Graduate Courses, Summer 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.

Summer Session A

Course no. Time(s) Course title Instructor
downENL 6276 TR 5-6 Twentieth-Century British Literature Kershner
downLIT 6934 MW 2-3 Shakespeare’s Theater of Likeness Shoaf

ENL 6276

Twentieth-Century British Literature

R. Brandon Kershner

This course will survey the twentieth-century British (and Irish) novel through the present day. In the first half of the course we will read such authors as Conrad, Ford, Joyce and Woolf. We will stress the emergence of modernism in the novel, with particular emphasis on formal concerns of the novelists and the effects of literary impressionis. The second part of the course will be addressed particularly to works by women and to the exploration of an alternative canon. Thus we will miss some works conventionally taught in a course like this (by Greene, Waugh, Orwell, Huxley, or Carey, for instance) in favor of works by writers like Murdoch and Byatt. At the same time, we will investigate the vexed question of the relations of modernism and postmodernism in the British novel.

The course will combine social and formal concerns: we will begin by emphasizing an evolution in the form of the novel and otherwise generally review the New Critical approach to modernist texts (while simultaneously putting it into question). Then, mostly through the idea of dialogism, we will attempt a bridge into questions of social context and ideology. Contemporary critical modes will be invoked, especially those in which poststructuralist insights are embedded in a social analysis: Bakhtin and Foucault are especially useful here, and we will pay particular attention to the possibilities of cultural studies. Requirements include one paper of about eight pages and one of about twelve, as well as several announced quizzes based on the lectures and reading.

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LIT 6934

Shakespeare’s Theater of Likeness

R. Allen Shoaf

In the more than 40 works he wrote in roughly 20 years, Shakespeare uses the word like and various forms thereof nearly 2400 times (he uses imitate and forms thereof 22 times). With this word, his native English word that derives from the Anglo-Saxon word for “body,” he examines as he dramatizes one of the inescapable questions of human being: what shall I (be) like? When, for example, King Henry V asks Katherine of France, “Do you like me, Kate?,” her response serves, in effect, as a figure of the ontological condition of the Shakespearean protagonist – “Pardonnez moi, I cannot tell vat is ‘like me’ ” (Henry V 5.2.107–8). Though, obviously, she means she has trouble understanding the English words “like me,” she also says, what every Shakespearean protagonist also says at one time or another, I do not know what I (am) like.

“Shakespeare’s Theater of Likeness” will study a wide range of the writings (plays and poems both) with a view to devising a method for analyzing and expressing the work of the word like in the corpus. In the process, a number of other methods – psychoanalytic criticism, “new historicism,” and “WerkImmanente Bedeutung” (“work-immanent meaning”), to name a few – will also be studied and tested.

Each student will be responsible for reporting on the work of like in one play and for writing one essay (approximately 15 pages), which may be based on the report.

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