Autumn Quarter 2009 -- Graduate Course Descriptions

506 AModern & Contemp. Critical Theory (w/C. Lit 500) Handwerk TTh 1:30-3:20


Professors Gary Handwerk and John Webster
Autumn Quarter 2009

What do we do when we do theory within (and increasingly, beyond) the fields of literary and cultural studies, inside (and increasingly, outside) an American department of English language and literature? And, having some sense of the what, how do we do it, and why? We’ll spend this quarter investigating these simple questions from three different vantage points—historical backgrounds to modernity (covering authors from Aristotle to Marx to Nietzsche to Wilde to Woolf), selected incursions into contemporary theoretical perspectives (candidates Foucault, Barthes, Robinson, Sedgwick, Gates, Buell), and a rapid survey of current research on learning. Our discipline is far past the phase when a comprehensive survey of what has come to be called “theory” was practical or possible. Such a survey is well worth undertaking, in whole or in part; we encourage to move from here into 507-10, 535, 556 or wherever your theoretical inclinations might take you next. Our aim in this class is to make those further steps more comprehensible, whether you choose to take them or not.

Theory begets practice...or perhaps the other way around. In any case, the course will also have a practical, eyes-on dimension. Each of you will spend 2 weeks visiting and observing one of the English Department undergraduate gateway courses to the major (English 301 or 302), then reporting back to the seminar with reflections on what you have seen. We’ll also have some literary texts—poems, short stories, essays—for fodder. And since practice in humanities departments means writing and teaching, we will be asking you to do significant amounts of both as well.

Required Books:

Bayard, Pierre, How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read (Granta: 2008)
Crews, Frederick, The Pooh Perplex (U of Chicago P: 2003)
Richter, David, Falling into Theory, 2 ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s: 2000)
Woolf, Virginia, A Room of One’s Own

Texts

Bayard, Pierre. How to Talk about Books You Haven't Read. Granta, 2008.

Crews, Frederick. The Pooh Perplex. U. of Chicago Press, 2003.

Richter, David. Falling into Theory, 2nd ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000.

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own.

 

506 AModern & Contemp. Critical Theory (w/C. Lit 500) Webster TTh 1:30-3:20


Professors Gary Handwerk and John Webster
Autumn Quarter 2009

What do we do when we do theory within (and increasingly, beyond) the fields of literary and cultural studies, inside (and increasingly, outside) an American department of English language and literature? And, having some sense of the what, how do we do it, and why? We’ll spend this quarter investigating these simple questions from three different vantage points—historical backgrounds to modernity (covering authors from Aristotle to Marx to Nietzsche to Wilde to Woolf), selected incursions into contemporary theoretical perspectives (candidates Foucault, Barthes, Robinson, Sedgwick, Gates, Buell), and a rapid survey of current research on learning. Our discipline is far past the phase when a comprehensive survey of what has come to be called “theory” was practical or possible. Such a survey is well worth undertaking, in whole or in part; we encourage to move from here into 507-10, 535, 556 or wherever your theoretical inclinations might take you next. Our aim in this class is to make those further steps more comprehensible, whether you choose to take them or not.

Theory begets practice...or perhaps the other way around. In any case, the course will also have a practical, eyes-on dimension. Each of you will spend 2 weeks visiting and observing one of the English Department undergraduate gateway courses to the major (English 301 or 302), then reporting back to the seminar with reflections on what you have seen. We’ll also have some literary texts—poems, short stories, essays—for fodder. And since practice in humanities departments means writing and teaching, we will be asking you to do significant amounts of both as well.

Required Books:

Bayard, Pierre, How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read (Granta: 2008)
Crews, Frederick, The Pooh Perplex (U of Chicago P: 2003)
Richter, David, Falling into Theory, 2 ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s: 2000)
Woolf, Virginia, A Room of One’s Own

 

507 AHistory of Literary Criticism (w/C. Lit 507) Staten TTh 11:30-1:20


In this course I’m going to try to give you an x-ray of the conceptual structure of Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics. 10 weeks is not much time for this, but we’ll do our best by focusing in the most stripped-down way on what I take to be the most fundamental concepts. (By the way, the popular antithesis that is made between Plato and Aristotle is false; Aristotle inherited and refined Plato’s thought, revising it where necessary, but always working forward on the Platonic basis.) We will spend roughly the first half of the course on Plato, focusing on four works: Ion, Phaedo, Phaedrus, and Republic, then the second half on Aristotle, focusing on Poetics but bringing in bits from various other works (mainly Physics, Metaphysics, and Nichomachaean Ethics) to provide background for the concepts with which Aristotle works in Poetics. Since we are working in the framework of literature departments, we will pay particular attention to the way Plato and Aristotle think about art in general and literature in particular; but, as you will see, this emphasis follows naturally from the fundamental structure of their concepts, within which the notion of techne plays a central role. Techne, which means art, craft, or, in general, the practical knowledge by which any organized activity, particularly those that produce a made object, is carried on. An amazingly sophisticated structure of concepts is developed by Plato and Aristotle from it.

Texts

Bamborough, Ranford. Ed. The Philosophy of Aristotle. Mentor Books, 1963.

Cooper, John M. Ed. Plato: Complete Works. Hackett Publishing, 1997.

 

518 AShakespearean Comedy (w/Engl 498) Streitberger TTh 9:30-11:20


Shakespearean Comedy

‘Get thee a wife, get thee a wife. There is no staff more reverend than one tipped with horn.’ So Benedick cheerfully encourages Don Pedro to marry, just as he will, by re-imagining the inevitability of infidelity in reverential terms. We’ll take this as our point of entry into the middle comedies and look back at how Shakespeare got here and forward at least as far as the problem comedies, from his plot structure, his sense of verbal play, his idea of gender relations and social concerns to the assumptions underlying the qualified optimism of his endings. We’ll consider a number of the comedies. In addition to Much Ado About Nothing we’ll give attention to The Comedy of Errors, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, I and II Henry IV, Twelfth Night, and Measure for Measure. There will be some forays into theory: Frey, Barber, Bakhtin, etc., and some other readings--a selection of the sonnets and Venus and Adonis. We’ll be interested in contemporary approaches to the plays from the margins as well as from the middle. Requirements: collaborate with seminar colleagues in leading the discussion on one of the scheduled topics. Write a critical paper or complete a project( an editing project, a bibliographical study, a website, a lesson plan) of medium length on any course related subject of interest.

 

532 A19th c. American Lit Abrams MW 3:30-5:20


In Quest of an American Focal Center: Figures of Community, Realities of Dissonance, in the 19th Century U.S.

An exploration of the powers-and limits-of cultural mechanisms seeking to impart integrity and focus to a sprawling US society during the nineteenth century. To some degree we’ll study US art and culture in general--maps, Currier and Ives prints, and other cultural artifacts through the lens of which cultural wholeness and identity are imagined-as well as major theorists and critics of the nation-building process such as Homi K Bhabha and Sacvan Bercovitch. But the major focus will be on how the problem of a US focal center plays itself out in literary texts. To what degree does a US national imaginary become persuasive and credible against a backdrop that includes increasingly globalized, trans-national space, racial and class division, Indian removal, immigration, and civil war? What sort of cultural work do national myths, symbols of unity, and rhetorics fusing American society with utopian aspiration and divine providential will perform–-or fail to perform-–throughout this period? Readings that throw the question of national identity into relief against a troubled backdrop will include “Chief Seattle’s Speech,” Whittier’s SNOWBOUND, Margaret Fuller on her encounter with native tribal peoples of the upper American Midwest, MOBY-DICK, selected fiction by Hawthorne and Poe, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, selected writings by Frederick Douglass, Du Bois’s THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, fiction by Rebecca Harding Davis, Kate Chopin, and Stephen Crane, and, finally a close reading of excerpts from Henry James’s THE AMERICAN SCENE, which from its turn-of-the-century vantage point will help both to sum up and to sharpen our discussion of the problematics of the US national imaginary.


PRIMARY TEXTS (all available at the University of Washington Book Store)

Packet of photocopied readings including Whittier’s Snowbound, Chief Seattle’s Speech, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”; Margaret Fuller, Summer on the Lakes, in 1843; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Portable Hawthorne; Kate Chopin, The Awakening; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; Frederick Douglass, The Oxford Frederick Douglass Reader; W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk; Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories; Stephen Crane, The Portable Stephen Crane; Henry James, The American Scene.

Texts

Fuller, Margaret. Summer on the Lakes, in 1843.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Portable Hawthorne.

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening.

Melville, Herman. Moby Dick.

Douglas, Frederick. The Oxford Frederick Douglas Reader.

Du Bois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk.

Harding Davis, Rebecca. Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories.

Crane, Stephen. The Portable Stephen Crane.

James, Henry. The American Scene.

 

537 ALatino Literature: Identity, Difference, and the Politics of Form Topics in American Studies (w/C. Lit 549A & Engl 489) Kaup TTh 11:30-1:20


Latino Literature: Identity, Difference, and the Politics of Form (Course Title)

This course examines contemporary and historical works by U.S. Latino authors, a pan-ethnic umbrella term that refers to an imagined community whose members share a common Latin American descent without necessarily sharing a concrete national background. Since its emergence in the 19th century from a foundational triad of ethnic communities (Mexican American, Cuban American, and Puerto Rican), Latino literature in the U.S. has been fuelled by a “dialectics of difference” (Ramón Saldívar) between minority and dominant cultures, including a quest for identity-formation as well as an assertion of difference within the anglophone U.S. literary tradition.

We will explore how these multiple and contradictory forces in the making of Latino literature are mediated through textual and formal patterns. The course is organized around paradigmatic debates and issues concerning Latino literature, and we will ask questions such as: In representing their minority histories of conquest and internal colonialism, how have Chicano and Puerto Rican authors adapted and transformed the Western genres of the historical novel and the historical romance? In protesting against their racialization and proletarianization after 1848, how have Chicano authors exposed the universalism of liberal individualism as a fiction, consequently pushing literary character-classification beyond the individual toward the collective? In articulating their bilingualism and biculturalism, how have Latino authors created a unique blend of anglophone and hispanophone literature—Spanglish American literature? In transposing the U.S. American story of immigration from transatlantic into hemispheric American trajectories, how have Latino authors reinvented the U.S. genre of ethnic autobiography and adapted the Latin American genre of magical realism? How has the literature of Latino exiles published by Cubans and other Latin Americans in the U.S. for more than two centuries deterritorialized fictional space by mapping a spatial dialectic between home and exile, and by addressing transnational imagined communities? During the civil rights era of the 1960s, how have Chicano and Puerto Rican authors forged militant aesthetics in literature akin to, but distinct from, the black arts movement?

Course texts:
Américo Paredes, George Washington Gómez;
Giannina Braschi, Yo-Yo Boeing;
Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao;
Tomás Rivera, . . . y no se lo tragó la tierra / . . . And the Earth Did Not Devour Him;
Ana Castillo, So Far from God;
Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States, ed. Nicholas Kanellos
and a Course Reader with secondary literature.

Texts

Parades, Americo. George Washington Gomez.

Braschi, Giannina. Yo-Yo Boeing.

Diaz, Junot. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Rivera, Tomas. And the Earth Did Not Devour Him.

Castillo, Ana. So Far From God.

Kanellos, Nicholas ed. Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States.

 

546 ATopics in 20th c. Lit Weinbaum TTh 1:30-3:20


Neo-slave narratives: genre, form, and the question of “freedom”
This course explores neo-slave narratives, contemporary literary text that return to the historical question of American racial slavery in order to re-imagine the violent destruction of life itself and to retell a story of dehumanization, accommodation, resistance, resignation, and revolt. In other words, this is a course about aesthetics and politics that takes as it central concern the production of a literary genre that responds to racial capitalism. Over the course of the quarter we will examine the relationship between nineteenth century slave narratives and contemporary neo-slave narratives, paying particular attention to how texts construct gendered, raced and sexualized understandings of both bondage and “freedom.” Slave narratives by women and neo-slave narratives that imagine women’s experiences in slavery will be of special interest. Three central questions will guide our inquiry throughout: how and why have neo-slave narratives become a cultural preoccupation in recent decades? How do neo-slave narratives mediate life in the context of racial capitalism? How might we want to constitute the genre’s scope? And how can we understand the relationships among genre, narrative form, and literary aesthetics that are produced by neo-slave narratives? Readings will include a wide selection of theoretical and historical texts about dehumanization, bondage, and incarceration and a more limited selection of slave narratives and neo-slave narratives.

 

551 AStudies in Poetry Reed MW 1:30-3:20


"The New York School of Poetry." This class will center around an immersive reading of several
major figures in post-World War II American poetry: John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Alice Notley, and Frank O'Hara.
Originally celebrated for its close ties to the visual and performing arts, the New York School has more recently
become central to attempts to think through the key roles played by gender and sexual orientation in the transition
from "modernism" to "postmodernism" in the United States. The New York School has also cast a long shadow: we will
be discussing its inluence on subsequent avant-gade writing, from Language Poetry to Flarf.

 

556 ACultural Studies (w/C. Lit 535A) Reddy M 3:30-6:20


Critical Directions in Asian American Studies

This seminar will be an advanced seminar is Asian American Studies. The course is not an introduction to Asian Americanist methods, historiographies or canons. Rather, it is intended for graduate students actively pursuing an intervention in and contribution to Asian American Studies and who possess already a set of interests in or a project that they believe orchestrates an asian americanist intervention into social formations. We will read a number of works, focusing on the monograph form, that have transformed Asian American Studies and its points of intervention within the past decade or so. Topics include: diaspora, globalization, postcoloniality, environmental racism, transnational space economies, HIV/AIDS and gendered and sexual formations, comparative racializations, immigration, undocumented migration and refugee movements, war, orientalisms and area studies. Throughout, we will ask what kind of provisional coherency to Asian American Studies our investigations suggest. That is, we will not be content to examine particular instances of Asian American racialization across institutional contexts. We will also formulate a theoretical account of the kind of totality suggested by our investigation of the emergent processes and sites of asian differentiation and identity.

This course is, like Asian American Studies, part of a larger interdisciplinary conversation and endeavor. Hence, students are strongly encouraged to have taken Moon Ho Jung's Asian American historiography course or to take that course subsequent to this.

 

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



This seminar serves as an introduction to pedagogical theory (primarily through the field of rhetoric and composition) for new Teaching Assistants. The course begins with an overview of current debates within rhetoric and composition about the teaching of writing, 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 various pedagogical theories 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. Course reader available on e-reserve. (Restricted to English department Teaching Assistants.)

 

569 ATopics in Language & Rhetoric Moore TTh 11:30-1:20


Language Ideology, Nation, and History

In modern history, conceptions of language have been central to developing conceptions of nationhood. Language ideologies inform national cultural perceptions, educational philosophies, and public policy, and therefore shape the relation between a changing language and a changing nation. This course examines some present-day ideologies of English – including ideas about a standard English, varieties of English, and the role of English abroad – and investigates the ways that these ideologies were constructed through and informed by language history. How was English spelling regularized (mostly)? How do present-day usage manuals reveal eighteenth-century cultural ideas about English? How do “English-only” policies stem from nineteenth-century ideas about the relation between language and nation? This course will address these and other questions as we examine the historical relationship between language ideology and ideas of nationhood. Course requirements include several brief response papers and one seminar paper. Students are not expected to have previous experience with the history of English or with language study; interest in these questions and enthusiasm for the English language are the only prerequisites.

 

570 APracticum in TESL Silberstein F 10:30-12:20


English 570 is a credit/no credit course in which students sharpen their understanding of the technical, interpersonal, and practical elements involved in effective ESOL teaching. The course involves regular observations of ESOL classes, daily language teaching, weekly observation of other language classrooms, microteaching, seminar discussion, and written projects. No required texts. This Practicum is only open to MAT(ESOL) students; the Fall Practicum is only open to TAs.

 

571 ATheory & Practice Teaching ESL Motha TTh 10:30-12:20


As one of the first courses MATESOL students take in the program, this course aims to familiarize them with key concepts and theories in the field of TESOL as well as their implications in classroom teaching. The first few classes provide a basic foundation in second language acquisition (SLA)—things you definitely need to know in order to be an effective language educator, such as Universal Grammar, Monitor Model, Output Hypothesis, and Focus on Form. The rest of the course explores topics that have become increasingly important in TESOL in recent years. Issues such as language and identity, bilingualism, bilingual education, nonnative professionals, imagined communities, and critical applied linguistics will be discussed. TESOL is becoming a richly interdisciplinary field, incorporating ideas not only from linguistics and psychology, but also from education, sociology, and anthropology. In all topics we discuss, I strongly encourage you to reflect critically on how these ideas inform your beliefs about language teaching and the image of the teacher you want to be.

 

575 APedagogy & Grammar in Teaching ESL Brenner MW 10:30-12:20


This course covers the basic syntactic structures of English. Students develop a working knowledge of those grammatical structures most crucial in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. They also practice relating and applying the structures studied to classroom situations (i.e., student errors, student questions, lesson planning, adapting textbooks, etc.). There is a strong focus on grammar in use as students analyze authentic discourse and design teaching materials that emphasize form, meaning, and use of grammar. Coursework includes grammar quizzes, analysis projects, class presentations, materials development, and daily homework.

 

581 AThe Creative Writer as Critical Reader Shields MW 12:30-2:20


We'll look at several self-reflexive documentary films, a theoretical book, personal essays, and critical essays as a way to get at such immemorial questions as: What is art? What is the relation of the artist to his or her material? What is the relation between 'fiction' and 'nonfiction'? What's public, what's private? What's remembered? What's imagined? What's 'true'? What's 'real'? Answers provided at end of course. Several brief response papers, one long critical essay.

 

584 AAdvanced Fiction Workshop Bosworth M 3:30-7:10


An intensive prose workshop for MFA fiction students.

 

585 AAdvanced Poetry Workshop Feld TTh 1:30-3:20

 

587 ATopics in Teaching Creative Writing Triplett W 3:30-5:20


3 credits
This class will concern itself with various methods and pedagogic frameworks that govern the teaching of creative writing, both in fiction and in poetry. We’ll engage in discussions of both nuts-and-bolts practice (designing syllabi, crafting exercises, choosing texts, the leading of class discussion, etc) as well as broader pedagogic and theoretical articulations by poets and teachers in the field.

As in previous incarnations of this class, written work will include a list of learning outcomes; 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 that 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 2008-2009 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.

 

592 ATheory & Practice of Teaching Lit Gillis-Bridges ARRANGE


Theory & Practice of Teaching Intermediate-Level Writing

 

592 ETeaching Writing in Disciplinary Contexts Graham ARR

 

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