Department of English

Michelle Rabe


MA English, University of Texas at Austin

PhD Candidate
Michelle Rabe

Contact

Interests


20th and 21st century fiction, creative non-fiction/memoir, disability studies

Courses


E 314J • Literature And Film-Wb

34295 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 314J  l  1-Literature and Film

 

Instructor:  Rabe, M

Unique #:  34295

Semester:  Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

 

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

 

Description:  Idol, psycho, beauty, girl doll, boy, woman, chopper, pie, horror story, and hustle are a seemingly random assortment of words that have been brought together by a common modifier — “American.”  But how and why do so many disparate things share this same modifier, and do they share it in the same way?  Why do different songs, shows, brands, movies, and literary texts designate themselves as “American” in title, and how do they honor or reimagine this label with their forms and content?  This course will examine how this one word has come to mean a multitude of things in various texts and contexts and how it has given new meaning to the texts and contexts that it frames.  Rather than solely focusing on American works and their designation of a piece of literature or film as “American,” the thread of “American” texts will take us across geographical locations, identities, artistic eras, and genres.

 

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:  Americanah (Adichie, novel); Captain America: The First Avenger (dir. Johnston, film); American Hustle (dir. Russell, film); American Beauty (dir. Mendes, film); Heavy: An American Memoir (Laymon, memoir).

 

Requirements & Grading:  There will be a series of three essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted, that will constitute 70% of the final course grade.  The remaining 30% of the grade will come from quizzes, short reaction papers, a presentation, and course attendance and participation.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Reality Tv

42765 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 6
Wr

In 1992, one brave TV show cut the script, lost the actors, and stopped being polite. With the premiere of MTV’s The Real World, TV started being real. Since The Real World’s first season, reality TV shows have come to dominate cable and network television alike, all featuring real lives in real situations with real implications. From fly-on-the-wall shows to competition shows to dating shows, reality TV programming has continued to expand and diversify, much to critical dissatisfaction. Reality TV shows have come under scrutiny by critics who ask who puts the “real” in reality TV, whose “realities” are being represented, and whether there is really any “reality” in the shows at all. They question both the ethics of putting people’s lives under extreme, surveilled situations and the shows’ allegedly unaltered realities.

In this class, students will interrogate these critical questions about the genre of reality TV to understand how different reality shows are manipulated for particular viewing audiences and to think about how these manipulated narratives are persuasive to them. This course will confront a variety of opinions about the production behind reality TV and the programming it creates with a specific focus on the rhetorical strategies reality TV shows employ, such as confessionals, narration, analogy, editing, and sequencing. Students will analyze a reality show’s portrayal of “real life” issues, form their own argument concerning the potentially beneficial or problematic nature of having reality shows act as representations of reality, and write their own reality TV show premise to attract an audience. In short, they will stop being polite, uncritical observers and start being real rhetorical.

Assessment Breakdown

  • Project 1: Annotated Bibliography — (10%)
  • Project 2.1: Rhetorical Analysis — (10%)
  • Project 2.2: Rhetorical Analysis Revision — (15%)
  • Project 3: Argumentative Paper — (25%)
  • Project 4: Multimodal Assignment — (10%)
  • Five Research Summary Short Writing Assignments — (20%)
  • Peer Reviews — (Mandatory)
  • Participation — (10%) 

Required Texts

Bullock, Richard, Michal Brody, and Francine Weinberg. The Little Longhorn Handbook. 2nd

Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 2014. (required purchase)

Nicotra, Jodie. Becoming Rhetorical: Analyzing and Composing in a Multimedia World. Cengage Learning,

  1. (required purchase)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Reality Tv

42520 • Fall 2019
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM FAC 7
Wr

In 1992, one brave TV show cut the script, lost the actors, and stopped being polite. With the premiere of MTV’s The Real World, TV started being real. Since The Real World’s first season, reality TV shows have come to dominate cable and network television alike, all featuring real lives in real situations with real implications. From fly-on-the-wall shows to competition shows to dating shows, reality TV programming has continued to expand and diversify, much to critical dissatisfaction. Reality TV shows have come under scrutiny by critics who ask who puts the “real” in reality TV, whose “realities” are being represented, and whether there is really any “reality” in the shows at all. They question both the ethics of putting people’s lives under extreme, surveilled situations and the shows’ allegedly unaltered realities.

In this class, students will interrogate these critical questions about the genre of reality TV to understand how different reality shows are manipulated for particular viewing audiences and to think about how these manipulated narratives are persuasive to them. This course will confront a variety of opinions about the production behind reality TV and the programming it creates with a specific focus on the rhetorical strategies reality TV shows employ, such as confessionals, narration, analogy, editing, and sequencing. Students will analyze a reality show’s portrayal of “real life” issues, form their own argument concerning the potentially beneficial or problematic nature of having reality shows act as representations of reality, and write their own reality TV show premise to attract an audience. In short, they will stop being polite, uncritical observers and start being real rhetorical.

Assessment Breakdown

  • Project 1: Annotated Bibliography — (10%)
  • Project 2.1: Rhetorical Analysis — (10%)
  • Project 2.2: Rhetorical Analysis Revision — (15%)
  • Project 3: Argumentative Paper — (25%)
  • Project 4: Multimodal Assignment — (10%)
  • Five Research Summary Short Writing Assignments — (20%)
  • Peer Reviews — (Mandatory)
  • Participation — (10%) 

Required Texts

Bullock, Richard, Michal Brody, and Francine Weinberg. The Little Longhorn Handbook. 2nd

Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 2014. (required purchase)

Nicotra, Jodie. Becoming Rhetorical: Analyzing and Composing in a Multimedia World. Cengage Learning,

  1. (required purchase)

RHE S309K • Rhetoric Of Reality Tv

83415 • Summer 2019
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM BEN 1.108
Wr

In 1992, one brave TV show cut the script, lost the actors, and stopped being polite. With the premiere of MTV’s The Real World, TV started being real. Since The Real World’s first season, reality TV shows have come to dominate cable and network television alike, all featuring real lives in real situations with real implications. From fly-on-the-wall shows to competition shows to dating shows, reality TV programming has continued to expand and diversify, much to critical dissatisfaction. Reality TV shows have come under scrutiny by critics who ask who puts the “real” in reality TV, whose “realities” are being represented, and whether there is really any “reality” in the shows at all. They question both the ethics of putting people’s lives under extreme, surveilled situations and the shows’ allegedly unaltered realities. 

In this class, students will interrogate these critical questions about the genre of reality TV to understand how different reality shows are manipulated for particular viewing audiences and to think about how these manipulated narratives are persuasive to them. This course will confront a variety of opinions about the production behind reality TV and the programming it creates with a specific focus on the rhetorical strategies reality TV shows employ, such as confessionals, narration, analogy, editing, and sequencing. Students will analyze a reality show’s portrayal of “real life” issues, form their own argument concerning the potentially beneficial or problematic nature of having reality shows act as representations of reality, and write their own reality TV show premise to attract an audience. In short, they will stop being polite, uncritical observers and start being real rhetorical.

Assessment Breakdown

  • Project 1: Annotated Bibliography — (10%)
  • Project 2.1: Rhetorical Analysis — (10%)
  • Project 2.2: Rhetorical Analysis Revision — (15%)
  • Project 3: Argumentative Paper — (25%)
  • Project 4: Multimodal Assignment — (10%)
  • Five Research Summary Short Writing Assignments — (20%)
  • Peer Reviews — (Mandatory)
  • Participation — (10%)

Required Texts

  • Bullock, Richard, Michal Brody, and Francine Weinberg. The Little Longhorn Handbook. 2nd
  • Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 2014. (required purchase)
  • Nicotra, Jodie. Becoming Rhetorical: Analyzing and Composing in a Multimedia World. Cengage Learning, 2018 (required purchase)

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