Sample Course Descriptions

English

4553 20th-Century U.S. Fiction

A study of American fiction after 1914, with emphasis on such major figures as Anderson, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner.

Prereq: 10 qtr cr hrs or 6 cr hrs of English at 2000-3000 level, or permission of instructor. 5 qtr cr hrs in 367 or 3 cr hrs in 2367 in any subject is acceptable towards the 6 cr hrs. Not open to students with credit for 553. [Autumn 2013]

[Autumn 2013] This course will explore a range of 20th-century U.S. fiction through the frames of history and place. How have U.S. writers represented and remembered key historical moments-slavery and segregation, imperialism and immigration, modernism and travel, WWII, the Viet Nam War era, 9/11-and the peoples and places affected by those events? To the extent possible, our approach will juxtapose texts that engage with similar issues from varying historical and cultural viewpoints. Throughout the course, we will reflect on the shifting political meanings of "America" as we make our way across the 20th century and into the 21st. Possible authors include: Willa Cather, E. L. Doctorow, William Faulkner, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jessica Hagedorn, Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, Aimee Phan, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gertrude Stein, Monique Truong, Kurt Vonnegut. Requirements: attendance, participation, presentation, short responses, one close-reading paper, one research paper.

4581 Special Topics in U.S. Ethnic Literature and Culture

Study of selected issues or forms in U.S. ethnic literatures and cultures. Topic varies. Examples: Native American autobiography, Asian American poetry; Latino/a novel.

Prereq: 10 qtr cr hrs or 6 cr hrs of English at 2000-3000 level, or permission of instructor. 5 qtr cr hrs in 367 or 3 cr hrs in 2367 in any subject is acceptable towards the 6 cr hrs. Not open to students with 10 qtr cr hrs for 581 or 6 sem cr hrs for 4581. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

[Autumn 2013: "Ethnicity, Empire, Experiment"] This course will explore 20th and 21st century U.S. ethnic literatures through the frames of U.S. empire and literary experimentation. In what ways did U.S. imperialism-chattel slavery, westward expansion, overseas war and colonization, economic and cultural neocolonialism-produce racialized subjects? How have African American, American Indian, Chicano/a and Latino/a, and Asian American writers engaged critically and creatively with such processes of racial subordination? What sorts of literary experiments have they invented and used to claim cultures and communities of survival, renewal, and transformation? Possible authors include: Ana Castillo, Junot Diaz, Alicia Gaspar De Alba, Thomas Glave, Jessica Hagedorn, Linda Hogan, N. Scott Momaday, Toni Morrison, Wilfrido Nolledo, Jean Toomer, Jose Garcia Villa, Gerald Vizenor, Karen Tei Yamashita. Requirements: attendance, participation, short responses, one close-reading paper, one research paper.

[Spring 2014: "The Ethics of Comparative Racializations"] Is Yellow Black or White? Are all minorities Black? Why are Asians considered the "new Jews," the latest model minority? What is the racial hierarchy from the past to the present that now determines our future? How is that racial hierarchy gendered in the hypermasculinization and hyperfeminization of groups? The inclusiveness of the term "Asian American," a political category, has itself been contested by Pacific Islanders, South Asians, and those of the multiple Asian diasporas. This identity fundamentally depends on the complex histories of US and European imperialisms, international politics, and other racial identities in the US. Given that the category of race is an interracial formation, we will examine how writers of color merge forms and genres in order to advance an interracial ethics.

4578 Special Topics in Film

Examination of particular topics, themes, genres, or movements in cinema; topics may include particular directors (Orson Welles), periods (The Sixties), genres (horror).

Prereq: 10 qtr cr hrs or 6 cr hrs of English at 2000-3000 level, or permission of instructor. 5 qtr cr hrs in 367 or 3 cr hrs in 2367 in any subject is acceptable towards the 6 cr hrs. Not open to students with 15 qtr cr hrs for 578 or 9 sem cr hrs for 4578 or 4578H. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs.

[Autumn 2013: "From Exploitation Films to the Exploit"] This course explores the cheap, low-culture sensation of exploitation films. As a class of films that became visible the 1920s in the U.S., exploitation films featured all that was considered excessive and prohibited under the Hollywood Hayes Production Code, including interracial relationships, sex, violence, non-heterosexual sexualities, single parent families, criminality, gore, the superhuman, and the supernatural. By the 1960s and 1970s, exploitation films became defined through specific genres targeting niche audiences, such as Blaxploitation, horror, sexploitation, martial arts, spaghetti westerns, gangster, and prison films. Hollywood's incorporation of exploitation's smaller scale, niche production and iconography and the growing international cinematic market contributed to this shift. Beginning in the last decade of 20th century, electronic networks and global Hollywood have helped to further absorb, disperse, and re-assemble exploitation films for hybrid transnational circulation. This course will track the development of the exploitation phenomenon alongside and within classical Hollywood cinema and then as a general feature of global post-industrial Hollywood and media. Course materials may include work by Ana M. Lopez, Tejaswini Ganti, Toby Miller, Ting Wang & Nitin Govil, Yvonne Sims, Celine Parre?as Shimizu, Kara Keeling, Linda Williams, Ed Guerrero, Alexander Galloway & Eugene Thacker, Kyung Hyun Kim, N. Katherine Hayles, Wendy Chun, Henry Jenkins, Robert Rodriguez, Bliss Cua Lim. Screenings may include: Quentin Tarantino's Man with the Iron Fists, Melvin Van Peebles'sSweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, Jack Hill's Switchblade Sisters, Robert Rodriguez'sEl Mariachi, Robert Clouse's Enter the Dragon, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, Kim Ji-woon's The Good, the Bad, the Weird, Hideo Nakata's Ringu. Course requirements may include an in-class presentation, regular participation in a course blog, exploratory midterm project, and final paper project. The course will fulfill requirements towards English, Film, Sexuality Studies, Asian American Studies, and Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies majors and minors.

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

4540 Women of Color: Art, Literature and Culture

A study of American fiction after 1914, with emphasis on such major figures as Anderson, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner.

Prereq: 10 qtr cr hrs or 6 cr hrs of English at 2000-3000 level, or permission of instructor. 5 qtr cr hrs in 367 or 3 cr hrs in 2367 in any subject is acceptable towards the 6 cr hrs. Not open to students with credit for 553.

[Spring 2014] This course examines literary and filmic texts by and about US women of color over the past three decades. This course will examine the way literary and filmic texts attempt to expose and heal deep political, economic and social rifts in American society, especially over issues of gender and racial justice. We will focus on the narrative elements such as point-of-view, style, structure, and voice. Our topics will include third-world, transnational, women of color and post-feminisms. This course will continually return to the filmic and literary works with questions of context and influence. How do artists and writers, working within certain contexts, attempt to resolve long-standing political, social and economic issues regarding gender and racial justice?

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