University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee: Modern Literary Theory

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Modern Literary Theory

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This semester English 720, Modern Literary Theory, will focus on the field of American cultural studies. Students will examine a broad range of theoretical and critical writings in the field, as well as considering the intersections among European theory, British Cultural Studies, and the "new" American studies. This course serves students from across the graduate program, both from the M.A. and Phd levels, and includes students from literary and modern studies, rhetoric and composition, film, and Spanish.

Instructor

Dr. Gregory Jay, Professor of English and Director, Cultures and Communities Program
Click here for his Webpage.

Our textbooks are:

  • Neil Campbell and Alasdair Kean, American Cultural Studies: An Introduction to American Culture (second edition)
  • Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler, eds. Keywords for American Cultural Studies

In addition, students will read selections from many Continental and North American critics and writers, as well as looking at how film and other media figure in the reading of American cultural formations.

Assignments

For the Keywords assignment, students were given a longer list of possible keywords and then decided together which to choose, and who would be in what group. There are three or four students for each keyword. Groups will maintain a Citation Archive throughout the semester as preparation for the composition of their final entry. The keyword entries must all also contain a dicussion of the word's application to a reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

Students: Do note that the Keywords Collaboratory is a public space, and anyone at all can look at what we write there (though not just anyone can revise what we have written). If you prefer not to be identifiable to anyone beyond our class group, choose a username that does not clearly indicate your real name. Also, if the essay we produce is of a high enough quality, the editors may choose to publish our essay on the site permanently. If you do not wish your name to be attached to such a publication, please let me know by the end of the semester.

On our course web site I have posted a number of links and PDF's about the collaboratories for students to examine, including the Resources packet and sample assignments and syllabi.

Glenn Hendler will visit our seminar on September 23 to talk about the Keywords collaboratories and his use of them, and to help us workshop our projects (and will also give a public lecture the following day).

Other writing assignments for the semester include weekly online discussion postings and a final 15 page paper. For that paper, students will choose one keyword from Keywords and apply it to an examination of any work of American literature or film of their choosing.

Our Keywords

Ethnicity

Ideology

Imagination

Desire

Masculinity


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Collaboratory Leads: Gregory Jay, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee


Instructions for First-Time Users

Students: If you're a student enrolled in this class, you'll have access to edit and create pages. First, you'll need to create an account and email me your user name so I can give you special editing privileges. Please note: You will only be able to modify pages once I have activated your account.

  1. To create an account, click on the link in the top right-hand corner of this page.
  2. Submit all the information requested on the registration page. Make sure to remember your user name and password.
  3. Email me your user name so I can activate your account.
  4. Until I activate your account, you're welcome to experiment with editing pages in the Sandbox. Check out the Help and FAQs pages for tips on how to format pages.


Other Visitors to the Site: If you're not enrolled in this class, you can still read and comment on the work that we're generating throughout the quarter. This will be a work in progress, so please check back for new additions and developments. You're also welcome to email me with any questions or comments about our course.

Main Collaboratory Areas