Undergraduate Courses, Fall 2010

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.

Lower Division (1000–2000) Special Content 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:

Fall 2010, Lower Division, Special Content

CRW 2100

Honors Fiction Writing

Padgett Powell

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

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

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

There is no prerequisite for this course. It runs parallel to CRW 1101, which is for freshmen.

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CRW 2300

Honors Poetry Writing

William Logan

No prerequisite except a willingness to write poetry and knowledge of what a complete sentence is.

“I suppose you want me to go to night school and read poems.”

– James Cagney, The Public Enemy

The University of Florida has one of the strongest creative writing programs in the country, and graduate faculty sometimes offer a beginning workshop for honors students. The best students will afterwards be eligible for upper-division workshops, always taught by graduate faculty. Poetry demands close attention to the meaning and music of language, to emotion and the structures of emotion, and to the burdens of the past. The best poetry has an understanding of psychology, botany, religion, philosophy, and how much French fries cost at the mall. No one can be a poet without reading. The beginning workshop is in part a course in poetic literature.

Poets will write one poem a week, which will form the basis of workshop discussion, along with poems of the past and present. No workshop can succeed without an inclination toward laughter and wry jokes. Field trips may be possible – no year in Gainesville is complete without a visit to the alligators. Students are not expected to have written poetry before, but must have strong language skills (you can’t manipulate the language effectively without grammar and spelling). Please do not take this course if you aren’t interested in the difference between an adjective and an adverb, or the correct usage of it’s and its, lay and lie, and who and whom. Student who don’t know what complete sentences are will be asked to drop the class.

Required reading:

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ENC 1145

Writing Experiments

Stephen LeMieux

Every time you write, whether for a class for yourself, there are certain restraints in place. In this class, we will examine past writing experiments that have used such restraints to spur creativity and play. We will perform our own such experiments, sharing their results with each other and reflecting on how they turn out.

These experiments will follow some of the following themes: cut and paste, collaboration, written loops, word replacement, letter restriction and length restriction. We will also move through a variety of media and materials: pencils and pens and paper, word processors, letter, email, twitter and blogs.

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ENC 1145

Writing about Theater

Gabriel Mayora

This course will introduce students to different approaches to writing about plays as written texts. We will examine how playwrights use basic elements of theater to address issues of gender, sexuality, and race. Readings will consist of contemporary plays and some academic articles. We will also look at a few film versions of plays.

Students will write three essays of 1500 words; these may include comparative analyses, character studies, and theoretical criticism. In addition, they will write bi-weekly reading responses on which they will receive feedback, and they will one make short presentation to the class. Finally, students will take regular reading quizzes.

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ENC 1145

Writing about Interference

Walton Wood

A book (or any text) presumably collects information completely and comprehensively; tearing out a page removes information, and writing in the margins adds some. We assume a reader or editor adds or subtracts in these ways, and authors occasionally add new, supplementary information. We rarely consider how authors might “tear out a page” or incorporate misleading information to deceive an audience.

This course examines intentional and accidental discord preventing texts from being “complete.” We will read traditional literature (Blake, Coleridge, Keats, and Shakespeare) and scientific writing (Newton), as well as theories about interference and discord. Writing for the course will focus on identifying and understanding interference, and manipulating it as an effective, responsible writer.

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ENC 1145

Writing about Food

Patrick McGowan

This course will explore the politics of food and agriculture, which have received increased attention in recent years. Topics addressed in the class will include the ethical dimensions of what and how we eat, the large-scale industrialization of food production, and alternative food movements.

Students will read a number of contemporary and historical texts, both journalistic and literary, and will engage in various forms of writing related to the course topic. Major assignments will include reflective narratives about food-related experiences, analyses of persuasive texts from the food industry and its critics, and a researched persuasive argument addressing some food- related issue.

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ENC 1145

Writing about South Africa

Kiren Valjee

We will examine essays, novels, movies, and television programs depicting South Africa and its long history. These texts will provide a multi-faceted view of a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-racial country sometimes known as the Rainbow Nation.

In order to develop a deep and meaningful body of knowledge about a nation not very different than our own, students will explore sources of information beyond those listed on the syllabus. They will write weekly responses to the assigned texts and two six-page critical/analytical essays (one at midterm and one at the end).

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ENC 1145

Writing about Historical Films

Timothy Robinson

This course will introduce students to looking at and writing about film as a way of representing history. We will study biographies, war/epics, and metahistories to explore the challenges and possibilities of visualizing history on film.

In addition to viewing films, students will read various examples of film scholarship. They will write three critical papers of 1500 words; these may include interpretive, historical, and theoretical analyses. Also, students will write five 300-word responses to specific films, and they will take viewing quizzes.

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ENC 1145

Writing about Humor

William Walter

What makes us laugh? We will examine various media and genres of comedy and consider the nuances of comedy, especially with an eye on the differences between performance, generating thoughtful theories of humor.

Assignments in this course are designed to work through the potential failures of translating verbal performance to writing, and studying the elements that lead to that change. Traditional papers and short assignments will focus on analysis, argument, theory and production. Students will also be required to participate on Facebook, where they will post a weekly joke to share with their community for feedback.

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ENC 1145

Writing about Monsters

Tamar Ditzian

This course will examine monsters and monstrosity in literature, film, television, comics, and music. Specifically, we will look at how monsters represent people's fears and anxieties about cultural issues.

Students will learn strategies for reading, viewing, and listening carefully in order to detect claims and arguments across various media. In addition, students will hone their skills of written communication and argumentation: writing thesis statements, organizing sentences and paragraphs, finding and citing sources of information, and incorporating effective evidence into an essay. Assignments will include several shorter analysis papers and summaries of criticism, a longer final research paper, and an annotated bibliography of sources for that paper.

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ENL 2330

Introduction to Shakespeare

Sid Homan

The large-enrollment “Introduction to Shakespeare” course is one where students become an audience to performances of scenes from Shakespeare. Their presence at Thursday performances by an acting company formed especially for this course is of no less importance than what transpires onstage. That is, the meaning of the play is a collaboration between actor and audience. On Tuesdays, Professor Homan will raise issue, challenges, questions about the play at hand, while sharing his own experiences with the work in commercial and university theatres as an actor and director. On Thursdays, his acting company will flesh out those comments with a performance. At this time he also works with actors as if they were in rehearsal; the audience is welcomed to share the role of director.

A ten-question Scantron test, based on both the material given Tuesday and the Thursday performance, is given at the end of each Thursday session. The questions, while simple, and specific, still grow out of what the audience has experienced. “Attendance,” therefore, describes both the literal requirement of being present at the performances and, beyond this, way beyond this, the vital role of an audience during a production.

We will thus consider the following plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, and Tom Stopard’s reworking of Hamlet in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Author of some ten books on Shakespeare and the Modern Playwrights, Sidney Homan is Professor of English at the UF and an actor and director in commercial and university theatres. Feel free to e-mail him at shakes@ufl.edu if you have questions or comments.

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