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Undergraduate Courses, Fall 2014 (Upper Division)

Times and locations of class meetings are subject to change. Consult the UF Schedule of Courses for official class times and locations and an explanation of the class period abbreviations.

Non-Repeatable Courses

Students may not repeat for credit courses that are not listed as repeatable in the Undergraduate Catalog. If you register for non-repeatable courses that you have previously taken, you will earn no credit for those courses and they will not count toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

While some upper-division courses taught by the Department of English are repeatable for credit, many are not. You are responsible for knowing which courses may, and which courses may not, be repeated. You should, therefore, consult the Undergraduate Catalog in order to confirm that courses for which you wish to register more than once are, in fact, repeatable for credit.

Upper Division (3000–4000) Courses

Note: Course numbers listed in the table below are linked to course descriptions. Descriptions will open in a new web page in this window. Use your browser’s “back” function to return to this page.

AML 3031

American Literature 1

Jodi Schorb

This upper-division, reading-intensive course will introduce students to a range of life writing and fiction while analyzing the early national and antebellum literary proliferation of sharpers, swindlers, counterfeiters, and confidence men and women.

Founding father Benjamin Franklin, notorious counterfeiter Stephen Burroughs, cross-dressing sailor “Lucy Brewer”: all were “self-made men” who reinvented themselves by exploiting the fluidity of their respective eras. Whether a “covert cultural hero for Americans” (Lindberg), or an unsettling figure who relies “on the fluid nature of society in the New World with its unique opportunities for self-government, self-promotion, self-posturing, and self-creation” (Lenz), the confidence man thrived on manipulating public belief and perception. For our course motto, we turn to Simon Suggs, the Southern anti-hero of Johnson J. Hooper’s fiction, who declares, “It is good to be shifty in a new country”: the texts we’ll read in the class will explore the origins, development, and imaginative power of American shape-shifters and tricksters.

Course questions include: Why the prominence of literary confidence men and women in the early national and antebellum periods? Given the volatile economic conditions of the early national period, how do narratives of self-fashioning intersect with the language of credit, borrowing, speculation, and risk? What social conditions—the rise of the city, increased social mobility, confinement (slavery, domesticity), the expanding frontier—mobilize plots of artifice and passing?

Likely readings include: the Winnebago trickster cycle, Salem Witch trial excerpts, Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography (1771; 1784); Sketch of the Life of Stephen Burroughs (1787; 1811); “Narrative of the Life, Occurrences, Vicissitudes and Present Situation of K. White” (1809); “The Female Marine” (1815); Robert Montgomery Byrd’s Sheppard Lee (1836); Edgar Allen Poe, “Hop-Frog” and “Diddling Considered One of the Exact Sciences” (1850), Johnson Jones Hooper, Adventures of Captain Simon Suggs (1845); Herman Melville’s The Confidence Man: His Masquerade (1857); William and Ellen Craft’s Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom (1860); Louisa May Alcott’s “Behind the Mask; or A Woman’s Power” (1866).

Requirements include regular attendance, three self-directed “mini analysis” papers, a longer final essay requiring secondary research, and a willingness to engage creatively with unfamiliar and longer early American novels and narratives.


Times: T 7,R 7-8

AML 3605

African-American Literature I

Debra King

Description: African American writers from 1746 to the present have written in all genres, leaving none unchanged by the appropriation.

It is a literature that not only intertextualizes elements of the vernacular tradition (spirituals, folktales and the blues) and its own immediate past, but is a regenerative force of conscious construction and literary beauty within the history of American literature. The goal of this course is to investigate the transformational power of black imagination and artistic genius. Students will gain an understanding of and appreciation for the creative dexterity and conventions of this literature. The period covered begins with Lucy Terry’s 1746 “Bars Fight” and ends with the Harlem Renaissance. Although chronology is obscured by a focus on genre, readings are arranged so that students can trace the development of various genres and various styles, themes, images, and structures across time and within individual author’s works. In this way, the course emphasizes the creative process, intertextuality, and literary history.

Format: Class sessions include lectures but are discussion based primarily. The three hour block of class time, Mondays, represents three class sessions. Participation in discussion is an important part of your grade. You should listen carefully to others, ask questions of me and other students, and share your ideas. I expect all students to create an environment that encourages the participation of everyone. If you feel uncomfortable with discussion-based classes or feel you cannot contribute successfully, you should drop this course immediately.


Times: M 3-5

AML 3607

African-American Literature 2

Mark Reid

This course extends the definition of African American literature to include visual narratives by well-known artists as well as writers whose works have been overlooked for various reasons. Readings and film screenings will cover such playwrights as Amiri Baraka, Lorraine Hansberry, Lynn Nottage, Adrienne Kennedy, novelists as James Baldwin, Paule Marshall, James McBride, Toni Morrison, John A. Williams, poets as Bob Kaufman, Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, and filmmakers as Spike Lee and Marlon Riggs.

Lectures and class discussions will explore how artists, using black vernacular and various other literary and visual strategies, dramatize contemporary social and psychological conflicts that occur when individuals and groups resist societal pressures to conform to hegemonic beliefs about race, sexuality, and gender. (To describe a hegemonic belief formation is not to say that a majority supports this belief system about race, sexuality, and gender, but to say that there appears to be no other alternative to this singular racialized-sexualized-gendered vision of society.)


Times: W 9-11

AML 3673

The Genres of Asian American Literature and Culture

Malini Schueller

Asian-American is a highly contested, yet necessary category, born of racism and resistance. From the time Chinese immigrants wrote poems on the walls of Angel Island, Asian Americans have used different forms of expression to write themselves into America. This course will explore some of these genres such as life-stories, the talk-story, graphic novels, novels, short stories, plays, success manuals and documentaries. It will also introduce major topics in Asian American studies such as orientalism, model minorities, and food pornography. Possible texts might include Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Hisaye Yamamoto’s Seventeen Syllables, Carlos Bulosan’s America is in the Heart, Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, Brian Roley’s American Son, Frank Chin’s Donald Duk and Chickencoop Chinaman and a few others.

Requirements: regular attendance, two 8–9 page papers, pop quizzes, one oral presentation.


Times: M W F 9

AML 4225

Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature & Culture: The Writer as Organic Intellectual

David Lawrimore

In his Prison Notebooks Antonio Gramsci writes, “Every social group … creates together with itself, organically, one or more strata of intellectuals which give it homogeneity and an awareness of its own function not only in the economic but also in the social and political fields.” The concept of the “organic intellectual” carries particular resonance in nineteenth century America, where professionals helped to shape the cultural landscape into one comprised of varied groups—codified along the lines of race, gender, and class affiliation—whose interests divided and extended the boundaries of a unified nation.

This course will consider how writers in the nineteenth century can be understood as “organic intellectuals” making use of literature, narrative, and other forms of print culture for the advancement of their particular social group. Reading works by such figures as Benjamin Franklin, Susanna Rowson, Judith Sargent Murray, William Apess, Frederick Douglass, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and W.E.B. DuBois, we will work to understand how literary forms helped to organize the identities and disperse the ideologies of such groups as transatlantic capitalists, middle-class women, abolitionists, American Indian activists, feminists, and socialists.

Course requirements will likely include an in-class presentation, quizzes, short response essays, a midterm exam, and a final essay.


Times: T 7, R 7-8

AML 4311

Toni Morrison

Debra King

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.

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 an essay), 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.


Times: M 9-11

AML 4453

The Pen and the Penitentiary

Jodi Schorb

This is a course for students interested in the early history of prisons and prison literature in America. Our readings will be drawn from three primary areas: pamphlets and essays by 18th and 19th century reformers, personal narratives and fiction penned by inmate authors, and 19th- and early-20th-century American literature in which the prison plays a central thematic role.

Beginning in the 1780s, America joined a transatlantic debate about the goals and “best practices” of punishment. Philanthropists and tourists visited American penitentiaries and debated the effect of public executions, the impact of solitary confinement, and the best architecture and disciplinary regimes for deterring crime and “reforming” prisoners. The result was the transformation of punishment and the birth of the penitentiary.

After studying this influential archival history, we will consider the way the new knowledge, architecture, and “carceral ideal” of the penitentiary influenced nineteenth-century American fiction, in part through what Caleb Smith has named the “poetics of the penitentiary”—narratives of rebirth structured upon the convict’s civil death. Literature penned by prisoners also gained notoriety and influenced public debates on prison discipline and social justice; we will therefore read inmate-authored texts and consider their literary and cultural significance and the conditions that allowed inmate-authors to enter the public print sphere.

Primary texts include Charles Dickens, from American Notes (1842); Edgar Allan Poe, “The Pit and the Pendulum” (1842); Henry David Thoreau, “Resistance to Civil Government” (1849); Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850); Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street (1853; 1856); Jack London, The Star Rover (1915); fiction, poetry, and narratives by an array of 19th and 20th-century inmate authors (including Ann Carson, William Coffey, J. H. Banka, Donald Lowrie, Robert Elliott Burns, Agnes Smedley, Chester Himes, George Jackson, Etheridge Knight, Angela Davis); essays and reports by early national prison reformers (Benjamin Rush, Toqueville and Beaumont, Benjamin Coates, etc.), plus extensive secondary reading.

The course will blend guided discussion of readings with periodic quizzes, archival work, group presentations, short homeworks, and two 6–9 page essays. In the final unit, students will conduct research on an inmate author of interest in small groups. Together, the readings and coursework will help students link the development and growth of the prison to the carceral imagination in American literature.


Times: T 8-9, R 9

AML 4453

Cultures of U.S. Imperialism

Malini Schueller

This course takes its title from the well-known collection published in 1993 which transformed the field of American studies by making colonialism and imperialism central to conceptions of nation, culture, and identity. Through a combination of literary texts and theoretical readings we will examine different tropes of empire such as going native, colonial domesticity, imperial eyes, pornotropics, exhibiting empire and remasculinization; at the same time, we will focus on the specific sites of empire such as the frontier, Hawai’i, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Vietnam. The course will engage with different forms of U.S. imperialism such as North American settler colonialism, Pacific and continental expansionism, control of far-flung colonies, and empire without colonies. We will also examine some cultural expressions of resistance to empire. Possible texts might include Herman Melville’s Typee, Mary Helen Fee’s A Woman’s Impression of the Philippines, Lois Ann Yamanaka Blu’s Hanging, Ann Junghyo Silver Stallion: A Novel of Korea, and Luis Rafael Sanchez Macho Camacho’s Beat. There will also be a coursepack. Requirements: regular attendance, two 8–9 page papers, pop quizzes, one oral presentation.


Times: M W F 8

AML 4685

World of James Baldwin

Mark Reid

The course critically surveys James Baldwin’s literary work and political essays, as well as reviews selected biographies that explore Baldwin’s life in the United States, France, and Turkey. Baldwin was engaged in the socio-political world that surrounded and sometimes consumed his artistic and moral energies. He was active in the U.S. Civil Rights movement and international concerns about the construction of nation, race, and sexuality. One critic wrote of Baldwin in these words: “Following publication of Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin’s literary star approached its peak during the turbulent 1960s. His burgeoning role as celebrity, prophet, and leader heaped an unsustainable amount of pressure and responsibility onto his slight frame in an American landscape that doubly punished Baldwin for being both black and gay, and he often turned to Turkey for sanctuary.” This seminar reveals the artistry, compassion, and moral commitment of one of America’s greatest writers.


Times: R 9-11

CRW 3110

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Padgett Powell

This workshop course, the penultimate in our series of undergraduate workshops in fiction writing, seeks to help you write fiction better than you might already. Time is spent also on correct usage. We also seek to have you read better: to read for form, recognizing strength and weakness in your own and in others’ writing, and recognizing various technical maneuvers in the published work we will read.

Students write three pieces of fiction, delivering a copy to each class member one week prior to group criticism. Students participate in that group criticism with wit and cogency and pertinence and deliver a letter of good criticism for each story read. This criticism has one object: to improve the work.

Assigned readings, from a book or two by a major writer, will also be discussed. This reading will be looked at usually in a somewhat technical manner; it is hoped that in the best of all possible worlds the reading will inspire a mimicry of correct form as you make the long trek unto your own vision and your own good writing.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.).

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the March 13, 2014 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

Times: M 6-8

CRW 3110

Advanced Seminar in Fiction Writing

David Leavitt

Description not available at this time.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.).

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the March 13, 2014 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

Times: T 9-11

CRW 3310

Verse Writing

Michael Hofmann

This is the intermediate/ advanced undergraduate poetry workshop. We will widen our experience and understanding of poetry by reading the world English-language anthology Emergency Kit, and you will write poems to a wide array of prompts and subjects.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.).

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the March 13, 2014. deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

Times: T 9-11

CRW 4905

Senior Advanced Fiction Workshop

David Leavitt

Description not available at this time.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.).

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the March 13, 2014. deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

Times: W 9-11

CRW 4906

Senior Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop

William Logan

“Just as the civilization of the Kelts is revealed to us by their dolmens, and that of the Scandinavians by their mounds and kitchen-middens, so will the antiquaries of future times immediately recognise the spots inhabited in India by the English by the piles of soda-water bottles heaped up before the cantonments, and the dwellings of the Americans by their deposits of empty meat tins.”
Edmond Baron de Mandat-Grancey, Cow-Boys and Colonels, 1887

Poetry must be about hells and heavens, hills and halls, hopscotch and hiphop, and empty meat tins. We will be looking in language for the equivalent of things felt and seen. You will seek this in the words used by other poets, and those you invent for yourself. Be prepared to read until your eyes hurt, to write a dozen poems (one per week), and to find your poems criticized. Each week the workshop will discuss your work and the work of your predecessors.

This is Florida’s most advanced workshop in poetry, for students who hope to become poets and possibly attend an MFA program—or those who have merely developed an obsessive and perverse interest in writing. Students from this class have gone on to the University of Iowa, University of Virginia, Columbia University, University of Michigan, and other programs.

Required reading:
an anthology of modern poetry
a selection of contemporary books of poetry

This is the senior undergraduate poetry workshop.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must submit a manuscript to the instructor of the course you wish to take. Each manuscript you submit for each course to which you apply must be accompanied by a Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet, which is available from the link below or in TUR 4012-A. It tells us what you wish to do, and it will help us put you in a course when space is tight. It will allow us to put you in the course you prefer when we can. Please fill it in closely and completely.

For CRW 3310 or CRW 4906, submit four poems; for CRW 3110 or CRW 4905, submit one short story or excerpt from longer work (up to 20 pp.).

The Manuscript Submission Cover Sheet indicates whether individual instructors require you to submit hard copies of your manuscripts to their mailboxes in Turlington 4301 or via email.

All submissions must be received by the October 18, 2013 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet

Times: T 9-11

ENC 3250

Professional Communication

Raul Sanchez

In this course, you will study rhetoric and write workplace documents. You will study a few basic concepts of rhetorical theory such as arrangement, style, and delivery. You will write workplace documents such as memos, letters, and reports.

Texts may include:

  • Richard A. Lanham, Revising Prose (5th edition)
  • William M. Keith and Christian O. Lundberg, The Essential Guide to Rhetoric

Work will include:

  • A writing assignment almost every week.


Times: T 2-3, R 3

ENC 3310

Advanced Exposition: Entering the Blogosphere

Laurie Gries

This course offers you the opportunity to work on your writing in relation to exposition and style. You will practice your expository writing by generating your own, individual blog focused on a particular subject of interest to you. Among other options, you can choose to create a blog about film, health, popular culture, politics, music, fashion, travel, and lifestyle. You can also choose to write for a scholarly audience, a general public audience or narrow to a specific discourse community determined by interests, identity, or geographic region among other choices. Whether you choose to actually make your blog public or keep it private, you will practice writing with a particular audience in mind and in a number of different genres deemed appropriate for your particular audience and subject matter.

In addition to performing a genre analysis of a particular blog niche, you will be expected to generate 10–12 substantive blog posts in which you gain experience generating well-researched content, incorporating image and text, and organizing your ideas in different ways to inform, explain, describe and/or persuade. You will work on your writing style at sentence and paragraph levels, as you attempt to write clearly, cohesively, and coherently for your audience in different genres. Yet you will also work on developing an appropriate ethos for your blog and thus adapt your writing style to meet your blogging goals and audience expectations. To prepare you for this writing experience, you will engage with rhetorical and genre theories as well as theories about style. You should also expect to write and revise all semester long, working on specific aspects of your writing that both you and I think need most attention. You will receive extensive feedback on your writing from both peers and me. Your blog will serve as an online portfolio for final assessment.


Times: T 9-11

ENC 3414


Gregory Ulmer

What happens to humanities education in a culture of images? The proposition to be tested in a semester-long project is that hypermedia (Internet) authoring explicitly supports creative thinking: there is a fortunate alignment in hypermedia relating the logic of creativity, the forms of popular culture, and the links-and-nodes features of networked technology. The non-traditional methodology of this course requires active engagement through practices such as inventive problem-solving and group collaboration in in-class presentations and an email listserv. The point of departure for the semester project is the observation made by cultural historians that a pattern of a few core images is found organizing the work of the most productive people across a wide range of disciplines. The historians note that the ingredients of the core image are in place by the time the individual leaves high school. Our project is to test the educational capacities of image thinking by exploring this pattern or “image of wide scope” in an experimental hypermedia self-portrait. The pedagogy for the course involves a hybrid of criticism, composition, and studio arts. The medium for the semester project is a blog (such as WordPress), supplemented by basic photoshop and drawing programs. Extensive use will be made of online


Times: W 9-11

ENG 3122

History of Film 2

Robert Ray

This course asks you to use the movies Casablanca and Breathless as memory theaters for storing and recalling (1) the events of the 1930s, especially the consolidation of the Hollywood studio system and the rise of German fascism; and (2) the course of post-War cinematic history, especially American film noir, Italian neorealism, and the French New Wave.

The course covers film history from 1930–1965. After beginning with two movies of German origin, Fritz Lang’s M and MGM’s Grand Hotel, the course’s first half will trace the parallel developments in Hollywood and Europe, using the biography and writing of Walter Benjamin as an allegory of popular culture’s appeal and Nazism’s danger. Part I ends with the Fall of Paris, both the historical event (which drove Benjamin further into a fatal exile) and its Hollywood representation (in Casablanca). Part II traces the two roads that diverge from that moment: the film noir of movies like The Big Sleep and the neorealist rejection of Hollywood Cinema. These two filmmaking practices, apparently so contradictory, converge in the French New Wave, whose most famous movie, Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, explicitly invokes the image of Humphrey Bogart, the star of Casablanca.

Some students, especially non-majors, have complained about the course’s significant reading requirements. That reading provides the larger historical context for the cinema’s development. But if you don’t like to do reading and have daily quizzes on it, you might think about taking a different class.

Required Readings:

  • Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management
  • Schatz, The Genius of the System
  • Stern, The Fuhrer and the People
  • Harmetz, Round up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca
  • Hillier, Cahiers du Cinema: The 1950s
  • Photocopy packet

Assignments and Grading:

I. 60% of the final grade will result from two written projects:

  • a two-hour mid-term essay exam
  • a two-hour final essay exam

II. 40% of the final grade will result from the following:

  • class participation (quality as well as quantity)
  • brief, short-answer daily reading quizzes
  • one oral presentation, which counts as five quiz grades

You are allowed one unexcused absence. Each additional absence will deduct four points from your final course grade.

Times: T 7, R 7-8, Screenings: M 9-11

ENG 4015

Psychoanalysis & Literature

Peter Rudnytsky

This course will interweave readings by major psychoanalysts (Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Lacan, Bowlby, and Kohut) with literary texts including, tentatively, Oedipus Rex, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Othello, “The Purloined Letter,” The Picture of Dorian Gray, Peter Pan, Portnoy’s Complaint, and My Life as a Man. Course requirements are a midterm, final, and one five-page paper, plus weekly nongraded journal entries. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are also expected.


Times: T 9-11

ENG 4110

History of Film III

Maureen Turim

Concentrating on the post-new wave and new Hollywood cinema, this course will examine the international history of film from 1970 to the present. The goal is to awaken an understanding of the historical use of film form by exploring changes that have taken place in film industries and technologies. Each week we will view a film, examine its form of expression (looking closely at editing, set design, acting styles, dialogue, and narration). We will examine digital technologies, special effects, and 3D. We will also look at aesthetics that shun spectacular filmic action in favor of a more minimal approach. This will lead to our discussion of the film’s place in film history, as well as social history. We will look at issues of industry and audience, considering representations of gender, race and political change. Students will learn how to see films with a greater depth of visual understanding. Films to be screened include genres of Hollywood filmmaking, Independents, European, Chinese and Japanese films. We will look at directors whose talent shaped the development of cinema; we will also examine the role of actors and actresses, screenwriters, designers and producers in shaping the history of film.

One paper of 8–10 pages, using historical analysis of film (35%), and short answer exams on readings, lecture material and scenes from films (35%) Participation in class discussion and on e-learning discussion forum will count for 30% of your grade.


Times: T 5-6, R 6, Screenings: M E1-E3

ENG 4110

Eurotrip: Road Movie, Narrative Journey, and Cross-Cultural Traffic

Holly Raynard

Like its American predecessor, the European road film has typically served as a powerful vehicle for cultural criticism, personal introspection and transformation. Yet the European map—replete with national borders, linguistic differences and imposing barriers like the Berlin Wall— hardly evokes the “open road” of America’s mythical frontier, where a traveler can venture some 3,000 miles without having to wait for a train connection, consult a foreign phrasebook, obtain a passport, travel visas and police permission to exit the territory. Migration, deportations, social inequity and discriminatory laws have further complicated the notion of European mobility even as globalizing forces seem to promise increased cross-cultural traffic. In sum, European travel narratives offer a new perspective on the journey as such and the cultural issues engaged by travelers. This course will explore Europe’s dynamic cultural terrain from the 1950s to the present as it maps the essential coordinates of European travel and the road movie genre.


Times: T 8-9, R 9, Screenings: R E1-E3

ENG 4110

The Films of Jean-Pierre Melville and Robert Bresson

Maureen Turim

This course will examine the films of two of the most significant filmmakers in French film history, indeed two of the most important figures in all of cinema, Robert Bresson and Jean-Pierre Melville. Whereas most of Bresson’s films were seen by those attuned to art cinema, Melville reached broad popular audiences with his French neo-noir gangster narratives. We will read much historical and current scholarship on their films. Bresson engages with very original use of framing and reframing, with a unique form of acting and dialogue, with an emphasis on what is singularly relevant to direct and minimalist formal expression. Melville shares this interest in minimalism, infusing a popular genre with carefully crafted framing and set design. Both filmmakers have had a major impact of French cinema. Melville, born Jean-Pierre Grumbach, took the name of the famous American writer, as a Jew fighting in the French resistance; we will look at his unsentimental film about the resistance, Army of Shadows, “L’armée des ombres,” 1969.

The course will have several goals:
To introduce you to methods of looking at several films by a director, comparatively
To increase your skills in viewing and reading film, and in reading critical writing about film,
To increase your understanding of French film culture and history,
To engage you in debates and discussion, and to stimulate you to think
To help you write your best research papers

E-learning for the course will post the syllabus, assignments, and additional study material; the discussions will continue in the online forum as a significant aspect of your participation in the course.

Course Requirements:
Two research papers of 8 pages each, using theories and methods of analysis of film covered in this course. 70%
Participation in class discussion and online discussion. 30%.


Times: T 4, R 4-5, Screenings: T E1-E3

ENG 4133

Film Philolgy: Cinoma

Richard Burt

Once dismissed by film scholars, film philology has returned front and center in film studies as what was formerly known as film has come to an end: in the wake of digital transfers and digital film restoration; flat screen Plasma or LED TVSs; downloading and streaming on iclouds, sometimes before the film is in theaters, and delivery to portable devices as small as iphones as well as to home entertainment systems with lossless sound and up to 4k resolution; digital projection in theaters; the release of a film in different cuts, often with alternate endings and alternate beginnings and sometimes with additional scenes; the release of silent films with multiple soundtracks; in end title sequences, a comparative analysis of formerly analogue films, videos (made for cathode ray TVs) and a history of their always already “new” media platforms becomes both possible and inescapable. What may now be called “cinoma” (Please hear pun on “cinema no more”) requires post-film theory that includes not only media but the archive. We will pursue film philology both by reading works on textual criticism and philology and by analyzing a number of case studies, watching a wide range of films, some silent, some sound, some shot on celluloid, some shot or restored digitally. These will include Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil and Confidential Report, and Carl Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc, Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad, Mad World, among others. Requirements: Co-lead class discussion twice, once on a Tuesday and once on a Thursday; two discussion questions and three or more “BIG WORDS” for each class; student formulated quizzes each class; and three 1,000 word papers; willingness to reflect, think, respond, by paying very, VERY, VERY close formal attention to texts and films. For more information, please go to:


Times: T 4, R 4-5, Screenings: T E1-E3

ENG 4135″]

New Spaces for Francophone Cinema

Sylvie Blum

The class is an exploration of French cinema outside of France. It covers films from the former French colonial empire located in Asia, Africa (North + West), North America and the Caribbean. The French production system in place supports films made all over the world, and in many instances, films made in former colonial regions. Other countries will be included, outside of the postcolonial framework. Areas traveled are Belgium, Cambodia, Quebec (Canada), Vietnam, the Maghreb, Senegal and Switzerland. Some of the questions raised besides ‘What is Francophone cinema?’ venture into the national, transnational, and post-colonial spaces of twenty-first-century France and the French speaking world. Books required: 
James F. Austin. New Spaces for French and Francophone Cinemas. Yale French Studies, Yale University Press. 2009. Nabil Boudraa, Cécile Accilien. Francophone Cultures through Film.


Times: M 7-8, W 7, Screenings: R 9-11

ENG 4136

Hypervideo: Rethinking Video Production

Lauren DeFilippo

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of digital video and 16mm film production. The class will explore the process of expressing ideas in an audio-visual medium from the concept stage through post-production. Each student will acquire hands-on experience in directing, shooting, crafting sound design, and editing on Final Cut Pro. There will also be weekly screenings of non-fiction and experimental films which we will discuss in class and apply to the work you create. Much of the semester will be spent developing strategies for effectively using the equipment available, and your participation will form a significant part of the course.


Times: M 7-8, W 7, Screenings: W 9-11

ENG 4905″]

Independent Study

Faculty Member of Choice

An Independent Study course may be taken for 1 to 3 credit hours, but will only count toward the fulfillment of the 10-course requirement for the English major if a student registers for 3 credit hours.

This course is for advanced students who desire to supplement the regular courses by independent reading or research under the guidance of a member of the faculty. The student must find a faculty member who is willing to supervise the semester-long study, and together, the two create a project. The student must meet with the professor at designated times, agreed upon in advance, and complete all assignments in a timely manner.


Times: TBA

ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Representation of Work in Film

Barbara Mennel

The honors seminar introduces students to the cinematic depiction of work to reflect on the ways in which film as a technological and visual medium captures pre-industrial, industrial, and post-industrial labor. We will trace dominant tropes associated with work, such as the strike and unemployment, as well as the significance of familiar genres, such as the comedy. We explore the affinity of certain modes of filmmaking, such as documentary realism, for the account of work as every-day activity. Early shorts by Edison, such as Blacksmithing(1893), and the Lumière Brothers, such as Exiting the Gate at the Lumière Factory (1895), indicate the significance of work in the beginning of cinema. Films might include: Sergei M. Eisenstein’s Strike (1925), Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936), Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948), Herbert J. Biberman’s Salt of the Earth (1954), Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life (1959), Andrzej Wajda’s Man of Marble (1970), Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep (1979), Colin Higgins’s Nine to Five (1980), Peter Cattaneo’s The Full Monty (1997), Zhang Ke Jia’s 24 City (2008), and Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air (2009). Readings will be based primarily in film studies, but might also include materials from labor studies, sociology, feminist theory, and anthropology.


Times: W 9-11, Screenings: M E1-E3

ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: James Joyce’s Delirious Dublin

Phil Wegner

This seminar will undertake an intensive examination of the major works of the greatest English language author of the twentieth century, James Joyce. Although Joyce spent the majority of his adult life outside of his birthplace of Ireland, all of his work returns obsessively to his native land, and especially its capital city, Dublin. Joyce even said of his masterpiece, Ulysses (1922)—selected in 1998 by the Modern Library as the greatest novel of the twentieth century—that he gave in it “a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book.” In our seminar discussions, we will test the validity of Joyce’s claim, reconstructing through our readings the complex and dynamic historical situation to which all these works represent such extraordinary responses. Special attention will be paid to questions of Joyce’s relationship to the international cultural phenomenon of modernism, the events that culminate in Ireland’s independence in 1922 (also the year of the publication of Ulysses), and the global political context of empire and decolonization. Readings will include Joyce’s major works of fiction: his collection of short stories, Dubliners, his groundbreaking semi-autobiographical, Künstlerroman, or novel of the artist, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) (as well as its first draft manuscript, Stephen Hero [1904-06]), Ulysses, and his final and highly experimental “book of the dark,” Finnegans Wake (1939). We will also examine some of the immense critical discourse that has built up around these works. Students will be expected to be active participants in the seminar discussion, to serve as discussion leaders for at least one meeting, to keep an ongoing reading journal, and to produce a final long seminar paper.


Times: T 5-6, R 6

ENG 4940


Undergraduate Coordinator

The English Department at the University of Florida offers three* credit hours of internship to its majors who provide the following to the Undergraduate Coordinator for approval:

  • An offer to hire (from the employer) which states that the student will be working at least 12 hours per week for the entire semester (Fall, fall, or Summer C), or 24 hours per week for a Summer A or B term. Said document should be produced on the company letterhead and should outline the job duties for the internship position.
  • A personal statement (submitted along with the offer of hire) about why the student wants to take the internship and how it relates to the student’s future plans.

Once the Undergraduate Coordinator has approved the internship requested by the student, the department will register the student for the internship credits.

Upon completion of the internship:

  • The supervisor of the student must submit a job performance evaluation to the Undergraduate Coordinator by Wednesday of finals week so that a grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory may be submitted to the Registrar. The evaluation may be faxed, mailed, or hand delivered.
  • The student must submit a personal evaluation of the work experience provided by the internship by the same day as above.

*For two credit hours, the student would need to work 8 hours per week in a Fall, fall, or Summer C semester; and 16 hours per week for Summer A or B.

*For one credit hour, the student would need to work 4 hours per week in a Fall, fall, or Summer C semester; and 8 hours per week for Summer A or B.

Please note the following limitations on the English Internship:

  • A student may register for the English Department Internship for three credits ONLY ONCE; no more than three hours worth of internship credit may be counted toward coursework in the major.
  • Because no English Department course carrying fewer than 3 credit hours counts towards the major, your internship will not count as part of your major coursework if you register for fewer than 3 credits.


Times: TBA

ENG 4953

Department Seminar: Blake, Newton, Disney

Donald Ault

This course will involve detailed analysis of the works of Blake, Newton, and Disney. In each case we will be looking at how paradigmatic cultural myths have come to dominate both popular and academic discourse concerning these figures and how detailed analysis of actual productions emanating from these three cultural sites can serve to call widespread paradigms into question, just as the issue of “paradigm” itself will come under scrutiny.

Requirements: productive class participation, several one­page single­spaced papers and a final paper/project due the last day of class. There may be in­class quizzes or written exercises. Required texts: a series of course pamphlets available from Xerographic Copy Center: 927 NW 13th St (352) 375­0797. One or more additional texts may be used.


Times: M W F 5

ENG 4970

Honors Thesis Project

Faculty Members (2) of Choice

Students must have have completed at least one semester of ENG 4936, Honors Seminar. Open to English Honors students.

The student must select two faculty members: one to direct the reading, research, and writing of a thesis on a topic of the student’s and director’s chosing, and another as the second reader. An abstract (100 to 200 words) must be delivered to the CLAS Academic Advising Center on Fletcher Road at least 10 days before graduation.


Times: TBA

ENL 3122

Feeling and Thinking in the 19th Century English Novel

Abra Gibson

This is a reading intensive survey of the nineteenth-century English novel. The novel historically differed from other long forms of prose fiction in that it increasingly sought to depict “realistic” situations and contexts, into which readers might immerse themselves. We will examine issues central to fiction of the nineteenth century that were important to the British and continue to be debated in our own time, such as gender roles, class conflicts, and the impact of industrialization on society and culture. Our readings will focus in particular on how notions of emotion and intellect were related to one another in fiction and to the construction of concepts of the individual.

This course provides upper-division credit in the major, and will be taught with that in mind. Students will be expected to know how to do research in the field and to attempt the application of critical frameworks to readings. The reading load will be considerable, but the texts we will read and discuss are engaging, compelling, and crucial for understanding the place of the novel in the 19th century and the shape and function of fiction in our time.


Times: M W F 4

ENL 4273

20th Century British Literature

Arun Kumar Pokhrel

This course offers a selective survey of modern British literature from the turn of the twentieth century to the 1990s. With a focus on the important aesthetic and cultural movements of modernism and postmodernism, we will study different literary genres within broader social, cultural, political, and historical contexts. The first half of the course will investigate aspects of modernism and the modernist revolution in response to social and cultural changes brought about by the “new” century. We will examine formal aspects of important modernist texts, including works by Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf. We will look at the relationship between modernism and empire, colonialism and literary representations, imperial metropoles and peripheral societies, as well as depictions of the relation of self to other, women and female subjectivity, the impact of imperial power on colonial subjects, and the changing urban landscape.

Our inquiries will be organized around questions such as: How is the idea of the “British&rdqou; nation or Englishness represented and imagined in literary and cultural texts? What is “British” about British literature of this period? And, importantly, how do discourses of Englishness and English national identity change over time? Since English literature has been shaped and influenced for at least two centuries by expatriate writers, also known as “exiles and émigrés,” some of these questions may help us to probe constructions of permeable British identity and the English nation after the decline of empire.

Building on these inquiries, the second half of the course will explore important issues associated with postmodernism, postcoloniality, environmental movements, and globalization. We will consider problems of identity, diaspora, migration, gender, class, race, ethnicity, nation, national culture, and environment—as well as the interconnections of these problems—in contemporary British works, including those by writers of color and marginal ethnicities born outside of the United Kingdom.


Times: M W F 3

ENL 4333

Shakespeare’s Histories

Peter Rudnytsky

This course will focus on Shakespeare’s “second tetralogy,” that is, the sequence of Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV, and Henry V. We will, in addition, read two other plays, probably King John and Henry VIII, believed by most scholars to be coauthored with John Fletcher. The emphasis will be on close reading, informed by a psychoanalytic and feminist perspective. Course requirements are a midterm, final, and one five-page paper. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are also expected.


Times: M 10-E1

LIT 4183

Introduction to Postcolonial studies

Apollo Amoko

Description not available at this time.


Times: R 9-11

LIT 4192

After the Song and Dance of Independence: Contemporary Caribbean Literature

Leah Rosenberg

This course offers a survey of Caribbean literature written between the 1970s and the present with a focus on the English-speaking region. It examines the relationship between literature and the major political, economic, and cultural developments of the era, such as independence, Rastafarianism, the Grenada revolution, globalization, and the 2010 earthquake. It explores as well the emergence of science fiction and popular romance as significant genres and the impact of the internet on Caribbean literature. Readings will likely include: Michael Thelwell, The Harder They Come, Merle Collin’s Angel, Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber, Colin Channer’s Waiting in Vain, Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Haiti Noir, edited by Edwidge Danticat.


Times: T 4, R 4-5

LIT 4194

Postcolonial African Fiction

Apollo Amoko

Description not available at this time.


Times: T 9-11

LIT 4305

Comics & Animation

Casey Wilson

In this course, we will explore the history of comic strips, comic books, and animated films. Although the class will take up texts diverse in content, form, and origin, we will emphasize late twentieth and early twenty-first century U.S. productions. In particular, we will interrogate how the Internet and the use of digital media in the production of still and moving images have influenced the development of comics and animation in recent years.

Students will be expected to critically engage with comics, animation, and some of the important scholarship in these fields. Class time will consist of discussions, screenings, writing and creative workshops, and other related activities. Students will produce a series of short reading response papers, a brief comic or animation of their own design, and a final research project on a topic of their choosing.


Times: M W F 7-8

LIT 4331

Children’s Literature

Anastasia Ulanowicz

In 1900, the Swedish educational advocate Ellen Key proclaimed the twentieth-century to be the “century of the child.” Indeed, this century marked a number of significant changes in Western children’s culture and experience: it involved, for example, the enforcement of more stringent child labor laws, mandatory education, the development of child psychology and various pedagogical theories, and the expansion of an industrial-material culture that in turn made possible new forms of child-focused products and media. Certainly, the twentieth-century also witnessed the publication of beloved Western children’s books such as Anne of Green Gables, Pippi Longstocking, The Little Prince, and, of course, Harry Potter. The purpose of this class, then, is to study these texts in relation to their historical moments of production. How, we will ask, do books for young people represent culturally—and historically— contingent notions of childhood? How, moreover, might they simultaneously reaffirm and challenge cultural notions of class, race, gender, and sexuality that dominated their respective moments of production? Finally, how (and/or why) might we justify the literary value of these texts, as well as their study within a university setting?


Times: M 9-11

LIT 4332

Literature for Young Children

Anastasia Ulanowicz

The picturebook is not an especially well-recognized or respected form in literary studies: its value is conventionally determined as merely educational or recreational. The purpose of this class, however, is to question and possibly undermine conventional assumptions about the picturebook. During the course of the semester, we will read a number of picturebooks alongside Jonathan Culler’s handbook, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction, in order to interrogate the literary value of picturebooks—and in order to question how we define “literary value” in the first place. Toward the—for example, photo albums, graphic novels, short stories, and novels—in order end of the semester, we will study texts that are not traditionally considered picturebooks to further challenge our assumptions about this rich and often misunderstood form.

Times: W 9-11

LIT 4333

Literature for the Adolescent

John Cech

This course is designed to provide a survey of major figures, historical trends, and critical approaches to that field of literature that occupies the shifting, transitional ground between children’s and adult literatures. This class examines a broad range of styles and genres intended for or chosen by the adolescent reader, beginning with classics from the 19th century and ending with some innovative novels from our own literary present. Taken together, these works will raise many of the questions (psychological, social, philosophical) that are asked by adolescents about their own challenging, demanding, and often defining experiences.


Times: T 4, R 4-5

LIT 4483

Cultural Studies

Randi Gill-Sadler

Named after Mae G. Henderson’s essay “Where, By The Way, Is This Train Going? A Case For Black (Cultural) Studies,” this course will introduce students to the complex history of Black Cultural Studies and the issues the discipline seeks to address. The course will combine a historiography of Black cultural studies within and outside of the academy with African American literary texts to provide students with four units that illustrate the depth, diversity, and rigor of Black Cultural Studies—elements that, historically, critics have claimed the disciplined lacked. In the first unit, students will develop working definitions of culture and cultural studies as articulated by British cultural theorist Stuart Hall. This unit will also give students the tools to identify literary texts as cultural artifacts. Unit 2 will cover the advent of African American Studies in the academy. We will address the historical and methodological nuances between African American Studies, Black Studies, and Black Cultural Studies and the often tense and tenuous relationship between Black cultural theorists and the academy. After understanding the goals and objectives of Black cultural studies, Unit 3 will encourage the students to identify the cultural issues in literary texts like Of Mules and Men and Native Son. Moreover, this unit will ask students to critically consider the authors of these texts as cultural theorists and the stakes of such a claim. The final unit, Unit 4, will assess a few of the current issues in Black cultural studies. Specifically, we will assess diaspora, hip hop culture, and the digital age as influential forces shaping Black cultural studies currently. Thus, the goal of this class is not for students to see Black cultural studies as a static body of knowledge but rather to begin to comprehend the various tracks that this train known as Black cultural studies is capable of traveling. Course assignments will include response papers, panel presentations, and an exploratory final paper. Authors being considered include W.E.B. DuBois, Toni Morrison, Sister Souljah, Rinaldo Walcott, Russell Adams, Manthia Diawara, and Wahneema Lubiano.


Times: T 4, R 4-5

LIT 4483

Issues and Methods in Cultural Studies—Latin@ Literacies

Raúl Sánchez

In this course, we will study theories and methods relevant to the field of cultural studies. We will do so in the context of latinidad, which historian Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr. defines as “the study of…nationality groups whose countries of origin are the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.” We will pay particular attention to the issue of literacy.

Texts may include the following:

  • Kenneth Burke, Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose
  • Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
  • Victor Villanueva, Bootstraps: From an American Academic of Color

Work may include the following:

  • academic essays of varying lengths
  • no exams


Times: T 4, R 4-5

LIT 4930

Space Shots Air Heads

Richard Burt

When philosophy gets high, how high can it go before it crashes? What does the disaster look like when viewed from the air, from outer space, rather than from the apparent security and certainty of land? Can philosophy ever get above itself? Or will it always dumb itself down when it tries? This is a course about the extraterrestrial and gravity in philosophy and film. Readings Include Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None; Szendy, Kant in the Land of Extraterrestrials: Cosmopolitical Philosofictions; Immanuel Kant, Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens; Immanuel Kant, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View; Voltaire, Micromeges and Zadig; Schmitt, The Theory of the Partisan; Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness; Adorno, The Stars Down to Earth; and Fontenelle, Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds; Blanqui’s “Eternity According to the Stars”; Husserl’s “Foundational Investigations of the Spatiality of Nature: the Originary Ark, the Earth, Does Not Move.”

Requirements: Bring copies of any of the required books in print on paper (not in electronic form) to class as required; co-lead class discussion twice, once on a Tuesday and once on a Thursday; two discussion questions and three or more “BIG WORDS” for each class; student formulated quizzes each class approved by me; and three 500 word papers; willingness to reflect, think, respond, by paying very, VERY, VERY close formal attention to texts and films. See

Times: T 2-3, R 3

LIT 4930

Black Englishes

James Essegbey

Description not available at this time.


Times: M W F 7

LIT 4930


R. Allen Shoaf

This course will be devoted to the ten tragedies Shakespeare wrote in his career, with especial attention to three factors: his transformation of the genre (most especially in King Lear); the rhetorics he renewed (e.g., pun) or refined (e.g., synoeciosis; paradox) to articulate his tragic vision; and his response to the sacramentality of nature that enabled him to comprehend and mourn humans’ catastrophic denials and perversions of nature, sexual nature in particular, in consequence of which self-inflicted optionlessness must lead inevitably to the end of the human.

Mandatory attendance and two essays (5–7 pages in length), along with unannounced quizzes, will constitute evaluation of your performance in the course.

The one text for the course will be the Norton Shakespeare, 2nd edition, which I will order through the university’s stipulated portal.

The first meeting of the course will naturally involve sorting out the roll and establishing attendance, etc. In addition, I will spend all of the class time available after we finish that work introducing what we will be doing in the course (I will work the entire 150 minutes of the first class).

Please note that this is a senior-level course: it is designed for students about to finish their majors in English; it is not a writing course, nor is it a “survey.” It is a term-long engagement with some of the poetry of the greatest writer of English literature, and students should expect and plan to approach the course with a commensurate degree of seriousness and commitment. In particular, class participation is important to a course like this: I do not “lecture,” I argue (positions, cases, definitions, controversies, ideas, etc.), and I expect you to argue back.


Times: T 10-E1

SPC 3605


Ronald Carpenter

Speechwriting is an advanced composition course. In this course, students acquire stylistic prowess by which their sentences have increased potential to be remembered and quoted to achieve greater persuasiveness and resultant acclaim for you as one who uses the English language well in written discourse. The course is called Speechwriting because models to be imitated are in those most quotable sentences of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, John Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., for examples. Although you practice these stylistic skills while writing speeches, the acquired prowess is applicable in many future communication endeavors, as speakers or writers, regardless of profession or later, important role in life. The textbook is Ronald H. Carpenter, Choosing Powerful Words: Eloquence that Works.

This course is not about supporting arguments or organizing them into broader discourse. For those skills, other courses are more appropriate. Speechwriting is about the best words and their best orders—within sentences—to achieve optimal impress of your ideas upon readers or listeners. Your writing is perfected in first drafts that you read aloud in class among peers (and for me), wherein you should acquire a sense of what to do to achieve the final products desired at the semester end for a grade. Thus, present drafts when due; listen carefully to other students’ drafts; participate in rewriting others’ sentences; and heed my commentary about all drafts. Do not assume that participation means simply presenting your drafts and listening only to commentary about them.

Your first speech will be written after we analyze and identify specific sources of style in Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and John Kennedy’s Inaugural Address. You will rewrite the Gettysburg Address, as Ted Sorensen might have helped John Kennedy write it. This assignment will improve your flexibility as a stylist. For your third speech, which praises a person for whom you have great love or admiration, you must write for an actual occasion when that person will hear or read your statement (you will earn many “points” from that person as well as other people attending the event). For the fourth speech, praising an institution or ideal, you will write in praise of some ideal or institution that you are likely to address in later life, perhaps as a professional person (I predict that years later many of you will take that text from your files and use it again for part—if not most—of a speech that you likely will give). The second speech that you write in the course, exactly 100 words long (no contractions), will be explained when the theory behind its persuasive function is explained in detail.

Times: T 8-9, R 9

SPC 4680

Rhetorical Criticism: Masterpieces of Rhetoric

Ronald Carpenter

Our focus is “masterpieces of rhetoric.” Although many are political discourse, another focus is rhetoric to persuade Americans about armed conflict abroad. Students will examine how some speakers, writers, and filmmakers appealed to attitudes and actions for profound influence upon future events. The goal of the course is students’ refined sense of important rhetorical principles and techniques by which their own discourse is persuasive.

Unlike previous semesters, the course now has no textbook because much of your course material is on-line at Major class assignments are group projects. By the end of the third week, you should be in a group with 4–5 other students to write collaboratively discourse presented to the entire class for discussion and analyses, but these in-class speeches will not be graded. Instead, I grade individual students’ short papers identifying and evaluating rhetorical choices and techniques utilized in the group speeches as discussed in class. I will be naming, defining, and explaining rhetorical factors that you likely will find yourself using well (or poorly). A practical guideline for you to follow is this: if I write a term on the board, the concept should be understood by you, placed in your class notes, defined and understood, and thereby usable in your future.

I am convinced that when groups argue constructively among themselves about fulfilling assignments, final products are better. For example, after viewing Richard Nixon’s famous—or infamous—“Checkers” speech in 1952, we will study Senator Ted Kennedy’s apologia after Ms. Kopechne died late one night in his company. Then, groups of student speechwriters will create a TV speech that Bill Clinton should have given within 48 hours after Monica Lewinsky first became newsworthy. For affiliating with other students this semester, one speechwriting group should be all male and another only females; the rest can be any combination. Individuals’ short papers about group speeches yield one-third of students’ final grades. Please note: all short papers are due the meetings specified in the syllabus (you do not want to be writing several papers as the semester ends, and I do not wish to be inundated with an excessive number of other papers to grade while carefully evaluating your final exams and research papers).


Times: W 9-11