The fall semester is flying by, and registration for the Spring 2020 semester starts October 28, so take a look at our special topics classes.

SST 598 Special Topics Section 1: Food and Film
Monday, 1:00-3:30 p.m., Ava Lowrey , Barnard Observatory, Room 108

In this one semester production course, students learn documentary filmmaking skills and complete a short four to seven minute documentary film about a Southern foodways topic of their choice from first pitch to final edit.

SST 598 Special Topics Section 2: The Image of the American South and Beyond
Wednesday 1:00-3:30 p.m., Ralph Eubanks, Visiting Professor of Southern Studies and English
Barnard Observatory, Room 108

This course will examine the American South through the visual art of photography and its linkage with literature, as well as how the image of the American South—as captured through the lens of Walker Evans and the prose of James Agee—has had an impact more broadly on literature, creating what critic Geoffrey Dyer calls “the alchemy of the visual and the verbal.” Susan Sontag’s On Photography and James Agee and Walker Evans’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men will serve as a foundational works for this course as we examine ways the visual record of the American South is tied to writing about the South, including novels, nonfiction narrative, and journalism, particularly magazine journalism of the 1960s in illustrated magazines such as Life and LOOK. What connects the reading for this course—and will be the focus of class discussions —is how authors use photography to connect visual and verbal traditions, both regionally and globally.

SST 599 Special Topics: Theories and Traditions in Documentary Expression
Tuesday 1:00-3:30 p.m., John Rash, Producer/Director and Instructional Assistant Professor
Barnard Observatory, Room 108

This course is a study of the innovations and shifts across the historical arc of documentary storytelling and how those shifts redefined the medium or made room for new genres under the “documentary” umbrella. Students will survey the formal and theoretical evolutions of documentary through history, as well as an exploration of the media, materials, and technologies that informed those changes. A curated collection of weekly readings, viewings, and listening will help guide students through their research and exploration of the traditions of documentary expression.


Other Departments Special Topics Courses

ENG 462:01 Special Topics in the Global South: Mississippi’s Marvelous Tales
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00-12:15, Leigh Anne Duck

As a capstone seminar, this class is designed to support students’ research into the question, “How can we understand the prevalence of fantastic forms—ghosts, visions, curses, talking animals, time travel, etc.—in stories of Mississippi?” Attending to analytic models focused on the US South—the “southern gothic” and “speculative souths”—we will focus on critical frameworks concerning the hemispheric Americas. Often citing Oxford’s own William Faulkner as an example, critics from circum-Caribbean and South American countries argue that the “marvelous” realities found in the literature of these regions can be traced to cultural encounters centuries ago between indigenous Americans, colonizing Europeans, and enslaved Africans, as authors seek forms capable of expressing the legacies of that history. In what ways have tales of Mississippi contributed to, diverged from, and expanded beyond this literary project? We will read stories, novels, poems, and graphic novels from William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Jorge Luis Borges, Margaret Walker, LeAnne Howe, Jesmyn Ward, Tim Fielder, and Kiese Laymon, as well as critical works by Alejo Carpentier, Édouard Glissant, and Sylvia Wynter. We will spend the first two thirds of the semester developing a collective annotated bibliography as well as our analytic/descriptive skills concerning our central question; for the final third of the semester, students will focus on preparing their own research presentations and papers.