Graduate Courses, Fall 2014

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
CRW 6130 M 9-11 Graduate Fiction Workshop Powell
CRW 6331 M E1-1E3 Verse Writing Hofmann
ENG 6137 T 9-11
Screenings:
W E1-E3
Film Analysis Ray
ENG 6138 M E1-E3
Screenings:
R 9-11
New German Cinema Mennel
LAE 6947 R 9-11 Writing Theory & Practice Gries
LIT 6236 W 3-5 Cultures of U.S. Imperialism Schueller
LIT 6357 R 3-5 The World of James Baldwin Reid
LIT 6855 F 3-5 Keywords for the Present Hegeman
LIT 6856 W 6-8 Into the Archive: Reading in the Baldwin Kidd
LIT 6934 T 7-9 Childhood, Culture, Creativity: Convergences Cech
LIT 6934 M 6-8 Shakespeare & Latin Antiquity Shoaf
LIT 6934 M 3-5 Science-Technology/Humanities-Posthumanities Dobrin

CRW 6130

Graduate Fiction Workshop

Padgett Powell

This is an intensive fiction writing workshop for graduate students in the MFA program in Creative Writing. Reading varies, but will probably consist of short novels. Although most of the writers who take this workshop focus on the short story, the submission of novel excerpts is encouraged.

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CRW 6331

Graduate Poetry Workshop: Poetry Composition

Michael Hofmann

This is the graduate poetry workshop, MFA @ FLA. I will have mostly free assignments—no flaming hoops, no fantastical obstacle courses—and we will read two big books: the Collected Poems of James Schuyler and the Collected Poems of Ted Hughes. By the end of semester, you will be writing poems about the animals of New York...

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ENG 6137

Film Analysis: Everyday Life in Film and Literature

Robert Ray

Stanley Cavell has suggested that a teacher’s primary good is to prompt his or her students to consult, and take an interest in, their own experience, to come to attention. This course will take up Cavell’s proposition by looking at literature and movies that deal with everyday life and the attention to it. We will read many of the following writers: Emerson, Thoreau, Chekhov (stories), Hemingway, J.L. Carr, and Penelope Fitzgerald. We will watch movies made by these filmmakers: Rohmer, Kiarostami, Capra. We may also watch several 1930s Hollywood films.

Assignments: (1) two-page weekly, or bi-weekly papers; (2) 8-page final paper.

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ENG 6138

New German Cinema

Barbara Mennel

In 1962, a group of young filmmakers at the Oberhausen Film Festival boldly declared: “The old cinema is dead! We believe in a new cinema!” Out of this movement to overcome the 1950s legacies of fascism and Heimatfilm (homeland film) emerged a wave of filmmaking that became internationally known as New German Cinema. Heavily funded by the West German government and its public television stations, the films were indebted to the student movement and a vision of filmmaking and distribution based on the notion of the director as “Autor” (auteur). Wim Wenders and Rainer Werner Fassbinder embodied a new generation untainted by the Nazi legacy as they were both born in 1945. Similarly, Fassbinder’s untimely death in 1982 coincided with the demise of New German Cinema as the result of a changed political climate and funding structure.

This course offers a survey of the films made in this brief period of enormous output and creativity. We will discuss films by Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Alexander Kluge, Helke Sander, Helma Sanders-Brahms, Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta, and Wenders. We will trace the influence of the feminist movement on questions of feminist aesthetics, and situate the films’ negotiations of fascism and terrorism in debates about the cinematic representation of history and memory.

Requirements for graduate seminar include the following academic genres: book review, abstract, anonymous response, and a substantive research paper.

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LAE 6947

Writing Theory & Practice

Laurie Gries

This course introduces you to perspectives on writing and the teaching of writing in colleges and universities. It aims to help you imagine and invent different ways of teaching writing (in relation to reading and theory) across teaching contexts. We will explore, in other words, what we can learn about writing and teaching writing from rhetorical theories, posthuman theories, literary-critical theories, media theories, etc. This course also aims to help you develop different pedagogical approaches for teaching writing in relation to invention, production, distribution, and circulation of knowledge. You can expect to walk away with theories to inform your pedagogical rationales as well as practical skills to put those theories into practice in the classroom. To assist in this learning, you will help build a pedagogical archive, embark on your own pedagogical research project, and gain experience teaching in multiple areas and at multiple levels of English education.

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LIT 6236

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. The theoretical basis for the course will be the broad field of postcolonial studies and the smaller, but burgeoning field of U.S. empire studies. 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. The purpose is to examine the different ways in which, at historically specific moments, culture and empire are productively imbricated and to raise a number of questions about the intersection of culture and imperialism: How are narratives of travel and exploration implicated in empire? What are the differences in how the sites of U.S. empire are constructed in the national imaginary? How does the captivity narrative persist in the narrative of contemporary imperialism? What does it mean to resist cultural imperialism?

The course will include a wide range of novels, short stories, films, and personal narratives as well as readings from postcolonial theory and US empire studies. I’m not sure exactly which texts I’ll use but I’ll PROBABLY include James Smith’s Account, Susanna Rowson’s Slaves in Algiers, Mary Helen Fee’s A Woman’s Impression of the Philippines, Lois Ann Yamanaka’s Blu’s Hanging, Roley’s American Son/Fenkl’s Memories of My Ghost Brother, R. Zamora Linmark’s Leche, Nora Okja Keller’s Fox Girl/Ann Junghyo’s Silver Stallion, Luis Rafael Sanchez’s Macho Camacho’s Beat, and Marlon Fuentes’ Bontoc Eulogy.

Requirements: long seminar paper; oral presentation; 6–7 short responses to readings.

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LIT 6357

The World of James Baldwin

Mark Reid

The seminar will critically survey James Baldwin’s literary work and political essays, as well as review 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 that brought him to become active in the U.S. Civil Rights movement and international concern 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.

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LIT 6855

Keywords for the Present

Susan Hegeman

Globalization, Neoliberalism, Disaster, Precarity, indigeneity, post-humanity ... This course will survey recent theoretical literature that addresses these and other keywords related to changing geopolitical structures. In our survey, we will seek out novel and transformative ways of understanding the present. It should be of particular interest to students working in postcolonial studies and critical theory.

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LIT 6856

Into the Archive: Reading in the Baldwin

Kenneth Kidd

This seminar has a dual focus and will be structured accordingly. First, everyone will develop one or more archival projects in the Baldwin Historical Library of Children's Literature, one of the most comprehensive such archives in the world. Suzan Alteri, the Curator of the Baldwin, will work with us closely and will participate in the seminar. Every other week, we will concentrate on those archival projects by looking at primary texts, presenting findings, and workshopping research in progress. You’ll be expected to give regular oral and written reports on your research. The Baldwin is an extraordinary resource even for those not specializing in children's literature, and one aim of the course is to encourage you to explore the collection. Second, we will read children's literature scholarship and theoretical meditations on the archive, the collection, the canon, English studies, and children's literature and childhood studies. Every other week will be devoted primarily to such texts and their relevance to literary study past, present, and future. In effect, class will be conducted as both a seminar and a workshop. My hope is that the course will be both practical and theoretical, in ways that we can’t yet anticipate. Some students who participated in the previous iterations of this course (Fall 2004 and Fall 2008) have since published their research.

There will be several short writing projects and a longer seminar paper (20–25 pp.); all assignments will be research-based and the longer paper must draw from theoretical as well as primary material.

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LIT 6934

Childhood, Culture, Creativity: Convergences

John Cech

This seminar probes the connections and convergences between three strands of our thinking about children and their history, children’s books, and the broad field of children’s culture in general. In the seminar this spring we will look at a number of fascinating and complex points of convergence between historical events, cultural awareness, and creative production. With each of these convergences, we will examine key literary or artistic texts, amplifying our understanding of each of these by exploring the historical context(s) in which they sprang into being, as well as variations on the theme that each has led to.

In the seminar, you will be asked to respond to these “moments” of convergence through wide-ranging creative assignments. Our intention throughout is to expand our understanding of these cultural tropes or archetypes, and what informs their having become paradigmatic. But the purpose of the course is also to encourage an imaginative, creative engagement with these materials and their possibilities.

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LIT 6934

Shakespeare and Latin Antiquity

R. Allen Shoaf

This course will consider the Latin sources that we now think Shakespeare was far more conversant with than used to be conceded. Chief amongst these sources in this particular course will be Lucretius and Ovid.

The notable Shakespearean Stanley Wells has written, “[t]he plays, not to put too fine a point on it, reek of sexuality.” This statement is hardly disputable. But Shakespeare’s Latinity will help us understand better why the position is unassailable—why, to borrow from King Lear, “... you smell a fault ... it smells of mortality.” Incarnation and derivativeness, the elemental and inescapable sexed conditions of human existence, Shakespeare learned to dramatize in great measure from Lucretius and Ovid.

I should make clear immediately that the course does not require, explicitly or implicitly, a knowledge of Latin and that the course is not a throwback to venerable influence-studies. We will be studying Shakespeare as a reader, a highly literate man, not as an “erudite.” To be sure, there will be times when we need the ipsissima verba, and on those occasions we will find them through the Internet or through other means that I will make available. But primarily our work will be research on the topics of invention that Shakespeare encountered in the Latin writers who were most influential in his career. Thus, to give a quick but salient example, in the early narrative poem, “Venus and Adonis,” Shakespeare responds to Lucretius on various occasions primarily by way of Lucretius’s famous celebration of Venus that begins in book 1 and continues throughout the De rerum natura. Such Latin topicality enables investigations of Shakespeare’s texts which return often surprising results. If Shakespeare is not as “erudite” as his great contemporary Ben Jonson, it turns out that he is nonetheless a very literate poet. It is this literacy that we will be most interested in examining so as to appreciate Shakespeare’s contribution to English poetry.

Requirements for the course will be participation in the seminar as we discuss the details of Shakespeare’s rhetoric and literacy and two essays prepared outside of class in which students undertake an analysis of a particular example of Shakespeare’s rhetoric and literacy. These essays need not necessarily be lengthy nor, at least in the first instance, do they need to comport large (“bone-breaking”) bibliographies. First and foremost, they must engage with the way that Shakespeare transforms sources: he is the most original writer in our tradition who deliberately re-scripts sources not his own, not original with him. It is almost as if others’ inventions of topics (topics almost always inseparable from human sexual anxiety, especially the place and the status of women) liberated him to invent English poetry as a response to (human) Nature, a response like the responses of his Latin predecessors. This is the simple proposition of the course. We will test this proposition to learn how it may help us to understand the rhetoric with which Shakespeare composes poetry as he transforms English, language and culture.

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LIT 6934

Science-Technology/Humanities-Posthumanities

Sid Dobrin

In 1959 C. P. Snow delivered his now-famous Rede Lecture, “The Two Cultures,” which would serve as the foundation for his book by the same name. Snow argued that our society, influenced by the education system and intellectual inquiry, can be characterized as being formed by two cultures: the arts and humanities on one hand and the sciences on the other. In 2009, Jerome Kagan expanded Snow’s taxonomy to identify three cultures of influence: science, humanities, and social sciences. Also in 2009, Toney Hey, Stewart Tansley, and Kristin Tolle—by way of Microsoft—extended the conversation to account for the “fourth paradigm” of data-intensive scientific research.

This course will consider what it means to distinguish between sciences, humanities, and technologies and what the ramifications might be for the future of the humanities in light of the posthumanities. This course will specifically consider the future of English studies research and disciplinarity in light of science, technology, and data methodologies and knowledge. This course works to imagine different futures for work in English, most notably in Writing Studies.

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