Department of English

Sierra Senzaki


Postdoctoral FellowPh.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Postdoctoral Lectuer
Sierra Senzaki

Contact

Courses


E F349S • Virginia Woolf-Wb

80605 • Summer 2021
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
(also listed as WGS F345)

E f349S  l  8-Virginia Woolf

Instructor:  Senzaki, S

Unique #:  80605

Semester:  Summer 2021, first session

Cross-lists:  WGS 345.40, 84015

 

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

Description:  “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”  So begins Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925), a hallmark of modernist literature which has long been read as a post-war novel but is also, crucially, a post-pandemic novel.  Clarissa Dalloway’s simple errand marks a major step in her recovery from influenza, and the party for which she is buying the flowers is a celebration of her return to society.  Despite the passage of nearly a century, the challenges and issues that Woolf grapples with so eloquently and intensely in her body of work bear striking resemblances to our own concerns in 2021.  In this summer course we will read just a small sampling of Woolf’s expansive oeuvre, exploring topics such as illness, mental health, gender (including gender fluidity), sexuality, feminism, anti-fascism, literary form, genre, and modernism.  Through class discussion and weekly writing assignments, we will unpack Woolf’s dense but brilliant prose and her incisive – often polemical – ideas.

While efforts have been made to keep the reading load appropriate for a summer course, this will not be an easy class.  All of the assigned readings are difficult in both form and content.  You will need to stay on top of the readings, as participation in class discussion is crucial to your success in this course.

Tentative readings:  Mrs. Dalloway (1925); Orlando (1928); Three Guineas (1938); Moments of Being (1976); selected short stories, essays, and supplemental readings (to be provided on Canvas).  I highly recommend purchasing the 2005 Harcourt/Harvest edition of Mrs. Dalloway (annotations & introduction by Bonnie Kime Scott).  Mrs. Dalloway does not contain traditional chapter breaks, so following along in class will be very difficult if you have different page numbers.  Alternate editions of the other course texts are acceptable.

Requirements & Grading:  25% in-class participation, 25% weekly Canvas posts, 15% weekly annotation assignments, 10% discussion facilitation assignment, 25% final project.  Attendance is required.  Five or more absences will result in failure of the course.

E 314L • Goodreads-Wb

35555 • Spring 2021
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 314L  l  10-GoodReads-WB

 

Instructor:  Senzaki, S

Unique #:  35555

Semester:  Spring 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description:  From rugged mountains and botanical gardens to agricultural fields and suburban yards, nature takes many forms. In this course we will read three books accompanied by selected essays, short stories, and poems that explore the relationship between humans and nature.  Through class discussion and written assignments, we will analyze these texts to answer the following questions:  What stories do we tell about nature and the environment? How do stories about nature shape our understanding of ourselves and our communities? How are nature and culture intertwined?

 

The primary aim of this course is to help you develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  We will also practice using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  We will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course carries a Writing Flag, which means you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing.  You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work.  You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work.

 

Tentative texts:  Jean Toomer, Cane (1923); Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962); Ruth Ozeki, All Over Creation (2002); and selected short works.

 

Requirements & Grading:  You will compose three papers: 3 pp. (10%), 4-5 pp. (20%), and 6-7 pp. (25%).  Paper 1 will be revised based on my feedback and resubmitted for a grade (10%).  Papers 2 and 3 will be revised following peer review.  You will also be graded on a research exercise (5%) and class participation (30%), which includes weekly Canvas posts.

E 350R • 19th-/20th-C Gothic Lit-Wb

36185 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 350R  l  19th- and 20th-Century Gothic Literature-WB

 

Instructor:  Senzaki, S

Unique #:  36185

Semester:  Spring 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

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

 

Description:  Crimson Peak, Guillermo del Toro’s 2015 gothic romance film, opens with the narrator’s assertion that “Ghosts are real. This much I know.”  A few scenes later, the narrator, an aspiring author, explains that in the story she has written, “The ghosts are just a metaphor, really.”  In the gothic genre, both statements hold true: ghosts can be either real or metaphorical, or both. The important thing is what the ghosts reveal.

 

Originating in 18th century English literature, the gothic is a genre in which supernatural events and clashes between past and present unearth unspoken anxieties and dark secrets, often involving violence, desire, and family histories.  This course will trace the gothic’s enduring popularity and appeal, focusing especially on literature from 19th and 20th century Britain and North America.  How do authors in different times, places, and cultures revive and reshape the gothic?  What about this genre makes the gothic so widely applicable and compelling?  Some of the subgenres we will explore are the scientific gothic, the the Southern gothic, and the Caribbean gothic.  We will bookend our discussion with two contemporary films, Crimson Peak and Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017).

 

This course carries a Writing Flag, which means you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from me to help you improve your writing.  There will be one required revision assignment and two required peer review activities.  A substantial portion of your grade (70%) will come from your written work.

 

Tentative texts:  Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Edgar Allan Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”; Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla; Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”; Henry James, The Turn of the Screw; William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Nalo Hopkinson, selections from Skin Folk.

 

Tentative films:  Guillermo del Toro, Crimson Peak; Jordan Peele, Get Out.

 

Requirements and Grading:  You will compose three major written assignments: a 4-5 pp. analytical paper (10%), 4-5 pp. creative essay with an analytical component (20%), and 7-10 pp. research paper (30%).  The analytical paper will be revised based on my feedback and resubmitted for a grade (10%).  The creative essay and research paper will be revised following peer review.  You will also be graded on short weekly Canvas posts (10%) and class participation (20%).

E 314L • Goodreads-Wb

34370 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 314L  l  10-GoodReads

 

Instructor:  Senzaki, S

Unique #:  34370 and 34375

Semester:  Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description:  From rugged mountains and botanical gardens to agricultural fields and suburban yards, nature takes many forms. In this course we will read four books accompanied by selected essays, short stories, and poems that explore the relationship between humans and nature.  Through class discussion and written assignments, we will analyze these texts to answer the following questions:  What stories do we tell about nature and the environment? How do stories about nature shape our understanding of ourselves and our communities? How are nature and culture intertwined?

 

The primary aim of this course is to help you develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  We will also practice using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  We will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course carries a Writing Flag, which means you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing.  You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work.  You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work.

 

Tentative texts:  Cheryl Strayed, Wild (2012); Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962); Jean Toomer, Cane (1923); Ruth Ozeki, All Over Creation (2002); and selected short works.

 

Requirements & Grading:  You will compose three papers: 3 pp. (10%), 4-5 pp. (20%), and 6-7 pp. (25%).  Paper 1 will be revised based on my feedback and resubmitted for a grade (15%).  Papers 2 and 3 will be revised following peer review. You will also be graded on short assignments and class participation (30%).  On-time attendance is crucial to your success in this course and is therefore required.

E 314L • Goodreads-Wb

34375 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 314L  l  10-GoodReads

 

Instructor:  Senzaki, S

Unique #:  34370 and 34375

Semester:  Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description:  From rugged mountains and botanical gardens to agricultural fields and suburban yards, nature takes many forms. In this course we will read four books accompanied by selected essays, short stories, and poems that explore the relationship between humans and nature.  Through class discussion and written assignments, we will analyze these texts to answer the following questions:  What stories do we tell about nature and the environment? How do stories about nature shape our understanding of ourselves and our communities? How are nature and culture intertwined?

 

The primary aim of this course is to help you develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  We will also practice using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  We will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course carries a Writing Flag, which means you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing.  You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work.  You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work.

 

Tentative texts:  Cheryl Strayed, Wild (2012); Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962); Jean Toomer, Cane (1923); Ruth Ozeki, All Over Creation (2002); and selected short works.

 

Requirements & Grading:  You will compose three papers: 3 pp. (10%), 4-5 pp. (20%), and 6-7 pp. (25%).  Paper 1 will be revised based on my feedback and resubmitted for a grade (15%).  Papers 2 and 3 will be revised following peer review. You will also be graded on short assignments and class participation (30%).  On-time attendance is crucial to your success in this course and is therefore required.

E 314L • Goodreads

34430 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BEN 1.124
Wr

E 314L l  10-GoodReads

 

Instructor:  Senzaki, S

Unique #:  34430

Semester:  Fall 2019

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description: A crime carried out in the dead of night.  The frantic hunt for clues. Eventually, the detective’s explanation of whodunit, and how.  These familiar elements, or tropes, form the foundation of detective fiction, a genre that has proven hugely popular since it entered English literature in the mid-nineteenth century.  But what isdetective fiction, and how has it remained exciting and relevant?  Why was it created?  How has it evolved?  These are some of the core questions we will investigate this 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 carries a Writing Flag.  In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing.  You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work.  You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work.

 

Tentative course texts: Edgar Allan Poe, “Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841); Arthur Conan Doyle,The Hound of the Baskervilles(1902); Rudolph Fisher, The Conjure-Man Dies (1932); Tana French, The Likeness (2008).

 

Requirements & Grading: Close reading paper: 10%; Annotated bibliography: 10%; Context paper: 15%; Final paper draft: 10%; Final paper revision: 20%; Short assignments (including an in-class presentation): 20%; Canvas discussion posts: 5%; Participation: 10%.

Curriculum Vitae


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