Undergraduate Courses, Fall 2007

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.

Upper Division (3000–4000) Courses

Note: Only course descriptions are listed below. For a comprehensive summary of course numbers, sections, times and locations, titles, and instructors, see the following web page:

AML 3031

Imagining the Multicultural Nation

Jodi Schorb

During early exploration and colonization, the revolutionary war, the early Republic, and the mid-nineteenth century “American Renaissance,” the tenor of American literature has wavered between optimism and ambiguity, between determination and doubt, over the promise and possibilities of “America.”

This upper-division course provides both broad thematics and in-depth strategies for reading dominant literary forms prior to the Civil War. In particular, we will explore how writers from a range of important literary genres (including sermons, captivity narratives, travel writing, gothic fiction, frontier romance, the novel of sentiment, etc.) undertake the challenge of representing American multicultural identity and the place of cultural difference in the new nation.

Questions include: How might we situate individual readings within (or against) what Timothy Powell calls the “unresolvable conflict between American’s multicultural history and its violent will to monoculturalism”? How do the conventions of genre enhance or limit how the text represents cultural “otherness” and the possibilities for cross-cultural contact? How might we read later literary experiments by Ridge, Douglass, and Whitman, for example, as deliberate responses to their literary precursors? Is multiculturalism presented as an ideal or a threat?

Major assignments include at least three major essays, regular 1–2 page response papers, and regular attendance/participation.

Readings likely to include:

  • Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca (1542)
  • Mary Rowlandson, Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1675)
  • Unca Eliza Whitman, The Female American (1767)
  • Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly; or Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker (1799)
  • James Fenimore Cooper, Last of the Mohicans (1826)
  • Edgar Allen Poe, “The Black Cat,” Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838)
  • Selections from Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)
  • Frederick Douglass, The Heroic Slave (1852)
  • John Rollin Ridge, Adventures of Joaquin Murietta (1854)
  • Herman Melville, Benito Cereno (1855)
  • Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1850–1890s)
  • Supplemental critical and literary selections


AML 3270

African American Literature I: Beginning to 1955

LaMonda Horton Stallings

African American Literature: Beginning to 1955 will provide a survey of the most significant writings of Black Americans from 1760 to 1955. It is meant to introduce students to a variety of authors, genres, and periods. This course will emphasize the development, continuities, and discontinuities within the literary tradition. We will pay special attention to issues of fictional representation of the black experience, including issues of heritage, identity, feminism, sexuality, and the idea of the African Diaspora. Literature will be supplemented with film, art, and critical readings.

Required texts:Norton Anthology of African American Literature and Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance: Selections from the Work of Richard Bruce Nugent

Requirements: Two tests (45%), one critical paper (20%), participation (15%), quizzes (20%).


AML 3271

African American Literature

Mark A. Reid

This course extends the definition of African American literature to include visual narratives by renowned artists as well as those whose works have been overlooked for various reasons. Readings and film screenings will cover such playwrights as Amiri Baraka, Ed Bullins, Lorraine Hansberry, August Wilson, and Adrienne Kennedy; novelists as Paule Marshall, James McBride, Toni Morrison, and John A. Williams; poets as Bob Kaufman, Audre Lorde, Pat Parker; and visual artists as Cheryl Dunye, Spike Lee, Darnell Martin, Michelle Parkerson, and Marlon Riggs. Lectures and class discussions will explore how writers and filmmakers use black vernacular, as well as other literary and visual strategies, to explore 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.)

Course Requirements

  1. Pop quizzes on weekly readings, in-class discussions, and film(s) screened in the previous class 20%
  2. Each student moderates a ten-minute discussion on a weekly assignment – 20%
  3. Each student is responsible for a typed, 1-page outline of their ten-minute discussion, due on the day when the student presents her/his 10-minute discussion 10%
  4. A typed 15-page group analytical research paper – 20%
  5. A typed 1-page outline and bibliography of the individual student’s section of the analytical research paper 10%
  6. A group oral presentation on the 15-page group analytical research paper – 20%


AML 3271

African American Literature II

Marlo David

This course will provide a survey of significant writings by Black Americans from the mid-20th century to the present. Students will be introduced to a variety of writers, genres, and themes found within the African-American literary tradition. We will consider the ways writers develop, incorporate, respond to, and critique the ideas of the major socio-political movements of this era, including the Civil Rights Movement, Black Nationalism, and Black feminist movements. We will also explore works of the “post-Civil Rights era” in search of their thematic, ideological, and formal continuities and discontinuities with earlier literary projects. Literature will be supplemented with music, film, art, and critical readings.

Texts: Norton Anthology of African American Literature or other texts, TBA

Course Requirements

  • Quizzes (40%): Based on weekly readings, in-class discussions and other materials
  • Critical Paper (20%): A 12–15 page analytical research paper
  • Class Participation (15%)
  • Class Presentation (15%): A 10–15 minute presentation on an aspect of our weekly readings
  • Annotated Bibliography (10%): An annotated list of at least five sources that will be used in developing the critical paper.


AML 3285

Gay, Lesbian & Queer Writers in the US

Marlon Moore

People who do not identify as “heterosexual” deal with being sexually “different” as they also negotiate America’s racial, class, ethnic, legal and, of course, gender boundaries. Many texts by lesbian, gay and queer writers show the marks of engagement with the intersections of their sexual identities and such boundaries, such as being black, gay and middle class or working class, Jewish and transgendered. As member/outsiders across their multiple cultures, these writers offer special insight into the political, racial, economic, social, sexual, and gender politics that affect the formation of the queer self in American culture.

We will read novels, plays, poetry and stories to gain fuller understanding of these issues.
This class is discussion based; students should come prepared to participate. We will consider diverse viewpoints and possibilities, represented in a variety of genres (including science fiction/fantasy writing, coming-of-age narratives, social realist novels, and experimental fiction, as well as primary and secondary texts in feminist/queer theory and supplemental historical readings of related social movements.

Assignments include bi-weekly response essays (3 pgs), a mid-term and final exam.


AML 4242

American Fiction Since 1865

David Leverenz

This course will focus on twentieth-century fictional narratives of cross-ethnic or cross-cultural experiences. We’ll begin with Azar Nafisi’s best-seller, Reading Lolita in Tehran, which passionately engages American novels such as The Great Gatsby and Lolita in the context of the Iranian revolution. Then we’ll turn to W. E. B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk, probably excerpted, and perhaps James Weldon Johnson’s narrative of passing in America and Europe, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. Then we will take up a series of classics: Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (unless most of the class has already read it), Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (ditto), William Faulkner’s The Bear or As I Lay Dying (unless there’s a strong push for The Sound and the Fury), Richard Wright’s Native Son, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, and Toni Morrison’s Sula. The course will conclude with discussions of Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994), about a 12-year-old girl who moves from Haiti to Brooklyn, and we’ll probably have time to choose another narrative or two, perhaps Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima (1972), or other novels suggested by the class. Several years ago students chose Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides, and last year they chose Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. We might even end with Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes.

Work required: an initial close-reading exercise (10%), and three 4–6 pp. comparative close readings (30% each, with credit for improvement). For each class I’ll ask 5–6 students to e-mail me responses before our meeting, with suggestions for what you’d like to talk about. If that doesn’t work, I’ll institute weekly take-home quizzes and rearrange the percentages. No exams. Grading will be based entirely on your writing, though late essays or more than four unexcused class cuts (double period = 2 classes) will lower your grade. The more absences over the maximum, the lower the grade becomes. Excused absences can be made up with extra writing about the text(s) discussed that day. I don’t include class participation in the grading because I try to make class sessions non-judgmental and relaxed, so that anyone can try out ideas without feeling silly, weird, or stupid.

To find out more, come by my office at 4362 Turlington Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternoons, committees willing, or e-mail me at Ldavid@ufl.edu, or call me at home (371-7461, before 9:30 p.m.) or at the office (392-6650 x283).


AML 4242

A Multiplicity of Possible Worlds: Modern American Utopian Literature

Robin Nuzum

The Cold War Period of U.S. history is often characterized as a “weak” Utopian era due to skepticism about socialism and other types of alternate social visions. This course will challenge and investigate this assumption as well as extend analysis to the years following the decline of The Cold War. Taking as a departure point B.F. Skinner’s 1948 utopian text Walden Two, we will explore how increased attention to previously marginalized voices (as a result of varied liberation struggles) made this period of American history a fecund arena of possible worlds.

Using class discussion, group and individual presentations, as well as paper writing and research, students will gain expertise in important generic developments in the field of Utopian literature including especially the rise of the Dystopia and the role of Science Fiction in Utopianism. Emphasis is also placed on students’ development of voice and critical skills and therefore the class is based on a strong commitment of participation by every student. Writers and Utopian figures may include Sun Ra, Ursula K. Le Guin, Marge Piercy, Samuel Delaney and Octavia Butler. Possible films may include Space is the Place and Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog. The course will conclude with reflection about how utopianism/dystopianism is taking cultural form today and speculation about our many possible futures.

Assignments include: Two critical papers, one individual and one group presentation as well as committed daily reading and discussion participation.


AML 4311

The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

Richard Brantley

The approach to Dickinson’s 1789 poems and 1049 letters is historical, interdisciplinary, biographical, and formalistic. Topics included are: tones, voices, punctuation, meters, metaphors, controlling ideas; dashes, compression, nonrecoverable deletions, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, variant words and phrases; rhymes; riddles; fascicles (or manuscript books); biographical criticism (an overview); the issue of morbidity; love; nature and consciousness; God and self; death, pain and aftermath; creativity; the enigma of self and other; feminist perspectives on recurring questions; gender and multiple meaning; Dickinson as comic poet; and biographical/cultural contexts. Fifteen-to-twenty pages of critical/scholarly response are required, together with a twenty-minute oral report on these pages.


AML 4453

Modernism: New York City

Stephanie Smith

Gotham or The Big Apple or Manhattan, New York City established itself as a significant “metropolitan” seaport during the 19th century. Although Boston remained a powerful seaport as well (from which both goods and a burgeoning American literary culture were exported), New York came to dominate trade and, by the 20th century, took its place as a “world trade center.” In the early part of the 20th century, the cultural experiment called “modernism” found a home in this city, and this course is designed to take an in-depth look at New York through the modernist eyes of the artists and writers who recorded life there.

Using historical, cultural and literary documents, we will take a look at the City, primarily during the years in which it became “modern.” At the same time, we will be working on our own abilities as writers and editors.

Required Texts

  • Melville, Herman. “Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” at <http://www.bartleby.com/129/>
  • Lopate, Phillip. Writing New York: A Literary Anthology
  • Wharton, Edith. Age of Innocence
  • Crane, Stephen. Maggie, Girl of the Streets
  • Malkiel, Theresa. The Diary of A Shirtwaist Striker
  • Weber, Katharine. Triangle
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “Echoes of the Jazz Age” (hand-out)


AML 4685

Race and Ethnicity in American Literature & Culture: Jewish-American Fiction

Andrew Gordon

This course traces the development of Jewish-American fiction within the context of twentieth-century American literatures and cultures and deals with the role of ethnic literatures within our multiethnic nation. Though diverse in form and style, most of the works we will read deal with problems of assimilation of Jews into American society and the quest of the protagonists for identity as both Americans and Jews.

We begin with the influence of Eastern-European Yiddish literature (stories in translation) and then read a selection of Jewish-American stories and novels from the beginning of the twentieth century up to the present. We will also view a documentary on the history of the Jews in America and a few fiction films (Hester Street and Daniel).

We will study how Jewish-American authors contributed to traditions of naturalism, realism, modernism, and postmodernism in twentieth-century American fictions. We will also study such topics as anti-Semitism, literary responses to the Holocaust and to the state of Israel, and the rise of Jewish feminism.

Although we will consider how Jewish religion and culture contributed to the literature, this is not a course in religion and you need not be Jewish to take it. An interest in American literature, history, and culture or in the issues of ethnic identity and assimilation is sufficient.

I hope this course will make you a more sensitive interpreter of American culture and a better writer.

Texts (at Goerings Books):

  • America and I: Short Stories by American Jewish Women Writers ed. Joyce Antler (Beacon)
  • The Rise of David Levinsky by Abraham Cahan (Harper)
  • Breadgivers by Anzia Yezierska (Persea)
  • Call It Sleep by Henry Roth (Avon)
  • The Assistant by Bernard Malamud (Avon)
  • The Book of Daniel by E.L. Doctorow (Signet)
  • Maus and Maus II by Art Spiegelman
  • A Weave of Women by E.M. Broner
  • American Pastoral by Philip Roth (Vintage)
  • Cambridge Companion to Jewish American Literature, ed. Michael P. Kramer and Hana Wirth-Nesher

At Orange and Blue Texts, 309 NW 13 St, across from Krispy Kreme:

  • Xeroxed readings from Handbook of American-Jewish Literature, ed. Lewis Fried
  • Xeroxed readings from Jewish-American Stories, ed. Irving Howe


  1. Attendance and participation = 10%. 
  2. Quizzes= 20%.
  3. Two papersPaper 1= 25%; Paper 2= 35%. Paper 1 may be analytic or take the form of a brief fiction parodying the style or extending the narrative of one of the works we read.  Paper 1 may be revised if the grade is less than B.  Paper 2 is a research paper.
  4. Oral report = 10%.

No midterm or final exam.


AML 4685

“The World Is A Ghetto!”: Race, Space, Migration and the City

Amy Abugo Ongiri

At the turn of the 20th century, 90% of all African Americans were living in the south and over 80% were rural. Denied the right to vote and receive equitable salaries, and terrorized by anti-Black lynching violence that swept the south, a significant portion of the southern rural Black population decided to “vote with their feet” and migrate to northern cities. By 1970, after the migration had ended, less than 25% of the Black population continued to live in southern rural areas. This migratory act of refusal of southern cultural and political life significantly changed not only the cultural formation of Black life but American culture in general as African American poets, playwrights, musicians, intellectuals, and filmmakers theorized the transition from rural to urban. African Americans’ journey in the city from hope to despair and the creation of a unique urban “ghetto” culture continue to provide a prototype for understanding the urban experience throughout the world.

This course begins with an examination of the images of hope and prosperity that the city often represents to migratory populations through popular blues songs and poetry of the Harlem renaissance. It ends with contemporary images of the city as a polarized, dangerous wasteland that is, nonetheless, central to the ways in which migratory populations configure their identity. We will consider the urban “ghetto” experience from Harlem to Rio de Janeiro, from Miami to Watts, from Berlin to the Bronx. Some of the questions that will inform this course will include: How does urban life shape racial identity? How do American notions of “the ghetto” inform international film? What kind of narrative conventions are produced by the urban experience? Why and how do texts from around the world repeat US ghetto aesthetics and iconography?


AML 4685

African American Drama

Mark A. Reid

What makes dramas written by Black American playwrights and theater collectives different from those written and or performed by such writers and theater collectives as Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Richard Foreman, Laurie Anderson, Judith Malina and Julian Beck’s Living Theatre and Peter Brook’s International Centre of Theater Research?

Using recent theoretical and political debates on the construction of identity, and culling information from recent theater journals as TDR, this course traces the historical trajectory of black dramatic writing and performance. Discussion will situate plays, playwrights and dramatic strategies within an (inter)national(ist) context(s). Thus, the seminar also has as one of its purposes the inclusion of black theater within the various national and international movements to show the interconnectedness of certain but not all schools of American and international drama.

The course covers representative works from the Theater of the Black Experience, the Black Arts Movement, The Free Southern Theatre, and the Black avant-garde and experimentalist stage. Readings may include works by such playwrights as Amiri Baraka, Ed Bullins, Ben Caldwell, P.J. Gibson, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, Adrienne Kennedy, Suzan-Lori Parks, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe and such performance artists as Fred Holland, Robbie McCauley, John O’Neal, Whoopi Goldberg and Anna Deavere Smith.

In writing their analytical papers, students must create their own gumbo-like theory of lived and imagined forms of an inclusive and, or, exclusionary construction of black experience as it has been represented by a particular group of plays or performance artists covered in this course.

Required Texts

  • William Branch, ed., Black Thunder: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama (Penguin/Mentor) ISBN 0-451-62844-6
  • Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (Penguin Putnam, Inc., Signet, 1959) ISBN 0-451–18388-6
  • Samuel A. Hay, African American Theatre (Cambridge UP, 1994) ISBN 0-521-44522-1
  • LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Dutchman (New York: William Morrow, 1964) ISBN 0-688-21084-8
  • Mark Reid, AML4685: African American Drama Course Packet
  • Leslie Catherine Sanders, The Development of Black Theater in America (Louisiana State UP, 1988)
  • Anna Deavere Smith, Fires in the Mirror (Anchor/Doubleday) ISBN 0-385-47014-2
  • Anna Deavere Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (Anchor/Doubleday) ISBN 0-385-47376-1
  • Margaret B. Wilkerson, ed., 9 Plays by Black Women ((Penguin Putnam, Inc., Mentor) ISBN 0-451-62820-9
  • August Wilson, Fences (Penguin Putnam, Inc., Plume) ISBN 0-452-26401-4
  • August Wilson, The Piano Lesson (Penguin Putnam, Inc., Plume) 0-452-26534-7

Note: All assigned and recommended texts and readings are held at the Reserve Desk in Library West

Recommended Reading Not Required to Purchase:

  • Paul Carter Harrison and Gus Edwards, eds., Classic Plays from the Negro Ensemble Company (U of Pittsburgh)
  • August Wilson. Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Penguin Putnam, Inc., Plume)
  • August Wilson. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Penguin Putnam, Inc., Plume)
  • August Wilson. Seven Guitars (Penguin Putnam, Inc., Plume)

Course Requirements

  1. Pop quizzes on weekly readings as well as film(s) screened in the previous class – 20%
  2. Individual Critical Discussion (10 minutes each student) on a weekly assignment – 20%
  3. Each student is responsible for a typed, 1-page outline of their 10-minute discussion, Due on the day when the student presents her/his 10-minute discussion – 10%
  4. Group Submission of a typed, 15-page analytical research paper (20pts), with 2-page annotated bibliography (10pts) – 30%
  5. Group Dramatic Performance on the assigned reading 15 minutes, and 5 minutes of Q & A – 20%


CRW 3110

Imaginative Writing: Fiction

Padgett Powell

This is our intermediate course in fiction writing. Students are to have had CRW 2100 and done well, or CRW 1101 and done very well (recommended by instructor from 1102). A workshop format that seeks, as does any workshop, to help the writing get better, it also seeks to help the criticism get better. In the best of all possible worlds, everything gets better. At this level, students should learn The Rules well enough to know how to begin to bend and break them.

We will read approximately two books’ worth of professional models. Required: your commitment to regular writing and turning in of clean manuscripts, your diligent efforts at helpful criticism in class, your happy attendance at a frequency and level of cheer not lower than my own.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2007 semester must be received by the March 21, 2007 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


CRW 3310

Imaginative Writing: Poetry

William Logan

“Poorly depicted clouds – which most people would not notice as wrong – are so disturbing to Dr. Thornes that they almost spoil visits to museums. For a meteorologist, the distraction is as great as the ordinary viewer being confronted by a figure with three arms… [He added that] too many artists had painted [clouds] as they would a backcloth in a theatre.”

The Guardian (London), 9 August 2000

In this workshop we will attend to words as closely as a painter attends to paint – or to clouds. You will read a broad selection of modern poetry, from Emily Dickinson to Gjertrud Schnackenberg, and write a poem a week. Every week the workshop will consider for discussion poems from the past and poems from students. This is an advanced workshop in poetry, for students who have already taken the intermediate workshop (CRW 2300) and want to press their understandings of poetic language even further.

Either email or hard copy submission of your manuscript is acceptable. Please submit four poems to me at <wlogan@english.ufl.edu> in one attachment in .rtf format or leave hard copy in my mailbox in TUR 4301.

Required reading

  • an anthology of modern poetry
  • a selection of contemporary books of poetry
  • a handbook on versification

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2007 semester must be received by the March 21, 2007 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


CRW 4905

Advanced Seminar in Fiction Writing

Padgett Powell

This course is the last in our series of undergraduate workshops in fiction writing. Its objective is to have you write better fiction, not unlike the mission of any workshop. But this course is the finishing course, as it were, that tries to advance you to a point that you can apply to grad schools in writing, or begin to publish – it wants to make you the best writer at the undergraduate level we can make of you.

Standard workshop format. I anticipate full efforts at writing well, at criticizing for the benefit of others, at attending religiously, at speaking cogently when you can, at surrounding yourself in a warm air of intelligent reticence when you can’t.

We will read two books of fiction as technical models.

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2007 semester must be received by the March 21, 2007 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


CRW 4905

Advanced Seminar in Fiction Writing

Mary Robison

Course 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 – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2007 semester must be received by the March 21, 2007 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


CRW 4906

Advanced Poetry Writing

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
  • a handbook on versification

Submitting Manuscripts for Upper-Division Creative Writing Courses

To qualify for departmental registration for upper-division creative writing (CRW) courses, you must – unless otherwise indicated – 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 read it carefully and fill it in completely.

N.B.: The 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 for the Fall 2007 semester must be received by the March 21, 2007 deadline.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines & Cover Sheet


ENC 3310

Advanced Exposition

Raúl Sánchez

The Undergraduate Catalog describes this as “an advanced composition course in methods of exposition: writing definition, classification, comparison and contrast, analysis, illustration, identification.” We will focus on several of these, to be named later. In addition, and more important, expect precept and practice on prose style.


ENC 3414


Greg Ulmer

This course is an introduction to Humanities computing, authoring in hypermedia, designing Websites for Internet publication. The proposition to be tested in a semester-long project featuring the design of two substantial Websites is that hypermedia 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 media. The non-traditional methodology of the 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 designed to locate and represent this pattern or “image of wide scope” in an experimental hypermedia self-portrait. Previous experience with basic Web authoring is helpful but not required. The course is taught in the Networked Writing Environment, using a pedagogy that is a hybrid of criticism, composition, and studio arts. Possible readings include Jean-Marie Floch, Visual Identities; Gregory Ulmer, Internet Invention. Extensive use will be made of online resources.

An exhibit of student projects from earlier versions of the course is available online: <http://web.nwe.ufl.edu/~gulmer/course97/rushmore.html>.


ENG 3010

Theory and Practice of Modern Criticism

Raúl Sánchez

This course will expose you to texts from the first half, more or less, of the 20th century. Its interest will be historical as well as critical and theoretical. We will study the work of Kenneth Burke, I.A. Richards, William Empson, Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, René Wellek and Austin Warren, and F.R. Leavis, among others. Toward the end, we may even look into Northrop Frye and early Raymond Williams.


Attendance and participation. We will discuss the texts in exquisite detail, as a class and in small groups. You will need to be present and active.

Abstracts. For each class meeting, you will submit a 300-word abstract of the day’s reading. It will be due at the beginning of each class. It will be evaluated on a credit/no-credit basis. You may not submit a summary before or after a class in which you are absent.

Detailed Abstracts. At midterm and at the end of the course, you will submit a detailed abstract of an article or book chapter that we have not read for class.

Exams. There may be a midterm and/or a final.


ENG 3011

The Major Theorists

James Paxson

The Major Theorists treats the historical pageant of important critical theorists beginning with Plato and culminating with the deconstructionists and feminists of the twentieth century. The course will familiarize students with the prime ideas and principles of the critics under study, and it will seek to understand such ideas and conceptual schemes in terms of the historical and cultural moments that produced them. Attention will also be paid to the application of our theorists to coeval literary productions and to imitations from eras beyond. (Does Aristotle’s Poetics provide an effective analytical framework for understanding a whole range of tragedies? How can Sidney’s Apology for Poetry inform our readings of Spenser’s Faerie Queene or Shakespeare’s plays?) The course will also address the question of “canon formation” now essential to theoretical study: how and why do we include certain thinkers among a historical lineage of “major theorists”? How are anthologies or textbooks for courses like ENG 3011 constructed?

Required Text:The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, (Vincent Leitch, Gen. Ed., 2001); available at Goerings Bookstore

Requirements and Policies

  • Have the texts read by the calendar dates indicated in our schedule; read all introductions too.
  • Assigned papers are due on time; late papers will not be accepted.
  • Plagiarism will result in a paper grade of F and may lead to further punitive action.
  • Attendance is mandatory; more than six cuts warrants failure and only authorized absences are warranted.
  • I expect participation in class, so come armed with questions, comments, criticisms. Be prepared to answer questions in class and to respond to each other as well as to me.
  • I don’t tolerate lateness to class, so be on time.

Assignments and Grading

  • brief oral report (5–10 minutes) summarizing your term research; part of a one-day class research symposium (10%)
  • one short paper, 5–7 pages, on an important theorist included in the Adams anthology but not treated in our course syllabus (20%)
  • term paper, 12–15 pages, exploring the application of the conceptual framework provided by a major theorist to a literary work or cultural production of your choice (50%)
  • unannounced objective quizzes based on readings and class discussions (totaling 20%); no final exam


ENG 3115

Introduction to Film Criticism and Theory

Scott Nygren

This course will introduce current theoretical contexts for engaging the contemporary media environment, and will consider the reading and writing of theoretical texts as parallel activities to the viewing and making of films.

We will study world media through close visual analysis of individual films, stressing the historical and international diversity of cinematic approaches and styles. At the same time, we will study contemporary critical writing on film and its basis in the larger domain of cultural theory. Emphasis will be on such basic issues as viewer identification, social formations and cultural context as articulated through a series of post-structural, postcolonial and postmodern methodologies. After introducing phenomenology and and structuralism as points of departure, the class will consider psychoanalysis, ideology, deconstruction, discourse, gender and race en route to postcolonial and postmodern approaches.

The principle purpose of the class will be to investigate theoretical issues through an experience of specific film texts, and the function of these texts in the past and present workings of history, especially as this leads towards questions for future production and study. The working assumption here is that alphabetic writing and film production both constitute modes of inscription, and represent two ways of embodying the same cultural process.

Mastery of so many topics is neither possible nor expected. The goal is to understand the conditions and motives that led to the rethinking of media, and to initiate theoretical strategies in your own work. Two papers of 8–10 pages each plus class discussion are required.


ENG 3115

Film Theory

Richard Burt

This course surveys some of the major developments in film theory – feminism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, post-colonialism – and post-theory. Films will include Vertigo, Peeping Tom, Chinatown, Red, The Return of Martin Guerre, Blow Up, Blow Out, and Spies, among others. Texts include Philip Rosen, Ed. Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader, among others.


ENG 3121

History of the Film 1

Nora Alter

To provide and overview of the history of film from its origins to the advent of sound. This course is designed as Part I of the three part sequence in film history. In addition, the objective of ENG 3121 is to develop analytical and critical skills in reading film texts as aesthetic works and historical artefacts. We will also show how these films have shaped the development of film language and influenced certain modes of filmic discourse (“genre films”). The films will also be considered within a comparative, intertextual context that defines the stylistic specificity of these films vis a vis Russian, French, German and American films of that time. Finally, this course will enable students to discuss current theoretical and methodological issues (film and popular mythology; representation of women; the question of realism; film, politics, and ideology; narration and the social function of film).


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.


  • Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management
  • Schatz, The Genius of the System
  • Stern, The Führer 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.


ENG 4015

Psychological Approaches to Literature

Peter L. Rudnytsky

This course, the first half of a projected two-semester sequence, will deal with the early and middle career of Philip Roth, from Goodbye, Columbus (1959) through The Counterlife (1986). Other novels to be read include Letting Go, When She Was Good, Portnoy’s Complaint, My Life as a Man, The Professor of Desire, The Ghost Writer, Zuckerman Unbound, and The Anatomy Lesson. The focus will be on the connections between Roth’s life and his work and on Roth’s encounter with psychoanalysis. Course requirements: midterm, final, and one eight- to twelve-page paper. Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are expected.


ENG 4130

African Cinema in a World Cinema Context

Amy Abugo Ongiri

Images of Africa have haunted cinema history from the first Lumiere films to Jean Rouch and the French New Wave and recent Hollywood films such as Out of Africa and The Constant Gardner. The film history of Africa exists not only as a commentary and corrective to the cinematic history of representing Africa in the West, but also as an important voice in a developing world cinematic discourse on the relationship between aesthetics and politics, the limits of cinematic realism and national cinema as categories of both production and analysis, and questions of aesthetic production and popular reception. In this class we will look at African films from a variety of genres and national contexts in order to examine questions of “authenticity” and authorship, diaspora and memory, development concerns and production limitations in the African context, and the filmic reworking of colonial history and oral literature among other topics. Our examination of these films will be informed by the critical theory of Mbye Cham, Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike, Francoise Pfaff, Manthia Diawara, Melissa Thackway, Haile Gerima, Hamid Nacify, and Teshome H. Gabriel among others.


ENG 4133

Jews in European Cinema

Maureen Turim

This course will look at how Jews have been represented in European Cinema historically, with a focus on films made by Jewish directors and scriptwriters in the years since the Shoah. What aesthetic principles and intellectual responses do filmmakers bring to the problem of Jewish identity and otherness in different European societies. We will examine the Jews’ position in the cultural and social context of European modernity, and their status as survivors interrogating their history and that of their various countries. We will explore issues of religious practice and assimilation, gender and sexuality within Jewish narratives, relationships to other ethnicities and to national identity. There will also be an emphasis on Jews in the arts of Europe, and the significance of Jewishness for philosophical interrogation.

Students will write short responses to each week’s film and reading assignment, in preparation for two paper projects of seven pages each (a mid-term and a final paper). Active participation in class discussion is vital. The assignments will be turned in through WebCT Vista and checked for plagiarism using TURNITIN. All citation should be done according to MLA style guidelines. Students are expected to attend class on time: lateness and absences will affect your grade, as per University guidelines.

Films to be shown include

  • La Petite Jérusalem, Karin Albou, 2005
  • Mina Tannenbaum, Martine Dugowson, 1994
  • Au Revoir, les Enfants, Louis Malle, 1987
  • La Haine, Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995
  • Notre Musique, Jean-Luc Godard, 2004
  • The Pianist, Roman Polanski, 2000
  • Nowhere in Africa, Caroline Link, 2001
  • The Last Butterfly, Karel Kachyna, 1991
  • Closely Watched Trains Jiri Menzel, 1966
  • Pasazerka, The Passenger, Andrzej Munk, 1963
  • Sunshine, István Szabó, 1999
  • The Gardern of the Finzi-Continis, Vittorio De Sica, 1970
  • Esther Kahn, Arnaud Desplechin, 2000

Books to include

  • Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate, Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Heidegger and “the Jews,” Jean-Francois Lyotard

Much of the reading for the course may be downloaded as e-reserves for this course through the UF library. I have put together an anthology of chapters from books and essays in journals that pertain to the issues of Jews in European culture and their representation in film.


ENG 4134

Black Female-Centered Film

Mark A. Reid

This course employs a comparative approach to study narrative and non-narrative films made about black women in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Most of the film screenings cover films made by black female directors and screenwriters. However, the course also includes a few films made by nonblack and or male filmmakers.

Lectures and discussions will consider how the films explore generational, gendered, racial, religious, and class conflicts that result from immigration, globalization, and western education. Ideas about ethnicity, race, nation, class, gender and sexuality will be discussed in relation to how they transform notions about women in Africa and its diasporas in Europe and the Americas. Students are expected to learn and correctly employ film and theoretical terminology when they discuss and write about black female-centered film. Additionally, students will analyze how various types of films imitate, appropriate, and or resist the dominant representational regimes that determine black female subjectivity. The course introduces students to womanist cultural theory, contemporary film history, and African Diaspora Studies in Western Europe and North America.

Course Requirements:

  1. Pop quizzes on weekly readings, in-class discussions, and film(s) screened in the previous class 20%
  2. Individaul student oral presentations on a weekly reading and film screening (10 minute presentation and five minute class discussion) on a weekly assignment 20%
  3. Each student is responsible for a typed, 1-page outline of their 10-minute presentation, due on the day when the student presents her/his 10-minute analytical presentation 10%
  4. A group submission of a typed, 15-page analytical research paper (20pts), with 2-page annotated bibliography (10pts) 30%
  5. A group presentation of their 15-page analytical research paper 25 minutes for each group member and a 10-minute question and answer session 20%


ENG 4135

Three Polish Directors: Andrzej Wajda, Agnieszka Holland, and Andrzej Zulawski

Christopher Caes

This course is an examination of the work of three Polish directors of international renown, with special focus placed on the artistic representation and transformation of the Polish cultural and historical imaginary in three separate cinematic contexts:  the Polish domestic industry, European cinema, and the cinema of Hollywood.  The films of Andrzej Wajda, the premier director of postwar Polish cinema, mold a vibrant strain of Polish popular Romanticism to an eclectic blend of international cinema styles, from surrealism and neorealism to the New Wave and postmodernism, with each film restaging anew the problem of artistic means and narrative ends.  The work of Agnieszka Holland, a “cinema of identities,” finely embeds narrative conflicts that cross gender, ethnic, and confessional boundaries into a variety of historical and cultural contexts ranging from the nineteenth century in Poland, France, and the US, through World War II and communism in Poland, to the contemporary US and Europe.  The controversial career of Andrzej Zulawski, a maverick European director, has ranged widely over a number of genres from science fiction, fantasy, and horror/cult films to historical drama, melodrama, and opera, while consistently representing and probing extremes of violence and sexuality.  Finally, each of these directors is still actively involved in filmmaking and the premier of a film by each of them has been announced for the latter half of 2007 – Agnieszka Holland’s Catherine and Peter, a film based on events in the life of Peter the Great, Andrzej Zulawski’s Mistress of the House, the story of a renowned émigré director who returns to Poland and renews a relationship with a former lover, and Andrzej Wajda’s Postmortem, a work dealing with the Katyn massacre of 1940.


By Andrzej Wajda:

  • Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
  • Everything for Sale (1969)
  • Pilate and Others (1972)
  • Man of Marble (1976)
  • Danton (1982)

By Agnieszka Holland:

  • Provincial Actors (1979)
  • A Woman Alone (1981)
  • Europa, Europa (1990)
  • The Secret Garden (1992)
  • Julie Walking Home (2002)

By Andrzej Zulawski:

  • The Third Part of the Night (1971/1988)
  • L’Important c’est d’aimer (1975)
  • The Silver Globe (1977/1987)
  • Possession (1980)
  • Szamanka (The Shamaness) (1995)
  • Fidelité (2000)


ENG 4135

From Nuremberg to South Park: Representations of Nazism in Film and Literature

Eric Kligerman

This course examines the representation of the Nazi epoch in pre- and postwar visual culture and literature. In addition to exploring the historical, political and ideological implications of how National Socialism is recollected and represented, we will also track the transformation of the Nazi perpetrator in the cultural imagination of Europe and America. This course shifts attention from the debates regarding the commodification of the victims of the Holocaust, which has led to the provocative terms “Shoah business” and “Holocaust industry,” to what Susan Sontag describes as “fascinating fascism”: our commercial fascination with the perpetrators of genocide. How have those responsible for the crimes of the Third Reich been represented, theorized, turned into metaphors as well as clichés through the space of film and literature? By shifting our attention from the tragic images of the victims to the figure of the perpetrators, we will examine the ethical implications as well as moral ambiguities behind various representations of Nazism.

Beginning with Riefensthal’s documentary films, we will examine the circulation of the Nazi aesthetic and its associations with questions of beauty, power, gender and eroticism. How has this aesthetic been re-circulated in postwar cinema? How does the Nazi figure function in documentary films, German cinema (the rubble films, New German Cinema and contemporary German film), Italian neorealism, and American popular culture? Does the representation of Nazism in shifting periods and forms critique, explain or bring about an understanding of those who committed the crimes of the Third Reich? Or, do they perpetuate the spectator’s obsession with the horrors of Nazism while circumventing issues of guilt, responsibility and historical comprehension?

Interrogating the boundaries of representation, where the figure of the Nazi is not outside the frame of the imagination but occupies our day-to-day world, our objective is to explore how film and literature position the spectator in relation to the Nazi past. What moral and aesthetic complexities arise when the Nazi figure inhabits such genres as documentary, comedy, horror and erotica? Accompanying our screening of films by Resnais, Cavani, Visconti, Wertmüller, Fassbinder, Syberberg, von Trier, Hirschbiegel and Spielberg, and reading texts by Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag, Phillip Roth, Don Delillo, George Steiner, Paul Celan and Heinrich Böll, we will also examine television episodes from The Twilight Zone, Star Trek and South Park.


ENG 4135

Italian Cinema: Constructing and Reconstructing an Italian Subject

Deboran Amberson

This course will address the varied and various constructions of Italian identity against the backdrop of a changing social, political and cultural reality. In our attempts to analyze and understand the numerous historical and cultural constructions and reconstructions of Italian subjectivity (from Fascism to the present), we will work with a broad range of films from directors including, but not limited to, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Dario Argento.

This course will be taught in English. All screened films will be in Italian with English subtitles. Students must attend all scheduled screenings.


ENG 4136

Hypervideo: Rethinking Video Production

Scott Nygren

This course derives from a double convergence in contemporary media culture. On the one hand, cultural theory and innovative artistic practices regularly overlap and exchange techniques. On the other hand, computers and video have merged so that video imaging and computer interactivity intersect and are reconfiguring the electronic field. Based on these convergences, the class will map the creative and conceptual possibilities of working in new contexts.

The course will not teach traditional documentary, experimental or narrative uses of video as such, but will reinvent these approaches in order to produce visually articulate and engaging video in a contemporary world context.

We will be shooting video on digital video cameras and processing footage with desktop computers, primarily through Final Cut Pro on Mac G5s. The implication of such high-quality but low-cost desktop equipment, for the purposes of this course, is to make current technology available on an individualized basis for innovation and research. Much of the semester will be spent developing stategies for effectively using this equipment, and your participation will form a significant part of the course.

Please Note: Since this is the only production course scheduled for 2007–08, I am asking prospective students to apply for the class in order to prioritize for those who are most qualified and most in need of the course at this time. Please contact me at <nygren@ufl.edu> if you are interested in enrolling for fall 2007. I expect to teach ENG 4136 again in fall 2008.


ENG 4139

Television and Electronic Culture: Informational Millenarianism

Terry Harpold

Rome was burning.

The fire suppression system in the Sistine Chapel thought it had been turned off for maintenance. The note the firebomber taped to the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica said he was the Son of Kaczynski. None of this, his brief manifesto said – citing the shootings of looters in police-crippled Mexico City, the train collision in Berne, the Israeli-Palestinian bloodbath in Jerusalem – none of this would have happened if the Church had not set up a web page on the Internet. But the Church, he said, had aligned itself with the anti-Christ, the Internet. It must all be swept away.

– Andrew Burt, Noontide Night (1999)

The innovation of the ship already entailed the innovation of the shipwreck. The invention of the steam engine, the locomotive, also entailed the invention of derailment, the rail disaster… Each period of technical evolution, with its set of instruments and machines, involves the appearance of specific accidents, revealing in negative the growth of scientific thought.

– Paul Virilio, “The Accident Museum” (1986)

Seven years after the Big (non)Event, Andrew Burt’s novel of the Y2K crisis will appear to many to be badly dated, destined with other Jeremiads of the year zero – militia and urbanite survivalist manuals, New Age celebrations of off-the-grid living, corporate preparedness checksheets – for the remainder table and the discards bin. The nearly complete disappearance of Y2K stories from the popular press in the West suggests that public consciousness has moved on. One is tempted to ascribe the panic to a momentary distraction in the ongoing triumph of computing culture.

This course begins with the proposition that crisis and failure, rather than being accidents (in the philosophical sense: contingent properties, not substances of things) are constitutive of technological systems. As such, they are irreducibly present as the horizon of every technological imaginary: even the most optimistic futurities of information culture are bounded by endist fantasies, predicated on the possibility of massive, systemic chaos and collapse. Interpreted in this context, Y2K’s entanglings of (religious) millenarian fantasies, a second-time-only moment of the Gregorian calendar, and the effects of a short-sighted technique of data storage and recovery, seem more exemplary of, than exceptions from, the occult structure of the emerging informational society.

We will investigate the crisis temporality of late modern information culture and, in particular, its close association with millenarian narratives of religious fundamentalism and ecological dystopia. Readings and screenings will range widely, and will include: nonfiction texts in the histories of computer science and millenarian thought, philosophy and critical theory, and systems risk theory; short and long fiction on themes of informational crisis, apocalypse, and post-apocalyptic worlds; and avant-garde and popular films on these themes.

Course readings

  • Stephen Jay Gould, Questioning the Millennium: A Rationalist’s Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary Countdown
  • Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón. The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation
  • Stanislaw Lem, Memoirs Found in a Bathtub
  • Walter M. Miller, Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz
  • Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
  • Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb
  • Short fiction by J.G. Ballard, Arthur C. Clarke, and Harlan Ellison; excerpts from Y2K-related fiction
  • Short non-fiction and excerpts from texts in history of computer science, critical theory, system risks theory

Course screenings (subject to change)

  • Craig Baldwin, Spectres of the Spectrum
  • Katherine Bigelow, Strange Days
  • David Cronenberg, Videodrome
  • Terry Gilliam, Brazil
  • Jean-Luc Godard, Alphaville
  • Joseph Sargent, Colossus: The Forbin Project
  • Fred Wilcox, Forbidden Planet
  • Robert Wise, The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Excerpts from popular religious and science fiction films on Y2k and apocalyptic themes

Course requirements include a take-home midterm, an annotated research bibliography, and a final research paper.


ENG 4905

Independent Study

Faculty Member of Choice

An Independent Study course may be taken for 1- to 3-credit hours and will count as credit toward the English major. This course may be repeated with a change of topic up to a maximum of 9 credits.

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.


ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Mark Twain

David Leverenz

In this course we’ll discuss Mark Twain’s fiction and autobiographical writings. Most of our class time will be devoted to in-depth discussions and close readings of Twain’s major texts: Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, The Gilded Age (co-authored), Life on the Mississippi, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Pudd’nhead Wilson, his Autobiography, and selections from Twain’s short stories and his later writings, e.g., “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” “Private History of a Campaign that Failed,” “The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg,” the diaries of Adam and Eve, The Mysterious Stranger, and the “Hellfire Hotchkiss” fragment. We’ll also consider Twain as the first “celebrity author” in the United States. How is Twain a Southern and Western as well as a national writer, and why did he settle in Hartford? How do racial and gender tensions unsettle our reading experiences of his texts? Why did his evocations of regional nostalgia and “bad boys” have such appeal? Why did he go bankrupt, and then pay back his creditors? Why was Joan of Arc his favorite among all his books? In his last years, why did he have a bevy of prepubescent girls whom he called his “Angelfish?” And why, at the same time, do his writings become so bleak, bitter, and cynical about what he called “the damned human race?” Even then, in the midst of his private despair, why is he so funny?

I’ll usually start each class with a brief presentation on some aspect of the readings, then go around the room asking each of you what you’d like to talk about. From that mix of enthusiasms, bafflements, confusions, annoyances, insights, and surprises we’ll build our discussion. We’ll probably read some criticism analyzing issues of race and gender in several of Twain’s texts, and students will be expected to incorporate relevant criticism into their final projects. Writing required: two comparative close readings (25% each) and a research essay of 15–18 pp. (50%). If discussion falters, I’ll require weekly quizzes, and alter the grading percentages. I hope that won’t be necessary in an Honors class. I’ll require attendance, and I won’t give a final exam.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at Ldavid@ufl.edu, or give me a call at 352-392-6650 x 283, or call me at home, 371-7461, before 9:30 p.m. Or come by Turlington 4362 on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternoons, committees willing.


ENG 4936

Honors Seminar: Desire in Film

Maureen Turim

This seminar will examine how cinema mobilizes and represents desire. It will simultaneously consider how major new theories of desire arose out of post-structuralism, and how these theories might better help us discuss cinematic representation of desire. Most theories reflect the impact of Freudian psychoanalysis, though some imply a criticism of aspects of Freudian theory, while others a reinterpretation. We will examine how philosophical treatment of desire compares to psychoanalytic theorization of desire. Among the theorists we will read are Roland Barthes, Jean-François Lyotard, Jacques Lacan, Deleuze and Guattari, and Judith Butler. We will ask such questions as how theories of desire treat males and females differently, and how queer desire might be seen in relationship to heterosexual desire. We will look at theories of sublimation, and other ways of addressing the relationship of desire to the production and appreciation of art and writing. We will look at how consumer culture and advertising affect our desires, and our theories of desire. We will consider how desire has been used in film theory and criticism, and what the specifics of filmic expression mean for a theory of desire. This is a course in both film and theory. Students who haven’t taken film courses before should read Film Art (Bordwell and Thompson) on their own so they can follow our discussions.

Students will write short outlining and annotating assignments for each week’s reading assignment in preparation for two paper projects of seven pages each (a mid-term and a final paper). Active participation in class discussion is vital. The assignments will be turned in through WebCT Vista and checked for plagiarism using TURNITIN. All citation should be done according to MLA style guidelines. Students are expected to attend class on time: lateness and absences will affect your grade, as per University guidelines.

This seminar is ideal for students wishing to prepare for graduate studies in film, critical theory, and cultural studies. Expect to fully participate in class discussions, and come well prepared for seminar. One third of your final grade will be on the intellectual quality of your seminar discussion.


Much of the reading for the course may be downloaded as e-reserves for this course through the UF library. I have put together an anthology of chapters from books and essays in journals that pertain to the issues of desire and its representation in film.


Films will be selected as providing different aspects desire’s representation, and active viewing at the assigned screening time is mandatory. Examples will range from As You Desire Me to That Obscure Object of Desire to In the Realm of the Senses.


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, Spring, 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, Spring, 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, Spring, 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.


ENG 4953

Poetry, Government, and the Origins of “Sexuality” in the Sixteenth Century

John Murchek

In the first volume of his History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault argues that sixteenth-century men and women in the West started to focus ever-increasing attention on their bodies, pleasures, sensations and impressions, and that they did so with the goal of governing their own behavior and the behavior of others. According to Foucault, this heightened attention to sensations, impressions, and pleasures would, approximately 200 years later, result in the emergence of an object of knowledge and an experience called “sexuality” – a term that no sixteenth-century Englishman or Englishwoman would have understood.

This course takes Foucault’s historical sketch as its point of departure, and explores the hypothesis that sixteenth-century poetry and poetic theory also participate in this intensified focus that people brought to bear on their desires, sensations and pleasures, and thus helped to lay the groundwork for the eventual emergence of “sexuality.” In order to elaborate and test this hypothesis, we will ask such questions as: How do texts that defend and attack poetry in the period conceptualize poetry’s effect on its readers? In what ways are readers’ pleasures and desires supposed to be stimulated by poetry, and how are poetic pleasure and the desires it excites related to the government of the self and others? What are the implications of the fact that rhetorical, educational and poetic theories privileged the imitation and translation of authoritative models? How do poets and poetic theorists conceptualize imagination? What do disputes over poetic diction reveal about what one might call the “government of the tongue?” How does “love poetry” – primarily imitative of Petrarch – define relations between lover and beloved, beauty and desire, desire and reason, desire and virtue? What kinds of bodies and psyches are assumed or produced by such “love poetry,” by religious verse (translations of the Psalms, for example), and by allegorical epic?

Readings will include the first two volumes of Foucault’s History of Sexuality, as well as selected lectures and essays by Foucault; materials drawn from early modern English social and political history; and, of course, sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century poetry and poetic theory by such writers as Sir Thomas Elyot, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard (Earl of Surrey), George Gascoigne, Isabella Whitney, Richard Sackville, William Baldwin, Sir Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney (Countess of Pembroke), George Puttenham, Edmund Spenser, Aemilia Lanyer, William Shakespeare, and Francis Bacon. If students want to get a head start on the work for the semester, they can read New Worlds, Lost Worlds: The Rule of the Tudors, 1485–1603, Susan Brigden’s recent history of sixteenth-century Britain.

In all likelihood, the following will be the assigned texts for the semester:

  • Susan Brigden, New Worlds, Lost Worlds: The Rule of the Tudors, 1485–1603
  • Danielle Clark (ed.), Isabella Whitney, Mary Sidney, and Aemilia Lanyer: Renaissance Women Poets
  • Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction
  • —. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 2: The Use of Pleasure
  • William Shakespeare, The Sonnets
  • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene
  • Richard S. Sylvester (ed.), English Sixteenth-Century Verse: An Anthology
  • Brian Vickers (ed.), English Renaissance Literary Criticism
  • Xerox packet of materials

Given the topic of this course, it should be of interest to students pursuing any of the following English Department Undergraduate Models of Study: British Literature, Cultural Studies, Studies in Theory, or Feminisms, Genders and Sexualities.

I anticipate that students will be evaluated on the basis of attendance and participation, a number of weekly question sets, an 8-10 page paper, an in-class presentation.


ENG 4953

Visions of Blake

Donald Ault

This course will focus on a close and detailed analysis of a significant portion of the verbal and visual work of writer/artist William Blake and will explore “Blake” as a “visionary” and as a “cultural myth” that has been produced through the ways his name and his work have been culturally envisioned and constituted through academic discourse (primarily literary criticism such as Northrop Frye’s Fearful Symmetry) and dimensions of popular consciousness (primarily in films, comics, sculpture, and music).

Required Texts:

  • Course Pack, available from Xerographic Copy Center, 927 NW 13th Street
  • William Blake, The Complete Poetry and Prose, David Erdman Edition only
  • Online material from the William Blake Archive and password protected teaching sites
  • Donald Ault, Visionary Physics and Other Essays: Blake, Newton, and Incommensurable Textuality

Requirements: Good attendance, keeping up with the reading, active course participation, short essays, and a final paper/project.


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) and one copy of the thesis (30 to 50 pages) must be delivered to the CLAS Academic Advising Center on Fletcher Road at least 10 days before graduation.


ENL 3122

Nineteenth-Century British Novel

Tom Bragg

This course will consider important and representative British novels of the nineteenth century, preceding and including the Victorian period. If you have not taken ENL 2022, you may want to familiarize yourself with this period in British history. I can recommend Houghton’s The Victorian Frame of Mind, available at the library. But there any number of good introductory histories.

We will consider the nineteenth century novel in its “length and breadth,” considering different styles, subjects, and even sub-genres in an effort to rediscover the peculiar power of the form during this era. Against Jane Austen’s knowing Persuasion with its close scrutiny of the heart of England, we will consider the conceptual opposite of such social comedies: the unreal medieval England of Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. We’ll move from the grimy, criminal London spaces of Oliver Twist, through the snug cathedral town of The Warden, and on to rustic country villages in Silas Marner and The Mayor of Casterbridge. We’ll explore the very striking gender dynamics of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall before looking at the (mostly) female community of Cranford, the (mostly) male cast of Treasure Island. Through all of these varied types, nineteenth-century novelists continued to sift the same questions of identity, to ponder the same ethical and moral dilemmas. As best we can, we’re going to read these novelists, their times, and ourselves against the challenges of these dilemmas and questions.

Class discussion will be informal for the most part: attentive and responsive to the texts and to each other’s perceptions. Please note: I am not trying to convert you into a communist, feminist, relativist, structuralist, existentialist, atheist, activist or fetishist. I will not require you to be radical, political, hysterical, homo-, hetero- or metrosexual. My class is not a recruitment office for any causes, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. Apart from reading great works of literature and responding to their challenges, I have no agenda for you.

More overtly literary topics of conversation may include, but are not limited to: the narrator, its changing function and location; the development of literary genres, such as the historical novel, the horror novel, the romance; gender politics and representations of masculinity and femininity; the evolution of dialogue; novelistic structure and plot; representations of class and ethnicity.

This course provides upper-division credit in the major and will be taught with that in mind. This means that I expect you to keep up with a lot of reading, know how to conduct research in the field and contribute meaningfully to class discussions. You should carefully consider your reading speed, interest in the material, and expectations before committing to this course.


  • Austen, Jane. Persuasion
  • Scott, Sir Walter. Ivanhoe
  • Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist
  • Brontë, Anne. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • Gaskell, Elizabeth. Cranford
  • Trollope, Anthony. The Warden
  • Eliot, George. Silas Marner
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island
  • Hardy, Thomas. The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • Culler, Jonathan. Literary Theory: a Very Short Introduction


ENL 3132

Twentieth-Century British Novel

Brandon Kershner

This course is a survey of the development of the twentieth-century “British” novel (including Ireland) through the present. The first half of the course will stress the arrival of modernism in the novel and the particular influence of literary impressionism; the second will explore lesser-known novelists, especially women, who are often excluded from surveys. We will also examine the question of postmodernism in the novel.

Requirements include two short essays (roughly eight typed pages in length). The subject of the first paper will be point of view in one of the authors we read before the midterm; the subject of the second will be open, but it must concern the work of one of the novelists we are reading after the midterm. There will be a midterm and a final exam, both including objective and essay parts, but the objective part of the final will not be cumulative. Papers and exams count equally toward your grade. Depending upon the class’s demonstrated preparedness, there may be occasional quizzes, each counting 1/4 of a paper grade. An additional grade, between C and A, will reflect your class participation.

Books may include

  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Bedford Books)
  • Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier
  • Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories
  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Bedford Books)
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
  • E.M. Forster, Howards End
  • Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart
  • Iris Murdoch, Under the Net
  • A.S. Byatt, Matisse Stories
  • Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot


ENL 3210

Medieval English Literature

James Paxson

Medieval English Literature is a general introduction to the thought and culture of the Middle English period (c. 1100–1500 C.E.). It will thus serve mainly as a resource or backgrounds course designed to prepare students for Chaucer as well as for Renaissance authors. We’ll thus devote much attention to the influence of classical culture on the medieval imagination. We will study key genres including epic, romance, allegory, the philosophical debate, and the travel narrative not only to appreciate their literary or aesthetic dimensions but also to take into account medieval systems of psychology, ethics, history, theology, rhetoric, poetics, and semiotics; issues of gender and sexuality will figure prominently. We will have occasion as well to investigate some biblical texts and religious thinking important to our area. You should thereby develop knowledge in the various critical, literary, or cultural theories that have come to shape contemporary medieval studies in particular and English studies in general. The eight texts on the syllabus divide symmetrically (four Latin, four English) in order to establish the course’s sense of generic, aesthetic, and historical backgrounds and legacies. Two papers; midterm exam on classical backgrounds; quizzes; required attendance.


ENL 3230

Age of Dryden and Pope

Brian McCrea

We will read plays, poems, and prose fiction by British authors of the second half of the seventeenth and first half of the eighteenth centuries. While we will study the individual works in considerable detail, we also will establish backgrounds (aesthetic, political, religious) from which those works emerge. In particular, we will attend to the growing social and literary power of what we today call the middle class and to a corresponding diminution of aristocratic/patriarchal authority.

Students will write two papers (6–8 pages each). They also will write briefly at the opening or closing of most class sessions, responding to questions about the reading or about the class itself. The course concludes with a two-part final examination. Part 1 (Identification and Short Answer) will be based upon my lectures. Part 2 (Essay) will ask for a comprehensive response to one of three questions about the Age. Participation in class discussions is expected. Students who have difficulty speaking in class should see me about other options.


All these will be available at Goerings Textbook location, 1717 N.W. 1 st Avenue.

  • Restoration and 18th Century Comedy, 2nd. ed., ed. Scott McMillin (Norton)
  • Popular Fiction by Women 1160–1730, eds. John Richetti and Paula Backscheider (Oxford)
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1C, 8th edition, eds. M. H. Abrams, et al. (Norton)


ENL 3241

The British Romantics

Richard Brantley

The emphasis is on such major poets as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron. The approach is historical, interdisciplinary, biographical, and formalistic. Directions for both the midterm and the non-cumulative final are as follows: “Identify the following fifteen passages, author and title (60 points). Comment on two of them (30 points each). In commenting take class discussion into account and go beyond it.” Twenty typed, double-spaced pages of critical response are required, though not all at the same time. The text is David Perkins, ed., English Romantic Writers.


ENL 3251

Victorian Literature

Sarah Bleakney

One of the goals of this course will be to understand the major cultural conversations occurring in Victorian Britain. Channeling these conversations through the fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction of the era, this class will engage these issues through in-class discussions and a variety of assignments. We will focus on a number of issues that were important to the Victorians and continue to be debated in our own time – such as gender roles, class conflicts, and degeneracy/decadence, amongst others – using the literary, cultural, and historical context of marriage and courtship as a framework.

Other goals of this course include becoming familiarized with a wide range of Victorian texts, learning how to read these texts critically, and constructing essays that are thoughtful and persuasive. In addition to a reading journal, assignments will also include quizzes, two papers, a comprehensive final exam, and an in-class presentation.

In addition to short stories, poetry, and non-fiction, possible texts include:

  • Austen, Jane. Emma.
  • Brontë, Anne. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
  • Eliot, George. Middlemarch.
  • Wilde, Oscar. An Ideal Husband.


ENL 4273

Twentieth Century British Literature

Carl Miller

“One of the things I could never get accustomed to in my youth was the difference I found between life and literature.” – James Joyce

At its very core, British modernism was spawned in an effort to narrow this gap between life and literature, and produced results both fascinating and frightening. As T.S. Eliot famously offered, Joyce’s Ulysses “is simply a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history. It is, I seriously believe, a step towards making the modern world possible for art.” If this is indeed the case, then one could plausibly ask what the next logical step would be in this direction. The twin towers of literary modernism, Joyce’s Ulysses and Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” offered immense artistic possibilities in 1922, but also jarred literature from the archetype of realism, throwing into chaos the seeming teleology of literary progression in the process. This class will analyze the seismic impact of the modernist revolution in literature, and explore the subsequent development of British literature and aesthetics as modernism gives way to postmodernism (or any number of other period theories that may be posited). The readings for this course will span from high modernists such as Joyce, Eliot, and Virginia Woolf to contemporary figures such as Salman Rushdie, Angela Carter, and Roddy Doyle, as well as literary representations within film, popular music, and other developing mediums. We will also be reading various excerpts of literary theory by (among others) Fredric Jameson, Jean-François Lyotard, and Anthony Giddens in an effort to contextualize the primary texts. Ultimately, it is the aim of this course to offer not only a critique of the historical past, but also a potential roadmap of the future of British literature.

Requirements for this class include attendance and active class participation, regular quizzes, response papers to readings, and two extended essays in relationship to the issues discussed in class.


ENL 4311


R. Allen Shoaf

Aims of the Course

The course seeks to familiarize students with the major poetry of Chaucer in its historical context (primarily, though not exclusively, Troilus and Criseyde and The Canterbury Tales) and to introduce them to the principal methodological issues at stake in the modern study of Chaucer – especially the question of sources, the problem of “translation,” the nature of allusion, the representation of the body, and the status of metaphoric discourse in late medieval poetry.

Attention will also be paid to Middle English as a language, and some effort will be devoted to “performing” Chaucer aloud. (Tapes of Chaucer’s poetry read by professional Chaucerians can be ordered from a non-profit organization; details will be offered in class.) The course is not, however, a course in language as such.


  • Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, trans. Green
  • The Canterbury Tales, ed. Fisher and Allen
  • Troilus and Criseyde, ed. Shoaf
  • Troilus and Criseyde, trans. Windeatt

Reserve List

There will be a list of around 20 titles. Students may want to provide their own copies (any edition) of Vergil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, The Romance of the Rose, and Dante’s Inferno since limited selections will be assigned from these works (which can otherwise be read in the library).


Spot quizzes (unannounced except for the notice on the syllabus); one modernization quiz (30 minutes); two in-class exams; one paper, 5 pages in length; no final exam; mandatory attendance – the first three (3) absences (i.e., one week) will be excused, but each absence thereafter, unless excused for extraordinary reasons, reduces your final mark by 10%.


ENL 4333


Robert Thomson

This course will involve a close study of a dozen or so of the plays and a number of readings from the poems and elsewhere. Emphasis will be laid upon the problem-stating – solving – mediating nature of the dramas. This will necessitate a close reading of the texts; a recognition of the dramatic and verbal ironies that abound; close attention to the paradoxes and ambiguities which motivate the actions and observation of the stark oppositions which are continually reiterated.

We will be led into a contextual study of both the world within and the world without the Elizabethan theatre, with its concern for orderliness and its doubts and confusions as the new seventeenth-century learning questioned and undermined the values and social/political /religious assumptions of its society. We may then come to appreciate how these great plays and poems still speak to us with immediacy after a span of nearly four hundred years.

I intend to spend time with the following plays and, in addition, may spare more than a passing glance at one or two others – particularly making use, at the beginning of the course, of the early plays Titus Andronicus and Richard III and also The Sonnets

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Henry 4 part 1
  • Henry 4 part 2
  • As You Like It
  • Julius Caesar
  • Hamlet
  • Measure for Measure
  • King Lear
  • The Tempest

The Text for the course is The Norton Shakespeare, edited by Stephen Greenblatt and others. It is in stock at Goerings Bookstore. Any recent and annotated text would suffice but since I will be giving references to the texts in the above edition and occasionally referring to its introductory essays and bibliographies, it would be perhaps more prudent to use the recommended text. Throughout the course of the semester, I will draw your attention to particularly noteworthy essays and critical studies from the lists given by Greenblatt in his text. My intention is not simply to display my own preferences and prejudices, but also to let you know where much of the substance of my discussions of the plays comes from. In addition, I will frequently offer you recommended readings of recent criticism that has been published since our text went to press, particularly those arising from new historicist, feminist, psychological and anthropological approaches to the texts. I will also take it upon myself to advise you of the more useful websites I have encountered, particularly those that offer bibliographical, critical and explicatory information.


Two essays will be required of you (each ca. 2500 words) and, in addition, there will be a number of in-class tests. There will be no final exam.

Oral participation will be expected and rewarded. Absences – I intend to make periodic register checks – will be penalized, as will late papers. Plagiarism which is detected will result in a failing grade for the course.

If at any time you need to see me or discuss a problem, I can be reached on the phone, 392-1060 ext 267. My office (Turlington 4342) hours will be 8:00 through 9:00 each morning of classes or by appointment. I can also be reached by email: <rthomson@english.ufl.edu>.


ENL 4333

Shakespeare: Learning by Doing

Sidney Homan

The assumption in all my theatre courses is that the text of a play is not just what is written on the page, but that text in performance, delivered by actors before an audience. This means the play’s text also includes gestures, movement, blocking (the stage picture), and sub-text (what the character is saying inwardly, beneath the lines delivered onstage, as well as the “history” for that character invented by the actor). In the theatre, we would further supplement this text with lighting, sound, set, costumes, props, and make-up. To be sure, one can approach a play in a thousand ways – as literature, as a repository for the thinking of an age, as the springboard for political or cultural issues. But, since I work both on campus and in the theatre, as an actor and director, and since the theatre itself is a unique medium with its own aesthetic principles, I approach the plays, with my students, and as a fellow “student,” as something meant to be performed by an actor and ratified by an audience. In my courses, each student has a scene partner with whom he or she stages several scenes each semester. Once performed, the class and I, as co-directors, “work” that scene with the two actors, trying out options, rehearsing it. This is a challenge, to be sure, but students, no matter what their background, should have no anxiety about doing things this way for, historically in my courses, Mechanical Engineering majors have done no worse than Theatre students who have done no better than those working in English or Anthropology. The emphasis, therefore, is on learning by doing, and I judge student work by intent, what goes into the performance – not by finesse. If there is finesse, that is considered a bonus.

In my Shakespeare course, we will thus consider A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, Much Ado about Nothing, and Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which, of course, offers a playwright’s critique of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. During the semester students will also see a production, An Evening with Tom Stoppard, at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre. There is a major course paper assessing your work as actor and using your own performance as the subject.


LIN 3680

Modern English Structure

Roger Thompson

Modern English Structure is a survey of English grammar based on principles of descriptive rather than prescriptive grammar. In other words, we will look at how native speakers of American English actually use the language in various contexts rather than how some authority thinks they ought to use it. Our focus is on preparing you to help English language learners (ELLs) understand how the English language works. As such we will look not just at different points of grammar, but how they can be taught in effective ways. Some of these ways you and a partner will create and demonstrate to the class. We will also look at differences between spoken and written English which cause unexpected problems for ELLs. Grades are based on participation and preparation (as measured by a daily two point quiz at the beginning of class), several exams (combination short answer, identification, and “explain the rule that was broken”), presentation of a grammar activity, and participation in the conversation partner program at the English Language Institute. There is no final. This class should be of special interest to those who want an adventure from their English studies by teaching overseas.


LIT 3031

Studies in Poetry: Eighteenth-Century Poetry

Melvyn New

We will be reading a broad selection of poetry written between 1660 and 1770, beginning with Milton’s Paradise Lost. Rather than concentrating on the major poets after Milton, that is, Dryden, Pope, and Swift, we will be reading them in an anthology, along with many lesser known poets as well, so that by the end of the course we will have a very good idea of the breadth of poetry (some 40 poets in all) written during this period, but perhaps not the depth (which would require another course). We will also be paying attention to metrics, to the various rhetorical devices of poets, to the themes and interests of the period, and to the aesthetics of poetry. If you do not like poetry this is probably not the course for you; but, then again, if you do not like poetry, why are you an English major? Written work will be required.


LIT 3031

Studies in Poetry: Victorian Poetry and Gender

Madhura Bandyopadhyay

“Man must be pleased; but him to please / Is woman’s pleasure;” declared Coventry Patmore’s poem “The Angel in the House” in 1854. Ideals of masculinity and femininity that describe man as an active, rational agent in the public sphere and woman as a passive, emotional presence in the domestic space still dominates our understanding of “The Victorians,” especially our understanding of Victorian gender roles and sexuality. How many times, for example, have you heard the term “Victorian prudery?” In recent years, however, there has been something of a sea change in the understanding of Victorian sexuality, poetry and poetics. Victorian poets are no longer seen as merely late, inferior inheritors of the major legacy of Romanticism playing second fiddle to their contemporary novelists. The advent of cultural studies has made our understanding of Victorian poetry much richer, making us aware of the complexity of cultural discourses negotiated through poetry.

This course will examine politics and poetics in Victorian poetry shaped around critical enquiries related to discourses of gender. Our investigations will explore often conflicting discourses about masculinity and femininity which intersect with issues of class, race, same-sex desire and imperialism in this period. All of these divergent enquiries will also lead us into investigations regarding poetry, authorship, canonization and the development of a gendered poetics and its destabilization.

Readings may include selections of poetry from Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, John Clare, Thomas Hood, Letitia Landon, Elizabeth Browning, Caroline Norton, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Anne Bronte, Eliza Cook, Ellen Johnston, George Eliot, Jean Ingelow, Dora Greenwell, Lady Wilde Speranza, Adelaide Ann Procter, Arthur Munby, Elizabeth Siddal, D.G. Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, Augusta Webster, Alice Meynell, Mary Robinson, Mary Coleridge, Rudyard Kipling and Charlotte Mew. You will also be introduced to very short selections of Victorian poetic theory and prose that influenced these poets and short selections of critical readings from Michel Foucault, Mary Poovey, Judith Butler, Nancy Armstrong, Eve Sedgwick, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak amongst others.

Tentative texts subject to availability:

  • The Broadview Anthology of Victorian Poetry and Poetic Theory, eds. Thomas J. Collins & Vivienne J. Rundle
  • Any handbook with the MLA system of documentation
  • Course pack and/or handouts with additional readings

Assignments: 1 short paper (10%, 2–3 pages), take-home essay (25%, 5–6 pages), final research paper (40%, 10–12 pages), quizzes/ responses/ participation/ attendance15%, presentation 10%

Note: The research paper will require you to read additional primary texts, apart from the ones mentioned in the syllabus, as well as secondary critical material depending on your choice of topic. The presentation will be a group presentation which will require an advanced knowledge of some idea/poet/poems/historical context that you will select from a set of topics. This will also require additional research as a group.


LIT 3031

Studies in Poetry

Debora Greger

Required texts

  • Elizabeth Bishop, Complete Poems, 1927–1979
  • Elizabeth Bishop and Emanuel Brasil, eds., Anthology of Twentieth-Century Brazilian Poetry
  • Donald Justice, Collected Poems
  • Robert Lowell, Life Studies and For the Union Dead
  • J.D. McClatchy, Contemporary World Poetry
  • Jack Myers and Don C. Wukasch, Dictionary of Poetic Terms
  • John E. Warriner, Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition (1986)

Poems in the books will be read, analyzed, and discussed by the entire class. If you don’t want to buy all of the books and to devour every word of them, this isn’t the class for you.

The poems that you will be assigned to write will be graded on quality as well as on quantity and on grammar as well as on content; we’re not in middle school now.


LIT 3041

Early Modern Drama

Randi Smith

We will read about one non-Shakespearean play per week from the greatest era for English drama, perhaps the greatest era for drama in any language – from the latter part of Henry’s reign to the closing of the theaters in 1642. We will focus on understanding these plays in a number of contexts such as stage conditions; illusion/reality/representation; language, rhetoric, and style; the development of techniques and genres; and social, political, and theological conditions.

The course will proceed along lines of generic development throughout the period. In the first part we will read tragedies by Kyd, Marlow, Webster, and others; in the second, comedies by Dekker, Beaumont, Jonson, and others; in the third tragic-comedies like those by Marston. We will also examine at least one play by a female playwright – probably Margaret Cavendish – of the period and discuss the implications of gender within her plot. Throughout the course, students will take 10 unannounced brief quizzes (100 points). At the end of each part, students will be responsible for a paper: Paper I on a tragedy (about 3,000 words, 100 points) Paper II on a comedy (about 3,000 words, 150 points), Paper III on any non-Shakespearean play of the era not assigned to the class (about 5,000 words, 200 points).

Our focus will be on developing students’ skills and knowledge towards two ends: first, in order to enjoy reading knowledgably and independently such famous plays as The Spanish Tragedy, Dr. Faustus, The Duchess of Malfi, Bartholomew Fair, and The Convent of Pleasure; second, in order to speak and write convincingly.


LIT 3043

Studies in Modern Drama: Text Against Performance

Apollo Amoko

This course addresses the centrality of performance to the aesthetics of drama. Specifically, we will examine the implications of studying dramatic plays in contexts that do not typically take account of performance. Most of us are unlikely to watch performances of the vast majority of the plays we study. Our comments regarding performance, if at all existent, tend therefore to be conjectural and hypothetical. The course will revolve around two antithetical arguments. The first argument insists on the singularity and irreducibility of performance for the dramatic aesthetic. At its most extreme, this view suggests that all readings of plays that do not derive from the experience of performance are necessarily incomplete and inadequate. The second argument suggests, counter-intuitively perhaps, that the experience of performance, beyond being unnecessary, may actually inhibit our capacity to read dramatic texts. According to this argument, the charismatic body of the actor and the emotive power of live performance interrupt and distort critical textual engagement. As well, the inexorable unfolding of dramatic performances in ‘real time’ prevents close reading, re-reading, cross-referencing and so on, all of which are indispensable for informed criticism. Which of these two positions is right? Are texts and performances as mutually opposed to each other as the two arguments imply? This course will be based in part on the Gainesville Theatre season for 2007. In addition, we will study the texts and videotaped performances of plays by leading American practitioners such Anna Deveare Simth, Margaret Edson, Eve Ensler and Tony Kushner. We will also examine a landmark moment in African theater, namely revolutionary theater in anti-apartheid South Africa.


LIT 3173

Identity and Memory in Jewish Literature

Michal Ben-Horin

Memory can be factual and linear, it is also emotive and timeless. It may be private or collective and may embody personal or cultural experience. Memories have been documented, narrated, and woven into fiction. How do the qualities of these memories differ? What role do they play in processes of self-understanding? Do they help to shape identity in the same way, and what kinds of identity do they shape? When do memories become political?

Theories of memory and representation can help us to consider these questions. A close engagement with the work of major writers of Hebrew, North-American and German-Jewish literature in the second half of the twentieth century will allow us to examine literature as a medium of Jewish memory. This is a poetic medium within which Jewish traditions are explored, confirmed but also challenged. We will question which memories are represented, why, how, and to what effect, in texts by Paul Auster and Philip Roth, Barbara Honigman, Amos Oz, A. B. Yehoshua, Yoel Hoffman and Ronit Matalon.


LIT 3173

Women in Modern Hebrew Fiction

Avraham Balaban

Israel was founded on expressed ideas of a complete equality between the sexes. Yet, until the last two decades of the twentieth century, Hebrew fiction was mainly a male domain, and women were rarely depicted as a full blown human being. In the last two decades a new wave of female writers started publishing their work, and the image of women has become much richer and diverse. The rationale of the course is to explore the different manners women are depicted in Hebrew fiction throughout the twentieth century. Special attention is given to the changes that occurred in the last two decades, with the appearance of a new wave of female writers.

The course starts with a close reading of stories by writers who established the new center of Hebrew literature in then-Palestine: Dvora Baron and S.Y. Agnon.. Then we study some stories of the “Palmach generation” of the 1940s and the 1950s (Moshe Shamir, Aharon Megged, Yigal Mossinson). A major part of the course is dedicated to the works of the “New Wave” writers of the early 1960s, Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, Amalia Kahana-Carmon, and Aharon Appelfeld. The final part of the course deals with the new wave of female writers, who started publishing in the late 1980s.

In the second part of the semester students will present short papers on the books of De Beauvoir (The Second Sex), Gilbert and Gubar (The Madwoman in the Attic), Killet (Sexual Politics), Rich (Of Woman Born) and Showalter (A Literature of Their Own).

The discussion of female figures in the texts (women as the ‘other,’ as full-blown human being, as symbols, etc.) is done in the context of Israeli society: i.e., a new society established on expressed ideas of a complete equality between the sexes; the burden of Jewish tradition which tends to marginalize the role of women and stresses their role as mothers; the effect of the political situation (society under constant siege).


LIT 3400

Technologies of the Book

Terry Harpold

A review of the 2000-year evolution of the form of the book most familiar to modern readers the codex (folded sheets stitched into quires, bound into volumes) and the changes in reading and writing practices that accompanied its evolution. We will investigate formal, typographic, and mechanical-material traditions of the book, and methods of storing, sorting, selecting, and preserving printed and digital texts. Course field trips will include visits to UF’s Special and Area Studies Collections, the George A. Smathers Library’s Preservation Department, and the Digital Library Center.

Course readings include some fiction (short texts by Victor Hugo and Jorge Luis Borges, Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s novel A Canticle for Leibowitz), and nonfiction texts (by Nicholson Baker, Matthew Battles, Vannevar Bush, Paul Duguid, Jean-Noël Jeannney, Alberto Manguel, Walter Ong, Georges Perec, and Henry Petroski) on the history of reading practices, books, libraries, and related technologies. Writing requirements include an exercise in book classification and two take-home exams.


LIT 4183

Nation and Narration

Apollo Amoko

This course explores the relationship imagined between “nation” and “narration.” In Imagined Communities, a landmark study on the origins and spread of nationalism, Benedict Anderson appears to suggest that the novel (along with the newspaper) was central to the possibility of imagining the modern nation. The aesthetic of the novel made it possible to think and narrate the nation in “homogeneous empty time.” Further, Anderson seems to contend that the canonization of literary texts through the school system was instrumental for enabling the intelligentsia to “take the nation to the people.” From this perspective, it is not surprising that literature has historically conceived of its objects of study in fundamentally nationalist terms. In Cultural Capital, a landmark study on the logic of literary canon formation, John Guillory contends that the effect of nationalist legitimation cannot be understood as a property inherent in the aesthetic of the novel (or the newspaper), but rather, is the product of a certain context of reading, “a pedagogical imaginary.” Specific literary works, Guillory insists, must be seen as “the vector of ideological notions which do not inhere in the works themselves but in the context of their institutional presentation, or more simply, in the way in which they are taught.” He makes a firm distinction between pedagogical and national imaginaries, between school and national cultures. In his argument, school culture “does not unify the nation culturally so much as it projects out of a curriculum of artifact-based knowledge an imaginary cultural unity never actually coincident with the culture of the nation-state.” While for Anderson, the novel enables the emergence of national culture, for Guillory, the cultural institutions of the novel reflect a highly restrictive school culture. Which of these two theorists presents the more persuasive argument regarding the connection between nation and narration? We will attempt to answer this question by looking at a range of canonical texts from a variety of national and continental contexts.


LIT 4188

Sex in The Empire

Leah Rosenberg

Scholars of colonial and postcolonial studies have shown that Europeans were profoundly interested in managing and policing expressions of sexuality in the American, African, and Asian territories they controlled. The sexual policies that resulted were foundational to colonization efforts and the maintenance of colonial societies. For example, concubinage, rape, marriage, and the formation of new “races” of children all emerged early on as processes of colonization. Moreover, fantasies and stereotypes about the sexuality of colonized peoples influenced the construction of identities in Europe as well. This course examines both the role of sexuality in colonial history and the influence of Europe and its colonies on each other. The readings will integrate theoretical work on sexuality and empire, such as Anne McClintock’s Imperial Leather and Ann Stoler’s Race and the Education of Desire, with historical studies of such topics as prostitution in Victorian Britain and the creation of the “Hottentot Venus.”

The first half of the semester will consist of a comparative analysis of policies and literature on race and sexuality in the British West Indies and Haiti (then the French colony of Saint Domingue) at the time of the Haitian Revolution. Did French practices and ideas in regard to race and sexuality contribute to creating the conditions that enabled the Revolution? The second half of the semester will address British colonialism in Africa and the Middle East during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In regard to Africa, we will focus on the Victorian period and the figure of the Hottentot Venus. The final segment of this class will address British conceptions of male homoeroticism and homosexuality in North Africa and the Middle East.

Primary texts will likely include

  • John Stedman’s Narrative of a Five Years Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam
  • Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda
  • Moreau de Saint-Mèry’s Description Topographique…de l’Isle Saint-Domingue (1797, excerpts in translation)
  • The History of Mary Prince
  • Suzan-Lori Parks’s “Venus”
  • Zola Maseko’s The Life and Times of Sara Baartman: The Hottentot Venus (film)
  • Henry Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines
  • T.E. Lawrence’s The Seven Pillars of Wisdom
  • Lawrence of Arabia (film)


LIT 4305

Animation and Comics

Donald Ault

This course will focus on a selective history and on emergent theories of comic books, comic strips, and animated cartoons from the late 19th century to the present, with emphasis on earlier, “originary” works, and the 6000+ pages of texts of Carl Barks, the subversive Disney comic book artist/writer and animation story man from 1946–1966 who created Scrooge McDuck and whose work will be central to the theoretical, analytical, and historical issues of the seminar. ImageTexts of other artists, writers, animators, and studios to be studied will probably include Winsor McCay, George Herriman, Bill Cole, Chester Gould, Will Eisner, Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, the Disney, Fleischer, Iwerks, and Warner Bros. Studios, and many others.

The class will meet two periods each day, three days a week, a time-format that should allow video projection screenings and same-day discussions of images and theoretical and historical texts. The format will be kept open-ended throughout the semester.

Requirements: essays, quizzes, productive class participation, and a final project.

Required Text: Course Packet (Xerographic Copy Center, 927 N.W. 13th Street). More may be added.


LIT 4332

Children’s Literature: The Picture Book

Anastasia Ulanowicz

The picture book is conventionally regarded as a “simple” form intended for a relatively undemanding audience. Thus, it should come as no surprise that individuals – from door-to-door salesmen to pop superstars – who would not otherwise consider themselves literarily or artistically inclined have begun to try their hands at creating books for children: picture books, it is assumed, are such simple forms that virtually anyone, provided they have the time and capital, can produce them. But are picture books really as simplistic as we might initially imagine? The purpose of this course is to undermine certain conventional assumptions regarding the composition, production, and aesthetics of picture books and to engage with the inherent complexity of key works of children’s literature. We will begin the semester by reading Scott McCloud’s text, Understanding Comics, alongside several key children’s texts, in order to study how the picture book employs the interaction of words and images to produce narrative, represent time and space, and achieve certain desired effects on the reader. As we conduct these analyses, we will consider how our reading of these texts – which depend as much on pictorial images as they do on the written word –challenge our assumptions of what it means to read; thus, we will question how the process by which we read a text such as Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman may not be as far removed as we might imagine from the processes by which we read canonical works of “adult” literature – say, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Moreover, we will draw on McCloud’s text, as well as other theoretical and aesthetic works, to explore the (perhaps surprising) parallels between the production and reception of children’s picture books and other aesthetic forms, including film, jazz, and theatre.

The final grade will be based on attendance/class participation, reading quizzes (!), brief reflection papers, and a final paper.


LIT 4535

Women, Work, and Popular Culture

Susan Hegeman

Arguably one of the biggest changes affecting American women over the last century has been their entry in unprecedented numbers into the public world of wage labor. Meanwhile, polls continue to show that women do a disproportionate share of domestic labor, including housekeeping and childcare. This course will examine women’s labor, both paid and unpaid, through the lens of popular culture including films, popular literature, and fashion. In our discussions, we will consider popular cultural materials not simply as evidence of dramatic historical changes involving women and work, but as attempts to make sense of these changes as well.


LIT 4454

Feminist Theories

Barbara Mennel

This course will cover the range of feminist theories and in relationship to:

  1. the socio-historical contexts out of which theories have emerged;
  2. theories connected to other liberation struggles, such as, for example, African-American and/or gay and lesbian rights;
  3. their applicability and productivity in regard to cultural and social production, such as film, literature, and popular culture;
  4. the contemporary national (United States) and transnational context.

Students will gain a survey of different approaches and understanding of feminism. We will pay special attention to close readings of theoretical texts and their methodologies.

Course requirements will include a midterm and a final exam as well as quizzes throughout the semester and one extensive final paper.


LIT 4930

Charles Dickens

Melvyn New

We will be reading only five novels by Dickens: Little Dorrit, Dombey and Son, Our Mutual Friend, Bleak House, and The Old Curiosity Shop. On the other hand, since each of these novels is approximately 900 pages long, one might consider this a course only for the long-distance reader. If you do not like to read long novels, this is definitely not a course for you, and most especially because daily quizzes will be given to make sure you keep up with your reading on a very regular basis. Rereading these five novels is my retirement gift to myself, a celebration of storytelling as the raison d’etre of why I entered the profession 45 years ago. Hence, we will not be substituting comic-book versions of these novels, we will not watch movies made from them, we will not read summaries or digests, and we will not explore Dickens’s dismal failure as a proto-marxist, proto-feminist, proto-classist, or proto-theorist. Rather, we will think about genius, narrative skill, formalism, ethical insight, charity, sympathy, sentiment, beauty, and truth – in short, some 15 weeks and 4500 pages of dreadfully reactionary ideology.


LIT 4930

The Jazz Age

Stephanie Smith

Prohibition. The crazy Fitzgeralds. From Harlem to Paris and back again, the post war booming 1920s saw some of America’s best-loved writers emerge and mature, “making it new” as what we now call a “modernist” aesthetic changed American prose and poetry. This class will take a close look closely at Gertrude Stein’s “Lost Generation” in order to look critically at the Jazz Age, and how this cultural experiment called “modernism” found a home in New York City. Using historical, cultural and literary documents, we will examine the Jazz Age – named so by F. Scott Fitzgerald – primarily during the years in which America became “modern.” At the same time, we will be working on our own abilities as writers and editors.


  • Melville, Herman. “Paradise of Bachelors/Tartarus of Maids”
  • Malkiel, Theresa. The Diary of A Shirtwaist Striker
  • Weber, Katharine. Triangle
  • Crane, Stephen. Maggie, Girl of the Streets
  • Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby
  • —. “Echoes of the Jazz Age” (hand-out)
  • —. Jazz Age Stories
  • Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time
  • Larson, Nella. Quicksand


LIT 4930

Booker Prize Winners

Denise Guidry

This course has three general points of focus: the form of the novel, postcolonial theory and criticism, and the Booker Prize itself (with its accompanying questions of canon, economics, politics, categorization, and so on). The Booker, instituted in 1969, “aims to reward the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.” Using the Prize as a starting point enables us to think about the role of prizes like the Booker and the Nobel in canon formation and book sales. As we will see, the criterion of Irish or Commonwealth citizenry raises a host of issues, among them Booker winner Salman Rushdie’s criticism of the idea of “Commonwealth literature” itself. We will explore the politics and economics of the Prize as we track media coverage of the process of awarding the 2007 Booker.

As this is also a course on the novel, we will study the form itself in great depth. The texts we discuss have a range of styles, subgenres (e.g. historical novel, national allegory, magical realism), and present issues of nation, hybridity, identity, history (national, international, family, personal, and so on), and the wrongs of the past. We will also pay close attention to which texts authors respond to and incorporate into their own novels.

In our study of postcolonial theory and criticism, we will read and discuss texts set in the colonial period, at the ostensible end of the British empire’s reign in various locations, and in the postcolonial era (which some have described as having nothing “post” about it).

While these three foci structure the course more generally, our discussions and writing about the texts will provide the course’s richness and vitality. I encourage everyone to bring their own particular interests to those discussions, written and spoken.

We will start with last year’s winner, Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss. The subsequent texts will be:

  • Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
  • J.G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
  • Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
  • V.S. Naipaul, In a Free State
  • J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace
  • Keri Hulme, The Bone People

Supplementing our study of the novel and postcolonial theory will be (although these are subject to change):

  • R.B. Kershner, The Twentieth-Century Novel
  • Bill Ashcroft, et al., The Empire Writes Back
  • a course pack and/or reserve readings


LIT 4930

Black Englishes

James Essegby

Unlike Danish which is the language spoken by the Danes or Japanese which is the language the Japanese, English is not just a language of the English, even if that is where it originates. Today, the language has spread across the globe and has been appropriated by regions such that we can talk of Australian English, Nigerian English, etc. While most of the varieties of English can be understood for the most part by every English speaker, there are restructured varieties such as Sranan spoken in Surinam that are more difficult to follow. In fact, these have developed into different languages. The aim of this course is to take students on a language journey across the globe to look at the Englishes spoken by blacks in Africa and the Americas. In addition to learning about the structure and sociohistory of these languages, students will watch movies and/or listen to audio clips in these varieties. They will learn concepts like ‘dialect’, ‘pidgin’ and ‘creole’ which they will use to appraise the languages. Of particular interest to us will be the debate as to whether African American Vernacular English is a creole or not. Students will also interact with some speakers of the different varieties of black English.


  • Reading quizzes (short quizzes on each topic’s reading material) – 20%
  • Term paper (to be presented in class with students awarding half the grade) – 20%
  • Midterm – 20%
  • Final exams – 40%

Readings will be selected from the following:

  • Adams, Emilie (1991): Understanding Jamaican patois: an introduction to Afro-
    Jamaican grammar
    . Kingston: LMH Publishing Ltd.
  • Ameka, Felix and Kweku Osam (2002): New directions in Ghanaian linguistics. Accra:
    Black Mask Ltd.
  • Arends, Jacques, Pieter Muysken, & Norval Smith (eds) (1994): Pidgins and Creoles: an
    . Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Dakubu, Mary Esther (ed) (1997): English in Ghana. Accra: Ghana English Studies
  • Elugbe, Ben and Augusta Omamor (1991): Nigerian Pidgin. Ibadan: Heinemann
    Educational Books
  • Faraclas, Nicholas (1996): Nigerian Pidgin. London & New York: Routledge
    Hackert, Stephanie (2004): Urban Bahamian Creole. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John
    Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Holloway, Joseph (ed) (1991): Africanisms in American Culture. Bloomington and
    Indianapolis: Indiana University Press
  • Huber, Magnus (1999): Ghanaian Pidgin English in its West African Context.
    Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins
  • Kachru, Braj B., Yamuna Kachru, and Cecil L. Nelson (eds) (2006): The handbook of
    world Englishes
    . Oxford: Blackwell Publishing
  • Lanehart, Sonja L. (ed) (2001): Sociocultural and historical contexts of African American
    . Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Melchers Gunnel and Shaw Philip (2003): World Englishes. London: Arnold Publishers
    Salikoko Mufwene (1993): Africanisms in Afro-American language varieties. Athens:
    University of Georgia Press
  • Todd, Loreto (1984): Modern Englishes. Basil Blackwell Publisher Ltd.
  • Montgomery, Michael (1994): The crucible of Carolina: essays in the development of
    Gullah language and culture
    . Athens and London: The University of Georgia


LIT 4930

Sigmund Freud: Psychoanalysis, Judaism, and Literature

Galili Shahar

The seminar deals with Sigmund Freud’s theory of literature and art and discusses its aspects as a “Jewish text.” Freud’s discourse on literature was one of the origins of the psychoanalytical project. In this framework, he developed some of his major concepts, like the Oedipus Complex and the Uncanny (Unheimliche), while exploring the questions of memory and neurosis. However, the writings on literature and art also include his hidden text – the text on the Jewish question. This course thus examines the nexus of psychoanalysis, German-Jewish culture and literary theory, and studies the historical environment in which Freud’s theory emerged.

In this seminar we will read Freud’s major articles on aesthetics, among them the essays on Shakespeare, Goethe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, and Dostoyevsky, and his book Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, which reveals his early views on poetics, humor, and the question of (Jewish) identity.


SPC 3605


Ron Carpenter

Speechwriting is an advanced composition course. In SPC 3605, students acquire stylistic prowess by which their sentences have increased potential for memorability and quotability, ease and accuracy of comprehension, as well as overall persuasiveness. The course is called Speechwriting because models of eloquence to be imitated are in 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 virtually any future communication endeavors, as speakers or writers, regardless of profession.

SPC 3605 is not about supporting arguments or organizing them into broader discourse. If you seek those skills, other courses are more appropriate. Speechwriting is about how to select the best words and arrange them in their best orders – within sentences – to achieve optimal impress of your ideas upon readers or listeners. These stylistic skills are practiced and perfected in drafts that you read aloud among peers (and for me) during our “lab” periods, wherein you should acquire a refined sense of how to achieve the final product desired at the semester end. Thus, present drafts when due; listen carefully to other students’ drafts, comparing yours with theirs; 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.

How a draft is presented, vocally and physically, has no bearing on your grade (for help with delivery skills other courses are appropriate; I may make suggestions about how to improve your platform presence, however). The important point is that Speechwriting is an advanced composition course, wherein you read drafts aloud as bases of discussion by which all students understand how and why some sentences are better than others. For initial and final drafts, I require word processing available in computer labs on campus (if you do not have your own computer). Revision on your disk is easier; spelling is accurate; and word lengths of drafts are known.

From past experience, I know that reasonably diligent students achieve a substantial measure of the stylistic skills taught in this course. Final grades are higher, however, as you (1) demonstrate refined prowess as the competent stylist on exams and in final drafts, (2) understand course precepts derived from readings and lecture materials, as tested by three exams during the semester (the course has no final exam), and (3) produce a final research paper about style as defined in this course (research paper options will be explained during a lecture relatively early in the semester and will require additional library reading). Final grades are determined one-half by the average of your three exam scores and one-half by the quality of your final notebook with polished drafts of speeches and the research paper – all typed, double-spaced, and turned in during exam week at the time and date listed in the University Timetable as the course final exam period. The textbook for the course is Ronald H. Carpenter, Choosing Powerful Words: Eloquence that Works; it can be purchased at Goerings Book Store at Bageland.

Although this is a writing course, I also am impressed – for grading purposes – by how much you know about style as defined in this class. Please appreciate the fact that this composition course is unlike virtually all other persuasive writing courses at the University of Florida, for the expertise and confidence in the precepts being taught are derived from your instructor’s own published research in four scholarly press books, several book chapters, and numerous research journal articles (all of which informed my writing of your textbook). Furthermore, from my experience as a communications consultant for organizations outside the university (such as corporate executives, lawyers, civic leaders, hospital administrators, public relations professionals, and officers attending the U.S. Naval War College), I know that skills taught in this course are useful in the “real” world.

In conclusion, teaching you to be eloquent stylists gives me great personal satisfaction. For I can make positive changes in your behaviors as communicators. If you join me in this endeavor, which admittedly entails some substantial effort on your part, I promise you will acquire valuable skills that will be admired by others as well as be useful for the rest of your life, no matter what your later profession might be. The only prerequisite for the course is that you can write grammatical sentences that are punctuated correctly.


SPC 4680

Rhetorical Criticism: Masterpieces of Rhetoric

Ron Carpenter

Rhetorical Criticism has as its focus several “masterpieces of rhetoric.” Although several of these are in the realm of political and presidential discourse, another focus this semester will be upon rhetorical efforts to persuade Americans to engage in armed conflict with other nations. Thus, students will examine how some speakers, writers, and filmmakers appealed successfully to specific attitudes and actions with profound influence upon the course of events. The primary goal of the course is to provide students with a refined sense of some rhetorical principles and techniques by which their own future discourse is more effective persuasively. Please note: “rhetoric” is not a pejorative word. In its current and inaccurate usage, the word often is prefaced with the adjective “empty” to disparage what “other” people say or write ostensibly as groundless emotional appeal in contradistinction to discourse that presumably only “tells it like it is.” But accurately, “rhetoric” refers to those means by which discourse “adjusts ideas to people and people to ideas.” So rhetoric is the art of persuasion, and rhetorical criticism identifies and assesses what was done with words (and other factors) to achieve persuasion.

Students will write five short papers (2–3 typed pages), four of which will summarize and expand briefly upon assigned readings, films, or group projects (the fifth paper is the enthymemic persuasion of me, an assignment that will be described in week six). I will accept these papers co-signed by all group members that participated. A longer final paper (8–10 typed pages) will report research about some topic suggested by the course (the focus of that paper must be developed in consultation with me). The course will have four very short quizzes during the semester as well as a “take home” final exam. Please understand that your group projects will require meetings with your student peers outside regular class periods. Students also are required to view some films outside of class. The textbook is Halford Ryan, Contemporary American Public Discourse: A Collection of Speeches and Critical Essays. It is available at Goerings Book Store.