Screen Arts and Cultures 236: The Art of Film
This course, taught with Professor Matthew Solomon, teaches the terms, techniques, and technologies most useful for the appreciation and critical analysis of movies. Students learn to look closely at movies and to recognize and describe with precision the ways that production and post-production shape the meanings of a film. While becoming more fully literate in the audiovisual language of moving images and recorded sounds, students work to make their own critical arguments about film style in audiovisual form using video capture, audio recording, and editing software. Below are links to five examples of students’ audiovisual essays:

  1. “The Two Sides of Sal in Do The Right Thing” by Lauren Day
  2. “Terrence Malick’s Art Exhibition” by Lauren Guido
  3. “The Millennium Bug” by Matthew Henning
  4. “Editing and The Male Gaze in Dance, Girl, Dance” by J.E. Ishmel
  5. “Smoke in Shadow of a Doubt” by Vivian Righter

English 342: Aliens, Cyborgs, and Other Others in American Science Fiction
This is an upper level literature course that surveys how American science fiction writers use the tropes of the genre to represent cultural contact and the experience of otherness. It begins with the genre’s nineteenth century origins influenced by European colonialism before examining narratives of the immigrant experience and metaphors of Jewish identity in early American pulps and superhero comics. The course then looks at afrofuturism in literature, music, and visual art, and surveys science fiction from Indigenous, Latino, Japanese, and Chinese American perspectives. The course encourages students to consider the diverse ways writers allegorize, critique, and remix ideas of racial and ethnic identity. The course also introduces students to a range of critical tools from literary and cultural theory with which to analyze the formal features of science fiction as a genre and the sociopolitical implications of literary texts and other cultural artifacts.

English 341: The Fantastic in Literature
This is an upper level literature course that provides an historical survey of genres of the fantastic in literature, including fairy tales, science fiction, high fantasy, the nouveau roman, and magical realism.

English 225: Academic Argumentation
This is a sophomore level writing course that further develops the skills introduced in English 125, with an emphasis on research papers. The attached syllabus, “Making Arguments that Matter,” was a highly experimental section that built on students’ existing knowledge and interest by turning over to the students responsibility for much of the content and course policies. The first three pages of the attached file are the “bare bones” syllabus that was handed out to students on the first day of class. After reading this syllabus, students completed two tasks on the first day: (1) They formed committees to decide on course policies regarding attendance, communication with the instructor, laptops in class, and late assignments; and (2) they introduced themselves by writing brief description of their experiences with academic writing and a discussion of the writing skills in which they felt the most confident and the areas where they felt they needed improvement. The committees’ work formed the basis of pages 4-5 of the syllabus, while I used their introductions to assign students topics, for which they were required to develop a lesson plan with me on an assigned day. Pages 6-8 of the syllabus are the assignment sheet for that lesson plan assignment, and the schedule of lessons. Pages 9-12 are the assignment sheets for the three papers and final portfolio.

English 125: Writing and Academic Inquiry
This course fulfills the University of Michigan’s first year writing requirement. The attached syllabus, “Argument and Analysis,” examined academic writing through several different genres of essay.

English 124: Writing and Literature
This course fulfills the University of Michigan’s first year writing requirement, with a focus on academic writing about literary texts. The attached file includes two sample syllabi:

  1. “Arguing about Interpretations”: A broad section organized around reading different kinds of texts. 
  2. “Books of the Grotesque”: A more thematically organized section about “composite novels” such as Winesburg, Ohio.