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.

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 3270

The Antebellum Slave Narrative

Ed White

This course is a survey of the major African-American fugitive slave narratives of the colonial and antebellum periods (roughly half of the texts we know were written after the Civil War), and of the major critical approaches to this body of writing. Authors treated will include John Marrant, William Grimes, Moses Roper, Lewis & Milton Clarke, Josiah Henson, Solomon Northup, Henry Bibb, William & Ellen Craft, Jacob Green, and John Brown, as well as the better known Equiano, Douglass, and Jacobs. We will try to read as many narratives as possible.

Three critical assumptions will guide our readings and discussions. First, countering the long-held belief that Frederick Douglass authored the paradigmatic slave narrative (with Harriet Jacobs writing the woman’s “answer”), we will examine the extremely diverse body of narratives with attention to the problem of canon-building. Second, challenging the tendency to read slave narratives as historically rich data-receptacles but literarily impoverished texts, we will examine the literary development of this tradition and consider the possibility that it played a central role in U.S. literary development. Third, we will consider the meaning and significance of abolition – as a form of cultural politics about race with a long legacy as one of the paradigmatic U.S. form of thinking about race, heavily inflected by white liberalism. Most of the critical work of the course, then, will focus on transposing, in cultural terms, the political-institutional history of abolition. To those ends, we will focus on a few case studies, with likely candidates including Charles Ball, the probable author of the important narrative “Slavery in the United States”; William Wells Brown, one of the most diverse and successful antebellum writers; and the iconic Sojourner Truth, whose status as author and icon challenges and perhaps clarifies problems of authorship.

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AML 3271

Survey of African American Literatures II

Mark A. Reid

This course extends the definition of African American literature to include visual narratives by well-known artists as well as writers whose works have been overlooked for various reasons. Readings and film screenings will cover such playwrights as Amiri Baraka, Lorraine Hansberry, Lynn Nottage, Adrienne Kennedy, novelists as Paule Marshall, James McBride, Toni Morrison, John A. Williams, poets as Bob Kaufman, Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, and filmmakers as Spike Lee and Marlon Riggs.

Lectures and class discussions will explore how artists, using black vernacular and various other literary and visual strategies, dramatize contemporary social and psychological conflicts that occur when individuals and groups resist societal pressures to conform to hegemonic beliefs about race, sexuality and gender. (To describe a hegemonic belief formation is not to say that a majority supports this belief system about race, sexuality and gender, but to say that there appears to be no other alternative to this singular racialized-sexualized-gendered vision of society.)

Course Requirements:

  • Pop Quizzes on weekly readings as well as film(s) screened in the previous class
  • Individual Critical Discussion on a weekly assignment
  • Each student is responsible for a typed, 1-page outline of their 5-minute discussion
  • Group Submission of a typed, 12-15-page analytical research paper with 2-page annotated bibliography
  • Each Group-Member Discussion of Analytical Research Paper

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AML 3284

Feminism in Women’s Popular Genres

Tace Hedrick

In this course, we will be reading across popular genres aimed at women – mystery, romance, paranormal romance, street novels – in order to look at the ways feminist ideas have, or have not, made their appearance in the arena of popular literary culture. We will be reading critical feminist writing as well.

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AML 4170

Studies in American Literary Forms: Indian Captivity Narratives

Jodi Schorb

The Indian captivity narrative remains one of the most influential and mythic literary genres, central to representing the dynamics of cross-cultural contact and colonization, the role of the frontier in early American nation-formation, and hostile encounters with Otherness. While the genre teaches us much about cultural fear and stereotypes – particularly through its representation of American Indians – it can also illuminate the captives nuanced psychological response to loss, pain, and adaptation. Ministers, missionaries, settlers, propagandists, editors, captive whites, and Native writers – all have shaped the development and the reception of this heavily-mediated, controversial, and diverse genre.

We begin with texts that fit the standard definition of the genre – personal narratives by Euro-American frontier settlers (often women) who are captured by Indians – and relate their trials of captivity, escape, and return. After a sustained look at the cultural work and literary importance of the genre during the colonial era, we will explore the persistence of the genre in antebellum and early national fiction, in part through a visit to the Baldwin Special Collections Library at UF, which houses a large collection of juvenile Indian captivity fiction.

A sustained final unit inverts the genre, unsettling the genre’s problematic association with Anglo-American subject formation. Reading fiction and nonfiction by or about Captive Indians, we will consider how diverse Native American authors invoke, adapt, and interrogate the captivity genre to disrupt the genre’s conventions and to give voice to their protagonists’ complex experiences.

Texts likely to include Cotton Mather’s Humiliations followd with Deliverances (1697), Mary Rowlandson’s Narrative (1675), John Williams’s Redeemed Captive (1704), Narrative of the Life of Mary Jemison (1824), Geronimo’s Story of His Life (1907), Zitkala Sa’s “School Days of an Indian Girl” (1900), Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony (1977), Janet Campbell Hale’s, The Jailing of Cecelia Capture (1985), and Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer (1996). Requirements include group work and presentations, short response papers, and two 6–8 page essays. Regular attendance, participation, and writing required.

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AML 4242

The Harlem Renaissance: New Negroes & the Negritude Movement

Mark A. Reid

This course extends the Harlem Renaissance and the geographical place of Harlem to embrace an international movement in Black creative and intellectual production between the 1920s and the end of the 1930s. During this period between the war years, Harlem was in vogue and Caribbean, African, and American Blacks began a consorted effort to redefine Blackness in their literatures, arts, and political writings.

Readings and film screenings will cover such writers as Jessie Fauset, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, Richard Bruce Nugent, George Schuyler, Wallace Thurman, Jean Toomer, poets as Countee Cullen, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Leopold Senghor, filmmakers as Oscar Micheaux, painters as Archibald Motley, Jr. and Aaron Douglas, performers as Josephine Baker, Bricktop, Alberta Hunter, Paul Robeson, Bessie Smith, Valaida Snow and intellectuals as W.E.B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, E. Franklin Frazier, Marcus Garvey, and Charles S. Johnson.

Lectures and class discussions will explore how artists, using black vernacular and various other literary and visual strategies, dramatize social and psychological conflicts that occur when individuals and groups resist societal pressures to conform to hegemonic beliefs about race, sexuality and gender. (To describe a hegemonic belief formation is not to say that a majority supports this belief system about race, sexuality and gender, but to say that there appears to be no other alternative to this singular racialized-sexualized-gendered vision of society.)

Course Requirements:

  • Pop Quizzes on weekly readings as well as film(s) screened in the previous class
  • Individual Critical Discussion (5 minutes each student) on a weekly assignment
  • Each student is responsible for a typed, 1-page outline of their individual discussion
  • Group Submission of a typed, 12–15-page analytical research paper with 2-page annotated bibliography
  • Each Group-Member is responsible for a discussion of the analytical research paper

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AML 4282

LGBTQ Generations

Melinda Cardoza

This course explores the generative connections among diverse works in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender cultural production, with a particular emphasis on literary fiction from the post-Stonewall period through the present. In the context of this broad inquiry, we will also attend to “LGBT generations” in a more specific sense, exploring themes of generational conflict and responsibility engaged by many of the assigned texts.

Readings will include fiction, memoir, and poetry by diverse LGBTQ writers, complemented by related essays and criticism. We will also see some movies.

Required texts will include most or all of the following:

  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home
  • Marci Blackman, Po Man’s Child
  • Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle
  • T Cooper, Some of the Parts
  • Howard Cruse, Stuck Rubber Baby
  • Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues
  • David Leavitt, The Lost Language of Cranes
  • Sarah Schulman, Ties That Bind
  • April Sinclair, Coffee Will Make You Black
  • Coursepack and/or e-Reserve readings

Requirements include frequent brief homework assignments and informal in-class exercises, two formal papers (5–7 pages), and a formal presentation to the class.

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AML 4282

American Literature & Sexuality to 1900: From Sodomy to Sexology

Jodi Schorb

This course considers how knowledge about early American sexuality and sexual history can enrich our understanding of earlier American literature.

The long eighteenth century was particularly concerned with how individuals and specific populations (women, bachelors, the poor, slaves, white male citizens) “use” their sexuality; these concerns heightened during the antebellum era as debates around thrift, temperance, virtue, and miscegenation linked individual sexual behavior to the health of the national body.

After a theoretical introduction that explains how sexual knowledge is created and shaped through literature, the course moves through three main periods – early republic, antebellum, and early modern (marked by the rise of “sexology”) – analyzing a diverse range of genres (sermon, seduction novel, travel narrative, detective fiction, slave narrative, gothic fiction).

Discussion and secondary reading will emphasize how American sexual history influences the form, structure, themes, and reception of our chosen texts. We'll also consider why and when certain figuresincluding sodomites, coquettes, rakes, hermaphrodites, sexual “inverts” – dominate specific genres of literature at precise historical moments. We’ll explore how various geographies – the city, the slave plantation, the faraway isle, the utopian commune – become associated with specific sexual knowledges, possibilities, and threats. Throughout, we’ll be mindful of who circulated and read our texts and for what purposes, orthodox and other.

Primary readings include Hannah Webster Foster’s Coquette, Charles Brocken Brown’s Ormond, Poe’s “Mystery of Marie Roget,” Howe’s The Hermaphrodite, Melville’s Typee, Hawthorne’s The Blithedale Romance, Jacobs’s Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl, Walt Whitman’s poetry, James’s The Turn of the Screw, and others.

Secondary readings, often interdisciplinary in scope, will provide relevant social and literary history. Requirements include frequent short analyses, archival work, or reading response assignments, a final research paper, and group work. Regular attendance and participation are required.

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AML 4453

Consumer Society

Susan Hegeman

Postwar American culture is marked by a profound social and economic change. In the last 100 years, the United States has gone from being a central producer of goods to being the worlds most significant consumer. Indeed, when Americans slow down their consumerist ways, the global economy starts to shudder. But what does this mean to people in terms of their lived experience? How have Americans come to terms with the change from a society in which identity, status, and self-worth were tied up with ideas of production to a society where these things are as much defined by what, and how, we consume? What kinds of new attitudes, fears, hopes, and resistances does our consumer society provoke? In this course, we will consider these questions through a range of objects including novels, films, poetry, and essays.

Required books:

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • Horace McCoy, They Shoot Horses, Dont They?
  • Allen Ginsberg, Howl and other Poems
  • Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye.
  • Don DeLillo, White Noise
  • Ruth Oseki, My Year of Meats

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AML 4685

Afro-Latino/a Cultural Studies

Tace Hedrick

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

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AML 4685

Prison Literature

Amy Ongiri

This course explores contemporary African American and Latino/a prison literature in relationship to an international tradition of prison writing. It will explore the ways in which contemporary literature by African American and Latino/a authors works out of this tradition but also works against the growing crisis of incarceration in the United States. Readings cover a range of genres from true crime, mystery, poetry, and the political essay in order to complicate thinking about what it means to live in a country that currently incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. Some issues we will examine include: historical visions of the prison industrial complex, constructions of criminality, gender and the politics of punishment, juvenile justice, and the relationship between art and politics.

Texts examined may include:

  • Always Running, Luis Rodriguez
  • Blood In My Eye, George Jackson
  • Down These Mean Streets and Seven Long Times, Piri Thomas
  • Poems from Prison, Etheridge Knight
  • Short Eyes, Miguel Pinero
  • Pimp: The Story of My Life, Iceberg Slim (Robert Beck)
  • Assata, Assata Shakur
  • Live From Death Row and Death Blossoms, Mumia Abu-Jamal
  • Whoreson, Donald Goines
  • Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, Walter Moseley
  • Brothers and Keepers, John Edgar Wideman
  • Yesterday Will Make You Cry, Chester Himes

Readings will also include the poetry of Caroline Baxter, Raul Salinas and Jimmy Santiago Baca, and the theoretical work of Joy James, H. Bruce Franklin, Angela Davis, Leonard Peltier, Black Prison Movements USA, and Ward Churchill among others.

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

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

All submissions for the Fall 2010 semester must be received by the March 26, 2010 deadline.

""Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3110

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Mary Robison

Course description not available at this time.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

All submissions for the Fall 2010 semester must be received by the March 26, 2010 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

Michael Hofmann

Poetry workshop enriched by readings of poems by D.H. Lawrence.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

All submissions for the Fall 2010 semester must be received by the March 26, 2010 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

R. Brandon Kershner

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grades: I will try to give you an idea of the grade you might expect (assuming you continue working at the same level) when we meet around midterm; at the end of term I will collect from you a notebook with copies of all your work, including my comments, and your own revisions of whichever poems you wish. Up to a point, the more poems you revise successfully, the more positively I am impressed. There are no papers and no exams, and poems and exercises will not be graded individually. Your final grade will be determined by the quality and/or improvement in your writing; by your attendance and participation in class, including your demonstrated preparedness; and by the wit, passion, and seriousness you bring to writing.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

All submissions for the Fall 2010 semester must be received by the March 26, 2010 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 4905

Advanced Fiction Writing

Mary Robison

Course description not available at this time.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

All submissions for the Fall 2010 semester must be received by the March 26, 2010 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 4906

Advanced Poetry Writing

Michael Hofmann

Poetry workshop enriched by readings of poems by Bertolt Brecht (in English translation!).

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

All submissions for the Fall 2010 semester must be received by the March 26, 2010 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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ENC 3312

Advanced Argumentative Writing

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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ENC 3312

Advanced Argumentative Writing

Laurie Gries

As evident in The New York Times, Good Magazine, and other on-line news sources, argument takes shape in a myriad of ways in today's digital arena. In the past ten years alone, new genres of argumentation have emerged as graphic designers, photographers, videographers, bloggers, and reporters employ new media to deliver their informed opinions. With such a wide array of genres to choose from, how do we determine the best genre in which to craft our arguments? Are some strategies of argumentation more effective to use in certain genres than others? If so, how do we learn which strategies to use in specific genres? Drawing on theories and practices of contemporary genre studies, students will spend the first part of the semester analyzing what role argument plays in various genres at work in different online news sources and magazines. Using genre and rhetorical analysis, students will also explore how argument is enacted differently in those genres. Genres of focus will include: editorials, op-eds, infographics, photo essays, video, reviews, blogs, letters to the editor (print and video), and cartoons. During the rest of the semester, students will create their own ezine with links to various genres in which they craft arguments for their targeted audience. Students will choose to write in genres of most interest to them; they also will be encouraged to invent new hybrid genres appropriate for their ezine and the arguments they wish to craft. 

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ENC 3414

Hypermedia

Greg Ulmer

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

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

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ENG 3011

Theorists: Postcolonial Theorists

Malini Johar Schueller

By the beginning of the twentieth century, a few European powers had colonized 80% of Asia and Africa. Nationalist movements during the latter half of the century led to territorial, but not necessarily economic, cultural and intellectual decolonization. The continuing cultural, political, and economic effects of colonialism, as well as new forms of colonialism and imperialism sanctioned on the global South constitute the field of postcolonial studies. We will study the ways in which postcolonial theory has intersected with and impacted diverse areas of inquiry such as feminism, historiography, ethnography, political science, and literature. At the same time, this course will stress the importance of historicizing postcoloniality. The course will focus on the central concerns of postcolonial studies: the nature of colonial discourse, the articulation of revolutionary national consciousness, questions of subalternity and history, the relationship of postcolonial studies to gender studies, the vexing nature of settler colonialism, and the politics of contemporary colonialism. We will read the works of major revolutionaries and theorists and the debates and arguments about these works. The course will cover writings from and about the major parts of the world affected by imperialism: Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the U.S.. A major goal of the course will be to see how postcolonial theory can be instrumental in affecting cultural changes in conditions of oppression today. Requirements: regular attendance, class participation, weekly response papers and two essay exams. Possible texts: Ed. Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory; Edward Said Orientalism; Ed. Moira Ferguson History of Mary Prince and a Course Packet of theory readings.

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ENG 3115

Introduction to Film Criticism and Theory

Scott Nygren

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

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

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

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

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ENG 3122

History of Film II

Amy Ongiri

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

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ENG 3122

History of Film II

Robert Ray

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

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

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

Readings:

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

Assignments and Grading:

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

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

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

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

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

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ENG 4110

Film Noir

Maureen Turim

Gangsters, detectives, the city at night, the dangerous, alluring women known as “femme fatales,” the double cross, the key lighting and striated shadows of great black and white cinematography, this famous US genre of films will be our object of study in this class. A genre that is associated with the immediate post World War II, film noir is linked to the hardboiled detective fiction of Dashiell Hammit, James M. Cain, Cornell Woolrich, and Raymond Chandler. We will explore the male narrator and the particular voice that characterizes the genre. We will consider how flashbacks explore the past. Film Noir has been studied by critics and theorists using a variety of approaches, and our readings will take into account existentialism, feminism, historical, political context, and psychoanalysis. Readings in this course will be challenging. We will consider expansion of the genre in Europe and Japan, as well as neo-noir films made more recently and in color.

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ENG 4110

Post-Classical Cinema

Roger Beebe

This course is a broad-ranging overview of many movements in cinema since the beginning of the 1960s.  It can be seen as the third part in a three-part story (with the silent cinema – 1895 to 1930 or so, covered in ENG 3121: History of the Film 1 – as the first part and classical Hollywood – roughly 1930 to 1960, covered in ENG 3122: History of the Film 2 – as the second part).  This course then will focus on a number of major historical moments in the evolution of the cinema in what is often termed the “post-classical” moment, from 1960 until the present day.  A significant part of the course will focus on the transformation of Hollywood in the wake of the Paramount Decision, which effectively put an end to the vertical integration of the studio system, but we will additionally spend a considerable amount of time considering moments that fall outside of this narrowly US-centered industrial history.  Other critical moments are likely to include the French New Wave, New German Cinema, the rise of Third Cinema, movements in the avant garde (including structuralist film, the “underground” film, the microcinema movement, and culture jamming), changes in documentary form (cinema verité, Direct Cinema), the rise of independent film, etc.  As we trace these different histories alongside the history of Hollywood, we will also attempt to articulate a theory of what it is that we are doing when we construct a historical narrative – i.e., what, in fact, “film history” actually is or is meant to be.

While there is no prerequisite for the course, a familiarity with the basic vocabulary of film analysis (tilt, pan, zoom, long take, long shot, etc.) is very important for the course.  Students who have not taken ENG 2300 (wherein learning these terms is the central focus) would do well to learn these by taking a look at Yale's Film Analysis website:  <http://classes.yale.edu/film-analysis/>.

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ENG 4133

Cinematic Cities

Barbara Mennel

From the invention of film, cinema offered utopian and dystopian visions of cities. Film’s claim to modernity relies on the intimate relationship projected onto urban environments. This course traces the historical development from the modernist city symphonies from the Weimar Republic to the depiction on Los Angeles in stylized film noir. We move from the icons of French nouvelle vague, the street-walking in Paris, to the deterritorialized ghettos of global cinema. We will address questions of architecture and set design, spatial organization and social stratification, movement and mobility, and gender and sexuality. We will pay particular attention to such iconic sites as “the street,” “the underground,” and “the urban ruin.” Films may include but are not limited to: Metropolis, Berlin: Symphony of a City, Phantom Lady, Breathless, Cléo from 5 to 7, Chungking Express, The Third Man, Is Paris Burning?, West Beyrouth, The Murderers are Among Us, Blade Runner, Dark City, Accattone, Mamma Roma.

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ENG 4133

From Nuremberg to South Park: Representations of Nazism in Film and Literature

Eric Kligerman

This course examines the representation of the Nazi epoch in pre- and postwar visual culture and literature. In addition to exploring the historical, political and ideological implications of how National Socialism is recollected and represented, we will also track the transformation of the Nazi perpetrator in the cultural imagination of Europe and America. This course shifts attention from the debates regarding the commodification of the victims of the Holocaust, which has led to the provocative terms “Shoah business” and “Holocaust industry,” to what Susan Sontag describes as “fascinating fascism:” our commercial fascination with the perpetrators of genocide. How have those responsible for the crimes of the Third Reich been represented, theorized, turned into metaphors, as well as clichés, through the space of film and literature? By shifting our attention from the tragic images of the victims to the figure of the perpetrators, we will examine the ethical implications as well as moral ambiguities behind various representations of Nazism.

Beginning with Riefensthal’s documentary films, we will examine the circulation of the Nazi aesthetic and its associations with questions of beauty, power, gender and eroticism. How has this aesthetic been re-circulated in postwar cinema? How does the Nazi figure function in documentary films, German cinema (the rubble films, New German Cinema and contemporary German film), Italian neorealism, and American popular culture? Does the representation of Nazism in shifting periods and forms critique, explain or bring about an understanding of those who committed the crimes of the Third Reich? Or, do they perpetuate the spectator’s obsession with the horrors of Nazism while circumventing issues of guilt, responsibility and historical comprehension?

Interrogating the boundaries of representation, where the figure of the Nazi is not outside the frame of the imagination but occupies our day-to-day world, our objective is to explore how film and literature position the spectator in relation to the Nazi past. What moral and aesthetic complexities arise when the Nazi figure inhabits such genres as documentary, comedy, horror and erotica? Accompanying our screening of films by Resnais, Cavani, Visconti, Wertmüller, Fassbinder, Syberberg, von Trier, Hirschbiegel and Spielberg, and reading texts by Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag, Phillip Roth, Don Delillo, George Steiner, Paul Celan and Heinrich Böll, we will also examine television episodes from The Twilight Zone, Star Trek and South Park.

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ENG 4133

Haunting Hamlet:  Hamlets Within Hamlet

Richard Burt

In conjunction with a series of canonical film and television adaptations of Hamlet and related spin-offs (such as Strange Brew), we will pursue broad theoretical and philological questions about film adaptations of literary texts: What is the text of Hamlet? The first quarto, second quarto, the Folio? Some conflation of all three? We will pursue these questions by comparing the Arden two edition of Hamlet of 1992 (a conflation of all three version) with the Arden three edition of 2006 with all three versions edited separately in two volumes. To begin to grasp how the text of Hamlet is rendered readable or unreadable when edited (conflated) or “unedited” (not conflated) and then revised for film adaptation, we will turn to new media theory, especially Avital Ronell's The Telephone Book; contemporary theories of editing (creating a textual apparatus to help the reader understand the text); Walter Benjamin and Paul de Man on translation; and the history of the book. Instead of rendering the text readable by restitching it or by purifying it, we examine the text itself as an unreadable, spectral effect of its translation into various media, including manuscript (non-existent for Shakespeare), prompt book, printed text, and theatrical performance.

In the second half of the course, we will consider how the philological question of reading / editing the text of Hamlet bear on the crisis of liberal democracy and the rise of European fascism in the 1930s, WWII, the Holocaust, the fall of Communist Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in 1989, and political theology. We will turn first to Jacques Derrida’s reading of Hamlet in Spectres of Marx.

We will end the course by considering German adaptations of Hamlet. Reading Carl Schmitt and Walter Benjamin’s writings  on Hamlet, we will ask whether Hamlet is a Tragedy or a Trauerspiel (German for “Mourning Play” and mistranslated as “Tragic Drama”). Why did Germans start saying in the eighteenth century that Hamlet was German? Why did they start giving Hamlet a happy ending? Why did Germans (and the French) take out the ghost scenes and Ophelia scenes and give happy ending (Hamlet survives)? Film and television adaptions of Hamlet will include those directed by Sven Gade, Olivier, Kosintev, BBC Hamlet (strarring Deek Jacobi), Branagh, Gielgud (starring Richard Burton) and the recently released Hamlet starring David Tennant, among others.

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ENG 4136

Hypervideo: Rethinking Video Production

Scott Nygren

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

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

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

Please Note: Since space in production courses is limited, I am asking prospective students to apply for the class in order to prioritize for those who are most qualified and most in need of the course at this time. Please contact me at <nygren@ufl.edu> if you are interested in enrolling for fall 2010. I expect to teach ENG 4136 again in fall 2011.

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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@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 at least a week or two before that. Women and students of color should feel especially encouraged to apply. Film, even experimental film, is relatively expensive, so be warned that there will unfortunately be a considerable materials cost for the class (around $300).

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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 and will count as credit toward the English major. This course may be repeated with a change of topic up to a maximum of 9 credits.

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

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ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: “The World Is A Ghetto!”: Race, Space, Migration & the City

Amy Ongiri

At the turn of the century 90% of all African Americans were living in the south and over 80% were rural. Denied the right to vote and receive equitable salaries and terrorized by anti-Black lynching violence that swept the south, a significant portion of the southern rural Black population decided to “vote with their feet” and migrate to northern cities. By 1970, after the migration had ended, less than 25% of the Black population continued to live in southern rural areas. This migratory act of refusal of southern cultural and political life significantly changed not only the cultural formation of Black life but American culture in general as African American poets, playwrights, musicians, intellectuals, and filmmakers theorized the transition from rural to urban.

African American’s journey in the city from hope to despair and the creation of a unique urban “ghetto” culture continues to provide a prototype for understanding the urban experience throughout the world. This course begins with an examination of the images of hope and prosperity that the city often represents to migratory populations through popular blues songs and poetry of the Harlem renaissance. It ends with contemporary images of the city as a polarized, dangerous wasteland that is, nonetheless, central to the ways in which migratory populations configure their identity. We will consider the urban “ghetto” experience from Harlem to Rio de Janeiro, from Miami to Watts, from Berlin to the Bronx. Some of the questions that will inform this course will include: How does urban life shape racial identity? How do American notions of “the ghetto” inform international film? What kind of narrative conventions are produced by the urban experience? Why and how do texts from around the world repeat US ghetto aesthetics and iconography?

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ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Extra-Ordinary Americans

Stephanie Smith

Americans have long cherished the idea that their nation-state and by extension the individual American was exceptional, extraordinary, special. “American exceptionalism” as an idea can be dated back to de Tocqueville’s famous sojourn in the mid-nineteenth century, but it did not emerge as a term until after WW II, under which academic American Studies programs organized; this term points to an ideology of empowerment and a tool of imperialism that colors various aspects of American culture, culture being understood as a key arena for the “the social construction of reality,” the process whereby illusory notions like “national character” or “America” were posited and perpetuated.. This course will re-examine the construction of the “exceptional American” in poetry and fiction, starting in the mid-19th century but extending to speculations about the ideology in the present moment. Readings will include words from the mid-19th c. such as those by Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Douglass, Jacobs and Whitman to mid-20th c. authors such as Cather, Fitzgerald, Ellison and Plath.

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ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Dante for English Majors

R. Allen Shoaf

We will read all of Dante’s Commedia and all of the Vita Nuova; we will also, as occasion warrants, read in others of Dante’s major works, especially the Convivio, De Vulgari Eloquentia, and Monarchia. Our rhythm will consist in roughly five weeks per each canticle of the Commedia.

The writing assignment for the seminar will consist in three essays (five pages each) plus short weekly quizzes to assess the pace and quality of the reading. The essays are to be one on each of the three canticles of the Commedia (we will work out topics as we go). Your final grade will be determined, then, by your performance in class meetings and your writing in these essays.

In addition, we will make extensive use of the World Wide Web to access the wealth of resources available for Dante Studies, including especially the “Princeton Dante Project” <http://etcweb.princeton.edu/dante/index.html>.

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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:

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

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

Upon completion of the internship:

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

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

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

Please note the following limitations on the English Internship:

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

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ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Visual Textuality

Donald Ault

Required Texts:

  • Course Packet (Xerographic Copy Center, 927 N.W. 13th Street)

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

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ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Visual Rhetoric/Visual Culture

Sid Dobrin

This course will examine the shift from page to screen. It will emphasize how visuals have become central to communication in the digital age. The course will consider how visuals convey meaning and how contemporary U.S. culture has become reliant upon visual communication. This course will focus on three approaches to visual rhetoric and visual culture: theory, application/production, and observation/analysis. Over the course of the semester students will write two analytical papers and will produce one image project and one video project.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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ENL 3112

Eighteenth-Century British Novel

Brian McCrea

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

We will read seven novels, one of them being Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa. Because of the length of Clarissa, we will take it in sections, reading roughly one hundred pages per week. We will study how these novels reflect and speak to changes in British society described by Aphra Behn in her late seventeenth-century prose narratives Oroonoko and The Fair Jilt. Most particularly, we will analyze the changing role of social status (which these writers typically use the word “quality” to reference) in courtship and marriage, as economic and social changes create new kinds of wealth. But we also will observe how these novels repeat plots and characters of earlier literature, notably the birth-mystery plot. By the end of the semester, students should have a full sense of these novels as, at once, products of a specific culture and of a long-enduring literary tradition.

Students will write two papers (between eight to ten pages each) on topics that I offer. They also will keep a response journal in which they record their reactions to their daily readings. If the class is small enough (under twenty students), that journal will provide the basis for a one half-hour final oral examination. Should the class enroll more than twenty students, a written final examination will be offered. Students will be expected to participate in a Clarissa study group and to contribute to class discussions.

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

Books:

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

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ENL 3132

Twentieth-Century British Novel

R. Brandon Kershner

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

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

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

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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. Course work includes: two papers – the first due at midterm on classical backgrounds in early English poetry and the second due at the end of the course on a topic of your choice; two essay exams as well. Required attendance. Most readings are in the course’s main and required textbook, The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Volume 1: The Medieval Period. Additionally required texts include the Penguin paperback editions of Piers Plowman and The Travels of Sir John Mandeville.

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ENL 3230

Age of Dryden and Pope

Brian McCrea

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

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

Books

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

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ENL 3251

Victorian Literature

Daniel Brown

Victorian literature belongs to an age in which realism came into its own as a literary and artistic method of representation. Yet, contrary to some popular misconceptions, the Victorians never believed in a simple relationship between reality and representation. This course will explore what the Victorians imagined to be real and what they thought was the role of literature and art in depicting that reality. Some of the questions they raised are still with us today. Is there a deeper, metaphysical reality beyond what is seen? Do we live in a morally ordered universe or a mechanically indifferent one? Can art ever mirror reality and how do we know when it is successful? Some of the texts this course might examine include Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh, Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and essays by Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin, as well as some paintings from the period.

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ENL 4221

17th-Century Renaissance Literature

Peter 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 (Songs and Sonnets, Anniversaries, Divine Poems), as well as to works by Marvell, Rochester, Bunyan (Grace Abounding), and Milton (Samson Agonistes). Psychological issues as well as intellectual and political currents in the period will be considered. The course requirements are a midterm, final, and one five-page paper. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are expected.

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ENL 4273

Ghosts of Empire: Twentieth-Century British Literature & Its Postcolonial Hauntings

Erich Simmers

In this course, we will examine twentieth-century British literature in the light of colonial intervention and resistance. As Walter Benjamin wrote, “To articulate the past historically…means to seize hold of memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger.” The unfortunate reality for postcolonial history is that these violent flash points reoccur in the same locales with a tragic repetition that haunts not only the writings of empire but postcolonial literature. Together, we will trace these hauntings beginning in the early twentieth century and ending with contemporary writings. The first unit of the course will explore narratives of empire as written by the likes of Rudyard Kipling and T.E. Lawrence, confronting their vexed relationship to the imperial project. The second unit will address colonial resistance and the empire's violent legacy through the writings of postcolonial authors such as Salmon Rushdie and Chinua Achebe. Lastly, the third unit will analyze how these “flashes of danger” are restaged in the present day in neocolonial discourses such as counterinsurgency doctrine. In addition to literary texts, there will be historical and cultural readings and analysis to provide the requisite context for each work. Students will be encouraged to think critically about a number of issues including but not limited to race, gender, sexuality, and trauma.

Required texts are likely to include:

  • Chinua Achebe, A Man of the People
  • Rudyard Kipling, Kim
  • Salmon Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
  • Selected Short Writings

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare

Peter Rudnytsky

This course is the second in a projected four-part sequence that will read all of Shakespeare’s works along with selected texts by his contemporaries. Each semester may be taken independently, though students are encouraged to register for more than one semester if they so choose. This semester we will take up Shakespeare’s works from approximately 1595 to 1600. These will include Richard II, King John, The Merchant of Venice, 1 Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2 Henry IV, Much Ado about Nothing, Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and Hamlet. We will also read Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta and Dr. Faustus, and perhaps some other Elizabethan plays. The requirements are a midterm, final, and one five-page term paper. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are also expected.

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare

Robert Thomson

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

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

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

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

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

Assignments

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

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

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

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LIT 3031

Studies in Poetry: American Poetry

Jordan Dominy

This course will explore the works of a diverse group of American poets and will expose you to a variety of forms and the history and critical contexts of American poetry. While seeking an understanding of these poets’ relationship to the development of American poetry, we will also focus on the close reading individual poems. Prior experience reading or knowledge of poetry is not a prerequisite for the course, for in this course you will become familiar with poetic devices, techniques, and components including form, the line, stanza, meter, rhyme, sound, diction, voice, syntax, imagery, and more. By the end of the class you will have developed an understanding of poetic terminology and mechanics, be able to write about poetry using poetic terminology, and demonstrate a better knowledge of authors and works integral to American Literature. 

Assignments will include written explications, a book analysis, and a final, researched essay

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LIT 3043

Modern Drama: Learning by Doing

Sid Homan

The assumption in all my theatre courses is that the text of a play is not just what is written on the page but that text in performance, delivered by actors before an audience.  This means the play’s text also includes gestures, movement, blocking (the stage picture), and sub-text (what the character is saying inwardly, beneath the lines delivered onstage, as well as the “history” for that character invented by the actor).  In the theatre, we would further supplement this text with lighting, sound, set, costumes, props, and make-up.  To be sure, one can approach a play in a thousand ways – as literature, as a repository for the thinking of an age, as the springboard for political or cultural issues.  But, since I work both on campus and in the theatre, as an actor and director, and since the theatre itself is a unique medium with its own aesthetic principles, I approach the plays, with my students, and as a fellow “student,” as something meant to be performed by an actor and ratified by an audience.  In the seminar each student will have a scene partner with whom he or she stages several scenes each semester.  Once performed, the class and I, as co-directors, “work” that scene with the two actors, trying out options, rehearsing it. The emphasis, therefore, is on learning by doing, and I judge student work by intent, what goes into the performance – not by finesse. If there is finesse, that is considered a bonus.

In the seminar, we will thus consider Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Embers, All That Fall, Play, Eh Joe, Not I, and Come and Go; Harold Pinter’s The Lover, Old Times, Betrayal, and No Man’s Land, Sam Shepard’s True West, Curse of the Starving Class, and Buried Child; and Tom Stopaprd’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

A word of comfort: whether you have acted before or not, experience in the theatre is not a factor in the seminar. We use acting as a way of studying the text.  Have no fears on this issue!

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LIT 3173

Women in Modern Hebrew Fiction

Avraham Balaban

This course is crosslisted with HBR 4930 (3393).

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

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

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

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

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LIT 3313

Modern Science Fiction – Up Above

Terry Harpold

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

We will read short texts on the history of modern aviation; short and long American, British, and European science fiction, including pulp fiction from the Gernsback era of American SF; nonfiction texts on the 1896–97 and 1909–1913 “airship waves,” considered the first modern UFO “flaps”; and texts from the late 20th century literature of “critters” and “rods” – a curious resurgence of earlier atmospheric fantasies, in which anomalous phenomena are purported to be evidence of undocumented lifeforms. (Hic sunt dracones: here there are dragons; the skies are full of them.) Our philosophical guide to these realms will be the great American anomalist Charles Hoy Fort, whose writings (we will read The Book of the Damned, New Lands and portions of Lo!) are among the most engaging studies of the early 20th century aerial imaginary.)

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

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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 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

The Geopolitics of Knowledge, Writing, & Resistance

Laurie Gries

This course explores how knowledge and writing emerge as contested spaces in Subaltern Studies and investigates various forms and expressions of cultural resistance. Throughout the course, students will engage with the scholarship of Walter Mignolo, Ileana Rodríguez and Enrique Dussel – among other Latin American subaltern theorists – who interrogate the geopolitics of knowledge and advocate for a decolonial shift in epistemology. Such studies will challenge students to confront how “writing,” “seeing,” and “knowing” have been entangled in longstanding histories of dominance and control. Focusing heavily on post-colonial contexts in the Americas, students will also study how words, images, artifacts, and the body are employed to achieve personal, cultural, and political survival. The following genres will be explored as acts of cultural resistance: autohistoria, photography, cartography, collage, tapestry, manifesto, jeremiad, codex, declaration, murals, and more. In studying such resistance, students will encounter the provocative works of  Cherríe L. Moraga, Vine Deloria, Carl Beam, José Clemente Orozco, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and others. In formal assignments, students will study how acts of resistance challenge dominant ways of seeing and knowing and attempt to rewrite history on its own terms. Students will also be challenged to craft their own acts of resistance in genres of interest to them. 

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LIT 4194

African Literature in English

Apollo Amoko

This course will focus on canonical texts of modern African drama. High canonical prose fiction has long dominated the field of African literary studies. In what ways might placing drama center stage alter the critical and theoretical terrain of African letters? In a sense, the high profile enjoyed by the high cultural African novel merely reflects the overall (but perhaps temporary) decline of poetry and drama in contemporary literary studies. But it provides for specific distortions in the African context where the high canonical novel is restricted in its production and circulation to a small intellectual class, what Kwame Anthony Appiah has contemptuously termed the “comprador intelligentsia.” According to Appiah, high cultural African art inhabits and reflects the world of “a relatively small, Western style, Western-trained group of writers and thinkers, who mediate the trade in cultural commodities of world capitalism at the periphery.”

The preoccupations of that rarified academic universe are fundamentally at odds with the practices and politics of everyday life in contemporary Africa. Appiah’s critique seems valid with regard to the high canonical novel but it may not fully account for the instrumental role that performance plays in the dramatic aesthetic. As Simon Gikandi contends plays can perform an important mediating function in contemporary African culture: “Conceived as an instrument for change, drama, more than the novel, could be formalized to overcome the historical and social gap between intellectuals and workers, between popular culture and elite forms of artistic expression.” The course will turn on a critical engagement with Gikandi’s provocative contentions against the backdrop of Appiah’s sweeping critique. We will likely focus on such landmarks in the history of African theater as the First and Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (the Festac Festivals held in Algiers in 1969 and Lagos in 1977), the various national theater movements established in postcolonial Africa with particular emphasis on the Kenya National Theatre controversy of the 1970s, the Kamiriithu Theatre Experiment, the Popular Theater Movement, the Theatre for Development Movement and the anti-apartheid drama of the Market Theatre (and elsewhere) in South Africa.

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LIT 4305

Animation and Comics

Donald Ault

Required texts:

  • Course pack available from Xerographic Copy Center: 927 NW 13th St (352) 375–0797
  • Leonard Maltin, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons

This course will focus on a highly selective social, theoresticall, and aesthetic history of comic strips, comic books, and animated cartoons through a consideration of psychoanalytic, Marxist, and phenomenological close readings of specific works. The course will emphasize USA productions especially during the first half of the twentieth century with special emphasis on path-breaking artists, originary versions of comics characters, and on animation produced by the Disney Studio, Warner Brothers, the Max and Dave Fleischer Studio at Paramount, the Hugh Harmon/Rudolph Ising unit at MGM, the Van Beuren Studio, the Ub Iwerks Studio, etc. The course will address the different kinds of cultural work animated cartoons and comics perform and what different narrative possibilities and limitations are available to artists producing comics, animated cartoons, and "live-action" versions of characters/plots, especially in relation to technological innovation such as the emergence of synchronized sound and Technicolor. Note: The animation and comic book work of Disney artist/writer Carl Barks work will be used as a touchstone to explore many of the theoretical and historical issues to be addressed in the course

You will have the opportunity to take advantage of the large selection of comics and animation on Reserve and the recently acquired rare comics materials (mid-1800s-1950s) that are housed in Special Collections in Library East.

The class will meet two periods each day, three days a week, which should provide a time-format that will work for screening cartoons and other digital projections and for discussing them the same day they are screened.

Requirements for the course include several writing experiments, quizzes, and a final project.

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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.

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LIT 4332

The Picture Book

Anastasia Ulanowicz

The picturebook is not an especially well-recognized or respected form in literary studies: its value is conventionally determined as merely educational or recreational. The purpose of this class, however, is to question and possibly undermine conventional assumptions about the picturebook. During the course of the semester, we will read a number of picturebooks alongside Jonathan Culler’s handbook, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction, in order to interrogate the literary value of picturebooks – and in order to question how we define “literary value” in the first place. Toward the end of the semester, we will study texts that are not traditionally considered picturebooks – for example, photo albums, graphic novels, short stories, and novels – in order to further challenge our assumptions about this rich and often misunderstood form.

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LIT 4333

Literature for the Adolescent

Kenneth Kidd

This course examines literature primarily for but also about adolescents in the twentieth century, across a range of genres and with attention to the political and social history of adolescence as a concept and as a lived experience. We’ll concentrate on what's now called “young adult” literature from the 1960s forward, but we will read and discuss that material in light of earlier narrative traditions. The modern adolescent is of course intimately connected to material culture in particular ways. We will concentrate on contemporary literature in the hopes of assessing what’s happening in young adult publishing and media culture. The course will be conducted as a seminar and participation is crucial. We will at least one YA book per week, plus some criticism and theory. Requirements include weekly response papers, regular participation, and 2 essays to be negotiated later.

Possible Texts (Check with me before you buy books, as titles are subject to change)

  • Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak
  • M.T. Anderson, Feed
  • Christopher Barzak, One for Sorrow
  • Frank Chin, Donald Duk
  • Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
  • Robert Cormier, I Am the Cheese
  • Cory Doctorow, Little Brother
  • Virginia Hamilton, Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush
  • Pete Hautman, Godless
  • S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders
  • Carson McCullers, The Member of the Wedding
  • Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass
  • Ariel Schrag, Potential
  • Stewart and Weisman, Cathy’s Book

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LIT 4930

Extraordinary Voyages: The Narrative Fiction of Jules Verne

Terry Harpold

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

In the twenty-first century, Verne is widely – and inaccurately – known as an author of children’s adventure- and proto-science fiction, set in exotic locales and populated by fantastic machines, hardy explorers, and half-mad scientists.

Few modern readers are aware that he wrote more than fifty novels and dozens of shorter works, that he was a successful playwright whose “musical spectacles” played for hundreds of performances on the Paris stage, or that he co-wrote four volumes of geography and maritime history.

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

The recent renaissance of Verne studies in Europe and the US suggests that the exemplarity and subtlety of his work, and its important influences on major threads of modernist and postmodernist narrative fiction, are only now being understood. This course will take this possibility as a founding axiom. We will read Verne for the pleasures and challenges that his writing presents, but also as a case study of important problems of genre, narrative, and textual methods. The texts we will read include: The Adventures of Captain Hatteras, The Begum’s Millions, The Green Ray, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, The Mysterious Island, The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. All texts will be read in modern English translations: happily, faithful and complete renderings have recently replaced the dreadful Victorian editions that misrepresented Verne to English speakers for more than a century. Students able to read Verne in French will be encouraged to do so; our discussion of the texts will address problems of translation unique to this linguistically-adventurous and -innovative writer.

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

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LIT 4930

The Child on Film

John Cech

The purpose of this course is to explore and, in a sense, to map, depictions of the child as the subject of visual texts. We will begin with early photography, such as the works of Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, Jacques Henri Lartigue, and Lewis Hine. We will screen a number of silent movies in which children play important roles. The course will devote considerable time to the emergence of the child as an important film and photographic archetype during the 1930s – from the movies of Shirley Temple to the WPA photographs of Dorothea Lange and Helen Levitt, as well as to the contemporary photographs of such artists as Sally Mann, Sheron Rupp, Wendy Ewald, Maggie Taylor, and others.

The second half of the course will consider the portraits of children in the works of filmmakers like Truffaut, Fellini, Spielberg, and Babenco; the documentaries of Apted, Briski, and Burstein; the autobiographical and experimental films of Davies, Madden, and Gondry. Among the questions that we will be asking during the course are why has the child been such an enduring and powerful subject for visual artists, from the first images of children that began to appear among the first images on film, to the mega-star childen of the movies today.

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LIT 4930

Allegory: Plato to Rushdie

James Paxson

In classical rhetoric, allegory was the mysterious mode for “saying other” (Greek, allegoria, allos agoureuein; Latin, alieniloquium) and thus allowing poets to encode philosophical, theological or scientific ideas in adventurous, romantic, or quotidian narrative. Though a difficult task, part of our work will be the (re)defining of allegory – especially in the way allegory differs among classical and modern definitions. We will thus examine how allegory relates to the rhetorical trope prosopopoeia or personification, to the central theme of apocalypse, to sacred or epic texts, to the grotesque, the fantastic, satire and propaganda. Readings will include some important theoretical overviews (St. Augustine, Dante, Erich Auerbach, Angus Fletcher, Paul de Man) and a number of literary authors, ancient through modern, whose texts contain recognizably allegorical elements (Apuleius, Bernardus Silvestris, Christine de Pizan, Chaucer, Spenser, Bunyan, Kafka, Pynchon, Calvino, Coetzee, Rushdie).

Required: Two papers and a midterm examination.

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LIT 4930

The Course of Love

John Cech

One of the most permanent, seemingly omnipresent and, arguably most important themes of world literature (and films and music and art) is love, in one of its many incarnations. For most of us, love is a mystery, a miracle, a passion, a sudden and remarkable transformation in our otherwise ordinary lives. How does it happen? Why does it happen? When or where or to whom does it happen? “Who wrote the book of love?” the Monotones asked in their hit from 1957. And we still wonder about that today. This fall, we will look at some possible answers to these and many other enigmas as we follow the course of love from its ancient origins to the present, and through the myriad forms that expressions of love take. This course will put you in touch with works that are familiar and unexpected, with stories as old as our most ancient civilizations and with those that were written and performed yesterday. You will be asked to reflect on the nature of love – critically, creatively, and personally.  Here’s hoping you enjoy the voyage.

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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 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 Web and library reading). In combination, initial drafts, exam answers wherein you demonstrate stylistic prowess, final polished drafts, group projects, and your research paper will total well over 6,000 words evaluated by me for Gordon Rule credit (in case you wish to make that claim).

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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SPC 4680

Rhetorical Criticism: Masterpieces of Rhetoric

Ron Carpenter

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

Unlike previous semesters, the course now has no textbook because much of your course material now is on-line through <http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speechbank.html>. Major class assignments are group projects. By the end of the third week of classes, you should be in a group with 5-6 other class members, who collaboratively will write speeches presented to the entire class for discussion and analyses, but these speeches in and of them selves will not be graded.  Instead, for grading purposes, students individually – or in concert with 2 or 3 other peers (of their mutual choice – will write for grades short papers identifying and evaluating the rhetorical choices and techniques utilized in the group speeches as presented and discussed in class.  I am convinced that when groups argue among themselves about fulfilling assignments (including grammar and compositional prowess), final products are better. 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 this semester, one speechwriting group must be all male and another only females; the rest can be any combination. Short papers yield one-third of students’ final grades.

Short papers (perhaps 3 typed double spaced pages) summarize and expand upon assigned readings, films, and group projects presented in class. The fifth short paper, exclusively an individual effort, will be the enthymeme assignment, which 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 (its focus must be developed in consultation with me and will constitute another one-third of your final grade; for some research paper topics, considering the scope of the endeavor, I may approve of a collaborative research paper). The course also has an individual “take home” final exam for the final one-third. Please understand that group projects require meetings with your peers outside of regular class periods. You also are required to view some films outside of class, whether in groups or individually.

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