East College Room 405
Professor Steirer's teaching and research interests include film and television, media industries, comic books, video games, digital culture, and intellectual property law. He has served three times as a researcher for the Connected Viewing Initiative of the Carsey-Wolf Center in Santa Barbara and has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for 2017-2018 in support of his monograph on intellectual property law and the history of the narrative-based franchise. His other book project, The American Comic Book Industry and Hollywood, co-authored with Alisa Perren (UT Austin), will be published by BFI/Palgrave in 2019. His most recent scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the journals Convergence, Television & New Media, and Media, Culture and Society, as well as the collections How to Play Video Games and Point of Sale: Analyzing Media Retail.
ENGL 331 Science Fiction
How have writers imagined alternative pasts and futures? More specifically, how have writers from around the world imagined these alternatives through science fiction? This course examines the genre of science fiction, focusing on work by a diverse range of authors, which may include Nnedi Okorafor, Robert Heinlein, Robert Sullivan, Zenna Henderson, Priya Sharma, Nick Harkaway, Gerald Vizenor, Dan Simmons, Sofia Samatar, Pauline Hopkins, Nalo Hopkinson, H. P. Lovecraft, and Chang Rae-Lee. We will consider how science fiction has developed as a genre and a writing community, and how these writers have reinforced, challenged, or reframed its evolving norms. Students will engage a range of scholarship on speculative fiction, as well as theories drawn from Genre, Postcolonial, Native American, Critical Race, and Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well as History of the Book. In using these theories as lenses through which to read science fiction, we will analyze how the genre reimagines systems of power tied to race, gender, class, sexuality, technology, business enterprise, and political organization. Given this focus, this course requires especially thoughtful engagement with diverse and difficult points of view. Our classroom will be a space in which you should feel challenged to reexamine your own thinking, while also helping to shape a vibrant and respectful dialogue.
ENGL 403 Literary Studies & Scholar Hab
Permission of Instructor Required.In preparation for the writing of the senior thesis, this course aims to help students develop an advanced understanding of the practice of research in literary studies and related disciplines. Over the course of the semester we will explore how research has been conceptualized at different periods in history, by practitioners of different institutional affiliation, and at different junctures in the evolution of literary studies as a discipline. In exploring these issues, we will also query the concepts of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity themselves, in part by applying them to students’ own research ideas. By the end of the course, students will have developed an advanced understanding of what scholarly research is, how to practice it, and what it ultimately is for. Primary texts will be determined based upon students’ interests and prospective thesis topics.