Genres, Media, Webs (Graduate Seminar)

American Studies 886b/ English 851b/ Comparative Literature 635b

American Literature: Genres, Media, Webs

Prof. Wai Chee Dimock

Spring 2014

Texts:
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
Agha Shahid Ali, Call Me Ishmael Tonight: A Book of Ghazals
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman, Specimen Days and Collect
Michael Cunningham, Specimen Days
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
William Faulkner, Light in August
Suzan-Lori Parks, The Red Letter Plays
Suzan-Lori Parks, Getting Mother’s Body
Toni Kushner, Lincoln
Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada

Jan. 15 INTRODUCTION

Recommended readings:

Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media

Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation, 2nd ed. (2013)

“Remapping Genre,” PMLA, (October 2007)

Homi Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man,” The Location of Culture (1994), 85-93

22 OCEANIC MELVILLE

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Hart Crane, “At Melville’s Tomb,” http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/172021

C. L. R. James, Mariners, Renegades, Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville
and the World We Live in, 5-33 [ClassesV2] 2

Edward Said, “Introduction to Moby-Dick” in Reflections on Exile, 356-72
[ClassesV2]

29 MELVILLE ACROSS MEDIA

Agha Shahid Ali, Call Me Ishmael Tonight: A Book of Ghazals (2003)

Agha Shahid Ali, Introduction to Ravishing Disunities [ClassesV2]

Amitav Ghosh, “Agha Shahid Ali in Brooklyn,” The Nation, February 22, 2002
http://www.thenation.com/article/ghat-only-world-agha-shahid-ali-brooklyn

Frank Stella, “Moby-Dick Series” [ClassesV2]

Robert K. Wallace, Frank Stella’s “Moby-Dick”: Words and Shapes, 30-33
[Classes V2]

Bob Dylan’s “115th Dream”
http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/bob-dylans-115th-dream

5 THE INDIAN OCEAN REVISITED

Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies (2008)

Amitav Ghosh on Melville, “Of Fanas and Forecastles: Some Lost Languages of the
Age of Sail,” http://amitavghosh.com/blog/?p=5197

Amitav Ghosh on Radio Open Source
http://www.radioopensource.org/amitav-ghosh-and-his-sea-of-poppies/

Sheldon Pollock, “The Cosmopolitan Vernacular,” The Journal of Asian Studies 57
(1998): 6-37 [ClassesV2]

12 ARCHIVES OF WAR (1)

Walt Whitman, “First O Songs for a Prelude,” “Calvary Crossing a Ford,”
“A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest,” “Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One
Night,” “A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim,” “As Tiresome I
/wander’d Virginia’s Woods,” “The Wound-Dresser,” “Ethiopia Saluting the
Colors,” “Reconcilation,” “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”
3
H. T. Burleigh, “Ethiopia Saluting the Colors” set to music [ClassesV2]

Ed Folsom, “Whitman Making Books/ Books Making Whitman,”
http://www.whitmanarchive.org/criticism/current/anc.00150.html

Ed Folsom and Kenneth Price, “Blood-Stained Memoranda,” in Rescripting Whitman
http://www.whitmanarchive.org/criticism/current/anc.00152.html#chap5

19 ARCHIVES OF WAR (2)

Walt Whitman, Specimen Days and Collect

George Hutchinson and David Drews, “Specimen Days” at the Walt Whitman Archive
http://www.whitmanarchive.org/criticism/current/encyclopedia/entry_54.html

Edward Lybeer, “Whitman’s War and the Status of Literature,” Arizona Quarterly
(Summer 2011), 23-40 [Yale Links]

26 NOVELIZING POETRY

Michael Cunningham, Specimen Days

Michael Cunningham, Introduction to Laws of Creation: Walt Whitman [ClassesV2]

Terrence Rafferty, “Manhatta My City,” NYTimes Book Review 6/25/2005 [Yale
Links]

Maria Margaronis, “Kindred Spirits,” Nation, June 13, 2005 [Yale Links]

Mar. 5 USER-FRIENDLY CLASSIC

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Maryse Condé, I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, 99-112 [ClassesV2]

Lillian Manzor-Coats, “Of Witches and Other Things,” World Literature Today 67
(1993), 737-44 [ClassesV2]

Laura Doyle, “A for Atlantic in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter,” in Freedom’s Empire
(2008), 301-331 [ClassesV2]

4
26 HAWTHORNE IN MISSISSIPPI (1)

William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

Cheryl Lester, “As They Lay Dying: Rural Depopulation and Social Dislocation as a
Structure of Feeling,” Faulkner Journal (2005): 28-50
http://www.hu.mtu.edu/~rlstrick/rsvtxt/faulkner/lester

Benjamin Widiss, “Fit and Surfeit in As I Lay Dying,” Novel (Fall 2007), 99-120
[Yale Links]

Apr. 2 HAWTHORNE IN MISSISSIPPI (2)

William Faulkner, Light in August

James Snead, “Light in August and the rhetorics of Racial Divisions,” Faulkner and
Race, 152-69 [ClassesV2]

9 FICTION TO THEATER

Suzan-Lori Parks, The Red Letter Plays

Suzan Lori-Parks, “Possession,” “Elements of Style,” “An Equation for Black
People on Stage” [ClassesV2]

Michael Feinstein, “Hesterectomy,’ Village Voice, November 23, 1999
http://www.villagevoice.com/1999-11-23/theater/hesterectomy/

Rena Fraden, “Suzan-Lori Parks’ Hester Plays: ‘In the Blood’ and ‘Fucking A’,”
Massachusetts Review (Fall 2007), 334-54 (Yale Links)

Linda Winer’s interview with Suzan-Lori Parks
http://www.cuny.tv/show/womenintheatre/PR1004625

In the Blood at the University Theater

16 RACIALIZING HAWTHORNE AND FAULKNER

Suzan-Lori Parks, Getting Mother’s Body

Shelby Jiggetts, “Interview with Suzan-Lori Parks,” Callaloo 19 (1996): 309-17 5
[Yale Links]

23 AFTERLIVES OF THE CIVIL WAR

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln (2012)

Tony Kushner, Lincoln (2012)

Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada (1976)

Fredric Jameson, “Reading and the Division of Labor,” in Postmodernism: Or, The
Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, 131-153 [ClassesV2]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.