This course traces the recent resuscitation of the Baroque by modern and postmodern intellectuals from across the American hemisphere (mainly Latin American, Quebecois, and Caribbean) as a model by which to establish modern and autonomous cultural identities apart from colonizing forms. The twentieth-century return to the Baroque is both a European and a transamerican phenomenon, a recovery begun in the groundbreaking art historical studies of Heinrich Woelfflin and extending (to name only a few landmark theoretical studies) via Walter Benjamin, Erwin Panofsky, Eugenio d’Ors, Mariano Picón-Salas, José Lezama Lima, Umberto Eco, Michel Foucault, Severo Sarduy, Alejo Carpentier, Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz, Gilles Deleuze, Omar Calabrese, Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Irlemar Chiampi, Edouard Glissant, Haroldo do Campos.
What is at stake in the modern and postmodern resuscitation of the Baroque? For one thing, the recovery of the Baroque is linked to the crisis of the Enlightenment and instrumental reason. The 20th-century crisis of Enlightenment rationality opens the way for the rediscovery of an earlier, alternate rationality and mode of thought (Baroque reason) that had been repressed and vilified as an aberration beginning in the 18th century and continuing through the 19th. In the first decades of the 20th century, both European and American theorists and writers rediscover the modernity of the Baroque, that is, the Baroque as the first response, both in Europe and the Americas, to the epistemological and religious crises of the Scientific Revolution and the Reformation. In the wake of the 20th-century crisis of metanarratives, the Baroque, stigmatized by the positivist faith in technological and social progress, newly appears to offer a viable alternative.
In the Americas, meanwhile, the recuperation of the Baroque has had a very different impact. Latin America, where the Enlightenment never really took root and where the discourse of modernity has remained an alien imposition, adapted the Baroque of the Spanish dominion to local purposes, using indigenous artisans and material in ways that produced the idiosyncratic structures and styles now known as the New World Baroque. Building upon the pioneering work of colonial historians of the 1940s (Picón-Salas, Henriquez Ureña) and inspired by cultural nationalism, Latin American intellectuals (Cubans Alejo Carpentier and José Lezama Lima, Mexicans Octavio Paz and Gonzalo Celorio, Brazilians Haroldo do Campos and Irlemar Chiampi) have turned the Baroque into an instrument of contraconquista (counterconquest), a decolonizing form distinct from European influences and an expression of Am(é)rican cultural autonomy. Their position is that the European Baroque was transformed into the American Baroque, a transculturated, syncretic New World Baroque—product of the confluence of Hispanic and pre-Columbian cultures, mixing (however unequally) during the peaceful 17th century, and into the 18th, in Spain’s viceroyalties in the New World. This period saw the emergence of creole and mestizo lifestyles and cultural expressions after the initial phase of conquest and colonization. Thus, Cuban novelist and theorist Alejo Carpentier writes, “The American Baroque develops along with . . . the awareness of being Other, of being new, of being symbiotic, of being a criollo; and the criollo spirit is itself a Baroque spirit.”
This course will turn on the two dimensions of the Neobaroque discussed above—the Baroque’s 20th-century recuperation because of a) its alternate, pre-Enlightenment modernity and b) its decolonizing hybridity. We will discuss key cultural theories as well as literary texts, films, and art and architecture.
One specific goal of the course is to demonstrate the ex-centricity of modernism and postmodernism in Latin America, and strike up new conversations with these formations in the U.S. The Baroque has a long and complicated history in Latin America that modern and postmodern discourse does not, and to engage the latter in relation to the former allows the critic to approach transamerican cultural exchanges in an appropriate way. Reading for north-south connections in the literatures of the Americas will allow us to uncover Neobaroque variations within Anglo American modernism, specifically in the work of Djuna Barnes and William Faulkner. As Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes put it in defense of “Dixie Gongorist” William Faulkner: “The Baroque . . . is the language of peoples, who, not knowing the truth, seek it fervently. . . . The Baroque, language of abundance, is also the language of insufficiency: only those who possess nothing can include everything.”
Djuna Barnes. Ryder.
Alejo Carpentier. Baroque Concerto.
Jorge Luis Borges. Labyrinths.
William Faulkner. Absalom, Absalom!
José Donoso. A House in the Country.
María Louisa Bemberg (Dir.). I, the Worst of All. 1990.
Raúl Ruiz (Dir.). Life Is a Dream. 1986.
There will also be a Course Packet.
In English 516 we will examine some varieties of English drama written before and leading up to Shakespeare, including the Chester Cycle, a number of non-cycle plays, morality plays and Tudor interludes. With a glance at current technological resources, we will also formulate some ways of approaching these plays: as cultural markers, as expressions of civic identity, as spectacular performative ventures, as intellectual parents and children during eras of change, and as really good plays.
The course explores a major "Victorian value"--liberal individualism--that remains part of the cultural currency, whether higher or lower in estimation, in subsequent times and our own. We begin with a brief reading from Samuel Smiles, popular expositor of "self-help." Thomas Carlyle serves as spokesman for a liberal progressivist Romantic strain that makes the individual a "Voluntary Force" for self-creation and creation of cultural and material realities. J. S. Mill serves as spokesman for a liberal Utilitarian and capitalist strain that justifies "self-interest" driving worldly production. Such strains are usually considered as more distinct and at odds than in their presentation in this course, based on recent scholarship by Philip Connell and on my own current work. Whatever the mix of influences, this Victorian value informs fictions by Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy, making their works studies in and test cases for individuality and its development. One test or question is how individualism may, or may not, apply to women or members of the working class? another (more briefly treated due to limits of time for encompassing so large a subject) is how individualism in Britain squares with rule of others in Britain's vast empire? A follow-up question is, just how liberal is Victorian liberal individualism? It comes under critique in selected readings by Matthew Arnold and Friedrich Engels, each of whom, in different ways, places social cohesion and self-subordination to culture, set literary standards, state, or community in opposition to unleashed "Doing As One Likes." Finally, the course traces Victorian liberal individualism to a kind of apotheosis and exploding point in Art for Art's Sake with Oscar Wilde's advice to "multiply our personalities."
Readings feature discursive prose--social and literary/cultural criticism--and fiction, with selected poems, and a play. Key texts: Carlyle, Sartor Resartus (with background report on 1 or more Romantic sources); Mill, "On Liberty" with brief readings in Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (and background report on Jeremy Bentham's Utilitarianism); Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass; Eliot, Daniel Deronda; Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge; Arnold, "Doing As One Likes" from Culture and Anarchy, "The Study of Poetry," "The Buried Life," and several more poems; Engels, ch. from Condition of the Working Class in England; Wilde, "The Critic As Artist," and (time permitting) "The Importance of Being Ernest." Background handbook: Robin Gilmour, The Victorian Period, The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1830-1890.
Requirements are on-going seminar participation, 5-min. "historical brief," leading discussion of a primary text or report on a secondary background reading (25%); "response" paper on a primary text (7-8 pp., 25%); seminar paper (may build on shorter paper if you choose, @12pp., 50%).
Between them, Melville and Twain take us deep into the conflicts, cross-currents, contradictions, and achievements of the emerging America we now inhabit. Our focus will be on the imaginative power, the use of language, and the unsettling insights of Melville’s Typee, Moby-Dick, and Piazza Tales and Twain’s The Gilded Age, Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Pudd’nhead Wilson, and “To the Person Sitting in Darkness” and Twain’s other exposures of American imperialism. Selected secondary material on Melville, Twain, and American history and political culture will provide a context. In the course I hope to avoid that “astonishing sense of weightlessness with respect to history and individual responsibility” that Edward Said criticizes as the result of contemporary theory.
"It is only superficial people who do not judge by appearances." - Oscar Wilde
"Fashion and Modernism" undertakes a historical look at some nodes in the constellation of English and European sartorial culture circa the mid-nineteenth century through the 1930s, with occasional dips into the American scene. "Fashion" in this context means both clothing and style, and while our focus will be on the consumption of female fashion, we will also explore theories of ornamentation, emergent forms of urbanism, spatiality, and embodiment. Topics will include: shopping/the department store; ornament/anti-ornament; flâneurie; kitsch/camp/theatricality; and some literary and visual instances foregrounding fashion or the fashion industry.
"F&M" is a reading-intensive seminar. Students will be responsible for one class presentation, and a final research paper employing historical materials/an archive such as Vogue of the period, or the Henry's textiles collection.
NOTE: **Acquaintance with a Western modernism is required**: students must have taken at least one previous course--at either the graduate or the undergraduate level--in either British, American, or European literary or visual modernism. The methodology will be an historical one from the specified time period; this class does not deal with contemporary fashion. Prior to the first class, have (re)read Woolf's *Mrs. Dalloway,* and Andreas Huyssen, "Mass Culture as Woman" from *After the
Great Divide,* and made a serious dent in Zola's *Au Bonheur du Dames* (The Ladies Paradise), in the Nelson translation. All readings will be in English.
In this seminar we'll read some of Woolf's work in the context of recent topics of interest in theory and criticism. The course might have been called something like, "Woolf And. . ." because it is designed both to read Woolf AND to become acquainted with such recent thinking as that on modernism and modernity, thing theory, studies in the everyday, discourses of emotion and affect, theories of reading, auto/biography, gender and sexuality study, consumer culture, the city and other places/spaces, and textual studies. We'll see how Woolf might be provocatively and productively discussed in recent contexts, and more generally, how literary critical conversation has changed in the years since Woolf's death in 1941. The point is both to read some Woolf and to learn about recent directions in contemporary critical thought. Students are free to select the critical/theoretical topic they'd most like to investigate, and the Woolf text they'd most like to read with intensity.
This seminar proceeds from the assumption that studying the theorization, rhetorics, and expression of the emotions is itself a study in the politics and values of a culture. In the West, for instance, the emotions have been figured predominantly as feminine and in opposition to reason, with reason (or rationality) being accorded the higher value. This course will examine this implicit ideology of the emotions and will explore emotions themselves as a source of knowledge. That the emotions do not only vary from culture to culture but also have histories within cultures are guiding suppositions.
The first three weeks of the course will be devoted to material on the emotions from anthropology, social and cultural theory, philosophy, sociology, history, and psychoanalysis that will serve as a crossdisciplinary introduction to the themes of the course as well as to the methodology of a phenomenology of the emotions. We will read work from anthropologists Catherine Lutz, Renato Rosaldo, and Emily Martin; philosophers Alison Jaggar, Catherine Lutz, and Martha Nussbaum; historian Peter Stearns; sociologists Arlie Hochschild and Candace Clark; and social and cultural theorists Raymond Williams and Fredric Jameson. We will also read some key work on the emotions from psychoanalysis, including Freud, Melanie Klein, and Christopher Bollas.
Other sections of the course will be dedicated to specific emotions (or affects and sensations): shame (with a focus on raciality); sentimentality and compassion in literary studies; grief (including loss as a diasporic emotion); and structures of affect in modernity and postmodernity, including the media and the neoliberalism of global culture. Texts include Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye (1970); excerpts from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852); Jane Lazarre’s autobiographical book Wet Earth and Dreams: A Narrative of Grief and Recovery (1998); Korean-born Deann Borshay’s film First Person Plural (2000), about her adoption by an American family, and Yvonne Rainer’s film (and its transcription) Murder and murder (1997), about the power of statistics in our everyday lives. In addition we will read work by literary and cultural critics Jane Tompkins, Lauren Berlant, Saidiya Hartman, Douglas Crimp, David Eng, Brian Massumi, and Eve Sedgwick as well as by feminist Berenice Fisher, media theorist Patricia Mellencamp, philosopher Elizabeth Spelman, and the discourse theorist Rukmini Nair.
In addition to contributing fully to the course in terms of reading and engaged discussion, students will participate in a group project that will focus on a particular emotion (one not discussed in class) and result in a collective bibliography (both in terms of critical texts and expressive texts); it will be presented to the class in mid-February. A twenty-page essay will be due at the end of the quarter.
Lauren Berlant, Professor of English and Director of the Center for Gender Studies at the University of Chicago, will give a lecture in tandem with the course on Monday, February 9, 2004, as part of the Simpson Center’s 2003-2004 Lecture Series on Emotion and Affect. Berlant is the author of The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship (1977) and the editor of a forthcoming collection of essays on compassion. She is working on a book entitled The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture. She will also offer a seminar based on discussion of one of her essays on Tuesday, February 10, 2004. On June 1-2, 2004, the anthropologist Emily Martin, who is working on mania, will visit the University of Washington as part of the Lecture Series on Emotion and Affect. Several other faculty members at the University of Washington are also working on the emotions, including, in English and Comparative Literature, Carolyn Allen, Steve Shaviro, and Woodrow Wilson Fellow Jodi Melamed. There will be occasions for us to hear about their work.
Note: We will want to make distinctions among the passions, emotions, sensations, and moods. We can distinguish families of emotions, organized according to different structuring principles: rage, anger, and irritation; terror, panic, fear, anxiety, depression, and indifference; gratitude and envy, compassion and resentment; nostalgia and hope; aesthetic emotions, such as the sublime; nationalist emotions, such as patriotism; humiliation, shame, guilt, embarrassment, and self-disgust; happiness, joy, and ecstasy; grief, sorrow, and regret; religious emotions, including piety; what I have called the bureaucratic emotions, including bureaucratic depression and bureaucratic paranoia; and what I have called a postmodern affects, such as statistical panic. We will also want to pay attention to the sequencing of emotions, or what might be called narratives of emotions.
Screening Modernity: Modernism and Mass Culture
This course explores the relationship between cinema and modernism, with two interrelated questions in mind: what might film studies contribute to our understanding of modernism and modernity and, conversely, how might the perspective of modernist aesthetics help us elucidate and reframe the history and theory of cinema? In so doing, we will approach modernism as encompassing a whole range of cultural and artistic practices that register, respond to, and reflect upon processes of modernization and the experience of modernity, including a paradigmatic transformation of the conditions under which art is produced, transmitted, and consumed. The majority of our primary texts will be films, ranging from a collection of fin de siècle actualities produced by Lumière and Edison, through D.W. Griffith's initial experiments with parallel editing between 1908 and 1912, to an array of film experiments released between the 1910s and 1930s: Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, Lang's Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler and Metropolis; Mickey Mouse animation shorts; the slapstick comedy of Chaplin, Keaton, and Arbuckle; Surrealist experiments by René Clair (Entr-Acte), Fernand Leger (Ballet Mechanique), and Germane Dulac (The Seashell and the Clergyman); 1930s musicals such as Golddiggers of 1935, Blonde Venus, and Princess Tam Tam. Primary readings include short works by Edgar Allen Poe, E.T. Hoffman, Charles Baudelaire, and André Breton. In addition to extensive engagement with modern theorists, particularly Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer and Sigmund Freud, we will discuss a wide array of critical works by contemporary film and modernist scholars.
This course is an introduction to and survey of some of the major approaches to analyzing oral and written texts. We will examine and practice various analytic perspectives, including conversation analysis, rhetorical analysis, genre analysis, sociolinguistics, and critical discourse analysis, all with an eye toward understanding language practices as integral to complex forms of social participation and organization. As such, this course should 1) introduce students to various methods for analyzing discourse, 2) invite them to evaluate these methods, and 3) provide them with opportunities to practice these analytic methods in relation to questions and texts that interest them.
Johnstone, Barbara. Discourse Analysis.
Discourse Studies in Composition. Barton, Ellen, and Gail
Discourse as Social Interaction. Van Dijk, Teun, ed.
Engl 570 is a credit/no credit course in which students sharpen their understanding of the technical, interpersonal, and practical elements involved in effective ESL teaching through regular observations of ESL classes, daily ESL teaching or assistance in an ESL classroom, and seminar discussion of issues related to ESL teaching. There is no required textbook.
This course provides an historical overview of methodology in teaching English as a foreign or second language. Also covered is the concept that TESOL is currently in a "Post-Method Condition" with implications for the nature of EFL/ESL teaching. The remainder of the course is devoted to exploring ways that teachers can create local pedagogies -- customized approaches to a variety of educational settings where English is taught. Assignments include an analysis of an ESL class transcript, a group materials review project and a final paper.
This course provides an overview of language testing with an emphasis on teacher-developed assessment tools. The major goals of the course are to provide practice in developing and critiquing tests; to introduce major concepts and issues in language testing; to provide experience with major standardized tests; and to familiarize students with very basic
This graduate poetry workshop will be based on the writings of MFA students, as well as readings from literature and pattern-studies from selected other arts and sciences. Grades will be based on faithful attendance and the quality of student writing and discussion. Part of the course time will be devoted to intensive close readings of individual student manuscripts, conducted in private conference.
Textual Theory and the Arts
This seminar is one of four core courses developed by the campus-wide Textual Studies Program. Course credit will count toward the Textual Studies PhD track in all participating departments and may count toward the Critical Theory concentration in Comparative Literature. This course is open to all graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Students completing this course will develop basic skills of literary scholarship (the use of literary archives; aspects of physical bibliography and the printing and production of books; scholarly editing; manuscript-based textual criticism) which will be of help for other courses.
The goal of this course is to challenge the assumption that textual theory and practice occupy a domain separate from literary theory and criticism, and from other disciplines such as art history, architecture, music or film studies. Confronting this territorial fallacy, the course will show that developments in contemporary theory have influenced, and at times radically altered, the direction of textural studies; and conversely, that textual scholars have often anticipated and conceptualized the speculations of theorists in intellectually provocative ways. The first part of the course will familiarize students with major theories of textual criticism and editorial traditions that address the concepts of authorship and authorial intention; the distinction between document, text, work and the physical book; “ideal” texts and transcendental hermeneutics; the relationship of biographical and sociological contexts to texts, and of creators to producers of literature; and the functions of readerships. It will also document contemporary controversies in textual editing (such as the challenge posed by Jerome McGann to established canons of editing), as well as debates about the editing of particular texts in Renaissance (especially Shakespeare), romantic (especially Keats and Wordsworth) and modern literature (especially Joyce’s Ulysses and Samuel Beckett’s Watt). The second part of the course will explore the relevance of textual theory to the study of paintings and forgeries of art works; the production plays; film adaptations of literary works and digital cinema. Students completing this course will learn to scrutinize the texts they are using and develop awareness of the editorial and cultural ideologies that inform them.
The course will involve the participation of several UW visiting faculty and outside specialists. Assignments will include a final paper on one of the following topics: an essay on a particular aspect of textual theory; a critical edition reading text (with editorial rationale) of a poem or short story; a review of an existing edition and of controversies surrounding it; the history, transmission and alteration of a given literary of artistic work.
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