UndergraduateCourses, Spring 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 3041

American Fiction Since 1865

David Leverenz

This course will emphasize close readings of some classic and contemporary American narratives in their cultural contexts. We’ll also focus on some American narratives about what I’ll call Othering, from 1894 to the present. We’ll begin with W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, and compare that with Booker T. Washington’s autobiography for white people, Up From Slavery, both published at the turn into the 20th century. We’ll then read Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, Nella Larsen’s Passing, and probably Stephen Crane’s The Monster and “The Blue Hotel.” At that point we’ll turn to three narratives featuring othering in the midst of family dynamics, at least two from a woman’s point of view: Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!, William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury (maybe, depending on students’ yeas or nays), and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.

The last part of the course will focus on at least two narratives that foreground tensions between Islam and the West: Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel, a memoir of her journey from Somalia to Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia to Kenya to Somalia to the Netherlands to the U.S., and Mohsin Hamid’s novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. I’m leaving several weeks open for class choices, which could range from narratives by Chopin, Wharton, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Hurston, Wright, Baldwin, and Nabokov to narratives by more recent authors.

Work required: an initial close-reading exercise (10%), and three 4–6 pp. comparative close readings (30% each, with credit for improvement). For most classes I’ll ask 5 or 6 students to e-mail me informal responses before our meeting, with suggestions for what you’d like to talk about. There won’t be any exams. Grading will be based entirely on your formal writing, though late essays or more than four unexcused class cuts (double period = two classes) will lower your grade. The more absences, the lower the grade. Excused absences can be made up with extra writing about the text(s) discussed that day. I don’t include class participation in the grading because I try to make class sessions non-judgmental and relaxed, so that anyone can try out ideas without feeling silly, weird, or stupid. For the essays, though not for the initial close-reading exercise, I also welcome prewrites, if handed in a week before the due date.

I’m on leave this fall and won’t be back until the start of spring semester. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at <Ldavid@ufl.edu>.

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AML 3271

Survey of African American Literature II

Amy Ongiri

This course will examine African American literature and culture in relationship to the tremendous social, political, and cultural change that characterized the post-war period. Special attention will be given to the ways in which African American social change movements such as Civil Rights, Black Power, and Black Feminism affect African American cultural production and African American aesthetic practices.

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AML 3285

American Indian Literature

Susan Hegeman

This survey of literature (and some films) by American Indian/First Nations creators will address such basic questions as what is “literature,” and what are the specific problems and concerns associated with identifying a literary tradition associated with a diverse group of indigenous peoples? We will be discussing films, novels, and memoirs by Sherman Alexie, Charles A. Eastman, Louise Erdrich, LeAnn Howe, Zacharias Kunuk, N. Scott Momaday, and Leslie Marmon Silko. Grades will be based on two 7–10 page papers, workshops, class participation, and quizzes.

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AML 3673

Asian-American & African-American Interactions

Malini Johar Schueller

This course will focus on the literary and cultural interactions between Asian-Americans and African-Americans. We will examine the following facets of this interaction: the representations of African-Americans in Asian-American novels and films; the pivotal role of African-Americans in the formulation of the idea of the model minority and resistances to this formulation; representations of Asian-Americans in African-American literary works; and Asian-American rap. We will also have focus units on the L.A. riots and possibly on base camp life. If possible, we will also read the history of radical alliances between Asians and Africans, particularly as these were useful to African-Americans and Asian-Americans. Possible texts will include Frank Chin’s Chickencoop Chinaman, Meena Alexander’s Manhattan Music, Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight USA, Paul Beatty’s White Boy Shuffle, Heinz Insu Fenkl’s Memories of My Ghost Brother, W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Dark Princess and others to be determined. There will also be a coursepack of critical readings on race.

Requirements: weekly reading responses or quizzes; two 8-9 page papers; one oral presentation.

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AML 4170

Studies in American Literary Forms: The American Renaissance

Trisha Kannan

The course will focus on the writers F.O. Matthiessen deemed The American Renaissance: Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman, Melville, and Hawthorne. We will also explore the writers Matthiessen left out, such as Dickinson, Poe, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The forms studied will include the novel, poetry, short stories, and essays.

Grades will be based on participation, quizzes, a ten page paper, and a final exam.

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AML 4170

Realism, Naturalism, Local Color

Susan Hegeman

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

We will read works by Abraham Cahan, Willa Cather, Charles Chesnutt, Stephen Crane, Harold Frederic, Hamlin Garland, Henry James, James Weldon Johnson, and Jack London, among others. Grades will be based on two 7–10 page papers, workshops, class participation, and quizzes.

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AML 4213

The First U.S. Novels

Ed White

In 1808, a clergyman named William Jenks published “Memoir of the Northern Kingdom,” a novella purportedly published in 1901, and describing the break-up of the United States. The United States had lasted only a short time before being fragmented into a northern kingdom of New England, New York, and Canada, and a southern kingdom of slave-owners now speaking French and ruled by descendants of Napoleon; only a breakway state of fanatics – the Republic of Illinois – held onto the legacy of the American Revolution.

This course considers how someone like William Jenks could write such an odd text in 1808. After something of a boom during the 1790s, the US novel had almost faded away, and works of fiction would not appear in large numbers until the historical novels of the 1820s. Does the odd writing of William Jenks help us understand what happened? In this course we’ll survey a series of novels and novelistic writings that appeared between 1790 and 1815 or so, looking at the challenges facing the new writer of fiction in the United States. We will focus on odd experiments in fiction writing. Authors studied will likely include: Charles Brockden Brown, Judith Sargent Murray, Susanna Rowson, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Royall Tyler, and Hannah Foster, among others.

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AML 4225

Authenticity, Identity, and 19th-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.

Readings:

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AML 4685

Jewish-American Fiction Since 1945

Andrew Gordon

This course is crosslisted with JST 4936 (3252).

Texts:

At Goering's Books, 1717 NW 1st Ave:

At Orange and Blue Texts, 309 NW 13 St, across from Krispy Kreme:

Objectives:

This course traces the development of Jewish-American fiction since 1945 within the context of twentieth-century American literatures and cultures and deals with the role of ethnic literatures within our multiethnic nation. Most of the works we will read concern problems of assimilation of Jews into American society and the quest of the protagonists for identity as Americans and Jews.

We will study how Jewish-American fiction moved into the mainstream of American literature after WW II as the Jews became increasingly Americanized. We will also consider such topics as anti-Semitism, literary responses to the Holocaust and to the state of Israel, and the rise of Jewish feminism.

This is not a course in religion and you need not be Jewish to take it. An interest in American literature, history, and culture or in issues of ethnic identity and assimilation is sufficient.

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

Requirements:

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

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

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

All submissions must be received by the October 17, 2008 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

Debora Greger

You may take this course more than once for credit! The prerequisite for CRW 3310 is CRW 1301 or CRW 2300 – but those without the prerequisite are urged to apply as well!

We read.
We write.
We talk.
We revise.
We rock.

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

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

 – Yuri Kasian, Ukrainian caver

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

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

All submissions must be received by the October 17, 2008 deadline.

topManuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

Brandon Kershner

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

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

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

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

In the first part of class, we will discuss poems by the writers from our anthology assigned for that week, and we will discuss the particular writing assignment or exercise (if any) for the following week. You should be familiar with the poems from Ramazani, Ellmann and O’Clair assigned that week; unless I state otherwise, read all the selections for each poet. From time to time, we will have in-class exercises designed to help your writing and explore technical possibilities.

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. My quantification of these elements may be somewhat subjective.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

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

All submissions must be received by the October 17, 2008 deadline.

topManuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 4905

Advanced Seminar in Fiction Writing

Padgett Powell

This course is the last in our series of undergraduate workshops in fiction writing. Its objective is to help you or make you write better fiction, arguably the objective of any workshop worth anything. As the last of our courses, however, this one seeks to make the three or so pieces you will tender lasting, able-bodied fictions you can show off, apply to graduate programs with, or publish. This is the time you become the best undergraduate writer of fiction you can become.

Standard workshop format. I anticipate full efforts at writing well, at criticizing for the benefit of others, at attending religiously, at speaking cogently when you can, at surrounding yourself in the mantle of intelligent reticence when you can’t.

We will read two books of fiction as technical models selected from among William Trevor, Kent Haruf, Flannery O’Connor, Lydia Davis, Franz Kafka, and Samuel Beckett. And others, should something come up.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

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

All submissions must be received by the October 17, 2008 deadline.

linkManuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 4906

Advanced Seminar in Poetry Writing

William Logan

“Just as the civilization of the Kelts is revealed to us by their dolmens, and that of the Scandinavians by their mounds and kitchen-middens, so will the antiquaries of future times immediately recognise the spots inhabited in India by the English by the piles of soda-water bottles heaped up before the cantonments, and the dwellings of the Americans by their deposits of empty meat tins.”

--Edmond Baron de Mandat-Grancey, Cow-Boys and Colonels, 1887

Poetry must be about hells and heavens, hills and halls, hopscotch and hiphop, and empty meat tins. We will be looking in language for the equivalent of things felt and seen. You will seek this in the words used by other poets, and those you invent for yourself. Be prepared to read until your eyes hurt, to write a dozen poems (one per week), and to find your poems criticized. Each week the workshop will discuss your work and the work of your predecessors.

This is Florida’s most advanced workshop in poetry, for students who hope to become poets and possibly attend an MFA program – or those who have merely developed an obsessive and perverse interest in writing. Students from this class have gone on to the University of Iowa, University of Virginia, Columbia University, University of Michigan, and other programs.

Required reading:

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.). For ENG 4133, submit a short (approx. 500 words) summary of the film script you want to write.

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

All submissions must be received by the October 17, 2008 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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ENC 3310

Advanced Exposition

Sean Morey

ENC 3310 is described in the catalog as “a course in methods of exposition.” We will attend to these broadly defined methods of focusing on relatively narrow questions of prose style. We will discuss elements of prose style and we will read some published essays. These will serve less as models than as examples of prose style in the service of exposition. Mostly, however, you will write and revise your own texts.

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ENC 3310

Advanced Exposition

Brian McCrea

Course description is not available at this time.

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ENC 3312

Advanced Argumentative Writing

Christopher Hazlett

In this course, we will consider principles of written argumentation, and you will practice those principles extensively as you write your own arguments.

We will spend the first few weeks of the semester learning a theory of argumentation. It will give you terms for talking and thinking about the arguments you write. You will take an exam to measure your knowledge of that theory.

After the exam, we will spend the bulk of the semester doing two things: 1) we will meet as a class once a week to discuss principles of clear and graceful writing, and 2) each of you will meet once a week with me to talk and think about your own arguments. In the end, you will have written nine of these arguments.

Possible texts include:

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ENG 3011

Roland Barthes

Ed White

The career of Roland Barthes offers a fascinating overview of contemporary cultural theory, ranging from structuralism and narratology, to materialist semiotics, to postructuralism and queer theory, to cultural studies of music, fashion, and photography. In the words of one reader, “Barthes interests us precisely because he is stimulating, and it is hard to separate what engages us in his work from his perpetual attempt to adopt new perspectives, to break with habitual perceptions. A lasting commitment to particular projects would have made Barthes a less productive thinker.”

This course will provide an introduction to critical theory through the work of Barthes (emphasis on introduction: no great familiarity with theory is assumed or expected). This will also be a writing-intensive course, with weekly writing assignments rather than one or two concentrated projects; a central goal of the course is the improvement of your critical writing skills.

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ENG 3011

Animal Theorists

John Leavey

The animal is a topic of recent importance. This course will look at certain writers regarding the animal, animal rights, and the industry of the animal.

In order to establish some boundaries for this type of seminar, we will look at what are the constraints for animals and human exceptionalism. We will examine through theoretical readings the topics of human and animal, of exceptionalism and politics in order to get some sort of handle on this thing called animal theorists.

Course requirements include a ten-page paper (3000 words) (75%), a group course presentation/project (15%), and course participation (which includes being responsible for class discussion in general and for a particular hour of the course's discussion) (10%).

Readings will be drawn from the following texts:

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ENG 3115

Film & Media Theory

Richard Burt

This course surveys some of the major developments in film theory – feminism, deconstruction, and psychoanalysis, but we will primarily explore problems in film and media realted to rival media (remediation), data storage and recording media, narratology, and paratextulality generated by transitions from celluloid to digital film and from video to DVD.

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ENG 3115

Introduction to Film Theory and Criticism

Nora Alter

This course is crosslisted with GET 3930 (2254).

This course serves as a general introduction to fundamental texts and concepts in film criticism and theory today. Each week will be devoted to the development and practice of a theoretical approach to understanding film such as semiotics, narrative, structuralism, psychoanalysis, feminism, post-colonial, ethnography, visual cultural studies, social and historical approaches and the like. Readings will be drawn from critics, theorists, and filmmakers such as Eisenstein, Bazin, Gidal, Metz, Silverman, Barthes, Doane, Gunning, Benjamin, Trinh, Nichols, Mulvey, and Wollen. We will also address the subtle differences between criticism and theory and discuss their role today. A diverse selection of films will be screened weekly.

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ENG 4015

Psychological Approaches – Roth

Peter L. Rudnytsky

This course will explore Philip Roth’s encounter with psychoanalysis through readings of selected major works as well as an exploration of the links between his life and his work. The texts to be studied include Goodbye, Columbus; Portnoy’s Complaint; My Life as a Man; The Professor of Desire; Zuckerman Unbound; The Counterlife; The Facts; Sabbath’s Theater; I Married a Communist; and Exit Ghost. Insight into the biographical roots of Roth’s creativity will be provided by writings by Roth’s analyst, Hans Kleinschmidt, his lover, Janet Hobhouse, and his ex-second wife, Claire Bloom. Course requirements: midterm, final, and one five-page paper. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are expected.

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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. Main texts will therefore include C.M. Millward’s A Biography of English and Bill Bryson’s Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States. 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.

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ENG 4110

Non-Fiction Cinema

Nora Alter

This course is crosslisted with GET 4293 (4692) and JST 4905 (5010 and 5018).

This course will trace the development of non-fiction film from early cinema to the present day. Beginning with actualities, documentaries and avant-garde experiments we will explore how non-fictional production emerged alongside its fictional counterparts. The types of film to be discussed will include Dada and Surrealist films, documentaries, science, anthropological and cultural films, British Direct Cinema and French cinema verité, essay films, mockumentaries, art films, video art and recent “reality TV shows.”

The first part of the course addresses the “anthropologist’s paradox” and how it manifests itself in film: namely, the fact that the anthropologist/filmmaker necessarily changes that which s/he has set out to study, whether by intervening passively or actively, whether more or less from the perspective of an “exoticizing” and “colonizing” gaze. Thus, we will discuss the ethics of filmmaking and its placement of the documentary subject (in terms of class, gender, sexuality, culture, race, etc). Part II will look at films that are self-consciously reflexive, and discuss the extent to which the problems addressed in Part I can be asked and answered by “non-fiction” filmmakers and their viewers. Part III deals with the problem of making a documentary or essay about large-scale world events after they have passed –their significance dimmed in collective and individual memory, and hence their relevance called into question for current cultural politics. We broach here, for example, the problem of (re)presenting events that, some would argue, are fundamentally unrepresentable: perhaps most notably the Holocaust, but also cases where access to the filmed subject is denied, as occurs in at least one of the films under consideration. Approaching this problematic from another angle, Part IV looks at the documentary of war and revolution, more specifically the connections between war and cinema made by Paul Virilio. Finally, in the last weeks of the course, we will analyze films which in effect “masquerade” as documentaries, and how they appropriate and problematize the entire category.

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ENG 4110

Western & Film Noir

Richard Burt

This course will match Westerns with Film Noirs (made by the same directors, with the same leading actors) to explore what the two genres have in common.

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ENG 4130

Martial Arts Cinema

Amy Ongiri

Since its initial appearance in early twentieth-century China to its growth as a global cinema phenomenon throughout the late seventies and into the nineties, martial arts film has become the international standard for the cinematic depiction of violence and action on screen. This class will explore the ways in which martial arts film participates in the transnational circulation of visual culture. It will pay particular attention to the ways in which the films participate in a global discourse on Asia and Asian diasporic identity. Therefore, films will be considered not only in their Asian context, but in terms of the international film industry and distribution system, as well as the specific context of their reception in the West. The class will consider the ways in which the films construct gender, cultural and social norms, as well as participate in a discourse of national belonging in relationship to concepts of heroism and social deviance.

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ENG 4133

Screenwriting

Mary Robison

Course description not available at this time.

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ENG 4133

Childhood & Film

Anastasia Ulanowicz

What distinguishes a film made about childhood from a film made for children? How, for that matter, do we define the terms “childhood” and “children” – and how has film contributed to the ways we think about and use these terms? How do films situate the child as an object of desire? Of fear? How do films employ the child as a figure through which to consider social and philosophical concerns? In this course, we will consider these questions, among others, as we analyze a number of films made for and/or about children. As we study these films – which will range from the Disney classic, Peter Pan, to Larry Clark’s controversial depiction of child sexuality in the age of HIV/AIDS, Kids – we will place them into conversation with Hugh Cunningham’s history of childhood and key works of cultural and critical theory.

Course requirements include active participation in discussions, formal and informal writing responses, and weekly quizzes.

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ENG 4134

Women & Film

Sylvie Blum

This course is crosslisted with FRT 3561 (0377).

The objectives are to cover and analyze films where the representation of woman is prominent in texts that are based in 20th-century France focusing on American writers and directors in France.

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ENG 4135

Japanese Cinema

Maureen Turim

From samurai films to social dramas examining the family, from ghost stories to new wave political critiques, from comedies to legendary animation, the Japanese cinema is one of the world’s richest national cinemas. This course will look at works by major Japanese directors, such as Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Oshima, to explore the art and stylistic experimentation characterizing Japanese inventiveness in film. We will explore the relationship of film to Japanese history, theater, music, and philosophical traditions. Japanese empire and World War II, the atom bomb, and Japan’s role in global capitalism are among our historical concerns. We will explore the Japanese studio system and the pattern of distribution of Japanese cinema to the world. The role of gender and sexuality will also be investigated. Readings will include scholars and theorists of Japanese cinemaa, including Richie, Burch, Kirihara, Bordwell, Yoshimoto, Russell, Nygren, Andrew, Raine, and Turim. Attendance and Participation in class is a major factor in class success.

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ENG 4135

Polish Science Fiction & Fantasy Cinema

Christopher Caes

This course is crosslisted with PLT 3520 (sec. 1802) and EUS 3100 (sec. 0834)

“To admire a book is also to admire oneself at having read it so well.”

– Stanisław Lem, Philosophy of Chance: Literature in Light of Empiricism, Warsaw, 1968

This is a course in experimentation with texts, selves, and worlds. At the level of content, the course introduces and explores one of the historically richest and currently most flourishing, yet little known European national traditions in science fiction and fantasy film and narrative. One might risk the claim that modern Polish history has been essentially experimental. Uniquely among European nations, Poles in just the past one hundred years have lived under no less than eight radically different regimes, all of which, with the exception of the current experiment in democracy, have tended towards varieties of imperialism or authoritarianism, when not unfolding themselves into full-scale sociotechnic projects with the goal of the total transformation of life. It is this catastrophic, experimental history which Polish science fiction and fantasy films and narratives reflect, translate, model, dissect, simulate, distill, hyperbolize, manage, criticize, romanticize, deny, obsess about, mourn, extrapolate. At the level of form, however, we will consider the films and fiction we look at it in this course as texts which do not so much inform us about a foreign culture as they do seek to deform and transform the spectator/reader. How so and to what end? To begin to answer this, we will need to pose the more fundamental questions of what we do with science fiction and fantasy narratives as viewers and readers, and, more importantly, how it is we know what to do with them. One of our tasks, then, will be to cultivate a critical awareness of the importance of the shared assumptions and expectations we bring to genre narratives. This will permit us in turn to think about science fiction and fantasy spectatorship and reading not as the passive, repetitive consumption of preformed content but as an event, an interpretive performance, in which viewers and readers access the codes and protocols of the genre to actualize the filmic or textual material both cognitively and affectively. Our experiments, then, as we examine the Polish tradition of science fiction and fantasy film and narrative will concern, broadly conceived, surviving futures, a phrase which permits us to pose not only the urgent practical question of inventing new strategies of spectatorship or reading for artistically and intellectually challenging representations of the future, but also the theoretical question of whether the future – any future – still exists today as a project in ways that are capable of seizing the contemporary imagination.

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%; written assignment “experiment in reading,” 18.75%; final project (analytical or creative), 25%.

Films (selection):

Fiction (selection):

Art (selection):

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ENG 4136

Video Production

Roger Beebe

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

No previous experience with video production is required (or even expected) – what is necessary is a willingness to throw out all preconceptions and submit to the experimental nature of the course. Because seats are very limited, interested students should contact the instructor via email at <rogerbb@english.ufl.edu> as early as possible, and certainly by October 23rd if they want to be considered for admission before advance registration begins.

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ENG 4139

Television Theory

Roger Beebe

This course will focus primarily on developing a theoretical understanding of US television as a specific form of mediation. The course will begin with a general introduction to the primary concepts in television theory before turning to a brief history of the emergence of television both in domestic and in public spaces. We will then take on the issue of reception and the various practices – both authorized and unauthorized – of actual viewers. We will then look at how television fits into the greater cultural apparatus of postmodernism. Finally, we will explore alternatives to television in video art and on the periphery of the broadcast media.

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ENG 4146

16MM Film Production

Roger Beebe

This course is designed as an ambitious introduction to experimental FILM (as opposed to video) production. Work will be exclusively in 16mm. Work will also be exclusively focused on alternative (non-narrative, abstract, etc.) uses of the filmed image. We will explore the process of filmmaking from the most rudimentary ways of putting an image on film (scratching, direct animation, in-camera effects, etc.) to (relatively) advanced approaches to cinematography, processing, and editing. There will be no synchronous sound production in this course, so all films will be dialogue-free, although we will experiment with ways of adding sound (including double-system sound and video transfer). NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH FILM (or video) PRODUCTION IS NECESSARY. What is necessary is a willingness to throw out all of your current ideas about film and to open yourself to experimentation.

Admission is by the consent of the instructor only. Contact him at <rogerbb@english.ufl.edu> for more details about the application process. The application process will begin BEFORE the start of advance registration for the spring, so you should contact him by October 23. Women and students of color should feel especially encouraged to apply. Film, even experimental film, is expensive, so be warned that there will unfortunately be a considerable materials cost for the class (around $300).

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ENG 4844

Queer Theory

Kim Emery

This course offers an introduction to major concerns, methodologies, and texts in queer theory, a field concerned with the construction and experience of gender, sex, and sexuality. We will work closely with foundational texts in the field and will also explore their usefulness in analyzing and engaging current issues such as trans-inclusion, “gay marriage,” and the organization of university curricula.

No prior knowledge of the field (or of critical theory generally) is required or expected; however, prospective students should be aware that many – not all – of the required texts are densely written and conceptually challenging. Class discussion will be critical to clarifying the arguments and implications of these readings, and we will work together to explore the relevance of the theories to contemporary culture in general and LGBT lives in particular.

Assigned readings will include works by Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, David Halperin, Tomás Almaguer, Judith Butler, Judith Halberstam, Jay Prosser, Elizabeth Freeman, Ann Cvetkovich, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, among others. More than simply the study of theory, however, this class comprises an incitement to theorize. Regular attendance, thorough preparation, and active engagement will be required of all participants. Also required are two exams, two papers, one group project/presentation, and frequent brief homework assignments.

ENG 4844 is a core course for the undergraduate minor in Theories and Politics of Sexuality offered through the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research.

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ENG 4905

Independent Study

Faculty Member of Choice

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

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

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ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Nineteenth Century Racial Formations

Malini Johar Schueller

This course will focus on race as a signifier in nineteenth-century U.S. literature and culture. We will examine the diverse deployment of racial categories in nineteenth-century legal, literary, anthropological, and political texts in order to analyze race both as social structure and cultural representation. Taking race to be an ever-changing and adaptive social construct, we will focus both on the fluidity and mobility of racial categories, as well as their disciplinary powers. Throughout the course, we will deal with some of the questions raised by the concept of race: What are the problems and gains of racial identity politics? How do questions of race and gender intersect/collide? What is the difference between the politics of race and ethnicity? A second major component of the course will be to address the question of what it means to “read” race in literary and cultural texts. The course will focus on different aspects of race: constructions of the Other, race and empire, whiteness, race and sexuality, blackface, and race and class.

Although the particular focus of the course is nineteenth century U.S. culture, the theoretical issues regarding race and questions about the importance of race in the formation of identity will be of use in thinking about early twentieth-century as well as contemporary U.S. culture. I might add a couple of twentieth century texts as well. Possible texts include Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers, Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Mark Twain’s Puddn’head Wilson, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick and Hannah Craft’s The Bondswoman’s Narrative, as well as critical readings in a coursepack.

Requirements: 10 short position papers, one oral presentation, two 9-10 page papers.

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ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: The Making of Herman Melville

Stephanie Smith

“It was the year 1774. The difficulties long pending between the colonies and England were arriving at their crisis. Hostilities were certain.” And so one of Herman Melville’s weariest heroes, Israel Potter, “Goes to the Wars; and Reaching Bunker Hill in Time to Be of Service,” becomes a Revolutionary war hero. But in the end, his patriotism garners him little; he becomes an impoverished, homeless veteran: “his scars proved only his medals. He dictated a little book, of the record of his fortunes. But long ago it faded out of print – himself out of being – his name out of memory.” In this honors seminar, we will re-examine how Herman Melville – and especially his novel Moby Dick – became an icon of American literature, despite the fact that like Israel Potter, he died in obscurity, forgotten as an author. By exploring how the language of 19th century American culture functions in the works of one of America’s most celebrated authors, we will also see how and why this author still holds value for us today in the 21st century. Readings will include critical texts about Herman Melville, as well as Melville’s own works.

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ENG 4940

Internship

Undergraduate Coordinator

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

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

Upon completion of the internship:

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

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

Please note the following limitations on the English Internship:

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ENG 4953

Department Seminar: H.D. & Modernist Culture

Marsha Bryant

This course examines a major figure of early modernism, the American expatriate poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle). Because of her involvement with avant-garde movements, an in-depth look at H.D.’s career allows us to assess a variety of modernist literary and visual experiments. With Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington, she founded the Imagist movement, which sought to break free from traditional poetic form. H.D. was also involved in the Close-Up cinema group, which published the first English-language film journal and produced films (including Borderline, starring Paul Robeson and H.D.). In Man Ray's photographs, H.D. portrays the modern bohemian woman. Her travels in Egypt, where she witnessed the Tutankhamen excavations, place her major work at the center of literary, archaeological, and anthropological debates about the origins of Western culture. H.D. was also interested in emergent psychoanalytic theories, and participated in analysis with Freud. We will read her poems, her memoir of Freud, her story about ancient Egypt, and her autobiographical novel, The Gift. We will also study some of the early modernist films that inspired H.D., and her writing on film. Assignments include a teaching report, 2 analytical papers, and a modernist collage.

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ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Poe, Hawthorne, & Melville

David Leverenz

This course will emphasize close readings of short stories by Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville. We’ll also discuss how each writer uses gothic, sensational and sentimental genres, and how the narratives represent gender and race. Toward the end, if the class wishes, we may add some longer narratives, e.g., Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym; Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, or The Marble Faun, unless most of you haven’t read The Scarlet Letter; Melville’s Moby Dick (excerpted) or Billy Budd. But mostly we’ll be discussing a great variety of short stories.

Some stories will be chosen by the class. Others will include Poe’s “The Black Cat,” “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Purloined Letter,” “The Man of the Crowd,” “The Man That Was Used Up,” “The Gold-Bug,” and other less familiar ones, including some early satires; Hawthorne’s “My Kinsman, Major Molineux,” “The Minister’s Black Veil,” “Young Goodman Brown” (unless most students have already read it), “The Maypole of Merry-Mount,” “The Birth-mark,” “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” “Ethan Brand,” and some much more light-hearted sketches such as “A Rill from the Town Pump”; and Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids,” “The Encantadas,” and his novella, Benito Cereno.

Work required: an initial close-reading exercise (10%), one 5-6 pp. comparative close reading, probably of stories by Poe and Hawthorne (30%), and an 18-20 pp. research project (60%). For most double-period classes I’ll ask 5 or 6 students to e-mail me informal responses before our meeting, with suggestions for what you’d like to talk about. There won’t be any exams. Grading will be based entirely on your formal writing, though late essays or more than four unexcused class cuts (double period = two classes) will lower your grade. The more absences, the lower the grade. Excused absences can be made up with extra writing about the text(s) discussed that day. I don’t include class participation in the grading because I try to make class sessions non-judgmental and relaxed, so that anyone can try out ideas without feeling silly, weird, or stupid. For the essay and project, though not for the initial close-reading exercise, I also welcome prewrites, if handed in at least a week before the due date.

I’m on leave this fall and won’t be back until the start of spring semester. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at <Ldavid@ufl.edu>.

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ENG 4970

Honors Thesis Project

Faculty members (2) of Choice

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

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

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ENL 3122

Nineteenth-Century British Novel

Dan Brown

This course will consider key developments in the nineteenth-century British novel, centered largely around the Victorian period. The Victorian period is often considered the golden age of the English novel and will therefore be the primary focus of this course. If you have not taken ENL 2022, you should plan to familiarize yourself with the period: the Norton Anthology introduction to the period, Walter Houghton’s The Victorian Frame of Mind and Richard Altick’s Victorian People and Ideas, all available at the library, are good places to start.

The novel, which increasingly emerged as a dominant popular form throughout the nineteenth-century, sought to represent a comprehensive social world comprised of a variety of classes and social settings. It also sought to locate the place of the individual within these worlds. We will familiarize ourselves with some of these fictional “worlds” and “individuals” by reading representative nineteenth-century novels. The tentative reading list may include:

Students will be expected to keep up with a high volume of reading, conduct some research in the field, and contribute meaningfully to class discussions. Carefully consider your reading speed and the expectations of the other courses you are taking before committing to this course.

Course requirements include: two papers (6–8 pages each), participation in an electronic discussion forum, quizzes, and active participation in class discussions.

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ENL 3132

Twentieth-century British Novel

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.

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ENL 3210

Medieval English Literature

James Paxson

Medieval English Literature is a general introduction to the thought and culture of the Middle English period (c. 1100–1500 C.E.). It will thus serve mainly as a resource or backgrounds course designed to prepare students for Chaucer as well as for Renaissance authors. 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. Two papers; midterm exam on classical backgrounds; quizzes; required attendance. All readings are in the course’s main and required textbook, The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Volume 1: The Medieval Period.

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ENL 3231

Age of Johnson

Brian McCrea

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

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

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

Books:

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

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ENL 3241

Early British Romanticism

Judith Page

This course will focus on selected authors from the first generation of British Romantic writers. We will consider various questions in literature and culture from the 1780s through the first decade or so of the 19th century, including the relationship between literary and popular culture, revolutions in politics and in poetic genres and styles, problems of canon formation and aesthetic theory, as well as questions of gender and sexuality. Writers represented in this course will likely include Ann Radcliffe, Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Smith, William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, William Blake, S. T. Coleridge, Anna Lætitia Barbauld, and others.

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ENL 3251

Victorian Literature

Amy Robinson

One of the goals of this course will be to understand the major cultural conversations occurring in Victorian Britain. Channeling these conversations through the fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction of the era, this class will engage these issues through in-class discussions and a variety of assignments. We will focus on a number of pertinent themes of the period, including gender roles, class conflicts, industrialization, and religious experience.

Another goal of this course is to learn how to read these texts critically and construct essays that are thoughtful and persuasive. Course requirements include: two papers (6–8 pages each), a reading journal, an oral report, quizzes, and active participation in class discussions.

Possible texts include:

Other writers sampled may include: Alfred, Lord Tennyson; Robert Browning; Dante Gabriel Rossetti; William Morris; Lewis Carroll; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Robert Lewis Stevenson; and Oscar Wilde.

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ENL 4221

Donne to Milton

Peter L. Rudnytsky

This course will introduce students to selected masterpieces of seventeenth-century English literature. Emphasis will be on developing skills of close reading, with considerable attention given to the poetry of Donne, as well as to works by Jonson (Volpone), Marvell, Rochester, Bunyan (Grace Abounding), and Milton (Samson Agonistes). The course requirements are a midterm, final, and one five-page paper. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are also expected.

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ENL 4273

Twentieth-Century British Literature: The Modernist Revolution and Beyond

Carl Miller

“One of the things I could never get accustomed to in my youth was the difference I found between life and literature.”

- James Joyce

At its very core, British modernism was spawned in an effort to narrow this gap between life and literature, and produced results both fascinating and frightening. This class will analyze the seismic impact of the modernist revolution in literature, and explore the subsequent development of British literature and aesthetics as modernism gives way to postmodernism (or any number of other period theories that may be posited). The readings for this course will span from high modernists such as James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf to contemporary figures such as Salman Rushdie, Angela Carter, and Roddy Doyle, as well as literary representations within film, popular music, and other developing artistic forms. We will also be reading various excerpts of literary theory by (among others) Fredric Jameson, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Michael North in an effort to contextualize the primary texts. Ultimately, it is the aim of this course to offer not only a critique of the historical past, but also a potential roadmap of the future of British literature.

Texts:

These texts are available at the University of Florida Book Store, and the course pack is available at Target Copy.

Two extended essays will be required in this class, and students will periodically be required to hand in typed response papers to various readings. There will be regular quizzes administered throughout this class, focusing on the readings for that particular day.

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare: Doing It

Sidney Homan

The assumption in all my theatre courses is that the text of a play is not just what is written on the page, but that text in performance, delivered by actors before an audience. This means the play’s text also includes gestures, movement, blocking (the stage picture), and sub-text (what the character is saying inwardly, beneath the lines delivered onstage, as well as the “history” for that character invented by the actor). In the theatre, we would further supplement this text with lighting, sound, set, costumes, props, and make-up. To be sure, one can approach a play in a numerous other ways – as literature, as a repository for the thinking of an age, as the springboard for political or cultural issues.

Since I work both on campus and in the theatre, as an actor and director, I approach plays with my students as something meant to be performed by an actor and ratified by an audience. Each student has a scene partner with whom he or she stages several scenes each semester. Students should have no anxiety about doing things this way, for I judge student work by intent, what goes into the performance – not by finesse. If there is finesse, that is considered a bonus. Historically in my courses, Mechanical Engineering majors have done no worse than Theatre students who have done no better than those working in English or Anthropology. There are short course papers assessing your work as an actor for each scene you perform. I count the scene work and the papers equally.

In my Shakespeare course, we will thus consider A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, Much Ado about Nothing, and Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which, of course, offers a playwright’s critique of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare: Rhetoric

R. Allen Shoaf

Aims of the Course

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

Texts

The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Greenblatt, et al.

Reserve List

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

Requirements

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

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LIT 3003

Forms of Narrative: Technology and Collage

Elise Takehana

This course will investigate the influence of collage and advancements in technology on 20th-century narrative. Throughout the course we will explore the divides and contradictions between machinic and human vision and perspectives as well as the balance between the seemingly opposing paradigms of narrative and database. Of particular interest is that all the literary texts we will be examining were well received. This hints not only at the pervasiveness of collage-like concepts in narrative, but also at its general acceptance despite often being labeled as experimental.

While collage has clearly altered the representation of space and the separation of art and lived experience in the visual arts, the inquiries of collage’s effects on literary texts has clearly peaked with the increased interest in electronic literature and authorship in digital and virtual spaces. While we are not using any electronic literature for this course, we will explore how these “experiments” in virtual and digital space affect print literature as well.

Readings for the course will include:

In addition, we will have a course packet that will include readings from Katherine Hayles, Lev Manovich, Sara Danius, and Daniel Punday to name a few.

Students will be responsible for a final term paper (3000 words), a midterm, and periodic quizzes.

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LIT 3031

Poetry Writing and Reading

Debora Greger

Textbooks

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

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

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LIT 3173

Faulkner in Israel

Todd Hasak-Lowy

This course is crosslisted with HBR 4930 (2016) and JST 4936 (5163).

In this course – after first getting familiar with Faulkner’s use of multiple narrators through one of his best-known novels (As I Lay Dying) – we will explore the application of Faulkner’s technique to a series of Israeli novels originally written in Hebrew. This course will investigate the ways in which Hebrew writers use shared narration to represent a variety of contemporary Israeli identities. We will focus on the ways in which Israeli novelists enlist multiple narrators in order to uniquely address ethnic tension between Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, the debate over the nature of Israeli collective memory, and the conflict between Jewish Israelis, Arab Israelis, and Palestinians. No knowledge of Hebrew required.

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LIT 3173

Motherhood in Modern Hebrew Fiction

Avraham Balaban

This course is crosslisted with HBT 3564 (2112), JST 3930 (4637) and WST 3930 (5331).

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

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

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LIT 3173

Identity and Memory in Jewish Literature

Michal Ben-Horin

This course is crosslisted with HBR 4930 (8463), and JST 4936 (0416).

Memory can be factual and linear, it is also emotive and timeless. It may be private or collective and may embody personal or cultural experience. Memories have been documented, narrated, and woven into fiction. How do the qualities of these memories differ? What role do they play in processes of self-understanding? Do they help to shape identity in the same way, and what kinds of identity do they shape? When do memories become political?

Theories of memory and representation can help us to consider these questions. A close engagement with the work of major writers of Hebrew, North-American and German-Jewish literature in the second half of the twentieth century will allow us to examine literature as a medium of Jewish memory. This is a poetic medium within which Jewish traditions are explored, confirmed but also challenged. We will question which memories are represented, why, how, and to what effect, in texts by Paul Auster and Philip Roth, Barbara Honigman, Amos Oz, A. B. Yehoshua, Yoel Hoffman and Ronit Matalon.

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LIT 3313

Jules Verne & His Legacies

Terry Harpold

The renaissance in scholarly study of Jules Verne – author of more than 64 novels and collections of short stories, and more important for world literature than the “father of science fiction” honorific suggests – has resulted also in a reappraisal of Verne’s influence on modern imaginative fiction, comics, graphic novels, and films. In this course, we will study five Verne novels (Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Mysterious Island, and The Begum’s Millions) and works of fiction and nonfiction (including films and textual and graphic narratives) by other authors that are derived from Verne’s worlds and characters.

“Derivation” in this context means both adaptations (“versions” of a Verne story in textual or graphic media) and more complex, sometimes clumsy, sometimes nuanced, reimaginings of Verne’s storyworlds and literary systems: works in which his characters – and even Jules Verne himself – undertake new adventures inspired and shaped by the elements of the Vernian imaginary. Written requirements for the course include three take-home essay exams.

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LIT 3362

Avant-Garde Film

Scott Nygren

Avant-garde film is a term of convenience for a project that continually reinvents itself outside established media and conventions. This project escapes any easy category, and has been referred to at various times as experimental, abstract, underground, personal, structuralist, materialist and/or independent film and video. What is normally called the avant-garde constitutes a wild array of media practices where the only common feature is the rule of no rules.

Historically, the term “avant-garde” can be traced to movements in literature and art during the late 19th century in France. The extension of avant-garde ideas to film begins after World War I, when artists and writers such as Hans Richter, Man Ray, Antonin Artaud, Germaine Dulac, Luis Buñuel, and Jean Cocteau produced radical new works that broke with classical conventions and outraged audiences. The 1920s movement now known as the historical avant-garde then retrospectively reconsidered a few early filmmakers as precursors, and rediscovered Méliès and Feuillade. This process continues today, and research in early film has since rediscovered many innovations and experiments including the Brighton School in England.

Forgotten in Europe during the 1930’s, after being marginalized by economic depression, expensive new technology and attacks by right-wing extremists, the avant-garde re-emerged during and after World War II among a new generation of Americans eager to break with prewar conventions. Filmmakers like Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, and Jonas Mekas transformed what was thought possible. European filmmakers such as Kurt Kren, Malcolm LeGrice, Yann Beauvais and Valie Export then renewed the international character of the avant-garde. Declared dead in the 1980’s, as supposedly obsolete, non-commercial and ahistorical, avant-garde practices have reappeared since the 1990’s as powerful strategies to articulate gender and culture, often reconceiving history as a frontier. A proliferation of new books rethinking the avant-garde and the recent expansion of film and video in art galleries and museums testify to the resurgent vitality of the avant-garde. Film and video makers such as Tracey Moffat, Wu Ming, Marlon Fuentes, Yael Bartana, Pierre Huyghe, Renee Green and Elja-Liisa Ahtila represent a new generation of world production and invention.

Accordingly, the class will consider avant-garde film and video as visual strategies for engaging new media, social and cultural conditions without the preconditions that limit commercial production. These visual strategies will be considered as tools able to work through many of the social and cultural issues implied by digital media, while ironically the mass marketing of computers as interactive multimedia remains bound up with literary models of page design and illustrative graphics restricted by fantasies of control. The course will be metahistorical in the sense of addressing past films and videos not as a developing sequence, but as zones of dynamic intensity that remain generative for potential work today.

The required readings are designed both to be introductory, for those new to media and cultural studies, and to recontextualize and theorize issues for those students prepared for advanced topics. Students will be asked to choose between writing papers and generating conceptual/artistic projects, or to do one of each, to fulfill the requirements of the course.

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LIT 3383

African Women Writers

R. Lugano

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

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

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LIT 3383

Women’s Contemporary Confessional Literature and Culture

Cortney Grubbs

This course will concentrate on women’s contemporary confessional literature; various genres will be examined – including memoirs, poetry, fiction, and social criticism. We will ponder why particular texts are considered pop-culture items, “chick-lit,” and/or feminist literature; and we will question how texts define “woman” – and what difficulties exist in defining “women’s”, “feminist,” and “womanist” literature. Throughout the course, we will discuss the intersections of class, race, sex and gender, bodies, and sexuality. We will examine how women writers negotiate, destroy, and/or blur boundaries of the “personal” and “political” via confession. Course texts include: Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted; Dorothy Allison’s Trash; Marie Howe’s What the Living Do; Alice Walker’s The Color Purple; and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. Other authors will include bell hooks, Kate Bornstein, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and Sharon Olds. Requirements include active participation in class discussions, presentations, two 5–7-page essays, and a final course project.

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LIT 3400

Strangers in a Strange Land: Refiguring Moses in German Literature and the American South

Eric Kligerman

This course is crosslisted with GET 3930 (3382) and JST 3930 (1621).

Writing about the flourishing of German poetry in the 18th century, the German philosopher Herder pondered, “In a land with such a rich poetic tradition why has there never been a poem about Moses?” But by the next century, the turn to Moses significantly expanded in Germany’s cultural imaginary. In this interdisciplinary seminar in German-Jewish studies, we will examine the literary, philosophical, visual and acoustic representations of Moses in 19th and 20th century German intellectual and aesthetic thought (Heine, Kafka, Freud, Wagner, Schönberg, Sebald). Why has Moses become such a versatile trope in exploring questions of aesthetics, ethics, identity, the body and exile for both Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers? Investigating how shifting texts provide insights into the historical and cultural position of the Jew in European society, our objective is to trace the question of Jewish assimilation, Diasporic identity, modernity and anti-Semitism in relation to the re-inscriptions of Moses in German culture. Our analysis of Moses will conclude by focusing on his configuration in Southern American literature. How is the figure used in slave spirituals and literature? At this comparative juncture in the seminar, similar to the works of German Jews of Europe, Moses becomes a signifier that helps such Southern writers as Twain, Hurston and Faulkner reflect on the social and historical implications of race in America. In effect, Moses functions not simply as a figure from religious history but also as a cultural metaphor used to shed light on distinct periods of political crises.

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LIT 3400

Internet Literature

Greg Ulmer

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

The course is taught in a CIRCA classroom. The course project is created in the blog medium, supplemented by basic photoshop. We will experiment with the design of a new mode of study that takes advantage of the resources of hypermedia and the aesthetics of commercial culture. The semester project is to design and test the “learning screen,” that does for Internet culture what the “research paper” did for print education. Previous experience with Web authoring (blog, photoshop) is helpful but not required. However, beginners should expect to spend some extra time learning to use the authoring environment.

Required readings (tentative):

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LIT 3400

Screening Literature: Shakespeare on Film

Dragan Kujundzic

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

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LIT 4183

Postcolonial Literature/Cultural Theory: Introduction to Postcolonial Studies

Apollo Amoko

This course will examine canonical theories and fictions in postcolonial studies. The field refers to an effort by scholars in diverse disciplines to come to terms, from a global perspective, with the legacy of European colonialism. In the wake of the voyages of exploration and “discovery” from the fifteenth century onwards, a handful of European powers (England, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands), came gradually to exercise sovereignty over vast territories covering roughly eighty percent of the world. In political, social, economic and cultural terms, the colonial situation effected epochal transformations of not only the conquered societies but also imperial Europe. The colonial encounter resulted in the consolidation of the idea of a European or Western modernity at the apex of human civilization. It also resulted in incomplete, chaotic, and traumatic attempts forcibly to transform other societies in the image of Europe. By the end of the twentieth century, virtually all formerly colonized territories had become independent nations but the effects of colonial rule continue to be powerfully felt at multiple levels. For example, the practice of everyday life in vast sectors of the both the imperial and the colonized worlds continue to be governed, often with devastating consequences, by ideas about racial, national, continental, gender, sexual and other identities invented in the context of the colonial encounter. As well, the political economies of many formally independent nations continue to be characterized by fundamental contradictions, inequalities and dependencies brought about by colonial rule. Finally, the global economic, political and cultural order continues to be organized in terms of a contest pitting the interests of a handful of wealthy and disproportionately powerful nations against a multitude of poor and relatively powerless nations.

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LIT 4183

Postcolonial Literature, Culture and Theory: Identity Formation in a Postcolonial State

Craig Smith

This course will examine postcolonial theory and culture (including novels and film) with special attention to historical specificity. We will explore foundational texts and authors that define postcolonial theory and will engage the major issues that preoccupy postcolonial thinkers. We will wrestle with questions such as: What is postcoloniality? What are the major issues that concern postcolonial theory? Does postcolonialism mean that we now live in a post-colonial era? In what ways does postcolonialism inform us in our reading of literary and cinematic texts and images? What is its relevance to the issues of race, gender, sexuality, and class? What insights does it offer into the question of identity formation, be it centric or marginal? Major themes for class discussion will be Nationalism and Nation, Hybrid Identities, Genders and Sexualities, Globalization and Postcoloniality.

Readings will be chosen from (theory/novels/films):

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LIT 4192

Caribbean Literature in English

Leah Rosenberg

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

– Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place, 33)

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

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

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LIT 4194

Childhood in African Literature

Alioune Sow

The aim of this course is to examine the representation and the treatment of childhood in African literature and cinema. Combining literary and cinematographic studies (and employing an interdisciplinary approach), we will focus on issues such as the images of children and of childhood, the changes in their depiction, their historical contexts, narrative conventions in both literature and cinema, autobiographical narratives and the presentation of the self. We will discuss such literary works as:

and films such as:

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LIT 4322

The Folktale

Robert Thomson

For the purposes of this course, the term folktale will be held to encompass all forms of orally transmitted prose narratives, including myths, legends, memorates and wonder-tales. No knowledge of the folktale nor of the general field of folklore studies is assumed by the instructor. The first week or so of the course will attempt to orient all students to the place of the folktale in folklore studies. The three required texts have been chosen to give a representative collection of all types of prose narrative. While covering the major aspects of the familiar European tradition, the texts will also bring to our attention the ethnic traditions of the United States, particularly the oral narratives recorded from Native Americans in Wisconsin at the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth centuries and from African Americans in Eatonville, Florida in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. In addition, we will address those issues that have for half a century kept theorists and analysts struggling with the complexities of these “simple forms.”

Texts

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

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

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

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LIT 4331

Children’s Literature

Anastasia Ulanowicz

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

Assigned books may include:

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LIT 4333

Literature for the Adolescent

John Cech

This course is designed to provide a survey of some major figures, historical trends, and critical approaches to that relatively new field of literature that occupies the shifting, transitional ground between works for children and adults. We will look at a broad range of genres and styles intended for or chosen by the adolescent reader, beginning with some canonical “classics” from the mid-twentieth century, and ending with some innovative novels from our own literary present. Taken together, these works will raise many of the questions (psychological, social, philosophical) through our discussions of them that are asked by adolescents themselves about their own challenging, demanding, and often defining experiences. A principal interest of the course will be to examine the ways in which successive generations have constructed their ideas of the adolescent through a variety of cultural forms, among them: literature, film, television, music, and, most recently, the internet.

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LIT 4535

Erykah Badu: Funk Feminism

LaMonda Horton-Stallings

Using Erykah Badu as its model, this class will examine how Black women’s popular culture challenges mainstream Black feminist thought. We will compare canonical texts of Black feminist thought to gender and sexual philosophies in the popular music of Erykah Badu, as well as the musical influences of Badu. In addition to musical texts, students will be reading novels, music videos, and cinematic texts thematically linked with Badu’s work. African American literary criticism, feminist and womanist theory, and cultural studies criticism will supplement all readings.

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LIT 4554

Feminist Theories

Barbara Mennel

This course covers the range of feminist theories in relationship to following contexts: the socio-historical contexts out of which theories have emerged; the connection to other liberation struggles, such as African-American and gay and lesbian rights movements; their applicability and productivity in regard to cultural and social production, such as film, literature, and popular culture; the contemporary national and transnational contexts. Students will gain an overview of the survey of different approaches and understandings of feminism. The course pays special attention to close readings of theoretical texts and their methodologies. Course requirements include a take-home midterm exam and a final paper as well as quizzes throughout the semester.

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LIT 4930

Shylock

Judith Page

This course is crosslisted with JST 4936 (6106).

This course will focus on the influence of Shakespeare’s Shylock on literature and culture (primarily in Britain) from the later 18th century to the present. We will consider Shylock as both a literary character and as a negative archetype that develops a life of its own in other works of literature, art, theatre, and film. “Shylock” influences and infiltrates British literature and culture in the 18th century and continues a vibrant and often disturbing presence in contemporary popular culture, where, for instance, on The Sopranos he is abbreviated to a “shy” or common loan shark.

The course will follow a roughly chronological organization from the medieval period when several related stereotypes or myths associated with Jews gain currency (such as, the Blood Libel, the Wandering Jew) to 16th century when the play was written and first performed and then the 18th century when it was revived on stage after an absence of over a century. Students will study the play closely and carefully, and will also read relevant biblical, historical, and philosophical material.

We will then consider the Romantic reinvention of Shylock as a sympathetic and heroic (if ambivalent) figure on stage. From here we study the history of performances of the play through the 19th and 20th centuries, including Shylock on the Yiddish stage and in modern film.

Possible Readings:

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LIT 4930

Blake, Newton, Disney

Donald Ault

This course will involve detailed analysis of the works of Blake, Newton, and Disney. In each case we will be looking at how paradigmatic cultural myths have come to dominate both popular and academic discourse concerning these figures and how detailed analysis of actual productions emanating from these three cultural sites can serve to call widespread paradigms into question, just as the issue of “paradigm” itself will come under scrutiny. Requirements: productive class participation, several one-page single-spaced papers and a final paper/project due the last day of class. There may be in-class quizzes or written exercises. Required texts: a series of course pamphlets available from Xerographic Copy Center: 927 NW 13th St (352) 375–0797. One or more additional texts may be used.

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SPC 3605

Speechwriting

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.

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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.

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