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Viewing: ENG 342 : Literature of Space and Place

Last approved: Wed, 08 Mar 2017 09:01:31 GMT

Last edit: Tue, 07 Mar 2017 19:52:48 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Change Type
Major
ENG (English)
342
032426
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
Literature of Space and Place
Literature of Space and Place
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
English (16ENG)
Term Offering
Fall and Spring
Offered Alternate Years
Spring 2017
Previously taught as Special Topics?
No
 
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Letter Grade Only
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Dr. Rebecca Walsh
Associate Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture3535Non/a
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Requisite: Sophomore Standing or Above

Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Yes
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16ENGBA-16LLTEnglish BA- LiteratureElective
16ENGLBAEnglish BAElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLCRWEnglish BA- Creative WritingElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLFLMEnglish BA- FilmElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLLWREnglish BA- Language, Writing, and RhetoricElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLTEDEnglish BA- Teacher EducationElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLMEnglish BA-MinorElective
This course investigates how various spatial categories. For example, the city, the pastoral, wilderness, region, nation, or the globe. Work in and are constructed by literary texts. Humanities fields have increasingly noted the importance of space and place in shaping our lives and as key mechanisms through which ideas of gender, sexuality, race, class, national identity, or nature are shaped. Our Spatial analysis of literature will borrow from an interdisciplinary range of methods: cultural and historical geography, cartography, urban studies, and/or environmental studies. The course also addresses the historical and cultural contexts that have shaped ideas of space.

This course is part of the newly proposed English literature curriculum. Moreover, HSS remains committed to offering substantive courses that fulfill the US Diversity category of the GEP.


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Humanities
Interdisciplinary Perspectives
US Diversity
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Explain the differences and similarities in modern and contemporary people’s varying experiences of space and place and the challenges they face through the interpretation of American literature written in the “long” modern era (nineteenth century to the present).
 
 
Essay Question
Sample measure: choose one theory we've studied in class about the construction of space, place, or nature and analyze Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony explaining what spatial features shape the human experience and why they matter.
 
 
Analyze literary texts and use that analysis to compare and evaluate multiple interpretations of space, place, or nature by different literary scholars, geographers, and/or environmental studies scholars.
 
 
Essay Question
Sample measure: How is “region” shaped by a variety of factors, including gender, race, nation, agrarian trade, and globalization? Apply literary critic Stephanie Foote’s definition of literary regionalism, geographer Doreen Massey’s definition of regionalism, and/or D. Carey’s work on lumber and sugar production to Sarah Orne Jewett’s New England story “The Foreigner.” How does each definition help readers to interpret the main characters’ relationships to place and to community? What can we learn about definitions of “region” from one field not addressed by the other(s)?
 
 
Demonstrate the ability to write arguments that interpret critically the representation of space, place, or nature through particular literary modes and genres, especially fiction and poetry.
 
 
Essay Question
Sample measure: How is the rise of urban life and the emergence of the modern city reflected in the literature of the late nineteenth century? Cite and analyze specific examples to support their answers.
Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Compare methods and forms of evidence literary texts and geographers use to understand the relationship between humanity and place.
 
 
Critical essay
Sample prompt: How can we make sense of the increasing shift from rural to urban in nineteenth-century America? Compare geographer Ellen Churchill Semple’s theory of determinism, and Willa Cather’s novel My Antonia. What does the novel reveal about the role of agrarian, rural farm life for the novel’s main character, Antonia, compared to what Semple would say? What are the explicit and implicit claims made in literature and geography, and what type of evidence supports them?
 
 
Generate cross-disciplinary examinations of various literary texts that focus on space and/or place along with various writings by geographers.
 
 
Critical essay
Sample exam question: How is “region” shaped by a variety of factors, including gender, race, nation, agrarian trade, and globalization? Apply literary critic Stephanie Foote’s definition of literary regionalism, geographer Doreen Massey’s definition of regionalism, and/or D. Carey’s work on lumber and sugar production to Sarah Orne Jewett’s New England story “The Foreigner.” How does each approach help readers to interpret the main characters’ relationships to place and to community? What can we learn about definitions of “region” from one field not addressed by the other(s)?
 
 
Using literary and other sources, students will make academic, evidence-based arguments about the critical issues surrounding space and place.

 
 
Critical Essay.
Sample final paper topic: Analyze how Caribbean tourist destinations are shaped by race, economics, anti-sustainability, and neocolonialism in June Jordan’s memoir essay “Report from the Bahamas,” using McKittrick’s ideas of race, gender, and cartography, Semple’s ideas about environmental determinism, and Mowforth and Munt’s ideas of tourism and sustainability. What are the ethical problems and solutions associated with the development of tourist destinations? How does Kincaid challenge these problems?
 
 
Literature and Geography
 
 
The instructor is a literary studies scholar trained in cultural geography, and has published a book on the relationship between literature and academic and popular geography. Her current research focuses on the relationship between literature and that of academic and popular geography. The readings selected will expose students to the types of writing, forms of evidence, interpretive techniques, and methodological assumptions in literary and geography studies. They will learn how various scholars in literary studies and geography have challenged simplistic ideas about how we orient and organize ourselves in our physical environments, the relationship between scales of belonging (ranging from the individual to the regional to the national and beyond), the role of physical space in shaping human identities and behaviors, and the ethics and politics of these formations. Classroom exercises and assignments will help students to learn skills in humanities and social science analysis, including analysis of writing, interpretation, and critical thinking to interpret and evaluate ideas about the relationship between humans and their places.
Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 
Articulate how spatial factors influence gender, race, sexuality, and national identity through analyzing a variety of nineteenth and twentieth-century American literary texts, cultural geographers’ ideas about how place impacts human society, and environmental studies’ recent scholarly attention to how human identities are imposed upon the natural world or are unevenly impacted by natural resource use and/or abuse.
 
 
Critical essay.
Sample in-class writing assignment: Analyze the main character’s gender, sexual, and/or ethnic identity in Willa Cather’s novel My Antonia. Drawing from cultural geography and environmental studies theories about the agrarian, natural landscape in nineteenth-century America, examine how this type of environment relates to Antonia’s queerness, her non-traditional femininity, and/or the way she navigates her status as an Eastern European immigrant.
 
 
Analyze literary texts in order to find evidence of ways in which space and place have shaped the lived experience of diverse inhabitants of the U.S. They will be able to identify how various identities--racial, ethnic, class, gender, sexual, etc.--help to construct 19th and 20th century American spaces and are in turned influenced by spatial phenomena such as the plantation and the slave auction block, the Homestead Act, the closing of the frontier, the "Great Migration" of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North in the early 20th century, the emergence of technologies that seem to blur national boundaries, etc.
 
 
Critical essay.
Sample paper assignment: Compare the relationships among race, enslavement, and the natural environment in nineteenth-century America and the modernist period. How does the role of nature in slave plantation life impact Linda Brent’s identity in Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and how does that compare with ideas about nature and colonization found in the Harlem Renaissance? Specifically, how does nature impact the identity of the colonized African female figure Helene Johnson’s 1920s poem “Magalu”? How do different generations of African-American writers reflect and resist dominant ideas in geography from their time period about race, gender, and the natural environment?
 
 

 
 

 
 
Consider the ways that race, gender, and sexual identities are shaped differently in relation to space, place, and nature by reading and analyzing literary texts from a variety of perspectives/experiences, along with theories of identity produced by geographers and environmental studies scholars.
 
 
Critical essay final exam.
Sample question: Our readings and discussions have stressed the ways that tourism’s environmental impacts are experienced differently depending on gender, race, class, and national identity. How does June Jordan’s relationship to tourism in the Caribbean in her memoir “Report from the Bahamas” differ from African American novelist Percival Everett’s portrayal of the transformation of the Grand Canyon into an amusement park in his novella Grand Canyon, Inc.? How is the domination of nature in each text shaped by ideas about race, gender, capitalism, and nation and by each author’s gender, time period, and literary style? How do Jordan’s experiences and perspectives as an educationally privileged, upper middle-class African-American woman compare to those of the characters in Everett’s novella?
Requisites and Scheduling
70%
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
30% of seats will be restricted to English majors (who also have Sophomore standing or above).
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
N/A
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
None
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
None
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 
Tim Cresswell, Place: A Short Introduction 978-0415664400 $23.92 paper; $19.99 kindle
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl 978-0486419312 $3.50 paper
Willa Cather, My Antonia 978-1551114910 $11.99 paper
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony ASIN: B005YPIOLI $8.08 paper
Nella Larson, Quicksand 978-0486451404 $9.95 paper
Percival Everett, Grand Canyon, Inc.: A Novella 978-0970481702 $85.00 paper
 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 
Topic 1: Defining Space and Place

Week 1 Introductions
Tim Cresswell, Place: A Short Introduction pp. 1-18 (e)
Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature excerpt (e)

Week 2 Foucault, “Of Other Spaces”
http://foucault.info/documents/heterotopia/foucault.heterotopia.en.html

Topic 2: Historicizing Space: Environmental Determinism, American
Exceptionalism, and Race

Week 3 Ellen Churchill Semple, Influences of Geographic Environment (1911) excerpt (e)
Ellsworth Huntington, The Character of Races (1927) excerpt (e)
Willa Cather, “Neighbor Rosicky” (e)
William James, “The Jolly Corner” (e)

Topic 3: National and Regional Spaces

Week 4 Powerpoint on manifest destiny and the closing of the U.S. frontier (m)
Annette Kolodny, The Lay of the Land excerpts (e)
Philip Freneau, selected poems (e)
John Audobon, excerpt (e)

Week 5 Sarah Orne Jewett, “The Foreigner” (e)
Stephanie Foote, excerpt from Regional Fictions (e)
D. Carey, excerpt from “Communidad Escondida” on the sugar and lumber trade (e)
Doreen Massey, “A Place Called Home?” from Space, Place, and Gender (e)

Topic 4: Gender, Sexuality, Race

Week 6 Powerpoint on U.S. slavery, the planation (m)
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Katherine McKittrick, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle,
excerpt (e)

Week 7 Willa Cather, My Antonia
Eve Kosofky Sedgwick, Epistemologies of the Closet excerpt; Bodies that Matter
excerpts (e)

Week 8 Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Linda Hogan, critical essay on Native American environmentalism (e)

Topic 5: Environmentalism

Week 9 Walt Whitman, “This Compost” (e)
Gary Snyder, “The Etiquette of Freedom” from The Practice of the Wild (e)
Gary Snyder, assorted poems from Riprap and Cold Mountain poems (e)
Greg Garrard, “Wilderness,” from Ecocriticism (e)
Lawrence Buell, The Future of Environmental Criticism excerpt (e)

Topic 6: The Rise of Urban Space, and the Flaneur

Week 10 Foucault, “Eye of Power” excerpt from Power/Knowledge (e)
Michel de Certeau, “Spatial Stories” and “Walking in the City” from The Practice of
Everyday Life (e)
Powerpoint on the Flaneur tradition (m)
Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life” excerpt (e)
Edgar Allen Poe, “The Man of the Crowd” (e)

Week 11 Nella Larsen, Quicksand
Focus question: What possibilities are there for a black, female flaneuse?

Week 12 Assorted Imagist poetry (e)
Langston Hughes, assorted poems (e)
Frank O’Hara, assorted poems from Lunch Poems (e)
Focus issues: race, queerness, and the modern urban wanderer

Topic 7: Neocolonialism, Tourism, and Postmodernism

Week 13 June Jordan, “Report from the Bahamas” (e)
Mowford and Munt, Tourism and Sustainability: New Tourism in the Third World
excerpt (e)

Week 14 Percival Everett, Grand Canyon, Inc: A Novella
Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” (e)

Week 15 Jane McGonigal, “Supergaming: Ubiquitous Play and Performance for Massively Scaled
Community” (e)
Jason Farman, “Mapping the Digital Empire: Google Earth and the Process of
Postmodern Geography” (e)
 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 

This course will not require allocation of any additional resources of faculty, facilities, or equipment. Several members of the English department faculty are qualified to teach this course, including Rebecca Walsh and Anne Baker, and intend to do so as a part of their regular teaching commitments.

1. Interpret how nineteenth and twentieth-century American literary texts representing a diverse array of experiences comment on and respond to the dynamics of space, place, and the environment.

2. Examine the ways that literary texts reflect changing ideas about race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation, and relate to changes in how space, place, and the environment are configured and defined.

3. Recognize the ways that the emergence of modern American literature at times solidifies and at times resists dominant ideas in geography and about questions of environmental use, particularly where gender, race, and sexuality are concerned.

4. Recognize scholarly traditions and methods of analysis of literature, space/place, and the environment as they are developed in literary studies, geography, and environmental studies.

5. Become practiced in making critical arguments and defending claims about space, place, and the environment and their relationships to diverse human identities by citing and analyzing evidence in literary texts, in the work of geographers, and in the work of environmental studies historians and scholars.


Student Learning Outcomes

1. Identify major shifts in urbanization, economic development, theories of the environment, and social change from the nineteenth century to the present, and characterize how those shifts relate to the features of American literature.

2. Explain the differences and similarities among different concepts about space, place, and the environment as articulated in modern American literature and by literary critics as well as by geographers and environmental studies scholars.

3. Critically analyze and evaluate evidence and methodological assumptions about how diverse identities in modern American Literature relate to space, place, and the environment in literary studies, geography, and environmental studies.

4. Compare, evaluate, and synthesize multiple interpretations of how space or place functions, and/or the same types of environments (the city, the pastoral), and/or of nature advanced by different modern and contemporary literary and cultural critics.

5. Write arguments that analyze critically the representation of particular kinds of spatial locations or places through particular literary modes and genres.

6. Characterize the ways that different groups interacted with each other in different ways as a result of changes in the configuration of and dominant definitions about space, place, and environment.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Forum_post20%Bi-weekly 1-2 page response papers will be posted on Moodle, which together make up 20% of the overall course grade
Essay40%One 4-5 page essay counts for 15% of the overall course grade; one 6-8 page essay counts for 25% of the overall course grade. In-class writing workshops and peer reviews will assist students who are unfamiliar with college-level literary analysis and with the methods and assumptions of geography and environmental studies.
Final Exam20%The final essay exam will account for 20% of the overall course grade.
Participation10%Class participation (which includes freewriting, quizzes, informal homework) constitutes 10% of the overall course grade.
presentation10%One 5 minute presentation on one of the scholarly readings from literary studies, geography, or environmental studies, worth 10% of the overall course grade.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Topic 1: Defining Space and Place2 weeksLecture, etc.
Topic 2: Historicizing Space: Environmental Determinism, American Exceptionalism, and Race 1 weekLecture, etc.
Topic 3: National and Regional Spaces2 weeksLecture, etc.
Topic 4: Gender, Sexuality, Race 3 weeksLecture, etc.
Topic 5: Environmentalism1 weekLecture, etc.
Topic 6: The Rise of Urban Space, and the Flaneur 3 weeksLecture, etc.
Topic 7: Neocolonialism, Tourism, and Postmodernism3 weeksLecture, etc.

aeherget (Wed, 23 Nov 2016 14:46:15 GMT): AECHH: Uploaded syllabus at instructor's request via email 11/21/2016.
Key: 9076