Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2013

Times and locations of class meetings are subject to change. Consult the UF Schedule of Courses for official class times and locations and an explanation of the class period abbreviations.

Lower Division (1000–2000) Special Content Courses

Note: Only course descriptions are listed below. For a comprehensive summary of course numbers, sections, times and locations, titles, and instructors, see the following web page:

Spring 2012, Lower Division, Special Content

AML 2410

Issues in American Literature & Culture: Adaptation, Alteration, & Innovation

Melissa Loucks

Recently, American writer and filmmaker Joss Whedon asserted that “all worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn’t your pet – it’s your kid. It grows up and talks back to you.” Perhaps nowhere does art “talk back” as vehemently as it does in adaptation from one medium to another. What is gained or lost when a poem such as “The Ballad of Mulan” is retold as creative non-fiction in The Woman Warrior, or when an supposedly objective document like The 9/11 Commission Report is reworked as a graphic novel? What are the factors that determine an adaptation’s success? How does an adaptation reflect its own time and place? This course will seek answers to these questions by inviting students to examine literary works in both their original and adapted forms and by challenging students to scrutinize, through their own writing, how structure affects narrative.

Possible texts include:

Alcott, Louisa May – Little Women and Porter Grand’s Little Women and Werewolves
Benjamin, Walter – “The Task of the Translator”
Chin, Frank – “Come All Ye Asian American Writers of the Real and the Fake”
Kirkman, Robert – Selected comic book issues of The Walking Dead and an episode of the television show of the same title
Maoquina, Guo – “The Ballad of Mulan” and Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks – The 9/11 Commission Report and Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón’s The 9/11 Commission Report: A Graphic Adaptation
White, Hayden – Excerpt from The Content of the Form

This course is designed to provide 6000 words toward the Writing Requirement. It will, therefore, include a substantial amount of writing instruction.

AML 2410

Issues in American Literature & Culture: The Dystopian Tradition & American Anxiety

Shaun Duke

Dystopian literature imagines a world gone terribly wrong due to human (in)action, from the rise of totalitarian regimes to the total collapse of civilization. As a literary tradition, it has remained one of the most enduring forms in American Literature. While dystopian writers try to show the world as it might be if society fails to address a problem, they also explore anxieties over the rapidly changing landscape of American life, culture, and politics. This course will examine the relationship between American dystopian literature and the social anxieties that produce such narratives, including issues of civil rights, the environment, nuclear war, the military-industrial complex, and so on. Texts will range from the 19th century to the present, and will include novels, short stories, critical readings on specific texts or dystopia in general, and historical documents.

This course is designed to provide 6000 words toward the Writing Requirement. Assignments may include short and long literary analyses (1–2 pages and 4–6 pages respectively), in class responses, blog post entries (and responses), and weekly questions directed at your instructor.

AML 2410

Issues in American Literature & Culture: Mean Stories

Sarah Traphagen

Author Dorothy Allison regards “mean stories” as those we resist but actually desire, deep down. These stories challenge us to engage with the uncomfortable, the disturbing, and the grotesque. At the same time, they address our need to witness and understand the traumatic experience of sheer existence. They leave a haunting impact. This course examines how authors take risks in writing emotionally resonating narratives while defining and undermining restrictive cultural conventions. With our current social climate in mind, topics for discussion include: class confinement, gender dynamics, sexuality, seduction, realities of slavery, suicide, war, children and coming of age, and grasping for an individual identity in a culture that demands conformity.

Possible texts include:

George Watterston, Glencarn; or, The Disappointments of Youth
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Rebecca Harding Davis, “Life in the Iron Mills”
Ambrose Bierce, “Chickamauga”
Kate Chopin, The Awakening
William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire
Truman Capote, Other Voices, Other Rooms
Toni Morrison, Beloved
Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina

This course is designed to provide 6000 words toward the Writing Requirement. Assignments will include six reading responses (1,000 words each), discussion leads, and active participation.

AML 2410

Issues in American Literature & Culture: Imagining Technology in Post-WW2 American Literature

Andrea Krafft

On August 6, 2012, the Curiosityrover successfully landed inside a Martian crater that NASA has officially renamed “Bradbury Landing.” However, Ray Bradbury is not alone in inspiring American visions of future technologies. This course will consider how American writers after World War 2 imagine the direction of scientific progress and respond to various technological developments. Central questions we will explore include: At what point does a text become science fiction? How does science shape daily life and domestic space? How does technology affect understandings of gender, race, and human nature? We will read selected works of science fiction and also examine representations of technology in canonical works of American literature.

Possible texts include:

Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles (1950)
Selections from Isaac Asimov, I, Robot (1950)
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle (1963) OR Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
Ira Levin, The Stepford Wives (1972)
Selected poetry by Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Christian Bök
Selected short stories by Ray Bradbury, John Cheever, Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Pynchon, Judith Merril and Pamela Zoline
James Tiptree (Alice Sheldon), The Girl Who Was Plugged In (1974)
William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)
Don DeLillo, White Noise (1985)
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)OR Oryx and Crake (2003)

This course is designed to provide 6000 words toward the meeting of the Writing Requirement. Assignments may include, but are not limited to: weekly reading quizzes, one in-class presentation (with a 300-word written component), four short response papers (400 words each), one 1500-word midterm paper (with a 300-word prospectus), and a 2000-word final paper (with a 300-word prospectus and annotated bibliography).

ENC 1145

Writing about Comedy

Peter Gitto

In this course, we will view excerpts from a variety of performance comedy mediums: film, stand-up, and sitcom. 
This course is designed to provide 6000 words toward the Writing Requirement. Analysis and short writing assignments (1–2 pages) will operate around one or two scenes or clips (explained in context) per week that we will view in class. Close analyses (in discussion and writing) of these selected scenes will allow us to generate theories of humor. We will work inductively: first, we will learn how to describe what is happening; second, we will analyze our description to find larger themes or patterns in operation; and thirdly, we will generalize our findings to locate larger issues that define humor. In two or three larger papers, students will have the option of expanding on class material or choosing their own comedy pieces to analyze.
Material for writing about will include: excerpts from Classic Hollywood (The Great Dictator, Bringing Up Baby, Midnight, The Lady Eve); the independent film Watch Out!; the stand-up comedy of Kathy Griffin; and the British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.

ENC 1145

Writing about Mystery & Detective Fiction

Olubumi Oguntolu

Mystery, suspense, and detective literature reflects the technological, moral, ethnic, gender, and cultural concerns of the societies that produce it. This course will use feminist and psychoanalytic literary theories as foundations for analyzing such works and for developing our own critical writing. Through close readings, directed research, and open discussion, we will detect the internal, external, and contextual evidence that defines each text.

We will read selections from Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Daphne du Maurier, Walter Mosley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dorothy L. Sayers. We will write annotated bibliographies, comparative analyses, exploratory journals, critical essays, and reading responses to inspect the texts and topics we will discover through mystery and suspense.

Possible texts include:

Christie, Agatha. And Then There Were None. New York: Harper, 2011. Print. ISBN: 9780062073488
Mansfield-Kelley, Deane, and Lois Marchino, eds. Longman Anthology of Detective Fiction. 1st ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2004. Print. ISBN: 9780321195012
Mosley, Walter. Devil in a Blue Dress. New York: Washington Square, 2002. Print. ISBN: 978074351796
Westlake, Donald E., ed. Murderous Schemes: An Anthology of Classic Detective Stories. New York: Oxford UP, 1998. Print. ISBN: 9780195104875

This course is designed to provide 6000 words toward the Writing Requirement. It will, therefore, include a substantial amount of writing instruction.

ENC 1145

Writing about American Girls

Mariko Turk

Girls’ Studies did not exist as an established field of critical inquiry until the 1990s, but “the girl” has been an object of fascination in popular culture, literature, and the visual arts for centuries. Writers have idealized her innocence. They have panicked about her premature loss of that innocence. They have made pronouncements about her tastes, desires, and psychological state. But who (or what) is the American girl?  How has she been represented, and for what purposes?

In this course, we will sift through the various constructions of “the girl.” We will focus on how she is represented and how she functions in North American culture specifically, but we will keep in mind that Girls’ Studies is a multidisciplinary field with a global scope. We will examine diverse materials, such as novels, photographs, ads, conduct manuals, and magazines. Students will respond to these materials using various analytical strategies, such as visual analysis, comparative analysis, and close reading. The preparation and writing of the final paper will introduce students to the research process, from gathering sources to compiling an annotated bibliography to structuring the paper.

This course is designed to provide 6000 words toward the Writing Requirement. It will, therefore, include a substantial amount of writing instruction.

ENC 1145

Writing aboutthe American Garden

Yeonhaun Kang

How does the history of gardening in America differ from its European counterpart? Why does the concept of a garden matter and how has it influenced the construction of the American nation and its citizenship? Drawing on the importance of gardening history and practices in America, we will examine the relationship between gardening and other forms of “cultivation” represented in the work of American writers from the 19th century to the present. In particular, we will consider how changing views on the garden have reflected social, economic, political, and cultural shifts.

This course is designed to provide 6000 words toward the meeting of the Writing Requirement. Assignments may include reading quizzes, 5–6 short responses (2 pages each), a mid-term paper (4–5 pages), a final paper (7–8 pages) as well as daily participation in class

ENC 1145

Writing about Wandering

Katherine Peters

This course focuses on the relation between individuals and the landscapes, spaces, and places through which they move. We will investigate the undeniable human drive to explore as it is represented in a range of sources. These include excerpts from Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle, Melville’s The Encantadas, Homer’s The Odyssey, Robert Macfarlane’s Mountains of the Mind, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Wollstonecraft's Letters from Norway, Forster’s Passage to India, contemporary tourist blogs and magazines, and articles on the latest in space exploration. We will examine the various modes of travel over the last two hundred years. We will consider how the ways in which we travel shape our perception of place, how these perceptions inform our representations of our experience, and how these cultural representations change our view of the world. Each text will be paired with a theoretical concept, a form of argumentation (visual, causal, definitional, evaluative), and a writing assignment that asks the student to integrate the two. As important as travel and transitory experiences are to human development, a study of the narratives produced by them will provide a unique and important context within which to practice expository-argumentative writing skills.   

This course is designed to provide 6000 words toward the Writing Requirement. It will, therefore, include a substantial amount of writing instruction.