Racial segregation has been called the “structural lynchpin” of inequality in the United States and challenged as a “badge” through which slavery extends its long shadow over social, economic, political, and cultural outcomes. Despite this influence, inadequate formal attention has been given to the literature that attempts to represent and theorize the experience of segregation. In this course, we will seek to remedy that gap by studying and producing scholarship on late-nineteenth and twentieth-century segregation narratives in terms of their historical production and the formal, thematic, and theoretical principles that unite them across the vast terrain of genres and literary forms in which they are found and permutated.
Because of the immense cultural, legal, and political ramifications of this literature, our study necessarily defies rigid disciplinary boundaries. Fields and topics will include: demarcation of racial and ethnic categories; geographies and cartographies of power; legal and extra-legal mechanisms of enforcement; constructs of criminality; fictions of personhood; the creation of the American ghetto; mass incarceration; police brutality; xenophobia and nativism; race and domesticity; gender; class; environmental injustice; and white supremacies and nationalisms.
Our initial focus will be on African-American segregation, we will also look at fiction and poetry representing Japanese-American internment, ethnic enclaves, and Native-American reservations. However, at its most conceptual, the segregation narrative is about the structural divisions that separate persons and the mechanisms by which they are enforced; thus, there will be wide opportunity to relocate the theoretical and critical frameworks to additional areas of interest.
Authors may include: Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Charles Chesnutt, Thomas Dixon, Ann Petry, Zora Neale Hurston, writers of the Harlem Renaissance; Flannery O’Connor, Lillian Smith, Toni Morrison, Patricia Williams, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, Sherman Alexie, Hisaya Yamamoto, and Maxine Hong Kingston.
Major assignments: (1) creating and teaching a single-day’s lesson plan, and (2) writing a potentially-publishable research article (including a substantial annotated bibliography, several drafts, in-class writing workshops, and a polished abstract).
This course surveys representative works of speculative fiction and expressive culture by black women in an Afro-diasporic geography, including the United States and Anglo Caribbean. We will read and discuss novels by Octavia Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, and Nnedi Okorafor alongside texts by authors previously excluded from Afro-futurist canonical formations such as Jessmyn Ward, Edwidge Danticat, and Michelle Cliff. Notions of history, hybridity, liminality, and border-crossing will figure prominently in investigative undertaking as will ideas surrounding the role of queered bodies and their role in framing futuristic imaginaries. Our inquiry culminates with a discussion of Beyonce's visual album Lemonade as an instance of black women's intervention into science fiction, fantasy culture, and Afro-futurism.
Using the work of Mark Dery, George Lipsitz, Tricia Rose, Greg Tate, and Ytasha L. Womack as the discursive springboard for our discussion, this course enables a critique of mainstream science fiction's reliance upon tropes of whiteness, maleness, and heterosexual normativity. Ultimately, our investigation seeks to expand the scholarly conversation surrounding black fantasy culture in ways that take into account neglected contributions by women across the trans-Atlantic world.
- Jessmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones
- Edwidge Danticat, Claire of the Sea Light
- Octavia Butler, Fledgling
- Toni Morrison, Tar Baby
- Gloria Naylor, Mama Day
- Nnedi Okorafor, Binti
- Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring
- Michelle Cliff, Abeng
- Beyonce, Lemonade
- Ytasha L. Womack, Afro-Futurism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture
- George Lipsitz, Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism, and the Poetics of Place
Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in Post-colonial, Trans-national, Gender, and Cultural Studies, and a Literary Genre (Fiction). This course also meets the Alterity requirement.
This graduate seminar provides an introduction to twentieth century US Latinx literary production through the genre of autobiography. Readings will include memoir, autobiographical fiction, and autofiction by authors of Chicanx, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Colombian, and Peruvian descent. Through these readings, we will explore topics such as the role of the minor in canon formation, the aestheticization of identity both individual and collective, the politics of representation, and the ethics of literary celebrity in the age of cancel culture.
Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in Colonial, Postcolonial, and Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies and also meets the Alterity requirement.
Each student will have pieces workshopped by the entire class: short stories, novel excerpts or creative non-fiction. You can either submit two drafts and a revision of one, or three new drafts. If you want to submit a longer piece (up to 100 pages) you can do it in separate sessions. In addition, each student will choose a prose piece from an anthology TBA and do a presentation on it in class. The presentation involves creating a handout which includes an writing exercise.
In this class we will explore some of the subtleties of the craft of fiction writing. What risks do successful fiction writers take and how can we learn from them? What new risks might you take in your own fiction? How can you make your fiction as dramatic, intense, engaging (and publishable) as possible? Our goal is the creation of a community of writers who can learn from and help each other. Courage, honesty and dedication are expected.
This course is a rigorous traditional workshop. As in any decent workshop, at its core is the premise that any student work under discussion could be better. In a great majority of fiction handed in to a graduate workshop, the thing that most needs to get better is storytelling. To attack that, this class will take a nuts-and-bolts approach to the mastering the fundamentals of structure--of what a story is and how it's put together.
The default mode here will be for students to workshop, revise, and re-submit two short stories (though you will have the opportunity workshop three). However, the workshop will be novel-friendly. If you wish to workshop any portion of a novel, we will meet one-on-one to custom-tailor a workshop strategy for that book (rather than treating it the way we would a short story).
"A writer," said Saul Bellow, "is a reader moved to emulation." "I know of no good, ignorant writers," wrote Richard Wilbur. "I think of great stories and novels," said Charles Baxter, "as permission-givers." This course will develop your writing in tandem with your reading, to eradicate ignorance, receive permission, and be moved to great heights of emulation. The strangeness of individual talent will not, I guarantee you, be blunted by such things. Quite the contrary.
Requirements: For MFA students, this course satisfies 3 of the required 12-15 hours of writing workshops. For PhD students, it counts toward the 27 hours of required coursework.
Successful completion of this course also satisfies 3 credit hours of the academic requirement for the Certificate in Editing and Publishing. If a student has already met the academic requirement, the course can count for additional credits toward the 12-hour Certificate.
CRW 5130 is a graduate workshop in fiction writing. This class will follow the workshop model, and therefore student work, and the intensive discussion of that work, will be our main focus. To that end, over the course of the semester students will be required to share at least three story-length manuscripts (one revision and two new pieces; novel excerpts are fine). This course assumes that you have a very serious interest in fiction writing, as well as in discussing the writing of same with others likewise engaged. Our concerns are mainly practical and craft-based: where you as author wish to go with a particular draft, and how we, as readers and writers engaged in a common cause, might help you get there.
This course satisfies 3 credit hours toward the workshop requirement for the Creative Writing MFA and PhD degrees.
Successful completion of this course satisfies three credit hours of the academic requirement for the Certificate in Editing and Publishing. If a student has already met the academic requirement, the course can count for additional credits toward the 12-hour Certificate.
This workshop will include weekly discussion of student poems, but unlike traditional workshops, we will also spend a good deal of time exploring the field of poetics. We will conduct a broad and thorough review of major statements in poetics from a range of poets and critics. Workshop participants will submit original poems, give one presentation on a selection from our anthology, and complete the workshop with a revised portfolio along with an original review of a single authored volume of poems published in the past two years. Among the goals of this workshop, my main hope is that each poet will finish the semester with a rich and more historically informed basis upon which to craft their own poems.
Requirements include weekly poems, faithful attendance and discussion, conferences, craft lessons, and a final portfolio. Craft lessons will be drawn from Jack Gilbert’s Collected Poems (ISBN 0375711767). Students are advised to order the book now and become familiar with it over the summer.
Students will produce 20-30 pages: stand-alone essays, linked short pieces or part of a larger work of narrative nonfiction. Whatever you write, I would hope that some of you would try to publish it. Indeed, we will discuss how you pitch to newspapers, journals, magazines, online sites, etc., as well as how to write a nonfiction book proposal.
In addition, we will be writing a radio essay for possible recording on Florida Public Radio–Creative Writing has a designated slot during Sunday “All Things Considered.”
This course satisfies 3 credit hours toward the workshop requirement for the Creative Writing MFA and PhD degrees.
Requirements: Successful completion of this course satisfies three credit hours of the academic requirement for the Certificate in Editing and Publishing. If a student has already met the academic requirement, the course can count for additional credits toward the 12-hour Certificate.
This course offers an historical overview of selected landmarks in the formation of 20th and 21st century rhetorical theory, focusing on available ideas of rhetoric. Our emphasis will be on studying the influences of particular rhetoricians and theorists on their own noetic fields—what James Berlin has called “closed system(s) defining what can, and cannot be known” as well as the nature of the relationship between knower, known, and audiences—and on each other.
Rather than try to recreate the whole history of rhetorical theory in the Western (or even non-Western) tradition(s), we will focus on a few areas of theoretical activity—language, philosophy, multiculturalism, media theory, and feminist theory—reading extensively in the primary treatises and secondary texts that signal contours and shifts in these areas. We will also use four monographs to center our study, allowing each monograph to direct our attention to how rhetoric intersects with the above areas of focus. We will give some attention to classical and neoclassical concepts, but most of our attention will ultimately be given to contemporary traditions that have survived various evolutions from rhetorical modernity to postmodernity. By the end of the course, you will have a comprehensive sense of key critical movements in rhetorical theory, and of how vexing a task it is to chart out a (singular) rhetorical theoretical tradition.
Course grades will be based on the following: regular participation in class discussion; a series of shorter assignments that may include topic modeling and intellectual mapping; a midterm exam; and a final project (proposal, critical research paper + genre presentation)
Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area of Concentration: Rhetoric and Composition. This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the academic requirement for the Certificate in Editing and Publishing. If a student has already met the academic requirement, the course can count for additional credits toward the 12-hour Certificate.
This is a course about the history of ideas. It asks us to think about the frameworks we use to talk about and analyze literary and cultural texts. It is therefore deeply engaged in the politics of interpretive frameworks. We will carefully read critical texts that were ground-breaking in their day and try to consider what they can offer to our understanding of our own contemporary world and scholarly practices. Most of these texts are known for their stylistic and conceptual difficulty. In parsing the ideas that currently circulate in the scholarly debates of our discipline, we will concentrate on some of the most compelling threads of inquiry in our field.
This course explores modern and contemporary literature in the context of the profoundly altered science, tech, media and ecological enviorments of modernity. Is what we call “modernism” a deliberate aesthetic response to scientific and technological changes or a reflex or a symptom. To borrow from the “semi-fictitious” International Necronautical Society: how and why does modern matter matter in literary and cultural ways? We’ll read theory and literature, including examples of "speculative realism,” a new term of art for the theoretical turn to materialism contra the linguistic turn. We’ll look at what’s (still) new in modernist studies? It sounds redundant. Or, insecure. Make it new, again? This class will pursue the idea that new modernist studies is less about new interpretations of old texts - less even, new texts to interpret - and more about a second modernism: new scholarly attitude, new interpretive horizons, new archives and new contexts. There remains two pressing needs for new modernist studies that we will pursue in this course: first, to theorize the conditions of possibility for this kind of work, and, second, to look back to the modern writers and thinkers who showed us - and can still show us - how.
This course introduces the complex interactions between literary culture and the changing, overlapping media ecologies that have shaped the way we produce, transmit, transform, receive and interpret creative representations of human experience. After initial inquiry into the ephemeral/monumental binary, the course makes a chronological survey of text technologies and their literary uses: texts on stone, skin, clay, or wax (inscription, tattoo, tablet-poem); the diversity of manuscript (from Sappho’s papyri to Chaucer’s parchments to Flann O’Brien’s pink papers to 21st-century postcard-collective projects); the evolution of print, beginning with Empress Shotoku’s 8th-century dharani but emphasizing European and American examples; writing poly-systems; the history and theory of reading (including the ways that new technologies transform their users); and electronically assisted, encoded, and recorded texts (including sound, film, broadcast, and digital). This iteration of the course highlights moments of change or accretion during which a new text technology has significant effects within an existing literary system (e.g. scroll/codex; script/print; print/digital). Technical hybrids are examined for their literary implications (e.g. marginalia in printed books; dimensionals such as flaps or volvelles; fore-edge painting; cut-ups (the Burroughs archive) and cut outs (Tree of Codes); Anne Carson’s 2010 Nox). 66% of the taught course material is pre-1800. Topics are explored through case studies and hands-on encounters, accompanied by at least one historical and one theoretical reading per week (with “guest star” appearances by other specialist faculty). Major assessment is of your individual projects, scaffolded and aimed at professional presentation and publication; extra class time is given to developing needed research skills.
Requirements: This course satisfies the gateway requirement for the History of Text Technologies; also satisfies pre-1800 requirement. Successful completion of this course satisfies three credit hours of the academic requirement for the Certificate in Editing and Publishing. If a student has already met the academic requirement, the course can count for additional credits toward the 12-hour Certificate.
ENG 5933 will explore two related questions. First, what difference does technology, particularly digital technology, make in the ways that we read and compose, and the ways that knowledge is made, sanctioned, and shared? Second, what do changes related to digital technology mean for curricula and pedagogy? To answer these questions, we will consider briefly the historical relationship between literacies and technologies before focusing on changes that are occurring now: What are they? What do we make of them? How are societies and public institutions reacting? What new institutions and practices are emerging? As scholars and teachers, how do we respond to and/or participate in these changes? For a framework, we will draw on the rhetorical canons—invention, delivery, arrangement, style, and memory—to help us consider how literacy is being challenged and transformed by digital technologies and Web 2.0 social networking. Readings will include all or parts of Ong's Orality and Literacy; Brown's The Social Life of Information; Bolter and Grusin's Remediation; Lanham's The Electronic Word; Hawisher and Selfe's Passions, Pedagogies, and 21st Century Technologies; Johnson's Interface Culture; Yancey and McElroy's Assembling Composition; Standage's Writing on the Wall; Jenkins' Spreadable Media; and several articles, book chapters, YouTube videos, and webtexts.
Course requirements include (1) considerable reading and writing (in print and online); (2) several smaller projects (e.g., creating a map of circulation; writing for the web); and (3) a larger culminating project: options include individual work (a print bibliographic essay; a creation of a weblog or set of wiki entries on the one or more issues; a syllabus keyed to these issues) and collaborative work (a creation of a website focusing on issues we address in the course; a set of themed interviews with scholars addressing these issues made available in multiple formats).
Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area(s) of Concentration: Rhetoric and Composition. This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the academic requirement for the Certificate in Editing and Publishing. If a student has already met the academic requirement, the course can count for additional credits toward the 12-hour Certificate.
This course provides a foundation in the field of Discourse Analysis by introducing advanced graduate students to a variety of research methodologies (e.g., speech act theory; conversation analysis; pragmatics; interactional sociolinguistics; ethnography of communication; critical discourse analysis) guiding contemporary research in the field. Students will learn about the history, theory, and actual research practices involved in the various approaches.
This single-semester practicum will be offered on a S/NS basis to graduate students who are actively on the market with the intention of finishing up within the next academic year (2019-2020). Enrolled students will meet and work weekly on the preparation of their written materials; on interview, job talk, teaching demonstration, and campus visit protocols; and on related professionalization topics that are unique to academic and some alt-academic positions. Some reading may be involved, but the majority of time and attention would be given to documenting and mastering the search from start to finish and beginning to articulate a professional trajectory beyond graduate school. Primary goals of this practicum: (1) to encourage early, regular, and sustained participation individually and in workshop for students who are active on the market in academic and alt-academic positions; and (2) to expose job seekers to the kinds of scholarly genres and teaching and research trajectories they might encounter in their next professional role. Interested students should enroll by end of April so as to receive essential job preparation materials in advance of Fall 2019.
Before Canterbury, there was Troy. The great medieval love-epic Troilus and Criseyde is Geoffrey Chaucer's one complete, profoundly realized masterpiece: a narrative of love, power, desolation, and deceit that unfolds in the final days of a doomed civilization to which several great European powers traced their origins. It is arguably Chaucer's best poem.
In this course we will intensively explore the literary texture, generic complexity, and allusive technique of Troilus and Criseyde by situating it within the European context of the Troy legend, particularly in its incarnation as a romance narrative. This constitutes an extended exercise in intertextuality. First we will acquaint ourselves with the chronicles of the late-classical Dares and Dictys (supposed eye-witnesses of the Trojan War) and medieval renderings of the Troy legend by Benoît de St-Maure and Guido delle Colonne. We will then work closely with Chaucer's most immediate source, Boccaccio's Il Filostrato, attending to the dynamics by which Chaucer radically revised, implicitly challenged, and creatively supplemented Boccaccio's narrative. (All such foreign-language materials will be read in English translation.) Our most extensive efforts will be devoted to close reading of the five books of Chaucer's Troilus, together with a healthy cross-section of 20th- and 21st-century criticism on the poem. Finally, we will explore patterns of reception in several intriguing early responses to Chaucer's poem by John Lydgate, Robert Henryson, William Shakespeare (here's your chance to read Troilus and Cressida, one of Shakespeare's most perplexing "problem plays"!), and John Dryden. Given this range of materials, the course is aimed not only at medievalists (or those desiring medieval coverage) but at early modernists as well.
N.B. We will read Chaucer's Troilus strictly in the original Middle English. No prior experience with Middle English is necessary, though learning it will be a formal expectation of the course. Translations are not permitted. Similarly, no prior knowledge of the Troilus legend or ancient Trojan epic is expected.
Requirement: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for one course pre-1660 or one course pre-1800. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area of Concentration: Medieval and Early Modern British Literary and Cultural Studies.
How many ways are there to study (and to teach) Shakespeare? Rather than focusing on a single play or critical strategy, we will explore what “the great variety of readers” have found in his work, and in particular the approaches to his plays and poems that twenty-first century scholars and critics find most compelling, including feminism, sexuality, media, race, globalization, bodies, performance, film, collaboration, ecocriticism, and neo-formalism (style). Although we’ll introduce all these practices, you’ll be able to drill down into whichever interests you most, so that you can teach Shakespeare (even if it’s just one play in a literature or drama course).
Required Texts: The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition (which will also give you online access to all other parts of the project); Shakespeare in Our Time: A Shakespeare Association of America Collection, ed. Dympna Callaghan and Suzanne Gossett (2016). This course satisfies the pre-1660 or pre-1800 requirement.
This course will provide graduate students with a firm grounding in modernism and modern American poetry. We will engage in a comprehensive investigation of the major figures, movements, and innovative styles in modernist American poetry within the context of international modernism and the avant-garde. The course will pay special attention to ongoing debates within "the new modernist studies" about the definition and nature of "modernism" and will investigate various theories of modernism. We will also situate the poetry within its cultural and historical context, focus on issues of gender, sexuality, race, and the dialogue between politics and poetry, and explore modern poetry's relationship with other developments in the arts, especially modern painting. Poets we will study include many of the most influential American poets, including Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Mina Loy, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullen, and Robert Frost.
Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture, and a Literary Genre (Poetry).
"Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically." --D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
“Tragedy is not concerned with human justice. Tragedy is the statement of an expiation, but not the miserable expiation of a codified breach of a local arrangement, organised by the knaves for the fools. The tragic figure represents the expiation of original sin, of the original and eternal sin of him and all his ‘soci malorum,’ the sin of having been born.”—Samuel Beckett. Proust, 49.
‘Pues el delito mayor Del hombre es haber nacido.’ Beckett quoting Pedro Calderón de la Barca, La vida es sueño.
This course focuses on the possibilities of tragedy and the tragic spirit in contemporary culture, in Modernist theater theory and performance studies, and deals in particular with the issues (or possibilities) of tragedy in the modern world dominated by irony, or, what has been called, "tragic play" in Modernity or Modernism, itself sometimes referred to as "the age after tragedy." We will read through Aristotle (The Poetics), Nietzsche (The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music), Antonin Artaud (The Theatre and its Double), Hans-Thies Lehmann (Postdramatic Theatre), and Christoph Menke (Tragic Play: Irony and Theatre from Sophocles to Beckett). Theatrically, we will start with Euripides's The Bacchae, and Iphigenia at Aulis*, move perhaps to Elektra and Shakespeare’s King Lear (why do Greek tragedy and Shakespeare survive in our age, by the way?), and move through Grotowski’s Akropolis** to close readings of modernist or avant-garde playwrights like Williams, Beckett, Pinter, and the work of performance groups (and theorists) like Peter Brook, Jerzy Grotowski, Wlodzimierz Staniewski (of Gardzienice***), André Gregory, Mabou Mines, Complicité and the like.
"There is a clothing brand in the United States named 'Life Is Good', a monstrous lie which is emblazoned on all their products. It is an enormously successful brand, and I'll tell you why: because life isn't good. 'They give birth astride of a grave,' wrote Samuel Beckett, 'the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.' He was only half-right; he left out the part about there being banana peels on the ground beside the grave, so that from the moment we are born, we slip, and drop our coffee, and everyone points at us and laughs, and then there's a Holocaust, and then, and only then, is it dark once more. Books that cry at the tragedy are easy and, in my view, lazy; [on the other hand, books that I have selected] look into the abyss, smile, and give the abyss the finger. That's much more difficult." Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy
[*“Iphigenia at Aulis” was Euripides’s last play, written just before his death, but it only premiered posthumously as part of a tetralogy that also included his Bacchae at the City Dionysia festival of 405 BCE. The play was directed by Euripides’s son or nephew, Euripides the Younger, who was also a playwright, and won first prize at the contest (ironically a prize that had eluded Euripides all his life). Some analysts are of the opinion that some of the material in the play is inauthentic and that it may have been worked on by multiple authors.]
Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture.
How was modernism received and revised in the postcolonial world? How have postcolonial poets adapted modernist techniques while altering our understanding of modernist cultural practices and institutions? This course will address current debates about transnationalism and periodization in modernist and postcolonial studies by examining poets such as T.S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, Mina Loy, Derek Walcott, Kamau Bathwaite, Christopher Okigbo, Wole Soyinka, Agha Shahid Ali, and Arun Kolatkar.
Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture; and Colonial, Postcolonial, and Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies. This course also meets the Alterity requirement.