Autumn Quarter 2005 — Graduate Course Descriptions

503 Victorian England: Anxiety and Aspiration Butwin TTh 9:30-11:20

I could have said “Hopes and Fears” but those vague aspirates (phonetic sense) emerged first. In either case the apparent contrast comes with a simple premise: that hopes and fears, anxiety and aspiration, emerge from the same source. Utopian hopes are inspired by the same stimuli that inform most dystopias. Each reveals the other, and each will give us access to the common culture of a period. Attached to this unremarkable premise may be the open question of what the common culture shares—or fails to share—with individual impulses. Central texts: Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (1864-5) John Stuart Mill On Liberty (1859) and On the Subjection of Women (1869). We will read selections from major texts on either side of Dickens and in order to explore the premise and the ancillary question while we track the broad outlines of Victorian England. The crises surrounding the urgent modernization of England in the 1860s feed fin de siècle fantasies of Stevenson and Wm. Morris which will permit us to reconstitute the period..

Texts will include:
Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (1864-5) Penguin Books isbn 0 14 04 3497
J. S. Mill, On Liberty (1859), The Subjection of Women (1869) from On Liberty and Other Writings Cambridge University Press isbn 0 521 37917 2
R. L. Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1887) Dover Books isbn 0 486 26688 5
William Morris, News from Nowhere (1891) Penguin Books isbn 0 14 043330 9
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland Dover Books ISBN 0486416585****
Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market,Dover Books ISBN 0486280551*****

Selections from Carlyle, Ruskin, Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Eliot on Electronic Reserve.

506 Intro to Contemp Critical Theory & Modern Antecedents Reddy TTh 11:30-1:20

For first-year incoming MA students only.

508 History of Literary Criticism & Theory II (w/CLit 508 & French 576) Th 2:30-6:20p

An introductory survey of some of the foundational texts of Western literary practice and theory from the middle ages and early modern periods. Texts will not be limited to "literary theory" per se (aesthetics, philosophy, poetics, etc.), but will include a range of texts influential in political, religious and scientific spheres. Thus, this class might better be categorised under the rubric of "History of Ideas". Authors include Machiavelli, Erasmus, Calvin and Luther, Descartes, Sidney, Bacon, Locke, Rousseau.

*Course fulfills requirements for Ph.D. Program in Theory and Criticism

510 History of Literary Criticism & Theory IV (w/Clit 510 & Span 577) Gilbert-Santamaria MW 3:30-5:20

In examining the far ranging perspectives that typically fall under the rubric of literary theory, this course will take as its focus the implicit and explicit assumptions that underlie much of such theoretical discourse. The course will examine five theoretical traditions in some detail, paying special attention to the interpretive priorities that these theories set in motion. The theoretical paradigms that we will examine are: new criticism/reader response theory, psychoanalysis-both Freudian and Lacanian, Marxism, and Post-structuralism. In each case, we will examine the ways in which a given theoretical discipline already posits a particular understanding of how literature is to be read and interpreted. In particular, we will be asking what each of these theories explicitly and implicitly articulates as the "important" work of literary criticism. By the same token, we will be also concerned to consider what each of these theories may be said to neglect, overlook, or merely take for granted.

This course will be taught in English and is open to students from Romance Languages, English, and Comparative Literature. (Graduate Students only)

*Course fulfills requirements for Ph.D. Program in Theory and Criticism

525 Lowlife Lockwood MW 11:30-1:20

Fielding joked about humanity being divided into High People and Low People. In this course we will be diving down among the Low People to look at representations of social bottom-dwellers, servants and whores and crooks, in a selection of material both literary and non-literary: Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Fielding’s Jonathan Wild, Hogarth’s pictures, the London Sessions Papers (Old Bailey criminal trial proceedings), now accessible online. We will stick mostly to the 18th century, where the representations are at their most vivid and provocative, but will look ahead also to some modern examples and reflect on the theoretical ramifications of this subject. Our historical bearings will come from Tim Hitchcock’s vibrant new archival reconstruction of the world of the real-life poor in Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London (2004). The imaginative centerpiece of the course will be Gay’s Beggar’s Opera, followed by Brecht’s version in The Threepenny Opera. Don’t dress up.

537 BSexuality & National Belonging Cummings TTh 11:30-1:20

This seminar rests on three premises: first, the reproduction of the nation-state is inextricably bound up with the production and regulation of sexualities; second, historic changes wrought by capitalism extend to and depend upon transformations of sexualities in whose construction the human sciences, law, literature, film and other disciplines participate; third, sexuality is embodied through articulation with race, gender, class, age, and other social specificities. These three understandings will orient an interdisciplinary investigation of both hegemonic U.S. narratives which predicate national belonging on not being (identified as) a “sexual pervert” or “degenerate” and on counter-narratives, which affirm queer desires, imagine queer alliances and work to identify the linkages between normative sexual regimes and regulatory apparatuses of capitialism, imperialism, racism and masculinism in which sexuality is enmeshed.

Three historical moments structure our examination of sexuality and national belonging. The first spans the late-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. The nation-state is reconstructed at the expense of African Americans; restrictive immigration laws target Asians and Southeastern Europeans; the U.S. becomes an imperial power; capitalism transforms social relations and the landscape; America is “remasculinized”; the homosexual emerges as a pathological being and the heterosexual as his healthy/normal opposite; experts and their populist purveyors warn that the survival of “our race” depends on reproducing a vigorous, native-born Anglo-American stock through scientific selection, on the one hand, and on the other hand eliminating, sterilizing or segregating African Americans, recent immigrants, whites who cannot or will not be integrated into the circuits of capitalism, and homosexuals/inverts, all of whom join the growing body of “perverts”; critical histories of sexuality, race and nation supplement modern literary works in queering this nationalist narrative. The second historical moment stretches from the cold war into the civil rights era. Baldwin’s Another Country and shorter texts are in dialogue with liberal narratives which (re)identify sexual and political dissent with each other and both with unAmericanism, which locate the source of homosexuality and communism outside the West and masculinity in the Orient and domestic “momism,” which fetishize the African American man and Asian woman, and which offer various solutions to “the Negro problem.” The seminar ends with an analysis of how sexuality and U.S. citizenship are currently being articulated by queers and non queers responding to transnational migrations and sexual minority movements. Linmark’s Rolling the R’s is one of the required texts.

A background in critical theory is strongly recommended; prior reading of Foucault’s History of Sexuality, Vol. I and Butler’s Gender Trouble is mandatory. All students should be prepared to discuss Foucault on the first day, and in September I will email the class a set of questions to guide our conversation about his genealogy.

555 Scattered Feminisms (w/CLit 530) Cherniavsky MW 1:30-3:20

“Scattered Feminisms: The Shifting Projects of Feminist Theory”

This course will investigate feminist theory of (roughly-speaking) the last twenty five years, by taking as its central axis of interrogation the (re)organizations of power variously cited as post-Fordism, transnationalism, globalization, and /or multiculturalism. In Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices, editors Karen Caplan and Inderpal Grewal propose (in brief) that the dispersal and de-centralization of power wrought by transnational capitalism – the scattering of hegemonies, in their phrase – mandates alternative forms of feminist practice that would answer to women’s situation within systems of social and economic discipline at once highly localized and broadly (if unevenly) integrated. From this historical vantage, we might say that feminist theory and practice have been compelled to resign the intellectual and material terrain of patriarchy, understood as a monolithic formation. Thus we move, for example, from a feminist philosophy that takes modern, Western patriarchy as paradigmatic or from a structuralist feminist anthropology that would theorize the cross-cultural contours of patriarchal order to feminist knowledge projects variously impelled to confront the discontinuous micro-logics of patriarchal order, on the one hand, and their (often contradictory) overlays and intersections, on the other – to confront, in a word, the scattering of patriarchies. Our aim in this course will be to read broadly across the scope of feminist theorizing in order to trace the tropes and protocols, as well as the (inter)disciplinary and social locations, of its scattered feminisms.

In the interest of avoiding either a periodizing scheme or a narrowly thematic organization of the course materials, we will be reading for conversations in feminist theory: the reading will thus be structured around a set of six or seven germinal publications – books or essays that in one respect of another made a decisive intervention, shifting (or capturing a shift) in the practice of feminist theory, and thus reorienting the terms of its inquiries. Each of these publications will then anchor a cluster of readings, in which we follow (as fully as time permits) the career of the ensuing conversation. The list of “anchor” texts remains under construction, but might include: Gayle Rubin, “The Traffic in Women;” Toril Moi, Sexual/Textual Politics; Bernice Johnson Reagon, “Coalition Politics: Turning the Century;” Catherine MacKinnon, “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State;” Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema;” “Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera; Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs.”

Work for the course will include a 10-12 page paper, as well as an in-class presentation on an assigned reading. All class members are expected to participate consistently and actively in class discussion.

559 ATraditions of the Avant Garde (w/CLit 596D) Blau MW 3:30-5:20

There was a messianic strain in the avant-garde that thought it would build the future upon “the ruins of time.” The paradox of the seminar title suggests that time remains the spoiler by some indelible habit of keeping track of itself and calling that history, while the avant-garde, in defiance of tradition, eventually became part of it, with traditions of its own. We shall be studying these traditions as a form of consciousness, along with the major strategies of the avant-garde, as they emerged in early modernism and still appear, not only in our most experimental forms, but in the trickle-down economy of the aesthetic, as conventions in fiction, poetry, drama, as well as the visual arts, the media, fashion, and popular culture.

Meanwhile, it’s been rather amusing, and chastening too, to see ideas, highly theorized or absorbed into cultural studies, which are attributable to what is now the classical avant-garde: futurism, dada, surrealism, constructivism —or to later variants, like situationism, now being canonized too. And while it would seem to be oxymoronic to speak of traditions of the avant-garde, what’s all the more amusing, if not disheartening academically, is the degree to which scholars, with all the talk of historicization, are largely unaware of the major figures of the avant-garde, and the incursion of its traditions upon the course of cultural critique, as if deconstruction or queer theory, deployed upon art or literature, were not themselves indebted to art and literature, of the most radical kind, or were invented only yesterday, after the dissidence of the 1960s.

From Lacan and Derrida or Foucault and Benjamin to Irigary, ŽiŽek, Butler, there has always been a discourse with these traditions, if not destroying art to redeem art, with stressed-out or equivocal feelings about the aesthetic, as in Alain Badiou’s relatively recent Handbook of Inaesthetics. The seminar will, then, be reflecting upon certain habits of mind that came out of the manifestos and practices of the avant-garde, which has always been faced with the prospect that once it becomes a habit, it is no longer very avant, but ideologically predictable, inflected as it may be today by race, class, gender, ethnicity. We will in the process be reading some of the originary documents and studying the disruptive or scandalous forms that are, with modulations, still very much with us, though real disruption or subversion is harder to come by, not only in the arts but also in theory, at a time when disruption or subversion (those jargonish terms of the curriculum) seems to have become the norm. Some of the readings may nevertheless take us, with residual provocation or unpurged energy from the traditions, into the contemporary scene.


559 BPhilosophy and Literature (w/CLit 596C) Brown TTh 1:30-3:20

This course will consist of a series of juxtapositions of philosophical and literary texts, aiming to develop resources for philosophical readings of literature and literary readings of philosophy over a range of periods and genres.

Probable readings:
Descartes, Discourse on Method;
Shakespeare, Hamlet;
Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding (excerpts);
Sterne, Tristram Shandy, Vols. 1-4;
Kant, Proglegomena to Any Future Metaphysic;
Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads;
Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals;
Eliot, Silas Marner;
Heidegger, The Origin of the Work of Art;
Stevens, selected poems.

560 The Nature of Language: History & Theory Dillon MW 3:30-5:20

The overarching concern of the seminar will be with linguistic meaning and interpretation. We will use the excellent new text by Croft and Cruse to examine cognitive linguistic treatments of categoration, lexical semantics, metaphor, construction grammar, and language change. We will then pursue issues of corpus and collocation further with Stubbs' book. There will be some practice using electronic corpora and analytic tools. Topics for the seminar paper can range from an application of these tools to address particular texts or issues to critical examinations of the theories and ideas presented.

William Croft and D. Alan Cruse, Cognitive Linguistics (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics, 2004)
Michael Stubbs, Words and Phrases: Corpus Studies of Lexical Semantics (Blackwell, 2001)

567 AApproaches to Teaching Composition Guerra TTh 3:30-5:20

This seminar serves as an introduction to the field of rhetoric and composition for new Teaching Assistants. The course begins with an overview of the field and then turns to readings and discussions that explore some of the theories and practices that guide various aspects of the teaching of writing. In the process of examining the “best practices” that guide the study and teaching of writing, we will make every effort to help you understand the “why” behind the “what we do” and “how we do it” when we teach writing. To this end, we will ask you to participate in some workshops in class and to undertake a series of shorter assignments that will give you an opportunity to reflect critically and build on the work you are doing as a teacher. By the end of the course, we will ask you to submit a final teaching portfolio in which you revisit the work you have done in the course, reflecting on its cumulative effect, and begin to develop a teaching philosophy which will guide you and which you can build on over the course of your tenure as a teacher and scholar, both with us here in the English Department and in the rest of your career. (Restricted to English department Teaching Assistants.)

567 BApproaches to Teaching Composition Bawarshi TTh 3:30-5:20

(see description for 567A)

569 The Ethnography of Literacy and Orality Guerra TTh 9:30-11:20
571 Theory & Practice of TESOL Kanno TTh 9:30-11:20

This course is an introduction to theory, research, and practical aspects of teaching English as a second language. The course provides an overview of major issues in second language acquisition and classroom practice, as well as related topics in linguistics, psychology, sociology, and education. Topics include: the relationship between first and second language acquisition; age as a factor in language learning; contrastive analysis, error analysis, and performance analysis; sociolinguistics and discourse analysis in SLA; affective variables; language policy; needs analysis and syllabus development; and current theories of second language acquisition.

This course is required for students enrolled in the MATESOL Program.

581 Creative Writer as Critical Reader Shields MW 9:30-11:20

This course will look at many lyric essays and several self-reflexive documentary films as a way to consider "reality"-based art and "reality"-hunger in a variety of media: the autobiographical impulse, the meditative gesture, self-conscious blurring of the difference between person and persona, plasticity of form, writerly risk, readerly excitement, emotional urgency and intensity.

584 Advanced Fiction Workshop Johnson W 3:30-7:10p
585 Advanced Poetry Workshop Bierds TTh 10:30-12:20
587 Topics in Teaching Creative Writing (3 credits) Sonenberg M 12:30-2:20

This course will explore some of the issues that guide the teaching of creative writing. As there is little theory about this special branch of teaching writing, the course will explore the different ways this field has been written about: the manifesto, the anecdote, the how-to. Reading will include articles that relate the teaching and learning of creative writing to current ideas in literary theory and creativity research, as well as articles “from the trenches”—articles by writers in the midst of teaching. In the process, each student in the class will develop a teaching philosophy and a pedagogy that reflects that teaching philosophy. Discussions and readings will cover topics such as choosing texts and exercises for creative writing classes, the traditional workshop and its alternatives, and responding to and grading students’ creative work. Written work will include a list of learning outcomes for an introductory creative writing class; a grading system; an annotated bibliography of anthologies, text books, or how-to books; a group of exercises focusing on a particular issue of technique; and an annotated list of readings to serve as examples for ways of handling a particular technique. By the end of the quarter, each student will have a refined syllabus that reflects his or her thinking on all these issues and will write a brief paper relating the syllabus to his or her teaching philosophy.

This course is required of MFA students teaching either 283 or 284 at any point during the 2005-2006 academic year. It is also open to other MFA students, priority give to second year students. Students entering the MFA program should contact the Director of Creative Writing about the advisability of taking the course. Other interested graduate students admitted at the instructor’s discretion.

593 Seminar in Textual Theory and the Arts (w/Hum 522 & CLit 596A) Modiano MW 3:30-5:20

This seminar is one of the four core courses developed by the campus-wide Textual Studies Program. Course credit will count toward the Textual Studies Ph. D. 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 textual 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 edition (such as the challenge posed by Jerome McGann to established cannons 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). 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 of 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 librarians and several visiting distinguished scholars in Textual Studies, each of whom will spend one week at UW, participating in the seminars, giving public lectures and spending ample time with students during seminars and social occasions. 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 rational) 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 or artistic work.

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