Thursday, December 21, 2017

New MALAS Spring 2018 Seminar with Professor Anh Hua | WOMEN AND VIOLENCE

Women's Studies 572/MALAS 600C
Women and Violence

Women and Violence will examine the forms and types of violence against women, including intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and socio-cultural, economic, political, and epistemic violence.  This course will focus on violence against women in the United States and globally.  Themes include:  
  • context of violence against women; power and emotional dynamics in domestic violence
  • the interrelation of gender, race, class and sexuality in interpersonal violence
  • violence against women of color
  • abuse in same-sex relationships
  • media, sexual violence and the objectification of women’s bodies
  • masculinity and violence; gender, war and violence
  • gendered and sexual violence on university campuses
  • politics of healing, empathy and global compassion
  • and the use of art and creativity to heal various traumas

New MALAS Seminar, Spring 2018

ENG 606A / MALAS 600A
The American Memoir 
Laurie Champion | Spring 2018 

This course will consider the evolution of the memoir as a genre and look at how it was originally undefined, then defined, then redefined, even as it continues to evolve. We will trace its roots from early American texts such as The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, which Franklin referred to as his “memoirs,” to contemporary memoirs that spark lively debates regarding specifics of literary genres, boundaries between truth and lies, and influences on memory such as “personal life effects.” We will address texts labeled as “chronicles,” “confessions,” “biographies,” or “autobiographies” that might be considered memoirs. We will touch upon classic memoirs such as Willie Morris’s North Towards Home and Frank Conroy’s Stop-Time, then consider the popularity of the American memoir after the publication of Mary Karr’s 1995 memoir The Liar’s Club. We will debate issues such as factual truth versus conceptual truth, modes of memory, and how memoirs compare to fiction and to other forms of nonfiction. We will explore texts such as Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes: A Fictional Memoir, Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life, Tony Earley’s Somehow Form a Family: Stories That Are Mostly True, David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, Art Spielegman’s Maus: A Survivor's Tale, and other texts that blur boundaries between memoir, biography, autobiography, and between nonfiction and fiction. We will also analyze motifs and trends that recur throughout subgenres of the memoir such as captivity narratives, misery lit, celebrity stories, stories about addiction, and travel journals. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

New Spring 2018 MALAS SEMINAR | Warrior Women in History | Professor Walter Penrose

Topics in Gender and Sexuality
Warrior Women in History

Course Description: This course will explore Amazons and women warriors in various historical settings.   The subject of Amazons will be a theme used to familiarize students with Queer, Feminist, and Postcolonial Theories, which we will use to situate and understand the realities of women who took up the sword and fought for themselves, both in battle and for revenge.  Using these theoretical precepts, we will strive to understand “gender queerness” as a cultural construct that is both time and place specific.  We will begin the course by discussing Judith Halberstam’s groundbreaking Female Masculinity.  We will then explore the legends of the Amazons, as well as histories of ancient warrior queens, women bodyguards, and courageous medieval warrior women such as Joan of Arc.  We will end the course by studying the role of women in the modern U.S. military as well as other nations, paying keen attention to studies and evidence demonstrating the ability of women to serve in military settings.
REQUIRED BOOKS (Available at SDSU Bookstore):
Judith Halberstam, Female Masculinity
Walter Penrose, Jr. Postcolonial Amazons: Female Masculinity and Courage in Ancient Greek and Sanskrit Literature
Rosemarie Skaines, Women in Combat

Dr. Walter Penrose
Office:  AL 565
Spring 2018                                                                                 
Phone:   619-594-1102
Tu/Th  12:30-1:45 PM                                                           
Room: LSN 132

Spring 2018 MALAS Seminar | VISUAL RHETORIC | Professor Cezar Ornatowski

Spring 2017
Prof. Cezar Ornatowski
Tuesday 7:00-9:40 pm

In the last decade, visuality has become a major focus of theory and research in a variety of fields (rhetoric, communication, cultural studies, literary studies, and science studies).  Much of communication today is visual, from television to film, videos, and images posted on Facebook. The ubiquity of visual communication in the global communication age is due in large part to the power of visual images (they impact our emotions directly, short-circuiting our rational mind), their “truth-effect,” and the fact that they appear to transcend language barriers. For al these reasons, in spite of their seeming “truth-value,” images are also heavily manipulated (staged, Photo-shopped, false captioned, and so on). Visuality has in fact become the major arena of political and cultural “struggle” in the electronic—and not only electronic--domain. In addition, with the advent of mass surveillance and “big data,” visualization has become a powerful strategy of knowledge production.

The course will examine a range of visual artifacts, both still and moving (photographs and other images, paintings, videos, and film, as well as scientific “visualizations”) from three complementary perspectives:
  a semiotic perspective: the working of the visual sign itself
  a systemic perspective: visuality as a communication system that involves specific technologies, media, modes, and techniques of production, reproduction, manipulation, circulation, and reception
  a rhetorical/communication perspective that explores psychological, historical, and cultural practices of seeing and looking, persuasive effects of visual artifacts, as well as their deployments in politics, culture, art, advertising, and knowledge discovery.


Monday, December 4, 2017

Textual Matriarchies MALAS Lecture III: Deyanira Torres on Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Psychoanalysis, the Female Psyche, Jacques Lacan y Mucho Mas More! | @SDSU, Tuesday, December 5, 2017 @11am in GMCS 333

Click to Enlarge!
Textual Matriarchies MALAS Lecture III: Deyanira Torres on Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Psychoanalysis, the Female Psyche, Jacques Lacan y Mucho Mas More! | @SDSU, Tuesday, December 5, 2017 @11am in GMCS 333

Deyanira Torres, is a practicing Psychoanalyst whose work traffics in the tradition of Freud and of Psychoanalysis but she does so as an expert on one of the most influential critics who followed Freud, the French theorist Jacques Lacan. A clinical psychologist, scholar, and practitioner of Lacanian Psychoanalysis for the past 20 years, Torres has been a member of the academic staff on the faculty of Psychology for the undergraduate and master’s programs at CETY's University for the last 11 years. During her academic tenure she has presented lectures all over the planet and has authored more than 90 articles in journals and magazines. She is a member of the Psychoanalytical Group of Tijuana and co-produced the urban intervention "Tú No Existes."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Myriam Gurba! LIVE @ SDSU, Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 11am in GMCS 333 | Free and Open to the Public | The 2nd Textual Matriarchies Lecture

Myriam Gurba @SDSU! Thursday, November 30, 2017, in GMCS 333 at 11am--free and open to the public! 

Part of the M.A.L.A.S. The Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences TEXTUAL MATRIARCHIES lecture series. The TEXTUAL MATRIARCHIES series showcases women writers whose creative and critical work is helping to reshape and reimagine the contours of interdisciplinary research, the practices of  cultural studies in the 21st century.  All these presentations are in GMCS 333 @ 11am on the SDSU main campus.

Co-sponsored by San Diego State University Press and the SDSU Department of English & Comparative Literature.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:,, and She creates digital and photographic art that has been exhibited at galleries and museums. She works as a high school teacher.
Myriam Gurba is a native Californian. She attended U.C. Berkeley thanks to affirmative action. She is the author of two short story collections, DAHLIA SEASON and PAINTING THEIR PORTRAITS IN WINTER. DAHLIA SEASON won the Edmund White Award, which is given to queer writers for outstanding debut fiction. The book was also shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award. Gurba is also the author of two poetry collections, WISH YOU WERE ME and SWEATSUITS OF THE DAMNED. She has toured North America twice with avant-garde literary and performance troupe Sister Spit. Gurba’s other writing can be found in places such as

{direct link to Myriam Gurba's new book, MEAN:}

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Susan Daitch @ SDSU | The First MALAS Textual Matriarchies Lecture Series

click to enlarge
As part of our recruiting effort for 2018, MALAS is proud to announce the visit and public lecture by American literary star Susan Daitch at San Diego State University. Daitch's presentation (with movie screenings of Georges Méliès movies) is the first lecture of our Textual Matriarchies series which goes down tomorrow morning, Thursday, November 16, featuring New York based writer Susan Daitch.  If you could be there, I would appreciate it as this is the first of three MALAS lecture/events this Fall.  The other two are a lecture by Myriam Gurba the Thursday after thanksgiving November 30, and one the following Tuesday, December 5, with Lacanian Psychoanalyst Deyanira Torres based in Tijuana, Baja California!

Susan Daitch is the author of four novels, L.C. (Lannan Foundation Selection and NEA Heritage Award), THE COLORIST, PAPER CONSPIRACIES, THE LOST CIVILIZATION OF SUOLUCIDIR and a collection of short stories, STORYTOWN. A novella, FALL OUT, published by Madras Press donates all proceeds to Women for Afghan Women. Her work has appeared in Tinhouse, Lit Hub, Slice, Black Clock, Conjunctions, Guernica, Bomb, Ploughshares, The Barcelona Review, Redivider,, McSweeney's, Salt Hill Journal, Pacific Review, Dewclaw, Dear Navigator, The Library of Potential Literature, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction. Her work was featured in The Review of Contemporary Fiction along with William Vollman and David Foster Wallace. She has been the recipient of two Vogelstein awards and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. She has taught at Barnard College, Columbia University, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop and currently teaches at Hunter College.
The TEXTUAL MATRIARCHIES series showcases women writers whose creative and critical work is helping to reshape and reimagine the contours of interdisciplinary research, the practices of  cultural studies in the 21st century.
  All these presentations are in GMCS 333 @ 11am on the SDSU main campus.

Free and open to the public!

Bring friends and guests (and prospective new MALAS graduate students as these lectures are part of our recruitment campaign)!

Also note you are invited from 2:30 to 5ish to Eureka right by the Aztec Student Center tomorrow, Thursday, November 16 for an informal reception for Susan Daitch.


Be there!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

First MALAS Social Hour, Fall 2018--At Eureka!

Greetings MALASheads, Faculty, staff, graduate students and alumni are invited to our first MALAS Social Hour of the semester--this is a great chance to meet and chat with your colleagues and professors in an informal setting. While the intellectual dimension of graduate school life is apparent (think about the three-five books you have to read this week), the social dimension is no less important and no less vital as you learn to engage and share ideas at a higher level.

3:30 to 5:30pm
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

New Fall 2017 MALAS Seminar: WMNST 570 Gender, War, and Peace with Dr. Huma Ahmed-Ghosh!

Fall 2017 | WMNST 570

Gender, War, and Peace

Dr. Huma Ahmed-Ghosh                                                                                                                                                      

Office hrs. Mondays 4.00---6.40 p.m.                                    Class room: SH 216        
& by appointment                                                                    Office: AL 342                

This course is an interdisciplinary study of women’s relation to war, peace and militarism, the theoretical debates over women as “essentially” maternal and therefore more pacific; dependence of military policy on notions of masculinity and femininity; war and militarism providing women’s greater opportunities for advancement and equality; relationship between war, militarism, gender inequality and racism; similarity and difference between personal violence against women and state supported violence; relationship between feminism and peace activism.  Through the lens of feminist understandings of peace and conflict, we will address the above issues. This course will be facilitated by guest speakers, films, and food.

Goals of the course

·      Analyze the larger context of war and its gender implications

·      Identify issues of power created through cultural constructions of

masculinities and femininities

·      Summarize the role of women’s movements in nationalist and liberatory


·      Examine the gendered consequences of war

·      Critique the assumptions about maternalism and pacifism in women’s peace activism

New Fall 2017 MALAS Seminar! Literacy, Technology, and Rhetoric with Dr. Jenny Sheppard

Literacy, Technology, and Rhetoric
Dr. Jenny Sheppard

Course Overview

This course is about looking closely at what people say and do in digital spaces and how they make meaning with the different communication resources at their disposal. We’ll investigate the social, communicative and rhetorical strategies they use and the impact this has on our broader culture. Through a lens of literacy studies, we will explore the everyday reading, writing, and communication practices people engage in online and the ways in which this impacts identity, social relationships, and participation in public spaces.  We will also draw on rhetorical perspectives to better understand audience, persuasion and the use of digital tools to create rhetorically effective texts in online environments.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
  • identify a range of effects digital technologies have on contemporary literacy and rhetorical practices
  • demonstrate an understanding of how multimodality changes conceptions of literacy, meaning making, and persuasive practices
  • explore critically a range of digital tools to understand their affordances and constraints for various contexts
  • utilize theory, research, and analytical practices for investigating the implications of digital technologies on literacy and rhetoric in specific online spaces

Hi, my name is Jenny Sheppard and I am a faculty member in the Rhetoric and Writing Studies department at San Diego State University where I serve as the Associate Director of the Lower Division Writing Program. Previously, I was an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Communication in the English Department at New Mexico State University (NMSU). I regularly teach courses in rhetoric of popular culture, visual rhetoric and communication, technical, scientific, and professional communication, and composition. I also developed and ran the Design Center at NMSU from 2004-2014, where students engaged in hands-on development of digital and print media for campus and community clients.

I earned my PhD Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University in 2003. My dissertation examined the design and development of a science-based multimedia website for middle school students. My research interests include multimodal writing, visual rhetoric and design, and professional and workplace communication, but I am most passionate about these areas when thinking about how to bring theory into classroom practice. I am privileged to work with a diverse population of smart, interesting students and at levels from first-year undergrads to those seeking a master’s.

I am co-author of Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects, as well as several articles in journals such as Computers and Composition, Hybrid Pedagogy, and the Journal of Literacy and Technology, and book chapters in collections such as  Designing Texts: Teaching Visual Communication and RAW: Reading and Writing New Media. I am also a contributor to the MLA  Commons project on Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities.

When I’m not working, I enjoy being outdoors and spending time with friends and family. Camping, going to the beach, gardening, and taking adventures with my partner, our six year old, and our dog are a few of my favorite things.

You can find out more about the courses I teach at


 Footnotes: 05 , ZL