Course Descriptions (as of 18 December 2001)
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 YA (Critical Practice).
MW 4:30-6:20 pm
While most of us may not give much conscious thought to the nature of reading itself, we are probably all aware that we bring particular interpretative strategies to our individual reading experiences. In this course we will read texts from such authors as Thomas Mann, James Baldwin, H.D., Flannery O'Connor, Joan Didion, and D. H. Lawrence. And reading these texts, we will explore the critical practices we employ to interpret them, and consider the ways such practices reflect the diverse approaches to reading literature that constitute Literary Theory per se. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Selden, et al., eds., A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory, 4th ed.; Thomas Mann, Death in Venice; H.D., Helen in Egypt; James Baldwin, Another Country; D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover; Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays; Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood.
304 YA (History of Literary Criticism & Theory II)
MW 7-8:50 pm
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 some of the major poststructuralist theorists of the 1960s and 1970s (Barthes, Derrida, Lacan, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Irigarey, and Baudrillard) and end with a consideration of the legacy that these thinkers have left us today. Books ordered with be supplemented by a course packet of additional readings from Saussure, Derrida, Lacan, Irigaray, Deleuze & Guattari, and Baudrillard. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1. Texts: René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (tr. Cress); Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (tr. Large); Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (tr. Strachey); Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text (tr. Miller); Michel Foucault, The Foucault Reader.
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.
315 A (Literary Modernism)
We will read a variety of poems and fictional works from France, Germany, England, and the U.S. in order to get a sense of the complex phenomenon called “modernism.” There is no simple definition of what this term means; like other period terms in literary theory (cf. “romanticism” or “realism”), it refers not to any single quality of literary works but to a whole cluster of characteristics, any of which might be missing from any given work referred to as modernist. Thus the only way to get a sense of how the term works is to read a number of things that are labeled with it and see how they are similar and how they are different. That is what we will do. We will also read a couple of essays that will alert you to how literary critics write about modernism. During the second week I will assign a 2-page paper in which you start trying to write about modernist poetry, followed by a 3-4 page paper in the fourth week in which you sum up your thoughts on the three poets we will have read. In the seventh week I will assign your final paper, 4-5 pages on the prose writers. We will spend the first four weeks of the course reading the work of three poets, the second half the work of four prose writers, as follows: Baudelaire, poems (xerox); Rilke, poems (xerox); Eliot, Selected Poems; Kafka, “The Metamorphosis”; Mann, “Death in Venice”; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Gide, The Counterfeiters. You will be expected to attend class with strict regularity. There’s no chance of your doing well on your papers if you don’t. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
320 YA (English Literature: The Middle Ages).
TTh 7-8:50 pm
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the literature of medieval England. This means reading a selection of Old and Middle English texts (excluding Chaucer), mostly in translation. The first part of the course will focus on the warrior culture of the Anglo Saxons and the epic/heroic literature it produced. The second part of the course will focus on the romantic culture of the later period and its literary production. We will do a bit of the original language, especially in the latter part of the course, a bit of the wider European contexts of English literature (mostly Norse and French), and a bit of visual arts. In addition to the readings, there will be two pretty hefty papers, two short “quizzes” (factual identifications mostly), and a weekly e-mail “paper” on a topic relevant to class discussion. Some of our texts will be bought, others are available on the Net. English majors only, Registration Period 1. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Hamer, ed., Anglo-Saxon Verse; Heaney, tr., Beowulf; Burgess, Barby, tr., The Lais of Marie de France; Borroff, tr., Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience, Pearl; Schmidt, tr., Piers Plowman; Staley, tr., The Book of Margery Kempe; Mosely, tr., Travels of Sir John Mandeville.
321 A (Chaucer)
[Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and other poetry, with attention to Chaucer's social, historical, and intellectual milieu.] Majors only, Registration Period 1.
321 YA (Chaucer)
MW 4:30-6:20 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. Mid-term, final, one paper. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Benson, ed., Riverside Chaucer; Stone, ed., Love Visions; Coghill, ed., Troilus and Criseyde; Hieatt & Hieatt, eds., Canterbury Tales.
323 A (Shakespeare to 1603)
Study of Shakespeare's poems and plays to 1603 with emphasis upon meter, rhythm, imagery, tone, explication, interpretation, reader-response, and student performance. All students are required to perform memorized parts in a small performance group that meets all quarter long. Also required: discussion, written exercises, and two hour tests. Meets five days a week. A demanding course. Major emphasis, this year, will fall on the topic of "Shakespeare and Love," emphasizing relations among Shakespeare's Sonnets, Venus and Adonis, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, and films of those three plays together with the film "Shakespeare in Love." Texts: Shakespeare; The Poems; A Midsummer Night's Dream; Romeo and Juliet; Twelfth Night; Hamlet.
324 A (Shakespeare after 1603)
Shakespeare’s career as dramatist after 1603. Study of comedies, tragedies, and romances. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: David Bevington, ed., The Complete Works of Shakespeare (updated 4th ed.)
325 A (English Literature: The Late Renaissance)
[A period of skepticism for some, faith for others, but intellectual upheaval generally. Poems by John Donne and the "metaphysical" school; poems and plays by Ben Jonson and other late rivals to Shakespeare; prose by Sir Francis Bacon and other writers.] Majors only, Registration Period 1.
326 A (Milton)
Milton’s early poems and prose; Paradise Lost. Attention to the religious, intellectual and literary contexts. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Orgel & Goldberg, eds., Milton.
329 A (Rise of the English Novel)
In this course, we will consider different attempts to define the characteristic qualities, and historical emergence, of “the novel.” Our efforts will be focused through readings of texts that have been the focus of efforts to define the novel, such as Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, Tobias Smollett’s The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker, and Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. We will be especially concerned with the relationship between commerce and the novel, as we consider, for example, Ian Watt’s account of the novel as dependent upon the emergence of the middle class, as well as Michael McKeon’s more recent critique of Watt’s thesis. We will also consider at length theoretical categories that have been vital to explanations of the novel, such as the distinction between “romance” and “novel”; the notion of “formal realism”; the importance of epistolary form and its relation to questions of “sensibility”; and the development of “character.” Students will be responsible for (1) preparing for, and participating in, all scheduled sections; (2) a midterm; (3) two short papers (2-3 pp.) and one long paper (7-10 pp.); (4) a short presentation on a non-assigned secondary author. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Richardson, Pamela; Smollett, Humphrey Clinker; Fielding, Tom Jones; Austen, Mansfield Park; McKeon, The Origins of the English Novel, 1600-1740; optional: McKeon, Theory of the Novel: A Historial Approach.
332 A (Romantic Poetry II)
An examination of poetry (and some prose) by the “second generation” of English Romantic writers (Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, John Keats, Mary Shelley) and a few of their contemporaries (including Felicia Hemans). Particular attention will be paid to these writers’ uses of traditional poetic forms and classical mythology (especially the figure of Prometheus), their representations of Britain, and their ambivalent relations to earlier English Romantics (esp. Wordsworth and Coleridge). Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Byron, Major Works; Keats, Major Works; P. Shelley, Shelley’s Poetry and Prose; M. Shelley, Frankenstein.
333 A (English Novel: Early & Middle 19th Century)
Six novels, three from the Romantic period, three from the Victorian, will be studied. Attention will be given to the way that novelists convey ideas, and to the relation between form and content in these books. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Mansfield Park; Shelley, Frankenstein; C. Brontë, Jane Eyre; E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights; Dickens, Oliver Twist.
334 YA (English Novel: Later 19th Century)
MW 7-8:50 pm
Four major novels, representing a range of the aesthetic, moral, social issues of the later 19th century and differing practices of novelistic art. Three papers and final exam. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Eliot, Middlemarch; Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles; Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; Conrad, Nostromo.
335 A (English Literature: The Age of Victoria)
Among the poets and prose writers to be studied are Carlyle, Tennyson, Mill, Newman, Arnold and Ruskin. They will be viewed in relation to what the historian G. M. Young called “A tract of time where men and manners, science and philosophy, the fabric of social life and its directing ideas, changed more swiftly perhaps, and more profoundly, than they have ever changed in an age not sundered by a political or a religious upheaval.” Some of the recurrent topics will be: the reaction against the Enlightenment; rejections and revisions of romanticism; the nature of authority; the religion of work; the idea of a university. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol 2B (“The Victorian Age”).
335 YA (English Literature: The Age of Victoria)
MW 7-8:50 pm
Victorian England was so prolific and varied in its literature that we can here not read the great novelists (Dickens, Brontës, Eliot) or the great sages (Carlyle, Ruskin, Arnold) and still have readings that offer abundant invitations to hard work (at times surprisingly hard) that can then yield much profit and delight. Written work will take the form of email and weekly writing in class. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Doyle, Six Sherlock Holmes Stories; Browning, My Last Duchess; Fitzgerald, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam; Rossetti, Goblin Market; Carroll, Alice in Wonderland; Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest; Kipling, Kim; Potter, Peter Rabbit; Tale of Mr. Tod; Grahame, The Wind in the Willows.
336 A (English Literature: The Early Modern Period).
This course is an in-depth exploration of the poetry of several modernist poets whose work originally defined the aesthetics and thematic concerns of Modernism: T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, Mina Loy, Gertrude Stein, and H.D. -- with occasional forays into the works of other poets they influenced. Allustions to other literary works and alterations and disruptions of standard poetic forms and familiar uses of language are characteristic of these poets' works. They're rewarding, but they can be notoriously difficult. Therefore, prior experience reading poetry, some general knowledge of modernism and a genuine love of verbal complexity are strongly recommended as a prerequisite for this course. Requirements: Presentations, midterm, final, participation. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Eliot, The Waste Land; Yeats, Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats; Loy, Lost Lunar Baedeker; Stein, Tender Buttons; H.D., Collected Poems.
337 A (The Modern Novel)
The novels we will study this quarter were published between 1913 and 1937. They include some of the major texts of literary modernism, and as such may prove difficult reading for students unfamiliar with technical experimentation. They may be unsettling, as these writers challenge many of the beliefs and assumptions of conventional society of their times. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers; James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God.
344 A (20th-Century Dramatic Literature)
It’s sometimes hard to know what to make of theater in a “society of the spectacle,” dominated by the media, where virtually everything is theatricalized: politics, fashion, sexuality, and the performance of everyday life. Yet the suffusion of reality by theater (exploited now by terror) has been, from its beginnings, not merely a premonition but an obsession of the drama—intensified through modernity, its proliferation of images, as if the real itself were nothing but appearance. If this is the compelling theme and visceral substance of the drama, there are also questions of power, authority, and a cultural politics too, which we shall trace through the major playwrights of the century, not only British and American, but continental as well, from Strindberg, Chekov, and Shaw, through Brecht, O’Neill, and Beckett, to Pinter, Fornes, and Shepard. Majors only, Registration Period 1. (Meets with DRAMA 499B) Text: Carl H. Klaus & Bradford S. Field, eds., Modern and Contemporary Drama.
345A (Studies in Film)
T 12:30-3:20/Th 12:30-2:20
We will analyze how and why films tell stories by focusing on films that portray the experience of childhood and coming-of-age. We will examine how such films draw on historical and social conceptions of childhood and how they shape our understanding of childhood. Our investigation of the visual language filmmakers use to represent childhood will involve an introduction to formal film terms. However, we will go beyond formal analysis to address the historical, social, and ideological contexts at play in films about childhood. This course requires frequent written work. Students will submit an electronic response to each film, complete a clip analysis exam, and compose two 4- to 5-page essays on class films. I also expect regular class participation; each student will deliver one five-minute presentation over the course of the quarter. Text: Bordwell & Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, 6th ed.
352 A (American Literature: The Early Nation)
We’ll read and discuss an assortment of novels, stories, poems and memoirs by American authors in the period preceding 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 written in response to study questions handed out in advance. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Baym, et al., eds., The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 1 (5th ed.); Harriet Beecher, Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; James Fenimore Cooper, The Prairie.
354 A (American Literature: The Early Modern Period)
Literary responses to modernity in American literature between the wars. We’ll read selected novels and short stories, focusing on experiments in form and the development of new cultural identities by American writers as they negotiate the ambivalent (disruptive and liberating) impact of forces of modernity with the disappearing traditions of the past. The use of the plural (modernisms and traditions) is crucial; the course will juxtapose canonical modernisms (i.e., that of the post-war expatriate “lost generation”) to alternative modernisms emerging in the work of women and non-Anglo American writers. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts may include books by such authors as: Hemingway, Paredes, Gómez; Barnes, Cather, Hurston, Faulkner, Black Elk, and Anderson.
354 B (American Literature: The Early Modern Period)
In this course we will read American fiction and poetry written between the world wars, an era characterized by great change and experimentation in the nation’s art and culture. Together we will examine and discuss the consequences of such destabilization as it manifests in the styles and content of some of the period’s representative works. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: William Faulkner, A Light in August; Nella Larsen, Quicksand and Passing; Gertrude Stein, Three Lives; Willa Cather, My Antonia; Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; photocopied course packet.
355 A (American Literature: Contemporary America)
Contemporary American Literature of Nature: The West. This course explores a field that is developing in English departments and is a relatively new departure for me (as a Western American who loves the region and its writing but usually teaches 19th-century British literature). While English classes offer “acculturation” in language and literature, here you will go “back to nature.” But culture is part of nature—as Gary Snyder says, words are wild. Following initial short readings from the Bible, William Shakespeare, Edmund Burke, and Henry David Thoreau that set reference points in a tradition of nature writing, the course moves historically to touch briefly on two relevant late-19th-century/early 20th-century American Western naturalist writings, and then directs its main focus to American Literature of Nature in the West from the mid-20th century to the present. The West here means the West Coast and Inland Northwest. Our region has produced writers worthy of the tradition. In registering, you should be aware of the focus on Western Literature of Nature (mostly contemporary), rather than expecting general coverage of Contemporary American Literature. And be aware that the “Western” of story and film is a subject in itself and beyond our range. Perspectives include: Christian, pastoral, romantic-sublime, environmentalist, feminine/feminist, native American, Zen. We cover essays, history, fiction, poetry, video/film, making quite a number of works, but many are in slim volumes or short selections. Class format: discussion, reports, lecture. You will give at least one in-class presentation, whether a report and/or initiating discussion of a work ready by all. Expect two quizzes and a final. There will be a short paper on one text or author (c. 5-6 pp.). Ideally building on the short paper is a longer one (c. 8-10 pp.) that is more comparative and comprehensive, establishing a critical/ theoretical/ possibly historical context and treating more than one text or author. Readings will include in-class handouts of passages from the Bible and Shakespeare; course pack will include Edmund Burke, “Of the Sublime and the Beautiful,” (sel.), with Barry Lopez, “A Presentation of hales”; John McPhee, “Los Angeles Against the Mountains”; video viewing of Marc Reisner’s “Cadillac Desert” (Pt. 1) and Roman Polanski’s Chinatown. For course credit, all required work must be completed. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; Mary Austin, The Land of Little Rain; Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces; Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums; John Muir, The Yosemite; Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping; Gary Snyder, Mountains and Rivers Without End; Henry David Thoreau, Walden; James Welch, Winter in the Blood; Richard White, The Organic Machine; photocopied course packet; optional: William Cronon, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature.
355 B (American Literature: Contemporary America)
Critics such as Jean Baudrillard and Fredric Jameson suggest that the fragmentary experiences comprising post-World War II existence in the Western world are reproduced with such speed that they – the experiences – underscore a lack of depth and coherence in contemporary life. In this course, we will explore some of the diverse ways American authors challenge such an evaluation of experience, and challenge, too, the traditional cultural values that Baudrillard and Jameson argue “postmodernism” has supplanted. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood; Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses; Toni Morrison, Sula; E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime; Carson McCullers, Reflections in a Golden Eye; William Wharton, Birdy; James Baldwin, Another Country; H.D. Asphodel.
361 YA (American Political Culture: After 1865)
MW 7-8:50 pm
The African-American who crosses the color line, the woman who works and lives as a man, the homosexual who looks to be heterosexual, the “born criminal” whose character cannot be read, the baseborn mimic of the well-bred, and the alien who plays at being a “true American” make up a family of passing figures. Each of them was familiar to late 19th- and early 20th-century American audiences, and their descendants are with us yet. This class is then about passing—primarily, as a different race, class, sexuality, or gender; it is also about individual and national anxieties. The anxiety particular to passing is triggered by the awareness that appearances may deceive and that underneath a “normal” or unremarkable appearance may lurk a so-called “abnormal” appetite, a “degenerate” character or “deadly” threat which the “untutored” eye cannot perceive. Hence, this class is also about concerted efforts to teach "normal” Americans what to look for or how to read. The goal of these lessons is to render cultural differences visible, to manage (i.e., discipline, subjugate or otherwise control) cultural “others” in “our” midst and thus to assure America’s cultural majority that they are safe. Our study of passing will examine a range of cultural practices: e.g., literature, science, law, politics, film, and other popular media; some of these texts feature lessons on spotting and managing cultural others, and some are pointedly critical of the selfsame practice. We’ll begin our investigation with Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, which introduces a new surveillance technology in the context of racial passing. We’ll end with a critical review of responses to 9/11/01 events and their aftermath; of particular interest in this final inquiry will be the figure of the “sleeper”—that unreadable terrorist in our midst. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1.Texts: Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The GreatGatsby; Nella Larsen, Passing; Bharati Mukerjee, Jasmine; Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues; photocopied course packet..
367 A (Women and the Literary Imagination).
The Female of the Species: Vampires, Witches, Madwomen, Dead Ladies and Femmes Fatales. This cousre concerns cultural fantasies (and certain actualities) of witchcraft, otherworldly dealings and feminine monstrosity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from the perspecive of both male and female writers. Through poems, short novels, a play, and films, we'll discuss power and power relations coded by the culture of the time as uncanny and specifically feminine, in terms of the misogynistic fears and desires of Victorian and early Modernist culture--but also as a mode of feminine empowerment. Requirements: Group presentations, midterm, final, participation. Texts: Mary Butts, From Altar to Chimney Piece; Rossetti, Goblin Market; Barnes, Nightwood; photocopied course packet.
370 A (English Language Study)
This course introduces the systematic study of language and aims to help you step back and think about language in new ways,. Looking primarily at examples from English, the course covers the many levels of structure working in language – from sounds to words to sentences to discourses – as well as the ways speakers learn and change language over time. Discussions will also focus on the social issues tied up in language, including attitudes to dialects, gender and language, the teaching of Standard English, and national language policies. The focus of much of the course will be words – how they work structurally and socially. We will address questions such as Why isn’t pfigr a possible English word? What is the difference between normalness and normality? When could boys be girls because girl meant child? Words are one of the primary building blocks of language and by studying how they work, we can gain insight into the structure and meaning of language, as well as into the social and political power we wield with words. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Stewart & Vaillette, eds., Language Files, 8th ed.
381 A (Advanced Expository Writing)
In this course, we will try our hand at a number of genres: the academic essay, book or art review, profile, general essay, memoir, journal, personal ad, etc. Our method will involve a certain amount of reading with the intent of identifying a writer's style: tone, sentence configuration, word choice, and structuring principle. Then we will go about imitating (parodying?) the writer. My hope is that imitation will eventually lead to something new, that is, the beginnings of our own style. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
381 B (Advanced Expository Writing)
[Concentration on the development of prose style for experienced writers.] Majors only, Registration Period 1.
383 A (Intermediate Verse Writing)
[Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem. Further development of fundamental skills. Emphasis on revision.] Prerequisite: ENGL 283.
383 B (Intermediate Verse Writing)
Poetry writing workshop. Requirements: minimum of seven (7) workshop poems following bardic exercise assignments. Attention to metaphor, music, and pattern. Techniques leading to class reading of poems from text, and required attendance at two public readings. Prerequisite: ENGL 283. Text: Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry.
384 A (Intermediate Short Story Writing)
[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 Writing)
[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.