Graduate Courses, Spring 2002

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

Course no. Time(s) Course title Instructor
downAML 6027 M 9-11 Variable Topics in American Literature: Giving, Shaming & Class in Postbellum American Narratives Leverenz
downAML 6027 T 9-11 Variable Topics in American Literature: Western American Narrative Bredahl
downAML 6027 W 9-11 U.S. Latino/a Studies Hedrick
downAML 6027 F 6-8 Boundary Lines: Women Rewriting the American South Jones
downCRW 6130 T 9-11 Fiction Writing Leavitt
downCRW 6130 T 9-11 Fiction Writing Powell
downCRW 6331 T 9-11 Verse Writing Hofmann
downENC 6428 W 9-11 Digital English Ulmer
downENG 6016 R 9-11 Psychological Approaches: Psychoanalysis & New Media Harpold
downENG 6075 M E1-3 Introduction to the New Cultural Geography: Theories of Space & Spatiality Wegner
downENG 6076 T 6-8 Theorists (Derrida & Cixous) Wolfreys
downENG 6137 W 6-8
screening M 6-8
Film Criticism & Theory Nygren
downENG 6138 T 6-8
screening M E1-3
Cultural Studies & Film Turim
downENL 6226 T E1-3 Studies in Renaissance Literature (Milton & 17th-Century Poetry) Clark
downENL 6236 W 3-5 Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature: Jane Austen Craddock
downENL 6246 R 4, 4-5 British Romanticism & Judaism Page
downENL 6256 W E1-3 Victorian Liberalism & the Social Body Gilbert
downENL 6276 M 3-5 Joyce and Cultural Studies Kershner
downLIT 6327 W 6-8 Studies in Folklore: Oral Narratives & Their Place in the Development of Folkloristics in the 20th Century Thomson
downLIT 6358 T 9-11 Theoretical Approaches to Black Culture Reid
downLIT 6856 W E1-3 Psychoanalysis & Children’s Literature Kidd
downLIT 6857 T 6-8 National Histories, National Literatures Rosenberg
downLIT 6934 M 6-8 Studies in American Culture: Sex & Citizenship Emery

AML 6027

Giving, Shaming, and Class in Postbellum American Narratives

David Leverenz
Mondays, per. 9-11

This course will use Marcel Mauss’s The Gift to ask how giving and shaming get transformed in American narrations during the early corporate capitalist era, and how class affects those transformations. Traditional modes of benevolence and giving, not only gifts but also charity and mentoring, help to preserve reciprocal obligations and status stratifications in small-scale groups. What happens when society gets much larger, with more impersonality, more mobility, and more starkly divided classes? For Andrew Carnegie, a shift from charity to philanthropy would solve class conflicts by using institutions to foster upward mobility. More typically, a great many industrialists sought to link paternalistic conventions to new modes of employee management. Reformers such as Jane Addams sought to use conventions of public shaming to critique corporate paternalism and demystify philanthropic benevolence. How do conventions of realistic narration articulate or reflect tensions between omniscient supervision and egalitarian possibilities? More intimately, how do postbellum transformations of giving use race to preserve a privileged culture of honor and shaming, and link those values to assimilative whiteness?

Likely texts:

Likely critical texts:

Graded work required: an initial 2-3 pp. close reading (20%); then either a 15-18 pp. research essay (80%) or two shorter analytic essays (each 40%). If you choose the two analytic essays, the higher grade will get a little more weight.

Ungraded work required: a 15-20 minute presentation on your project in progress, and a brief prospectus for the research essay if you’re writing one. Grading will be based entirely on your writing, with one exception: missing more than one class without a valid excuse will lower a borderline grade. If you have to miss a class, please let me know ahead of time (you can leave a message on my voice mail).

Students will be encouraged to forage about in turn-of-the-last-century magazines and other aspects of popular culture for issues and topics related to giving, shaming, and class. The course will emphasize close readings as well as analysis of historical contexts.

Grading: an A means I think your writing shows dissertation potential, since your essay sustains a complex and original argument with sophistication and a good eye for appropriate textual details. A B+ means strong Masters level, usually with original arguments and textual insights though needing more sustained development and complexity. A B means competent Masters level, though the essay probably is either diffusely argued or too dependent on paraphrasing and summarizing. A grade lower than B means some relatively basic problems with either development, organization, and grammar, or with commitment to academic work. Recurrent grammatical errors lower the grade; spelling errors and typos don’t, within reason. The best essays make complex and/or audacious arguments about language, sustained with copious details; a good “B” essay capably compares themes. I’ll try to make detailed, constructive comments on your writing. I want to see that you have not only read the texts but thought about them.

I don’t grade on participation, since I want to minimize or eliminate the fear of being judged or shamed for trying out a strange thought. I try to make our discussions relaxed, so that all of us can try out ideas without feeling silly, weird, or stupid. It’s often the case that what seems obvious or off the wall to you is exactly what needs to be said, and I hope you say it. To invoke the spirit of Emerson – or is it Paul de Man? – insights often begin in confusions and bafflements that haven’t quite been suppressed by anxious conformity to reigning critical fashions.


AML 6027

Western American Narrative

Carl Bredahl
Tuesdays, per. 9-11

The topic of Western American Narrative is often understood to mean Louis L’Amour. When told that one means something else, the result can be blank stares. But Western Narrative includes names like Zebulon Pike, Lewis and Clark, Mark Twain, Willa Cather, Rudolfo Anaya, Leslie Silko, Richard Hugo, Gary Soto, Jim Harrison, Simon Ortiz, Wright Morris, Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich. It’s a rich narrative involving multiculturalism and ecocriticism. We will be concerned with exploring this narrative, at least as much of as we are able in the format of a survey. Specific texts will include Twain’s Roughing It, Cather’s My Antonia, Morris’ The Field of Vision, Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima, and McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses. Other texts will depend on what students have already read; for example, whether we read Silko’s Ceremony or Gardens in the Dunes. Before the first class students should have read the first 70 pages of Updating the Literary West on reserve in Library West under AML 3285.


AML 6027

Race and Comparative American Modernisms

Tace Hedrick
Wednesdays, per. 9-11

In this course we will looking at period connections (around 1890–1930) between certain U.S. modernists and their counterparts (in translation) in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Within this framework we will be addressing a couple of key questions: first, the theoretical question of what constitutes “modernism” for artists concerned with a sharper understanding of what it meant to be “American”; second, the question of the relationship between esthetic modernism, period discussions of race and gender, and a temporal sense of the “modern.” We will be reading Pauline Hopkins, José Martí, William Carlos Williams, In the American Grain, Langston Hughes, José Vasconcelos, Jean Toomer, D.H. Lawrence (the one non-American in the list), Nicolas Guillén, and Waldo Frank. We will also be looking at the art of Miguel Covarrubias, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera, and reading in theories of modernism and modernity.


AML 6027

Boundary Lines: Women Rewriting the American South

Anne Goodwyn-Jones,
Fridays, per. 6-8

When women’s studies began to look South beyond New England the subject that initially produced the most interest was not the diversity of cultures of southern women. With important exceptions in African-American studies, the focus was on one culture alone: that of white elite women. Privileged yet disempowered, these white women were educated and literate. They left records: they wrote novels, letters, diaries, poetry. And their experience of oppression came from the very agents of their privilege, white men of power.

Southern women’s studies now has a far wider range of awareness. In this course, we will study the differences within southern women’s writings and the boundaries between cultures that establish those differences. Southern women have lived with racial boundaries, class boundaries, ethnic boundaries, and of course gender boundaries that, for example, kept “nice” white southern girls out of jeans, baseball, and medical school and labeled their assertive behavior “pushy,” while black girls were thought to be natural athletes, but not very educable, and incurably aggressive. Southern women’s texts show the marks of engagement with such boundaries, whether as victims, supporters, or transgressors. Women’s texts themselves cross borders between fact and fiction, disciplinary borders between history and religion, and borders of genre between, for example, poem and novel. The linguistic border, naming a proper language, comes under question. Across their multiple cultures, then, women writers of the South offer special insight as women, as southern, and as writers into the political, racial, economic, social, sexual, gender, and literary boundaries that have for so long plagued, pleased, and constituted the region. Their texts suggest that life on the borderlines has given southern women the gift, at times refused or abused, of second sight: into, around, and over the edges of things.

Replicating the history of southern women’s studies by design, we will begin with works by and about elite white women and African-American women and end with works by and about contemporary women from the first southern cultures, Native-American and Spanish. In between, we will trace a story of power and difference, intimacy and misunderstanding, contact and creativity, and a sometimes vexed sense of community, among and within southern women. Along with the readings of the literary texts, we will read key essays from theorists, critics, and historians to nudge us in new directions. We will think through and talk about these themes and texts as an intentional teaching and learning community, by speaking and listening to one another, by sharing creative and analytical responses for a weekly response journal, by undertaking small oral history projects, by carrying out and reporting on research on personal interests for a final essay, and by asking throughout the course what new teaching and learning methods the texts model for us. This course is an extended version of an NEH Summer Seminar to be offered in Summer, 2002.

Probable texts (during the first couple of weeks, class may decide to omit from and/or add to this list)

Course packet:

Books in the order we’ll read them:


Project possibilities or alternative texts to consider (short list):


CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Workshop

David Leavitt
Tuesdays, per. 9-11

This workshop will provide students with an opportunity to pursue individual writing projects – novels as well as stories – in the context of a supportive critical community. Our goal will be twofold: first, to give you the sort of response that will help you to make your work as strong as possible; second, to use your writing as a springboard for a discussion of the ethical and aesthetic issues that underlie the process of writing fiction: point of view, tense, narrative strategizing, dialogue, suspense etc. Reading will consist of novels and story collections selected by the workshop participants, each of whom will present his or her choice to the rest of the group. Attendance is mandatory.


CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Workshop

Padgett Powell
Tuesdays, per. 9-11

This course is open to degree candidates in fiction only. The following is a partial syllabus that attempts to suggest the character of the course.

Your job in here is to write with force and surprise and to tender your efforts regularly and cleanly.

My job in here is to induce criticism which will cure whatever ills are at hand without making the writer ill.

It is difficult to say what is wrong with a piece of fiction in a way that will be at once corrective and palatable to its author. A good professional editor may manage it with a piece not much flawed. I fear, after nearly twenty years trying, that it is rarely possible to do this in a direct way to a more troubled piece of writing for the forming writer then and there. I believe, though, it is possible, in speaking ostensibly about this or that piece of writing by this or that writer, to speak prescriptively and salubriously toward the bettering of later writing, both that done by an author and by witnesses to his or her ordeal. A general sense of what constitutes good writing is supposed to obtain in the course of our piecemeal daily assaults upon the specific faults and merits of a particular piece of writing.

I will now read you a passage from Shelby Foote, whom I satirized in a recent book, which passage has affected my approach to teaching this course (and which satirizing affected my approach to the War, or Wawer as I put it). Then I will elaborate on it, the Foote not the Wawer.

I grade hard, for reasons I will elaborate. The last workshop I taught received two As.

Please attend class. While my hard grading is not deliberately punitive, this policy is: my feeling is that if I have to come here, so do you.

Objective of course clearly stated at outset: that you leave it writing better than when you entered it. That you put to paper things not said before that surprise us.


CRW 6331

Graduate Poetry Workshop

Michael Hofmann
Tuesdays, per. 9-11

No course description available at this time.


ENC 6428

Digital English

Greg Ulmer
Wednesdays, per. 9-11

The history and theory of writing (grammatology) show that language and memory technologies are one part of an apparatus that includes also institutional practices and human identity formations (collective and individual). Approaching digital media in general, and the internet and world wide web in particular, as the technologies of a new apparatus, this course is an introduction to the grammatology of the internet. Taught in the Networked Writing Environment, it uses the web as the medium of learning. The fact that the forms and practices of the apparatus have to be invented and do not happen automatically is sometimes forgotten in the excitement about the capabilities of the technology. The focus of this course is on exploring the relationship among the three parts of the apparatus – to test the possibility that hypermedia is especially suited to support and augment creative thinking. The project for the semester applies the website form to the testing of the notion of the “image of wide scope,” discovered by historians and biographers in the lives of productive or creative people. The project uses the composition of a “wide image” as the basis for an electrate pedagogy.

Assignments: two websites; two in-class presentations; regular participation in email discussion.

Readings (tentative):


ENG 6016

Psychoanalysis and New Media

Terry Harpold
Thursdays, per. 9-11

This course will address critical-theoretical issues raised by new media forms and practices (hypertext, digital multimedia, and videogaming). We will investigate two broad areas of concern:

Readings from Freud and Lacan (these will constitute the primary theoretical matrix of the course), and from the history of interface design, new media critical theory, and popular treatments of computing and computer gaming. We will apply our discussions of these texts to several hypertext fictions and multimedia games. All readings will be in English.

Familiarity with the WWW, standalone multimedia, and videogaming is not required for this course, but will certainly be helpful. Ideally, students should have dependable access outside of class to personal computers (Windows or Mac OS) capable of running recent videogames (i.e., a relatively fast processor and video card).

Writing requirements include two short critical responses to course readings, and one final research paper.

Tentative list of course reading and viewings:

(This list may change before the start of classes. It does not include several short texts which will be included in a course packet.)

Familiarity with the WWW, standalone multimedia, and videogaming is not required for this course, but will certainly be helpful. Ideally, students should have dependable access outside of class to personal computers (Windows or Mac OS) capable of running recent videogames (i.e., a relatively fast processor and video card).

For more information on the course, see the ENG 6016 home page.


ENG 6075

Introduction to the Geographies of Culture: Theorizing Space and Spatiality

Phillip Wegner
Monday, per. E1-E3

“The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space.”
– Michel Foucault

In this course we shall navigate the complex terrain of a conceptual field that has come to take a central place in the debates in literary and cultural studies: that of space and spatiality. While spatial figures – from Michel Foucault’s “panopticon” to Fredric Jameson’s “cognitive mapping” – have played a vital role in the discourse of critical theory, the ways that people construct, inhabit, imagine, and navigate the geographies of their everyday life increasingly have become objects of study in their own right. Against the older notion of space as empty Cartesian extension and as a static container in which human history unfolds, a number of more recent theorists have begun to consider how space itself is both a production, shaped through a diverse range of social processes and human interventions, and a force that, in turn, influences, directs, and delimits possibilities of action. Modernity, as the geographer Edward Soja emphasizes, is thus to be reconceived as both an historical and a geographical-spatial project, a continuous dissolution and reorganization of the environments, including our bodies, that we all inhabit. Space serves as the point of intersection between the subject and the social, and its landscapes include the body, the dwelling, the natural world, the city, the nation, and the state, as well as the networks joining these together. Space also provides the locus from which we can articulate many of the concepts central to these histories: embodiment and extension, borders and movement, limits and horizons, belonging and exclusion, place and mobility.

The texts we shall examine at once attempt to theorize these spaces and their spatiality, narrate some of their histories, and offer a political challenge to make them, and hence ourselves, anew. These works thus bridge the projects of critical theory and cultural studies, and challenge the boundaries separating older disciplinary formations such as literary and narrative studies, film, anthropology, geography, linguistics, semiotics, architecture, and political economy. Finally, these various analyses touch in significant ways upon the currently hotly debated concept of globalization, an issue that will be of especial importance to our discussion this semester. Readings will include many of the following (the final list will be determined in the next few weeks): Franco Moretti, Atlas of the European Novel, 1800-1900; Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space; Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison; Paul Rabinow, French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment; David Harvey, Spaces of Hope; Fredric Jameson, The Geopolitical Aesthetic; Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism and/or excerpts from The Arcades Project; Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York; Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles or Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World; Paul Carter, The Road to Botany Bay: An Essay in Spatial History; Meaghan Morris, Too Soon Too Late: History in Popular Culture; Allen Feldman, Formations of Violence: The Narrative of the Body and Terror in Northern Ireland


ENG 6076

Theorists: Hélène Cixous/Jacques Derrida

Julian Wolfreys
Thursdays, per. 6-8

Who can read? What can reading do? Where, how does reading position “us”, and in what ways does reading dislocate and discomfort “us”? What do we mean when we invoke this strange name, “reading’? And who do we think we are? What constitutes the reader, especially in relation to another’s comments on history, memory, identity? In this course we will examine our preconceptions and knowingness concerning reading and the self through the work of Cixous and Derrida, and those “concepts” or “quasi-concepts” which we mobilize in the name of reading without, perhaps ironically, having ever begun to read them. In this process we will explore, while putting questions to and of, rhythm, duration, destabilization, folds, testimony, representation and resonance. We will also, and as a necessary condition of the directions this seminar might take, consider numbers of betweens, between for example (imagining certain occasionally incompatible possibilities): literature and philosophy, critical and creative writing (so called), writing and reading, cultural memory and personal responsibility, psychoanalysis and literature, self and other, and, not least, that between which locates and dislocates in each of these “betweens”: the work of “and”. In other words we will open ourselves to that which interests, that which places us in between identities in the name of inter-est, overflowing ontology. There will be a particular focus on what we call the “autobiographical”, though no one, of course, should assume that they know what is meant by this term, as it will be part of the course expectation and aim to unpack this problematic figure in relation to critical discourse and the work of reading and writing.

Principle Reading (depending on availability):

Course Requirements: Attendance and Participation: 20%; presentation: 30%; research paper (20-30pp.): 50%

Syllabus available: email


ENG 6137

Introduction to Film Theory: History and Heterology

Scott Nygren
Wednesdays, per. 6-8; screenings: Mondays, per. 6-8

This seminar will consider fundamental issues in the current theorization of film and video, from poststructuralism, gender theory and postcoloniality to historiography and heterology. Part of its purpose is to introduce multiple approaches to film criticism and theory at a graduate level. As a result, we will engage with film as a mode of inscription where conceptual and propositional capacities intersect with figural, productive and libidinal economies.

Theoretical work will be mobilized “next to” a series of filmic texts, as Deleuze puts it. In other words, theory operates as neither hierarchically superior to film as explanatory narrative nor subordinate as passive interpretation, but as a parallel project in different terms. A broad range of historical, international, documentary, avant-garde and early cinema will be screened as part of the seminar, to extend the parameters of how film is addressed. Innovative strategies once isolated as ‘art’ but now redeployed for purposes of political activism will be of special interest, in order to think through the possibilities of textual agency in a postnational information economy.


ENG 6138

The Popular: Cultural Studies and Film

Maureen Turim
Tuesdays, per. 6-8; screenings, Wednesdays E1-3

Theater critic Walter Eaton writing in American Magazine in 1909:

When you reflect that in New York City alone, on a Sunday 500,000 people go to the moving picture shows, a majority of them perhaps children … you cannot dismiss canned drama with a shrug of contempt … Ten million people attended professional baseball games in America in 1908. Four million people attend moving picture theatres, it is said, everyday … Here is an industry to be controlled, an influence to be reckoned with.

This course will interrogate film as a popular and mass art, in relationship to other forms of mass culture, such as fashion, music, sports, television, and advertising. Movies began largely as a popular entertainment, nourished by vaudeville, sports, and spectacle. Yet the development of such production companies as the French film d’art in 1907 (which had great success in the US) represent a struggle to reach audiences who could recognize film as an art form alongside “legitimate“ theater and literature, with the goal of raising ticket prices and actually widening distribution.

Permutations of form may either move cinema farther away from, or closer to the popular, but they also redefine the popular. Notions of the popular also imply certain ways of viewing race, ethnicity, gender and class. How have recent film theories and the development of cultural studies shifted the way we might examine film’s historical aspiration towards elevated form, or conversely, the continuous reemergence of popular forms? Should we be critical of some populist assumptions that inform these theoretical shifts, retaining certain lessons of critical theory and ideological critique?

Some recent writings in cultural studies have reformulated the phrase “ideology of mass culture” to designate pejoratively any ideological critique of mass culture that makes any negative assessment. Others still use this phrase to mean the investigation of how mass culture operates ideologically, assuming a relationship between the economics of the globalization of mass media and the forms it favors. A metahistory of cultural studies then will be one of the aims of this course, hoping to clarify the terms of the debate. We will examine the opposition informing much of cultural studies between “elitist art” and “popular entertainment.” We will consider how the notion of the “everyday” has evolved into a term of validation, and how, reviving the sociological study of film, cultural studies makes viewing habits and audience reactions one of its objects of study. We will investigate how new methodologies help us to better understand the circulation of ideas and creativity between forms of culture, for example the complex relationship between the fashion industry, film costuming, and self-fashioning. Similarly, the borrowings of music video from diverse sectors such as advertising, stage and film musicals, and avant-garde cinemas attest to a theory of the circulation of forms. Yet Japanese artist-curator-scholar Takashi Murakami proposes not a model of circulation, but a notion of “the superflat,” in which the very program is that of the collapse of distinctions, a uniform culture in which the avant-garde has ended, subsumed in a popular commercial culture of great vigor. Does Murakami’s positing the superflat restrict the terrain of inquiry? Should we see this move from other angles?

The course will be organized with a weekly film screening linked to historical and theoretical readings, and linked as well as to popular cultural artifacts and sources. Films will be selected for their place within the history of the popular. For example, the musical Oklahoma! (Todd AO meets rural US by way of Broadway), or The Terminator in its relationship to computer gaming, or Spike Lee’s Bamboozled in relationship to The Jazz Singer. I would be grateful if grad students interested in the seminar contact me by email so that the final stages of planning and organization will correspond to the research interests of those who want to participate.

Participation will be key. Each member of the seminar will keep a computer-based journal of critical reactions to all assigned material. In addition, I encourage gathering supplementary sources. Journal preparation should make for active seminar interventions; 20% of your grade will be based on seminar participation, both orally and in this written journal. Another 20% will be based on a formal oral presentation of your research project in the last two weeks of the seminar. The remaining 60% will be devoted to your seminar paper. Participants will first address their essays in proposal form, secondly through fairly elaborate outlines detailing the structure of their argument, their use of examples, and their use of sources. Feedback at these stages will aid the production of their oral report and their final draft.

Readings may include such sources as:


ENL 6226

Studies in the Renaissance: 17th-Century Poetry

Ira Clark
Tuesdays, per. E 1-3

In this course we will be reading Paradise Lost plus what are often regarded as the greatest lyrics in English, along with some of the exemplary criticism about them. We will attend first to understanding the poems, and second, to establishing contexts within which and approaches from which to read and think about poetry and to write about it. Students will be responsible for delivering two 20-minute class reports with attendant two-page analyses-outlines on an assigned critical approach and leading class discussions about both, the first on Paradise Lost, the second on secular lyrics (each worth 20% of the grade). They will also be responsible for writing three tightly argued and fully exemplified, persuasively styled papers of approximately 3,000 words each (each worth 20% of the grade). The first will be about Paradise Lost, the second interpreting a single or cluster of related secular lyrics, and the third interpreting a single or cluster of related sacred lyrics. (The latter two papers must be on poems not covered in class.)


ENL 6236

Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature: Jane Austen

Patricia Craddock
Wednesdays, per. 3-5

Like Shakespeare’s Falstaff, Jane Austen was not only witty herself, but the cause of wit in other men (and women). In this course we will read her novels (and parodies and fragments of novels), from Love and Freindship through Sanditon, in the context of the novels’ reception and nachleben. We will examine highlights and lowlights of the critical commentary on Austen from the beginning to the present, and will look especially at novelistic, dramatic, and cinematic responses to Austen’s work, in the form of completions of her unfinished books, sequels to the finished ones, dramatizations and adaptations, and her literary descendents – writers who were influenced by her. Each participant will write two or three short “conference papers” on (a) one of Austen’s novels, (b) one of the adaptations, sequels, or completions and (c) a novel by one of her literary descendents. We will all read the selected “descendent” novels: possibilities include Emily Eden, Anthony Trollope, Henry James, Sheila Kaye-Smith, G. B. Sterne, Susan Coolidge, L.M. Alcott, Georgette Heyer, Charlotte McLeod, Emma Lathan, and Lois Bujold, to name a few. Each will also be responsible for reviewing for the group a significant critical commentary or possibly debate. For continuations, etc., see


ENL 6246

British Romanticism and Judaism

Judith W. Page
Tuesdays, per. 4 and Thursdays, per 4-5

The subject of Romanticism and Judaism covers mostly uncharted territory. Although work has just begun in this field, recent scholars have worked on Romanticism and other disenfranchised or neglected groups. Over the last dozen or so years, beginning with Anne Mellor’s Romanticism and Feminism, important works of feminist criticism have reinterpreted the period and introduced readers to a significant and ever developing group of women writers. Scholars have also mapped the intersections of Romanticism with African slavery, imperialism, Native Americans, and Gypsies. Although hitherto neglected, the intersection of Romanticism and Judaism is centrally important to the period because the increasing visibility of Jews in British culture coincides with the revolutionary movements and the political struggles that frame the period, including the larger questions of citizenship, nationhood, and modernity.

This course will focus on several major topics: (1) the historical, cultural, and religious context of Jews, Judaism, and anti-Semitism in Britain from approximately 1770-1830; (2) the representation of Jews and Judaism in various texts and genres and the influence of Romantic critical theory on that representation; (3) Anglo-Jewish writing of the period (4); the appropriation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Romantic literature; and (5) the connection between Romanticism and Judaism as seen in the work of major 20th century theorists and literary critics (Abrams, Bloom, Hartman, and Trilling)

In studying these topics, we will consider such issues as anti- and philo-Semitism, anti-Semitic myths such as the blood libel, the relationship between Christian theology and anti-Semitism, the Anglo-Jewish Enlightenment or haskalah (was there one?), the influence of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice on British culture, the myth of the Wandering Jew and the reality of Jewish street peddlers, cartoons and caricatures by such artists as Hogarth, Rowlandson, and Gillray, and the changing relationships between Jews and the larger culture during this period. We will read historical, critical, and theoretical selections from diverse writers, perhaps including M. H. Abrams, Harold Bloom, Emily Miller Budick, Bryan Cheyette, Todd Endelman, Emil Fackenheim, Frank Felsenstein, Michael Galchinsky, Sander Gilman, Geoffrey Hartman, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Susanna Heschel, Anne Mellor, Michael Ragussis, David Ruderman, James Shapiro, and Lionel Trilling.

Primary readings will include (subject to minor changes and availability of texts):


ENL 6256

Victorian Liberalism and the Social Body

Pamela Gilbert
Wednesday, per. E1-3

This course will examine key texts of Victorian liberalism, from forerunners Adam Smith, Malthus and Bentham (not Victorians but influential in this period) through Eliot, Arnold and Mill and finally to the “New Liberals” (Green, Hobhouse) of the turn of the century. We will be examining one genealogy of the liberal vision of a unified social body in relation to key literary figures (e.g., Martineau, Eliot, Dickens), and its critiques (e.g., Marx). Additionally, we will spend time reading and thinking about secondary works which interrogate and historicize our principal terms, such as Foucault, Poovey, Mehta, Habermas, Fraser, etc. Our goal will be to emerge with some sense of the history of liberalism and the “social body” in this period, and some ideas about how that history connects to theoretical debates today. Some of the questions we will engage include the following: What is the social? What is its history? How does it relate to the so called public and private spheres? What are their origins? What forces and discourses construct them, and our understanding of them? How do they relate to nation, the state and the body? What is the place of subjectivity within or in relation to these constructs? Other terms which shall certainly demand attention as we progress are class, gender, race and empire. And you will bring other questions to connect the course issues to your own work and interests.

Having posed all these questions, I should add that the point of the class is not necessarily to emerge with the right answer(s). In fact, I suspect we shall discover how historically limited are the claims we can make not only in the response to, but in the posing of these questions. The class, as I envision it, should allow us to kick these terms around, allowing them to manifest all their rich confusion and ours – out of which, perhaps, we may emerge with some modestly workable strategies for thinking about the social body and the origins of late modern liberalism, and out of which, certainly, we shall emerge with a more productive understanding of and respect for the complexities of the material.

Readings will be available at Goering’s or on reserve and may include some of the following, among other possibilities:

Tentative requirements:


ENL 6276

Joyce and Cultural Studies

R. Brandon Kershner
Mondays, per. 3-5

The course will be an introduction both to James Joyce and to the broad field of cultural studies, using Joyce’s fiction as examples of literary texts with particularly rich cultural resonance--both representationally and as artifacts. We will read Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist, and Ulysses in conjunction with a cultural studies reader. Our emphases will include the areas of

Although the course obviously will engage with theory, the stress will be upon specific implications of the literary texts rather than upon the theory in and for itself. As an aid in reading Ulysses, we will use Blamires’s guide to that novel entitled The New Bloomsday Book. I will bring in copies of newspapers and advertisements of the time as well as some examples of the popular reading to which Joyce alludes, show slides of Eugen Sandow the bodybuilder and memorial photography of children, and discuss other examples of material culture from turn-of-the-century Ireland. Since I am involved in the production of a hypertext Ulysses, we will discuss aspects of that project throughout the course, as it relates to issues raised by cultural studies.

Texts: The Viking Critical edition of Dubliners (ed. Scholes and Litz) and the Bedford Books edition of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (ed. Kershner); Harry Levin’s Portable James Joyce (for the play Exiles); Hans Walter Gabler’s edition of Ulysses and Harry Blamires’s The New Bloomsday Book; Simon During’s Cultural Studies Reader. My own Joyce, Bakhtin, and Popular Literature is recommended; my Twentieth-Century Novel: An Introduction would be useful for the broader literary background. All of these are available at Goering’s Bookstore. I will also be distributing a good deal of material as handouts during the course.

Requirements: (1, 2) Two papers incorporating literary-critical research, the first 8-10 pages long, the second 12-18 pages. (3) A final exam, including objective and essay sections. (4) About three or four unannounced quizzes – very simple ones – to make sure we’re all keeping up with the reading. (5) A single oral presentation in class of a book from a list I will provide. These five requirements will weigh roughly the same in determining 85% of your grade; an additional 15% or so will be determined by class participation.


LIT 6327

Studies in Folklore:
Oral Narratives and Their Place in the Development of Folkloristics in the 20th Century

Robert Thomson
Wednesdays, per. 6-8

This is a graduate survey course which is designed to increase class participants’ knowledge of the nature and purposes of scholarly enquiry and of the kinds of research questions, techniques, and frameworks that folklorists have developed through time and presently employ.

The course assumes little or no familiarity with the field of folklore studies, or “folkloristics” as it is now named. We will center our investigations upon the major narrative forms (prose narratives – myth, legend, folktale; poetic narratives – epic, ballad and folksong), and the early works of those who first identified and attempted to define the field of study. Initially, the approach will be essentially historical, commencing at the beginning of the century with the work of Finnish scholars (Krohn, Harvio, and the influence of Lonnrot) the development of the historic-geographic approach; the emergence of typological studies of all forms of oral prose narratives and the ballad (Von Sydow, Walter Anderson, Wesselski); type and motif indexing (Antti Aarne, Stith Thompson and Ernest Baughmann). We will also look at the typological examinations of Hahn, Ranke, deVries, Lord Raglan and most recently Joseph Campbell.

From this point we will follow the work of Axel Olrik and the beginnings of structural studies, moving through the morphological work of Propp, Dundes, Bremonde, Paulme and Holloway to the analyses of Levi-Strauss, Edmund Leach, A.J. Greimas, and Pierre Maranda. With particular emphasis upon the ballad, we will examine how analytical studies have moved from Gruntvig/F.J. Child through epic studies by Milman Parry and later, Albert Lord to the architectonic structures revealed by David Buchan in Aberdeenshire ballads. In addition we will pay attention to Roger Renwick’s more recent semiological discussions of folksongs and ballads.

All course participants will be responsible for at least one 20 min. oral presentation and in addition two written exercises will be required: one may arise from an oral presentation and should be about 6-8 pages in length; the other will be a long essay of about 15 pages that should arise out of the essayist’s readings and further research. Both should give evidence of a familiarity with the standard reference tools of folklorists. For purposes of determining final grades, 40% will be based on oral presentations and will take into account week by week participation in discussions. The remaining 60% will be divided, 20% first paper and 40% final paper.



Theoretical Approaches to Black Cultural Studies

Mark A. Reid
Tuesdays, per. 9-11

Theoretical writings and visual and literary works by people of African ancestry will be studied to assess how groups and individuals construct various types of identities in literary and visual texts as found in such creative mediums as the novel, play, photography, painting, film and video art. Writings by Molefi Kete Asante, Houston Baker, Anne Ducille, Henry Louis Gates, Stuart Hall, bell hooks, Michelle Wallace and others will help us discern how literary and visual products engage issues and evoke debates over the social and psychological construction of racial, class, sexual, gender and national identity. Students will apply critical strategies to analyze creative works and current intellectual ideas about the construction of the subject. Students write short response papers on assigned readings and submit a fifteen to twenty page comparative analysis that contrasts selected course readings and visual presentations with similar approaches by such continental and postcolonial theorists as Mikhail Bakhtin, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Homi Bhabha, Pierre Bourdieu, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, Karl Marx, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and others.


  1. Ten submissions of a typed, two page double-space reaction paper on the weekly readings, class discussions, and visual art presentations. 20% of grade.
  2. Moderate one 20-minute discussion on a weekly reading and or visual presentation. 20% of grade.
  3. Submission of a typed 15 to 20 page research paper and 2 page bibliography. 40% of grade.
  4. Present a 20 minute oral presentation on the research paper or 15-minute video project. 20% of grade.


LIT 6856

Psychoanalysis and Children’s Culture

Kenneth Kidd
Wednesdays, per. E1-3

Both psychoanalysis and children’s culture are preoccupied with origins, growth and development, family dynamics, socialization/acculturation, mortality, and other dimensions of the human experience. Here’s Freud writing in 1925, on the centrality of children to psychoanalysis: “Children have become the main subject of psycho-analytic research and have thus replaced in importance the neurotics on which its studies began“ (introduction to Aichhorn’s Wayward Youth). Even in his famous case histories – Dora, The Rat Man, the Wolf Man – Freud concentrates on the residual or (in contemporary parlance) the inner child who makes life difficult for the struggling adult. Subsequent analysts and theorists have taken Freud’s focus on childhood in different directions. Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Margaret Mahler and other analysts (usually women) developed “child analysis” as a therapeutic discipline in its own right. Ego psychology and humanist psychology in particular have been concerned with childhood. Folklorists were the earliest humanities scholars to develop psychoanalytic interpretations of children’s (or “childish”) texts, even if Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment is now the most famous. Post-Lacanian and feminist revisions of psychoanalysis have produced some exciting readings. In children’s literature studies, Jacqueline Rose’s The Case of Peter Pan has been particularly influential. Rose declares that children’s literature is an impossible fiction; at issue in narrative “for” children is not “what the child wants, but … what the adult desires – desires in the very act of construing the child as the object of its speech” (2). Children’s media has also been treated psychoanalytically – one recent critic even argues that the Splash Mountain ride at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park provides a controlled experience of death anxiety. Who knew? This course will profile the psychoanalytic literature on childhood and children’s literary and popular culture from the early years of the discipline to the present moment. Too often psychoanalytic readings of children’s texts are one-way; we’ll also use children’s narrative to interrogate psychoanalysis, since folklore and children’s narrative helped make psychanalysis possible in the first place. We’ll spend some time reading about the history of psychoanalysis and considering the status of psychoanalysis as an intellectual field and critical project. Students will write several short reports (around 5 d-s pp. each) to be distributed and discussed in class, on readings related to the week’s texts and topics. A seminar paper of 20-25 d-s pp. will also be required, as well as regular attendance and participation. A class presentation may also be required.

Texts: the psychoanalytic literature is vast and varied, as is children’s narrative. Below are some possible readings; we will obviously be more selective. Please check with me before you buy books.

Literature and Film:

Psychoanalytic Texts:


LIT 6857

National Histories, National Literatures

Leah Rosenberg
Thursdays, per. 6-8

Since its emergence at the turn of the century, anglophone Caribbean literature has self-consciously produced images of national identity. In representing the nation, texts incorporate elements of national culture and history – calypso, obeah, legend as well as slave rebellions, labor uprisings, and revolution. “National Histories, National Literatures” explores the complex connections between literature, history, and culture. Yet these nations are creole – embodying the interaction between peoples of disparate heritages – African, Asian, European, and American. How do nations and national cultures negotiate creole identity and the processes of creolization?

In Sam Selvon’s short story, “Calypso,” two Indo-Trinidadians debate their own ability to judge calypso while two Afro-Trinidadian calypsonians look on amazed,

But Rahamut say: “Why you don’t shut you mouth? What all-you Indian know about calypso?”

And that cause a big laugh, everybody begin to laugh kya-kya, because Rahamut himself is a Indian.

One Foot turn to Razor Blade and say: “Listen to them two Indian how they arguing about we creole calypso. I never see that in my born days!”

As this interchange suggests creole identity and national identity can be closely related and hotly contested in the anglophone Caribbean. Literary texts participate in these contestations. Using an array of materials from theoretical texts to ephemera of popular culture, we will explore literature’s participation in the intertwined and often vexed projects of creolization and nationhood. The course is organized chronologically from the emergence of national literatures at the turn of the century, to politically nationalist texts of the 1950s, to texts of the 1970s and 1980s critical of postcolonial nation states. We move from a predominance of male writers writing about women in the first period, to a masculinist discourse of nationalism, and finally to women’s writing about about gender, history, and nation in the postcolonial Caribbean. We focus on Jamaica and Trinidad because in both countries, national literature and national politics developed in relation to one another.

Readings may include:


LIT 6934

Studies in American Culture: Sex and Citizenship

Kim Emery
Mondays, per. 6-8

This course will re-examine core concepts within the U.S. political imagination from perspectives informed by attention to sex, sexuality, and, in particular, sexual deviance. Bringing to bear the insights of feminism and queer theory, the course seeks to complicate key terms such as “privacy,” “public,” “citizen,” “freedom,” “rights,” “choice,” “democracy,” “politics,” “property,” and “consent”; and to reconsider their role in structuring both sex and society. Our readings will be somewhat eclectic, beginning with a quick look at the late-nineteenth century, perhaps pausing briefly in the mid-twentieth century, but proceeding to focus most fully on present circumstances. In discussions and in their own research, students will be encouraged to examine such sites of negotiation as reproduction, pornography, transsexuality, marriage and adoption, “gay rights,” sex work, and censorship. Although our structured points of departure will be queer theory and the United States, students are strongly encouraged to bring to bear whatever theoretical perspectives and national contexts they may find of use and/or interest. Two class presentations and a seminar paper are required.

The reading list has not been finalized, but the following titles may be considered as generally representative of the course’s scope and trajectory:

Prospective students are invited to suggest additional texts of particular interest.