Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2008

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 3041

American Literatures 2: “America” at the Margins

Melissa Mellon

The first explorers to visit America promoted the seemingly endless riches and abundance of the land. Since that time, countless people have immigrated to America, seeking to define and capture “The American Dream.” But much of the literature written after the Civil War marks the realities of capitalist competition, wars, discrimination, and abuses of political power. Tracing the many characters marginalized by these realities, we will read the following as our major texts:

Over the course of the semester, students will write three major essays. To develop their interests into manageable research topics, students should engage in lively and involved class discussions.

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AML 3271

African-American Literature 2

Marlon Moore

This class will focus on major literary developments from the 1920s to 1990s. We will read representative texts from: The Harlem & Chicago Renaissances, Black Arts Movement, Women’s Renaissance, Lesbian/Gay Liberation, and the Post-Soul/Post-Black Aesthetic. Students will read one (assigned) outside text for oral presentation.

Requirements:

Texts:

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AML 3673

Introduction to Asian-American Studies

Malini Schueller

“Asian-American” is a highly contested, yet necessary category, born of racism, nationalism, and resistance. This course is an introduction to Asian-American literary and cultural production as well as to major critical debates generated by the institutionalization of Asian-American studies. Although the course includes works by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, and Filipino Americans, the point is not simply to emphasize the cultural and national multiplicity of Asian-American writing. Rather, the readings are arranged according to major theoretical questions that recur in Asian-American studies: cultural nationalism, racial-national authenticity, hybridity, model minorities, Orientalism, sites of exclusion, race and definitions of gender, the politics of location, and postcolonial identities. We’ll primarily focus on novels but will examine a range of Asian-American literary and textual production including short stories, graphic novels, photographs, documentaries, and possibly, films.

I’m not sure exactly which texts I’ll use but we’ll probably read Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Julie Otsuka’s When the Emperor Was Divine, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Interpreter of Maladies, and Mine Okubo’s Citizen 13660. We’ll also work with documentaries such as Sa-I-Gu and Miss India, Georgia.

Expect at least three or four additional works. There will also be a course pack of critical readings.

Requirements: Group oral presentations; weekly response papers or quizzes; two 6–7 page papers; regular attendance; class participation.

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AML 4170

American Captivity Narratives

Jodie Schorb

The “captivity narrative” remains one of the most representative and debated – literary genres, considered central to understanding dynamics of cross-cultural contact, representations of Native Americans, early American gender ideologies, and the role of the frontier in early American nation-formation. Settlers, missionaries, Revolutionary War propagandists, slaves, prisoners – even Native Americans themselves – all have contributed to the development of this controversial and varied genre.

We begin with texts that fit the “standard” definition of the genre – narratives by Euro-American frontier settlers (often women) who are captured by “Indians” and relate their trials of captivity, escape, and return. We then interrogate this standard definition through comparative textual analyses that unsettle the genre’s conventions and its problematic association with Anglo-American subject formation.

The latter portion of the class explores the influence of the genre on other forms of fiction and nonfiction, including the slave narrative and prison writing. Questions include: How do later writers evoke, adapt, and interrogate the conventions of the captivity genre? How do captivity tropes continue to inform national fantasy – and afford opportunities for cultural critique? What’s the relationship between the experience of captivity and the constraints of authorship and publication, particularly in “as told to” narratives?

Texts are likely to include Cotton Mather’s Humiliations follow’d with Deliverances (1697), Mary Rowlandson’s Narrative (1675), John Williams’s Redeemed Captive (1704), some Barbary pirate narratives, Narrative of the Life of Mary Jemison (1824), Frederick Douglass’s Narrative, Alex Haley’s Autobiography of Malcolm X, Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer. Requirements include group work and presentations, short response papers, a mid-term essay, and a final essay.

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AML 4170

Realism, Naturalism, Local Color

Susan Hegeman

This course will survey some of the narrative fiction – novels and short stories – of the United States in the period 1880 to 1915. The literature of this moment is categorized using a number of different labels, especially “realism,” “naturalism,” and “local color,” but it is also indebted to other artistic movements of the time, including aestheticism, decadence, and modernism. We will discuss the process by which literary historians categorize works of literature as we examine the overlapping themes, forms, settings, and contexts that went into the creation of both novels and short stories. In particular, we will be interested in how authors of this exciting period of American history grappled with the experience of being “modern.”

We will read long works by Abraham Cahan, Stephen Crane, Harold Frederic, Henry James, James Weldon Johnson, and Jack London; and short fiction by Mary Austin, Willa Cather, Charles Chesnutt, Sui-Sin Far (Edith Eaton), Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, and Hamlin Garland.

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AML 4213

Strange Attractions in Early American Literature

Julie Kim

Early American literature abounds with instances of strange attraction. A brother and sister in love, male friends who catch mental illnesses from each other, magical forces that draw Amerindians and whites together, a plantation owner unable to ‘master’ his sexual desire for a female slave: all of these elements appear in novelistic, autobiographical, and other accounts of life in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century North America and the Caribbean. In this course, we will think about why early American writers consistently depicted forms of interpersonal attraction that violated norms of race, gender, sex, class, and religion. In doing so, we will consider how America was often characterized as an exotic, alluring, yet frightening ‘New World’ with the power to mutate personality and behavior through malevolent natural influences. We will also think about how writers, in portraying transgressive social interactions, were theorizing the meaning and limits of American community in the face of such cultural and economic institutions as patriarchy, class hierarchy, and slavery.

Readings will most likely include Charles Brockden Brown’s Edgar Huntly, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, Lydia Maria Child’s Hobomok, John Stedman’s Narrative of a Five Years’ Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam, William Bartram’s Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, Unca Eliza Winkfield’s The Female American, and William Hill Brown’s The Power of Sympathy, as well as selected works of literary criticism. Assignments will include active participation in class discussions, regular short written responses, and three longer papers.

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AML 4225

America in Print

Stephanie Smith

The United States of America, as a political experiment in “democracy” – a form of government “of the people, by the people, for the people” – rested on Enlightenment principles. However, it could not have come into existence without the power of print. A lively print culture, and the subsequent dissemination of the “word,” not only made America possible, it almost dissolved the government as well.

Meanwhile, as the political experiment grew, so did America’s ambition to have an indigenous “culture.” In 1846, critic and writer Margaret Fuller published an essay titled, “American Literature: Its Position in the Present Time, and Prospects for the Future,” in which she surveyed the field, as it were, of her time and made predictions for the future – our future. Returning to our founding documents, and to that essay as dual launching points, this class is going to re-examine our 19th-century “American” print culture heritage, what it was, what it might mean or have meant, and where our “literary” heritage went after 1846, with a particular focus on print as a medium, the publishing industry and American print culture of the 19th century.

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AML 4242

Modernism & Popular Culture

Susan Hegeman

Literary modernism – the stylistically experimental literary movement of the 1910s–1930s – is often considered difficult and even deliberately inaccessible. And yet American modernist writers could hardly avoid the significant efflorescence of popular cultural forms in this period, notably the movies and jazz, but also advertising and popular fiction. In this course, we will discuss some of the central figures of American literary modernism in the context of popular culture, considering how popular forms and artists influenced their styles and their subject matter. We will also discuss these artists’ views of popular culture, as objects of scorn and enjoyment. We will also consider the ways in which creators in popular media could be seen as modernist experimenters in their own rights. We may discuss works by Zane Grey, Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Horace McCoy, John Dos Passos.

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AML 4242

The Beats and Their Legacy

James Royal

Amidst the growing consumerism of postwar America emerged the Beat Generation and the associated movement of the San Francisco Renaissance. Writers of both schools enunciated cultural critiques of consumer capitalism and the conservative politics of the era, challenging the consensus Cold War identity of America as white, male, and middle class. To formulate their positions, many writers relied on representing individuality, ethnicity, and religion as hedges against capitalist depredations. Using Max Weber’s analysis in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, we’ll examine how these movements elaborate resistance to the mainstream consensus. We’ll pay special attention to how ethnicity figures as a dualistic trope in such formulations, using Rey Chow’s revision of Weber, The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Uses of (ethnic) religion, especially Buddhism, will also form a key focus in the course. By examining contemporary advertising, the end of the course will trace how, through their counterculturalism, the Beats established (rebellious and religious) personae that could be marketed and sold. The course will cover the following authors: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Diane DiPrima, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, and others. Other texts to be analyzed include print advertisements that you will collect throughout the semester.

Because texts offer multitudinous – even contradictory – meanings, the course will structure discussions to elicit a variety of viewpoints. We’ll tease out some of these meanings using a close-reading approach that encourages you to formulate your own interpretation of the text. Written assignments will mirror the work that we undertake in class. Assignments include three shorter close readings (2 pages) and three longer ones (6-8 pages).

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AML 4685

One By One: HIV/AIDS in Black Literature & Culture

LaMonda Horton Stallings

The children in the life:
Another telephone call. Another man gone.
How many pages are left in my diary?
Do I have enough pencils? Enough ink?
I count on my fingers and toes the past kisses,
The incubating years, the months ahead
Thousands. Many thousands
Many thousands gone
Melvin Dixon – “One by One” in Love’s Instruments

You, then, are charged by the possibility of your good health, by the broadness of your vision, to remember us.
Melvin Dixon – “I’ll Be Somewhere Listening for My Name”

In addition to Melvin Dixon, many Black writers, filmmakers, performers, and musicians view their art forms as a way to lessen the silence on HIV/AIDS in Black communities. As they note, while HIV/AIDS is a fatal disease of the blood, there are many compelling narratives surrounding it. Whether it is the initial way governments and medical discourses classified and analyzed the disease, or the deliberate repression of knowledge about those infected with HIV/AIDS by specific communities, the narratives of HIV/AIDS convey socially and culturally complex truths and even greater fictions that expose the frailty of the human body and the strength of the human spirit. In this class, students will examine the representation of HIV/AIDS in the literature and popular culture of Black people in the U.S. and Caribbean. Students will also guage how literature and culture have hindered or helped Black people’s response to HIV/AIDS. We will engage and confront concerns of race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability with regards to HIV/AIDS, as well as the presentation of homosexuality, bisexuality, homophobia, and heterosexism in texts.

Tentative Texts:

Films, documentaries, and critical essays will supplement all readings.

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CRW 3110

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Mary Robison

Course description not available at this time.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the October 15, 2007 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3110

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Padgett Powell

This workshop course, the penultimate in our series of undergraduate workshops in fiction writing, seeks to help you write fiction better than you might already. Time is spent also on correct usage. We also seek to have you read better: to read for form, recognizing strength and weakness in your own and in others’ writing, and recognizing various technical maneuvers in the published work we will read.

Students write three pieces of fiction, delivering a copy to each class member one week prior to group criticism. Students participate in that group criticism with wit and cogency and pertinence and deliver a letter of good criticism for each story read. This criticism has one object: to improve the work.

Assigned readings, from a book or two by a major writer, will also be discussed. This reading will be looked at usually in a somewhat technical manner; it is hoped that in the best of all possible worlds the reading will inspire a mimicry of correct form as you make the long trek unto your own vision and your own good writing.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the October 15, 2007 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

Brandon Kershner

Text. The only text for this course is Ramazani, Ellmann and O’Clair’s Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, vol. 2 (Contemporary), the latest edition. It is available at Goering’s.

Course objectives. The course is essentially a workshop; that is, the emphasis will be upon improving your own creative work. The goal of the course is to improve your writing, in terms of the standards by which poetry published in nationally recognized journals is judged. In addition, you should emerge with better critical skills for improving both your own work and that of your classmates.

Turning in work. During the first class, we will all exchange e-mail addresses. Each week I will go over the assignment for the following week. Each student should send the other students and me a copy of his or her poem by e-mail. I will comment on each poem and return it during the following class. Save these copies, because I will want to see them again at midterm and at the end of the course as well, when you turn them in along with your notebook. You may occasionally wish to turn in a poem or two in addition to the assignment, perhaps only for my comments, and that is perfectly okay; but as a rule only one poem by each student will be discussed each week. If you have a reason to request that the poem you turn in for a particular week not be discussed in class, or remain anonymous, please make a note to that effect on the poem you turn in to me.

After you have received your classmates’ poems, you should read them carefully, prepare some useful comments, look up any unfamiliar words or allusions, and otherwise do your best to become the ideal reader. Everyone should have plenty to say about any poem if called upon. You should not, however, ask the poet to comment on his or her poem before we do so in class. In general, we will first discuss each poem without the participation of the poet, only afterward turning to the writer for clarification, discussion, or help.

In the first part of class, we will discuss poems by the writers from our anthology 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 Ramazani, Ellmann and O’Clair assigned that week; unless I state otherwise, read all the selections for each poet. From time to time, we will have in-class exercises designed to help your writing and explore technical possibilities.

AbsencesYou are allowed two absences, which must be cleared in advance with me; call me at the office and leave a message. Any uncleared absence (including lateness over 1/2 hour) lowers your grade by half a letter. You are responsible for finding out the details of any assignments you miss. If you miss a class, your work for the following week is still due at the ordinary time.

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. Up to a point, the more poems you revise successfully, the more positively I am impressed. There are no papers and no exams, and poems and exercises will not be graded individually. Your final grade will be determined by the quality and/or improvement in your writing; by your attendance and participation in class, including your demonstrated preparedness; and by the wit, passion, and seriousness you bring to writing. My quantification of these elements may be somewhat subjective.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the October 15, 2007 deadline.

topManuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

William Logan

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

– The Guardian (London), August 9, 2000

In this workshop we will attend to words as closely as a painter attends to paint – or to clouds. You will read a broad selection of modern poetry, from Emily Dickinson to Gjertrud Schnackenberg, and write a poem a week. Every week the workshop will consider for discussion poems from the past and poems from students. This is an advanced workshop in poetry, for students who have already taken at least one lower-division workshop (CRW 1301 or CRW 2300) and want to press their understandings of poetic language even further.

Email or hard-copy submission of your manuscript is necessary for early registration. I’m out of the country and cannot read hard copy. Please submit four poems to me at <wlogan@english.ufl.edu> in one attachment in .rtf format. Mention the workshops you have previously taken.

Reading list:

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the October 15, 2007 deadline.

topManuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 4906

Advanced Seminar in Poetry Writing

Debora Greger

“Among cavers, it is bad form to discuss the furthest limits too openly. If you bring too much equipment, the cave will be scared, and stop. So the [depth] record was only almost openly discussed. Alexander Klimchouk [an authority on limestone aquifers and Senior Scientist of the Geological Institute at the National Academy of the Ukraine] had told us it could be a record.

“First we create a cave in our imagination. Then by our efforts we create it to correspond… In mountaineering you know your goal – the peak is on the map. Cavers have not so much preliminary information – this comes with exploration. So, when we descend, we have no horizon we are making for – there is only an apparent horizon.”

– Yuri Kasian, Ukrainian caver

This is the poetry writing course you’ve been waiting for. We read, we write, we talk, we rock. By the end of the semester, the class has produced so many publishable poems that it could fill the UF poetry magazines all by itself.

Prerequisite: CRW 3310, or CRW 4906, or permission of instructor. CRW 4906 may be taken for credit more than once.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the October 15, 2007 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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ENC 3312

Advanced Argumentative Writing

Jeff Rice

Our first goal in this course will be to study argumentative and persuasive philosophies that derive from foundational methods of rhetoric and logic, most notably dialectical argumentation. As such, we will primarily work with canonical understandings of rhetorical invention and arrangement, especially as they are construed and challenged in contemporary social, political, scientific, professional, legal, and religious writing contexts.

Of course, such study is just another way of saying that arguments do not occur outside shared space, time, and/or language, and certainly do not engage with isolated texts or opinions. As rhetorician Thomas Kent puts it: “when we write, we cannot avoid an encounter with Otherness. We cannot avoid being thrown into relations with others, and these relations may be very close and comfortable, or they may be distant and uncomfortable.” Persuasive writing, then, must not only address explicit ideas, opinions, and desires, but also the “unwritten” concepts, logics, and situations of argumentation. Consequently, the second task of this course will be to write and argue dialogically; that is, according to temporary and publicly defined writing environments.

Texts will most likely include:

Assignments will reflect the dialectical, public premise of both persuasive writing and course structure. Throughout the semester, you will:

You do not need prior knowledge of rhetoric and/or persuasive writing to take this course. I only ask that you take the content seriously and come to class ready to work.

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ENG 3011

Kenneth Burke

Raúl Sánchez

From the 1920s to the early 1990s, Kenneth Burke wrote extensively about language, literature, culture, communication, rhetoric, and religion. His ideas have long been borrowed, interpreted, criticized, and otherwise wrangled with by subsequent writers who deal in these topics across a range of disciplines.

In this course, we’ll read some of Burke’s works. We’ll try to understand them in the various historical/intellectual contexts from which they emerge and to which they contribute. And we’ll try to determine what enduring value they might contain.

This is a tentative list of Burke books for the course. Come January, it will likely be shorter by at least one, as these are thick texts:

(Note: if The Rhetoric of Religion makes the final cut, you might want to have read Augustine’s Confessions.)

You’ll be asked to do some writing, most likely detailed summaries of the weekly reading and two or three take-home essay/exams.

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ENG 3115

Introduction to Film Theory and Criticism

Charles Meyer

Through a combination of weekly movie screenings and close readings of critical and theoretical texts, this course will introduce you to a variety of approaches to thinking and writing about cinema. We will begin with a debate central to film studies: What is the “essence” of cinema? Is it the Russian theorist and filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s notion of montage (the sequential ordering of shots to produce a meaning not inherent in the shots themselves) or the French critic André Bazin’s notion of mise-en-scène (the arrangement of the visual elements within a single shot)? Or might montage and mise-en-scène both play equally important roles within cinematic “language”?

Using this discussion as our springboard, we will launch into other issues, such as epistemology, feminism, history, auteurism, acting, lighting, and adaptation. Through these and other discussions we will develop more thorough understandings of the complex art that is the cinema.

Course assignments will include a mid-term exam, a final exam, daily reading/viewing quizzes, a group presentation of a reading, and five 1–2-page responses to the viewing and reading assignments.

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ENG 3122

Film History II

Robert Ray

This course asks you to use the movies Casablanca and Breathless as memory theaters for storing and recalling (1) the events of the 1930s, especially the consolidation of the Hollywood studio system and the rise of German fascism; and (2) the course of post-War cinematic history, especially American film noir, Italian neorealism, and the French New Wave.

The course covers film history from 1930–1965. After beginning with two movies of German origin, Fritz Lang’s M and MGM’s Grand Hotel, the course’s first half will trace the parallel developments in Hollywood and Europe, using the biography and writing of Walter Benjamin as an allegory of popular culture’s appeal and Nazism’s danger. Part I ends with the Fall of Paris, both the historical event (which drove Benjamin further into a fatal exile) and its Hollywood representation (in Casablanca). Part II traces the two roads that diverge from that moment: the film noir of movies like The Big Sleep and the neorealist rejection of Hollywood Cinema. These two filmmaking practices, apparently so contradictory, converge in the French New Wave, whose most famous movie, Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, explicitly invokes the image of Humphrey Bogart, the star of Casablanca.

Some students, especially non-majors, have complained about the course’s significant reading requirements. That reading provides the larger historical context for the cinema’s development. But if you don’t like to do reading and have daily quizzes on it, you might think about taking a different class.

Readings:

Assignments and Grading:

I. 60% of the final grade will result from two written projects:

II. 40% of the final grade will result from the following:

You are allowed one unexcused absence. Each additional absence will deduct four points from your final course grade.

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ENG 3122

Film History II

Amy Ongiri

This course begins in classic Hollywood of the 1930s and 1940s expanding outward beyond the collapse of the studio system to consider film movements such as Italian neorealism, Third Cinema, the French New Wave, Cinema Novo, New German Cinema, and the “Indywood” revolution among others. Students will be introduced to a variety of directors and types of narrative, documentary, avant-garde, and experimental films produced across a wide variety of historical and national cinema contexts including Africa in the 1980s, Hollywood in the 1970s, and Hong Kong in the 1990s. Topics covered will include the question of genre, the construction of national cinemas, and censorship in addition to others.

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ENG 4015

Psychological Approaches – Freud

Peter L. Rudnytsky

The course will focus on a close reading of the original 1900 edition of Freud’s masterpiece, The Interpretation of Dreams. We will also read other key texts from the years 1898–1901, including “Screen Memories,” On Dreams, and The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. We will be seeking to understand Freud’s theories, but also the biographical contexts of his work, including the possibility that he engaged in a covert affair with his wife’s sister. Freud is a great writer, but this course will not engage directly with literature, so students should take it only if they are interested in learning about Freud and psychoanalysis. Course requirements include a midterm, a final, and one ten- to twelve-page term paper.

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ENG 4110

Eisenstein & Disney: Capitalism, Communism, Cinema

Dragan Kujundzic

This course is crosslisted with JST 4905 (DEPT).

This course will reflect upon the dialogue of the two most iconic filmmakers of Soviet Russia and the United States in the 20th Century: Sergei Eisenstein and Walt Disney. The works to be screened will include the classics of modernist cinema, like Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin and October, as well as his Ivan the Terrible. Mutual influences will be discussed (Ivan the Terrible and Disney’s animation Snow White) against the background of the cultural and political systems of communism and capitalism which these two authors represent (Eisenstein and the Communist Utopia, Disney and the Capitalist Utopia, Disneyland). Close readings of films, as well as selected works of literature of the period, will be conducted, on topics such as: How to Read Donald Duck, Disney and the American Childhood, The Gospel According to Disney, etc. Primary background reading will be Eisenstein on Disney by Sergei Eisenstein, and Once Upon a Time: Walt Disney: The Sources of Inspiration for the Disney Studios.

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ENG 4110

Science Fiction Film

Andrew Gordon

Objectives

1. To survey twentieth-century American science-fiction (SF) film.

2. To develop critical skills in thinking about the role of SF film within contemporary American culture.

Texts (at Goering’s, 1717 NW 1st Avenue)

Films

Metropolis, Things to Come, Hollywood Aliens and Monsters (History of SF film), Frankenstein, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dr. Strangelove, 2001, Star Wars, Close Encounters, Alien, Blade Runner, The Matrix.

Recommended viewing outside of class

(Choose one for your class report and two or three for the final paper)

Destination Moon, Invaders from Mars, Forbidden Planet, Them, It Came From Outer Space, This Island Earth, War of the Worlds (1953), When Worlds Collide, The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Fly (1958), The Time Machine (1960), The Manchurian Candidate, On the Beach, Planet of the Apes, THX-1138, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Dark Star, Silent Running, Zardoz, Soylent Green, Logan’s Run, A Boy and His Dog, A Clockwork Orange, Tron, E.T., Dune, Westworld, The Andromeda Strain, Sleeper, The Terminator, Terminator 2, Terminator 3, Star Trek, Escape from New York, The Thing (1982), The Empire Strikes Back, Brother from Another Planet, RoboCop, Enemy Mine, The Last Starfighter, Back to the Future, Back to the Future 2, Back to the Future 3, Total Recall, Jurassic Park, Gattaca, Starship Troopers, Dark City, Independence Day, Strange Days, Minority Report, A.I., War of the Worlds (2005), Serenity.

Requirements

1) Ten one-page response papers (five on required films and five on the readings). Ungraded (everyone gets the points for doing them), but unexcused late papers lose 2% per school day and will not be accepted more than five school days late. Counts 20%.

2) Team work: groups of students will report on a movie to the class using video clips (also to be submitted in writing, four pages). You get a group grade based on the report and the paper. The paper should be submitted the week after the report. 25%.

3) Final research paper: seven pages long, comparing and contrasting two or three films. Refer to at least four outside sources (critical articles or books). 40%.

4) Attendance and participation. You are allowed three hours unexcused absence. Attendance at the screenings is not required, but if you cannot attend, arrange to view the film on your own. 15%.

There will be no quizzes or examinations. The final paper counts as final exam.

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ENG 4133

Screenwriting

Mary Robison

Course description not available at this time.

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ENG 4133

Classic Hollywood Comedy

Scott Balcerzak

This course will analyze Hollywood comedy films from the first two decades of sound cinema. We will be examining various subgenres such as screwball, romantic, and musical comedy, with a special focus upon prominent comedians such as Mae West, W.C. Fields, and the Marx Brothers. These films illustrate an important transitional phase in American comedy, often blending slapstick with verbal wit and challenging aesthetic forms. The influences of sound technology, vaudeville and radio upon film form will be key considerations, along with the cultural influences of the Jazz Age, the Depression and WWII. Psychoanalytic theories, especially gender and queer theory, will provide a framework for many of our discussions. Students who have never taken a film course are encouraged to read Film Art (David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson-McGraw-Hill) on their own to prepare for this class.

Students will write short responses to each week’s film and reading assignment (which will be posted on a class blog). These will serve as preparation for two 7 page papers (a mid-term and a final paper), which will be turned in via turnitin.com. All citation will be done according to MLA style guidelines. Students are expected to attend class and screenings on time. Lateness and absences will affect your grade.

The readings include works by Sigmund Freud (Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious), Henri Bergson (Laughter), Judith Butler, Kaja Silverman, Steven Cohan, Mary Ann Doane, Richard Dyer, Steve Neale, and Henry Jenkins.

Film viewings include: Animal Crackers (1930), Roman Scandals (1933), I’m No Angel (1933), It’s a Gift (1934), It Happened One Night (1934) and To Be Or Not To Be (1942).

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ENG 4133

Medieval & Early Modern Film & Media Theory

Richard Burt

We will examine the medieval and early modern imaginary on film in relation to medieval and early modern media, including tapestries, manuscripts, and paintings, that have been regarded as proto-cinematic. Particular attention will be paid to emergence of perspective and anamorphosis in the Renaissance, the margins of medieval manuscripts, the cinematic paratext, and what can and cannot be made visible on film. Selected readings include selections from Getting Medieval, The Shock of Medievalism, Defaced: The Visual culture of Violence in the Late Middle Ages, and essays by Stuart Airlie, David Williams, Gerard Genette, Stephen Greenblatt, Tom Conley, Peter Stallybrass, Umberto Eco, Natalie Davis, Carlo Ginzburg, and Vivien Sobchack, among others. These will be available on UF course reserves. Films include The Name of the Rose, Ivan the Terrible, The Passion of Beatrice, Andrei Rublev, The Seventh Seal, The Reckoning, Perceval le Gaullois, Henry V, Le Roman de Reynard, The Return of Martin Guerre, El Cid, Anchoress, Seven, Day of Wrath, short films by the Quay Brothers, The Devils, Artemisia, and Kingdom of Heaven. Assignments include a film clip exercise (a detailed close reading of a scene from a film we’ll watch) and a 10–12 page research paper as well discussion questions on the readings and films for each class. Regular attendance is required both for class and for the screenings. Participation in class discussion is also required. Required books: David Wilson, The Bayeux Tapestry, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, and Michael Camille, Image on the Edge: the Margins of Medieval Art.

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ENG 4134

Women and Film

Barbara Mennel

This course is crosslisted with GET 4291 (3487).

An introduction to the role of women in German film from Weimar to the present day on “both sides of the camera.” Basic concepts in feminist film theory will also be covered.

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ENG 4135

French Cinema

Sylvie Blum

This course is cross-listed with FRT 3520 (7483).

A study of Francophone cinema in the context of the colonial and postcolonial world with a marked emphasis on Franco-Asian and North-African narratives. A solid base in film analysis or history is preferable.

For further information, you may contact me at <sylblum@ufl.edu>.

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ENG 4136

Video Production

Craig Cieslikowski

This course is designed as an introduction to narrative and experimental forms of video production. We will explore various production situations while simultaneously engaging with film history and theory. The class will operate as a production workshop with screenings, readings, and in-class exercises.

Students will learn production theories and techniques by collaborating on camera, sound, and editing exercises. Each student will also work on a short project every two weeks that explores various production stages and aesthetic strategies of narrative and experimental videomaking. These projects will challenge students to reconsider film history and theory from a filmmaker’s perspective. The course concludes with each student producing a final video project that develops from the aesthetic, theoretical, and technological issues investigated throughout the semester.

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ENG 4905

Independent Study

Faculty Member of Choice

An Independent Study course may be taken for 1 to 3 credit hours, but will only count toward the fulfillment of the 10-course requirement for the English major if a student registers for 3 credit hours.

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

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ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Geographies of Desire & Dread: Sexuality in American Literature to 1865

Jodi Schorb

This honors seminar explores literary representations of sexuality in colonial to antebellum American literature.

Plan to analyze how specific settings – the voyage of discovery, the “city on a hill,” the utopian commune, the plantation, the city, the “far isles” – create literary geographies of desire and dread, and to theorize ways that illicit forms of sexuality and sexual power (such as incest, cross-dressing, homosexuality, miscegenation, and prostitution) suggest new plots and possibilities for American literature. Topics include: travel narratives and the merging of exploration and sexual “discovery”; the relationship between the body politic and the sexual body in colonial New England; the link between “republican virtue,” incest plots, and the novel of seduction in the fiction of the early Republic; the effects of moral reform, sexual health, and utopian movements on the literary landscape of the nineteenth century; slavery, miscegenation, and the sexuality of race; and the relationship of imperial expansion to sexual fantasy.

Primary readings include: 17th century travel accounts; Puritan poetry and sermons; William Wells Brown, The Power of Sympathy (1789); Hannah Webster Foster, The Coquette (1797); The Female Marine (1815); Julia Ward Howe, The Hermaphrodite (c. 1846); Herman Melville, Typee (1846), Edgar Allan Poe, “Mystery of Marie Roget” (1850); Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance (1852); Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), poetry by Walt Whitman. Secondary readings will provide reading strategies and theoretical models for reading narratives of sexuality, particularly when content is muted or excised.

Requirements include short response papers every other week, in-class presentations, a mid-term essay, and a final research essay.

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ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Joyce & Cultural Studies

Brandon Kershner

The course will be an introduction both to James Joyce and to the broad field of cultural studies, using Joyce’s fiction as examples of literary texts with particularly rich cultural resonance. We will read Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist, and Ulysses in conjunction with selected essays from The Cultural Studies Reader. Our emphases will include the areas of

Although the course obviously will engage with theory, the stress will be upon specific implications of the literary texts rather than upon the theory in and for itself. As an aid in reading Ulysses, we will use Harry Blamires’s guide to that novel entitled The New Bloomsday Book. I will bring in copies of newspapers and advertisements of the time as well as some examples of the popular reading to which Joyce alludes, show slides of Eugen Sandow the bodybuilder and of memorial photography of children, and discuss other examples of material culture from turn-of-the-century Ireland. Since I am involved in the production of a hypertext Ulysses, we may discuss aspects of that project throughout the course, as it relates to issues raised by cultural studies.

Texts: The Viking Critical edition of Dubliners (eds. Scholes and Litz) and the Bedford Books 2nd edition of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (ed. Kershner); Hans Walter Gabler’s edition of Ulysses and Harry Blamires’s The New Bloomsday Book. These are available at Goering’s. I will also be distributing material as handouts during the course.

Requirements: (1, 2) Two papers, the first 8–10 pages long, the second 12–18 pages. (3) About three or four unannounced quizzes – very simple ones – to make sure we’re all keeping up with the reading. These three requirements will weigh roughly the same in determining 85% of your grade; an additional 15% or so will be determined by class participation. My attendance policy is that missing more than two classes during the semester will automatically lower your grade.

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ENG 4940

Internship

Undergraduate Coordinator

The English Department at the University of Florida offers three* credit hours of internship to its majors who provide the following to the Undergraduate Coordinator for approval:

Once the Undergraduate Coordinator has approved the internship requested by the student, the department will register the student for the internship credits.

Upon completion of the internship:

*For two credit hours, the student would need to work 8 hours per week in a Fall, Spring, or Summer C semester; and 16 hours per week for Summer A or B.

*For one credit hour, the student would need to work 4 hours per week in a Fall, Spring, or Summer C semester; and 8 hours per week for Summer A or B.

Please note the following limitations on the English Internship:

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ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Fritz Lang & Alfred Hitchcock

Richard Burt

In this course we will explore some shared concerns of Lang and Hitchcock regarding terrorism, sabotage, spy networks, romance, recording media, memory, cinema, and the state. Films will include The Lady Vanishes, The Thirty Nine Steps, Saboteur, The Secret Agent, Blackmail, Dr Mabuse, The Gambler, Spies, The Testament of Dr Mabuse, Beyond a Resonable Doubt, Fury, and The Ministry of Fear, among others.

Required Books will include Slavoj Zizek, Everything You Wanted to Know About Lacan, But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock; Tom Gunning, The Films of Fritz Lang; Tom Cohen, Cryptonomies, Vols. 1 and 2.

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ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Revisionary Textuality

Donald Ault

Required Texts

This course will emphasize the close reading of texts that open up interpretive opportunities by virtue of their visual narrative properties and material production (including poems with “illuminations” and/or marginal glosses, texts that exist in different “versions,” texts with complex visual uses of punctuation, syntax, spatial layout, “panel” divisions, cinematic discontinuities, etc.). These texts call attention to (or efface into “invisibility”) their own self-revision and self-reflexivity, address (on the “static” printed page) the problem of “transformation,” and proceed by displacement and interruption of the space of the page. These texts will allow exploration of traditional literary and philosophical problems of sequentiality and simultaneity, temporality and spatiality, and the enigma of “now.”

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ENG 4970

Honors Thesis Project

Faculty members (2) of Choice

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

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

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ENL 3112

18th Century British Novel

Brian McCrea

The theme for this semester will be good sex/good families. In the past twenty-five years, influential historians and literary scholars have described the eighteenth century as a period that witnesses the rise of “companionate marriage” and new versions of masculinity. We will look at a wide range of eighteenth-century British novels and analyze how they portray male and female roles in courtship and marriage.

We will read seven novels, one of them being Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa. Because of the length of Clarissa, we will take it in sections, reading roughly one hundred pages per week. 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 the changing role of social status (which these writers typically use the word “quality” to reference) in courtship and marriage, as economic and social changes create new kinds of wealth. But 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 these novels as, at once, products of a specific culture and of a long-enduring literary tradition.

Students will write two papers (between six to eight 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. Students will be expected to participate in a Clarissa study group and to contribute to class discussions.

All papers must be word-processed. I am happy to read and comment upon early drafts of papers and encourage e-mail submission of them via attachments in richtext format.

Books

All books will be available at Goering’s Books and Bagels, 1711 N. W. 1 st Avenue.

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ENL 3231

Age of Johnson

Brian McCrea

Johnson’s life spanned the years 1709–1784. We will focus on his criticism and on the works of his later contemporaries – Thomas Gray, William Collins, Christopher Smart, Frances Burney. We will place Johnson over against these writers to develop a sense of how he both fit into and rebelled against his age. As background for our study of Johnson, we will begin with selections from John Dryden and Alexander Pope, then study the relationship between Johnson’s most famous poems and the heroic couplets of his great precursors.

Students will write a final examination and will have the option of writing a long paper (10–12 pp.) on a topic of their choice or two shorter papers (5–6 pp.) on topics I suggest. Most classes will open with students writing informally for 5 to 10 minutes on that day’s reading. Class sessions will encourage discussion.

Johnson’s was a remarkable and well-documented life. Excerpts from Boswell’s biography will offer both a context for the works we are reading and a chance to “meet” Johnson.

Books

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

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ENL 3241

The Romantic Period

James Twitchell

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

Texts

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ENL 3251

Victorian Literature

Caralyn Bolte

One of the goals of this course will be to understand the major cultural conversations occurring in Victorian Britain. Channeling these conversations through the fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction of the era, this class will engage these issues through in-class discussions and a variety of assignments. We will focus primarily on how the impulse towards British self-definition – manifesting itself in conversations about what made an individual, a citizen, a worker, a marriage, a family, etc. – appears throughout the era’s literature.

Other goals of this course include becoming familiarized with a wide range of Victorian texts, learning how to read these texts critically, and constructing essays that are thoughtful and persuasive. In addition to a reading journal, assignments will also include quizzes, two papers, a comprehensive final exam, and an research-based in-class presentation.

In addition to short stories, poetry, and non-fiction, possible texts include:

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ENL 3251

Victorian Literature

Tom Bragg

The Victorians retain our fascination, perhaps because however antiquated, repressed or backward we may sometimes be tempted to view them, they remain recognizable to us – and sometimes even surprisingly heroic. Their means of coping may not be our means, but their problems and concerns are ours too, and we are as likely to overestimate their shortcomings as to underestimate their strengths. While we each tend to cherish thumbnail sketches of what “Victorian” means, then, as Lytton Strachey pointed out, we know too much about them to ever comprehensively understand them.

In this course we’ll be looking at the Victorians through a diverse sampling of their writings. Rather than spending a lot time with a few lengthy texts, we’ll examine a wide variety of shorter texts, each sampling arranged according to pertinent themes of the Era: Progress and Optimism, Science and Technology, the Religious Experience, Commerce, Domesticity, Childhood and others. The types of texts will include short fiction and excerpts from novels, poetry, personal and critical essays, and short biographies. Readings may be drawn from such sources as

Other writers sampled may include Tennyson, G.M. Hopkins, Chesterton, Bagehot, Gaskell, George Eliot, Thackeray, Stevenson, and Wilde. Although the course content will be arranged thematically rather than chronologically, we will be looking at writings from the early, middle and late periods of the Victorian Era.

Assignments will include quizzes, short essays, a mid-term and a final exam. In addition students may be required to deliver a short oral presentation, either alone or as a group. Although individual texts will tend to be short, there will still be a lot of reading. Students are advised to consider their own reading speed and the expectations of other courses before committing to this course.

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ENL 4220

Spenser

Peter L. Rudnytsky

The course will consist of a close reading of Edmund Spenser’s unfinished epic poem, The Faerie Queene. There will be no bells and whistles, just lots of reading and thinking about Elizabethan poetry. All students who complete the course with a grade of “C” or better will receive a certificate of membership in the “I finished The Faerie Queene” club. Course requirements include a midterm, a final, and one five- to seven-page term paper.

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ENL 4311

Chaucer

James Paxson

This course will familiarize students with the major narrative poetry of Chaucer. We will devote most of our study to several of The Canterbury Tales and to Chaucer’s less commonly read and known dream allegories. We will also look at Latin and Italian source materials included in our two textbooks. Students will learn to read Chaucer’s Middle English (the form of the English language from about 1100–1500 CE), and they will be introduced to the principal methodological issues constitutive of contemporary Chaucer studies. That is, they will investigate how Chaucer studies incorporate modern critical theory – especially involving issues of narrative complexity, figurative discourse, the formalism of Chaucerian genre (especially the frame narrative or novella) and the poetic representation of gender. Particular focus will fall upon the issue of subjectivity, since Chaucer, who is often seen as the forerunner of modern novelistic art, lays claim to being the first major author in English to cultivate the poetics of the subjective, the personal, and the psychologically realistic. Class meetings will include lectures, discussion, and, especially early in the term, recitation and spot translation of Middle English.

Required texts, which will most likely be ordered through Goerings Bookstore, will include the Norton Critical Edition of The Canterbury Tales (Kolve and Olson, eds.); the Norton Critical Edition of Dream Visions and Other Poems (Lynch, ed.); and The Cambridge Chaucer Companion, 2nd. ed. (Boitani and Mann, eds.).

Major course work includes: class participation and regular, unannounced quizzes (20%); translation exam (in late February, 20%); three papers – the first (5–7 pages) on The Knight’s Tale and The House of Fame; the second (5–7 pages) on classical myths, biblical stories, or folktales that served as sources for Chaucer (20%; note that this second project might take the form of an in-class midterm exam); the third (5–7 pages) on any critical or thematic problem concerning The Canterbury Tales or the allegories (5–7 pages). All three papers combine to represent 60% of final grade.

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare: Rhetoric

R. Allen Shoaf

Aims of the Course

This course will focus on the tragedies, all 10 of them, with some attention paid to the narrative and lyric poetry. Shakespeare’s language, his rhetoric and figuration, will be the principal topic of our work.

Texts

The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Greenblatt, et al.

Reserve List

There will be a list of around 20–25 titles, updated throughout the term.

Requirements

Spot quizzes to assess progress in the readings (unannounced except for the notice on the syllabus); two papers, 5–7 pages in length; no final exam; mandatory attendance – the first two absences will be excused, but each absence after two, unless excused for extraordinary reasons, reduces your final mark by 10%.

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LIN 4605

World Englishes

Roger Thompson

The English language has more than one billion speakers world wide. Many millions speak English as a native language, many more speak English as a second language, but most speak it as a foreign language. However, English is more than a language that people learn to express their thoughts. It is also a social phenomenon that promotes and reinforces certain types of social behavior. Some say that English is a deadly virus that is permeating the world and destroying local cultures. Others say it is a benevolent medicine that will cure the ills of the world as it promotes social and economic advancement. Whatever the case, we will take note of the linguistic differences among the various versions of English used around the world and look at the sociolinguistics that surrounds English in various settings. We will look first at inner circle English, where the users are native speakers. Then we will look at outer circle English, where the users use English as a second language in former colonies of the USA and Britain. Then we will look at a new circle created by English based pidgins and creoles. You will research for a class presentation expanding circle English, where English is invading other countries and cultures which never had a colonial connection.

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LIT 3003

Forms of Narrative: Archaeologies of Story

Zachary Whalen

This course will be an introduction to narrative theory by way of the thresholds of what may be considered narrative. We will attempt to define narrative by studying texts which possess a controversial status as story-telling artifacts. Many of the texts under consideration will be “new media,” including hypertext fiction, interactive fiction, videogames and alternate reality games, while others will be predominantly visual, including comics, advertisements, graphic design, and typography. Many of these media can be considered examples of popular culture, so one consideration will be how notions of labels like “popular” or generic labels like “horror” come to bear on perceptions of narrative status.

The conceptual model for this inquiry will be archaeology. Students will be expected to dig deeply in order to place even contemporary media artifacts within appropriate historical and technological contexts. The purpose of this approach is twofold: to reveal how forms of narrative are always inflected by their material circumstances and to establish how new material circumstances (such as networked computing) enable new forms of narrative.

Readings for this course will include critical writing by such authors as Seymour Chatman, Roland Barthes, Marie-Laure Ryan, Espen Aarseth, Donald Ault, Nick Montfort, Jesper Juul, Robert Bringhurst, and others.

Students will be responsible for weekly blog entries and two major projects or papers, at least one of which may involve some form of web authoring or computing.

Although this course will include several digital texts, no special skills, experience or equipment is required other than consistent access to a modern desktop computer and a willingness to experiment.

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LIT 3031

Poetry Writing and Reading

Debora Greger

Textbooks

Poems in the books will be read, analyzed, and discussed by the entire class. If you don’t want to buy all of the books and to devour every word of them, this isn’t the class for you.

The poems that you will be assigned to write will be graded on quality as well as on quantity and on grammar as well as on content; we’re not in middle school now.

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LIT 3031

Honors: Poetry Writing and Reading

This section of LIT 3031 will be offered through the University Honors Program. registration for the section will be restricted to students in the University Honors Program until the drop/add period of the Spring 2008 semester.

Debora Greger

Textbooks

Poems in the books will be read, analyzed, and discussed by the entire class. If you don’t want to buy all of the books and to devour every word of them, this isn’t the class for you. But, if you’ve been waiting all your life for a poetry course taught by a poet, where poetry will be explored from a writer’s point of view, this is the class for you.

The poems you’ll be assigned to write, inspired by the pieces in the books we read, will also be discussed in class.

“Every day you’re hungry, so it’s easy to be enthusiastic. I write better recipes when I haven’t had something to eat than when I have. My experiments get more and more simple. I think I could go on the rest of my life thinking: is it better to grill it or fry it?”

– Rick Stein, chef, age 60

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LIT 3041

Tudor/Stuart Drama

Ira Clark

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, Marston. Throughout the course, students will take 11 unannounced brief quizzes (40% 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, 15% of the grade) Paper II on a comedy (about 3,000 words, 20% of the grade), Paper III on any non-Shakespearean play of the era not assigned to the class (about 5,000 words, 25% 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, Tamburlaine I, The Duchess of Malfi, The Shoemakers Holiday, Bartholomew Fair, A King and No King; second, in order to speak and write convincingly.

The full syllabus is posted to my web page. Taking a Shakespeare course alongside this one could prove valuable for both.

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LIT 3043

Modern Drama: Learning by Doing

Sidney Homan

The assumption in all my theatre courses is that the text of a play is not just what is written on the page, but that text in performance, delivered by actors before an audience. This means the play’s text also includes gestures, movement, blocking (the stage picture), and sub-text (what the character is saying inwardly, beneath the lines delivered onstage, as well as the “history” for that character invented by the actor). In the theatre, we would further supplement this text with lighting, sound, set, costumes, props, and make-up. To be sure, one can approach a play in a thousand ways – as literature, as a repository for the thinking of an age, as the springboard for political or cultural issues. But, since I work both on campus and in the theatre, as an actor and director, and since the theatre itself is a unique medium with its own aesthetic principles, I approach the plays, with my students, and as a fellow “student,” as something meant to be performed by an actor and ratified by an audience. In my courses, each student has a scene partner with whom he or she stages several scenes each semester. Once performed, the class and I, as co-directors, “work” that scene with the two actors, trying out options, rehearsing it. This is a challenge, to be sure, but students, no matter what their background, should have no anxiety about doing things this way for, historically in my courses, Mechanical Engineering majors have done no worse than Theatre students who have done no better than those working in English or Anthropology. The emphasis, therefore, is on learning by doing, and I judge student work by intent, what goes into the performance – not by finesse. If there is finesse, that is considered a bonus.

In my Modern Drama course, we will look at Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Pinter’s Old Times and No Man’s Land, and Shepard’s True West and Curse of the Starving Class. There is a major course paper assessing your work as actor and using your own performance as the subject. Students will also see two productions at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre – An Evening with Tom Stoppard and An Evening with Harold Pinter.

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LIT 3173

Motherhood in Modern Hebrew Fiction

Avraham Balaban

This course is crosslisted with HBT 3564 (0864), JST 4936 (6106) and WST 3930 (5331).

The course examines the different representations of motherhood in Hebrew fiction throughout the twentieth century against the background of contemporary theories about motherhood. The course starts with motherhood as it is depicted in the writing of the founders of modern Hebrew fiction (S-Y. Agnon, Dvorah Baron), reviews mothers portrayed by the 1948 generation, then concentrates on the “New Wave” writers of the 1960s, and the new generation of women writers in the 1990s. In the fiction of the 1960s we find three different models of motherhood: a) the overly dedicated, self-effacing mother, who does not leave breathing space to her children; b) the mentally sick mother, who abandons her children (mainly in the fiction of Amos Oz); c) the alienated mother, who is busy pursuing her spiritual journeys (Amalia Kahana-Carmon).

In the last two decades, a new generation of women writers has added several dimensions to these models. With the typical shift of point of view from a child-narrator to a mother–narrator, the concept of the mother as a nurturing, self–sacrificing, almost selfless creature, who lives to serve her children, has almost disappeared. Instead, motherhood is described as a conflict-ridden situation. The tensions associated with motherhood have varied sources: a) the inherent difficulties of motherhood, of giving birth and raising a family (The Ravens by Avirama Golan), b) personal wishes and needs, i.e. the wish to start a new relation and a new family (Tsruya Shalev and Mira Magen), c) the national demands (sending a child to the army; Dolly City by Orly Castel-Blum); d) living with an abusive husband (Sdomel by Lea Eini).

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LIT 3383

African Women Writers

R. Lugano

This course is crosslisted with SSW 4713 (0655) and WST 3930 (4929).

The course will allow students to explore African women writers and critics, look at their theoretical priorities, literary themes and cultural positions. It is designed to provide students with both a specific and a general view of the status, achievements and experiences of African women in fiction. Using different genres (poems, novels and plays), and diverse texts, we will endeavor to understand how women’s literary expression has been shaped by history, culture, and their experiences, as well as see how they are addressing issues of gender in their respective societies. Discussions will focus on issues of identity, oppression, resistance, exile, language, translation and colonialism. Finally, students will examine how African women writers are using writing itself as a tool for social transformation and critique.

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LIT 3400

Internet Literature

Greg Ulmer

The topic for this seminar is the relationship of technology to literature. Specifically, we will focus on what happens to literary forms in the medium of the World Wide Web. Our interest in part is in the migration of print forms and modes onto the Internet, and also in the emergence of new forms of creativity native to the Internet. Lev Manovich, in The Language of New Media, observes that the cut-and-paste tools of hypermedia authoring embody the aesthetics created by the experimental arts of 1920s modernism. This observation provides a point of departure for our own experiments, investigating the relationship between avant-garde poetics, the digital medium, and Internet creativity.

The course is taught in the Networked Writing Environment (NWE), with the primary project being the composition of two Web sites. We will experiment with the design of a new mode of literary study that takes advantage of the resources of hypermedia. The semester project is to design and test the “learning screen,” that does for Web media what the “research paper” did for print education. The Web projects call for basic application of Cascading Style sheets (CSS, XHTML). Previous experience with Web site composition is helpful but not required. However, beginners should expect to spend some extra time learning to use the authoring environment.

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LIT 3400

Screening Literature: Shakespeare on Film

Dragan Kujundzic

The course will address the relationship between literature and cinema, based on the works of William Shakespeare. Close readings (of both plays and films to be screened) of Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, The Merchant of Venice among others, will be conducted, and compared with various filmic adaptations, most notably by those of Roman Polanski (Macbeth), Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead), and Akira Kurosawa (Throne of Blood, Ran). Particular attention will be given (discussed and screened in the class) to other successful transpositions of Shakespeare’s plays on film, as well as the Macbeth rendering as comedy, Scotland, PA. The primary critical text will be How to Read Shakespeare by Nicholas Royle.

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LIT 4183

Tourism, the Caribbean & Literature

Leah Rosenberg

Documenting the devastating effects of globalization and tourism on the Jamaican economy and autonomy, Stephanie Black’s 2001 film Life and Debt sets in sharp relief the contrast between tourists’ vision of Jamaica and that of Jamaicans in the late 20th century. It reveals the most recent developments in a long cultural and economic history. From Shakespeare’s The Tempest to Terry McMillan’s How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Walt Disney’s The Pirates of the Caribbean, travel and tourism to the Caribbean have been surprisingly prominent and spectacular in European and U.S. culture. This strong and changing image of the Caribbean has in large part been a consequence of the economic position of the Caribbean vis-à-vis first world nations – first a wondrous new world, then a site of slave and sugar factories, now a pleasure destination. Not surprisingly, Caribbean writers have also given a significant place to tourism and travel in their work, often exposing the sharp disjunction between Caribbeans’ experiences and those of tourists. Recently this distinction has been complicated by the many Caribbeans living outside the region who visit their homelands as tourists for carnival and other events like Reggae Sunsplash. This course examines the economic and literary history of tourism in the Caribbean through an analysis of theoretical and literary texts which will likely include works by Daniel Defoe, Derek Walcott, Jamaica Kincaid, V.S. Naipaul, Anthony Trollope, Anthony Winkler, Paule Marshall, and Terry Mcmillan.

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LIT 4192

Caribbean Literature: Empire and Identity

Leah Rosenberg

“Have I given you the impression that the Antigua I grew up in revolved almost completely around England ? Well, that was so. I met the world through England , and if the world wanted to meet me it would have to do so through England.” – Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place, 33)

Exile and Englishness have traditionally been viewed as the “ground zero” of Anglophone Caribbean literature. In the 1950s, V.S. Naipaul, George Lamming, Sam Selvon and many other writers from across the region emigrated to London where they attained international acclaim, establishing the West Indian literary tradition. (Ultimately, two members of this generation would win the Nobel prize for literature: Derek Walcott [1992] and V.S. Naipaul [2001].) Schooled in everything English, from language and literature to music and food, newly-arrived writers expected to be embraced by the mother country. Instead, they found systematic racism and war rations. This exile and discrimination became the core of much Caribbean literature, cultural theory, and literary criticism. This literary and critical tradition proved powerful in shaping not only Caribbean literary studies but also British literature and cultural studies in the twentieth century. The first half of this course traces this literary migration and creation from C.L.R. James’s arrival in England in 1932 to the emergence of black cultural studies and the contemporary success of Zadie Smith and Andrea Levy.

In the second half of the semester, we examine Caribbean literature and cultural criticism that does not so clearly fit this paradigm. How do we understand the powerful role of U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean and the large body of literature produced by Caribbean writers who emigrated to Canada and the United States ? How did this paradigm include Indo-Caribbean writers and literary subjects? To what extent and how did women writers find a place in this model? How did queer literature and film come to play such a critical and yet often marginalized role? Authors will include: C.L.R. James, Claude McKay, Una Marson, Isaac Julien, Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Jamaica Kincaid, Shani Mootoo, Colin Channer, Andrea Levy, V.S. Naipaul, Sam Selvon, Nalo Hopkinson, and Marcia Douglas.

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LIT 4194

Afro–European Literature

Mark Reid

This undergraduate course surveys contemporary literature about Afro-Europeans and Black American expatriates in Western Europe. Weekly readings will cover literature, critical theory, philosophy, and political essays that discuss and or imaginatively represent the socioeconomic and cultural integration or non-integration of Afro-Europeans (citizens and immigrants of Western European countries) who have ancestral ties to North and sub-Saharan Africa.

Requirements

  1. Pop Quizzes on the assigned weekly readings and the discussions in the previous class: 20%
  2. Each student gives one 10-minute presentation on a weekly assignment: 20%
  3. Each student delivers a typed, 1-page outline of the 10-minute discussion on the day of the student’s presentation: 10%
  4. GROUP submission of a typed, 15-page analytical research paper: 20%
  5. A 2-page annotated bibliography: 10%
  6. GROUP oral presentation on the 15-page paper and a 5-minute question and answer session: 20%

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LIT 4194

African Literature in English: Fictions of Africa

Apollo Amoko

This course explores the idea of Africa articulated in the founding texts of modern African literature. What is the historical, political, social and cultural basis of this idea of Africa? Modern African literature first emerged as a discourse designed to liberate African subjects from colonialism. What ideas regarding African subjectivity, on the one hand, and the role of literature in political struggle, on the other hand, did the colonial context impose on African literature? What “Africanized” notions of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender and sexuality did these texts propound? How did these notions relate to each other? In short, we will trace how a politics of identity was translated into a theory and practice of art. To what extent is the idea of Africa propounded by the founding fictions representative of the politics of everyday life in the vast and varied continent? Is any literature ever representative of the context that ostensibly produced it? To what extent does the idea of Africa affirmed by African writers depend on, even as it purports to refute, the colonial idea of Africa? In what ways, if any, is African literature different from the literatures of other continents? Does it make sense to classify literature according to the racial, continental, ethnic, national, gender, sexual and other identities of either authors or readers? We will attempt to answer these questions by looking at a range of canonical African fiction.

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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 three 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 United States, particularly the oral narratives recorded from Native Americans in Wisconsin at the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth centuries and from African Americans in Eatonville, Florida in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. 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.”

Texts

All the above texts are available from Goering’s Bookstore.

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

There will be 3 tests given at roughly three week intervals during the course. In addition two reports, each of about 2500 words will be required.

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LIT 4331

Children’s Literature

Anastasia Ulanowicz

This course will provide an introduction to major works of American children’s literature written from 1868 to 2000. As we examine these texts, we will consider how and why (or even whether) they might be read specifically as children’s books – and how, moreover, their study might prompt us to evaluate the American literary canon in its various historical permutations. Additionally, we will question the ways in which these texts represent race, class, gender, and – perhaps most significantly – national identity. Of particular interest will be the question of how these texts use the figure of the child to support (or contest) notions of nationhood and citizenship.

Assigned texts may include:

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LIT 4333

Literature for the Adolescent

John Cech

This course is designed to provide a survey of major figures, historical trends, and critical approaches to that field of literature that occupies the shifting, transitional ground between children’s and adult literatures. This class examines a broad range of styles and genres intended for or chosen by the adolescent reader, beginning with classics from the 19th century and ending with some innovative novels from our own literary present. Taken together, these works will raise many of the questions (psychological, social, philosophical) that are asked by adolescents about their own challenging, demanding, and often defining experiences.

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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, Einstein, Bohr, Feynman, Hawking, Penrose, Thomas) 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 epistemology, the narrative theory of scientific cosmology, and so on. The two papers may be linked. Attendance and participation are expected (more than 6 cuts warrants failure); occasional quizzes and an objective midterm or a final exam on our main readings (totaling 25%) will round out course work.

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LIT 4535

Female Radicalism, Pleasure, & Militancy in Black Women’s Literature & Popular Culture

LaMonda Horton-Stallings

In this course, we will examine the importance of militancy and revolutionary rhetoric in the construction of black female–centered communities in popular culture produced by black women. Through our study of the female body, eros, creativity/creation, and utopian/dystopian communities, we will interrogate the systematic dismissal of and resistance to heterosexual and patriarchal established “norms” in society. The class texts will derive from comedic performances, popular fiction and non–fiction, and film, supplemented by popular music, comic books, television and webpages. We will concentrate on texts from the 20th century to the present, while briefly considering historical precedents for these texts. The central issues of revolution, pleasure, and the body will be accompanied by other theoretical concerns such as the role of the reader versus the producer of these images; the sexuality, gender, race, and class of the creator(s) and consumers; the relationship between subcultures and mainstream culture; the use of devices such as intertextuality, mimicry and appropriation; and the importance of genre.

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LIT 4930

War Israeli Film & Culture

Michal Ben-Horin

This course is crosslisted with HBT 3930 (8463) and JST 3930 (4639).

War is an extreme case of collective violence and aggression. What happens to this violence when it is represented, documented or performed within an aesthetic medium and the cinematic medium in particularly? In what sense does a film that incorporates and shapes images of war offer us means of cultural criticism? Does it address ethical questions, how, and to what effect? This course deals with representations of violence in Israeli film and culture. A selection of films such as the Wooden Gun (1979), Avanti popolo (1986), Two Fingers from Tzidon (1986), One of Us (1989), Kippur (2000), Yossi & Jagger (2002), Beaufort (2007) that reflect on the wars of 1948, 1967, 1973, 1982 will demonstrate different approaches regarding the conflict in the Middle East, which also resonates with the changing tendencies in Israel’s public sphere. Reading cultural theories such as W. Benjamin on the question of violence, S. Freud on the pleasure-principle and the children-play, J. Butler on gender politics among others, will help us in exploring the reconstruction and deconstruction of heroic myths, and to examine how the militarist discourse shapes also contradictory identities that reveal the complicate relationship between the private and the public.

Partial Topics

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LIT 4930

Childhood and War

Anastasia Ulanowicz

In her chronicle of the siege of Sarajevo, eleven–year–old diarist Zlata Filipovic scrupulously documents the violence she witnesses on a daily basis and laments its effects on her childhood:

“I spend my days in the house and in the cellar. That’s my
wartime childhood. And it’s summer. Other children are
vacationing on the seaside, in the mountains, swimming,
sunbathing, enjoying themselves. God, what did I do to deserve
being in a war, spending my days in a way that no child should […]
I hear the sound of shells, and everything around me smells of war.
War is now my life.” (64)

In this passage, as in others in her diary, Zlata suggests that her childhood experience of war is an “abnormal” one, and hopes desperately that she may once again experience a “normal childhood” such as that enjoyed by “other children.” However, if one considers the fact that millions of children around the globe are everyday directly affected by armed conflict, then one might conclude that it is in fact Zlata’s experience of the siege – rather than the experience of peace she so desires – that is (sadly) far more indicative of a “normal childhood.” The objective of this course, then, is to study the concept of “wartime childhood” through an engagement with twentieth-century literary and filmic representations of children’s experiences as war–victims, refugees, prisoners, (not–so–) innocent bystanders, and soldiers. How, we will ask, do such texts challenge dominant Western, middle-class views of both childhood and war? Moreover, how, in their use of language and/or visual imagery, do such texts test the limits of representing both childhood and war?

Course materials will include diaries, memoirs, novels, comic books, picture books, critical essays, and films. Students will be expected to write at least three formal essays, and to give one class presentation.

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LIT 4930

Extraordinary Voyages: The Narrative Fiction of Jules Verne

Terry Harpold

A century after his death, Jules Verne (1828–1905) remains one of the most read European authors of the last 150 years. UNESCO’s Index Translationum lists Verne as the third most often translated author in the world, a ranking well above that of every other author writing in French, and above such standard-bearers as Shakespeare, Lenin, and the Brothers Grimm.

In the twenty-first century, Verne is widely – and inaccurately – known as an author of children’s adventure- and proto-science fiction, set in exotic locales and populated by fantastic machines, hardy explorers, and half-mad scientists. Few modern readers are aware that he wrote more than fifty novels and dozens of shorter works, that he was a successful playwright whose “musical spectacles” played for hundreds of performances on the Paris stage, or that he co-wrote four volumes of geography and maritime history.

There is simply more to Verne than most of us have been taught. His fiction especially bears little resemblance to the Disneyfied, Bowdlerized versions that have been foisted on English-speaking audiences. The novels are as narratively and textually nuanced, and as historically and culturally typical, as those of any other major European or American author of the period. They are, moreover, thematically and philosophically complex works: Verne’s attitudes towards race, gender, militarism, colonialism, and industrialism are surprisingly modern in certain respects, and in others plainly mired in prejudices and conventions of his time. And the books themselves were beautiful: in the format in which they are most celebrated, the magnificently-illustrated 48 volume Voyages extraordinaires published by Hetzel et Cie., they represent the pinnacle of the illustrated popular press of the late 19th century.

The recent renaissance of Verne studies in Europe and the US suggests that the exemplarity and subtlety of his work, and its important influences on major threads of modernist and postmodernist narrative fiction, are only now being understood. This course will take this possibility as a founding axiom. We will read Verne for the pleasures and challenges that his writing presents, but also as a case study of important problems of genre, narrative, and textual methods.

The texts we will read include most of the best known and several of the least-known of the novels, novellas, and plays, including:

All texts will be read in English translations: happily, new, faithful and complete renderings have supplanted the dreadful late Victorian editions that misrepresented Verne to English speakers for more than a century. Students able to read Verne in French will be encouraged to do so; our discussion of the texts will address problems of translation unique to this linguistically-adventurous and -innovative writer.

Written course requirements include unscheduled in-class reading quizzes and two take-home exams.

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LIT 4930

Creative Non-Fiction

Michael Hofmann

A course on writing about people and places. The reading-list might have been drawn from nature writing or science or biography, but I have come down in favour of history: from Tacitus to John Aubrey (if available) to Ryszard Kapuscinski. We will read the late cult-author W.G. Sebald, Joseph Roth, and Bruce Chatwin, and others. Spoken contributions will be encouraged. Participants will do much writing of and on their own, whether on an array of different projects, or on a single task. Reading and writing, research and style, should all benefit. (I would rather you came wanting to write a book about cuttlefish than on the first twenty years – or indeed the first six months – of your lives, but the latter may be allowable under certain circumstances; I should like it, however, not to preponderate.)

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LIT 4930

Visual Textuality

Donald Ault

Required text to be purchased:

This course will focus on the close reading of texts that open up interpretive opportunities by virtue of their visual narrative properties and material production. Below are some of the types of texts we will be examining.

  1. The transformation of plots and characters from one medium (such as comics or novels) to another (such as animation, film, photo-film books) – including the three film versions of The Maltese Falcon as well as the rare photo-film book and the even more rare 1948 comic book adaptation.
  2. Attention to “closure” and “opening” of endings chapters in movie serials that produce retroactive temporally displaced, ontological revising of events.

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SPC 3605

Speechwriting

Ron Carpenter

Speechwriting is an advanced composition course. In SPC 3605, 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, Winston Churchill, 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.

SPC 3605 is not about supporting arguments or organizing them into broader discourse. If you seek those skills, other courses are more appropriate. Speechwriting is about how to select 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 read aloud among peers (and for me) during our “lab” periods, wherein you should acquire a refined 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 (for help with delivery skills other courses are appropriate; I may make suggestions about how to improve your platform presence, however). The important point is that Speechwriting is an advanced composition course, wherein you read drafts aloud as bases of discussion by which all students understand how and 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 a substantial measure 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; it can be purchased at Goerings Book Store.

Although this is a writing course, I also am impressed – for grading purposes – by how much you know about style as defined in this class. Please appreciate the fact that this composition course is unlike virtually all other persuasive writing courses at the University of Florida, for the expertise and confidence in the precepts being taught are derived from your instructor’s own published research in four scholarly press books, several book chapters, and numerous research journal articles (all of which informed my writing of your textbook). Furthermore, from my experience as a communications consultant for organizations outside the university (such as corporate executives, lawyers, civic leaders, hospital administrators, 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.

In conclusion, 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 admired by others as well as be useful for the rest of your life, no matter what your later profession might be. The only prerequisite for the course is that you can write grammatical sentences that are punctuated correctly.

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SPC 4680

Rhetorical Criticism: Masterpieces of Rhetoric

Ron Carpenter

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 filmmakers appealed successfully to specific attitudes and actions with profound influence upon the course of events. The primary goal of the course is to provide students with a refined sense of some rhetorical principles and techniques by which their own future discourse is more effective persuasively. Please note: “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.

Students will write five short papers (2–3 typed pages), four of which will summarize and expand briefly upon assigned readings, films, or group projects (the fifth paper is the enthymemic persuasion of me, an assignment that will be described in week six). I will accept these papers co-signed by all group members that participated. A longer final paper (8–10 typed pages) will report research about some topic suggested by the course (the focus of that paper must be developed in consultation with me). The course will have four very short quizzes during the semester as well as a “take home” final exam. Please understand that your group projects will require meetings with your student peers outside regular class periods. Students also are required to view some films outside of class. The textbook is Halford Ryan, Contemporary American Public Discourse: A Collection of Speeches and Critical Essays. It is available at Goerings Book Store.

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