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Aliens, Outcasts, and Border Crossers: Bounded Spaces and the Making of Identities
LIT 6806 Literature as Cultural Study (CRN 10722)
Dr. Mendible, Thursday 5:30-8:15
“It is in the emergence of the interstices—the overlap and displacement of domains of difference—that the intersubjective and collective experiences of nationness, community interest, or cultural values are negotiated.” Homi Bhabha
Borders are not simply physical divisions. They are also theorized as discursive practices, metaphorical concepts, and productive conjunction or confrontation. This seminar will explore the ways that borders are embodied, imagined, enforced, transgressed, and represented through both physical and symbolic acts. It will focus special attention on the construction and significance of sexuality, gender, race, and nationality as boundary-making processes. We will also explore how personal, cultural, and political identity develops in domestic and also in transnational contexts in which traditional borders break down or become permeable. Guiding questions include, How are borders constructed, negotiated, and policed or transgressed? How are they challenged and renegotiated? What role do literal and figurative borders play in creative processes, cultural practices, and identity formation?
The Pursuit of Happiness
AML 6930 Selected Topics (CRN 10706)
Dr. Brock, Monday 5:30-8:15
Beginning with Horatio Alger and his trope of the self-made, pulled-up-by-his-bootstraps American success story, we will explore the delights, traps, and horrors of this pursuit. We will ground our approach with a few post-Marxist readings on cultural studies as we explore the constructs of this very American metaphor. Yes, the wrong people seem to succeed, as we will see in Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country; or yes, a heroine ascends to the bourgeois class at the cost of her identity in Nella Larsen’s Passing; or yes, the end of the pursuit results in murder, bloody murder in James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity (along with Billy Wilder’s film adaptation). We will also find reprieve in the Coen Brothers’ Raising Arizona, and close this pursuit with Nathan Hill’s important debut novel, The Nix.
Seminar in Composition Pedagogy
ENC 6745 (CRN 10712)
Dr. Sugimori, Tuesday 5:30-8:15
This course explores both theoretical and practical aspects of teaching first-year composition. The main topics include composition and rhetoric, writing process, course structuring, lesson planning, class management, assignment design and evaluation, pedagogical self-reflection, and career development. Composition Teaching Assistants must complete this course prior to receiving a teaching assignment.
Major British Authors– Jane Austen
ENL 6305 (CRN 12111)
Dr. Crone-Romanovski, Wednesday 5:30-8:15
Jane Austen’s novels have been critical and popular successes from the time of their original publication in the 1810s to today. Her works experienced a particularly notable resurgence in both critical and popular attention in the 1990s from the combined forces of renewed interest by the film industry and a growing field of feminist scholarship on women’s writing. In this course, we will study Austen’s works, including selections of her juvenilia and personal letters as well as her major novels, within their historical and cultural contexts and in relation to their continued ability to attract both scholars and fans. Studying Austen’s writing in this context will provide an avenue for studying the culture of Regency England, the shaping of modern notions of gender and class, the history of the novel, forms of popular literature, and critical approaches to literary analysis.