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Graduate Courses

AML 5017
Studies in U.S, Literature to 1875: Print and Racialization in American Literature to 1900
John J. Garcia WMS 229 jjgarcia@fsu.edu

This course will focus on minoritized authors in pre-1900 American literature, with an emphasis on transatlantic studies, transnationalism, and material textuality/history of text technologies. In the 18th century, discourses on sympathy and religious belief helped formulate a modern notion of human rights that would play an important role for Afro-British writers such as Olaudah Equiano and Phyllis Wheatley. We’ll read Equiano, Wheatley, and other eighteenth-century black and indigenous writers, such as Samson Occom, as part of an introduction to the history of the book in colonial America. The second half of the course will study a series of major nineteenth-century novels about race that have a complicated textual and bibliographical history: José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi’s The Mangy Parrot, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Spy, William Wells Brown’s Clotel, John Rollin Ridge’s Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, and María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s The Squatter and the Don. We’ll compare various editions to think about how authors and publishers reimagine race through editorial interventions and revisions. Students will be encouraged to write a seminar paper on any aspect of American literary history before 1900.

Requirements: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for one course in 1660-1900. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area of Concentration: American Literary and Cultural Studies to 1900; History of Text Technologies; or a Literary Genre (Fiction). This course also meets the Alterity requirement.

AML 5296
Studies in Multi-Ethnic Lit: Contagious Bodies, Toxic Biopolitics: Narrating Race, Illness, and Disability
Frances Tran WMS 325 ftran@fsu.edu

This course explores the intersections between literary studies, ethnic studies, and disability studies. In an attempt to move beyond medicalized definitions of illness and disability, we will examine how these categories are socially and discursively constructed, that is, embedded within existing structures of power and shaped by historical and ongoing material inequalities. Analyzing narratives like Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves, Rachel Heng’s Suicide Club, Nora Okja Keller’s Fox Girl, and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, alongside the work of prominent scholars such as Alison Kafer, Jasbir Puar, Sami Schalk, Rosmarie Garland-Thomson, and others, we will investigate how illness/disability comes to be racialized and how certain bodies are not just sick but figured as sickening (impure, polluted, carriers of contagious diseases, and so on). In this course, we will address a range of topics, including the U.S. medical-industrial complex, discourses of ablenationalism, the gendered and sexual politics of illness/disability, and environmental racism. We will, moreover, probe how literary and aesthetic imaginaries can help us think beyond the abled/disabled binary towards richer and fuller conceptions of embodiment and how woundedness can serve as a basis for imagining alternative forms of agency, collectivity, and solidarity.

Required texts include:

  • Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves (2017), ISBN 13- 978-1770864863
  • Rachel Heng, Suicide Club: A Novel About Living (2018) - ISBN 13: 978-1250185341
  • Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (2007)- ISBN 13: 978-0307278449
  • Nora Okja Keller, Fox Girl (2003) - ISBN 13: 978-0142001967
  • Ling Ma, Severance (2019)- ISBN 13: 978-1250214997

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture; and Colonial, Postcolonial, and Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies. This course also meets the Alterity requirement.”

AML 5608
Study in the African American Literary Tradition: African American Literature and the South
Alisha Gaines WMS 228 amgaines@fsu.edu

Just what is the U.S. South?

Maybe it’s a geographical location defined by a history of slavery.

Maybe the South is a thick and humid climate.

Maybe the South is a culture best defined by the sugar in its tea and not in its grits.

Maybe the South is defined by its dialectic preference for “y’all.”

Or maybe Ray Charles croons it best. Maybe the South is just like Georgia—a region “on our minds.”

As a place often defined by its history of racial terror, the U.S. South is paradoxically emblematic of the United States (think the representations of U.S. Americans outside of the country – often a cowboy or farmer with a twangy Southern accent), while also serving the internal function as national “other.” In the black imaginary specifically, the South functions as a mythical home in much African American narrative, possibly more so than even (re)imaginings of Africa.

Consequently, this course attempts to take on the ambivalent, slippery and fractured idea of the U.S. South in African American literature. We will do so by interrogating texts that offer contemporary readers historical constructions of the South as well as more recent texts that resituate and reconsider the place and value of the South in literature and popular culture. Our texts will be varied. They include slave narratives, fiction, memoir, photography, film, and music.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture; or African-American Literary and Cultural Studies; or a Literary Genre (Fiction). This course also meets the Alterity requirement.

AML 5637
Studies in Latino/a Literature: “Latinx Studies on Trial”
John Ribó WMS 437B jribo@fsu.edu

“Latinx Studies on Trial” examines the theoretical, pedagogical, and practical challenges of teaching Latinx literatures from the colonial period to the present within contemporary debates on the role of ethnic studies in public education and public life in the United States. Throughout the semester as we read memoirs, essays, poems, short stories, plays, and novels, we will return to questions raised by the banning of Mexican American Studies and the censorship of books written by Latinx authors in Arizona in 2010 and the denial of tenure of prominent Latinx Studies scholars at Ivy League universities a decade later. Why was Mexican American Studies banned? Why were these books censored? Why were these scholars denied tenure? In addition to these specific inquiries, these case studies will lead to more general questions about the role of the university and other educational institutions. Who sets educational curricula and defines literary canons? Can the literary and cultural traditions of minoritized people thrive in the university? What do scholarship and pedagogy inspired by and participating in the existential struggles of underrepresented communities look like? In addition to film, television, music, and other popular culture, readings will include selections from The Norton Anthology of Latino/a Literature and books by Jennine Capó Crucet, Joseph Cassara, Sandra Cisneros, Angie Cruz, Edwidge Danticat, and Javier Zamora.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture; or a Literary Genre (Fiction). This course also meets the Alterity requirement.

CRW 5130
Fiction Workshop
Mark Winegardner WMS418 winegardner@fsu.edu

This course is a rigorous traditional workshop. As in any decent workshop, at its core is the premise that any student work under discussion could be better. In a great majority of fiction handed in to a graduate workshop, the thing that most needs to get better is the storytelling and structure. To attack that, this class will take a nuts-and-bolts approach to the mastering the fundamentals of what a story is and how it's put together.

The default mode here is that students will be expected to workshop, revise, and re-submit two short stories (though you will have the opportunity workshop three). If you wish to workshop any portion of a novel, we will meet one-on-one to custom-tailor a workshop strategy for that book (rather than treating it the way we would a short story).

"A writer," said Saul Bellow, "is a reader moved to emulation." "I know of no good, ignorant writers," wrote Richard Wilbur. "I think of great stories and novels," said Charles Baxter, "as permission-givers." This course will develop your writing in tandem with your reading, to eradicate ignorance, receive permission, and be moved to great heights of emulation. The strangeness of individual talent will not, I guarantee you, be blunted by such things. Quite the contrary.

Requirements: For MFA students, this course satisfies 3 of the required 12-15 hours of writing workshops. For PhD students, it counts toward the 27 hours of required coursework.

CRW 5130
Fiction Workshop
Robert Olen Butler WMS 411 rbutler@fsu.edu

The graduate fiction workshop under Robert Olen Butler will, as it traditionally does, move beyond craft and technique and place its primary emphasis on the artistic process. As well, though the workshop will be open to the development of works of fiction of any length from flash to novel, it will do so by proceeding on the deep conviction that the beginning pages of any work of literary fiction are utterly critical in establishing the essentials of its narrative. Students must expect to write fictional beginnings—most often rigorously for a large part of the semester—until the work is soundly underway.

ENC 5700
Theories of Composition
Elias Dominguez Barajas WMS 22E edominguezbarajas@fsu.edu

This course is a detailed investigation of topics in the teaching of college composition. The course examines major theories about various aspects of composition, including the composing process, invention, style, writing assessment, and historical studies.

ENC 5720
Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition
Michael Neal WMS 223c mrneal@fsu.edu

This research methods graduate seminar covers several principal means by which composition and rhetoric scholars make and support knowledge claims. These methodologies are often drawn or adapted from other academic disciplines. Not only will we seek to determine major research paradigms within the field, we will also discover how they function, explore their underlying assumptions, and unveil their limitations. While the course includes a short unit on quantitative methodologies, the primary focus of this course will be on empirical, qualitative methodologies.

Students will learn to critically read research publications as well as develop their own proposal for an individual project. We will cover framing questions for inquiry, writing reviews of research, and developing appropriate methods. Students will also practice research components including data collection through observation, surveys, and questionnaires; coding and analyzing descriptive data; developing visualizations of data, and writing up results.

ENG 5079
Issues in Literary and Cultural Studies
Trinyan Mariano WMS 323 tmariano@fsu.edu

Rather than a survey or history of critical approaches, this course offers graduate students the opportunity to build their critical vocabulary and facility by closely reading and interrogating five landmark theoretical texts, with wide interdisciplinary resonance, that are crucial to contemporary critical discussions. Designed to center praxis, in addition to producing written critique, students will build and annotate a critical bibliography around each core text, bringing it into relation with their own self-defined areas of interest.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for Gateway Theory course.

ENG 5079
Issues in Literary and Cultural Studies
Pablo Maurette WMS 109 pmaurette@fsu.edu

This course is an introduction to the field of literary and cultural studies. We will juxtapose works of fiction and criticism, as well as look at peculiar hybrids of fiction and theory. Some of the main questions that we will be asking are: What is an author, and why is it problematic to postulate its mere existence? Where do writers get inspiration from? How do they produce literature? Are style and method fundamental aspects of an ars poetica? And what constitutes a literary text? Can a film be a text? Can texts be translated, and if so how? What is fiction, and is literature exclusively fictional? After a text is produced it reaches fortuitous and manifold hands. What do we look for when we read? Is reading interpreting? How do we read? Throughout the semester we will engage in dialogue with ancient, medieval, early modern, and contemporary texts written in a wide variety of languages and belonging to many different genres.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for Gateway Theory course.

ENG 5801
History of Text Technologies
Lindsey Eckert LEckert@fsu.edu

This course focuses on a central question: How does technology influence not only access to knowledge and literature but also the creation and interpretation of that very knowledge? We will consider this question through a historical and theoretical overview of transnational text technologies from prehistory to the present. Throughout the course we will explore historical text technologies including papyrus scrolls, medieval manuscripts, and early print as well as contemporary digital technologies like Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and XML encoding that are now being used to discover, represent, and analyze historical texts. Students will work with unique materials in FSU Special Collections, and receive training in the handling and bibliographic analysis of rare items from cuneiform tablets to lavish sixteenth-century book bindings to contemporary experimental artists’ books. The course will also feature guest appearances by specialist faculty. The final research component of the course will be based on the students’ original work with materials of their choosing from Special Collections, and ample class time will be dedicated to developing research skills needed to work with rare materials.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: History of Text Technologies.

ENG 5807
Studies in Textual Transformation: Christine de Pizan in Renaissance England
A E B Coldiron WMS 447 acoldiron@fsu.edu

This iteration of ENG5807 takes up an extended case study in the history of textual transformations. Animated both by major material-textual transformations and also by major cultural and linguistic transformations, our case study is that of Christine de Pizan (1364-c.1430), the first professional woman writer in the West. This French proto-feminist author of more than 40 books (extant in more than 200 manuscripts), is best known now as the author of the City of Ladies and as a public debater in the querelle des femmes. But in the 15th and 16th centuries, she was also known for her books of military history, political theory, and poetry, and for her dream-vision allegories, theological and educational works, mythographies, and more: this is a major author by any measure.

Christine’s works, translated into English, were among the first things to be printed after 1476, when continental printing technologies were added to a thriving manuscript culture. We will study the English translations of her works printed between 1478 and c.1550 (concentrating on the Tudor materials as double transformations, from script to print and from Valois-French to Tudor-English contexts). We'll investigate how her works were selected, appropriated, and materially transformed in the brand-new medium of print in a very different literary culture. Among the important issues: gender "transformissions" (early feminisms were not the same in manuscript and print, nor in the two cultural contexts); literary transnationalism (France was then still the "frenemy"; her political and military works were especially tricky); periodization (how do period categories like "medieval" and "Renaissance" hold up during such transformations?); authorship (translators and printers take special agency in these posthumous texts).

Our readings: her revisionist-protofeminist illustrated mythography (The Hundred Troy Stories), her book of political theory (The Body Politic), her book of military history and theory (The Feats of Arms), her conduct book (The Moral Proverbs), her most famous work, the feminist-allegorical-utopian City of Ladies, and brief selections from her other 38 main books. We'll read critical/theoretical works alongside the primary texts, mainly in feminist studies, textual studies, and rezeptionsgeschichte. Skill in French is helpful but not necessary: course discussion, presentations, and required readings will be in English (some optional readings are in French; your term paper and written work may be in French or English). Course requirements may include class preparation/participation, discussion leadership, term paper, conference-style presentation, final exam. Counts for pre-1660, pre-1800, HoTT Transformation, and feminism/gender/sexuality credit.

Requirements: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for one course pre-1660 or one course pre-1800. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Medieval and Early Modern British Literary and Cultural Studies; and History of Text Technologies (transformation) and Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

ENG 5933
Theories of Difference: Race(ing) Around Composition Studies
Rhea Lathan WMS 222F rlathan@fsu.edu

This course interrogates the ideology of race in Composition Studies: Specifically Black or African American Racial ideologies and concepts. We will use Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a means by which to explore how scholar-teachers have intervened in, disrupted or endorsed “post-race” and “colorblind” narratives. We will examine perspectives and critique extant models (and theories) of race within Composition Studies engaging what Keith Gilyard identifies as “rendering visible the implicit yet dominant discourses on race, racism, and identity.” Throughout the semester we will focus on Black language and literacies to engage what’s been identified as a need for greater attention in the field toward CRT AND culturally informed theories of writing/LITERACIES and pedagogical practices.

We will begin with an overview of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Composition Studies, however, because “theorizing race” is not confined to a Black and/or White way of knowing we will consider various perspectives on race within the field (when possible). We will read a range of text from multiple disciplines—legal, education, history--with a particular eye to the difficulty of studying race in writing studies, looking carefully at the theoretical and methodological choices that researchers, teachers and activist make.

Requirements: This course satisfies Alterity requirement as well as Areas of Concentration Rhetoric and Composition required coursework.

ENG 5998
Placement Practicum
Tarez Samra Graban WMS 221 tgraban@fsu.edu

This single-semester practicum will be offered on a S/NS basis to graduate students who are ABD and past prospectus or otherwise actively on the market with the intention of finishing up within the next academic year (2020-2021). Enrolled students will meet and work weekly on the preparation of their written materials; on interview, job talk, teaching demonstration, and campus visit protocols; and on related professionalization topics that are unique to academic and some alt-academic positions. Some reading may be involved, but the majority of time and attention would be given to documenting and mastering the search from start to finish and beginning to articulate a professional trajectory beyond graduate school. Primary goals of this practicum: (1) to encourage early, regular, and sustained participation individually and in workshop for students who are active on the market in academic and alt-academic positions; and (2) to expose job seekers to the kinds of scholarly genres and teaching and research trajectories they might encounter in their next professional role. Interested students should enroll by end of April so as to receive essential job preparation materials in advance of Fall 2020.

ENL 5216
Studies in Middle English Language and Literature: Medieval Dreams and Dreamers
Jamie Fumo WMS 413 jfumo@fsu.edu

An exploration of the rich body of literature on dreams and dreaming in the Middle Ages, with a focus on the peculiarly medieval genre of the dream-vision. First we will investigate the relevance of medieval “dream theory,” via ancient and medieval discussions of physiology, psychology, and dream taxonomy. We will then engage two central traditions that shape the dream-vision genre—the philosophical and the courtly—as expressed in Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy and Guillaume de Lorris’s and Jean de Meun’s Roman de la Rose, respectively. Building upon these foundations, we will spend most of the semester closely reading the most intriguing dream-visions produced in late medieval England, by the era’s three most accomplished poets (contemporaries in the second half of the fourteenth century): Geoffrey Chaucer, the anonymous Pearl-poet (aka the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), and William Langland.

As we enter this eccentric community of erotic daydreamers, narcoleptic sinners, and chosen visionaries, we will consider whether medieval dream-poetry anticipates (or perhaps challenges?) “modern” ideas of subjectivity, personal experience, and psychology. Our concerns will include the intersection of dreaming with problems of literary representation; the engineering of the dream-form to critique literary tradition and/or contemporary reality; and the creative alchemy by which dreams become texts and texts become dreams. Middle English readings will be mostly in the original (with helpful glosses); relevant Latin, French, and Italian background materials will be supplied in English translation. No prior knowledge of Middle English is required; however, proficiency in Middle English pronunciation and comprehension is a formal goal of this seminar. This course will be of interest to medievalists and early modernists, but also to those engaged in the history of subjectivity, psychology, and/or the generally bizarre.

Requirement: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for one course pre-1660 or one course pre-1800. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Area of Concentration: Medieval and Early Modern British Literary and Cultural Studies; a Literary Genre (poetry).

ENL 5227
Studies in Renaissance Literature: John Milton
Bruce Boehrer WMS 112A bboehrer@fsu.edu

Study of Paradise Lost and selected earlier verse, with particular emphasis on close reading, gender dynamics, and the intersection of classical and Christian traditions.

Requirements: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for one course pre-1660 or for one course pre-1800. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in Areas of Concentration: History of a Literary Genre (Poetry).

ENL 5256
Studies in Victorian Literature: Serial Quiller: Victorian periodical narrative and the novel
Margaret Kennedy Hanson WMS 431 meegan.kennedy@fsu.edu

Nineteenth-century literature was transformed by an explosion of new periodicals, and the new form and ambition in the novel enabled by periodical culture. This course examines nineteenth-century changes in print and publication technology and practice, mapping Victorian literary culture as a circulation of texts within a network of periodical outlets, with legal and illegal recirculation of fragments and wholes: a system producing, among other things, three-volume (triple-decker) novels for the book-buying public and for subscribers of Mudie’s circulating library, shipping throughout Britain and its colonies.

We’ll read a variety of Victorian novels, novellas, narratives, and short stories offering distinct perspectives on 19th-century authorship and publication, and we’ll analyze periodical case studies in Victorian serial narrative including the changing role of illustration in different editions and publication formats. Authors include Charles Dickens, who published in and edited Household Words and All the Year Round among other serials; William Makepeace Thackeray, who published in and edited Punch and The Cornhill Magazine; Mary Elizabeth Braddon, who published at all levels of the Victorian publishing ecology and edited Belgravia and Temple Bar; and Frederick Douglass, whose autobiography appeared in Victorian periodicals and who published Dickens’ Bleak House in Frederick Douglass’ Paper. Additional serials include Simmonds’ Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany, The Penny Magazine and Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge book series, and penny dreadfuls.

Runs of these journals are available online and FSU owns print copies of many of them. We’ll examine economic, political, and technological changes as well as developments in authorial status, copyright, and literary style, from the penny dreadfuls to the shilling monthlies, touching on Gothic romance, sensation fiction, satire, domestic realism, and “high” realism. Criticism will include periodicals scholarship and on network and systems theory.

Requirements: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for a course in 1660-1900. It also satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: British and Irish Literary and Cultural Studies: 1660-1900; Literary Genre (Fiction).

LIT 5038
Studies in Poetry: Frank O’Hara and His World
Andrew Epstein WMS 409 aepstein@fsu.edu

This graduate seminar will use the poet Frank O'Hara (1926-1966) as a focal point for the study of postwar American poetry and culture. One of the central figures in the avant-garde movement known as the New York School of poetry, O’Hara is generally considered one of the most important and influential American poets of the post-1945 period – one whose work is increasingly ubiquitous, showing up in television shows like Mad Men, in the epigraphs and titles of recent novels, and in seemingly every corner of the digital age.

This course will give students the opportunity to do a rare deep dive of the kind that scholars and writers do all the time for their own work – to immerse themselves in the entire body of work of a single fascinating literary figure, to understand that poet’s connections to other writers and to the culture of their time, and to become very familiar with the critical conversation surrounding their work. O’Hara is a particularly good figure for this kind of immersion because his life and work radiate out in so many directions – the politics and culture of the 1950s and 1960s, visual art, popular culture (especially film and jazz), LBGTQ history and culture, issues of race and sexuality, and so on. We will discuss writers and art movements that influenced O’Hara (like Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Gertrude Stein, the French and Russian avant-garde, Cubism, Surrealism, Dada, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, classical music, bebop); his fellow New York School poet friends (John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Barbara Guest); his contemporaries and rivals (Amiri Baraka, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell); and various writers, musicians, and television shows he has influenced (including Bernadette Mayer, Alice Notley, and Mad Men, among many others).

Throughout, the course will read O’Hara in light of such issues as friendship and collaboration, race, class, sexuality, consumerism/capitalism, the city, as well as within the context of Cold War culture, the history of the avant-garde, queer studies, postmodernism, and other critical frames.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in the following Areas of Concentration: Post-1900 Literature and Culture, and a Literary Genre (Poetry).