Department of English

Lauren Nelson


M.A., University of Texas at Austin

PhD Student

Contact

Interests


Caribbean literature, postcolonial theory, environmental criticism, posthumanism, ontology, materialisms

Biography


I'm a doctoral student in the Department of English, and I currently teach for the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. My research focuses on Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean literature, with particular emphasis on the environmental humanities and postcolonial theory. My work on Suzanne Césaire has appeared in Feminist Modernist Studies, and I currently write for the E3W Review of Books.

Courses


E 314J • Literature And Film

35105 • Spring 2022
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 0.132
Wr

E 314J  l  1-Literature and Film

Instructor:  Nelson, L

Unique:  35105

Semester:  Spring 2022

Cross-lists:  none

 

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

Description:  “Time Is a Drag”

This course will examine representations of queer genders and sexualities in twentieth- and twenty-first century literature and film.  In particular, we will focus on how these representations are affected by imaginative leaps in time: how, for example, have writers and directors working in futuristic fiction or other speculative genres created alternatives to gender binarism (fluid, ever-changing, or non-normative genders) by setting their stories on other planets, among strange technologies and species of life?  Conversely, how has the historical fiction genre been used to imagine queer(er) pasts, giving us a new archive of queer desire?  Finally, how can our practices of reading, watching, and writing about these works of art produce their own kind of queer attention, community, and appreciation?  We will engage with texts and films across wide-ranging genres and subgenres, including science fiction, poetry, period pieces, the short story, and the modern novel.  Our engagement with each text will be informed by the specific cultural and historical movements interpolated by the texts, and we will consider how these movements affect the representational tactics of each work.  In addition, we will refer to both classic and contemporary theories of gender performance, sexual dis/identification, race and coloniality to better understand each text’s political commitments.

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.  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.

Tentative Reading List:  Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, short stories by Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany, and films such as Portrait of a Lady On Fire (2019), Wild Nights with Emily (2018), Her (2013) and The Matrix (1999).

Requirements & Grading:  Three essays will comprise the majority of the student’s grade (75% of the total grade), one of which will require a mandatory revision while the others will have optional revisions.  Revision will be an integral part of writing in this course and each student will have the opportunity to revise each essay based on instructor feedback for a higher grade.  The remainder of each student’s grade (25% of the total grade) will include a combination of frequent but brief writing assignments as well as in-class participation, such as weekly response papers, Canvas discussion posts, short presentations, and discussion questions.

E 314V • Gay & Lesbian Lit & Culture

35925 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BEN 1.124
CDWr (also listed as WGS 301)

E 314V  l  Gay and Lesbian Literature and Culture

Instructor:  Nelson, L

Unique #:  35925

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  WGS 301.12, 46135

 

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

Description:  This course will take up the particular question of queer diaspora:  how do literary expressions of queer desire and queer genders respond to shifting national boundaries?  In particular, how do queer writers use migration to think about how and when sexuality intersects with global histories of imperialism and racial dispossession?  We will read a variety of texts by queer writers of color from around the world including the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada.  While the texts on the syllabus are largely written in the contemporary (post-1945) period, we will consider how they represent a wide range of historical issues, such as the transatlantic slave trade, the decolonization movements of the 1950s and 60s, the AIDS pandemic, and the opioid crisis.  Our reading of each text will be informed by the specific cultural and historical movements interpolated by the texts, and we will consider how these movements affect the representational tactics of each work.  In addition, we will refer to both classic and contemporary theories of gender performance, sexual dis/identification, race and coloniality to better understand each text’s political commitments.

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 and a cultural diversity in the US 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.

Tentative Reading List:  Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone to Heaven (1987) Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019), Andrew Salkey’s Escape to an Autumn Pavement (2009), assorted essays and poems by Natalie Diaz, Audre Lorde, Dionne Brand, and others.

Requirements & Grading:  Three essays will comprise the majority of the student’s grade (75% of the total grade), one of which will require a mandatory revision while the others will have optional revisions.  Revision will be an integral part of writing in this course and each student will have the opportunity to revise each essay based on instructor feedback for a higher grade.  The remainder of each student’s grade (25% of the total grade) will include a combination of frequent but brief writing assignments as well as in-class participation, such as weekly response papers, Canvas discussion posts, short presentations, and discussion questions.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Disasters-Wb

43625 • Spring 2021
Internet; Asynchronous
Wr

Warming temperatures, acidified oceans, hurricanes, tsunamis, nuclearization, the end of the world: what makes a disaster a disaster? In this course, we will analyze various types of media to understand how disaster is depicted rhetorically and to what extent this rhetoric interacts with class, race, geography, and scale. Is there a difference between ‘man-made’ and ‘natural’ disasters? How are disasters represented in news media, books, television, and film? How might understanding the qualities of disaster as well and their rhetorical depiction in popular culture influence how we respond to them? How are disasters differently constituted when different communities are involved? How does that affect our past, present and future? We will explore how disaster is a foundational part of contemporary media’s rhetoric and how disaster rhetoric is central to understanding both our increasingly globalized world and the rapidly changing climate.

Students will be required to purchase the following textbook: Mark Longaker and Jeffrey Walker, Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers, 2011 (Pearson, 1st edition). The remainder of thematic readings will be available for download from the class’s secure Canvas site. In addition, students will be required to screen a handful of films and documentaries as part of the course ‘readings.’

Writing assignments:

Weekly Canvas discussion posts, one 4-page rhetorical analysis on a shared text, one 4-page rhetorical analysis on a disaster-related text of your choice, and a final independent research paper that either proposes a solution to a disaster scenario of your choice or evaluates how solutions-based rhetoric impacts how a specific disaster of your choice is represented, understood, or felt (either by nearby communities or on a larger scale).

Method of assessment:

This course will use contract grading for assessment. At the start of the course, students will be provided with a detailed checklist of requirements that outlines how to receive a full passing and ‘default’ grade, which I will set at a “B.” Students will be provided with detailed instructions as to how to exceed the ‘default’ “B” and earn an “A.” This means that earning an “A” will primarily be related to the rigor and length of each students’ major assignments. For example, the prompts for each of the major unit assignments will contain additional requirements that the student must complete in order for their assignment to be counted as ‘above and beyond work.’ I will build two tiers into each major assignment prompt and students will decide whether they want to undertake the challenge of writing towards the higher tier. A higher tier would potentially entail a combination of (1) longer word count (2) additional research or alternative research (3) mixed-genre or multi-modal component (4) more rigorous critical/theoretical analysis (5) a comparative component (i.e. a comparative rhetorical analysis of two objects).

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Disasters-Wb

42270 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

Warming temperatures, acidified oceans, hurricanes, tsunamis, nuclearization, the end of the world:
what makes a disaster a disaster? In this course, we will analyze various types of media to
understand how disaster is depicted rhetorically and to what extent this rhetoric interacts with class,
race, geography, and scale. Is there a difference between ‘man-made’ and ‘natural’ disasters? How are
disasters represented in news media, books, television, and film? How might understanding the
qualities of disaster as well and their rhetorical depiction in popular culture influence how we
respond to them? How are disasters differently constituted when different communities are involved?
How does that affect our past, present and future? We will explore how disaster is a foundational part of
contemporary media’s rhetoric and how disaster rhetoric is central to understanding both our
increasingly globalized world and the rapidly changing climate.


Students will be required to purchase the following textbook: Mark Longaker and Jeffrey Walker,
Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers, 2011 (Pearson, 1st edition). The remainder of thematic
readings will be available for download from the class’s secure Canvas site. In addition, students will be
required to screen a handful of films and documentaries as part of the course ‘readings.’


Writing assignments:
Weekly Canvas discussion posts, one 4-page rhetorical analysis on a shared text, one 4-page rhetorical
analysis on a disaster-related text of your choice, and a final independent research paper that either
proposes a solution to a disaster scenario of your choice or evaluates how solutions-based rhetoric
impacts how a specific disaster of your choice is represented, understood, or felt (either by nearby
communities or on a larger scale).


Method of assessment:
This course will use contract grading for assessment. At the start of the course, students will be provided
with a detailed checklist of requirements that outlines how to receive a full passing and ‘default’ grade,
which I will set at a “B.” Students will be provided with detailed instructions as to how to exceed the
‘default’ “B” and earn an “A.” This means that earning an “A” will primarily be related to the rigor and
length of each students’ major assignments. For example, the prompts for each of the major unit
assignments will contain additional requirements that the student must complete in order for their
assignment to be counted as ‘above and beyond work.’ I will build two tiers into each major assignment
prompt and students will decide whether they want to undertake the challenge of writing towards the
higher tier. A higher tier would potentially entail a combination of (1) longer word count (2) additional
research or alternative research (3) mixed-genre or multi-modal component (4) more rigorous
critical/theoretical analysis (5) a comparative component (i.e. a comparative rhetorical analysis of two
objects).

RHE F309K • Rhetoric Of Disasters-Wb

82115 • Summer 2020
Internet; Asynchronous
Wr


RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Disaster

Warming temperatures, acidified oceans, hurricanes, tsunamis, nuclearization, the end of the world:
what makes a disaster a disaster? In this course, we will analyze various types of media to
understand how disaster is depicted rhetorically and to what extent this rhetoric interacts with class,
race, geography, and scale. Is there a difference between ‘man-made’ and ‘natural’ disasters? How are
disasters represented in news media, books, television, and film? How might understanding the
qualities of disaster as well and their rhetorical depiction in popular culture influence how we
respond to them? How are disasters differently constituted when different communities are involved?
How does that affect our past, present and future? We will explore how disaster is a foundational part of
contemporary media’s rhetoric and how disaster rhetoric is central to understanding both our
increasingly globalized world and the rapidly changing climate.


Students will be required to purchase the following textbook: Mark Longaker and Jeffrey Walker,
Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers, 2011 (Pearson, 1st edition). The remainder of thematic
readings will be available for download from the class’s secure Canvas site. In addition, students will be
required to screen a handful of films and documentaries as part of the course ‘readings.’


Writing assignments:
Weekly Canvas discussion posts, one 4-page rhetorical analysis on a shared text, one 4-page rhetorical
analysis on a disaster-related text of your choice, and a final independent research paper that either
proposes a solution to a disaster scenario of your choice or evaluates how solutions-based rhetoric
impacts how a specific disaster of your choice is represented, understood, or felt (either by nearby
communities or on a larger scale).


Method of assessment:
This course will use contract grading for assessment. At the start of the course, students will be provided
with a detailed checklist of requirements that outlines how to receive a full passing and ‘default’ grade,
which I will set at a “B.” Students will be provided with detailed instructions as to how to exceed the
‘default’ “B” and earn an “A.” This means that earning an “A” will primarily be related to the rigor and
length of each students’ major assignments. For example, the prompts for each of the major unit
assignments will contain additional requirements that the student must complete in order for their
assignment to be counted as ‘above and beyond work.’ I will build two tiers into each major assignment
prompt and students will decide whether they want to undertake the challenge of writing towards the
higher tier. A higher tier would potentially entail a combination of (1) longer word count (2) additional
research or alternative research (3) mixed-genre or multi-modal component (4) more rigorous
critical/theoretical analysis (5) a comparative component (i.e. a comparative rhetorical analysis of two
objects).

Curriculum Vitae


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