Course Descriptions (as of 16 December 2004)
The following course descriptions have been written by individual instructors to provide more detailed information on specific section sthan 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.)
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)
This is a course that examines images of the grotesque and monstrous body in English and American literature. The physical form (human and animal, real and mythological) has frequently been used in visual and literary media to illustrate cultural values. The eagle, ever free to take to the skies, is a fitting emblem for a nation that considers democracy and liberty as ideals. The lion, recognized as the king of the beasts, is used as a symbol of royalty. The unicorn’s association with chastity is well known. But stranger creatures than these -- unnatural, monstrous figures – also served to materialize cultural preoccupations and fascinations in forms that inspire, even as they embody, the curiosity, fantasy, and anxiety of a people. In this course we will examine a few literary “monsters” and consider how these depictions function within different historical and cultural contexts. We will discuss the ways in which such “unnatural” bodies may have helped define through negative example what a culture considered to be “natural” and by extension, “good.” We will also consider how these monstrous bodies may through their disturbing presence actually signal a kind of resistance to, or re-evaluation of, conventional thought. The texts we will examine in our course include the Old English poem, Beowulf; the Middle English sacred biography, The Life of Saint Margaret; Shakespeare’s comedy, The Tempest; Ben Jonson’s The Masque of Blackness; Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, Frankenstein; and Philip K. Dick’s cyborg novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Course Requirements: Class participation, weekly short response papers, midterm exam, final term paper. Texts: Luizza, ed. & tr., Beowulf; Shakespeare, The Tempest; Shelley, Frankenstein; Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; photocopied course packet.
200 B (Reading Literature)
Modernism and the Difficulty of Representation. This is a course in reading modernist short stories, poems, and novels. When the label "modern" is placed in front of literature, visual art, and music it is often used as a byword for works that seem impenetrable, abstract, or obscure. But what does "modernism" mean, and why focus on it in a course that is meant to be an introduction to reading literature? Is modernism's reputation for difficulty warranted? We will use the problem of "difficult" literature as a jumping-off point to understanding what makes a given literary work "modernist" as well as broader questions of literary form and history. The texts we will be reading also serve as an excellent introduction to the techniques and practice of critical reading, because their self-conscious experiments with literary form-the very element that presents us with difficult reading-demand a keen attention to detail and structure. In other literary genres, like the realist novel, our comprehension of the story is seldom stopped by the text's form. Part of the unique pleasure and interest in reading modernist literature is discovering unexpected and unusual language, structures, and other forms of representation. Hopefully, this course will serve as an argument in favor of seeking out literature that does seem, at first, to be challenging. In this course you will be expected to read texts very carefully and closely, and you should be prepared to be disoriented and confused by some of them. You must also be willing to discuss our readings every day, even if you are unsure of what you have read. Some people will respond to certain texts more than others, and those others will have strong readings in the texts that speak to them; we will use discussion as a means of combining our readings, giving everyone a chance to see new things in our course texts. Assignments to include biweekly short papers, a midterm exam, and a longer final paper (ca. 5 pages). Grades based on written work plus class participation. Current course website: http://staff.washington.edu/tsw/ Texts: James Joyce, Dubliners; T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury.
200 C (Reading Literature)
Love, death, and war are neither timeless nor universal human experiences. Far from timeless, we will take up these themes of literature and examine them as historically contingent, gendered and racially inflected narratives, particularly as they are produced in and through wars. As such, our course is not exactly thematized by war itself, but rather by the question of socio-political, historical, and cultural conditions and contexts that produce and enable (or alternately, reveal the failure of) narrative. The course will be anchored through 20th-century Anglo-American literary texts written during and engaging directly with wartime as well as with the context of post-war social formations: the readings will include Chester Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go, Graham Greene, The Quiet American; John Okada, No-No Boy; and Chang-rae Lee, A Gesture Life. There will be a course reading packet (essays, short stories, etc.) in addition to the four novels listed above. Course requirements: Active daily participation in class discussion, small group work, short writing assignments, mid-term essay and a final paper. Additional homework and/or quizzes may be given as necessary. Texts: Chester Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go; John Okada, No-No Boy; Graham Greene, The Quiet American; Chang-rae Lee, A Gesture Life; photocopied course packet.
200 D (Reading Literature)
The general catalog description for this course states that literature is “a source of pleasure and knowledge about human experience.” As this statement assumes that the category of “human” is natural, eternal, and unchanging, and is simply re-presented in literature, we’ll challenge this statement in this course by arguing that certain pleasures, knowledge, and experience are claimed to be “human” through literature and therefore used to justify the viability of the very category of human. That is, we will emphasize the process of “claiming humanness” in our reading of literature as we critique the notion that literature simply reflects what’s “human.” What we’ll be reading for are the ways in which the category of “human” is assumed, created, and naturalized in literature as well as in the reader. Further, considering that we’re reading American literature, we will critique how the positionality of “American” factors into the function of the “human” category in the texts. Texts: Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson; Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome; Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five; Gayl Jones, Corregidora, and Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Blu’s Hanging; photocopied course packet.
202 A (Introduction to the Study of English Language and Literature)
MTW 9:30 (lecture)
(quizzes: Th 12:30, 1:30, 2:30)
Concurrent enrollment in ENGL 197 also required.
This course is an introduction to the contemporary discipline of literary study. It presents an overview of the main theories and methods by which literary works have been studied in the past, and explains the great change in the discipline that took place beginning in the 1970s with the coming of structuralism and poststructuralism. We will read a combination of literary works and works of literary criticism and literary theory. There will be a special focus on Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, which we will study very closely so that we can then use it as our main point of reference for discussions of such questions as: what is literature? How is a literary work related to the intention of its author and to the historical context in which it was created? What constitutes a valid interpretation of a work? Is there such a thing as correct and incorrect interpretation? What is meant by ”deconstructing” a literary work? Do literary works have political significance, and if so how can we get at it? By the end of the quarter you should be equipped to understand the fundamental ideas and questions in terms of which the university-level study of literature is carried on at present.
There will be three large one-hour lecture sessions per week, with one hour
of smaller discussion sections. The reading and writing assignments for the
writing link (ENGL 197) will be closely correlated with those for the lecture
and discussion sections. NOTE: Concurrent enrollment in ENGL 197 required (see
Time Schedule for linked sections of ENGL 197). Texts: Shakespeare, Merchant
of Venice; photocopied course packet.
NOTE: ENGL 202 is the new gateway to the English major (see above). Starting with applications submitted in Spring 2005, the 10 credits of ENGL 202/197 (taken in WINTER 2005 or later) will be accepted as a prerequisite for admission to the undergraduate program in English as an approved alternative to the current prerequisite courses (ENGL 210-213, or ENGL 228-230, 250). All students declaring an English major in Autumn 2005 or later must complete ENGL 202/197 (may be taken before or immediately following admission to the major).
207 A (Introduction to Cultural Studies)
The Spaces of American Life. The aim of this course is to introduce cultural studies as a field in the humanities. The focus of this class, specifically, will be the cultural role of space in America. Americans can be said to interact with their physical surroundings—whether on crowded urban streets, in sprawling suburban malls, or open rural fields and forests—in order to express who they are, what they value, and what they want to become. We will explore and critique the origins of this trend, its influences on American artistic and popular culture, and possibilities for its future role in our lives. The course will begin and end with discussion of several works of literature that draw on specific urban and rural spaces—locations in both the “city” and the “country”—in an attempt to capture what it means to be “American.” We will extend this work to analysis of theory, art, and film. The course will include class discussions, group projects, a mid-term exam, and final paper (that includes both library and field research). Expect to be an active participant in discussions every day in this course. Readings date from the 1850s to the 1990s; a preliminary list for the literature includes: Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Anzia Yezierska’s Bread Givers, Rick Bass’s The Watch, and Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats.
207 B (Introduction to Cultural Studies)
Representations of Ethnicitiy, Postcoloniality, and Queerness in Cultural Texts. This course shall not only introduce students to a wide range of key terms and major fields of thinking about textual and media studies, but shall in addition expect students to interpret themes of media representation in the construction of identities that are formations of complex histories involving race, gender, class, colonialism, and sexuality. How are television and media represented in literature and how does it shape the subjective experiences of its characters? What are the major fields of thought that shape these ways of interpreting cultural texts? How do we “read” identity in films and connect these readings to notions of gender, ethnicity, postcoloniality, and queerness in the world around us? Students should expect to complete very heavy theoretical readings that survey various approaches – we will weekly cover new frames of thought in which we evaluate cultural artifacts. We will read at least four novels, including Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats, R. Zamora Linmark’s Rolling the R’s, Salmon Rushdie’s Fury, and Jerry Kosinski’s Being There. In addition to theory and fiction readings, , I will ask you to view a number of films on your own, possibly including: Ousmane Sembene’s “Xala,” Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled,” Tony Kaye’s “American History X,” Ang Lee’s “The Wedding Banquet,” Stephen Frears’ and Hanif Kureishi’s “My Beautiful Launderette,” and Peter Weir’s “The Truman Show.” Students will be graded on the quality and originality of a midterm and final paper, group work and presentation on readings, and class participation. A background/interest in critical theory is a plus. Texts: Simon During, The Cultural Studies Reader, 2nd ed.; Linmark, R. Zamora, Rolling the R’s; Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats; Salman Rushdie, Fury.
211 A (Medieval and Renaissance Literature)
In this class we will read literature from the Middle Ages through the early Renaissance. Our focus will be the magical and the supernatural as it appears in a variety of texts from across Europe. We will examine how magical elements are used in a fictional narrative, as well as how the magical and mystical function in more biographical works. This class is focused on reading and discussion, not on long boring lectures. Students must come prepared to discuss the readings. Each student should bring to this class a curiosity about literature and its use of the supernatural, as well as the patience to spend a great deal of time reading. There will be weekly response papers as well as two exams and a final paper. (ENGL 211B = 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students) Non-majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Dante, The Inferno (tr. Ciardi); photocopied course packet.
212 A (Literature of Enlightenment and Revolution)
Freedom, emancipation, liberty. These were the ideals of the Enlightenment, the European-centered movement that marked the transition from Renaissance to the modern. The tone of the writings of the time is assertive and declaratory,, with people beginning to define and assert their “rights.” This course will examine works that somehow turn on the idea of freedom, with the goal of understanding how and why it was that this concept came to be seen as crucial to the true expression of human life. We will ask of these works, what was it that was so oppressive or binding about society in the first place that freedom came to be, in this time and place, asserted and celebrated as a righteous alternative? Although everyone seemed to be writing about it, this idea meant different things to different people, depending on their situations, so that “freedom,” while it appeared to be a truly universal current, was more likely a movement within which individual writers located the impetus for their own personal expressions. Perhaps freedom meant something different depending on your identity and conditions. For African Olaudah Equiano (The Interesting Narrative of the Life, 1789), it meant the end of slavery and the farcical race-based legal system that propped it up. For an English woman like Mary Wolstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1792), it meant the end to the insidious, coercive kind of slavery that kept women in a state of dependence and squelched ambition. For a flamboyant and ironical poet like Byron, who begins Don Juan (1819) with the petulant demand, “I want a hero,” freedom meant mocking the silliness of tired literary forms like the epic, without feeling any anguish over the contradictions this raised, given that he was, after all, still a poet working with conventional forms. We will also look at texts that treat the flipside of this question, that is, the repression and expression of those uncomfortable emotions and desires forbidden or restrained by custom, and how this kind of psychological – yet still political – freedom of expression participated in crafting modern notions of the self. This is a participation-centered course emphasizing contributions to discussions, in-class group projects and in-class response writing. There will be two 3-page papers (one delivered orally to the class), a midterm exam and a final exam. (212B = 5 spaces for new transfers) Non-majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote or The Adventures of Arabella; Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther; J. Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer; Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa the African, Written by Himself; Baines & Burns, eds., Five Romantic Plays, 1768-1821; Byron, Selected Poetry.
213 C (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
In this course, we will develop critical, interpretive responses to modern and postmodern American literature in an interactive discussion setting. While our discussions will touch on an array of literary and cultural concerns, they will initially be guided by the following framework: Writers of these two literary eras are concerned with a range of complex problems regarding materiality, representation, and simulation; essence, authenticity, and social construction; authority, power, and identity; and wholeness and fragmentation. Interrogations of “nature” – as both material environment and socially constructed concept – are often central to these discussions, and thus will be a focal point of our own reflection and inquiry. As we strive to produce close, contextualized readings of novels, poems, short stories, memoirs, cultural theory, and other historical and academic discourse this quarter, some of our guiding questions will be:
*What is modernism? What is postmodernism? How can these periods be defined? Where, how, and why do these definitions break down? How did modernist and postmodernist writers attempt cultural resistance in both literary themes and styles?
*Do modernists tend to see nature differently than postmodernists do? How do earlier conceptions of nature – naturalist, realist, or Romanticist – inform twentieth-century literature?
*What tensions do we see, in both eras, between country and city, or wilderness and settlement? How do consumerism and waste affect nature? How does nature relate to concepts of place, transience, tourism, or home? How does nature infuse not only rural but also suburban and urban settings? What does this literature suggest about what it means to live in modern or postmodern environments?
*How have modern and postmodern Americans defined themselves and others in relation to nature – and with what consequences? How do varying perceptions of nature inform conceptions of human nature? What do we see when we interrogate boundaries of human perception and human agency? What does “nature” say about “culture”? How are race, gender, class, and nation linked to “nature”?
Be prepared to read a lot, think critically, and participate in class every day. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.
Texts: Willa Cather, O Pioneers!; William Faulkner, Go
Down, Moses; Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping; Karen Tei
Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest; photocopied course
213 D (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
Whether maverick P.I., seasoned policeman, or highbrow amateur, the figure of the detective has become a pivotal figure in Western culture, an individual with a particular ethical or professional slant who is often uncomfortably identified with the criminals he or she tracks. The notion of a narrative of investigation and revelation is itself so basic to fiction that we can consider the detective story as a kind of model for the reading process itself. This course will trace the development of detective fiction from the late 19th Century through the present day. Though this sub-genre may seem easily defined, it becomes more mercurial the more it is explored under the rubric of detective fiction, crime fiction, and mystery fiction. Beginning with some of the earliest depictions, we will examine short stories by Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle, before going on to look at 20th-century representations of the literary sleuth in Britain and the USA. We will consider well-known examples from popular culture (Miss Marple, the stereotype of the American private-eye, Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe), as well as more experimental, postmodern examples (such as Laurie King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and Keith Hartman’s Gumshoe Gorilla). Throughout the course we will be concerned with connections between crime and the emerging social formations, questioning the extent to which detective fiction aims to impose a sense of rationality and closure on an otherwise uncertain and alienating world. This course will examine the development of the detective story in fiction and film alongside the emerging complex cultural significations of the detectives and criminals, alongside broader themes like discipline, justice, community, gender, violence, morality, alienation, betrayal, and professionalism. Assignments will include: weekly response paper; in-class midterm exam; in-class final exam; final project on detective novel of student's choosing. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: CHesterton, Favorite Father Brown Stories; Doyle, Six Great Sherlock Holmes Stories; Poe, Tales of Terror and Detection; Christie, A Murder is Announced: Chandler, The Big Sleep; Stout, Champagne for One; Hammett, The Maltese Falcon; King, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice; Bester, The Demolished Man; Robinson, Lady Slings the Booze; Hartman, The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse.
225 A (Shakespeare)
This course is designed as an introduction to the works of Shakespeare and the culture in which he lived and wrote. We will be covering tragedy, comedy, romance, and history plays. The course will focus on close readings of texts, with a particular emphasis on decoding the language of arguably one of the most important figures in the canon of Western literature. To this end, the main goal is to make you more confident readers of Shakespeare. In addition, we will negotiate the difference between the works as they perhaps might have been understood in Shakespeare's own culture and how they have been understood since. We will read and discuss criticism ranging from the Romantic period to more modern approaches. Because these works were meant for the stage, we will also be discussing aspects of performance and if possible, we will attend one of the plays we will be reading. We will read five to six plays and some sonnets. You can expect lively interactions in discussion and as this is a W course, you will be expected to write. Text: Bevington, ed., Complete Works of Shakespeare.
229 A (English Literary Culture: 1600-1800)
TTh 10:30-12:20 9:30
Britain’s cultural life changed vastly during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A civil war, religious conflicts, and world exploration brought new questions to the public arena; literary writers eagerly experimented with new forms like the comedy of manners, the realistic novel, and even the newspaper article. In this class, we look closely at a remarkable constant in this shifting picture: the love story. Highly traditional and highly popular, the theme of love also turned out to be highly portable in new literary directions, in manifestations from the impossibly idealized to the frankly erotic. As we trace the love story’s path, we will also get interconnected glimpses into some of the period’s most vital cultural scenes: politics, religion, science, polite sociability, empire, and the rethinking of the national and European past. Our texts will sometimes be as unfamiliar as they are fascinating, so classes will focus on careful reading and discussion. Meanwhile, on a reflective level, we will ask how love came to be such a flexible language for talking about so many forms of social life. Readings will include John Donne, John Milton, Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Alexander Pope, and James McPherson. (ENGL 229B = 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students.) Non-majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Robert Demaria, Jr., Ed., British Literature 1640-1789: An Anthology, 2nd. Ed.; Duncan Wu, ed., Renaissance Poetry; Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey.
230 A (English Literary Culture: After 1800)
The course begins with Byron and his major poetic fictions (Don Juan and Childe Harold) and ends with a brief look at the span of Yeats (from early to late works and some of his poetic 'revisions'). In between, we will look at a range of significant texts and figures that will hopefully, though tentatively, outline some of the major literary preoccupations after the tail end of Romanticism: such as, the Romantic artist/hero, an emergent Victorian ethos, the notion of aestheticism, impressionism, the psychological interests of early modernism, and so on. Readings from: Bryon, William Hazlitt, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Emily Bronte, Christina Rossetti, Lewis Carroll, Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Henry James, T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf. (ENGL 230B = 5 spaces reserved for new transfer students.) Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.
242 A (Reading Fiction)
Monstrous Brood: The Devious Dreams of Gothic Desire. Beginning with the origin of the gothic novel, this course hunts the gothic impulse in its variform literary guises. As readers, we will address both the public sociocultural and the private psychological implications of the gothic; we will interrogate themes of antagonism and desire in the realms of family and state; and we will pursue the gothic enactment of deviance in literature not traditionally identified as gothic. Class work will involve a number of short response papers, a longer paper, and a final exam, as well as significant class discussion and participation. Texts: Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto; Matthew Lewis, The Monk; Ann Radcliffe, The Italian; Herman Melville, Pierre; Ben Marcus, Notable American Women.
242 B (Reading Fiction)
In this course, we will consider the role of the outsider--one who doesn't quite "belong" to a particular context--in a wide variety of U.S. novels from about mid-20th century to contemporary. We will examine the ways in which outsiders function in these texts, how they struggle with their place, how they form themselves and are formed by their surroundings, what factors go into shaping their subjectivity. Some central questions will include: What makes these characters outsiders? What do they illuminate about the "inside" space, or the community to which others belong? What do they illuminate about those who belong? How do the texts represent belonging and not belonging, outsiders and insiders? How are boundaries maintained, and with what consequences? What happens when boundaries are threatened? What larger implications can we draw, by putting these texts into conversation with each other, about the boundaries we move inside and outside of, in our lives? What questions do these texts raise, about boundaries and belonging? What is the role of boundaries in shaping us, and what is at stake in questioning boundaries, perhaps even dismantling them? As we proceed through the major course texts (listed below), we will also read a variety of critical and theoretical essays that advocate particular approaches to reading and interpretation. Thus, an important part of our ongoing discussions will involve examining the methods and ethics of representation and interpretation, as well as our own personal and political investments as readers. :Course requirements: quizzes 5% each (25% total); response papers 15% each (30% total); oral presentation 5%; final paper 30%; class participation 10%. Texts:: Sherman Alexie, Indian Killer; E.L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel; Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man; Jonathan Lethem, Motherless Brooklyn; Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine; photocopied course packet.
242 C (Reading Fiction)
Reading Cities and the Spaces Between. This course will use several novels, in conjunction with art, architecture, and film, to explore contemporary visions of the spaces in and around cities. In our reading we will consider the ways in which experience, memory, and language are embedded in and contained by these spaces. Our preliminary reading/viewing list includes: Phillip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Brazil (film); Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities; Robert Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas (Architecture); Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist; Paul Auster, City of Glass: The Graphic Novel (adapted by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli); Robert Smithson/Gordon Matta Clark (Art).
242 D (Reading Fiction)
Added 12/10; SLN: 9283
Haunted America? In this course we will examine the cultural significance of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American texts that represent American selves, landscapes, and histories as haunted. Students will develop their skills as readers and writers by focusing on literary figures of haunting such as the haunted house, the ghostly presence, and other gothic tropes. In so doing, we will ask whether – and how – haunted narratives affect taken-for-granted assumptions about race, nation, history, and home. To what ends are these cultural assumptions challenged – or reinforced – by literary strategies that rely on gothic tropes and imagery? Students should expect a midterm and final exam as well as frequent short writing assignments and reading quizzes. Participation (including in-class presentations) will account for a substantial portion of each student’s final grade. Readings will include Freud’s essay, “The Uncanny,” short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw; Toni Morrison’s Beloved, John Okada’s No-No Boy, and excerpts from Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
250 A (Introduction to American Literature)
This course will focus on colonial literature; we will probe seminal texts from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with a particular emphasis on the Massachusetts Bay Colony in order to investigate and contextualize the rise of Enlightenment discourse and its affect on colonial and Puritan culture through the revolutionary period and into the early Republic. As a class we will trace the morphing conceptions of God and his workings in the natural world in order to see how scientific discourses reshaped and reconfigured these constructs of seeing and relating to the world that become the major tropes distinguishing American thought and culture. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1.
250 B (Introduction to American Literature)
This course is a survey of American literature which introduces a number of narratives, issues, and ideas that have shaped what might be called a national literature. We will explore how the terms “American literature” and “America” itself may be understood by reading a wide range of texts—novels, short stories, poems, and essays – and paying close attention to the historical context of their production. We will study how literature can define and problematize American history and culture by questioning what is at stake in representing national and personal identities. Focusing primarily on the last 200 years, we will encounter representative writers in American literary traditions as well as dissenting figures. Expect daily reading, active participation, some short papers, one longer paper, and a final exam. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Nina Baym, ed., The Norton Anthology of American Literature, package 2: Vol. C-E, 6th ed.; Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian; photocopied course packet.
250 C (Introduction to American Literature)
This class will serve as an “Introduction to American Literature” by focusing on literature produced within, around, and about the United States since the end of World War II. We will be looking at a variety of literature, from poetry to novels and social/aesthetic theory, in an effort to understand the relationship between cultural production and the socio-political climate in the post-war US. In addition, we will be thinking through the ramifications/desire to categorize literature as “American” and try to grasp how this category relates to a conception of what constitutes a “true American” identity. Students should be prepared to get their “read on,” as we will be covering much ground over the course of the quarter. So be ready to buckle down. I hope you will find the readings rich, frequently funny, and provocative. Grades will be based on participation, short in class quizzes, a group project, and a final paper. Non-majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Jack Kerouac, On the Road; Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Jessica Hagedorn, The Dogeaters; Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo; Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water; Arturo Islas, The Rain God; Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee.
258 A (Afro-American
Literature, 1745 – Present)
MW 1:30-3:20 / F 1:30-2:20
Added 11/15: SLN: 9138
Writing Self and Community in African American Literature. Toni Morrison writes in “The Site of Memory” that the authors of slave narrative wrote with two goals in mind: “One: ‘This is my historical life – my singular, special example that is personal, but that also represents the race.’ Two: ‘I write this text to persuade other people – you, the reader, who is probably not black – that we are human beings worthy of God’s grace and the immediate abandonment of slavery.’” In this course we will consider how these two goals – of writing the relationship between self and community and of writing for freedom – have been addressed by the African American literary tradition. In doing so, we will examine how these writers have engaged with an American history often told in a way that skews, and even erases, their place in it. We will also study other key themes and movements of the tradition in the hope that you will leave this course better prepared to read, understand, and enjoy African American literature. Our investigation will cover 250 years of literary history, so students should be prepared to tackle substantial reading and writing assignments. Students will be expected to keep up with a rigorous reading schedule, participate consistently during class discussions, write daily reading responses, and make at least one in-class presentation. In addition, students will be evaluated based on a midterm and final exam and a short final project. Offered: jointly with AFRAM 214. Texts: Nellie McKay and Henry Louis Gates, eds., The Norton Anthology of African American Literature; Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada.
281 C (Intermediate Expository Writing)
Passionate Picture: Rhetoric of Images. What makes pictures compelling and how can we respond to them? Can pictures be both painful and affecting? This course will explore the relationships between text and images as they are presented in artistic, personal, business, scientific, and political contexts. From online art exhibits to music videos to government websites to torture pictures from war, we will use the course readings to assess why images appeal to specific audiences. We will do a rhetorical analysis of texts in different genres and analyze what makes certain images problematic while they may produce sympathetic or empathetic responses. We will evaluate the language associated with images and how (or if) the words inform our perception of those pictures. Students are encouraged to develop their research based on their own interests and disciplines. The course writings include several short reflective and critical essays which will be revised towards two research papers. In addition, students will develop a group project of their choice such as a website, brochures, a report or visual presentation (or an alternative approach) on a topic related to the course content. In all of the assignments, students will write about the purpose, evidence, audience and strategies related to their research. Students will also be expected to contribute in online discussions as part of the class participation requirement. No freshmen, Registration Period 1. Texts: Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida; Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others; photocopied course packet.
281 D (Intermediate Expository Writing)
This course is an intermediate expository writing class that will give you more experience in argumentative writing across different fields of study, as well as practice in critical thinking and reading. The first half of the course will teach you how to read others’ written works and your own through discourse analysis, while in the second half of the course, you will read rhetorical theories for constructing and analyzing arguments, as suggested by philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato, and rhetoricians such as Toulmin and John Gage. Requirements: active class participation; response papers; midterm and final papers, in-class quizzes. No freshmen, Registration Period 1. Texts: Martha Kolln, Rhetorical Grammar; Sandra Silberstein, War of Words; photocopied course packet.
281 E (Intermediate Expository Writing)
Scenes of Writing: The Action Movie Genre in Contemporary Society. The goal of this class to help students write more effectively, knowingly, and critically in different writing concepts—what I like to call scenes of writing. This approach teaches students how to become more astute writers, writers who understand how and why to make writing choices as they negotiate among and participate in different scenes.
To accomplish this task, we will be looking at one scene in general, the action genre in cinema and television. We will explore how this text, though often criticized for being an empty and vacuous form of entertainment, reflects various situations—-their readers and writers, purposes, subjects, and settings. In doing so, this class aims to teach students how to gain knowledge of scenes and genres and how to use that knowledge to make more critically informed and effective writing decisions within other scenes outside this topic. I hope that learning such strategies will enable students to write wherever and whenever they need to—-in college and throughout their lives.
Though the use of media clips, academic theory, pre and/or post production material, press kits, movie reviews, articles, and fan fiction, we will examine the genre, presuppositions, dominant metaphors, structures of argument, and models of critique that underlie all scenes of television and cinematic representations of the action genre. By the end of this course, I hope we can only examine this scene in depth, but more importantly, the ways in which those messages reflect on men and women's roles in American society today. (Please note that we'll be studying the action genre -- both female and male centric -- in depth. To that end, a portion of this course will be devoted to understanding television and movie production, cinematography, lighting, costume, wardrobe, etc.. In addition, we will be reading an assortment of dense academic theory on the topic. If you are not interested in learning the more technical and academic aspects of film and television, then this class isn't for you.)
NOTE: Students will be required to watch movies outside of class. If you
do not have easy access to a DVD or VCR, it is recommended that you take
another class. Also, please note that this isn't an "easy" class...the
topic may be more enjoyable than most, but I'll work you all the same. Students
should have successfully completed a 100-level composition course or the
equivalent before taking this class. Grades will be based on the following:
50% Participation (attendance, class participation, quizzes, homework) 50%
Papers and Presentations (includes 30 minute presentation and three 5-7 page
papers) Homework load: light during the week, heavy over the weekend. No
freshmen, Registration Period 1.
282 A (Composition for the Web)
This course will focus both on the rhetorical and technical aspects of writing informative and persuasive webpages. Readings will include pieces that theorize what is novel about writing for the web (e.g., different relationships between text and images, hypertext and alternative narrative organizations). We will begin the quarter covering the basics of the languages used for composing webpages (HTML/XHTML, CSS). Throughout the quarter, we will spend time analyzing existing webpages in terms of their form and content, thinking critically about how they respond to their various argumentative and rhetorical contexts. The major writing assignments will culminate in an individually-authored webpage on a researched topic. As this course is an introduction, no background in html code or any particular programs is required, but some basic familiarity with working in Windows will be helpful. Course homepage: http://staff.washington.edu/dgries/engl282/ No freshmen, Registration Period 1. Texts: Castro, HTML for the World Wide Web, 5th ed.; photocopied course packet.
283 A (Beginning Verse Writing)
Introduction to the ways and means of verse writing. In this class we will explore the craft of writing poems through reading and discussing many contemporary lyric poems, writing response essays to poems, writing original poems, workshop and lecture. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: photocopied course packet.
283 B (Beginning Verse Writing)
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “The poet knows that he speaks adequately, then, only when he speaks somewhat wildly. . . .” In order to say the unsayable, as poetry attempts to do, you must take liberties with the language and let it take liberties with you. In this class we will study a variety of poetic techniques that foster and encourage such liberty. Among other aspects of verse composition, we’ll look at imagery, metaphor, metonymy, rhythm, meter and voice, both in your own writing and in the work of traditional and contemporary poets. During the quarter you will complete a series of poems, recitations, and critiques in which you attempts to implement various techniques to express the unexpressable. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
284 A (Beginning Short Story Writing)
[Introduction to the theory and practice of writing the short story.] Majors only, Registration Period 1.
284 B (Beginning Short Story Writing)
Beginning Short Story Writing provides an introduction to the craft of short fiction, with a focus on some of the major elements of successful short stories, including how to create effective character, plot, voice, point-of-view, structure, setting, and theme. Over the course of the quarter, students will write two original short stories for critique in the workshop setting. Students will also read published pieces of fiction and classmates’ works-in-progress and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of these works in group discussion. This course uses the workshop model to equip students with the critical tools necessary for the creation of original prose fiction and to underscore the social aspects of literary production. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Anne Bernays, Pamela Painter, What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, 2nd ed.; photocopied course packet.