Course Descriptions (Last updated: 19 September 2006)
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.)
302 A (Critical Practice)
Marx and Freud. This course will focus on Marxism and psychoanalysis as they bear on the practice of reading and on the work of literary and cultural study. Readings and discussions will track some of the critical insights into material and psychic life that characterize each of these two analytical projects. We will consider some of the signal attempts to conjoin these two analytics and the stakes in imagining this conjuncture. In addition to selections from Marx and Freud, readings for the course will almost certainly include writing by Jacques Lacan, Catherine Belsey, Louis Althusser, Herbert Marcuse, Franz Fanon, Gayle Rubin and Eve Sedgwick. Work for the course will include two essays, an in-class presentation, and a final exam. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Sigmund Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis; Three Case Histories; Robert C. Tucker, ed., The Marx-Engels Reader.
302 C (Critical Practice)
Technoculture Studies. This course will focus on examples of a particular field of critical practice, an offshoot of the cultural studies movement that applies models of cultural analysis to science and technology. In particular, technoculture studies emerges as an attempt to explain the cultural and philosophical implications of the new disciplines of cybernetics and information theory, developed in the immediate post-WWII period. Particular critical questions central to technoculture studies would include the changing status of embodiment and embodied forms of identity (such as gender and race) in high-tech cultures and therefore the relation between new technologies and movements like feminism and critical race studies; the relevance of new technologies to theories of postmodernism; challenges to modern concepts of individualism posed by these technologies; and the related shift from humanism to various ideas of trans- or posthumanism. But the question of how to conceptualize technology itself will also be crucial. Technoculture studies might most basically be defined as an alternative to either an ideology of technological determinism (changes in technology inevitably lead to social and cultural changes) or an ideology of technological instrumentalism (new technologies are simply neutral tools, the use of which does not fundamentally affect or transform the nature of their users). In other words, technoculture studies asks both how cultural frameworks determine the meaning of new technologies and the uses to which they are put, while at the same time it asks how new technologies disrupt and redefine those existing cultural frameworks and interpretive assumptions. We will probably spend some time discussing the relation between new media and the framework of print culture, for instance.
Basic readings for the course will certainly include Donna Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature; N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics; and Lisa Nakamura, Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet. We may also read selections from work by Norbert Wiener, Gregory Bateson, Allucquere Rosanne Stone, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Bruce Sterling, Andy Clark, Lev Manovich, Stephen Johnson, Sherry Turkle, and Richard Lanham. We will probably also discuss some examples from literature and popular culture, such as Charles Stross’s novel Accelerando; Shelley Jackson’s hypertext fiction Patchwork Girl; films like Blade Runner, Strange Days, The Matrix, or Robot Stories; or graphic novels like Transmetropolitan and Swamp Thing. Assignments will include two papers and an exam. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Textx: Bruce Sterling, Shaping Things; N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman; Charles Stross, Accelerando; Shelly Jackson, Patchwork Girl (CD-ROM); Lisa Nakamura, Cybertypes; Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan, Vol. 2: Lust for Life; Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), Rhythm Science; Octavia Butler, Dawn.
304 A (History of Literary Criticism & Theory II)
[Contemporary criticism and theory and its background in the New Criticism, structuralism, and phenomenology.].
310 A (The Bible as Literature)
A rapid study of readings from both the Old and New Testaments, focusing primarily on those parts of the Bible with the most “literary” interest – narratives, poems, and philosophy. Students will be expected to attend class regularly, keep up with reading assignments, and take part in open discussion. Written work will consist entirely of a series of in-class essays done in response to study questions handed out in advance. Text: Coogan, ed., New Oxford Annotated Bible, 3rd ed.
311 A (Modern Jewish Literature in Translation)
This course requires the words “in translation” in order to accommodate the many languages adopted by Jewish writers after 1880 – Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, German. But as I look to the content and not simply the language of these stories, I am inclined to replace the word “translation” with “transition” for new writing in each of these languages would emerge from the alteration, the migration, and the Revolution that would transform traditional Jewish life in the shtetl and the ghetto of Eastern Europe before its obliteration in the early 1940s. This course will reveal the vitality of this multi-lingual Jewish culture before the Second World War. Our readings are entirely comprised of short fiction from the Yiddish of Sholom Aleichem and I. L. Peretz, the Hebrew of Dvora Baron, the Russian of Isaac Babel and the German of Franz Kafka and Joseph Roth. Texts: Dvora Baron, The First Day and Other Stories; Isaac Babel, The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel; Franz Kafka, The Sons; Joseph Roth, Wandering Jews; stories by Sholom Aleichem and I. L. Peretz (both Yiddish) are on Electronic Reserve.
315 B (Literary Modernism)
Various modern authors, from Wordsworth to the present, in relation to such major thinkers as Kant, Hegel, Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche, Bergson, and Wittgenstein, who have helped create the context and the content of modern literature. Recommended: ENGL 230 or one 300-level course in 19th or 20th century literature. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Beckett, Endgame; Ibsen, Hedda Gabler; Mann, Death in Venice; Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground; Kafka, The Metamorphosis and Other Stories; Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals; Eliot, The Waste Land and Other Poems.
316 A (Postcolonial Literature and Culture)
This course introduces a range of important literatures, paying particular attention to writings connected with the historical experiences of colonialism, anti-colonial resistance and decolonisation. It focuses on African literatures of the 20th and 21st centuries. We will look at writings produced during the period of European imperialism as well as those that followed national independence. Throughout the course we will examine key concepts in post-colonial theory, and discuss these in relation to the set texts. As well as examining the specific historical and cultural environments which frame post-colonial literatures, we will also chart broad issues such as language, race, gender, nationhood, neocolonialism, globalization, which are central to many post-colonial writers and critical commentators. Students are expected to keep up with an intensive reading schedule. Writers may include, but are not confined to: Leila Aboulela; Ama Ata Aidoo; Ayi Kwei Armah; Zakes Mda; Ferdinand Oyono; Ken Saro-Wiwa.
317 B (Literature of the Americas)
This course juxtaposes fictional narratives from the northern and southern parts of the American hemisphere which share a common obsession with history. Traumatic scenes of the past—the European invasion of the “New World,” the institution of chattel slavery across the hemisphere, the Haitian and Mexican Revolutions, civil and revolutionary wars—are revisited by twentieth-century novelists because these are “pasts that are not past.” Rather, these are historical events which keep festering like an open wound, and which continue to haunt the present of contemporary New World nations forged in the crucible of racial and ethnic violence.
Throughout the course, we will ask the following critical questions: What is an appropriate way of reconstructing violent histories such as slavery, the Haitian or the Mexican Revolution? What are the advantages of using the overtly subjective, biased modes of memory and fiction as opposed to the detached, intellectual exercise of writing history? How do literature and historical fiction shape or reflect ethnic and national identities in the Americas? How does gender, race, class influence the way writers approach the process of remembering and reconstructing the past? Is it possible to read these narratives as more than national (U.S., Mexican, Argentine, etc.) works—as works belonging to a common transamerican, hemispheric history, as well as a “literature of the Americas”? Texts: Herman Melville, “Benito Cereno”; Carlos Fuentes, The Death of Artemio Cruz; Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima; Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude; Rigoberta Menchu, I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala; Ariel Dorfman, Death and the Maiden; Julie Dash, dir., Daughters of the Dust.
321 A (Chaucer)
MW 7-8:50 pm
This course will stress critical reading and group discussion of Chaucer’s most highly regarded works (Troilus and Criseyde and the Canterbury Tales) as well as a wide selection of his “minor” compositions in both poetry and prose We will explore the biography of Geoffrey Chaucer, the historical and cultural background of his career, recent critical work on his poetry, and the Middle English language itself. Mid-term, final, one paper. ((Evening Degree students only.)) Texts: Benson, ed., The Riverside Chaucer; Stone, ed., Love Visions; Coghill, tr., Troilus and Criseyde; Hieatt, tr. Canterbury Tales.
323 A (Shakespeare to 1603)
Shakespeare's career as dramatist after 1603. Study of comedies, tragedies, and romances. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Bevington, ed., Complete Works of Shakespeare, 5th ed.
324 A (Shakespeare after 1603)
TTh 7-8:50 pm
Just about everybody has heard of Shakespeare. His plays have for four centuries dominated the English stage, and have deeply influenced the dramatic and cinematic traditions of countless other language cultures as well. But not everybody has liked reading Shakespeare. Indeed, a lot of people have no idea why so much is made of Shakespeare in the first place! Having been myself driven through Hamlet line by line in the twelfth grade, I do understand that point of view. (That’s probably why I started college as a chemistry major.) For those reasons among others, the chief goal of this class will be to make you more informed, confident, active and, especially, happy readers of Shakespeare’s plays. Starting with a work many have thought to be his finest (King Lear), we’ll go on first to Troilus and Cressida (maybe Shakespeare’s most bitterly satiric play) and The Winter’s Tale (which many think the finest of the romances). As a final term project you will also be choosing one of Shakespeare’s other late plays to read and report on, both to extend your acquaintance with Shakespeare’s works and to demonstrate to yourself as well as to me your newly acquired Shakespeare reading skills. By the end of the quarter you will thus have had an introduction to a good range of late plays, and with just a little luck, you will have enjoyed doing it too. (Anyone interested in a more complete description of this class can go to my website (http://faculty.washington.edu/cicero) Once there, click first on the SoTL button and then on the Course Portfolio: Close-Reading Shakespeare link.) Evening Degree students only. Texts: Shakespeare, King Lear, Trolius and Cressida, The Winter’s Tale; photocopied course packet.
326 A (Milton)
Milton's early poems and the prose; Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes, with attention to the religious, intellectual, and literary contexts. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Orgel & Goldberg, eds., John Milton.
329 A (Rise of the English Novel)
This course will introduce you to several exemplary early novels by Cervantes, Bunyan, Defoe, Fielding, and Sterne; in addition, you’ll read excerpts from works by Rabelais and Richardson, and some criticism. Our main objective is to grasp the shape and purpose of the primary texts, understand the methods of early novelists, and learn to use the critical vocabulary related to the novel. Discussions will focus on the poetics of the novel as a literary genre (types of plots and character; forms of narration; aspects of realism, allegory, satire, parody; the role of print), and the problems associated with its emergence in England. ENGL 329 is an upper-division English course with a heavy reading load (required novels and course pack and up to more than 2500 pages); you must read at least Don Quixote and Lazarillo de Tormes before the first meeting (and will be tested). Requirements and grading: brief assignments on each major novel, quizzes, participation, attendance (20% of your course grade), midterm (40%), final examination (40%). Texts: Lazarillo de Tormes and The Swindler: Two Spanish Picaresque Novels; Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (tr. Rutherford); John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress; Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders; Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews and Shamela; Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy.
329 B (Rise of the English Novel)
TTh 4:30-6:20 pm
Even though the novel is now perhaps the most popoular literary genre in English, it did not exist as such until the eighteenth century. In this class, students will gain an understanding of how the novel, our most popular literary genre, "arose." The fascinating phenomenon of the longer prose text rapidly and firmly established itself as a dominant force in English literature during the eighteenth-century, as part of the emergence of a mass literary culture. We will explore various theories as to why the novel came about during this time, what 18th-century people meant by and expected from "novels", and other critical topics. In other words, our underlying question will be, why was the novel so novel? Fairly heavy reading load; frequent writing, at least one longer essay, oral presentation, and a midterm or final exam. (Evening Degree students only.) Texts: Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders; Samuel Richardson, Pamela, Or Virtue Rewarded; Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews/Shamela; Frances Burney, Evelina; optional (students will choose one): Samuel Johnson, Rasselas; Sarah Scott, Millenium Hall.
330 B (English Literature: The Romantic Age)
The Romantic Gothic. This course will explore the Gothic mode in fiction and poetry as an important literary product of the Romantic cult of emotion. Gothic narratives have rarely been valued as “high art,” but they have always been popular – as popular in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as they remain today. This course is designed to consider the serious contributions of the Gothic to post-Enlightenment literature in English. We will begin with early Gothic romances in eighteenth-century Britain and proceed to various historical versions of the Gothic, both in poetry and prose. These include the international genesis of the short story (including Poe and America and Gogol in Russia), and the birth of detective fiction. Proposed works include texts from some of the following authors: Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew (“Monk”) Lewis, Jane Austen, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charlotte Dacre, Lord Byron, John Keats, Mary Shelley, Nicolai Gogol, Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Bronte, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Bleier, ed., Three Gothic Novels; Coleridge / Dore, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; Poe, The Raven and Other Poems; The Gold-Bug and Other Tales; Rossetti, Goblin Market and Other Poems; novel package including The Monk, Northanger Abbey, Frankenstein, and Lady Audley’s Secret.
331 A (Romantic Poetry I)
An intensive examination of the poetry and criticism of the two most literarily significant of the so-called first generation of English Romantic writers, William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). Proceeding from their collaborative volume Lyrical Ballads (1798), widely considered a landmark for its stated goals of introducing into poetry ordinary experiences and conversational language, we'll follow the poets' increasingly separate intellectual paths in the first decades of the 19th century, as they respond to experiences of communal disillusionment, personal loss, and the breakdown of their friendship. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Wordsworth, Major Works; Coleridge, Coleridge’s Poetry and Prose.
332 A (Romantic Poetry II)
MW 4:30-6:20 pm
This course will offer a broad overview of the political, philosophical and literary history of the Romantic period (1789-1850), focusing on the works of the second generation of Romantic writers. We will begin with an investigation of the impact of the French Revolution on the Romantics and of radical developments during this period in religion (the opposition to Christianity), philosophy (the revolt against empiricism), aesthetics (the prevailing interest in the sublime and the picturesque) and art (the change from the tradition of portrait to landscape painting). We will then turn to an in-depth study of the work of John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, and George Gordon Byron, focusing on their different representations of transcendence, the sublime, narcissism, transgression and the Promethean hero. (Evening Degree students only.) Texts: John Keats, Selected Poems and Letters; Percy Bysshe Shelley, Poetry and Prose; George Gordon Byron, Poetical Works; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Marilyn Butler, ed., Burke, Paine, Godwin and the Revolution Controversy; photocopied course packet.
334 A (English Novel: Early & Middle 19th C.)
Individualism is a leading value in Victorian literature and culture. At the same time the Victorian period is characterized by large, expanding systems that suggest impersonality and a dwarfing of the individual. Such a tension is not resolved; it is acute in our own time. We can bring 21st C. interests to critical analysis and appreciation of 19th C. fiction. Lewis Carroll’s Alice is an intrepid adventurer into her own dream realm, yet finds herself a Pawn in a chess-board world. George Eliot’s characters seek their ways in the midst of an all-encompassing many-pointed, always changing social “web.” The expanding systems of the Victorian age include expanding democracy and widening of horizons by gender and class, increasingly mass communications, growth of huge cities, globalizing capitalism, and empire. In Darwin’s biological theory Victorians confronted another big-system vision of interlocking forces shaping whole species and the individuals within them.
Using the section titled “Of Individuality” from J.S. Mill’s famous essay “On Liberty” as a keynote, the course begins with Carroll’s classic fantasy fiction, Alice Through the Looking-Glass. In context of background on capitalist and Darwinian theories (with brief sample readings via in-class handouts), and background on political, economic, urban, and imperial developments, it moves to Anthony Trollope’s charming if rueful realist novel The Warden about the impact of a new order upon a member of the “old guard.” This is followed by Eliot’s Middlemarch, a great signature work of Victorian realism and example of the “Bildungsroman” about young women and men making their ways within a richly detailed social environment of multiple changing systems. This long, comprehensive work provides a centerpiece amongst the rest of the smaller-scale readings in the course. From it we move to short fictions of encounter with empire in a realistic adventure-story mode and a symbolic/experimental mode. These are Joseph Conrad's vibrant story "Youth” (in brief background treatment) and his somber, enduringly provocative novella “Heart of Darkness” (with clips from Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now!, influenced by Conrad). Our last novel is Conrad's The Secret Agent, set in London, a great urban system threaded by anarchists—terrorists—who dream of blowing up system itself.
Format: Lecture/Discussion. In-class engagement is expected; standout contribution can weigh in the overall grade. Midterm essay and in-class final (30% each—likely final format is short answers and longer essay. Note you must be available on the UW-designated day/time of final). Course paper (40%, @ 8-9 pp.). Majors only, Registration Period 1.
335 B (English Literature: The Age of Victoria)
Victorian Literary Value. This course addresses the literature of an age of social upheaval. Throughout the nineteenth century, writers were anxious about what literature actually does for individuals and for society. How does literature enrich our lives? Who ought to write it? Who ought to read it? Does it encourage immorality? Or – worse – revolution? Not coincidentally, these questions were being posed as English literary ideals themselves were becoming more inclusive: when the novel first received credit as a legitimate art form, when women composed an unprecedented portion of the literary world, when critics sought to explore the connections between diverse artistic practices such as painting and poetry; and when art and architecture were widely assumed to represent the distinctive character of a nation. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Mermin and Tucker, eds., Victorian Literature 1830-1900; Charles Dickens, Hard Times; George Eliot, Adam Bede.
336 B (English Literature: The Early Modern Period)
British Literature and the Modern(ist) Nation. In this course we will read a range of texts by British writers from the early twentieth century – the so-called modernist period. We’ll concern ourselves with what is at stake in the idea of modernism or the modern, and with what makes these texts “modern” through close reading, attention to literary representation, and consideration of social, cultural and political contexts. We’ll also think about what makes these texts “English” or “British” in the first place (or not) by returning to questions of the nation, nationality, citizenship, ethnicity, empire and economics as they are taken up in literary texts. Through what means is the nation rendered, and what is at stake in these imaginations of the nation? Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent; Rebecca West, Return of the Soldier; Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier; E. M. Forster, Passage to India; Evelyn Waugh, Black Mischief, Virginia Woolf, The Waves; photocopied course packet.
337 A (The Modern Novel)
While the definition of the novel seems clear, at least as a noun, what precisely does it mean to be modern? “The Modern Novel” seeks to acquaint students with some of the ground-breaking literary texts of the early twentieth century. Our primary geographic focus will be England, but we’ll take a few passes across the Atlantic, beginning in the mid-1920s when we move from Virginia Woolf to Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Hopefully this will prove startling. Failing that, amusing. Failing that, informative. In tandem with learning that the previous two things are sentence fragments, we will read closely, at once focusing on the ambiguities of the texts at hand – the sentient student will emerge from the course with a clear sense of what it means to dissect literary language – and intertextual comparisons. Thematic topics will include: the status of adultery and fidelity; the relation of the artist to the artwork (and the teller to the tale); the role of the modern woman/”The New Woman”; as well as the pros and cons – or limitations and liberations – of individual consciousness and its modes of expression. (Can a consciousness be expressed? Or can it be anything other than expressed?) In addition to the above, authors will include Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, and Djuna Barnes. To prepare for the class, start (re)reading Heart of Darkness, our first novel. In your copious free time read The Oxford English Dictionary. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier; D. H. Lawrence, Women in Love; Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Djuna Barnes, Nightwood; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.
339 A (English Literature: Contemporary England)
British fiction from 1970-2000. Novelists include Iris Murdoch, Julian Barnes, Zadie Smith and others. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
Texts: Iris Murdoch, The Unicorn; William Trevor, Felicia’s Journey; Caryl Philips, Crossing the River; Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day; Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot; Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body; Zadie Smith, White Teeth.
346 A (Studies in Short Fiction)
No One Blathers at the Edge of the Grave. In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Itaolo Calvino writes, ”From my youth on, my personal motto has been the old Latin tag, Festina lente, hurry slowly.” This class will hurry slowly through a number of short stories, always keeping in mind the qualities that Calvino identifies as essential to great literature: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. We’ll read works by Calvino, Ovid, Lucretius, Franz Kafka, George Saunders, Amy Hempel, Joe Wenderoth, Kim Addonizio, Denis Johnson, Lydia Davis, Jamaica Kincaid, David Foster Wallace, Milan Kundera, Alan Lightman, Jorge Luis Borges, Donald Barthelme, Anton Chekhov, and Raymond Carver. Writing and conversation will follow. Texts: Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium; Invisible Cities; Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son; Milan Kundera,The Book of Laughter and Forgetting; Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams; Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths.
349 A (Science Fiction and Fantasy)
Speculative Fiction writer Samuel Delany once argued, and I paraphrase, that SF does not try to predict the future, but offers instead a significantly distorted version of the present. This course extends Delany's point to the past as it surveys African American narratives that engage the speculative to reimagine the historical African diaspora and slavery. Texts include: Octavia Butler's Kindred, Ishmael Reed's Flight to Canada, Toni Morrison's Beloved, and Charles Johnson's Middle Passage. There will also be a Course Packet with various short-stories and critical essays. Students will write weekly repsonse papers and one substantial final essay due at the end of the quarter. Written assignments are designed to help students ruminate and reiterate their understandings of the course reading material.
353 A (American Literature: Later 19th C.)
We’ll read and discuss an assortment of novels, short stories and sketches written by American authors in the decades following the Civil War. Students will be expected to attend class regularly, keep up with reading assignments, and take part in open discussion. Written work will consist entirely of a series of brief in-class essays done in response to study questions handed out in advance. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Judith Fetterly, ed., American Women Regionalists 1850-1910; William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham; Kate Chopin, The Awakening and Selected Short Stories; Stephen Crane, Great Short Works; Henry James, The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth; Mark Twain, Roughing It.
354 A (American Literature: The Early Modern Period)
The Country and the City. The city, as de Certeau has argued, “is simultaneously the machinery and the hero of modernity.” As cities grew in size and complexity in the early twentieth century, many literary modernists found the urban to be a source of artistic and political inspiration. This “city” was accompanied by a concomitant understanding of “the country,” conceived either as a space of nostalgic escape or as a place of drudgery and oppression – and sometimes as both at the same time. In this course, we will read a sampling of U.S. fiction and poetry from the 1920s and 1930s in its sociocultural, economic, and environmental contexts, noting the ways in which authors of the period reflect and refract the politics of their times in the spaces of their texts. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Hemingway, In Our Time; Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Larsen, Quicksand and Passing; Dos Passos, The Big Money; Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
358 A (Literature of Black Americans)
This course is an introduction to some of the theoretical, cultural and political contexts of twentieth-century African American literary production. Spanning from the “New Negro” era of the 1920s, to the “postmodern” period of the 1980s and 90s, our goal will be to examine how various authors respond to the paradigms of an African American literary tradition. In part, we will trace concerns over aesthetics, defining black identity and the meaning of community. We will also be attentive to how questions of race intersect with concerns over gender, sexuality, class and nationality. Texts likely to include: Winston Napier, ed., African American Literary Theory: A Reader; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room; Toni Morrison, Sula; Andrea Lee, Sarah Phillips; Trey Ellis, “The New Black Aesthetic,” and Danzy Senna, Caucasia. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Offered jointly with AFRAM 358.
367 A (Gender Studies and Literature)
“Girl” Literature and Theories. This course will present a wide variety of materials around the figure of “the girl” in order to take up the following questions: How might we construct the features of girlhood, through contemporary culture and across social class and race, country and location? What might coming of age novels, historical essays, and literary analyses have to say to each other on the topic of gendered childhood? How do the politics of race, nationalism, sexuality, violence, and colonization recreated notions of girlhood experience? And finally, what might learning about the creation, meanings, and interpretations of various girlhoods have to do with our own understanding of gendered knowledge production and epistemology? Texts: Carla Trujillo, What Night Brings; Nelly Rosario, Song of the Water Saints; Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible; Helena Maria Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus.
368 A (Women Writers)
Women Writers and Gender. The focus of this course is on modern and contemporary women authors (including screenwriters and/or directors) who explore issues of identity and gender. In this specific sense, it is a course about the female and male social shaping of girls and boys into women and men, and about the particular social forces through gender norms that shape this development.
Some of the texts are traditionally verbal and others are audiovisual. For example, we will be reading and analyzing Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” as well as the film adaptation of that novel, Smooth Talk, to discover the differences in audience ideological assessment and adaptation that affect each narrative medium and reading reception.
Requirements include interest in women writers and gender issues; improving “close reading” and contextually assessing written as well as film texts; daily class attendance and engaged analytical discussion with me and others in the class (this is a discussion-oriented coruse, which means that sporadic attendance is not a viable option); short oral presentations about the historical/cultural contexts of the narratives and the reading receptions of published texts; short critical papers; plus a final examination that both creatively and critically identifies gender issues in literature.
Some of the American feature-length films we will “read” and critique
include The Ballad of Little Jo; Thelma and Louise; North
Country; and Brokeback
Mountain. Memoirs and novels featuring girls and women that we will read and
discuss include Hotel World by Ali Smith; Tracks by Robyn Davidson; and Following
the Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington.
370 A (English Language Study)
[Wide-range introduction to the study of written and spoken English. The nature of language; ways of describing language; the use of language study as an approach to English literature and the teaching of English.]
381 B (Advanced Expository Writing)
A Sense of Place in a Global City. Taking the commonplace “write what you know” as our imperative in this class, we will focus our attention on the city of Seattle. And even if Seattle is not “what you know” before you take this course, it will certainly be more familiar by the end of the quarter. Seattle is endlessly complicated, providing fodder for analyzing both the local and the global. As a hub of the Pacific Rim economy and the home of Starbucks and Microsoft, Seattle is a vital player in the world economy, even as the term “Seattle” has become an icon for the anti-globalization movement. In addition to reading essays on local architecture, ecology, and history, we will read at least one literary text, and students will be responsible for their own “field trips” to different locations (accessible by bus) around the city. The required writing will be in a variety of genres, including cultural (literary, architectural, film) analysis and personal essay/memoir. Texts: Jonathan Raban, Waxwings; photocopied course packet; recommended: any good style book.
383 A (The Craft of Verse)
In this course, the work of producing and critiquing original poetry will be intertwined with the study of lyric poetry across several centuries – poets whose work we will examine and respond to in a collective effort to cultivate affinity and acquire technique. [Prerequisites: ENGL 283; ENGL 284.] Majors only, Registration Period 1. (Majors following the old creative writing track who have not taken both prerequisites should contact an English adviser, A-2B Padelford.) Texts: Parini, The Wadsworth Anthology of Poetry; photocopied course packet.
383 B (The Craft of Verse)
[Intensive study of various aspects of the craft of verse. Readings in contemporary verse and writing using emulation and imitation. Prerequisites: ENGL 283; ENGL 284.] Majors only, Registration Period 1. (Majors following the old creative writing track who have not taken both prerequisites should contact an English adviser, A-2B Padelford.)
384 A (The Craft of Prose)
[Intensive study of various aspects of the craft of fiction or creative nonfiction. Readings in contemporary prose and writing using emulation and imitation. Prerequisite: ENGL 283, ENGL 284.] Majors only, Registration Period 1. (Majors following the old creative writing track who have not taken both prerequisites should contact an English adviser, A-2B Padelford.) Text: Francie Prose, Reading Like a Writer.
384 B (The Craft of Prose)
In this course, students will be encouraged to work in a variety of short prose forms--everything from jokes to collages--as ways to investigate the world and the word. Prerequisite: ENGL 383; ENGL 384. (Majors following the old creative writing track who have not taken both prerequisites should contact an English adviser (A-2B Padelford). Text: Shields, Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity.