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ENGL 7580: Studies in Genre (Contested Genres)
Fall 2018

Dr. Paula R. Backscheider
9082 Haley Center
(334) 844-9091
Office Hours: Thursday, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Engaged discussion, short written and oral assignments, and a 10-12 page research and decision paper on one of the featured controversial genres.

Required Books:

Custom Broadview Course Text (in Haley Center Bookstore) - The Broadview Anthology of Restoration & Early Eighteenth-Century Drama, ed. J. Douglas Canfield and Maja-Lisa von Sneidern (Broadview Press, 2018).

Pamela Regis, A Natural History of the Romance Novel (Pittsburgh: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003).

Joseph Roach, It (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007).

Nora Roberts, The MacGregors: Daniel and Ian (New York: Harlequin, 2017).

Erich Segal, Love Story (New York: HarperCollins, 2012).

Recommended Book:

M.M. Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, ed. Michael Holquist (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982).


Play production is a "small part of the performance pie" as performance includes the enactment of behaviors of all kinds - social, artistic and organizational. It has become the master metaphor for the reality in which we live, work, and play. Executives, athletes, students, and teachers perform and are subject to performance reviews.


21: Introduction. Roland Barthes, "The Face of Garbo" from Mythologies; Anemona Hartocollis, "A Reach Across Time to Find the Woman Behind the Bell Jar" from The New York Times; Mike Smith on Justify, 2018 Triple Crown winner, from Montgomery Advertiser; Marvin Carlson, "The Performance of Culture" from Performance: A Critical Introduction (3rd edition), 9-12, 15-18.

28: Henry Bial, "What is Performance Studies?" (2nd edition) and "What is Performance?" (3rd edition) of The Performance Studies Reader; Jacky Bratton, "Theatre History Today" from New Readings in Theatre History, pp. 3-10; and "Introduction" from *Joseph Roach, It, pp. 1-44.

In most periods, dramatic texts are considered simply as texts, a set of written words in manuscript or print that are then realized by actors, but there is surely always a tension between the literary text and its particular physical embodiments.


4: Selection of "It" person and justification. Continued discussion.

11: *George Etherege, The Man of Mode in Broadview anthology.

18: *Roach, It, Chapter 2, "Clothes." Tom King, "There's a Difference in Men."

25: Erving Goffman, "Performances. Belief in the Part One is Playing"; Clifford Geertz, "Blurred Genres." Performances of observed performances.


2: *Roach, Chapter 1, "Accessories"; chapter 4, "Skin."

9: *John Dryden, All for Love in Broadview anthology. Performances.

16: Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Reports on impact of Cleopatra on All for Love.

It is worth trying to sidestep the critical disdain in order to ask why, at this point in history (1990), women turned to romance reading on such a large scale. -Carol Dyhouse, Heartthrobs: A History of Women and Desire

23: Catherine d'Aulnoy, "The Isle of Happiness"; *Nora Roberts, The MacGregors: Daniel (Ian not assigned).

30: *Pamela Regis, A Natural History of the Romance Novel, Parts I and II and Part IV, chapter 12 only is required. Part IV, chapters 15 and 17 are recommended. Progress on Afterlife of your It person.

New genres are born when old ones are no longer adequate to express a nation's experiences and aspirations.


6: *Erich Segal, Love Story.

13: Mikhail Bakhtin, Selections from Essay One: "Epic and Novel"; from Essay Two: "From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse," pp. 41-57; from Essay Four: "Discourse in the Novel," from "The author manifests himself...," pp. 313-315. Book reviews. Time on Campus.

Meaning is a social production, a practice. The world has to be made to mean. -Stuart Hall

27: Jack Santino, "Performance Commemoratives, the Personal, and the Public: Spontaneous Shrines"; Philip Sherburne, "Caceroladas"; Jacky Bratton, "Bartlemy"; Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, "Her Laundry Was Hung Out to Dry. She Wasn't." Presentation of Public Communal Event


4: Debate: The Benefits vs. Dangers/Evils of Modern Mass Market Romances.

13, 12-2:30: Presentation of It Person and Paper Due

*Required text; available in AU Bookstore in Haley.