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

Brian A Bremen

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1989, Princeton University

Brian A Bremen

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-7842
  • Office: PAR 127
  • Office Hours: MW 1:45-2:45 pm, T 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Campus Mail Code: B5000

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.

E 314L • Texts And Contexts

33850 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 1.134
show description

E 314L  l  4-Texts and Contexts

Instructor:  Bremen, B

Unique #:  33850

Semester:  Fall 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: One of the following: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: According to Robert Scholes, "reading and writing are important because we read and write our world as well as our texts, and we are read and written by them in turn. Texts are places where power and weakness become visible and discussable, where learning and ignorance manifest themselves, where structures that enable and constrain our thoughts and actions become palpable."

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines. They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities. Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

This course contains a writing flag. The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

Tentative Texts will include:  Melville, Benito Cereno; Tarantino, Pulp Fiction.

Requirements & Grading: Students will keep a dialectical reading journal and write two, short (2 page) papers and one longer (4-6 page) research paper, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted. Any subsequent essay may be revised and resubmitted before the next paper is due (note: all drafts must be submitted with re-writes). Grades will be based on reading journals (oral presentation; 30%) and on the above requirements (papers – 70%). Plus/minus grades will be assigned for final grades.

E 377K • American Novel After 1920

34960 • Spring 2015
Meets MW 300pm-430pm PAR 204
show description

E 377K  l  The American Novel after 1920

Instructor:  Bremen, B

Unique #:  34960

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

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

Description: This course aims to explore the development of the American novel during the period of High Modernism (roughly from 1909 to 1945), a period that also sees the emergence of an American literature as a recognized and respected entity. At stake will be how American Modernists carve out a space for the novel that negotiates between its developing European counterpart and the historical concerns of Realism, Naturalism, and Romance. We will also explore the relationship between the writers of the Harlem Renaissance and the more mainstream avant-garde of American publishing.

Texts: Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio; Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom; Fisher, Rudolph. The Conjure Man Dies; Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby; Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises; Hurston, Zora Neal. Their Eyes Were Watching God; Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives.

Requirements & Grading: Students will keep a dialectical reading journal and write two, short (2 page) and one longer (3-5 page) papers, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Any subsequent essay may be revised and resubmitted before the next paper is due (note:  all drafts must be submitted with re-writes).  Grades will be based on reading journals (oral presentation; 30%) and on the above requirements (papers – 70%).  Plus/minus grades will be assigned for final grades.

Writing Flag: This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of Critical Thinking, Communication, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the communication component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, teamwork, and personal responsibility.

E 395M • Pragmat/Mod & Electronic Word

35135 • Spring 2015
Meets T 600pm-900pm CAL 200
show description

From Emerson to the Electronic Word, this course aims to trace out a genealogy of pragmatism as a distinctively American technological practice – one that, as Cornel West explains, results from the distinctive features of American culture:  "its revolutionary beginning combined with a slave based economy; its elastic liberal rule of law combined with an entrenched business-dominated status quo; its hybrid culture in combination with a collective self-definition as homogeneously Anglo-American; its obsession with mobility, contingency, and money combined with a deep moralistic impulse; and its impatience with theories and philosophies alongside ingenious technical innovation, political strategies of compromise, and personal devices for comfort and convenience."

We will examine works traditionally taught as philosophy alongside works of literature, seeing both as a form of cultural criticism that attempts to reshape the meaning of America in response to particular social and cultural crises.  By evading epistemology-centered philosophy, these writers attempt to employ thought as a weapon that will enable future action.  In particular, we will look at how these writers reappraise the revolutionary, romantic impulses that gave birth to a democratic ideal of America, only to grow into legacies of nation building and empire.  We will also look at how works traditionally taught as literature function within this critical framework both to comment on and extend this form of cultural critique.  Finally, we will focus on how this “critical activity” intimately involves particular notions of pedagogy, learning, and knowledge, and how we can facilitate those educational ideals in our own classrooms.

While the focus is on modern American writers such as William Carlos Williams, Henry James, Robert Frost, and W. E. B. DuBois, the course will by no means be restricted to these writers.  Equally at stake, for example, could be an examination of the role of the computer as a means for generating “pragmatic experience,” of feminist engagements with Pragmatism, or of the practice of cultural criticism and contemporary Border Studies as they grow out of the writings of American philosophers of the first half of the century. Throughout the semester, however, I hope to explore how Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Computer all function as “technologies” that inform and critique each other.  And given the newness of the field of the Digital Humanities, I hope that the course is a collaborative one in all of its aspects.

Required Texts:

Seyla Benhabib, Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell, and Nancy Fraser, Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange (Routledge; 0-415-91086-2)

Kenneth Burke, Attitudes Toward History (U of California; 0-520-04148-8)

John Dewey, The Philosophy of John Dewey (U of Chicago; 978-0226144016)

W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk (Penguin; 0-14-039074-X)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson (Riverside; 0-395-05112-6)

Henry James, The American (Signet; 0-451-52241-9)

William James, Pragmatism (Penguin; B-000-06I4-M6)

Paul Jay, Contingency Blues: The Search for Foundations in American Criticism  (U of Wisconsin; 0-299-15414-9)

Richard A. Lanham, The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts (U of Chicago; 0-226-46885-2)

Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Cambridge; 0-521-36781-6)

William Carlos Williams, In the American Grain (New Directions; 0-8112-0203-5)

 

Recommended Texts:

Cornel West, The American Evasion of Philosophy (U of Wisconsin; 0299119645)

Joan Richardson, A Natural History of Pragmatism (Cambridge UP; 0-521-69450-7)

 

Schedule of Readings:

Week 1       R. W. Emerson                  “The American Scholar”;  “Nature”

Week 2       R. W. Emerson                  “Nature”;  “The Poet”;  “Experience”

Week 3       R. W. Emerson                  “Experience”;  “Fate”

Week 4       William James                    Pragmatism

                     Robert Frost                       "Education By Poetry," "After Apple Picking" (xeroxes)

Week 5       Henry James                      “Preface” to The American (xeroxes)

                     Henry James                      The American(Ch. 1-11)

Week 6       Henry James                      The American (Ch. 12-26)

Week 7       W. E. B. DuBois                The Souls of Black Folk

Week 8       John Dewey                       “Ralph Waldo Emerson,” "The Need for a Recovery of

                                                                  Philosophy," "Experience, Nature and Art," "Existence,

                                                                  Value and Criticism"             

Week 9       John Dewey                       "The Live Creature and 'Etherial Things,'" "The Lost

                                                                  Individual," "Toward a New Individualism," "Search

                                                                  For the Great Community"

Week 10     Kenneth Burke                    Attitudes Toward History   

Week 11     W.C. Williams                    In the American Grain        

Week 12     Richard Rorty                      Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

Week 13     Richard A. Lanham             The Electronic Word          

Week 14     Seyla Benhabib, et. al.     Feminist Contentions

Week 15     Paul Jay                              Contingency Blues

Three concrete tasks:

1.  You will lead class discussion for about half of one class meeting.  The starting point for the discussion will be a short (about 5-8 pages) critical paper responding to some aspect of the week's reading.  You may focus your paper on any specific facet of the reading that you find interesting and that you think holds some potential for class discussion.  In addition to the essay, please provide a brief (five entries or so) annotated bibliography of recent critical articles or book chapters on the text.  (If you'd like, I can try to give you some suggestions of stuff to look at.)  Annotations should be four or five sentences.  If a critic's argument strikes your fancy, you can make it the focal point of your paper (as long as you keep in mind that most of the class won't have read the critic in question).

Please make copies of your paper available to the class by Wednesday at 8:00 AM.  You can use the “Communication” link in the Bb web site to email copies to the class.

2.  The rest of the class will serve as a “respondent” to that short paper and will, in that way, share responsibility for class discussion.  Your means of responding can include briefly critiquing, raising questions about, developing further, or in some other way “taking off” from the paper which has been distributed.  You aren't required to write down your responses, but you should have something substantive and organized to say and/or ask.

3.  Recognizing that this class involves a lot of reading and that your short paper will involve time and work, I am not going to require a full-length (25 page) seminar paper.  Instead, I ask for a 15-20 page review essay (which can be based on the annotated bibliography or on another agreed-upon set of works), due on the date that a final exam would be scheduled for this course.

 

E 314L • Reading Lit In Context

35080 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.132
show description

Instructor:  Bremen, B

Unique #:  35080

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: According to Robert Scholes, "reading and writing are important because we read and write our world as well as our texts, and we are read and written by them in turn. Texts are places where power and weakness become visible and discussable, where learning and ignorance manifest themselves, where structures that enable and constrain our thoughts and actions become palpable."

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines. They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities. Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.   

This course contains a writing flag. The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

Tentative Texts will include:  Melville, Benito Cereno; Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

Requirements & Grading: Students will keep a dialectical reading journal and write three, short (2 page) papers, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted. Any subsequent essay may be revised and resubmitted before the next paper is due (note: all drafts must be submitted with re-writes). Grades will be based on reading journals (oral presentation; 30%) and on the above requirements (papers – 70%). Plus/minus grades will be assigned for final grades.

E 350R • From Realism To Modernism

36070 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CAL 323
(also listed as LAH 350 )
show description

Instructor:  Bremen, B

Unique #:  36070

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

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

Description: Realism to Modernism: American Writing and the Popular Imagination, 1865-1920 --

In his "Preface" to The American, Henry James defined the "real" as "the things we cannot possibly not know, sooner or later, in one way or another," and one of the aims of this course is to examine how the "real" gets reflected and/or constructed in American literature of the late-19th and early- 20th centuries.  Using a historical framework that will chart the movement from the Realism of Henry James to the Naturalism of Dreiser to the Modernism of Eliot, we will examine what constitutes those things we "cannot possibly not know" and explore some of the problems involved in the act of "knowing."  We will look at the development of what Conrad called "deliberate beliefs"--those frameworks of meaning and understanding that shape the ways in which we view our society and our selves.  We will also examine how these "beliefs" operate in American culture in relation to particular economic, social, and intellectual histories.  Equally at stake will be the notions of an American identity and an identity for American literature--both of which come into their own during this period.  Finally, we will examine how these works interact with some of the "popular" fictions of the period, looking at how the "popular imagination" is both formed by and helps formulate these "beliefs."

Required Texts: The American, Henry James (Signet Classic); A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Mark Twain (Mark Twain Library); The Great Short Works of Stephen Crane, Stephen Crane (Harper&Row); The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton (Penguin Classics); In the American Grain, William Carlos Williams (New Directions); Ragged Dick and Mark, the Match Boy, Horatio Alger (Collier Books); The Sea-Wolf, Jack London (Signet Classic); Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser (Norton Critical); The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Dubois, intro. by Donald B. Gibson (Penguin Classics); The Waste Land and other Poems (Faber Paperbacks); Cane, Jean Toomer (Norton Critical); A packet of xeroxes will be available at Able's Reprints, 1906 Guadelupe.

Requirements & Grading: Students will write a series of short (2 page) papers and one longer (10-12 page) paper; there will be no final examination.  Students may revise and resubmit any or all of the short papers.  Grades will be based on class discussion and attendance, as well as on the above requirements.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: American

35275-35320 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 2.102A
show description

Instructor:  Bremen, B            Areas:  -- / B

Unique #:  35275-35320            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Fall 2013            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: Multimedia Approach: Critical Reading, Thinking, and Writing --

"American Literature," according to Daniel Aaron, "is the most searching and unabashed criticism of our national limitations that exists." This course aims at examining these limitations through a selective reading of major American writers from the 17th to the 20th century, tracing the development of major literary forms, themes, and historical and cultural trends.

Explicit throughout the course will be the notion that texts are places where power and weakness become visible and discussable, where learning and ignorance manifest themselves, where structures that enable and constrain our thoughts and actions become palpable." At its most fundamental level, then, this course will use the study of literature to help its students become better readers, writers, and thinkers. But also at stake in this course will be the notion of an "American identity," the historical emergence of something called "American Literature," and the ways in which the issues of race, class, region, sexuality, and gender affect these constructions.

Texts: Required: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Samuel Clemens (Bedford/St. Martins; 0-312-40029-2)
; The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (Vintage; 0-679-73477-5); 
In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway (Scribner Paperback; 0-684-82276-8); Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass (Penguin; 0-14-039012-X); 
Sula, Toni Morrison (Vintage International; 1-4000-3343-8); 
Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino (Miramax; 0786881046); 
Packet of Xeroxes available at Speedway Copies & Printing (in the Dobie Mall).

Recommended: The Little Penguin Handbook, Lester Faigley (Pearson Education; 0-321-24401-X).

Requirements & Grading: Students will keep a dialectical reading journal and complete weekly short writing assignments or reading quizzes. They will also write two short (2 page) papers, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted; any subsequent essay may be revised and resubmitted before the next paper is due (note: all drafts must be submitted with re-writes).

Grades will be based on reading journals (35%), weekly writing assignments and/or weekly reading quizzes, class discussion, and attendance (30%), and on the above requirements (1st paper – 15%; 2nd paper – 20%; quizzes, etc. – 30%; final journal conference – 35%). Plus/minus grades will be given where appropriate; grades will not be rounded up or down at any stage.

Only one unexcused absence allowed from lectures and one from discussion sections -- extra absences will affect your final average. The TA in your discussion section has the option of passing out extra materials and giving short quizzes.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: American

34890-34945 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm JES A121A
show description

Instructor:  Bremen, B            Areas:  -- / B

Unique #:  34890-34945            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Spring 2013            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: Multimedia Approach: Critical Reading, Thinking, and Writing --

"American Literature," according to Daniel Aaron, "is the most searching and unabashed criticism of our national limitations that exists." This course aims at examining these limitations through a selective reading of major American writers from the 17th to the 20th century, tracing the development of major literary forms, themes, and historical and cultural trends.

Explicit throughout the course will be the notion that texts are places where power and weakness become visible and discussable, where learning and ignorance manifest themselves, where structures that enable and constrain our thoughts and actions become palpable." At its most fundamental level, then, this course will use the study of literature to help its students become better readers, writers, and thinkers. But also at stake in this course will be the notion of an "American identity," the historical emergence of something called "American Literature," and the ways in which the issues of race, class, region, sexuality, and gender affect these constructions.

Texts: Required: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Samuel Clemens (Bedford/St. Martins; 0-312-40029-2)
; The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (Vintage; 0-679-73477-5); 
In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway (Scribner Paperback; 0-684-82276-8); Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass (Penguin; 0-14-039012-X); 
Sula, Toni Morrison (Vintage International; 1-4000-3343-8); 
Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino (Miramax; 0786881046); 
Packet of Xeroxes available at Speedway Copies & Printing (in the Dobie Mall).

Recommended: The Little Penguin Handbook, Lester Faigley (Pearson Education; 0-321-24401-X).

Requirements & Grading: Students will keep a dialectical reading journal and complete weekly short writing assignments or reading quizzes. They will also write two short (2 page) papers, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted; any subsequent essay may be revised and resubmitted before the next paper is due (note: all drafts must be submitted with re-writes).

Grades will be based on reading journals (35%), weekly writing assignments and/or weekly reading quizzes, class discussion, and attendance (30%), and on the above requirements (1st paper – 15%; 2nd paper – 20%; quizzes, etc. – 30%; final journal conference – 35%). Plus/minus grades will be given where appropriate; grades will not be rounded up or down at any stage.

Only one unexcused absence allowed from lectures and one from discussion sections -- extra absences will affect your final average. The TA in your discussion section has the option of passing out extra materials and giving short quizzes.

E 395M • Modernism And Its Discontents

35885 • Fall 2012
Meets T 600pm-900pm CAL 221
show description

This course will examine the relationships between a variety of authors writing during the time of "High Modernism" (roughly from 1913-1945).  Beginning with the influential works of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, we will explore the cultural projects each poet attempted to articulate in his writings and examine how, in Eliot's words, these projects insinuate a "whole way of life" that involves all levels of society.  Using these two paradigms of "Modernist culture," we will examine how other writers forge their own poetic projects in relation both to Pound and Eliot's ideas, as well as to their own unique cultural positions.  In this way we can situate more accurately the cultural productions hoped for by William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Hilda Doolittle, Mina Loy, Gertrude Stein, Jean Toomer, W. E. B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, and the writers of the New Negro movement.  By examining both the poetry and prose of these writers, along with the conditions of their works' publication, we will explore the kinds of interventions each was attempting to perform.  By examining the relationships between the poetry and prose in each writer's work, we will also explore how they manipulate assumptions about language and culture.  At stake also in this course, then, will be notions of how poetry participates in culture, as well as how race, class, region, and gender function within poetic, individual, and cultural production.  Critical readings will include excerpts from Van Wyck Brooks, Randolph Bourne, W. E. B. DuBois, Irving Howe, Alfred Kazin, Harry Levin, Leslie Fiedler, Teresa de Lauretis, Toni Morrison, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Rosalind Kraus, Michael North, Patricia Wald, Jonathan Levin, Arjun Appadurai, and Christopher Breu, along with current critical work to be selected by the seminar.

Students will be expected to lead one class discussion from a short (about 5-8 pages) critical paper and write an annotated bibliography for that session and write a final, review essay (15-20 pages) based on the works covered in their annotated bibliographies.

Texts :

Hilda Doolittle, Helen In Egypt (New Directions:  1961;  0-8112-0544-4)

T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land and other Poems (Faber Paperbacks: 1955;  0-15-694877-XHARV);  Christianity and Culture (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich:  1960;  0-15-617735-8HB32, Harv)

Rudolph Fisher, The Conjure Man Dies: A Dark Tale from Old Harlem (University of Michigan Press, 0-472-06492-4)

Langston Hughes, The Selected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics: 1987;  0-679-72818-X)

Alain Locke, ed., The New Negro (MacMillan: 1968;  0-689-70128-4, NL10)

Mina Loy,  The Lost Lunar Baedeker (Noonday Books:  1997;  0-374-52507-2)

Ezra Pound, Selected Poems (New Directions:  1957;  0-8112-0162-7)

Wallace Stevens, The Palm at the End of the Mind (Vintage:  1972;  0-394-71768-6);  The Necessary Angel (Vintage:  1951;  394-70278-6)

Jean Toomer, Cane (Norton Critical Edition:  1987;  0-393-95600-8)

William Carlos Williams, Spring and All (xerox);  Paterson (New Directions:  1994; 081121298x pbk)

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: American

34865-34880 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A121A
show description

Prerequisites: Completion of at least thirty semester hours of coursework, including 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: Multimedia Approach: Critical Reading, Thinking, and Writing --

"American Literature," according to Daniel Aaron, "is the most searching and unabashed criticism of our national limitations that exists." This course aims at examining these limitations through a selective reading of major American writers from the 17th to the 20th century, tracing the development of major literary forms, themes, and historical and cultural trends.

Explicit throughout the course will be the notion that texts are places where power and weakness become visible and discussable, where learning and ignorance manifest themselves, where structures that enable and constrain our thoughts and actions become palpable." At its most fundamental level, then, this course will use the study of literature to help its students become better readers, writers, and thinkers. But also at stake in this course will be the notion of an "American identity," the historical emergence of something called "American Literature," and the ways in which the issues of race, class, region, sexuality, and gender affect these constructions. 

Texts: Required: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Samuel Clemens (Bedford/St. Martins; 0-312-40029-2)
; The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (Vintage; 0-679-73477-5); 
In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway (Scribner Paperback; 0-684-82276-8); Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass (Penguin; 0-14-039012-X); 
Sula, Toni Morrison (Vintage International; 1-4000-3343-8); 
Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino (Miramax; 0786881046); 
Packet of Xeroxes available at Speedway Copies & Printing (in the Dobie Mall).

Recommended: The Little Penguin Handbook, Lester Faigley (Pearson Education; 0-321-24401-X).

Requirements & Grading: Grades will be based on reading journals (20%) and weekly quizzes (30%), as well as on a mid-term (20%) and a final examination (30%). Plus/minus grades will be given where appropriate; grades will not be rounded up or down at any stage.

Only one unexcused absence allowed from lectures and one from discussion sections -- extra absences will affect your final average. The TA in your discussion section has the option of passing out extra materials and giving short quizzes.

E F377K • American Novel After 1920

83640 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm PAR 105
show description

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

 

Description: This course aims to explore the development of the American novel during the period of High Modernism (roughly from 1909 to 1945), a period that also sees the emergence of an American literature as a recognized and respected entity. At stake will be how American Modernists carve out a space for the novel that negotiates between its developing European counterpart and the historical concerns of Realism, Naturalism, and Romance. We will also explore the relationship between the writers of the Harlem Renaissance and the more mainstream avant-garde of American publishing. 

 

Texts: Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio; Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom; Fisher, Rudolph. The Conjure Man Dies; Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby; Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises; Hurston, Zora Neal. Their Eyes Were Watching God; and Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives.

 

Requirements & Grading: There will be three take-home examinations: (30%); (30%); (40%).

E 360R • Lit Std For H S Teacher Of Eng

35680 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 330pm-500pm MEZ 2.202
show description

E 360R and RHE 379C (Topic: Literary Studies for High School Teachers of English) may not both be counted.

NOTE: Intended for students seeking a secondary school teaching certificate.

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

Course Description: Designed for students planning a career teaching English, this course will introduce students to scholarship in literary studies that informs the teaching of literature today. Although it is not a methods course, E 360R will have a practical orientation: we will discuss the reasons for teaching literature, both historically and currently; we will examine some of the contemporary constraints on the teaching of English; and we will pursue how to best develop what Robert Scholes calls "Textual Power." Recognizing that texts are places where power and weakness become visible and discussable, where learning and ignorance manifest themselves, where structures that enable and constrain our thoughts and actions become palpable, this course will explore how the use of the study of literature can help students become better readers, writers, and thinkers.

Texts: Finkel, Donald M., Teaching With Your Mouth Shut, (Boynton/Cook; 0-867-09469-9)

Hemingway, Ernest, In Our Time, (Scribner Classics; 0-68482-276-8)

Richter, David H., Falling Into Theory: Conflicting Views On Reading Literature, (Bedford Books; 0-312-20156-7)

Scholes, Robert, Textual Power: Literary Theory and the Teaching of English, (Yale UP; 0-300-03726-0)

Shakespeare, William, The Tempest, (Bedford/St. Martin's; 0-312-19766-7)

Vendler, Helen, Poems. Poets. Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology, (Bedford/St. Martin’s; 978-0312463199).

Packet of Xeroxes available at Speedway Copies & Printing (in the Dobie Mall)

Grading: Students will keep a dialectical reading journal and write three short (2 page) papers, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted. Any subsequent essay may be revised and resubmitted before the next paper is due (note: all drafts must be submitted with re-writes). Grades will be based on class discussion and attendance (20%) and on journal and papers (80%).

E 395M • The Modern American Novel

35095 • Fall 2010
Meets T 600pm-900pm MEZ 1.118
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This course aims to explore the development of the American novel during the period of High Modernism (roughly from 1909 to 1945), a period that also sees the emergence of an American literature as a recognized and respected entity.  At stake will be how American Modernists carve out a space for the novel that negotiates between its developing European counterpart and the historical concerns of Realism, Naturalism, and Romance.  We will also explore the relationship between the writers of the Harlem Renaissance and the more mainstream avant-garde of American publishing.  Critical readings will include excerpts from Van Wyck Brooks, Randolph Bourne, W. E. B. DuBois, Alfred Kazin, Leslie Fiedler, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Toni Morrison, Rosalind Kraus, Michael North, Jonathan Levin, Arjun Appadurai, and Christopher Breu. along with current critical work to be selected by the seminar.

Requirements

  1. Students will lead class discussion for about half of one class meeting.  The starting point for the discussion will be a short (about 5-8 pages) critical paper responding to some aspect of the week's reading.  They may focus your paper on any specific facet of the reading that you find interesting and that you think holds some potential for class discussion.  In addition to the essay, students will provide a brief (five entries or so) annotated bibliography of recent critical articles or book chapters on the text.
  2. The rest of the class will serve as a “respondent” to that short paper and will, in that way, share responsibility for class discussion.  Students’ means of responding can include briefly critiquing, raising questions about, developing further, or in some other way “taking off” from the paper which has been distributed.
  3. Students will write a 15-20 page review essay (which can be based on the annotated bibliography or on another agreed-upon set of works), due on the date that a final exam would be scheduled for this course.

Readings

Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio
Barnes, Djuna. Nightwood
Ellison, Ralph. The Invisible Man
Faulkner, William. Sanctuary
__________.  Absalom, Absalom
Fisher, Rudolph. The Conjure Man Dies
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby
Hammett, Dashiell. Red Harvest
Hemingway, Ernest. In our time
__________.  The Sun Also Rises
Hurston, Zora Neal. Their Eyes Were Watching God
James, Henry. The American
__________. The Golden Bowl
Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives
__________. Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Wright, Richard. Native Son

E 377K • American Novel After 1920

83125 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am PAR 206
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Course Description: This course aims to explore the development of the American novel during the period of High Modernism (roughly from 1909 to 1945), a period that also sees the emergence of an American literature as a recognized and respected entity. At stake will be how American Modernists carve out a space for the novel that negotiates between its developing European counterpart and the historical concerns of Realism, Naturalism, and Romance. We will also explore the relationship between the writers of the Harlem Renaissance and the more mainstream avant-garde of American publishing.

Texts: 

  • Anderson, Sherwood.  Winesburg, Ohio (Signet: 978-0451529954)
  • Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom (Vintage: 978-0679732181)
  • Fisher, Rudolph. The Conjure Man Dies  (Univ of Michigan: 978-0472064922)
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby  (Scribner: 978-0743273565)
  • Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises  (Scribner: 978-0743297332)
  • Hurston, Zora Neal. Their Eyes Were Watching God  (Harper Perennial: 978-0061120060)
  • Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives  (Penguin: 978-0140181845)

Grading: There will be three take-home examinations: (30%); (30%); (40%).

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

For more information, please download the full course syllabus.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: American

34625-34680 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A121A
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E 316K: Masterworks of American Literature

Brian A. Bremen  /  bremen@uts.cc.utexas.edu  /  http://www.en.utexas.edu/Classes/Bremen/e316k/
Parlin 127  /  471-7842
Office Hours: Tuesday 2:00 - 4:30, Thursday 2:00 - 4:30, or by appointment

Description:

"American Literature," according to Daniel Aaron, "is the most searching and unabashed criticism of our national limitations that exists." This course aims at examining these limitations through a selective reading of major American writers from the 17th to the 20th century, tracing the development of major literary forms, themes, and historical and cultural trends.

Explicit throughout the course will be the notion – as Robert Scholes once explained – "that reading and writing are important because we read and write our world as well as our texts, and we are read and written by them in turn. Texts are places where power and weakness become visible and discussable, where learning and ignorance manifest themselves, where structures that enable and constrain our thoughts and actions become palpable." At its most fundamental level, then, this course will use the study of literature to help its students become better readers,
writers, and thinkers.

But also at stake in this course will be the notion of an "American identity," the historical emergence of something called "American Literature," and the ways in which the issues of race, class, region, sexuality, and gender affect these constructions. We will also explore how marginalized groups face the prospect of self-formation. In this way, issues of descent and dissent and the role they play in the formation of a democratic culture will constitute the focus of our study.

The approach will be loosely historical, though the large period we will attempt to cover will necessitate some rather big jumps in time.

Students with Disabilities:

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

For further information, please download the full syllabus.

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)

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