Graduate Courses, Spring 2013
|Course no.||Time(s)||Course title||Instructor|
|AML 6017||R 6-8||American Literature to 1820: Self Making in the Americas||Schorb|
|AML 6017||W 6-8||The Sentimental Century||Smith|
|CRW 6130||T E1-E3||Graduate Fiction Workshop||Ciment|
|CRW 6166||T E1-E3||Forms of Poetry (translation)||Hofmann|
|CRW 6331||M 6-8||Verse Writing||Wade|
|ENC 6428||W 9-11||Ubiquitous Imaging||Ulmer|
|ENG 6075||M 9-11||Queer Theory||Emery|
|ENG 6137||T 9-11
|ENG 6137||T 6-8
|ENG 6137||M 6-8
|Techne, Technique, Technology||Nygren|
|ENL 6276||W E1-E3||Joyce & Cultural Studies||Kershner|
|LIT 6236||F 6-8||Tourism, the Caribbean & Literature||Rosenberg|
|LIT 6358||T E1-E3||New Approaches to Black Sexuality||Ongiri|
|LIT 6934||M 3-5||Toni Morrison: Shooting From the Hip||King|
|LIT 6934||T 6-8||Writing Childhood||Cech|
|LIT 6934||R 9-11||Writing, Theory & Non-humans||Gries|
American Literature to 1820: Self Making in the Americas
A seminar on American Literature to 1820, designed to engage students with the vibrant literature of early America.
We’ll use the 2011 reissue of Sacvan Bercovitch's influential treatise on the origin and development of American literature, Puritan Origins of the American Self, as a launching place for discussion about what is at stake when constructing a narrative about the ideology, origins and development of American literature. We'll then explore challenges to Bercovitch’s thesis by New Americanists, multiculturalists, and advocates of hemispheric and transatlantic studies, who have helped reconceptualize American literature and its ideologies and pedagogies, refashioning American literary history through what Carla Mulford calls “the ineluctability of the people’s stories.”
Primary texts will likely include Mary Rowlandson’s captivity account, Crevecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer, Stephen Burroughs’s Memoirs, The Narrative of K. White, Leonora Sansay’s Secret History, plus student-suggested texts that help us rethink American literary history through “the people’s stories.” and highlight themes of self making, belonging, and disjunction.
Periodically in the semester, we will turn our attention to undergraduate pedagogy (e.g., How might you present this text to an undergraduate classroom? What debates might we foreground? What lines of inquiry would the class pursue?; What activity could help in this pursuit?).
For a final project, you can write a standard seminar paper, or you can design a critical edition of a chosen primary text, or you can design a syllabus for a course in which at least half the semester (7 weeks) is focused on pre-1820 American literature. Students have used these syllabi on job talks and have piloted the course developed in this seminar at UF (AML 2070, AML 2410, AML 3031).
The Sentimental Century
Although contemporary aesthetic standards in “literary” fiction or poetry eschew the sentimental, in the 19th century, the American public embraced the sentimental as a necessary, even as a central dimension of literature. Often seen as a means of “moral suasion” the sentimental was prevalent, political and popular in the American context, until the end of the Civil War. This course will re-examine the role of sentiment (and of Gothicism, which often accompanied the sentimental) in American literature between the years 1820 and 1870.
Readings will include works by James Fenimore Cooper, Lydia Maria Child, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and others.
Graduate Fiction Workshop
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.
Forms of Poetry (translation)
The “forms course” – which to me has always been more of a remedial reading and discussion class, though writing will of course be made welcome – once again examines translation, particularly – and perhaps necessarily – the English end of things. I have chosen three distinguished group books, or bundlings, of (largely) translations – Ezra Pound’s Personae, Robert Lowell’s Imitations, and Tom Paulin’s The Road to Inver – and three individual voices out of a possible choir of thousands: Eugenio Montale’s Satura (tr. Arrowsmith), Aleksandar Ristovic’s Devil’s Lunch (tr. Simic), and Valzhyna Mort’s Factory of Tears (tr. Wright ). The objective of the semester is to open our eyes and ears to a further range of non-native and unconventional possibilities, and encourage an appetite for these (too often) out of the way and unloved products.
This is a poetry workshop in which we will examine the work of several poets very closely and work to use what we discover about their techniques to our own advantage. Poets most likely to be included are Sylvia Plath, Paul Violi, Robert Frost, Les Murray, John Berryman, Anne Carson.
Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) is one of the most recent developments of digital technologies, continuing the rapid evolution of new media equipment. Overlooked in much of the conversation surrounding locative media (and the Internet in general) is the basic insight of grammatology that an apparatus includes invention not only of technology, but also of authoring practices and identity behaviors (individual and collective). The goal of this seminar is to approach ubicomp in terms of the apparatus of electracy, applying the methodologies of grammatology and heuretics to the design of a particular practice of composition called “appiphany.” If STEM disciplines contribute most to app technology, H’MMM disciplines (Humanities + Media Movies Music) contribute most (potentially) to app rhetoric. The semester project begins with an experiment with the “social book” platform (Bob Stein), reading Avatar Emergency (Ulmer, 2012), which sets the initial terms for the course project. The heuretic generator used to extend the “avatar” exercise into a design for mobile computing will draw upon texts such as the following: Michel Serres, The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies; Jason Farman, Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media; Francesco Bonami et. al., Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist’s Eye. Student projects are presented primarily through social book commentary, a blog, and Prezi.
This seminar is designed to serve as a graduate-level introduction to queer theory and thus attends to foundational texts from Foucault onward, concluding with consideration of new work in the field. In order to illuminate queer theory’s implications for the practice and interpretation of cultural politics, we will pay particular attention to its engagements with speech act theory, performativity, performance, and their connections to affective experience and material realities. As time allows, we will also consider examples of queer cultural work in extra-academic contexts and genres. The semester will begin with an overview of major concerns, methodologies, and texts before moving on to consider more recent developments in the field, including Kevin Floyd’s work on queer Marxism and Roderick Ferguson’s on the academic institutionalization of “difference.”
Each participant will be assigned primary responsibility for one class discussion, along with an accompanying short paper and presentation. Short homework assignments, a paper abstract, and a seminar paper (15–20 pages) are also required.
The last decades have witnessed an explosion of book-length studies on European cinema that created a subfield of European film studies. Scholars have struggled with the question of whether a coherent European cinema exists since the early 1990s and have revisited the history of European national cinemas from the perspective of contemporary restructuring of funding and distribution. Several thematic concerns dominate the discussion of European cinema: migration and mobility; space and cities; the emergence of a post-communist East Central European cinema defined by magical realism and new media literacy; and the economics of funding and distribution. The emphasis of this class will be on post-1989 films in the context of current theoretical debates about film and Europe. From this contemporary perspective, we will, however, also revisit earlier films. Readings will include: Rosalind Galt’s The New European Cinema: Redrawing the Map, Mark Betz’s Beyond the Subtitle: Remapping European Art Cinema, Randall Halle’s German Film after Germany: Toward a Transnational Aesthetic. We will also read excerpts from Aga Skrzozka’s forthcoming book Magic Realist Cinema in East Central Europe, as well as from Anikó Imre’s Identity Games: Globalization and the Transformation of Media Cultures in the New Europe, and Katrin Sieg’s Choreographing the Global in European Cinema and Theater. Assignments include a publishable book review, an abstract, a response to fellow student’s paper, and a final substantial research paper.
We will consider artistic, technological, and ideological changes in global cinema since 1990, as well as critical and theoretical responses to those changes. We will examine digital technologies, special effects, and sound and image montage, particularly in their relationship to action and fantasy. Narrative complication, ambiguity, and strategies of puzzlement will be investigated. Urbanization, borders, and diasporas will be one of our concerns, while issues of gender and sexualities will be another. Audience appropriation will be discussed in relationship to conglomerates’ relationship to both artists and consumers. Seminar will be highly participatory, with members taking part in e-learning postings and preparing presentations for class using powerpoints of frame captures and clips. Grad students intending to take the seminar should feel free to contact me as soon as possible at <firstname.lastname@example.org> with suggestions of particular films or readings they would like included on the syllabus.
Films may include works by such directors as Guillermo del Toro, Martin Scorsese, The Cohn Brothers, Kathryn Bigelow, Asghar Farhadi, Claire Denis, Pedro Almodovar, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Lucrecia Martel, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Wong Kar Wei, Christopher Nolan, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Eytan Fox.
Some readings will be essays will be on ares. Books may include:
The Hollywood Economist 2.0: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movie
The Way Hollywood Tells a Story
Crisis and Capitalism in Contemporary Argentine Cinema, Joanna Page.
Screening Strangers : Migration and Diaspora in Contemporary European Cinema, Yosefa Loshitzky.
Brutal intimacy : Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema, Tim Palmer.
Puzzle films : Complex Storytelling in Contemporary Cinema, edited by Warren Buckland.
World Cinemas, Transnational Perspectives, edited by Nataša Durovicová and Kathleen E. Newman
Cinema II: The Time Image, Gilles Deleuze
Techne, Technique, Technology
This seminar will investigate visual media through the concept of techne, a Greek word that implies both technique and technology, in the context of proliferating new technologies, from digital cinema and HDTV to tablets and smartphones. As part of this process, the course will consider texts that work through the potentials of this concept together with films and images from the visual arts that push against the limits of their own production.
The course will begin by taking Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida as points of departure. Heidegger first raises the question of techne in a modern sense in “The Question Concerning Technology” (1949–54), where he proposes techne as a foundational framing or gestell. Derrida’s Of Grammatology (1968) conceives of the alphabet as a foundational technology for the emergence of Western philosophy, and thereby as a framing exteriority that produces oppositions of subject and object as effects. Accordingly, there is no privileged position of thought or intentionality outside technology from which to consider its effects. Derrida’s Right of Inspection (1998) then argues that techne and poesis may not be as opposed as once thought, and considers the intersecting capacities of surveillance and artistic invention implicit in visual representation.
Next, the course will take up the work of Bernard Stiegler, Ann Friedberg, and Jussi Parikka. Stiegler’s multi-volume projects, beginning with Technics and Time (1994–2001), attempt to rethink history, industrial economics, and philosophy in relation to the techne that makes them possible, while The Re-enchantment of the World (2006) argues for a transformation of industrial consumerism. Friedberg’s The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft (2006) situates the question of multiple screens in the context of visual and conceptual frames from the Renaissance through personal computers. Although she never wrote about the proliferation of screens through personal devices and mobile phones, her approach anticipates and is consistent with these new questions. Jussi Parikka’s Insect Media: An Archaeology of Animals and Technology considers that many of the figures through which we attempt to think of new media, from networks to swarms, derive from the world of insects and suggest an alien logic of organization.
Films will be screened and discussed insofar as they raise questions about these issues. Hollis Frampton’s work, in both his writings and his films, consistently addresses the limits and possibilities of film as a medium. The seminar will consider Frampton’s project from his essay “For a Metahistory of Film” (1971) to his epic unfinished Magellan cycle (1972–84). At the beginning of cinema, W.K.L. Dickson’s Experimental Sound Film (c1894, restored 1998), Georges Méliès’s The Magic Bricks (1908), and Edwin S. Porter’s The Teddy Bears (1907) raise important questions about the insights and illusions of a medium when still new. Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes (1938) and Dziga Vertov’s Enthusiasm (1931) explore the possibilities of sound film as a hybrid medium when it first emerges, while Futagawa Buntaro’s Orochi (1925) demonstrates a hybrid of cinema with the specifically Japanese art of the benshi, or spoken performance. Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark (2002) stages the history of St.Petersburg’s Hermitage museum in a single sustained long take, while Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma (1998–98) pioneers the use of video mixing to rethink the history of cinema, transforming both media at their point of intersection.
Friedberg’s work also opens onto parallels throughout the history of visual culture, which thereby informs both cinema and theory. Alexander Rodchenko’s work suggests a strong relationship between abstract painting and realist photography, while Kasimir Malevich and Sergei Eisenstein argued their incompatibility. These volatile forces in turn inform Frampton’s writing on photography and cinema in tension with the legacy of abstract exprssionist painting in the 1950s and 60s. The proliferating screens of mobile devices have also made it possible to reconsider wall paintings at Pompeii, and specifically the recurring device of frames within frames. Throughout the seminar, history will be considered not as a sequence but as a network of unfinished potentialities, consistent with ideas of time in Gilles Deleuze’s Image-Time and in Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project.
Joyce & Cultural Studies
The course will be an introduction both to James Joyce and to the broad field of cultural studies, using Joyce’s fiction as examples of literary texts with particularly rich cultural resonance – both representationally and as artifacts. We will read Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist, and Ulysses in conjunction with the ideas of various thinkers whose work has impacted cultural studies, including Foucault, Bakhtin, Said, de Certeau, Benjamin, and Jameson.. Our emphases will include the areas of
- negotiations of “everyday life” (urban walking, recreation, etc.);
- high and popular culture interactions (especially with reference to modernism and the birth of “mass media”);
- subject construction and gender relations;
- postcoloniality and Orientalism; and
- political/economic dimensions.
Although the course obviously will engage with theory, the stress will be upon specific implications of the literary texts rather than upon the theory in and for itself. As an aid in reading Ulysses, we will use Blamires’s guide to that novel entitled The New Bloomsday Book. I will bring in copies of newspapers and advertisements of the time as well as some examples of the popular reading to which Joyce alludes, show slides of Eugen Sandow the bodybuilder and memorial photography of children, and discuss other examples of material culture from turn-of-the-century Ireland. Since I have been involved in the production of a hypertext Ulysses, we may discuss aspects of that project as it relates to issues raised by cultural studies.
Texts: The new Norton Critical edition of Dubliners (ed. Norris) and the 2nd Bedford Books edition of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (ed. Kershner); Hans Walter Gabler’s edition of Ulysses (the ‘corrected text”) and Harry Blamires’s New Bloomsday Book, 3rd ed. Introducing Cultural Studies is also required. For students interested in pursuing the subject in greater depth my own Joyce, Bakhtin, and Popular Literature is recommended; my Twentieth-Century Novel: An Introduction would be useful for the broader literary background. I will also be distributing material as handouts during the course.
Requirements: Two papers incorporating literary-critical research, the first 8–10 pages long, the second 12–18 pages. About three or four quizzes – very simple ones – to make sure we're all keeping up with the reading. Your class participation will be very important.
Tourism, the Caribbean & Literature
In his Nobel Prize speech, Derek Walcott condemns tourist brochures for reducing the Caribbean’s historical complexity and cultural diversity to a happy paradise. “This,” he laments, “is how the islands from the shame of necessity sell themselves; this is the seasonal erosion of their identity, that high-pitched repetition of the same images of service that cannot distinguish one island from the other, with a future of polluted marinas, land deals negotiated by ministers, and all of this conducted to the music of Happy Hour and the rictus of a smile.” Many contemporary Caribbean writers, such as Jamaica Kincaid and Michelle Cliff, have voiced this same protest. Contemporary literary critics see such critiques as an important challenge to the dominant neocolonial enterprise in the Caribbean and the 500-year old colonial discourse it appropriates. In taking on tourism, critics address a central – contemporary – dilemma confronting the Caribbean: the region’s dependence on tourist dollars even as the industry’s economic, human, and environmental exploitation jeopardizes the region’s future and undermines national sovereignty and citizenship. Yet the connection between Caribbean literature and tourism is significantly older and more fundamental than scholars suggest. Writers have commented on tourism – promoting, condemning, and strategically making use of it – and literary form has been influenced by tourism since the emergence of the industry in the late nineteenth century.
This course will engage in an interdisciplinary examination of the development of tourism and its relationship to culture and the rise of U.S. power in the Caribbean from the 1890s to the present. It will begin with an examination of influential theoretical works on tourism such as John Urry’s The Tourist Gaze; studies of Caribbean tourism in particular such as Krista Thompson, An Eye for the Tropics, and Ian Strachan’s Paradise and Plantation. The course will include an analysis of the continuity between tourism and previous forms of colonialism and imperialism and between genres and aesthetics of tourism (the guide, the tourist postcard) and earlier colonial aesthetics such as the travel narrative and engravings. It will examine the role of tourism in cultural nationalism in Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica in the early twentieth century; the introduction of mass market tourism and Cold War politics in the postwar period in the British West Indies which fueled the calypso craze; the impact of the Cuban revolution on tourism; and tourism in the age of globalization with an emphasis on the question of sex tourism.
It will include discussions with professors at UF about their research on tourism, Florence Babb and Maria Rogal. Students will also be asked to do original research involving digital and traditional archives.
Class materials will likely include:
Babb, Florence. The Tourist Encounter: Fashioning Latin American Nations and Histories
Black, Stephanie. Life and Debt (2001)
Brennan, Denise. What's Love Got to Do with It?: Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic
Channer, Colin. Waiting in Vain
The Frank Crumb Papers, UF Special Collections
Danticat, Edwidge. After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Haiti
Enloe, Cynthia. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics
Figueroa, Esther. Jamaica for Sale (film 2009)
Gmelch, George. Behind the Smile: The Working Lives of Caribbean Tourism
Kempadoo, Kamala. Sun, Sex and Gold: Tourism and Sex Work in the Caribbean
Kempadoo, Oonya. Tide Running
Laferriere, Dany. Heading South
Kalatozov, Mikhail. Soy Cuba (1964)
Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place
Marshall, Paule. Praise Song for the Widow
McMillan, Terry. How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Merrill, D. Negotiating paradise : U.S. tourism and empire in twentieth-century Latin America (2009)
Naipaul, V.S. A Flag on the Island.
Perez, Louis. On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture
Rosa, Richard. “Business as Pleasure: Culture, Tourism, and Nation in Puerto Rico in the 1930s.”
Rossen, Robert. Island in the Sun (1957)
Sheller, Mimi. Consuming the Caribbean
Strachan, Ian. Paradise and plantation: tourism and culture in the anglophone Caribbean
Thompson, Krista. An Eye for the Tropics
United Fruit Company brochures and advertisements.
Urry, John. The Tourist Gaze
Walcott, Derek. Pantomime
Young, Terence. Dr. No (1962)
Ward, Evan. R Packaged Vacations: Tourism Development in the Spanish Caribbean
New Approaches to Black Sexuality
This class will examine the current cultural and theoretical discourse relating to the production and consumption of the Black sexuality in literature, film and critical theory. We will consider the politics of representation in relationship to questions of masculinity, violence, the Black female body as spectacle, the body in relationship to constructions of urbanity, and the Black body in a transnational economy. Texts examined will include Dariek Scott’s Extravagant Abjection: Blackness, Power, and Sexuality in the African American Literary Imagination (NYU, 2010), Roderick Ferguson’s Aberrations In Black: Toward A Queer Of Color Critique (Minnesota, 2003), Jafari S. Allen’s Venceremos?: The Erotics of Black Self-making in Cuba (Duke 2011), Kara Keeling’s The Witch’s Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense (Duke, 2007), Richard Iton’s In Search of the Black Fantastic: Politics and Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era (Duke, 2010) and Fred Moten’s In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (Minnesota, 2003) among others.
Toni Morrison: Shooting From the Hip
This is an in depth study of an extraordinary body of work, both fictional and critical, that has challenged both the foundations of American literature (and criticism) and the boundaries of its canon. Students will investigate why critics herald Toni Morrison as the “most formally sophisticated novelist in the history of African-American literature” while also discovering why she is one of American literature’s most renowned. Morrison’s work has earned the highest accolades in contemporary literary circles: the National Book Critics Circle Award and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Song of Solomon in 1977, the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Beloved in 1988 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993 (among others). Her novels explore themes of naturalistic fiction while also engaging the more dramatic themes of modernism: death, love, rebirth, responsibility, and memory. They are lyrical prose memorials to suffering and loss that move beyond characters’ victimization towards rectification, reconciliation, renewal and revival. Morrison has published ten novels, a play, a short story and several critical pieces. This semester we will read most of her fiction and some of her non-fiction, focusing on several themes. Among them are the relationship of the sacred to the secular, history and heritage, identity and subjectivity, language and rhetorical strategy, motherhood and self. We will also evaluate what critics have to say about Morrison, how they construct and reconstruct the artist and her work, as well as evaluate the author’s own creative and critical perspectives.
An examination of writings about childhood and the implications of writing “for” children. The seminar will look at a number of paradigmatic examples of the ways writers have formulated the idea of childhood (including our own Harry Crews’ “A Childhood”). The participants will then explore, through a series of writings, a variety of genres that are normally thought of as being “children’s literature.” Discussions in the seminar will focus on the tension between how we imagine or reconstruct childhood, biographically or autobiographically, and the ways in which we “voice” works for children.
Writing, Theory & Non-humans
As evident in recent scholarship produced under the umbrellas of new materialism, speculative realism, and object oriented ontology, a non-human turn has taken place across the humanities as scholars direct their philosophical and theoretical attention to a wide range of non-human matters. This course introduces you to some of those theories and philosophies as well as studies that take up a broad range of non-human things as their objects of study: animals, vegetables, minerals, rubbish, matter, and diseases. This interdisciplinary body of work comes out of fields such as literature, philosophy, feminist studies, science studies, political science, media studies, and philosophy. In exploring this scholarship, you will be challenged to imagine how you might take the non-human turn in you own studies and subject areas. As models for this work, we will look to how theories and philosophies of the non-human are being taken up in writing studies at large.
Students can expect to dive into many of the following texts:
We Have Never Been Modern by Bruno Latour
The Material of Knowledge: Feminist Disclosures by Susan Hekman
When Species Meet by Donna Haraway
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Ethics and Objects Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, ed.
The Democracy of Objects Levi Bryant
The Body Multiple by Annemarie Mol Things (A Critical Inquiry Book) Bill Brown, ed.
Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett
New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency and Politics edited by Diana Coole and Samantha Frost
Guerilla Metaphysics: Phenomenology and the Carpentry of Things by Graham Harman
The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism edited by Levi Bryant, Nick Srnicek and Graham Harman
The Ethics of Waste: How we Relate to Rubbish by Gay Hawkins
A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literacy by Bill Brown
Alien Phenomenology: Or What it’s Like to Be a Thing by Ian Bogost