English 706 : Seminar in Professional and Technical Writing Pedagogy
Thursdays from 5:30 - 8:10
"In this course we will explore the theory and application of various approaches to teaching business and technical writing in colleges and universities and in the non-academic workplace. To do so, we will explore pedagogical theories; examine and evaluate textbooks, assignments, and other course materials; and discuss online, face-to-face, and hybrid instruction. We will also investigate and assess key genres of business and technical writing, including reports, proposals, job application materials and presentations."
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English 741: Approaches to the Modern II
Subtitle: Modern Times: History + Modernity
"This course begins from the premise that one of the signal inventions of modernity is “modernity”—not just a new period in history, but a new way of thinking about historical periods. How does modernity change our relation to history? What happens once we tumble into modern time? We will survey the range of theoretical, historical, and political issues that arise from modern accounts of history and temporality. These include theories and critiques of the concept of the "modern"; the legacies of historicism; the uses and abuses of periodization; queer and postcolonial histories; the temporalities of crisis; and the emergent history of the Anthropocene. Throughout the course, we’ll find ourselves grappling with quintessentially modern categories like capitalism, colonialism, climate, and futurity. And we’ll begin to ask how such categories—rather than unfolding neutrally in history—end up producing their own self-sustaining historical frameworks. Readings will include Marx, Nietzsche, Koselleck, de Man, Foucault, Fineman, Benjamin, Althusser, Jameson, Derrida, Baucom, Love, Cazdyn, Chakrabarty, and Menely, among others."
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- Bell, Lee Ann. Storytelling for Social Justice: Connecting Narrative and the Arts in Antiracist Teaching. New York: Routledge, 2010.
- Freedman, Diane, and Olivia Frey, eds. Autobiographical Writing Across the Disciplines. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.
- hooks, bell. Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. New York: Routledge, 2003.
- Martin, Rachel. Listening Up: Reinventing Ourselves as Teachers and Students. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann/Boynton/Cook, 2001.
- Michaelis, Arno. My Life After Hate. Milwaukee, WI: Life After Hate, 2010.
- Nash, Robert J. Liberating Scholarly Writing: The Power of Personal Narrative. New York: Teachers College Press, 2004.
- Patel, Eboo. Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. New York: Beacon: 2007.
- Perl, Sondra. On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate. New York: State University of New York Press, 2005."
- Tell Me True: Memoir, History, and Writing a Life, eds. Patricia Hampl & Elaine Tyler May (Excerpts from memoirs and essays about process, methods, craft.)
- Writing Creative Nonfiction, eds. Carolyn Forché & Philip Gerard (Half essays on craft, half a collection of Creative Nonfiction.)
- Telling it Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, Brenda Miller & Suzanne Paola (Addresses subjects, form, craft, and publishing.)
- A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry, Czeslaw Milosz (Poetry.)
- Kapil, Bhanu. The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers. Kelsey St. Press, 2009. $15.30
- Santos Perez, Craig. from UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY [HACHA]. Tinfish Press, 2008. $15.00
English 754:Post-Secondary Composition
Subtitle: Autobiography as Pedagogy
Tues 6:30-9:10 pm
"This course is open to graduate students who are seriously interested in the teaching of writing, particularly in becoming more self-reflective and critically aware of how their work in the classroom is inevitably influenced by their experiences beyond it. What do we need to learn in order to teach? One answer is that we must learn to look more closely at the integral relationship between our personal histories and professional identities. Moreover, one invaluable source of guidance in this endeavor is autobiography – particularly personal narratives by other teachers and educational activists. Issues of self, identity, community and society are intricately linked in autobiography − as they are in our everyday lives and our students' lives.
Accordingly, this course proposes that we set aside analyzing our students’ deficiencies and concentrate instead on risking a clear look at our own strengths and weaknesses in the classroom. To do this, we will consider questions such as these: What difference does writing make in our own lives? How have reading and writing shaped our sense of purpose and possibility? What insights do we draw from (or suppress in) our personal histories as we define our teaching roles and responsibilities? In working with students whose backgrounds are different from our own, how can we be ethically as well as intellectually responsive to their needs and capabilities? Overall, what makes reading and writing “the most dangerous things” (as Harold Brodkey puts it) – not only promising, but also insisting that we re-imagine what we can do in the world? Through our reading and discussions, we will consider how learning to use language in new ways very often calls for learning to enact new identities, relationships and values − a reality no less true for us than for our students.
The main project for this course will be a personal narrative integrating autobiographical reflection with professional concerns directly relevant to the teaching of writing. This narrative is to be centered in individual experience and informed by research. Guidance for an appropriate approach to take will be provided by course reading, class discussion of work in progress, and instructor consultation.
You are likely to enjoy this seminar if you enjoy reading, writing, and collaborative learning as opportunities to reconsider what you believe and re-envision what might be true (about teachers, students, literacy, the purposes of higher education). Everyone is expected to share responsibility for the seminar itself as a “work in progress” shaped by the diverse backgrounds of people in our graduate program, I look forward to a lively exchange of ideas. Whatever your individual interests may be, I hope that together we can experience the extraordinary power of the written word in shaping who we are, what we believe, and why we reach for truth beyond the telling.
Course Books (tentative list):
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English 775 : Modern English Literature
Subtitle: Fabulism and Magical Realism
"In this class we will explore the mode(s) of writing broadly referred to as fabulism and magical realism, through the lens of a range of narrative texts by writers from Britain, elsewhere in Europe, and Latin America. The boundaries between modern fable, contemporary fairy tale, and magical realism "proper" are not easy to draw. In such texts, what seems recognizably realistic, familiar, and rational merges with or includes the inexplicable in the form of fabulous or fantastical occurrences more often encountered in myth or dream. Such texts often include elements of allegory and metafiction and frequently use techniques associated with postmodernist or postcolonial discourse. Stories (tales) and novels from different regions and with a variety of emphases will allow us to explore the contexts, boundaries, definitions, and manifestations of fabulist writing, including magical realism."
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English 813 : Special Topics In Creative Writing
Subtitle: Writing Life Stories
Prof. Kimberly Blaeser
Students in this class will focus in various ways on the study of life stories. The assignments will include readings in memoir or autobiography in several genres as well as the reading of theoretical essays attending to the idea of auto-bio-graphe or concentrating on craft. Assignments will also include writing exercises and the writing and workshopping of pieces of life writing. Students in the class will keep a journal, participate in discussion on course readings, comment on one another’s writing, read one full length work focusing on life writing and give a class presentation on it, and submit a final portfolio of their creative work at the semester's end.
Students will have the opportunity to express life stories through poetry, creative non-fiction, fiction, and “hybrid” writing and will be encouraged to experiment with genre, approach, focus, subject, and style in their writing. In the writing assignments students may undertake various forms of life writing including autobiography, biography, portraits, and oral history.
Additional short pieces on D2-L or as a handout.
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English 815 : Seminar in Fiction Writing
Subtitle: Modulating Tension
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10 pm
"A common assumption about fiction is that every story needs a conflict, but a more flexible approach is to say that every story needs tension. If the word conflict conjures an image of two fighters facing off, tension looks more like a finger pressing down on a balloon. Conflicts are focalized, identifiable, and often quite rational, but tensions are infectious, and can rise and fall for all sorts of mysterious reasons—anticipation, pain, romance, comedy, contrast, wonder, fear. In this workshop we will study many types of tension and learn a variety of techniques for modulating it on the page.
Each student will present a craft talk on a writing technique and will have two workshop opportunities. At least one of these workshop submissions must be new material (written since 12/2013); the other may be a revision of previously written material, but only if the revision represents a significant change from its previous draft. Workshop submissions need not focus on any particular theme or subject matter."
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English 816 :
Maurice Kilwein Guevara
In this course we will explore the terrains of the lyric poem (written in lines) and the prose poem (written in paragraphs). The first, generally recognized collection of prose poems was composed in French by the poet Aloysius Bertrand; entitled Gaspard de la Nuit (Gaspard of the Night), the collection was published in 1842, shortly after the poet’s death. After Bertrand, other French-language poets such as Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and Apollinaire became practitioners of poems written in paragraphs rather than in lineated stanzas or strophes. The form grew in popularity in the late 19th century and the 20th century and spread internationally. We’ll approach our study with an open mind, curious to describe structural & content features of the form. The other poetic genre that we’ll engage is the lyric poem, which has left a decidedly longer trail dating back at least to antiquity, although our focus will be on the modern, the postmodern, and the contemporary lyric. The class will be discussion-based and focus primarily on new writing produced by the class. Students will produce both prose poems and lineated lyrics.
Evaluation methods will likely include class engagement, reading and discussion of two collections (involving both lyric and prose poetry), one presentation to the class of a collection of prose poetry in conversation with a collection of lyrics, but the bulk of the production will be your own poetry. There may also be one or two field trips planned with writing components attached to the experiences.
TEXTS UNDER CONSIDERATION
Also, another cost will be coping poems for class discussion.
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English 875 : Seminar in Modern Literature
Subtitle: Becoming modern: gendered narratives
"This course will explore `modernity' as an ensemble of expectations, desires, class and colonial impositions, alternative visions or critiques, and material transformations through the emergence of gendered public spheres in the late 19th and early 20th century. The sites of `becoming modern' include literacy, reading and writing; new women; colonial exhibitionary complexes and civilizing missions; the city and visuality alongside the gendering of urban labor and consumption; and early cinema as a tutelary and phantasmatic public sphere. The texts to be studied, both formally and historically, are drawn from several countries (England, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, the Caribbean, India, north America), include short stories, dreams, autobiographies, personal narratives, lectures, polemical essays, posters, sketches, silent films and critical theory. They lead, potentially, into a theorization of the so-called global modern."
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English 885 : Seminar in Critical Theory
Subtitle: Cultural Economies
"The early years of the 21st century have seen an “economic turn” across a wide range of disciplines. Yet in a sense, this is more of a re-turn than a turn, since what was once called “political economy” was at its origins a mode of thought attuned to problems of culture, history, and social life. Although the discipline of economics eventually claimed a position among the hard sciences and dissociated itself from humanistic thought, other fields of study quickly recognized questions of value, exchange, and production as urgent areas of inquiry. By the early 20th century, anthropologists were exploring economic value as a social form while psychoanalysts were treating pleasure as a psychic “economy.” In philosophy, likewise, study of the economy as both a material force and a resonant metaphor has interested thinkers from Nietzsche to Baudrillard.
This course will thus seek to track interdisciplinary study of “the economic” from its origins in the 18th century through its 21st century inheritors. Along the way, we will engage methodological questions about the challenges of interdisciplinarity itself, exploring the relationship between cultural theory and anthropology, psychology, philosophy, political theory, and economics. We’ll also take two literary detours, reading an early 20th-century naturalist novel about financial speculation (Frank Norris’s The Pit) and a 21st-century sci-fi novel about globalization (Richard Morgan’s Market Forces). We will end with three weeks on the varied ways in which contemporary literary and cultural theory has taken up questions of economic form. "
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English 885 : Seminar in Critical Theory
Subtitle: Anthropocene Feminism
Wednesday, 6.00-8:40 PM
Coined by Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen at the inception of the 21st Century, the concept of the Anthropocene postulates a new geological epoch defined by overwhelming human influence upon the Earth beginning with the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century. In many ways, however, the concept of the anthropocene has arguably been implicit in feminism, critical theory, and queer theory for decades, a genealogy that is largely ignored, or worse, erased, by the masculine authority of science. By the same token, while feminists have long argued that humans are dominating and destroying the earth, turning it into standing reserve, capital, or resource to devastating ends, it is also the case that this recent articulation of the anthropocene deprives feminism of some of the normative ground upon which such indictments are based. The primary goal of the semester will be to provide a dual genealogy for the concept of anthropocene feminism, tracing it both through feminist theory and ecological thought. The seminar will operate as well as preparation for the C21 spring conference on "Anthropocene Feminism." In addition to seminar meetings students will be expected to attend several brown bags and lectures related to the course. Several of the readings and creative works that the seminar will engage will be selected from scholars who have been invited to speak at the conference, which will provide an excellent opportunity for seminarians to engage with many of the issues that will be debated at the conference in April.
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English 887 : Understanding Participatory Media
"Explores critical and theoretical approaches to participatory media, using computer games both as a focus and departure point for consideration of other media, and trans-media perspectives. Readings from major theorists representing a variety of positions and approaches. Opportunities to write about games, related forms of participatory culture, and the theory of media generally."
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