Course Descriptions (as of 20 March 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.)
200 A (Reading Literature)
We will read a number of novels and short stories over the course of the quarter. Expect a lively discussion, eight short essays, daily journals, and to be a discussion leader. Texts: Katherine Dunn, Geek Love; Joy Kogawa, Obasan; Gregory Maguire, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Michael Chabon, Wonder Boys; Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies; Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient.
200 B (Reading Literature)
Perspectives for Interpretation. Throughout the quarter, looking at the genres of fiction, poetry, drama, and film, we will stress the importance of critical thinking and analytic thought in both our reading of and writing about the various forms of “literature.” We will begin from the premise that analytic thinking and analytic writing are not merely ways of looking closely at component parts but, also, of looking from a particular perspective. And one of our goals will be to be able to identify such perspectives and to create them. Texts for this course will include those by Nella Larsen, Virginia Woolf, Tennessee Williams, André Gide, and Sophocles. Texts: Tennessee Williams, The Sweet Bird of Youth; Sophocles, Oedipus the King; Muller & Williams, eds., Ways In: Approaches to Reading and Writing about Literature and Film; Nella Larsen, Passing; André Gide, Immoralist; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Dover thrift editions of English Victorian Poetry; English Romantic Poetry; Imagist Poetry.
200 C (Reading Literatutre)
The Nature of Literature: Nostalgia, Race, and the Production of Environments. This course focuses on contemporary American literature -- including poetry, essays, short fiction, and several novels -- as it highlights the ways in which "nature" is socially produced. We will ask what is at stake, politically, in fictional narratives about nature. How do the ways we talk, think, and write about nature influence the ways we interact with it? What does nature mean to inhabitants of rural, urban and suburban environments? How do members of different racial and ethnic groups conceive of nature in varying ways (e.g., as site of recreation, as nostalgic space of authenticity, as location of labor, as environmental hazard)? In what ways do media representations of nature determine what we think "nature" is? We will treat "nature" as both a material reality, which can be commodified and consumed, and a human construct, which reflects cultural values. Likewise, the "nature of literature" is both aesthetic and ideological. We will pay attention, then, to the formal elements of texts as well as the knowledge that can be gained by interrogating the complex relationships between literature and culture. Texts: Don DeLillo (ed. Osteen), White Noise; Gloria Naylor, Mama Day; Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats.
200 D (Reading Literature)
This course will be an introduction to the contemporary British novel. We will raise a number of fundamental but often neglected questions: What is the novel? How do novels work? Does style impact content? Content style? Do novels represent real life or are they simply linguistic and imaginary artifices? Do novelists have political and social aims or do they write for the pleasure and entertainment of the reader? Texts: Martin Amis, Money; Ksuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day; Tibor Fischer, Under the Frog; Zadie Smith, White Teeth; Ian McEwan, Atonement.
200 E (Reading Literature)
This quarter we’ll be focusing on how literary artists create meaning, connecting their aesthetic craft to our psychological and emotional reactions. We will read a wide range of materials, from poetry to experimental prose, from different countries and a number of time periods. This course is also a writing course, and the writing assignments will include both literary interpretations and literary experimentation. My description here is necessarily brief; I’m looking forward to teaching this course, and expect that if you take it, you will be enthusiastic, creative, and willing to take a few risks. Texts: Thomas Pynchon, Vineland; Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler.
207 A (Introduction to Cultural Studies)
Agitation and Storytelling in Popular Culture. Is Eminem an offensive, abusive miscreant or a grossly misunderstood hyper-intelligent observer of popular culture? Can Madonna really make “the rebel and the bourgeoisie come together?” What if the Pied Piper were to emerge in late-20th century London rave culture, wielding techno-music as his weapon? What if Cinderella lived happily-ever-after with her fairy godmother rather than Prince Charming? What if a university professor encountered Shakespeare’s Desdemona and Juliet, only to discover the former is a blood-thirsty warrior and the latter an incurable flirt? Are there, as one of our storytellers asks, any skinheads that aren’t gay? We will study, through the tools and theories of cultural studies, a wide variety of texts that take “what if” scenarios and spin them into tales that either challenge and agitate or reinforce and recreate assumptions and structures of popular culture. This course will introduce students to cultural studies methodologies and will then turn those tools to an examination first of stories that inhabit agitating spaces in popular culture and then to the producers of these cultural artifacts. We will be focusing specifically on tales and storytellers that agitate within or attempt to expose and subvert elements of mainstream U.S. culture. How do some texts offer challenges to dominant cultural systems while they simultaneously reproduce the very narratives they seek to subvert? What is the role of extreme comedy or performance in exposing underlying assumptions of popular culture? How do we read texts that rework traditional fairy tales in radical ways? Through the lenses offered by various cultural studies tools, we will “read” a variety of “texts” including: fantastic literature, fairy tales, films, music lyrics and videos, and performance artist skits. Texts: China Mieville, King Rat; Emma Donoghue, Kissing the Witch; Ann-Marie MacDonald, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet); CIC Student Guide; photocopied course packet.
210 A/B (Literature of the Ancient World)
In this course we will read literature from the ancient world, beginning with Akkadian (Babylonian), moving through Hellenic (Greek and Roman) and ending up with the Bible. Most readings will be available in the course reader. Students should expect to attend all meetings and to engage in discussion. Students will write two main papers, several short papers, midterm and final. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1; 210B = 5 spaces for new transfer students only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Texts: Wolkstein & Kramer, tr., Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth; Kovacs, tr., The Epic of Gilgamesh; Holy Bible (NRSV); photocopied course packet.
211 A/B (Medieval and Renaissance Literature)
The Sexual/Textual Middle Ages. A critic once joked that Beowulf must have been written by a woman because the monsters are sympathetic, the battles are unspectacular in gore, and there is an “extraordinary amount of talking and the tendencies to ‘digress’” (Baum 1960). All joking (or insults) aside, we must ask if a text is really marked by authorial identity to the extent that one can even “pretend” to read the gender of the writer. In this class, we will explore both the theory of “gendered” texts in the Middle Ages and the contradictory medieval ideals about gender – female and male – as they are represented in literature. Readings may include Margery Kempe, Hrothswitha, Christine de Pisan, Abélard and Héloise, Marie de France, Hildegard von Bingen, and a sample of hagiography. Coursework may include: participation, response papers, mid-term exam, formal term paper. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1; 211B = 5 spaces for new transfer students only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Texts: Barry WIndeatt, tr., The Book of Margery Kempe; Christine de Pisan (tr. Richards), The Book of the City of Ladies; photocopied course packet.
212 A/B (Literature of Enlightenment & Revolution)
The (In?)coherent Self: Conflicting Representation and Valuation of Individuality in 18th- and 19th-Century Britain. An exploration of the anxiety around such questions as "who am I" and "who are you" and "how do we know this stuff anyway?" in the period that is defined by enlightenment and revolution. What did all this new knowledge and radical change mean for the average Joe and Joanne? No ENGL majors, Registration Period 1 211B = 5 spaces in this section reserved for new transfer students; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Texts: Defoe, Moll Flanders; Hogarth, Engravings; Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Hogg, Confessions of a Justified Sinner; Dickens, Great Expectations; miscellaneous poets and philosophers.
213 A (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
[Introduction to twentieth-century literature from a broadly cultural point of view, focusing on representative works that illustrate literary and intellectual developments since 1900.] Non-majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents; Stephen Kern, Culture of Time and Space: 1880-1914; James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine; W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz.
213 B (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
The Question of Meta-narrative. Jean-Francois Lyotard once characterized Postmodernism as an incredulity toward meta-narratives. But what is a meta-narrative? And if Postmodernism abandons them, does this mean that Modernism does not? Starting with Lyotard, this course looks at the concept of Modernism in relation to Postmodernism in its development through novels of the 20th century. Along the way, we’ll define meta-narrative, looking for evidence of how a variety of texts employ, contain, resist, or subvert the very concept in reaction to literary and cultural contexts. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying; Paul Auster, City of Glass; Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body; John Lanchester, The Debt to Pleasure; photocopied course packet.
213 C/D (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
Modernism and the Masses. One of the ways that so-called Modernist literature of the early twentieth century is typically identified is by its ambivalence about mass culture, and for its critiques of popular institutions. While the figure of the aloof and critical artist is easy enough to conjure, this course takes a broader approach to "the Masses" in Anglo-American Modernist literature. Through novels, short fiction, journals and critical essays, we will examine the ways in which "the Masses" are manifested and implicated in the agendas and representations of Modernists writing during a period where the growth and modernization of mass culture was changing the lives of both individuals and entire populations. Specifically, we'll explore what these literary representations mean for conceptions of popular politics and democracy, the location of identity and dissent, and the meanings of mass culture and its institutions for individuals. We'll also think about how these texts position themselves within mass culture, and how they might suggest other popular cultures, or alternatives. Also, what do these critiques mean for us today? No ENGL majors, Registration Period 1. 213D = 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL Texts: Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Jean Rhys, Quartet; Nella Larsen, Quicksand; Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer; photocopied course packet containing short stories, poetry, and critical writings.
225 A (Shakespeare)
[Survey of Shakespeare's career as dramatist. Study of representative comedies, tragedies, romances, and history plays.] Texts: Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew; Hamlet; The Winter’s Tale; Henry V; Timon of Athens; Russ McDonald, ed., Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents.
228 A (English Literary Culture: to 1600)
What did it mean to write and read in the Medieval and Renaissance periods? What was involved in and what were the conditions for writing, reading and performing the literatures across this tremendous expanse of time? Because we are theoretically considering these questions over more than 800 years, our answers will be invariably incomplete and provisional. So in this course, rather than attempting to address the entire world of literary culture across these two periods, we will read and discuss oral, public and performative literatures from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. By tracing changes in performative literatures we will read quite a few plays, but because our own silent reading habits are far from normalized in these periods, drama is only one part of the story we will consider. Rather, we will use the construct of oral and performative literatures as a way to consider changes and developments in English literary culture through these periods, across genres. Class discussion, in class readings, occasional small group work. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.
228 B/C (English Literary Culture: to 1600)
English Literary Culture to 1600: Intertextualities and Competing Value Systems. [British literature from Middle Ages to end of sixteenth century. Study of literature in its cultural context, with attention to changes in language, form, content, and style.] Non-majors only, Registration Period 1; 228C represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Texts: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (ed. Hieatt & Hieatt); Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (ed. Winny); Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (ed. Paster & Howard); Staley, ed., The Book of Margery Kempe; photocopied course packet.
229 A (English Literary Culture: 1600-1800)
War and Peace. Ours is a period bracketed by monumental revolutions: the English Civil Wars (1652-1649) and the French Revolution (1789). In between were the Restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660 and the “Glorious” English Revolution of 1688 as well as numerous international wars including, of course, the American Revolution. And yet, in the midst of all this, England also had long periods of great stability and growth as a rising colonial power. The theme for this class, therefore, will be ”war and peace.” We will begin with some readings in the literature of the war and move quickly on to Milton’s Paradise Lost, and we’ll end by looking at the British reaction to the French revolution at the beginning of the Romantic period; along the way we will also pay attention to Britain’s international role as an emerging world power.
In part because of the monumental political and cultural changes of this period, the literature of this two hundred year span is especially rich and varied, and we will be able only to sample parts of it. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries include the King James Bible, Restoration drama, the rise of the English novel, the great age of Augustan satire, the emergence of the Anglophone literature of the Black Atlantic, the rise of newspaper and magazine culture, the first English dictionary, the beginnings of modern biography and autobiography, the age of operas and masquerades, the early Romantic period, and an explosion in diary- and letter-writing. There are also ongoing debates about “ancient” and “modern” literary traditions, folk traditions, the shift from a literary system based on the patronage of wealthy aristocrats to one based on marketing to middle-class readers, and the proper education of men and women of all classes. In order to explore as much as possible of this broad range of literary and cultural activity, students will be expected to do independent research and present the results of their reading to the class, a process that (it is hoped) will allow them to pursue depth in a particular area while broadening their knowledge of the whole. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vols. 1B, 1C, 2A.
229 B/C (English Literary Culture: 1600-1800)
This is a survey course which samples pieces of English literature written between 1600 and 1800. I’ve chosen to narrow the scope of our reading list by primarily including literary works that have a transatlantic aspect. The term “transatlantic” refers to texts that engage with spaces external to the British Isles: especially, in this class, the Americas. Thus we’ll primarily be looking at texts that depict movement: travel narratives, narratives of captivity and distress, narratives of exile, and narratives of science and discovery. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1; 229C represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Texts: John Milton, Paradise Lost; Burnham, ed., The Female American or, the Adventures of Unca Eliza Winkfield; Abrams & Greenblatt, eds., The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1C: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century.
230 A/B (English Literary Culture: after 1800)
Nineteenth-Century Monsters. From the Ancient Mariner’s spell-binding interruption of the wedding feast in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner to Marlowe’s disquieting return to Victorian London from “the horror” of Kurtz’s colonial Africa in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, a threatening and disruptive undercurrent runs through nineteenth-century British literature. The horrors of the slave trade, the violence of the French Revolution, the ambiguous implications of emerging modern science, class and gender struggles, and the colonial experience of Empire all combined to ensure that the British “home” was never quite as secure as it liked to believe. In this course we will follow the disturbing fault-lines of the nineteenth century through texts that lead us from the end of the eighteenth century to Caryl Churchill’s brilliant postmodern revision of colonial and Victorian England. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1; 230B = 5 spaces for new transfer students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL.. Texts: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights; Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and other Tales of Terror; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Caryl Churchill, Cloud 9.
230 C (English Literary Culture: after 1800)
A broad survey of English writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to selections (primarily fiction and essays) from The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2 (7th ed.), we will discuss several films as well as John Fowle's novel The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969). Lectures and assignments will emphasize reading within the context of historical developments in modern England. Three short essays, mid-term exam, final exam, final essay, intermittent reading quizzes. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.
242 A (Reading Fiction)
It arrived, writes Henry James, in truth, the novel, late at self-consciousness; but it has done its utmost ever since to make up for lost opportunities. In this course we will use Henry James’ statement to approach the genre of the novel from a variety of perspectives by asking What is self conscious about the novel? Answering this question will involve examining the novel both as a form concerned with imagining the self as a creation of narrative and as a self-conscious genre, increasingly concerned with its own fictionality. To explore these issues, we will focus on closely reading three pairs of fictional texts by writers like Italo Calvino, Nabokov, Rhys and Conrad along with some short secondary material. As a class, we will also learn to become self-conscious readers of fiction. Course requirements include several short response papers, a class presentation, a midterm, and a final paper. Texts: Ital Calvino, If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler; Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; E. L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel.
242 B (Reading Fiction)
This course will focus on the particular kinds of pleasure we derive from reading fiction. We will discuss the role personal history, theoretical perspective, and literary innovation play in the reading experience. We will also employ some specifically literary reading techniques, focusing on narrative structure, imagery, and symbolism in the novels we read, so that by the end of the course you can expect to be more fluent in your ability to discuss what you read verbally and to analyze what you read in writing. While the primary work of this course will be your reading of the texts, it is a discussion-based “W” (writing) course, so be prepared to explore, expand, and experiment with your reading experience both verbally and in writing over the course of the quarter – to challenge each other to read more deeply and to challenge yourself to articulate your thoughts in writing. Texts: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children; Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried; Don DeLillo, White Noise; Ruth L. Ozeki, My Year of Meats.
242 C (Reading Fiction)
Narratives of Community. This course surveys one strand of twentieth-century American literature by focusing on a central theme (the relationship between the individual and society) and on a specific genre/form (the novel/short-story cycle). We will read a variety of works by “mainstream” and American ethnic writers, paying particular attention to the ways in which these writers struggled to envision social, emotional, and ethical bonds to larger communities. We will examine such questions as: What are the duties and responsibilities of creative artists? What role do they play in preserving a “history” of the past? What are the traditions and “ways of being” that are threatened by modernization, and how can these new forms of experience be captured in fiction? Our studies will draw on close reading and class discussion to identify, locate, and extend our individual responses to literary texts. Texts: Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Snadra Cisneros, House on Mango Street; Michael Collins, Keepers of Truth; Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine; Bernard Malamud, The Assistant; Toshiro Mori, et al., Yokohama Calif.
242 D (Reading Fiction)
American Fictions. In this class we will both read American fiction and examine the fictions (and/or realities) of the term American. Specifically, we will read mostly 20th-century American fiction (with a short foray into the 19th century) and deal with questions of American identity – what is the “American,” and is the “American” different from the “American citizen?” How do issues relating to land/place, class, race, and gender affect our definitions and understandings of “Americanness?” On another level, we will not only read and respond to texts, but will also try to learn something about how we do so. To this end we will read about different approaches to literature, and students will be asked to both define and expand their reading practices. Texts: Baym, ed., Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. E; Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson; Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird; Gish Jen, Typical American.
242 E (Reading Fiction)
[Critical interpretation and meaning in poems. Different examples of poetry representing a variety of types from the medieval to modern periods.] Texts: Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote; Yann Martel, Life of Pi.
250 A/B (Introduction to American Literature)
The Aesthetics of Nationhood. This course is a survey of American literature organized around the theme of national aesthetics. We will read literary texts stretching from the American Romantic period until the present, paying close attention to the historical context of literary production. Our primary focus will be the relationship between U.S. nation formation and the production of a national literary culture, and we will consider the following questions: What role to literary artists and critics play in the construction of a national ethos and mythos? Does the U.S. possess an exceptionally unique literary culture? What are its organizing concerns and can we understand them as markedly different from the concerns of other national literatures? Is the nation itself an aesthetic formation – an act of imaginative representation? What is the relationship between national aesthetics and the formation of American citizen-subjects? How has this relationship changed over the course of U.S. history? Non-majors only, Registration Period 1; 250B represents 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Texts: Paul Lauter, ed., The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2; photocopied course packet.
250 C (Introduction to American Literature)
We will examine American literature using the new Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter 6th edition. Expect a vigorous reading schedule; numerous essay exams and daily journals. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.
257 A (Introduction to Asian-American
[Introductory survey of Asian-American literature provides introduction to Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Hawaiian, South-Asian, and Southeast-Asian American literatures and a comparative study of the basic cultural histories of those Asian-American communities from the 1800s to the present.]
258 A (African-American Literature:
1745 – Present)
MW 11:30-1:20/F 11:30-12:20
[A chronological survey of Afro-American literature in all genres from its beginnings to the present day. Emphasizes Afro-American writing as a literary art; the cultural and historical context of Afro-American literary expression and the aesthetic criteria of Afro-American literature. Offered jointly with AFRAM 214.]
281 A (Intermediate Expository Writing)
[Writing papers communicating information and opinion to develop accurate, competent, and effective expression.] Majors only, Registration Period 1.
281 B (Intermediate Expository Writing)
As a college student, writing academic papers should go beyond adherence to conventions and requirements and fulfilling tasks to pass courses. Analytical abilities must come into use first when reading, even before the act of writing begins; and they must continue as one develops a research paper. Our class will focus on the formalities and concentrate on the process of writing papers (while artistry comes with long practice). Analytical tools that allow us to dissect the components of our reading material will be explored and applied. In short, before we write in response to material we read, we must be able to isolate, identify, analyze and categorize its various components. This is a taxonomic method that you can adapt for any academic discipline, and is one method of acquiring good writing skills.
There are four objectives: (1) You must become well acquainted with your
own abilities, both strengths and (initial, temporary) weaknesses.
The shorter analytical and writing exercises will address this area.
It is crucial that both you and I know this first, since it allows me to
adapt exercises to address your needs, and permits you to develop your own
specific objectives within the scope of our class goals. Assignments
are designed to expand your specific writing skills, not the theoretical
abilities of a range of college students, or my assumptions based on my students
from previous quarters. (2) To acquire a systematic means of reading and
writing, including analytical skills adapted to research writings. (3) We
shall spend some time on research techniques, including assessing the reliability
of (online and print) sources, and incorporating researched articles in your
papers. (4) A brief but thorough template of your writing process will be
required by the end of the quarter – the process you use in writing a paper
(including indications of your writing habits if necessary, such as extremes
like writing a paper in a day, or stretched out over days or weeks) must be
described. In short - -know thy own writing abilities.
The course packet contains our primary reading material, both fiction and
non-fiction, the latter from several academic disciplines, but with topics
of general interest and relevance to everyone. In addition, be certain
that you have a college writer’s handbook (e.g., The Brief Holt Handbook or The
New St. Martin’s Handbook are
recommended) and a collegiate
dictionary (over 50,000 headwords). Majors only, Registration Period
281 C (Intermediate Expository Writing)
Narratives of the Border. This course will focus on a variety of texts that explore borders: between individuals, communities, nations, and cultures. We will frame the content of our course around such questions as: how do these texts reflect or subvert boundaries? What happens when border liens are crossed or blurred? How is a text itself a site where differences converge and are negotiated to create meaning? Students will work towards improving the nuts and bolts of expository writing by producing and revising critical essays that engage with these various border texts, ultimately recognizing how their own writing practices reflect and are shaped by their individual and cultural borders. Three revision sequences and one substantial final essay are required, in addition to collaborative and in-class writing and discussion activities. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Bass, ed., Border Texts: Cultural Readings for Contemporary Writers; Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats; photocopied course packet.
281 D (Intermediate Expository Writing)
Reading Bodies. This course looks to explore questions of reading as a means for informing writing practices. Specifically, we will explore the implications of our position as “reading bodies”: both as “readers of bodies” and as “bodies who read.” What is the relationship between reader and text? Is the text itself just another “reading body”? What are the consequences of casting the body as a text that can be read? How does reading work to create (and construct) “bodies” of knowledge? And what can our investigations into reading tell us about writing? As this is first and foremost a writing course, students will be asked to complete a number of short writing assignments, three longer papers, and a quarter-long critical research project. Consistent and active participation (both during in-class work and out-of-class collaborative assignments) is also expected. Grades will be based on daily participation and a portfolio due at the end of the quarter. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body, Nella Larsen, Passing.
281 E (Intermediate Expository Writing)
English 281 will extend the goals of English 131 and English 111 while attempting to bridge rigorous expository writing skills with critical rading skills. We will focus on two short novels that roughly fall into the rubric of "ethnic American literature" -- Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and Cynthia Kadohata's The Floating World. We will also look at selected short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies. We will aim to explore issues of ethnic American identity, color, gender, intra-national migratory patterns, and inside/ outside feelings of certain ethnic groups within the ostensible benevolence of the US nation-state. Though this is a writing class, I will expect that students are somewhat familiar with MLA format and other English basics, and are willing to challenge themselves with the twinned process of reading critically and writing well. Students should also expect to read two or three short essays on theoretical tools that we can use to analyze these texts, and which can serve as analytical center points for students' papers. The class will engage in intensive revision workshops and peer critiques designed to make you your own aware critic. Final grades will be divided mainly between a mid-term and final paper, both which will have opportunities for peer workshopping. I encourage students to get a head start on reading one or both novels during the Break. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Cyntia Kadohata, The Floating World; Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies; photocopied course packet.
281 F (Intermediate Expository Writing)
Constructing Seattle Communities. Within the context of a brief overview of Seattle’s history, this 5-credit intermediate expository writing course focuses a series of writing projects on the study of four smaller neighborhood communities within the city. Students focus on a specific community, both individually and in community-based groups, using a variety of research methods (e.g., observational, demographic, historical, and experiential/service-learning) as ways to construct their understanding of the community. Training in research methods is provided in collaboration with UW Librarians. Writing instruction is based on a workshop model, emphasizing the processes of planning, research, drafting and revising. Service-learning (experiential research) is an option, but not a requirement for all students. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: photocopied course packet.
281 G (Intermediate Expository Writing)
[Writing papers communicating information and opinion to develop accurate, competent, and effective expression.] Majors only, Registration Period 1.
283 A (Beginning Verse Writing)
[Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem] Majors only, Registration Period 1.
283 B (Beginning Verse Writing)
Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem.
We'll discuss traditions in poetry and focus on contemporary poets and works. Emphasis will be on craft, close readings and constructive feedback. Besides learning the elements of craft, revision and critical analysis of poems will be central. Please don't purchase books ahead of time, but do plan on c. $50 for the class, with more information forthcoming the first week of class. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
284 A (Beginning Short Story Writing)
Conventional workshopping, craft-focused readings of short stories and developmental exercises centering on techniques of fiction are at the heart of this course. A willingness to play on paper with the many aspects of storytelling is primary; a close second is active participation in discussions and in-class writing. The only required text is a simple reader available week one (or sooner with email). Majors only, Registration Period 1.
284 B (Beginning Short Story Writing)
This class will provide an introduction to the writing of fiction, focused on the short story. We will look at the ways in which fictional elements work together to create its various effects. We’ll start with several short assignments and some in-class writing exercises, designed to encourage you to think creatively and to experiment with different approaches. I’ll also provide brief lectures addressing the focal point of each class session and we’ll explore these topics in connection with contemporary fiction. Midway through the quarter, you will complete a full-length short story, which will be critiqued in class, and your final project will be a revision of this story. Primary goals of this course will be to develop your skills in the crafting of fiction as well as to enhance your enjoyment in the writing of it. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Sue Miller, ed., The Best American Short Stories 2002.