Course List Spring 2010

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592M—Margaret Atwood: Contemporary Critical Approaches
Deborah Carlin
Mondays, 1-3:30
Satisfies the MFA Contemporary Fiction Requirement

A seminar on the major works of this important and influential contemporary North American writer, the course will emphasize different critical approaches to Atwood's work (including, but not limited to, feminism, psychology and narrative theory), and will highlight her major fictions, including: The Edible Woman, Bodily Harm, The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and Oryx and Crake. We will also examine some of Atwood's own critical writing, including selections from Second Words: Selected Critical Prose (1982) and Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing (2002). Throughout the course we will examine the important questions and dilemmas Atwood explores in her fiction, including: the social construction of feminine myths, female sexual, social and economic exploitation, the psychology of gender, the threat of totalitarian fundamentalism, environmental concerns, unchecked biotechnology, the construction of historical truth, and the representation of women's bodies in art. Requirements: Active participation in the seminar; willingness to engage with contemporary critical essays on Atwood's work; two 5-7 pp. essays, and a final 10-15 pp. essay. The books for this course will be ordered from and available at Food for Thought Books in Amherst.

Deborah Carlin is Professor and Associate Chair of English at UMass, where she has taught since 1987. She is the author of Cather, Canon, and the Politics of Reading (1992), and the editor of Queer Cultures (2003) and the Broadview Press edition of Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs and the Dunnet Landing Tales (2009). Professor Carlin has published several articles and reviews on Willa Cather and on Cather scholarship, as well as on Edith Wharton, African American literary criticism and theory, 19th-Century American women's philanthropic fiction, trauma, narrative, and multiple personality, graduate internship programs in the humanities, and on queer theory and the American novel.

698B—Practicum-Intro. To Teaching Writing
David Fleming

698C—Practicum-Experimental Writing Workshop
Peggy Woods

698F—Practicum-Professional Development
Ron Welburn

698G—Practicum-Composition Theories & Pedagogies
David Fleming

698J—Practicum: Teaching Mentoring
Peggy Woods

698K—Practicum-Language & Diversity
Deirdre Vinyard

698M—Teaching Creative Writing II
Sabina Murray and Lisa Olstein

698R—Applied Literary Arts
Lisa Olstein

698S—Teaching with Technology
Peggy Woods

699-Master's Thesis

Arthur Kinney
Wednesdays, 6:30-9:00

At the rate of one or two plays a week, we will read works from all periods and all genres of Shakespearean drama, with three concurrent foci: a close attention to Shakespeare's use of language; a concern with the plays as cultural representations of his time; and an examination of performativity of his drama. A running journal is required, although this may be supplemented by a long essay of 15-20 pages. Required text: The Norton Shakespeare . Suggested background: Shakespeare by Stages. Both books will be available at Amherst Books with a graduate student discount.

Arthur Kinney has written several books on Shakespeare including Shakesepeare, Masbeth, and the Cultural Moment, Shakespeare by Stages , Shakespeare's Webs, and Shakespeare and Cognition and edited Critical Essays on Hamlet for Routledge. His current project is tentatively entitled Shakespeare and the Mind's Eye.

772—Contemporary Poetry
Peter Gizzi
Tuesdays, 6-8:30
Satisfies the MFA Contemporary Poetry requirement

This seminar will focus on 12 individual books of poetry. The course books will range from recent retrospective volumes of mid-century poets (the Collected Poems of James Schuyler, George Oppen, Barbara Guest, and Jack Spicer, for example) to up-to-the-minute collections like Rae Armantrout's new book, Versed, and Nathaniel Mackey's Splay Anthem, for instance. There will also be xerox handouts of various essays. Seminar members will be asked to do an in-depth 15 min. in-class presentation on one of the titles as well as written weekly responses for each title. All course books available at Amherst Books

Peter Gizzi is the author of The Outernationale (Wesleyan, 2007), Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan, 2003), Artificial Heart (Burning Deck, 1998), and a reprint of his first book, Periplum and other poems 1987-1992 (Salt Publishing UK, 2004). He has also published several limited-edition chapbooks, folios, and artist books. His honors include the Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets and fellowships in poetry from The Fund for Poetry, The Rex Foundation, Howard Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He currently serves as the poetry editor for The Nation.

780/1-Imaginative Writing: Poetry
James Tate
Tuesdays, 1-3:30

Workshop in the writing of poetry. Each week, a close reading analysis of poems submitted by the class and occasional poems brought in from outside. Attention to the way in which a poem works and how it comes together through its choice of images, rhythms and subject matter. Assignments in an anthology of contemporary poetry and supplementary reading. Permission of instructor required of students not enrolled through the MFA Program in English.

James Tate is the author of Return to the City of White Donkeys, Memoir of he Hawk: Shroud of the Gnome; Worshipful Company of Fletchers, which won the National Book Award; Selected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the Willliam Carlos Williams Award; Distance from Loved Ones; Reckoner; Constant Defender; Riven Doggeries; Viper Jazz; Absences; Hints to Pilgrims; The Oblivion Ha-Ha; and The Lost Pilot, selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He has published two books of prose, Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee and The Route as Briefed. His awards include a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets and has been recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

780/2—Imaginative Writing: Poetry
Peter Gizzi
Mondays, 6-8:30

The workshop is a very demanding class. It consists of each student workshopping several batches of poems, providing in-depth written comments, handing in revisions, reading several books of poetry, writing at least five responses from the reading list, experimenting in a variety of poetic forms, and required attendance. Permission of instructor required of students not enrolled through the MFA Program in Creative Writing. All course books available at Amherst Books

780/3—Imaginative Writing: Poetry
James Haug
Wednesdays, 10-12:30

In this workshop, we'll consider contemporary poetry, both in the work you write and bring to class and in a selection of some recent books of poetry (available at Amherst Books). Discussions will focus on the choices a poet considers while writing and re-writing, and how what you're reading (and seeing and listening to) comes to bear on your work, but also lots of other things: comics, philately, little machines… Emphasis placed always on the next poem. We'll also occasionally discuss the selected poetry books, considering their range of styles and influences. Permission required for anyone not enrolled in the MFA Program.

James Haug is author of, most recently, Legend of the Recent Past, from National Poetry Review Press, and A Plan of How to Catch Amanda, from Factory Hollow Press. His other books and chapbooks include Walking Liberty (Winner of the Morse Poetry Prize, Northeastern University Press), Fox Luck (Winner of the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Award), and The Stolen Car. He's received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

781/1-Imaginative Writing: Fiction
Sabina Murray
Mondays, 9:30-12

This class presumes that you have a work of fiction — either a novel or collection of short stories — of at least 85pp at the time of registration. Participants will have an entire class devoted to their work and discussion will focus on how the work comes together as a whole. This class is particularly helpful for those who have novels in progress and those who are trying to get some kind of cohesion on a thesis project.

Sabina Murray is the author of the novels A Carnivore's Inquiry , Slow Burn, and Forgery . Her short story collection The Caprices received the 2002 PEN/Faulkner award. Her stories are anthologized in The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and Charilie Chan is Dead II. She received the Fred R. Brown Award in 2008 and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim foundation, Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University, and Massachusetts Cultural Council. Recent work has appeared in the Yale Review, Southwest Review, Hartford Courant, and Insider's Guide to Books, edited by Mark Strand.

781/2—Imaginative Writing: Fiction
Chris Bachelder
Wednesdays, 1:25-3:55

This is primarily a course on craft, though I hope that the fiction tendered to workshop will reveal the considerable limitations of a course on craft. Writers will be urged to submit work that is surprising and alive, that moves bravely toward the unknown. Readers will be urged to "submit to whatever spell, weak or strong, is being cast" (Updike). Workshop will not be a jurors' room or a shark tank or a mechanic's garage. I'm interested in workshop as observation deck.

Chris Bachelder is the author of the novels U.S.!, BEAR v. SHARK, and LESSONS IN VIRTUAL TOUR PHOTOGRAPHY (an e-book). His stories and essays have appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, The Believer, The Oxford American, New Stories from the South, and elsewhere.

781/3—Imaginative Writing: Fiction
Stanley Crawford
Mondays, 6-8:30

Character, style, point of view, voice, structure, genre: the usual suspects. If and as needed. Short weekly assigned writings plus one or two longer projects to be approved early on in the semester, but works in progress not workshopped elsewhere will be considered. Innovation will be encouraged. There will be readings from contemporary writers who toy with conventional boundaries between fiction and nonfiction.

Stanley Crawford is the author of five novels (GASCOYNE; Travel Notes; Some Instructions to My Wife Concerning the Upkeep of the House and Marriage, and to My Son and Daughter Concerning the Conduct of Their Childhood; Log of the SS The Mrs. Unguentine; Petroleum Man) and three works of nonfiction (Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico; A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small New Mexico Farm; The River in Winter: New and Selected Essays). He is the recipient of two NEA Writing Fellowships, plus a three-year Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation Writer's Award and has had writing residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Lannan Foundation at Marfa (TX), Centrum Foundation in Port Townsend (WA), and at the Rockefeller Study Center at Bellagio, Italy. He and his wife RoseMary divide their time between writing and farming.

796—-Independent Study
By arrangement

For students wishing to do special work not covered by courses listed in the curriculum. Each student when registering should submit a brief description of the semester's work agreed on by the student and the instructor. This must be signed by both the instructor and the student. No instructor should do more than one such course. Form for registering for this course are available in Bartlett 452. The Director of Graduate Studies must approve each proposal.

796A—-Independent Study
By arrangement
For students who are taking more than one independent study course per semester.

796B—-Independent Study
By arrangement


891BC—Rhetorics of the Public Sphere
David Fleming
Wednesdays, 6-8:30

Since the late 19th Century, the discipline of composition-rhetoric has tended to focus its energies on the discourses of the academy – through both its flagship educational project, freshman composition, and its perceived central mission, to prepare students for the demands of school writing in all its forms. But over the last few decades, teachers and scholars in the field have begun to make a “public turn,” thinking more carefully and imaginatively about their students' lives as language users outside of the classroom. This turn has manifest itself in, among other things, increased interest in public writing and political discourse, the “rhetorics” of everyday life, connections between composition and service learning, and the diverse “extracurricular” communities that shape our students and to which they will graduate. Rhetorics of the Public Sphere is a graduate seminar broadly focused on political ecologies in and out of the writing classroom and how teacher-scholars might best respond to them. For the spring 2008 version of this course, go to .

David Fleming is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at UMass Amherst. He has published widely on histories and theories of rhetoric, pedagogies of writing, and civic education. His book City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America was published by SUNY Press in 2008. A second book-length manuscript On the Hinge of History: Freshman Composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1967-1970, is currently under review at a university press.

891CA—Romanticism and the New World: Transatlantic Reorientations
Jocelyn Almeida-Beveridge
Tuesdays, 1-3:30

The commanding image of Cortez at the end Keat's “On First Looking into Chapman's Homer” has become an iconic one for Romanticism. Yet Keats allusion to Cortez was part of a larger group of writers used the story of the conquest of the New World and the enslavement of Africans to respond to the dilemmas of empire for Britain in the Atlantic world after 1776 — slavery, abolition, and the fact that Spain still had colonies while England had none. From Helen Maria William's epic Peru (1784), which chronicles the Inca's tragic entrapment and demise at the hands of Pizarro, to Madoc (1805), in which Robert Southey retells the “discovery” of the new world by a Welsh prince instead of Columbus, Romantic era writers reimagine imperial horizons for Britain even as they as they question the premises of European power in the western hemisphere.

In this course, we will analyze how Romantic era representations of the New World extend received ideas of the orientation of transatlantic literature as exclusively Anglo-American. In addition to the epic poems of Williams, Southey, and Montgomery, we will read essays, journals, travel writing, and poetry by more canonical writers such as William Blake, Ottobah Cugoano, Ann Yearsley, Anna Barbauld, Alexander Von Humboldt, Monk Lewis, William Wordsworth, and John Keats to analyze how themes of imperalism, enslavement and liberation formed part of the Romantic aesthetic. Class discussion will incorporate the theoretical approaches of Mary Louise Pratt, Peter Hulme, Srinivas Aravamudan, Nanora Sweet, Paul Gilroy, Joseph Roach, Benedict Anderson, Nigel Leask, Tzvetan Todorov, Lance Newman, and Paul Giles among others. Requirements: in-class presentations, article-length paper.

Joselyn Almeida-Beveridge is Assistant Professor of Romanticism and Atlantic Studies at the Department of English, UMass Amherst. She is the editor of a collection of essays entitled Romanticism and the Anglo-Hispanic Imaginary (Amsterdam: Rodopi, forthcoming), and is currently finishing her monograph "Reimagining the Transatlantic, 1780-1890" under contract with Ashgate press. Her work on Romanticism and Latin America has appeared in journals such as the Wordsworth Circle and the European Romantic Review, Literature Compass, the Romantic Circles Praxis series collection edited by Lance Newman and Joel Pace titled Sullen Fires Across the Atlantic, and other edited collections. Her research and teaching interests include British Romanticism and globalization, Atlantic studies, women and slavery, representations of piracy and mutiny, and Latino Literature

891FA—- The Literature of Immigration
Ilan Stavans
Thursdays, 1-3:30
Satisfies the MFA Contemporary Fiction requirement.

A wide-ranging exploration of the autobiographical writing (memoirs, fiction, essays, poetry) by immigrants to the United States, from William Bradford during the colonial period to Edwidge Danticat at the present time. Emphasis will be made on the testimonial voice and the process of acculturation as well as the discovery of space, time, and language, all resulting in the shaping of a fresh identity. Works by Mary Austin, Vladimir Nabokov, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Ernesto Galarza, Edward Said, Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Díaz, Julia de Burgos, Eva Hoffman, Chang-rae Lee, Joseph Brodsky, and Alexander Hemon, among others, will be analyzed from a socio-historical and stylistic perspective. Text: the anthology "Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing" (Library of America), plus several memoirs, will be on sale at Amherst Books.

Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture and Five College-Fortieth Anniversary Professor at Amherst College. His books include "The Hispanic Condition" (1995), "On Borrowed Words" (2001), "Spanglish" (2003), "Love and Language" (2007), and "Gabriel García Márquez: The Early Years" (2010). He is the editor of "The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories" (1998), "The Poetry of Pablo Neruda" (2003), the 3-volume set of "Isaac Bashevis Singer: Collected Stories" (2004), "Cesar Chavez: An Organizer's Tale"(2008), "Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing" (2009), and, forthcoming in August 2010, "The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature". This course is offered under the aegis of the Five College-Fortieth Anniversary Professorships.

891GA—Fictions of British India
Suzanne Daly
Thursdays, 1-3:30

This class takes up the question of what literary study can contribute to the understanding of the Raj, or British rule of India, in the nineteenth century. What is the evidentiary value and ideological significance of British literature in this context, and how should such texts be read? In juxtaposing a range of English novels with different modes of literary criticism and theory, we will consider how best to make meaning of hegemonic representations of British imperialism as mediated through the novel form.
Depending upon availability, novels may include Victoria Cross, Anna Lombard; Sara Jeannette Duncan, Set in Authority; Emily Eden, Up the Country; Rudyard Kipling, Kim; Flora Annie Steele, On the Face of the Waters; Philip Meadows Taylor, Confessions of a Thug; and Charlotte Yonge, The Clever Woman of the Family.
Suzanne Daly's scholarly interests include Victorian studies, British Empire studies, and literary theory, including the history and theory of the novel.

891SC—Humanities and Science
Randall Knoper
Wed, 4:40-7:10

Big topic. We'll approach it mainly from the side of the humanities, though with a friendly attitude toward the sciences. We'll limit it by focusing on exchanges between literature and biology (which omits a lot). We'll start with debate over the relation of the sciences and the humanities—in excerpts from some popular works by scientists (E. O. Wilson, Stephen Jay Gould) and from some philosophy/theory of science (Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Isabelle Stengers, Evelyn Fox Keller, Barbara Herrnstein Smith). Then we will turn to three concerns, namely, how literature and culture intersect with: 1) Animals, animal life, animal consciousness. “Animal studies” is burgeoning, and we will read a mix of theory/philosophy (Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Donna Haraway, Cary Wolfe), science (Barbara Smuts, Frans de Waal, Robert M. Sapolsky) and literature (David Malouf's An Imaginary Life, J. M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello, Linda Hogan's Power); 2) Evolution, genetics, genomics. Here we'll read some materials from some scientists and literary theorists that try to explain literature and aesthetics in terms of evolutionary psychology (Lisa Zunshine, Alan Richardson, Brian Boyd, Denis Dutton, Jonathan Gottschall, Joseph Carroll) and some literature that engages issues raised by evolution and genomics (Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood and Richard Powers' Generosity); 3) Consciousness, affect, emotion, neuroscience. Our readings in theory and criticism will probably include Elizabeth Wilson's Psychosomatic: Feminism and the Neurological Body, Catherine Malabou's What Should We Do with Our Brain?, and Brian Massumi's Parables for the Virtual. Literature will include Richard Powers's The Echo Maker and Samantha Harvey's The Wilderness Books ordered at Amherst Books.

Randall Knoper is author of Acting Naturally: Mark Twain in the Culture of Performance and more recently of essays on American literature and sciences of the brain and nervous system, his current research topic.

891JA—Realism & Reconstruction
Hoang Phan
Mondays, 6:30-9
Satisfies the MFA Modern Fiction requirement.

Realism is the name for a set of innovations in literary forms and strategies of representation. As a period within U.S. literary history, American Realism corresponds to the historical period between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the century. In this course we will study various aspects of realism and naturalism, focusing on several distinct yet related questions of periodization and of representation. The course will take as a guiding thread the relationship between transformations of literary form and transformations of form in other fields (e.g., philosophy, sociology, law). Likewise, the course will interrogate the various “reality effects” constructed in these distinct fields of writing. We'll study novels by a range of the American realist and naturalist writers – Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Charles Chesnutt, Theodore Dreiser, and Henry James.

Hoang Gia Phan received his B.A. in English from the University of Chicago (1998), and his Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California at Berkeley (2004). He has taught as an Assistant Professor at the University at Albany , SUNY (2004-2006) and as the Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow at Williams College (2003-2004). His fields of research include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American literature, African American literature, Asian American Literature, Marxism, Postcolonial Theory, and Legal-Literary Studies. His current book project focuses on the interdependence of slavery law and labor law; and their convergence in the transformation of citizenship law. It includes studies of Equiano, Crevecoeur, Melville, Whitman, and Douglass.

891MM—Lit & Visual Cultures of Catastrophe
James Young
Tuesdays, 1-3:30

In this course, we will explore the literary and visual responses to catastrophe in the late 20th and very early 21st centuries, making as part of our study the burgeoning theoretical and critical approaches to these works. Specifically, this course will examine the breaches in historiography, literature and art after World War I, before turning to texts of World War II, the Holocaust, and the Atom bomb. We will conclude with a close examination of the issues underlying efforts now to represent and commemorate the attacks of September 11, 2001. Here we'll hope to combine the study of primary texts, images, sites, and films with the study of contemporary theoretical responses to both events and these texts. The kinds of issues raised in these particular case-studies will carry over into areas of study of trauma, history, slave-narratives and representation, and other areas of topical interest in American Studies, German Studies, and Art and Architecture. One of the primary aims of the course will be to bring advanced graduate students up to date in the most advanced and cutting-edge work in the history and memory of catastrophe as found in literary and visual culture. Books will be ordered from Amherst Books in town.

James E. Young is professor English and Judaic Studies & Near Eastern Studies and currently chair of the department of Judaic & Near Eastern Studies at UMass Amherst. He is the author of several books on Holocaust literature, art, and memorialization and has written widely on the historiography and memory of catastrophe, with articles in Critical Inquiry, Representations, New Literary History, PMLA, SAQ, History and Theory, History and Memory, Annales, the New York Times Book Review, Magazine, Op-Ed, and dozens of other newspapers and magazines. He is currently finishing a book on Memory at Ground Zero: A Juror's Report on the WTC Memorial Process.

891RR—Transnational Fiction
Stephen Clingman
Thursdays, 4-6:30
Satisfies the MFA Contemporary Fiction requirement.

One of the most intriguing phenomena of 20th- and early 21st-century fiction has been that of the ‘transnational' novel. The form goes back farther than that, but in this era particular features become marked: the reality of globalization, the gathering sense that standard cartographies may not fit the experience of a world of fluid and shifting but nonetheless persistent boundaries. For some time the catch-all concept for approaching this experience has been that of the ‘postcolonial', but I want to pursue a paradigm which may be equally persuasive, and perhaps better suited to approaching the complexities we need to confront. As such, we'll be defining the transnational in various ways. In part it involves writers who have crossed boundaries. In part it involves a recognition that national descriptions of literature are no longer entirely valid, if they ever were (a Rushdie, born in Bombay, moves to London, then New York, etc). In part it involves those novels which navigate various boundaries in their subject matter and form, as writers try to make sense of an ‘unmapped' world. In part it involves a recognition of a central aspect of modern and postmodern life: the experience of the multilateral, disparate, and dispersed in a world that is simultaneously webbed together yet hugely uneven in its linkages. There will be a number of aims in the course: to develop a framework which transcends the colonial/postcolonial binary; to develop a theory (or set of theories) equal to the demands of the fiction; to take fiction seriously in probing the deeper currents of our times; to understand ‘the nature of the boundary' in a transnational perspective. Theory/history will be drawn from Anderson, Gilroy, Clifford, Appadurai, Bhabha, Jakobson, Edwards, McClintock, Ramazani, Agamben, among numbers of others. Writers will be drawn from the following, and possibly others: Conrad; Rhys; Naipaul; Phillips; Rushdie; Coetzee; Gordimer; Lahiri; Sebald.

Stephen Clingman is the author of The Novels of Nadine Gordimer: History from the Inside, and editor of The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places, by Nadine Gordimer. His Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary won South Africa's Alan Paton Award. He has held fellowships at the Southern African Research Program (Yale University), The Society for the Humanities (Cornell), and the Woodrow Wilson Center (Washington, D.C.). His book, The Grammar of Identity: Transnational Fiction and the Nature of the Boundary, was published by Oxford University Press in 2009.

892R—-Investigating Speech and What It Offers Writing
Peter Elbow
Thursdays, 4-6:30

All human cultures have used speech; comparatively few have used writing. A spoken native language — highly complex and intricate — is mastered by children at an early age without explicit instruction (barring special impediments). Writing is seldom learned except through instruction, and it usually requires explicit conscious knowledge — as opposed to the tacit knowledge central to speaking.

Speaking and spoken language comprise a huge topic that is much neglected topic in composition. In our short time, we'll try to learn as much as we can about them, and also about those aspects of writing most relevant to the possible interactions between speaking and writing. My bias is to contest the widespread tendency among teachers and scholars in our field to emphasize differences between speaking and writing—an assumption that says to students and writers, in effect, “Now remember, this is writing you are doing, not speaking. They are different. Don't mix them up.” Mixing them up is actually what I'm interested in, and I'll assign some of my writing that argues for certain ways of doing this. But I'll explicitly invite participants in the seminar to do me the favor of questioning my bias and disputing against any of my arguments.

Reading. We'll have lots of reading about speaking and spoken language and also about those elements of writing that bear most on the question of their relationship. Most of the assigned reading will be common to us all, but in addition, I'll ask participants each week to choose individually a piece of reading that interests them — drawing on a large bibliography that I'll provide.

Writing. I'll ask for very short informal “throw-away” weekly responses for limited sharing — virtually freewrites; also a couple of 3-4 page non-struggle exploratory opinion papers available to all of us. The final assignment will take the form, first, of an informal oral presentation, and then a final seminar paper available to all of us.

Before teaching here for thirteen years (four of them directing the writing program), Peter Elbow taught at M.I.T., Franconia College, Evergreen State College, and SUNY Stony Brook — where he also directed the Writing Program. In 2000, he published a collection of essays, Everyone Can Write: Essays Toward a Hopeful Theory of Writing and Teaching Writing (James Britton Award from the Conference on English Education).

Recent work includes "Voice in Writing Again: Embracing Contraries" (College English 70.2 Nov 2007). "Coming to See Myself as a Vernacular Intellectual" (College Composition and Communication Feb 2008). "The Believing Game or Methodological Believing" (Journal for The Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning Winter 2009). "Why Deny to Speakers of African American Language A Choice Most of Us Offer Other Students?" (The Elephant in the Classroom: Race and Writing. Ed, Jane Smith. Hampton Press, 2009—in press). With Janet Bean, "What Can Free Speech Say to Freewriting: The Role of Pragmatism?" (Journal of Teaching Writing, in press 2009). With Jane Danielewicz, "A Unilateral Grading Contract to Improve Learning and Teaching" (College Composition and Communication, in press 2009)

899——Doctoral Dissertation
All graduate students must have a minimum of 18 credits at the time of their graduation.

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