Ethnic and Third World Literature
Ethnic and Third World Literature

Helene Grayce Remiszewska


Helene Grayce Remiszewska

Contact

Interests


American literature, nineteenth-century literature, cultural studies, critical theory

Courses


E 314L • Cult Classics

33885 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 302

E 314L  l  9-Cult Classics

 

Instructor:  Remiszewska, H

Unique #:  33885

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: This course seeks to uncover how a text transcends itself into becoming what we refer to as a “cult classic.”  Many cult classics begin as sometimes popular but often obscure novels, films, and pieces of music that become important to the identity formation of a certain demographic.  Cult classics also tend, however, to have a particular relationship to violence, horror, sexuality, and what H.P. Lovecraft calls “weirdness,” all of which we will map throughout the semester.

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: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis.

Requirements & Grading: There will be a series of 3 short essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor (70% of the final grade).  There will also be in-class presentation, a final presentation, and short reaction papers (30% of the final grade).

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Fashion

43580 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 0.132

In contemporary culture, fashion often functions as an extension of one's identity. Culture enforces fashion choices, and clothing can often represent our socioeconomic status, our personalities, our gender, our sexuality, our ethnicities, our nationality, and almost any otherwise latent aspect of our identities. Fashion has become a token of cultural capital – shoes can often cost more than monthly rent, and musicians like Kanye West, Lady Gaga, A$AP Rocky, Nicki Minaj, and Azealia Banks namedrop designers to represent anything from their status as cool to their success and wealth, even as Macklemore jeers from the sidelines. Conversely, fashion houses search for popular music to accompany their fashion shows, often commissioning live performances by predominantly white artists like Chromatics, Tori Amos, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift to represent their image. 

Though the high fashion customer base is diverse and international, fashion houses cater to and represent hegemonic dreams of tall, thin, expressionless white women, resulting in their varied attempts to combine low culture and high fashion to influence concepts of race, gender, sexuality, and body image. As designers of color remain underground, major fashion weeks are notorious for under employing models of color while continuing to appropriate from cultures other than their own, particularly egregious examples being Victoria's Secret fashion shows, Dolce and Gabanna's controversial “Mammy” accessories, or, most recently, Barney's targeting of black customers in their flagship NYC store. Numerous restrictions have been put into place to monitor models' exploitation, from requiring a minimum age to a minimum BMI, while high prices continue to soar and fashion campaigns fuel unrealistic expectations through Photoshopping thigh gaps and lightening skin tones. How, then, does fashion affect our identity, and how do we relate to the identity of others? When we make the choice to wear either Nike shorts or Rag & Bone jeans, as what are we trying to portray ourselves in relation to our peers? What is the relation between traditional rules like “no-white-after-Labor-Day” and legal restrictions against women revealing parts of their bodies? How do we differentiate between clothing and costume, and what does this chasm reveal about our own relation to cultural identity? Readings will include popular sources like song lyrics and advertisements, as well as excerpts from critical texts including Roland Barthes’ The Fashion System, Anne Hollinder’s Sex and Suits and Seeing Through Clothes, Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, and Pamela Church Gibson’s Fashion and Celebrity Culture and Women, Pornography, and Power.

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments: 20%

Research Paper: 5%

Research Presentation: 5%

Analytical Paper 1: 10%

Analytical Paper 2: 15%           

Persuasive Paper 1: 15%

Persuasive Paper 2: 20%

Persuasive Presentation: 10%

Peer Reviews: Mandatory

Participation: Invaluable

Required Texts

Rhetorical Analysis by Mark Longaker and Jeffrey Walker. Pearson, 2010.

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference. Fourth edition. Lunsford. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Fashion

44610 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 3.116

In contemporary culture, fashion often functions as an extension of one's identity. Culture enforces fashion choices, and clothing can often represent our socioeconomic status, our personalities, our gender, our sexuality, our ethnicities, our nationality, and almost any otherwise latent aspect of our identities. Fashion has become a token of cultural capital – shoes can often cost more than monthly rent, and musicians like Kanye West, Lady Gaga, A$AP Rocky, Nicki Minaj, and Azealia Banks namedrop designers to represent anything from their status as cool to their success and wealth, even as Macklemore jeers from the sidelines. Conversely, fashion houses search for popular music to accompany their fashion shows, often commissioning live performances by predominantly white artists like Chromatics, Tori Amos, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift to represent their image. 

Though the high fashion customer base is diverse and international, fashion houses cater to and represent hegemonic dreams of tall, thin, expressionless white women, resulting in their varied attempts to combine low culture and high fashion to influence concepts of race, gender, sexuality, and body image. As designers of color remain underground, major fashion weeks are notorious for under employing models of color while continuing to appropriate from cultures other than their own, particularly egregious examples being Victoria's Secret fashion shows, Dolce and Gabanna's controversial “Mammy” accessories, or, most recently, Barney's targeting of black customers in their flagship NYC store. Numerous restrictions have been put into place to monitor models' exploitation, from requiring a minimum age to a minimum BMI, while high prices continue to soar and fashion campaigns fuel unrealistic expectations through Photoshopping thigh gaps and lightening skin tones. How, then, does fashion affect our identity, and how do we relate to the identity of others? When we make the choice to wear either Nike shorts or Rag & Bone jeans, as what are we trying to portray ourselves in relation to our peers? What is the relation between traditional rules like “no-white-after-Labor-Day” and legal restrictions against women revealing parts of their bodies? How do we differentiate between clothing and costume, and what does this chasm reveal about our own relation to cultural identity? Readings will include popular sources like song lyrics and advertisements, as well as excerpts from critical texts including Roland Barthes’ The Fashion System, Anne Hollinder’s Sex and Suits and Seeing Through Clothes, Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, and Pamela Church Gibson’s Fashion and Celebrity Culture and Women, Pornography, and Power.

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments: 20%

Research Paper: 5%

Research Presentation: 5%

Analytical Paper 1: 10%

Analytical Paper 2: 15%           

Persuasive Paper 1: 15%

Persuasive Paper 2: 20%

Persuasive Presentation: 10%

Peer Reviews: Mandatory

Participation: Invaluable

Required Texts

Rhetorical Analysis by Mark Longaker and Jeffrey Walker. Pearson, 2010.

Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference. Fourth edition. Lunsford. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.

Curriculum Vitae


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