(David) Todd Lawrence  portrait

(David) Todd Lawrence

Associate Professor of English
Degree
Ph.D., University of Missouri
M.A., Creighton University
B.A., Rockhurst University
At St. Thomas since 2003
Office
JRC 340
Hours
(Spring 2015) M/W/F 12:20-1:30pm; also by appointment
Phone
(651) 962-5625

I teach African American literature and culture, folklore studies, and American cultural studies. My research and teaching areas include: The Black Arts Movement, African American outlaw culture, Afrofuturism, folklore studies, memorialization and public space, and disaster studies. I am currently working on a project in collaboration with the displaced residents of Pinhook, MO, a town destroyed when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the Birds Point-New Madrid levee in southeast Missouri during the Heartland Flood of 2011. This work focuses on African American narratives of disaster and resilience.

Spring 2015 Courses

Spring 2015 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 202 - 01 Folklore & Literature M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040 OEC 210
CRN: 21844 4 Credit Hours Instructor: David T. Lawrence This class will explore the intersection of folklore, an oral communication form, and literature, a written one. Since folklore encompasses everything from legends, jokes, traditional music, fairy tales, and myth, to belief, customs, and material culture, it would be folly to imagine that literary production has not been influenced by it. We'll examine the myriad ways authors use folk genres, motifs, and culture in their creative work. This will mean reading about the fantastical and quotidian--but always the human. Authors will include Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, William Shakespeare, Colson Whitehead, and Adrian Matejka. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 202 - 02 Folklore & Literature M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 OEC 210
CRN: 21845 4 Credit Hours Instructor: David T. Lawrence This class will explore the intersection of folklore, an oral communication form, and literature, a written one. Since folklore encompasses everything from legends, jokes, traditional music, fairy tales, and myth, to belief, customs, and material culture, it would be folly to imagine that literary production has not been influenced by it. We'll examine the myriad ways authors use folk genres, motifs, and culture in their creative work. This will mean reading about the fantastical and quotidian--but always the human. Authors will include Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, William Shakespeare, Colson Whitehead, and Adrian Matejka. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 390 - 61 Literary Figure: James Baldwin M - W - - - - 1335 - 1510 SCB 205
CRN: 21833 4 Credit Hours Instructor: David T. Lawrence The late Amiri Baraka, in his 1987 eulogy for James Baldwin, claimed that the writer had “traveled the earth like its history and its biographer,” and “made us better, made us consciously human or perhaps more acidly pre human.” Baraka, who had once viciously attacked Baldwin because of his queer identity, had grown to revere him as one of the most insightful and honest cultural critics of the 20th century. This course will approach Baldwin in this way, not just as a major figure of American literature, but as a visionary and screaming prophet. We will explore Baldwin the paradox, Baldwin the exile, Baldwin the critic, Baldwin the racial philosopher, and Baldwin the clear-eyed American-ologist. In confronting the joy, pain, violence, horror, and truth of works such as GIOVANNI'S ROOM, BLUES FOR MR. CHARLIE, THE FIRE NEXT TIME, NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME, ANOTHER COUNTRY, and others, we will survey the muddy cultural terrain of late 20th century America as Baldwin saw it, one that we all remain mired in and perhaps still do not understand, guided by an artist whose sole conviction was to be simply “an honest man and a good writer.” This course satisfies the multicultural literature requirement for English majors and is pending expected approval to count towards the core Human Diversity requirement. Prerequisite: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
GENG 699 - 01 Master's Essay - - - - - - - -
CRN: 22892 3 Credit Hours Instructor: David T. Lawrence

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
GENG 699 - 05 Master's Essay - - - - - - - -
CRN: 22900 3 Credit Hours Instructor: David T. Lawrence

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

Summer 2015 Courses

Summer 2015 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2015 Courses

Fall 2015 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ACST 200 - 01 Intro to Amer. Culture & Diff. M - W - - - - 1335 - 1510 JRC 126
CRN: 41571 4 Credit Hours Instructor: David T. Lawrence In ACST 200, students learn about the historical and theoretical foundations of Cultural Studies as an academic discipline and use cultural theory to analyze a variety of cultural products and representations. In this course, students look specifically at dominant and subversive constructions of gender, race, ethnicity, national and sexual identities, and how these constructions are deployed through cultural practices and productions such as sports, film and television, folklore and popular culture, youth subcultures, music, and so on. For example, the course may contain units on "nation" and the creation of American mythologies; the process of hero-making in American history; stereotypes and the representation of race and ethnicity in television and film; representations of gender and sexuality in advertising; as well as a section on American music from jazz, blues, folk and roots music, to rock and roll, punk, and hip-hop. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 203 - 42 HONORS:Your Utopia/My Dystopia M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 OEC 212
CRN: 42580 4 Credit Hours Instructor: David T. Lawrence What¹s your idea of a perfect world? How would it be different from your friends¹ ideas? Some of our greatest stories have taken up our dreams of utopia and imagined the way competing needs and desires distort those dreams, producing a dystopian reality. In this class, we will discuss literary and cinematic work that revolves around notions of power and the way societies get shaped to privilege power even when the goal is to create a living situation that is equitable to everyone. Sometimes dystopias result from attempts to hoard power; sometimes they result from efforts to create utopias. Is it possible that utopias are never as good as intended? Maybe, as Thomas More¹s UTOPIA suggests, they don't really exist at all except as ideals in the mind of people with power. Possible texts include THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins; BATTLE ROYALE: THE NOVEL by Koushon Takami; NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro; V FOR VENDETTA by Alan Moore and David Lloyd; THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi; PARABLE OF THE SOWER by Octavia Butler; HUM by Jamaal May; and the films BLADE RUNNER and V FOR VENDETTA. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 217 - 01 20th C. African-American Lit M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040 OEC 308
CRN: 40449 4 Credit Hours Instructor: David T. Lawrence This course will be a survey of African American literature in the 20th Century with a focus on major aesthetic currents and movements such as realism, modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Black Arts Movement. Authors will include: Pauline Hopkins, W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Walker, Robert Hayden, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Larry Neal, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and others. This course satisfies the core Human Diversity requirement and the English Diversity distribution requirement for English majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)