Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
plan2 masthead
Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Brian A Bremen

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1989, Princeton University

Brian A Bremen

Contact

Biography

Brian A. Bremen is an Associate Professor in the English department, specializing in American Literature, Modernism, the Digital Humanities, writers of the Harlem Renaissance, and Literary Theory. He is currently at work on a book that examines the ways in which contemporaneous religious and scientific thought interacted in the formation of Modern literature, tentatively called What Was Modernism (and Does It Still Matter)?

An avid surfer of the Internet since 1992, Bremen is presently archiving graphic, audio, and video material to aid in the instruction of large lecture sections of E316K: Masterworks in American Literature, and experimenting with ways in which to incorporate web-based instruction in large lecture classes. See it here.

In 2013, Bremen was named one of 20 inaugural Provost's Teaching Fellows.  He has also been the recipient of The Marilla D. Svinicki Burnt Orange Apple Award (The University of Texas at Austin, The Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment: 2007), the Dads' Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship (The University of Texas at Austin: 2005), a Waggener Centennial Teaching Fellowship (The University of Texas at Austin: 2005), the W. O. S. Sutherland Award for Teaching Excellence in Sophomore Literature (Department of English, The University of Texas at Austin: 2003), and the Texas Excellence Teaching Award for Professors in the College of Liberal Arts (The University of Texas at Austin: 2001).

Interests

American literature; modernism; the digital humanities; writers of the Harlem Renaissance; literary theory.

T C 357 • Healing Words: Lit Med/Med Lit

43770 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CAL 221
show description

Description:

The relationships between medicine and literature are many and varied and as old as the Greeks.  Above the door of the Library at Thebes were inscribed the words "Medicine for the Soul," and the methodology of Greek empiricism and Epicurean rhetoric was first formulated in the Hippocratic writings.  Milton once discussed tragedy as a kind of homeopathic physic intended to "purge the mind," and George Puttenham thought his "poetic lamentations" acted therapeutically by "making the very grief itself cure of the disease."  John Keats, Anton Chekhov, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and William Carlos Williams all had medical training, and countless other physicians, such as Richard Seltzer and Oliver Sacks, have written about their practices in ways more literary than scientific.          

This course will examine works by, about, and for doctors.  In it we will explore how the "medical arts" developed historically into what we now consider the "science of medicine."  Along the way we will look at how medical issues inevitably involve historically specific cultural biases and, at times, disguise these biases in the supposedly neutral terms of an empirical discourse.  We will also examine how some doctors have sought to expand the boundaries of their practice by exploring the literary arts.  Student projects will include an examination of contemporary issues such as alternative medical practices, the relationship between the mind and healing, and the AIDS crisis.

 

Texts/Readings:

The Journal of the Plague Year, Daniel Defoe

The Sexual Politics of Sickness, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deidre English

"The Yellow Wallpaper," Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Hippocratic Writings, ed. G. E. R. Lloyd

The Autobiography of a Quack, S. Weir Mitchell

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

The House of God, Samuel Shem

Illness as Metaphor, Susan Sontag

The Doctor Stories, William Carlos Williams

"On Being Ill," Virginia Woolf

Selected poems by John Keats, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, William Carlos Williams, and others.

 

Requirements:

Students will write a series of short papers (2 pages), and give a brief presentation (15 min.) based on a longer, research paper (10-12 pages).  Short papers may be revised and resubmitted before the next paper is due.  Grades will be based on class participation (15%), as well as on the above requirements (short papers--45%;  presentation--10%;  final paper--30%). 

 

About the Professor:

Brian A. Bremen is an Associate Professor in the English department, specializing in American Literature, Modernism, and Literary Theory. He is the author of William Carlos Williams and the Diagnostics of Culture, articles on W.E.B. DuBois, Jean Toomer, and James Joyce, and the former editor of the William Carlos Williams Review.  He is currently at work on a book that examines the ways in which contemporaneous religious and scientific thought interacted in the formation of Modern literature, tentatively called What Was Modernism (and Does It Still Matter)?  An avid surfer of the Internet since 1992, Bremen is presently archiving graphic, audio, and video material to aid in the instruction of large lecture sections of 316K, Masterworks in American Literature, and experimenting with ways in which to introduce web-based instruction in large lecture classes.  A fan of all kinds of music, he is interested in some day working on a book that examines the ways in which popular music and populist politics intersect in the songs of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen.

Publications

William Carlos Williams and the Diagnostics of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press (1993).

"Emerson, Du Bois, and the Fate of Black Folk." American Literary Realism, 1870-1910, 24, 80-88. March 1992.

Jean Toomer. In American Writers Supplement III, Part 2 (pp.475-491). New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. 1991.

"'He Was Too Scrupulous Always': A Re-examination of Joyce's 'The Sisters'"; James Joyce Quarterly, 22 (Fall 1984): 55-66

Review of The Columbia History of American Poetry. American Studies 36, 195-196. March 1995.

Awards and Honors

Awards and Honors

2013 Named one of 20 inaugural Provost's Teaching Fellows

2007 The Marilla D. Svinicki Burnt Orange Apple Award; The University of Texas at Austin, The Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment

2006 Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services Award; The University of Texas at Austin (Project Title: English Department E-Files CMS and DASE Project, $64,000.00)

2005 Dads' Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship, The University of Texas at Austin

2005 Waggener Centennial Teaching Fellow, The University of Texas at Austin

2003 W. O. S. Sutherland Award for Teaching Excellence in Sophomore Literature, Department of English, The University of Texas at Austin

2001 Texas Excellence Teaching Award for Professors in the College of Liberal Arts

Dean’s Fellowship, The College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at Austin, 2000-2001

Harry Ransom Research Center Ransom Fellowship, The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, 2000-2001

First Honorable Mention for Innovative Instructional Technology Awards Program, 2000: 314L (Introduction to the English Major) Site

Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services Award; The University of Texas at Austin, 2001 (Project Title:  Digital Resources for Teaching E316K – Masterworks of Literature,$41,500.00)

Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services Award; The University of Texas at Austin, 2000 (Project Title: The American Literature Archive,$23,292.00)

Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services Award; The University of Texas at Austin, 1999 (Project Title: Faculty Multimedia and Graduate Student Computer Labs,$46,960.00)

The College of Liberal Arts, Special Award: Computer Assisted Instruction in Liberal Arts; The University of Texas at Austin, 1998 (Project Title: The Critical Tools Project, $46,000.00)

bottom border