200-Level Courses

Notes of Interest

Course Descriptions (as of 6 October 2003)
The following course descriptions have been written by individual instructors to provide more detailed information on specific sections than that found in the General Catalog.  When individual descriptions are not available, the General Catalog descriptions [in brackets] are used. (Although we try to have as accurate and complete information as possible, this schedule remains subject to change.)

Add Codes
Registration in 200-level English classes is entirely through MyUW.  Instructors will have add codes beginning the first day of classes for overloads only.  If the instructor chooses not to give overloads, the only way students can enroll in a 200-level English class during the first week will be through MyUW if space is available.

First Week Attendance
Because of heavy demand for many English classes, students who do not attend all reguarly-scheduled meetings during the first week of the quarter may be dropped from their classes by the department. If students are unable to attend at any point during the first week, they should contact their instructors ahead of time. The Department requests that instructors make reasonable accommodations for students with legitimate reasons for being absent; HOWEVER, THE FINAL DECISION RESTS WITH THE INSTRUCTOR AND SPACE IS NOT GUARANTEED FOR ABSENT STUDENTS EVEN IF THEY CONTACT THE INSTRUCTOR IN ADVANCE. (Instructors' phone numbers and e-mail addresses can be obtained by calling the Main English Office, (206) 543-2690 or the Undergraduate Advising Office, (206) 543-2634.)


200 A (Reading Literature) 
Dy 8:30
S. Frey
This course will use several novels in conjunction with visual art and critical essays to interrogate the dichotomy that is often set up between art and mass culture. In particular, we will look at the way that mass culture is represented, incorporated, and contested in the literary and visual arts. We will ask the following questions: How do we distinguish art from mass culture?  How are art and mass culture related to each other?  How do they work with (or against) each other to shape our cultural imagination?   The focus of this class will be learning how to read texts closely and critically. Doing this means asking interesting questions of the texts and exploring these questions through critical writing and discussion. Towards this end, there will be two major and several minor writing assignments required, along with in-class presentations and discussion-leading. There will be midterm and final exams based on reading, viewing, and in-class discussion.   Our reading will include the following texts, among others:  White Noise by Don DeLillo, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead, and The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith. A course packet and additional reserve readings will be available at the beginning of the quarter.

200 B (Reading Literature)
Dy 9:30
Little Angel, Bad Seed: Child Characters in Literature.  We will read a variety of literary works that have in common the presence of children, either as main characters, narrators, objects of desire, buddies, bad-guys (and bad-gals), innocents, little kids, big kids, and one baby.   This is not a course in literature written for children; rather, we will examine the presence of children in ordinary grown-up texts.  We will read several novels from the mid-to-late twentieth century, and one from the twenty-first.  In addition, we will take brief forays into other genres, including poetry, short stories, memoir and the comic.  Some of the key questions we will consider include: What expectations do we have of childhood and children, both in written works and in our everyday lives?  How are children used in texts to get at larger social meanings?  Where do our sympathies lie when dealing with a child character who does not behave as he or she ought, and what do we mean by ought?  We will consider the way in which our experiences as former children shape or influence our reactions to characters in texts, as well as the various means writers have of portraying those characters.  We will examine a range of features of literary texts, including plot development, structure, setting, point of view, characterization, language choice, imagery, dialogue, etc.  Coursework will include a demanding reading schedule, class discussions, several writing assignments, group or individual presentations, and a possible mid-term and/or final.   Texts: William Golding, Lord of the Flies; Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita; Ian McEway, Atonement; Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha; Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year; Lynda Barry, The! Greatest! Of! Marlys!; photocopied course packet.

200 C (Reading Literature)
Dy 12:30
I. Alexander
Storytelling and Landscape: Narratives of Place and Exile.  Knowing our place in the world can be extremely difficult, especially in an era of nomadic, urban lifestyle and global exchange.  The stories we tell about ourselves and our land create an identity for us to inhabit and help us make sense of what we encounter.  Through class readings we will explore the way people are shaped in relation to their environment, the way that our place becomes entwined in our identity, and the importance of literature, storytelling and setting in the exploration of who we are.  Within this theme, we will move through a variety of natural, urban and imaginary landscapes, and also read narratives of those who have been displaced, become lost in their wanderings or had the ground shift beneath their feet.  Texts: Margaret Atwood, Surfacing; Don DeLillo, White Noise; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place.

200 D (Reading Literature) 
Dy 1:30
In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino writes, “From my youth on, my personal motto has been the old Latin tag, Festina lente, hurry slowly.”  This class will hurry slowly over a number of works (novels, plays, poems, essays), always keeping in mind the qualities that Calvino identifies as essential to great literature: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity.  We’ll read works by Calvino, Shakespeare, John Keats, Wendy Cope, Franz Kafka, Amy Hempel, Joe Wenderoth, Denis Johnson, Milan Kundera, Philip Larkin, Jack Gilbert, Joan Didion, Jorge Luis Borges, Diana Darling, Annie Dillard, Samuel Beckett, Walt Whitman, Anton Chekhov, and Raymond Carver.  Writing and conversation will follow.  Texts: Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium; Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Wenderoth, Letters to Wendy’s; Johnson, Jesus’ Son; Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting; Darling, The Painted Alphabet; Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape.

200 E (Reading Literature)
Dy 2:30
Art and the “Sixth Sense”: Six Studies in Contemporary Fiction.  How does art sharpen, expand, or destroy the capacity for sensation?  Does contemporary society deaden or invigorate the senses?  The course explores six experiments with the creation of a “sixth sense,” a form of experience outside the range of “normal” human feelings.  In keeping with the spirit of the strain of mental and physical expansion, the novels are always difficult, frequently bizarre, and sometimes offensive.  Be prepared for a challenge.  The texts are listed below; I recommend reading White Noise before the quarter begins.  Assignments: three papers, oral presentation, oral final exam, graded group discussions.  Texts: Don Delillo, White Noise; Nicholson Baker, Mezzanine; Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist; Thomas Bernhard, The Loser; Richard Flanagan, Gould’s Book of Fish; Kathy Acker, Empire of the Senses.

205A (Methods, Imagination, Inquiry)
Dy 1:30
This course is offered as both an English and Comparative History of Ideas course. It offers a rigorous introduction to intellectual history by examining the rich relations between method and imagination, by treating Western intellectual history as overwhelmingly motivated by the idea of inquiry. Selections include literary, philosophical and scientific texts. The reading for the course is demanding, but coherent: each text provides a basis for better understanding the next. Selections include works by Plato, Aristotle, Giordano Bruno, Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, Descartes, Kant, Coleridge, C. S. Peirce, Thomas Kuhn and William Faulkner. The course meets daily; one meeting each week will be in smaller sections to go over reading and writing assignments. There is a take-home mid-term examination, a number of short papers, and a final paper.  (Offered jointly with CHID 205A.) Texts:  Plato, The Phaedo;  Ackrill, ed., A New Aristotle Reader;  Descartes, Discourse on Method;  Shakespeare, The Tempest; Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

207 A (Introduction to Cultural Studies)
MW 9:30-11:20
What stories do American films tell us about ourselves? How do these stories reinforce, reconstruct, and resist dominant cultural systems? Do we read cinemas stories straight, or do we create alternative tales? How do film advertising, star interviews, product tie-ins, and fan sites fit into the story? We will explore these questions by analyzing U.S. films made over the past 90 years. In addition to investigating the social, historical, political and industrial factors surrounding the films production, the course will focus on the relationship between cinematic codes, reception and mainstream ideology. While films constitute our primary texts, we will consider other cultural artifacts, among them posters, ads, magazine articles, fan web sites, and viewer testimonials. As we probe cinemas cultural work, we will gain insight into what constitutes cultural studies and how one reads from a cultural studies perspective. Students in the course work toward several goals: learning how to read film from a cultural studies perspective and developing as critical thinkers and writers. Course activities promote active learning, with most class sessions including a mix of mini-lectures, discussion, short writing exercises, and group work. My role is to provide the tools and resources you will need to advance your own thinking and writing. I will pose questions, design activities to help you think through these questions, and respond to your ideas. Your role is to do the hard work the critical reading, discussion, and writing. You will analyze films, generate ideas in electronic and face-to face discussions, develop projects with your peers, construct written arguments, and revise those arguments. Texts: photocopied course packet; films: The Birth of a Nation; The Deer Hunter; Easy Rider; Do the Right Thing; Fight Club; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Our Dancing Daughters; Double Indemnity; Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

207 B (Introduction to Cultural Studies)
Dy 11:30
In 1979, geographer Peirce Lewis wrote that reading a landscape is far harder than reading a book.  He goes on to say that reading landscape is more like reading a “book whose pages are missing, torn and smudged; a book whose copy has been edited and re-edited by people with illegible handwriting.”  In this course, we’ll explore how “reading culture” works much the same way.  We’ll ask how culture is written, re-written, read, and re-read, how it is produced and re-produced, and what it is we do when we “do” cultural studies.  We will examine different definitions of culture, and the ways in which culture is political, and active (as opposed to a passive “reflection” of our ways of life).  In other words, we’ll come to an understanding of culture as product and process, as something we can “read” and study, as much as something we do.  I expect students to be prepared, and participate regularly in class discussion and group work.  There will be one half-quarter-long group project that involves research and a shorter paper, at least one presentation, several response papers, and a final paper (6-8 pages).  Texts: Paul du Gray, et al., eds., Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman; Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; J. M. Coetzee, Foe; Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water.

210 A (Literature of the Ancient World) 
MW 1:30-3:20
Negotiating the Classical Past.
  In this class we will trace the Trojan narrative from Homer through the Early Modern period and beyond, examining how this story has shaped our understanding of western literature, culture, and the rise of humanism.  We will also investigate how writers of the Middle Ages and early modern period in England used the classical past for purposes of politics and nation-building, and how they viewed themselves in light of their developing historical sensibility.  In addition, we will pay close attention to theories of mythology and genre, rhetoric and narrative techniques.  Readings may include Homer’s Iliad, Virgil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Heroides, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and Legend of Good Women, Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage, and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida.  Class requirements may include class participation, frequent response papers, a group bibliography project, a mid-term exam, and a final written project.  (210B represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students.)  Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.  Texts: Mandelbaum, The Aeneid of Virgil; Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (tr. Coghill); Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida; Homer, The Iliad (tr. Fagles).

211 A (Medieval & Renaissance Literature) 
MW 9:30-11:20
Designed to introduce several canonical texts of the Medieval and Renaissance periods, this course surveys a range of literary genres including romance, lay, various verse forms, and drama.  Regarding genre, we will investigate the relationship between form and content, and how it shifts through time.  Also intended to place these works within their historical context, the course will explore related aspects of the cultures out of which the texts emerged, including topics of religion, art, music, poetics, language, and gender.  While student interests will ideally help to shape the direction of the course, specific areas of inquiry are likely to include manuscript production, philosophical and classical influences, courtly and secular love versus sacred love, various modes of religious devotion/expression, gender relations, and how Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture relate to contemporary culture.  (211B represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students.)  Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.  Texts: Chrétien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (tr. Kibler); Marie de France, The Lais of Marie de France (tr. Burgess & Busby); Dante, The Divine Comedy: Inferno; (tr. Ross); Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (tr. Coghill); Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing.

212 A (Literature of Enlightenment & Revolution) 
TTh 12:30-2:20
This is a survey course which will sample pieces of literature from the Revolutionary period.  The organizing theme chosen for this class is learning, which refers not only to formal education, but also to various efforts at what we generally can call “self-improvement.”  The texts we’ll read for this class deal with individuals’ efforts to better themselves, or their environments, or their societies, or even other cultures, by re-thinking their modes of learning.  Thus, by examining this theme we’ll confront other trends of the Enlightenment era: emerging conceptions of science and technology; changing notions of the state and politics; the ascendancy of bourgeois culture; and different imaginings of colonial/imperial relations.  (212B represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students.)  Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.  Texts: Costanzo, ed., The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano; Rousseau, Emile; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Winkfield, The Female American.

213 A (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
TTh 8:30-10:20
In this class, we will begin with the key concept of "modernity" and the ways in which it has been employed and deployed in 20th Century American literature.  Through our analysis of a variety of texts--including novels, short stories, poetry, and film--we will be guided by several key questions: What does it mean to be "modern" and how does this concept function within the U.S. as a nation?  What are the markers and images that convey "modernity?"  And, by extension, what does it mean and look like to be "traditional?"  Are these concepts necessarily opposed to one another, or is there some other relationship we might be able to tease out through our readings, musings, and discussions?  If modernity somehow works against tradition, or stands in opposition to it, what kinds of identities, relations, and communities does it enable/disable, produce/foreclose, or otherwise value/devalue?  What kinds of possibilities and  anxieties does it open up?  Required coursework will include a short paper, active class participation, quizzes, and a mid-term and final exam.  (213B represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students.) Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.  Texts:  Nella Larsen, Passing;  William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn;  Don DeLillo, White Noise;  Octavia Butler, Kindred; one film (to be announced); photocopied course packet. 


213 C (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
Dy 1:30
Altered States.  What is a ‘self’?  A spiritual essence, a social construct?  Neither?  Both?  Discoveries in science, psychology and other fields challenged Victorian notions of selfhood, and changed how stories and novels were written in the early part of the 1900s.  Globalization and technology in the latter part of the century further problematized old assumptions, and old ways of storytelling.  What do we mean when we say ‘I’?  If the self isn’t what we thought it was in Dickens’ day, what is it?  What’s the most accurate way to depict consciousness?  Beginning with the then-radical experiments of three canonical European modernists, we’ll look at how their attitudes and techniques have been adopted, challenged, extended, and/or exploded by writers in postmodern America.  Texts will probably include: Mansfield, The Garden Party; Alexie, Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Kingston, Woman Warrior; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, and Moody, Purple America.  Students will also be asked to watch two films that are postmodern adaptations of modern texts: Apocalypse Now and The Hours.   Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.

225 A (Shakespeare)
MW 10:30-12:20
[Survey of Shakespeare’s career as dramatist.  Study of representative comedies, tragedies, romances, and history plays.] Texts: Shakespeare, Twelfth Night; King Lear; Macbeth; Much Ado About Nothing.

225 B (Shakespeare)
Dy 11:30
How does one approach the prolific phenomenon of Shakespeare in just ten weeks?  By being selective, setting a few helpful course goals, and understanding that we are always only making a start when we study literary texts.  ENGL 225 will thus not be a survey of Shakespeare, but will instead use the ten weeks to focus on three interesting, important, and diverse plays in his oeuvre.  After some introductory work with the sonnets, we’ll read a comedy (Much Ado About Nothing), a history (Henry V), and a romance (The Tempest), all three sharing some themes we’ll try to trace.  The main goal is to make you more confident readers of Shakespeare.  Classwork, papers, and a project will support this goal.

225C (Shakespeare)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Added 2 July; sln: 9168.
In this course we will read and discuss a handful of Shakespeare’s plays (Measure for Measure, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, and Othello) which represent his early (RIII and MND), middle (Othello, MforM), and late (Tempest) work.  By  reading these plays, we will also become familiar (without becoming entirely Polonius-like about it) with various genres in which Shakespeare worked: the selections include a tragedy (Othello), a comedy (MND), a romance (Tempest), a ‘tragical-historical’ play (RIII), and a ‘problem play’ (MforM).  Our goal will be to sharpen our thinking about texts for reading and texts for performance and to take advantage of films and stage productions to supplement our reading and to sharpen our understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s theatrical work.   Course requirements: attendance and participation in class discussions; weekly response papers and in-class essays; an oral (or written) report; and a final exam.


228 A (English Literary Culture: to 1600)
MW 12:30-2:20
In this course we will examine the literature of medieval and early modern England, paying special attention to the changing historical, cultural and political circumstances surrounding literary production and transmission.  Class requirements: several short papers, midterm and final, class participation.  Readings will include selections from Old English poetry, Arthurian romance, Chaucer, medieval drama, hagiographical and contemplative writings, and sonnets of Wyatt, Surrey, Spenser and Sydney.   (228B represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students.) Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.  Texts: Baswell& Schotter, eds., The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Vol. 1A: The Middle Ages; photocopied course packet.

229 A (English Literary Culture: 1600-1800) 
TTh 11:30-1:20
Literary Tradition and the Female Figure.   In the literary tradition of the early modern era, authors relied on female-gendered figures more with the goal of conveying certain abstract ideas and less with the intention of realistically representing real women.  This practice of using gender in a symbolic fashion interacted with and drew upon, but did not necessarily reflect, the reality of women’s roles in society.  Yet as women came to play increasingly visible, active and participatory roles in the everyday world (for example, it was during this time when female actors replaced boys in women’s parts on stage) authorial styles and themes adapted to treat these and other social phenomena.  The character of Eve for example, in Milton’s Paradise Lost, represents many things at once.  At times she is portrayed as stereotypically female: vain, ambitious, and dangerously independent.  Other times we could consider her waywardness as representative of humanity in general, and her character as one type of reaction to divine authority, comparable to, yet distinctly different from the reactions of Adam or Satan.  Later in the Restoration comedies of Aphra Behn, England’s first professional woman playwright, concerns about marrying for money mingle with issues relating to freedom of choice and the unreliability of love in an increasingly mercenary world.  In addition, we will consider the relationship of literature to events such as: the English civil war; the influence of politics, court life and religion on literary practice; empire and colonization; the growing popularity and accessibility of books; the ongoing theme of prostitution (Defoe’s Moll Flanders in particular) and the creation of a middle class sensibility.  (229B represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students.) Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.  Texts: Thomas Middleton, Women Beware Women; John Milton, Paradise Lost; Aphra Behn, The Rover and Other Plays; Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders.

230 A (English Literary Culture: After 1800) 
MW 9:30-11:20
This is a course on what I am inclined to call Modernity and Close Reading.  England in the 19th century was the first industrial and largely urban nation; at the same time it built the grandest—that is, biggest—global empire.  In the 20th century it remains largely urban but its industrial base has slipped precipitously and its empire has all but disappeared.  But its literature, its film, its music—none of this has evaporated.  That’s the job of a culture that we will study through the entire arc of the last two centuries.  We will do this primarily through a selection of novels, films and songs supplemented by brief readings meant to represent a fuller breadth of literary production.  This is where the Close Reading kicks in.  It is through reading-as-interpretation that we will gain access to the curious course of Modernity in England, 1800 to the present day.  There will be lots of discussion; frequent, very short essays; a midterm and a final exam.  (230B represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students)  Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.   Texts: Dickens, Hard Times; Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway.

242 A (Reading Fiction) 
Dy 8:30
Engaging Contemporary United States Literature: 1997.  The question around which this section of ENGL 242 centers is this: What strategies do we use to read contemporary literature produced in the United States?  To answer this question we will examine a very narrow slice of U.S. fiction, short stories and novels published in 1997.  As we read, we will consider both the formal qualities of these texts and various contextual frameworks (historical, cultural, theoretical) that may deepen our engagement with the literary materials under study.  This class requires your active participation in literary conversations.  That is, you will read, discuss, and write about contemporary U.S. fiction on a daily basis.  Texts for the course will include Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, Toni Morrison’s Paradise, Rick Moody’s Purple America, and a course packet.  A forewarning: these are longish novels (300-400 pages) and they range in difficulty.  Your writing tasks will include keeping a reading journal, generating six formal response papers, responding to the work of your peers, and producing one long paper.

242 B (Reading Fiction) updated
Dy 12:30
Knowledge and Perception on Modern Fiction.  In this course we will look at a variety of texts spanning the twentieth century and employing a variety of genres – including the detective story, the quest myth, stories about writing, and the powerful narrative of exile.  We will be observing the ways characters and narrators seek different kinds of knowledge and how they perceive their narrative worlds.  What are these fictional voices looking for?  What kind of knowledge is at stake?  What, in turn, are we as readers supposed to look for, and what kinds of knowledge can we acquire from fiction?  In attempting ton answer these questions we will pay particular attention to narrative voice, point of view, metaphor and allegory, the importance of language, and the narrative games that several of these texts employ.  The earlier experimental novels of Woolf and Faulkner will set the tone for explorations of the more recent texts.  We will try to identify the ways in which fiction has moved away from realism and direct depiction into other ways of communicating to the reader.  Texts: Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying; Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy; Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient; Bernhard Schlink, The Reader; David Malouf, An Imaginary Life.

242 C (Reading Fiction)
Dy 1:30
The "Borders" of Fiction: Writing from the American West.  This course provides an introduction to reading and interpreting fiction.  Our focus will be on fiction of the American (U.S.) West that explores the concept of borders or boundaries.  This topic poses several questions that will be central to our work as a class.  Why are borders important to the history and literature of the West?  How have writers of fiction both used and challenged the formation of borders?  Which visions for individual, regional, and national “identities” are thereby expressed?  How do these visions impact our understanding of larger social and political issues?  Primary readings will include novels and short stories selected from the work of: Jack London, Sui Sin Far, Cormac McCarthy, Hisaye Yamamoto, Sherman Alexie, Pam Houston, and Jon Krakauer.  Several secondary readings will expand our initial responses.  Our work developing and exchanging ideas about the readings will be based on group discussion.  Course requirements include active participation, short critical response papers, a group presentation, mid-term exam, and final paper.  Texts: Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses; Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild; Pam Houston, Cowboys are my Weakness; Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; photocopied coruse packet.

242 D (Reading Fiction) 
Dy 2:30

Knowledge and Perception on Modern Fiction.  In this course we will look at a variety of texts spanning the twentieth century and employing a variety of genres – including the detective story, the quest myth, stories about writing, and the powerful narrative of exile.  We will be observing the ways characters and narrators seek different kinds of knowledge and how they perceive their narrative worlds.  What are these fictional voices looking for?  What kind of knowledge is at stake?  What, in turn, are we as readers supposed to look for, and what kinds of knowledge can we acquire from fiction?  In attempting ton answer these questions we will pay particular attention to narrative voice, point of view, metaphor and allegory, the importance of language, and the narrative games that several of these texts employ.  The earlier experimental novels of Woolf and Faulkner will set the tone for explorations of the more recent texts.  We will try to identify the ways in which fiction has moved away from realism and direct depiction into other ways of communicating to the reader.  Texts: Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying; Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy; Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient; Bernhard Schlink, The Reader; David Malouf, An Imaginary Life.

243 A (Reading Poetry) 
Dy 9:30
What is contemporary poetry and how does one go about reading it?  This class will explore the various hubs and spokes of post-WWII poetry while also giving students a set of 'tools' to figure out just how poetry ticks.  The first part of the class will be focused on learning key questions to ask of poetry via intensive close-readings of individual poems and small groups of poems.  During the second half of the course we will broaden our scope to longer poems, different schools of poetry, and to the subject of the ever-controversial place of poetry in the world.  Work will consist of active participation in discussion, a mid-term, several short written responses, a final longer essay, and a group project.  Assignments will include mid-term, short response papers, one longer paper.  An open mind and willingness to grapple with poetry recommended.   Text: Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Vol. 2: Contemporary.

250 A (Introduction to American Literature) updated
TTh 9:30-10:20 (lecture); quizzes: TTh 10:30, 11:30, 1:30
Survey of the major writers, modes, and themes in American literature, from the beginnings to the present. This course will focus on a few major novels, from various historical periods, each of which will be read with supplementary literary, cultural, and political writings of its time.  Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.  

258 A (African-American Literature 1745-Present) 
TTh 12:30-2:20
As a survey of African American literature, this course is intended to introduce you to the key themes and developments of the African American literary tradition within its historical and social contexts.  My main goal is that after taking this course, you will be able to read other African American literary texts with better understanding, and hopefully, more enjoyment.  We have a lot of material to cover, so you should be prepared to tackle substantial reading and writing assignments.  Students will be expected to participate consistently during class discussions, write daily reading responses, and make two in-class presentations, in addition to the midterm and final exams.  Offered jointly with AFRAM 214.  Text: Gates & McKay, eds., The Norton Anthology of African American Literature.

281 A (Intermediate Expository Writing)
MWF 8:30
In this section of ENGL 281 you will develop your powers of perception and persuasion through an extended study of elite modes of travel during colonialism and the current era of global capitalism.  The course is divided into two units.  Unit I provides a sampling of the literature of travel in the culture of colonialism.  Unit II will challenge our understanding of tourism and introduce the concept of the “imperial tourist.”  As venturing scholars and “armchair travelers,” you will explore the following questions: What does it mean to be a tourist?  What does it mean to be an explorer?  What is at stake in these modes of travel, and how are they connected?  How do we define or imagine “home”?  Alternately, how do we define or imagine “away”?  Course texts include photocopied course packet, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, and Alex Garland’s The Beach.  Expect to write several different kinds of papers (a memoir, a grant proposal, a business letter, short critical responses, longer argument-driven papers, a critique of another student’s essay, etc.).  Attendance and lively participation are absolutely essential to your success in this class.  No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2.

281 B (Intermediate Expository Writing)
MWF 9:30
Language and Meaning.  ENGL 281 is an intermediate expository writing course that will give you more experience in academic writing while nurturing your critical reading skills.  In this section, we will focus on the theme of language.  While for some people language is merely a tool for communication, we will complicate that notion through our readings and class discussion and explore the ways in which language has been used to create meaning for us.  We will examine the role of language from three perspectives.  First, we will investigate the relationship between language and self-identity and consider how language has been used to define who we are.  Second, we will focus on language and society, giving special attention to metaphors in our language that reflect and recreate societal values.  In the final portion of the course, we will examine language from the discourse analytical perspective and look at how language makes the communicative process effective and persuasive.  In each direction, we will read a number of academic articles by renowned scholars in their fields, which will provide the basis of our class discussion, thinking and writing.

Throughout the whole quarter, we will discuss conventions of academic writing, including argumentation, intertextuality, audience-awareness and rhetorical grammar, and practice these conventions in your own writing.  While you will write in multiple genres such as reflexive responses, reports, summaries and so on, most of your written work will be argumentative papers.  In addition to writing three major papers (each approximately 5-7 pages), each of you will give a book report on one “how to” guide for writers, and a group presentation on one issue in language.  (More instructions on the presentations will be available once the course begins.)  Our reading, writing and thinking should help you become a better and more confident writer of critical academic papers as you develop an interest in and awareness of the complexities and subtleties of language.   No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2.  Texts:  Martha Kolln, Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects (4th ed.); photocopied course packet.

281 C (Intermediate Expository Writing)
MWF 12:30
American Environments.  In this course, you will advance, add to, and refine the writing skills you began to develop in 100-level English courses.  We will work on both reviewing and complicating our ideas about what makes a piece of writing persuasive, critical, interesting, meaningful, and important.  While our focus will be on academic writing – in particular, argumentative analysis – we will also consider the various expectations and effects of other professional, public, or personal forms of writing.  We will approach writing as a process that is both individual and collaborative.  This course will be rigorous and rewarding: expect daily reading, writing, and/or research assignments; we will use class time for discussions and writing workshops, which will require everyone’s active, engaged participation.  Readings, discussions, papers, and projects will focus on the topic of “American Environments.”  We will be querying the social and material construction and negotiation of natural, rural, urban, and suburban environments, reading both fictional and non-fictional texts that articulate various experiences in, perceptions of, and arguments about environments.  In some contexts, “environment” will have meanings similar to “nature,” but in others, it will refer more broadly to urban or suburban social spaces.  We will also discuss the ways in which these spaces overlap, especially in terms of everyday practices and experiences.  No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2.  Texts:  Rosenwasser & Stephen, Writing Analytically, 3rd ed.; photocopied course packet.

281 D (Intermediate Expository Writing) 
MWF 1:30
In this class, we will employ the reading and writing techniques covered in 100-level English courses—such as reading closely and making effective arguments— for the purpose of thinking and writing critically about the topic of “culture.”  While I am not aiming for a forum of unabashed criticism and censure, the ultimate goal of the course is for us to practice making smart critiques about “our culture,” however one chooses to define that term.  To do this, we will begin with some questions.  What is “our culture”?  Is it modern, or is it postmodern?  What’s the difference between the two?  Is “our culture” tied to a certain national identity?  How does global capitalism/globalization play into the stability of that national identity?  What is transnationalism?  What role does “culture” play in that?  Is “culture” ever neutral, occupying a separate sphere than the political and the economic?  Or is it more dynamic than that, and if so, what are the possibilities that can come out of “culture”?

To help with our questions and attempts to answer them, we will read theoretical works such as excerpts from Lisa Lowe and David Lloyd’s The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital, Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein’s Race, Nation, and Class, and Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism.  In addition, we will read literary cultural productions in the form of short stories, as well as one novella by R. Zamora Linmark—Rolling the R’s.  We will also view two films, one of which will be Chungking Express, directed by Wong Kar-Wai.  We will employ these and other cultural productions to help formulate and complicate our definition of culture, and students will be expected to write weekly response papers to maintain a dialogue with the readings.  Additionally, there will be three required papers for the course.  Keeping in mind the function of reading and writing as a means of cultural production, the final paper, as stated earlier, should demonstrate one's ability to critically assess an aspect of “our culture.”   No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2.

281 E (Intermediate Expository Writing) 
MWF 1:30
Writing for the Web.  This course will focus on techniques for writing informative and persuasive Web pages, as well as the rhetorical elements of Webwriting.  We will cover the basics of markup languages (HTML and XHTML) and Web design, and will discuss the social, political, and cultural implications of the web as a site for new forms of textuality. Two classes per week (MF) will meet in the computer lab, where much of our time will be spent analyzing and designing Web pages.  Some familiarity with Windows and Unix environments helpful but not required.  Major writing assignments will include group- and individually-authored Web pages to be submitted via posting to students’ Websites.  Expect to do a lot of reading and writing (most, if not all of it, online).   No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2.   Text: Musciano & Kennedy, HTML and XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th ed.

281 F (Intermediate Expository Writing) 
MWF 2:30
[Writing papers communicating information and opinion to develop accurate, competent, and effective expression.] No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2.

283 A (Beginning Verse Writing)
MW 9:30-10:50
[Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem.] No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Addonizio & Laux, The Poet's Companion.

283 B (Beginning Verse Writing)
TTh 2:30-3:50
We will consult the work, both poetic and academic, of contemporary poets to learn the ins and outs of writing verse: image, metaphor, music, form and voice.  We will write poems based on assigned exercises. We will share these poems with our classmates in a supportive workshop fashion. At the end of the quarter we will have a solid foundation of poetic craft and a renewed appreciation for the art.  No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2.  Majors only, Registration Period 1.  Texts: To be announced by instructor in class

284 A (Beginning Short Story Writing)
MW 10:30-11:50
Introduction to the theory and practice of writing the short story. No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2.  Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Ron Hansen, You've Got to Read This: Contemporary American Writers Introduce Stories That Held Them in Awe.

284 B (Beginning Short Story Writing)
TTh 2:30-3:50
Introduction to the craft and practice of writing the short story. No auditors; no freshmen, Registration Periods 1 & 2.  Majors only, Registration Period 1.  Text: Burroway, Writing Fiction.

to home page
top of page