Autumn Quarter 2011 -- Graduate Course Descriptions

506 AModern & Contemp Critical Theory Reed MW 1:30-3:20


The purpose of this course is to offer an introduction to the kinds of thinking and the ways of writing that distinguish the humanities in general and the study of English language and literature in particular. While many of the authors, texts, and questions that we discuss might be familiar, the goal is to practice skills that will be transferable to many other contexts. We will be focusing on an intellectual lineage that will help to explain not only the popularity of questions of "social justice" in contemporary debates about English as a discipline but also the peculiar contours that those debates often take.

There are five required texts for this class, all available at the UW Bookstore on University Way:

" Walter Benjamin, Illuminations. New York: Schocken Books, 1968.
" Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks. Trans. Richard Philcox. New York: Grove, 2008.
" Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents. New York: Norton, 1961.
" Karl Marx, Selected Writings. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994.
" Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals. Trans. Douglas Smith. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1996.

Two additional texts that will be made available as PDFs:

" Plato, Republic VII
" Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics I

 

528 AVictorian Blockbusters: Vanity Fair, Bleak House, Middlemarch Dunn T Th 11:30-1:20


How better to consider the dimensions of the English novel in the 19th century than to concentrate on three mulit-plot novels, each in its way demonstrating fiction’s focus on both the large social and political issues and the predicaments of ordinary and extraordinary individuals. The respective subtitles of VF (“A Novel Without a Hero”) and MM (in original parts, “A Study of Provincial Life”), and Dickens’s prefatory claim (“In BH I have purposely dwelt upon the romantic side of familiar things”) help explain my reasons for using these texts. Please obtain (new or used) the Norton Critical Editions of these novels. At the start of a quarter we will develop a series of discussion topics that you will lead and sustain through our work with each text. As soon as I have a list of enrolled students I will suggest some general discussion areas, and I encourage you to add your own. Because I will be out of the country for most of September before classes start, I will provide you with as much as I can by the end of August. Richard Dunn (dickd@u.washington.edu.)

 

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


American Anti-Worlds: The Aesthetics of Transgression in Nineteenth-Century American Literature

The clean, wholesome world assumed to set the nineteenth-century national standard in Currier and Ives engravings and Godey’s Lady’s Book notwithstanding, a dark American aesthetic exerts a power of its own, soliciting disgust, arousing fascination, summoning up repressive mechanisms, and throwing otherwise excluded possibilities into relief. Lots of rich issues are at stake in exploring such an aesthetic. To what degree does any would-be norm actually entail a reciprocal and interdependent system of differences, to the degree that a tale such as Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” becomes inseparable, at the bottom, from contemporary pamphlets on good, Christian housekeeping such that both sorts of texts at bottom require one another for their deceptively fractured modes of power. To what degree does system itself set the rules and boundaries which can then be violated by anti-system, repression invoke the carnivalesque, and normalization give rise to a reactive counter-world of the abnormal, the excluded, and the anomalous? Conversely, do specific modes of regulation and control actually derive their legitimacy, mission and structure from various forms of criminality and transgression? Or can this binary be transcended? That is to say, do ostensibly queer, freakish phenomena--which scramble and mongrelize assumed categories, blur taken-for-granted boundaries, mark epistemic limitations, and shatter parochial frames of reference--manage to preserve, in the process, a critical and skeptical openness in the depth of which radically different cultural alternatives might be created and spawned? Finally, do certain cultural forms move upon threateningly deviant, transgressive tendencies by absorbing them into the cultural mainstream, if in blunted, diminished, cosmetic ways? Background theorists will include Raymond Williams on the nature of culture, Bakhtin and Geoffrey Harpham on the grotesque, Mary Douglas on filth as epistemic disruption, Peter Stallybrass and Allon White on transgression, Witold Gombrowicz on the willed aesthetic degradation of mediating codes and norms, and Virgil Nemoinanu on theory of the secondary, with perhaps a bit of Foucault and a smidgeon of Freud. In a course that will focus primarily on the close, intensive reading of literary texts, these theoretical readings will supply us with helpful critical vocabularies and conceptual tools. Themes and issues foregrounded in contemporary scholarship--gender, class, race, sexuality and ethnicity—will all be addressed as we explore the way norms are established only to invite their disruption, transgression and critique. Readings in Whittier, Clement Moore, Poe, Dickinson, Catharine Beecher, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Margaret Fuller, Rebecca Harding Davis, Stephen Crane, and Henry James, perhaps supplemented by a bit of visual art: Blythe’s weird paintings, for example, and the luridly racist “Dark Town” series published by Currier and Ives.

 

537 ASlavery & Narrative Weinbaum T Th 11:30-1:20


Afterlives of Slavery

This course will explore how chattel slavery has been treated in a variety of contemporary texts. It will examine not only how these texts (re)conceptualize and (re)historicize the experience of slavery, but also how the racial, sexual, gender and economic dynamics set in place by slavery have been commented on and (re)configured in and by contemporary culture. At the center of the course are thus questions about how texts advance arguments about historical continuity (and/or discontinuity), and how they in turn enable meditation on changing racial formations and regimes of economic exploitation, and on historically contingent concepts such as property, class, consciousness, humanness, and freedom. Necessarily related issues that we will take up include human commodification, the power of various styles, forms, and genres to (re)narrate the history of commodification, and the different roles of the social sciences, literary fiction, and theory in the creation of historical memory and in the production of cultural critique. Over the quarter we will read a selection of contemporary fictional works (possible authors include O. Butler, F. Goldman, C. Johnson, E. P. Jones, V. Martin, T. Morrison, Perkins-Valdez, and I. Reed) and a range of theoretical and historiographical works on slavery and dehumanization (with focus on W. E. B. Du Bois, O. Patterson, and W. Johnson). We may also examine one or two films, depending on the interests of course participants.

 

541 AMigration, Border(lands), Diaspora: Contemporary Lit of Displacement (w/C. Lit 549) Kaup T Th 1:30-3:20


A broadly comparative course on the effects of transnational displacement and dislocation on culture, identity, and place as depicted in contemporary literature and cultural theory. All transnational displacements are not the same, and we will examine important paradigms featured in critical discussion on the topic: migration (the movement of peoples from one place to another); diaspora (scattered communities displaced over wide distances but held together by myths of the homeland); borderlands (transnational space centered on a geopolitical line).

Primary texts: Americo Paredes, George Washington Gómez; Francisco Goldman, The Ordinary Seaman; Edouard Glissant, The Fourth Century; Francisco Jiménez, The Circuit; as well as excerpts from Gloria Anzaldúa; Thomas King; Alfonso Quijada Urías, and others.

Secondary readings by Stuart Hall, James Clifford, Edouard Glissant, Bruce Robbins, Arjun Appadurai, Edward Said, Deleuze, Rosi Braidotti, Paul Gilroy, Doreen Massey, Karen Kaplan, Robin Cohen, William Safran, Iain Chambers, Rey Chow and others.

Assignments: 12-15 pp. research paper; mock review of journal article; presentation on secondary readings.

 

544 AContinental Criticism: Contemporary African Thought Chude-Sokei MW 1:30-3:20


Continental Criticism: Contemporary African Thought.

In the wake of Cultural Studies, Black Atlantic, Diaspora and Post-Colonial Criticism and Theory, and on the tail end of a continental resurgence
of fiction and visual art, the literary and cultural criticism of Africa has been undergoing something energetic enough to dare call itself a renaissance. Yet it continues to be marginalized by first-world academic and racial formations that find it hard to imagine Africa as a crucial zone for ideas pertinent to a global/transnational world of debate, theory and academic/scholarly production. This course will directly engage this emergent tradition and situate it both within and against contemporary Western discourses of race, politics and cultural production. Materials will be drawn from Eastern Africa to West Africa, and from post-Apartheid South Africa to the North. Writers and critics may include Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Breyten Breytenbach, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Wole Soyinka, Dambisa Myo, George Ayittey, Ngugi Wa Thiong'O, Koigi wa Wamwere, Oyeroke Oyewunmi, Manthia Diawara, V.Y. Mudimbe and Olu Oguibe.

 

546 ACorporate America & Cultural Critique George MW 9:30-11:20


"The Business of Strangers: Cultural Critique/Corporate Americas"

“They are the ones of our middle class who have left home, spiritually as well as physically,” wrote William H. Whyte in The Organization Man, his groundbreaking 1953 analysis of the effects of corporate culture on the American employee. “They are caregivers of corporations, which would be more satisfactory if corporations were not essentially balance sheets,” writes Roger Ebert in his 2011 review of the feature film The Company Men.
Who are “they”? How are they represented and received in the past, but particularly in the present, and especially in light of the Enron and BP scandals, the wild fluctuations of Wall Street, this escalating “Great Recession,” the popular vilification of Bernie Madoff in weird concert with the glorification of Donald Trump?—What about these clerks and caregivers, interns, junior executives, and CEOs? What are their values and lifestyles and struggles as represented both by business disciplines dedicated to improving workplace productivity and by literary fictions reflecting the consequences of those business initiatives on the lives of American workers and the global society at large?
Those are the essential questions of this course, one that investigates the strange yet often intimate associations between US business and literary cultures: the business of strangers. Seminar topics include the character of the “cultivated” corporate worker, from the strong individual to the merely dispossessed to the balance sheet statistic cast in settings and plot complications both real and imagined—the differences and similarities between Donald Trump as staged in The Apprentice and Donald Draper in the home and office theaters of Mad Men.
Course readings will vary in genre and historical period: from theoretical analyses of organizational governance posited by academic researchers, especially cultural critics, to assessment by insider business industry specialists. Thus we might apply both Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish and business ethics professor Joseph Badaracco’s leadership principles in Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership through Literature to Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener” or Douglas Coupland’s “Microserfs.” Course texts also include feature film, such as Patrick Stettner’s The Business of Strangers and Neil LaBute’s In the Company of Men, along with their diverse popular and critical receptions.
Issues abound. We’ll sort through them and include them in seminar discussion, short presentations and written analyses, the quarter concluding with your writing a final researched essay that lies within the scope of this course.

 

550 AThe Novel: Theory & Practice (w/C. Lit 570) Brown MW 11:30-1:20


Realism. This course will emphasize issues of form in connection with modes and ideologies of nineteenth-century realist fiction. We will read a cross-section of European fiction (shorter works to the extent possible), together with representative 19th-century manifestos and influential 20th-century criticism. The fiction (subject to change) will include domestic fiction, historical novel, high realism, romantic realism, local fiction, and imperial realism. Probable texts: Austen, Mansfield Park; Dickens, Barnaby Rudge; Flaubert, Sentimental Education; Melville, "Benito Cereno"; Fontane, The Poggenpuhl Family; and Conrad, "Heart of Darkness." Essays and secondary readings will come from such authors as Scott, Balzac, George Eliot, Flaubert, Chernyshevsky, Zola, James; Lukács, Auerbach, Barthes, Jameson, Moretti, Achebe.

Instead of a long paper, students will give a class report and submit two writing assignments: a style analysis and a review of a recent critical book.

 

551 AMetaphysical Poetry: From Early Modern to the Millennium (w/C. Lit 571) Blau MW 3:30-5:20


English 551A--Metaphysical Poetry
From Early Modern to the Millennium

“The heart,” wrote Emily Dickinson, “is the Capital of the Mind.” But Dickinson was elusive, more so in being reclusive, and in her “ecstatic Nation,” where you’re asked to seek “Yourself,” that capitalized word may be unsettling too. Meanwhile, when love, death, human frailty, faith or disbelief, often suffused with sexuality, take possession of poetry, through a brilliant derangement of language at the edge of impossibility, who can tell what’s in the mind. But if you respond to the challenge, and are willing to pursue a thought, beyond what you thought you could think, you may very well take heart from that. Whether with irony, paradox, or mind-stretching metaphor, the poems we’ll be reading are passionate, but passionate as thought—so deeply felt, indeed, that as we think about such poetry, viscerally, in the body, it appears to be thinking us.

That’s what T. S. Eliot had in mind when, writing of the metaphysical poetry of the seventeenth century, he described its perceptual power, however elliptical or circuitous, as “the sensuous apprehension of thought.” As he was defining what poetry should be in the twentieth century—and his own poems, surely, had a lot to do with that—he gave a retrospective status to a poetry of ambiguity. Even at this historical distance, one of the most compelling things about reading John Donne or Andrew Marvell is that, if you’re engaged with any intimacy, you may—as Freud said we must in modernity—learn to live in doubt. Given the dubious state of the world after the millennium, no less after 9/11, there seems no alternative to that. But, if you think about it, it’s doubt that prompts questioning, which unsettles the “certain certainties” of any presumably reasoned, but actually doctrinaire, or ideological view—or even, from some uncritical reflex, your own “subject position.” There is, of course, a subjectivity to poetry, but even in being elusive, as premised on the belief that precision is next to godliness, it may even serve politics by cultivating an awareness for reading between the lines.

The readings for the seminar will move across history from the period we once called the late Renaissance (now “early modern”), to the Eliotic modern, or that of Wallace Stevens, its witty accretions of high intelligence, through the visionary poetics of Harte Crane or Robert Hayden to the linguistic deposits of Susan Howe, who thinks of herself today, as in her writing on Emily Dickinson, as a metaphysical poet. As for the reading between the lines, the lines themselves will change considerably as we move into regions of the mind where, where with signs of divinity as dubious as the notion of a soul, poets will be struggling with ideas in a material world that seems to defy transcendence. And then our task—as in the quirky concentration of Marianne Moore, seemingly engaged with trivia and inconsequence—will be to discern the metaphysical when it sneaks up on us, or with paradox and ambiguity maybe leaves us behind. So, too, with the exquisite indirection and luminous eye of Elizabeth Bishop, as it brings a “rainbow, rainbow, rainbow” to a “pool of bilge,” in an otherwise mere semblance of a potentially redeemable world, where the metaphysics, to be sure, is something other than theological—and if not at all Creationism, still an exacting matter of intelligent design

 

556 AQueer Theory (w/Gender Studies 590) Reddy T 5:30-8:20

 

556 BWriting Through the Image (w/BCULST 587 & HUM 596B) Milutis M 5:45-10:00 P


Seminar will explore the various ways in which visual culture has intersected with textual production, with an emphasis on cross-media literary works. Areas of inquiry will include the politics of the caption, digital image aggregators, aesthetics and practice of multimedia authoring, the ontology of the photograph, image vitalism, psychoanalysis and the image, surrealism and photography, conceptual writing, metadata and archives, the video essay, online publishing environments, cross-genre literary experimentation, text and experimental film. See http://www.washington.edu/students/crscatb/bculst.html for full course description.

 

560 AThe Nature of Language Stygall MW 11:30-1:20


ENGL 560 is an introductory survey to the language theories that support various approaches to language in the Language and Rhetoric track. We’ll work through an introduction to systemic functional linguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics and a brief survey of Chomsky’s work as a point of contrast with the work of sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. This course is a very good grounding for linguistic approaches to discourse analysis. Assignments will include short papers on each approach and an extended annotated bibliography on the topic of your choice; no seminar papers—this is a true survey. We’ll begin the quarter with a language autobiography. It would be a good idea if everyone had an introductory linguistics textbook of the kind we use in our undergraduate course, ENGL 370 (Finegan, 5th ed, for my course; there are others), for reference throughout the quarter.

TEXTS:
Chambers, Sociolinguistic Theory
Croft and Cruse, Cognitive Linguistics
Eggins, An Introduction to Systemic Function Linguistics 2nd ed. (Continuum)
Smith, Neil, Chomsky: Ideas and Ideals

 

567 AApproaches to Teaching Composition Bawarshi T Th 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.)

 

567 BApproaches to Teaching Composition Rai T Th 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.)

 

570 APracticum in TESOL Silberstein F 9:30-11:20


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 daily language teaching, regular observations of other ESOL classes, microteaching, seminar discussion, and other assignments. Only open to MAT(ESOL) students.

 

571 ATheory & Practice TESOL Motha T Th 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 TESOL 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 ACreative Writer as Critical Reader Shields MW 1:30-3:20


The novel is dead; long live the anti-novel, built from scraps.
*
I'm not interested in collage as the refuge of the compositionally disabled.
*
I'm interested in collage as-to be honest-an evolution beyond narrative.
*
A great painting comes together, just barely.
*
It may be that nowadays in order to move us, abstract pictures need, if not
humor, then at least some admission of their own absurdity-expressed in
genuine awkwardness or in an authentic disorder.
*
These fragments I have shored against my ruins.
*
Collage is the primary art form of the twenty-first century.
*
Carson, "Essay on the Difference between Women and Men; Duras, The Lover;
Dillard, For the Time Being; Fusselman, The Pharmacist's Mate; Galeano, The
Book of Embraces; Manguso, The Guardians; Markson, This Is Not a Novel;
Michaels, "Joural"; Nelson, Bluets; Shields, Reality Hunger; Trow, Within
the Context of No Context; Wenderoth, Letters to Wendy's.
*
Oral presentations. Response papers. 15-page collage.

 

584 AAdvanced Fiction Workshop Wong MW 12:30-2:20


ENGL 584: At War With a Narrative Strategy
The fall graduate workshop will investigate how a simple writing prompt turns into a narrative strategy for a longer, book-length work. How does a narrative strategy work in something visual like a work of art or a film? How does a writer “read” a landscape or a city as a text? How does a writer read the intentionality of such things as architecture (churches, schools, libraries) and design (cars, retail store merchandising) and translate that into narrative? How does a narrative form coalitions with image, language, structure and sound?

 

585 AAdvanced Poetry Workshop Feld T Th 1:30-3:20


An advanced poetry workshop for MFA graduate students, with a focus on poetics and issues of craft. While the bulk of the course will be spent on workingshopping student poems, there will also be a focus on exercises, assigned readings from contemporary poets, and revision.

 

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 A Harkins F 9:30-4:20

 

592 E Graham TO BE ARRANGED

 

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