Autumn Quarter 2012 -- Graduate Course Descriptions

506 AModern & Contemporary Critical Theory Cherniavsky T Th 1:30-3:20


A course in critical theory that doubles as the mandatory introduction to graduate study in English, 506 suggests a number of broad priorities: to sample some of the defining critical conversations in literary and cultural studies; to begin to situate these conversations within the longer historical arc of transformations in the discipline of literary studies, and the emergence of interdisciplinary cultural studies; relatedly, to reflect on the theory and practice of disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship, and how they are situated within contemporary configurations of the Humanities; and along the way, to read and engage some of the foundational figures of “modern and contemporary critical theory.” As ambitious as this may sound, we will, in fact, attempt to honor these priorities, bearing in mind that the course is best understood, not as a survey, or overview, but rather as an effort to orient class members to a very large, complex, and variegated critical terrain – to establish a few vital critical reference points, rather than to fill out the map.

As we navigate this encompassing agenda, we will aim to hold front and center a set of questions about the relation between critical theory, cultural “objects,” and analytic practice. How and to what ends do we “theorize” an archive or object? What is the relation between the (animating) critical question and the ground (the literary or cultural archive) where we situate that question? Or in other words, how do “theory” and “object” indicate and inform each other? In selecting a theoretical and a literary (or cultural) focus, what is our obligation to the longer history of allied critical reflection and literary scholarship? How do we know what is relevant – that is, how do we figure out what we need to know in order to make a particular kind of theorized argument about a particular object or archive? In brief, our explorations in critical theory will be keyed to the question of how we conceive and elaborate a critical project.

The reading list (and the sequence of readings) is still very much under construction. It will almost certainly include Catherine Belsey’s Critical Practice, Derrida’s “Signature, Event, Context,” Marx’s The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, and Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle. It will also likely include work by Julia Kristeva, Gayatri Spivak, Philip Brian Harper, Stuart Hall, Lawrence Grossberg, and Anne McClintock. I am still considering what forms of writing would be most productive in relation to the agenda and materials of the class. Prospective students are welcome to contact me closer to the start of the term for more detailed information about the readings and assignments.

 

509 AHistory of Lit Criticism & Theory II (w/C. Lit 509 & Fr 577) Collins MW 3:30-5:20


In 1899, Wallace Stevens published a short story in the Harvard Advocate entitled “The Revelation.” Here a young man takes a photograph of his sweetheart to be framed. Upon returning to retrieve the picture he discovers instead a framed photograph of himself. Noticed here is what a young Freud took into account—the aesthetic involves the return of desire to the self after a strategic self-alienation. The history of critical theory and literary doctrine is that of a reflection upon the framing process, what occurs in the moment of the detour, that which allows the homebound turn of desire. Adorno writes:
"What guarantees the aesthetic quality of modern art? It is the scars of damage and disruption inflicted by them on the smooth surface of the immutable."
The return of self-love is made possible by a violence, the timing, or the untiming of which all of critical theory is variously the study of.

To be studied in this unavoidable insight will be representative texts by Schlegel, Schiller, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelly, Ruskin, Arnold, Mallarmé, Marx, Nietzsche, Wilde, Freud, Hulme, the Russian Formalists, Bahktin, Adorno, Frye and Burke.

 

532 ACommunity & Fragmentation in 19th 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. Let me add that this should emerge as an excellent course for graduate students whose knowledge of nineteenth-century U.S. culture and literature is thin, and who are interested in a reasonably comprehensive of survey of major texts, albeit conceived through the lens of an overarching theme.

 

540 AModernism/Postmodernism in 20th c. British Fiction Kaplan T Th 11:30-1:20


Modernism/Postmodernism in 20th Century British Fiction

We will first consider the development of literary modernism early in the century, focusing on fiction written by Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf. Our discussions will involve how such fiction is related to major social, technological, and cultural changes of this era. We will explore several related issues here: the conflicted history of modernist canon formation;
the significance of personal relationships and literary coteries in literary production, and the influence of psychoanalysis and new sexual theories on modernist fiction. Of particular concern will be how these issues are related to the role of art and artist in modern life. Then, we will explore what happened after the consolidation of intellectual and aesthetic trends emergence now known as “High Modernism”. Using Woolf’s Between the Acts as a bridge between modernism and post/modernism, we will look at some examples of post-modernist British fiction. Here we will take up such issues as the effects of the waning of the British Empire on literary production in the later twentieth century, and the impact of the changing demographics of the U.K. in relation to the emergence of new kinds of literary texts.
In preparation for the course, students should take time over the summer to read E.M. Forster’s Howards End and Flaubert’s Madam Bovary.

Texts: Katherine Mansfield: Selected Stories; Virginia Woolf: To the Lighthouse; Between the Acts; Graham Swift: Waterland; Julian Barnes: Flaubert’s Parrot; Zadie Smith, On Beauty

 

541 APostmodern Fiction: Periodization after WWII Harkins MW 9:30-11:20


Periodization after WWII

This course will ask what it means to create a "survey" of fiction published in the United States after 1945. We will indeed read a group of texts spanning 1945 to 2012 that have been published in the United States, so this course could be construed as a "survey" of post-1945 U.S. literature. A primary focus on literary texts is at the heart of this class, and all students will be expected to read closely and carefully and to become conversant in the terms used to describe their method of reading. But as we read these texts, we will also focus on the criteria and taxonomies through which literary texts are grouped in historical, social, cultural, political, and economic terms. Our focus will therefore also be on learning how to engage the discipline of literary studies in this period and how to create our own rationales for specific groupings of texts. Key questions will include: How are literary and cultural movements periodized between 1945 and 2012? Does it make any sense to teach courses focused on a single national literature in this period? What is at stake in setting geo-political or territorial boundaries to literary production, and does the "nation" describe relevant boundaries and conditions? Do there continue to be key boundaries or conditions that shape literary production or aesthetics? If so, what are they and how can we use them to organize and explain relations between texts? What methodologies are central to critical work after 1945? How do you situate reading methods in relation to other modes of literary periodization? Key periodizing terms under discussion are likely to include the Cold War, postmodernism, multiculturalism, globalization, transnationalism, post-post modernism, and neoliberalism. Texts still TBD.

 

556 AMarxist Theory & Racial Capitalism (w/C. Lit 535B) Weinbaum T Th 11:30-1:20


Marxist Theory and Racial Capitalism

This course has two aims and will be broken into two (unequal) units. The first unit will treat several key works by Marx and Engels, examining concepts such as history and class, capital and labor, and fetishism and ideology. The second unit will explore the parts of Marx and Engels corpus that are of particular relevance to study of race, colonialism, and imperialism. This unit, the longer of the two, will also take up a range of works by more contemporary Marxist theorists who have attempted to synthesize Marxist and anti-imperialist critique. Throughout the quarter emphasis will be placed on close reading of texts and on elaboration and analysis of the dialogues that are emergent amongst them. Previous course work in philosophy or critical theory will be helpful, but is not required as a prerequisite.

 

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.)

 

569 ATopics in Language & Rhetoric: Language & Gender Stygall MW 1:30-3:20


Language, Gender and Sexuality
Autumn 2012, MW 1:30-3:20
Gail Stygall

Texts:
Eckert and McConnell-Ginet, Language and Gender, Cambridge, 2003
Bucholtz, ed. and Lakoff, Language and Woman’s Place: Text and Commentaries, Oxford, 2004
Cameron and Kulick, Language and Sexuality, Cambridge, 2003.
Cameron and Kulick, eds. The Language and Sexuality Reader, Routledge, 2006

A methodology text, either Sara Mills and Louise Mullany’s Language, Gender and Feminism (Routledge, 2011) or Kate Harrington, Lia Litosselti, Helen Sauntson and Jane Sunderland’s Gender and Language Research Methodologies (Palgrave, 2008)

Description

This course will introduce both the history of and contemporary work in language, gender and sexuality, as well as introducing research on the topical subjects. We will begin with two articles, one explicitly on feminism and language, one explicitly on sexuality and language. From these two articles, we will begin to discuss what topics, what methodologies, and what theoretical frameworks inform work in this area. In this first section, we’ll be reading Eckert and McConnell-Ginet and whichever methodology book I select. In the second section, we will move through the history of language, gender and sexuality research, using Mary Bucholtz’s collection and commentary on Robin Lakoff’s Language and Woman’s Place. We’ll follow that early history with Deborah Cameron and Don Kulick’s two books on language and sexuality, one more of a textbook, the other a collection. This body of research is remarkable for its ongoing conversation among researchers, both second generation feminists and those initiating work in the full spectrum of sexuality. There will be two short assignments along the way and a seminar paper at the end.

 

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

 

571 ATheory & Practice in TESOL Sandhu MW 10:30-12:20


This course is designed to familiarize you with key concepts and theories in the field of TESOL and their implications for classroom teaching. What is language and how is it acquired? What does it mean to learn a language? What are some of the social, cultural, historical, and political factors that shape that learning? What is the nature of bilingualism? Monolingualism?Multicompetence? These are just some of the questions that we will be exploring in this course, an introduction to the rich complexities surrounding language acquisition.

We will open the semester learning about some foundational concepts within second language acquisition (SLA) theory, for instance universal grammar (UG), the monitor model, critical period hypotheses, and developmental sequences. We will then examine some of the key epistemological issues and theoretical tensions and debates that have emerged historically within the field, approaching our exploration from linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, sociocultural, and critical perspectives. Later on in the course, we will examine how understandings about second language acquisition have been shaped by recent influences from disciplines other than linguistics and psychology, most notably education, sociology, and anthropology, and we will reflect critically on how we use language in teaching, in learning, and in negotiating who we are in various contexts. In all topics we discuss, we will consider how these ideas inform our beliefs about language teaching and shape our images of the teachers we want to be.

 

575 APedagogy & Grammar in TESOL Brenner T Th 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 T Th 12:30-1:50


I’m not drawn to literature because I love stories per se. I find nearly
all the moves the traditional novel makes unbelievably predictable,
tired, contrived, and essentially purposeless. I can never remember
characters’ names, plot developments, lines of dialogue, details of
setting. It’s not clear to me what such narratives are supposedly
revealing about the human condition. I’m drawn to literature as a form
of thinking, consciousness, wisdom-seeking. What I like about works that
are thematically rather than narratively organized is that they’re
focused line by line and page by page on what the writer really cares
about rather than hoping that what the writer cares about will magically
creep through the cracks of narrative, which is the way I experience
most stories and novels. Collage-works, thematically organized works,
are “about what they’re about.” Which may sound a tad tautological, but
that is the way I often put it to myself. When I read a book that I
really love, I experience the excitement that in every paragraph the
writer is manifestly exploring his subject.

As a moon rocket ascends, different stages of the engine do what they
must to accelerate the capsule. Then each is jettisoned until only the
capsule is left with the astronauts on its way to the moon. In linear
fiction, the whole structure is accelerating toward the epiphanic
moment, and certainly the parts are necessary for the final experience,
but I still feel that I and the writer can jettison the pages leading to
the epiphany. They serve a purpose and then fall into the Pacific Ocean,
so I’m left with Gabriel Conroy and his falling faintly, faintly
falling, and I’m heading to the moon in the capsule, but the rest of the
story has fallen away. In collage, every fragment is a capsule: I’m on
my way to the moon on every page.

In this course, we will read and discuss a dozen of my favorite
collage-books. Each student will write his or her own collage.

Sarah Manguso, The Guardians.

· *ISBN-10:* 0374167249

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0374167240

Amy Fusselman, The Pharmacist’s Mate.

· *ISBN-10:* 0970335539

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0970335531

Maggie Nelson, Bluets.

· *ISBN-10:* 1933517409

· *ISBN-13:* 978-1933517407

David Markson, This Is Not a Novel

· *ISBN-10:* 0956107338

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0956107336

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five.

· *ISBN-10:* 0385333846

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0385333849

Joe Wenderoth, Letters to Wendy’s.

· *ISBN-10:* 0970367201

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0970367204

Eduardo Galeano, The Book of Embraces.

· *ISBN-10:* 0393308553

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0393308556

Anne Carson, Plainwater.

· *ISBN-10:* 0375708421

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0375708428

Renata Adler, Speedboat.

· *ISBN-10:* 0060971436

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0060971434

(out of print; available as e-book on Amazon, **ASIN:** B0067B3W0Q)

Renata Adler, Pitch Dark.

· *ISBN-10:* 0060971444

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0060971441

(also out of print; available as e-book on Amazon, **ASIN:** B0067B3ZZ8)

George W.S. Trow, Within the Context of No Context.

· *ISBN-10:* 0871136740

· *ISBN-13:* 978-0871136749

Eula Biss, The Balloonists

·*ISBN-10:* 1931260702

·*ISBN-13:* 978-1931236072

David Shields, How Literature Saved My Life. (manuscript provided
electronically).

 

581 B Kenney FRIDAY HARBOR

 

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

 

585 AAdvanced Poetry Workshop McHugh W 3:30-7:10

 

587 ATopics in Teaching Creative Writing Sonenberg W 10:30-12:20


In this course, we 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, we will explore the different ways this field has been written about: the manifesto, the anecdote, the how-to. We will read articles that relate the teaching and learning of creative writing to current ideas in literary theory, as well as articles “from the trenches”—articles by writers in the midst of teaching. In the process, each student will develop a teaching philosophy and a pedagogy that reflects that teaching philosophy. Some specific topics we will cover are choosing texts and exercises for creative writing classes, the traditional workshop and its alternatives, and responding to and grading students’ creative work. Throughout the quarter, we will all be the guinea pigs for the ideas we come up with—doing exercises, practicing alternatives to the workshop, grading stories or poems. By the end of the quarter, each student will have a refined syllabus that reflects his or her thinking on all these issues.

Text:
Xeroxed reader, available at the AVE Copy Center, 4141 University Way NE
Additional hand-outs as necessary

Open to all second-year MFA students. Open to first-year MFA students and other graduate students with the instructor’s permission.

 

592 A Graham

 

592 B Harkins F 9:30-4:20

 

592 F Bawarshi WF 2:30-4:20

 

593 BTextual Studies: Digital Textuality (w/C. Lit 596B) Reed MW 11:30-1:20


This seminar is one the four core courses developed by the Textual Studies Program. Course credit will count toward the Textual Studies Ph. D. track in Comparative Literature and may count toward the Critical Theory concentration.

This class will examine the intersection between new media studies and textual theory. Its first part will be retrospective: we will examine the rise and fall of "hypertext" as a key concept in new media theory. Why was it such a buzz word, and why does it now sound "so 1990s"? Next, we will consider the phenomenological turn in recent discussions of new media, and we will inquire into the challenges to textual theory presented (1) by hybrid visual-verbal genres such as computer games, digital video, and e-poetry and (2) by the contemporary "convergence culture" in which everything from fan fiction to cosplay to "transmediation" has newly destabilized the boundaries of "the text." Finally, we will take a practical turn. Searchable archival databases have clearly been a godsend for literary scholarship (though, it must be admitted, text-encoding protocols and meta-data do continue to present profound problems). What other kinds of projects have been successful? Where and how have digital environments proved congenial to literature, and to the study of literature? Are the "digitial humanities" going to save us all?

 

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