Below you will find current courses, as well as some others I’ve offered in the past.
Digital Cultures. Graduate seminar. This course studies digital cultures to offer insights about how people use technology to change, resist, subvert, or attack the cultures that seek to subject and contain them. Constructed at the intersection of these struggles, this course takes a multiperspectival approach to digital culture, employing literary and rhetorical theory to understand a number of topics relevant to the subject, including but not limited to, cyberspace and identity, online political activism, social networking, hacker culture, cyberspace and law, remix culture, gaming and fan culture, and viral memes. In doing so, this course will help students understand the complex role that technology plays in the cultural struggles (digital or otherwise) through which knowledge is produced.
American Novel after 1920. Upper division undergraduate lecture. This course surveys the contemporary American novel through both modern and postmodern lenses, emphasizing cultural, historical and political events shaping art and literature. We will cover modernist works grappling with subjects such as feminism, immigration, the Jazz Age, Fordism and cultural materialism; postmodernist works will address postindustrial capitalism, the Cold War, language, and mass communications.
Contemporary American Literature. MA level graduate seminar. Jean-Francois Lyotard writes that the postmodern condition necessitates the dismantling of grand narratives and the embracing of discrete, local narratives. This course examines this fragmentation with the movement towards “opting out” in contemporary American literature after 1945. We will follow the trajectory – keeping an eye on historiography – of how postindustrial literature reacts to systemic regulation with acts of transgression spanning across genres, including experimental narratives, science fiction, and multiethnic literature.
Digital Humanities. MA/PhD level graduate seminar. What is the digital humanities? The difficulty in defining an emerging field is its pliant nature; thus, while designed as a survey, this course will also be a constructive move. Part one of the course examines the field in the context of historical ruptures such as the transition from orality to writing, the advent of the printing press, and the rise of digital networks. Part two centers on new media theory – how does new media differ from its predecessors? How do we theorize the electronic text or digital archive? Part three, a hybrid of history and theory, delves into the complications of transition – how the digital humanities challenges old paradigms, including intellectual property, business models, and scholarship.
Rewriting, Remediation, Recombinance: Literature in the Mashup Age. Undergraduate level. In older writing cultures, scarcity and the high cost of writing materials demanded creative means of reuse and recycling. One such method of economy was the palimpsest, a parchment that had been written on, scraped off, and re-written over, again and again. By looking into the historical conditions leading to collaborative creativity, we can better understand where the direction of literary culture is heading. This course examines similar modes of literary creativity from poetry to the graphic novel, and from the novel to digital information. Texts covered include Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, Nabokov’s Lolita, Pera’s Lo’s Diary, Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and an extensive course reader consisting of critical secondary sources and poetry.
Asian American Literature to 1980. Undergraduate level. Spanning the period from the late 19th century to 1980, this course examines Asian America’s identity and citizenship as reflected by its literature. In roughly chronological order we will examine literary works tackling issues such as immigration in the face of xenophobia; the psychological trauma of war and internment; mainstream co-optation and canon formation.