Department of English

Ana Schwartz


Assistant Professor

Ana Schwartz

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E 337 • Am Lit: From Begin To 1865-Wb

34905 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM
Internet
CDWr

E 337  l  American Literature: From the Beginnings to 1865

 

Instructor:  Schwartz, A

Unique #: 34905

Semester:  Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description:  “Eat, Pray, Love” –

This course is a survey of the ways that early Americans kept themselves alive, articulated their reasons for living, and pursued satisfactions that were at times not of their own choosing.  All of these actions required early Americans to experiment with forms of representation, forms that consisted not only of how they represented their own experiences to others, but how they drew on and transformed received ideologies in order to translate and represent their perceptions of the world to themselves.  Many of these representations, particularly representations of acts so essential to living—eating, praying, and loving—continue to shape how we understand our own lives, reasons for living, and the sometimes mysterious and often difficult gratifications that we pursue.  Studying the literature of early American might help us live better, more fully, and with more pleasure—and students may indeed find these fulfillments in a course such as this.  At minimum, however, students will come to understand some of the most important historical conditions we navigate as participants of the twenty-first century.  This task will require us to move beyond some of the most celebrated genres for literary expression (say, novels) and to explore other forms of representation that enjoyed comparable popularity in prior centuries (the captivity narrative, the lyric elegy, or the colonial report) written by authors both well-remembered (from Phillis Wheatley to Nathaniel Hawthorne) as well as those largely overlooked by the literary canon (from Maria Stewart to Mary Jemison).  In order to apprehend their salience to our own lives, we will also survey contemporary criticism in relevant fields of study, from history to psychoanalysis; from political theory to Black Studies.  Students will be expected to perform their comprehension of the course material in several short writing exercises, a major close reading, and a final exam.

 

Text:  Readings in the early American canon (Bradstreet, Edwards, Franklin, e.g.) will prioritize authors alert to the diversity that framed and shored up the national revolutionary narrative (Wheatley, Equiano, Walker, Apess e.g.), and draw critical inspiration from modern and contemporary political and cultural theory (Arendt, Fanon, Coulthard, e.g.).

 

Requirements & Grading:  Attendance will comprise 20% of the student’s grade.  Regular engagement in written discussion and reflection (Canvas posts, e.g.), will comprise 40%.  Students will be expected to complete one substantive close reading paper, worth 20%, and a final exam, also worth 20%.

UGS 302 • Confessions-Wb

60120 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM
Internet
Wr ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

E 379 • Amer Lit & Thought: 1600-1840

35665 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.216
CD

E 379 l American Literature and Thought: 1600-1840

 

Instructor:  Schwartz, A

Unique #:  35665

Semester:  Spring 2020

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisite:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description: Creative Nonfiction in Colonial America: This class is about the thinkers, writers and activists of colonial America, an assortment of people whose diversity required them, when they communicated to each other in writing, to do so with extraordinary creativity.  The goal of this class is to introduce you to these authors, and to illuminate the various representative strategies they took up.  This class is particularly interested in prose nonfiction—how writers arranged experience into stories for a variety of purposes.  They wrote to recall important life experiences; to make their complaints known; to clarify their political ambitions; and to leave behind testaments to their kin about their time on earth—and this is by no means a comprehensive list of those ambitions.  As we study their representation of high-stakes real life events, we will focus with particular care on the writings of Black and Indigenous Americans in the English colonies and in the early American republic—these authors knew much was at stake when they wrote, and they also knew how likely they were to be misunderstood by their public.  Their writings thus provide us a model of unusually sophisticated and creative strategies for communicating the truth they saw in the world around them.  As we survey their writings, students will need a working knowledge of American history, but they will not need to have taken any prior American history classes at the college level.  We will cover much of the necessary background information in class lectures and in supplementary readings.  However, because the styles and priorities of creative writers of the past differs from those of the present, this class will require patient and careful observation and interpretation skills characteristic of literary close reading.  Students can expect to leave this class with a comprehension of the uses of compositional style in addressing some of the struggles that early Americans faced—and skills in connecting those struggles with some of those still relevant to the present.  Though the first essay and most of the smaller reflection papers will prioritize skills of aesthetic analysis and close reading, students will have the opportunity to develop a creative non-fiction essay from a selection of class themes for their final project.

 

Texts: Primary texts will include works by authors such as William Apess, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Oladuah Equiano, Mary Jemison, John Marrant, Samson Occom, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Prince, Venture Smith, David Walker.

 

Requirements & Grading: Attendance, 10%; Short Reflection Papers, 30%; Midterms, 30%; Final, 20%; Participation, 10%.

E 395M • Probs In Colonial Amer Lit/Cul

35805 • Spring 2020
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM CAL 323

Problems of Colonial American Literature and Culture

This course will introduce students to the major questions and concerns animating the study of early American literature and culture. Nearly a century ago, academic inquiry in the field grounded itself in the study of the literature and philosophy of the English settlers of the New England and mid-Atlantic region, and in that literature’s continuity with the dominant, independence-seeking dispositions of elite creole revolutionaries of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Recent research under geo-spatial rubrics such as “the hemispheric turn” or “the Atlantic turn” have expanded our framework to transnational scales, and they have shored up critics’ desire to illuminate the vibrant heterogeneity of cultural participants across genres of representative and expressive work. In turn, these insights have enabled apprehension of diffuse relations of power across social strata as well as speculation on the early emergence of several of “late” American culture’s recognized characteristics: aspirations toward a national literature, scientifically underwritten rationality, or sentimental exceptionalism.


Throughout these inquiries, however, persists the long-lamented, yet still-robust “trade gap” between the literary-critical and more conventionally historiographic disciplines in early Americanist study, a relationship that tends to subordinate the former as a junior partner to the latter’s putatively more authoritative forms of knowledge. Given the robust capacity for historical revision made possible by literary critical methods—in a context, no less, of unrelenting and dynamic white settler supremacy in America—does this ongoing gap constitute a crisis? This course gambles on the possibility that a renewed emphasis on theoretical approaches, often rejected by historical scholarship, can help resolve this crisis. Drawing on recent scholarship in political theory, Black Studies, and Indigenous and settler colonial studies, fields of inquiry that have all, variously, drawn from the literature of early America, this course approaches early American literature and culture as evidence of an assemblage of power whose effects are still traceable in the America whose coercions we unevenly share. Taking up strategies of close reading, we will grapple with the range of literary experimentation during uncertain times and reflect critically on the contours of crisis experienced by a variety of historical actors, and the representational strategies that they seized and transformed to engage with these crises’ constituent conditions of possibility.

We will supplement our survey of canonical primary texts (Bradford, Bradstreet, Rowlandson, Edwards, Franklin, Jefferson, Brown, Poe, Hawthorne, Emerson) with those texts written from positions marginal to hegemonic exercises of political power (autobiographies of black life such as those written by Venture Smith, John Marrant, and Olaudah Equiano; polemics written by critiques of settler racism such as those written by Maria Stewart, David Walker, and William Apess; performances of literary sophistication such as the poems of Lucy Terry, Phillis Wheatley, Jupiter Hammon and Samson Occom) and distant from the familiar sites of national genealogical investment (Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe; Richard Ligon’s natural cataloguing in the colony of Barbados; the insurrection of the Pueblo people in Nuevo México). We will frame these texts with a) a review of some founding figures in literary-critical theory (theorists students can expect to encounter across the graduate literary curriculum, such as Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault); b) a survey of some of the most fruitful approaches to colonial literatures of the last several decades (Hall, Spivak, Loomba, Stoler, Mbembe), and c) an introduction to some of the most dynamic scholarship in American Studies today (Sharpe, Sexton, Wilderson, Puar, Schuller), modeling approaches that students can draw on and adapt in their own research across literary-historical periods.

E 337 • Amer Lit: From Begin To 1865

35015 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 306
CD

E 337  l  American Literature: From the Beginnings to 1865

 

Instructor:  Schwartz, A

Unique #:  35015

Semester:  Fall 2019

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description: “Eat, Pray, Love” –

This course is a survey of the ways that early Americans kept themselves alive, articulated their reasons for living, and pursued satisfactions that were at times not of their own choosing.  All of these actions required early Americans to experiment with forms of representation, forms that consisted not only of how they represented their own experiences to others, but how they drew on and transformed received ideologies in order to translate and represent their perceptions of the world to themselves.  Many of these representations, particularly representations of acts so essential to living—eating, praying, and loving—continue to shape how we understand our own lives, reasons for living, and the sometimes mysterious and often difficult gratifications that we pursue.  Studying the literature of early American might help us live better, more fully, and with more pleasure—and students may indeed find these fulfillments in a course such as this. At minimum, however, students will come to understand some of the most important historical conditions we navigate as participants of the twenty-first century.  This task will require us to move beyond some of the most celebrated genres for literary expression (say, novels) and to explore other forms of representation that enjoyed comparable popularity in prior centuries (the captivity narrative, the lyric elegy, or the colonial report) written by authors both well-remembered (from Phillis Wheatley to Nathaniel Hawthorne) as well as those largely overlooked by the literary canon (from Maria Stewart to Mary Jemison).  In order to apprehend their salience to our own lives, we will also survey contemporary criticism in relevant fields of study, from history to psychoanalysis; from political theory to Black Studies.  Students will be expected to perform their comprehension of the course material in several short writing exercises, a major close reading, and a final exam.

 

Text: Readings in the early American canon (Bradstreet, Edwards, Franklin, e.g.) will prioritize authors alert to the diversity that framed and shored up the national revolutionary narrative (Wheatley, Equiano, Walker, Apess e.g.), and draw critical inspiration from modern and contemporary political and cultural theory (Arendt, Fanon, Coulthard, e.g.).

 

Requirements & Grading: Attendance will comprise 20% of the student’s grade.  Regular engagement in written discussion and reflection (Canvas posts, e.g.), will comprise 40%.  Students will be expected to complete one substantive close reading paper, worth 20%, and a final exam, also worth 20%.

E 349S • Robert Frost

35080 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 303
CD

E 349S  l  Robert Frost

 

Instructor:  Schwartz, A

Unique #:  35080

Semester:  Fall 2019

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description: “Against Innovation” –

Does literary value require innovation? If so, why? Robert Frost was a self-consciously conservative poet at a time when to write poetry was to “make it new.”  Why, then, should we study him? And why should we study him in the twenty-first century?  This introduction to the poetry of Robert Frost takes his aesthetic conservativism as an opportunity to challenge and critique the value of verse imagination and innovation.  It does so not to fall in line with aesthetically or politically conservative agendas, but rather, to stay alert to retrograde drives and impulses often rehearsed and renewed in vindications of the new.  This survey will situate Robert Frost’s poetry next to contemporary modernist movements in American literary history, and also place him in conversation with a lineage of literary composition engaging deliberately with the compositional practices of the nineteenth century (and earlier) that often seem formulaic and conventional.  We will read his progenitors, contemporaries, rivals and enemies.  And we will examine the possibility of reading his commitment to convention as an engagement with some of the most important political questions of his day—such as immigration, assimilation, integration, and imperialism both within and beyond the United States.  Students can expect to leave this class with a stronger historical understanding of how of lyric composition, particularly formally transgressive composition, has come to seem to express subjective liberation; and with clearer insights into their own relationship to expressive practice more generally.

 

Reading list: Robert Frost, Collected Poems(Holt); Selections from Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry(Norton); Selections from The Lyric Theory Reader(Johns Hopkins Univ. Press).

 

Requirements & Grading: Attendance (20%); Participation (15%); Five Short Reading Reports (25%); Two Short Close Reading Essays (20%); One Final Paper (20%).

E 379 • Amer Lit & Thought: 1600-1840

35720 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 204

E 379  l  American Literature and Thought: 1600-1840

 

Instructor:  Schwartz, A

Unique #:  35720

Semester:  Spring 2019

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction: No

 

Prerequisite:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description: Race, Roots, Deracination (or “Transcendentalism and its Foundations” from syllabus) —

What attachments does transcendence maintain with that which it claims to transcend? With what historical specificity are these foundations preserved in subjective memory?  These are the questions we will ask in this prehistory of American Transcendentalism, that period of early national philosophical and literary consolidation which produced some of our most memorable clichés about human progress and individual striving.  In this course, we will survey some of the antecedent social and political conditions that would make possible many of the desires that the early nineteenth century appears to share with the present.  We will survey writing produced between the early colonial to the early national periods, a little over two centuries’ worth of reflection on the relationship between thought and material existence. Against the grain of literary histories that posit the early republic as the site of the emergence of a coherent national literature—and that highlight the sensitive male citizen as the genius of this tradition—we will read texts written by a variety of thinkers excluded from that tradition, and who can thereby offer unparalleled insight on the relationships of dependence typically disavowed by it.  What emerges from these assembled perspectives is a portrait of the transcendent subject whose desires to transcend the body attach closely to knowledge of the historically changing qualities of what it means, in the early modern and enlightenment periods, to die.  Guided by some of the most recent critiques of the subject of transcendence, posed from the fields of Black studies, Indigenous studies, disability studies and the history of science, we will investigate the non-accidental relationship between the appearance of that transcendent subject and the emergence of the discourse of race; and we will inquire into the consequences of this relationship in the heterogeneous foreclosure of belonging for American subjects that persists into the present.  Students can expect to complete the class with a greater understanding of the historically-shaped subject that structures literary inquiry.

 

Texts: Primary texts will include works by authors such as William Apess, Anne Bradstreet, William Cullen Bryant, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oladuah Equiano, Samson Occom, Mary Prince, Phillis Wheatley, Roger Williams.

 

Secondary texts will include work by authors such as Joanna Brooks, Judith Butler, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Achille Mbembe, David Mitchell, Jean O’Brien, Orlando Patterson, Sharon Snyder, Calvin Warren, Alexander Weheliye.

 

Requirements & Grading: Attendance, 10%; Short Reflection Papers, 30%; Midterms, 30%; Final, 20%; Participation, 10%.

E 337 • Amer Lit: From Begin To 1865

35700 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 204

E 337  l  American Literature: From the Beginnings to 1865

 

Instructor:  Schwartz, A

Unique #:  35700

Semester:  Fall 2018

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description:  Does it make sense to distinguish the United States as a nation uniquely founded on the fact of a revolution?  If so, how did this distinction historically emerge? And at what cost?  The goal of this course is to survey the Anglophone literature of America prior to the Civil War and examine its representations of the conditions for and consequences of our revolutionary myth.  We will read across the variety of genres in which subjects of colonial America and the early republic wrote: travel relations, sermons, poems, treatises, autobiographies, and novels.  Analyzing these texts will illuminate their tacit and explicit reflections on historical progress, political community, and the knowledge of freedom.  We will review the range of responses toward the freedom promised by modern revolutions—reactions that range from ambivalence and skepticism to enthusiastic re-appropriation.  These responses illuminate for us a number of possible critiques of the freedom and coercion we continue to experience in the present.  Over the course of several incremental writing exercises, students will exercise the skills of historically informed close reading and hone their capacity to engage with sophisticated social commentary of the Americans who have preceded us.  Students will take away skills of evaluation, appreciation and critique that are useful not only across the literary-historical curriculum, but useful as well in their engagement with some of contemporary America’s most pressing political questions.

 

Text:  Readings in the early American canon (Bradstreet, Edwards, Franklin, e.g.) will prioritize authors alert to the diversity that framed and shored up the national revolutionary narrative (Wheatley, Equiano, Walker, Apess e.g.), and draw critical inspiration from modern and contemporary political theory (Arendt, Fanon, Coulthard, e.g.).

 

Requirements & Grading:  Attendance will comprise 20% of the student’s grade.  Regular engagement in written discussion and reflection (Canvas posts, e.g.), will comprise 40%.  Students will be expected to complete one short close reading paper, worth 20%, and a final exam, also worth 20%.

Curriculum Vitae


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