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Fall 2019 Graduate Courses

Fall 2019 Courses

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 # Time(s) Room Course title Instructor
CRW 6130 M 9-11 CBD 224 Graduate Fiction Writing Workshop Leavitt
CRW 6166 W 9-11 CBD 224 Long Stories/ Short Novels Bordas
CRW 6166 M 9-11 CBD 230 Lost in Translations Hofmann
CRW 6331 T 9-11 CBD 224 Graduate Poetry Workshop Logan
ENG 6138 W 9-11 Screenings:
T E1-E3
CBD 216/ TUR 2322 Film and Feminist, Queer, and Trans Theory Mennel
ENL 6526 W E1-E3 CBD 216 Victorian Literature and Bodies Gilbert
LIT 6357 R 3-5 TUR 4112 Gender and Sexualities in African American Literature Steverson
LIT 6358 F 6-8 TUR 4112 A Critical-Theoretical Look at the Harlem Renaissance Reid
LIT 6855 F 3-5 TUR 4112 Value and Evaluation Hegeman
LIT 6856 W 6-8 Smathers East Into the Archive: Reading in the Baldwin Kidd
LIT 6934 W 3-5 TUR 4112 Climate Fiction Harpold
LIT 6934 T 6-8 TUR 4112 Digital Writing and Cultural Rhetorics Gonzales
LIT 6934 T 3-5 TUR 4112 Rakes, Vixens, and Savages: Human Nature in the Long Eighteenth Century Maioli
LIT 6934 R E1-E3 TUR 4112 Feminist Fictions Hedrick

Course Descriptions

CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Writing Workshop

David Leavitt

This is an intensive fiction writing workshop for graduate students in the MFA program in Creative Writing. Reading will consist of short novels and stories by some of the following—John Cheever, Colette, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Penelope Fitzgerald, Flannery O’Connor, Grace Paley, Joseph Roth, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, and Robert Walser—as well as works by visitors to the 2019 Florida Writers Festival. All first- and second-year fiction MFA students will be automatically enrolled in this workshop, which is also open to poetry MFAs and English PhDs if space is available. If you are not a fiction MFA and are interested in taking the course, please contact me.

CRW 6166

Long Stories/ Short Novels

Camille Bordas

In this class, we will read long stories and short novels, works that can be read in one or two sittings. We will crack them open and see what makes them tick. We will focus on questions of tension, pace, and character development in one form (long story) and the other (short novel). There will be in-class exercises.

We will read stories by José Emilio Pacheco, Rebecca Curtis, Barry Hannah (and more), and novels by Leonard Michaels, Elena Ferrante, Agota Kristof (and more). The class will be reading-heavy but conversation-based.

CRW 6166

Lost in Translations

Michael Hofmann

Often late in their time here, students lament not being better-read. This course – forms course – in my terms, a reading and talking class – aims to remedy that. It is also intended to take away some of the nervousness of translations that gets in the way of actually reading them. (‘What am I reading?’ ‘Don’t worry about it!’)

Beginning with translations of the Modernists Pound (Cathay, Sextus Propertius) and Bunting (‘Overdrafts’ of Horace, Firdosi, Hafiz), we will make stops for Rilke, Mandelstam, Akhmatova, Vallejo, Herbert, Brodsky, Szymborska, and Lleshanaku.

CRW 6331

Graduate Poetry Workshop

William Logan

Keep your mind off the poetry and on the pajamas and everything will be all right.

Gregory Peck, Roman Holiday

Alexandre Dumas fils, the health-obsessed son of a famous father, . . . agonizes over half a sentence for a year, “and then his father arrives from Naples and says: ‘Get me a cutlet and I’ll write your play for you,’ writes the scenario, brings in a whore, borrows some money, and goes off again.”

New York Review of Books, 15 February 2007

Carmichael:    It’s awfully hard to live poetry, ma’am.
Dove:              Goodbye, Mr. Carmichael.

Barbary Coast

“I have two acting styles.  With and without a horse.”

Robert Mitchum

“Dang!  This is the worst doughnut I ever did eat!”

Country-and western singer Bill Monroe, eating his first bagel
Burkhard Bilger, New Yorker, May 14, 2007


Within the high seriousness of verse, we’ll find a place for absurdity and laziness, hoping that between out serious studies cheerfulness will keep breaking in.  The workshop will include readings in the poetry of the past century as well as the poetry of the age—that is, modern American, British, and Irish poetry, all in service of meticulous discussion of your own delightful work.  Also, philosophical dentistry and fan-dancing.

You will need to show some sand, as Americans in the day of General Grant would have said.

reading list

an anthology of modern poetry
four volumes of postwar poetry

ENG 6138

Film and Feminist, Queer, and Trans Theory

Barbara Mennel

This graduate seminar has two key objectives: one, to think through the relationship of feminist, queer, and trans theories to each other, and two, to engage with the productivity of these three related bodies of theoretical works in regard to cinema. The range of films will include silent cinema, 1950s camp, 1960s underground, and 1970s experimental cinema by such directors as Kenneth Anger, Su Friedrich, and Sadie Benning. Screenings will include New Queer Cinema and low-budget queer and trans films of the twenty-first century. Some of the titles will be Different than the Others, The Children’s Hour, Looking for Langston, Tangerine, XXY, Lola and Billy the Kid, and In a Year of Thirteen Moons. Readings will also cover the gamut from classics of the respective subfields, such as works by Lauren Berlant, Eve Sedgwick, Rosi Braidotti, José Esteban Muñoz, and Judith Butler, to contemporary scholars, such as Sara Ahmed and Jasbir K. Puar, as well as key queer film studies texts by Laura Horak, Patricia White, Rosalind Galt, and Karl Schoonover. Students will write a book review, an abstract, a review of their fellow-student paper, and a final research paper.

ENL 6526

Victorian Literature and Bodies

Pamela Gilbert

The body has been central to literary theory for some time, and particularly so in studies of the Victorian period, an age of scientific materialism, innovations in medicine and physiology and the development of realist narrative.  More recent approaches, however, take up bodies in new ways as well: as richly continuous and interrelated with their environment, with animal life, and with non-biological objects and substances.  This course, on bodies and things, will explore Victorian literature, including the novel, but also poetry and some drama, through lenses scholars have been working with for a while (gender, medicine, race) and also through some new approaches.  Topics will include 1) physiology and realism, 2) race, science, empire, 3) materialisms, old and new, 4) things, feelings and circulations.  Requirements will include short response papers, a conference-style presentation of your work, an assignment to research a journal you would like to publish in, and a final paper which would serve as an article draft.

Texts will likely include some of the following:

Bronte, E, Wuthering Heights
Kingsley, Water Babies
Dickens, Bleak House or Tale of Two Cities or David Copperfield
Wordsworth, the Lucy Poems
Tennyson, In Memorian
Trollope, “The Relics of General Chasse”
Carlyle, The French Revolution
Oliphant, Phoebe Junior
Tennyson, “Lucretius”
Collins, The Moonstone
Sewell, Black Beauty
Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Arnold, “Empedocles on Etna”
EBB, Aurora Leigh
Bulwer Lytton  (1859) “The Haunted and the Haunters.”
Eliot, George Mill on the Floss or Daniel Deronda
Thackeray, William Vanity Fair
LeFanu, “Green Tea”
Prince, History of Mary Prince
Wells, The Island of Dr Moreau

Bennet, Vital Materialisms
Marx, Capital (selections)
Logan, Victorian Fetishism (selection)
Rappaport, Tea (selection)
Miller (ed), Climate Change and Victorian Studies, special issue of Victorian Studies
Jameson, Antinomies of Realism (selection)
Morse, ed Victorian Animal Dreams (selections)
Capuano, Peter J. “On Sir Charles Bell’s The Hand, 1833.” In BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History. Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, 2012.
Hartley, Lucy. Physiognomy and the Meaning of Expression in Nineteenth-Century Culture. (selection)
Dames, The Physiology of the Novel: Reading, Neural Science, and the Form of Victorian Fiction. (selection)
Blair, Victorian Poetry and the Culture of the Heart (selection)
Griffiths, The Age of Analogy (selection)
Taylor, The Sky of Our Manufacture (selection)
Ahmed, “Happy Objects”

LIT 6357

Gender and Sexualities in African American Literature

Delia Steverson

This course will explore how African American authors have engaged in the politics of representing gender and sexualities in the 19th and 20th centuries. During the 19th century, African American authors had to negotiate between offering realistic depictions of sexual expression without perpetuating certain stereotypical images about black bodies as hypersexualized and primitive, with an uncontrollable sexual appetite. While we will begin our discussions grounded in the 19th century, we will then shift our focus on more explicit assertions of sexualities post-1950, beginning with James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. Baldwin’s text is significant in that it was one of the first African American literary texts to explicitly introduce alternative forms of sexualities. During this class, we will explore the myriad ways that African American authors have constructed gender and asserted sexualities while establishing complex black identities at multiple intersections. Students will be responsible for leading discussion once throughout the semester, presenting a conference paper, and producing a longer seminar paper of 20 pages. Possible texts and authors include Ann Allen Shockley’s Loving Her, Daniel Black’s Perfect Peace, William Wells Brown’s Clotel, Marci Blackman’s Po Man’s Child, Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits, Jean Toomer’s Cane, E Lynn Harris’ And This Too Shall Pass, Pearl Cleage’s What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, E. Patrick Johnson’s Sweet Tea among others.

LIT 6358

A Critical-Theoretical Look at the Harlem Renaissance

Mark Reid

This course extends the Harlem Renaissance and the geographical place of Harlem to embrace an international movement in Black creative and intellectual production between the 1920s and the end of the 1930s. During this period between the war years, Harlem was in vogue and Caribbean, African, and American Blacks began a consorted effort to redefine Blackness in their literatures, arts, and political writings. In discussing this period, the students should critically and theoretically discuss issues of class, gender, race, and ethnicity. The critical and theoretical component includes such commentators as Houston Baker, Hazel Carby, Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Homi Bhabha, Barbara Christian, Louis Althusser, and Antonio Negri.

REQUIRED TEXTS: Amazon or University Bookstore (more expensive)
Jessie Redmon Fauset, Plum Bun; A Novel Without a Moral Author
Nella Larson, Quicksand and Passing
David Levering Lewis, The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader
Alain LeRoy Locke, The New Negro: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance
Claude McKay, Home To Harlem
Wallace Thurman, The Blacker the Berry
Jean Toomer, Cane
Nathan Irvin Huggins, Voices From the Harlem Renaissance
Cary D. Wintz, Black Culture and the Harlem Renaissance
Daylanne K. English, Unnatural Selections: Eugenic in American Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance

LIT 6855

Value and Evaluation

Susan Hegeman

What is value(d), and how do we make evaluative judgments, as literary or film critics, as academics, and as social actors? In this course, we will study classic positions in the theory of aesthetic judgment (Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant). We will also read more recent works in the theory of value and evaluation, and works in the sociology of value and taste, covering such topics as the formation of canons, and protocols of academic judgment. Finally, we will look into the culture and politics of accountability, in higher education and in society in general.  This course is widely interdisciplinary, and should be of interest to students wanting to expand their knowledge of the history and theory of criticism and aesthetics, and to explore social scientific approaches to the study of culture.
Books currently being considered for inclusion on the syllabus include D. Graeber, Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value; M. Lamont, How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment; S. Baumann, Hollywood Highbrow: How Film Came to Be Seen as Art; P. Casanova, The World Republic of Letters. Students interested in taking the course should feel free to contact me about the specifics of the reading list as it is finalized.
Students will be expected to produce approximately 25 pages of written work for the course. The actual assignments will be tailored to individual students’ needs and interests.

LIT 6856

Into the Archive: Reading in the Baldwin

Kenneth Kidd

This seminar has a dual focus and will be structured accordingly.

First, we’ll explore children’s literature and its study by way of UF’s Baldwin Historical Library of Children’s Literature, one of the largest such collections in the world. Suzan Alteri, the Curator of the Baldwin, will work with us closely and co-lead the course. Everyone will develop one or more research projects in the Baldwin and give reports on such. The Baldwin is an extraordinary resource even for those not specializing in children’s literature, and one aim of the course is to encourage exploration of the collection. Students in previous iterations of this course have published their Baldwin-based research. We’ll experiment with methods of encounter and analysis, such as browsing, textual criticism, and distant reading. We’ll read scholarship on children’s literary and material culture as well as on the archive, collection, and canon. If all goes well, we may also have the chance to collaborate in person and digitally with children’s literature experts at Cambridge University. Either way we will work to improve the Baldwin’s digital research archive. The course is also a preapproved DH Certificate Course (Digital Depth category), for those interested in pursuing the DH Certificate.

The course will simultaneously function as a graduate proseminar, addressing topics such as research methods, writing and publication, grant applications, graduate school life, and general matters of professionalization and career planning. We’ll have guest speakers on some of these topics and we may also Skype with alums. We’ll also reflect on the politics of higher education in our long moment of neoliberalism.

Possible readings include James English’s The Global Future of English Studies, Carolyn Steedman’s Dust, Susan Stewart’s On Longing, Lisa Gitelman’s Paper Knowledge, Lissa Paul’s The Children’s Book Business, Rod Ferguson’s The Reorder of Things, Matthew J. Jockers’ Macroanalysis, Sidonie Smith’s Manifesto for the Humanities: Transforming Doctoral Education in Good Enough Times, Gregory Colón Semenza’s Graduate Study for the 21st Century, Eric Hayot’s The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities, Karen Kelsky’s The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your PhD into a Job, Greg Colón Semenza and Garrett A. Sullivan Jr.’s How to Build a Life in the Humanities: Meditations on the Academic Work-Life Balance. Plus essays by Walter Benjamin, Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Suzan Alteri and Rebekah Fitzsimmons, and others.

Course assignments will likely include research exercises, conference abstracts, grant proposals, peer reviews, and paper revisions.

LIT 6934

Climate Fiction

Terry Harpold

“While it is clearly time to dismantle Anthropocene logic, there is no need to wait until the end of this world to begin to conjure livable ones. There are as yet other worlds in this world. And there are, as yet, worlds to come. But which worlds will be livable? And what makes a livable world?”
– Natasha Myers

As we enter an era of increasing climate instability, physical reality and the cultural imaginary of climate will shape how we envisage the collective futures of humans and other living creatures of the Earth. In this course we will investigate the contribution of the arts and humanities to our understanding of climate change. We will read a wide range of climate-related texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, some nonfiction (climate studies, animal studies, plant studies, environmental humanities), but mostly from the emerging textual and graphic genres of climate fiction, stories that are grounded in realities of planetary climate crisis, mass extinction, climate-induced migration, and economic collapse: a world in which former habits of mind and body are incompatible with situations on the ground, in the air, and in the water. The diverse authors whose works we will study (Ballard, Ellis, Ghosh, Giono, Itäranta, Latour, Le Guin, Myers, Muir, Neufeld, Powers, Stengers, Turner, Watkins, Wright, Zylinska and others) show that creating new habits is difficult; it is easier to find fear, cynicism, and despair – none of which responses, it is clear, is up to the challenges of the real futures that approach us.

Much of what we will read is, implicitly and explicitly, an indictment of the blind hubris, cruel appetite, and reckless improvidence that have pushed us all toward terrible ends. This course proposes that the literary imagination of climate, haunted by the allures and negations of crisis, may also point in the direction of an ethic of climate that embraces critical reflection, shared responsibility, and hopeful resolve.

Graded writing assignments include collaborative moderation of in-class discussions, an abstract of a final writing project, participation in an end-of-semester climate fiction symposium, and a final draft of the writing project. Writing projects may be scholarly or creative (e.g., climate fiction or poetry), with instructor approval.

LIT 6934

Digital Writing and Cultural Rhetorics

Laura Gonzales

This course is grounded in an acknowledgement and understanding that all technologies are culturally, historically, and rhetorically situated. Structured as a hypertext (Haas, 2012), course readings will thread together scholarship in digital writing and cultural rhetorics with the goal of having students develop research trajectories and approaches to their teaching that do not separate, but instead purposely connect digital and cultural approaches to writing studies. Questions to be addressed in the course include: 1) How do technologies both facilitate and limit the work of specific communities? 2) How are power and privilege embedded in the tools and technologies we use to write and share information, even in our teaching? 3) How can we design tools and technologies to actively work against oppression and marginalization through our research and teaching? Students will leave the course with a digital project (e.g., webtext, pedagogical tool, short film) designed for publication in an online, open-access journal within the field(s) of rhetoric and writing and/or technical communication and a better grasp of how digital writing and cultural rhetorics are situated in their teaching.

LIT 6934

Rakes, Vixens, and Savages: Human Nature in the Long Eighteenth Century

Roger Maioli

The eighteenth century in Europe was a time of optimism about human nature. To begin with, there is one: timeless, universal, purposive. In addition, it is essentially good. Denying, against Augustine or Hobbes, that humans are either fallen or selfish, most Enlightenment thinkers contended that human nature affords all the resources we need for virtuous and peaceful lives. And yet this optimism was haunted by exceptions — disruptive figures who didn’t fit the vision or didn’t play by its rules. The literature of the long eighteenth century is riddled with such figures, which it often exorcises but sometimes celebrates: libertines à la Don Juan, who acknowledge no God and treat the social world as a preying field; deviant women who bid defiance to modesty; and a wide range of outsiders that Europeans commonly dismissed as pagans, barbarians, or savages. Taken together, these figures threatened the Enlightenment’s picture of human nature. They rekindled the old fears that, under the politeness of social surfaces, Satan still roamed around; that codes of conduct were fictions created by liars who deceived everyone including themselves; that beyond the limits of civilization (that is, Europe), human nature expressed itself in ways deeply at odds with the Enlightenment program. They accordingly had to be kept under control, even though they often weren’t.

In this course we will discuss the role played by these figures — rakes, vixens, and savages — in the imaginative literature of the period. We will discuss the ways in which they challenged contemporary understandings of human nature and set limits to Enlightenment universality; and we will consider the strategies writers used to either deflate or leverage this challenge. We will begin and end with two versions of the Don Juan myth — Molière’s 1665 play and Lord Byron’s 1824 narrative poem — which roughly define the boundaries of the so-called long eighteenth century. In between, we will read works of prose fiction from both Britain and France, including well known novels by Maria Edgeworth, Matthew Lewis, and Choderlos de Laclos, as well as long neglected works including the anonymous Travels of Hildebrand Bowman, now regarded as the first New Zealand novel. Secondary sources will include sampled chapters by Erin Mackie, Simon Dickie, and Felicity Nussbaum.

LIT 6934

Feminist Fictions: US Feminist Movement Fiction, 1973-2019

Tace Hedrick

We will be reading some of the better-known novels and short stories from United States feminist movement, published from around 1973 through the first two decades of the twenty-first century. These include Tone Cade Bambara’s The Salt Eaters, Ntozake Shange’s For colored girls who have committed suicide when the rainbow is enuf, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Puerto Rican author Giannina Braschi’s United States of Banana. The making and re-shaping of feminist texts into later movies or network television, such as Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls or Netflix’s The Handmaid’s Tale help us understand the “future of a feminist history.”

We will also be looking at a mix of feminist historical readings and theoretical readings in feminist history, power, and the body. Because we are reading works over the span of 50 years, feminist historians such Jane Gerhard, Joan Scott, and Elizabeth Grosz are a few whose work positions us to think about feminism in relation both to the “past” and the future.

Class requirements include reading response papers, final paper proposal, annotated bibliography, and a 15-20 page final paper.