Blog Post Instructions / Signup Sheets

Note: these instructions are NOT for the Blog Test Assignment. That assignment’s instructions are here: visual-translationexercise. This page features instructions for our regularly scheduled blog posts as well as the signup sheets.  Remember that reading the blog posts for a given class is part of our assigned reading; you may be quizzed on it.


Five blog posts. (c. 250 words). These are informal but intellectually substantial engagements with our reading for the day. They can take one of two forms: Summaries will use strategic citation and paraphrase to convey an overview of a given text’s argument as you understand it. This is an exercise in recapitulating what you’ve read. Provocations will work more critically. Here you might, for example, take a passage and perform a close reading of it, unlocking some particular complexity in the prose; you might compare one work with another; or you might pose questions about some knotty element in the reading – a contradiction, a dilemma– while taking time to thicken it with thoughtful reflections from other areas of the course. The key, for these, is to workshop an idea, test an argument. Protocols and schedules to be determined.


The groups for the blog and a schedule for postings is available here: english-090-blog-post-schedule. A poorly formatted version of the same information follows here:


Lauren Bontempo

Sienna Brancato.

Jack Braumuller

Patrick Dolan

Susana Gil Del Real

Olivia Jimenez




  1. a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
  2. a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.



Blake Kaiser-Lack

Hannah Kerns

Viktoriya Kuz

Boya Lee

Stella Leitner

Sterling Lykes

Liz Malatesta





  1. the substitution of the name of an attribute or adjunct for that of the thing meant, for example suit for business executive, or the track for horse racing.



Olivier Malle

Charlotte Moore

Aakash Panjabi

Robert Papel

Graham Piro

Greer Richey

Theresa Romualdez


A synecdoche (/sɪˈnɛkdəkiː/, si-NEK-də-kee; from Greek συνεκδοχή, synekdoche, lit . “simultaneous understanding”) is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something or vice versa.



Daniel Sheehan

Delaney Sullivan

May Teng

James Vermylen

Caroline Wachtell

Hannah Walrath

Julieanne Zech





the use of a word in a way that is not correct, for example, the use of mitigate for militate.




Th., January 26: Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Gilles Deleuze, “Lewis Carroll”* GROUP A


Week 4


T., January 31: Sigmund Freud, “On the Interpretation of Dreams”*; begin Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass GROUP B


Th., February 2: Karl Marx, “The Fetish of the Commodity and its Secret” and “The Process of Exchange”*; Susan Sontag, “Against Interpretation”*; Lewis Carroll, selected photographs* GROUP C


Week 5


T., February 7: Lewis Carroll, from Through the Looking Glass; Ferdinand de Saussure, From Course on General Linguistics*; ESSAY 1 DUE



Th., February 9: VISIT TO GEORGETOWN SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, 5th Floor Lauinger Library. With Ethan Henderson, Curator of Rare Books, Special Collections. No drinks, only pencils. Begin watching Alice in Wonderland (1951), film, C. Geronimi, dir.*; and Alice in Wonderland (2010), film, T. Burton, dir.*



Week 6


T., February 14: Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, “Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation”*; Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass; Alice in Wonderland (1951), film, C. Geronimi, dir. and Alice in Wonderland (2010), film, T. Burton, dir.* GROUP D


Th., February 16: Bram Stoker, Dracula; Michel Foucault, from The History of Sexuality: “The Incitement to Discourse” and “Method”* GROUP A


Week 7


T., February 21: Bram Stoker, Dracula and Foucault, cont’d. Optional guest video lecture: Stefan Waldschmidt, Duke University* GROUP B


Th., February 23: Bram Stoker, Dracula; SPECIAL COLLECTIONS ASSIGNMENT DUE      


Week 8


T., February 28: Bram Stoker, Dracula; Jacques Derrida, Youtube videos*; “Letter to a Japanese Friend”*; from Of Grammatology, “Linguistics and Grammatology,” “The Outside and the Inside,” and “The Outside Is the Inside”* GROUP C


Th., March 2: Bram Stoker, Dracula; Derrida, continued. Daniel Stout, “Dracula and Temporality.”* GROUP D




Week 9



SPRING BREAK, Friday, March 3 through Tuesday, March 13



Week 10


T., March 14: Timothy Clark, from The Cambridge Companion to Ecocriticism*; from Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think*; Nathan K. Hensley, “In Nature’s Wake” Symposium description*; Nathan K. Hensley and Dana Luciano, “Approaching the Anthropocene: Global Culture and Planetary Change,” Seminar Description; Robert Hass, “The Problem of Describing Trees”* GROUP A


Th., March 16: Victoria Sambunaris, select images from Taxonomy of a Landscape*; Juliana Spahr, “Gentle Now, Don’t Add to Heartache,” “#Misanthropocene: 24 Theses,” and selected poems TBA;* Select audiorecordings of Juliana Spahr;* Robert Hass, “State of the Planet”*; Jorie Graham, “Sea Change.”* GROUP B


Week 11


T., March 21: 2015 Bruno Latour, “Agency in the Time of the Anthropocene”*; Thomas S. Davis, “Anthropocene Fictions.”* / Possible Skype Lecture A; GROUP C


Th., March 23: [No class, professor traveling to lecture] Read J.G. Ballard, The Drowned World & watch Jeremy Jackson, “Ocean Apocalypse*,” Elizabeth Kolbert, “The Sixth Extinction” (lecture).* GROUP D


Week 12


T., March 28: J.G. Ballard, The Drowned World. GROUP A


Th., March 30: J.G. Ballard, The Drowned World, concluded. GROUP B


Week 13


T., April 4: Selected eco-disaster film TBD, voted on by class. The Day After Tomorrow, San Andreas, etc. Historical materialism: Terry Eagleton, from Marxism and Literary Criticism* (chs. 1, “Literature and History” and 2, “Form and Content”); Raymond Williams: “Determination” and “From Reflection to Mediation”*; Nathan K. Hensley and Philip Steer, “Signatures of the Carboniferous: The Literary Forms of Coal,” excerpt*; Optional text (only for the brave!): Fredric Jameson, “Preface” from The Political Unconscious* GROUP C


Th., April 6: “New materialisms”: Sharon Marcus et al., “Surface Reading: An Introduction”*; Susan Sontag, “Against Interpretation”*; Jeffrey Williams, “The New Modesty In Literary Studies”*; Brian Dettmer, selected art pieces* GROUP D


Week 14


T., April 11: Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception”* GROUP A


Th., April 13: No class, Easter Break.


Week 15


T., April 18: Video games as a culture industry? Readings TBA. GROUPS B, C


Th., April 20: Video games as environmental theory? Readings GROUP D


Week 16


T., April 25: Discuss games Elegy for a Dead World* and Abzû in light of ecological catastrophe; G.M. Hopkins, “Ribblesdale” and selected nature poems, watercolors, journal entries.* VIDEO GAME CLOSE READING DUE

Th., April 27: Last day of class: what is literary study now? Why does it matter? NO BLOGS DUE

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