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Domino R. Perez, Director BUR 552, Mailcode F9200, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 471-4557

Thomas Garza

Associate Professor Ed.D., Harvard University, 1987

University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor and Director, Texas Language Center
Thomas Garza

Contact

  • Phone: (512) 471-3607
  • Office: HRH 4.190 and CAL 406
  • Office Hours: Please contact
  • Campus Mail Code: F3600

Interests

Russian language teaching methodology; applied linguistics; contemporary Russian culture; the Chechen wars and the media; Post-Soviet youth culture; language teaching pedagogy; Russian popular culture; modern Russian language; contemporary Russian media

MAS 374 • Bad Lang: Race, Class, Gender

36021 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CAL 100
(also listed as AMS 321, C L 323, LIN 350, REE 325, RUS 369, WGS 340 )
show description

Course Description

 

Maledicta: (Latin. n., pl. maledictum, sg.), curse words, insults; profane language of all kinds.

When is a word “bad”? Why can one person use a “bad” word with impunity, and another cannot? What marks such usage as acceptable or not?  How do race, socioeconomic class, and gender play into the use of “bad” language in the US? This course undertakes the examination of modern usage of language that has been designated as “bad” through social convention. Usage of forms of obscenities and profanity in popular usage will be examined in an attempt to come to an understanding of how the products of US popular culture portray maledicta in situational contexts. Through an examination of various texts culled from print, film, and music, participants will study the context and use of “bad” language and attempt to determine the underlying principles that dictate its affect and determine its impact on the audience. Though the majority of texts and usage will be taken from English-language sources, several non-English examples of maledicta from Mexican Spanish and Russian will also be examined for contrast and comparison.

 

NB: This course examines texts that contain usage of obscenities, profanity, and offensive language. Students who do not wish to be exposed to such language in use should not sign up for this course.

 

Texts:

• Bad Language: Are Some Words Better than Others? Edwin Battistella.

Oxford UP, 2007.

• Expletive Deleted: A Good Look at Bad Language. Ruth Wajnryb. Free press,

2005.

• Course packet

 

Requirements and Grading

• Exams (two midterms):             30%

• Film review:                            20%

• Reading journal:                        20%

• Research paper:                        30%

Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2010 RUS 601C Intensive First Year Russian

Course Description

This course provides a very intensive introduction to Russian language and culture. The in-class quotient of the course will be heavily based on active listening and speaking practice, with much use of various print, video, and web-based media. This course will require students to commit to undertaking intensive methods of instruction, which require their active participation in class and considerable attention to the language outside of class.  The goal of the course is to bring students to a level of functional proficiency in speaking and reading in a short-term course that will prepare them for intermediate Russian, or to engage in study abroad.  Students successfully completing this course may continue to RUS 611c in the spring to fulfill the Foreign Language Requirement in one year.

Fall 2010 RUS 360/CL 323/REE 385 Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita: A Source Study

Course Description

Stalin’s Moscow, 1936, The Devil and his gang have come to the mortal world to determine how Mankind is faring in the 20th century.  He encounters a motley crew of Soviet bureaucrats, writers, politicians and arts who offer little hope for the future.  Enter the “Master”, an unknown writer struggling to finish a novel about the life of Christ told from the perspective of Pontius Pilate.  Can one writer and his work be reason enough to prevent the apocalypse? Enter Margarita, the Master’s selfless companion and heroine of Mikhail Bulgakov’s masterpiece, The Master and Margarita.  Regarded by many readers and critics as one of the greatest novels of our time, The Master and Margarita is a fixed part of Russian culture.  This course will explore not only the intricacies of the novel itself, but also its place among Bulgakov’s other literary works, and its varied sources from world literature, music and the visual arts.  More importantly, it reveals the brilliance and complexities of art created under a strict totalitarian regime.  This course will examine—within the Stalin-era Soviet context—the texts and philosophies that significantly influenced Bulgakov in the creation of his novel.  You will examine these various texts (philosophical treatises, stories, folklore, plays, paintings, opera, and films) and discover the ways that they influenced the shape of the novel and how they appear within the dual story lines and the numerous characters.  Ultimately, the course will allow you to reexamine your own philosophy of good and Evil in the 21st century.

Fall 2011 RUS 601C Intensive First Year Russian

Добро пожаловать! Welcome to the Russian 601c – an intensive and unique adventure in language acquisition! This course is designed to bring you quickly to functional proficiency in the language and culture of one of the most influential and important regions of the world. More that 200 million people in the former Soviet Union, and an additional 150 million throughout the world, speak Russian. It is the language of some of the world’s greatest literature: Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Pasternak, Bulgakov, Nabokov, Gorky, and Solzhenitsyn, among others. It is the culture of some of the greatest scientists and innovators in the West: Lomonosov, Mendeleev, Pavlov, and Gagarin. And it is the country of some of most influential politicians of the Twentieth Century: Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev, and Putin. As the most recent addition to the G8 summit meetings, Russia is fast becoming a major player of the global economy. The major cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg attract thousands of tourists, businesspeople, and students each year, including a sizeable number of summer students from UT on our program “Moscow Plus.”  We hope you’ll be among them next summer 2012!

Course Content: This course is the first semester of intensive Russian language instruction developing functional proficiency in listening, speaking, and reading. Writing will be developed primarily through workbook and computer-based home assignments.  We will cover all of
Volumes One and Two of the textbooks, Units One through Unit Fourteen, spending about one week on each unit. In addition, this course aims to develop computer literacy skills – in Russian – for you to be truly functional and competitive in the language. 

Fall 2011 SLA 301/REE 302/C L 305/EUS 307 “The Vampire in Slavic Cultures”

Eight hundred years before Bram Stoker gave us the West's most memorable vampire in Dracula (1897) and long before the exploits of Vlad "the Impaler" Tepes horrified Europe (1431-46), the Russian Primary Chronicles write of a Novgorodian priest as Upyr' Likhij, or Wicked Vampire (1047).  The Slavic and Balkan worlds abound in histories, legends, myths and literary portraits of the so-called undead, creatures that literally draw life out of the living.

   This course examines the vampire in the cultures of Russia and Eastern Europe, including manifestations in literature, religion, art, film and common practices from its origins to 2011.  Texts – both print and non-print media – will be drawn from Russian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Serbian and Croatian sources.  Participants will be asked to separate historical fact from popular fiction, and form opinions about the place of the vampire in Slavic and East European cultures. 

The course is conducted in English.  No knowledge of Russian required, though readings in Russian and other Slavic languages are available for majors and concentrators in these related fields.

Graduate Courses

Fall 2010 REE 385/RUS 360/CL 323 Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita: A Source Study

Course Description

Stalin’s Moscow, 1936, The Devil and his gang have come to the mortal world to determine how Mankind is faring in the 20th century.  He encounters a motley crew of Soviet bureaucrats, writers, politicians and arts who offer little hope for the future.  Enter the “Master”, an unknown writer struggling to finish a novel about the life of Christ told from the perspective of Pontius Pilate.  Can one writer and his work be reason enough to prevent the apocalypse? Enter Margarita, the Master’s selfless companion and heroine of Mikhail Bulgakov’s masterpiece, The Master and Margarita.  Regarded by many readers and critics as one of the greatest novels of our time, The Master and Margarita is a fixed part of Russian culture.  This course will explore not only the intricacies of the novel itself, but also its place among Bulgakov’s other literary works, and its varied sources from world literature, music and the visual arts.  More importantly, it reveals the brilliance and complexities of art created under a strict totalitarian regime.  This course will examine—within the Stalin-era Soviet context—the texts and philosophies that significantly influenced Bulgakov in the creation of his novel.  You will examine these various texts (philosophical treatises, stories, folklore, plays, paintings, opera, and films) and discover the ways that they influenced the shape of the novel and how they appear within the dual story lines and the numerous characters.  Ultimately, the course will allow you to reexamine your own philosophy of good and Evil in the 21st century.

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