Course Descriptions (Last updated: 19 July 1999)
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.)
|Interested in Medieval Literature? In the history of English?
In English language study? Look at this graduate course in Old English open
ENGL 512A, Introductory Reading in Old English, meeting daily 8:30-9:20 with Professor Robert Stevick, is a beginning course in the earliest written form of the English language, extremely helpful for study of English literature of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance and fundamental to historical study of the English language. Add codes available in English Graduate Office, A-105 PDL.
300 A (Reading Major Texts)
Ralph Ellison in American Literature. We will read Ellison’s 1952 masterpiece, Invisible Man, as an intricate conversation with American literature and culture. Ellison’s novel is a virtual collage or jazz improvisation comprised of overlapping voices and shadowy presences, among them Hawthorne, Melville, Stephen Crane, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washignton, W. E. B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson. Texts: John Hope Franklin, ed., Three Negro Classics; Melville, Great Short Works; Ellison, Invisible Man; Shadow and Act; Sundquist, ed., Contexts of Invisible Man; Douglass, Narrative of My Life.
302 YA (Critical Practice)
MW 7-8:50 pm
What Do We Do When We Do English? The learning goals of this course are twofold: first, it will introduce students to thinking about the discipline of English studies from a theoretical point of view. We all know "theory" is important in English studies, but not everyone feels very comfortable plowing their way into it. Most of us find it slow going, and we may not be very clear about why one would do it at all. So one thing we'll do is read a little theory, and explore how this theorizing helps one undestand what this thing called an English Major really is. But second, this course also aims to give its students a place to work on their English writing skills. Students sometimes complain that while we English professors ask them to write paper after paper, we don't always take the time to help people develop the writing skills they need to do that. This course will devote a lot of its time to writing--working in class with papers, thinking about what makes an English paper good, and how one can get better at writing one. Evening Degree students only, Registration Periods 1 & 2.Texts: Robert Scholes, The Rise and Fall of English; Michel Foucault, The Foucault Reader; Graham Swift, Ever After; David Madden, ed., A Pocket Full of Poems.
304 A (History of Literary Criticism & Theory II)
This class is an introduction to recent (post-structuralist) literary theory. We start with a look at some important precursors (Nietzsche, Freud, Saussure) against the background of the traditional assumptions of modern Western philosophy (Descartes). We then take a look at the major poststructuralist theorists of the 1960s and 1970s (including Barthes, Derrida, Lacan, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Irigaray, and Cixous) and end with a consideration of the legacy that these thinkers have left for us today. Books ordered will be supplemented by a course packet of additional readings from Derrida, Lacan, Irigaray, Cixous, and Deleuze & Guattari. Texts: Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy; F. W. Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols; Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis; Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics; Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text; Michel Foucault, The Foucault Reader; Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings.
307 A (Cultural Studies: Literature & the Age)
Wandering Women. What are the semantics of a sidewalk? What does it mean to walk--to be free to choose one's own way? This course will explore the relationship between mobility, urbanity, and female subjectivity. We will explore the relationshipo between depictions of female sexuality and activities such as shopping, prostitution, tourism, and flaneurie. Texts include Gertrude Stein's "Melanctha," Mina Loy's "Virgins Plus Curtains Minus Dots," Charlotte Bronte's Villette, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Djuna Barnes' Nightwood, Paul Bowles's The Sheltering Sky, and Jane Bowles's Two Serious Ladies. We will read as well a few critical texts to orient ourselves, including Michel de Certeau and Georg Simmel. The course stresses close reading, as well as comparative analysis. Students are expected to wander into class on an entirely regular basis. Texts: Bronte, Villette; Barnes, Nightwood; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Stein, Three Lives; Bowles, The Sheltering Sky; Jane Bowles, My Sister's Hand in Mine: The Collected Works of Jane Bowles.
311 A (Modern Jewish Literature in Translation)
This course deals with the literary interpretation of modern Jewish experience, which includes the break-up of a cohesive religious culture, mass migrations of unprecedented magnitude, the destruction of European Jewry by National Socialism during World War II, and the effort to reestablish a national existence in the Jewish homeland of Israel. Readings include such classic Yiddish authors as Sholom Aleichem and I. L. Peretz, and more recent Yiddish writers, among them I. B. Singer and Jacob Glatstein. At least two writers who did not write in Jewish languages, the Czech Franz Kafka and the Italian Primo Levi, will also be studied. Among the Israeli authors in the syllabus are Agnon, Hazaz, and Appelfeld. Considerable attention will also be given to the play of competing ideas that form the background of the imaginative literature. Texts: Howe & Greenberg, eds., Treasury of Yiddish Stories; Appelfeld, Badenheim 1939; Levi, Survival in Auschwitz, Heller, ed., The Basic Kafka.
320 A (English Literature: The Middle Ages)
The course will provide a lively and wide-ranging introduction to the literature of the Middle Ages, which will endeavor to place texts remote from our modern era in their social and historical contexts. Students will read and discuss the best-known poems of the Old and Middle English periods (including Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Canterbury Tales). The informing critical theme of the course will be the phenomenon of “syncretism,” the process of cultural accommodation that accounts for the fat, e.g., that the days of the week are named after pagan Norse gods. There will be a mid-term, final, and major term paper. Majors only, Registration Period 1.Texts: Lehmann, ed. & tr., Beowulf; Kinsella, ed. & tr., The Táin; Tolkien, tr., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (ed. Hieatt & Hieatt).
321 A (Chaucer)
Introduction to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and other poetry in Middle English, with attention to Chaucer’s historical and social context. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (ed. Kolve & Olson).
323 A (Shakespeare to 1603)
Shakespeare's career as dramatist before 1603 (including Hamlet). Study of history plays, comedies, and tragedies. English majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Shakespeare, Richard II; 1 Henry IV; Midsummer Night's Dream; As You Like It; Twelfth Night; Romeo and Juliet; Hamlet.
323 YA (Shakespeare to 1603)
MW 7-8:50 pm
Shakespeare’s career as dramatist before 1603 (including Hamlet). Study of history plays, comedies and tragedies. Evening Degree students only, Registration Periods 1 & 2. Text: Bevington, ed., The Complete Works of Shakespeare, 4th ed.
325 A (English Literature: The Late Renaissance)
The worst course in the world for people content to skim their eyes over pages and to gather a few vague general ideas/impressions. Quite possibly the best course possible for people who like to hear what they read, to enjoy detail, to respond to texts as performances. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: George Herbert, The Complete English Poems (ed. Tobin); John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (ed. Brennan); Ben jonson, The Alchemist (ed. Woodland).
326 A (Milton)
327 A (English Literature: Restoration & Early 18th C.)
328 A (English Literature: Later 18th Century)
(added 4/27; sln: 8857)
This course focuses on literature written from 1750-1800, the period that historically encompasses the European Enlightenment and the French and American Revolutions. In literary terms, the latter part of the eighteenth century also marks the rise both of the novel and of modern historiography (e.g., Gibbon, Mills). We will explore the relationship between romance and history as it develops in the popular literature of this period, and we will take as our thesis William Godwin's claim that "Romance...may be pronounced to be one of the species of history." Course texts include: Richardson's Clarissa (selections), Sterne's Sentimental Journey, Rousseau's Julie (selections), Wollstonecraft's Short Residence in Sweden, and Godwin's Memoirs of the Author of the Vindication of the Rights of Women. Course requirements include weekly one-page critical responses and a final examination. English majors only, Registration Period 1.
329 YA (Rise of the English Novel)
TTh 7-8:50 pm
We will read novels by Behn, Defoe, Richardson, and Haywood. The goal of the course is to trace the “rise” of the 18th century novel in relation to changes in print culture, social identity and cultural history. Evening Degree students only, Registration Periods 1 & 2. Texts: Behn, Oroonoko; Defoe, Roxana; Richardson, Pamela (or Virtue Rewarded); Haywood, Betsy Thoughtless.
330 A (English Literature: The Romantic Age)
We will study the Romantic writers in their intellectual and historical context. We will investigate topics including the sublime, the slave trade, childhood, and nature. Students will be required to write weekly 2-page papers, one longer paper, and one exam. The format will be lecture and discussion. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Perkins, English Romantic Writers; Shelley, Frankenstein.
331 A (Romantic Poetry I)
The Romantic poets Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge were deeply influenced by the French Revolution and by political turmoil in England, but their work is also remarkable for its attention to apparently apolitical topics such as nature, childhood, and the solitary, reflecting self. This class will explore the relationship of the public to the private in the careers of these highly influential writers. Some emphasis will also be placed on their interest in formal and thematic experiment and on their active reevaluation of the poet/audience relationship. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Wordsworth, Selected Poems (ed. Hayden); Coleridge, The Complete Poems (ed. Keach); Johnson & Grant, eds., Blake’s Poetry and Designs.
333 A (English Novel: Early & Middle 19th C.)
Two novels from the early 19th century (Austen, Shelley), and three from mid-century (the Brontës and Dickens) deal with the successes and failures of lives caught in the turmoil of cultural change. Two short papers and a final exam. Majors only, Registration Period 1.Texts: Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Shelley, Frankenstein; C. Brontë, Jane Eyre; E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights; Dickens, Great Expectations.
334 YA (English Novel: Later 19th C.)
MW 4:30-6:20 pm
With the possible exception of The Picture of Dorian Gray, a work not easy to categorize, the readings in this course deal with the struggles of disenfranchized men and women seeking status, power, sense in a social structure smugly sure of its established powers. Two short papers and a final examination. Evening Degree students only, Registration Periods 1 & 2. Texts: George Eliot, Adam Bede; M. E. Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret; Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles; Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; Joseph Conrad, Nostromo.
336 A (English Literature: The Early Modern Period)
This quarter we will read poetry, fiction and essays written in England during the first half of the Twentieth Century. The class format is lecture and discussion. Additionally, each student will participate in an oral group project. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Candace Ward, ed. World War One British Poets; T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land; E. M. Forster, Howard’s End; Katherine Mansfield, Stories; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; D. H. Lawrence, Stories Vol. II; George Orwell, A Collection of Essays; Elizabeth Bowen, Death of the Heart.
344 A (20th-Century Dramatic Literature)
Irish Plays and Playwrights. Ireland has been a rich source of plays and playwrights for the last 300 years or so. This course will examine the contributions of Irish playwrights to the developments of drama and theater in the twentieth century. We’ll begin the course at the end of the nineteenth century with Wilde, Shaw, Lady Gregory and Yeats, and examine the relations between established London theaters and the evolution of a “national” theater in Ireland. The Abbey Theater in Dublin becomes a force for revitalizing dramatic arts in Ireland and beyond, and we’ll focus on the variety of plays that were developed for that influential venue by such as Synge, O’Casey, Robinson, and others. We’ll then turn to look at plays produced away from the Abbey (and Ireland), such as those of Beckett and Friel, and end with some contemporary plays which have reestablished a strong Irish presence in London, New York, and Seattle theaters (e.g., McGuinness, McDonagh). Texts: Owens & Radner, eds., Irish Drama, 1900-1980; Sanford V. Sternlicht, A Reader’s Guide to Modern Irish Drama; Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays; Frank McGuinness, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme; Martin Mcdonagh, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Other Plays.
351 A (American Literature: The Colonial Period)
We’ll read and discuss an assortment of novels, memoirs, sermons, journals, treatises and other writings by American authors of the colonial and early national periods. Students will be expected to attend class regularly, keep up with reading assignments, and take part in open discussions. Written work will consist entirely of between five and ten brief in-class essays, done in response to study questions handed out in advance. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: John Tanner, The Falcon: A Narrative of the Captivity & Adventures of John Tanner; Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography and Other Writings; Michael Kammen, ed., The Origins of the American Constitution; Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland; Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple and Lucy Temple; St. Jean de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of 18th-Cnetury American Life; Hannah Foster, The Coquette; Washington Irving, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon.
352 A (American Literature: The Early Nation)
During the first half of the nineteenth century, American writers explored the contradictions and possibilities of the new nation. They experimented with a range of languages and engaged with the challenge of creating fiction and poetry for a developing market in which, as Melville wrote, “dollars damn me.” Issues of race and slavery pervaded public discourse, as they do several of our works. The ideology of “the woman’s sphere” was developed during this period, with consequences that continue to reverberate. Writers as different as Melville, Whitman, and Elizabeth Stoddard were pioneer explorers of the American sexual frontier. Our writers brought to a focus the contradiction between class differences and egalitarian ideals in “the era of the common man.” During the quarter I hope we will become increasingly aware of the languages, power relations, and creative achievements of an exceptionally revealing period. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Davis, Life in the Iron Mills, Melville, Moby-Dick; Douglass, Narrative of the Life; Thoreau, Walden & Civil Disobedience.
352 YA (American Literature: The Early Nation)
MW 7-8:50 pm
Conflicting visions of the national destiny and the individual identity in the early years of America's nationhood. Evening Degree students only, Registration Periods 1 & 2. Texts: Margaret Fuller, The Essential Margaret Fuller; Frederick Douglass, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave; Henry Thoreau, The Portable Thoreau; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Portable Hawthorne; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick.
353 A (American Literature: Later 19th C.)
We’ll read and discuss an assortment of novels, short stories, and sketches produced 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 from five to ten brief in-class essays done in response to study questions handed out in advance. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Judith Fetterley, ed., American Women Regionalists 1850-1910; Henry James, The American; William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham; Kate Chopin, The Awakening and Selected Short Stories; Frank Norris, McTeague; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Mark Twain, Great Short Works; Stephen Crane, Great Short Works.
354 YA (American Literature: The Early Modern Period)
TTh 7-8:50 pm
Literary responses to the disillusionment after World War I, experiments in form and in new ideas of a new period. Texts: Jean Toomer, Cane; Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop; Edith Summers Kelley, Weeds; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Nella Larson, Passing.Evening Degree students only, Registration Periods 1 & 2.
355 A (American Literature: Contemporary America)
One of the hallmarks of postmodernism is a questioning of absolute truths. In this class we'll read contemporary narratives that enact this theme through stories about quests for knowledge. Responsibilities include active participation, five brief response papers, and a final take-home exam. Texts: Don DeLillo, The Names; Paul Auster, City of Glass; Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon; Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Leslie Silko, Ceremony; Ishmael Reed, Mumbo-Jumbo. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
356 A (Classic American Poetry)
359 U (Contemporary American Indian Literature)
MW 5-6:50 pm
American Indians have been portrayed in thousands of books and movies and many or most of these portrayals have been unsympathetic, culturally biased, and inaccurate. During this century, American Indian authors have used the artistic form of the novel in an act of resistance to regain Indian identity. This course will examine some of these novels in terms of the statements each makes about Indian identity. The course will involve two in-class tests, a short analysis assignment, and a small group presentation. Meets with AIS 377U. English majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Deloria, Waterlily; Welch, Fools Crow; Erdrich, Tracks; Alexie, Indian Killer; Silko, Ceremony.
367 A (Women and the Literary Imagination)
Gender and Medieval Romance. This course will investigate the construction of gender and sexuality in medieval romance. We will examine how romance idealizes women, how that idealization is central to the construction of masculine identity, and how the genre subverts—or supports—these representations with outspoken or sexually assertive ladies and knights who are notably passive. Because a central concern of the course will be the way in which configurations of gender are related to questions of genre, we will look at how other narrative traditions, both secular (fabliau: that is, bawdy comic stories) and sacred (saints’ Lives), complement or challenge romance representations of gender and sexuality. These comparisons open up questions of how we read medieval literature: what difference does it make to read romance in its contemporary discursive context or from the perspective of modern understandings of gender? Are “historicist” and “feminist” approaches compatible or incompatible? There will be some reading in Middle English, but no previous experience is necessary. Texts will include Chrétien de Troyes’ Lancelot and Yvain¸ the Lais of Marie de France, Silence, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Amis and Amiloun, and some Chaucerian romances. Texts: Chrétien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances; Glyn Burgess, ed., Lais of Marie de France; Heldris, ed., Silence: A Thirteenth-Century French Romance; Borroff, tr., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Foster, ed., Amis and Amiloun, Robert of Cisyle, and Sir Amadace.
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. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
Text: Finnegan, Language: Its Structure and Use.
381 A (Advanced Expository Writing)
This will be a writing class that uses the workshop model. We’ll spend most of our time talking about the essays we write for the course. We’ll also look at the work of some professional essayists and talk about the role of the essay in academia and in art. Participation is important so bring your writing material and your coffee. No texts. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
381 B (Advanced Expository Writing)
This class will be conducted as a writing workshop and will focus on consideations of rhetorical stance, style and tone relative to a variety of different writing situations. Model essays will be rad and analyzed, but emphasis will be on the presentation and discussion of work written by students enrolled in the course. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Thomas Kane, The New Oxford Guide to Writing.
383 A (Intermediate Verse Writing)
Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem. Further development of fundamental skills. Emphasis on revision. No texts. Prerequisite: ENGL 283.
383 B (Intermediate Verse Writing)
This course will be run as an intensive workshop. The course theme--Poem as Craft, Poem as Art. In pursuing this theme, we will analyze how various technical devices, grouped by Ezra Pound under the categories of MeloPoeia, PhanoPoeia, and LogoPoeia, contribute to and/or detract from poems as craft/art. Original student work will constitute our primary texts, but additional reading and literary analysis may be required. Prerequisite: ENGL 283.
384 A (Intermediate Short Story
[Exploring and developing continuity in the elements of fiction writing. Methods of extending and sustaining plot, setting, character, point of view, and tone.] Prerequisite: ENGL 284
384 B (Intermediate Short Story
[Exploring and developing continuity in the elements of fiction writing. Methods of extending and sustaining plot, setting, character, point of view, and tone.] Prerequisite: ENGL 284