April 20, 2016
Courses and Syllabi
Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 360 D
LIT 4930: Florida Literature and Culture
Instructor: Laura Runge (CPR 360D/ Office hours TBD);
TA: Heather Fox (CPR 321/ T/Th 9:30-10:30)
Cross-listed HIS 3930.007 and HUM 4930.001
Time: Tuesday / Thursday
Room: CPR 460
This is an upper-level English course (cross-listed with History and Humanities and Cultural Studies) featuring the literature
and culture of our home place, Florida. Students will read place theory alongside of poetry, fiction and essays of Florida with a
heavy focus on twentieth century. Students will conduct primary and secondary source research prompted by the guiding questions:
what is our understanding of place in Florida and how is it constructed? How have constructions of place changed over the course
of the twentieth century? How do we create place attachment in a culture of high mobility? What role does nature play in Florida
places? The course features the literature of Jose Yglesias, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Zora Neale Hurston, Stephen Crane,
Carl Hiassen, contemporary nature writers and poets, and many more. Students will work in the Special Collections Hampton Dunn
Florida Postcard Collection and the Florida Digital Postcard Environment to conduct multi-modal research projects.
Students will be engaged in the study of place attachment by visiting local places and through contemplative pedagogical
exercises both critical and creative in nature. As part of the CREATTE program through the Office of Undergraduate Research,
students will be able to get research credit and present their work at the OUR annual colloquium.
Place is a meaningful location; it has particular material conditions and a relationship to the
human capacity to produce meaning; it is also a way of being and knowing in the world. This course
invites us to look at our home place, Florida, and study what it means using literature as one of
several factors in the construction of meaning. Inspired by an article called "Teaching Hometown Literature:
A Pedagogy of Place," this course invites students to discover and engage with the literature of our home.
In many ways Florida's unique physical environment and history cause it to stand apart from regional study;
Florida cannot, for example, be encompassed by the idea of "The South." Moreover, the cultural hybridity of
Florida has produced a significant, if under-studied, literature, emphasizing the limitless potential and
paradisal promise of this unique land.
Students will read a variety of authors and literature, including contemporary nature essays, short stories, novels, and poems by authors such as Stephen
Crane, Zora Neale Hurston, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens,
Hart Crane, Carl Hiassen, John Fleming, Jay Hopler, Campbell McGrath, and Jose Iglesias. We will read theories
of place and place attachment from philosophy, cultural geography, art and psychology, and discuss topics in ecocriticism, animal studies,
history and ecology of Florida.
But the tremendous growth of Florida in the twentieth century has led to serious environmental problems,
and the human impact on the environment constitutes a major thread in literary representation we will
be studying. The environmental challenges now facing inhabitants of this place make attention to Florida
a critical issue. How might the literature of Florida contribute to our understanding of our home place?
Conversely, how does this unique, beautiful and diverse environment shape the literature written upon it?
This course is appropriate for anyone interested in Florida, literature and the environment, theories of
place and ecocriticism, nature writing and contemporary literature, and contemplative pedagogy.
This course counts as an elective for English majors and a cultural-critical requirement. Some mobility will
be necessary for field trips, which are contingent upon permissions; accommodations will be made as needed but
students requiring accommodation should inform the instructor at the start of class.
Operating with the assumption that literature gains in meaning from experiencing the site of its
production, the class will travel to one or two specific literary locations, including Ybor City.
Resources from previous classes, including videos of previous guest lecturers from geography, philosophy, geology and history, will be available.
Early in the semester we will learn about USF's unique library holdings in the Florida Studies Collection, with
Melanie Griffin, and we will have two sessions in the digital media center to develop our digital literacies and skills in preparation
for the research project. If weather permits, we may even hold class in the Poetry Garden at USF Botanical Gardens.
This experimental class departs from the standard lecture-discussion
format by implementing contemplative pedagogy, such as meditation, in-class writing, and contemplative photography.
These methods make space for slow, mindful consideration of a text and
the environment. The class borrows a proposition from contemplative environmental studies that
sees a parallel between inner well being and the well being of the planet. Our focus will be local. |
To develop a deep understanding of Florida as a place, natural and
constructed, in which different groups of beings interact to produce meaning;
To experience Florida from multiple perspectives of scale,
discipline, history, physical being, and social kind (this includes 1 or 2 field trips to meaningful
sites in Florida connected to our course material);
Through reading and writing, to develop knowledge of a range literary works
concerned with Florida as well as theories of place, ecocriticism, and nature writing, and
to practice critical thinking and writing skills necessary for literary and historical analysis;
To foster the skills and knowledge derived from a regular practice of attention,
both to self and subject, through the course of a semester; that is, through focused
attention and a practice of awareness, this course will engage students in understanding
one's home place as a personal journey and an external exploration;
To develop and bring to completion an original research project on a Florida place;
To develop digital literacy in service of our research on Florida places.
Tim Cresswell, Place: a short introduction, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015 ISBN 9780470655627
Ed. Jeff Ripple and Susan Cerulean, The Wild Heart of Florida, UP of Florida, 1999, ISBN 0813016568
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, The Yearling, Aladdin, 2001 ISBN 0689846231
John Fleming, Fearsome Creatures, Pocol Press, 2009 ISBN 1929763409
Carolina Hospital, Florida Literature: A Case Study, Bedford/St. Martin’s 2013, ISBN 978-1-4576-4202-9
Jose Iglesias, The Truth About Them (1971), Arte Publico Press 1999 ISBN-10: 1558852735 ISBN-13: 978-1558852730
Carl Hiaasen, The Dance of the Reptiles Vintage 2014 ISBN 978-0345807021
Michael Gannon, Florida a Short History, revised edition, UP Florida 2003 ISBN 0813026806
Other important websites are listed following the assignments.
Electronic Discussion We will be using the USF Canvas system for this class. You can gain access to it through My USF.
You are automatically registered by virtue of being registered for this course.
My website: information on class, assignments
and links to other important sites on literature, etc.
Notes for each class will be updated throughout the term
Jan 12 Class 1: Introductions
"Teaching Hometown Literature: A Pedagogy of Place," James M. Callahan (Canvas)
Slideshow on Florida
Review syllabus and assignments
Jan 14 Class 2: Introduction to Florida Literature
Florida Literature: A Case Study (FL), Introduction and Rowe, pages 1-9;
Bishop (22-3); Stevens (125-127)
Jan 19 Class 3: Digital Training with Kayt Ahnberg
Additional poems: "Florida," "Seascape," by Elizabeth Bishop; Hopler "Of the Dead so much less is expected," and "Academic Discourse" (Canvas)
DUE Post #1 (everyone)
Meet in library, DMC first floor.
Jan 21 Class 4:
Introduction to OUR from Dean Rick Pollenz
DUE: Post 2 – group A, Response group B
Cresswell (Ch 1-2)
Jan 26 Class 5
Dave Barry (FL)
DUE: Post 2 – group B, Response Group A
Jose Yglesias, The Truth About Them
Jan 28 Class 6
DUE: Post 3 – group A, Response group B
Jose Yglesias, The Truth About Them
Feb 2 Class 7
DUE: Post 3 – group B, Response Group A
Jose Yglesias, The Truth About Them
Feb 4 Class 8
DUE: Post Post 4 – group A, Response group B
Field trip to Ybor City - tour
Feb 9 Class 9
Post 4 – group B, Response Group A)
Cresswell - Chaps 3-4, selected poems;
Feb 11 Class 10
Recommended: Gregory Byrd, "Aesthetics a the Southernmost Point: Towards a Definition of Florida Poetry" (Canvas)
Post 5 – group A, Response group B
Visit to Special Collections with Melanie Griffin
Feb 16 Class 11
Wild Heart of Florida
Post 5 – group B, Response Group A
Wild Heart of Florida
Feb 18 Class 12
Post 6 – group A, Response group B
Wild Heart of Florida
Feb 23 Class 13
DUE: Post 6 – group B, Response Group A
Field Trip - Botanical Gardens
Feb 25 Class 14
Excerpt from William Bartram's Travels
Due: Post 7 – group A, Response group B
Mar 1 Class 15
Due: Midterm Essay Microdraft; Post 7 - group B, Response group A
Mar 3 Class 16
DUE: Post 8 - group A, response group B
Mar 8 Class 17
DUE: Post 8 – group B, Response Group A
Mar 10 Class 18
DUE: Post 9 – group A, Response group B
USF Spring Break March 14-18
DUE: Midterm Essay; Post 9 – group B, Response Group A
Mar 22 Class 19
Digital multi-modal training - Meet in Library DMC
Mar 24 Class 20
Due: Post 10 – group A, Response group B
Crane’s "The Open Boat"
Mar 29 Class 21
Post 10 – group B, Response Group A
Hurston’s "Sweat," and from Mules and Men
Mar 31 Class 22
DUE: Postcard project Outline with Research;
Post 11 – group A, Response group B
Stetson Kennedy's essay, "A Florida Treasure Hunt."
Apr 5 Class 23
The essay may be found using this link: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/florida/ffpres01.html.
Maxine D. Jones’s essay “No Longer Denied: Black Women in Florida, 1920-1950” (PDF in Canvas)
Audio files of songs and folk tales
DUE: Post 11 – group B, Response Group A
Hurricane Andrew FL
Apr 7 Class 24
Post 12 – group A, Response group B
Fleming's Fearsome Creatures
Apr 12 Class 25
Post 12 – group B, Response Group A
Selected Animal poems and essays: Elizabeth Bishop, "The Fish,”
"Roosters,"; Meinke, “The Vietnamese Fisherman on Tampa Bay,"
"Goalfish," "Ibises," "Chicken Unlimited,"
"The Death of the Pilot Whales" (Canvas)
Apr 14 Class 26
John Mortimer Murphy, "Alligator Shooting in Florida" (1899),
in Tales of Old Florida ed. Frank Oppel and Tony Meisel,
(New York: Castle, 1987): 353:364. (Canvas)
Post 13 – group A, Response group B
Apr 19 Class 27
DUE: Post 13 – group B, Response Group A
Apr 21 Class 28
DUE: Post 14 – group a, Response Group b
Apr 26 Class 29
DUE: Mapping Projects;
No Posts due.
Apr 28 Reading period - no class
DUE MAY 3: Take-home Essay Exam due
** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the
observation of a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s)
to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.
** In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations.
During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that
include but are not limited to: Canvas, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or
an alternate schedule. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor the Canvas site for
each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department
websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.
Attendance/Participation in all class activities 15%
Weekly Posts and responses (15) 20%
Midterm Essay 15%
Mapping Project 5%
Post card Project
Outline with research (15)
Postcard project (70)
Take-home Essay Exam 20%
Description of graded assignments
Attendance and Participation in all class activities:
We will be conducting regular creative and reflection exercises in class which students are
expected to complete. I recommend highly that you keep a notebook - either tangible or electronic -
to record this work. The work produced in class can feed into the other assignments,
such as midterm essay and your take-home final. I will expect to see evidence of your participation in these
in-class activities and will keep a weekly record.
Weekly writings to discussion board:
For each class, even when field trips or guest lecturers are scheduled, students will be expected to post either an
informal writing on the week's reading or a response to a fellow student's post to the class discussion board on Canvas. Notes and discussion
questions will be posted on the syllabus, linked to the date of the class. Students should read
and respond to one of the questions. These will be open ended and reflective in nature. The posts
should be a minimum of 250 words in length; responses a minimum of 100. They will be evaluated on a 3-point scale (2 for post; 1 for response) for the
effort put into the writing. Full effort will be recognized by the timely submission of a writing
meeting the minimal length and engaged in the subject of the class for that week. If you do not
hear any response from me, you have received full credit for the post. I will only contact you
regarding a post if it falls short of expectations. Students are expected to read the posts of
their fellow students before posting so as to avoid repeating the same information and to engage
in a conversation that builds on shared knowledge. These are informal in nature and therefore can
be explorative, inquisitive, risk-taking. The idea is not to look for the single correct answer but
to expand your understanding of the subjects.
On days when we meet for discussion, these posts will form the
beginning point for our class work, and so I expect students to take the
assignment seriously. For more information on the ways in which this assignment
facilitates learning, please see my general description on
Posts are due by 7 pm the night before class, so that students will have an opportunity to read the posts before me meet at 11:00am.
Please construct this essay in two stages. For the first stage, a microdraft will be due on Feb. 25 uploaded through Canvas.
The final essay will be due Mar 10 uploaded through Canvas.
Both products should be formatted with 1 inch margins, double-spaced with 12 point font, proper header and page number,
and written in formal, grammatical prose.
Objective: to apply one or more place theory(ies) (from Cresswell) to understand the question "how is place constructed in this
literary work?" or "what is the meaning of place in this literary work?"
Guidelines: choose a poem, essay or section of the novel we have read from class as your analytical subject. Consider how
place is represented in the work -- consider both the denotative and the connotative meanings of the language used to construct place.
Examine the meaning of place given one or more the place theories from class. Explain the theory and how the application of the
theory to the literary work gives us greater understanding of the meaning of place represented.
Microdraft - identify the subject of your essay, your theory of place (with 1-2 sentence explanation) and the reason why this application
is meaningful. Provide a outline of the ideas you expect to cover, including the thesis statement. (Your thesis should be some form of an
answer to the question: "how is place constructed in this
literary work?" or "what is the meaning of place in this literary work?") Finally write one full paragraph of analysis as a sample of your thinking
and writing process.
Final essay -- your final essay should be between 900 and 1200 words in carefully structured paragraphs. The answer to your research question
should be supported with at least three solid examples from the text. Use proper quotation and citation rules, and include a list of
Using Google My Maps or My Stories |Story Maps, students will create a series of layered visualizations of travel and
place across Florida connected to personal, historical and literary journeys. In the last
week of class, students will turn in a 2-3 page write-up of the maps with a link to their
Personal layer -- map your everyday practice of place, an individual
“place ballet” tracking the mundane and repeated acts of placemaking in your life.
We will begin this with instruction in class after reading place theories.
You do not have to make this information public.
Historical layer – select a historical theme related to your
research and map it with historical information (e.g. military places, transit,
segregation, population growth, development of townships).
Literary layers – select a minimum of five titles from the syllabus
to map, including The Truth About Them and The Yearling. Consider how you
will map fictional versus non-fictional places. For example, you might decide
to map the travel of the main character or multiple characters, or you might map the place of the
narrative. Select places named or mentioned
in the text and annotate with literary reference. Connect it
, when possible to relevant historical or geographical information.
For the longer literary works, you need not reference every single place name,
but be sure to map the most significant places and explain their significance.
For each layer, you should identify a minimum of five places with supplemental
information (text, images, routes).
For the write up, analyze the maps you have created and identify
any themes that emerge. What does the aggregate map tell you?
Post Card Research Project
As an example of the construction of place through cultural documents, students will be
introduced to the Hampton Dunn Florida Postcard Collection in USF Library Special Collection.
This collection is the subject of my current funded digital research project, the Florida
Digital Postcard Environment, and it is the early stages of development. Students will be
introduced to the digital interface for the Hillsborough County postcards and they will
identify a particular landmark or postcard subject to be the source
of their historical and cultural inquiry.
Objective: for students to identify and analyze a local place of interest in Florida
represented in the postcards, to research the subject of the postcard (history, geography,
cultural significance, role in literature and the arts, association with famous person(s),
etc.), to visit and record representations of the place as it is today, and to analyze the
now and then construction of place meaning and attachment. The guiding research questions
are: what is our understanding of place in Florida and how is it constructed? How
have constructions of place changed over the course of the twentieth century? How do
we create place attachment in a culture of high mobility? What role does nature play
in Florida places?
Using Hampton Dunn’s own newspaper columns from the early 1990s, called “Then and Now,”
students will have a template for researching and presenting information on the places
represented in historic postcards.
The instructor and TA will design scaffolded assignments for the undergraduate
researchers to identify their individual subjects of research in the postcards.
We will lead them through the three stages of design: researching the postcard subject;
visiting and recording information on the place as it is today; applying one or more
of the defined research questions and analyzing the significant aspects of place
construction revealed by two sets of data.
Students will be required to create a multi-modal display of their research and analysis, and
to make a presentation of research during the last week
of class with the goal of preparing them for public presentations. We will encourage
all of the students to present their work at the Office of Undergraduate Research colloquium.
If possible, we will organize an event for students to present research in the
English Department. Additionally, we will advertise to our students opportunities for
presenting research at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference or other appropriate
For more detailed information, please see documents on Canvas.
Take-home final essay exam
More details will be available at the end of the course.
This syllabus is subject to change.
Florida Digital Postcard Environment; this is a work in progress. Please browse the postcards and select one for your research.
Florida Literature and Culture Library Resource Guide
American Panorama: An Atlas of United States History American Panorama is created by
the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond. Robert K. Nelson and Edward L. Ayers serve as editors,
Scott Nesbit as an associate editor. Justin Madron manages the project's spatial data. Nathaniel Ayers leads the design work. This site
includes the Foreign Born mapping by decade.
Walking Tour of Historic Ybor.
Resource Guide for Digital Humanities assembled by Katherine Ahnberg
of the University of South Florida.
USF Library Digital Media Commons: The USF Library Digital Media
Commons (DMC) is a multimedia production area which provides equipment, instruction, creative space,
and assistance to USF students and faculty. Our digital space enables patrons to work independently
with studio equipment and software. Additional consultative help within the DMC is also available.
USF Office of Undergraduate Research
The Florida Digital Postcard Exhibit. The Florida
Digital Postcard exhibit is a curated presentation of the digitized images from The Hampton Dunn Florida
Postcard collection housed in the University of South Florida Libraries Special Collections.
Florida Humanities Council: Established in
1973 as a private non-profit organization, FHC is the state affiliate of the National
Endowment for the Humanities. FHC uses the disciplines of the humanities to develop public
programs and resources that explore history, literary and artistic traditions, cultural values and ethics.
Florida Maps excellent resource for digitized maps, many from
the USF special collections. Organized historically. Hosted by College of Education, USF.
Exploring Florida Social Studies resources for Florida, including history and maps, excellent
links on Native Americans. Thousands of resources for use in the classroom.Part of the College of Education at USF
and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology.
Florida Outdoor Writers Association Chartered in 1946, FOWA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) statewide
paid professional communicators organization made up of outdoor communicators who report and reflect upon Florida's diverse
interests in the outdoors to educate and encourage the public in ways to protect and conserve our natural heritage. Members
cover a variety of outdoor topics including, fishing, hunting, boating, conservation, and all aspects of the environment.
They are freelance writers, book authors, columnists, publishers, editors, broadcasters in radio and television, photographers,
videographers, artists, illustrators, Web site designers, writers, editors, public information officers and public relations professionals.
The Florida Book ReviewThe Florida Book Review features reviews of books with
Florida settings or subjects, or of special interest to Floridians, as well as interviews and essays about Florida's literary scene. It has a
new essay on Stephen Crane's relationship to Florida and Jose Marti.
Florida Writers Association A helpful website of the association; info on connecting to other writers,
the annual conference and more.
Florida Literary Arts Coalition Blog on the news of literary events around Florida; hosted by an
important group that organizes lots of speakers/readings.
Florida Book Awards, blog. The Florida Book Awards is an annual awards program
that recognizes, honors, and celebrates the best Florida literature published in the previous year.
Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment: (ASLE, pronounced "AZ-lee") is a dynamic
community of teachers, writers, students, artists and environmentalists interested in the natural world and its meanings and
representations in language and culture. ASLE seeks to facilitate interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to the study of
nature and culture through forms such as nature writing, art, ecocritical scholarship, pedagogy, science writing, poetry, music
creative writing, and film, among other forms. This association publishes the leading journal in this field, ISLE and hosts a bi-annual conference.
Saw Palm The literary journal published by the Department of English at USF, Saw Palm
seeks to capture the unique experience of Florida life, landscape, and trope through the work of artists and writers in-state and out.
Established as a web journal in 2006 by John Henry Fleming and the students of the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of
South Florida, Saw Palm began publishing a print version and taking subscriptions in 2008.
Research on Space and Place: An informational site built by Dr. Bruce Janz of UCF. Though
the site needs updating, it is valuable for its many references to works related to place.
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