SPRING 2016 UNDERGRADUATE FEATURED COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
LIT 4930 Western Fiction in Asia (Davie) [Cat. I or II]
This special topics course will present an intercultural focus on Westerners trying to understand and connect with Asian cultures through course texts that represent these encounters in South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. Course texts may include:
Ackerley, HINDOO HOLIDAY
Buck, THE GOOD EARTH
Carter, BURNING YOUR BOATS
Conrad, LORD JIM
Forster, A PASSAGE TO INDIA
Isherwood, A MEETING BY THE RIVER
Johnson, TREE OF SMOKE
Orwell, BURMESE DAYS
Welch, MAIDEN VOYAGE
AML 4930 Homes and Haunts in 20th Century American Literature (Boca) [Cat. II]
Julieann Veronica Ulin
The upper-division special topics course may be used to meet the category II requirement and will introduce students to the literature of the haunted house alongside relevant theory and literary criticism. We will start with Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” before moving on to Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw and Edith Wharton’s ghost stories. From there, we will turn to modernism’s haunted houses in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The semester will close with Danielewski’s acclaimed postmodern novel, House of Leaves (2000). We will also consider Kubrick’s horror film The Shining and engage in archival research into Florida’s ghost stories.
ENC 4930: Writing for Social Media (Boca) Mason [Cat. III]
ENC 4930: Rhetorics of Incarceration (Boca) [Cat. 1 or III)
In this class we will analyze writing by and about prisoners. Prison writing spans centuries and continents, and yet has received very little critical engagement. In this class we will explore how prison writing challenges accepted notions of who writes, where writing takes places, and what writing should be about. Prisons themselves have few redeeming features, but what of the writing produced within them?
We will consider genres including autobiography, fiction, poetry, film, and various modes of visual art, and have the opportunity to compose creative as well as critical/analytical writing. We will also correspond regularly with a group of incarcerated writers at Dade Corrections Facility, with the help of a local prison writing organization Exchange for Change. Our class will have the opportunity to exchange writing with these men in order to offer and receive feedback on creative writing, and engage in ongoing dialogue about the class readings as well as our identities as writers, and how our experiences and institutional contexts shape these identities. We will collaborate with our writing partners in the creation of audio essays, and also work together to create a collection of the writing produced by our classes.
Throughout the semester we will consider the ways in which institutional and cultural contexts shape the experience of writing and the development of a “writer” identity. As we familiarize ourselves with a small slice of contemporary prison writing, we will attempt to consider broader questions about this field, including: What dominant elements characterize prison writing and art, and can we even construct these as coherent categories? How does the literature and art prepared by prison insiders differ from that authored by outsiders? Does outsider literature/art count as “prison literature”? And finally, what is the role/responsibility of prison literature and art to current movements for prison reform? As we will be writing in partnership with currently incarcerated writers, our questions about the potentials for prison writing will therefore be both critical and also optimistic from the start: (How) Can writing and art produced within prison intervene, in some way, in its surrounding conditions? (How) Can it shape prison culture and make it more humane? (How) Can it shape the outside culture and make it more humane? What testament does prison art and writing provide of the experience of incarceration? How should we, as outsiders, receive it?