Graduate Courses, Fall 2006

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 M 9-11 Colonization, Conspiracy, & Ethnography White
downAML 6027 F 6-8 Modern American Epic Hegeman
downAML 6027 T E1-E3
screenings F 9-11
American Science-Fiction Literature & Film 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 Greger
downCRW 6331 M 9-11 Graduate Poetry Workshop Wade
downENC 6428 W 9-11 Digital English: The Desktop Harpold
downENG 6075 T 3-5
screenings F 9-11
Indexing Medieval & Early Modern History in Film & Media: From Manuscript and Print to Cinematic & New Media Paratexts Burt
downENG 6076 T 9-11 Jacques Derrida: The Postal Principle Wolfreys
downENG 6077 T 6-8 Eventualities Leavey
downENG 6137 R 3-5
screenings M 9-11
Films of the Sixties Turim
downENG 6138 W 9-11
screenings T E1-E3
Studies in Film: Theories of Globalization & Cinema
(Cross-listed with GEW 6900)
downENG 6138 T 9-11
screenings M E1-E3
Cultural Critique into Visual Studies
(Cross-listed with GET 6299)
downENL 6226 F 3-5 Shakespeare (Learning by Doing) Homan
downENL 6246 W 3-5 Jane Austen & the Culture of Romanticism Page
downENL 6256 W E1-E3 Victorian Genders & the Novel: Masculinities Gilbert
downENL 6276 M E1-E3 Joyce & Cultural Studies Kershner
downLAE 6947 M 3-5 Writing Theories & Practices Dobrin
downLIT 6855 R E1-E3 Young/Adult: American Literatures of Adolescence Kidd
downLIT 6856 R 6-8 Nineteenth Century Racial Formations Schueller
downLIT 6856 W 6-8 Desperate Domesticity: American Literature & Culture in the 1950s Bryant
downLIT 6856 R 9-11
screenings F 6-8
Trash Cinema: Questions of Popular Production & Reception Ongiri
downLIT 6934 M 6-8 The Issue of Methods in the Study of Writing Sánchez
downLIT 6934 R 6-8
screenings M E1-E3
Thoreau/Rohmer Ray

AML 6017

Colonization, Conspiracy, and Ethnography

Ed White

In the 1660s, the common law definition of conspiracy changed decisively as it was articulated in the new slave code of Barbados. The code, written as a quasi-ethnography, essentially defined conspiracy as the immanent condition of African slaves, and was to become the model for slave codes from Jamaica to New Hampshire. This seminar takes the conjunctions of this code – conspiracy, ethnography, servitude, terror, and race – as its starting point, assuming however that the legal codification of the 1660s speaks to a more widespread association of conspiracy with indigenous populations as well. Looking at a range of materials from New England to Virginia and the Caribbean, and various theorizations of conspiracy and ethnography, we’ll explore the transition from the ethnographically coded conspiracy theories of the seventeenth century to the more familiar (and ridiculed) conspiracy theories of the eighteenth (e.g., the Bavarian Illuminati, the Freemasons, the Jesuits, the Burr Conspiracy). Our touchstones will likely be: the Good Friday Massacre in Virginia; the Anglo-Pequot War (with the first appearance of a Puritan captivity narrative, and the emergence of a discourse of terrorism); the concurrent Antinomian Crisis (associated with Anne Hutchinson); the Barbados Slave Conspiracy; King Philip’s War; the Salem Witchcraft Trials; the New York Slave Conspiracy; and Pontiac’s Conspiracy. We’ll look at textual productions around these events and their development of conspiracy rhetoric and the language of terrorism in relation to New World theorizations of non-white populations. We end the semester with a reading of John Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracy (1798), which argued that the French Revolution was orchestrated by the Freemasons and the Illuminati.


AML 6027

Modern American Epic

Susan Hegeman

According to theorists like Lukács and Bakhtin, the epic is a genre that emerges from a stable and coherent social body. Late nineteenth and early twentieth century America was far from stable or socially cohesive, and yet a surprising number of significant artists of this period could be described as having taken up the epic form. This course will interrogate the modern – and modernist – epic as a critical and theoretical problem in the context of American literature. What were the possibilities and limitations of the epic for figures including Frank Norris, T.S. Eliot, D.W. Griffith, Hart Crane, William Faulkner, and John Dos Passos? How did they understand their participation in the epic, within their various poetic, narrative and filmic media? Following the socially-oriented theorists of the genre, what can we conclude about the meaning of the epic in the context of the modern social vision?

A tentative list of works we may discuss:


AML 6027

American Science-Fiction Literature and Film

Andrew Gordon


  1. To survey twentieth-century American science-fiction (SF) literature and film.
  2. To develop critical skills in thinking about the role of SF within contemporary American culture. We will consider SF as the literature of science, technology, and change, and as perhaps the most characteristic American literature since 1945, a genre affecting all areas of our popular culture.

Texts (at Goering’s, 1717 NW 1st Avenue, next to Bageland)



  1. Ten one-two page (250–400 words) responses on the stories, novels, critical articles, or films. Sometimes we will use your response papers as the basis for class discussion. They may also develop ideas you can expand in the term paper. Short responses=25%.
  2. Term paper or SF story. A research paper of about fifteen pages, concerning one or two works from the course. Alternately, if you are in the creative writing program or obtain my permission, the term paper may be a science-fiction story. Submit a first draft . I will make suggestions for revisions but reserve the right at that point to ask you to do the paper instead of the story. The grade is based on the final draft of the story . Make copies of your paper or story to distribute to your fellow students; we will discuss the papers and stories in the last class. Term Paper = 45%.
  3. One oral report to the class. Report on an assigned author, novel, or film, or on another author or work of SF literature or film or on a book of criticism. (These reports may also help you prepare for your papers.) Alternately, you may discuss such topics as the Star Trek phenomenon, an SF TV series, SF music, SF comics or magazines, or SF videogames or computer games. You can use, if you wish, cassette tapes, slides, videotape, or power point. Two students may collaborate. 30–40 minutes each. Oral report= 15%.
  4. Class attendance and participation. Everyone is allowed one absence; after that, contact me with a valid explanation. Each unexcused late entrance into class or early departure counts as half an absence. Viewing the movies is part of the course. Attendance at the Friday screenings is not compulsory, but if you cannot attend, arrange to see the movie on your own. Attendance and participation= 15%.


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

No course description available at this time.


CRW 6331

Graduate Poetry Workshop

Debora Greger

How to Write Poetry in Florida

  1. For the pursuit of poetry writing to be successful, the poet must be cloaked in silence, motionless as well as mute. With eyes, ears, and nostrils, she must be ready to register and to record everything that can be detected by her imperfect senses. Two useful items of equipment are a pair of binoculars and a good “squeaker,” or bird-call, judiciously used.
  2. When a poem is sighted, keep eyes partly closed. Poems do not like to be stared at.
  3. Move only when the wind blows and moves the leaves. Hold hands high so that any movement is down, the way leaves fall.
  4. Drab clothes are best, but a scarlet or blue shirt will do no harm if one keeps still. It is movement, not color, which frightens the poem.
  5. When listening for faint sounds, keep mouth slightly open (as lovers of music do in the top gallery of the opera).
  6. Learn to squat. This allows two slight shifts which alternately ease all muscles, and keeps you clear of wet surfaces, poison oak, and fire ants. If sand fleas or mosquitoes are bad, do not be ashamed to use repellent. A dozen mosquitoes biting at once may disturb the toughest poet.
  7. When squatting, hold glasses close to nose, so they can be shifted to eyes with a minimum of motion.
  8. A sudden yell or gunshot frightens a poem for a few seconds, but the effect of a cough or a sneeze will last much longer.
  9. A low monotone in speaking is less disturbing than a hissing whisper. In poetry writing, one person is a necessity, two a crowd. The only use for three or four is to have them walk ahead in single file, and then for you yourself suddenly to stop and squat motionless while the others go on. Poems cannot count, and you may escape notice by some of the hundreds of watching eyes.


CRW 6331

Graduate Poetry Workshop

Sidney Wade

This is a graduate poetry workshop, in which we will focus our attention on the works of Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, Les Murray, Anne Carson, Seamus Heaney, Louise Gluck, Robert Lowell, E.A. Robinson, and Paul Violi. Each class will be devoted to the intensive examination of a poem by one of these authors, and students will be asked to write an imitation of the work under discussion. Each student will be responsible for leading the discussion on one of the poems, to be chosen at the beginning of the semester.


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.)

Readings will include…

Course requirements include two critical-historical analyses (“case studies”) 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

Indexing Medieval and Early Modern History in Film and Media: From Manuscript and Print to Cinematic and New Media Paratexts

Richard Burt

In this seminar, we will examine a variety of historical films that make some claim to being historical. We will initially examine a variety of critical models that question the notion that a film should be historically accurate or faithful to its historical sources, and move on to reformulations of history and film in terms of the ontological indexicality of film, the conversion of documentary realism to diegetic reality effect, the role of the academic historian as film consultant, and especially the cinematic paratext, notably in DVD editions, and the development of the index in books and notecards, an early version of hypertext links, and the links between hands and books both in books and film. The course will engage film in relation to new digital media as well as old visual and print media while examining several functions and meanings of the index: the referential (the film documents reality / the profilmic mis-en-scene); the textual apparatus at the back of the book; the index as hand (as a visual icon in books; and the index finger links the hand to the book and to the digital – bookmarks, Post-Its™, and so on, are prosthetic fingers). The claim for film to be indexical is complicated, we shall see, by the ways in which the indexical always takes iconic form, becoming a gesture, an imitation, a representation, a simulacrum. We will also explore homologies between the book and film, focusing especially on medieval manuscripts and early modern printed books and the role of manicules, prefaces, marginal glosses, annotations and marginalia. The scroll is to the codex what analogue video is to DVD, with DVD closer to the printed book (both are divided into chapters). (The scroll to video analogy is complicated somewhat by the remote control and fast-forward and rewind VCR functions.) Of related interest will be icons of the index in books (images of pointing hands, or manicules) and representations of reading in Renaissance paintings. We will also examine analogies between the Bayeux Tapestry (c. 1068) and film as well as hypertext and the layouts of the manuscript page, the printed book page as well as the computer screen, marginalia in manuscripts and books and opening and end title sequences of medieval and early modern films. Finally, we will consider (taboos on) touching manuscripts, leaving and stains, dirt, versus computer keypads and TV/VCR/TIVO remote controls. Readings will include essays by Robert Rosenstone and Haydn White on the historical film and a variety of readings on the print, cinematic, and media paratexts; the hand and writing; the history of the book; and the index in all of its functions and meanings.

We will also read selections from

Films will include

For more information, please go to <>.


ENG 6076

Jacques Derrida: The Postal Principle

Julian Wolfreys

What happens when you send a message, whether by conventional mail, as a text message, through email or instant messaging? How is it received? Is it received at all? In what ways do messages go awry in being transmitted? What is going on through the agency of the ‘post’? And how may the recipient come to be determined by the message he or she receives, whether or not this was intended for him or her? This course will examine the operation – or otherwise – of what goes by the name of the ‘post’ and the principles of posting, sending, transmitting, as exemplified through the work of Jacques Derrida, particularly in The Post Card. We will consider the logic of the ‘post’, and the role it has to play in the translation of identities, subjectivities, ontologies. We will consider the uncanny nature of the postal, as well as relating it to a network of regimes for sending and transmitting.

We will read principally The Post Card, but also we will consider other texts such as Paper Machine, Resistances of Psychoanalysis, and a selection of essays (available as a photocopy packet).

Requirements: 1 research paper and one seminar presentation.


ENG 6077


John Leavey

Let’s move on to the next critical event.

Even if this imperative could be reduced to a matter of critical fashion, I do not take that reduction to be negative, as if matters of fashion and jargon are not matters of critical importance to the legibility of what is inherited and deposited in the archives of a tradition. Sons and daughters of fashion inherit, perhaps more thoughtfully than others.

This seminar will examine the time lags of dispositions in theory, the reading of the eventualities of what will have had to have happened in order for something to happen. The time lags of most importance will concern the question of event and eventuality, perhaps of fashion and fad. Requirements: Participation, presentation, and seminar paper (about 15 pages).

Readings tentatively will consist of the following, on the fashion of the event:


ENG 6137

Films of the Sixties

Maureen Turim

“All Power to the Imagination!” This course will look at history and social context as factors in thinking through questions of formal innovation in the sixties. We will consider film in its relationship to literature, painting, and television. We will look at competing international film industries. We will look at subcultures and international moments of social transformation. We will examine changing definitions of gender and class, as well as redefinitions of the event and political discourse. The organization of the course will include sections on French cinema, US cinema, other European cinemas, and Japanese cinema. Theory will also figure as a major axis of our perspective as we look at how to frame these issues.

Students will develop a major project of research, guided by various assignments over the course of the semester: prospectus, outline, bibliographical report, film clip analysis website work, class presentation and final paper. Active participation in seminar discussions are vital to the course.

Readings may include:


ENG 6138

Studies in Film: Theories of Globalization and Cinema

Barbara Mennel

The course addresses current theories about globalization and their relationship to contemporary cinema that represent international migration and immigration, refugees, human trafficking, and the effects of colonialism. The course emphasizes changes in conceptions of gender and sexuality produced by globalization. We will address transnational film production and distribution, as well as questions of resistance to globalization in video art. Authors will include Ulrich Beck, Arjun Appadurai, Ella Shoat and Robert Stam. Films will include Turtles Can Fly, Dirty Pretty Things, James’s Journey to Jerusalem, and the video work of Hito Steyerl and Ursula Biemann.


ENG 6138

Cultural Critique into Visual Studies

Nora Alter

This seminar focuses on a range of texts by some of the major cultural and aesthetic theorists of the twentieth century. The first part of the course will focus on the early twentieth century writings of Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, and Siegfried Kracauer, who pursued a multi-disciplinary research and approach to culture and were central in the establishment of what came to be known as culture critique (kulturkritik). One of the central aims of culture critique was to reveal the conditions of existence for certain ideas and perceptions. The course will begin with a range of texts by these authors, placing their theoretical reflections and cultural analyses within the historical context in which they were written. In particular we will focus on their writings on film, media and visual studies. The second part of the course will focus on the post-war writings of some of the pivotal members of the field of academic inquiry known as visual studies. This multidisciplinary approach to visual studies, drawing not merely on the orthodox approaches derived from the social sciences, but also on more radical approaches suggested by, for example, feminism, Marxism and semiotics, facilitated asking new questions, and thus reconceptualizing exactly what was entailed by the term “culture” and its relation to “visual studies.” Theoreticians of the cultural and the visual will include Roland Barthes, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Rosalind Krauss, Hal Foster, Manthia Diawara, Kobena Mercer, Tinh T. Minh-ha and others. There will be weekly screenings of films.


ENL 6226

Shakespeare [Learning by Doing]

Sidney Homan

The focus of this course is on performance, on plays as not just texts but as something happening in space and time, and ratified by an audience. Therefore, we learn about a Shakespeare play by doing it, and so each student works with a scene partner, with whom they rehearse a scene, stage it for the class, and then work with the director to polish and evaluate their work. No experience in the theatre is required. Scene work will be graded on the intent of the actors, what they put into it – not finesse. The course’s major paper will be an assessment of your experience doing the scenes.

Students will also assist Professor Homan as he prepares for an all-woman production of The Taming of the Shrew at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, preparing the text, helping the director as he develops a “concept” for the production, advising on all aspects of staging, working with a playwright who will be rewriting Shakespeare’s “outer” play that will set the scenes involving Christopher Sly and the courtiers in modern times, as well as including material from the anonymous The Taming of a Shrew of 1594, which may have been Shakespeare source or, alternately, a spin-off from his own play.

Students will also stage a one-night performance of An Evening with William Shakespeare at the theatre, a collage of scenes from his plays in reader’s-theatre format.

Again, the assumption is that a play is not just the words on the page but also the sub-text (the history of the character as devised by the actor), movement, gesture, blocking, as well as the physical dimensions of the stage itself – set, lighting, props, costumes.

We will be examining, from the actor’s and director’s standpoint – as well as the critic’s and scholar’s as they influence production – Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.


ENL 6246

Jane Austen and the Culture of Romanticism

Judith W. Page

“The principle object . . . was to chuse incidents and situations from common life, and . . .to throw over them a certain colouring of imagination, whereby ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual way . . .”

– William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800)

“Also read again, and for the third time at least, Miss Austen’s very finely written novel of Pride and Prejudice. That young lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The Big Bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting, from the truth of the description and sentiment, is denied to me.”

– Sir Walter Scott (journal entry, March 14, 1826)

“You are very, very kind in your hints as to the sort of Composition which might recommend me at present, & I am fully sensible that an Historical Romance . . . might be much more to the purpose of Profit or Popularity, than such pictures of domestic Life in the Country Villages as I deal in – but I could no more write a Romance than an Epic Poem. – I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my Life; & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first Chapter.”

– Jane Austen (letter to James Stanier Clarke, April 1, 1816)

“Do not be angry with me for beginning another Letter to you. I have read the Corsair, mended my petticoat, & have nothing else to do.”

– Jane Austen (letter to Cassandra Austen, March 5, 1814)

Jane Austen lived from 1775 until 1817, but her critics and readers have not always placed her at home during these revolutionary times. Nor have they always recognized the powerful ways that she engages her world as she creates her own version of “ordinary life.” This course will focus on Austen’s writing (including juvenilia, letters, published novels, and uncompleted texts) in the context of the literature, culture, and politics of Romanticism. We will study Austen’s relationship to other women writers of the period, including Ann Radcliffe, Charlotte Smith, Maria Edgeworth, and Mary Wollstonecraft, as well as parallels to such contemporaries as William Wordsworth, S.T. Coleridge, and Lord Byron. We will also discuss several recent film adaptations of Austen’s fiction, considering the ways that such films re-imagine the past (including the vision of the English countryside) that Austen’s novels represent. In addition to selections from critics and theorists on Austen and Romanticism, we will read selected contemporary film criticism of the Austen adaptations.

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.


ENL 6256

Victorian Genders and the Novel: Masculinities

Pamela Gilbert

This course will focus on Victorian genders with a special emphasis on masculinities, especially as manifested at mid century (mostly the 1840s–1870s) in the novel. Additionally, we will spend time reading and thinking about secondary works which interrogate and historicize our principal terms. Many of you have indicated interest in gender issues generally and specifically in masculinities, a topic which has received increasing attention in recent years. By the end of the course, you will have read a substantial amount of important secondary work regarding mid-century masculinities, as well as a good selection of both canonical and less-known Victorian novels.

Reading may include some of the following, for example:

The course will focus on novels (probably seven or eight) and secondary readings about gender and especially masculinity. Most of these readings will be critical and historical, rather than theoretical stricto sensu, and so you should either be familiar with basic concepts in gender theory or be prepared to do a little extra reading on your own. However, the class discussion will be tailored to (and by) the class members, so you if need to know more about something, please ask. I would also like to emphasize that, although the course will focus on the construction of masculinity in the period, that topic cannot be discussed without reference to female identity, class, and sexuality, among other issues. The use of the plural in the course title is not simply a convention; it reflects the imbrication of gender with other identity categories, despite the increasing sense of a widely shared masculine “essence” which marks the period and which it left as a legacy. In short, I expect seminar conversation to be rather wide-ranging.

Tentative requirements:

Requirements include regular attendance and participation, eight short (1–2 page) responses to the reading, posted to the class email list, substantial contributions to discussion of response papers over email, one full length paper (21–25 pages), and possibly one formal oral presentation (based on outside reading).

Response papers are due each week. You may choose which eight weeks you will turn something in, but please do not turn them in late. Response papers should be circulated and shared; you must post them electronically at least 48 hours before class. (I will create an email list for the class, to which you may post papers, responses, questions, etc.) Response papers should be short (one to two pages), focused essays which engage the reading (primary, secondary or both) directly.

You are also expected to contribute substantively to discussion on the list, as well as, of course, in class. The class will be conducted as a seminar; each member will be expected to speak during each class meeting and to discuss collegially with other class members. I will contribute as a discussion facilitator and resource person, but not, generally, as a lecturer. You should plan to use the class to explore and expand your own research interests wherever possible. If you would like to tailor your final project for a particular purpose (dissertation chapter, for example), please let me know.


ENL 6276

Joyce and Cultural Studies

R. Brandon Kershner

Course objectives: 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 themselves. 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 may 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 may 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 (2nd ed., Kershner); Hans Walter Gabler’s edition of Ulysses and Harry Blamires’s The New Bloomsday Book; a course pack of cultural studies essays.

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

Absences: You are allowed two absences, which must be cleared in advance with me; call me at the office and leave a message. Any uncleared absence (including lateness over 1/2 hour) lowers your grade by half a letter.


LAE 6947

Writing Theories and 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 6855

Young/Adult: American Literatures of Adolescence

Kenneth Kidd

This seminar will track the adolescent, the teenager, and the young adult across twentieth and early twenty-first century American culture by way of what’s broadly called “adolescent literature.” We’ll start with fin-de-siècle European texts, but our main focus will be American literatures of adolescence, not only imaginative work but also psychoanalytic, anthropological, historical and pop-journalistic writing. We’ll consider how different academic disciplines, English studies among them, study adolescence and its narrative forms. Thanks largely to post-1960s usage of the term “young adult,” histories of adolescent literature typically begin with postwar work such as Catcher in the Rye (1951), and/or The Outsiders (1967); we’ll seek to complicate the usual story of YA emergence and the upbeat developmental psychology that underwrites such. We’ll look at a range of narrative and visual genres while also reading multiple titles by important writers. We’ll watch Blackboard Jungle (1955) and other films and take a look at adolescent blogging. The material is fun, it’s true – but be prepared to read a lot. Our larger mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to gesture toward a comprehensive cultural account of our subject, one informed by social history and textual analysis as well as critical theory and progressive criticism.

Possible texts:

There will be several short writing assignments, possibly a presentation or two, and a longer seminar paper (20–25 pp.); all assignments will be research-based and the longer paper must draw from theoretical as well as primary material.


LIT 6856

Nineteenth Century Racial Formations

Malini Schueller

This course will focus on race as a signifier and power apparatus in nineteenth-century U.S. literature and culture. Taking race to be an ever-changing and adaptive social construct, we will focus both on the fluidity and mobility of racial categories, as well as their disciplinary powers. We will also examine the intersections between the discourses of race and sexuality and see how the two intersect. Throughout the course, we will deal with some of the questions raised by the concept of race: What are the problems and gains of racial identity politics? How do questions of race and gender intersect/collide? What is the difference between the politics of race and ethnicity? By drawing on the diverse deployments of race in legal, literary, anthropological, and critical texts, this course will emphasize the importance of race in the reading of cultural texts as well as map some of the racial formations in the nineteenth century cultural imaginary. The course will focus on different aspects of race: constructions of the Other, writing resistance, whiteness, race and sexuality, and race and class. I’m not sure which texts I’ll use but a probable list might include critical works by Omi and Winant, Mason Stokes, Patricia Williams, Frantz Fanon, Haney Lopez, Noel Ignatiev, Eric Lott, Paul Gilroy, David Roediger, and Patricia Hill Collins. Literary texts might include

Requirements: Reactions to selected readings; oral presentation; term paper.


LIT 6856

Desperate Domesticity: American Literature and Culture in the 1950s

Marsha Bryant

This course explores fraught constructions of domesticity in U.S. literary and popular culture of the fifties, focusing on the nuclear family, gender roles (especially the housewife and Organization Man), the rise of suburbia, and alternative domesticities. Texts will include

We will study the family sit-com, focusing on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and the film Rebel Without a Cause. You’ll also chart your way through the fifties by exploring Ebony, Ladies’ Home Journal, or The New Yorker. We’ll probably read Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, and perhaps W.H. Auden’s About the House. We’ll end with recent revisions of the 1950s such as the film Pleasantville and the series Desperate Housewives.


LIT 6856

Trash Cinema: Questions of Popular Production and Reception

Amy Abugo Ongiri

This course will explore questions of popular production and reception through a focus on “trash cinema.” “Trash cinema” usually designates film that is made quickly, cheaply or by amateur filmmakers often with the expressed goal of generating revenue by satisfying popular tastes for images and themes that mainstream cinema refuses. We will explore several subgenres of exploitation film, including sexploitation and blaxploitation as well as trash cinema in more traditional categories such as horror, action, science fiction and westerns. Films may include Nudes on the Moon, Sweet Sweetback’s Badass Song!, Enter the Dragon, and Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! among others. Our examination of these films will be informed by the critical theory of Linda Williams, Carol Clover, Mikita Brotman, Ed Guerrero, Steve Neale, Stephen Prince, Vivian Sobchack, and David Bordwell among others.


LIT 6934

The Issue of Methods in the Study of Writing

Raúl Sánchez

This course has two goals. The first goal is to introduce students to standard empirical methods of collecting information about writing, as well as to standard theoretical rationales (i.e., methodologies) behind those methods. The second goal is to introduce students to standard ideological & epistemological questions regarding the very idea of “collecting information about writing,” as well as to standard questions about the very idea of asking “ideological & epistemological questions.”

Texts might include the following:

Course requirements might include the following:


LIT 6934


Robert Ray

In this seminar, we will study one classic American author, Henry David Thoreau, and one French New Wave filmmaker, Eric Rohmer. (The two may or may not have things in common.) Studying Thoreau will involve a close reading of Walden, named by one poll of college instructors as the single most important 19th-century American literary work. Studying Rohmer will involve watching six of his movies, regarded as contemporary classics. When Thoreau went to Walden Pond at the age of 28, he was concerned with finding a vocation, deciding how to write, and learning how to live. (He saw the three problems as related.) When Rohmer made his first commercially successful feature (My Night at Maud’s), he was 46 (or 49: he has been elusive regarding his exact birth date), but he has been preoccupied with how young men and young women meet and fall in or out of love. To help our thinking about Thoreau and Rohmer, we will also read some Wittgenstein, whose comments about philosophy, language, and the meaning of things (including life) seem relevant to our subjects.

Assignments: Weekly reading quizzes. Two 12-page papers. No exams.