Summer 2018 Grad Course Offerings

Summer Session I:  June 4 – June 28, 2018

New Literacies   
ABC ... NOT as Simple as Do Re Mi: Investigating the Complexities of (Multi)Literacies 

Engl B6404   Mark McBeth M W 6:00 – 9:15pm

From the end of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st centuries, the definition of literacy has shifted from a simplistic view of people's reading and writing abilities--their "ABCs"--to a much more nuanced and complex perspective of the many semiotic capabilities and understandings that a person has to have to read, write, speak, interpret, and envision themselves and the world around them.  The word" literacy" itself has turned into "literacies" and that plural noun indicates a multiplicity of complex, interrelated learning challenges, replete with many learning curves, for the contemporary communicator.  

In the mid-1990s, the New London Group began a discourse around the state and future of literacy pedagogy and published "A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies," a manifesto that would broaden the "understanding of literacy and literacy teaching and learning to include negotiating a multiplicity of discourses"; it would take into account "the context of our culturally and linguistically diverse and increasingly globalized societies" and address the variety of burgeoning texts "associated with information and multimedia technologies" (61).

In this course, we will investigate the historical conceptions of literacy as well as the ever-changing meanings of "literacies."  As a means to understand these literate "habitudes," we will examine (and practice) the types of communicating capabilities that make life in the 21st century communicative and habitable.  We will reflect about our own literacy abilities and what they do for us and then consider the types of literacies that our educational institutions, our workplaces, and our own personal pleasures value so that we can make informed decisions about how to promote literacy acquisition in our classrooms.  For the literacy teacher, this course will prepare you to broaden the new horizons of the next generation of composers; for the 21st-century writer, this course will offer you a moment of scholarly pause about your own conceptions, strategies, and "habitudes" of writing.

Required Readings:
Brandt, Deborah.  The Rise of Writing: Redefining Mass Literacy.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
_____.Literacy in American Lives.  New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Clark, J. Elizabeth.  "The Digital Imperative: Making the Case for a 21st-Century Pedagogy" Computers and Composition 27 (2010): 27-35.

Cook-Gumperz, Jenny. "Literacy and Schooling: An Unchanging Equation?" The Social Construction of Literacy. (Ed.) Jenny Cook-Gumperz.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Cope, Bill and Kalantzis.  "'Multiliteracies': New Literacies, New Learning."

Gee, James Paul.  Literacy and Education.  New York, NY: Routledge, 2015.

New London Group.  "A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures." Harvard Educational Review 66.1 (Spring 1996): 60-92.

Possible Readings:
Freire, Paolo and Macedo, Donaldo.  Literacy: Reading the Word and the World. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1987.


Summer Session II:  July 2 – July 30, 2018

The New Urban Fiction

ENGL B1967    Dr. Amir Ahmadi Arian     TU TH 6:00 – 9:15pm

The novel has always been the literary form of urban life. It came to prominence wherever cities developed in the eighteenth century. As novel grew in sophistication and range of preoccupations in the nineteenth century, certain cities took on a literary character, and maintained it to this day. Some are even treated to a literary version, often attached to a name: Balzac’s Paris, Dickens’ London, Dostoevsky’s Saint Petersburg. In the twentieth century, New York City joins the club and overtakes imperial metropolitan areas, to the extent that even boroughs have names of authors attached to them: Edit Wharton’s Manhattan, James Baldwin’s Harlem, Jonathan Lethem’s Brooklyn.

As we enter the new century, new contestants emerge. Around the world, many countries shrugged off their colonial past in the last century, established their own literary voice, their particular literary rendition of their cities. As a result, literary cities are no longer exclusive to Europe and North America. Now we can confidently talk about Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo and Mario Vargas Llosa’s Lima. This course is an overview of this evolution, with focus on the emergence of new literary cities.

We will start off by discussing theories pertinent to city and the novel. Those theories will give us the analytical toolbox we need for talking about the stories. I select six cities (Lima, Istanbul, Cairo, Tokyo, Beirut, Kiev), and will assign books by six novelists whose names have come to represent those cities.

Required Reading

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Conversation in the Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa

The Broken Mirrors by Elias Khouri

Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz

Black Book by Orhan Pamuk

Milkman in the Night by Andrej Kurkov