Graduate Courses, Fall 2007

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 R 9-11 Early American Literature: Texts, Theories, Practices Schorb
downAML 6027 T E1-E3 The Development of Jewish-American Fiction Gordon
downCRW 6130 W 9-11 Graduate Fiction Workshop Ciment
downCRW 6130 M E1-E3 Graduate Fiction Workshop Robison
downCRW 6331 T 6-8 Graduate Poetry Workshop Greger
downCRW 6331 M 9-11 Workshop in Translation Wade
downENG 6075 T 3-5
Screenings:
F E1-E3
Film & Media Theory Burt
downENL 6246 R 3-5 Wordsworth & Keats Page
downENL 6256 T E1-E3 Victorian Popular Novels Gilbert
downENL 6276 M E1-E3 Twentieth-Century British Literature Kershner
downLAE 6947 M 3-5 Writing Theories & Practices Dobrin
downLIT 6236 T 6-8 Sexuality & Empire Rosenberg
downLIT 6358 T 9-11 Theoretical Approaches to Black Popular Culture Horton-Stallings
downLIT 6855 W 9-11 Feminist Theory & Queer Studies Mennel
downLIT 6856 W 6-8 Queer Theory & the University Emery
downLIT 6856 M 6-8 Rationality, Irrationality, & Modernity Hegeman
downLIT 6856 R E1-E3 The Golden Age of Children’s Literature Kidd
downLIT 6934 W E1-E3 The History of the Child & the Memory of Childhood Ulanowicz
downLIT 6934 R 6-8 Modern Drama: Learning by Doing Homan

AML 6017

Early American Literature: Texts, Theories, Practices

Jodi Schorb

Designed for graduate students seeking more familiarity with pre-1820 American literature, we’ll read and analyze literature most commonly taught in early American survey classes (from Puritans, to Franklin to the early American novel), focusing on critical methodologies, major critical debates, and the changing canon. A portion of the weekly seminar will be devoted to discussing undergraduate pedagogy (e.g., How might we present this text to an undergraduate classroom? What debates might we foreground? What lines of inquiry would the class pursue?; What activities might help in this pursuit?).

While requirements will be adjusted depending on the size of the group, expect bi-weekly 23 page mini-analysis papers, in which you put forth your own interpretive ideas about a text, based on your primary and secondary readings. Also expect to complete (possibly in teams) 23 simulated teaching scenarios, where you present to the seminar a “mini” activity or lesson designed for the undergraduate classroom, based on whatever text(s) we read the previous week. For the final project, you can either write a 1520 page “standard” literary/critical analysis paper, or design and justify a syllabus for the undergraduate classroom.

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AML 6027

The Development of Jewish-American Fiction

Andrew Gordon

This is a survey course, tracing 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. 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-American 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.

Texts:

Requirements: Attendance and participation, one class report, ten short response papers, and one term paper.

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CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Workshop

Jill Ciment

This is an intensive fiction writing workshop for graduate students in the MFA program in Creative Writing. Reading varies, but will probably consist of short novels.

The workshop itself operates on the principle that prose fiction is made of words, punctuation marks, and white space. Craft is the name of the game, with the result that we spend more time talking about point of view and voice than we do about subject matter, “theme,” or “plot.” The class is rigorous. Members are expected to submit their work at least four times during the semester, and to emerge at the end better writers than they were at the beginning.

Although most of the writers who take this workshop focus on the short story, I will be making a concerted effort to create an atmosphere that will be equally fruitful for those working on novels or longer works.

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CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Workshop

Mary Robison

No description available at this time.

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CRW 6331

Graduate Poetry Workshop

Debora Greger

“No one walks under palm trees unpunished.”

Goethe

“Laurence Olivier was once asked how he managed to utter Oedipus’s now famous piercing cry of pain. “I heard about how they catch ermine,” he explained. “In the Arctic, they put down salt and the ermine comes to lick it. And his tongue freezes to the ice. I thought about that when I screamed.”

– Alberto Manguel

We read, we write, we discuss, we revise. For much of the semester, we will have the privilege of being poets-in-residence at the Harn Museum of Art on campus. The class will get to give a poetry reading there at the end of the term.

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CRW 6331

Workshop in Translation

Sidney Wade

“Poetry is what’s lost in the translation,” Robert Frost is supposed to have said. Regardless of whether or not he actually did say it (none of the assiduous researches devoted to the subject have managed to come up with an original text), it’s an assumption that will be discussed and challenged in this class. During this semester students will be asked to translate a minimum of six poems from another language. Before, during, and after the work of translation, we will be discussing a variety of issues involved in the endeavor, such as

  1. whether or not a fluent understanding of the original language is necessary to the translator;
  2. how the foreign literary landscape influences the work of translation;
  3. how one deals with the challenges of form;
  4. are translations transcriptions? representations?
  5. issues of music, rhythm, speech, drama, nuance, etc.

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ENG 6075

Film and Media Theory

Richard Burt

This course will focus film theory in the wake of digital media, focusing particularly on the truth value of the film image, transmediality, narrative frames, the frame as image holder, and the cinematic paratext. Readings include selections from, among others:

Films include, among others:

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ENL 6246

Wordsworth and Keats

Judith W. Page

In a now-famous letter (27 October 1818) John Keats offered his friend Richard Woodhouse some reflections on genius and ambition:

As to the poetical Character itself, (I mean that sort of which, if I am any thing, I am a Member; that sort distinguished from the wordsworthian or egotistical sublime; which is a thing per se and stands alone) it is not itself – it has no self – it is every thing and nothing – It has no character – it enjoys light and shade; it lives in gusto, be it foul or fair, high or low, rich or poor, mean or elevated – It has as much delight in conceiving an Iago as an Imogen.

The younger poet defines himself and his poetry in terms of his difference from what Harold Bloom would call his “great precursor,” Wordsworth. What does Keats mean by the “egotistical sublime” and by the very notion that there is a “poetical Character”? What is the nature of influence and what does this particular pairing of Wordsworth and Keats tell us about the literary history and culture of Romanticism?

We will consider these and other questions, first by a close reading of Wordsworth’s poetry and major essays in the context of the revolutionary decade of the 1790s through the early years of the next century. We will then read Keats’s poetry and letters in the context of Wordsworth, adding such poems as The Excursion (1814) and other later works by Wordsworth to the mix. How do we compare the achievement of Wordsworth’s long career (he lived from 1770–1850) to Keats’s all-too-brief but remarkably intense career (he died at 25)?

Students will be encouraged to pursue various lines of inquiry, including (but not limited to), theoretical questions of influence, the contemporary and later receptions of both poets (particularly interesting in the Victorian period), their relationships to women writers or women writers’ various assessments of them. In addition to a few informal presentations, students will produce a 20-page seminar paper in stages (proposal, mock-conference paper, completed draft).

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ENL 6256

Victorian Popular Novels

Pamela Gilbert

This course will explore “popular” and emerging genres in the nineteenth century novel, especially between 1830 and 1890. We may cover the historical, silver-fork, gothic, sensation, domestic, religious and/or adventure novel, to name a few. We will also interrogate the notion of the popular and the history of “taste.” Over the next few months, I will narrow this down considerably – there is such a variety of popular work and ways to approach it in this period that I will probably organize the course in either four subgenres or three to four themes. If you know you plan to take the course, feel free to email and let me know your interests – I will try to shape the syllabus around the needs of the participants as much as possible.

Authors may include Bulwer-Lytton, Catharine Gore, Oliphant, Trollope, Ellen Wood, Braddon, Kingsley, Collins, Dickens, Yonge, Corelli and/or others. Critical readings may include Bourdieu, Altick (The Common Reader), Armstrong (How Novels Think, Desire and Domestic Fiction), Eric Auerbach (Mimesis) among several others. I shall divide the reading between novels, narrative theory, literary criticism, and historical materials designed to help us think through the idea of the popular as it relates to reading in this period.

The course will require a turn at discussion leading, eight short response papers, and a seminar paper of 21–25 pages.

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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 stress the emergence of modernism in the novel, with particular emphasis on formal concerns of the novelists, the effects of literary impressionism, and Joyce’s Ulysses as a central text in the modernist canon. 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, Rhys, and Barnes. 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 reprise 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:

Books may include Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist; Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway; E. M. Forster, Howards End; Iris Murdoch, Under the Net; A.S. Byatt, Matisse Stories; and Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot.

Requirements include two essays. One of these should be around eight typed pages, while the other should be a more ambitious effort of fifteen to twenty pages, designed for submission to a professional journal. You will also give a fifteen-minute presentation on some aspect of one of the books assigned; this may be on the same topic as one of your papers.

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LAE 6947

Writing Theories & Practices

Sidney Dobrin

No description available at this time.

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LIT 6236

Sexuality and Empire

Leah Rosenberg

Scholars of colonial and postcolonial studies have shown that Europeans were profoundly interested in managing and policing expressions of sexuality in the American, African, and Asian territories they controlled. The sexual policies that resulted were foundational to colonization efforts and the maintenance of colonial societies. For example, concubinage, rape, marriage, and the formation of new “races” of children all emerged early on as processes of colonization. Moreover, fantasies and stereotypes about the sexuality of colonized peoples influenced the construction of identities in Europe as well. This course examines both the role of sexuality in colonial history and the influence of Europe and its colonies on each other. The readings will integrate theoretical work on sexuality and empire, such as Anne McClintock’s Imperial Leather and Ann Stoler’s Race and the Education of Desire, with historical studies of such topics as prostitution in Victorian Britain and the creation of the “Hottentot Venus.” The first half of the semester will consist of a comparative analysis of policies and literature on race and sexuality in the British West Indies and Haiti (then the French colony of Saint Domingue) at the time of the Haitian Revolution. Did French practices and ideas in regard to race and sexuality contribute to creating the conditions that enabled the Revolution? The second half of the semester will address British colonialism in Africa and the Middle East during nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In regard to Africa, we will focus on the Victorian period and the figure of the Hottentot Venus. The final segment of this class will address British conceptions of male homoeroticism and homosexuality in North Africa and the Middle East. Primary texts will likely include

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LIT 6358

Theoretical Approaches to Black Popular Culture

LaMonda Horton-Stallings

This class will explore theory and critical writing on vernacular, music, comedy, and literature produced by Black communities in Africa, U.S., Canada, Caribbean, and Europe after 1970.

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LIT 6855

Feminist Theory and Queer Studies

Barbara Mennel

The course introduces graduate students to the canon of feminist theory and queer studies focusing on the intersections and tensions between the two fields. Authors will include Judith Butler, Eve Sedgwick, Teresa de Lauretis, Harry Oosterhuis, Elizabeth Grosz, and Michel Foucault. We will discuss sexologist, psychoanalytic, and theoretical writing, as well as novels and films from the turn of the century to contemporary culture.

The course will be reading and writing intensive. It will emphasize collaborative work through exchange of drafts for papers and small group discussions of drafts. Students will be introduced to different academic genres, such as book reviews and conference abstracts. In the past, students have published book reviews from my graduate course. Articles based on final papers are in preparation.

Requirements:

  1. Mandatory attendance, preparedness, and oral participation
  2. Book review
  3. Abstract for final paper
  4. Draft for final paper
  5. Final paper

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LIT 6856

Queer Theory and the University

Kim Emery

In 1994, Judith Butler offered a “critique of the conservative force of institutionalization” and specifically advocated “resisting the institutional domestication of queer thinking.” “Normalizing the queer,” she warned, “would be, after all, its sad finish.” Today, however, queer theory appears largely in and in many ways of institutions of higher education.Indeed, Bill Readings has suggested that the field’s “genesis” as well as its “goals are essentially linked to the University” (if not – necessarily – shared by it).

This course will undertake to examine this relation, investigating the institutional situation and implications of queer theory within the broader context of change in which institutions of higher education currently exist: the rise of the corporate university, the casualization of labor and commodification of knowledge, privatization, accountability mandates, the decertification of unions, and the defunding of core disciplines. To this end, we will read widely in queer theory, institutional analysis, and theories of the university, revisiting Foucault’s history of the “disciplines” in schools and prisons, for example, alongside Sara Ahmed’s work on “orientations” in queer phenomenology and Elizabeth Freeman’s on the emergence of the “neo-liberal arts.”

Short written summaries, responses, and analyses of assigned readings will be required on a regular basis. One formal class presentation and, at the student’s discretion, either two short papers or one article-length seminar paper are also required.

Readings may include:

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LIT 6856

Rationality, Irrationality, and Modernity

Susan Hegeman

A nearly axiomatic definition of modernity, usually associated with Max Weber, emphasizes the increasing rationality – and rationalization – of social, economic, political, intellectual and other spheres of human life, and a concomitant “disenchantment” of the world: the inevitable and progressive banishment of the “irrationalities” of religion, “superstition,” emotion, aesthetics, and so forth. Yet other great theorists of modernity, notably Freud, exposed a pervasive irrational core to contemporary existence. In this course, we’re going to explore the problem of rationality versus irrationality in the context of Western modernity, particularly with regard to the meaning and persistence of “irrational” belief (what is “belief,” anyway?). We will also consider the modern project of attempting to “rationally” explain the “irrational,” and thus also delve into questions of the relationship of “science” to other fields of human experience and inquiry, including religion, the arts, and humanities.

This course should be of special interest to students pursuing the following tracks: 20th Century Studies, Theory Studies, American Studies, and Cultural Studies.

Readings may include:

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LIT 6856

The Golden Age of Children’s Literature

Kenneth Kidd

Our concern will be the so-called “Golden Age” of Anglo-American children’s literature, usually dated from 1865 to about 1930. Golden age texts constitute a literary canon even as they have been widely popularized and transformed into other media. The first Golden Age text, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, was also the first children’s book to be made into a film, by Cecil Hepworth in 1903. We all know the 1939 MGM classic The Wizard of Oz, but before that, L. Frank Baum himself wrote and produced several Oz films based on his books. Adaptations of Peter Pan and Alice are especially numerous; for better and for worse, we keep finding Neverland. Moreover, golden age texts have found their way into academic discourse and even critical theory, as with Frederick Crew’s The Pooh Perplex (1963), Jacqueline Rose’s The Case of Peter Pan (1984), Juliet Dusinberre’s Alice to the Lighthouse (1987), and the anthology Curioser: On the Queer Lives of Children (2004). We’ll explore the literary, popular, and academic-theoretical contexts of Golden Age texts, sampling not only the original narratives (some of which are listed below) but adaptations or variants such as Oedipus in Disneyland, Lost Girls, Alice in Acidland, Dreamchild, and Salman Rushdie’s essay on the 1939 Oz film. With the help of Rita Smith, Curator of our Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, we’ll take a look at Golden Age periodicals and series fiction as well. We’ll read scholarship on Golden Age literature: Carpenter, Griswold, Gubar, Knoepflmacher. A larger context will be the status of children’s literature as a literary and academic field within English studies.

Literary texts could include:

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.

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LIT 6934

The History of the Child and the Memory of Childhood

Anastasia Ulanowicz

Maurice Halbwachs begins his landmark study of collective memory by relating the story of a young girl – discovered, ostensibly abandoned, in the woods near Châlons, France in 1731 – who was incapable of remembering anything of her childhood. It was only after those who had found her showed the girl illustrations of different geographical locales and populations that she was able to draw on those images she found vaguely familiar to piece together a very tentative narrative of her past. While Halbwachs admits that this story may well be apocryphal, he maintains that it nevertheless effectively places into relief what he determines to be the necessary precondition for both individual and collective memory: the existence of social frameworks. Existence outside of the social (if such a thing were possible, the problematic category of “feral children” notwithstanding) precludes the possibility of selfhood and, by extension, the possibility of both memory and childhood.

If, as Halbwachs argues, memory is a function of the social, then it follows that both individual recollection and philosophical reflection upon the processes of individual recollection are contingent upon various and dynamic historical, cultural, and economic factors. This recognition in turn prompts us to question the ways in which childhood – that stage of life that is most often, and fondly, remembered – is, like memory, a culturally and historically contingent category. Thus, the objective of this course is to construct a genealogy that traces shifting notions of both memory and childhood. In pursuing such an objective, we will explore the ways in which concepts of memory and childhood intersect, inform, and reaffirm one another. Our primary texts will include

Additionally, our discussion of these primary texts will be informed by readings from Halbwachs, Freud, Althusser, Butler, and Jacqueline Rose.

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LIT 6934

Modern Drama: Learning by Doing

Sidney Homan

The assumption in all my theatre courses is that the text of a play is not just what is written on the page but that text in performance, delivered by actors before an audience. This means the play’s text also includes gestures, movement, blocking (the stage picture), and sub-text (what the character is saying inwardly, beneath the lines delivered onstage, as well as the “history” for that character invented by the actor). In the theatre, we would further supplement this text with lighting, sound, set, costumes, props, and make-up. To be sure, one can approach a play in a thousand ways – as literature, as a repository for the thinking of an age, as the springboard for political or cultural issues. But, since I work both on campus and in the theatre, as an actor and director, and since the theatre itself is a unique medium with its own aesthetic principles, I approach the plays, with my students, and as a fellow “student,” as something meant to be performed by an actor and ratified by an audience. In my courses each student has a scene partner with whom he or she stages several scenes each semester. Once performed, the class and I, as co-directors, “work” that scene with the two actors, trying out options, rehearsing it. This is a challenge, to be sure, but students, no matter what their background, should have no anxiety about doing things this way. The object is not the acting in itself but acting as a window to the actual stage “world” of the playwright. The emphasis, therefore, is on learning by doing, and I judge student work by intent, what goes into the performance – not by finesse. If there is finesse, that is considered a bonus.

In my Modern Drama seminar we will look at Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and several of his shorter plays (Krapp’s Last Tape, Eh Joe, All That Fall, and Not I) Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Pinter’s Old Times and The Lover, and Shepard’s True West and Curse of the Starving Class. There is a major course paper assessing your work as actor and using your own performance as the subject. Students will also stage as a class project a reader’s-theatre (that is, scripts in hands) performance of An Evening with Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre.

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