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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Alan W Friedman

Professor Ph.D., 1966, University of Rochester

Alan W Friedman

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Biography

Alan Warren Friedman, Thaman Professor of English and Comparative Literatue, specializes in modern British, Irish, and American literature, the novel, and Shakespearean drama. His five authored books include Party Pieces: Oral Narrative and Social Performance in Joyce and BeckettFictional Death and the Modernist Enterprise examines cultural and literary attitudes toward death.  Edited books include Samuel Beckett in Black and Red and Situating College English: Pedagogy and Politics at an American University (with Evan Carton), about cultural and higher educational issues.  He has co-edited four special journal issues on Joyce and Beckett.  He coordinates the annual residency program, Actors from the London Stage, and advises the student organization, the Spirit of Shakespeare, which supports the residency and performs scenes from the annual AFTLS play.  He has won several teaching awards, including Plan II's Chad Oliver Teaching Award (2003), and both the English Department's Faculty Service Award (2008) and UT's Civitatis Award conferred annually "upon a member of the faculty in recognition of dedicated and meritorious service to the University above and beyond the regular expectations of teaching, research, and writing” (2009-10). He currently serves as Chair of the University’s Faculty Council.

 

Interests

British and American modernism; the novel; drama, especially Shakespeare; international programs, faculty governance and academic freedom.

E 349S • William Faulkner

36050 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 302
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Instructor:  Friedman, A

Unique #:  36050

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists: 

Prerequisites: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in English.

Description: Perhaps the greatest American writer of the twentieth century, William Faulkner uniquely created an imaginary world complete unto itself.  Yoknapatawpha County, of which Faulkner called himself “Sole owner and proprietor,” provides the setting for a complex moral chronicle in which a popular myth and an almost legendary past yield something rare in American literature: a deep sense of the grandeur and burdens of history.  Yoknapatawpha County is largely impoverished, its clans and social classes either remnants of the old aristocracy or forerunners of a new commercial ruling class. Until recently, it could be said that the South had more regional consciousness and self-consciousness than the rest of the U.S.: defined by a sense of defeatism as the only part of the country to have lost a war and then been occupied, being outside the mainstream of industrialization and capitalism.  And, as Faulkner knew well, its self-proclaimed heroism and sense of honor, which he greatly valued, were based on the myth of the defeated homeland whose defense rested on the grand, doomed, and immoral Southern cause.  His relationship to his own beliefs, which manifested itself in his style as well as his themes and characters, is complex and unstable, self-conscious and ambivalent, characteristically “modern,” full of failure and hope, clarity and obscurity, always reaching for, and falling short of attaining, a permanent sense of achievement.

Grading & Requirements: two seminar essays (20% each); average of reading responses (10%); term paper (40%); quality and quantity of class participation (including attendance, being on time, oral introductions) count for the rest (10%).  Students who sit silently through the course can expect to do poorly.  Grades will be as earned (including plus/minus): no curve.

Texts: We will read as many of Yoknapatawpha novels as we can:

Sartoris / Flags in the Dust (1929) Signet

The Sound and the Fury (1929) Modern Library

As I Lay Dying (1930) Vintage

Sanctuary (1931) Modern Library

Light in August (1932) Modern Library

Absalom, Absalom! (1936) Modern Library

The Unvanquished (1938) Vintage

The Hamlet (1940) Vintage

Go Down, Moses (1942) Modern Library

Intruder in the Dust (1948) Modern Library

Requiem for a Nun (1951) Random House

The Town (1957) Vintage

The Mansion (1959) Vintage

The Rievers (1962) Vintage

E 377K • American Novel After 1920

36200 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 310
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Instructor:  Friedman, A

Unique #:  36200

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: This course will study twentieth-century U.S. novels as both literary artifacts and representative social texts. How novelists choose to tell their fictional stories reveals much about the cultural/historical moment in which they were produced; how we read these stories reveals much about our own. We will read and analyze 8 novels in detail, and also examine social, historical, biographical, and other material contexts that produced them and through which we read them.

Texts: Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (1919).  Penguin Classics, 1992; 9780140186550

Wharton, The Age of Innocence (1920).  Modern Library, 1999; 9780375753206

Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925).  Scribner, 1995; 9780684801520

Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926).  Scribner, 2003; 9780684800714

Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929).  Norton, 1993; 9780393964813

Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937).  Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 1998; 9780060931414

Morrison, Beloved (1987).  Vintage, 2004; 9781400033416

Roth, The Plot Against America (2004).  Vintage, 2005; 9781400079490

Requirements & Grading: The class will consist primarily of discussion rather than lectures. Students are required to be in class, on time, fully prepared, participate actively in discussion, and present 2 brief oral introductions to one day’s reading in order to initiate and help guide the discussion. Do not enroll if you wish to sit passively and take notes while someone lectures at you. Unexcused absences are not permitted; should they occur they will result in your course grade being lowered; two latenesses (or leaving class before its over) count as an absence.

Grades will be based on 2 in-class essays (15% each); 2 brief essays based on your introductions (10%); a final exam (40%); and class participation, including your introduction (20%).

E 392M • Joyce & Beckett Mod Brit/Drama

36160 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CAL 22
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Joyce and Beckett, it has been said, “are no closer than father and son”: Joyce was Beckett's “literary godfather [who] might have become an inlaw as well” (David Hayman).  Their relationship was intimate and sometimes troubled: Beckett was Joyce’s amanuensis and translator (though never his secretary), a family friend, loved by his mad daughter, and deeply influenced (not entirely happily) by Joyce and his writings, though sometimes reacting against them.  Joyce and Beckett both experienced Irishness in Conor Cruise O'Brien's sense (“the condition of being involved in the Irish situation, and usually of being mauled by it”) and were self-exiled from their native country, fleeing Joyce’s “dear dirty Dublin” and the “charm” of Beckett’s “derelict” country that consisted of “history's ancient faeces.”  And both have been claimed as supreme exemplars of literary innovation and of international periods and movements (modernism and postmodernism, respectively), though Ireland has come to embrace them in recent years.

This course, which concerns texts, contexts, and performance, will explore the historic and cultural moments that produced Joyce and Beckett, analyze and discuss many of their major works, and examine their relationship to performance and performance media as well as to each other.  We will read the texts, explore controversies they provoked, and also view (sometimes in multiple versions) many of the productions.

Writing assignments: (1) 2 seminar papers (4-5pp. each): one on Joyce, one on Beckett; (2) 2 critical responses to seminar papers (1-2pp. each): again, one on Joyce, one on Beckett; (3) and a term paper (approx. 20pp.).  If you like, the term paper may be considered as part of a work in progress (perhaps drawing on materials in the Humanities Research Center), toward a publishable essay, a masters thesis, or a dissertation.

TEXTS:

JOYCE:

Occasional, Critical, and Political Writing.  Oxford UP, 2002

Dubliners.  Random/Modern, 1993

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  Viking/Penguin, 2003

Ulysses, ed. Gabler.  Random/Vintage, 1986

Films: The Sisters, Araby, A Painful Case, The Dead, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses

BECKETT:

The Collected Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett.  Grove/Atlantic, 1989

Endgame.  Grove/Atlantic, 1983

Happy Days.  Grove/Atlantic, 1987

Waiting for Godot.  Grove/Atlantic, 1987.

Videos/radio plays: Complete Beckett Plays (Gate Theatre); Waiting for Godot; Endgame; Film; Krapp's Last Tape; Rockaby; radio plays, shorter stage plays.

Packet of additional readings.  Jenn’s, 2200 Guadalupe.

E 362L • British Novel In 20th Century

35580 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 210
(also listed as LAH 350 )
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Instructor:  Friedman, A            Areas:  III / U

Unique #:  35580            Flags:  Global cultures, Writing

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  English Honors

Cross-lists:  LAH 350            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: In this course we will study major twentieth-century British novels as both literary artifacts and representative social texts. How novelists choose to tell their fictional stories reveals much about the cultural/historical moment in which they were produced; how we read them reveals much about our own. We will read and discuss in detail 8 or 9 novels, and also consider the relevant social, historical, biographical, and other material contexts that produced them and through which we read them.

(1) FORMAT: Classes will consist primarily of student introductions and detailed discussion of the assigned readings rather than lectures. You should raise in class any questions and insights you have about the readings; they are always in order.

(2) ATTENDANCE and active participation are required. Three unexcused absences will lower your grade one letter; five will result in an automatic F for the course; two latenesses count as an absence. If you miss a class ask a friend what took place -- do not expect me to catch you up. Missing a class is no excuse for being unprepared when you return.

(3) REQUIREMENTS:

(a) Two seminar essays (4-5 pp. each, based on oral presentation); due on day of class presentation. If you label it “Draft,” version for grade may be submitted at next class after presentation. Rewrites (for an additional grade) required for essays out of the A range; due one week after essay is returned to you. Each student is also responsible for orally introducing two reading assignments and initiating the discussion. Introductions should take 5-10 minutes and present an idea or approach with some detailed evidence. Avoid summary, abstract and general assertions, biography, autobiography, anything that shifts your focus from the text.

(b) Reading response papers of 1-2 pp. on each novel you don’t introduce. They may respond to one of the study questions that I provide, or comment on an aspect of the text you find particularly interesting, or raise questions about ambiguities or difficulties in the text. You are required to submit a response to only one question for each text, but you might try writing responses to several of them, and bring your written responses (or problems with them) to class so that we can discuss them. They should be written immediately after reading, otherwise they will become vague busywork, which is not what I intend. I will not mark them up as extensively as I would an essay, but will let you know if they are unsatisfactory. They are due no later than the last day scheduled for each text; late work not accepted. 

            (c) Term paper: 12-15 pp. (3000-4000 words); draft/outline due 4/23; presented in class, with one-page abstract (copies for everyone) during last week of class; final version due at time scheduled for final exam.

(4) GRADES: two seminar essays (20% each); average of reading responses (10%); term paper (40%); quality and quantity of class participation (including attendance, being on time, oral introductions) count for the rest (10%). Students who sit silently through the course can expect to do poorly. Grades will be as earned (including plus/minus): no curve.

(5) OFFICE HOURS (Calhoun 214, 2-3:30) are meant to serve your individual needs (but not to rerun missed classes). You should contact me at once if a problem arises that might affect your work in the course; I will not be sympathetic at the end of the semester about a problem that you make no effort to resolve when it first arises. If you have a conflict with my scheduled hours, make an appointment to see me at a mutually convenient time.

Tentative List of Texts: Conrad, Great Short Works; Lawrence, The Rainbow, Penguin (1915); Ford, The Good Soldier, Penguin (1915); Joyce, The Portable Joyce, Penguin (1976) and/or Ulysses; Forster, A Passage to India, Harbrace (1924); Woolf, To the Lighthouse, Harbrace (1927); Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea, Norton (1966); Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman, New American Library (1969); Swift, Waterland, Simon & Schuster (1983).

E 392M • Backgrounds Of Modernism

35840 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CAL 21
(also listed as C L 381 )
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Backgrounds of Modernism

Using the new text from Routledge if possible, this course will explore the historical, philosophical, political, and cultural circumstances that produced the literature of "high modernism," primarily British and American. The background readings and consideration of historical events and, to a lesser extent, modernist movements in other art forms will help to contextualize and focus our consideration of modernist literary texts.  One of the course's organizational principle will be a set of central concepts: the decline of the West; the disappearance/death of God; the reconceptualization of such notions as time and the self; the impact of technology and urbanization; the quest among so-called "primitive" societies for vitality and values; the use of myth as a structuring principle; aestheticism; epistemological incertitude; the crisis of language; and the reaction against traditional realism and humanistic representation in the interests of a deeper and more complex understanding and expression of "reality."

E 348 • 20th-Century Short Story

35450 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 1.126
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Instructor:  Friedman, A            Areas:  III / U

Unique #:  35450            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The short story is a fairly recent phenomenon: a genre little more than 150 years old. Beginning with Hawthorne and Poe, American writers have been among the greatest writers in the genre, so the focus of this course will be on close, careful reading of American short stories selected for their excellence. We will read them in roughly chronological order to see if we can derive a sense of development, and we will read stories by both well-known and less well-known writers. We will, in addition, consider fiction's allusive qualities (rhetorical, mimetic, mythical, historical, allegorical, intertextual, tonal, etc.) in order to attain a sense of the genre's rich possibilities, and we will read commentary by writers on their own work and that of others.

The class will consist primarily of discussion rather than lectures. Students are expected to be in class, on time, fully prepared, participate actively in discussion, and present brief oral introductions to two of the stories. More than three unexcused absences will result in a failure for the course; two latenesses count as an absence.

Texts: Ann Charters, ed. The Story and Its Writer, 8th ed. Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. Packet of additional readings at Jenn’s, 2200 Guadalupe Street.

Requirements & Grading:  Grades will be based on two short out-of-class essays (10% each); two in-class essays (15% each); a final exam (30%); and class participation, including your introduction of one or two stories (20%).  Class participation includes quality and quantity of class participation and presentations (including good attendance, being on time, being prepared, actively participating in discussion, and oral introduction). Students who sit silently through the course should expect to do poorly in terms both of what they learn and their grade.

E 348 • 20th-Century Short Story

35315 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 303
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Instructor:  Friedman, A            Areas:  III / U

Unique #:  35315            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Spring 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The short story is a fairly recent phenomenon: a genre little more than 150 years old. Beginning with Hawthorne and Poe, American writers have been among the greatest writers in the genre, so the focus of this course will be on close, careful reading of American short stories selected for their excellence. We will read them in roughly chronological order to see if we can derive a sense of development, and we will read stories by both well-known and less well-known writers. We will, in addition, consider fiction's allusive qualities (rhetorical, mimetic, mythical, historical, allegorical, intertextual, tonal, etc.) in order to attain a sense of the genre's rich possibilities, and we will read commentary by writers of their own work and that of others.

The class will consist primarily of discussion rather than lectures. Students are expected to be in class, on time, fully prepared, participate actively in discussion, and present brief oral introductions to two of the stories. More than three unexcused absences will result in a failure for the course; two latenesses count as an absence.

Texts: Ann Charters, ed. The Story and Its Writer, 8th ed. Bedford/St. Martins, 2010.

Packet of additional readings at Jenn’s, 2200 Guadalupe Street.

Requirements & Grading: Two in-class essays, 20% each; Final exam, 40%; Class participation (including introductions), 20%. 

Class participation includes quality and quantity of class participation and presentation (including good attendance, being on time, being prepared, actively participating in discussion, and oral introduction). Students who sit silently through the course should expect to do poorly in terms both of what they learn and their grade.

E 392M • Great War And Modern Memory

35685 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CAL 323
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“The Great War and Modern Memory”           

This course takes its title from Paul Fussell’s landmark book about what, in Europe, is still called the Great War.  The War, it is commonly agreed, stands as a dividing line between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as progress, which had long been the dominant Western trope, yielded to such artistic movements as Futurism and Vorticism, to literary modernism, and to massive technological destruction.  The enthusiastic run-up to the War, which was welcomed as a means of cleansing and reinvigorating society, was driven by what Fussell calls the “irony of benign ignorance.”  The War that was to be “over by Christmas” morphed into “the war to end all wars,” and then into World War II and beyond: “The whole texture of British daily life,” Fussell writes, “could be said to commemorate the war still.”

This course will explore borderlines and contrarieties (between pre-War, War, and post-War; between battlefield and domestic front); the impact of scientific and technological breakthroughs; social transformations including the upending of gender roles; and how the War and the literature about it created each other.  I’m thinking of dividing the course into four sections, as indicated below, but since I have never taught it before, I am at a relatively early stage in my thinking about its range, shape, and substance, and so would welcome suggestions from those interested in taking it.  Please feel free to email me at friedman@mail.utexas.edu.

Your use of HRC resources will be strongly encouraged.  Written work will include two seminar essays (4-5pp. each, based on an oral presentation), two critical responses (1-2pp. each), and a term paper (presented in class during the last week of the semester) based on original research.  Students may, if they wish, think of the writing assignments as laying the groundwork for conference presentations, publications, theses, or dissertations.

I.  Run-up to War

II.  The Great War

III.  The Home Front

IV.  The Post-War World

Readings will be chosen from the following (I welcome your suggestions/comments):

Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (1975).  New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

Thomas Hardy, Satires of Circumstance (1914).

The “war poets” (Owen, Rosenberg, Kipling, et al.)

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism (1909).

Rosa Luxemburg (1870-1919), “Peace Utopias,” Rosa Luxemburg Speaks (May 6 & 8, 1911): 250-56.  Republished in Labour Monthly (July 1926).

Ford Madox Ford, Parade’s End (1924-28).  New York: Penguin, 1982.

R.C. Sherriff, Journey's End: A Play in Three Acts (1928).  London: Penguin, 2000.

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (1929).  Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet On The Western Front (1929).  New York: Continuum, 2004.

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth (1933)Penguin, 2005.

Rebecca West, The Return of the Soldier (1918)Random House, 2004.

Katherine Anne Porter, “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” (1939).  Pale Horse, Pale Rider: Three Novels.  Orlando: Harcourt Brace, 1990.

T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland (1922).  Barnes & Noble, 2005.

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925).  Harvest Books, 1990.

William Faulkner, Soldiers’ Pay (1926).  New York & London: Liveright, 1997.

D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928).  Penguin, 2010.

Robert Graves, Good-bye to All That: An Autobiography (1929).  Knopf Doubleday, 1958.

Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer.  London: Faber & Faber1930.

Why War?”  The Einstein-Freud Correspondence (1931-32).

Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun (1939).  Citadel Press, 2000.

 

E 392M • Backgrounds Of Modernism

35985 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 22
show description

Like all "isms," "modernism" is a controversial term and concept, at once richly ambiguous and reductive.  At issue are its dates, practitioners, techniques, locations, politics, intentions, and consequences.  The "modern" is especially problematic because of its confusion with “postmodernism” and "contemporary."  Further, it both resists temporal limits and flaunts an extra-historical attitude: thus, according to Bradbury and McFarlane, "one claims as 'modern' Catullus (but not Virgil), Villon (but not Ronsard), Donne (but not Spenser), Clough (but not Tennyson), and when one does the same for one's own time (Conrad, but not Galsworthy), the semantic instability of the term becomes obvious."  Such semantic instability is a commonplace, but while every age calls itself modern, that of "high modernism" (roughly 1890 to 1930) is the first to be deemed both "modern" and past, and so viewed through the lens of “postmodernism.”

This course will explore the historical, philosophical, and cultural circumstances that produced the literature of "high modernism," primarily British and American.  The background readings (chosen from among Marx, Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche, Pater, Spengler, Bergson, Frazer, et al.) and consideration of historical events and, to a lesser extent, modernist movements in other art forms (e.g., atonality in music; primitivism in sculpture; postimpressionism and cubism in painting) will help to contextualize and focus our consideration of modernist literary texts.  One of the course's organizational principle will be a set of central concepts: the decline of the West; the disappearance/death of God; the reconceptualization of such notions as time and the self; the impact of technology and urbanization; the quest among so-called "primitive" societies for vitality and values; the use of myth as a structuring principle; aestheticism; epistemological incertitude; the crisis of language; and the reaction against traditional realism and humanistic representation in the interests of a deeper and more complex understanding and expression of "reality."

Primary texts will be by such authors as Conrad, T.S. Eliot, Faulkner, Ford Madox Ford, Hemingway, Joyce, Lawrence, Katharine Ann Porter, Woolf, and Yeats.  Use of HRC resources on these writers and others will be strongly encouraged.  Written work will include two seminar essays (4-5pp. each, based on oral presentation), two critical responses (1-2pp. each), and a term paper (also presented in class) based on original research.  Students will be encouraged to think of the writing assignments as laying the groundwork for conference presentations, publications, theses, or dissertations.

I expect that this course will dovetail nicely with a project I doing for Routledge with Mia Carter: Literary Modernisms: An Introduction and Reader.  Those who are interested may find research opportunities that derive from this project.  If you do, you will, of course, receive due credit for your work, which will be fully acknowledged in the publication. 

Publications

News of Ulysses. Texas Studies in Language and Literature (with Charles Rossman, forthcoming 2010).

De-familiarizing Readings: Essays from the Austin Joyce Conference. European Joyce Studies 18.  Editions Rodopi: Amsterdam and New York, 2009 (with Charles Rossman).

Samuel Beckett in Austin and Beyond.  Texas Studies in Language and Literature 51.1 March 2009 (with Charles Rossman).

“Samuel Beckett Meets Buster Keaton: Godeau, Film, and New York.” Texas Studies in Language and Literature 51.1 (March 2009): 41-46.

Biographical Joyce James Joyce Quarterly 45.3-4 Spring/Summer 2008 (with Charles Rossman).

Party Pieces: Oral Storytelling and Social Performance in Joyce and Beckett. Syracuse UP, 2007.

''Death and Beyond in J.B. Priestley's Johnson over Jordan.'' New Theatre Quarterly 22.1 (February 2006): 76-90.

''Beckett's Musicals.'' Etudes Anglaises (special issue on Samuel Beckett). Ed. Carle Bonafous-Murat and Ciaran Ross. 69.1 (Jan.-March 2006: 47-59). Departmental nominee for UT's Best Research Paper Award, 2006.

''Graham Greene: Letter Writer.'' Writing Among the Ruins: Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh. Exhibition curators: John O. Kirkpatrick and W. Richard Oram. Austin: Harry Ransom Center, 2004. 17 -20.

Beckett in Black and Red: Samuel Beckett's Translations for Nancy Cunard's Negro. Louisville, University of Kentucky Press, 2000.

Fictional Death and The Modernist Enterprise. Cambridge University Press, 1995. Paperback reprint, 2008.

Awards & Honors

Awards & Honors

  • English Department Faculty Service Award, 2008.
  • “Beckett’s Musicals,” nominated by English Department for Best Essay of the Year award, 2005-6.
  • Humanities Institute Faculty Fellow, UT, Fall 2003
  • Thomas Mabry Cranfill Teaching Fellowship in support of Actors from the London Stage, 2004-
  • Web site, Center for Shakespeare Studies, Honorable Mention, Digital Education Achievement Awards, Student-Focused Applications, 2004
  • Chad Oliver Teaching Award, Plan II, 2003
  • Outstanding UT Professor Award, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma, honors societies, 2003
  • Parlin Fellow, Plan II
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