200-Level Courses

Course Descriptions (as of March 7, 2007)
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.)

To Spring 300-level courses
To Spring 400-level courses
To 2006-2007 Senior Seminars

200 A (Reading Literature)
M-Th 8:30

The Language of Literature. In this class we will focus our attention on the language of literature. We will begin with the question of what constitutes “literature.” Then we will examine how various writers and poets of British and American literature shape their works by means of language, and how language can shed light on and illuminate how we read their works. We will first read selections of chapters from Short Mick’s “Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose,” and apply his techniques to selections of British and American literature, including Beowulf, “Dream of the Rood,” Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Shakespeare, Cavalier poets, Milton, Pope, Poe, and Mark Twain. Texts: Beowulf; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Milton, Paradise Lost and Other Poems (ed. Comte & Cifelli); Shakespeare, Four Great Comedies: Taming of the Shrew, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, The Tempest; photocopied course packet (available at Ave Copy Center).

200 B (Reading Literature)
M-Th 9:30

Narrative Pleasures. The University’s general description claims that the “emphasis” of this course will be “on literature as a source of pleasure and knowledge about human experience,” and thus implicitly suggests an epistemological distinction between pleasure and knowledge. Further, this claim is underwritten by what seem to be two contradictory logics of the general and the particular: one, that literary study in the collective space of the college classroom enables a highly particularized, individuated affective experience named “pleasure”; the second, that literary study enables particularized, individuated students to come to some common understanding of “human experience” – a domain that is knowable, presumably, because of its homogeneous, transhistorical character (note the singular noun). Using these tacit assumptions and structuring contradictions as sites of intervention, this course will introduce students to practices of literary study that resist reading literature as merely a “reflection” of an already established social reality. Rather, we will read literature as a terrain that at once articulates, contests, and generates social meaning. Taking “pleasure” (in its multiple formations) as our domain of inquiry rather than our desired effect, and ”contemporary” U.S. literary texts as our archive, we will as: How do deployments of “pleasure” render certain subjects/ individuals intelligible, legitimate, and part of “human experience” while conversely rendering others illegible, illegitimate, and non- or not quite human? How are these deployments both overdetermining of, and overdetermined by discourses of gender, race, sexuality, economic class, and nation/national citizenship? The overarching goal of this course, then, is to engage a range of U.S. literary texts to query the effectiveness of refusing the distinction between pleasure and knowledge such that pleasure is rethought as both a key domain through which humans are known and categorized, and as a site through which humans, in their gendered, racialized, sexed, classed, and nationalized particularities, bring those formations of knowledge to a crisis.

The quarter, of course, will be more pleasurable for all if students complete assigned readings, attend class regularly, complete written work in a timely manner (including bi-weekly short papers, a mid-term exam, and a final essay of some length), and come with a spirit of good cheer and intellectual rigor. Texts: James Baldwin, Just Above My Head; Lawrence Chua, Gold by the Inch; Samuel Delany, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue; Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness; Gayl Jones, Corregidora.

200 C (Reading Literature)
M-Th 10:30

Broadly, this class will dwell on the possibilities and limits of reading literature as representative of human experience. Literary production has often challenged or, at least, troubled claims to authentic representation that imply singular ways of knowing or reading. We will interrogate this contestatory relationship by focusing on 20th-century American urban novels that engage with a diverse range of narrative strategies to represent the experience of the individual and her built environment. Employing different interpretive practices, we will also consider how different intersections of class, race, sex, and gender come to bear on the confluence between the built environment and individual development to further complicate reading the literary as a source of knowledge. Texts: John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer; Ann Petry, The Street; Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man; Thomas Pynchon, Crying of Lot 49; Fae Myenne Ng, Bone; photocopied course packet.

200 D (Reading Literature)
M-Th 11:30

This course will cover a range of authors from the 16th through the 20th century, all of whom spend time exploring various sleep states, from visions and dreams to drug-induced hallucinations and somnambulism. Through a wide variety of texts, we’ll be able to explore a plethora of different topics including, but not limited to, love, religion, consciousness, aesthetics, gender, sexuality, race, politics, all while sketching a rough cultural history of what it means to sleep and dream and potentially answering some of the following questions: What does it mean to be asleep or awake? Is there a clear division between the two? What do we understand dreams to be and has this idea shifted over time? What is the role of interpretation in dreams (if any at all)? The overarching goals in all of this, however are to hone your ability to close read texts and use these close readings to develop your abilities to think analytically and develop sophisticated and intriguing arguments about the literature we read. In addition to reading several novels and novellas by Thomas De Quincey, Charles Brockden Brown, G. K. Chesterton, Nathanael West, and Ursula LeGuin, we will also be reading poems and short stories by Donne, Shakespeare, Blake, Coleridge, Byron, Irving, Hawthorne, Poe, Dickinson, Whitman, Hopkins, Bierce, James, and Plath, among others. This course will be discussion-based, so students should come to class every day prepared to offer comments and ask questions. Texts: Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater; Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly; Or Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker; G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday; Nathanael West, The Dream Life of Balso Snell; Ursula K. LeGuin, The Lathe of Heaven.

200 E (Reading Literature)
M-Th: 12:30

British Modernism and the Creative Process. The first half of the twentieth century gave rise to unparalleled creativity and complexity in literary expression. We will explore the changing content and context of art and literature in England and Ireland. The modern world infiltrates literary works in abstract and concrete ways. Objects and artifacts will become anchors for our imagination of the worlds that characters and writers inhabit. We will also read scholarship that uses archival and material sources to analyze and contextualize modernist texts. As we navigate texts that differ in style and shape, central topics will include writers’ methods of representing consciousness, artistic circles, gender, war, and the British Empire. Texts: D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers; James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; David Garnett, Lady into Fox; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; E. M. Forster, A Passage to India; photocopied course packet (available at Ave Copy Center).

200 F (Reading Literature)
M-Th 1:30
Van Rijswijk

Introduction to Law and Literature. This class seeks to explore the intersections, contradictions and collusions of law and literature. This is a reading-intensive course, broken roughly into two sections. You will first read Kafka, and I will ask you to use The Trial to establish your own close-reading practices, in which you pay attention to the uses and contexts of language. In the second half we will read Banks, Barker and Woolf, as well as some cases. In this second half we will look at personal injury law, and literary representations of accidents and their consequences. We will think about how to talk about law and literature together: How do they relate to each other? How are legal and literary texts produced differently? What are the consequences of reading them together? Course work will include a demanding reading schedule, participation in class discussion, a mid-term and a final essay. Texts: Russell Banks, The Sweet Hereafter; Pat Barker, The Ghost Road; Kafka, The Trial; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway.

200G (Reading Literature)
M-Th 2:30

This course will focus on representations of the body in medieval literature. We will examine a variety of genres: romance, epic, hagiography, tragedy etc . . . Our discussions will center on three topics: gender, sexuality and images of strength and weakness. Students will become comfortable with reading and engaging with medieval literature, and be able to construct complex arguments about the representation of the body in different genres of literature from the same period. This course will focus on discussion; this means that you must keep up with the reading and come to class prepared to engage in a discussion with your classmates. There will be several short response papers, two exams and one final essay. Texts: Heaney, tr., Beowulf: A Verse Translation; photocopied course packet.

202 A (Introduction to the Study of English Language & Literature)
MWF 10:30 (lecture) quizzes: Th 11:30, 12:30, 2:30

This course is intended to enable English majors to understand, and participate in, contemporary debates in literary history, literary criticism/theory, and the politics of interpretation. We will therefore discuss both literary and critical/theoretical works, always reflecting on the context within which our discussions take place. That is, we will reflect that we are in an English department in an American university at a specific moment in history, and that what we find in the works we read is not what other people at other times and places would have found; and we will attempt to understand the nature of the historical forces that create these differences. We will focus on three pivotal historical moments: the Renaissance (key literary figure Shakespeare; about 1600), Romanticism (key literary figure Wordsworth; about 1800); and modernity (key literary figure: Chinua Achebe). Types of literary theory that we will explore include: New Criticism, formalism, feminism, and cultural materialism. Concurrent enrollment in ENGL 197 required.Texts: Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice; Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart; photocopied course packet.

207 A (Introduction to Cultural Studies)
M-Th 10:30

Race, Prison, and the Cultural Politics of Crime. This course will begin with the idea that “cultural studies” should be understood as a critical practice of engaging with social phenomena, rather than an abstract scholarly discipline. Thus, we will assume that to remove cultural studies from a specific practical purpose would be to negate the value of its approach. While our primary purpose will be to familiarize ourselves with cultural studies methodology, this will be done by approaching a specific topic of inquiry, the urgency of which will serve as an example of the value that cultural studies can bring to socially and politically engaged analysis. Why is it that at the start of the 21st century, the U.S. has imprisoned more people than any other nation in the world? And why is it that most of those incarcerated are people of color, and primarily African American? In the course of performing this inquiry, we will ask what cultural studies is and from what intellectual traditions it emerges? What is the “culture” in cultural studies? How do we “do” cultural studies, and what is the value of this approach? The topical questions will include: What is the role of prison in liberal democratic societies? What social and cultural developments have made prisons a self-evident punishment in the U.S.? How have we come to identify certain types of people with the commission of certain types of crimes, and why are certain communities and crimes more actively policed? What is the relation between the prison as a form of punishment, and the concepts of freedom and equality that shape our political existence? How as “culture” been a medium in which we have struggled over the meanings of race, crime, and prison? How has our imagination of these become central to the production of the social order in which we live today? Texts: Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison; Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?; Franz Kafka, The Trial; Richard Wright, Native Son; Herman Melville, Bartleby and Benito Cereno.

211 A (Medieval and Renaissance Literature)
M-Th 1:30

Few words in the English language are as difficult to devine as “Art” and “Nature.” In the Elizabethan era, to call a poem “artificial” was a compliment, as readers delighted in the bravura display of human ingenuity. But did the Renaissance exultation of “Man” and mankind’s creative prowess entail a denigration of the natural world? Or could Art serve to embellish Nature in order, as Sir Philip Sidney put it, “to make the too much loved earth more lovely?” This course will focus on the interplay of Art and Nature in some classic works of medieval and Renaissance literature: Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls, Sidney’s Arcadia, two plays by Shakespeare (As You Like It and The Winter’s Tale), Bacon’s technological utopia, The New Atlantis, and the poetry of Spenser, Milton, Marvell, and Pope. We will sift the texts to uncover how attitudes toward aesthetics and the environment differed in a pre-Industrial society. Moreover, we will trace the ways writers responded to the growing religious and scientific justification for human dominion over nature. Not only will the course historicize our current sense of an ecological crisis, but allow us to debate the role of vital art in mediating our experience of the natural world. Course website: http://staff.washington.edu/tandrew/artandnature.html Texts: Chaucer, Dream Visions and Other Poems; Sidney, Sir Philip Sidney (The Oxford Authors); Shakespeare, As You Like It; The Winter’s Tale; photocopied course pack.

212 A (Literature of Enlightenment & Revolution)
M-Th 8:30

This course begins with a study of the literature of the Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason. The texts we read in the first half of the quarter will show the development of comedic wit and satire, emphasize precision of rhyme and meter, and demonstrate the importance of taste, and a focus on beauty, and the idea of bringing light to the world. For the second half of the quarter, we will focus on literature influenced by the French Revolution, and explore the ways that the sparkling light and wit crumbles and changes with the tension of the war in France, and the rise of Romanticism. Students may expect to read poetry and prose by Dryden, Swift, Montagu, Pope, Gray, Cowper, Clare, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Percy Shelley, as well as excerpts from philosophers such as Newton, Locke, Rousseau, and Burke. Readings for this class involve a great deal of poetry which will require an intense amount of concentration and a willingness not only to read, but to reread the assigned texts. Grading will be based on class participation and written work, which will probably involve a midterm and final exam, one essay (4-5 pages), short response papers, and active participation in discussions in class or on an electronic message board. Texts: Greenblatt, ed., Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1C: The Restoration and Eighteenth Century; photocopied course packet.

213 A (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
M-Th 10:30

Outright Gangsterism and Uncanny Encounters. There is an old fable of the Man and the Lion where the lion complains that he will not be so misrepresented when the lions “write history.” What has been suggested by public intellectual Edward Said is that Western scholarship, particularly in the nineteenth century, attempted to take what is not “understood” and domesticate it or build archives that act to characterize it so as to reduce the perceived threat of the inalienable. Western scholarship, or knowledge bases, have been supported by the study of Western historians, scientists, novelists, painters, media representations, Hollywood enchantments. Ultimately, the consequence is that, by trying to “understand” the foreign, Westerners have reduced unassimilable encounters and peoples to facile categories that become originary assumptions on which further inquiry and representation is staged. The same could be argued about representations of other categories such as race, gender, class, or sexual orientation.

This course will offer the opportunity to read modern and contemporary novels, as well as essays of public intellectuals that engage theories of encounters. We will read short, expatriate novels by West Indies-born Jean Rhys, Indochina-born French author, screenwriters, and activist, Marguerite Duras, Iranian-born author, Shahnush Parsipur, Russian-born Brazilian Jew Clarice Lispector, and Japanese-born British author, Kazuo Ishiguro, to build on and complicate theoretical work on psychological and political motivations. These shifts in “accounting” arguably have the power to invite the reader to reevaluate his or her identifications with concepts like rationality, gender, race, nationality, home, the stranger, love, loss, and honor.

In addition to the novels, we will use excerpts from Andre Aciman’s Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language and Loss, Elly Bulkin, Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Barbara Smith’s “Identity: Skin, Blood, Heart,” from Yours in Struggle, Gopinath, Gayatri’s “Nostalgia, Desire, Diaspora: South Asian Sexualities in Motion,” from Impossible Desires, Edward Said’s Orientalism, and Reflections on Exile, Franz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, Susan Rubin Suleiman’s Exile and Creativity, and Minoo Moallen’s Between Warrior Brother and Veiled Sister: Islamic Fundamentalims and the Politics of Patriarch in Iran. Students should be prepared to read approximately 150 pages a week. Discussion will be at the heart of what we do, so come expecting lots of talk and lively differences of opinion. Texts: Duras, The Lover; Shahmuch Parsipur, Women Without Men (or other novel TBA); Andre Aciman, Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language and Loss; Kazuo Ishiguro, Remains of the Day; photocopied course packet.

225 A (Shakespeare)
M-Th 8:30

In this introductory Shakespeare course we will read a representative survey of his tragedies, comedies, history plays and imaginative romances – with as many sonnets as we can find time for in class. Our focus will be the history of “Shakespeare’s” performances from the composition and production of the works in the context of Elizabethan / Jacobean England through to its cinematic interpretations of Olivier, Branagh, and Zeferelli. Texts: Bevington, ed., The Complete Works of Shakesepeare; Garber, Shakespeare After All.

228 A (English Literary Culture: To 1600)
M-Th 9:30

Becoming English. The Anglo-Saxons who conquered Celtic Britain in the 400s-600s CE were not at all “English.” They were Germanic tribes led by Germanic warlords, a people with a complex, rich literature of their own, but a literature that was not an “English” literature. How did they become “English”? And how is this transformation made evident in their works? After reading Beowulf, we will consider that black hole in our literature, the 300 years following the Norman Conquest – William the Conqueror, 1066, and all that – when the language of literature in England was French! Usually ignored in English literature courses, these masterpieces in Old French have until recently been regarded as “not English,” yet it was from between the hammer and anvil of Anglo-Saxon and French that there emerged what we think of today as “English literature.” The seed planted by the King Arthur mythos germinates in Chaucer to reach its full growth in Shakespeare. (INSTRUCTOR'S NOTE about Shakespeare texts: We will be reading three plays by Shakespeare. If you already own or have access to an edition of the complete works of Shakespeare, please feel free to use it. If you purchase new individual softcover editions ordered for each of these plays, it will cost you a total of $33 plus tax. In contrast, the recommended hardcover edition of the complete works (The Norton Shakespeare) will cost you $65 plus tax. It's a matter of personal judgment, but the purchase of the complete Shakespeare in hardcover may well be a better long-term investment than purchasing plays one at a time in softcover.) Texts: Seamus Heaney, tr., Beowulf: A New Verse Translation; Robert W. Hanning, tr., The Lais of Marie de France; Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (tr. Wright); Love Visions; Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; Henry V; OR The Norton Shakespeare.

229 A (English Literary Culture: 1600-1800)
M-Th 2:30

In this section of ENGL 229 we will focus on covering as much representative literature from the time of 1600 to 1800 as is reasonable in one quarter, beginning with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and ending with Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads. While the literature of this period is wide-ranging, we will help to focus our study by looking at how the traditions of the epic and the ballad inform the authors of this period. Many of the authors of this time consciously evoke the traditions of these long enduring literary forms in order to lend authority to their works, but also because these literary traditions are inextricably related to ideas of nationhood, aesthetics, and history. The authors for the course will include, but not be limited to, Shakespeare, Milton, Marvell, Dryden, Swift, Pope, Johnson, Wortley Montague, Gray, Blake, Wordsworth and Coleridge. Texts: Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th ed., Vol. I: The Middle Ages through the Restoration and the 18th Century; Shakespeare, The Tempest (Norton Critical Edition).

242 A (Reading Fiction)
M-Th 8:30

Prism, Mirror, Lens: The Novel and Reflection. Our contemporary moment seems to present us with a problem for imaginative reflection. Reflecting on the prospects of postmodern morality, the philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard wrote: “Today, life is fast. It vaporizes morals. Futility suits the postmodern, for words as well as things. But that doesn’t keep us from asking questions: how to live and why? The answers are deferred.” If, as Lyotard suggests, we are constantly compelled by our everyday life to act in a kind of hyper-pragmatic mode where reflection (about morality, life, or otherwise) appears a futile endeavor, what might the tale of the novel be, considered as a special (even unique) form of reflection in creating a new space for thought?

This course will take students to four compelling monuments of English literature that present extraordinary occasions for reflection, starting with the hyper-reflective fiction of Tristram Shandy (1759) and ending with the more ergodic “faction” of House of Leaves (2000). We will consider these novels not only as cultural artifacts which exemplify interesting (and possibly critical) aesthetic and moral perspectives, but as living sites of reflection which shape, challenge, and exercise our imagination in creative and culturally important ways. Although the novels represent an historical sequence, the emphasis in our discussions and reflections will be on what and how they ask us to imagine, and what significant judgments they contain which afford us a better understanding of ourselves and our own situation.

This course will include some very short lectures for context, but the majority of the course will be guided discussion and sharing of commentary. Students are asked to (1) participate actively in class discussions (which means offering insights, proposing questions, raising issues, etc.); (2) produce periodic critical commentaries in a personal reading blog (which will be public); (3) complete a multiple choice/short-answer midterm exam, and (4) write an 8-10 page paper on one of the novels of your choosing. The reading load works out to roughly 200 pages a week (not a Herculean task, but surely an intense one), and students can expect to produce roughly two single-spaced pages of eommentary a week. Texts: Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman; Herman Melville, Moby Dick; Virginia Woolf, The Waves; Mark Danielewski, House of Leaves; photocopied course packet containing a few short stories and some essays.

242 B (Reading Fiction)
M-Th 9:30

Reading Nineteenth-Century British Fiction. The official university catalog description for ENGL 242 reads as follows: “Critical interpretation and meaning in fiction. Different examples of fiction representing a variety of types from the medieval to modern periods.” The latter part of the description is somewhat misleading, as it is impossible to cover literature “from the medieval to modern periods” in any fair sense in one course, much less in one quarter. Furthermore, because “critical interpretation” of fiction requires an understanding of historical, social, political, and cultural context of the work, we must necessarily narrow our inquiry to literature which shares a reasonably common context. In this class, we will read nineteenth-century British literature, paying special attention to a variety of forms and contexts shaping the assigned fiction. We will explore essays, novels, poems, novellas, and one film adaptation, thus considering genre and form as we practice strategies for careful literary analysis. The central thematic concern of the course will be to examine how fiction, as cultural production, actively contests, negotiates, and/or perpetuates (rather than simply passively representing) issues of class, gender, race, sexuality, national identity, and empire at particular historical moments. There will be a mid-term examination, a final paper (approximately 8 pages), scheduled reading quizzes each week, one presentation on relevant contextual material, one day on which to lead discussion, and required participation in class discussion. I will rarely lecture; students should come prepared to discuss the reading and to contribute their insights and ideas to class conversation. Texts include: excerpts from Thomas Carlyle’s Past and Present and from his Án Occasional Discourse on the Nigger Question”; excerpts from Friedrich Engels’ “The Great Towns”; Charles Dickens’ Hard Times; John Stuart Mill’s “What is Poetry?{ and excerpts from his On Liberty and The Subjection of Women; Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market,” Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s “Jenny,” excerpts from Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy; George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and an excerpt from her “Silly Novels By Lady Novelists”; Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; and Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King. We will also watch John Huston’s film adaptation of this novella. Texts: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th ed, Volume E: The Victorian Age; Charles Dickens, Hard Times; R. L. Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; George Eliot, Middlemarch; photocopied course packet.

242 C (Reading Fiction)
M-Th 10:30

The Value of Fiction in British Modernism. During the Modernist period, British critics, many of whom happened to be authors of fiction themselves, rethought the aims of fiction which were until that point largely unexamined in a systematic way. These critics performed the necessary task of justifying experimentation in fiction as British authors broke from the dominant assumptions underlying nineteenth-century literary realism. They pointed out how some innovations in the form and content of fiction remained consistent with previous ideals such as verisimilitude and social relevance, but authors opted for different means of achieving them. Critics and authors also strove to persuade readers to find new value in fiction by fostering an appreciation of ambiguity, difficult, and psychology. This course will place special emphasis on how these revised notions of value were articulated an dhow they gradually gained wide acceptance. Today we no longer regard the majority of British Modernist fiction to be particularly radical, which suggests that we have come to acknowledge and often share their attitudes to fiction, and perhaps even that the value we find in fiction remains essentially unchanged despite literary trends.

Students in the course will analyze essays that deal with the value of fiction and pair them with their readings of novels and short stories written by British authors between 1890 and 1950. The arguments they write will center on the means and ends of fiction as described or implied in Modernist texts, not the qualitative evaluation of individual works, critical ideas or authors or values plural in the moral or religious sense. The course will focus on four stages of British Modernist fiction: late realism (or naturalism), literary impressionism, psychological realism, and the novel no longer novel (Malcolm Bradbury’s characterization of post-World War II British fiction). Texts: Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier; Virginia Woolf, The Waves; Iris Murdoch, Under the Net; photocopied course pack (available at Ave Copy) including short stories by Henry James, Katherine Mansfield, Jean Rhys, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett, and criticism by Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Rebecca West, as well as a few examples of more recent scholarship in Modernist fiction.

242 D (Reading Fiction)
M-Th 11:30

Crime and Modern Fiction. This course will examine the representation of crime, criminality, and deviance in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British and American fiction, focusing especially on the unique changes in popular perceptions of criminal behavior during the transition from the Victorian to the modernist period. As a result of this dual literary and historical focus, our work will not only involve the close reading of novels and short stories, but also demand that we grapple with early scientific tracts on criminology, journalistic accounts of crime and violence during the period in question, and contemporary critical and theoretical essays on literature and crime. Our course will begin with a look at the origins of detective fiction, exploring the ways in which two of the nineteenth century’s most celebrated literary detectives – Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes – reflect on and respond to some of the most preeminent social, scientific, and philosophical debates of the age. From there we will turn to the representation of terrorism in the modern novel, and then proceed to the genre of crime fiction, analyzing the various methods, both conventional and experimental, by which authors attempted to create a genre that was both believable in its depiction of criminal behavior and motivation and sufficiently provocative to appeal to a mass audience. The course will conclude with a few mid-century novels dealing with the subject of murder and we’ll ask ourselves what, if anything, has changed in popular accounts of murder and murderers in subsequent years. Texts: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four; Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent, Dorothy Sayers, Whose Body?; Graham Greene, Brighton Rock; Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley; photocopied course packet of historical materials and critical essays.

242 E (Reading Fiction)
M-Th 12:30


Myths, History, and Fiction. This course introduces the practice of critically reading works of fiction. To do this, we will look at examples of American novels that are especially sensitive to their own status “modern” narratives and that register a sense of dislocation from the past and from narrative forms of some earlier period. We start by honing our understanding of “fiction” in general by reading several explanations of the words “myth,” “history,” and “fiction.” We will then inquire into such questions as: what are the possible roles of heroes, legends, and folktales in a novel? How do we understand the presence of absence of the details of history in fictional narratives? How can novels reorient a reader’s sense of history and cultural myths? . Texts: Americo Paredes, George Washington Gomez; John Steinbeck, Cannery Row; Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories; Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; photocopied course packet including some shorter reading selections and secondary materials .

242 F (Reading Fiction)
M-Th 1:30
Dirt Road Modernism. Literary modernism is typically associated with urban experience in the first half of the twentieth century, and opposed to the provincial sensibilities of the nineteenth century. Many modernist texts respond to life in big cities, examining the influence of consumer culture and advertising, new modes of transportation, and the sensory experience of living in close proximity to so many people. In this course, however, we will read fiction that examines modern experience from outside the city. We will read four main works of fiction (two short-story cycles and two novels) from the 1920s and 1930s, Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio (1919), Jean Toomer’s Cane (1923), Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House (1925), and William Faulkner’s Light in August (1932). These texts share modernist traits with their urban counterparts, and they also highlight the broader effects of modernization, including uneven development, rootlessness, and contact with people who challenge a stable understanding of modern experience. The goals of the course will be (A) to familiarize you with some of the contextual and formal issues central to the study of these texts, (B) to help you develop and improve your close-reading skills, and (C) to help you improve your ability to write about literature. Student Responsibilities: daily attendance and active participation, careful reading and critical thinking, class presentations, plus two essays and a final revision. Texts: Toomer, Cane; Faulkner, Light in August; Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Cather, The Professor’s House; photocopied coruse packet.

250 A (Introduction to American Literature)
M-Th 8:30

In this course we will trace representations of laboring bodies and commodities as they are framed in shifting realms of production and consumption in American literature from the mid 19th century to the present. We will read these representations against the backdrop of broad historical transformations such as industrialization, the emergence of a national market economy, and the proliferation of those circuits of exchange we call “globalization.” Questions of how value is produced and how characters embody desires will help focus our readings. This is not a lecture class, so students must come prepared to engage in class discussions. To ensure that everyone keeps up with the readings, I will administer a quiz each day. Other course requirements include: delivering a presentation on a published article of literary criticism, writing a 4-5 page mid-term paper, and writing an 8-10 page final paper. Texts: (selections from) Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham; Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie; Upton Sinclair, The Jungle; Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman; Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats.

250 B (Introduction to American Literature)
M-Th 9:30

As an introduction to American literature, this course will explore some of the ways in which literary representations have addressed “America” as a physical space, a bounded place, a sentiment, a fiction, an identity. By reading texts from the revolutionary period to more contemporary times, we will trace how the nation and national identities have been produced, with an emphasis on representations of race, gender, class and sexuality. In what ways does literature reproduce, puzzle and/or reject the shifting terms of national belonging? How have authors made meaning out of “the American experience” and its historical trajectories? Course work will include a demanding reading schedule, participation in class discussions, response papers and quizzes, group presentations and a final project. Texts: Herman Melville, Benito Cereno; Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Nella Larsen, Passing, Ana Castillo, So Far From God; photocopied course packet containing related materials and shorter works by authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, W. E. B. DuBois, Henry James, Charles Chesnutt, Sui Sin Far, Sherwood Anderson, Allen Ginsberg, Sherman Alexie, and Bobbie Ann Mason.

250 C (Introduction to American Literature)
M-Th 1:30

Beyond the Pale: Marginal Lives in American Literature. The late Joe Strummer once asserted “the truth is only known . . . by . . . gutter-snipes.” While he was thinking in terms of a heavily class-divided 1970s England, we might apply his insight more broadly and ask the question: Do the voices of individuals who are, for whatever reason, “beyond the pale” of mainstream American experience, offer the willing ear a perspective uniquely attuned to differences of race, class, geography, and gender? Drawing from an eclectic selection of American short stories and novels, we will pursue this and other questions, such as: What are the consequences, both psychic and social, of pointed exclusion from the community? Is “individuality,” vis-à-vis the larger society, uniquely problematized and performed in America? In what sense is affluence a bane as well as a blessing? Can one experience exile without leaving “home”? Why do some viewpoints circulate vigorously while others go unheard? Other substantial questions will surely arise as we read and discuss the materials at hand. We will consider all such questions in their historical and cultural contexts. Critical perspectives from outside of our classroom will serve as crucial provocations to our own thinking and ongoing inquiries. Be advised that this is not a lecture class: most of our time and energy will be expended on open discussion and on the importation and exchange of ideas. Requirements: Punctual reading, unwavering attendance, engagement with class discussion, weekly quizzes, a mid-term paper, group presentations, a final paper. Texts (required): Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays; Cormac McCarthy, Child of God; Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure; photocopied course packet of supporting materials and short stories (available at Ave Copy Shop, 4141 University); other materials to be distributed in class; recommended:MLA handbook; college-level dictionary

258 A (African-American Literature 1745-Present)
MW 11:30-1:20

This survey of African American Studies will attempt to cover a broad sweep of the intellectual thought and literature, with attention to folk traditions, from its beginnings in Africa, the oral tradition there and in America, as documented in the slave narratives, through the major historical periods, including the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat era, the Black Arts Movement to the end of the twentieth century, with some consideration of the study as it is evolving today. Guided by significant historical and cultural events and the intellectual tradition in non-fiction prose, the goal is to gain an overview of the rich semantic tradition of Blacks in America in various literary genres, folk traditions, cultural and political movements, with attention to the aesthetic and ideological concerns throughout Black American literature and its origins in experience. Course activities will include reading the intellectual tradition and creative literature, viewing films, listening to music, viewing visual art, with lectures, class discussion, critical reviews. There will be some traditional quizzes, non-traditional quizzes, one individual research paper, and one group research presentation with non-traditional mid-term and final exam. Offered: jointly with AFRAM 214. Texts: Gaines, Lesson Before Dying; Gates, Classic Slave Narratives; Hill, Call and Response.

264 A (Literature and Science)
MW 1:30-3:20

The Human and Its Others. Perhaps no category of identity seems as self-evident as the “human.” However, as Diana Fuss has argued, the human—at least as we know it—is in fact “a linguistic, cultural, and sociopolitical construct of comparatively recent date.” Taking Fuss’s counterintuitive suggestion as a starting point, this course will consider “the human” as a historical category by looking at figures in literature and science that have been on, and consequently troubled, its borders. Along the way we will meet such memorable characters as Shelley’s “miserable creature”; Wells’s Morlocks and Elois; and sociobiologist Richard Dawkins’s selfish gene. We will encounter Franz Kafka’s imagined talking ape and the real-life psychologist Winthrop Kellogg, who raised his son Donald alongside a chimpanzee named Gua. And we will explore the figure of the scientist him or herself, a character variously described as human, superhuman, or inhuman, depending on the text. Throughout we will ask: How do novelists respond to scientific innovation? How do scientists employ “literary” language like metaphor and symbol in describing their theories? What kind of “human” has been imagined in literature and science? And how has this seemingly abstract category been filled in with other categories of identity? Texts: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; H.G. Wells, The Time Machine; Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland; Kurt Vonnegut, Galapagos; Octavia Butler, Lilith’s Brood; Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake; photocopied course packet.

281 A (Intermediate Expository Writing)
MW 8:30-10:20

It is important to realize that English 281 is an intermediate expository writing course: you are expected to arrive having thought about and practiced academic writing in a variety of settings. Depending on your strengths, you may need to seek extra help from me and/or writing centers on campus, and I strongly encourage everyone to visit me in office hours to discuss any questions you have. Please keep in mind that I’m here to help and would like to see you do well in this course. This class will foster a better understanding of writing, as well as many opportunities to write, by first examining what a text is, how discourse shapes and is shaped by text, and how texts and discourse work to create rhetorical situations. This class imagines that rhetorical awareness and understanding can be fostered by examining real world, everyday texts and by producing both traditional and innovative arguments about them. Our examination will thus take us from the traditional notion of text as something written down to the innovative and perhaps unexpected idea of texts as images, pictures, symbols, and even film. In some sense, the rhetorical awareness gained by investigating and producing a variety of rhetorical texts may actually be more transferable to the work you perform in your different disciplines than would be an approach that imagines a single “academic essay” exists in the university. Because you come from different backgrounds and have different goals for your college career and your professional career once you earn your degrees, it is important to realize how texts and discourse function differently and take different rhetorical (and literal) shapes in different disciplines. In the second half of the course, then, we will bridge our emerging general understanding of text, discourse, and rhetoric with a more focused examination of the role texts play in specific academic and professional situations. In other words, the main goal of this course is to be as practical as possible: I want you to investigate, analyze, and ultimately learn to write the way people do in your major, discipline, and (potential) field of interest. Text: photocopied course packet.

281 B (Intermediate Expository Writing)
MW 12:30-2:20

Alternative Discourses in Academic Argumentation. This 281 course focuses on academic discourse and alternative academic discourses as they compete for and share space within the academy. We will begin by exploring some of the conventions of academic discourse and the implications of these conventions. What types of arguments and voices does academic discourse allow for; what does it obscure and prevent (both overtly and implicitly); who does it privilege; who does it disenfranchise? Following this discussion, we will then read a number of alternative texts that attempt to explode or re-imagine some of these conventions—multiple language use, blurring of genres, questioning the position of the author in the text, the organization of argument, etc. We will question whether or not these are “academic” arguments, and subject these discourses to the same scrutiny we did academic discourse. What arguments and voices do alternative discourses allow for and not allow for? Your previous writing experiences (both in and outside the academy) will provide the foundation for working toward an understanding and exploration of both discourses. Throughout the quarter, you will analyze and produce a number of traditional academic essays as well as alternative texts that respond to the ideas we will be exploring in class. The skills you will develop in this course should enable you to engage more critically and effectively as writers within and outside of the university. Texts: Lisa Kanae, Sister Tongue; Cherrie Moraga, Loving in the War Years; Patricia Williams, Alchemy of Race and Rights.

281 C (Intermediate Expository Writing)
TTh 8:30-10:20

Genre and the Northwest. ENGL 281, the second class in the UW’s expository writing stream, is meant to help you sharpen the skills you acquired in your freshman writing course: academic writing and critical reading. My goals for the class are as follows: to develop your awareness of the goals and assumptions of particular writing styles (what we will call genres); and to recognize that particular writing situations require specific persuasive moves. That is to say, writers need to become familiar with the codes that govern writing in their area of the university, their discipline. You need to know about disciplinarity because, as a student who writes, you must be able to adapt your writing style, not only to the surface forms, but also to the codes, beliefs, and meanings that make up your discipline.

To find our bearings in our exploration of the notion of writing genres, we will investigate how various types of writing differentially construe peoples and objects in the Northwest. While most of the styles of writing that we will look at are found other places as well as just in the Northwest, our limiting of the scope of our exploration to texts about peoples and objects in the Northwest will provide us with a shared point of reference for entering the notion of genre, a very abstract and fluid concept. While we will read some creative works, most of the texts we will read will be of the non-fiction variety; this course is not a “literary genres of the Northweest” class. The texts we will read will include the following: native narratives, anthropological tracts, scholarly work in the social and physical sciences, journalism, and a novel. The ultimate goal of the course is to get you writing, and you will be doing plenty of it. Expect to write three short papers of approximately three pages apiece and two longer six-page papers. Texts: David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars; photocopied course packet.

283 A (Beginning Verse Writing)
MW 1:30-2:50

As a culture, we tend to think of poems as spontaneous effusions, communicated to us by a muse. And though the muse has come to take many different guises experience, culture, emotion, neurological short-circuit this conception of the poem is still rather mystical and mystified, and, at best, only partially true. The focus of this course is the missing X of the equation: the tempering of the muse’s raw material with discipline. The goal is to provide students with a basic toolkit of poetic devices and techniques, an understanding of how to employ these metaphorical wrenches and sonic skill saws (among other things) more effectively, and to pour a concrete foundation for future reading and writing. Majors only, Registration Period 1; sophomores, juniors only, Registration Period 1.

283 B (Beginning Verse Writing)
TTh 9:30-10:50

We’ll concentrate each week on a particular aspect of poetry, with readings and discussions to explore that topic followed by a workshop of student work inspired by particular technical and artistic considerations. Substantial reading, writing, revision and memorization are all essential elements of the process. Students will produce portfolios of their own revised work, along with reflective essays on their peers’ writing. Majors only, Registration Period 1; sophomores, juniors only, Registration Period 1.
Text: photocopied course packet.

284 A (Beginning Short Story Writing)
MW 2:30-3:50

This class will serve as an introduction to the basic elements of the art of short fiction. Through the reading of previously written works and the creation of our own narratives, we will explore such fundamental topics as plot, character, setting, dialogue, theme, metaphor, image, and point of view. We will use small group workshops to illuminate the relationship between readers and writers: what are the responsibilities that each has to the other? Through workshopping, we will also ask questions of our stories and explore possibilities for future revision. Course website: http://courses.washington.edu/engl284/ Majors only, Registration Period 1; sophomores, juniors only, Registration Period 1.

284 B (Beginning Short Story Writing)
TTh 9:30-10:50

By the end of this course, students should have a better understanding of what defines a great contemporary short story and how to craft their own work. While the class will contain discussions about the typical elements of fiction (plot, character, setting, etc.) the real emphasis will be on equipping students with a process for exploring and creating stories on their own. In approaching fiction, perhaps for the first time, students have a fresh perspective on the generative process, and as such will be able to benefit from thinking about the roots from which great prose arises. This course will be held in a class-wide workshop format. Students will submit work to be reviewed by other students and the professor after which the class will discuss the author's work and make suggestions for its improvement. We will also be discussing published stories by professional writers and excerpts from Robert Olen Butler's book on writing "From Where You Dream." The class may also venture outside the classroom to write from experiences in art galleries and natural areas.

The best thing a student can do in order to prepare for this course is read. Familiarizing yourself with modern literary fiction will help you understand the expectations for how to create your own stories. Magazines that publish short fiction include "The New Yorker," "Atlantic Monthly," "Harper's," etc. Prominent anthologies of contemporary authors include "The Best American Short Stories," "Best New American Voices," and many others that are readily available in almost any bookstore. As always, studying the classic works of authors like Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Virginia Wolff, Alice Munro, etc. will surely help as well.

Students will be writing two stories over the course of the quarter and revising one of them. A presentation on one of the stories in the required fiction anthology will also be required. In addition, in-class writing activities, exercises, and responses to other students' stories will also be considered part of the body of work students should produce by the end of the quarter. Evaluation will consist of a response to the written stories, the presentation, and class participation. Course website: http://coruses.washington.edu/engl284. Majors only, Registration Period 1; sophomores, juniors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: .Nicholas Delbanco, ed., The Sincerest Form: Writing Fiction by Imitation; Robert Olen Butler, From Where You Dream (ed. Burroway).

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