Undergraduate Courses, Summer 2015

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:

Summer A

AML 4242

Queer Performances

Justin Grant

Is queer an identity, expression, and/or aesthetic? In other words, is queer who you are, what you do, or how you act? From throwing shade to having a kiki, this course critically considers the performance of queerness onstage and in everyday life, attending to the ways sex, gender, and sexuality are acted out in oftentimes unstable and fluid ways. We will study twentieth- and twenty-first-century LGBTQ theater, performance art, and cultural practice through the lens of queer theory, illuminating critical and theoretical insights into the study of queer performance. Students will assess and apply a range of critical approaches to the study of queer performance, learning about the major issues, methodologies, and paradigms of LGBTQ performance studies, American theater history, and queer theory.

Course topics covered include gender performativity, drag, camp, BDSM and role play, intersectionality, body politics, HIV/AIDS, online identity construction and virtual intimacies, and sexuality and politics, among others. Possible dramatists and performance artists studied include Tennessee Williams, Paula Vogel, Tony Kushner, Larry Kramer, Charles Ludlum, Pomo Afro Homos, Charles Busch, Lillian Hellman, The Five Lesbian Brothers, Kate Bornstein, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, RuPaul, Lypsinka, Martin Sherman, Split Britches, and Terrance McNally. Possible theorists and critics studied include Eve Sedgwick, Judith Butler, José Muñoz, Leo Bersani, J. Jack Halberstam, Jill Dolan, and David Savran.

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ENC 3312

Advanced Argumentative Writing

Sid Dobrin

This course focuses on making arguments; in particular, it addresses writing arguments. We will examine rhetorical argumentative structures and theories, ranging from classical to contemporary rhetoric. We will consider how we read arguments, but in service of better developing strategies for writing our own arguments. We will spend a substantial amount of the semester specifically considering the role of new media technologies and visual culture in making written arguments. We will also write a lot and talk about our writing a lot.

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ENG 1131

Remix and Remediation: The Art of Form and Style

Shannon Butts

In popular terms, a Remix alters elements of a song to create something new while still retaining aspects of the original. Likewise, a Remediation changes form or method of transmission, but often attempts to stay true to a narrative or argument. Yet how does a Kanye song change when remixed in response to a Taylor Swift moment? What influence does Google have in “algorithmix” composition of poetry? How have 140 characters and concepts of “un-friending” altered the way we communicate, commodify, and compose? And how is technology changing the way audiences understand and access various forms of information, in turn facilitating new forms of authorship and commentary?

Working with various print, digital, aural, visual, and experiential texts, this class will analyze how remixing and remediation alters both form and content, working through changes in production, circulation, and reception. Beginning with basic principles of rhetorical analysis, the course will address methods of argument and organization, tracing the role of author, audience, form, and style. Students will then work to understand how form and style both centralize and de-center media, acting as a driving force of production embedded in a specific culture, content, and context. Ideas of transition and adaptation will challenge interpretations of the “creative” and “original” as students remix and remediate classic works as well as their own “new” media.

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ENL 3251

Victoria’s Secret: Sexuality and Society in Victorian Literature

Angela Walther

This course surveys British Literature from the 1830s to the 1900s to interrogate the development of modern sexual and gender identities and norms. Using Michel Foucault’s doubts about defining Victorian England as the “imperial prude” as a launching point, we will consider whether Victorian sexuality was really all that secret. From short stories to novels, and from poetry to pornography, we will focus our study on the formal, thematic, and cultural elements that at once proscribed and prescribed sexual discourse. At the beginning of the semester, we will consider how the cult of domesticity and the creation of the social sphere sought to sanitize the family and home of sexual desire to secure national progress. By using theoretical frameworks from psychoanalysis, queer studies, and postcolonial studies, we will determine how these social structures actually create excess desire within the home and beyond. We will then explore how class, race, science, and nationality interact with Victorian sexuality and gender, and will conclude the semester with analysis of the sexual deviance celebrated by the 1890's aesthetes. Throughout the course, we will contemplate and compass the legacies of Victorian sexuality and gender discourses in our time and space.

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ENL 4333

Shakespeare—Learning by Doing

Sid 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, Much Ado about Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and also Tom’s 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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Summer B

AML 3041

American Literature 2: Dramatic Discourse on the American Scene

Keasha Worthen

Theater has a long history of addressing current events shaping the social climate of the time. This is perhaps clearest in “political theater,” a type of drama that encourages the audience to take a role in not only the theater-going experience but also its experience within society. Historically, in this tradition, playwrights regularly used techniques such as defamiliarization (alienation), realism, surrealism, or absurdism to engage the audience with a central issue of ideological import and not necessarily with the play’s characters or their emotional states. Through these techniques, playwrights worked to transform social moments into social acts.

A common strategy of such transformation is the adaptation of ideologically-grounded literary works into plays. This class will examine the process of adaptation by reading several plays and the literary works from which they were adapted. We will look at how key themes of American literature have been transformed into American scenes on stage. These will include race, class, and the life of women, as well as the concept of American identity (i.e., what makes one an “American”). The aim of this course is to suggest that ideas in literature are often performed (consciously or unconsciously). To this end, we will explore the performativity of the American scene.

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ENC 3310

Advanced Exposition

Kyle Bohunicky

Expository writing is a mode of discourse used in fiction and non-fiction writing to explain, describe, identify, convey, analyze, or evaluate information for readers. While exposition does consist of a discrete set of skills applicable to a wide variety of documents, these skills are context-sensitive and shaped by four central (and entangled) factors: audience, object, medium, and distribution.

Audiences commonly have varying expectations and needs for expository documents. These needs are determined by the ecosystem of products, problems, and documents currently in circulation. The object of a writer’s exposition, such as a digital game or a book, requires specific forms and styles to adequately describe it. The medium greatly influences the style and form of exposition, and this challenges writers to confront how conventions of document types influence their writing. Finally, writers must attend to how their document will be distributed to its audience and perhaps circulated and shared on various media platforms.

This course gives students practice in these modes of expository writing by asking them to follow a community on a specific media platform such as Tumblr, YouTube, Blogger, Twitter, etc. Through genre analysis, students will determine which conventions allow expositions to best address the needs and values of a given community. Students’ assignments will demonstrate a careful consideration of these needs and values and reflection on their possible significance for exposition in other media. Additionally, students will learn how to assess their own expository writing thoroughly and accurately, and to develop better skills of exposition in a variety of media.

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ENL 4273

Twentieth-Century British Literature: One Hundred Years of Transformation

Andréa Caloiaro

The twentieth century was a prolific one for British literature, and a period of profound transformation. In this course, we’ll attend to this transformation by reading a wide range of poetry, prose, drama, and fiction. Our premise will be to examine how British literature not only attests to some of the historical upheavals defining this century—radical arts movements, the World Wars, nationalist resistance and the Empire’s decline—but how as a cultural intervention, this literature in fact shapes Britain’s understandings of these events and thus itself. Beginning at the tail end of Britain’s “Imperial Century,” we will trace out the aesthetic, formal, and thematic diversity of early twentieth-century authors such as Hardy, Joyce, Yeats, and Housman, noting continuities and differences that these authors bear to their predecessors. By also gaining a sense of these authors’ attitudes toward the British nation, of home and of the empire, we will identify the artistic, cultural, and critical contours of what we now call Modernism. Our next consideration will be the World Wars, examining the ways authors like Brooke, Sassoon, Owen, and May Wedderburn (WWI), and Woolf, Reed, Sitwell, and Douglas (WWII) register the Wars’ experiences and also demonstrate how warfare and technology fundamentally change Britain’s culture, social organization, and map. The second half of the course will therefore examine the wakes of World War I and II. From Woolf to Beckett, we will read about the empire’s autumnal years, seguing finally into a discussion of Britain’s postmodernist and postcolonial literature. What does Britain’s landscape look like toward the end of the twentieth century? And how does literature confront questions concerning “the nation,” race, and language? We will consider these questions through the works of Rhys, Achebe, McKay, Walcott, Louise Bennett, and Brian Friel, among others.

Since this is a six-week course, our pace will be rapid and ambitious. Our daily class format will consist of seminar discussion and brief lecture. Your continuous input into discussions is beneficial to the class and is also a necessary aspect of your attendance. The assignments for this course will include a presentation and two response essays (750 words), a researched-based midterm essay (1,000 words), and a researched-based final essay (2,000 words). In addition, we will have a short-answer midterm and final examination.

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LIT 4333

Literature for Adolescents

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 in order to shape the adolescent characters within them. We will also question how such works imagine and address their intended teenaged audience. Additionally, we will address issues of class, race, gender, sexuality, national identity, and consumerism that are implicit within these texts. Finally, we will study the assigned novels in relation to critical essays and theoretical essays in order to consider whether and how young adult literature might exist as a specific scholarly field.

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