Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘graduate courses

Fall Syllabus #2: Grad Seminar, “American Literature after the American Century”!

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I’m really excited about this one, too! This should be a great semester. I owe some thanks to Jodi Melamed and Priscilla Wald for this one.

GENERAL COURSE PLAN

WEEK 1: AMERICAN LITERATURE AFTER THE AMERICAN CENTURY

WEEK 2-4: CANONS AND TRIGGER WARNINGS: LOLITA

WEEK 4-6: POPULAR CULTURE(S): THE BODY SNATCHERS

WEEK 6-8: THEORIES AND IDENTITIES: DAWN

WEEK 8-9: POSTMODERNISM AND CONSUMER CULTURE: DAVID FOSTER WALLACE

WEEK 10-11: NATIONALISMS AND TRANSNATIONALISMS: TROPIC OF ORANGE

WEEK 11-12: ECOCRITICISM IN THE ANTHROPOCENE: WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES

WEEK 13: AMERICAN LITERATURE AFTER EVERTHING

WEEK 14-15: CLASS SYMPOSIUM

DAY-BY-DAY SCHEDULE

M Aug. 31 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

Henry Luce, “The American Century” [D2L]

W Sep. 2 American Literature after the American Century

Henry A. Giroux, “Public Intellectuals against the Neoliberal University” [Web]

Michael Bérubé, “American Studies without Exceptions” [D2L]

     
M Sep. 7 LABOR DAY HOLIDAY—NO CLASS
W Sep. 9 Canons and Trigger Warnings

Lolita, Foreword and Part One

M Sep. 14 Lolita, Part Two (first half)
W Sep. 16 Lolita (whole book including afterword)
M Sep. 21 Jay Caspian King, “Trigger Warnings and the Novelist’s Mind” [newyorker.com]

Malcolm Harris, “Western Canon, Meet Trigger Warning” [aljazeera.com]

Ira Wells, “Forgetting Lolita: How Nabokov’s Victim Became an American Fantasy” [newrepublic.com]

“A Portrait of the Young Girl: On the 60th Anniversary of Lolita” [Los Angeles Review of Books]

W Sep. 23 Popular Culture(s)

Fredric Jameson, “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture”

 
M Sep. 28 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (whole book)
W Sep. 30 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (whole book)

Susan Sontag, “The Imagination of Disaster” [D2L]

Fredric Jameson, “Metacommentary” [D2L]

M Oct. 5 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 film)

Erika Nelson, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Gender and Sexuality in Four Film Adaptations” [D2L]

Marty Roth, “Twice Two: The Fly and Invasion of the Body Snatchers” [D2L]

W Oct. 7 Theories and Identities

Octavia E. Butler, Dawn (first half)

M Oct. 12 Octavia E. Butler, Dawn (second half)
W Oct. 14 Octavia Butler, Adulthood Rites (excerpts) [D2L]

Donna Haraway, “The Cyborg Manifesto” [D2L]

Donna Haraway, Primate Visions [excerpt] [D2L]

M Oct. 19 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” [D2L]
W Oct. 21 Postmodernism and Consumer Culture

David Foster Wallace, “Octet”

David Foster Wallace, “The Depressed Person”

M Oct. 26 CONFERENCES—NO CLASS
W Oct. 28 David Foster Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction”

Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”

M Nov. 2 Nationalism and Transnationalism

Tropic of Orange (first half)

FINAL PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE

W Nov. 4 Tropic of Orange (second half)
M Nov. 9 Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands [excerpts] [D2L]

Junot Díaz, “Monstro” [D2L]

W Nov. 11 Ecocriticism in the Anthropocene

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (first half)

M Nov. 16 We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (second half)
W Nov. 18 Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History” [D2L]

McKenzie Wark, “Critical Theory after the Anthropocene” [D2L]

M Nov. 23 American Literature after Everything

Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History” [D2L]

Giorgio Agamben, “What Is The Contemporary?” [D2L]

Natalia Cecire, “Humanities Scholarship Is Incredibly Relevant, and That Makes People Sad” [Web]

 
W Nov. 25 THANKSGIVING—NO CLASS
M Nov. 30 Syllabus Workshop

GROUP SYLLABUSES DUE

W Dec. 2 Class Symposium (day one)
M Dec. 7 Class Symposium (day two)
W Dec. 9 Class Symposium (day three)
F Dec. 18 FINAL PAPERS DUE BY 10 AM

Course Descriptions for Fall 2015 (Yes, Already!)

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Course Number: 4610/5610
Course Title & Subtitle: Individual Authors: J.R.R. Tolkien
Course Description: This decade will see the hundredth anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s earliest writings on Middle-Earth (The Book of Lost Tales, begun in 1917) alongside the completion of Peter Jackson’s career-defining twenty-year project to adapt The Lord of the Rings for film (1995-2015). This course asks the question: Who is J.R.R. Tolkien, looking backward from the perspective of the twenty-first century? Why have his works, and the genre of heroic fantasy which he remade so completely in his image, remained so intensely popular, even as the world has transformed around them? Our study will primarily trace the history, development, and reception of Tolkien’s incredible magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings (written 1937-1949, published 1954-1955)—but we will also take up Tolkien’s contested place in the literary canon of the twentieth century, the uses and abuses of Tolkien in Jackson’s blockbuster films, and the ongoing critical interests and investments of Tolkien fandom today. As Tolkien scholars we will also have the privilege of drawing upon the remarkable J.R.R. Tolkien Collection at the Raynor Library here at Marquette, which contains the original manuscripts for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Farmer Giles of Ham.
Major Readings: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and selected additional readings
Assignments: two shorter papers, one final paper, weekly forum posts, one presentation, class participation

 

Course Number: 6700
Course Title & Subtitle: Studies in Twentieth Century American Literature: American Literature after the American Century
Course Description: In 1941, Time Magazine publisher Henry Luce called upon the twentieth century to be “the first great American Century,” and it’s been ending ever since. This course takes up American literary and cultural studies from the post-everything standpoint of the “after.” What is it to study American literature today, after the American Century, after American exceptionalism, after modernity, after the university, after the idea of the future itself? Our shared investigation into contemporary critical and scholarly practices will focus on key controversies in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary study, including the ongoing reevaluation of “the canon” (Lolita), popular culture studies (The Body Snatchers), identity and identity politics (Dawn), nationalism and transnationalism (Tropic of Orange), postmodernity and neoliberalism (the short stories of David Foster Wallace), and ecocriticism in the Anthropocene (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves). Our reading will also draw heavily on recent scholarship in critical theory, especially “the new American studies” and the emerging discipline of critical university studies. Alongside weekly reflections and enthusiastic class participation, students in this course will produce a 15-20 page seminar paper on a subject of their choosing related to the themes of the course, as well as present their work to their peers in a conference-presentation format and develop a sample syllabus for an undergraduate course in American literary or cultural studies.
Readings: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita; Jack Finney, The Body Snatchers; Octavia E. Butler, Dawn; Karen Tei Yamashita, Tropic of Orange; Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; the short stories of David Foster Wallace; selected additional readings
Assignments: weekly reflections, class participation, conference-style presentation, seminar paper (15-20 pages), sample syllabus