Spring 2016 Course Descriptions
510.001: Criticism & Theory
W 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Kathryn Wichelns, email@example.com
In this course, we will engage in an intensive overview of significant movements in literary theory and criticism, with a focus on twentieth-century and contemporary thought. We begin with a review of foundational texts from earlier eras, representing some of the intellectual history that informs later developments: specifically, we will trace the ongoing influences of Kant, Wollstonecraft, Hegel, Marx, Freud, and Du Bois. These discursive origins remain central to contemporary examinations of language, aesthetics, race and racialization, sex and gender, and the role of literature in producing cultural meaning. We then will explore together the necessary ways that these first examinations are complicated over the course of the 20th Century. A mid-semester tour through clusters of ideas representative of Marxist literary analysis, psychoanalytic criticism, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, and critical race theory will enable us to begin recognizing the dimensions of our own contemporary period in our recent predecessors. Their inquiries frame constellations that continue to shift in our time: queer of color critique, border studies, postcolonial Marxisms, and performance studies, among other recent approaches, gain dimension and clarity when we understand their long histories.
511.001: French Cinema Aesthetics and Politics
T 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Raji Vallury, firstname.lastname@example.org
The course offers a survey of French cinema from the silent era up to the 21st century, focusing on the historical and political events that shaped twentieth-century France. The Dreyfus Affair, the First and Second World Wars and the Occupation, the Algerian War of Independence, and the Revolution of May 68 constitute the key signposts along our historical enquiry into modern France. The cinematic representation of these landmark events will allow us to explore the themes of war, colonialism, ideology, revolution, nation and citizenship, torture and human rights, historical consciousness and memory. The question of gender will be inscribed in filigree through the course. A history of twentieth-century France will accompany our analysis of these events and themes. The relationship between aesthetic style and political content forms a core component of the syllabus. The course does not presuppose any knowledge of French cinema and the technique of filmic analysis. Students will be introduced to the study of film style and the vocabulary of cinematic technique. Key texts by filmmakers, critics, and theoreticians will enable us to understand cinema as a unique art form with distinct modes of constructing arguments about democracy, equality, justice, and the political community. The goal of this course is to move us towards an awareness of what is specifically modern about the cinematic experience, the power of the image, and its capacity to transform our perception of the real. Throughout, we will reflect on the political power of cinema, understood as an aesthetic education that reshapes the world of our senses, reconfiguring both our sensibility to the material and our ways of making sense of it: in short, cinema as a mode of inventing a meaningful life of and in the common. Films and filmmakers include: Abel Gance, J’accuse; Carl Dreyer, La passion de Jeanne d’Arc; Jean Renoir, La vie est à nous and La règle du jeu; Alain Resnais, Nuit et brouillard; Robert Bresson, Le dernier jour d’un condamné and Pickpocket; Marcel Ophuls, Le chagrin et la pitié; Jean-Luc Godard, Le petit soldat and La chinoise; Gillo Pontecorvo, La bataille d’Alger; Jacques Panijel, Octobre à Paris; Chris Marker, La jetée and Le joli mai; and Michael Haneke,Caché. Theorists include André Bazin, Pier Pasolini, Robert Bresson, Gilles Deleuze, Roland Barthes, and Jacques Rancière. With each filmmaker and thinker, we will consider how the cinematic image reinvents or recomposes the concept of fiction: understood in the Platonic sense of an illusory order of images opposed to the real essence of things and beings, the Aristotelian sense of a rationally ordered arrangement of actions, the psychoanalytical sense of an imaginary structure of desire, the Deleuzian sense of a machinic assemblage or a plane of composition of affects and percepts, or as what Jacques Rancière has described as a dispositif, a regime of visibility that reorders an hierarchical distribution of bodies and their capacities within a sphere of the perceptible.
Films will be screened in French, with English subtitles. Class readings, discussions and presentations will be in English. Texts by French theorists and critics may be read in the original French. Students taking the class for French credit may write their final research paper in French.
511.002: German Aesthetics and Theories of Play
M 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Jason Wilby, email@example.com
One exciting development over the past few decades in the areas of philosophy and critical theory has been the development of theories of play. What role does play serve in the establishment and development of human individuality? In what ways do literature and other aesthetic experiences contribute to the development of individuality through play? This course will consider these (and other) questions by first focusing on the development of theories of play in eighteenth and nineteenth century German philosophical and aesthetic writings. Modern day theories of play emerged as a result of the aesthetic and philosophical discussions in the German cultural sphere during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During the second part of the course we will build on our historical foundation by considering these more recent developments in play theory, specifically in the areas of critical theory, psychology, and sociology. During the entire course, we will focus equally on understanding the philosophical and theoretical texts in their historical and intellectual contexts and then applying those models to a selection of literary texts that play with the theoretical positions in interesting ways.
513.001: Science, Medical, & Environmental Writing
T 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Michelle Kells, firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Description: This course will examine writing across academic, public, and professional spheres to promote the circulation of knowledge toward environmental justice, public health, and community wellbeing. We will apply the theoretical frame of Rhetorical Studies to Technical/Professional Writing as a field of practice to apply, analyze, evaluate, and engage diverse genres and media for a broad spectrum of document users (and stakeholders) within Science, Medical, and Environmental Studies. Course projects include: Selecting a research topic (an environmental issue in and beyond the borders of the Americas) and writing and revising an intellectual project for academic, public, and professional audiences for publication. Capstone Project: Multi-Modal Working Group project researching (using field research and bibliographic inquiry methods) toward the production of digital articles on public health, environmental justice, and community wellbeing for digital publication in Writing Communities. Required Books: Albrecht, Glenn. Solastalgia: A New Concept in Human Health and Philosophy. Philosophy, Activism, Nature (PAN) 1.3 (2005): 41-55. Cooperrider, David. L. et al. eds. Appreciative Inquiry: Rethinking Human Organization Toward a Positive Theory of Change. Farmer, Paul. Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor. Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World. Killingsworth, M. Jimmie and Jacqueline S. Palmer. Eco Speak: Rhetoric and Environmental Politics in America. McMillan, Victoria E. Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences. 3rd ed. Miriam F. Williams and Octavio Pimentel, eds. Communicating Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Technical Communication. Edward O. Wilson Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. Course Projects: Multi-Modal Capstone Team Project; Field Research Exercises; Bibliographic Research (Annotated Bibliography); Student Selected Supplementary Reading. WACommunities Digital Resources:https://sites.google.com/site/resourcewac/ (Fall 2015) http://gates-open.blogspot.com/ (Fall 2012)http://unmenvirorhetoric.blogspot.com/ (Fall 2010) http://unmchicanoecology.blogspot.com/ (Spring 2014) Learning Outcomes Course readings, assignments, exercises, and class discussions are designed to promote the following learning outcomes: cultivate rhetorical resourcefulness and stylistic alacrity; become a conscious user of language; negotiate diverse discourse communities through oral and written communication; generate appropriate writing products for target audiences in science, medical, and environmental studies; manipulate different genres and media for diverse users and stakeholders; engage in collaborative projects and offer productive critique to other writers; analyze the linguistic, contextual, and ethical dimensions of rhetorical situations; use the writing process as recursive stages (from invention to editing) for various writing tasks; use appropriate research methods for writing projects; form alliances with colleagues and work collaboratively toward common goals; paraphrase and summarize, fairly and accurately, the ideas of others; apply the principles of rhetorical purpose and audience adaptation.
T 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
David Dunaway, email@example.com
This course in creative nonfiction introduces students to the publishing industry, in the U.S. and internationally, from the multiple perspectives of the author, the editor, the agent, and the publisher. Our primary goal is to provide a successful strategy for publishing your work in journals, magazines, books, and on the internet. Our secondary goal is to prepare an informed community of writers, able to understand contracts, industry procedures, and publishing’s cultural significance.
The class begins with a survey of current trends, then moves to a history of publishing in the U.S.; followed by an overview of ownership and control in the modern era. We discuss procedures and standards for submissions of articles and book proposals to publishers of literary, scholarly, technical, and trade (general-adult) materials. We examine in detail the roles of editors and agents in manuscripts—with an emphasis on the increasing digitization (e-books) and globalization of publishing/media activities. Any writer interested in these topics is welcome to join us. There are no exams.
MWF 1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
Stephen Benz, firstname.lastname@example.org
This course focuses on editing as a professional skill. Along with practicing advanced copyediting skills, you will learn about "information design": the creation of documents that are complete, accurate, correct, comprehensible, usable, and appropriate for readers. Because editors must often be responsible for a document from its inception to its presentation as a finished product, you will also learn about layout and document design, developmental editing, and contemporary production processes. Successful completion of this course will provide you with the foundation necessary for a future career in the field.
520.002: Stylistics Analysis
TR 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Jerome Shea, email@example.com
Stylistic Analysis is a wide ranging course that tries to find out what makes for good prose (and what makes for wretched prose). We will study periodic and running sentences, noun style and verb style, parataxis and hypotaxis. We will ponder such questions as "What do we mean by 'voice'?"; "What assumptions do we bring to prose that we don't bring to poetry?"; and "What do we mean by 'high style' and 'low style'?" We will question whether prose is transparent or opaque, and what the ramifications of that are. Five or six short papers, no exams.
521.080: Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction
Luci Tapahonso, firstname.lastname@example.org
522.080: Creative Writing Wokshop Poetry
Luci Tapahonso, email@example.com
523.001: Graduate Creative Nonfiction Workshop
T 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Greg Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a writing workshop focused on revision. Each student will write two new pieces of creative nonfiction. We will workshop each piece twice. Then, each of you will choose one of these two essays to revise again, and you will submit this at the end of the semester to six literary magazines. The goal of the course is to push you to produce more than you thought you could, to break down what Jane Smiley calls “evasion strategies”. The particular sub-genre of creative nonfiction you may turn in to the workshop is wide open: Autobiographical Narrative (an essay that has the dramatic structure of a short story); a Lyric Meditation (a more “classic” Montaigne-like essay that is structured meditatively or philosophically or associatively); Profile; Travel Writing; Literary Journalism; a hybrid essay that combines two or more of these forms. It's all fair game. Readings for discussion in class will consist of (1) published essays from a variety of the sub-genres above, as well as (2) essays on craft. In selecting pieces for us to read and discuss, my aim is for eclecticism--to give you a sense of the range of literary nonfiction, to give you a sense of the possibilities of the form. My hope is that the course will push you stylistically and technically, and encourage you to take risks, to raise your standards for what you consider good writing, and then to meet those standards through the development of the habit of art.
538.001: Composition Studies/Writing Theory for Teachers
M 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Todd Ruecker, email@example.com
Although a relatively young discipline, composition studies has a rich history with many areas of inquiry that influence the work we do as writers and teachers of writing. In this course, we will explore these many areas by going to the research directly: reading and discussing articles published in various composition journals over the last several decades. We will explore theories of audience, genre, process, collaboration, second language writing, multimodal composition, among others. By the end of the course, students should emerge with a broad understanding of various theories circulating in composition and have the understanding necessary to pursue further work in a particular area. Class work will include weekly readings (typically 4-5 articles) and responses, a synthesis of work on a particular topic, and a final paper exploring a particular theory in depth.
540.002: Seminar in Academic Writing in Education and Related Fields
W 4:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Pisarn B Chamcharatsri, firstname.lastname@example.org
Academic writing is a living organism in which the format can be changed based on the organizations and contexts it is in. For students to be successful in academia and beyond, they must develop metacognitive awareness in composing papers. This seminar aims to build student’s academic writing awareness through analytical lens of genre theory. In order to gain expertise in academic writing, one must be equipped with different rhetorical devices, formal knowledge, contextual background, and experiences. We will discuss issues in writing for publications, (before) dissertation writing, writing for academic purposes, and writing for specific purposes. The aim of this course is to help students develop genre awareness and appropriate pedagogy in the teaching of writing in the future.
541.001: English Grammars
MWF 11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Beth Davila, email@example.com
Studying grammar doesn‘t have to be boring! This course helps students approach the study of grammar from different perspectives, all while attending to language politics, language attitudes, and language use. Projects include analyzing parts of speech, phrases, and constituents by representing sentences in phrase trees and sentence diagrams, considering language in use as well as the rules that govern our use, and examining our own and others’ academic writing using corpus linguistics.
543.001: Contemporary Texts in Rhetoric
R 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Joseph Bartolotta, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contemporary Texts in Rhetoric will survey the study of Rhetoric from Nietzsche through today. While the course will feature "main ingredients" like Kenneth Burke, Habermas, Foucault, Lyotard, and Toulmin, there will also be several "deep cuts" from I.A. Richards, Richard Weaver, Bruno Latour, Victor Villanueva, and Chuck Bazerman. The course will also survey texts related to areas of contemporary rhetoric exploring Feminism, Sexuality, Race, (dis)Ability, Chicano/a, and First Nations approaches to rhetoric. We will also examine some of the freshest theories out today, such as the Rhetoric and Materiality, Ambient Rhetoric, and Rhetorical Ontologies. By the end of this course, you will have exposure to many threads in contemporary rhetoric, and you will be able to pursue one or more of these topics that interests you most and develop a better understanding of its theoretical constructs.
548.001: Beowulf & Other Topics
TR 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Jonathan Davis-Secord, email@example.com
Beowulf is the most celebrated and studied Old English poem, yet it remains ambiguous and contested. Modern scholars continue to scrutinize difficult points in the text and wrestle over approaches to the poem. This course will be devoted to a close reading of Beowulf in the original Old English, coupled with pertinent scholarship on specific points in the poem along the way. We will explore the roles of women in the text, the meanings of the monsters, the patterns of gift-giving, the linguistic intricacies of the text, and many other topics. Students will prepare translations of the poem, read secondary literature, and write a critical research paper for the semester. Prerequisite: ENGL 447/547 or the equivalent.
551.001: Medieval Latin
TR 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Jonathan Davis-Secord, firstname.lastname@example.org
The phrase medieval Latin covers an amazingly wide array of time periods, genres, and geographical locations. It applies to philosophical treatises written in Italy in the fifth century, letters written in northern Europe in the ninth century, and saints’ lives written in England in the fifteenth century. As a result of this abundance, this course will touch upon only a small number of important texts and authors from the medieval period. We will concentrate on short sections of these texts, spending several weeks with each in order for students to become familiar with major texts and authors of Medieval Latin and increase their facility with Latin generally and their knowledge of the distinguishing features of Medieval Latin specifically. Prerequisite: LATN 102 or equivalent.
551.002: Medieval Research and Bibliography
W 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Timothy C. Graham, email@example.com
This course will offer intensive training in the research and bibliographic skills necessary for the study of the Middle Ages while also introducing students to the history of medieval scholarship from the sixteenth century onwards. A key aspect of the course will be a detailed orientation to the major published resources available to medievalists, including the volumes of the Patrologia Latina, the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, and the Early English Text Society, as well as the important series Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile. Participants in the course will learn about the techniques used by scholarly editors when preparing a medieval text for use by a modern readership; they will also be introduced to the conventions of the modern apparatus criticus. Students will learn how to read and analyze charters and other types of medieval documents and will receive instruction in the basics of such important ancillary disciplines as medieval chronology and sigillography. The section of the course devoted to the history of medieval scholarship will include a special focus on the origins and development of Anglo-Saxon studies from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.
557.001: Fragmentation: Dickens, the Guillotine, and Film
TR 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Gail Houston, firstname.lastname@example.org
A metonym for the French Revolution (FR), the guillotine caused a cut in history reflected in the later creation of film. Fragmentation is at the heart of filmmaking (editing) and the FR (physical and mental fragmentation of consciousness and self). Dickens intuits these cuts aesthetically and theoretically by illustrating identity, history, and consciousness as fragmented. First used in 1792, the guillotine and the horrific and heroic events it signified were central to magic lantern shows and phantasmagorias that preceded and led to filmmaking. Scholarship has made the connection between representations of the French Revolution and the guillotine in the new popular entertainments of the magic lantern, panorama, and phantasmagorias, all of which used developing scientific principles on optics (Sophie Thomas). Scholarship has also noted Dickens’s aesthetic filmic qualities (writing that is similar to the screenplay form and parallel storytelling) (Grahame Smith, Sergei Eisenstein, D. W. Griffith). No scholarship has linked the magic lantern, the fragmented optics these produce, and the fragmented subjectivity created by the French Revolution with Dickens’ tendency to use the imagery of cut heads and fragmented, schizophrenic selves in his novels, in particular in Tale of Two Cities. By bringing these seemingly disparate historical, aesthetic, political threads together, I demonstrate that the new democratic understanding of individual identity as autonomous, agentic, and free (as opposed to the hierarchical trajectory of monarchy that only recognized the individual identity of the king) is ironically based on the cutting of the head from the body. I further demonstrate that this subjectivity was necessary and inherent to the development of the new artistic and industrial medium of film. We will examine phantasmagorias, magic lanterns, and the basics of film production, optics and fragmentation. We will also read Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution upon which Tale of Two Cities is based and other Dickens novels and film versions to explore the fragmentation so central to nineteenth century British culture.
564.001: 20th Century Indigenous Literature
TR 2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Kathleen Washburn, email@example.com
In this course, we will investigate Native American and First Nations poetry, nonfiction, and fiction from the early twentieth century alongside contemporary novels and films that invoke the so-called assimilation era. We will encounter Native soldiers from World War I, students from Indian boarding schools, allotment agents, and characters from Hollywood westerns in texts that chart the creative possibilities and critical stakes for representing modern indigenous communities. In turn, by tracing the ways in which discourses about sovereign territory and citizenship rights from the early twentieth century continue to inflect Native American literature and film today, we will engage in debates about literary adaptation and innovation, indigenous intellectual history, and the ethics and aesthetics of cultural production. Course materials will include E. Pauline Johnson’sTekahionwake, Laura Cornelius Kellogg’s Our Democracy, Gerald Vizenor’s Blue Ravens, Louise Erdrich’s Tracks, and Thomas King’s Green Grass, Running Water.
580.001: Metaphysical Poets
TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Yulia Ryzhik, firstname.lastname@example.org
This course is primarily devoted to four major lyric poets of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: Donne, Jonson, Herbert, and Marvell. In addition to reading the best works of these authors, we will discuss the evolving notions of what it meant to write poetry at this turbulent time, in a cultural milieu that was as rich in literary achievement as it was intellectually and politically volatile. As scientific and intellectual upheavals of the sixteenth century called into doubt ancient and medieval beliefs about the workings of the body, the world, and the universe, poets had to contend with the loss of a familiar metaphysical order. This loss undermined a fundamental belief in the truth of figurative language, leading at the same time to a crisis of imagination and to a newfound creative freedom. We will consider the ways in which these four authors construct a new metaphysics, working out systems of values and structures of belief through their poetry. Recurring topics of discussion will include emerging theories of poetic creativity, the influences of early modern science and philosophy, and the changing role of religion. This course is geared towards scholarly professionalization, and will include training in various forms of academic writing and performance, from conference abstract and presentation to article-length research paper.
640.001: Teaching Diverse Writing Students
W 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Cristyn Elder, email@example.com
This seminar explores major concepts in the teaching of writing to students from diverse language backgrounds and contexts. While the main theories, research, and practices under examination will be grounded in second language (L2) or multilingual writing, we will also explore aspects of related fields, including (bi-)literacy/(bi)-dialectal development and basic writing. Readings and discussions will cover topics such as understanding diverse student populations; first and second-language acquisition; writing program administration; program, course, and assignment design; student placement; feedback strategies; and assessment. For the major writing assignments, you will have the opportunity to apply the topics covered in class to your current (or future) teaching and research contexts, including that of composition, creative writing, literature, and beyond. These assignments may take many forms, dependent on your interests and goals, including program research, course development, an exploratory or pilot study, a book review for publication, an article for publication, a detailed research proposal, among others.
650.002: Romantic Poetry & Poets
T 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Gary Harrison, firstname.lastname@example.org
This seminar will offer an intensive engagement Romantic poetry and poetics, with some discussion of European philosophical and aesthetic theory that impacted poetic form, poetics, and aesthetic theory in Britain, Europe and the Americas. The course will challenge the stereotype that the poetics and poetry of writers in the French Revolutionary period suddenly embarked upon a radical new project to overturn eighteenth-century precedents. In addition, the seminar will consider the influence of nineteenth-century poetry and poetics on 20th-century and contemporary poets and critics. Our initial focus will be upon the poetry and prose of William Blake, William Wordsworth, Charlotte Smith, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Depending upon the interests of the seminar participants we can move out synchronically to examine further the poetics of European and American romanticism—or we can move diachronically to later nineteenth-century, modernist, and/or contemporary poetry and poetics; alternatively, we can decide to focus intensively upon one or two of the writers mentioned above. In addition to pertinent twentieth-century and contemporary critics of romanticism, we will discuss essays by poets such as Matthew Arnold, T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Seamus Heaney, and others who acknowledged, sometimes by negation, their relationship to Romantic poetry and poetics.
660.001: Nineteenth-Century American Gothic
M 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Jesse Aleman, email@example.com
This seminar focuses on the emergence of the American gothic in nineteenth-century literature and culture. The course begins with Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland, a tale about religious fanatics, ventriloquism, and spontaneous combustion, and concludes with Henry James’ghost-story thriller, The Turn of the Screw. In-between, we’ll read short stories by Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Louisa May Alcott, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Charles Chesnutt, to name a few, and we’ll study several examples of the gothic in American culture, including art and architecture; the rise of the asylum and cultures of the dead; pseudo-science and slavery. The readings will balance literary and cultural studies with theories of the fantastic, the grotesque, the uncanny, and the supernatural to understand how the American gothic emerges out the nation’s racial fears, sexual codes, class anxieties, religious history, and westward expansion; at the same time, we’ll pay keen attention to the literary forms the gothic struggles to take, including early forms of the novel, first-person fictional autobiographies, the short story, and the novella. The seminar is meant to interest all graduate students. The course requires one field-specific final project. For example, MA students could craft an essay for their portfolio; MFA students could write a piece on the emergence of a specific gothic form, genre, or style, as it might relate to the readings and their own writing; doctoral students can produce a conference paper or submit an essay for publication that connects the American gothic to their own field of study (British gothic; visual rhetoric of the gothic; contemporary reconfigurations of the gothic; etc).
680.001: The Gawain-Poet
R 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Anita Obermeier, firstname.lastname@example.org
The last quarter of the turbulent fourteenth century exhibited a highly imaginative and fertile period of heterogeneous literary composition. Although Geoffrey Chaucer is often called the Father of English Poetry and the uncontested literary giant of the fourteenth century, he does have to share the stage with several highly gifted authors, most notably the Gawain-Poet. This graduate seminar will offer the opportunity to study in depth and from a variety of perspectives the four poems of the late-fourteenth-century manuscript Cotton Nero A.x attributed to the Gawain-Poet: Pearl, “Cleanness”, “Patience”, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We will also explore the historical and cultural context, including jewelry, armor, the Wilton Diptych, the tomb of Richard II, and the Alliterative Revival, within which this manuscript was created.