Undergraduate Courses, Fall 2009

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 3284

Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Literature

Melissa Mellon

In this course, we will read novels, short stories, poetry, and activist literature written by American women living during the nineteenth century. As we read, we will examine the material circumstances which fueled the tremendous growth of women’s writing – particularly in the form of the so-called sentimental novel – from the 1830s through the 1850s. Likewise, we will study how the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the development of American industry helped change the tenor of and expanded the subject matter for women’s writing in the second half of the century. Throughout the semester, we will consider how issues of money and women’s social and political ties to family affect our perception of these writers as artists. Likewise, we will examine how access to literacy and a receptive readership often meant that the women’s writing that was most widely read was that of middle class white women. Finally, we will explore the challenges to hegemonic (white) womanhood offered in the writings of African-American, Native-American, and working-class women.

Authors whose work we will read include (but are not limited to): Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Margaret Fuller, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Jacobs, Fanny Fern, Harriet Wilson, Emily Dickinson, E.D.E.N. Southworth, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Edith Wharton, Frances E. Watkins Harper and Zitkala Sa.

During the semester, students will be responsible for participating in class discussions, writing brief response papers to primary texts, writing a critical analysis of a secondary source, writing two longer papers, and taking four exams.


AML 4170

Studies in American Literary Forms: Captivity Literature

Jodi Schorb

The “captivity narrative” remains one of the most influential and mythic literary genres – offering insights into the 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 diverse genre.

We begin with texts that fit the “standard” definition of the genre – personal 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 frontier romance, 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 inform national fantasy – and afford opportunities for cultural critique? What is the relationship between the experience of captivity and the constraints of authorship and publication, particularly in “as told to” narratives? Why do captivity themes remain influential in later American writing?

Texts 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, Jimmy Santiago Baca’s A Place to Stand. Requirements include group work and presentations, short response papers, a mid-term essay, and a final essay.


AML 4213

Early U.S. Novel

Ed White

This is a reading intensive course surveying a range of US novels between 1780 and 1820. We will read works from a number of genres – sentimental, historical, counterfactual, satiric – with an eye to the problems faced by new writers in this period. Writers surveyed will likely include Susanna Rowson, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Charles Brockden Brown, and Hannah Foster. There will be quizzes, a midterm, and a final.


AML 4225

Authenticity, Identity, & Nineteenth-Century American Novels

Michael Mayne

In this course we’ll examine themes of authenticity and identity in 19th-century American novels. We’ll read many varieties of the novel in an attempt to chart the evolutionary trajectory of its American version during that century and we’ll read with a consistent nod to things my selection and the texts themselves leave out. (This course could be called “Authenticity and Neglect in 19th-Century American Novels.”) Primarily, we&’ll discuss what novels tell us about American culture, totemic terms like “authenticity” and “identity,” and narratives in general. I’ll emphasize the tertiary rubric of race, class, and gender, and we’ll pay close attention to historical contexts. Course assignments will include six response papers and one long essay.


  • Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland; or, The Transformation: An American Tale (1798)
  • Catharine Maria Sedgwick, A New-England Tale (1822)
  • James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans (1826)
  • William Wells Brown, Clotel; or, The President’s Daughter (1853)
  • Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man (1857)
  • William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885)
  • Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward (1888)
  • Frances Harper, Iola Leroy or, Shadows Uplifted (1892)
  • Some fifty pages of Horatio Alger
  • Some essays


AML 4242

Desperate Domesticity: American Literature & Culture in the 1950s

Marsha Bryant

This course explores fraught constructions of domesticity in American literary and popular culture of the 1950s, focusing on the nuclear family, gender roles (especially the housewife and Organization Man), the rise of suburbia, and alternative domesticities. Our writers will include John Cheever, Gwendolyn Brooks, Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, Sloan Wilson, Vladimir Nabokov, Robert Lowell, Lorraine Hansberry, and Sylvia Plath. To enrich the cultural contexts of our discussions, we will work with the magazines Ebony, Ladies’ Home Journal, and The New Yorker. We’ll also explore the sitcoms The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Leave It to Beaver, the film Rebel Without a Cause, and a recent cultural study of Tupperware. We’ll end with recent revisions of the 1950s in Desperate Housewives. Assignments include an analysis of a 50s ad, a literary analysis, a panel presentation, an essay exam, and a faux 50s ad.


AML 4242

Twentieth-Century American Literature: Fiction of the 1960s

Andrew Gordon

Description: Reading of selected novels and stories from the American 1960s, with the aim of understanding the works in their historical and cultural context. We will take into account such historical factors as the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the feminist movement, and the New Left, and such literary movements as metafiction and the New Journalism.


  • To improve your understanding of the history and literature of the period.
  • To improve your writing.


  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Armies of the Night by Norman Mailer
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • The Book of Daniel by E.L. Doctorow
  • The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
  • Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
  • Gates of Eden: American Culture in the 1960s by Morris Dickstein
  • plus a collection of short fiction


AML 4282

LGBT Generations

Kim Emery

This course explores the generative connections among diverse examples of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender cultural production, with a particular emphasis on literary fiction. Within this broader project, we will also attend to “LGBT generations” in a narrower sense, exploring the themes of family dynamics and generational conflict central to several of the assigned texts. Readings may include works by such writers as James Baldwin, Alison Bechdel, Marci Blackman, T Cooper, Leslie Feinberg, David Leavitt, Sarah Schulman, David Sedaris, and Michelle Tea. We will also see some films.

In addition to frequent brief homework assignments and informal in-class exercises, 2 formal papers and a class presentation are required.


AML 4282

Desire and Dread: American Literature & Sexuality to 1900

Jodi Schorb

Concerns over how individuals and specific populations “use” their sexuality (women, bachelors, the poor, slaves...) infuse American history and provide a rich thematic approach the study of early American literatures. Sexual discourses influence national debates around morality, the role of the family, violence and rape, slavery, temperance and thrift, the public role of virtue, the responsibilities of a “rising generation,” and the potency of American economic, military and maritime power. Writers like Herman Melville, Harriet Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and Henry James reflect the sexual mores of their time, but such artists do more than mirror cultural norms: they intervene, challenge prevailing attitudes, and proliferate new sexual discourses and desires.

After a theoretical introduction that explains how sexual knowledge is created and shaped through literature, the course moves through three main periods – early republic, antebellum, and early modern (marked by the rise of “sexology”) – analyzing a diverse range of texts (sermon, seduction novel, travel narrative, detective fiction, slave narrative, gothic fiction...). We’ll discuss ways of reading sex even when sex speaks through silences, gaps, and ellipses. We’ll examine how various geographies – the city, the slave plantation, the faraway isle, the utopian commune – become associated with specific sexual knowledges, possibilities, and threats. We’ll analyze key historical moments when religious, political, and familial order intersect and influence the creation of “ideal” and deviant bodies (including sodomites, cross-dressers, rapists, coquettes, rakes, and sexual “inverts”). And throughout, we’ll be mindful of who circulated and consumed these texts and for what purposes, orthodox and other.

Primary readings include Foster’s Coquette, the Female Marine, Melville’s Typee, Poe’s “Mystery of Marie Roget,” Hawthorne’s The Blithedale Romance, Jacobs’s Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl, James’s The Turn of the Screw, and others. Secondary readings, often interdisciplinary in scope, will provide relevant social and literary history. Requirements include frequent short analysis or short research assignments, two 7-page papers, and group work.


AML 4453

The University

Kim Emery

From Thomas Jefferson to Tom Perotta, American writers have explored the meaning of higher education in and to U.S. culture. Their understandings of the University are inevitably caught up with ideas and ideals central to the American experience: the dream of upward mobility, the democratic faith in public deliberation, the myth of meritocracy. Like the country itself, the American University is cross-cut by class, race, and gender – representing different things to different segments of the population and serving different functions in different circumstances. The University has been a space of conflict and contestation, of conversation and community, of cooperation and of competition. It has been a force for assimilation, a haven for dissent, an agent of repression, and a scene of protest. It has offered the country both vision and violence.

Drawing on works from diverse genres, this course will consider various ways in which higher education in general and the research university in particular have been conceived and experienced in the United States. We will read fiction, theory, histories, sociological studies, and advocacy literature, and we will also watch some films. Finally, we will talk with scholars, activists, administrators, and others involved in shaping this University’s present uses and possible futures.

Weekly reading responses, a class presentation, and a final paper/project are required.


AML 4453

The Jazz Age

Stephanie Smith

Prohibition. Those crazy Fitzgeralds. From Harlem to Paris and back again, the post World War I booming or roaring 1920s saw some of America’s best loved writers emerge and mature, “making it new” as what we now call a “modernist” aesthetic changed American prose and poetry. This class will sample representative works from Gertrude Stein’s “Lost Generation” or Langston Hughes “The Harlem Renaissance” or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Jazz Age.” At the same time, we will be working on our own abilities as writers and editors.

Required Texts:

  • Dreiser, Theodore. Sister Carrie (1900).
  • Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives (1909).
  • Joyce, James. “The Dead” (1909).
  • Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio (1919).
  • Eliot, T.S. The Wasteland (1922).
  • Cather, Willa. A Lost Lady: The Scholarly Edition (1923).
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby (1925)
  • --------. Jazz Age Stories.
  • --------. The Jazz Age.
  • Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time (1925).
  • --------. The Sun Also Rises (1926).
  • Hughes, Langston. Selected Poems (1926–1967).
  • Larson, Nella. Quicksand (1928).


AML 4685

Afro-Latino/a Cultural Studies

Tace Hedrick

Although U.S. Latina/o studies is beginning to find a more secure foothold in universities, U.S. Afro-Latina/o studies is still relatively new. In this course, we will examine how Afro-Latinas/os in the United States negotiate a complex race, class, and gender identity through representations both in literature and (popular) culture. We will be looking as well to the roles African-heritage peoples play in countries like Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, and how such roles affect their negotiations with identity in the United States.  Assignments will include response papers and a final 10-page paper.


CRW 3110

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Jill Ciment

This course will be run in the “traditional” workshop fashion with occasional lectures on structure, metaphor, plot, etc. Writing exercises will be assigned at the beginning, but the primary emphasis is on self-generated work. Each student will be expected to write two short stories, as well as complete a final draft of each.

Optimally, students will turn in stories that they have taken as far as they can on their own. The workshop should be a venue to test the waters, to try new things, to present first drafts as well as polished works, but only after the writer has struggled with it to the nth degree. The idea is for students to rigorously challenge themselves. Everyone not presenting work should take their jobs as critics and editors as seriously as they take their own writing.

Reading will be assigned.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2009 semester must be received by the March 4, 2009 deadline.

""Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


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 – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2009 semester must be received by the March 4, 2009 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

R. 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.

Absences: You 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.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2009 semester must be received by the March 4, 2009 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


CRW 4905

Advanced Fiction Writing

David Leavitt

This advanced workshop is intended for students who are serious about writing fiction and (or) who are contemplating attending MFA programs in creative writing. It is assumed that most students will already have fiction projects underway or in mind, though this is not a requirement. To celebrate the return of two UF graduates who have gone on to have significant careers as writers – Chris Adrian (BA) and Chris Bachelder (MFA) – as guests at November’s Florida Writers Festival, we will have an all UF alumni reading list: in addition to Adrian and Bachelder, John Brandon (BA, partial MFA), Jarret Rosenblatt (BA), Eva Talmadge (BA), Justin Taylor (BA), and others.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2009 semester must be received by the March 4, 2009 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


CRW 4906

Advanced Poetry Writing

Michael Hofmann

Course description is 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 – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2009 semester must be received by the March 4, 2009 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


ENC 3310

Advanced Exposition

Christorpher Hazlett

In this course, we will consider particular methods of exposition and you will practice those methods extensively in your own compositions.

We will spend the first quarter of the semester exploring various modes of expository writing. The remainder of the semester will be spent in two ways: 1) we will meet as a class once a week to discuss principles of style, and 2) you will meet individually with me to discuss your own writing. This written work will consist of six expository papers.

Possible texts include:

  • Zinsser. On Writing Well
  • Williams. Style: Toward Clarity and Grace


ENC 3312

Advanced Argumentative Writing

Lacy Hodges

This course will address making and, in particular, writing arguments. We’ll spend the first few weeks of the semester studying a variety of rhetorical and argumentative theories and techniques. The remainder of the semester will focus upon incorporating the theories and techniques studied in written arguments.

The goal of the course is to create complex written arguments using a range of rhetorical strategies. We will look to a variety of argumentative techniques, both classical and contemporary (including a focus on new media’s role in rhetoric) in order to create effective written arguments.

Assignments will include:

  • Five to seven argumentative essays
  • Weekly blog posts relating to class readings and discussions
  • Participation in class discussion


ENC 3414


Greg Ulmer

What happens to humanities education in a culture of images? The proposition to be tested in a semester-long project is that hypermedia (Internet) authoring explicitly supports creative thinking: there is a fortunate alignment in hypermedia relating the logic of creativity, the forms of popular culture, and the links-and-nodes features of networked technology. The non-traditional methodology of this course requires active engagement through practices such as inventive problem-solving and group collaboration in in-class presentations and an email listserv. The point of departure for the semester project is the observation made by cultural historians that a pattern of a few core images is found organizing the work of the most productive people across a wide range of disciplines. The historians note that the ingredients of the core image are in place by the time the individual leaves high school. Our project is to test the educational capacities of image thinking by exploring this pattern or “image of wide scope” in an experimental hypermedia self-portrait. The pedagogy for the course involves a hybrid of criticism, composition, and studio arts. The medium for the semester project is a blog (such as Wordpress), supplemented by basic photoshop and drawing programs. Extensive use will be made of online materials.

An exhibit of student projects from earlier versions of the course is available online: <http://web.nwe.ufl.edu/~gulmer/course97/rushmore.html>.


ENG 3010

Introduction to Literary Theory since 1950

Donald Ault

Required text: Course pack available from Xerographic Copy Center: 927 NW 13th St (352) 375–0797

This course is intended as a survey of some of the major critical theories and methods beginning in the second half of the twentieth century. There will be a good deal of reading, and in order to make sure you are keeping up with the reading, there will probably several in-class quizzes, always announced in advance. You must take and pass a majority of the quizzes administered in order to pass the course. Your final grade will be based primarily on four or five writing assignments. Your final grade will reflect my assessment of your comprehension and articulation of the various theories and methods we will be studying, with an emphasis on your original insights into and application of these critical texts to specific cultural productions. Productive class participation can make a significant difference in your grade. Excessive absences without excuses will lower your grade.


ENG 3115

Introduction to Film Criticism and Theory

Scott Nygren

This course will introduce current theoretical contexts for engaging the contemporary media environment, and will consider the reading and writing of theoretical texts as parallel activities to the viewing and making of films.

We will study world media through close visual analysis of individual films, stressing the historical and international diversity of cinematic approaches and styles. At the same time, we will study contemporary critical writing on film and its basis in the larger domain of cultural theory. Emphasis will be on such basic issues as viewer identification, social formations and cultural context as articulated through a series of post-structural, postcolonial and postmodern methodologies. After introducing phenomenology and and structuralism as points of departure, the class will consider psychoanalysis, ideology, deconstruction, discourse, gender and race en route to postcolonial and postmodern approaches.

The principal purpose of the class will be to investigate theoretical issues through an experience of specific film texts, and the function of these texts in the past and present workings of history, especially as this leads towards questions for future production and study. The working assumption here is that alphabetic writing and film production both constitute modes of inscription, and represent two ways of embodying the same cultural process.

Mastery of so many topics is neither possible nor expected. The goal is to understand the conditions and motives that led to the rethinking of media, and to initiate theoretical strategies in your own work. Two papers of 8–10 pages each plus class discussion are required.


ENG 3121

History of Film 1

Maureen Turim

This course will examine the history of film from its origins through the transformations that accompanied the development of sound film. We will look at issues of industry and audience as well as the changing form of filmic expression. There will be emphasis on various styles of imagistic expression, intertitling, narrative structure and musical accompaniment. One of my goals is to introduce you to the great art and pleasure to be found in these films and to help you understand them in new ways. Films will include major works of the silent and early sound period, and some rarities.

Text: Film History: An Introduction

Course Requirements: One paper of 8-10 pages, plus class discussion and tests. Tests will be "short answer," designed to gauge your understanding of major concepts in the reading, lectures and class discussions as well as your attentive and careful viewing of the films.

Discussion: Participation in class discussion is essential. Since discussions will critically evaluate readings and films, assigned texts must be read prior to scheduled meetings. Unannounced quizzes may test your degree of preparation at any class.

Attendance: Each student is responsible for signing the attendance record at the beginning of class. For every unexcused absence over three, your final grade will be reduced one letter. Only written, verifiable medical or family emergency excuses are acceptable.


ENG 3122

History of Film 2

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.


  • Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management
  • Schatz, The Genius of the System
  • Stern, The Fuhrer and the People
  • Harmetz, Round up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca
  • Hillier, Cahiers du Cinema: The 1950s
  • Photocopy packet

Assignments and Grading:

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

  • a two-hour mid-term essay exam
  • a two-hour final essay exam

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

  • class participation (quality as well as quantity)
  • brief, short-answer daily reading quizzes
  • one oral presentation, which counts as five quiz grades

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


ENG 4015

Psychological Approaches to Literature

Peter Rudnytsky

This course will provide students with an introduction to major currents in psychoanalytic theory through readings of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Lacan, Bowlby, and others. The writings by analysts will be interspersed with the study of the following literary texts from various psychoanalytic perspectives: Oedipus the King, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Othello, Death in Venice, and Herzog. The course requirements are a midterm, final, and one five-page term paper, as well as non-graded weekly journal entries. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are also expected.


ENG 4060

History of the English Language

James Paxson

The History of the English Language traces the origins and development of English from prehistoric times to the present. About a third of the course will therefore treat the emergence and structure of Old English (with grammatical study adequate to read some Old English prose) and Middle English. However, because the linguistic study of English leans more towards preparation in the study of modern texts, the course will concentrate on the development of early modern literary English and on contemporary (and especially American) literary or dialectal forms. Required texts are C.M. Millward’s A Biography of English, 2nd edition; Bill Bryson’s Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States; and David Burnley’s The History of the English Language: A Sourcebook, 2nd ed. (Books are exclusively on order at Goerings Bookstore.) Course work will include three projects – the first involving training in the use of the Oxford English Dictionary; the second, a take-home midterm detailing phonological, grammatical and semantic changes in a specimen of Middle English prose translated by you into Modern English; and the third, a work in philological criticism on a literary text of your choice.


ENG 4110

The Films of Jacques Tati

Sylvie Blum

“In a world of increasing conformity, the modern eccentric can be seen as a contemporary hero and guardian of individualism” (Schulman). The course examines Tati’s career and contribution, his cinematic antecedents and heirs. Topics cover France’s culture at the time of the production of his films i.e. post-world war II France of the late 40s, 50s and 60s. Readings, discussion and analysis will bear on contemporary literature and cultural production, the everyday life, the use of space and architecture in film, the use of technology, the function of music and sound or silence in film, comedies, the representation of the male hero in French cinema, rural cinema and what I propose to read as a “Tati moment.”

Goals of the class: to give an appreciation of the world of Jacques Tati’s films over the course of his rather short production span (6 feature-length films, and several shorts) in the context of the time – post-World War II France – and of film history, the history at a time when France entered the Modern era. Influences on Tati and by Tati will be also part of our focus, as well as work by some of his contemporaries.


ENG 4110

Films of Steven Spielberg

Andrew Gordon

Introduction: Steven Spielberg is one of the most popular and influential filmmakers in the world today, both as director and producer. He has won all the major awards in American film and been lavishly praised as a director of enormous skill and visual flair, a natural storyteller able to entertain and to move mass audiences, and harshly criticized as slick, sentimental, or shallow. Over almost 40 years, there have been many Spielbergs: first, the boy wonder who made blockbuster fantasy adventures such as Jaws, Close Encounters, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Then the poet of the suburbs who brought warmth to the science fiction film with E.T. Next was serious Spielberg, who adapted prizewinning novels and historical dramas to the screen, such as The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, and Amistad. There was also Spielberg the mogul, producing movies and television programs and developing theme park rides, starting his own production company Amblin and helping to found the studio Dreamworks. In the past ten years, there has been Spielberg the journeyman director, stretching to try various genres, including the combat film (Saving Private Ryan), the crime comedy (Catch Me If You Can), romantic comedy (The Terminal), and the political thriller (Munich).

Goals: We will consider Spielberg as a major American director who has learned from the masters, such as Hitchcock and Kubrick, and as a major player in the Hollywood system. We will study the development of his career and style and look at some of his persistent themes, such as the ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances, the lost child, and the troubled family. This course should give you a better understanding of American film and American culture.


  • Duel
  • The Sugarland Express
  • Jaws
  • Close Encounters
  • E.T.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The Color Purple
  • Empire of the Sun
  • Jurassic Park
  • Schindler’s List
  • Shoah (Holocaust documentary by Claude Lanzmann)
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • A.I.
  • Minority Report
  • Munich


  • The Films of Steven Spielberg: Critical Essays ed. Charles L.P. Silet (Scarecrow Press)
  • Steven Spielberg: Interviews ed. Lester D. Friedman and Brent Notbohm (U of Mississippi Press)
  • Spielberg’s Holocaust: Critical Perspectives on Schindler’s List ed. Yosefa Loshitzky (Indiana U Press)
  • Steven Spielberg: A Biography by Joseph McBride (Simon and Shuster)
  • The Cinema of Steven Spielberg: Empire of Light by Nigel Morris (Wallflower)
  • Citizen Spielberg by Lester D. Friedman (U of Illinois)
  • Empire of Dreams: The Science Fiction and Fantasy Films of Steven Spielberg by Andrew M. Gordon (Rowman and Littlefield)

(Note: The only texts we will read in entirety are Citizen Spielberg and the biography. From the rest, we will read excerpts.)


  1. Paper 1 should be four typed pages (about 1000 words) and concern a film covered in Weeks I–V. Keep it tightly focused on one topic. You may revise Paper 1 if your grade is less than a B. 25%.
  2. Paper 2 should be seven typed pages (about 1750 words) and deal with one or two films, including Spielberg films not viewed for the class. You can also compare a Spielberg film with one by another director. Paper 2 should show evidence of research from at least four critics. 40%.
  3. In both papers, I encourage you to apply not only what you have learned in this class but also what you have learned in other courses, whether film, history, sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, political science, art, or music. We respond to films based on everything we know, and many different approaches to a single work can be worthwhile.
  4. One oral report to the class. Report on an assigned film or on another Spielberg film. (These reports may help you prepare for your papers.) Use DVD clips or power point. You may report individually or two–four students may collaborate on a project. Five minutes per person. These reports are required but ungraded. 8%.
  5. Attendance and participation. The film screenings are recommended, or else view the films on your own. 10% .
  6. Twelve short response papers (one page each) on the viewings and the readings. 12%


ENG 4130

Exploring Black Identity in Film

Craig Smith

This course will explore the ways in which filmmakers from across the Black Atlantic attempt to represent the varied experiences of people of African descent. Early popular films such as Birth of a Nation and the Tarzan film series, among others, have served to construct Blacks (in America and abroad) as monolithic savages.

However, subsequent films by Blacks, as producers of their own image(s) and experiences as opposed to mere consumers of globally circulated master narratives that construct Blacks as the racialized Other, have served to humanize and politicize Black people in significant ways. Students will use various theoretical approaches to examine a range of films from across the African Diaspora including North America, the Caribbean, and Britain. Key areas for analysis will focus on race, location, class, gender, and sexuality. In order to help us think about films critically, we will read the works of bell hooks, Manthina Diawara, Carolyn Cooper, Mark Reid, Frantz Fanon, and others.


ENG 4133

Film Studies: Bollywood Film through Nationalist, Diasporic, & Religious Frames

Heather Bigley

As the largest film industry in the world, Bollywood cinema has only come under critical scrutiny from traditional Film Studies in the last 20 years. This course will serve as an introduction to critical, political, aesthetic, and production concerns of Bollywood films by focusing on subsequent periods in Bollywood cinema since Partition: post-independence, emergency, nationalism and liberalization, the diaspora, and lastly Bollywood’s global influence.

Films will include: Mother India, Pyaasa, Bobby, Sholay, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Lagaan, Swades, Bride and Prejudice, The Namesake, Earth, Shakespeare Wallah, Darjeeling Limited, and Slumdog Millionaire.

Readings will include:

  • Bombay cinema : an archive of the city / Ranjani Mazumdar.
  • Cinema of interruptions : action genres in contemporary Indian cinema / Lalitha Gopalan.
  • National identity in Indian popular cinema, 1947–1987 / Sumita S. Chakravarty.
  • Filming the gods : religion and Indian cinema / Rachel Dwyer.
  • Cinema India : the visual culture of Hindi film / Rachel Dwyer and Divia Patel.
  • Ideology of the Hindi film : a historical construction / M. Madhava Prasad.
  • The cinematic imagiNation : Indian popular films as social history / Jyotika Virdi.
  • Bollyworld : popular Indian cinema through a transnational lens / editors, Raminder Kaur, Ajay J.
  • Beyond Bollywood: The Cultural Politics of South Asian Diasporic Film / Jigna Desai

Requirements will include:

  • Weekly Response papers to films and readings.
  • 2 Formal Papers.
  • Final Exam.
  • Reading quizzes.
  • Attendance and Participation.


ENG 4135

Italian Cinema

Mary Watt

Through a combination of lectures, screenings, readings and discussions, this course aims to provide students with an appreciation of the particular artistic genius of Italian Cinema.

The course will focus on identifying recurring themes and topics with a view to providing students with an understanding of the extent to which and the manner in which Italian Cinema reflects the political, cultural and historical landscape of Italy. This course aims to develop the critical and analytical capacities of students as well as broaden their aesthetic appreciation. Tests and examinations will focus on building a practical knowledge base, while essays and class discussions will focus on the development of original, well-reasoned critical and creative expression.


ENG 4135

Movements in Post-World War II Polish Cinema

Christopher Caes

This course will introduce and explore three separate movements or schools of filmmaking in Polish post-World War II cinema – the “Polish School” of 1955–1965, the “Cinema of Moral Concern” of 1976–1981, and the “New Naïveté,” of 1999–present. Each of these currents adopted a loosely conceived, historically specific aesthetic and ideological platform, which it then sought to put into practice artistically in order to have a therapeutic and a didactic effect on the culture and society of its time. The “Polish School,” which was characterized by a blend of Italian neorealist and Polish Romantic or absurdist/existentialist styles, sought to represent and work through the national trauma of World War II in a context in which political censorship prevented the direct address of such issues. It includes the early work of world-renowned director Andrzej Wajda, as well as works by prominent filmmakers such as Andrzej Munk, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, and Wojciech Has. The “Cinema of Moral Concern,” which drew on and combined the techniques of West European “cinemas of truth” with those of the New Hollywood, was in the forefront of the cultural ferment of the late 70s, which was devoted to the establishment of an underground civil society outside the institutions of the communist state and led up to founding of the trade union Solidarity. It includes early work by internationally recognized filmmakers Krzysztof Kieślowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, and Agnieszka Holland. Finally, the “New Naïveté,” which draws on a broad variety of Hollywood and international styles, seeks to transform the legacy of Solidarity’s anti-communist “revolution of the spirit” into contemporary forms of cultural capital in order to lay the foundations for “capitalism with a human face.” Among filmmakers active in this movement are Krzysztof Krauze, Robert Gliński, and Piotr Trzaskalski. Screening approximately one film a week, we will view at least five works from each movement, examining and discussing their individual formal and aesthetic principles and ideological investments, their relation to their respective movement as a whole, and their impact on the culture of their day.

Course requirements: attendance and participation (includes quizzes on assigned films and readings), 18.75%; take-home midterm, 18.75%; in-class final exam, 18.75%; short paper, sequence analysis 18.75%; final paper, based on application of course concepts to a film belonging to one of the three film movements in question, yet not screened in class, 25%.

Required Texts (selection):

  • Paul Coates, The Red & the White: The Cinema of People’s Poland, Wallflower, 2005.

Films (selection):

  • Kanal [1957] – dir. Andrzej Wajda
  • Eroica [1958] – dir. Andrzej Munk
  • Ashes & Diamonds (Popiół i diament) [1958] – dir. Andrzej Wajda
  • Man of Marble [1976] – dir. Andrzej Wajda
  • Camouflage [1976] – dir. Krzysztof Zanussi
  • The Camera Buff [1978] – dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski
  • The Debt [1999] – dir. Krzysztof Krauze
  • Edi [2002] – dir. Piotr Trzaskalski
  • My Nikifor [2004] – dir. Krzysztof Krauze


ENG 4136

Hypervideo: Rethinking Video Production

Scott Nygren

This course derives from a double convergence in contemporary media culture. On the one hand, cultural theory and innovative artistic practices regularly overlap and exchange techniques. On the other hand, computers and video have merged so that video imaging and computer interactivity intersect and are reconfiguring the electronic field. Based on these convergences, the class will map the creative and conceptual possibilities of working in new contexts.

The course will not teach traditional documentary, experimental or narrative uses of video as such, but will reinvent these approaches in order to produce visually articulate and engaging video in a contemporary world context.

We will be shooting video on digital video cameras and processing footage with desktop computers, primarily through Final Cut Pro on Mac G5s. The implication of such high-quality but low-cost desktop equipment, for the purposes of this course, is to make current technology available on an individualized basis for innovation and research. Much of the semester will be spent developing stategies for effectively using this equipment, and your participation will form a significant part of the course.

Please Note: Since space in production courses is limited, I am asking prospective students to apply for the class in order to prioritize for those who are most qualified and most in need of the course at this time. Please contact me at <nygren@ufl.edu> before March 19 if you are interested in enrolling for fall 2009.


ENG 4905

Independent Study

Faculty Member of Choice

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

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


ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Violence, Philosophy & Renaissance Tragedy

Richard Burt

We will read closely some of the major Renaissance tragedies, including The Spanish Tragedy, Hamlet, The Duchess of Malfi, The Changeling, The Revenger’s Tragedy, and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore together with some major philosophical writings on religious / political violence (and often concerned with Hamlet) by Søren Kirkegaard, Carl Schmitt, Martin Heidegger, Ernst Kantorowicz, Walter Benjamin, Réne Girard, Jacques Derrida, and Giorgio Agamben. Some attention will be paid to film adaptations of the plays. For more information, please go to <http://www.clas.ufl.edu/~burt/Renaissancetragedy/>


ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Fairy Tales, Psyche, Culture

John Cech

This honors seminar will examine the dynamic, interdisciplinary, and archetypal nature of the fairy tale and its recurrent motifs in order to understand why these ancient stories have fascinated audiences for millenia and continue to engage us in the present. To look at these and many other questions, we will read a core group of fairy tale texts included in the works of such writers and retellers as Apuleius, Basile, Perrault, the Grimms, Andersen, MacDonald, L. Frank Baum, and Virginia Hamilton. We will also explore the fairy tale’s migration into other forms, among them feature and animated films, television, music, dance, opera, painting, and photography. Throughout, we will be paying particular attention to the ways the tales evolve and thus continue to speak to successive generations of readers, listeners, and viewers.


ENG 4936

The City & the Country

Susan Hegeman

The U.S. is largely an urban and suburban country. Today, only 2% of the U.S. population lives on a farm – down from over 60% in the years before the Civil War. And yet, as some politicians’ invocations of “small town values” remind us, many Americans still hold to an idealized conception of America as a country composed of farmer-citizens. In fact, there is significant tension in American history and literature between the values and ideals associated with rural life and those of the city: freedom and autonomy versus confinement and conformity; simple virtues versus social complexity and sophistication; narrowness and bigotry versus openness and cosmopolitanism.

In this course, we will explore works by a diversity of authors from the late 19th and 20th centuries who explored the divisions and tensions between rural and urban conceptions of American life. Authors may include Willa Cather, Ralph Ellison, Hamlin Garland, William Dean Howells, Sinclair Lewis, H.L. Mencken, Frank Norris, and Flannery O’Connor.

Grades will be based upon participation, papers, and quizzes.


ENG 4940


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:

  • An offer to hire (from the employer) which states that the student will be working at least 12 hours per week for the entire semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer C), or 24 hours per week for a Summer A or B term. Said document should be produced on the company letterhead and should outline the job duties for the internship position.
  • A personal statement (submitted along with the offer of hire) about why the student wants to take the internship and how it relates to the student’s future plans.

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:

  • The supervisor of the student must submit a job performance evaluation to the Undergraduate Coordinator by Wednesday of finals week so that a grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory may be submitted to the Registrar. The evaluation may be faxed, mailed, or hand delivered.
  • The student must submit a personal evaluation of the work experience provided by the internship by the same day as above.

*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:

  • A student may register for the English Department Internship for three credits ONLY ONCE; no more than three hours worth of internship credit may be counted toward coursework in the major.
  • Because no English Department course carrying fewer than 3 credit hours counts towards the major, your internship will not count as part of your major coursework if you register for fewer than 3 credits.


ENG 4953

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Making of an Author

Stephanie Smith

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

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

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

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


  • This Side of Paradise (ISBN 0684843781)
  • The Beautiful and Damned (ISBN 0671001256)
  • The Great Gatsby (ISBN 0684801523)
  • Tender is the Night (ISBN 068480154X)
  • The Love of the Last Tycoon (ISBN 0020199856)
  • The Crack-Up (New Directors/Norton)
  • Flappers and Philosophers (short stories ISBN 0671550993)


ENG 4953

Post-colonial Theory

Malini Johar Schueller

By the beginning of the twentieth century, a few European powers – mainly Britain and France – had colonized 80% of Asia and Africa. Nationalist movements during the latter half of the century led to territorial, but not necessarily cultural and intellectual decolonization. The cultural and subjective effects of colonialism, as well as of conditions of neocolonialism and imperialism on both colonizers and colonized, constitute the field of postcolonial studies. This course is an introduction to postcolonial studies. We will study the ways in which postcolonial theory has intersected with and impacted diverse areas of inquiry such as feminism, historiography, and psychoanalysis. The course will focus on concerns central to postcolonial studies: the nature of colonial discourse, questions of subjectivity, the articulation of revolutionary national consciousness, the relationship of postcolonial studies to feminist theories, the changing nature of postcoloniality in light of the “globalization” of culture, and the nature of contemporary articulations of imperialism. We will read the works of major revolutionaries and theorists and the debates and arguments about these works.

In keeping with the wide range covered by postcolonial studies, the course will engage with a variety of cultural materials: popular films, a “documentary”, a slave narrative, and novels. We will also deal with writings from and about the major parts of the world affected by imperialism: Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America, and North America. An important goal of the course will be to see we can understand contemporary imperialism in terms of colonial history and discourse and analyze the ways in which “scholarly” works contribute to the formation of important policies. We will see how postcolonial theory can be instrumental in intervening in discourses of oppression today.

I am not sure which texts I'll be using but possible ones are:

  • Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory, eds. Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman
  • Edward Said, Orientalism
  • History of Mary Prince, ed. Moira Ferguson
  • Hari Kunzru, Transmission
  • Ama Ata Aidoo, Changes
  • Additional coursepack

Requirements: Two take home essay exams; one oral presentation; short position papers


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.

In the English Department, honors theses may take a variety of forms. Most often, students write essays of 30–50 pages in length dealing with topics in literary criticism, history, or theory; film and media studies; or, cultural studies. Such essays are appropriate for students who hope to go on to graduate or professional degree programs. However, students who have pursued the Creative Writing model of study may write short stories, poetry, or even a novella to fulfill the thesis requirement, and students who have followed the Film and Media Studies model of study can produce a short film or video (often accompanied by a brief essay providing a rationale for the project).

Students who register for honors thesis projects must have a 3.5 upper-division GPA (calculated on the basis of all the courses they take starting in the semester after they have completed 60 hours), and have earned a grade of “B” or better in at least one English Department Honors Seminar (ENG 4936). Students work with two readers (known as the first and second readers), whom they choose from among the members of the English Department faculty. These two readers may co-direct the thesis, or the first reader may direct the work, with the second reader offering suggestions for revision and improvement only when the project is fairly well-advanced.

Once students have worked out the focus and scope of their theses with their readers, they must submit completed Undergraduate Registration Request Forms in order to be registered for ENG 4970 Honors Thesis. These forms provide space in which students must describe their thesis projects. Students and readers must sign and date the forms. Copies of the Undergraduate Registration Request Form are available in Turlington 4012–E, and must be returned to Turlington 4012–E once they are completed. After students submit completed forms, and the Undergraduate Coordinator approves their projects, they will be registered for ENG 4970.

Final copies of honors theses must be submitted to both the English Department Undergraduate Coordinator in Turlington 4012 and to Ms. Linda O’Donnell in Room 105 in the Academic Advisement Center (100 Fletcher Dr.) no later than the last day of classes for the semester. (In Summer B/C semesters, final copies of honors theses are due one week before the end of classes.) Each copy must be accompanied by a completed Thesis Submission Cover Sheet available at the UF Honors Program web site. These copies of the theses should receive final approval from the readers before they are submitted. Because honors thesis readers must submit grades for honors theses one week before graduation, students and readers should establish deadlines for completing the projects that will permit the readers to submit grades in a timely fashion. After consulting with one another about what final grade an honors thesis should receive, the readers submit the grade to the Undergraduate Coordinator, who enters it in the Grade-a-Gator system.


ENL 3112

Eighteenth-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 which 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 eight to ten pages each) on topics that I offer. They also will keep a response journal in which they record their reactions to their daily readings. If the class is small enough (under twenty students), that journal will provide the basis for a one half-hour final oral examination. Should the class enroll more than twenty students, a written final examination will be offered. 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, 1711 N. W. 1st Avenue.

  • Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel (California)
  • Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works (Penguin)
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Penguin)
  • Samuel Richardson, Clarissa (Penguin)
  • Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews (Norton)
  • Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling (Norton)
  • Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (Penguin)
  • Francis Burney, Evelina (Oxford)
  • Elizabeth Inchbald, A Simple Story


ENL 3122

Nineteenth-Century English Novel: Writing the Nation-State and its Subject

Regina Martin

This is a survey of the nineteenth-century English novel. To give focus to the course we will read novels with an eye toward understanding the complex, interrelated histories of the novel, the nation-state, and the modern individual. Recent critics have argued that the novel is uniquely capable of giving voice to the national identities that characterize modernity. Considering the English context specifically, we will scrutinize this claim as we read a number of novels and some recent criticism. Possible novels include Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. This class will be of interest to students of English literature as well as students who are interested in the social, political, and formal history of the novel in general.  


ENL 3132

Twentieth-Century British Novel

R. Brandon Kershner

The course is a survey of the development of the twentieth-century “British” novel (including Ireland) through the present. The first half of the course will stress the arrival of modernism in the novel and the particular influence of literary impressionism; the second will explore lesser-known novelists, especially women, who are often excluded from surveys. We will also examine the question of postmodernism in the novel.

Requirements include two short essays (roughly eight typed pages in length). The subject of the first paper will be point of view in one of the authors we read before the midterm; the subject of the second will be open, but it must concern the work of one of the novelists we are reading after the midterm. There will be a midterm and a final exam, both including objective and essay parts, but the objective part of the final will not be cumulative. Papers and exams count equally toward your grade. Depending upon the class’s demonstrated preparedness, there may be occasional quizzes, each counting 1/4 of a paper grade. An additional grade, between C and A, will reflect your class participation.

Books may include Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Bedford Books); Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier; Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Bedford Books); Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; E. M. Forster, Howards End; Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart; Iris Murdoch, Under the Net; A. S. Byatt, Matisse Stories; Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot.


ENL 3210

Medieval English Literature

James Paxson

Medieval English Literature is a general introduction to the thought and culture of the Middle English period (c. 1100–1500 C.E.). It will thus serve mainly as a resource or backgrounds course designed to prepare students for Chaucer as well as for Renaissance authors. We’ll thus devote much attention to the influence of classical culture on the medieval imagination. We will study key genres including epic, romance, allegory, the philosophical debate, and the travel narrative not only to appreciate their literary or aesthetic dimensions but also to take into account medieval systems of psychology, ethics, history, theology, rhetoric, poetics, and semiotics; issues of gender and sexuality will figure prominently. We will have occasion as well to investigate some biblical texts and religious thinking important to our area. You should thereby develop knowledge in the various critical, literary, or cultural theories that have come to shape contemporary medieval studies in particular and English studies in general. Course work includes: two papers—the first due at midterm on classical backgrounds in early English poetry and the second due at the end of the course on a topic of your choice; two essay exams as well. Required attendance. Most readings are in the course’s main and required textbook, The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Volume 1: The Medieval Period. Additionally required texts include the Penguin paperback editions of Piers Plowman and The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. Texts will be on order at Goerings Bookstore.


ENL 3230

Age of Dryden and Pope

Brian McCrea

We will read plays, poems, and prose fiction by British authors of the second half of the seventeenth and first half of the eighteenth centuries. While we will study the individual works in considerable detail, we also will establish backgrounds (aesthetic, political, religious) from which those works emerge. In particular, we will attend to the growing social and literary power of what we today call the middle class and to a corresponding diminution of aristocratic/patriarchal authority.

Students will write two papers (6–8 pages each). They also will write briefly at the opening or closing of most class sessions, responding to questions about the reading or about the class itself. The course concludes with a two-part final examination. Part 1 (Identification and Short Answer) will be based upon my lectures. Part 2 (Essay) will ask for a comprehensive response to one of three questions about the Age. Participation in class discussions is expected. Students who have difficulty speaking in class should see me about other options.


All these will be available at Goerings Textbook location, 1717 N.W. 1 st Avenue.

  • Restoration and 18th Century Comedy, 2nd. ed., ed. Scott McMillin (Norton)
  • Popular Fiction by Women 1160–1730, eds. John Richetti and Paula Backscheider (Oxford)
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1C, 8th edition, eds. M. H. Abrams, et al. (Norton)


ENL 3251

Victorian Vampires

Dragan Kujundzic

The course will discuss the figure of the vampire in literature (Byron, Sheridan le Fanu, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire will be read and analyzed, among others), as well as the rendering of the vampire in cinema (from Dreyer’s Vampyr, Murnau’s Nosferatu, to Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Slayers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, among others). The course will address issues of vampires and vEmpire (imperial and colonial politics as vampirism in Britain and the US); vampirism and psychoanalysis (mourning and melancholia); vampirism and modernism; vampirism and cinema; vampires and Victorian literature; queer, gay and lesbian vampires; vampirism and nationalism; vampires, blood and AIDS, etc.


ENL 3251

Victorian Literature

Rachel Slivon

One of the goals of this course will be to understand the major cultural conversations occurring in Victorian Britain. To do so, we will engage with several themes through the framework of identity, and we will explore questions including: How is Victorian identity constructed? How is it de-constructed? How do gender, class, and race figure into Victorian identities? What identity hierarchies are established and challenged and how? Exploring these various questions will serve as starting points for further discussions about other instrumental issues during the Victorian era, including marriage, the New Woman, colonialism, and several others.

Other goals of the course include developing critical close reading skills and constructing clear, thoughtful, persuasive, well-organized arguments. Course requirements include frequent quizzes, active participation, two papers (6–8 pages), and a cumulative final exam.

Possible texts include:

  • Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre
  • Eliot, George. The Mill on the Floss
  • Grand, Sarah. The Heavenly Twins
  • Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure
  • Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness
  • The Longman Anthology of British Literature. Volume 2B The Victorian Age

We will also be reading poetry, short stories, non-fiction, and critical essays. Other writers sampled will likely include Charles Darwin, John Stuart Mill, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, George Egerton, Ella D'Arcy, and Henry Harland.


ENL 4311

Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

R. Allen Shoaf

This course will be devoted to the Canterbury Tales, which will be read in their entirety (only one textbook as such will be required). Some ancillary reading in certain Latin texts will be assigned (probably by way of a small course-pack), but the primary focus will be Chaucer’s career from about 1387 until his death in October, 1400 (the traditional, conventional date). All readings in the CT will be in Middle English and some time will be spent on Chaucer’s pronunciation (reconstructed) and his prosody, but the course is not a course in language as such.

Three brief essays will be required; no examinations will be assigned.

The course is reading intensive; and class participation is expected.


ENL 4333

Shakespeare: Career’s End

R. Allen Shoaf

This course will introduce students to seven of Shakespeare’s tragedies and his four romances; some readings in selected “Sonnets” will also be assigned along with “Venus & Adonis” (the main text from the beginning of his career). The course will address the question of possible relationships between tragedy and romance (acknowledging that these genre identities are notoriously problematic) so as to test the notion that every romance is a tragedy except in its resolution.

This notion is not new and certainly not revolutionary, but it will perhaps help us understand why Shakespeare “quit writing,” which will, in turn, help us understand his peculiar place in Renaissance English drama (and, ultimately, world drama) – the only dramatist of whom it could possibly be said, as Ben Jonson did say, famously, “he was not of an age but for all time.”

Two essays will be required, 10 pages each, on topics of students’ own choosing; no examinations will be assigned.


ENL 4333


Robert Thomson

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

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

I intend to spend time with the following plays and, in addition, may spare more than a passing glance at one or two others – particularly making use, at the beginning of the course, of the early plays Titus Andronicus and Richard III and also The Sonnets

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Henry 4 part 1
  • Henry 4 part 2
  • As You Like It
  • Julius Caesar
  • Hamlet
  • Measure for Measure
  • King Lear
  • The Tempest

The Text for the course is The Norton Shakespeare, edited by Stephen Greenblatt and others. It is in stock at Goerings Bookstore. Any recent and annotated text would suffice but since I will be giving references to the texts in the above edition and occasionally referring to its introductory essays and bibliographies, it would be perhaps more prudent to use the recommended text. Throughout the course of the semester, I will draw your attention to particularly noteworthy essays and critical studies from the lists given by Greenblatt in his text. My intention is not simply to display my own preferences and prejudices, but also to let you know where much of the substance of my discussions of the plays comes from. In addition, I will frequently offer you recommended readings of recent criticism that has been published since our text went to press, particularly those arising from new historicist, feminist, psychological and anthropological approaches to the texts. I will also take it upon myself to advise you of the more useful websites I have encountered, particularly those that offer bibliographical, critical and explicatory information.


Two essays will be required of you (each ca. 2500 words) and, in addition, there will be a number of in-class tests. There will be no final exam.

Oral participation will be expected and rewarded. Absences – I intend to make periodic register checks – will be penalized, as will late papers. Plagiarism which is detected will result in a failing grade for the course.

If at any time you need to see me or discuss a problem, I can be reached on the phone, 392-1060 ext 267. My office (Turlington 4342) hours will be 8:00 through 9:00 each morning of classes or by appointment. I can also be reached by email: <rthomson@ufl.edu>.


LIT 3003

Forms of Narrative: Narrative Machines

Stephanie Boluk

This course serves as an introduction to narrative forms and theory through a focus on how digital literatures have reconfigured modes of storytelling. We’ll examine the various ways narrative has been historically defined and develop methodologies for approaching works that are authored using new media technologies through close, formal analyses of both print and digital texts. Our analyses will attend to the cultural and material specificity of the objects we are studying. We will discuss how technology shapes narrative possibilities. What are the influences of a medium on storytelling and what are the consequences of translating narratives from one medium to another? What is the relationship of narrativity to interactivity? Of database to narrative? How must we adapt our interpretive strategies to incorporate human-computer interaction? We’ll investigate how these questions of narrative, genre, and technology reshape our concepts of the literary in new media.

Requirements include regular blog posts, quizzes, a presentation and two research projects. No special knowledge or equipment is required for the course other than reliable access to a computer and the Internet.

Tentative readings:

  • Marie-Laure Ryan, Avatars of Story
  • Shelley Jackson, Patchwork Girl
  • Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
  • Selections from the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1
  • Critical readings, short stories and films from Gérard Genette, Jorge Luis Borges, N. Katherine Hayles, Espen Aarseth, Lev Manovich, David Lynch and others


LIT 3043

Text Against Performance

Apollo Amoko

Course description not available at this time.


LIT 3173

Women in Modern Hebrew Fiction

Avraham Balaban

Israel was founded on expressed ideas of a complete equality between the sexes. Yet, until the last two decades of the twentieth century, Hebrew fiction was mainly a male domain, and women were rarely depicted as full-blown human beings. In the last two decades a new wave of female writers started publishing their work, and the image of women has become much richer and diverse. The rationale of the course is to explore the different manners in which women are depicted in Hebrew fiction throughout the twentieth century. Special attention is given to the changes that occurred in the last two decades, with the appearance of a new wave of female writers.

The course starts with a close reading of stories by writers who established the new center of Hebrew literature in then-Palestine: Dvora Baron and S.Y. Agnon. Then we study some stories of the “Palmach generation” of the 1940s and the 1950s (Moshe Shamir, Aharon Megged, Yigal Mossinson). A major part of the course is dedicated to the works of the “New Wave” writers of the early 1960s, Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, Amalia Kahana-Carmon, and Aharon Appelfeld. The final part of the course deals with the new wave of female writers, who started publishing in the late 1980s.

In the second part of the semester students will present short papers on the books of De Beauvoir (The Second Sex), Gilbert and Gubar (The Madwoman in the Attic), Millet (Sexual Politics), Rich (Of Woman Born) and Showalter (A Literature of Their Own).

The discussion of female figures in the texts (women as the ‘other,’ as full-blown human beings, as symbols, etc.) is done in the context of Israeli society: i.e., a new society established on expressed ideas of a complete equality between the sexes; the burden of Jewish tradition which tends to marginalize the role of women and stresses their role as mothers; the effect of the political situation (society under constant siege).


LIT 3313

Modern Science Fiction – Up Above

Terry Harpold

In the several decades before and following the invention of heavier-than-air flight, distinctive genres of fiction emerged and flourished in response to the new technological era: aeronautic adventure (those brave men and women in their flying machines!); aeronautic horror (something unpleasant waits for usupabove); and subaerine horror (sometimes it comesdownhere). With the beginning of the modern space age in the 1940s, aerial fiction shifted outward to more distant fields, and the imaginative literature of the upper atmosphere lapsed into obscurity. This course will survey fiction and nonfiction of the early aerial age with the aim of documenting and understanding this exemplary case of the influence of technological change on the rise and evolution of literary genres.

We will read short texts on the history of modern aviation; short and long American and British science fiction, including pulp fiction from the Gernsback era of American SF; nonfiction texts on the 1896–97 and 1909–1912 “airship waves,” considered the first modern UFO “flaps”; and texts from the late 20th century literature of “critters” and “rods” – a curious resurgence of earlier atmospheric fantasies, in which anomalous phenomena are purported to be evidence of undocumented lifeforms. (Hic sunt dracones: here there are dragons; the skies are full of them.) Our philosophical guide to these realms will be the great American anomalist Charles Hoy Fort, whose writings (we will read The Book of the Damned, New Lands and portions of Lo!) are among the most engaging studies of the early 20th century aerial imaginary.)

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


LIT 3383

Women in Literature: Jane Austen

Judith Page

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

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

This course will focus on Austen’s writing (including juvenilia, letters, published novels, and uncompleted texts) in the context of the literature, culture, and politics of her time. We will study Austen’s relationship to other women writers of the period. We will also discuss several recent film adaptations of Austen’s fiction, considering the ways that such films re-imagine the past that Austen’s novels represent.

Readings (subject to some change):

  • Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life
  • Catherine and Other Writings
  • Northanger Abbey
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon
  • Mansfield Park
  • Emma
  • Persuasion
  • Belinda (by Maria Edgeworth)

Possible writing assignments: several short papers and two exams.


LIT 4194

African Literature in English

Apollo Amoko

Course description not available at this time.


LIT 4305

Animation and Comics

Donald Ault

Required text: Course pack available from Xerographic Copy Center: 927 NW 13th St (352) 375–0797

This course will provide an introduction to a selective history of comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and animated cartoons, along with a consideration of theoretical implications inherent to the study of these fields of imagetextual production. There will be an emphasis on early American productions (1890s–1960s), with considerable focus on the animation and comic book work of Disney artist/writer Carl Barks as central to the historical and theoretical problems to be addressed in the course. There will probably several in-class quizzes, always announced in advance. You must take and pass a majority of the quizzes administered in order to pass the course. Your final grade will be based primarily on four or five writing assignments. Your final grade will reflect my assessment of your comprehension and articulation of the various theories and methods we will be studying, with an emphasis on your original insights into and application of these critical texts to specific cultural productions. Productive class participation can make a significant difference in your grade. Excessive absences without excuses will lower your grade.


LIT 4331

Children’s Literature

Ramona Caponegro

This course explores the vast field of children’s literature, looking at various genres of works written for children and relevant scholarship about the history of the field and ongoing conversations within it. We will examine nursery rhymes, fables, fairy tales, plays, poetry, and periodicals for children, as well as picture books, intermediate fiction, and young adult novels. We will also consider debates and discussions within children’s literature, including questions about the canon, multicultural children’s literature, censorship, and the awarding of literary prizes. Work for this course will include research in the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, academic essays, and creative projects.


LIT 4333

Literature for the Adolescent

Anastasia Ulanowicz

In this course, we will account for major themes and trends in American “young adult” (or “YA”) literature. As we analyze each of the assigned texts, we will pay particularly close attention to the ways in which works of YA literature draw on culturally-constructed notions of adolescence to shape the adolescent characters within them – and how, in turn, they seek to draw in and interpellate the adolescents who read them. Additionally, we will address issues of class, race, gender, sexuality, national identity, and consumerism implicit within the assigned texts.

Primary texts may include:

  • J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
  • S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders
  • Paul Zindel, The Pigman
  • Robert Cormier, The Chocolate War
  • Judy Blume, Forever
  • Anonymous, Go Ask Alice
  • Francesca Lia Block, Weetzie Bat
  • Francine Prose, After
  • Walter Dean Myers, Monster
  • Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries
  • M.T. Anderson, Feed


LIT 4334

The Golden Age of Children’s Literature

Cari Keebaugh

“The Golden Age of Children’s Literature” refers roughly to the period of the Victorian era during which many publishers and authors began to turn to children as their primary audience.

Though the dates are often contested, the Golden Age generally refers to the span of time from 1865-1926, beginning with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and ending with the publication of Winnie-the-Pooh (though some scholars contend that it actually ended in 1914 with the beginning of WWI). The contention over the inclusive dates of the Golden Age will be part of our pursuit this semester, along with matters of theme, history, and critical attention paid to this remarkable era.

This course will offer a survey of many of the most influential authors to come out of the Golden Age. Thus, we will explore a wide range of tales, including adventure stories, fantasy, nonsense, and coming-of-age stories. Primary texts will be paired with historical and critical readings in order to introduce the student to both the cultural context the books grew out of and contemporary studies of children’s literature. Particular attention will be paid to reoccurring literary themes (orphans, identity, religious messages, etc.), author biographies, and the social context (education, religion, psychology, politics) out of which these works emerged. Critical sources will vary in range from socio-historic inquires to semiotic and philosophical approaches.


LIT 4483

Paris is Burning! The New Europe in Film, Literature, & Politics

Barbara Mennel

The course “Paris is Burning! The New Europe in Film, Literature, and Culture” introduces students to the discourses around migration, ethnicity, and Islam in the New Europe and the cultural production by the current generation of migrants. The course will begin with a discussion of the public debates in Paris around migration, citizenship, and French identity and move outwards from there to address films and literature from different European countries. Students will read literature from the French banlieue together with Turkish-German literature and connect discussions of citizenship with films about migration from Poland to New York City and about the West Indian community in London. We will discuss the theoretical debates around citizenship and identity in the New Europe, and raise questions about migration to and within Europe.


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 modernity. 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 surprising 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: The Adventures of Captain Hatteras, The Begum’s Millions, The Green Ray, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, The Mysterious Island, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, and The Underground City. All texts will be read in modern English translations: happily, faithful and complete renderings have recently replaced the dreadful 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.


LIT 4930

Black Englishes

James Essegbey

The aim of this course is to take students on a language journey across the globe to look at the Englishes spoken by blacks in Africa and the Americas. Students will learn about their structure and sociohistory as well as watch movies and/or listen to audio clips in the varieties. They will learn concepts like “dialect,” “pidgin” and “creole” which they will use to appraise the languages.


LIT 4930

The Course of Love

John Cech

A journey through our literary history -- from ancient Sumeria and China to 21st century America, from the epic poem to the contemporary song lyric, from folktales to films, from novels to reality television -- in order to explore the landscape of those emotions we call “love.” The course will look at the kinds of love (and the genres that express them) that have been sources of awe and celebration on one hand and the causes of heartache and tragedy on the other.


LIT 4930

Derrida & Literature

Dragan Kujundzic

The impact of the leading philosopher of what is known as deconstruction, “the most famous philosopher,” the “global philosopher,” as he was dubbed during his lifetime, Jacques Derrida, will be discussed in the context of his writing on literature (Shakespeare, Kafka, Paul Celan, E. A. Poe, etc); religion, the Bible and Messianism; translation theory (Walter Benjamin); media and cinema (two films on Derrida will be screened, as well as films that were read by the method of “deconstruction,” David Wills’s essay on Peter Greenaway will be read and the films screened, among others; Derrida and television); art and museum (Derrida’s Memoirs of the Blind book about the Louvre). Other writers close to Derrida and their writings will be discussed (J. Hillis Miller on the kiss in Henry James’s Turn of the Screw; Paul de Man on Shelley); Freud and psychoanalysis will be discussed, in light of Derrida’s Archive Fever and Resistance to Psychoanalysis; Derrida and Judaism (Levinas). Derrida’s work on Austin’s speech act theory will be discussed, as well as his polemical writings about Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault. Critical texts (which will be read as selected passages or a few shorter books by Derrida) will always be accompanied by readings of primary literary texts, films, media or artwork.


SPC 3605


Ron Carpenter

Speechwriting is an advanced composition course. In this course, 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 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 many future communication endeavors, as speakers or writers, regardless of profession. The textbook is Ronald H. Carpenter, Choosing Powerful Words: Eloquence that Works.

This course is not about supporting arguments or organizing them into broader discourse. For those skills, other courses are more appropriate. Speechwriting is about the best words and their best orders – within sentences – to achieve optimal impress of your ideas upon readers or listeners. Your writing is perfected in drafts that you read aloud among peers (and for me), wherein you should acquire a sense of what to do to achieve the final product desired at the semester end. Thus, present drafts when due; listen carefully to other students’ drafts; 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.

Your first speech will be written after we analyze and identify sources of style in Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and John Kennedy’s Inaugural Address. You will rewrite the Gettysburg Address as Ted Sorensen would have helped John Kennedy write it. This assignment will improve your flexibility as a stylist. For the speech praising a person for whom you have great love or admiration, you must write for an actual occasion when that person will hear or read your statement (you will earn many “points” from that person as well as other people). For the speech praising an institution or ideal, you will write about something that you are likely to address in later life, perhaps as a professional person (I predict that years later you will take that text from your files and use it again for part – if not most – of an important statement that you likely will write).

How a draft is presented, vocally and physically, has no bearing on your grade (for help with delivery skills other courses are appropriate, but I may offer suggestions to improve your platform presence). 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 computer word processing.

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

  1. demonstrate prowess as the competent stylist on exams and in final, polished drafts of writing assignments,
  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 early in the semester and will require substantial additional reading).

In combination, initial drafts, exam answers, final polished drafts, and your research paper will total well over 6,000 words for Gordon Rule credit.

Final grades are determined one-half by the average of your three exam scores and one-half by your final notebook with polished drafts of writing and the research paper – all typed, double-spaced, and turned in at the time and date listed in the University Timetable as the course final exam period. Although this is a writing course, I am impressed – for purposes of grades – by how much you know about style as defined in this course. Moreover, please appreciate that this composition course is unlike virtually all other persuasive writing courses at the University of Florida. The expertise and confidence in the precepts being taught are derived from your instructor’s own published research in five scholarly press books, several book chapters, and numerous research journal articles (all of which informed my writing of your textbook).

In conclusion, teaching you to be eloquent stylists in writing gives me great personal satisfaction. From my experience as a communications consultant for organizations outside the university (such as corporate executives, lawyers, civic leaders, hospital administrators, public relations professionals, CPAs, and officers attending the U.S. Naval War College), I know that skills acquired in this course will be useful for the rest of your life, no matter what your later profession is. This syllabus is a contract I offer you: by exerting the academic diligence to learn what is offered by this course, you will acquire important compositional skills that you will use in a wide range of writing in your later life (and as one former student wrote to me, for the lives of your children if you opt to teach them the skills you acquired). The only prerequisite for the course is ability to write grammatical sentences that are spelled and punctuated correctly.


SPC 4680

Rhetorical Criticism: Masterpieces of Rhetoric

Ron Carpenter

Our focus is several “masterpieces of rhetoric.” Although some of these are in the realm of political and presidential discourse, another is rhetoric to persuade Americans about armed conflict abroad. Thus, students will examine how some speakers, writers, and film makers appealed successfully to specific attitudes and actions that had profound influence upon the course of events. The primary goal of the course is to give students a refined sense of some rhetorical principles and techniques by which their own future discourse is persuasive.

The textbook is Halford Ryan, Contemporary American Public Discourse: A Collection of Speeches and Critical Essays. Several class assignments are group projects. After the third week of classes, you should be in a group with 5–6 other class members, who in collaboration will write speeches for presentation to the entire class for analyses. In turn, groups will write short papers about rhetorical tendencies in all of those group speeches. I am convinced (unless proven otherwise) that when groups argue among themselves about the way to fulfill assignments, final products display far greater understanding. For example, after viewing Richard Nixon’s famous – or infamous – “Checkers” speech in 1952, we will study Ted Kennedy’s apologia after Ms. Kopechne died in his company. Then, groups of speechwriters will create the TV speech that Bill Clinton should have given within 48 hours after Monica Lewinsky first became newsworthy. For affiliating with other students, one group must be all male and another only females; the rest can be any combination. Group papers constitute one-third of students’ final grades.

Four group papers (3–4 typed pages) will summarize and expand upon assigned readings, films, and group projects presented in class. The fifth short paper, fulfilling the enthymeme assignment, can be any length deemed necessary. A longer, individual final paper (7–8 typed pages) will report research about some topic suggested by the course (the focus of that paper must be developed in consultation with me, and it will constitute another one-third of your final grade). The course also has an individual “take home” final exam for the final one-third of your grade. Please understand that group projects require meetings with your student peers outside of regular class periods. Students also are required to view some films outside of class, whether in groups or individually. “Take-home” final exams, research papers, and the remaining short paper are due at the time and date listed in the UF Schedule of Classes as what would have been the Final Exam period.