Undergraduate Courses, Summer 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, Summer Sessions A & B

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 Literature 2: Ends of Worlds

Eric Doise

In this course, we will examine apocalyptic texts throughout American literature after the Civil War. First, we will examine the various traditions and meanings of “apocalypse” in order to lay a theoretical base from which to proceed. From there, we will read and watch texts as responses to moments in American history that elicited apocalyptic texts. These moments and concerns include, but are not limited to, the fin de siècle, World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and 9/11.

Required texts may include:

Requirements will likely include reading quizzes, reading responses, and two critical essays. Each student will also lead one class discussion.

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AML 3673

Introduction to Asian American Studies

Malini Johar Schueller

“Asian-American” is a highly contested, yet necessary category, born of racism, nationalism, and resistance. This course is an introduction to Asian-American literary and cultural production as well as to major critical debates generated by the institutionalization of Asian-American studies. Although the course includes works by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, and Filipino Americans, the point is not simply to emphasize the cultural and national multiplicity of Asian-American writing. Rather, the readings are arranged according to major theoretical questions that recur in Asian American studies: Orientalism, model minorities, sites of exclusion, questions of gender and cultural nationalism, the relationship of Asian-American cultural politics and imperialism. In keeping with the wide range covered by Asian American studies, the course will engage with a variety of cultural materials: novels, autobiographies, short stories, graphic novels, documentaries, legal cases, newspaper articles, as well as essays. I'm not sure which texts I'll use but possible ones include the following:

Requirements: pop quizzes; three take-home essay exams.

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AML 4242

The Politics of Southern Studies, 1930–1970

Jordan Dominy

In recent years, study of the culture and literature of the U.S. South has been reinvigorated by a New Southern Studies. This scholarship challenges conventional understandings and history about the South by complicating its familiar myths and stories, blurring its boundaries, exploring the influence of subcultures and ethnicities inhabiting the region, and realizing how the U.S. South has always been in the middle of global currents of migration, trade, and politics. Within that framework, this course examines the work of southern authors during the twentieth century in terms of politics and place. What were these authors’ attitudes towards the political challenges facing the United States before, during, and after World War II? How did they understand the South in relation to international issues, such as the Cold War, and how was segregation and the struggle for civil rights a factor in challenges facing a globalized nation and region? Moreover, this course will consider the politics of southern studies: why have some classic narratives and mythologies of the South become prevailing ones? And how is it that certain authors, such as Faulkner, are at the same time prized as regional and national (and international) literary heroes?

The reading list will include primary texts by William Faulkner, W.J. Cash, Lillian Smith, Richard Wright, Robert Penn Warren, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, and others, and some secondary material. Graded work will include a panel presentation, two essays of 5–7 pages, a final exam, and class participation.

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ENC 3312

Advanced Argumentation

Sid Dobrin

This course focuses on making arguments; in particular, it addresses writing arguments. We will examine rhetorical argumentative structures and theories, ranging from classical to contemporary rhetoric, including visual rhetoric. We will consider how we read arguments, but in service of better developing strategies for writing our own arguments. We will spend a substantial amount of the semester specifically considering the role of new media technologies and visual culture in making written arguments. We will also write a lot and talk about our writing a lot.

There are no textbooks to purchase for this class; all required reading will be available on-line or will be provided in class.

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ENL 3251

Victorian Literature

Sarah Bleakney

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 issues that were important to the Victorians and continue to be debated in our own time – such as gender roles, class conflicts, and degeneracy/decadence, amongst others – using the literary, cultural, and historical context of marriage and courtship as a framework.

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

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

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LIN 3680

Modern English Structure

Roger Thompson

In this class we survey English grammar based on principles of descriptive rather than prescriptive grammar. In other words, how do we actually use English rather than how does some authority say we should use English. This is a core course in the undergraduate minor for Teaching English as a Second Language and the new certificate for Teaching Engiish as a Second Language. Grades are based on grammar quizzes, a teaching presentation, and participation in the conversation partner program at the English Language Institute, an intensive English program for international students.

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LIT 3041

Studies in Drama: Citizen Comedy & Domestic Tragedy in the Age of Shakespeare

Robert Thomson

A study of a group of plays unified by being set in the contemporary London and environs of their authors in the late sixteenth century or the opening decades of the seventeenth century. The main focus will be upon the texts and their social, political, historical and cultural contexts.

It has been suggested that City Comedy (however we define it) moved to the center of the Elizabethan Stage when Londoners started to reflect upon their new social roles and their urban setting. Social mobility with its attendant pretensions, hypocrisy, greed, pathos etc, arose in the midst of the new middle class society of trade and commerce and gave substance to these plays, as did the threatened state of an increasingly impoverished and newly dependent gentry.

The plays to be studied will be :

Two essays will be set (ca. 2000 words) and in addition there will be a number of in-class tests and oral reports. There will be no final exam. Absences will affect final grades.

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LIT 3043

The Modern Theatre: Learning by Doing

Sidney Homan

We will study the varied theatrical worlds of some of the modern theatre’s best-known and most influential playwrights: Samuel Beckett, Sam Shepard, Harold Pinter, and Tom Stoppard. And so we will examine Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and his shorter works for the stage, radio, and television; Pinter’s Old Times, No Man’s Land, and Betrayal; Shepard’s The Curse of the Starving Class, True West, and Buried Child; and Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Along the way we will also study Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the source for Stoppard’s reworking. The course will be coordinated with the summer productions of the Theatre Department, and students will not only see those shows but interact with their directors.

The focus is on the theatre as something taking place in space and time, before an audience. Hence, the “text” of the play is not literature, but rather the dialogue, the actor’s delivery, sub-text, gesture, movement, and blocking, as sustained by costume, lighting, set, and props. The play is at once verbal and visual or physical.

Each student will have an acting partner so that the “text” of class meetings will be actual performances of short scenes or passages from the plays. No previous stage experience is necessary, and, traditionally, students majoring in Mechanical Engineer or Sociology, for example, have done just as well as those in English or Theatre.

For each scene performed the student receives two grades, one on the acting, the other on a short paper assessing his or her rehearsal experience. If the two grades are within ten points of each other, the student receives the higher grade; if more than ten points separates the two, the resulting grade is the average of the two.

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LIT 4331

Children’s Literature

John Cech

Children’s literature has become, in recent years, one of the most dynamic areas of publishing and media production. Currently, one of the wealthiest people in the world is a writer of children’s books, and each year films drawn from stories for children or adolescents are among the biggest box office hits. There is even a television channel devoted to the entertainment of infants and toddlers. Children’s literature has, of course, been with us from the beginning and is the oldest and first form of literature that we experience. This course is meant to take you on a journey through this essential part of our literature – its history, genres, major figures, and some of its more familiar and celebrated works.

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AML 3271

Survey of African American Literature 2

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 effect African American cultural production and African American aesthetic practices.

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AML 4453

Prizing the Poem: Popularity & Canonicity in 20th-Century American Poetry

Megan Leroy

In American literature, poetry in particular, the “popular” has often been a devaluing marker meaning “for the masses.” Comparatively, certain poets have been upheld as critically acclaimed makers of “classic” artistry. This course explores definitions of popular and classic poetry with special attention to the creators and the value systems behind those classifications. The United States began appointing a Poet Laureate in 1937, only a few of whom are commonly known. Given this prestigious, national award, what delineates Poets Laureate from other “popular” poets? Why are popular poets often critically ignored due to their bestselling status? This course will investigate the critical perspective of both popular and classic American poetry, primarily in the 20th century. We will engage with both iconic, prize-winning American poets, and popular, lesser known American poets, with a particular eye towards those poets who have achieved dual status as both popular and critically acclaimed. The course will include readings from Emily Dickinson, Phyllis McGinley, Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Billy Collins, and Robert Lowell (among many others).

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ENL 3122

The Nineteenth-Century English Novel

Carrie Bolte

The Victorian period was the golden age of the English novel, the genre emerging as a dominant popular form within the literary marketplace. Since these works sought to represent a comprehensive social world comprised of a variety of classes and social settings, we will familiarize ourselves with some of these fictional “worlds” by reading representative types of nineteenth-century novels: the novel of manners, social fiction, Gothic romance, sensation, and novels of country/village life – see the complete list below. While we are doing so, we will be looking at how these authors commented on and critiqued the issues at the heart of Victorian society, including but certainly not limited to gender, class, and empire.

Students will be expected to keep up with a lot of reading, know how to conduct 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, especially given the condensed summer session.

If you have not taken ENL 2022, you should plan to familiarize yourself with the period: the Norton Anthology introduction to the period and Houghton’s The Victorian Frame of Mind, available at the library, are good places to start.

Course requirements include: two papers (one smaller close reading of 3–4 pages and one longer 6–8 page paper), frequent reading quizzes, response papers, engaged and thoughtful class participation, and a comprehensive final exam.

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ENL 3154

20th Century British Poetry

Marsha Bryant

Offering a “six-pack” of key poets from across the century, this course provides in-depth analysis of W.B. Yeats, Wilfred Owen, W.H. Auden, Stevie Smith, Philip Larkin, and Carol Ann Duffy. We’ll look at their poems, lives, and cultural contexts. Course assignments are two papers, a panel presentation, a parody, and engaged participation in discussion.

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ENL 3241

The Romantic Period

Donald Ault

This course will focus on Blake, Coleridge, and Byron, with some readings in Wordsworth, Keats, and selected literary theoretical texts. The work in the course will emphasize close reading of texts that present interpretive difficulties at the level of their material production (including variant editions, revisions, different versions, spatial layout of syntax, etc.), taking into account the tendency of Romantic texts to resist being “finished.” We will read these texts against the grain in order to explore interferences within their ideological and textual fields.

Text requirement: course pack from Xerographic Copy Center, 927 NW 13th St.

Requirements: good attendance, productive class participation, several short papers, and a final paper/project.

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LIT 3173

Introduction to Modern Jewish Literature

Todd Hasak-Lowy

“Introduction to Modern Jewish Literature” will provide an overview of Jewish literature since the end of the nineteenth century. Emphasis will be placed on the highly distinct character of Jewish literary production in the modern period, in comparison to both pre-modern Jewish writing and non-Jewish modern literature. Particular attention will be paid to this literature’s historical, social, and political context, and as such readings will also include material on the Jewish Enlightenment, immigration, assimilation, Zionism, and other relevant topics. The multilingual (Hebrew, Yiddish, Latino, German, Russian, Judeo-Arabic, English, etc.) and transnational (from Russia to South America) character of this literature will provide students with the opportunity to question the standard definition of a modern literature as necessarily written in a single language and within a geographically limited area. In addition, by focusing on issues of ethnicity and gender within modern Jewish society, students will be encouraged to think critically about the contours of the modern Jewish canon as it is typically drawn.

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LIT 4930

The Literary Representation of Space

Terry Harpold

An eclectic survey of spatial imaginaries of American and European literature. Readings include long and short fiction, nonfiction, and critical texts by Marc Augé, Gaston Bachelard, J.G. Ballard, Alfred Bester, Xavier de Maistre, Georges Perec, Herbert Read, Marilynne Robinson, and George Sand.

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SPC 3605

Speechwriting

Ronald Carpenter

Speechwriting is an advanced composition course. In this course, students acquire stylistic prowess by which their sentences have increased potential to be remembered and quoted and thereby achieve greater 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 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 a speech that you likely will give).

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 make suggestions about how to improve your platform presence, however). The important point is that Speechwriting is an advanced composition course, wherein you read drafts aloud as bases of discussion by which all students understand how and why some sentences are better than others. For initial and final drafts, I require computer word processing. Revision is easier; spelling is accurate; and word lengths of drafts are known.

From past experience, I know that reasonably diligent students will achieve some of the stylistic skills taught in this course. Final grades are higher, however, as you (1) demonstrate refined prowess as the competent stylist on exams and in final drafts, (2) understand course precepts derived from readings and lecture materials, as tested by three exams during the semester (the course has no final exam), and (3) produce a final research paper about style as defined in this course (research paper options will be explained during a lecture relatively early in the semester and will require additional reading). In combination, initial drafts, exam answers wherein you demonstrate stylistic prowess, final polished drafts, group projects, and your research paper will total 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 six 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 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. The only prerequisite for the course is ability to write grammatical sentences that are spelled and punctuated correctly.

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