Graduate Courses, Fall 2005

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 6017 W 6-8 American Literature Before 1900 Leverenz
downAML 6017 F 3-5 Adventures in the Public Sphere White
downAML 6027 W E1-E3 Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literatures: The Development of Jewish-American Fiction Gordon
downCRW 6130 T E1-E3 Graduate Fiction Workshop Ciment
downCRW 6130 M E1-E3 Graduate Fiction Workshop Robison
downCRW 6331 M E1-E3 Graduate Poetry Workshop Logan
downCRW 6331 T E1-E3 Graduate Poetry Workshop Greger
downENC 6428 W 9-11 Digital English: The Desktop Harpold
downENG 6075 T 6-8 Sistances: Literature & Some Other Questions Leavey
downENG 6077 M E1-E3
screenings F 6-8
Psychoanalytic Theories of Literature & Film Turim
downENG 6138 T E1-E3
screenings W 7-8
Studies in the Movies: The Construction of Identity in Black Action Film & Independent Cinema Reid
downENL 6216 T 3-5 Studies in Middle English: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales & the Allegories Paxson
downENL 6236 M 9-11 18th Century British Novel McCrea
downENL 6246 R 6-8 “Milton’s bogey”? Gender, Influence, & Romantic Women Writers Page
downENL 6246 W 3-5 Romantic Visual Textuality: Blake & Coleridge as Critical Visionaries Ault
downENL 6256 R 9-11 Victorian Literature: Becoming Victorian Wolfreys
downLAE 6947 M 3-5 Writing Theories & Practices Dobrin
downLIT 6358 R E1-E3 Theoretical Approaches to Black Cultural Studies: bell hooks Hedrick
downLIT 6358 T 9-11 The Black in Black Culture:  Vernacular & Folklore in African American Critical Tradition Horton Stallings
downLIT 6855 M 6-8 Theorizing Culture Hegeman
downLIT 6856 W E1-E3 Psychoanalysis & Children’s Literature Kidd
downLIT 6856 F 6-8 Postcolonial Theory & American Studies Schueller
downLIT 6934 R 3-5 The End of Identity & the Beginning of Writing Sánchez

AML 6017

American Literature Before 1900

David Leverenz

A survey of various late 19th- and early 20th-century American prose writers, with an emphasis on how race affects tensions between provincial and cosmopolitan orientations, and how those issues reshape realistic and naturalistic narrative genres. Likely texts: Henry James’s Daisy Miller and either Portrait of a Lady or The American, W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery, Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!, James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth and perhaps “Roman Fever,” Stephen Crane’s The Monster, perhaps Nella Larsen’s Passing and/or Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes. Depending on class preferences, we might also read or substitute Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and/or Gertrude Stein’s “Melanctha.”

Work required: one comparative close reading in the third week (20%), a brief prospectus for the research essay, and an 18-20 pp. research essay, plus notes (80%). No oral reports; instead, in every class I’ll ask each of you what passages or issues you’d like us to talk about that day. Grading will be based entirely on your writing, with one exception: missing more than one class without a valid excuse will lower borderline grades. If you have to miss a class, please let me know ahead of time (you can leave a message on my voice mail or by e-mail). I’ll be happy to comment on early drafts of the research essay.

I try to make class sessions relaxed, a place where 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 Emerson’s spirit, or Paul de Man’s: insights often begin in confusions and bafflements.


AML 6017

Adventures in the Public Sphere

Ed White

This course takes as its starting point Jürgen Habermas’s influential book The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, bringing it into contact with materials from eighteenth-century North America . This is not to suggest that we’ll apply Habermas’s work to an early American context – rather, the goal will be to test and revise the assumptions of that work with an eye to such phenomena as war-time propaganda, jury nullification, red scares, revival movements, and epidemics.

We will begin with three theorists of the public sphere: Habermas, William Manning (a self-described “laborer” of the postrevolutionary period), and Publius, the collective author of The Federalist Papers. The remainder of the class will pursue case studies, focusing on African-American public culture in Philadelphia; two prominent women writers from New England; the organization of the pan-Nativist movement associated with Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa; and the pamphleteer and propagandist Tom Paine.




AML 6027

Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literatures: The Development of Jewish-American Fiction

Andrew Gordon


This course traces the development of Jewish-American fiction within the context of twentieth-century American literatures and cultures and deals with the role of ethnic literatures within our multiethnic nation. Though diverse in form and style, most of the works we will read deal with problems of assimilation of Jews into American society and the quest of the protagonists for identity as Americans and Jews.

We begin with the influence of Eastern-European Yiddish literature (stories in translation) and then read a selection of Jewish-American stories and novels from the beginning of the twentieth century up to the present. We will also view a documentary on the history of the Jews in America and a few fiction films (Hester Street and Daniel).

We will study how Jewish-American authors contributed to traditions of naturalism, realism, modernism, and postmodernism in twentieth-century American fictions. We will also study such topics as anti-Semitism, literary responses to the Holocaust and to the state of Israel, and the rise of Jewish feminism.

This is not a course in religion and you need not be Jewish to take it. An interest in American literature, history, and culture, or in issues of ethnic identity and assimilation is sufficient.


At Goering’s Books, 1717 NW 1 st Ave, next to Bageland:

At Orange and Blue Texts, 309 NW 13 St, across from Krispy Kreme:


  1. Regular attendance and good class participation. 20%.
  2. Ten short response papers (one-two pages each). 20%.
  3. One term paper (minimum fifteen pages). 40%.
  4. One class presentation (approximately 30 minutes). 20%.


CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Workshop

Jill Ciment

This course is for MFA degree candidates in fiction only. Basically, it will be run in the ‘traditional’ writing workshop fashion–writer silent while his or her work is discussed. The emphasis this semester will be on structure. Both short stories and excerpts of novels are welcome. Optimally, students will turn in pieces that they have taken as far as they can on their own. 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.

Attendance is important.

My job as mentor is to help each individual student develop his/her drafts into full-fledged fiction. I don’t believe my role is to make students feel better about their writing, but to give students honest criticism.

Reading will be assigned on an individual basis.


CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Workshop

Mary Robison

This is a three-hour workshop for a small and select group of first- and second-year students in the MFA program.  Class members present samples of their writing (short stories and novel excerpts, usually from their proposed theses) for thorough and advanced study, discussion, and close editorial assistance.


CRW 6331

Graduate Poetry Workshop

William Logan

“There are four-and-twenty changes in a linnet’s song. It’s one of the beautifullest songbirds we’ve got. It sings ‘toys’ as we call them; that is, it makes sounds which we distinguish in the fancy as the tollock eeke eeke quake le wheet; single eke eke quake wheets; or eek eek quake chowls; eege pipe chowl: laugh; eege poy chowls; rattle; pipe; fear; pugh and poy.”

– from Mayhew’s London

“The south-east coast of Van Dieman’s Land resembles a biscuit at which rats have been nibbling.”

– Marcus Clarke, His Natural Life

Being of an undiplomatic and demonstrative nature in matters that give me pleasure, I threw the paper up into the air and jumped aloft myself – ending by taking a small fried whiting out of the plate before me and waving it round my foolish head triumphantly till the tail came off and the body and head flew. . . . Then only did I perceive that I was not alone, but that a party was at breakfast in a recess. Happily for me they were not English, and when I made an apology saying I had suddenly seen some good news of a friend of mine – these amiable Italians said, “Hurrah, Signore, we also are delighted. If we had only got some little fish, too, we would throw them all about the room in sympathy with you!”

– Edward Lear, letter of November 24, 1865

The object of poetry is to find the equivalent in language for things seen and felt. This workshop will ask you to write a dozen poems, one per week, and to read a broad selection of modern poetry from Robert Frost to poems published this decade. Each week the workshop will discuss your work and the work of your predecessors. We will attempt to find a place for frivolity and fecklessness within the seriousness of verse, and hope that within our studies cheerfulness will keep breaking in.



CRW 6331

Graduate Poetry Workshop

Debora Greger

(The woes of painters: just now I looked out of window at the time the 2nd were marching by – I having a full palate and brushes in my hand: whereat Col. Bruce saw me and saluted: and not liking to make a formillier nod in presenceof the hole harmy, I put up my hand to salute, – and thereby transfered all my colours into my hair and whiskers – which I must now was in Turpentine or shave off.)

– Edward Lear, in a letter from Corfu, 11 January, 1862

We write, we read, we discuss, we revise. Darn-near publishable poems are produced.


ENC 6428

Digital English: The Desktop

Terry Harpold

“The whole space is organized around a piece of furniture (and the whole of the piece of furniture is organized around the book). The glacial architecture of the church (the bareness of the tiling, the hostility of the piers) has been cancelled out. Its perspectives and its vertical lines have ceased to delimit the site simply of an ineffable faith; they are there solely to lend scale to the piece of furniture, to enable it to be inscribed.”

– Georges Perec, on Antonello da Messina’s Saint Jerome in His Study (c. 1475), Species of Spaces (1974)

“I have never personally seen a desktop where pointing at a lower piece of paper makes it jump to the top, or where placing a sheet of paper on top of a file folder caused the folder to gobble it up. I do not believe such desks exist; and I do not think I would want one if it did.”

– Ted Nelson, “The Right Way to Think About Software Design” (1990)

“Why is a raven like a writing desk?”

– The Mad Hatter to Alice, Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1897)

In this seminar, we will undertake an historical and genetic-critical review of one of the most common metaphors of contemporary human-computer interaction, the “desktop” of the modern graphical user interface (GUI). We will trace its emergence from classical and medieval traditions of the memory palace and the scholar’s study, piled high with books and other documents, through early 20th-century prototypes of the office workstation (Bush’s Memex), the first “direct-manipulation” interfaces (Engelbart’s Augment, Software Arts’s VisiCalc) and GUIs (the Xerox Star, the Macintosh), and contemporary forms (Mac OS X, Windows XP and Vista). We will also investigate important missteps in the evolution and dissemination of the desktop metaphor (Lisa, Magic Cap, Microsoft Bob.)


– and several short critical and theoretical texts held on electronic reserve.

Course requirements include a critical-historical analysis of a significant desktop GUI, and a research project, including an in-class presention of the project-in-progress, and a final written research paper of 15–20 pages.


ENG 6075

Sistances: Literature and Some Other Questions

John Leavey

From the confines of the University, I am interested in examining in a very disconnected manner (not without its reasons), how literature, representation, and politics can resist assist desist (from) one another. From Sartre’s engagement and Spivak’s informant, to minor literature and dissemination, to the university, the poor, and cultural capital, the seminar will investigate the status and complex plays of de-, re-, as-sistance in theory.



ENG 6077

Psychoanalytic Theories of Literature and Film

Maureen Turim

Our goal is to explore contemporary psychoanalytic theory (with an emphasis on the reworking of Freud as urged by Lacan and others) as implying and transforming the study and analysis of literature and film. The course is organized around key concepts that appear in Freud’s and Lacan’s writings, such as the gaze, the mirror, sexual difference, desire and repetition, as these concepts help us understand subject-other interaction and representation (verbal and visual). We will examine the complexity and contradiction of Lacan through his own words; how is his thought paradoxical? We will also examine the interactions of contemporary psychoanalysis with feminism on one hand and deconstruction on the other. In other words, this course is not strictly “Lacanian,” but rather better defined as post-Freudian; we will examine critiques of Lacan’s positions, and some of the contemporaneous contributions of others to the reinterpretation of Freud as well. Students will be expected to read all assignments thoroughly and come to seminar prepared to participate in an ongoing exploration and discussion of these texts. The literary texts are chosen for their appearance in the psychoanalytical writings, and the film screenings include some films that have attracted psychoanalytic scrutiny. Others are ones I have chosen as an attempt to link films with the key concepts in new ways. Students will give oral presentations developing and debating the material they read for the class. Two seminar papers of 10–15 pages will be assigned, one six weeks into the class and one due one week before the end of class, on linked topics that will allow them to be combined into one essay;  they will be circulated to and discussed by the members of the seminar. The topics may be either further discussion of texts introduced in class or a topic agreed upon in advance that uses readings in the class to develop a psychoanalytically-informed approach to the student’s area of research. I am looking for careful analysis and original thought presented in creative and well-written essays.


ENG 6138

Studies in the Movies: The Construction of Identity in Black Action Film and Independent Cinema

Mark A. Reid

Topics covered in this course include the visual representation of religious communities, gender, sexual, national, and multi-racial identity within the African Diaspora and North and West Africa. This course provides students with an opportunity to explore theoretical and cultural issues discussed and or dramatized in film, photography, and literature. In weekly seminars, students use various theoretical approaches to examine how African and African Diaspora visual artists imaginatively construct black identity in their works from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Africa. The central focus is on Blacks as producers of their image(s) as opposed to mere consumers of globally circulated master narratives that construct Blacks as the racialized Other. For comparative purposes, course screenings, readings, and class discussion will include works by non-black visual artists.


  1. Ten submissions of a 2-page, typed single-space reaction paper on the weekly
    readings, class discussions, and film screenings – due weeks 2-11. (20%)
  2. Moderate two 15-minute discussions on weekly readings and film screenings. (20%)
  3. Submission of a typed 15-18 page research paper and 1-2 page bibliography. (40%)
  4. Present a 20-minute oral presentation on the 15-18 page research paper. (20%)

(With the written approval of the instructor, a student may submit a video, photographic, or creative writing project in lieu of the 20-minute oral presentation on the research paper).


ENL 6216

Studies in Middle English: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the Allegories

James Paxson

Jorge Luis Borges once said that Western literature passed from the phase of allegory to the phase of the novel with one isolated phrase found in The Knight’s Tale: “Ther saugh I...The smylere with the knyf under the cloke.” We will study about a dozen of the Canterbury Tales and the long allegorical poems of Chaucer (The House of Fame, Parliament of Fowls, Book of the Duchess, and Legend of Good Women) in order to get at this portentous claim. We must ask: how does Chaucer serve literary-historical pictures about the emergence of literary modernity as well as the survival of archaic allegory? Working with Chaucer’s Middle English, we’ll take a general overview of his main writings in the context of some of the important achievements in literary theory and Chaucer studies (emphasis on critics including Robert Jordan, Robert O. Payne, Carolyn Dinshaw, Lee Patterson, Louise O. Fradenburg, et al.). Our study of Chaucerian character, psychology, and mythography will thus interanimate understanding of major theoretical platforms (semiotics, psychoanalysis, historicism, deconstruction) in modern English studies. Weekly reports, oral presentation, and two papers. Main text will be The Riverside Chaucer, Larry Benson, ed.


ENL 6236

18th Century British Novel

Brian McCrea

This course will investigate relationships between the “old” 18th Century canon – Defoe, Fielding, Richardson and Sterne – and the “new” – Burney, Sheridan, Lennox and Inchbald. Particular attention will be given to the question of how (or whether) the most traditional devices of narrative (the birth mystery, for one example) are gendered. We also will contrast the most influential critics of the 1980s, Michael McKeon and Nancy Armstrong, to the most successful critics of the 1990s, Claudia Johnson and Jill Campbell.

Lectures will focus on the response of these eighteenth-century writers to the “demographic crisis” (L. F. Stone’s term) that the English elite suffered from 1650 to 1740. We will analyze how authors use the birth mystery to rationalize the confusions created by the inability of patriarchs to provide legitimate male heirs. The course will open with Nancy Armstrong’s Desire and Domestic Fiction – a work which connects literary and social change in the eighteenth century. Throughout the semester, we will consider the implications of Michael McKeon’s claim that the novel originates as part of an attempt to ameliorate both literary and social anxiety about “quality.” By studying eighteenth-century fictionalizations of kinship, we can see how deftly the writers of the period, even as they encourage subversive social attitudes, bring their readers back to the status quo, closing their stories with vindications of existing orders. We also will position ourselves to study differences (or lack thereof) in the versions of kinship offered by male and female authors.

Students will work toward a publishable essay. Besides participating in class discussions, students will comment upon a novel and a critical work they read “on their own.” (I will provide book lists for both.)



ENL 6246

“Milton’s bogey”? Gender, Influence, and Romantic Women Writers

Judith W. Page

In The Madwoman in the Attic, first published in 1979, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar borrowed Virginia Woolf’s idea of “Milton’s bogey” to argue that Milton had a negative influence on women writers. In the 25 years since The Madwoman in the Attic appeared, others have argued that the relationship between Milton and women writers is more complicated and nuanced than one of patriarchal oppression and silencing. In this course we will continue revising and refining the notion of Milton’s influence by considering the range of Milton’s legacy – as epic poet, republican, and defender of liberty – and by reading a variety of texts by women writers. We will also question established theories of poetic influence and intertextuality, refining our definitions by placing questions of gender in the forefront. In order to do so, we will read a selection from contemporary critical and theoretical texts, as well as canonical male Romantic writers.

Readings will include (subject to change):

Contemporary Critical and Theoretical Texts:

Canonical Male Romantic Writers:

Romantic Women Writers:

Each student will produce a 20-page seminar paper in stages: a prospectus, an oral presentation of a first draft (around 8 pages), and the final draft. There will also be one or two presentations to the seminar during the semester.


ENL 6246

Romantic Visual Textuality: Blake and Coleridge as Critical Visionaries

Donald Ault

This course will explore the optionality of anti-metaphysical readings of the poetry and prose of Blake and Coleridge. We will confront in detail syntactic and visual elements of their language (such as spacing, position of words, and punctuation) at discrete points in textual regions of those poets’ works where critics have unquestioningly sought or assumed stable metaphysical foundations to use as interpretive keys to decode and domesticate the transformational texture diffused throughout the totality of these poet’s writings. We will also consider the visual dimension of the massive revisions that both of these writers performed on their works – including Blake’s variable “illuminations” to his poems and his “hypertextual” use of Night Thoughts proof sheets to record the text of much of The Four Zoas and Coleridge’s suddenly appearing marginal glosses to The Ancient Mariner and disappearing glosses to Christabel. Among other things, the slippage of titles and declared authorship on title pages will be considered as potential strategies of counter-visionary visual textuality not usually invoked or even available within the confines of homogenized page spatiality in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.


ENL 6256

Victorian Literature: Becoming Victorian

Julian Wolfreys

We ourselves are standing on the threshold of a new era, and we are already hastening to make as wide a space, mark as vast a difference as possible, between our own age and its predecessor.

– Letitia Elizabeth Landon, On the Ancient and Modern Influence of Poetry (1832)

Giving consideration to canonical novelists and poets of the nineteenth century, this course will ask the following questions: who were the Victorians? How did they see themselves? What events shaped the period and determined for the inhabitants of the British Isles a sense of cultural and national identity? In raising these questions, it will not be assumed that there was a single identity, frame of mind, or world picture for the so-called Victorians, but rather that any sense of identity was fractured, contested, and informed by difference and a perpetual sense of self-reflection, self-questioning, and self-reading.

The dates we will use as the parameters for this course are 1832–1884. All periodization is arbitrary, but I am provisionally defining the era by, on one end, the First Reform Act of 1832, which extended the franchise to the middle classes and doubled the number of British subjects eligible to vote, and at the latter end by the international recognition of the prime meridian at Greenwich, London and the passing of the Third Reform Act, both of which take place in 1884. The course will examine how the texts of the period in question mediate various versions of identity and subjectivity; in addition, we will be looking at the ways in which both poetry and novels mediate, and are overdetermined by, cultural and ideological events and formations.


The range of material published in the 19th century is so vast that it is impossible to provide anything approximating a reasonable or fair representation. Therefore, we will be highly selective, and it will be understood that each text, in its uniqueness, operates metonymically in what it has to say about the era in which it is produced. There will be seven principal texts, three long poems and three novels, and, as far as possible, I will select texts from each decade of the period with which this course deals. These will be (subject to possible substitutions):

If you have any questions contact me at <>.


LAE 6947

Writing Theories & Practices

Sid Dobrin

In this course, we will examine and critique the important theoretical issues and problems that concern contemporary scholars and teachers of Composition and Rhetoric. We will examine the position of Composition and the teaching of writing in the American University, as well as the evolution of Composition as a formal area of study. We will consider specifically the role of Teaching Assistants in the composition work force and the role of Composition in the professionalization of Teaching Assistants. We will consider a number of current theories that inform Composition scholarship and pedagogy. In particular, we will examine intersections of computer technology and composition studies, giving pause to consider how teaching in computer environments might be approached theoretically and pedagogically. These discussions will be tied to discussions of how we, as teachers of writing, engage students, develop assignments, and fulfill institutional and personal goals of the composition classroom. The ultimate goal of the course is not to make you into teachers, but to encourage you to begin to think about your role as teachers.


LIT 6358

Theoretical Approaches to Black Cultural Studies: bell hooks

Tace Hedrick

This course is cross-listed with WST 6935.

In this course, we will be reading most of bell hooks’ oeuvre, from her first book Ain’t I a Woman to her most recent works such as We Real Cool. We will be reading her work with an eye to thinking about how she constructs herself, in her writing, as a black feminist public intellectual, teacher, and cultural critic. We will also be reading selected writings from those novelists and intellectuals who have worked with her and/or influenced her thinking, such as Cornel West, Paulo Freire, Franz Fanon, Charlotte Bunch, Toni Cade Bambara, Paule Marshall, James Cone, etc. Besides her work, readings may include Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life (West and hooks), The Salt Eaters (Bambara), A Black Theology of Liberation (Cone), Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire).


LIT 6358

The Black in Black Culture:  Vernacular and Folklore in African American Critical Tradition

LaMonda Horton Stallings

In this course, we will explore how folklore and vernacular influence Black theoretical debates over race, nation, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as cultural production itself in the Black nation. Dissecting issues of power, language, music, and oral and written narrative traditions, we will seek to complicate distinctions of blackness. Since this is a graduate level class, students are expected to have read canonical African American literary texts relevant to this topic. For example, students should have already read Dubois’s Soul of Black Folks, as well as major works by Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, and James Baldwin before taking this course. If you have not already done so, please do so before the class begins in the Fall. Students should feel free to e-mail with questions with regards to this criteria.

Possible Texts


LIT 6855

Theorizing Culture

Susan Hegeman

This course will address the interdisciplinary conversation between literary studies and anthropology in a number of ways. First, our reading will focus on anthropological texts that have been particularly influential to literary scholars; for example, Lévi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques, Geertz’s The Interpretation of Cultures, and Clifford’s The Predicament of Culture. Second, we will consider the vexed concept of “culture” in relation to a variety of disciplinary practices. In particular, we will address development over the past few decades of a diversity of “cultural” approaches in the humanities, including the new historicism, the new cultural history, and certain approaches in cultural studies. We will also discuss recent calls, in both anthropology and in the humanities, to revise or reject this so-called cultural turn. While this course is intended to be useful for anyone interested in twentieth century literary history (especially modernism and postmodernism) or in anthropology, it should be particularly relevant to students interested in the intellectual history of the twentieth century and in the historical and theoretical bases of cultural studies.


LIT 6856

Psychoanalysis and Children’s Literature

Kenneth Kidd

Here’s Freud writing in 1925: “Children have become the main subject of psycho-analytic research and have thus replaced in importance the neurotics on which its studies began.” Even in his famous case histories, Freud concentrates on the residual child within the adult patient. Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Margaret Mahler and others have since developed “child analysis” as an interpretive and practical discipline in its own right. Child analysis led to the study of children’s verbal and physical play, which in turn led to the study of children’s forms, principally toys and stories. Psychoanalytic commentary on fairy tales dates back to Freud himself and continues to be central to children’s literature studies. This seminar will profile the psychoanalytic literature on childhood and children’s literary and popular culture from the early twentieth century to the present. We’ll situate our discussion within the ongoing debate about the relevance and use-value of psychoanalysis. At issue will be the evolution of children’s literature studies more broadly, which is indebted to psychoanalysis. We’ll do some applied analysis with children’s texts, and we’ll end with a section on queer theory, psychoanalysis, and children’s studies. Although the course is not designed as an introduction to psychoanalytic theory, we will be examinining foundational figures and the history of the discipline, especially in the United States.

Students will write several short reports and a longer essay. The first essay will likely be a theorist profile, and the second an exercise in psychoanalytic interpretation. A course packet will supplement these major readings:


LIT 6856

Postcolonial Theory and American Studies

Malini Schueller

By the beginning of the twentieth century, a few European powers had colonized 80% of Asia and Africa . Nationalist movements during the latter half of the century led to territorial, but not necessarily cultural and intellectual decolonization. The continuing cultural effects of colonialism, as well as neocolonialism and imperialism, constitute the field of postcolonial studies. A major component of the course will be to introduce you to this field and study the ways in which postcolonial theory has intersected with and impacted diverse areas of inquiry such as feminism, historiography, legal studies, and literature. The second objective of the course will be to grapple with the following questions: What would it mean to reconceptualize American literature and culture through the optic of postcolonial studies? What kinds of issues are raised by settler colonialism (such as that of North America) that put pressure on some of the terms of postcolonial inquiry? How do we read subalternity in the US? Has globalization changed issues important to postcolonial studies? What is the nature of the American empire today?

I’m not exactly sure which texts I’ll use, but a likely list would include the following:

In addition to the above texts we may also use selections from Gayatri Spivak, David Harvey, Walter Mignolo, Arjun Appadurai, and Partha Chatterjee. We will also read essays on culture and imperialism in the US after 9/11.

Requirements: Attendance; Class discussion; response papers; seminar paper.


LIT 6934

The End of Identity and the Beginning of Writing

Raúl Sánchez

This course will examine the concept of identity as it relates to the study of writing. It will try to develop new theoretical perspectives on the relationship between identity and writing. Beginning with the familiar pedagogical notion, in composition studies and well beyond, that writing should be considered and taught as act of identity expression & formation, especially to disenfranchised people, the course will explore the extent to which, when carried over into scholarly inquiry, such a notion limits the range of questions that theorists and researchers can ask about writing subjects, written texts, and their proliferation/circulation.

In other words, the course will ask how identity might be best theorized and conceived by those who study writing. It will ask if and how unexamined notions of identity keep the study of writing unnecessarily tethered to cherished modernist presuppositions. It will try to develop some “examined” perspectives on identity that might be of use to the study of writing. And it will examine recent work on identity by theorists such as Satya Mohanti, Paula M.L. Moya, and Linda Martín Alcoff, who argue that it is necessary to develop an empirical but non-essentialist theory of identity in order to, among other things, describe and analyze the cultural products and lived experiences of people of color.

Reading for the course will include at least parts of the following:

Work requirements for the course will include an ongoing synthesis journal wherein you internalize and integrate the course material, a book review of a recent publication on identity, and an article to be submitted, eventually, for publication.