English

ENSP 1600: Public Speaking [3]

Margaret Gardiner, Instructor

Through theoretical instruction and practice, students will learn to prepare and deliver public presentations. We will learn techniques for handling speech anxiety, analyzing your audience, organizing and composing an effective argument, and improving diction, projection, and delivery. We will also be discussing the difference between oral and written style in language, the role of the body in public speaking, and how to achieve specific goals in speeches: speaking to inform, to persuade, to commemorate. We will begin every class period with physical, vocal, and relaxation exercises. Grades will be based on class attendance, participation, and the preparation and delivery of two 6-8 minute presentations. Our goal is neither to memorize nor to read these speeches, but to learn the art of extemporaneous delivery, where a carefully prepared and rehearsed speech may seem to arise spontaneously in the moment.


ENWR 3559: Contemporary Flash Fiction: Theory and Practice [3]

Elizabeth Denton, Instructor

Sudden or flash fiction is an increasingly visible genre distinct from the short story. We will examine the genre historically, critically and ultimately in terms of craft. Accomplished writers in the genre tend to have the poets' interest in language and tend to use language rather than character development to power narrative.  Students interested in taking the class should have a strong interest in reading and writing stories as well as a strong interest in language.  Each day will be divided into two parts.  Mornings we will devote to discussing the assigned reading and afternoons to workshops.  Afternoons we will break into smaller groups and students will critique, discuss and revise their own flash fiction.  Students will be expected to exhibit a mastery of the reading by producing nine drafts and nine revisions of the flash stories they've written.   Students will also each contribute one additional piece to a class anthology based on a theme decided upon by the class. A detailed syllabus and the reading list will be available in advance so that students can do some of the reading ahead of time (not required).

 


ENLT 2555: Selfies Old & New: Self-Portraiture in Visual Art and Poetry [3]

Lisa Russ Spaar, Instructor

We live in an age of easy and ubiquitous self-portrayal.  Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, YouTube, and other digital and cellular "galleries" allow a protean array of venues in which to post, curate, manipulate, and remove visual images and verbal profiles of "the self' with what seems like a faster than real-time alacrity.  This proliferation of self-portraiture is so rampant that it's possible for viewers and readers to become inured to its magic, craft, and power. Since antiquity, literary and visual artists have depicted themselves in their productions, a fascination that has continued unabated into the twenty-first centur)', spurred by advances in photography, imaging, digitalization, communication, infonnation systems, and the widespread availability of the Internet.  In this course we will look at the "selfie" from antiquity to the present, in poetry (from Sappho to Charles Wright and Kendrik Lamar) and visual art (from early Egyptian art through Rembrandt, Di.irer, Vigee-Lebrun, Kahlo, Van Gogh, Picasso, Munch, Sherman, Bacon, Morimura, and others).  We will visit the Fralin Museum of Art and local art galleries, make forays into the Studio Art and Drama departments, be visited by poets, artists and others, and in general explore what we can learn from our human fascination with self-portrayal and our compulsion to turn it into art.

 


ENSP 3559: Game of Thrones [3]

Lisa Woolfork, Instructor

A regent explains the governing ethos of the hit TV series Game ofThrones this way: "you win or you die." The novels and television series, however, is invested in more than these grim absolutes. George R. R. Martin has been described as an American Tolkien . Martin's fiction certainly shares the epic sensibility, broad landscapes, regional and geographic particularities, and richly varied social contracts as seen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In many ways, however, Martin's five book series A Song of Ice and Fire is far more than America's answer to Tolkien's work. His work has transcended the boundaries of traditional sword and sorcery fantasy to appeal to a far broader, yet similarly devoted, audience . This class will use the work of Martin (one novel and many episodes of the HBO series) to explore the notions of literary and visual representation (How does a character in the text come to life on screen?), racialism (Is Martin's view of race and region indebted to Tolkien's or does it exceed it?), fan fiction (Why were so many viewers outraged by The Red Wedding? Why does the series prompt such loyalty?), and gendered dimensions of power (How do women in the series exert control over their own lives and the lives of others?). This course will carefully assess one of Martin's written works, while paying close attention to the strategies HBO uses to bring it to a mass audience.  We will consider a range of aspects of the text and television series including characterization, geography, racial and cultural allegory, resistant conclusions, promiscuous identification and other concepts.