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

Neil R Nehring

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1985, University of Michigan

Contact

Biography

After helping introduce cultural studies into the field of English literature in the late 1980s and early '90s, with a widely noted article in PMLA and the book Flowers in the Dustbin: Culture, Anarchy, & Postwar England, Neil Nehring has worked primarily in popular music studies, publishing a book that is actually more widely known than the first, Popular Music, Gender, & Postmodernism, and articles on politics, aesthetics, and music. The English department doesn't approve of this sort of thing, unfortunately.

 

Interests

Popular music and youth subcultures; the avant-garde.

E 349S • Graham Greene

35825 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 302
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N

Unique #:  35825

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: An obituary for Graham Greene described him as a “high popular” writer, one who was serious but also accessible. As a result of his accessibility, he has typically been one of those writers consigned to the margins of twentieth-century British and Irish literature by scholars for whom only James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, and the density of high modernism, matter. Greene’s reputation has also suffered because of his commercial success, which in fact is a testimonial to the way his thrillers, and his reputation as a “Catholic novelist,” made it possible to overlook the fact that his politics were arguably the most radical of any British writer of any note in the twentieth century. Greene often described himself as an anarchist, and anarchism figures in his fiction to an extent that conventionally-minded literary commentators have conveniently overlooked. This class will emphasize two distinct periods in Greene’s life: his indignation at the deprivation of the Great Depression and its effects on young people, which puts the later “Angry Young Men” to shame, and his postwar globetrotting amongst various hotspots such as Vietnam, Cuba, and Haiti, which earned him a reputation for “prescience” as wars and revolutions broke out in almost all of the countries in which he set his fiction. We will also look at one of the transitional works, The Power and the Glory, that led to his unwanted reputation as a Catholic theologian. (We will not read the novel that really put him on the map in this regard, The Heart of the Matter, because, as George Orwell acerbically noted, the religious theme is an embarrassment, which is fortunately not usually the case in Greene’s work.) I should note that I am not Catholic, and that the interest Greene’s religion holds for me is that it is inextricable from his fairly fierce left-wing perspective. With regard to the latter, be prepared: Greene despised the United States, though not without reason, we will see. The Quiet American, for example, published in 1955, uncannily captures the naïve yet willful American idealism that would land the U.S. in a full-scale war a decade later.

Texts: England Made Me; A Gun for Sale; Brighton Rock; The Power and the Glory; The Third Man; The End of the Affair; Twenty-One Stories  (short stories); The Quiet American; Our Man in Havana; A Sense of Reality (short stories); The Comedians; Monsignor Quixote.

Requirements & Grading: Three six-to-seven-page essays, the first two to be revised: each 30% of the final grade; Class Participation, including short in-class writing assignments: 10% of the final grade.

E 379R • Poets And Punks

35990 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 310
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N

Unique #:  35990

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Independent Inquiry; Writing; Global Cultures

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: English Culture After 1945 —

The postwar Age of Affluence elicited very different reactions in English literature and popular culture. The anger of the Angry Young Men, such as John Osborne, resulted in large part from their frustrated uncertainty over what was happening to the class structure. Was the working class really disappearing? In this respect the myth of Affluence seems to have befuddled the literary. As if to fathom the ostensibly new society, English writers turned to examination of popular culture to a historically unique extent, leaving an exorbitant, though largely hostile record. On the other hand, as the field of "cultural studies" has shown, working-class youth subcultures, through an ensemble of commodities and musical allegiances, exposed quite successfully the limits of affluence. The very opulence of the Mods, for example, in Swinging London in the 1960s highlighted the irony that their income came from dead-end jobs. When the punk subculture arose in 1976, as a confirmation finally in popular culture of the continuing existence of social misery and the working class, a new relationship with literature was struck by radical bohemians. Graham Greene was placed in the service of the Sex Pistols—to the considerable illumination of both.

This course in postwar English culture will concern the ways in which different types of cultural productions and activities succeed and fail to penetrate the veil of popular myths like "affluence.” My particular aim is to inject volatility into conventional notions of the hierarchy of high and mass culture. The postwar fiction, poetry, drama, and music studied in the course will lead on to an England far removed from traditional "literary landscapes":  the seaside amusements of Brighton, the sleazy Soho of Absolute Beginners, and the Carnaby Street that embraced Clockwork Orange (quite subversively, given the Tory pedantry at the core of the novel). The realm of art, I will argue, can be drawn into everyday life with progressive results. The course will be concerned with history, literature, music, and subcultural sociology—the fields that have made up cultural studies.

Please note that although the titles below are all by males we will have a good deal of reading on the situation of young women in postwar British music and youth subcultures, as well, and will track the evolution of race relations after the influx of African and West Indian immigrants in the 1950s.

Texts: Fiction: Colin MacInnes, Absolute Beginners; Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; Graham Greene, Brighton Rock; Nick Hornby, High Fidelity.

Drama: John Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Edward Bond, Saved; Trevor Griffiths, Oi for England.

Sociology: Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style.

 Requirements & Grading: Two 6-8-page essays (both to be revised), one 18-25-page term paper: 90%; Attendance and Participation: 10%.

E F316K • Masterworks Of Lit: World

83160 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm CLA 1.104
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N

Unique #:  83160

Semester:  Summer 2014, first session

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A; and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: The subjective, imaginative qualities of literature offer insights into places around the globe that can be far keener than historical or political tracts.  But there will be plenty of historical and political background in this course because it's essential to understanding the vitality and significance of the creative work we will read.  The ultimate purpose is a traditional humanistic one: to broaden our perspective of the world by examining the experience of people in different places in the 20th century.  The course always attracts a number of international students, so I will have everyone make a presentation on a writer of his or her choice (and not necessarily one in the anthology) because what we will learn from each other is not only broadening, but unpredictable as well.

Texts: Longman Anthology of World Literature, Volume F: The 20th Century

Requirements & Grading: Take-home midterm 40%; Take-home final exam 50%; Class participation 10%.

Please note that four unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.
 Both exams must be done, or a failing grade will be assigned.

E 379R • Poets And Punks

36225 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WEL 3.260
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N

Unique #:  36225

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

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

Description: English Culture After 1945 —

The postwar Age of Affluence elicited very different reactions in English literature and popular culture. The anger of the Angry Young Men, such as John Osborne, resulted in large part from their frustrated uncertainty over what was happening to the class structure. Was the working class really disappearing? In this respect the myth of Affluence seems to have befuddled the literary. As if to fathom the ostensibly new society, English writers turned to examination of popular culture to a historically unique extent, leaving an exorbitant, though largely hostile record. On the other hand, as the field of "cultural studies" has shown, working-class youth subcultures, through an ensemble of commodities and musical allegiances, exposed quite successfully the limits of affluence. The very opulence of the Mods, for example, in Swinging London in the 1960s highlighted the irony that their income came from dead-end jobs. When the punk subculture arose in 1976, as a confirmation finally in popular culture of the continuing existence of social misery and the working class, a new relationship with literature was struck by radical bohemians. Graham Greene was placed in the service of the Sex Pistols—to the considerable illumination of both.

This course in postwar English culture will concern the ways in which different types of cultural productions and activities succeed and fail to penetrate the veil of popular myths like "affluence.” My particular aim is to inject volatility into conventional notions of the hierarchy of high and mass culture. The postwar fiction, poetry, drama, and music studied in the course will lead on to an England far removed from traditional "literary landscapes":  the seaside amusements of Brighton, the sleazy Soho of Absolute Beginners, and the Carnaby Street that embraced Clockwork Orange (quite subversively, given the Tory pedantry at the core of the novel). The realm of art, I will argue, can be drawn into everyday life with progressive results. The course will be concerned with history, literature, music, and subcultural sociology—the fields that have made up cultural studies.

Please note that although the titles below are all by males we will have a good deal of reading on the situation of young women in postwar British music and youth subcultures, as well, and will track the evolution of race relations after the influx of African and West Indian immigrants in the 1950s.

Texts: Fiction: Colin MacInnes, Absolute Beginners; Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; Graham Greene, Brighton Rock; Nick Hornby, High Fidelity.

Drama: John Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Edward Bond, Saved; Trevor Griffiths, Oi for England.

Sociology: Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style.

Requirements & Grading: Two 6-8-page essays (both to be revised), one 18-25-page term paper: 90%; Attendance and Participation: 10%.

E 379R • Pop Music & Youth Subcultures

36230 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 204
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N

Unique #:  36230

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Only one of the following may be counted: E 376L (Topic 8: Popular Music and Youth Subcultures), 679HA (Popular Music and Youth Subcultures), 379S (embedded topic: Popular Music and Youth Subcultures).

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

Description: Given the near-total neglect of popular music by musicology (fixated on Western classical music), the academic study of popular music has been dispersed across a number of fields, including anthropology, communications, English, history, and sociology. I propose in this course to survey the variety of serious analytical approaches to popular music, from the formalist work of musicologists (on harmony, etc.) to anthropological studies of audiences. We will take, in essence, the tripartite approach of cultural studies, by covering production (i.e., the music business), texts, and audiences. The students' interest will dictate the genres covered, whether country & western, dance music (including house, techno, and so forth), hiphop, R & B, rock and roll, or worldbeat. This will not be a "history of rock and roll" class: I'm interested not in what year Elvis emerged, but in the question of what a sophisticated (i.e., academic) critical approach has to offer followers of contemporary music—and I should note that I'm not all that certain academics have much to offer.

Given my doubts about academic approaches to popular music, I will try to make the course of considerable utility, odd as it may sound, to the study of literature. In discussing subcultures (or audiences), for example, we will emphasize more generally the examination of the actual social uses of texts both musical and literary (along the lines of cultural studies). In paying close attention to musical form or style (especially the voice) as well, we will also develop a strong text-based critical approach.

Texts: Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin, On Record, and course packet.

Requirements & Grading: Three 5-6-page papers, with substantial revision of the first two, culminating in an 18-to-25-page term paper: 85%; Class participation (including at least one oral presentation): 15%.

E 349S • Graham Greene

35835 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 204
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N            Areas:  I / H

Unique #:  35835            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Fall 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: An obituary for Graham Greene described him as a “high popular” writer, one who was serious but also accessible. As a result of his accessibility, he has typically been one of those writers consigned to the margins of twentieth-century British and Irish literature by scholars for whom only James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, and the density of high modernism, matter. Greene’s reputation has also suffered because of his commercial success, which in fact is a testimonial to the way his thrillers, and his reputation as a “Catholic novelist,” made it possible to overlook the fact that his politics were arguably the most radical of any British writer of any note in the twentieth century. Greene often described himself as an anarchist, and anarchism figures in his fiction to an extent that conventionally-minded literary commentators have conveniently overlooked. This class will emphasize two distinct periods in Greene’s life: his indignation at the deprivation of the Great Depression and its effects on young people, which puts the later “Angry Young Men” to shame, and his postwar globetrotting amongst various hotspots such as Vietnam, Cuba, and Haiti, which earned him a reputation for “prescience” as wars and revolutions broke out in almost all of the countries in which he set his fiction. We will also look at one of the transitional works, The Power and the Glory, that led to his unwanted reputation as a Catholic theologian. (We will not read the novel that really put him on the map in this regard, The Heart of the Matter, because, as George Orwell acerbically noted, the religious theme is an embarrassment, which is fortunately not usually the case in Greene’s work.) I should note that I am not Catholic, and that the interest Greene’s religion holds for me is that it is inextricable from his fairly fierce left-wing perspective. With regard to the latter, be prepared: Greene despised the United States, though not without reason, we will see. The Quiet American, for example, published in 1955, uncannily captures the naïve yet willful American idealism that would land the U.S. in a full-scale war a decade later.

Texts: England Made Me; A Gun for Sale; Brighton Rock; The Power and the Glory; The Third Man; The End of the Affair; Twenty-One Stories  (short stories); The Quiet American; Our Man in Havana; A Sense of Reality (short stories); The Comedians; Monsignor Quixote.

Requirements & Grading: Three six-to-seven-page essays, the first two to be revised: each 30% of the final grade; Class Participation, including short in-class writing assignments: 10% of the final grade.

E 379R • Poets And Punks

36030 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 310
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N            Areas:  VI / I

Unique #:  36030            Flags:  Independent Inquiry; Writing

Semester:  Fall 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: English Culture After 1945 —

The postwar Age of Affluence elicited very different reactions in English literature and popular culture. The anger of the Angry Young Men, such as John Osborne, resulted in large part from their frustrated uncertainty over what was happening to the class structure. Was the working class really disappearing? In this respect the myth of Affluence seems to have befuddled the literary. As if to fathom the ostensibly new society, English writers turned to examination of popular culture as a historically unique extent, leaving an exorbitant, though largely hostile record. On the other hand, as the English field of "cultural studies" has shown, working-class youth subcultures, through an ensemble of commodities and musical allegiances, exposed quite successfully the limits of affluence. The very opulence of the Mods, for example, in Swinging London in the 1960s highlighted the irony that their income came from dead-end jobs. When the punk subculture arose in 1976, as a confirmation finally in popular culture of the continuing existence of social misery and the working class, a new relationship with literature was struck by radical bohemians. Graham Greene was placed in the service of the Sex Pistols—to the considerable illumination of both.

This course in postwar English culture will concern the ways in which different types of cultural productions and activities succeed and fail to penetrate the veil of popular myths like "affluence.” My particular aim is to inject volatility into conventional notions of the hierarchy of high and mass culture. The postwar fiction, poetry, drama, and music studied in the course will lead on to an England far removed from traditional "literary landscapes":  the seaside amusements of Brighton, the sleazy Soho of Absolute Beginners, and the Carnaby Street that embraced Clockwork Orange (quite subversively, given the Tory pedantry at the core of the novel). The realm of art, I will argue, can be drawn into everyday life with progressive results. The course will be concerned with history, literature, music, and subcultural sociology—the fields that have made up "cultural studies."

Please note that although the titles below are all by males we will have a good deal of reading on the situation of young women in postwar British music and youth subcultures, as well.

Texts: Fiction: Colin MacInnes, Absolute Beginners; Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; Graham Greene, Brighton Rock; Nick Hornby, High Fidelity.

Drama: John Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Edward Bond, Saved; Trevor Griffiths, Oi for England.

Sociology: Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style.

Requirements & Grading: Two 6-8-page essays (both to be revised), one 18-25-page term paper: 90%; Attendance and Participation: 10%.

E F316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British

83485 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm CLA 1.102
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N            Areas:  -- / B

Unique #:  83485            Flags:  Global Cultures

Semester:  Summer 2013, first session            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: This course will cover the major works of British literature from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century.  Among the authors and poets covered will be Chaucer, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Swift, Pope, Johnson, Walpole, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Mary and Percy Shelley, Tennyson, the Brownings, Dickens, Hardy, Woolf, Joyce, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Auden, Greene, and Johnny Rotten.  Of particular concern will be the political, often revolutionary background to many of the works, and the hostile, elitist reaction of literature to popular culture over the last two centuries.

Texts: Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors (Seventh Edition); Shelley, Frankenstein (Penguin); Dickens, Charles, Oliver Twist (Penguin); Greene, Graham, Brighton Rock (Penguin).

Requirements & Grading: Take-home midterm, 45%; Take-home final exam, 45%; Class participation, 10%.

Four unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.

E 343L • Modernism And Literature

35450 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 204
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N            Areas:  V / F

Unique #:  35450            Flags:  Global cultures; Writing

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: A Century of the Avant-Garde — This course will cover the avant-garde, or those movements in the modern and post-modern periods that sought to integrate art and everyday life in radical ways. A number of recent critics have sharply distinguished this effort from the aestheticist desire—more commonly associated with modernism—to seal off art in a separate, autonomous realm away from the perceived ravages of society, politics, and especially mass culture.

Some attention will be paid to the history of the term "avant-garde" in the arts, which begins with Saint-Simon, especially the period around the turn of the century represented by Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi. But the bulk of the course will be readings in the original manifestoes and texts of artists and critics like Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Andre Breton, Guy Debord, Filippo Marinetti, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Malcolm McLaren, Tristan Tzara, and Raoul Vaneigem, along with movements like Futurism (Italian and Russian), Dada, Surrealism, and the Lettrist and Situationist Internationals. Primary literature will be included, such as Brecht's plays and Breton's fiction. Some secondary critical work will be included as well, to help make the history of these developments more coherent, such as Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces (on Dada, the Lettrists and Situationsts, and English punk.

Texts: Course packet; Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera; Andre Breton, Nadja; Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.

Requirements & Grading: Written work: Three 7-page papers with substantial revision of the first two (90% of grade). The remaining 10% of the grade will be based on class participation.

E 379R • Pop Music & Youth Subcultures

35740 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 204
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N            Areas:  VI / I

Unique #:  35740            Flags:  Global cultures; Independent inquiry; Writing

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Only one of the following may be counted: E 376L (Topic 8: Popular Music and Youth Subcultures), 679HA (Popular Music and Youth Subcultures), 379S (embedded topic: Popular Music and Youth Subcultures).

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

Description: Given the near-total neglect of popular music by musicology (fixated on Western classical music), the academic study of popular music has been dispersed across a number of fields, including anthropology, communications, English, history, and sociology. I propose in this course to survey the variety of serious analytical approaches to popular music, from the formalist work of musicologists (on harmony, etc.) to anthropological studies of audiences. We will take, in essence, the tripartite approach of cultural studies, by covering production (i.e., the music business), texts, and audiences. The students' interest will dictate the genres covered, whether country & western, dance music (including house, techno, and so forth), hiphop, R & B, rock and roll, or worldbeat. This will not be a "history of rock and roll" class: I'm interested not in what year Elvis emerged, but in the question of what a sophisticated (i.e., academic) critical approach has to offer followers of contemporary music—and I should note that I'm not all that certain academics have much to offer.

Given my doubts about academic approaches to popular music, I will try to make the course of considerable utility, odd as it may sound, to the study of literature. In discussing subcultures (or audiences), for example, we will emphasize more generally the examination of the actual social uses of texts both musical and literary (along the lines of cultural studies). In paying close attention to musical form or style (especially the voice) as well, we will also develop a strong text-based critical approach.

Texts: Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin, On Record, and course packet.

Requirements & Grading: Three 5-6-page papers, with substantial revision of the first two, culminating in an 18-to-25-page term paper: 85%; Class participation (including at least one oral presentation): 15%.

E 362L • British Novel In 20th Century

35560 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 204
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N            Areas:  III / U

Unique #:  35560            Flags:  Global cultures, Writing

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: This course will challenge the modernist canon by emphasizing the stark contrast between modernism and its contemporaries in the avant-garde. The modernists now enthroned in academia are distinguished by works meant to be impervious to mass culture and everyday life, while the avant-garde (e.g., the Situationists behind the Sex Pistols who revived Brighton Rock) represent an attempt to reintegrate art and social life. The study of noncanonical voices in the modern and postmodern British novel reaffirms a role for literature in society.

After examining the canonical modernists (Joyce and Woolf), we will move to a writer who embraces “lower” social and cultural orders (Greene), as well as more recent work by women (Carter, Rhys, and Weldon), a member of the working class (Sillitoe), and a colonial subject (Harris). I will also offer an overview of postmodernism (through Harris, Fowles, and Hornby). Considering in each case how the aesthetic decisions of writers reveal their ideological motives, I hope, in privileging the Sex Pistols’ revival of Greene over the repackaging of Kant by Joyce, to provide a generally refreshing if not liberating experience.

Texts: James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Graham Greene, Brighton Rock; Angela Carter, Love; Fay Weldon, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil; John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea, Nick Hornby, High Fidelity.

Requirements & Grading: Three 5-6-page papers (the first two revised), 30% each; Short essays and class participation, 10%.

E 379R • Poets And Punks

35725 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 310
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N            Areas:  VI / I

Unique #:  35725            Flags:  Global cultures, Independent inquiry, Writing

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Only one of the following may be counted: E 376L (Topic 7: Poets and Punks), 379R (Topic: Poets and Punks), 379S (embedded topic: Poets and Punks).

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

Description: English Culture After 1945 — The postwar Age of Affluence elicited very different reactions in English literature and popular culture. The anger of the Angry Young Men, such as John Osborne, resulted in large part from their frustrated uncertainty over what was happening to the class structure. Was the working class really disappearing? In this respect the myth of Affluence seems to have befuddled the literary. As if to fathom the ostensibly new society, English writers turned to examination of popular culture as a historically unique extent, leaving an exorbitant, though largely hostile record. On the other hand, as the English field of "cultural studies" has shown, working-class youth subcultures, through an ensemble of commodities and musical allegiances, exposed quite successfully the limits of affluence. The very opulence of the Mods, for example, in Swinging London in the 1960s highlighted the irony that their income came from dead-end jobs. When the punk subculture arose in 1976, as a confirmation finally in popular culture of the continuing existence of social misery and the working class, a new relationship with literature was struck by radical bohemians. Graham Greene was placed in the service of the Sex Pistols—to the considerable illumination of both.

This course in postwar English culture will concern the ways in which different types of cultural productions and activities succeed and fail to penetrate the veil of popular myths like "affluence.” My particular aim is to inject volatility into conventional notions of the hierarchy of high and mass culture. The postwar fiction, poetry, drama, and music studied in the course will lead on to an England far removed from traditional "literary landscape":  the seaside amusements of Brighton, the sleazy Soho of Absolute Beginners, and the Carnaby Street that embraced Clockwork Orange (quite subversively, given the Tory pedantry at the core of the novel). The realm of art, I will argue, can be drawn into everyday life with progressive results. The course will be concerned with history, literature, music, and subcultural sociology—the fields that have made up "cultural studies."

Texts: Fiction: Colin MacInes, Absolute Beginners; Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; Graham Greene, Brighton Rock; Nick Hornby, High Fidelity.

Drama: John Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Edward Bond, Saved; Trevor Griffiths, Oi for England.

Sociology: Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style.

Requirements & Grading: Two 6-8-page essays (both to be revised), one 18-25-page term paper: 90%; Attendance and Participation: 10%.

E 343L • Modernism And Literature

35300 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 204
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N            Areas:  V / F

Unique #:  35300            Flags:  Global cultures; Writing

Semester:  Spring 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: A Century of the Avant-Garde — This course will cover the avant-garde, or those movements in the modern and post-modern periods that sought to integrate art and everyday life in radical ways. A number of recent critics have sharply distinguished this effort from the aestheticist desire—more commonly associated with modernism—to seal off art in a separate, autonomous realm away from the perceived ravages of society, politics, and especially mass culture.

Some attention will be paid to the history of the term "avant-garde" in the arts, which begins with Saint-Simon, especially the period around the turn of the century represented by Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi. But the bulk of the course will be readings in the original manifestoes and texts of artists and critics like Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Andre Breton, Guy Debord, Filippo Marinetti, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Malcolm McLaren, Tristan Tzara, and Raoul Vaneigem, along with movements like Futurism (Italian and Russian), Dada, Surrealism, and the Lettrist and Situationist Internationals. Primary literature will be included, such as Brecht's plays and Breton's fiction. Some secondary critical work will be included as well, to help make the history of these developments more coherent, such as Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces (on Dada, the Lettrists and Situationsts, and English punk), and (in small doses) Charles Russell's Poets, Prophets, & Revolutionaries.

Texts: Course packet; Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera; Andre Breton, Nadja; Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.

Requirements & Grading: Written work: Three 7-page papers with substantial revision of the first two (90% of grade). The remaining 10% of the grade will be based on class participation.

E 379R • Pop Music & Youth Subcultures

35560 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm MEZ 2.122
show description

Instructor:  Nehring, N            Areas:  VI / I

Unique #:  35560            Flags:  Writing; Independent Inquiry

Semester:  Spring 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Only one of the following may be counted: E 376L (Topic 8: Popular Music and Youth Subcultures), 679HA (Popular Music and Youth Subcultures), 379S (embedded topic: Popular Music and Youth Subcultures).

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

Course Description: Given the near-total neglect of popular music by musicology (fixated on Western classical music), the academic study of popular music has been dispersed across a number of fields, including anthropology, communications, English, history, and sociology. I propose in this course to survey the variety of serious analytical approaches to popular music, from the formalist work of musicologists (on harmony, etc.) to anthropological studies like Sara Cohen's Rock Music in Liverpool. We will take, in essence, the tripartite approach of cultural studies, by covering production (i.e., the music business), texts, and audiences. The students' interest will dictate the genres covered, whether country & western, dance music (including house, techno, and so forth), hiphop, R & B, rock and roll, or worldbeat. This will not be a "history of rock and roll" class: I'm interested not in what year Elvis emerged, but in the question of what a sophisticated (i.e., academic) critical approach has to offer followers of contemporary music—and I should note that I'm not all that certain academics have much to offer.

Given my doubts about academic approaches to popular music, I will try to make the course of considerable utility, odd as it may sound, to the study of literature. In discussing subcultures (or audiences), for example, we will emphasize more generally the examination of the actual social uses of texts both musical and literary (along the lines of cultural studies). In paying close attention to musical form or style (especially the voice) as well, we will also develop a strong text-based critical approach. My own work with music criticism has led to a strong material orientation to the affective qualities of literary language.

Texts: Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin, On Record. Excerpted works include: Simon Frith, Performing Rites; Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces; Susan McClary, Feminine Endings; Tricia Rose, Black Noise; Robert Peterson, Creating Country Music; Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style; Deena Weinstein, Heavy Metal

Requirements & Grading: Three 5-6-page papers, with substantial revision of the first two, culminating in an 18-to-25-page term paper: 85%; Class participation (including at least one oral presentation): 15%.

E 343L • Modernism And Literature

35285 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 204
show description

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

Description: A Century of the Avant-Garde — This course will cover the avant-garde, or those movements in the modern and post-modern periods that sought to integrate art and everyday life in radical ways. A number of recent critics have sharply distinguished this effort from the aestheticist desire—more commonly associated with modernism—to seal off art in a separate, autonomous realm away from the perceived ravages of society, politics, and especially mass culture.

Some attention will be paid to the history of the term "avant-garde" in the arts, which begins with Saint-Simon, especially the period around the turn of the century represented by Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi. But the bulk of the course will be readings in the original manifestoes and texts of artists and critics like Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Andre Breton, Guy Debord, Filippo Marinetti, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Malcolm McLaren, Tristan Tzara, and Raoul Vaneigem, along with movements like Futurism (Italian and Russian), Dada, Surrealism, and the Lettrist and Situationist Internationals. Primary literature will be included, such as Brecht's plays and Breton's fiction. Some secondary critical work will be included as well, to help make the history of these developments more coherent, such as Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces (on Dada, the Lettrists and Situationsts, and English punk), and (in small doses) Charles Russell's Poets, Prophets, & Revolutionaries. 

Texts: Course packet; Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera; Andre Breton, Nadja; Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.

Requirements & Grading: Written work: Three 7-page papers with substantial revision of the first two (85% of grade). Your grade will also include oral reports: each student will make one brief presentation on the assigned reading and some subject of interest to the student.

E 379R • Poets And Punks

35540 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 204
show description

Only one of the following may be counted: E 376L (Topic 7: Poets and Punks), 379R (Topic: Poets and Punks), 379S (embedded topic: Poets and Punks).

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

Description: English Culture After 1945 — The postwar Age of Affluence elicited very different reactions in English literature and popular culture. The anger of the Angry Young Men, such as John Osborne, resulted in large part from their frustrated uncertainty over what was happening to the class structure. Was the working class really disappearing? In this respect the myth of Affluence seems to have befuddled the literary. As if to fathom the ostensibly new society, English writers turned to examination of popular culture as a historically unique extent, leaving an exorbitant, though largely hostile record. On the other hand, as the English field of "cultural studies" has shown, working-class youth subcultures, through an ensemble of commodities and musical allegiances, exposed quite successfully the limits of affluence. The very opulence of the Mods, for example, in Swinging London in the 1960s highlighted the irony that their income came from dead-end jobs. When the punk subculture arose in 1976, as a confirmation finally in popular culture of the continuing existence of social misery and the working class, a new relationship with literature was struck by radical bohemians. Graham Greene was placed in the service of the Sex Pistols—to the considerable illumination of both.

This course in postwar English culture will concern the ways in which different types of cultural productions and activities succeed and fail to penetrate the veil of popular myths like "affluence.” My particular aim is to inject volatility into conventional notions of the hierarchy of high and mass culture. The postwar fiction, poetry, drama, and music studied in the course will lead on to an England far removed from traditional "literary landscape":  the seaside amusements of Brighton, the sleazy Soho of Absolute Beginners, and the Carnaby Street that embraced Clockwork Orange (quite subversively, given the Tory pedantry at the core of the novel). The realm of art, I will argue, can be drawn into everyday life with progressive results. The course will be concerned with history, literature, music, and subcultural sociology—the fields that have made up "cultural studies." 

Texts: Fiction: Colin MacInes, Absolute Beginners; Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; Graham Greene, Brighton Rock; Nick Hornby, High Fidelity.

Drama: John Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Edward Bond, Saved; Trevor Griffiths, Oi for England.

Sociology: Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style.

Requirements & Grading: Two 6-8-page essays (both to be revised), one 18-25-page term paper: 90%; Attendance and Participation: 10%.

E F343L • Modernism And Literature

83565 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm PAR 105
show description

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

 

Description: A Century of the Avant-Garde — This course will cover the avant-garde, or those movements in the modern and post-modern periods that sought to integrate art and everyday life in radical ways. A number of recent critics have sharply distinguished this effort from the aestheticist desire—more commonly associated with modernism—to seal off art in a separate, autonomous realm away from the perceived ravages of society, politics, and especially mass culture.

 

Some attention will be paid to the history of the term "avant-garde" in the arts, which begins with Saint-Simon, especially the period around the turn of the century represented by Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi. But the bulk of the course will be readings in the original manifestoes and texts of artists and critics like Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Andre Breton, Guy Debord, Filippo Marinetti, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Malcolm McLaren, Tristan Tzara, and Raoul Vaneigem, along with movements like Futurism (Italian and Russian), Dada, Surrealism, and the Lettrist and Situationist Internationals. Primary literature will be included, such as Brecht's plays and Breton's fiction. Some secondary critical work will be included as well, to help make the history of these developments more coherent, such as Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces (on Dada, the Lettrists and Situationsts, and English punk), and (in small doses) Charles Russell's Poets, Prophets, & Revolutionaries. 

 

Texts: Readings online at Blackboard; Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera; Andre Breton, Nadja; Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.

 

Requirements & Grading: Written work: Take-home midterm and final (85% of grade). Your grade will also include oral reports: each student will make one brief presentation on the assigned reading and some subject of interest to the student.

E 343L • Modernism And Literature

35535 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 204
show description

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

Course Description: A Century of the Avant-Garde — This course will cover the avant-garde, or those movements in the modern and post-modern periods that sought to integrate art and everyday life in radical ways. A number of recent critics have sharply distinguished this effort from the aestheticist desire—more commonly associated with modernism—to seal off art in a separate, autonomous realm away from the perceived ravages of society, politics, and especially mass culture.

Some attention will be paid to the history of the term "avant-garde" in the arts, which begins with Saint-Simon, especially the period around the turn of the century represented by Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi. But the bulk of the course will be readings in the original manifestoes and texts of artists and critics like Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Andre Breton, Guy Debord, Filippo Marinetti, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Malcolm McLaren, Tristan Tzara, and Raoul Vaneigem, along with movements like Futurism (Italian and Russian), Dada, Surrealism, and the Lettrist and Situationist Internationals. Primary literature will be included, such as Brecht's plays and Breton's fiction. Some secondary critical work will be included as well, to help make the history of these developments more coherent, such as Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces (on Dada, the Lettrists and Situationsts, and English punk), and (in small doses) Charles Russell's Poets, Prophets, & Revolutionaries.

Texts: Course packet; Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera; Andre Breton, Nadja; Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.

Grading: Written work: Three 7-page papers with substantial revision of the first two (85% of grade). Your grade will also include oral reports: each student will make one brief presentation on the assigned reading and some subject of interest to the student.

E 349S • Graham Greene

35580 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 204
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Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: An obituary for Graham Greene described him as a “high popular” writer, one who was serious but also accessible. As a result of his accessibility, he has typically been one of those writers consigned to the margins of twentieth-century British and Irish literature by scholars for whom only James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, and the density of high modernism, matter. Greene’s reputation has also suffered because of his commercial success, which in fact is a testimonial to the way his thrillers, and his reputation as a “Catholic novelist,” made it possible to overlook the fact that his politics were arguably the most radical of any British writer of any note in the twentieth century. Greene often described himself as an anarchist, and anarchism figures in his fiction to an extent that conventionally-minded literary commentators have conveniently overlooked. This class will emphasize two distinct periods in Greene’s life: his indignation at the deprivation of the Great Depression and its effects on young people, which puts the later “Angry Young Men” to shame, and his postwar globetrotting amongst various hotspots such as Vietnam, Cuba, and Haiti, which earned him a reputation for “prescience” as wars and revolutions broke out in almost all of the countries in which he set his fiction. We will also look at one of the transitional works, The Power and the Glory, that led to his unwanted reputation as a Catholic theologian. (We will not read the novel that really put him on the map in this regard, The Heart of the Matter, because, as George Orwell acerbically noted, the religious theme is an embarrassment, which is fortunately not usually the case in Greene’s work.) I should note that I am not Catholic, and that the interest Greene’s religion holds for me is that it is inextricable from his fairly fierce left-wing perspective. With regard to the latter, be prepared: Greene despised the United States, though not without reason, we will see. The Quiet American, for example, published in 1955, uncannily captures the naïve yet willful American idealism that would land the U.S. in a full-scale war a decade later.

Texts: England Made Me; A Gun for Sale; Brighton Rock; The Power and the Glory; The Third Man; The End of the Affair; Twenty-One Stories  (short stories); The Quiet American; Our Man in Havana; A Sense of Reality (short stories); The Comedians; Monsignor Quixote.

Requirements & Grading: Three six-to-seven-page essays, the first two to be revised: each 30% of the final grade; Class Participation, including short in-class writing assignments: 10% of the final grade.

E 343L • Modernism And Literature

34635 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 204
show description

Course Description: A Century of the Avant-Garde — This course will cover the avant-garde, or those movements in the modern and post-modern periods that sought to integrate art and everyday life in radical ways. A number of recent critics have sharply distinguished this effort from the aestheticist desire—more commonly associated with modernism—to seal off art in a separate, autonomous realm away from the perceived ravages of society, politics, and especially mass culture.

Some attention will be paid to the history of the term "avant-garde" in the arts, which begins with Saint-Simon, especially the period around the turn of the century represented by Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi. But the bulk of the course will be readings in the original manifestoes and texts of artists and critics like Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Andre Breton, Guy Debord, Filippo Marinetti, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Malcolm McLaren, Tristan Tzara, and Raoul Vaneigem, along with movements like Futurism (Italian and Russian), Dada, Surrealism, and the Lettrist and Situationist Internationals. Primary literature will be included, such as Brecht's plays and Breton's fiction. Some secondary critical work will be included as well, to help make the history of these developments more coherent, such as Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces (on Dada, the Lettrists and Situationsts, and English punk), and (in small doses) Charles Russell's Poets, Prophets, & Revolutionaries.

Texts: Course packet; Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera; Andre Breton, Nadja; Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century.

Grading: Written work: Three 7-page papers with substantial revision of the first two (85% of grade). Your grade will also include oral reports: each student will make one brief presentation on the assigned reading and some subject of interest to the student.

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

E 379R • Poets And Punks

34965 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 304
show description

Only one of the following may be counted: E 376L (Topic 7: Poets and Punks), 379R (Topic: Poets and Punks), 379S (embedded topic: Poets and Punks).

Course Description: English Culture After 1945 — The postwar Age of Affluence elicited very different reactions in English literature and popular culture. The anger of the Angry Young Men, such as John Osborne, resulted in large part from their frustrated uncertainty over what was happening to the class structure. Was the working class really disappearing? In this respect the myth of Affluence seems to have befuddled the literary. As if to fathom the ostensibly new society, English writers turned to examination of popular culture as a historically unique extent, leaving an exorbitant, though largely hostile record. On the other hand, as the English field of "cultural studies" has shown, working-class youth subcultures, through an ensemble of commodities and musical allegiances, exposed quite successfully the limits of affluence. The very opulence of the Mods, for example, in Swinging London in the 1960s highlighted the irony that their income came from dead-end jobs. When the punk subculture arose in 1976, as a confirmation finally in popular culture of the continuing existence of social misery and the working class, a new relationship with literature was struck by radical bohemians. Graham Greene was placed in the service of the Sex Pistols—to the considerable illumination of both.

This course in postwar English culture will concern the ways in which different types of cultural productions and activities succeed and fail to penetrate the veil of popular myths like "affluence.” My particular aim is to inject volatility into conventional notions of the hierarchy of high and mass culture. The postwar fiction, poetry, drama, and music studied in the course will lead on to an England far removed from traditional "literary landscape":  the seaside amusements of Brighton, the sleazy Soho of Absolute Beginners, and the Carnaby Street that embraced Clockwork Orange (quite subversively, given the Tory pedantry at the core of the novel). The realm of art, I will argue, can be drawn into everyday life with progressive results. The course will be concerned with history, literature, music, and subcultural sociology—the fields that have made up "cultural studies."

Texts: Fiction: Colin MacInes, Absolute Beginners; Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; Graham Greene, Brighton Rock;

Nick Hornby, High Fidelity. Drama: John Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Edward Bond, Saved; Trevor Griffiths, Oi for

England. Sociology: Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style.

Grading: Two 6-8-page essays (both to be revised), one 18-25-page term paper: 90%; Attendance and Participation: 10%.

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

E 343L • Backgrounds Of Modern Lit

83070 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm PAR 206
show description

Course Description: A survey of influential ideas about art and literature written between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. The subject of each class meeting may be determined from the assigned reading for the day (see following). The instructor retains the right to vary this syllabus. Students will have access to the course’s Blackboard site through UT Direct.

The term paper is due by the date and time that the final exam schedule lists for our class period.

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.

Texts:

  • Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera
  • Andre Breton, Nadja
  • Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces

Other readings are in Library Reserves, Students will have access to the course’s Blackboard site through UT Direct.

Grading: Because participation contributes to the class grade, attendance is strongly encouraged. Plus/minus grades will be given, and determined on the following basis: 

Take-home midterm exam  

 40%

Take-home final exam  

 50%

Class contribution  

 10%

Students will write 2 take-home exams of 5-6 pages apiece.

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

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 343L • Backgrounds Of Modern Lit-W

34830 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 1200-100pm PAR 204
show description

English 343L: Backgrounds of Modern Literature

Parlin 304 MWF 10-11
Professor Neil Nehring, Parlin 23. Office Hours: M,W 12:30-1:30, F 11-12

A survey of influential ideas about art and literature written between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing. The subject of each class meeting may be determined from the assigned reading for the day (see following). The instructor retains the right to vary this syllabus.

Grading Policy:

Because participation contributes to the class grade, attendance is strongly encouraged. Plus/minus grades will be given, and determined on the following basis:  Term Paper=85%; Class Contribution=15%.

Requirements and Assignments:

Students will write 2 papers of 6-7 pages apiece, which will be combined with a third 6-7-page essay into a single term paper of 18-25 pages.

Required Texts (available at the University Co-op):

  • Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera
  • Andre Breton, Nadja
  • Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces
  • Other readings are in Library Reserves.

Students will have access to the course’s Blackboard site through UT Direct.

The term paper is due by the date and time that the final exam schedule lists for our class period.

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 379S • Senior Seminar-W

35160 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 302
show description

English 379S: Senior Seminar—Popular Music & Youth Subcultures

Parlin 302 MWF 1-2
Professor Neil Nehring, Parlin 23. Office Hours: M,W,F 11-12

A survey of academic approaches to popular music and youth subcultures. Three lecture hours a week for one semester.

Prerequisite:

Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing. The subject of each class meeting may be determined from the assigned reading for the day (see following). The instructor retains the right to vary this syllabus.

Grading Policy:

Because participation contributes to the class grade, attendance is strongly encouraged. Plus/minus grades will be given, and determined on the following basis:  Term Paper=85%; Class Contribution=15%.

Requirements and Assignments:

Students will write 2 papers of 6-7 pages apiece, which will be combined with a third 6-7-page essay into a single term paper of 18-25 pages.

Required Texts (available at the University Co-op):

  • Simon Frith & Andrew Goodwin, eds., On Record
  • Other readings are in Library Reserves.

Students will have access to the course’s Blackboard site through UT Direct.

The term paper is due by the date and time that the final exam schedule lists for our class period.

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 379S • Senior Seminar-W

35350 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1000-1100 PAR 304
show description

TBD

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