Course Descriptions (as of 19 December 2002)
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.)
ENGL 499B: The Structure of the Lyric: A Micro-Seminar with Helen Vendler.
Interested undergraduates should submit a copy of their transcript plus a brief statement describing their previous experience with poetry and why they want to take this class to the English Advising office, A-2B Padelford, by Friday, November 22.
Helen Vendler is currently a University Professor at Harvard University, where she has taught since 1980. Professor Vendler has published eight volumes of reviews and essays, and a textbook, and she has edited the Harvard Book of Contemporary American Poetry. She has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies, as well as honorary degrees from ten universities in the United States and seven universities abroad.
304 A (History of Literary Criticism & Theory II)
Race, Nation, Gender and the Politics of Theorizing.. This course introduces students to recent theoretical and literary works that treat ideas of race, nation, and gender and/or examine the myriad way sin which racism, nationalism, and sexism intersect with each other. It considers texts written by political scientists, legal scholars, sociologists, historians, and cultural studies practitioners -- focusing particularly on works that have been taken up by literary critics seeking to understand the role of culture in contesting and/or consolidating various regimes of social subordination and domination. Throughout the quarter we will explore competing theoretical frameworks, and examine the political stakes involved in different forms of writing and theorizing. Emphasis will be on close reading, classroom discussion, and on learning how to write about a variety of dense texts with concision. Texts: W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk; photocopied course packet.
312 A (Jewish Literature: Biblical to Modern)
For simplicity’s sake let’s call this 3000 years in ten weeks. In order to reduce that already vast reduction to a few words I will list the headings of sections of the course: Jewish Literature as Jewish History; Biblical Narrative; Martyrdom and Suffering; Destruction and Exile; Exile and Yearning; Messiah and the End of Days; Hasidism and Enlightenment; Zion rejects Exile; Exile in the New World; and a section on modern apocalyptic visions of the 1930s and 1940s. In this mammoth and, I hope, exhilarating task, we will see how a common culture coheres over time and how writers are obliged by the conditions of the world to depart from that coherence. Lecture, discussion and short essays. (Meets w. SISJE 312.) Texts: Roth, Ghost Writer; photocopied course packet.
313 A (Modern European Literature in Translation)
Faust and the Devil in Literature and Music. This course investigates how pacts with the devil appear in both comic and tragic versions in our culture and on the special connections of this tradition with music. We will focus on Marlowe's tragedy Dr. Faustus, Shakespeare's comedy The Tempest, and Goethe's Faust, Parts I and II (1808 and 1832), the most comic tragedy in world literature, and on several Faust operas of the 19th and 20th centuries. We will explore how the legend of the pact with the devil came to represent the West's view of itself and of the dangers inherent in our advancing scientific knowledge. Two short papers and a take-home final. Meets w. GERM 390A; C LIT 320A.
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. Our approach to the reading of the literary works will be strictly ‘formalist.’ I do not expect you to already know what formalist reading is or how to do it; this course will teach you. In fact, the literary works you read will teach you, because modernist writing is what the theory of formalist reading is based on. You will write a short warm-up paper on modernist poetry in the first week, followed by a 4-5 page mid-term paper on the same topic; your final paper will be a 4-5 page paper on modernist prose. We will spend the first half of the course reading the work of three poets, the second half the work of four prose writers, as follows: Poems: Baudelaire, poems (xerox); Rilke, poems (xerox); Eliot, Selected Poems; Fiction: Kafka, “The Metamorphosis”; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Gide, The Counterfeiters. Meets with C LIT 396C.
316 A (Literature of Developing Countries)
MW 2:30-3:20/F 2:30-4:20
(En)gendering the Post-colonial in North African Literature and Culture. This course aims to present an overview of the literary and cultural scenes of the Maghreb, with a focus on how recent voices from North African fiction and film are challenging both a fundamentally traditionalist and patriarchal establishment and a first-generation post-colonial male tradition. Through the study of selected works of fiction by writers from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Sudan, the course will foreground some of the most current debates raging in this multi-cultural part of the world about the assumed values of tradition, modernity, and national identity. The readings will be supplemented with documentaries and films in order to provide a fuller picture of this complex palimpsest of cultures and subcultures. Offered jointly with SISME 490; NEAR E 496. Texts: Fatima Mernissi, Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood; Tahar Ben Jelloun, The Sand Child; Assia Djebar, So Vast the Prison: A Novel; Leila Sebbar, Sherazade; Albert Memmi, Pillar of Salt; Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North; films: Edward Said: The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations; Franz Fanon: black skin, white mask; The Arab World; Gnaouas; The Silences of the Palace; The Perfumed Garden; Battle of Algiers.
317 U (Literature of the Americas)
TTh 7-8:50 pm
Do the Americas Have a Common Literature? Organized around the above question, this course investigates certain recurrent themes in the literatures of the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America. It offers a transnational approach to literature from the New World as sharing transamerican kinships beyond national traditions. In our cheek-by-cheek readings of literature from across the hemisphere, we will look at five major themes or categories which constitute possible sites of common ground in New World literature and culture: 1) Post-colonial Definitions of American Identities (Emerson, Jose Martí, Northrop Frye, Margaret Atwood, Roberto Fernández Retamar); 2) Representations of “the Indian”; “civilization and barbarism” (Mario Vargas Llosa, Helen Hunt Jackson, José María Arguedas, N. Scott Momaday) 3) black modernisms in Harlem and Havana (Langston Hughes, Nicolás Guillén) 4) Modernism and the Search for a Usable Past (William Carlos Williams, Alejo Carpentier) 5) Postmodern Connections and American Labyrinths of Fiction (Jorge Luis Borges, Thomas Pynchon). Part of the fun of this class is to “test-drive” a “discipline-in-progress”: Transamerican Literary and Cultural Studies is still in its infancy as a discipline, and we can all participate in its creation and development. Students need to be willing to handle a demanding reading schedule. Required Texts: Alejo Carpentier, The Lost Steps; Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Helen Hunt Jackson, Ramona; William Carlos Williams, In the American Grain; Clorinda Matto de Turner, Torn from the Nest; N. Scott Momaday, House of Dawn; Margaret Atwood, The Journals of Susanna Moodie; photocopied course packet.
321 A (Chaucer)
This course will stress critical reading and group discussion of Chaucer's most highly regarded work (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. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Benson, ed., The Riverside Chaucer; Stone, tr., Love Visions; Coghill, tr., Troilus and Criseyde; Hieatt, tr., 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, critical issues, and student performance. All students are required to perform memorized parts in a small performance group that meets for most of the quarter (one or two days/week during class time); final performance is in last week before whole class. Also required: discussion, written exercises, midterm, and two-hour, cumulative, in-class final (short-answer and essay questions). Meets five days a week (total of 49 class meetings; participation/attendance carefully graded for both full-class and small-group meetings). A demanding course. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Shakespeare, Poems; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Romeo and Juliet; Twelfth Night; Hamlet; Henry V.
323 B (Shakespeare to 1603)
Shakespeare's career as dramatist before 1603 (including Hamlet). Study of history plays, comedies, and tragedies. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Bevington, ed., The Complete Works of Shakespeare, updated 4th ed.
324 A (Shakespeare after 1603)
This course will consider the Jacobean Shakespeare. We will focus on how the language of the plays dramatizes the aesthetic, social, and political idioms of the period. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Antony and Cleopatra, Troilus and Cressida, Macbeth.
We will survey the late English Renaissance through its plays, poetry, and prose, exploring how language embocies the deep intellectual, political, aesthetic, and religious divisions of the period. Texts by Webster, Jonson, Donne, Herbert, Cavendish, Marvell, Milton, Philips, Herrick, Bacon, Burton, Walton, Hobbes, and others. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Baker, ed., Later Renaissance in England; Webster (ed. Gibbons), The Duchess of Malfi; Jonson, Three Comedies.
326 A (Milton)
Milton’s Paradise Lost preceded by major short poems, and prose. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Orgel & Goldberg, eds., John Milton.
327 A (English Literature: Restoration & Early 18th
The writers and literature of England from 1660 to 1750. We will be reading plays, prose, and poetry, chosen to illustrate the variety as well as the creative force of the written word in this period, bringing to life (for instance) the urban horrors of Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year, the aristocratic dreamworld of Pope’s Rape of the Lock, the cheerful crooks of The Beggar’s Opera, or the big people and little people of Gulliver’s Travels. Major authors covered include Dryden, Congreve, Defoe, Swift, Pope, Gay, Fielding, and Thomson, with emphasis on careful reading for understanding and enjoyment of this literature in its social and cultural context. Two papers with revision, weekly one-page reading responses, mid-term, final. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text:Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1C (Restoration and 18th Century)
329 A (Rise of the Engish Novel)
This course will trace the "rise" of the English novel with particular attention to formal development, although we will also discuss themes and cultural influences. Since the name of the course comes from Ian Watt's influential 1957 book, The Rise of the Novel (ordered as part of the course reading list), Watt will provide the critical framework against which we will read (although we will not be taking his analysis for granted; part of the course expectations will include a willingness to challenge Watt). Students should therefore have read Watt's book before the first class meeting. Mostly discussion, some lecture. Students are expected to participate in discussion, which necessarily involves keeping up with the (heavy) reading load. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Ian Watt, Rise of the Novel; Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy; Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; Samuel Richardson, Pamela; Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Horace Walpole, Castle of Otranto.
333 A (English Novel: Early & Middle 19th C.)
The Monster in the Parlor: The Domestication of Monstrosity in 19th-Cenury Novels by Hogg, Austen, Brontë, and Dickens. Mary Shelley's monstrous creation starts the 19th century, and although we iwll not be reading it, we will be discussing the ramifications of human monstrosity as we work our way through some of the great novels of the first half of the 19th century looking for other manifestations of and responses to monstrosity as it is brought in from the cold and given a place, comfortable or not, by the hearth. Through these "monsters" we will address questions of Victorian ideals, dreams, and anxieties about gender, race, and social progress. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: J. Austen, Emma; C. Brontë, Jane Eyre; C. Dickens, Hard Times; Great Expectations; J. Hogg, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.
334 A (English Novel: Later 19th C.)
This course offers a modest sampling of the rich abundance of the Victorian novel. Attention will be given to the historical and philosophical backgrounds against which the novels appeared, as well as to the lives of their authors. But the major emphasis will be on the aesthetic relation between content and form. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: A. Trollope, The Warden; C. Dickens, Great Expectations; G. Eliot, Middlemarch; T. Hardy, Jude the Obscure; O. Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray; J. Conrad, The Secret Agent.
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 B (English Literature: The Age of Victoria)
What, apart from size, distinguishes England in the 19th century from the United States in the 20th and 21st? (Britain, though a tiny island, commanded a much grander imperial span.) A military and industrial superpower is vulnerable, precisely because of its prominence, to a certain sting at home and abroad. Afghanistan presented a particular problem in both cases. Military power bears its own penalties; so does industrial power. Pollution and poverty seemed to be the natural companions of production and prosperity. I could go on and will, indeed, do so this summer when we subject major texts written (drawn and constructed—insofar as we will include painting and architecture) in Victorian England to critical study. Comparisons of the kind implied by this paragraph will emerge from short lectures and longer discussions, frequent short essays and one term paper. Apart from the two novels listed below, all readings will by included in a course packet. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Charles Dickens, Hard Times; Thomas Hardy, Tess of the Durbervilles.
337 A (The Modern Novel)
Portraits of the Artist in Modern Fiction. The typical image of the modern artist is that of an isolated hero, alienated from his community, but able to redeem the chaos of modern life by inventing new literary forms that express his (or her) unique creative vision. In this course, we’ll read a variety of British and American novels from the early twentieth century, and explore how their representations of artist figures compare with that definition. In the process, we will familiarize ourselves with some of the defining formal characteristics and thematic concerns of modern fiction. Questions we’ll consider include: What makes a novel “modern”? Does a modern artist have to be alienated, and if so, why? How do geographical location and the social relations of gender, race, and class shape the relationships between artists and their communities? How and why do modern writers use experimental forms to communicate their understanding of the world? Note: These are challenging texts, and reading them will require time and effort on your part. Students are expected to attend class regularly, to participate actively in discussions, and to approach the texts with lively curiosity and an open mind. Expect lots of discussion and a substantial amount of writing. Majors only, Registration Pd. 1. Texts: James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Willa Cather, O Pioneers!; Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man.
337 B (The Modern Novel)
In this class we will read, analyze, compare, and contextualize some classic modern European and American novels from the first four decades of the twentieth century. We will closely read each novel in the context of its specific local and broader transatlantic historical and artistic-intellectual climate. One of our recurring questions will be why these novels were experienced as shocking or innovative at the time and why they have continued to be meaningful ever since. We will pay particular attention to the interchange between the modern novel and feminism, psychoanalysis, and Marxism, and to the symbiosis between the novel and the visual arts. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; E. M. Forster, A Passage to India; Franz Kafka, The Trial; Nella Larsen, Passing; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
338 A (Modern Poetry)
"Modern" art is nearly a century old now, and poems from the period are marked by their difficulty for readers. We’ll concentrate on one Irishman and two Americans to explore some of what has come to be called "modern." Mainly, we’ll read hard poems hard. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: W. B. Yeats, Collected Poems; Robert Frost, Collected Poems; Marianne Moore, Complete Poems.
Interested in the study of poetry? See the special opportunity for a C/NC micro-seminar (January 13 - 17) with visiting scholar Helen Vendler.
342 A (Contemporary Novel)
Postmodern Fiction: An Introduction. This class will provide an introduction to British and American postmodern fiction. We begin by distinguishing between high modernism's ambitious, self-confident artistry (Joyce, Hemingway) and the radical skepticism of its loyal opposition (Stein, Beckett). Afterwards, we will be reading four representative postmodern novels -- Don DeLillo's Mao II, Gayl Jone's Corregidora, David Marson's Wittgenstein's Mistress, and Jeanette Winterson's The Passion -- as well as selected short fiction by such authors as Angela Carter, Robert Coover, Lydia Davis, and Guy Davenport. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Samuel Beckett, Stories and Texts for Nothing; DeLillo, Mao II; Jones, Corregidora; Markson, Wittgenstein's Mistress; Winterson, The Passion.
343 A (Contemporary Poetry)
Packaging a Poem. In today's consumer culture, packaging and branding hold significant sway in what achieves popularity. How has contemporary poetry found itself ain relation to such culture? How can we understand arguments about formalism in terms of commodity packaging? How is the high/low divide in current poetic practice a matter of brand recognition? From contemporary mainstream and language poetry to text-based poetry to spoken word to book arts and the intersections of word and image (including a re-consideration of concrete and pictorial poetics) we will explore matters of form in contemporary poetry. Readings will include a strong complement of women and minority poets as well as mainstream writers -- and a number who are both and/or all of these. Students will be required to attend readings, slams and other poetic events. A field trip to our library's outstanding book arts collection with a focus on alternatives to text-based poetry will stretch our understanding of what poetry is. Assignments also include regular response papers/questions, a creative project, and a final essay. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
350 A (Traditions in American Fiction)
Migration and the Novel. Like Brazil, South Africa, or Australia, the U.S. is a European settler-colonial nation-state. As such, migration was (and continues to be) a key modality by which the nation-state is invented, reproduced, and sustained. This class will engage literary representations of migration, focusing particularly on the novel genre, in order to better understand in what ways literature functioned as an "apparatus" of the migration process. We will study migration/immigration as a racialized, gendered, and sexualized process and as the site of much instability and trouble for nationalist writers and readers. While the course will focus on nineteenth century representations of migration/migrants, it will also pose key twentieth century historical novels by writers of colors as important texts that excavate the enduring power of the nineteenth-century literary imagination in contemporary accounts of the racialized migration process under advanced capitalist conditions. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives; Henry James, American Scene; Herman Melville, Typee; W.E.B. DuBois, Souls of Black Folk; Antin, The Promised Land; Richardson, The Captive; Harriet Wilson, Our Nig.
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 discussion. 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; Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of 18th-Century American Life; Hannah Foster, The Coquette; Washington Irving, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon.
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, 5th ed., Vol. 1; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans.
352 TS/U (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 (ENGL 352 TS is available only to Evening Degree and non-matriculated students; for information contact UW Educational Outreach, (206) 543-2320. ENGL 352 U represents spaces in this class that may be available for regularly-enrolled UW day students during Registration Period 3, the first week of classes; add codes will be required for 352U, available from the instructor.) Texts: Margaret Fuller, Summer on the Lakes; Frederick Douglass, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Henry Thoreau, The Portable Thoreau; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Portable Hawthorne; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson; Herman Melville, Mody-Dick.
354 A (American Literature: The Early Modern Period)
Reinventing Roots: Modernity and the Primitive in American Modernist Culture. In both Europe and the United States, a significant feature of modernist culture is its ambivalent fascination with "the primitive," and with cultures and people believed to be primitive. Defining other cultures as primitive was central to Western culture's definition of itself as modern and "civilized"; for Freud and other influential thinkers, the primitive represented those aspects of the self that had to be repressed in order to ascend to a more civilized state. On the other hand, modern art and literature were often viewed, by both artists and their audiences, as a deliberate and revitalizing return to the primitive. European post-impressionist painters were called "wild beasts" for their shocking use of bright, "crude" color; American poets were called "skyscraper primitives" for poems that shattered poetic conventions to celebrate the vitality of modern life; artists and writers converged on the rural South and the indigenous Southwest, seeking the inspiration of African-American and American Indian cultures that they saw as representing a more "natural," "raw," or "primal" mode of existence than was possible elsewhere in urbanized, industrialized America. In this course, we will explore how and why this return to "the primitive" was so important to the modernist project of "making it new." We will also consider how these cultural ideas about modernity and the "primitive" might limit, shape, or enable the forms of expression available to African-American and Native American artists and performers. This is a discussion-based course, so your active participation is essential. Expect lots of reading and a substantial amount of writing. Note: Students are expected to have read Sinclair Lewis's Babbitt before the first class meeting. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt; Gertrude Stein, Three Lives; Jean Toomer, Cane; Nella Larsen, Quicksand; William Carlos Williams, Spring and All; Hart Crane, The Bridge; Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop; photocopied course packet.
354 B (American Literature: The Early Modern Period)
Threatened with Suffering: Achievements and Regulations in Modern America. As the "natural laws" exposed by science in the Age of Enlightenment inspired humans to seek and demand "natural rights," and as the prosperity promised by Industrialization inspired humans to find new ways to prosper, the coming together of human beings into larger and more complex communities paradoxically served to sever communal bonds. In 1930 Sigmund Freud wrote, "Man has, as it were become a kind of prosthetic God. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on to him and they still give him much trouble at times. . . . [P]resent-day man does not feel happy in his Godlike character." In this course, we will consider some of Freud's notions about the civilizing processes in the context of U.S. authors writing during the early decades of the twentieth century. Authors include H.D., John Steinbeck, Charles W. Chesnutt, Willa Cather, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Nella Larsen, and Nathanial West. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars; Larsen, Quicksand; Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men; Cather, The Professor's House; Wharton, The Age of Innocence; James, Washington Square; H.D., The Gift; West, Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust; Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents.
355 A (American Literature: Contemporary America)
"Society is inside the man," Arthur Miller emphasizes, "and man is inside society, and you cannot even create a truthfully drwan psychological entity on the stage until you understand his social relations and their power to make him what he is and to prevent him from being what he is not. The fish is in the water and the water is in the fish." We will read plays, short stories, novels, and essays that show the possibilities of Miller's insight. We'll begin with Gore Vidal's polemical essay, "The Last Empire" (1992). Vidal focuses on the start of the Cold War (1945-1950) and the institutionalizing of the American civic religion of anti-communism. In The Crucible (1953), Miller dramatizes some of the consequences of the Cold War at home and in the process brings together his persistent concern with the sexual and the political. For another variation on these themes, well read E. L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel (1971). Tony Kushner taps into the formative period of the early Cold War from his own perspective and in his own vital language in Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes (Part I) (1992). We'll also read Kushner's Homebody/Kabul (2002). In The Fire Next Time (1963), James Baldwin brings into the open powerful racial strains in American culture. For their part, Don DeLillo in White Noise (1984) and Jennifer Egan in Look at Me (2001) deploy the resources of postmodern fiction and exceptional eloquence to bring to imaginative life America as a society of images characterized by the white noise of consumerism. This key feature of contemporary America takes us back to "The Last Empire" by way of William Appleman Williams's view that "empire as a way of life is predicated upon having more than one needs." Empire, political and sexual repression and resistance, race, and consumer capitalism give us reinforcing ways of looking at contemporary America. Our writers use a range of languages and styles to make these abstractions immediate and alive. To bring the course to a close though not to a conclusion we'll read three works remarkably sensitive to different American regions, classes, and languages: Raymond Carver's Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (1975), Philip Roth's American Pastoral (1997), and Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees (1988). Majors only, Registration Period 1.
358 A (Literature of Black Americans)
This course focuses on African American literary representations of the slave trade, arguably the single most catastrophic phenomenon in US history. We will study literary texts of several different genres—slave narratives both dictated and written by former slaves, fictionalized accounts of antebellum slavery, and postbellum short fiction—to understand as fully as possible the range of ways that enslaved people and their descendants reconstructed their experiences as people involuntarily bound by chattel slavery and later as people still suffering the oppressive conditions that had made chattel slavery not merely possible but legal and common as well. Critical questions driving the course include: What was chattel slavery as it was represented by those who experienced it in the US? What complexities of race, gender, power, and rhetoric emerge in the study of slave narratives, whether dictated or self-authored? What interconnections existed, and which persist, between race/color, wealth, rhetoric, dominance, and literacy? What factors apparently influenced an author’s choice of genre in the representation of slavery? Why did slavery continue to form the subject of black literature after Reconstruction? How did the representation of slavery and negrophobia in fiction after Reconstruction differ from the portrayals of the same in antebellum autobiography? Majors only, Registration Period 1.(Offered jointly with AFRAM 358A) Texts: Charles Chesnutt, Conjure Tales and Stories of the Color Line; William Andrews & H. L. Gates, Jr., eds., Slave Narratives; Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Laughing to Stop Myself Crying; William Wells Brown, Clotel or the President's Daughter; Hannah Crafts, The Bondwoman's Narrative Educational Companion Package.
359A (Contemporary American Indian Literature)
"Speaking for the sake of the land and the people means speaking for the inextricable relationship and interconnection between them" --Simon Ortiz from Speaking for the Generations: Native Writers on Writing
Native peoples in the Pacific Northwest bring to the table a millennia long tradition of expressive celebration integrally interwoven to life as it is known in this place. Memory and land, and the life practiced here have now informed a literature written by at least two generations of American Indian writers in this region. In this class participants will explore the work in short fiction and poetry of several Northwest Native American writers who exemplify the meaning of such an "inextricable relationship" as it illuminates both lives and texts. Offered jointly with AIS 377A.
361 A (American Political Culture: After 1865)
The Iron Curtain and the Color Curtain. For two decades after World War II, the politics of American literature and culture were defined not only by the cultural Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union but also by the struggles of writers and intellectuals like W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, Frantz Fanon and C.L.R. James, to replace the Cold War paradigm with one that viewed emerging global conflict in terms of North/South rather than East/West and defined “freedom” as the goal of struggle against racism, capitalism, colonialism, and ‘internal colonization’ rather than the Sovet Union. For both of these culture battles, “race” was a central term of conflict. We will investigate the “double” literary history of the early Cold War period and consider how it continues to inform tensions in the study of American literature and culture between “postmodern” and “postcolonial” theoretical paradigms, between the traditional white European American canon and the study of minority or ethnic literatures, and between a nation-centered American Studies and a Post-National American Studies. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Richard Wright, White Man, Listen!; The Outsider; Black Power; The Color Curtain; Baraka, The LeRoi Jones - Amiri Baraka Reader; Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans; James Baldwin, Blues for Mister Charlie; The Fire Next Time; Chester Himes, End of a Primitive; Mary Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy; Penny Von Eschen, Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism.
367 A (Women & the Literary Imgination)
The Modern Girl Around the World. "The Modern Girl" is a figure who appeared around the world in cities from Tokyo to Berlin, Beijing to Bombay, Johannesburg to New York City in the early to mid twentieth century. Modern Girls were known by a variety of names including flappers, garconnes, moga, modeng xiojie, schoolgirls, vamps, and neue Frauen. What identified Modern Girls was their use of specific commodities, their sartorial style, and their explicit eroticism. They put on lipstick and whitened their teeth, smoked packaged cigarettes, bobbed their hair, paraded provocative fashions, pursued romantic love, and used birth control. In general they appeared to disregard the roles of dutiful daughter, wife, and mother. Contemporary social scientists and members of the press and the public debated whether Modern Girls were looking for sexual, economic, and/or political emancipation. They also raised the poFor WINTERssibility that Modern Girls were a product of clever advertising campaigns and the new commodity culture. This course explores literary representations of the Modern Girl and the various female figures by whom she was prefigured in texts produced in the United States, China, Japan, Britain, and colonial Rhodesia. It explores how such representations participated in defining modern femininity, female sexuality, and ideas about racial and national belonging. It considers how representation of the Modern Girl created innovations in literary form, and how aesthetic codes for representing Modern Girls moved across national borders, following the circuitous paths created by capitalist globalization processes. Readings will include literary, social scientific, and historical texts. Some background in feminist theory, women's studies, or globalization studies a plus. Texts: Henry James, Daisy Miller; Anzia Yezierska, The Bread Givers; Nella Larsen, Quicksand and Passing; Junichiro Tanizaki, Naomi; Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions; Radcliffe Hall, Well of Loneliness; Meridel le Seuer, The Girl; photocopied course packet.
368 A (Women Writers)
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 relationship between depictions of female sexuality and activities such as shopping, prostitution, tourism, and flâneurie. Texts and authors will include Gertrude Stein's "Melanctha," Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes's Nightwood; Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway; Jane Bowles's Two Serious Ladies; and Dorothy Parker. 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: Parker, The Complete Stories; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Stein, Three Lives; Bowles, My Sister's Hand in Mine: The Collected Works of Jane Bowles; Cunningham, The Hours; Brookner, Hotel Du Lac.
370 A (English Language Study)
English 370 is an introduction to the study of the English language. Our focus will be on language as both systematic and social. We will examine the structures of English - from sounds to syntax, from words to texts - in order to accurately describe and analyze the language we all use. We will also question these structures and their social implications. This course will require you to think about language in new ways, and to explore the social, political, and personal power that language encodes. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Cipillone, ed., Language Files (7th ed.); photocopied course packet.
370 TS/U (English Language Study)
TTh 7-8:50 pm
This course is an introduction to the scientific study of language. Drawing most of the examples from English, it surveys the major concepts of phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics as they have been developed during the twentieth century. Written work will include exercises from the text, quizzes, a mid-term and a final. (ENGL 370 TS is available only to Evening Degree and non-matriculated students; for information contact UW Educational Outreach, (206) 543-2320. ENGL 370 U represents spaces in this class that may be available for regularly-enrolled UW day students during Registration Period 3, the first week of classes; add codes will be required for 370U, available from the instructor.) Texts: Pinker, The Language Instinct; Cipillone, et al., Language Files.
371 A (English Syntax)
This course covers the basics of standard English grammar. We will take a descriptive approach to understanding the main structures of sentence-level grammar as used in the U.S. today. Assuming that class members are likely to be teaching English in the future, we will also focus on grammar in writing, analyzing native speaker and second language speaker writing and developing activities for those whose goal it is to learn Standard American English. The course assumes no previous study of grammar. Prerequisite: ENGL 370. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Text: Barry, English Grammar: Language as Human Behavior.
381 A (Avanced Expository Writing)
[Concentration on the development of prose style for experienced writers.] Majors only, Registration Per. 1
381 B (Advanced Expository Writing)
Concentration on the development of prose style for experienced writers. Majors only, Registration Per. 1. Texts: photocopied course packet.
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)
[Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem. Further development of fundamental skills. Emphasis on revision.] Prerequisite: ENGL 283.
Interested in the study of poetry? See
the special opportunity for a C/NC micro-seminar
(January 13 - 17) with visiting scholar Helen Vendler.
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)
This class continues the introduction to fiction writing series through the study and practice of the short story. Various elements of story writing such as character, narrative, style of voice, structure and theme will be explored through reading, discussion, and writing exercises. Besides exercises, students will be responsible for writing a minimum of one short story plus a substantial story revision. The course will also include in-class workshops of student work-in-progress. Prerequisite: ENGL 284. No texts.