Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2002

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.



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


AML 3284

Feminist Fiction

Kim Emery

This course will explore diverse fictions associated with a variety of feminisms in the United States over the last half century or so. By reading novels, plays, and stories in the context of research in feminist politics and theory, we will work to gain fuller understanding of the issues illuminated at their intersection including, for example, the relation of narrative structure to gendered experiences of time and history, the ideological implications of belief in a uniquely female aesthetic, and the artistic validity of avowedly polemical literature. Within this general frame, we will focus in particular on the role of fiction in defining the feminism of the so-called “second wave” and of second-wave feminism in informing fiction of the years to follow. To this end, we will read the work of such writers as Marge Piercy, Marilyn French, Joanna Russ, June Arnold, Grace Paley, Alice Walker, Fannie Flagg, Sarah Schulman, and Dorothy Allison. Students should come prepared to consider diverse viewpoints and possibilities, represented in a variety of genres (including science fiction/fantasy writing, coming-of-age narratives, social realist novels, and experimental fiction, as well as primary and secondary texts in feminist theory and criticism and also supplemental readings on the history of the U.S. women’s movement.) Course requirements include two exams and two formal papers, as well as frequent shorter assignments, both in and out of class.


AML 3284

Boundary Lines: Women Rewriting the U. S. South

Anne Goodwyn Jones


When women’s studies began to look South – beyond New England – the subject that initially produced the most interest was not the diversity of cultures of southern women. With important exceptions in African American studies, the focus was on one culture alone: that of white elite women. Privileged yet disempowered, these white women were educated and literate. They left records: they wrote novels, letters, diaries, poetry. And their experience of oppression came from the very agents of their privilege, white men of power.

Southern women’s studies now has a far wider range of awareness. In this course, we will study the differences within southern women’s writings and the boundaries between cultures that establish those differences. Southern women have lived with racial boundaries, class boundaries, ethnic boundaries, and of course gender boundaries that, for example, kept “nice” white southern girls out of jeans, baseball, and medical school and labeled their assertive behavior “pushy,” while black girls were thought to be natural athletes, but not very educable, and incurably aggressive. Southern women’s texts show the marks of engagement with such boundaries, whether as victims, supporters, or transgressors. Women’s texts themselves cross borders between fact and fiction, disciplinary borders between history and religion, and borders of genre between, for example, poem and novel. The linguistic border, naming a proper language, comes under question. Across their multiple cultures, then, women writers of the South offer special insight – as women, as southern, and as writers – into the political, racial, economic, social, sexual, gender, and literary boundaries that have for so long plagued, pleased, and constituted the region. Their texts suggest that life on the borderlines has given southern women the gift, at times refused or abused, of second sight: into, around, and over the edges of things.

Replicating the history of southern women’s studies by design, we will begin with works by and about elite white women and African American women and end with works by and about contemporary women from the first southern cultures, Native American and Spanish. In between, we will trace a story of power and difference, intimacy and misunderstanding, contact and creativity, and a sometimes vexed sense of community, among and within southern women. Along with the readings of the literary texts, we will read key essays from theorists, critics, and historians to nudge us in new directions. We will think through and talk about these themes and texts as an intentional teaching and learning community, by speaking and listening to one another, by sharing creative and analytical responses for a weekly response journal, by undertaking small oral history projects, and by carrying out and reporting on research on personal or collaborative interests fora final project. This course is an extended undergraduate version of an NEH Summer Seminar to be offered in Summer, 2002.

Probable and possible texts (during the first couple of weeks, class may decide to omit from and/or add to this list)

Course packet:

Books in the order we’ll read them:


Project possibilities or alternative texts to consider (short list):


AML 4170

Studies in American Literary Forms: A Century’s Harvest of Novellas

John Seelye

This is a genre-defined survey course, which will use novellas (short novels) as a guide to changing cultural concerns from the 1870s to the 1970s. We will be reading approximately 16 novellas during the semester, at least one a week, starting with Henry James’s Daisy Miller and ending with Joan Didion’s Play It as It Lays. The readings will provide a brief but broad overview of major literary issues during a complex and rapidly changing period in our history. We will also pay some attention to the characteristics of a genre that is neither short story nor novel but part of each and something of both. The course will be a mixture of lectures and class discussions. We will also be viewing on occasion a motion picture based on one of the books read during the week. This showing will take place on the Thursday session.

For purposes of thematic consistency we will be focussing on the coincidence that most if not all of the novellas we will be reading are “love stories,” although the nature and direction of love is not always immediately perceivable and may seem at times perverse, that is to say self or other destructive.

What follows is a list of possible readings and is not to be taken as inclusive: James, Daisy Miller; Burnett, Fair Barbarian; Melville, Billy Budd; Chopin, The Awakening; Wharton, Ethan Frome; Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby; Faulkner, Old Man; Hemingway, Old Man and the Sea; Caldwell, Tobacco Road; Steinbeck, Mice and Men; Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider; West, Day of the Locust; Cozzens, Castaway; Stafford, Mountain Lion; Agee, Morning Watch; Bellow, Seize the Day; Salinger, Catcher in the Rye; Malamud, The Assistant; Roth, Goodbye Columbus; O’Connor, Wise Blood; Plath, Bell Jar; Segal, Love Story; Didion, Play It as It Lays.

There will be a mid-term and a final exam, made up of identification questions keyed to the readings and lectures. There will also be a term paper, due well before the end of the semester.


AML 4225

Studies in Postbellum Literature

David Leverenz

home: 371-7461 (not after 9:45 p.m., please)
office: 392-6650 x283
e-mail: ldavid@english.ufl.edu

The readings for this course in late 19th century and early 20th century American fiction will be shaped in part by the students, especially toward the end. We will consider various issues, from “realism” and “naturalism” (what did and does it mean to feel “real” or “natural,” and why did that become a problem?), to the appeal of regional narratives for an emerging nation-state, to representations of tensions between races and classes (and why race and class seemed so real). We will also discuss how and why narratives of upward and downward mobility became so prevalent, and how those narratives featured “passing” in black and white as a prominent way of moving from one class or race to another.

A tentative syllabus:

Other works may be substituted, e.g., Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes, Alger’s Ragged Dick, Charlotte P. Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” some stories of Charles Chesnutt, Jack London’s Call of the Wild or The Sea-Wolf, Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court or Tom Sawyer or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Much will depend on what students have read and want to read. Class format will be informal, emphasizing discussion. My introductory presentations will supply brief historical backgrounds and various interpretive arguments about the texts. I tend to focus on close readings in relation to historical contexts and cultural ideologies. I also try to make class sessions open to conflicting interpretations, so that all of us can try out ideas without feeling silly, weird, or stupid.

Work required: two 4-5 pp. comparative close readings (20% each), a 10-13 pp. research essay (45%), weekly quizzes and/or responses (15%). The lowest quiz grade will be dropped. No exams. Grading will be based entirely on your writing, though attendance is required. Late essays or more than four unexcused class cuts (double period = 2 classes) will lower your grade.

Grading policy: I give A’s to essays using an original and spirited argument to illuminate complexities of language as well as theme. I give B+’s to well organized, well developed, relatively error-free essays with sparks of originality or daring, and B’s to competent essays needing more complex development and/or clearer focus. Lower grades mean greater problems with development, organization, and grammar. Recurrent grammatical errors lower the grade; spelling errors and typos don’t, within reason. The best essays sustain complex and/or audacious arguments; a good “B” essay will capably summarize and compare themes.

If you want to know more about the course, call me at home (371-7461, before 9:30 p.m.) or e-mail me (Ldavid@english.ufl.edu). I’m on leave this Fall, but I usually check my e-mail once every day or so.


AML 4242

American Fiction since 1945

Andrew Gordon

Office: 4323 TUR
Hours: W 5th-7th, or by appointment
Phone: 392-6650 x254
Mailbox: 4301 TUR
E-mail: agordon@ufl.edu
Home page: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/agordon



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.

I hope this course will make you a more sensitive interpreter of American culture and fiction and a better writer.


Andrew M. Gordon has taught post-WW II American fiction, Jewish-American fiction, science fiction, and film at UF since 1975. He also directs the Institute for the Psychological Study of the Arts. He has been a Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature in Spain, Portugal, and the former Yugoslavia, a Visiting Professor in Hungary and Russia, and taught in the UF summer program in Rome. 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, including the fiction of Saul Bellow, Cynthia Ozick, Ursula Le Guin, John Barth, and Thomas Pynchon. Most recently, with Professor Peter Rudnytsky, he co-edited Psychoanalyses/Feminisms.


  1. Attendance and participation = 10%.
  2. Quizzes on the reading = 20%.
  3. Three papers
    • Paper 1: four pages on a work from Weeks 1-4. Counts 15%
    • Paper 2: five pages on a work from Weeks 5-10. Counts 20%
    • Paper 3: six-seven pages research paper on one or two works from Weeks 11-16. Counts 30%.
    • You may also write on outside works (but clear this with me).
    • You may revise one paper with a grade below B (not a late paper and not Paper 3). This is due within one week after the paper is returned.
    • Papers = 65% total.
  4. Oral report = 5%.

Note: no midterm or final exam.


AML 4311

Emily Dickinson

Richard Brantley

No course description is available at this time


AML 4453

American Protest Literature

Pat Schmidt

Where are we going, Walt Whitman?; The doors close in an hour.
Which way does your beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.)
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue Automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what Amer-
ica did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a
smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of

– From “A Supermarket in California,” Allen Ginsberg, Berkeley, 1955

Vietnam protests, Camelot, the Johnson presidency, the rise of a counter-culture and the return of Richard Nixon – all are signatures of two decades that continue to beguile and frustrate thoughtful scholars and students alike. Remembered best, perhaps, is the disorder that erupted after the election of John Kennedy in 1960 and ended before Ronald Reagan became president in 1980. Intertwined in these decades are dual strands of idealism and cynicism, hope and despair. In a discussion of the sixties, though perhaps no more so than in any other age, the observer’s angle of vision is all. Unlike the equally complex but more homogeneously perceived drama of 1776 – when, in John Adams’s idiom, thirteen clocks amazingly struck as one – the complexities and contradictions of the sixties virtually define the period, existing as they do within a grid of values that has shaped not only the observer’s perceptions but has itself been shaped by the period.

Such observations suggest a strong connection between the nature of social change and the role of the past. If the past is prologue – as I believe it is – what hieroglyphs remain and how are they to be explained? To compress such inquiries into one course is daunting. But by utilizing a variety of readings, lectures, and film footage from 1950–1970, I believe that we can learn a great deal about such phenomena as the Vietnam anti-War Protests, the Civil Rights Movement, feminism, and the counter-culture. In the process, I would like us to come away with a deeper understanding of the ways in which our experiences shape the narrative structures by which we tell ourselves about our world, and the connection of such structures to the creation of meaning, both in fiction and nonfiction.

Several articles, book excerpts, and primary documents will be placed on Reserve. Writing assignments will consist of a 5-7 page essay, a research project prospectus, and a research paper. Viewing history through the lens of literature, and reading literature through the lens of history, creates a dialectic that should enrich our understanding of both, providing insight into the social changes that are still Blowin’ in the Wind.


Additional readings:




Written assignments include one short essay, a research project prospectus, and a research paper. All papers must be double-spaced with title pages, endnotes or textual notes (MLA or Chicago) and must include complete bibliographies. Late papers earn a drop of one letter grade for each day late.

Short Paper: (5 to 7 pages) 20 points. Due week four of the course. Carefully striving for a balance between liberal and conservative views, select a moment in the decade – the 1962 admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi; the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the July 1967 riots in Newark and Detroit; the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair; Eugene McCarthy’s decision in 1968 to enter the race for president; the anti-war “moratorium” of October 15, 1969; the May 4, 1970 slaying of students on the campus of Kent State. Compare the reporting of this event by Fortune, U.S. News, The National Observer to that of The New Republic, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek. Any illusion of mimesis (an accurate copy) of reality will be challenged as you read these articles. Discuss this phenomenon. Attention must be directed to the way that language acts as a vehicle for mediating between external reality and cultural expectations. From what set of assumptions (about order, hierarchy, military might, etc.) did the writers, whose work you consulted, most likely begin? How are they reflected in his/her structure of ideas, examples, metaphors, evidence?

Research Project: (15 to 20 pp) 50 points. Due two weeks before the end of the semester. This project is an extension of the one above. The topic must receive the approval of the instructor and should again draw on primary sources. A one-page prospectus that outlines the topic, explains the approach being used and the questions considered, as well as a discussion of relevant information about sources, will be required by week eight. In this paper, you are being asked to look for what Alfred North Whitehead called “the curves of history.” Utilizing the concepts discusssed above, your focus will shift to the larger canvas of which the above events are a part. Topics may range from contemporary reportage of: the consumerism of the fifties, the growth of the counter-culture, the role of the beats, and the push for sexual freedom, to an assessment of literary tastes, reportage of the 1968 presidential (Republican or Democratic) race, campus protest, the environmental or gay or women’s movement, etc. Your assignment is to explore “the idea of the variable ...and rate of change” during a particular time in the twentieth century and articulate the ways in which representations of such changes became “partial truths.” During the last two weeks of the class, you will be asked to discuss your process of discovery and the specific insights gleaned from your research with the class.

Plagiarism, the undocumented use of someone else’s work, will not be tolerated and will result in a flunking grade. If you do not know how or when to cite a source, see me.

Quizzes, homework, etc. 15 points
Class participation: 15 points


AML 4685

Race and Ethnicity in Twentieth-Century American Literature: Jewish-American Fiction

Andrew Gordon

Office: 4323 TUR
Phone: 392-6650 x254
Hours: W 5th-7th or by appointment
Mailbox: 4301 TUR
E-mail: agordon@ufl.edu
Home page: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/agordon

(This course is cross-listed with JST 3930)


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 stories and novels by Jewish-American men and women 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. We will also consider such issues as anti-Semitism, feminism, American responses to the Holocaust, and American attitudes toward Israel. As time permits, we will view some movies based on the fiction.

The course is cross-listed under American Literature and Jewish Studies. You need not be a major in English, Jewish Studies, or Religion to get something out of it. An interest in American studies, in ethnicity and race, in twentieth-century American history, or simply in reading good fiction is sufficient.

I hope this course will make you a more sensitive interpreter of American culture and a better writer.

TEXTS (at Goering’s Books, 1717 NW 1st Ave, next to Bageland)



AML 4685

Race and Ethnicity in American Literature and Culture: African American Drama

Mark A. Reid

What makes dramas written by Black American playwrights and theater collectives different from those written and or performed by such writers and theater collectives as Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Richard Foreman, Laurie Anderson, Judith Malina and Julian Beck’s Living Theatre and Peter Brook’s International Centre of Theater Research?

Using recent theoretical and political debates on the construction of identity, and culling information from recent theater journals as TDR, this seminar traces the historical trajectory of black dramatic writing and performance. Discussion will situate plays, playwrights and dramatic strategies within a (inter)national(ist) context(s). Thus, the seminar also has as one of its purposes the discussion of the various national and international movements that affect both American and international drama.

The course covers representative works from the Theater of the Black Experience, the Black Arts Movement, The Free Southern Theatre, and the Black avant-garde and experimentalist stage. Readings may include works by such playwrights as Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansberry, Ed Bullins, Amiri Baraka, Adrienne Kennedy, Ben Caldwell, P.J. Gibson, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe and such performance artists as Fred Holland, Robbie McCauley, John O’Neal, Whoopi Goldberg and Anna Deavere Smith.

In writing their research papers, students must create their own gumbo-like theory of lived and imagined forms of an inclusive and or exclusionary constructions of black experience as it has been represented in a particular group of plays or performance artists.


  1. Several pop quizzes on assigned readings as well as film(s) screened in the previous class 40%
  2. Moderate two discussions on an assigned reading 20%
  3. Submission of a journal with daily entries 40%


CRW 3110

Reading and Writing Short Stories

David Leavitt

What is a short story? No genre has so consistently eluded definition. Stories can range from eighty pages (Thomas Mann’s “Death in Venice”) to a single sentence (Amy Hempel’s “Housewife”). The purpose of this seminar will be to explore the parameters of this seductive and evasive form, from the standpoint both of the practitioner and the reader.

The seminar will be built around the idea that writers learn by reading. Therefore you may find the reading load heavier than is typical for a fiction workshop. Each week you will be asked to read a selection of stories by an English or American writer, and to arrive in class prepared to discuss them cogently. This conversation will take up roughly a third of our allotted time; the other two-thirds will be devoted to discussion of your own work (presented according to a pre-arranged schedule) and occasional in-class [text missing from course description] be giving you assignments of a vaguely experimental nature – for instance, to tell a story from the viewpoint of an historical figure of your own choosing (Janis Joplin, Jack the Ripper). You’ll then set to work on stories of your own devising, which may have evolved from these exercises. The requirement of the class, in terms of writing, is that you complete two stories, the first by midterm and the second by term’s end. (The second may be an outgrowth of the first.) It goes without saying that attendance is mandatory, and that failure to show up (along with failure to do the reading) will have an adverse effect on your final grade. Grading will be based on your informed participation in the seminar, the critical acuity you show when judging other students’ writing, and your willingness to work hard: to be the best writer you can be, and to emerge at the end of the semester a better writer than you were at the beginning.

The reading many include stories by John Cheever, William Trevor, Alice Munro, Flannery O’Connor, Grace Paley, Deborah Eisenberg, Allan Gurganus, Amy Hempel and W.G. Sebald.

Final note: although flexibility is essential to any writing workshop, so is structure. The same can be said – and must be said – of the writing process.


CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

Brandon Kershner

Text: The only text for this course is Ellmann and O’Clair’s Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, the latest edition. It is available at Goering’s bookstore.

Mechanics: The course is essentially a workshop; that is, the emphasis will be upon improving your own creative work. You are expected to turn in a poem of moderate length (say 1/2 page, typed in dark ink on white paper, double-spaced) or a substantially rewritten version of an earlier poem each week during class, to be discussed during the following week’s class. Submit the poems to my mailbox (in TUR 4012) before 4:00 on the Monday preceding class. About half of these poems will be prescribed exercises. You may, if you wish, turn in several poems each week; in fact, I encourage this. Failure to turn in your work when it is due will adversely affect your grade.

From among the submissions each week I will prepare a worksheet of poems to be discussed during the next class. You must purchase this worksheet at University Copy, across from campus, before class. I will expect you to annotate the poems you read with questions, comments, suggestions, and so forth, before class begins. There should be enough of these so that everyone would have plenty to say if called upon. Of course, you will also be expected to have looked up words of whose meaning you are unsure and allusions with which you are not familiar. Although we may not be able to discuss everyone’s submission each week, I will try to ensure that everyone’s work appears regularly. I prefer that each poem be discussed before the author is identified; only after discussion has finished will the author be identified and allowed to respond to the comments or questions. In any case, I will make written comments on the original submitted copies of everyone’s poems each week. Save these copies; I will want to see them at midterm, when I will meet with everyone to give an assessment of your progress in the course, and again at the end of the term. If you have a particular reason to request that the poem you turn in for a particular week not be discussed in class, or be discussed anonymously, please make a note to that effect on the poem you turn in to me.

In the first half of class we will discuss poems by the writers assigned for that week, and we will discuss the particular writing assignment or exercise (if any) for the following week. You should be familiar with the poems from Ellmann and O’Clair assigned that week; unless I state otherwise, read all the selections for each poet.

Absences: You are allowed two absences, which must be cleared in advance with me; call me at the office or at home. Any uncleared absence (including lateness over 1/2 hour) lowers your grade by half a letter. If you miss a class, your work for the following week should still be in my box in the English Department by Friday afternoon.

Grades: I will try to give you an idea of the grade you might expect (assuming you continue working at the same level) when we meet around midterm; at the end of term I will collect from you a notebook with copies of all your work, including my comments, and your own revisions of whichever poems you wish. The more poems you revise successfully, the more positively I am impressed. There are no papers and no exams. Your final grade will be determined by the quality and/or improvement in your writing; by your attendance and participation in class; and by the wit, passion, and seriousness you bring to writing. My quantification of these elements may be somewhat subjective.


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.


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.


ENC 3254

Professional Writing in the Discipline


CALL 392-5421: Except for 3 sections that are reserved for Education majors, this course is offered out of the Dial Center for Written and Oral Communication.


ENC 3310

Advanced Expository Writing

Wayne Losano

This section of ENC 3310 will focus primarily on style (concreteness, economy, accuracy, etc.). Readings will include Zinsser’s Writing Well and selected essays, Giving Good Weight, plus whatever else I can get reproduced. We will also review as many aspects of grammar/mechanics as student writing dictates.


Four papers, basically in the traditional modes of exposition – description, comparison and contrast, analysis, etc.

Papers will vary in length according to the nature of the assignment, the style of the writer, and the whim of the instructor, but none should be of epic proportions. Accuracy of presentation and effectiveness of style are more important than length.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


ENG 3010

Theory and Practice of Modern Criticism

Don Ault

Selective survey of critical theories and methods and their application to specific texts.



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.

“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.


ENG 3063

Advanced Grammar Analysis/Application

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.


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.

ENG 3113 (section 1799)
(T 2-3, R 3, T 9-11– TUR 2322)

Instructor: J. Smith (Tur 4318; 392 6650, ext 248)

Course Description: This course explores the convention of the mainstream (i.e., popular) narrative film – and the cultural, social, political, and aesthetic implications of those conventions. In some cases, we will study the relationship between individual films and their sources. Students are encouraged to read at least one recent screenplay. This is, primarily, a course in practical criticism and analysis. As such, it attends to such matters as structure, narrative point of view, and the way in which individual films reflect the times in which they are made.

Required Texts:

Required Essays: There will be at least four essays of increasing length and complexity concentrating on such matters as structure, narrative point of view, and other conventions.

Grading: Your final grade will be based essays, quizzes, and class participation. There will not be a final examination.


ENG 3122

History of the Film II


No course description is available at this time


ENG 4015

Psychological Approaches to Literature

Peter L. Rudnytsky

This couse will examine some key literary and philosophical texts in the Western tradition from a psychoanalytic and feminist point of view. The readings will include Woolf, A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN; St. Augustine, CONFESSIONS; Gottfried von Strassburg, TRISTAN; SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT; Rabelais, GARGANTUA AND PANTAGRUEL; Shakespeare, KING LEAR; Milton, PARADISE LOST; Rousseau, CONFESSIONS; and Wollstonecraft, A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN. Course requirements include weekly response papers and a ten- to fifteen-page term paper. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are also expected.


ENG 4060

History of the English Language

Kevin McCarthy

Objective of course:



ENG 4110

Animation and Comics

Don Ault


This experimental course will provide:

The class will meet two periods each day, three days a week, which should provide a time-format that will work for screening cartoons and slides and discussing them the same day. The format needs to be kept open-ended throughout the semester.

A few of the specific issues to be addressed:

  1. What kinds of cultural work do animated cartoons and comics perform – especially Disney productions; how does this problem relate to work emanating from other animation studios such as Warners, Fleischers, MGM, Van Beuren, Iwerks, etc.?
  2. What are the differences in narrative possibilities and limitations of comics and animated cartoons in relation to technological innovation (for example, what kinds of possibilities were abandoned with the emergence of synchronized sound and color cartoons?)
  3. What are the cultural implications of the perceptual processes involved in negotiating comic strip and comic book narratives, especially in different formats and conditions of reception?
  4. How are narrative possibilities altered when characters are translated from one medium to another?


ENG 4110

Film Genres and Directors

Carl Bredahl

This course will explore movies that use the American West for setting, theme, and structure. Such a list would be long and might include everything from The Great Train Robbery to Lone Star and 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. Toward the end of the course, we will look at the “anti-western” and the contemporary western with attention to movies like McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Unforgiven, Dead Man, The Ballad of Little Jo, and Lone Star. During the screening period, I will sometimes 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.


ENG 4110

Children’s Films

Kenneth Kidd

What is a children’s film? How do films for and about children function structurally, ideologically, and pedagogically in homes, classrooms, and popular culture? What, if anything, distinguishes young viewers from adult viewers? How do children’s films negotiate gender, race, class, and sexual orientation, within a given culture and/or transculturally? Why are so many children’s films adaptations of classic children’s books and/or folktales? What is the legacy of Disney? What trends have we seen so far – and what might we expect in the future? These are among the many questions we’ll take up in this course, which surveys the history of children’s film and explores individual film-texts from a variety of perspectives. We’ll include films that have not been marketed solely to children, both domestic and foreign, in an attempt to reconsider the nature and nurture of childhood in the global world order. We’ll make use of film theory and criticism, as well as psychoanalysis, media studies, and feminist and queer studies. I’ll do my best to choose important and representative films, but students will also have the opportunity to research and write about additional films.

Possible films: The Kid, Pollyanna, Bright Eyes, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, The Three Caballeros, The Red Balloon, The Diary of Anne Frank, Forbidden Games, Lord of the Flies, Small Change, Sounder, Pixote, Kids, Toy Story, Ma Vie en Rose, Shrek.

Possible texts: Salman Rushdie, The Wizard of Oz; Eleanor Byrne and Martin McQuillan, Deconstructing Disney; Eric Smoodin (ed.), Disney Discourse; a special issue of The Lion and the Unicorn; and a coursepacket. All films and readings are tentative; check with instructor before buying materials.

Course requirements: regular attendance and participation; short weekly response papers; two short essays; and a group presentation. There will be no exams.


ENG 4133

Film Studies

Nora Alter

No course description is available at this time


ENG 4133


Julian Smith

Prerequisite: Any one of the following: ENG 2300, ENG 3113, ENG 3115, ENG 3121, ENG 3122, or permission of the instructor. Please do not sign up for this course unless you have taken one of the prerequisite courses or received my permission.

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

ENG 4133 (section 1804)
W 9-11, TUR 2322

Course Description: The primary purpose of this course is to give advanced students in film studies or creative writing some idea of how to go about writing an original screenplay for a feature-length theatrical motion picture intended for a mass audience.

Attention will be given to the problem of finding a suitable topic and premise as well as to the writer’s need to adhere to a very specific format.

This course is not for students who are easily frustrated.

Film Viewings: Students are expected to see at least one new or recent film in a theater or on video each week – and to study these films in terms of what they demonstrate about how to tell a film story (or how NOT to tell a story).

Required Texts: Kristin Thompson’s Storytelling in the New Hollywood; the screenplays for Nurse Betty and Erin Brockovich; a recent bestselling novel (to be announced). I also recommend but do not require Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, the best short book on writing simply and clearly.

Writing Assignments: There is a considerable amount of writing in this course. By the end of the semester, each student is required to turn in at least the first act or setup (about thirty pages) for an original screenplay, plus the last scene or sequence of scenes (about ten pages) of that screenplay, and a summary of everything in between.

Conferences: This class requires regular formal conferences with the instructor to discuss assignments and work-in-progress.

Grading: Your final grade will be based on the quality of your work over the course of the semester. There will not be a final examination.


ENG 4135

Cinema and Jews

Maureen Turim

How have films in the US portrayed Jews, and what role have Jews had in shaping that portrayal? How has expression of selfhood, diversity and community during a period from the Thirties through the present been tempered by the history of anti-Semitism, assimilation, and The focus of this course will be on different types of fictional films of Jewish peoples: such as American Yiddish cinema prior to World War II, the social problem film combating prejudice, the Jewish comedy, the filmic exploration of the Holocaust, As such the course Issues of the ethnic cultures of Judaism, of the Diaspora, assimilation, anti-Semitism, oppression, attempted annihilation, emigration and the formation of a Jewish State (and its internal conflicts as well as conflicts with other nations) will be explored as they emerge in narrative films. What stories do Jews create in the images and sounds of their cinema? US Jewish culture will form our frame of reference. The films we will see are shaped by traditions of theatrical performance, music, philosophy that combine to create various film aesthetics often rich in humor, style, and dramatic confrontation as they research questions of meaning and identity. Cinema represents for Jews a confrontation with iconography, with images and visual symbols, to which a culture traditionally of the word must adapt. As images have so often been used to caricature Jews, the question of imagistic creation becomes one of a struggle with stereotypes supplied by others. In addition, these films provide a means of critical examination of how Jews have looked at others.

This course will be of prime interest to students of Judaic studies, but no prior familiarity with Judaic studies will be assumed. Film, Cultural Studies and Literature majors, but also students of sociology, history, psychology, philosophy, theater and art history should find this course illuminating.

Permission to wave prerequisites may be requested of the instructor based on such interests in related fields of study.

Course Requirements:

Books may include:


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.


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 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.


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.


ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: F. Scott Fitzgerald: An instrument of precision

Stephanie Smith

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

For many, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald are legendary and romantic figures. They epitomize the so-called Jazz Age, which more or less ended ubruptly on “Black Tuesday”, October 29, 1929 when the Dow Jones plunged and so, too, did many a man’s fortune – 16 million shares of stock were sold by panicking investors who had lost faith in the American economy. At the height of the Depression in 1933, 25% of the Nation’s total work force, 12,830,000 people, were unemployed. Wage income for workers who were lucky enough to have kept their jobs fell 42.5% between 1929 and 1933. It was the worst economic disaster in American history. People starved.

Fitzgerald’s fiction offers us a picture of the generation whose way and philosophy of life both helped to provoke this political and economic disaster and whose way of life was lost in the wake of it. However, as Brian Way long ago noted, “The evolution of the legend has helped make Fitzgerald a cult figure, but it has harmed his reputation as an artist and made it more difficult to discuss his work sensibly.”

This course is designed to discuss his work sensibly – i.e. critically, intelligently and with passion and in a historical context. Fitzgerald may have attained a cult status, but he was also a dedicated, meticulous and questioning craftsman, a social writer who saw the individual as a condensed expression of the collective social, political, cultural and economic forces that gave rise to that individual’s dreams, desires and despairs.

As a social writer, Scott had the ability of an “instrument of precision,” even as he sought to understand on the page that most imprecise of instruments, the human heart. His narratives function as highly composed word-images that flip into a moving picture of how Americans changed themselves and their social, cultural and political lives in the span of one generation.

Texts will include nearly all of Fitzgerald’s works, along with critical and historical texts and documents. Requirements: quizzes, a mid-term research project and a final critical, analytic paper.


ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: The Brain and the Book

Norman Holland

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

This is an exploratory seminar in a relatively new field, the application of cognitive science to literary theory, resulting from the last three decades’ explosion of knowledge about the brain. The aim of this honors seminar is to enable you to read critically the books about brain functioning that come out almost weekly and apply them to your thinking about literature.

These are some of the issues I plan to open up. How are language capabilities embodied in the brain, and how do they function? How do we acquire a persistent personality and with it the basis for a literary style? What is a possible brain basis for shared audience responses? How does metaphor enter into cognition? How do cultural materials have an evolutionary effect? What in the brain makes trouble for reader-response critics? What is the “willing suspension of disbelief”?

We shall be reading such people as: Noam Chomsky, George Lakoff, Mark Johnson, Hanna and Antonio Damasio, Jerry Fodor, Heinz Lichtenstein, Steven Pinker, Terrence Deacon, Gerald Edelman, some psychologists of reading, and some people who have begun to apply these ideas to literary and aesthetic questions: Richard Ohmann, Mark Turner, Ellen Dissanayake, Ellen Winner, and myself. There will be little or no literary reading, but much discussion of literary questions. Virtually all of the reading will be in neuroscience.

Because a term paper is not appropriate for this level of this subject, there will be a final exam (50%), and grades will be based on that plus reports on outside reading (30%) plus participation in online and class discussion (20%).


ENG 4940


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.


ENG 4953

Department Seminar: The Bloomsbury Group

Alistair Duckworth

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

The seminar proposes to examine the aesthetic, intellectual, and political contributions of an extraordinary coterie. The Bloomsbury Group included two novelists (E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf), two artists (Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant), two art critics (Roger Fry and Clive Bell), a historian (Lytton Strachey), and an economist (J. M. Keynes). Liberal in their politics and sexual views, sympathetic to women’s issues, and committed to modernism in art, fiction, and design, the group formed a distinctive and controversial avant garde.

The Post-Impressionist exhibitions of 1910 and 1912, organized by Fry, and featuring paintings by Cezanne, Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso, as well as by Bell and Grant, were an affront to those accustomed to the academic conventions of Victorian paintings. So too were the art and craft of the Omega Workshops (1913–1918). Clive Bell’s ART (1914), with its theory of “significant form” and attack on the sentimentalism of English art, further antagonized the public. In World War I, Bloomsbury’s pacifism incensed many, and Strachey’s EMINENT VICTORIANS (1918), followed closely by Keynes’s THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE PEACE (1919), marked the group as socially and politically radical. Virginia Woolf’s polemical feminism appeared later, in A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN (1929) and THREE GUINEAS (1938), but in MR BENNETT AND MRS BROWN (1924) and MRS DALLOWAY (1925), she established herself as a leading modernist. Forster’s fiction had a more traditional form and style, but his powerful critique of imperialism in A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1924) was much resented by Anglo-Indians and played a significant role in the movement in support of Indian independence.

We will read and view the contributions of the eight figures mentioned above and ask questions such as the following. How progressive do they appear from a present vantage point (even in their day they were attacked from the left as well as the right)? How acceptable is their advocacy of aesthetic formalism? How well does Woolf’s feminism sit with today’s feminists? How authentic is Forster’s critique of imperialism? How viable is the group’s political liberalism? How relevant is Keynesianism to today’s economy? What lessons do the unconventional lives and behavior of the group’s members have for contemporary theorists of gender?

Participants in the seminar are expected to attend all seminar meetings, to give individual or group presentations, to work on an individual paper (of 4000 words) over the course of the semester, and to complete a final in-class exercise in the identification of and commentary on both written and visual works.


ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Shakespeare and Method

R. Allen Shoaf

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

In the more than 40 works he wrote in roughly 20 years, Shakespeare uses the word like and various forms thereof over 2000 times. With this word he examines as he dramatizes one of the inescapable questions of human being: what shall I (be) like?

In (human) nature, however anomalously, likes do not repel, they attract. In addition, even more lawlessly, they attract especially where difference appears to be most extreme, the most vivid example in the works being Othello and Desdemona - but remember also Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare pursues insight as compelling as it is (apparently) absurd: where, to naive perception, there is little or no resemblance, will often be found great liking and even love; where, to naive perception, there is marked resemblance, will often be found stark unlikeness and even hatred. This latter dimension of the insight is of inexaggerable importance. It will be found at the center of many of Shakespeare’s tragedies: families, where resemblance and thus liking and loving should abound, are actually the seats of terrible unlikeness and tragic hatred - Lear and his daughters, Hamlet and his uncle and mother, Leontes and Hermione and their son Mamillius, etc. Shakespeare understood, long before psychoanalysis, that too much resemblance can only breed the inevitable violence of separation and differentiation. The name of the father is indeed the not of the father (le nom/non du père - Jacques Lacan), and the child will break - away, down, up, out, and (one hopes, someday,) through.

“Shakespeare and Method” will study a wide range of the writings (plays and poems both) with a view to devising a method for analyzing and expressing the work of the word like in the corpus. In the process, a number of other methods - psychoanalytic criticism, new historicism, and WerkImmanente Bedeutung (work-immanent meaning), to name a few - will also be studied and tested. Each student will be responsible for reporting on the work of like in one play and for writing two short essays, one based on the report, and another, at the end of the term, on a related topic of his or her own choosing.


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.


ENL 3112

The English Novel: Eighteenth Century

Brian McCrea

We will read eight eighteenth-century British novels. We will study how these novels reflect and speak to changes in British society described by Aphra Behn in her late seventeenth-century prose narratives Oroonoko and The Fair Jilt. Most particularly, we will analyze how social status (which these writers typically use the word “quality” to reference) becomes problematic in these fictions, as economic and social changes create new kinds of wealth and new freedom for women. Whether that “freedom” is substantial or illusory will be a topic we pursue throughout the semester. We also will observe how these novels repeat plots and characters of earlier literature, notably the birth-mystery plot. By the end of the semester, students should have a full sense of the novel as, at once, a product of a specific culture and a long-enduring literary phenomenon.

Students will write two papers (between eight to ten pages each) on topics that I offer. They also will keep a response journal in which they record their reactions to their daily readings. If the class is small enough (under twenty students), that journal will provide the basis for a one-half hour final oral examination. Should the class enroll more than twenty students, a written final examination will be offered.

All papers must be typewritten (or done on a wordprocessor). I am happy to read and comment upon drafts of papers, and encourage students to use e-mail to submit early versions.


All books will be available at Goering’s Books and Bagels, 1717 N. W. 1st Avenue.


ENL 3132

The English Novel: Twentieth Century

Alistair Duckworth

This course will provide selective coverage of significant twentieth-century writers of novels and short stories. We will read and discuss novels by six novelists – Forster, Joyce, Woolf, Waugh, Lodge, and Barker – and short stories by such authors as Lawrence, Mansfield, Bowen, Trevor, Rushdie, Kureishi, and Welsh. Two heuristic oppositions will be proposed: that between a neo-Aristotelian approach and a “Barthesian”* approach; and that between an approach informed by Michel Foucault and one informed by Mikhail Bakhtin. [“Barthesian” here refers to the narratology of Roland Barthes in his brilliant study, S/Z.]

Two essays of 2000-2500 words, two in-class exercises, frequent reading quizzes: these make up the requirements for the course. The format is lecture and discussion, and discussion is warmly invited. The class has a strict attendance policy.


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 Wilfred Owen, the most famous poet of the Great War that would kill him in 1918. Edith Sitwell, an early promoter of Owen, shocked London audiences with the 1923 performance of Façade, an avant-garde collaboration of music and spoken poetry that satirized Englishness. In Eliot’s long poem The Waste Land, modernist innovation and postwar disillusion combine in a vivid simulation of cultural decline. W. H. Auden’s work of the 1930s captured the sense of impending crisis that would erupt at the outbreak of WWII, while Stevie Smith’s darkly comic poems and drawings challenged changing gender roles in the years between the wars. Philip Larkin’s post-war vision cast a cynical eye on modern romance and Britain’s world status. For Ted Hughes, violence became the defining feature of our relationships with one another and with the natural world. Finally, contemporary poet and UF faculty member Michael Hofmann reflects a postmodern sensibility in which gender, family, and nation are all dislocated. While modern American poets usually follow Ezra Pound’s dictum to “make it new” and strive to be “original,” their British and Irish counterparts find more value in echoing earlier poets and traditions. To attune our collective ear to this echo chamber, we will immerse ourselves in poetic form during the first weeks of the semester. You will come to think of “iambs” as English meter instead of canine kibble!



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:


ENL 3241

The Romantic Period

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.



ENL 4220

Renaissance Literature: Elizabethan Prose

Jack Perlette

The course will concentrate on prose fictions written and/or published during the reign on Elizabeth I (1559–1603). Specifically, we will focus on the interplay between text and society in terms of the textual production and/or subversion of ideologies of gender and of status and class. My goal is to provide a course useful not only to students interested in the Renaissance, but also for those interested more generally in narrative fiction and ideological critique, in feminist/gender approaches, and in the relationship of literature to society.

Tentative Readings:



ENL 4273

Twentieth-Century British Literature: Different Voices, Other Lives

Julian Wolfreys


(352) 392 6650 (x266)

This course will consider a selection of exemplary post-war British literature. The premise of the course is that there can be no preconceptions about the constitution of British literature except the assumption that this term now identifies a heterogeneous constituency made up of alternative, often experimental, frequently dissident, always political voices. The focus on literature of the second half of the twentieth century will examine different genres and different interests. Through poetry, the novel, short stories, drama, and dramatic monologues written for television, we will assess the ways in which British literature has moved from a restricted and restrictive hegemonic self-representation concerning principally white, middle-class lives to a greater exploration and representation of the politics and poetics of regionalism, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and class as, today, typical of British culture and experience.




ENL 4311

Chaucer / Chaucer’s Women

Marie Nelson

(This course is cross-listed with WST 3930, and can be taken for 3 hours credit by English majors and Women’s Studies majors.)

A better title for this course – but it would be too long to fit into the Spring 2002 schedule of courses – might be Chaucer’s Women and Women of Chaucer’s Time. After a brief introductory sequence in which Chaucer himself plays pro- and anti-feminist roles (with the second role supported by a short series of quotations from the misogyny of his time), Chaucer’s Wife of Bath becomes an almost immediate center of critical interest, in more than one sense of the word “critical.”

This remarkable woman provokes the criticism of three of her fellow pilgrims, the Pardoner, the Friar, and the Summoner, and she has also been the focus of an enterprise that Peter Beidler, editor of a Case Study in Contemporary Criticism, estimates at about five hundred words for every word spoken by a woman who, “for all her famous garrulity, had little to say for herself.”

The prim Prioress and the Second Nun, two other women who join the group of Canterbury pilgrims, will also receive attention here, as will fresh young Alisoun of the Miller’s Tale, along with the duplicitous May, the patient Griselda, and the obedient Virginia of Tales told by the Merchant, the Clerk, and the Physician. And we will read about women of Chaucer’s time who lived outside his fiction like Margery Kempe, as indefatigable a traveller as the Wife of Bath, and Christine de Pizan, who supported herself and her family by writing. The next-to-the-last sequence of readings for this course will present Chaucer’s and Christine’s versions of the stories of Thisbe, Dido, Hypsipyle and Medea, and Lucrece, five female heroes of classical fiction, and the course will end, not with a final, but with an exercise in “collective recall” that will begin by relating statements from the judgmental perspectives of Andreas the Chaplain (an authority on courtly love), the Goodman of Paris (who wrote a guide for his young wife), Chaucer’s own Parson, and Christine de Pizan.


ENL 4333


Peter Rudnytsky

This semester I will begin a three-semester course (to be continued next year) devoted to a chronological reading of the complete works of Shakespeare, including nondramatic poetry. Most weeks only one play will be assigned, though occasionally it will be necessary to read two. This semester I expect to cover works through about 1595: Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, 2 Henry VI, 3 Henry VI, Titus Andronicus, 1 Henry VI, Richard III, Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, The Comedy of Errors, Sonnets, Love’s Labor’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, and King John. The text for the course will be either The Riverside Shakespeare or The Norton Shakespeare (I am still undecided). The emphasis will be on close reading, but my theoretical approach is predominantly psychoanalytic and feminist. Course requirements include a midterm, final, and one 5 to 7 page term paper. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are also expected.


ENL 4333

Shakespeare: Doing It

Sid Homan

We learn about Shakespeare and his theatre by “doing it” – that is, staging scenes from his plays. No experience in theatre or acting is required. Assessment of your work is based on intention, not the polish of the performance, and in this course Mechanical Engineering majors have done as well as Theatre majors, who have done no better than English majors. The principle behind the course is that Shakespeare plays were meant for the stage, meant for performance, and that such performance involves not just the text but the subtext (what the character is thinking or feeling), movement, blocking (the stage picture), gesture, all sorts of physical, temporal, and spatial dimensions that, together with the text, the dialogue, constitute the “real” text. Students rehearse and then perform scenes with a partner, then write papers assessing the entire experience. Thus, we will “do” Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing, Othello, Twelfth Night, and – to provide a perspective on Shakespeare – Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.


LIN 3680

Modern English Structure

Roger Thompson

Visit the following site to view the syllabus: LIN 3680 syllabus


LIT 3003

The Forms of Narrative: Narratology of New Media

Terry Harpold

A survey of critical and theoretical concerns 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 fiction (afternoon, Patchwork Girl) and electronic and multimedia games (The Last Express, Myst, American McGee’s Alice). Students should have a basic knowledge of the WWW and other interactive digital media. Familiarity with electronic and multimedia games is a plus. All students must have consistent access to a desktop computer system (Windows or Mac OS) outside of the class meeting times.

Course requirements include: infrequent reading quizzes; a take-home midterm exam and a final research paper. For more information, see the course home page.


LIT 3041

Studies in Drama: Tudor/Stuart Drama

Ira Clark

In LIT 3041 we will read about one non-Shakespearean play per week from the greatest era for English drama, perhaps the greatest era for drama in any language – from the middle of Elizabeth’s reign to the closing of the theaters in 1642. We will focus on understanding these plays in a number of contexts such as stage conditions; illusion/reality/representation; language, rhetoric, and style; the development of techniques and genres; and social, political, and theological conditions.

The course will proceed along lines of generic development throughout the period. In the first part we will read tragedies by Kyd, Marlow, Webster, and others; in the second, comedies by Dekker, Beaumont, Jonson, and others; in the third, Beaumont & Fletcher. Throughout the course students will take 11 (but drop 1) unannounced brief quizzes (20% of the grade). At the end of each part students will be responsible for a paper: Paper I on a tragedy (about 3,000 words, 20% of the grade) Paper II on a comedy (about 3,000 words, 25% of the grade), Paper III on any non-Shakespearean play of the era not assigned to the class (about 5,000 words, 35% of the grade).

Our focus will be on developing students’ skills and knowledge towards two ends: first, in order to enjoy reading knowledgably and independently such famous plays as The Spanish Tragedy, The White Devil, The Changeling, The Shoemakers Holiday, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Bartholomew Fair, A King and No King; second, in order to speak and write convincingly.

Taking a Shakespeare course alongside this one could prove valuable for both.

Visit http://web.clas.ufl.edu/users/irac/ for more information.


LIT 3383

Women in Literature: Women’s Poetry and Twentieth-Century Culture

Marsha Bryant

(This course is cross-listed with WST 3930, Sec. 1994)

The very term “woman poet” continues to be both necessary and problematic as we enter a new century. On the one hand, it marks a necessary emergence from the nineteenth-century idea of the “poetess,” which confined women’s poetry to the realms of sentimental verse and domesticity. On the other hand, it has fostered a problematic model of competing literary traditions in which gender attaches only the feminine side; thus “women’s poetry” becomes a marginal supplement to poetic tradition. Grounded in this vexed history, the course seeks to move discussions of women’s poetry beyond the impasse of canonical hierarchies by framing it within a larger cultural matrix – one which includes modernism, advertising, literary anthologies, music, archaeology, and child care manuals. Women are positioned differently in culture than men, so feminist frameworks will remain crucial for our discussions.

Here are proposed units for the course; we’ll do 6–7 of them:

Assignments will include a panel presentation, a response to one of the critical/theoretical essays in our packet, a paper on one poet, a paper assessing one women’s poetry anthology, and an essay exam.


LIT 4188

Creole Nation: Anglophone Caribbean Novels of Nationhood

Leah Rosenberg

Tuesday 2-3; Thursday 3
Turlington 2318

The anglophone Caribbean was formed through “creolization,” the interaction of peoples and cultures of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Though it broke down racial and class boundaries, “creolization” has been marked by the imbalance of power, perhaps most notably, in the sexual relations of male slave owners and female slaves. To talk about “creolization” then is to talk about sex and desire but it is also to talk about ethnicity, race, and class in struggles for political and cultural legitimacy. In the 20th century, almost all British colonies in the West Indies gained independence. The central question of this course is how these emerging nations portrayed themselves as creole nations. Were some ethnic groups excluded? Why did nationalism subordinate women? What is the relation of nation to diaspora? How do novels incorporate historical events and cultural movements in imagining the nation? How does Trinidadian literature incorporate carnival and calypso? How does Jamaican literature incorporate reggae? How do both of these literatures represent the many powerful and yet ultimately failed rebellions that marked popular resistance to slavery, colonialism, and neocolonialism? We will examine novels, films, music, and historical accounts, including works by Kamau, Brathwaite, Claude McKay, V.S. Naipaul, and Michelle Cliff.


LIT 4194

African Literature in English

Mildred Hill-Lubin

(Actual course may vary a little)

Beginning with traditional oral literature, the course provides a critical and analytical study of the novel, short fiction, drama and poetry of representative modern, Black African authors writing in English from West, East, and South Africa.




LIT 4322

The Folktale

Robert Thomson

For the purposes of this course, the term folktale will be held to encompass all forms of orally transmitted prose narratives including myths, legends, memorates and wonder-tales. No knowledge of the folktale nor of the general field of folklore studies is assumed by the instructor. The first week or so of the course will attempt to orient all students to the place of the folktale in folklore studies. The four required texts have been chosen to give a representative collection of all types of prose narrative. While covering the major aspects of the familiar European tradition the texts will also bring to our attention the ethnic traditions of the U.S., particularly though not exclusively those of Georgia and Florida. In addition, we will address those issues that have for half a century kept theorists and analysts struggling with the complexities of these “simple forms.”


In addition to the study of tales within the texts above, we will address the following topics:


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


Research Paper:

One research paper of 10-15 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.


Your grade for this course will be calculated as follows:

Office hours:

Wednesdays 10:30-1:00 or by appointment before/after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Contact Info:

Office location: Turlington, 4326
Office phone: 392-6650 ext. 256
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


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:



LIT 4431

Literature of Science

James Paxson

Since the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in the early 1960s – a book which Richard Rorty has called the single most important text for contemporary academic culture and critical theory – scientists and humanists alike have sought to understand the rhetorical, structural, and literary qualities of scientific writing. The literary genre of science fiction may proffer texts loaded with scientific themes and images, but what of the “literariness,” the rhetoricality, of science writing itself? What can we determine about the figural or imaginative dimensions of the writings of important scientists? What have been the ideological, social, gendered, historical, and institutional implications of such figurations? The Literature of Science will offer primary readings in the work of some major scientists (Galileo, Newton, Kepler, Lord Kelvin, Darwin, Einstein, Bohr, Feynman, Hawking, Penrose) and secondary readings in contemporary science studies. The course will be preoccupied with the theme of modern cosmology and the scientific “poetics” of space-time, although it will also take up the rhetoric or metaphorics of science in general. Resources will be drawn from physics, biology, mathematics, geography, astronomy, psychology, cybernetics, rhetoric, poetry, literary and critical theory, and philosophy.

Assignments will include one short paper (5-7 pages; 25% final grade) on a scientist of your choice (with a focus on the rhetoricality of his or her work) and a term paper (12-15 pages; 50%) on some theoretically central issue in contemporary science studies (the legacy of Complexity or Chaos Theory, the Darwinist heritage, connections between Quantum Theory and poststructural epistemologies, the fallout of the “Sokal Affair,” the phenomenon of the “scientific pipe dream” – such as Cold Fusion or Hollow Earth Theory, etc.). The two papers may be linked. Attendance and participation are expected (more than 6 cuts warrants failure); occasional quizzes and a final exam (totaling 25%) round out course work.


LIT 4483

Introduction to Cultural Studies

Phillip Wegner

The central aim of this course is to introduce you to the rich and exciting interdisciplinary field of investigation known as cultural studies. During the course of the semester, we will address the historical and intellectual roots of cultural studies, explore its connections to the practices of literary and narrative analysis, map out some of its particular objects of study, and examine the methodologies it offers for studying popular culture and everyday life. In order to structure and situate our investigation, we will look at a diverse range of crucial essays that have contributed to the development of cultural studies, its practices, methodologies, and particular concerns. After a brief discussion of some foundational concepts – including everyday life, mass media, the culture industry, and the idea of culture(s) itself – our explorations will cluster around a series of crucial topics, including consumption, media, ideology and critique, experience and identity, globalization, and, finally, the making and politics of cultural space. In addition, we will take up the question of “interdisciplinary” intellectual work itself: what is it? how is it possible? and what are its politics and potentialities?

Most of our readings will be in essays collected in a course pack, and will include work by the following:

We will also read two short influential books: Roland Barthes, Mythologies, and Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style.

Note: while we will be reading essays that touch on a wide range of cultural forms and practices – including film, advertising, romance novels, popular music, architecture, Disney’s worlds, and performance – this is a course in cultural studies theories and methodologies, and hence we will not be engaging with these forms directly in class (although, I would like to try and schedule related outside film viewings and other events if student interest and demand merits).

Students will be expected to participate in class discussion, keep a weekly journal of reflections upon the readings, and to produce a series of more formal essays that demonstrate their familiarity with the course readings and discussions. The final paper will give you the opportunity to become a cultural studies scholar in your own right: you will chose your object of study, explain why it is of interest, place it in the context of our readings, and do any other independent research – archival, scholarly, or ethnographic – you require.


LIT 4930

Virginia Woolf

Melvin New

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) may be considered the greatest woman writer in English in the 20th century. We will read extensively in her canon, beginning with her earliest novels, The Voyage Out and Night and Day, and eventually moving to her most famous works, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, and The Waves. We will also read her autobiographical sketch, Moments of Truth, and a healthy number of her literary and social essays.

Virginia Woolf did not want to be read as a “woman author” and certainly not as part of a “woman’s studies” program. Rather, she clearly aspired to a place alongside the best authors who ever wrote in the English language, regardless of gender, and she has earned the rare privilege to be so considered. It is, at any rate, the way in which she will be approached in this course. Students will be expected to read everything they are assigned, and to write with warmth and depth about what they are reading.


LIT 4930

British Romanticism/Judaism

Judith W. Page

This course will focus on several major topics: (1) the historical, cultural, and religious context of Jews, Judaism, and anti-Semitism in Britain from approximately 1770-1830; (2) the representation of Jews and Judaism in various texts and genres and the influence of Romantic critical theory on that representation; (3) Anglo-Jewish writing of the period (4); the appropriation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Romantic literature; and (5) the connection between Romanticism and Judaism as seen in the work of major 20th century theorists and literary critics (Abrams, Bloom, Hartman, and Trilling)

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


LIT 4930

Crafting Poetry – the Examples of Whitman and Yeats

Patricia Craddock

In this course we will consider in depth the works of two very interesting, prolific and influential poets, Walt Whitman and William Butler Yeats, in terms of the ideas about the creative process and the craft of poetry that their comments on poetry and their poetry in practice suggest and exemplify. While Yeats is open about the great care and labor involved in the writing of poetry, Whitman took equal care to present his poems as if they were the unrevised outpourings of his spontaneous thoughts and feelings (“Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself!”). Yet Whitman did revise his poems and labor over them with great skill to achieve their apparent spontaneity, and Yeats knew that though one must “labour to be beautiful,” if a line “does not seem a moment’s thought/ Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.” Whitman, the nineteenth-century American, saw himself as (and was) the prophet of a new age of poetry; Yeats, the twentieth-century Irishman, saw himself as (and was), one of “the last Romantics,” the last voice of an old vision. But looking closely at their lives, their worlds, and most of all, the surviving evidence of how they wrote their poems, we will make fascinating discoveries of similarities as well as differences in their crafting of poetry.

Materials read will include biographical studies, the poets’ letters and essays, drafts of poems, and revisions of published poems, and responses of other poets to their work We will consider the contexts in which certain poems were written, how life issues affect or do not affect the poet’s achievement. We will look at how poems form groups within a writer’s work and see whether the writer chooses to emphasize or conceal those groupings when he gathers his poems for publication. We will consider issues of form and technique, recurrent metaphors and symbols, the use each makes of the resources of sound, from noise to speech to song, in his poems. Primary texts will be the complete poems of the two poets. Students should have had at least one previous course emphasizing the reading of poetry.


LIT 4930

Writing Biography

Jim Haskins

The course will provide an overview of biographical literature’s various styles and approaches and of the research methods used to gather biographical information. A broad range of readings will be assigned, as will relevant television programs. Biographical literature discussed will include the first-person autobiography, “as told to” and “written with” autobiographies, and third-person narratives. Various historical, political, and psychological approaches will be examined, as well as straight, chronological narratives versus impressionistic or event-based frameworks.

Reading and Writing Assignments

Required Readings


Periodicals Selected readings from the following periodicals:


There will be six written assignments: two based on interviews and interviewing techniques; three based on biographies; and one biography term paper. Additionally, there will be assigned oral reports. All students, whether as individuals or in groups, will be assigned classroom reports.

Written Assignments on Interviews:

Written Assignments on Print Biographies:

Research Paper:


Your grade for this course will be calculated as follows:

Office Hours

Wednesdays 10:30-1:00 period or before/after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or by appointment.

Contact Info

Office location: Turlington, 4326
Office phone: 392-6650 ext. 256
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


LIT 4930

Advertising and Culture

Jim 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.




SPC 3605


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.


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

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.