Department of English

Robert W Jones


MFA, Shakespeare and Performance, Mary Baldwin College,

Contact

Interests


Shakespeare Studies, Renaissance Drama, Modern Drama, Contemporary Performance, Film Criticism

Courses


E 314L • Cult Classics

35904 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 103
Wr

E 314L  l  9-Cult Classics

Instructor:  Jones, R

Unique:  35904

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

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

Description:  A "cult classic" is often viewed as a fringe work that achieves some sort of niche following, and in so doing, creates a community that views its fandom as elevating and even exclusive.  The world "cult" itself generally carries a sense of religious or pseudo-religious worship, but can be composed of any group that venerates a person, object, or institution.  In this course, we will look at texts that deal with societies whose institutions are under pressure-- some of these texts could be categorized, some not, but all deal with the veneration that has suddenly come into question due to extraordinary events.  We will look at short stories, novels, films, and potentially even a graphic novel.  In all, we will consider how the authors construct these societies, the ideologies in questions, and whether these texts speak to our pasts, presents, or futures, if at all.

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.

Possible texts may include:  The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov; Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons; Twin Peaks, dir. by David Lynch; The Phantom of the Paradise, dir. by Brian de Palma; Blade Runner dir. by Ridley Scott; Short stories from Philip K. Dick, Shirley Jackson, and Octavia Butler.

Requirements & Grading:  Close Reading: 5%; OED Assignment: 15%; Film Shot Analysis: 10%; Article review: 20%; Final Paper: 30%; Response Journals and Participation—10%; Group Presentations—10%.  *Attendance will be factored into participation grade.

E 321 • Shakespeare

36386 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 303
GC

E 321  l  Shakespeare

Instructor:  Jones, R

Unique #:  36386

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

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

Description:  In this course we will explore selected plays by William Shakespeare, in a mix of comedies, tragedies and histories.  Along the way, we will pay special attention to the dynamic social environment in which Shakespeare worked: the theater.  In reading the plays, we’ll also be thinking about the “stuff” of performance: actors, the audience, the stage, etc., and how different eras have conceived of the best way to produce those plays.  We will treat tthe plays as literature, but also as dramatic events and examine how this medium as much as it may have contained the works in terms of form and genre, also left them radically open to reinterpretation, reuse, and revision.  Along the way, we will also look at pertinent adaptations of Shakespeare to explore what his works have offered later writers and creators.  Since we will be thinking of these as performance texts, there will be a significant emphasis on reading aloud in class and potentially some rudimentary staging on our feet.

Texts:  Possible works include Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Henry IV Parts 1&2, Antony and Cleopatra, Macbeth.

Films:  The Chimes at Midnight dir. by Orson Welles, My Own Private Idaho dir. Gus Van Sant

Requirements & Grading:  There will be a series of short response papers over the texts and in-class performances throughout the course, as well as one mid-term and one final paper.  Otherwise active participation will compose the rest of the grade: Short Responses, 30%; Mid-Term, 20%; Final Paper, 25%; Participation, 25%.

E 314L • Banned Books/Novel Ideas-Wb

35515 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 314L  l  3-Banned Books and Novel Ideas-WB

 

Instructor:  Jones, R

Unique #:  35515

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:  “Popular stage-playes are sinful, heathenish, lewd, ungodly spectacles, and most pernicious corruptions; condemned in all ages, as intolerable mischiefs to churches, to republics, to the manners, mindes, and soules of men.”-- William Prynne, 1633

 

Practically since theater began it has been rejected, feared, and demonized.  This course will take a special, though not exclusive, interest in plays, not merely as literary objects, but as infectious carriers of subversive ideas, dangerous vehicles for public expression, and flagrant opportunities for fart jokes.  Through the ages, plays have been castigated as imitations of the truth, exhortations to violence, and invitations to cross-dress.  In this course, we will extend the “Banned Books” idea to explore how plays, as books and performances, have been censored, vilified and even shut down.

 

Additionally, we will look at works of poetry, short stories, and novels or selections from novels that others have sought fit to censure or “ban.”

 

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 constitute a major part of the final grade.

 

Possible texts include:  Doctor Faustus and Edward II by Christopher Marlowe, Angels in America by Tony Kushner, Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

 

Tentative Requirements & Grading:  The assignments in this course will consist of short papers related to close reading, critical analysis, and making use of library resources such as the Oxford English Dictionary (15% total).  Two longer papers synthesizing secondary sources will count for 35% of the final grade, with a final paper constituting 30%.  The last portion will be composed of a group presentation (10%) and both participation in class meetings and brief written responses (10%).

E 314L • Cult Classics-Wb

34360 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 314L  l  9-Cult Classics

 

Instructor:  Jones, R

Unique:  34360

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:  A "cult classic" is often viewed as a fringe work that achieves some sort of niche following, and in so doing, creates a community that views its fandom as elevating and even exclusive.  The world "cult" itself generally carries a sense of religious or pseudo-religious worship, but can be composed of any group that venerates a person, object, or institution.  In this course, we will look at texts that deal with societies whose institutions are under pressure-- some of these texts could be categorized, some not, but all deal with the veneration that has suddenly come into question due to extraordinary events.  We will look at short stories, novels, films, and potentially even a graphic novel.  In all, we will consider how the authors construct these societies, the ideologies in questions, and whether these texts speak to our pasts, presents, or futures, if at all.

 

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.

 

Possible texts may include:  The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood; Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons; Twin Peaks, dir. by David Lynch; The Phantom of the Paradise, dir. by Brian de Palma; Blade Runner dir. by Ridley Scott; Short stories from Philip K. Dick, Shirley Jackson, and Octavia Butler.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Close Reading: 5%; OED Assignment: 15%; Film Shot Analysis: 10%; Article review: 20%; Final Paper: 30%; Response Journals and Participation—10%; Group Presentations—10%; *Attendance will be factored into participation grade.

E 314L • Cult Classics

34420 • Fall 2019
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 105
Wr

E 314L  l  9-Cult Classics

 

Instructor:  Jones, R

Unique:  34420

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 "cult classic" is often viewed as a fringe work that achieves some sort of niche following, and in so doing, creates a community that views its fandom as elevating and even exclusive.  The world "cult" itself generally carries a sense of religious or pseudo-religious worship, but can be composed of any group that venerates a person, object, or institution.  In this course, we will look at texts that deal with societies whose institutions are under pressure-- some of these texts could be categorized, some not, but all deal with the veneration that has suddenly come into question due to extraordinary events.  We will look at short stories, novels, films, and potentially even a graphic novel.  In all, we will consider how the authors construct these societies, the ideologies in questions, and whether these texts speak to our pasts, presents, or futures, if at all.

 

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.

 

Possible texts may include:  The Handmaid's Taleby Margaret Atwood;King Learby William Shakespeare; Endgameby Samuel Beckett; Metropolisdir. by Fritz Lang; Usdir. by Jordan Peele; The Time Machineby H.G. Wells; Short stories from Shirley Jackson and George Saunders.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Close Reading: 5%; OED Assignment: 15%; Film Shot Analysis: 10%; Article review: 20%; Final Paper: 30%; Response Journals and Participation—10%; Group Presentations—10%; *Attendance will be factored into participation grade.

E 314J • Literature And Film

33835 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CLA 1.102
Wr

E 314J  l  1-Literature and Film

Instructor:  Jones, R

Unique #:  33835

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description:  This course will involve considering the interplay between texts on the page and the language of film.  We will examine how books translate into film, but also how the conventions of each medium affect language, narrative, and storytelling.  In relating texts to images, we will also consider how literature makes use of filmic devices and deploys cinematic concepts, metaphors, and references in its narratives, and vice versa.

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:  Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums; No Country for Old Men (book and film)

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 may also be short quizzes, response papers, and a final group in-class presentation (30% of the final grade)

E 314J • Literature And Film

33805 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GAR 2.128
Wr

E 314J  l  1-Literature and Film

Instructor:  Jones, R

Unique #:  33805

Semester:  Fall 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: This course will involve considering the interplay between texts on the page and the language of film. We will examine how books translate into film, but also how the conventions of each medium affect language, narrative, and storytelling. In relating texts to images, we will also consider how literature makes use of filmic devices and deploys cinematic concepts, metaphors, and references in its narratives, and vice versa.

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: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Frankenstein (book and film); No Country for Old Men (book and film).

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 may also be short quizzes, response papers, and a final group in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

E 314J • Literature And Film

35024 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 204
Wr

Instructor:  Jones, R

Unique #:  35024

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: This course will involve considering the interplay between texts on the page and the language of film. We will examine how books translate into film, but also how the conventions of each medium affect language, narrative, and storytelling. In relating texts to images, we will also consider how literature makes use of filmic devices and deploys cinematic concepts, metaphors, and references in its narratives, and vice versa.

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: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (movie) dir. by James Whale, Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, The Royal Tenenbaums (movie) dir. by Wes Anderson

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 (of the final grade). There may also be short quizzes, response papers, and/or in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

Graded material other than essays will consist of short, one-page response papers based on that unit's reading/viewing. The creative project will entail working in groups to "translate" a text into another medium (a short film, a visual archive, an oral performance) that will then be discussed and presented to the class.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Jokes

44975 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 304
Wr

“A joke says what it has to say, not always in few words, but in too few words—that is, in words that are insufficient by strict logic or by common modes of thought and speech.  It may even actually say what it has to say by not saying it.”—Theodor Lipps

“A joke is a very serious thing”—Winston Churchill

“Start with a joke” goes the typical advice supplied to both first-time and established public speakers.  As an extremely compact form of communication, jokes serve a multitude of purposes in our lives:  they help build and establish communities, they allow us to critique hierarchies and systems of power, they help us deal with difficult issues, they even endear and attract us to one another.  But jokes can also exclude, offend, demean others, and damage relationships.  In this course, we will study the rhetorical construction of jokes from the standpoint of both the teller and the presumed audience, and consider the complex deployment of jokes in various circumstances.  What rhetorical assumptions and understood premises are necessaryto the intelligibility and effectiveness of a joke?  What are the functions jokes can serve within different forums—such as those embedded in a political speech or a sermon?  Our analysis will take on familiar formulaic jokes (the “knock knock” joke or the “man walks into a bar” construct, for example), as well as various stand-up routines and comic monologues.  Our critical engagement will also extend to “failed” jokes, such as Stephen Colbert’s monologue during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, as well as exploring what renders jokes inappropriate (the “too soon” joke, for example).  Through relating the standards and the performer-audience relationship in professional comedy, we will consider not only the structural elements of particular jokes, but also how they function within other contexts.  In that regard, we will study the interpersonal nature of jokes, the role of jokes for certain communities, and the practical and ethical usage of jokes in argumentation and advocacy.   

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments - 20%

Essay 1.1 - 5%

Essay 1.2 - 10%

Essay 2.1 - 10%

Essay 2.2 - 15%

Essay 3.1 - 15%

Essay 3.2 - 15%

Presentations of Final Paper - 10%

*All essays will include peer review and a revision grade

Required Texts and Course Readings

Critical Situations, Crowley and Stancliff, Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes, Jim Holt.

Selections from:  Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious, Sigmund Freud, Born Standing Up, Steve Martin, Jokes and Targets, Christie Davies.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Jokes

44690 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 3.116
Wr

“A joke says what it has to say, not always in few words, but in too few words—that is, in words that are insufficient by strict logic or by common modes of thought and speech.  It may even actually say what it has to say by not saying it.”—Theodor Lipps

“A joke is a very serious thing”—Winston Churchill

“Start with a joke” goes the typical advice supplied to both first-time and established public speakers.  As an extremely compact form of communication, jokes serve a multitude of purposes in our lives:  they help build and establish communities, they allow us to critique hierarchies and systems of power, they help us deal with difficult issues, they even endear and attract us to one another.  But jokes can also exclude, offend, demean others, and damage relationships.  In this course, we will study the rhetorical construction of jokes from the standpoint of both the teller and the presumed audience, and consider the complex deployment of jokes in various circumstances.  What rhetorical assumptions and understood premises are necessaryto the intelligibility and effectiveness of a joke?  What are the functions jokes can serve within different forums—such as those embedded in a political speech or a sermon?  Our analysis will take on familiar formulaic jokes (the “knock knock” joke or the “man walks into a bar” construct, for example), as well as various stand-up routines and comic monologues.  Our critical engagement will also extend to “failed” jokes, such as Stephen Colbert’s monologue during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, as well as exploring what renders jokes inappropriate (the “too soon” joke, for example).  Through relating the standards and the performer-audience relationship in professional comedy, we will consider not only the structural elements of particular jokes, but also how they function within other contexts.  In that regard, we will study the interpersonal nature of jokes, the role of jokes for certain communities, and the practical and ethical usage of jokes in argumentation and advocacy.   

Assignments and Grading

Short Writing Assignments - 20%

Essay 1.1 - 5%

Essay 1.2 - 10%

Essay 2.1 - 10%

Essay 2.2 - 15%

Essay 3.1 - 15%

Essay 3.2 - 15%

Presentations of Final Paper - 10%

*All essays will include peer review and a revision grade

Required Texts and Course Readings

Critical Situations, Crowley and Stancliff, Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes, Jim Holt.

Selections from:  Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious, Sigmund Freud, Born Standing Up, Steve Martin, Jokes and Targets, Christie Davies.

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