Spring 2019 Graduate 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 no. Time(s) Course title Instructor
AML 6027 T 3-5 Refugees, Illegals, Immigrants and Other Impossible Subjects of Asian America and APIA Schueller
CRW 6130 T 9-11 Graduate Fiction Writing Workshop Akpan
CRW 6166 W E1-E3 Forms: Screenwriting Ciment
CRW 6331 T E1-E3 Graduate Verse Writing Hofmann
ENG 6075 M 6-8 Queer Theory Emery
ENG 6077 T 6-8 Being Dialectical: The (Re)Turn to Hegel in the Contemporary Wegner
ENG 6137 T 9-11
R 9-11
Philosophy and the Cinema Ray
LAE 6947 W 6-8 Modernist Studies and Pedagogy Bryant
LIT 6047 T 4, R 4-5 An Evening with William Shakespeare Homan
LIT 6856 R 9-11 Canonical African Literature and Colonial Anthropolgy Amoko
LIT 6856 T E1-E3 Seeing Differently: Comics and Identity Galvan
LIT 6856 W 3-5
R E1-E3
The Image World Mowchun
LIT 6934 R 6-8 Toni Morrison King
LIT 6934 M 9-11 Cultural Rhetorics Sánchez
LIT 6934 W 9-11 History and Representation in Children's Literature Ulanowicz

AML 6027

Refugees, Illegals, Immigrants and Other Impossible Subjects of Asian America and APIA

Malini Schueller

What constitutes a refugee? How do we think of refugees? Who is an illegal alien? When do immigrants become citizens or American? What does it mean to think of the Asian adoptee as saved? Asian American literature insistently raises these questions. This course will focus on the ways in which histories of militarism, imperialism, and racial exclusion have informed the construction of these impossible subjects of Asian America. We will examine how Asian American literary and cultural production figures the refugee, the illegal alien, the immigrant/non-citizen/citizen as sites of social and political critique that brings to light processes of U.S. colonialism, occupation, war, and violence in Asia and the Asia Pacific. We will also see these texts in relation to specific immigration acts, laws of racial exclusion and restriction, as well as to racialized stereotypes such as Orientals and model minorities.

This course will introduce you to a variety of Asian American and APIA novels, short stories, autobiographies, graphic novels, and poetry and should be useful to students interested in twentieth and twenty-first century American literature as well as to those interested in postcolonial, US empire, and ethnic studies. Because Asian American studies is interdisciplinary, we will be drawing on fields such as history, sociology, anthropology, as well as cultural studies. We will also engage with critical race studies, critical refugee studies, and collective memory studies.

Possible literary/cultural texts would include Jade Snow Wong, Fifth Chinese Daughter(1950), Frank Chin, Chickencoop Chinaman (1972), Mine Obuko Citizen 13660 (1946), Fae Myenne Ng Bone (1993), Carlos Bulosan America is in the Heart (1946), Loung Ung First They Killed My Father (2000), Viet Thanh Nguyen The Refugees (2017), Julie Otsuka, When the Emperor Was Divine (2002), Craig Santos Perez, from Unincorporated Territory [hacha] (2008). Likely theoretical texts would be Aihwa Ong, Buddha is Hiding (2003) and/or Lisa Lowe, Intimacies of Four Continents (2015) as well as essays/chapters by Omi and Winant, Cheryl Harris, Dylan Rodriguez, Yen Le Espiritu, Giorgio Agamben, Maurice Halbwachs, and Lisa Yoneyama.

CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Writing Workshop

Uwem Akpan

CRW 6130 is a fiction writing workshop. The purpose is to build a community that supports this mode of storytelling. In the course of the semester, we are expected to submit two or three short stories or novel excerpts. We are also expected to write a critique of each submission, to help the class discuss the work in depth and to encourage the writer in the important work of rewrite. As Steven Gillis, author of Benchere in Wonderland says, The art of writing is in the rewriting.

And since good writing or rewriting begins with good reading (or hearing of the story), we will be exposed to the works of celebrated writers and how they have dealt with key issues like craft, motivation, voice, suspense, characterization, etc. We will also be required to attend two readings by visiting writers.

CRW 6166

Forms: Screenwriting

Jill Ciment

This class will explore and dissect film adaptations of literary works. Books and films assigned will include, among others: Spike Jonze's Adaptation based on Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief. Mildred Pierce, both the HBO miniseries and the film starring Joan Crawford, based on James Cain's novel by the same name. Amy Heckerling's Clueless based on Jane Austen's Emma.

Each student will write two short screenplays, one based on an assigned short story, and the other based on the student’s own fiction. Screenings and reading will be assigned weekly.

CRW 6331

Graduate Verse Writing

Michael Hofmann

The principle of this class is the Biblical 'do as thou wouldst be done unto'. I want you to write the poems you want to write, and then we will talk about them. Anticipatory guidance &emdash; in the form of pre- or proscription – will be kept to a minimum – or beyond. The only real lever in my hands is the choice of reading, which I hope will affect you in some good way, though it may not be for another five years, or fifty years.

As of now – late summer, 2018 – I am gravitating towards the great Australian poet Les Murray, for my money the best poet in English, and for a while, in the 90s, the best poet anywhere.

ENG 6075

Queer Theory

Kim Emery

This seminar is designed to serve as a graduate-level introduction to queer theory, attending to foundational texts from Foucault onward. As the semester progresses, we will move on to consider more recent work in the field. Participants can expect to conclude the semester having gained, at the least, (1) solid grounding in the central concerns, methodologies, and texts that formed the field, (2) a good understanding of current debates and developments, and (3) an appreciation of how the perspectives, attitudes, and insights of queer theory may enrich their own work, whatever their field of concentration.

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.

Please email with any questions, or to suggest possible readings: kimemery@ufl.edu

ENG 6077

Being Dialectical: The (Re)Turn to Hegel in the Contemporary

Philip E. Wegner

The premise of our seminar is that dialectics remains the most creative and dynamic mode of reading and thinking currently available to us. One of the most influential contemporary practitioners of dialectics, Fredric Jameson, describes it as a speculative account of some thinking of the future which has not yet been realized: an unfinished project, as Habermas might put it; a way of grasping situations and events that does not yet exist as a collective habit because the concrete form of social life to which it corresponds has not yet come into being. Our goal in this seminar will be to assist your passage into such a future by diving in to the work of some of most important thinkers and readers of the last two centuries. This course thus should be of great interest to any student in any program who hopes to follow the untimely vocation of the intellectual. Following a too brief engagement with the work of the founder of modern dialectics, G. W. F. Hegel, the first part of our seminar will take up the writings of some of the most significant practitioners of dialectical thinking and writing from the first half of the 20th century. We will then turn to a group of more contemporary intellectuals who advance the claim that it is time to (re)turn to Hegel in our present, and especially in the aftermath of the great revolution that was structuralist critical theory. (This course can thus also be understood as something of a Part 2 to my Spring 2017 seminar). Such a movement, as Slavoj Žižek would have it, involves no simple return to Hegel’s project, but a far more significant effort to repeat it, to distinguish between what [Hegel] actually did and the field of possibilities he opened up. Our readings will likely include, G. W. F. Hegel, Hegel’s Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit; C .L. R. James, Notes on Dialectics: Hegel, Marx, Lenin; Theodor Adorno, An Introduction to Dialectics; Fredric Jameson, Valences of the Dialectic; Fredric Jameson, The Hegel Variations: On the Phenomenology of Spirit; Fredric Jameson, Representing Capital: A Reading of Volume One; Rebecca Comay, Mourning Sickness: Hegel and the French Revolution; Catherine Malabou, The Future of Hegel: Plasticity, Temporality and Dialectic; Susan Buck-Morss, Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History; George Ciccariello-Maher, Decolonizing Dialectics; Andrew Cole, The Birth of Theory; Slavoj Žižek, Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism.

ENG 6137

Philosophy and the Cinema

Robert Ray

What counts as acting? How does acting differ from pretending? Can someone pretend to be himself? Why does pretending necessarily involve intention? In what ways does photography differ from painting? How can we tell that a movie character is lying? Is a saddle in a western fictional?

This seminar will take up such questions by reading Plato, Wittgenstein, J.L. Gareth Matthews, Emerson, and Stanley Cavell. Significantly, all of these writers work in what Austin called ordinary language, and the Matthews books record the philosophical dialogues he conducted with 10-12-year-old children. In other words, you don’t need a philosophy background to take this course.

Readings: Plato’s Defense of Socrates, Euthyphro, Laches; Wittgenstein’s The Blue Book and passages from Philosophical Investigations on aspect perception and rule-following; Austin’s essays on excuses and pretending; Matthews Dialogues with Children; several Emerson essays; selections from Cavell.

Movies will include: People on Sunday, two by Buster Keaton, Blow-Up, Holiday, The Philadelphia Story, Anatomy of a Murder, Close-Up, Rules of the Game.

Assignments: bi-weekly two-page essays responding to prompts; a 5-page final paper.

LAE 6947

Modernist Studies and Pedagogy

Marsha Bryant

Modernism’s mantra was make it new. This hybrid seminar-workshop will proceed from experience and experiment, drawing on Anglo-American modernist texts, journal articles, and campus resources to create new pedagogies. Instead of writing a seminar paper, students will do a series of short assignments throughout the semester. We’ll connect with cross-campus colleagues from Architecture, Classics, Musicology, the Harn Museum of Art, and UF Libraries Special Collections as their schedules allow. You’ll leave this course with practical and creative strategies for teaching modernist texts in a variety of contexts.

In addition to articles from Modernism/modernity and Pedagogy, our readings will include some of the following: Tender Buttons (Gertrude Stein), Intolerance (D. W. Griffith), The Waste Land (T. S. Eliot), Manhatta (Paul Strand & Charles Sheeler), Cleopatra (Cecil B. DeMille), Cane (Jean Toomer), As I Lay Dying (William Faulkner), Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf), love poems by Mina Loy and W. H. Auden, war poems by Wilfred Owen and H.D., selected image-texts by Stevie Smith, Books 1 & 2 of Paterson (William Carlos Williams), Montage of a Dream Deferred (Langston Hughes). I’ll also share my essays about courses I’ve taught at UF.

Assignments will include: an archive worksheet, a teaching report, teaching assignments, a conference paper proposal, a magazine assignment, and a museum guide.

LIT 6047

An Evening with William Shakespeare

Sid Homan

In my graduate seminar our scholarly research involves delving into Shakespeare’s characters, devising a subtext for their dialogue, fleshing out their personalities, molding that personality, that collaboration between the playwright and the actor, as the character existentially interacts with other characters, and then complementing this psychological portrait with gestures and movement, with all the visual signs the characters gives off that complement Shakespeare's text.

Our seminar paper or, more properly, seminar project involves not writing but performance. At the end of the semester we will stage a two-hour public performance on campus of a collage of scenes from Shakespeare, which I call An Evening with William Shakespeare, before what has always been a large and receptive audience. If possible, we might even be able to do two such performances. Every student in the seminar will get to do five to seven scenes, displaying his or her talent over a variety of roles, from the witty servant Dromio in The Comedy of Errors, to Richard III in that fantastic soliloquy with which he opens his play, to the love scene between Hermia and Lysander from A Midsummer Night's Dream, to Hamlet's bursting into his mother's chamber, to Prospero (surely a surrogate for Shakespeare himself) saying farewell to his magic island, fittingly named The Globe.

We will spend our Thursday meetings in rehearsal for this show. On Tuesdays, each member of the seminar, with a scene partner, will do, off-book, scenes from eleven of Shakespeare' plays. When you are onstage, your fellow students and I will have the double function of director and audience.

One note of comfort. The purpose of this seminar is not acting in itself, but using acting to get at what I think is the heart and ultimate purpose of Shakespeare's work — plays meant to be performed in the theatre. He must have favored the medium of the theatre, for, given his talent, surely he otherwise could have written an epic to rival Milton, and when he did write those 154 fantastic Sonnets it was, in part, to keep his hand busy when the conservative London council closed down the Globe. No fear: if you've never acted before you have nothing to worry about—believe me. I know that, with your help, your imagination, your feel for the character, we — you and I — can bring out the actor in you.

If you have any question, by all means e-mail me at shakes@ ufl.edu.

I take the liberty — will you forgive this shameless display of Trumpery — of putting below my bio from a book I've just edited: How and Why We Teach Shakespeare: College Teachers and Directors Share How They Explore the Playwright’s Works with Their Students:

Sidney Homan is Professor of English at the University of Florida and his university's Teacher/Scholar of the Year. The author of eleven books and editor of five collections of essays on Shakespeare and the modern playwrights, he is also an actor and director in professional and university theatres. His most recent book is Comedy Acting for Theatre: The Art and Craft of Performing in Comedies, with the New York director Brian Rhinehart (Bloomsbury/Methuen)

LIT 6856

Canonical African Literature and Colonial Anthropology

Apollo Amoko

This course examines the vexed relationship between, on the one hand, the founding texts of colonial anthropology and, on the other hand, the founding texts of modern African literature. Colonial anthropology first emerged as mode of understanding the radical other, the African subject initially thought to be outside the realm of reason and rationality. Modern African literature first emerged as a mode of knowledge designed to liberate African subjects and worlds from the colonial library; this literature sought to positivize the negative image of Africa normalized in the colonial library. But, paradoxically, the founding texts of African literature depended, for their revisionary power, on the grammar and conceptual infrastructure of colonial social science and, in effect, normalized an anthropological episteme for Africa. As Simon Gikandi, perhaps following the example of V. Y. Mudimbe argues, The founding texts of African literature claimed to have an African world as their referent but this was the African world which social science had produced for African writers […] These texts are more useful for telling us about their authors' — and subjects' — anxiety about colonial modernity than they would ever tell us about 'traditional' or 'precolonial' Igbo, Yoruba or Gikuyu worlds. To what extent are Gikandi’s radical contentions justifiable? In what ways might Gikandi’s radically anti-identitarian reading of African literature be refuted? Does Christopher Miller's provocative elaboration of an ethnic-based aesthetic/ethic for African literature — one heavily but critically dependent on the anthropological library — amount to an effective refutation of Gikandi and Mudimbe?

LIT 6856

Seeing Differently: Comics and Identity

Margaret Galvan

Comics studies has emerged as a scholarly field of inquiry over the past 25+ years, but many foundational thinkers considered only the form of the comic in their scholarship. Recent scholarship has both extended and challenged this formalist approach by engaging with how race, class, ideology, gender, sexuality, etc. shape comics. Indeed, comics has become a flashpoint for identity-focused theoretical investigations. In this class, we will ask how these theories shift our understanding of comics and how comics themselves represent issues of identity.

We will start by reading three recent volumes—How to Read Nancy (2017), Why Comics? (2017), and Queer about Comics (2018)—that present different methods to understanding the form, asking how these approaches are both specific to comics and how they apply to and connect with other forms and fields. Through examining a range of contemporary comics that theorize identity in their own right, this course will train students in interdisciplinary approaches, inflected by queer theory, feminisms, affect and trauma theory, critical race and disability studies. This course should be of interest to students who study identity in visual and popular cultures. Scaffolded professionalization activities will accompany the completion of a seminar paper.

LIT 6856

The Image World

Trevor Mowchun

An exploratory course on the nature of images as we experience them today (from art objects to historical objects to fundamental facts of our everyday life), we will be driven by some very basic yet demanding questions: What do images do? What do different kinds of images do differently? What do wedo with images when we view them thoughtfully, and how are we affected in turn when we allow ourselves to be carried away by them? Why do some images enthrall while others barely scrape our awareness? Why has the image become so vital to our way of life and how have technologies of visual representation like photography and film changed our way of life? The image-based mediums of painting, photography and film will be considered individually and in light of each other, as image fields within the increasingly complex and rapidly changing contexts of contemporary visual culture. Today, amidst a dense saturation and daily consumption of images, it is more important than ever to learn how to view such images critically without diminishing their remarkable powers of illumination and arrest. To this end, classes will feature a cluster of questions and contexts designed to expand our everyday habits and horizons of viewing. Ideas within and between film studies, aesthetics, art history, philosophy, psychology and ethics will be developed in relation to various motifs, movements, and epiphanies from the visual arts. With text and image in either hand, some ideas to be considered are as follows: the ambiguity of the image, the historical evolution of realism, the ruptures of abstraction, chance, the psychology of analogue and digital images, the optical unconscious, the candid versus the staged, shock value, image pollution, and the ocularcentrism of the West.

In addition to being interdisciplinary, the methods of this seminar on the image are also of a hybrid nature encompassing both theoretical and creative modes of inquiry. Students will be encouraged to think openly and freely, to develop their own methods of interdisciplinary research and creation, exploring the resonance between readings and screenings through response papers and a final video essay project. The video essay will also be studied as a way of thinking in audiovisual terms, with a selection of screenings devoted to exemplars of this relatively recent genre of cinematic scholarship. (Students will be provided with access to the English department's production and post-production equipment; basic proficiency in video editing in particular is recommended but not required. Collaborations on the video essays are possible and encouraged.) Regardless of the forms of thought developed throughout this course, our primary mandate will be to stage a meaningful dialogue between ideas and images in an effort to intellectualize our senses and sensitize our intellect. The absence of a single method or overarching paradigm to tackle the image world calls for an expansive, deeply engaged perspective that is both theoretical and hands-on, one with an openness for intellectual and creative experiment. Be prepared for an intense and exciting semester of reading, viewing, thinking and making.

LIT 6934

Toni Morrison

Debra Walker King

Course Description: This course introduces students to an extraordinary woman whose work, both fictional and critical, has shaken the foundations of American literature (and criticism) to reconstitute both it 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 its 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.

Course Focus: Toni Morrison has published ten novels, a play, short stories, children's books and several critical pieces. This semester we will read most of her fiction (and some nonfiction), 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, life and love. 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.

LIT 6934

Cultural Rhetorics

Raúl Sánchez

This seminar will introduce you to theories and practices of cultural rhetorics, a mode of inquiry that proceeds, in part, from rhetorical studies' longstanding engagement with cultural studies. Initially, cultural rhetorics enhances that particular conversation by expanding its theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical contexts to include questions of race, indigeneity, materiality, decoloniality, sexuality, technology, and others. But ultimately, cultural rhetorics aims to transform the discipline of rhetoric entirely, using these questions (and others) to reconstitute its theoretical and methodological premises.

LIT 6934

History and Representation in Children's Literature

Anastasia Ulanowicz

The child's entrance into the world, as Marah Gubar has observed, is always belated: young people, she writes, are born into a world in which stories about who they are (and what they should become) are already in circulation (6). The task of children's literature, then, involves introducing the young reader to — and suturing her firmly within — a social formation whose existence preceded her own. Little wonder, then, that so many works of children’s literature have taken as their subject the (often idealized) past.

In this course, then, we will study the representation of history in children's literature. We will read theories of history offered by Michel Foucault, György Lukács, Karl Marx, Pierre Nora, and Hayden White. Additionally, we will read studies of studies of children's (non-) fiction, as well as discussions of theory and praxis in archival research, offered by scholars such as Katherine Capshaw, Kenneth Kidd, Sara Schwebel, Joe Sutliff Sanders. Finally, we will visit and complete work in UF's Baldwin Collection of Historical Children’s Literature.