Undergraduate Courses, Summer 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.

Upper Division (3000–4000) Courses, Summer Sessions A & B

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

AML 3041

U.S. Empire & Childhood

Emily Murphy

In Dependent States: The Child’s Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture (2005), Karen Sánchez-Eppler reveals the unsettling similarities between the parent-child relationship and the colonial exploits of the United States. Empires, she writes, are raised just like children. Sánchez-Eppler is joined by a host of other scholars in areas as diverse as children’s literature, postcolonial studies, and American studies. Frantz Fanon, for example, declares that “A white man addressing a Negro behaves exactly like an adult with a child and starts smirking, whispering, patronizing, cozening.” Perry Nodelman, a premier scholar in children’s literature, likens children to the colonized subject as he/she is articulated in Edward Said’s landmark study, Orientalism (1978). He writes, “As I read through Said's powerful descriptions of the history and structure of Orientalism, I was continually astonished by how often they suggested to me parallel insights into our most common assumptions about childhood and children's literature.” While arguments such as Nodelman’s are not without their fair share of criticism, we will take arguments such as his seriously nonetheless. In what ways are children like colonized subjects? What is problematic about such a comparison? This course will therefore begin from the assumption that there is indeed an important and disturbing relationship between the way children are raised and the way colonized subjects are treated. In order to pursue this line of inquiry, we will begin with key essays by scholars in the above-mentioned fields, followed by an examination of novels published from 1945-present. Novels will most likely include Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Russell Banks’ Rule of the Bone, M.T. Anderson’s The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Vol. 1, Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms, and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

AML 4242

Happy Days: American Culture in the 1950s & its Discontents

Andrea Krafft

A nostalgic view of the 1950s as a time of widespread prosperity and suburban bliss continues to shape the American popular imagination. However, when we more closely examine the literary and cultural productions of the postwar years, dissenting voices shatter this fantasy of national consensus. In this course, we will examine the works of American writers of the late 1940s through the 1960s, alongside cultural artifacts such as advertisements, songs, popular movies, and government-sponsored instructional films. We will also read nonfiction historical documents in order to better understand the cultural context of the postwar era.  Central questions we will explore include: How did the atomic bomb affect American attitudes about national and domestic security? What models of femininity and masculinity emerged during the 1950s? What kinds of challenges did authors and critics pose to postwar institutions, and why? How did the culture of the 1950s sow the seeds for racial, sexual, and literary discontentment?

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ENC 3310

Advanced Exposition

Sidney Dobrin

This is a course in modes and methods of expository writing. We will consider modes of exposition including informing, defining, classifying, analyzing, describing, comparing and contrasting, illustrating and identifying. We will also study principles of written style. You will write five essays to put these modes and stylistic principle to work in your own writing.

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ENC 3312

Advanced Argumentative Writing

Raul Sanchez

This is an advanced composition course emphasizing two concepts: argumentation and prose style. In addition, it will show you how to evaluate your own writing thoroughly and carefully, so that you can become a better writer in the long run.

You will write ten essays, of varying lengths, totaling at least 6000 words. You may write on almost any topics you like. If you like, you may write on the same topic throughout the course.

We will spend the first week of the course learning a set of terms with which to discuss and think about argumentation in writing. For this part of the course, our textbook will be The Craft of Research.

We will spend the remaining five weeks as follows:

• On Wednesdays, we will meet as a group in our assigned classroom to learn terms with which to discuss and think about prose style. For this part of the course, our textbook will be Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace.

• On Mondays/Thursdays, or on Tuesdays/Fridays, I will meet you in my office, individually, at a regularly scheduled time, for 15 minutes. At these meetings, we will discuss your essay-in-progress, we will evaluate your most previous essay, and we will plan your next essay.

I might ask you to post your essays to our Sakai page for everyone in the class to read and suggest revisions.

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ENL 3122

The Ideas in Things: Commodities and Consumer Culture in the Victorian Novel

Jacqueline Amorim

The Industrial Revolution and the boom of empire together fundamentally changed 19th century England: not only were urban industrial cities now a reality, but suddenly both mass-produced commodities from English factories and exotic goods imported from distant locales were a central part of everyday English life. This course looks to the “things” that suddenly inundated the lives of Victorians in order to understand how the Victorians used these commodities, their symbolic meanings, and their representation in literature to make sense of their world. 

This course will examine representative 19th century novels, as well as supplementary materials (shorter fictional works and cultural artifacts from the period - photographs, ads, newspaper articles, catalogues, etc.), in order to garner a better understanding of the symbolic value assigned to commodities in Victorian literature and culture, while keeping an eye towards the importance of literature as commodity.  We will begin by examining texts that use commodities and consumer culture as a site for working out anxieties relating to sudden urbanization and industrialization, as well as texts that grapple with the new advent of mass-production and its relationship to both individual and class identity.  Building upon this unit, we will next seek to understand how foreign commodities and their attendant meanings in Victorian literature brought scenes of empire into every English home, as well as how English writers used foreign commodities in their writing to wrestle with ideas relating to empire, “progress” and globalization. Though we will discuss gender, race and class throughout these units, the last unit turns to a more focused discussion of commodities and the body.  As part of this unit we will investigate food, or edible commodities, and the ways many of these commodities further reflected anxieties about consumption and invasion, illness and want, paying particular attention to the gendered and raced aspects of these anxieties.  The course will be reading-intensive and will require two papers in addition to frequent shorter assignments and active in-class participation.

ENL 3241

Romanticism

Donald Ault

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

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

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

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LIT 3043

Modern Drama: Learning by Doing

Sid Homan

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

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

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

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail Professor Homan at < shakes@ufl.edu>.

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LIT 3251

Victorian Literature: The Sensation Novel

Sarah Lennox

The sensation novel, which emerged in Britain around 1860, was both an intensely popular and widely criticized genre of fiction.  In 1863, critic H.L. Mansel famously condemned the sensation novel for “preaching to the nerves instead of the judgment.”  Many critics worried that readers would become addicted to the genre’s elaborate, “unhealthy” plots, which frequently involve sensational crimes, such as bigamy, adultery, murder, and false imprisonment; stolen or mistaken identities; and characters who transgress traditional class and gender norms.  This scandalous content was all the more troubling because of its cross-class appeal:  the sensation novel was popular not only in the working-class home, but also among middle-class, female readers.  

In the first half of this course we will read the three sensation novels that ushered in the beginning of this genre in Britain:  Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White (1860), Ellen Wood’s East Lynne (1861), and Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret (1862).  In the second half of the course, we will read fiction from other genres, including the realist novel, adventure novel, New Woman fiction, detective fiction, and Gothic horror story in order to trace the sensation novel’s lasting influence in the final decades of the nineteenth century.

In addition to questions of genre, we will pay special attention to issues surrounding the body in the Victorian period.  In particular, we will discuss the ways in which fictional bodies are used to challenge or reinforce traditional notions of race, class, gender, and national identity.  We will also examine the scientific and pseudo-scientific theories sensation novelists drew upon to understand the relationship between the mind and body.  Finally, moving beyond the fictional bodies of characters to the actual bodies of readers, we will study the rhetoric and argument of contemporary sensation novel reviews in order to better understand Victorian anxieties surrounding the effect of this “unhealthy” literature on the reader’s mind and body. 

Students should be aware that this is a reading intensive, discussion-based course.  Attendance and participation are mandatory.  Assignments will include quizzes, weekly Wiki entries, a presentation and short paper, and a long paper. 

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LIT 4331

Children's Literature

Anastasia Ulanowicz

This course will provide an introduction to major works of American literature written for and about children; it will provide an introduction, as well, to the scholarly field of children’s literature. Through the course of the semester, we will discuss key children’s literary texts through the critical frames provided by scholars working within the field. As we consider these texts and their subsequent analyses, we will pay particularly close attention to the questions they invite regarding class, race, gender, national identity, and, of course, shifting cultural notions of childhood.

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