Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2012

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 3605

Survey of African American Literature I

Nikolas Bajorek

African American Literature: Beginning to 1952 will provide a survey of the most significant writings of Black Americans from 1760 to 1952. It is meant to introduce students to a variety of authors, genres, and periods. This course will emphasize the development, continuities, and discontinuities within the literary tradition. We will pay special attention to the ways the literature intertextualizes elements of the vernacular tradition (spirituals, folktales and the blues) and its own immediate past. We will also focus on issues of fictional representation of the black experience, including issues of heritage, identity, feminism, sexuality, and the idea of the African diaspora. Literature to be supplemented with film, art, and critical readings.

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AML 3607

Survey of African American Literature II

Mark 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.)

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AML 4170

Early U.S. Poetry

Ed White

This course offers an introduction to US poetry from the War of Independence to the Civil War. We will begin with Elihu Hubbard Smith’s American Poems (1793), the first compilation of US poetry, and end with Walt Whitman. The course is intended as a survey in the broadest sense—we will look at lyric and narrative poetry but also popular newspaper verse and song lyrics. I will provide a digital copy of American Poems and several other poems (like “The Spunkiad,” a mock-epic about spitting Congressmen), but we will largely be using American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, Vol. 1: Philip Freneau to Walt Whitman, edited by John Hollander (Library of America hardcover).

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AML 4170

Genre Fiction: Westerns and Hardboiled Detectives

Susan Hegeman

This class will explore the emergence and development of two popular American literary genres: the Western and hardboiled detective fiction. We will think about the forms of these two genres, how they developed, and the social and cultural context of their development. We will also consider their adaptation into other media (especially film), and how writers throughout the twentieth century have employed the established genres of the Western and hardboiled detective fiction for a variety of artistic purposes that extend and complicate the idea of genre itself.

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AML 4311

Major Authors: Inventing Herman Melville

Stephanie A. Smith

“It was the year 1774. The difficulties long pending between the colonies and England were arriving at their crisis. Hostilities were certain.” And so one of Herman Melville’s weariest heroes, Israel Potter, “Goes to the Wars; and Reaching Bunker Hill in Time to Be of Service,” becomes a Revolutionary war hero. But in the end, his patriotism garners him little; he becomes an impoverished, homeless veteran “his scars proved only his medals. He dictated a little book, of the record of his fortunes. But long ago it faded out of print – himself out of being – his name out of memory.”

In this Major Authors class, we will re-examine how Herman Melville became an icon of American literature, despite the fact that, like Israel Potter, he died in obscurity, forgotten as an author. By exploring how the language of 19th century American culture functions in the works of one of America's most celebrated authors, we will also see how and why this author still holds value for us today in the 21st century. Readings will include critical texts about Herman Melville, as well as Melville’s own works.

Required Reading:

Melville, Herman

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AML 4453

African American Women & the Culture Critique

Debra King

This course examines the subject positions of African American women within the social and political context of the United States, focusing foremost on contemporary representations of the captive female and the body. As an inquiry generated by feminist issues in literary scholarship, it addresses some of the assumptions with which feminist investigation is entailed by exploring the following questions. If some of contemporary feminist praxis and epistemology are grounded in notions of “freedom,” “individuality,” and the freedom of the body to “labor,” deeply implicated in the rise of modern capital, then what gaps must be brought to light in order for this discourse to achieve a broader articulation? Where are the points of conversion and foreclosure between Black and White feminism? What cultural configurations are (and might be) derived from a widened point-of-view regarding both the culture-work and the cultural apprenticeship of African American women in the contemporary period? What spaces do the bodies of black women occupy in the symbolic contract? To what degree do the texts under survey articulate a Black feminist discourse? In what ways do they fall short?

The readings and teaching methods of this course are eclectic in pursuit of a variety of texts and experiences. The class sessions include lectures, discussions, and student reports. We will focus on six novels. As investigators and scholars, our inquiries will play in the spaces between practice, method, and theory in order to address the commonalties, disruptions, gaps, absences, and silences that exist among the primary texts.

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AML 4453

Science & Fiction

Mark Tabone

This course will explore relationships between science and fiction. While some of the literature we will read has been labeled “science fiction” (sf), the course itself will be far less concerned with sf as a genre than with what John Limon refers to as “the place of fiction in the time of science,” and with the seepage of the discourse of science into that of American literature.

With brief detours into the realms of poetry and drama, our primary texts will be works of prose fiction. In addition to short works by Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Crane, Frank Norris, Sherwood Anderson, Thomas Pynchon, Samuel R. Delany, and Ursula Le Guin, the following texts are currently under consideration:

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AML 4685

Women Writing About Race: “The Trouble between Us”

Debra King

This course surveys women’s writing during the late 20th Century to the present, focusing on gendered race relations as presented in their literature and American culture critiques. Students will trace, analyze and discuss how Black and White women talk about each other, coop and reject each other, or, simply, ignore each other as they negotiate gendered social, political, and personal challenges.

The readings and teaching methods of this course are eclectic in pursuit of a variety of texts and experiences. The class sessions include lectures, discussions, and student reports. We will focus on novels, short stories, poetry and essays. As investigators and scholars, our inquiries will play in the spaces between practice, method, and theory in order to address the commonalties, disruptions, gaps, absences, and silences that exist among the primary texts.

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AML 4685

African American Drama

Mark Reid

What makes dramas written by Black American playwrights and theater collectives different from those written and or performed by such dramatists and collectives as Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Richard Foreman, Laurie Anderson, Judith Malina and Julian Beck's Living Theatre and Peter Brook's International Centre of Theater Research? Using recent theoretical and political debates on performance and the construction of identity, the class will trace the historical trajectory of African American theater from the 1950s to the present.

The course covers representative works from the Theater of the Black Experience, the Black Arts Movement, the Free Southern Theatre, and the African American avant-garde and experimental stage. Assigned readings may include works by Amiri Baraka, Ed Bullins, P. J. Gibson, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, Adrienne Kennedy, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Stew, August Wilson, Tracey Scott Wilson, George C. Wolfe, and such performance artists as Fred Holland, Robbie McCauley, John O'Neal, Whoppi Goldberg, and Anna Deavere Smith.

In writing the analytical group-paper or group-dramatic performance, student-groups must create a gumbo-like analysis/performance of the lived, imagined, and performed elements found in the assigned dramas.

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CRW 3110

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Jill Ciment

Basically, the class will be run in the “traditional” workshop fashion. Writing exercises will be assigned at the beginning, but the primary emphasis is on self-generated work. The workshop should be a venue to test the waters, to try new things, to present first drafts as well as polished works, but only after the writer has struggled with it to the nth degree. The idea is for students to rigorously challenge themselves. Everyone not presenting work should take their jobs as critics and editors as seriously as they take their own writing.
Reading will be assigned.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

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

All submissions must be received by the October 19, 2011 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3110

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Jill Ciment

Basically, the class will be run in the “traditional” workshop fashion. Writing exercises will be assigned at the beginning, but the primary emphasis is on self-generated work. The workshop should be a venue to test the waters, to try new things, to present first drafts as well as polished works, but only after the writer has struggled with it to the nth degree. The idea is for students to rigorously challenge themselves. Everyone not presenting work should take their jobs as critics and editors as seriously as they take their own writing.
Reading will be assigned.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

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

All submissions must be received by the October 19, 2011 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

William Logan

“Poorly depicted clouds – which most people would not notice as wrong – are so disturbing to Dr. Thornes that they almost spoil visits to museums. For a meteorologist, the distraction is as great as the ordinary viewer being confronted by a figure with three arms. . . . [He added that] too many artists had painted [clouds] as they would a backcloth in a theatre.”

The Guardian (London), 9 August 2000

In this workshop we will attend to words as closely as a painter attends to paint – or to clouds. You will read a broad selection of modern poetry, from Emily Dickinson to Gjertrud Schnackenberg, and write a poem a week. Every week the workshop will consider for discussion poems from the past and poems from students. This is an advanced workshop in poetry, for students who have already taken at leats one lower-division workshop (CRW 1301 or CRW 2300) and want to press their understandings of poetic language even further. 

Email or hard-copy submission of your manuscript is necessary for early registration. I’m out of the country and cannot read hard copy. Please submit four poems to me at <wlogan@english.ufl.edu> in one attachment in .rtf format.  Mention the workshops you have previously taken.

Reading list:

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

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

All submissions must be received by the October 19, 2011 deadline.

topManuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

Michael Hofmann

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

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

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

All submissions must be received by the October 19, 2011 deadline.

topManuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 4905

Advanced Seminar in Fiction Writing

Padgett Powell

This course is the last in our series of undergraduate workshops in fiction writing. Its objective is to have you write better fiction, not unlike the mission of any workshop. But this course is the finishing course, as it were, that tries to advance you to a point that you can apply to grad schools in writing, or begin to publish – it wants to make you the best writer at the undergraduate level we can make of you.

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

We will read two books of fiction as technical models.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

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

All submissions must be received by the October 19, 2011 deadline.

linkManuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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CRW 4906

Advanced Seminar in Poetry Writing

Sidney Wade

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

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

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

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

Required reading:

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

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

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

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

All submissions must be received by the October 19, 2011 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

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ENC 3310

Advanced Exposition: Entering the Blogosphere

Laurie Gries

This course offers you the opportunity to work on your writing in relation to exposition and style. You will practice your expository writing by generating your own, individual blog focused on a particular subject of interest to you. Among other options, you can choose to create a blog about film, health, popular culture, politics, music, fashion, travel, and lifestyle. You can also choose to write for a scholarly audience, a general public audience or narrow to a specific discourse community determined by interests, identity, or geographic region among other choices. Whether you choose to actually make your blog public or keep it private, you will practice writing with a particular audience in mind and in a number of different genres deemed appropriate for your particular audience and subject matter.

You will be expected to generate 10–12 substantive blog posts in which you gain experience generating well-researched content, incorporating image and text, and organizing your ideas in different ways to inform, explain, describe and/or persuade. You will work on your writing style at sentence and paragraph level, as you attempt to write clearly, cohesively, and coherently for your audience in different genres. Yet you will also work on developing an appropriate ethos for your blog and thus adapt your writing style to meet your blogging goals and audience expectations.

To prepare you for this writing experience, you will engage with rhetorical and genre theories as well as theories about style. You should also expect to write and revise all semester long, working on specific aspects of your writing that both you and I think needs most attention. You will receive extensive feedback on your writing from both peers and me. Your blog will serve as an online portfolio for final assessment.

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ENC 3312

Advanced Argumentative Writing

Francescha Marinaro

This course will focus on the study of argumentation with an eye toward writing effective arguments. We will consider theories and strategies of argumentation that will enable students to hone their skills at crafting sound, well-developed, and persuasive arguments of their own. While the course will focus heavily on writing arguments, reading, analyzing, and discussing the structure of arguments will deepen students’ understanding of how effective argumentation reaches and interacts with diverse audiences. To that end, we will spend a considerable amount of time interrogating how, in this digital age, tools of new media such as blogging, videography, and online journalism inform and enrich written argument as well as how such technologies have opened an arena for greater interaction between readers and writers that has heightened our understanding of the importance of audience awareness in crafting effective, persuasive arguments.

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ENC 3414

Hypermedia

Terry Harpold

“Writing,” observes Vilém Flusser, “in the sense of placing letters and other marks one after another, appears to have little or no future.” Flusser’s claim may seem less shocking if we understand that he associates the invention of writing with the invention of historical consciousness, which he correlates with a transformation by writing of experiential scenes into serial processes of representation. A way of thinking about and figuring causality and sequence, which is fundamental to writing and thus to modern literate thought, Flusser claims, is of diminishing relevance in the age of electronic and programmable – what Flusser calls technical – images.

This course takes as its founding assumption that we may substitute “reading” for Flusser’s “writing,” and perhaps “interpreting,” or “decoding” (or “re– or displacing”) for his “placing.” Reading, then, according to senses that the term may have had in the age of print – during which it was bound to basic structures of reason – appears not to have the future we might have formerly imagined for it.

Reading in the age of electronic textuality – the age Jay David Bolter has referred to as the “late age of print” – must have some kind of future or futures, even if they are vexed or dire (it is hard for literate beings to think otherwise), but what these futures are, exactly, appears now unclear. (They will be, as Gregory Ulmer proposes, electrate rather than literate. But what that means, exactly, also remains to be determined.) By all accounts, literate populations with ready access to electronic text read as much or more than they did before. But they read differently (they “browse” and “interact”), and the objects they read (hypertexts, e-books, etc.) engage language, the hand, the eye, and the mind differently from printed works. (Perhaps. The degree and nature of this apparent difference is one of the puzzles we will consider.) The ongoing transformation of reading practice must, scholars such as Flusser, Bolter, and Ulmer have proposed, result also in a transformation of readerly consciousness.

In this course, we will address some of the futures of reading. Our discussions will draw on a few canonical texts of new media studies, but they will shaped primarily by collective practices of reading and writing about imaginative works of the digital field. We will read closely from a small corpus of important digital fictions and poetry of the last two decades and we will compose our responses to them in a collaborative scholarly writing environment. (All graded written work for the course will be completed in a course wiki. Basic knowledge of WWW- and image–editing applications may be to students’ advantage for some assignments, but is not required.)

The course will incorporate two important events at UF related to our research agendas. “Digital Platforms and the Future of Books,” the sixth annual symposium of the Digital Assembly, UF’s graduate research group in new media studies, will be held on January 20–21, 2012. Participants in the symposium will include major scholars in new media studies, electronic scholarship and publishing, and the future of the book. Their presentations will be a cornerstone of our discussions thereafter. “The Art of Google Books,” a gallery show at the UF’s J. Wayne Reitz Union based upon Krissy Wilson’s curatorial blog of the same name, will run from March 15–April 3, 2012. Wilson will give a guest lecture and tour of the exhibit for the class, and will tutor us in the discovery of new and significant oddities and errata of Google’s would-be Library of Babel.

Written course requirements include individual student critical responses to some assigned readings, collaborative group responses to the Digital Assembly conference and Wilson’s exhibit, a collaborative group critical response to an assigned reading, and two exams.

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ENG 3011

Art Criticism and Theory, 1648–1810

Ed White

This course offers an introduction to art theory from the mid-seventeenth century to what is commonly called the Romantic era. Our readings will cover a range of topics from early theories of form and color, the institutionalization of art, theories of aesthetic experience, political programs for art, speculations on imagination and tradition, and reflections on the critic and criticism. We will be using Art in Theory, 1648–1815, edited by Harrison, Wood and Gaiger, supplemented by additional short texts. The course will be writing-intensive as well, with regular short papers on the readings. No knowledge of art history is assumed.

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ENG 3115

Introduction to Film Theory & Criticism

Lauren Glenn

In general, film theorists pose the question “what is film?” while film historians ask “what has film been?” and film critics ask “what is the significance of this film and its relationship to others?” This course will serve as an introduction to fundamental texts and concepts in the last century of film production and theorization. Each week will be devoted to the development and practice of a critical approach to understanding film. We will read a variety of publications from film theorists, historians, and critics in an effort to understand the objectives of different modes of writing about film. Film screenings will both complement our readings and provoke new questions about topics raised. Our approach will involve investigating the conjuncture of theoretical issues with an experience of specific film texts and the function of these texts in past and present workings of film history.

Our primary goals will be to: (1) understand the conditions and motives that led to each stage of re-thinking film media, (2) initiate theoretical strategies in your own work, and (3) learn to think critically and write elegantly about film. Major assignments include one 6–8 page paper, one 10–12 page paper, and a presentation on your final essay. Active participation in class discussion is required.

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ENG 3122

History of Film II

Allison Rittmayer

This course covers film history from 1930 to 1965, and will explore both Classical Hollywood and world cinema. 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 German film of the 1930s, Italian Neo-Realism, the French New Wave, international ‘art house’ cinema of the 1950s, movements in the avant garde, changes in documentary form (cinema verité, Direct Cinema), and others. The course will describe the transformations that occurred in film form (including developments in visual style, narrative conventions, and acting) during the era, and investigate the technological, aesthetic, and social reasons for those transformations. 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.

Students in the course will be expected to engage in a thoughtful discussion of the films and readings both in class and online. Students adverse to a heavy reading load should avoid taking the class. Assignments will take the form of quizzes, essays, and a final multimedia project and presentation.

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ENG 4133

The Practice of Film Criticism

Chad Newsom

In his 2003 prologue to the revised edition of Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan, Robin Wood laments the fact that film criticism – evaluating a film’s aesthetic achievement – has ceased to be a legitimate practice: “In our present age, with criticism virtually expelled from the higher reaches of intellectual/academic activity, it has become thoroughly debased, the preserve of ‘popular’ journalism; there is almost no ‘criticism’ any more….” Today, Film Studies leaves the job of evaluation to film reviewers, who lack the time, space, and inclination to do the detailed work of close reading that criticism demands. This course, however, seeks to reclaim film criticism for academic Film Studies. We will define criticism as a specific practice, explore its historical role in Film Studies, and ask what the discipline can gain by reviving criticism today. Our selection of readings will include Matthew Arnold, F.R. Leavis, Robin Wood, Noel Carroll, Andrew Sarris, and various pieces from Cahiers du Cinéma and Movie. We will use these readings as we examine the oeuvres of three contemporary directors: Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, and Sofia Coppola. Both the written assignments and class presentations will involve repeated viewings and detailed analyses of these directors’ films.

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ENG 4133

Introduction to Screenwriting

Mary Robison

The class is an introduction to screenwriting, and a very thorough study of the screenplay’s many conventions and aspects. Put simply, you will learn the form in all its parts and develop (or refine) your abilities at writing different elements. Exercises include writing a montage, for instance, and writing a series of shots (as used in chase scenes, gunfights, or barroom brawls), working with memory,
dreams, and flashbacks. In addition to class meetings, there will be an indie film shown each week which you will be required to attend, view, and critique in writing.

If you decide you seriously want to pursue the course, please send me a Letter of Interest – two or three pages about yourself, detailing your interest in film, your background in general, and in specific if you have writing experience here or elsewhere or have studied or worked in film. Earnestness, originality, curiosity, intellect, knowledge of films, writing experience, and enthusiasm for the subject are all points on. Please also include your full name, student ID #, and what class year you are, as upperclassmen may be given seats first since they might not have another chance to take the course.

No other writing sample is necessary, but please send your Letter of Interest to my email address (profrobison@gmail.com) in the next few weeks, and certainly by October 18 at the latest. There are many applicants for the fifteen seats, and we usually end up disappointing
latecomers.

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ENG 4133

Vampire Cinema

Dragan Kujundzic

Course description not available at this time.

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ENG 4135

Introduction to Japanese Film

Joseph Murphy

Course description not available at this time.

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ENG 4136

Video Production

Roger Beebe

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

Interested students should contact the professor as soon as possible to receive an application for the course; the application process must be completed before the start of advance registration.

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ENG 4146

16mm Film Production

Roger Beebe

This course is designed as an ambitious introduction to film (as opposed to video) production. Work will be exclusively in 16mm. Our focus will be on developing both technological skills and experimental approaches to cinematography and editing. (Other advanced/primitive 16mm techniques including cameraless filmmaking and laboratory techniques are covered in the companion course, “Experimental Experiments.”) 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 live performance).

No previous experience is necessary and students should not be intimidated by the technological component, but students must come with an openness to experimentation (and occasional failure). Interested students should contact the professor as soon as possible to receive an application for the course; the application process must be completed before the start of of advance registration.

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ENG 4905

Independent Study

Faculty Member of Choice

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

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

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ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Hamlet: Texts & Contexts

Peter Rudnytsky

This seminar will examine in depth the texts, sources, contexts, and reception of Shakespeare’s enigmatic tragedy. The guiding thesis will be that Hamlet can be viewed as a “replacement child,” and the overarching theoretical perspective psychoanalytic. Among the works to be read are: Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy; Greene’s Groatsworth of Wit; Nashe, Pierce Penniless, as well as interpretations of the play by Freud, Joyce, A. C. Bradley, G. Wilson Knight, Frank Kermode, Joel Fineman, Harold Bloom, and others. Particular attention will be given to the question of Hamlet as “woman,” the lost “Ur-Hamlet,” and the connections between the play and Shakespeare’s life. Seminar requirements include regular attendance, an oral presentation, and a substantial paper.

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ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: “The Real”

Roger Beebe

This course is a broad-ranging exploration of the ways in which reality has been represented in a variety of discourses and media. The course will begin with an introduction to the philosophical concept of the real, stretching from Plato to Descartes to Baudrillard. The course will then explore realisms in both literature and painting, mapping the changing notion of realism from the 1850s to the present. The second half of the course will be dedicated to cinematic and televisual strategies for representing reality, beginning with the documentary tradition and continuing on to reality television and experimental film.

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ENG 4940

Internship

Undergraduate Coordinator

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

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

Upon completion of the internship:

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

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

Please note the following limitations on the English Internship:

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ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Writing for Children

John Cech

This course offers the participants an opportunity to explore a number of the familiar genres of writing for young people – poetry, the picture book, realistic and fantasy fiction, biography, and non-fiction. We will also look at more experimental and novelty forms, like moveable books and the graphic novel. Readings will be drawn from key children’s books and criticism and will make use of holdings in UF’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. The emphasis in the course will be on rigorous, weekly writing assignments and critiques. Participants will need to bring to the course an open, creative spirit, an energized work ethic, and a commitment to producing exceptional writing.

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ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Appropriating the Folk: Caribbean Cultural History in the American Century

Leah Rosenberg

Since the 1890s, the music, language, and religion of Caribbean peasants and workers have gained extraordinary prominence and influence not only as definitive forms of national culture in Caribbean countries but also across the globe. Trinidadian Calypso and Carnival, Haitian Vodou, Jamaica Reggae, and many genres of Cuban music, for example, have left their mark on literature, visual art, music, dance, and film all over the world and at all cultural levels – popular, middle brow, and high. Caribbean folk culture has influenced modernism, surrealism, and cinema from the Zombie films of the 1930s to Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean.

Through a study of Caribbean and U.S. literature, film, and advertising, this course examines how political, economic, and social forces have shaped the aesthetics of Caribbean folk culture and led to its prominence within the region and to its iconic status in the Atlantic world and beyong. Course materials will likely include: Claude McKay’s Banana Bottom; United Fruit Company promotional materials; Jacques Roumain’s Governors of the Dew; Alejo Carpentier’s The Kingdom of This World; Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones; Jacques Tourneur’s I Walked with a Zombie; Darryl Zanuck’s Island in the Sun; Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come, and Margaret Cezair-Thompson The Pirate’s Daughter.

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ENG 4970

Honors Thesis Project

Faculty members (2) of Choice

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

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

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ENL 3132

English Novel Twentieth Century

Brandon Kershner

Course description not available at this time.

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ENL 3210

Medieval English Literature

Matthew Snyder

Medieval English Literature is a general introduction to the thought and culture of the Middle English period (c. 1100-1500 CE) designed to prepare students for courses in Chaucer as well as for Renaissance authors. A recognition of the classical tradition’s influence on medieval writers is integral to the course, and thus we will begin with an examination of one of the medieval era’s most influential classical treatises: Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy. The cross-section of medieval texts we will then read may include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, several anonymous Arthurian romances, selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, William Langland’s Piers Plowman, mystical writing from Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthure, the anonymous play Everyman, and others. Some texts, such as Sir Gawain, we will read in translation, while others, such as the Canterbury Tales, we will read in Middle English. The methodological emphasis will predominantly be on primary texts, although we may engage in theoretical interventions from time to time (to include whatever secondary reading those may entail). Course work to include two papers of five to seven pages each, two exams, and assorted reading quizzes. Attendance is required and will be recorded daily.

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ENL 3251

Victorian Literature

Christopher Gage

During the nineteenth-century, Britain developed from a mostly rural society to a predominantly urban one. With London as its commercial and cultural center, it became the richest country in the world, the first urban industrial society in history. London’s population swelled enormously; although rapid industrialization caused a dramatic increase in trade, commerce, and economic prosperity for many Londoners, it also led to extreme poverty and hardship for much of the population.

This course examines the ways in which the Victorian city and varieties of urban experience were perceived, and narrated, by contemporary writers. Although London will be our primary focus in that regard, we will also examine some of the literature and social conditions of other metropolitan areas developing in Britain throughout the Victorian period. The selected readings will cover some of the major, canonical figures in the study of Victorian literature, as well as a few lesser-known writers and artists who were actually quite popular and influential in their time. (We will read works by Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Arthur Conan Doyle, H. Rider Haggard, Charles Kingsley, Elizabeth Gaskell, Bram Stoker, and Richard Marsh, among others.) We will examine a broad range of texts and genres as well, from novels, poetry, and short fiction, to journalism, sermons, lectures, professional reports, medical and scientific treatises, government documents, cartoons and illustrations, letters, and essays. Also, with attention to relevant social, political, and economic issues, we will learn how scholars today write critically about literature and culture, and what theoretical approaches they are taking.

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ENL 4221

Authoring the Self in Seventeenth-Century British Literature

James Newlin

In Shakespeare’s Perjured Eye, Joel Fineman provocatively claims that, with his Sonnets, Shakespeare invented a “genuinely new poetic subjectivity.” Beginning with (but not necessarily subscribing to) Fineman’s thesis about the novelty of Shakespeare’s work and its impact on the literature that followed, we will survey various portrayals of the self in later Renaissance literature in this course.  Particular emphasis will be paid to the way portrayals of the self differ from genre to genre, accounting for historical understandings of these literary types. We will examine drama (King Lear, The Way of the World), verse (Donne, Herbert, Marvell, and others), diaries and personal essays (Burton, Pepys), the epic (Paradise Lost), and possibly the novel (Oroonoko). Contemporary theoretical and philosophical treatments of subjectivity will inform our readings of these texts, but prior expertise in literary theory is not required. Course requirements include two short close-reading papers and a final research project.

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare: Learning by Doing

Sidney Homan

We “study” Shakespeare by staging scenes from his plays. Each student works with an acting partner – the couple is responsible for performing 3–4 shortened versions of scenes, then working with me as their director.

In effect, we approach Shakespeare’s plays as actors and directors, charged with building a character, enacting that character through delivery, gesture, stage movement, subtext.

We will look at Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, Much Ado about Nothing, and Stoppard’s reworking of Hamlet in his Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Students are graded equally on their scene work and a short paper in which they assess their rehearsal experience with the scene, from the perspective of both the character and their decisions as an actor.

Sidney Homan is Professor of English at the University of Florida, the author of some eleven books on Shakespeare and the modern playwrights. He also works as an actor and director in professional and university theatres.

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare: The Tragedies

R. Allen Shoaf

This course will be devoted to the ten tragedies Shakespeare wrote in his career, with especial attention to three factors: his transformation of the genre (most especially in King Lear); the rhetorics he renewed (e.g., pun) or refined (e.g., synoeciosis; paradox) to articulate his tragic vision; and his response to the sacramentality of nature that enabled him to comprehend and mourn humans’ catastrophic denials and perversions of nature, sexual nature in particular, in consequence of which self-inflicted optionlessness must lead inevitably to the end of the human.

Mandatory attendance and two essays (5–7 pages in length), along with unannounced quizzes, will constitute evaluation of your performance in the course.

The one text for the course will be the Norton Shakespeare, 2nd edition, which I will order through the university’s stipulated portal.

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LIT 3003

Storytelling

Robert Ray

When a character in Doris Lessing’s Golden Notebook suggests that she could turn a serious novel into a romance simply by leaving out certain kinds of words, we remember the old lesson: how stories get told makes all the difference. This course will examine the storytelling choices made by writers and filmmakers by starting with the effect those choices have on us as readers or viewers. Since the course assumes no previous study of the cinema, English majors concentrating on literature should not fear starting from behind. Conversely, however, students interested primarily, or exclusively, in film should note that we will devote more than half our time to literature.

Readings will include stories by Hemingway, Chekhov, Turgenev, Doyle, Borges, and Hardy; novels by Penelope Fitzgerald, and Anthony Powell. We will watch movies by Kiarostami (Tickets), Antonioni (L’Avventura), Cukor (The Philadelphia Story), Capra, (It Happened One Night), and others. We will read criticism by Barthes (S/Z), Forster (Aspects of the Novel), Seymour Chatman, Stanley Cavell (The World Viewed), V.F. Perkins, and Andrew Klevan.

Assignments: weekly reading quizzes, two oral presentations, two written assignments (short papers or take-home exams).

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LIT 3003

Forms of Narrative

Donald Ault

Course description not available at this time.

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LIT 3041

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

Robert Thomson

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

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

The plays to be studied will be:

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

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LIT 3383

Motherhood in Modern Hebrew Literature

Avraham Balaban

The course examines the different representations of motherhood in Hebrew literature throughout the twentieth century. The selected short stories and novels compare the situation of mothers in traditional, religious Jewish society to their situation in a modern, secular culture. Along with depicting the changing image of motherhood throughout the twentieth century, the course will discuss the differences between male descriptions of motherhood and female descriptions (cf. Helene Cixous’ emphasis on female style, suitable for the unique female experience). A new generation of women writers, over the past two decades, has added several dimensions to the way mothers had been depicted in Hebrew prose.  With the typical shift of point of view from a child-narrator to a mother-narrator, the concept of the mother as a nurturing, self-sacrificing, almost selfless creature, who lives to serve her children, has almost disappeared. Instead, motherhood is described as a conflict-ridden situation. 

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LIT 3383

Women’s Poetry

Marsha Bryant

Course description not available at this time.

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LIT 4183

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. The writers studied will likely include such diverse authors as Chinua Achebe, Chiekh Hamidou Kane, Tsitsi Dangrembga, Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, George Lamming and Joy Kogawa.

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LIT 4183

Postcolonial Literature, Theory, and Culture: The Geopolitics of Knowledge, Writing, & Resistance

Laurie Gries

This course explores how knowledge and writing emerge as contested spaces in postcolonial and decolonial studies and investigates various forms and expressions of cultural resistance. Among other theorists such as Edward Said and Anne McClintock, throughout the course, we will engage with the scholarship of Gloria Anzaldua, Walter Mignolo, Enrique Dussel and others who interrogate the geopolitics of knowledge and advocate for a decolonial shift in epistemology. Such studies will challenge you 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, we 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, art, manifesto, codex, murals, and more. In studying such resistance, we will encounter the provocative works of Vine Deloria, Carl Beam, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and others. In formal assignments, you will study how acts of resistance challenge dominant ways of seeing and knowing and attempt to rewrite history on its own terms. You will also be challenged to craft your own acts of resistance in genres of interest to you.

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LIT 4192

Empire & Identity

Agnel Barron

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

– Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place, 33)

Exile, Empire, and Nationalism have traditionally been viewed as the “ground zero” of Anglophone Caribbean literature. In the 1950s, V.S. Naipaul, George Lamming, Sam Selvon and many other writers immigrated to London where they attained international acclaim, establishing the West Indian literary tradition.

Their generation of writers sought simultaneously to dismantle Britain’s colonial influence and to build Caribbean national consciousness as Britain’s Caribbean colonies transitioned into independence. Having been thoroughly schooled in everything English from language and literature to music and food, newly-arrived writers expected to be embraced by the mother country. Instead, they found systematic racism and war rations. The literature that resulted from this experience has shaped not only Caribbean literary studies, but also British literature and cultural studies. Ultimately, two members of this generation would win the Nobel Prize for literature: Derek Walcott [1992] and V.S. Naipaul [2001].

This course offers a critical history of Caribbean writers abroad and at home from the 1950s to the present, exploring the powerful literature and critical vision of the 1950s as well as literature, authors, and issues at times overlooked by fifties authors, such as the influence of the United States on the Caribbean, Indo-Caribbean literature, women’s writing, queer sexuality, and the genre of science fiction. The class will pay particular attention to the relationship between nationalism and literature because 2012 is the fiftieth anniversary of independence in Jamaica and Trinidad. The reading will likely include: The Independence anthology of Jamaican literature, George Lamming’s The Emigrants; Sam Selvon Lonely Londoners; Joyce Gladstone, Brown Face, Big Master; John Hearne’s Voices Under the Window; Roger Mais, Brother Man; Levy, Andrea, A Small Island; Merle Hodge, Crick Crack Monkey; Ramabai Espinet, The Swinging Bridge; Mootoo, Shani, Cereus Blooms at Night; Nalo Hopkinson, Midnight Robber.

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LIT 4194

Afro-European Literature

Mark Reid

This course surveys contemporary literature about Afro-Europeans and African American expatriates in Western Europe. Weekly readings will cover literature, critical theory, philosophy, and political essays that discuss and imaginatively represent the socioeconomic and cultural integration or non-integration of Afro-Europeans (citizens and immigrants of Western European countries) who have ancestral ties to North and sub-Saharan Africa.

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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

Anastasia Ulanowicz

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

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LIT 4483

Monstrous Bodies in Popular Culture

Tamar Ditzian

Traditional monstrous figures, such as vampires, werewolves, and zombies have made a recent comeback in popular culture, from the Twilight series to The Walking Dead. In this course, we will engage with select cultural studies approaches to popular culture, from the so-called Frankfurt school to feminism. We will analyze the function of monstrous figures in American culture from the mid-1970s to now. Are these monsters metaphors for social ills? Are they manifestations of marginal bodies ejected from realist narratives (not to mention polite conversation)? Are they sources of fear, desire, or both? These questions will help to guide our explorations throughout the semester. Upon completion of this course, students will have gained a working knowledge of different cultural studies methodologies through examinations of the figure of the monster in its different manifestations (vampire, werewolf, zombie, cyborg, etc.) in contemporary popular media, such as films, novels, television series, comics, and short stories. Texts to be discussed may include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight, Ginger Snaps, Blade Runner, and Swamp Thing, among others.

This is a reading intensive-course. In order to be prepared for each session, students must come to class having completed all reading assignments or viewings, as well as having had time to reflect on them. Requirements include quizzes, several close reading exercises, two 6–8 page essays, oral presentations, and active class participation.

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LIT 4930

War in Israeli Film & Culture

Michal Ben Horin Shahar

Course description not available at this time.

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LIT 4930

Women in Hollywood 1950s

Carolyn Kelley

Course description not available at this time.

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LIT 4930

Homelessness & European Literature

Christopher Lenz

Course description not available at this time.

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LIT 4930

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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LIT 4930

Introduction to Jewish American Cinema

Dragan Kujundzic

Course description not available at this time.

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LIT 4930

Creative Non-Fiction

Michael Hofmann

A course on writing about people and places. The reading-list might have been drawn from nature writing or science or biography, but I have come down in favour of history: from Tacitus and John Aubrey (if available), to Ryszard Kapuscinski and Rajiv Chandrasekaran. We will read the late cult-author W.G. Sebald, Joseph Roth, and Bruce Chatwin, and others. Spoken contributions will be encouraged. Participants will do much writing of and on their own, whether on an array of different projects, or on a single task. Reading and writing, research and style, should all benefit. (I would rather you came wanting to write a book about cuttlefish than on the first twenty years – or indeed the first six months – of your lives, but the latter may be allowable under certain circumstances; I should like it, however, not to preponderate.)

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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 second 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. Most modern readers are unaware that Verne 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 some 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 appreciated. 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: Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864), The Adventures of Captain Hatteras (1866), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas (1869–70), A Fantasy of Dr. Ox (1872), Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), The Underground City (1877), The Green Ray (1882), and The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz (1910). 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. Apart from the quizzes, all graded written work for the course will be completed in a dedicated course wiki. Basic knowledge of WWW- and image–editing applications may be to students’ advantage for some assignments, but is not required.

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LIT 4930

Early LGBT Literature

Jodi Schorb

Given that the words “homosexuality” and 'heterosexuality” were not coined until 1869 and 1880 respectively, this course might playfully be called “gay literature before the invention of homosexuality.” Most of us take for granted the concept of modern sexual identity: whether we identify as gay, straight, queer, bi, and/or trans, our sexuality is central to our personal identity and sense of self.  Early Americans would find such thinking queer indeed. Yet before the “invention” of homosexuality, American literature and letters abounded with men who yearned for the embrace of other men, women who seduced other women, cross-dressers, and (in the parlance of the day) “hermaphrodites.”  Some served as cautionary tales, but others were models of virtue, action, and “feeling right.” The queer characters that populate early literature shaped American readers’ imagination about the frontier, the city, the “far-isles,” and other imagined spaces of yet-unrealized sexual possibility (including, humorously enough, that mythical wonderland, Florida). The also teach us about how earlier eras understood the relationship between biological sex, gender expression, and sexual identity.  

The course will hone your ability to draw from primary and secondary sources to research, discuss, and craft written arguments about the following:  How did “queer” early American texts circulate, and for what purpose? Who wrote and read these texts, and why? What does focusing on the representation of same-sex desire or a text’s queer plots and possibilities help us better see and understand within any given text?  In what ways does a piece of literature reflect existing beliefs, and in what ways does literature challenge existing beliefs and create new sexual knowledge? And most crucially, how did artists who felt personally removed from normative definitions of sexuality imagine their own sexual selves, seek models through the creation of a queer past, and invent a new language of sexual possibility through literature? 

Expect to read both influential and canonical writers (Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, Herman Melville, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary E. W. Freeman), along with more obscure and forgotten writers (from Edward Prime-Stevenson to Earl Lind, aka Ralph Werther/Jennie June). You’ll also be assigned secondary scholarship offering cultural context or theoretical arguments to help you with your interpretations.

Requirements include three short (3–5 page) archival, creative, or close reading assignments;  two essays, periodic quizzes, and regular attendance and participation.

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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 will be naming, defining, and explaining the rhetorical factors that you likely will find yourself using well (or poorly). A practical guideline for you to follow is this: if I write a term on the board, the concept should be understood by you, placed in your class notes, and thereby usable in your future.

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.

Your individual 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 to attain the desired objective. 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 so I can endorse in writing to you the appropriateness of your subject and research procedures). This paper 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 of your grade. 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. As the course progresses this semester, I may amend the syllabus and its topics to take advantage of some current event as a topic for class consideration of rhetorical precepts and principles.

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