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Please note: the following list is subject to change and may not be comprehensive. Please check the online course listing for the full roster along with information on class days/times and room numbers. The course location is at UHD Main Campus unless otherwise noted.
Wayne Schmadeka, Ph.D.
MW 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m., room N-637
Three credit hours of English literature.
Students will study and practice writing the types of documents frequently used in the workplace, including cover letters and resumes, proposals, progress reports, formal reports, and PowerPoint presentations.
Major assignments include writing
Recent examples of reports include
Jones, D., and Lane, K. Technical Communicationn.
7th ed. New York : Pearson Education, 2002.
TR 5:30 - 6:45 p.m., room A-428
This course introduces students to the major theoretical approaches employed in contemporary literary studies. Students not only learn how to recognize and critically evaluate distinct theoretical approaches, but also how to utilize these approaches in their own original analyses of texts. The course includes formalist, structuralist, poststructuralist, psychoanalytic, feminist, queer, new historicist, Marxist, and postcolonial theories. It provides students with a broad range of sophisticated analytical tools and a heightened critical acumen that prepares them for advanced literary and cultural studies.
The course is organized
around a case study, using vampire tales as the central object of analysis,
particularly as represented in Bram Stoker’s Draculaa, a novel
that has produced a large body of criticism drawing on different theoretical
schools. Studying psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist and other approaches
to Dracula illustrates the way in which various methodologies produce
distinct readings of the same story. The course thus follows a tripartite
structure: first, students analyze an influential theoretical text; second,
they examine a work of criticism on Dracula inspired by this theoretical
text; third, they apply a chosen methodology to their own interpretation
of a vampire narrative. Requirements include attentive reading, four short
interpretive essays, and two quizzes. No previous exposure to literary
theory or special interest in vampires is expected. This course is highly
recommended for English majors and students interested in graduate study
in literature or humanities.
MW 4:00 - 5:15 p.m.
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Glück writes, "I thought once that poems were like words inscribed in rock or caught in amber. Poems do not endure as objects but as presences. When you read anything worth remembering, you liberate a human voice; you release into the world again a companion spirit. I read poems to hear that voice. And I write to speak to those I have heard." In the twenty-first century—an age of e-mail and e-books, video conferencing, laptops, cell phones, and iPods—the human voice as it comes to us in poetry or fiction can be a source of genuine consolation as we navigate the frenetic pace of each day.
English 3309 is the first in a two-course sequence of creative writing classes at the University of Houston-Downtown intended to distinguish literary discourse from the ordinary commerce of our daily lives (e-mail or cell phone text messages). Our two class meetings each week will be composed of: (1) lectures on particular topics related to literary craft, an examination of exemplar writings, class discussion, in-class writing exercises, and occasional sharing of your journal musings; and (2) workshops in which you will have the opportunity to experiment in a variety of genres and share your own creative work in response to writing assignments in poetry, memoir, and short fiction. We will also explore the habits of mind which support a writer's sustained work. A review syllabus is available to students upon request (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Texts: Pinsky, Robert and Maggie Dietz (Eds.), An Invitation to Poetry: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology (Norton, 2004); Delbanco, Nicholas, The Sincerest Form: Writing Fiction by Imitation (McGraw Hill, 2003).
Requirements: A journal
(writer's notebook), a Lyric Essay, and a final portfolio consisting of
an original manuscript in your preferred genre.
TR 8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
We will be looking
at disabled and autistic persons in literature. Specifically, we will
read memoirs and other non-fiction genres. Why would someone want to read
about disabled and autistic persons? There are two main reasons I offer.
(1) We understand a lot more about what it means to be human and whom
our society—a consumerist, effectiveness-oriented society—values
by studying people with “imperfect” situations. (2) We will
use disabilities as a lens through which to think about what it means
to be a “modern” person in a “modern” culture.
In particular, we will problematize the term “modern” and
seek to think in terms of various modernities, as opposed to one single
concept of the “modern" man or woman. Authors may include:
Oliver Sacks, Cathy Crimmins, Bob Woodward, and Lori Andrews. Requirements:
two short essays, a term paper, and occasional quizzes.
Dr. John Hudson
TR 4:00 - 5:15 p.m.
This course investigates critical problems posed by autobiography as a literary genre through a study of works written in an autobiographical mode. Specifically, we will examine a crucial text of individual lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender experience: the coming-out narrative. We will explore their construction, their reception, and their sociocultural functions. Some of the questions we will investigate include the following: What do we mean by “coming out”? What does it mean to “be” out? How does the coming-out narrative function as confessional writing? As liberatory writing? How does the coming-out narrative simultaneously serve both conservative and progressive purposes?
We will be reading a large number of short coming-out narratives, many written by high-school and college students. In addition to the required textbooks, we will be reading several important scholarly articles on autobiographical writing, particularly coming-out narratives. Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussion, and will complete a number of short response writings, an analysis of one or more coming-out narratives from a reading list, and a major paper.
Borhek, Mary V. My Son Ericc. Cleveland, OH: The Pilgrim Press, 1979.
Heron, Ann, ed. Two Teenagers in 20: Writings by Gay and Lesbian Youth. New York: Alyson Books, 1994.
Howard, Kim, and Annie Stevens, eds. Out & About Campus: Personal Accounts by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgendered College Studentss. Los Angeles: Alyson Books, 2000.
Penelope, Julia, and
Susan J. Wolfe, eds. The Original Coming Out Storiess. Expanded
CA: The Crossing Press, 1989.
Dr. Jane Creighton
MW 10:00 am – 11:15 am
This course is a study
of Mexican-American literature and its cultural traditions from pre-Columbian
Mexico to the present. Starting with Aztec accounts of the Spanish conquest,
we will look closely at how Mexican-American novelists, poets, and scholars
have represented compelling social conflict at the same time that they
have created a literature rich both in tradition and in the unexpected.
From the Aztec survivors of the fall of Tenochtitlan to contemporary writers
such as Helena María Viramontes, we will track major themes in
the evolution of this vital literature.
Dr. Sandra Dahlberg
At UH-Downtown: MW 8:30 - 9:45 a.m. (CRN: 10023)
At The University Center (The Woodlands): T 10:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. (CRN: 10849)
This course is an introduction to the dynamic and foundational eras of contact and colonization in the Americas. This course begins by exploring the poetry and oral traditions of indigenous cultures before European contact as a way toward understanding the ways in which Indian cultures responded and resisted Europeans' pre-conceived notions of sovereignty and race. Then, the course will examine the ways that contact, conquest, and colonization were portrayed in texts by Europeans and by Indians, while examining the ways the individuals and cultures positioned themselves in relation to the Other. The course focuses on four genres—memory culture, travel narratives, captivity narratives, and conquest dramas—in order to examine the complexities of inter-cultural representation. In addition, students will read pieces by literary scholars, historians, and theorists that raise questions pertinent to our inquiry and/or provide important information necessary to grasp the nuances of our primary texts. These texts will allow us to interrogate the consequences of the conquest era on the past and on our present conceptions of U.S. culture.
The course will include
writings by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, John Smith,
Mary White Rowlandson, Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, Jerome Lalemont, as
well as a selection of American Indian accounts of the conquest and colonization,
as well as historical and theoretical texts. Assignments for this course
are: three in-class quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam; one short interpretive
paper, and one literary research paper.
TR 1:00 - 2:15 pm
This course examines
the works of nine nineteenth-century American authors and places them
within the context of the literary and intellectual trends of the times.
The poets are Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. The
novelists and short story writers are Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville,
Mark Twain, Charles Chesnutt, Kate Chopin, and Henry James. We will also
review contrastive works by other authors. There will be two papers (5
pages and 10 pages) and three exams, including the final. There will be
reading and the necessity of coming prepared for discussion. The section
taught at UHD will include students at The University Center and UH-Cinco
Ranch by means of closed circuit TV.
TR 10:00 - 11:15 a.m., room A-622
Where e'er we go,
The land that makes us refugees...
—The Pogues, "Thousands Are Sailing"
Ireland is known for both its rich cultural heritage as well as its long, complicated, and often brutal history. In the 1890s, Irish negotiations with the British for Home Rule had reached an impasse, but while the movement for political independence had temporarily stalled, Irish cultural nationalism gathered momentum. This course will follow the development of Irish literature from the early poetry of Yeats and the founding of the Abbey Theatre up to the present day. We will see how writers answered the fundamental question of what it means to be Irish in various—and often conflicting—ways. Authors may include: Yeats, Synge, Joyce, Beckett, Heaney, Boland, Carr, and McPherson. Requirements: three medium-length essays and weekly quizzes.
TR 1:00 - 2:15 p.m.
This course will be a comparative study of a number of avant-garde movements in different cultures, including Surrealism, Dadaism, Futurism, and Vorticism. Some attention will be given to how these movements have sought to comment on the nature of modernity. Emphasis will be on setting historical parameters and on understanding cultural theory and aesthetics (i.e. the theory and philosophy of art) on the basis of experimentation in literary form. Close readings of fiction and public declarations (manifestos) will be supplemented with essays reflecting the debates surrounding the concept of modernity and the avant-garde. These debates will be divided into two major categories: (1) how members of the Frankfurt School debate the realism/modernism dialectic, and (2) how major contemporary theorists reflect on the ways in which the term ‘avant-garde’ has been appropriated and misapplied by various sectors of the culture industry since the 1960s.
Texts: Charles Baudelaire, "The Painter of Modern Life" and Spleen de Pariss, Andre Breton, Nadjaand Surrealist Manifestoo; Julio Cortazar, Hopscotchh; Octavio Paz, Poemss; Haroldo de Campos, Poemss; and Wyndham Lewis, Blastt. Supplementary reading in excerpts to include Politics and Aesthetics: Debates Between Bloch, Lukacs, Brecht, Benjamin, Adornoo; and Martei Calinescu, Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernismm. Reading approximately 150 to 200 pages per week.
Two papers: 50%
Oral Presentation(s): 30%
Dr. Chuck Jackson
MW 1:00 - 2:15 p.m.
This course focuses on the writings (both fiction and nonfiction) of two of the most widely read, controversial, and critically acclaimed African American male authors of the twentieth century – Richard Wright (1908-1960) and James Baldwin (1924-1987).
Students enrolled in this course will be part of a world-wide commemoration of Wright, his work, and its legacy. September 8, 2008 marks the Richard Wright Centennial, a celebration of one-hundred years since the author’s birth that includes reading circles, conferences, and literary festivals held around the globe in the author’s name. Indeed, the author’s writings have never seemed more poignant, especially given his early short stories about racial crisis, social neglect, and natural disaster during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, as well as his most famous evocations of public terror and national emergency in Native Sonn. And while his fiction is notorious for its nightmarish descriptions of violence and his frank representations of sexual and social taboos, students in this class will be asked to critically analyze not only its content, but also how the stories are told, in what context, from whose perspective, and why.
Keeping these questions in mind, we will turn, in the second half of the semester, to Wright’s influence on the work of James Baldwin. This section begins with a reading about the strong friendship that developed between Wright and Baldwin and its subsequent, very public dissolution. Baldwin’s work, in many ways, picks up where Wright’s work left off, both thematically and aesthetically. Students will study and analyze the stylistic and ideological differences between the two, including Baldwin’s intensive portraits of turbulent psychic interiors and his narrative explorations of male same-sex desire.
Along with select
nonfiction essays by each author, students will read Richard Wright’s
Uncle Tom’s Children (1938), Lawd Today! (written
during the 1930s, published posthumously in 1963), Native Son (1940),
possibly Black Boy (1945) and parts of the collection Eight
Men (1940) along with James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On the Mountain
(1953), Giovanni’s Room(1956), and Another Country
(1962), and possibly some of his more arresting short stories such as
“Sonny’s Blues.” In addition, students will read and
discuss theoretical works on narrative, ideology, disaster, racial identity,
and fear. Several short essays will be due throughout the semester, and
one longer research paper will be due at the semester’s end.
W 7:00 - 9:45 p.m.
In recent years, Jane
Austen has become one of the most popular screenwriters in Hollywood—quite
an achievement for a woman whose novels were first published almost two
hundred years ago! What is it about Austen’s work and Austen herself
that continues to hold the public’s interest? While Austen’s
work reflects the historical and cultural moment in which she wrote, referencing
such issues as the Napoleonic Wars, the abolition of slavery, and the
cultural phenomenon of gothic fiction, the sparkling wit of her romantic
comedy and social satire creates characters with whom readers can still
identify today. This course will explore how and why Austen has maintained
her popularity for so many generations of readers while also maintaining
her “street cred” as an author of highly-respected canonical
literature. To do so, we will be reading the six novels Austen completed
during her lifetime, a selection of her minor works, her biography, and
a sampling of what literary critics have had to say about her fiction
over the years, along with an occasional foray into pop culture appropriations
of Austen on the page, screen, and Internet. Assignments will include
a multi-step research project, two close reading papers, and in-class
Dr. Nicole LaRose
TR 8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
When a popular novelist’s recurrent themes include pornography, pubs, and celebrity, that author becomes a sort of celebrity himself. This is the case for contemporary British author Martin Amis. As a literary celebrity, Amis is widely known for his very expensive dental work, messy divorce and new marriage, literary feud with fellow writer Julian Barnes, and other bad boy behavior. As a writer, Amis is often seen as a stylist or misogynist or misanthrope, but always as a postmodernist. This course will explore the shift from modernism to postmodernism, both stylistically and politically, by reading Amis’s major novels, criticism, and non-fiction. We will engage with his relationship to other writers such as Vladimir Nabokov, Saul Bellow, and perhaps most importantly, his father, Kingsley Amis, and his father’s friend, Philip Larkin. These connections will help us to examine the role of literary genealogy. We will read postmodern literary theory with his novels to understand the politics and style of contemporary literature. We will learn how to be close readers who can understand Amis’s complicated views of gender, sexuality, and power within our celebrity-obsessed, spectacle culture.
Assignments will include
occasional response papers, one minor paper, one term paper, and a final
MW 5:30 - 6:45 p.m.
Sex, gender, and sexual orientation are all part of gender studies. Sex refers to anatomical differences (e.g. male and female). Gender refers to cultural differences that are perceived to follow from anatomical differences (e.g. masculine versus feminine). Sexual orientation (e.g. gay and straight) refers to how we position our desires, and may be based on sex, gender or both.
What happens when
we mix sex, gender, and orientation up a bit, and consider each as an
independent variable, rather than an intertwined continuum? What can we
learn about ourselves and others? To help answer these questions, this
course will take transgenderism in its many forms as its theme. We will
read films with transgendered protagonists, such as Transamerica
and Boys Don’t Cryy, through some of today’s foremost
gender studies theorists like Judith Butler. For a flavor of the issues
we will consider, look for “Bad Questions to Ask a Transsexual”
on YouTube. Course readings will be short but complex. Course requirements
will be one out-of-class midterm, an annotated bibliography, and two papers.
Wayne Schmadeka, Ph.D.
M 5:30 pm - 8:15 p.m., room S-1099
This course examines the principles and methods of applied research in professional writing and technical communication. Also, this course will provide practice in planning and conducting user evaluations, interpreting data, reporting results, and managing the participant process, with attention to human subject research policy and protection. Course projects will evaluate users’ experience with print and/or electronic materials, such as software documentation, training materials, brochures, or web pages.
By semester's end, you should be able to
Dr. Schmadeka has conducted software interface and documentation usability testing since the early 1990s.
Last updated or reviewed on 4/21/09