2016 Winter Session

Graduate Seminars

GRAD SEMINAR OFFERINGS 2016W (As of DEC-16-2016)

Research in English Studies
Term 1

English 500 will introduce first-year MA students to graduate-level research procedures and professional practices. The course will take the form of seminars and guest lectures that will cover a range of topics. Research- and course-related topics will include applying for grants, building bibliographies, practices of annotation and citation, archival research, and conceptualizing and writing a Master's thesis. Professional topics, such as how to present at conferences and how to apply for PhD programs, will also be covered.

Studies in Criticism
Term 2

CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

This course will provide a graduate level introduction to Ecocritical Theory and Practice in the discipline of English.  We will begin by examining the origins of of Ecocriticism alongside the rise of western environmentalism in the 1960s and 70s, before tracing the development of Ecocritical theory and the establishment of the field of Literature and the Environment in the 1990s, through to our own moment and the rise of the Environmental Humanities. Topics will include eco-poetry, ecofeminism, material ecocriticism and the ontological turn, intersectional ecocriticisms, debates about the Anthopocene, and the rise of Climate Fiction as a genre.

The course will not cover any one period of literature, but will instead seek to equip students with the theoretical and methodological tools to read ecocritically across literary material of their own choosing. Assessment will include a theoretical reading journal, a number of short response papers, and an analytical research paper.

Studies in Prose
Term 2

CATEGORY B - Literature in English from 1700 to 1900
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Science studies examines Western science from a variety of perspectives including the postcolonial (is Western science the only science?), the rhetorical and the literary (embedded metaphors are “invisible” to scientists, as they talk about “gold standards” and “Holy Grails”), the historical and feminist (founded in 1660, the Royal Society admitted women first in 1945), and the anthropological (how does “laboratory life” produce knowledge?).  Sense is made of such entities as frozen embryos, cloned animals, transgenic plants and DNA databases through a range of genres including fictional narratives.  The course will examine the ways in which feminists have used SF (science fiction / speculative fiction) to theorize about gender differences and the ways in which this popular genre has been held at a distance until recently from both science (this isn’t science fiction!), literature, and even feminist science studies. Susan Merrill Squier and others have argued that the disciplines of science and literature were forged as binaries after the Enlightenment in ways that account for the masculinization of science and feminization of literature, as well as the centrality of biology in debates around “life,” “God,” and the “natural” in the 21st century.

Possible readings: Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, Paper Bodies:  A Margaret Cavendish Reader; Mary Shelley – Frankenstein; Rokeya Hossain – Sultana’s Dream; Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Herland; Justine Larbelestier ed.  Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century; Octavia Butler – Bloodchild and Other Stories; Ursula Leguin – The Left Hand of Darkness; Joanna Russ The Female Man; Margaret Atwood - Oryx and Crake ; Nalo Hopkinson – Midnight Robber.

Theoretical Readings: Anne Fausto-Sterling (Myths of Gender), Sandra Harding (Sciences from Below), Mary Midgley. Ian Hacking (Social Construction of What?), Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway (Modest Witness) and others.

Studies in the English Historical Linguistics
Term 1

CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Pervasive in colloquial speech are what linguists call “discourse markers” or “pragmatic markers” such as now, then, well, okay, right, like, oh, and anyway, as well as clausal forms (called “comment clauses”) such as y’know, I mean, I think, I guess, and it seems. While traditionally stigmatized as meaningless fillers, they have, in the last thirty-five years, been studied as part of discourse structure (approached from a variety of perspectives such as conversational analysis or Relevance Theory or functional grammar). Such studies have shown discourse markers to be essential elements in the pragmatic functioning of discourse. Not only do they serve textual functions (in organizing discourse, in marking boundaries, or in assisting in turn-taking), but they also have a number of subjective and intersubjective uses in expressing speaker attitude and in achieving common ground and intimacy between speaker and hearer.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, scholars began to explore the possibility of studying the existence of pragmatic markers in earlier stages of language and their origins and development over time. This type of study encounters a serious “data problem” as we have no direct access to spoken language from earlier periods. However, speech-based data has become much more readily available (such as the Corpus of English Dialogues 1560-1760, which includes both authentic dialogue [trial proceedings and witness depositions] and constructed dialogue [drama, prose fiction, didactic works]). Moreover, it is now recognized that pragmatic markers are a feature of written as well as spoken language and that written language is a subject for study in its own right. The field of “historical pragmatics” or “historical discourse analysis” is now flourishing, with much of the work focusing on English.

This course begins with a number of articles defining pragmatic markers. It then introduces issues involved in the historical study of pragmatic markers. For their research projects students may choose one of three options: (1) a study of a pragmatic marker over time (e.g. the rise of you know), (2) a study of the use of a pragmatic marker in a literary or non-literary text from any period before Present-Day English (e.g. use of I gesse in Chaucer), or (3) a more theoretical comparison of the approach(es) toward pragmatic markers as embodied in the readings in the course.

For a more detailed syllabus, see: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/lbrinton/

Studies in Rhetoric
Term 2

CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

This course will formulate, and respond to, questions of how public values about health and illness get taken up in individual bodies. It will track the ways people are well or ill in the terms available, at a time and a place, to be well or ill in. Readings will take up three kinds of theory, primarily. The first is theory connected to Jonathan Metzl and Anna Kirkland’s “against health” thesis—the idea not that health is bad (obviously), but that health is a “prescribed state and an ideological position”: a “normativizing rhetoric” (Against Health 2). The second is theory from Ian Hacking’s “dynamic nominalism” and his account of “making up people.” “In some cases,” Hacking says, “our classifications and our classes conspire to emerge hand in hand, each egging each other on” (Historical Ontology 107). The third is rhetorical theory, and the course will serve as an introduction to a rhetorical approach to discourses of health and illness. A rhetorical approach invites us to consider who is persuading whom of what, and what are the means of persuasion. The course will specify what a rhetorical theorist/critic has to offer the interdisciplinary study of identity for a western culture that is in the grip of a discourse on health.

Some “kinds” (Hacking) of people that the course will be interested in are these: people who are pregnant, people in pain, people with cancer, people who are old, people with mental illness, people with contested illness, people with disabilities. Readings will include scholarly contributions from historians, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, and, especially, rhetorical theorists. Readings will also include contributions from the popular press and from blogs and social media, as it is a good idea, when discussing public discourse, to pay attention to public discourse. Following is a tentative and partial list of scholarly readings:

Brenda Jo Brueggemann. Excerpt. Lend Me Your Ear: Rhetorical Constructions of  Deafness (1999)

Margaret Cruikshank. Excerpt. Learning to Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging (2013)

Lennard Davis, Excerpt. The End of Normal: Identity in a Biocultural Era (2013)

Hacking, Ian. “Making Up People.” In Historical Ontology (2002)

Jain, Lochlann. Excerpt. Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us (2013)

Keränen, Lisa. “’This Weird, Incurable Disease: Competing Diagnoses in the Rhetoric of Morgellons.” In Health Humanities Reader (2014)

Joanna Kempner. Excerpt. Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health (2014)

Emily Martin. Excerpt. Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture (2007)

Jonathan Metzl and Anna Kirkland, eds. Selections. Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality (2010)

Judy Z. Segal. “Breast Cancer as Public Rhetoric: Genre Itself and the Maintenance of Ignorance.” Linguistics and the Human Sciences (2008)

Seigel, Marika. Excerpt. The Rhetoric of Pregnancy (2014)

Middle English Studies
Term 1

CATEGORY A - Literature in English to 1700
(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

This seminar will consider book history and the transmission of Middle English texts from roughly the mid-fourteenth century, when the production of books in English became a significant part of the book trade in England, to the mid- to late-sixteenth century (Speght’s Chaucer edition of 1598 forming a logical end-point for our survey). We will consider such topics as ways of organizing books (miscellany, anthology, author-collection); the functions of page layout and illustration; the evolution of titles and the title-page; the organization (or otherwise) of the book trade; the impact of the new technology of print; the relationship of the shapes of books to evolving ideas about genre, authorship, and literary tradition. A common syllabus will focus on the manuscript and print histories of the Chaucer canon and of Middle English romance, and will also include more general and theoretical discussions of the history of books in this period. In addition, seminar members are encouraged to pursue topics that suit their special interests. These could include, for example, the transmission of works by particular authors (such as Langland, Gower, Mandeville, Malory) or in specific genres (such as lyric, devotional prose); specific aspects of the book; individual printers; well-defined reading communities. Chaucer and romance are chosen as the common texts for our reading in part because they remained in print more or less continuously (in one form or another) from the late Middle Ages through the present day. Thus those students specializing in more modern periods will have opportunities to present and write on post-Renaissance editions, translations, and adaptations of medieval texts. More generally, discussion will be conscious of the various forms of reproduction, such as editions and transcriptions, printed facsimiles, microfilms, and digital photographs and editions by which we gain access to medieval and early modern books. There will also be opportunities for work, collective and individual, in the UBC Library’s Special Collections.

Readings will include critical studies by, for example, Lerer, Dane, Hanna, Gillespie, Echard, Summit, Machan, Edwards, Meale, Boffey, Pearsall, Carlson, Coleman, Driver. There is no formal prerequisite, but those who have not already had introductory courses in Chaucer and Middle English romance will need to develop some familiarity with these texts.\

Requirements:

  • Presentation
  • Semi-formal description of one medieval or early modern book
  • Term paper
  • Seminar preparation, attendance, and participation, including on a Connect page

Studies in the Rennaisance
Term 2

CATEGORY A - Literature in English to 1700
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

A Pre-History of Literary Hermeneutics: Erasmus, Shakespeare and More Besides

Like much of the undeconstructed apparatus of literary historiography, criticism and theory, hermeneutics as we know it is essentially a creation of German Romanticism in the early nineteenth century. Until recently—and, in many quarters, still currently—the standard narrative of its invention has been the one supplied by Wilhelm Dilthey in “The Rise of Hermeneutics” (1900) and canonized in a Heideggerian key by Hans-Georg Gadamer in Truth and Method (1960). The main casualty of such a view is the rich record of theorizing about the meaning of literary works before eighteenth-century Protestantism and outside the tradition that can be seen culminating in F.D.E. Schleiermacher (1768-1834). This course seeks to go behind the standard history and establish a basis on which to do hermeneutics in the company of English readers, writers and playgoers of the early modern period, without foreclosing any possibility for dialogue with later theorists of interpretation and of the so-called human sciences.

The initial muster-point for the course will be a work of “Renaissance” literary theory that has been almost entirely overlooked in recent literary scholarship but was catalytic for sixteenth-century thinking about the meaning of complex texts and the role of expert interpreters in society. This work appeared in its earliest version exactly five hundred years ago as an introduction to Erasmus’ controversial and epoch-making edition of the New Testament (1516). An English translation is now about to appear in the University of Toronto Press edition of the Collected Works of Erasmus and will be available to members of the seminar, to be read alongside the same author’s Praise of Folly (1511; revised edns. 1514, 1516) and, in the same quincentenary spirit, Thomas More’s Utopia (1516). Our other primary texts will be Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller, considered both as recurring challenges to hermeneutics and as dramatic accounts, in their own time, of the thrills and spills of (literary) interpretation. Participants will be invited to select their own texts—from any period and milieu—as the subject of their major assignment.

Shakespeare
Term 1

CATEGORY A - Literature in English to 1700
(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

In the sonnets, Shakespeare famously proclaims the lasting power of his poetry: ‘Not marble, nor the gilded monuments / Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,’ as he says in sonnet 55. In this course we’ll consider the status of the sonnets today, both for their own sake and as the objects of adaptation. After studying the sonnets themselves, we’ll consider two 21st-century books that represent profound responses and challenges to his poems.

Studies in the Romantic Period
Term 2

CATEGORY B - Literature in English from 1700 to 1900
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Speculative Realism (SR), one of the most influential if also controversial fields of philosophical inquiry of the last decade, is a reaction against the dominant “correlational” strands of modern philosophy. Inspired by a range of notoriously cranky philosophical outliers (Heidegger, Deleuze, McLuhan, Latour, Badiou), the practitioners of SR (Quentin Meillasoux, Ray Brassier, Graham Harman, Levi Bryant, Ian Bogost, Clarie Colbrook, Timothy Morton, among others) and its various “object-oriented” ontologies and philosophies reflect on the ways objects present themselves to our attention while resisting attempts to measure, of classify them. This course will introduce students to the major statements and tenets of SR and provide an opportunity to test them as a foundation for literary analysis. Given the extent to which speculative realists target Kant and other Romantic-era philosophers, it is surprising that Romanticists have began to adapt SR to their readings of poetry and prose. Monographs and collections are beginning to appear in print and several articles documenting the significant overlap between the aims and challenges of SR with the epistemological and political concerns of various British Romantic writers have already appeared. Romanticism, it is claimed, is not so much a continuation of the subjectivist or correlationist impulse of post-Cartesean thought in an aesthetic or cultural valence but rather an attempt, following Spinoza, to conceive in aesthetic form the vibrancy and dignity of things, including human things.

Studies in the Victorian Period
Term 1

CATEGORY B - Literature in English from 1700 to 1900
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

This seminar will examine the cultural production from publication to the present of four popular canonical works of Victorian fiction: Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd. All of these works have inspired generations of authors and artists of every description, and have been appropriated for a variety of commercial and (often contradictory) political purposes. A Christmas Carol and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland currently occupy such prominent places in the popular imagination that they have become what Paul Davis defines as culture-texts, texts that are collectively known and “remembered” even when the original works have never been read.

Questions focusing on issues of cultural production and the politics of adaptation will inform our study of these works and a selection of their adaptations and transformations, including film versions that have themselves become culture-texts (e.g., the 1951 A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim and the 1951 Disney Alice in Wonderland). Our discussions will be wide ranging: from A Christmas Carol as an 1843 affirmation of rural Christmas traditions in the face of urbanization to the 2010 Sony commercial featuring Derek Jacobi and music by Ilan Eshkeri; from Jane Eyre as Victorian stage melodrama to Paula Rego’s lithographs; from Christina Rossetti’s Speaking Likenesses to Stephanie Bolster’s White Stone: The Alice Poems; from Helen Paterson’s Far from the Madding Crowd illustrations to Posy Simmonds’s graphic novel Tamara Drewe. While issues of cultural production will be central to our discussions, we will explore other aspects of the Victorian texts and their adaptations/transformations. Students will be encouraged to give presentations and to write papers on topics of interest raised by any of the works on the reading/viewing list (available in May).

Studies in the Twentieth-Century
Term 1
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present

CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

In an essay entitled "'You Asians:' On the Historical Role of the West and Asia Binary," Naoki Sakai argues that "Asia" is not a self-evident or coherent concept, but rather the product of a modern "cartographic imaginary" based on the systemic, if illusory, distinction between the West and the Rest. With this insight in mind, this seminar explores ways of thinking about the "Asia Pacific" as a geopolitical entity, socio-economic construction, and cultural formation. In order to do so, the course focuses on two critical fields, Asian Canadian critique and inter-Asia critique, and attempts to place them in dialogue with each other. We will read work by critics such as Roy Miki, Smaro Kamboureli, Larissa Lai, Renisa Mawani, Sunera Thobani, Yoshimi Takeuchi, Kuan-hsing Chen, Chua Beng Huat,Wang Hui, and others. Topics include racialization, cultural politics and activism, comparative modernities, global knowledge production, and the role of popular culture. The course will conclude by taking up Vancouver-based cultural production from a comparative and transnational perspective. Class meetings will be supplemented by guest speakers, visits to local galleries and other sites, and exchanges with a related graduate seminar being taught at SFU. Please contact the instructor in July to confirm readings and course schedule.

Studies in American Literature Before 1890
Term 1

CATEGORY B - Literature in English from 1700 to 1900
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Most of us have had the experience of paying good money so we can sit in a theatre, watch a film, and be terrified. What reward or pleasure is there in being artificially afraid? In this course we will investigate the genre of “terror,” partly by reading gothic materials themselves and partly by looking at a history of explanations of how the gothic works. Our focus in terms of primary texts will be on the memorable gothic tales produced by nineteenth and twentieth-century American writers, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, and H.P. Lovecraft, as well as on gothic films produced in the U.S. more recently. Our focus in terms of explanatory models will be, first, on psychoanalytic and anthropological models that relate the gothic to the subject’s or the culture’s repressed or unconscious life; second, on constructivist and historicist models that see the gothic as a political structure, and third, on recent materialist models that look at the gothic’s prophecy of and debts to posthumanism. In this sense the course will look not just at a certain strand of the gothic itself but also at a rough map of twentieth and twentieth-first-century theorizations of the gothic. In addition to reading texts by Hawthorne, Poe, James, and Lovecract we will be watching the films Sunset Boulevard, Alien, Night of the Living Dead, and Mulholland Drive. Our secondary readings will include chapters from Freud, Lacan, Kristeva, Zizek, Todorov, Bennett, and Thacker.

Studies in Literary Movements
Term 1

CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Jace Weaver maintains that "Native writers, in their commitment to Native communities, write to and for Native peoples.  ... They write that the People might live."  In this seminar we will work with such forms of remembrance in Indigenous literature(s) and law as oral history and testimonio in the context of contemporary Indigenous decolonial theories of representational sovereignty. The question of how memory is performatively enacted in relation to land, identity and kinship in courtrooms and novels, trial transcripts and embedded principles of Indigenous law is central to our discussion and we will focus on excerpts from the trial transcripts of  Delgamuukw (1997) and Tsilhqot'in Nation (2007), and on selections from writers Joy Harjo, Simon Ortiz, Leslie Marmon Silko, Leanne Simpson, Tracey Lindberg, and theorists Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Cheryl Suzack, Mishuana Goeman, Val Napoleon, Sean Wilson, Craig Womack, Audra Simpson, Sarah Hunt and Jace Weaver.  We will consider the effects of bringing interpretive practices developed in the context of Indigenous literature(s) to bear on oral history narratives in the courtroom and discuss how those interpretive practices operate in the articulation of Indigenous law as narrative.  How does representational sovereignty operate as an organizing principle for both legal and literary narratives of survivance?  How might the settler law/literature binary be decolonized in favour of Indigenous theories of relational meaning, Indigenous narratives of integrated remembrance, and Indigenous law?

Studies in Post-Colonial Literature
Term 2
Tuesday, 5:00-8:00 p.m.

CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Contemporary post-workerist and post-marxist thinkers turn to the affects and to subjectivity to measure the crisis of late capitalism. These returns to the subject, exhausted and adrift, repeat high modernist and postcolonial insights as if by slipstream memory lapse. Working through this peculiar failure of 21st century marxist memory, we will revisit key articulations of the revolutionary avant-garde, anti-colonial and anti-capitalist imaginary in the fiction and prose of modernist and anti-colonial thinkers to excavate the contingent genealogy of a spent subject of crisis. Beginning with the preeminant Bloomsbury figure, John Maynard Keynes, whose analysis of the capitalist unconscious in 1920 was the product of psychic breakdown, we move to the searing indictment of state capitalism in Georges Bataille’s interwar writings and war diary, thus setting the stage for a series of readings that investigate this unfolding crisis of subjectivity under colonial, racial and gendered capital. Readings in postcolonial psychoanalysis, black feminist studies and queer theory will focus our attention on an occluded figure recalled in this relay: the mother. Channeling Parker, Rose, Spillers, and Spivak, we must ask why forgetting the mother has been so fundamental to critical examinations of economy? What constitutes the mother’s excess? How does this necessity function? What resources of the anti-colonial project might be renewed by attention to this expenditure?

Readings to include, among others: Asad, Bataille, Benslama, Berardi, Cazdyn, Fanon, Freud, Keynes, Lacan, Marazzi, Moten, Parker, Rose, Safouan, Spillers, Spivak, Tomisic

Studies in Literary Theory
Term 2

CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

This course aims to do two things: to offer a survey of the turn to affect in the theoretical humanities of the last two decades (with a particular emphasis on Silvan Tomkins's affect theory), and to locate this turn in relation to the longer history of materialist criticism and theory. The course begins with several of the essays that introduced affect and emotion as critical terms and considers the context for these interventions. We will read subsequent contributions in affect studies as well as critiques and reviews of the affective turn in order to understand the consolidation of the field (if that's what it is), its tendencies, and its limitations. In the second part of the course we will turn to the history of materialist criticism. Our guiding question will be: where is affect or emotion in the works of the great modern thinkers, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud? We will ask the same question of some of their key interpreters. Our goal will be to locate the relevance or importance of affect to significant early formulations of materialist criticism. Finally, we will survey the most recent work in affect theory to connect these various traditions with contemporary affect theory. Throughout the course we will read a handful of literary texts alongside the theoretical works. These will provide test cases for the theory under consideration; at the same time, we will assume that fictional material also explores affective experience and structures, and is itself theoretical.

Studies in Literature and the Other Arts
Term 2

CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric, and Language

(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Writing In Catastrophic Times, the philosopher Isabelle Stengers describes what she names "the felt necessity of trying to listen to that which insists, obscurely" in our world. Around climate change, political and social upheaval, displaced populations and globalization, Stengers notes the emergence of a global human imperative to attend to our fractured world by enacting a version of what has been called the “auditory turn,” by learning to listen carefully, critically and creatively. This seminar will survey recent key developments in sound studies and the cultural theory of audition, ranging from phenomenologies of audience to material histories of sound. We will concentrate in particular on the ways in which various artistic and cultural practices of improvisation inform and enact close listening: our core text will be The Improvisation Studies Reader: Spontaneous Acts (2014), edited by Ajay Heble and Rebecca Caines. How do improvisatory interactions and collaborations inflect the social, cultural and political forms of the contemporary world? How does improvisation enable critical concern with inter-subjectivities, with social justice, or with human pluralities? How does improvisation refocus or intensify our attentive, critical address to the temporal, to the spatial and to the performative and the expressive? In addition to reading a set of novels (by Jackie Kay, Nathaniel Mackie, Michael Ondaatje, Toni Morrison, Esi Edugyan and others), students will be invited to develop their own practice-based research projects. This is an interdisciplinary seminar, and will focus on the ways in which media (radio, video, LP, book, . . . ) intersect with and inform each other. Our aim will be to pursue the specific ways in which contemporary sound—the various temporalities and textures of performed audio in a variety of genres and idioms—impacts on and is also impacted by the verbal or textual arts.

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