Fall 2015 Courses: Senior Seminars

ENG 4973 / HON 3233: Visual Cultural Studies

Instructor: Hum
Class Time: Mondays 1:00p.m. - 3:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 1.206

Course Description
In today’s multimedia world, effective communication relies increasingly on images and words to persuade their audience. This course explores effective communication that draws on both rhetorical and visual strategies.
Visual Cultural Studies is divided into two parts. The first focuses on the exploration of principles of perception and visual interpretation. We will study different ways of understanding visuals, reading in a variety of disciplines: media and film studies, cultural studies, art, literature, electronic media, etc. We also investigate the design of visual communication both in traditional and electronic formats. Most importantly, we study how ways of seeing and ways of speaking—habits and conventions—are symbiotic modes for representing and influencing our world(s).
Second, we will create our own powerful visual and rhetorical arguments, even as we develop skills necessary to become proficient readers of visual arguments. Students are encouraged to take an active role in articulating what issues they would like addressed as well as teaching and learning from each other.

Quizzes and Final Exam (20%)
Blogs and In-Class Assignments (20%)
3 Projects (60%)

Required Texts may include

  • Sturken and Cartwright, Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture, 2nd edition, Oxford UP, 2009

ENG 4973: Sex and the Single Black Feminist, 1860 to the Present

Instructor: Moody
Class Time: Tuesdays 1:00p.m. - 3:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 0.000

Course Description
Jezebel. Sapphire. Slut. Wench. Bulldagger. Baby-Mama. BeBe. Stone butch. Hammer. Welfare queen. Redbone. Ghetto. This senior seminar examines sexualized stereotypes of African American women and ways that black feminisms have responded to them since the middle of the nineteenth century and the US slavery era. Students will learn what harmful stereotypes have been constructed about black women across US history and also the many diverse ways African American women have carefully crafted their own definitions of black womanhood, black motherhood, black sexual identities, and black femaleness. We will trace shifts in the development of black feminist thought from the antebellum period in the US to the present, concentrating on black women’s experiences with and articulations of both sexual assaults and sexual pleasures.

Weekly reading quiz
Weekly reading notebook
Individual oral presentation
Collaborative oral presentation
Final seminar paper

Required Texts

  • Craft and Craft, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom: The Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery
  • James, Foster, and Guy-Sheftall, eds., Still Brave: The Evolution of Black Women's Studies
  • Jones and Shorter-Gooden, Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America
  • Pierce-Baker, Surviving the Silence: Black Women's Stories of Rape
  • Rose, Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk about Sexuality and Intimacy
  • Williams, Dessa Rose
  • Zackodnik, ed., We Must Be Up and Doing: A Reader in Early African American Feminisms

ENG 4973-005: Faulkner and the Novel

Instructor: Reesman
Class Time: Thursdays 1:00p.m. - 3:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 0.000

Course Description
This seminar is an in-depth study of the novels of William Faulkner, but also includes selected short stories. Often called the greatest of American novelists, Faulkner portrayed not only an unforgettable (in more ways than one) South, but also issues of national importance such as race and racism, as well as, of course, some of the most haunting renditions of human character ever penned. The works will be closely read and discussed, and contemporary and recent critical and theoretical perspectives will be introduced. Student reports will provide a variety of important contexts—historical, biographical, psychological, political, and feminist—as well as work in race studies, class, and other cultural studies fields such as postcolonial theory and criticism.

Paper (40%), reports and discussion (10%), midterm (25%), final (25%). The paper is a critical analysis with an argument about the interpretation of a narrative problem in one or more of the texts. At least 3 outside critical sources are required, as is MLA documentation style.

Required Texts

  • Faulkner, Selected Stories, The Sound and the Fury, Go Down, Moses, Novels 1930-1935 (As I Lay Dying / Sanctuary / Light in August / Pylon), Novels 1936-1940 (Absalom, Absalom! / The Unvanquished / If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem / The Hamlet)

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