length concentrating on such matters as structure, narrative point of view, and other conventions. Based on research, your last essay should deal with the evolution or development of a current or recent film chosen by you from a list of films approved by the instructor.

Conferences: You are expected to read the final draft of each essay aloud to the instructor in a conference in his office.

Grading: Your final grade will be based on all work over the course of the semester, including essays, quizzes, and class participation. There will not be a final examination.

Required Texts: David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art; Kristin Thompson, Storytelling in the New Holloywood; Timothy Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing about Film.

Other Readings: You are expected to make use of books on reserve dealing with the theory and history of film narrative and with major genres.

Special Note: Please do not register for this course if you are registered for my section of ENG 4133.

Instructor: J. Smith (Tur 4318; 392 6650, ext 248); smithj@english.ufl.edu

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ENG 3115

Introduction to Film: Criticism/Theory

Roger Beebe

This course will offer a broad introduction to various strategies for interpreting films contextually. While the focus of the course will be largely methods which may be termed “historical,” the meaning of that term is greatly divergent within the various approaches. These approaches will encompass a range of extratextual influences including aesthetic, technological, industrial, and social history. But whatever the specific approach, the course will focus on the importance across these various methodologies of looking at a film as an always contextualized, never simply “textual” artifact.

Readings will span the history of film theory from the early Russian and Frankfurt School analyses to contemporary scholarship and will include readings from a number of scholarly traditions including genre theory, auteurist criticism, apparatus theory, scholarship on race, gender, and sexuality, postmodern theory, political economy, &c.

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ENG 4015

Psychological Approaches to Literature

Peter L. Rudnytsky

Did Freud have an affair with his sister-in-law, Minna Bernays? We will consider this controversial question, and its implications for the history of psychoanalysis, in light of the available evidence. Readings will include some or all of the following:

Course requirements are a midterm, final, one 8–12 page paper, and a weekly diary.

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ENG 4060

History of the English Language

Kevin McCarthy

Objective of course:

– to study the origins and development of the English language, from Indo-European times to the present. We will study the sounds, grammatical forms, pronunciation, and syntax of English: how these developed and changed over the past thousand years and what the future of English may be. No previous knowledge of linguistics is necessary.

Requirements:

3 tests and 1 term paper.

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ENG 4110

Western American Movies

Carl Bredahl

This course will explore movies that use the American West for setting, theme, structure. Such a list would be long and might include everything from The Great Train Robbery to Lone Star and The Unforgiven. Initially, we will concentrate on the “classic” western and the revisionist story, work done between 1938 and 1972, focusing on the movies of John Ford, Anthony Mann, Budd Boetticher, and Sam Peckinpah. Finally, toward the end of the course, we will look at the “anti-western”, the contemporary western with attention to movies like McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Unforgiven, Dead Man, The Ballad of Little Jo, and Lone Star. Each week, during the screening period, I will try to show two movies so that students can have access to as many westerns as we can schedule. In addition to viewing movies weekly, students will have reading assignments in several books which will be on reserve and one required text, The Western Reader, ed. Kitses.

Students will write regular one page response papers and two short [6–8 pages] papers, have several quizzes, and be responsible for a final exam.

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ENG 4110

Film Genres, Directors, and Periods

Nora Alter

CROSS-LISTED WITH GET 4293

This course will trace the development of non-fiction film from its emergence in early silent cinema to its recent manifestations in popular films such as Buena Vista Social Club. We will examine the traditional documentary genre and its off-shoots such as the essay film, photojournalism, found footage films, situationist films and art films. What constitutes non-fiction and what role do narrative and editing play in its designation? While using conventional documentary as a springboard, this course will focus on avantgarde productions which seek to push the limits of the non-fiction genre. In addition we will take into account how technological advances such as video and digital have affected the genre.

Requirements include class and screening attendance, one midterm examination, one 6–8 pp. paper and one final 10 pp. paper. In lieu of a final paper students may opt to produce a short non-fictional film.

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ENG 4133

Scriptwriting

Julian Smith

Prerequisite: Any one of the following: ENG 2300, ENG 3113, ENG 3115, ENG 3121, ENG 3122, or permission of the instructor.

Course Description: While primarly intended to give you training in the discipline of writing a screenplay for a feature-length theatrical movie intended for a mainstream mass audience, this course will also study the role of the scriptwriter and the screenplay within the evolution of individual narrative films. You will be expected to develop an original and WORKABLE idea for a screenplay – or to adapt a novel chosen by the instructor.

Close attention will be given to the scriptwriter’s need to adhere to the rules and conventions of screenplay format and logic.

Writing Assignments: You will be required to do a substantial amount of writing and revising in this course. By the end of the semester, you are expected to turn in AT LEAST the first first or the setup (twenty-five to thirty pages) plus the last scene or sequence of scenes (five to ten pages) of your screenplay. Extra-credit will go to those who turn in an entire screenplay of 90–120 pages.

Film Viewings: This course involves seeing and studying one feature film each week. You will be expected to see a new film off-campus some weeks; other weeks, we will see a film together in class and I will comment on structure and plotting DURING the screening. Please do not take this course if you like to consume movies in silence.

Conferences: You are expected to meet on a regular basis with the instructor to discuss your work.

Required Texts: Kristin Thompson’s Storytelling in the New Hollywood,; a recent paperback bestseller (to be announced).

Other Readings: There will be many screenplays and books on scriptwriting on reserve.

Grading: Your final grade will be based on all work over the course of the semester, including class participation; there will not be a final exam.

Special Note: Please do not register for this course if you are registered for my section of ENG 3113.

Instructor: J. Smith (Tur 4318; 392 6650, ext 248); smithj@english.ufl.edu

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ENG 4134

Women and Film

Maureen Turim

This course will look at various feminist theories of film and methods of feminist analysis. We will look at the function of women and the feminine within representation historically, women’s role in film production and issues of female spectatorship. Cinema will be construed in its broadest sense to include television and video works as well. In examining the power of the gaze, fetishization and fragmentation, both psychoanalytic and materialist-historical methodologies will be examined for their cross-fertilization. Independent filmmakers and recent commerical production will be considered, including works in film and video. We will examine such questions as the following:

Students will give oral presentations, developing and debating the material they read for the class. Two papers of 8–10 pages will be assigned, one six weeks into the class and one due one week before the end of class, so that they may discussed the last week of class. Specific questions which papers should address will be handed out and all papers must correspond to the assignment. I am looking for careful analysis and research coupled with original thought, presented in creative and well-written essays.

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ENG 4135

National Cinemas: Europe’s Other

Sylvie Blum

CROSS-LISTED WITH FRT 3520

The course examines the rapport that France has entertained with the “other” * from within, or across its geographical borders, in mostly Francophone countries – i.e., that once belonged to the French colonial empire where French is/was the administrative language. The vision of native French filmmakers will be compared and contrasted with that of Francophone counterparts from such regions as West and North Africa, North American, Asia, and etc.

*[a concept that needs to be defined]

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ENG 4136

Hypervideo: Rethinking Video Production

Scott Nygren

This course derives from a double convergence in contemporary media culture. On the one hand, cultural theory and innovative artistic practices now regularly overlap and exchange techniques. On the other hand, computers and video have now merged so that video imaging and computer interactivity now intersect and are reconfiguring the electronic field. Based on these convergences, the class will map the creative and conceptual possibilities of working in new contexts. The course will not teach traditional documentary, experimental or narrative uses of video as such, but will reinvent these approaches in order to produce visually articulate and engaging video in a contemporary world context. We will be shooting video on DV cameras and processing footage with desktop computers, using Final Cut Pro on Mac G4s. The implication of such high quality but low-cost desktop equipment, for the purposes of this course, is to make current technology available on an individualized basis for innovation and research. Much of the semester will be spent developing strategies for effectively using this equipment, and your participation will form a significant part of the course.

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ENG 4136

Film and Video Production

Roger Beebe

This course is designed as an introduction to a broad range of practices sometimes labeled “video art” or “experimental video.” The exclusive focus of the course will be on non-narrative approaches to the theory and practice of videomaking. Students will work on a number of short projects throughout the semester (about one every two weeks) that engage simultaneously with different theoretical problems, technological challenges, and aesthetic strategies. The projects will span all of the stages of video production from storyboarding to sound editing as well as a wide variety of aesthetic forms. The course will conclude with a short final project of the student’s devising that grows out of one or a number of the theories and formal approaches that we have explored during the semester.

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ENG 4905

Independent Study

Faculty Member of Choice

An Independent Study course may be taken for 1 to 3 credit hours and will count as credit toward the English major. This course may be repeated with a change of topic up to a maximum of 9 credits.

This course is for advanced students who desire to supplement the regular courses by independent reading or research under the guidance of a member of the faculty. The student must find a faculty member who is willing to supervise the semester-long study, and together, the two create a project. The student must meet with the professor at designated times, agreed upon in advance, and complete all assignments in a timely manner.

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ENG 4936

HONORS SEMINAR: Great Books of the Last Century

Mel New

Honors Seminars require an upper-division GPA of 3.5 or above.

That would be, of course, the 20th century, and we will read six undisputed giants of that century, namely: Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way, Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain, Franz Kafka, The Trial, James Joyce, Ulysses, Hermann Broch’s Death of Virgil, and William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom. Needless to say, I wish there were room for some additional authors, and indeed students will be allowed to substitute an author (novelist, poet, dramatist) who would rank with these authors (with the instructor’s approval), as the subject of one of two papers required on a second work by any one of the six authors; these works may range from the long short story (e.g., Mann’s Death in Venice or Faulkner’s The Bear) to another novel by the author (e.g., Kafka’s The Castle or Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist). Under special circumstances, a student may write two papers on two additional works by the same author.

The course has no thesis or agenda guiding it that I know of, but since no politics is still politics in some misguided versions of literary theory, I suppose the approach is capitalistic; we will try to make the most out of each text in a way that enriches our intellects and perhaps even profits our sensibilities (the entity formerly known as soul).

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ENG 4940

Internship

Undergraduate Coordinator

Students must have completed at least 12 hours of 3000- to 4000-level English courses.

For students who want to gain experience in an English-related field. Students must find a business that will provide adequate supervision by a delegated authority in an appropriate work area. An initial description of the position from the intern, an outline on of the intern’s duties on the letterhead of the business, a final summary from the intern discussing the merits of the position, and a final evaluation from the business offering the intership. S/U option only. May be taken for 1 to 3 credit hours, depending on the number of hours worked during the week. See undergraduate academic advising in the English department for the guidelines.

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ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Barks, Marx & Disney

Don Ault

Department Seminars are for ENGLISH MAJORS ONLY who have completed a minimum of 9 hours of English courses, level 3000-4000.

Required Text:

Course Pack, available from Xerographic Copy Center

This course will focus on an analysis of the entire corpus of writer/artist Carl Barks (1901–2000) and its complex relation to, among other things, the “mythology” and “commodity fetish” aspects Disney empire: in Donald Duck animated cartoons (1936–44), comic books (Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, 1942–73), oil paintings (1970–97), television shows (Duck Tales, 1987–90), and merchandise (1981–2000). The course will also address the way in which Barks’ most famous creation – Uncle Scrooge McDuck – has been rewritten in the past fifteen years by writer/artist Don Rosa in an attempt to totalize Scrooge’s “history” into one seamless story. The course will focus primarily on the analysis of Barks’ visual narrative techniques and their relation to, and subversion of, the theoretical concerns, primarily, of Marxist and Lacanian methodologies. The course will study in depth both the original materials Barks produced (available in the complete Carl Barks Library on reserve and the course pack) and on important and influential studies of his work, including Dorfman and Mattelart’s How to read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic (translated by David Kunzle) and Marovelli, Paolini, and Saccamano’s Introduction to Donald Duck: Social Phenomenology in the Comics of Carl Barks (translated by John Van Hook), as well as numerous essays by Wagner, Kunzle, Bergquist, Barker, Ault, and others.

One aspect of the course will address the way Dorfman and Mattelart de-materialize labor in at least one important sense by assigning primary (even exclusive) production of Donald Duck comics to an abstract force called “Disney,” and the ways, in contrast, that critics of Dorfman and Mattelart’s work have, for the most part, attempted to relocate the authentic source of production of the comics solely at the level of the individual artistry of Carl Barks. Both of these approaches fundamentally miss the essential intersection of (what seems to be) the individual artistic source of the comics and the utter dependence of the comics for success not only on the global distribution and instant recognizability of Disney characters, but also on an audience that is open to consuming the forms of narrative the Disney comics provided. We will analyze these tendencies through the categories of the ideology of homogeneous style, the ideology of homogenous origin, the ideology of inconsequential difference, and the counter-ideology of least difference.

We will also approach Barks’ work and its relation to Marxist theory and through (unstable) categories such as the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the Real developed by French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (including rewritings of Lacan in film theory).

We will be viewing video projections of animated cartoons and comic book pages, covers, and related images.

Some examples of possible writing assignments include:

  1. Analysis of the differences between the articulation of Disney’s Duck characters in the animation shorts and the comic book stories of Carl Barks: for example, what different possibilities of personality or plot structure are exploited in each?
  2. Analysis of the differences between Barks’s development of the Ducks in the short 10-page stories in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories and in the long Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge adventures.
  3. Analyze the differences between Barks’s creation of a character and plot structure that allowed for vast discrepancies from story to story and Don Rosa’s later attempts to integrate Barks’s Scrooge plots into a coherent “myth” in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
  4. Analysis of the differences between Barks’s articulation of his characters (especially Uncle Scrooge) in his comic book stories “The Land of Tralla La,” “Back to the Klondike,” and “Land Beneath the Ground” and the Duck Tales reconstruction of these stories for television animation.
  5. Analysis of how the cutting up of the comic book page is related to Lacan’s categories of the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the Real, and/or to the way time and space operate in the visual narrative of Barks’s comic book stories.
  6. Analysis of the visual layout of the page, including the visual roles of the verbal aspects of the page, with special attention to oppositions (vector/directional forces, etc.).
  7. Analysis of aspects of the comic page such as:
    • a) the relations between the verbal and visual aspects of the page;
    • b) the relations between these visual/verbal features and what the plot seems to be “about” in terms of conventional narrative and political/economic/psychoanalytic content;
    • c) how all of these features exist in terms of oppositions, contradictions, or contradictory forces, both within the layout and between the layout and the plot;
    • d) the extent to which these contradictions (both in form and content) are resolved or not resolved on the page and in the story as a “whole” (the structure of oppositions on the page may not coincide with the structure of oppositions in the plot as a “whole” ).

Requirements: Short essays, active seminar participation, and a final paper/project.

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ENG 4970

Honors Thesis Project

Faculty members (2) of Choice

Students must have have completed at least one semester of ENG 4936, Honors Seminar. Open to English Honors students.

The student must select two faculty members: one to direct the reading, research, and writing of a thesis on a topic of the student’s and director’s chosing, and another as the second reader. An abstract (100 to 200 words) and one copy of the thesis (30 to 50 pages) must be delivered to the CLAS Academic Advising Center on Fletcher Road at least 10 days before graduation.

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ENL 3112

18th-Century English Novel

Brian McCrea

We will read seven eighteenth-century British novels, one of them being Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa. Because of the length of Clarissa, we will take it in sections of roughly one hundred pages per week. We will study how these novels speak to anxieties about status and identity described by Aphra Behn in her late seventeenth-century prose narratives Oroonoko and The Fair Jilt. Most particularly, we will notice how social status (which these writers typically refer to as “quality” ) becomes problematic in these fictions, as social and economic changes create new kinds of wealth.

Students will write two papers (8–10 pp.) on topics that I offer. They also will take a written final examination. Class sessions will open with students writing informally for 5 to 10 minutes on that day’s reading. Class sessions will encourage discussion.

Texts:

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ENL 3122

The English Novel: Nineteenth Century

Pamela Gilbert

This is a tentative description.

Reading may include the following:

Books will be available at Goering’s. An asterisk means that it is important you have the edition that I have ordered, as there may be materials assigned therein.

The Course:

This course samples key developments in the British novel through the nineteenth century. We will examine the novels within three contexts: historical, literary-historical, and critical. If you have not had English 2022, you should plan to familiarize yourself with the period: the Norton Anthology introduction to the period is a good place to start. Gilmour’s and Houghton’s books are also very useful and will be on reserve in the library. The Victorian period was the great age of the novel’s emergence as a dominant popular form within a newly extensive literary marketplace, and Victorian novelists were consummate entertainers driven to sell widely and well. They were also preoccupied with the condition of their own culture; to paraphrase Richard Altick, rarely is the Present so much present in literature as it is in the novel of this period. Victorian novelists considered it their duty and pleasure to criticize, praise and generally comment upon current issues, and they developed new forms and genres to accommodate their purposes. These issues represent the formative phases of social concerns which we have inherited and which still define us: the role of mass media, the ethics of capitalism, gender roles, the responsibilities of liberal govermnment, the welfare state, pollution, the role of nation in the global community... We will read a range of representative genres and consider them not only in the light of the emergence of the novel as a dominant form, but as documents of a culture’s attempts to represent and work out these issues of contemporary importance – aesthetically and ethically – and consider the ways in which Victorian ideas resonate for us today.

This course provides upper-division credit in the major, and will be taught with that in mind; therefore, students will be expected to know how to do research in the field and to attempt the application of critical frameworks. Due to the nature of the material, there is a considerable amount of reading. Carefully consider your reading speed and the expectations of the other courses you are taking before committing to this course.

Grading:

Grading will reflect university standards and will be based largely on the papers and the quizzes, as well as timely completion of non-graded activities. Poor attendance will lower your course grade, as will poor performance on quizzes and non-graded activities. Plagiarism is an automatic “F” in the course. You are responsible for understanding the definition of plagiarism – “ignorance of the law” is not an acceptable excuse.

Papers:

There will be two essays. The first will be approximately six pages. The second will be approximately twelve pages. You are expected to do reading/research beyond the assigned reading for these papers, which should demonstrate an original and critical engagement with a research topic. Papers should NOT re-present material from lecture or discussion, although they may use that material as a point of departure. Late papers will receive grade penalties. Essays will be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins in a normal typing font, with a point size of 10–12.

Quizzes:

There will be a reading quiz every week. They will vary in nature. There are no make-ups on quizzes. I will drop the three lowest grades at the end of term.

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ENL 3154

Twentieth-Century British Poetry

Marsha Bryant

Responding to the violent aftermath of Ireland’s Easter Rebellion of 1916, W. B.Yeats wrote of a time in which “All changed, changed utterly.” The poets we will assess in this course reflect the onslaught of cultural changes that shaped “the widening gyre” of the 20th century. We begin with Yeats and then move to Edith Sitwell, whose experimental text Facade combined music and spoken poetry. Sitwell was also one of the early promoters of Wilfred Owen, the most famous poet of the Great War that killed him in 1918. Dylan Thomas continued Sitwell’s experiments with sound, and her use of performance to reposition poetry in culture. Stevie Smith’s darkly comic poems and drawings challenged changing gender roles in the years between the wars, while W. H. Auden’s work of the 1930s captured the sense of impending crisis that would erupt at the outbreak of WWII. Philip Larkin’s post-war vision cast a cynical eye on modern romance and Britain’s world status. Ted Hughes, violence becomes the defining feature of our relationships with one another and with the natural world. Finally, contemporary Irish poet Eavan Boland continues Smith’s inquiries critique of domesticity, and Yeats’s unsettling of the “British” label. Assignments will include a panel presentation, an explication of a poem, a cultural analysis paper, an essay examination, and class participation.

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ENL 3210

Medieval English Literature

James Paxson

Medieval English Literature is a general introduction to the thought and culture of the Middle English period (c. 1100 – 1500 C. E.). It will thus serve mainly as a resource or backgrounds course designed to prepare students for Chaucer as well as for Renaissance authors. Much energy will thus be devoted to the influence of classical culture on the medieval imagination, while special attention will be paid to the institutions of medieval interpretation and allegory. We will study key genres including epic, romance, the allegorical dream vision, the philosophical debate, and the travel narrative not only to appreciate their literary or aesthetic dimensions but also to take into account medieval systems of psychology, ethics, history, theology, rhetoric, poetics, and semiotics; issues of gender and sexuality will figure prominently. Students should thereby develop knowledge in the various critical, literary, or cultural theories that have come to shape contemporary medieval studies in particular and English studies in general. They are urged to make use of web resources, including the excellent pages of the Labyrinth (http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth). Attendance and participation are mandatory.

Course Work will include:

Required Texts will include:

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ENL 3231

Age of Johnson

Patricia Craddock

Information for this course may be obtained at the following site: Age of Johnson Course Description

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The Romantic Period: Later British Romanticism

Judith W. Page

This course is repeatable, up to a maximum of 6 credits, with a change of topic.

This course will focus on selected authors from the second generation of British Romantic writers, including Lord Byron, Felicia Hemans, John Keats, Sir Walter Scott, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, and others. We will discuss various questions in literature and culture from approximately 1814–1830, including the development of genres and the reading public, the growth of nationalism, gender and literary careers, as well as familial and generational tensions among the writers of the period. Students will be expected to read the texts closely and carefully.

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ENL 3241

English Romanticism

Jim Twitchell

This is an undergraduate survey of English romantic writers. It is roughly divided into nine parts: an introduction to romanticism, and then eight sections on individual writers. There is, relative to other English courses, little outside reading, as the main concern of the course is a careful reading of selected representative works. This is deceptive, for students might assume that the course will therefore be easy. There will be weekly quizzes (embarrassingly objective for an English course) and two short papers (not necessarily research papers). The quizzes give me a chance to get answers to questions I think are important; the papers give you a chance to form answers to questions you think are important. The class is informal and relaxed, but the quizzes and papers are not. The quizzes stress material covered in class and so it might be suggested that you take good and careful notes.

Texts:

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ENL 3251

Victorian Literature

Chris Snodgrass

This course will help fulfill the requirements for a number of the curriculum “tracks” for a department major, including but not limited to the Cultural Studies, British Literature, and British and American Literature tracks.

This course will attempt to define the world-views, beliefs, doubts, anxieties, and paradoxes of the Victorian Period through a survey of the poetry, fiction, drama, pictures, and critical theory of a few representative artists. If you like reading Victorian novels, you should love much of the material in this course. However, be aware that this is not the Victorian Novel course – that course is ENL 3122. In this course (ENL 3251) we will be reading very few novels; rather, the course is mostly designed to introduce you to many of the other artistic forms – and broad intellectual history – of the Victorian Age, one of the most interesting and influential periods in Western history.

We will probe the assumptions which underlie the works of art – the “why’s” implicit in the artists’ approaches to their themes as well as the themes themselves – including an investigation of related cultural issues. The material in the course will be grouped under one of four broad thematic categories: the century’s “Crisis of Faith” (Tennyson and Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde); the clash in shifting assumptions between Romanticism and Victorianism (Browning, High Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite painting); the “battle of the sexes,” or issues arising from various drives for “female emancipation” [“The Woman Question”] (women fiction writers and popular drama); and “counter-cultural” fin-de-siècle artistic movements, particularly Aestheticism and the Decadence (Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley).

By the end of the course, you will be asked to demonstrate that you can

  1. read accurately what the work says, and determine how it goes about saying what it says effectively;
  2. establish what the premises of the work seem to be, that is, what the implicit concerns of the writer are, what world-view is implied or assumed; and
  3. trace how these thematic patterns and philosophical issues or problems differ from writer to writer during the period.

Attendance is mandatory; there is a cut rule. Internet research and group work are required.

Basis for Grade:

  1. 20%: a 1000–2500 word detailed poem analysis
  2. 20%: a 1500–3000-word analytical term paper on a topic of your choosing (related to the material of the course)
  3. 20%: your average score on intermittent “pop quizzes”
  4. 10%: class participation and general daily preparedness
  5. 05%: a group project, including a 2–4 page presentation and a 2–4 page supporting-data sheet
  6. 25%: a comprehensive final exam

Dr. Snodgrass’s e-mail address: snod@english.ufl.edu.

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare

Robert Thomson

This course will involve a close study of a dozen or so of the plays and a number of readings from the poems and elsewhere. Emphasis will be laid upon the problem stating – solving – mediating nature of the dramas. This will necessitate a close reading of the texts; a recognition of the dramatic and verbal ironies that abound; close attention to the paradoxes and ambiguities which motivate the actions and observation of the stark oppositions which are continually reiterated.

We will be led into a contextual study of both the world within and the world without the Elizabethan theatre, with its concern for an orderliness and its doubts and confusions as the new seventeenth century learning questioned and undermined the values and socio-political/religious assumptions of its society. We may then come to appreciate how these great plays and poems still speak to us with immediacy after a span of nearly four hundred years.

I intend to spend time with the following plays and in addition may spare more than a passing glance at one or two others:

Text:

The Complete Signet Shakespeare

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare: Feminist/Gender-Oriented Approaches

Jack Perlette

This course will focus on the dramatic works of Shakespeare, from which we will read as large a selection as time allows. We will also be reading a large amount of critical commentary on the plays and the contexts in which they were written. Shakespeare criticism is massive and incredibly varied.

From the vast array of possibilities, I have chosen to attempt to impose some coherence by selecting recent criticism written from what might be called a feminist/gender perspective. In my opinion, some of the most interesting and innovative work on Shakespeare is being done in this mode. Our objective, then, will be not only to read Shakespeare, but also to investigate the particular contribution made by feminist/gender criticism to our understanding of Shakespeare, his texts, and his times.

Texts:

Reading List:

Tentative reading list of the plays, in the order of reading:

Prerequisites:

Technically, none, though you should bear in mind that this is an upper division course in which you may be competing with people who have had some experience in thinking about and analyzing literary texts. I do not expect you to know anything about Shakespeare, the early modern period, or literary critical theory, but I will expect you to know how to write a focused, organized, well-developed essay with a minimum of mechanical (i.e., spelling, grammar, punctuation) errors.

Requirements: The most basic requirement is that you do ALL the reading with enough care and attention that you can remember key elements of both the primary and secondary texts. You will need to have a strong command of this material in order to do well on the MID-TERM AND FINAL (IN-CLASS) ESSAY EXAMS. In them you will be given passages from the primary texts and asked to identify text and context and to explain the significance and implications of the statements, including the applicability of concepts from the secondary readings. This will require intensive initial readings of the texts, and some re-reading and review as well. You will also need to know and understand the particular approach we will be taking to these texts. Therefore, it will be important that you be actively engaged in the classroom sessions.

Your understanding of the critical approach we employ will be fundamentally important to the BRIEF (7–9 TYPED PP.) essay you will write during the term. This essay will require that you apply (on your own) critical concepts from the secondary readings and class discussion to a primary text which we will not be discussing in class. (You will need to be able to write decently, as was mentioned above.)

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LIN 3680

Modern English Structure

Roger Thompson

Visit the following site to view the syllabus: LIN3680 syllabus.

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LIT 3003

The Forms of Narrative

Don Ault

Required texts:

This experimental course will focus on the transformation of plots and characters from one medium to another. Some of the objects of analysis may include the following: Dashiell Hammett’s Maltese Falcon (which exists in novel form, several movie versions, and a photo-film book), comic strip characters (Segar’s comic strip Popeye, which was translated into animated cartoons by the Fleischer brothers and a feature film by Robert Altman), comic book characters (Siegel and Schuster’s Superman and Bob Kane’s Batman, beings who have had numerous incarnations in comic strips, animated cartoons, movie serials, television series, and feature films), and Disney animated cartoon characters (Mickey Mouse, who originated in animation, developed most fully in Floyd Gottfredson’s comic strip, then migrated into comic books, especially in the work of Dick Moores, Bill Wright, and Paul Murry, and was eventually converted into the function of a corporate logo and has recently undergone a resurrection in the television series Mouse Works; and Donald Duck who originated in animated cartoons, appeared in Al Taliaferro’s comic strips, achieved most complex embodiment in the comic book stories of Carl Barks, and then was displaced in the TV series Duck Tales, which foregrounded Barks’s creation Uncle Scrooge, a character whose very being has been rewritten in the past ten years by Don Rosa in an attempt to totalize Scrooge’s “history” into one seamless story).

For each class meeting you should read the essays and the visual material carefully several times in order to be able to discuss them knowledgeably; you need to attend screenings and discussions of them, as well as view material independently on Reserve; you will be required to submit take-home writing assignments, which will involve both critical and creative experiments. There will also be frequent shot in-class quizzes over the readings. You may also submit an optional final paper to substitute for or augment the specific assignments if there is something of particular interest to you that is (or is not) covered in the course. Your final grade will be based primarily on these exercises, quizzes, and projects.

A significant amount of class time will be taken up with screenings, and you will need to do a good bit of work in the Reserve room. Because I plan to conduct the class as much as possible as a discussion rather than a lecture, productive class participation can make a significant difference in your grade.

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LIT 3003

The Forms of Narrative: Narratology of New Media

Terry Harpold

A survey of critical and theoretical issues posed by the narrative practices and forms of interactive digital media. “Critical” readings for the course will include print and digital texts in narrative theory and human-computer interface design and interaction. “Literary” readings for the course will include hypertext novels, electronic and multimedia games, and interactive electronic poetry. Students should have at least a basic knowledge of use of the WWW and other interactive digital media forms. Familiarity with electronic and multimedia games is a plus. All students must have consistent and reliable access to either a Windows or Mac OS desktop computer system outside of the class meeting times.

Detailed syllabus for LIT 3003, Spring 2001

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LIT 3031

Studies in Poetry

Patricia Craddock

Detailed syllabus for LIT 3031, Spring 2001

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LIT 3043

Studies in Modern Drama

Sid Homan

In this course we study the modern theatre by “doing it” : each students picks a scene partner and together they rehearse and perform scenes from the plays in question. The assumption of the course is that the theatre involves not just a literary text, but also a play’s sub-text, its movement (gesture, blocking), its physical, spatial, and temporal relationship with the audience. While the course, therefore, involves acting and directing, students are judged not by the finesse of their work but by their intention, and so, historically, mechanical Engineering majors, for example, have done just as well as Theatre majors, who in turn have no advantage over English majors. Students will also be involved in the production of Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class, which Professor Homan will be staging at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre in March/April. Along with that play, we will do Shepard’s True West, Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Pinter’s The Lover and Old Times.

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LIT 3362

Age of Avant-Garde

Maureen Turim

Cubism, Expressionism, Dada, Surrealism, Futurism, Constructivism: An age in which movements in literature correspond to or follow upon to those in theatre, the plastic arts, architecture, music and film. An age in which artists begin to write manifestoes to proclaim their purpose, always one of differentiation, and often of provocation. This course will look at these movements as they cross the boundaries between the arts. It will explore how place, history, nation, class, and gender are inscribed in these movements, so that the range of explosive creativity can vary in politics from Marxist revolutionary activity to fascist support.

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LIT 4194

African Literature in English

Mildred Hill-Lubin

(Actual course may vary a little)

Office: 4334 TUR
Telephone: 392-6650, Ext. 260
Office Hours: Tuesday, 5th & 6th Periods
E-Mail: MAHL@English.ufl.edu

Purpose:

To provide a critical and analytical study of representative Black African authors writing in English from West, East, and South Africa. Beginning with oral literature, the course will trace its influence on the writers and concentrate on thematic and stylistic features which make this literature, peculiarly African. References will be made to themes and features in this literature which may be found in Black Literature throughout the diaspora, particularly Francophone and African American Literature of the United States. Attention will also be given to locating these writers within the body of American/British literature.

Texts:

There may be added texts or packages on oral literature and poetry. Texts may be purchased at the Campus Bookstore. Readings are in the Reserve Room, Library West.

Requirements:

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LIT 4322

The Folktale

Robert Thomson

This is in every sense an introductory course; I assume no knowledge on your part of either the materials or the study of folklore though of course many of you will have at least an inkling of what is intended here. By the term “folklore” I mean firstly the materials that are subsumed within the many diverse activities of folklore performance including narratives in the form of epics, ballads, folksongs, folktales, legends, myths and folk dramas as well as usages of idiosyncratic verbal play such as riddles and rhymes and also proverbs, charms and other verbal utterances associated with superstitious practices and beliefs. All of these forms, by their usage within a folk group, impose a distinctive character upon that group. They may function as both a reflection and constant reinforcement of the manners and mores of a group. However, because it is essentially an unwritten culture, folklore is constantly adaptable to change even though it may, paradoxically, resist alteration.

The term “folklore” also has a second usage; it encompasses the discipline of the study of folklore materials. And so our course will attempt to cover both an introduction to the materials of folklore and also a wide ranging though necessarily brief examination of the many and various methodologies and theoretical approaches which have arisen to explain the origins, nature, forms and meanings of folklore genres.

In the broadest terms, the syllabus may be divided into four (unequal) sections:

Texts:

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LIT 4331

Children’s Literature

Jim Haskins

Course Description

The course will examine picture books, board books, counting books, video and audiotapes, as well as a history of each genre, with special emphasis on classism, racism and sexism. Reports on reviewing services and the major awards in children’s literature will be assigned, as well as class discussion and reports on multi-ethnic literature, with emphasis on African American, Asian, Latino and Native American literature.

Required Texts:

Requirements

Research Paper:

One research paper of 10 to 15 typed, double-spaced pages (topics to be cleared with me before beginning work), due in the English Department office no later than 4:00 PM, Friday of “dead week.” A box with my name and course number will be available there. Do not put papers on my office door.

Grading:

Your grade for this course will be calculated as follows:

Office hours:

Wednesdays 5th period or before/after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays

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LIT 4331

Children’s Literature

Kenneth Kidd

This course surveys children’s literature from its inception as a genre (or set of genres) to its present interdisciplinary and popular material forms. It has three objectives: 1) to review the rich history and multiple incarnations of children’s literature; 2) to use literary criticism and theory to illuminate children’s literature (and vice versa); and 3) to help future and practicing teachers evaluate the literary, artistic, psychological, and socio-political merit of written and multi-media texts. We will concentrate on literary and cultural analysis rather than pedagogy – this is not a teaching methods course.

Texts (subject to change):

Students will take two short-essay exams, and write a 7 pp. essay. We will also have around 5 unannounced quizzes. Your final grade will be determined as follows:

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LIT 4332

Literature for Young Children

John Cech

(Actual course may vary a little.)

This course is meant to be an introduction to and an exploration of the child’s earliest experiences with literature, from birth until his/her first years in school. We will examine the basic genres, historical movements, critical approaches, and major writers and illustrators in the field within the context of the imaginative, aesthetic, moral, and psychological growth of the young people for whom they were produced. The course is designed to involve you actively, analytically, and creatively in the study of this subject. You will be encouraged to develop a first hand understanding of how some forms of children’s literature are created; you will be asked to look at works for children with critical sophistication; and you will be urged to do your own field work, testing the assertions, questions, and ideas that are raised in the course about what is the first and thus, arguably, our most important encounter with literature.

Tentative Texts:

Requirements:

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LIT 4333

Literature for Adolescents

Kenneth Kidd

Adolescent literature did not appear for the first time in the 1960s, with the advent of authors like Judy Blume and Louise Fitzhugh who tackled divorce, sexuality, and generic teen angst. The term “adolescence” descends from Latin, and the earliest entries in the Oxford English Dictionary date from the fourteenth century. Shakespeare describes the “seven ages” of mankind; picaresque heroes and heroines like Gil Blas and Moll Flanders struggle to survive the vicissitudes of youth and poverty. As the nineteenth century unfolded, however, new genres dramatized the transition from childhood into adolescence, and glorifies adolescence as a distinct and crucial period of development. By the end of the century, many “adult” novelists were devoting their attention to (if not quite writing for) adolescents; representative titles include Dostoevski’s The Adolescent (1874) and Henry James’ What Maisie Knew (1897). Such texts emerged alongside clinical-pedagogical literature about adolescence-e.g. Granville Stanley Hall’s two volume Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education (1904). Literature by adolescents also began to appear by the century’s end; the first adolescent diary written for publication was apparently Marie Bashkirtseff’s Journal (1887).

With this history in mind, this course examines literature for, by, and about adolescents from the late nineteenth century to the present. We’ll concentrate on young adult literature from the 1960s to the 1990s, but we will read and discuss it in light of these earlier narrative traditions. We’ll be particularly concerned with the twentieth century’s reinvention of the nineteenth century adolescent. The modern teen is of course intimately connected to material culture; being a teenager means watching tv, driving cars, and buying lots of cool stuff. It also means being a social “problem,” and many of our selections are problem novels in the “new realism” mode. The course will be conducted as a seminar and participation is required.

Texts (Check with me before you buy books, since I’ll be making final selections later on):

Requirements:

Your grade will be determined by your writing and participation, and of course I’ll work closely with you.

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LIT 4333

Literature for Adolescents

James Haskins

Course Description:

The course will examine literature appropriate for adolescent and young adult audiences, with special emphasis on the sociopolitical and psychological interpretations of the various genres. Genres to be explored will include nonfiction, historical and modern fiction, and literature for the young-adult audience dealing with contemporary themes of interest, as well as the problem novel. Issues such as censorship, religious themes, intercultural and interracial dating, abortion, and substance abuse will be discussed. Group discussions will be emphasized, and individuals as well as groups of students will be assigned reports and asked to lead class discussions on authors and book topics.

Required Text

Required Supplementary Readings

Assignments

Research Paper:

One research paper of 10–15 typed, double-spaced pages (topics to be cleared with me before beginning work). Any of the acknowledged, official styles may be used, i.e., MLA, APA, so long as you are consistent in your use of it. Papers are due in the English Department office no later than 4:00 PM on the Friday of “dead week.” A box with my name and course number will be available there. Do not put papers under my office door.

Grading:

Your grade for this course will be calculated as follows:

Office Hours: Wednesdays 5th period or before/after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Contact Info:

Office location: Turlington, 4326
Office phone: 392-5429
Home phone: 378-4661 (Calls will be accepted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM, and not at other times)
E-mail: jhaskins@english.ufl.edu

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LIT 4535

Feminism and Popular Culture

Kim Emery

This course will explore both popular cultural appropriations of feminism (examining the representation of feminism and feminists in mainstream media, including film, fiction, and magazine journalism) and feminist appropriations of popular culture (analyzing the production, reception, and disruption of pop cultural forms and norms in the interest of feminist objectives). Our inquiry will range over such areas as advertising, fiction, film, music, sports, and television.

Possible texts (suggestive, not definitive):

Requirements:

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LIT 4554

Feminist Theories

Stephanie Smith

what is feminism? what does it mean to think as a feminist? how is this critical posture still of political use, especially in this era of the post – post-modern, post-colonial, post-feminist? what kind of “theory” is feminist? why? why does feminism use theory?

this course is designed first and foremost as a general introduction to the variety of analytic, theoretical and interpretative approaches that have generated feminist thinking and debate over the last twenty years.

the primary focus of the class will be how the critical thinking that gave rise to feminism as a public debate has changed and continues to reshape traditional approaches within other forms of study, such as literature, philosophy, anthropology, political science, film, video.

most centrally, however, the course is going to be guided by the question of how feminist critical thinking has changed, and continues to change, our understanding and enactment of the concept of intimacy, since more often than not intimacy is what we are all told that we need but do not have – or that we have but either in short supply, or, worse, we do not understand how to use it well or properly. further, we are often told that our survival and our solace depends upon achieving this “intimacy” and yet it is presented as the unachievable horizon, that which our “society” prevents.

students will be asked to do the following:

  1. write response papers;
  2. participate in class discussions
  3. take a mid-term
  4. take a final exam.

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LIT 4554

Feminist Theories

Tace Hedrick

This course is intended to give upper-division students a survey of the various areas of “second wave” feminist thought of importance in literary and cultural studies. Thus we will be reading both theory and criticism in an effort to see how feminism, by its nature an interdisciplinary effort, draws from various areas of study to bring to bear questions of gender, race, and class on literary and cultural artefacts. We will be surveying some of the ideas of marxist feminism, lesbian feminism, queer theory, gynocriticism, critical race feminism, and postcolonial and psychoanalytic feminisms.

Requirements include 2 research papers and 3 in class exams.

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LIT 4930

British Romanticism and Judaism

Judith W. Page

(Cross-listed with JST 3930)

This course will focus on five major categories:

  1. the historical and cultural context of Jews and Judaism in Britain from approximately 1770–1830
  2. the representation of Jews and Judaism in various texts and genres of the Romantic period in Britain
  3. the appropriation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Romantic literature
  4. an introduction to selected Jewish writers of the period
  5. [briefly] the legacy of Romanticism on Judaism and on modern anti-Semitism

In studying these topics, we will consider such issues as anti- and philo-Semitism, anti-Semitic myths such as the blood libel, the Anglo-Jewish Enlightenment or haskalah, the influence of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice on British culture, the myth of the Wandering Jew and the reality of Jewish street peddlers, cartoons and caricatures by such artists as Hogarth, Rowlandson, and Gillray, and the changing relationships between Jews and the larger culture during this period. We will consider brief historical, critical, and theoretical readings diverse writers, perhaps including Harold Bloom, Todd Endelman, Emil Fackenheim, Frank Felsenstein, Michael Galchinsky, Sander Gilman, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Susanna Heschel, Rodger Kamenetz, Michael Ragussis, and James Shapiro.

Primary readings will include (subject to minor changes and availability of texts):

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LIT 4930

Post-History and Visual Culture

Scott Nygren

This is a new and experimental course in Media and Cultural Studies, an area in the process of being invented. The course will consider film and the visual arts in relation to a rethinking of history in a postmodern and postcolonial context. Film and Media Studies intersects here with Cultural Studies, as an approach to visual representations and their social, political and psychological contexts and effects.

A postmodern and postcolonial rethinking of history, or post-history in a word, reconfigures history as a frontier and laboratory, rather than as a set of materials imagined as if fixed, already known, and obsolete. History in these terms questions disciplinary boundaries, chronological sequence and familiar narratives in order to investigate the often unconscious assumptions that drive the information environment that we now inhabit. A point of departure will be Lyotard’s argument that determining figures inhabit media discourses, that shape their possibilities and limits, and that we can best approach these figural assumptions by way of visual media and the arts.

Accordingly, we will look at a series of engagements between the visual arts and cinema, linking together disparate periods and disciplines, in order to better understand the operation and effects of visual discourses that surround us today. One such engagement will be the relation of cubism to early cinema, as a theoretical response in visual terms that helps us unravel the implications and effects of moving images. Another will be the question of what classicism means in relation to “Classic Hollywood Cinema,” which we will approach by way of Maya Deren’s avant-garde films, the Japanese theorist Kojin Karatani’s work on “Architecture as Metaphor,” and the role of Neoclassicism in the European and American traditions. We will then consider a series of links across historical periods informed by theoretical readings, including the early Renaissance in relation to avant-garde film, baroque imaging and representations of gender, Asian landscape scrolls and Japanese films, Byzantine anti-realist representation and the politics of video, and so on.

Students will be asked to similarly experiment with history and media, and will read Daniel Milo’s “Toward an Experimental History” to guide the process. The issue is not always a ’correct’ reading, in the sense of a single, absolute, essential truth of a text, but a serious if playful engagement on methodological terms nonetheless, which may vary, conflict and contest with others. These engagements may take the form of a paper, a project, or one of each, for a total of two during the semester.

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LIT 4930

Introduction to Postcolonial Studies

Malini Johar Schueller

By the beginning of the twentieth century, a few European powers – mainly Britain and France – had colonized 80% of Asia and Africa. Nationalist movements during the latter half of the century led to territorial, but not necessarily cultural and intellectual decolonization. The cultural effects of colonialism, both on colonizers and colonized, constitute the field of postcolonial studies. In this course, we will study both postcolonial theory and colonial and postcolonial literatures. We will focus on four concerns central to postcolonial studies: the nature of colonial discourse, the articulation of revolutionary national consciousness, the relationship of postcolonial studies to feminist theories, and the changing nature of postcoloniality in light of the “globalization” of culture.

Possible texts will include two anthologies of postcolonial theory: Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory Ed. Laura Chrisman and Patrick Williams and Dangerous Liasons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives Ed. Anne McClintock and Aamir Mufti. The literary texts might include Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North or Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Anurag Mathur’s The Inscrutable Americans, Isaak Dinesen’s Out of Africa, and Rigoberta Menchu’s I, Rigoberta Menchu. Other possible texts and films: Frantz Fanon’s A Dying Colonialism, Fatima Mernissi’s Beyond the Veil, Not Without My Daughter, and Mississippi Masala.

Requirements:

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LIT 4930

Advertising and Culture

James Twitchell

Although there are courses in advertising and advertisements, this course attempts to chart the history of a culture – our popular culture – as it has been defined and conveyed by commercial speech. We will discuss the history and changing definition of advertising; the effects of commercial discourse on our sense of self, time, and place; and essentially argue that advertising has become, like religion, one of the primary institutions of our “sociosphere.” The course is not a criticism but an exploration. “Advertising and Culture” is not a course intended to teach advertising techniques and practices to professional or pre-professional students.

Texts:

Requirements:

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LIT 4930

Victoriographies: Inventing the Nineteenth Century

Julian Wolfreys

In 1980s Britain then-Prime-Minister Margaret Thatcher called repeatedly for a return to Victorian Values. During the same period, perhaps coincidentally, there was a major return in literature and film to the nineteenth century, as subject for consideration, analysis and fictionalisation. The previous century had become the focus or, even, the ideological battleground of modern and even postmodern nostalgia, desire and whimsy. Take for instance the redesigning of British currency. In 1992 the £10 note was re-designed in order to show on its obverse side a picture of Charles Dickens and cartoon from The Pickwick Papers of the Dingley Dell-All Muggleton cricket match. In this one image, with its village green, its Norman church spire in the background, the evocation of a time of good humour and fair play, all the discourses of a forced pseudo-Victorianism were brought into play, as if to remind us that we are much more Victorian than we think, and that a certain version of the Nineteenth century is only ever as far away as your wallet. The Victorian subject became invested in as a powerful nexus of symbolic and iconic configuration, a depository to be plundered, reinvented and, especially, rewritten (a curious coda to this tale of rewriting has appeared as recently as December 1994, with a series of posters on the London Underground, all sharing the title, Victorian London: using late-Victorian’ poster typefaces and black and white vignettes in quite hideous detail, these posters aim to demonstrate how Victorian values now means the infliction of disease as a result of homelessness, poverty and care in the community). What happened in the 1980s and 90s, throughout various fields, disciplines, discourses, was the production of a Victorian mode of aesthetic, critical and cultural production, a cultural writing formed out of interpretations and translations of the high ground of nineteenth-century culture; in short, victoriographies.

The purpose of this course is, then, to consider the various forms the victoriographic project has taken, to analyse critically the various forms and functions that rewriting the past has taken, in order to ask precisely why such an investment has been made in a particular epoch, and what is at stake in the rewriting of such a cultural and historical moment at that point in our own culture that we call, more or less unproblematically, postmodern. From where does the impulse to rethink derive? Are there aesthetic precedents for the outpouring of nineteenth-century investigation, assimilation, domestication, pastiche and parody, which we have been witness to and participants in, as readers, academics and consumers of culture in general? What are those precedents, and what articulates the unconscious drive behind both their and our concern with the nineteenth century?

As we move through the course, we will seek to question what it is we think we know about the Victorians and what constitute Victorian identities for us. We will examine the Victorians through the sense of knowingness we have about the nineteenth century and the commonplaces which constitute such knowingness. We will also address our cultural knowledge about the nineteenth century through examining what Victorian discourse might have to say about the present. How can we read the past for what it has to say about ourselves? How can the Victorians be read so as to challenge what we think we know about ourselves? How can we learn to read the nineteenth century without attempting to pin it down or make it a museum trophy?

In examining how we see the Victorians and how (we think) they saw themselves we will compare different tellings of the same narrative, while also attending to particular conceptual concerns: crime and sensation, the Dickens phenomenon, subaltern and postcolonial retellings, sex and sensibility, Edwardian responses.

Authors to be studied (depending on availability) may include:

The final reading list will be announced prior to the beginning of the semester.

We will also consider films such as Tess of the D’Urbervilles, The Piano, Angels and Insects, Kind Hearts and Coronets, and Topsy-Turvy.

Course requirements:

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LIT 4930

Juxtology in Shakespeare

R.A. Shoaf

“When thou clovest thy crown i’ the middle, and gavest away both parts, thou borest thy ass on thy back o’er the dirt: thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy golden one away. If I speak like myself in this, let him be whipped that first finds it so” (King Lear, Act 1). Using the insight of Lear’s fool – no one can, with impunity, speak “like” him- or herself in Lear’s world – we will examine the phenomenon of juxtology in Shakespeare’s art: the “yoking together by violence of the most heterogenous of things” (Dr. Johnson) proves the violence latent in all categorization (the root meaning of “category” is to “accuse” ), and Shakespeare’s art is the greatest examination in our tradition of the psychic cost of becoming able to “accuse myself” to speak “like myself” – when Cordelia speaks like herself, it costs her everything (“Nothing shall come of nothing: speak again” ).

We will read representative plays from the histories, comedies, tragedies, and romances. Our text will be the Norton edition; this is the only book students will need to buy. We will make extensive use of the WWW. Students will write two short essays (5 pages each) and one long essay (10 pages); class participation is mandatory and will be strictly monitored for the student’s final mark in the course.

Students interested in acquiring some idea of juxtology in practice may want to read the Preface to the 1993 re-issue of my book, Milton, Poet of Duality (Florida, 1993). They may also want to consult Garrett Stewart, Reading Voices: Literature and the Phonotext (California, 1990).

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SPC 3605

Speechwriting

Ron Carpenter

Speechwriting is an advanced composition course wherein students acquire stylistic prowess by which their sentences have increased potential for memorability and quotability, ease and accuracy of comprehension, as well as overall persuasiveness. The course is called Speechwriting because models of eloquence to be imitated are in sentences of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., for examples. Although you practice these stylistic skills while writing speeches, the acquired prowess is applicable in virtually any future communication endeavors, as speakers or writers, regardless of profession.

This course is not about supporting arguments and organizing them into broader discourse. If you seek those skills, other courses are more appropriate. This course is about how to pick the best words and arrange them in their best orders – within sentences – to achieve optimal impress of your ideas upon readers or listeners. These stylistic skills are practiced and perfected in drafts that you aloud among peers (and for me) during our “lab” periods. During “labs,” you should acquire a sense of how to achieve the final product desired at the semester end. Thus, present drafts when due; listen carefully to other students’ drafts, comparing yours with theirs; participate in rewriting others’ sentences; and heed my commentary about all drafts. Do not assume that participation means simply presenting your drafts and listening only to commentary about them.

How a draft is presented, vocally and physically, has no bearing on your grade. Speechwriting is an advanced composition course, and drafts read aloud are bases of discussion by which students understand why some sentences are better than others. For initial and final drafts, I require word processing available in computer labs on campus (if you do not have your own computer). Revision on your disk is easier; spelling is accurate; and word lengths of drafts are known.

From past experience, I know that reasonably diligent students achieve some of the stylistic skills taught in this course. Final grades are higher, however, as you

  1. demonstrate refined prowess as the competent stylist on exams and in final drafts,
  2. understand course precepts derived from readings and lecture materials, as tested by three exams during the semester (the course has no final exam), and
  3. produce a final research paper about style as defined in this course (research paper options will be explained during a lecture relatively early in the semester and will require additional library reading).

Final grades are determined one-half by the average of your three exam scores and one-half by the quality of your final notebook with polished drafts of speeches and the research paper – all typed, double-spaced, and turned in during exam week at the time and date listed in the University Timetable as the course final exam period. The textbook for the course is Ronald H. Carpenter, Choosing Powerful Words: Eloquence that Works.

Although this is a writing course, I also am impressed – for purposes of grades – by how much you know about our subject. Please understand that Speechwriting is unlike virtually all other persuasive writing courses at UF, for the expertise and confidence in precepts being taught are derived from your instructor’s published research in four scholarly press books, several book chapters, and numerous journal articles (all of which inform my textbook). Furthermore, from my experience as a consultant for organizations outside UF (such as corporate executives, lawyers, civic leaders, public relations professionals, and officers attending the U.S. Naval War College), I know that skills taught in this course are useful in the “real” world. Thus, teaching you to be eloquent stylists gives me great personal satisfaction. For I can make positive changes in your behaviors as communicators. If you join me in this endeavor, which admittedly entails some substantial effort on your part, I promise you will acquire valuable skills that will be useful for the rest of your life, no matter what your later profession might be. The only prerequisite for the course is that you can write grammatical sentences that are punctuated correctly.

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SPC 4680

Rhetorical Criticism: Masterpeices of Rhetoric

Ron Carpenter

4340 TUR, 392–9110 ext. 265
Email: <ronstyle@ufl.edu>
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30–10:30

During the Spring Semester, 2001, Rhetorical Criticism has as its focus several “masterpieces of rhetoric.” Although several of these are in the realm of political and presidential discourse, another focus this semester will be upon rhetorical efforts to persuade Americans to engage in armed conflict with other nations. Thus, students will examine how some speakers, writers, and film makers appealed successfully to specific attitudes and actions that had profound influence upon the course of events.

The primary goal of the course is to provide students will a refined sense of those rhetorical principles and techniques by which their own future discourse is more effective persuasively. Indeed, in keeping with the likelihood that several students in the class are anticipating careers in law, we also will devote a unit to legal rhetoric.

At the outset, however, please understand that “rhetoric” is not a pejorative word. In its current and inaccurate usage, the word often is prefaced with the adjective “empty” to disparage what “other” people say or write ostensibly as groundless emotional appeal in contradistinction to discourse that presumably only “tells it like it is.” But accurately, “rhetoric” refers to those means by which discourse “adjusts ideas to people and people to ideas.” So rhetoric is the art of persuasion, and rhetorical criticism identifies and assesses what was done with words (and other factors) to achieve persuasion.

The textbook this semester is Halford Ryan, Contemporary American Public Discourse: A Collection of Speeches and Critical Essays. It is available at Goerings Book Store, next to Bageland. Some additional textual materials in the form of Xerox copies can be purchased at the University Copy Center

Students will write at least four short papers (3–4 typed pages) that summarize and expand briefly upon assigned readings, films, or group projects. A longer final paper (8–10 typed pages) will report library research about some topic suggested by the course (the focus of that paper must be developed in consultation with your instructor). The course will have a “take home” final exam. Please understand that some group projects will require meetings with your student peers outside of the regular class periods. Students also are required to view some films outside of class.