Department of English

Sarah Schuster


Ph.D Student

Contact

Interests


19th century American literature, disability studies, animal studies

Courses


E 314L • Banned Books And Novel Ideas

35840 • Fall 2021
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM GAR 2.128
Wr

E 314L  l  3-Banned Books and Novel Ideas

Instructor:  Schuster, S

Unique #:  35840

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:  What makes a book—or any material--dangerous, corrupting, or unfit for the public? What should or should not be said in the public sphere? In this class, we will explore texts and ideas considered “unfit” for public consumption, as well as books that have had long-lasting impacts on subcultures and radical movements.  We’ll consider the role of censorship and cultural evaluation (or re-evaluation) in the making of infamous, challenged, and banned books, and we will additionally consider the lasting impact of controversial books in their respective time periods.  What are the unintended consequences of banning books? What can this teach us about the cultural context in which these books were written? And what does it mean for a book to be truly “dangerous”—or, more accurately, truly influential?

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.

Texts:  Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy; The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka; Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov; A Very Short Introduction to Literary Theory, Jonathan Culler.

Requirements & Grading:  4 Short Writing Assignments (5% each; 20% total); Participation (10%); Reading Responses (10%); Project 1: Close-Reading Essay (20%); Project 2: Annotated Bibliography (20%); Project 3: Final Paper (20%).

RHE 309K • Rhe Of Internet Influencers-Wb

43600 • Spring 2021
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

The 2010s were an age of influence--and influencers. In the past several years, social media has positioned itself to be an unexpected goldmine for users with (seemingly) enviable lifestyles, making them overnight entreprenuneurs. Besides the pleasure that Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and other social media users derive from watching influencers lead lavish lives, the rise of influencing and influencer marketing has caused some to question the ways in which we present ourselves online. Stories of influencers have also come to meld with stories of scams, leading authors, culture critics, and readers question: What does it mean to be an “influencer”? What does it mean to influence, and what does it mean to sell—or scam? What does it mean to “brand” oneself on social media? How does one reproduce oneself as a brand? What does it mean to present one’s life as authentic online, while also engaging in “sponcon,” or sponsored content? What is the line, in other words, between real and fake (or not-real)? What happens when we each reproduce such modes of living and surveilling our friends, family, and community on social media, and how have all of these melded figures made us reevaluate digital media?

 

This course will ask students to consider the way influencing and “confidence games” have permeated American culture and discourse since before digital media. We will explore and consider ways in which social media has shifted our conception of what is public and what is private, what is disclosure and what is surveillance. We will consider issues of image-making, and the unsteady ground on which building an image can coincide with building a façade. We will explore critical questions around the ways in which stories of influencing, influencers, and confidence men have changed in relation to their historical context, and the anxieties and tensions that these stories oblate, reify, and negotiate. We will analyze how conning, class, and social status have played out in the realm of the social media “influencer,” and we will consider the many-valenced term “influence” as it relates to both “legitimate” and “illegitimate” forms of influencing, self help, and social media marketing. What role does the truth play in these scenarios, and what does it mean to be selling the fantasy of your own life? Is influencing someone the same as scamming them? What does it mean to sell a lifestyle, and what’s the difference between self-help --and helping one’s self?

 

Required Textbooks

 

Nicotra, Jodie. Becoming Rhetorical: Analyzing and Composing in a Multimedia World. Cengage, 2018.

The Little Longhorn Handbook. Norton, 2014.

 

Grading & Assessment

Blog Posts – 10%

Short Writing Assignments -- 25% (5% each)

Short Paper & Presentation 20% (paper 15%, presentation 5%)

Rhetorical Analysis 20%

Final Project 25%

RHE 309K • Rhe Of Internet Influencers-Wb

42295 • Fall 2020
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr
The 2010s were an age of influence--and influencers. In the past several years, social media has positioned itself to be an unexpected goldmine for users with (seemingly) enviable lifestyles, making them overnight entreprenuneurs. Besides the pleasure that Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and other social media users derive from watching influencers lead lavish lives, the rise of influencing and influencer marketing has caused some to question the ways in which we present ourselves online. Stories of influencers have also come to meld with stories of scams, leading authors, culture critics, and readers question: What does it mean to be an “influencer”? What does it mean to influence, and what does it mean to sell—or scam? What does it mean to “brand” oneself on social media? How does one reproduce oneself as a brand? What does it mean to present one’s life as authentic online, while also engaging in “sponcon,” or sponsored content? What is the line, in other words, between real and fake (or not-real)? What happens when we each reproduce such modes of living and surveilling our friends, family, and community on social media, and how have all of these melded figures made us reevaluate digital media?

This course will ask students to consider the way influencing and “confidence games” have permeated American culture and discourse since before digital media. We will explore and consider ways in which social media has shifted our conception of what is public and what is private, what is disclosure and what is surveillance. We will consider issues of image-making, and the unsteady ground on which building an image can coincide with building a façade. We will explore critical questions around the ways in which stories of influencing, influencers, and confidence men have changed in relation to their historical context, and the anxieties and tensions that these stories oblate, reify, and negotiate. We will analyze how conning, class, and social status have played out in the realm of the social media “influencer,” and we will consider the many-valenced term “influence” as it relates to both “legitimate” and “illegitimate” forms of influencing, self help, and social media marketing. What role does the truth play in these scenarios, and what does it mean to be selling the fantasy of your own life? Is influencing someone the same as scamming them? What does it mean to sell a lifestyle, and what’s the difference between self-help --and helping one’s self?

Required Textbooks

Nicotra, Jodie. Becoming Rhetorical: Analyzing and Composing in a Multimedia World. Cengage, 2018.
The Little Longhorn Handbook. Norton, 2014.
Grading & Assessment

Blog Posts – 10%
Short Writing Assignments -- 25% (5% each)
Short Paper & Presentation 20% (paper 15%, presentation 5%)
Rhetorical Analysis 20%
Final Project 25%

RHE S309K • Rhe Of Internet Influencers-Wb

82135 • Summer 2020
Internet; Asynchronous
Wr

The 2010s were an age of influence--and influencers. In the past several years, social media has positioned itself to be an unexpected goldmine for users with (seemingly) enviable lifestyles, making them overnight entreprenuneurs. Besides the pleasure that Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and other social media users derive from watching influencers lead lavish lives, the rise of influencing and influencer marketing has caused some to question the ways in which we present ourselves online. Stories of influencers have also come to meld with stories of scams, leading authors, culture critics, and readers question: What does it mean to be an “influencer”? What does it mean to influence, and what does it mean to sell—or scam? What does it mean to “brand” oneself on social media? How does one reproduce oneself as a brand? What does it mean to present one’s life as authentic online, while also engaging in “sponcon,” or sponsored content? What is the line, in other words, between real and fake (or not-real)? What happens when we each reproduce such modes of living and surveilling our friends, family, and community on social media, and how have all of these melded figures made us reevaluate digital media?

This course will ask students to consider the way influencing and “confidence games” have permeated American culture and discourse since before digital media. We will explore and consider ways in which social media has shifted our conception of what is public and what is private, what is disclosure and what is surveillance. We will consider issues of image-making, and the unsteady ground on which building an image can coincide with building a façade. We will explore critical questions around the ways in which stories of influencing, influencers, and confidence men have changed in relation to their historical context, and the anxieties and tensions that these stories oblate, reify, and negotiate. We will analyze how conning, class, and social status have played out in the realm of the social media “influencer,” and we will consider the many-valenced term “influence” as it relates to both “legitimate” and “illegitimate” forms of influencing, self help, and social media marketing. What role does the truth play in these scenarios, and what does it mean to be selling the fantasy of your own life? Is influencing someone the same as scamming them? What does it mean to sell a lifestyle, and what’s the difference between self-help --and helping one’s self?

 

Required Textbooks

  • Nicotra, Jodie. Becoming Rhetorical: Analyzing and Composing in a Multimedia World. Cengage, 2018.
  • The Little Longhorn Handbook. Norton, 2014.

 

Grading & Assessment

  • Blog Posts – 10%
  • Short Writing Assignments -- 25% (5% each)
  • Short Paper & Presentation 20% (paper 15%, presentation 5%)
  • Rhetorical Analysis 20%
  • Final Project 25%

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