Course Descriptions (Last updated: December 4,
The following course descriptions have been written by individual instructors to provide more detailed information on specific section sthan that found in the General Catalog. When individual descriptions are not available, the General Catalog descriptions [in brackets] are used. (Although we try to have as accurate and complete information as possible, this schedule remains subject to change.)
302 A (Critical Practice)
Cultural Studies of the Novel: Materialism and Formalism. This course provides a follow-up to ENGL 202, the introduction to the English major. It is a practicum of critical methods. This particular section will provide in-depth practice in cultural studies approaches to the novel. Our focus on cultural studies will include attention to the following methodological questions: what is the form in formalist approaches to the novel? What is “materialism” and why would you use it to read novels? What kinds of critical practices – close reading, archive development, historical research – are important to cultural studies methodologies? Does narratology (the study of narrative form) have a role? What about ethnography or other research methods from anthropology, sociology, or the empirical human sciences? By the end of the course, students would have a grasp of various approaches to the study of culture and narrative forms. Students will also have been exposed to a range of social and political questions related to cultural studies methodologies, including theories of race, gender, sexuality and class. The class will read theorists such as Raymond Williams, Roland Barthes, Stuart Hall, Mikhail Bakhtin, Michel Foucault, Dorothy Hale and Catherine Gallagher alongside sample texts. Texts: Henry James, What Maisie Knew; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Caryl Phillips, Higher Ground; Crossing the River; Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body; The Passion.
302 B (Critical Practice)
This course will focus on two seminal works of the Romantic period, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein. Each was a provocative and controversial work in its time, centered on a transgressive action with tragic consequences (the unaccountable killing of the Albatross in “The Rime” and the creation of the monster in Frankenstein), which to this day has inspired numerous and often conflicting interpretations. This course will familiarize students with a number of contemporary critical approaches (new historicist, Marxist, feminist, psychoanalytic, reader-response and deconstructive criticism) and test what each reveals or, as the case may be, conceals about these texts. Given that both works were published in significantly different versions, we will also study how each version yields different interpretations and how a textual angle might supplement the critical approaches listed above. Texts: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Coleridge, Poetry and Prose; Joanna M. Smith, ed., Mary Shelley, Frankenstein: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism; Paul H. Fry, ed., Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism.
303 A (History of Literary Criticism & Theory I)
This course introduces the major philosophical and theoretical positions taken towards literature in the western tradition up to the early twentieth century. Beginning with a selection of ancient Greek works, we will focus on several critical issues that developed over the course of centuries of critical exchange concerning literary art and aesthetics. We will cover about twenty authors, studying individual theories and theorists as well as how their theories relate to one another. A few pieces of literature will be included in our readings, and our class work will involve writing and discussion that engages the critical debates and theoretical tasks of situating, framing, or explaining precisely how literature functions. Text: Adams and Searle, Critical Theory Since Plato, 3rd ed.
304 A (History of Literary Criticism & Theory II)
Theories of Life Itself and the Politics of Theorizing. This course will introduce you to a variety of theoretical and literary works that are frequently used by literary scholars to interpret historical and contemporary cultural production. In particular we will focus on those theories that have attempted to comprehend transformations in the meaning “life” in the modern period, and to understand the forms of power—physical, discursive, moral, racialized, gendered, and statist—that have been developed to exert control over life itself. Emphasis in this course will be placed on learning how to read dense theoretical, philosophical texts; on understanding the dialogue among theorists and how they build upon and depart from each other in creating their theories; on writing about theoretical texts in a concise manner; and, not least, on using so-called theory to better understand the various forms of cultural production that surround us. To this end, theoretical texts will be juxtaposed with literary and filmic texts that we will use to “test out” the theory and to understand its pitfalls and possibilities. Theorists to be considered include: Giorgio Agamben, Louis Althusser, Etienne Balibar, Judith Butler, Charles Darwin, Mike Davis, Sarah Franklin, Cheryl Harris, Michel Foucault, Paul Gilroy, Thomas Malthus, Achille Mbembe, Friedrich Nietzsche, Dorothy Roberts, Nicolas Rose, and Cornell West. Texts: Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals; Melville, Bartleby and Benito Cereno; photocopied course packet.
307 A (Cultural Studies: Literature & the Age)
Nuclear Culture. Just when the nuclear seems passé, a quaint concern of the Cold War, recent questions of nuclear weapons and nuclear power in Iran and North Korea put it back on the (inter)national agenda. And though cultural interest in the nuclear has waxed and waned, we have, ever since the close of World War II, lived under the shadow of the bomb. From Our Friend the Atom to The Day After, from the Evil Empire to Axes of Evil and WMDs, the nuclear has had a profound effect on American culture. This course will examine nuclear culture and its impact on literature and literary theory from 1945 to the present. We will ask: How is the nuclear represented and how does its representation intersect with issues of identity, both national and inter/intra-national? To what extent is nuclear culture necessarily “postmodern”? How has the discipline of literary studies responded to the nuclear? And what is the role of the nuclear in our culture today? Course texts will include essays, poems, at least one film, and several novels. Course requirements include active participation in discussion, group presentations, weekly response papers, and midterm and final papers. Texts: Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; Octavia Butler, Dawn; Don DeLillo, Underworld; Lydia Millet, Oh Pure and Radiant Heart; photocopied course packet.
313 A (Modern European Literature in Translation)
Fiction, poetry, and drama from the development of modernism to the present. Works by such writers as Mann, Proust, Kafka, Gide, Hesse, Rilke, Brecht, Sartre, and Camus. Texts: Flaubert, Madame Bovary; Freud, Dora; Mann, Death in Venice; Kafka, The Metamorphosis; Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard; Ibsen, Hedda Gabbler, Conrad, Heart of Darkness.
313 B (Modern European Literature in Translation)
TTh 7-8:50 pm (Evening Degree)
This class is devoted to continental European writers and celebrated works of literature, music and p hilosophy which defined modernity between 1850 and 1914 (Baudelaire, Flaubert, Wagner, Ibsen, Nietzsche, Proust, and Mann). There will be several short assignments and a final. (Evening Degree students only.) Texts: Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du mal (tr. Howard); Flaubert, Madame Bovary (tr. Mauldon); Ibsen, Four Major Plays (tr. McFarlane); Mann, Death in Venice (tr. Heim); Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy and the Case of Wagner; Proust, Swan’s Way (In Searth of Lost Time, Vol. I) (tr. Moncrieff).
324 A (Shakespeare after 1603)
Shakespeare's career as dramatist after 1603. Study of comedies, tragedies, and romances. Text: Bevington, ed., Complete Works of Shakespeare.
330 A (English Literature: The Romantic Age)
MW 7-8:50 pm (Evening Degree)
Just imagine: you see before you a world of enormous change, a vision that seems to offer you new intellectual and political freedom and power, a world where it is finally clear both exactly what is wrong with the way things are now and exactly how to rebel against them. All around you things are in flux. In America the colonists seized their chance to throw out the English; in Europe the people of France have similarly risen in rebellion and thrown off the yoke of their aristocrats’ oppression as well. Everything, for a while, offers the heady promise of new beginnings.
What can poets do in a world so new, so dynamic, so changing? What new powers do they feel? What new boundaries will they cross? Whether in the poetically revolutionary work of Wordsworth and Coleridge, or in the far more ironically distanced work of Keats and Byron, these poets test limits, look for new ways of thinking and writing. In this class we’ll read these and other major English poets of the Romantic Age, and we’ll look to find where and how their poetry records both their aspirations for a new world order and their disappointments when their hopes are dashed.
As you think about whether to enroll, know that a big part of what we’ll do here is poetry. I know many students haven’t had much experience as readers of poetry – but this stuff really is fun to read, and if you haven’t much experience, it’s a great place to become a reader of poetry. In lots of ways, in fact, much of what our culture thinks poetry is was developed by these poets, and we’ll take this opportunity to think about THAT as well! For the Romantic Age in some ways has never ended – we still have movies and novels and poems that do their best to continue its themes. And that, finally, will be the other major focus of the course. Where does the Romantic Age still survive, and what are its new guises? (Evening Degree students only.) Texts: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2A; Breunig & Levinger, The Revolutionary Era, 3rd edition; Godwin, Caleb Williams; Webster, Reading and Writing the Romantic Age (photocopied course packet).
331 A (Romantic Poetry I)
This course is an introduction to the poetry of William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the first generation of Romantic writers. We will spend much of the class discussing the literary innovations, technical features, and prosodic effects of the poems as perceived by the poets themselves, contemporary critics, and later critics and scholars. We will also study particular instances of poetry publication in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, reflecting upon the placements of poems in books or magazines, the different materials used in publishing, and the socio-cultural networks, the imagined communities, that emerge with the various practices of making, publishing, reading, revising, republishing, rereading, and interpreting poetry. Majors only, Registration Period 1.
Texts: William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience; Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads; Coleridge, Poetry and Prose; Wordsworth, The Prelude.
331 A (Romantic Poetry I)
This course is an introduction to the poetry of William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the first generation of Romantic writers. We will spend much of the class discussing the literary innovations, technical features, and prosodic effects of the poems as perceived by the poets themselves, contemporary critics, and later critics and scholars. We will also study particular instances of poetry publication in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, reflecting upon the placements of poems in books or magazines, the different materials used in publishing, and the socio-cultural networks, the imagined communities, that emerge with the various practices of making, publishing, reading, revising, republishing, rereading, and interpreting poetry. Texts: William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience; Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads; Coleridge, Poetry and Prose; Wordsworth, The Prelude.
333 A (English Novel: Early & Middle 19th C.)
Most people who have never read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—and many who have—fail to put the correct name on the Monster. Why? Well, first of all, he hasn’t any name. What a start in life! No name. In traditional usage that expression—“no name”—would mean that he is (pick your favorite euphemism) Illegitimate. This, or something very much like it, is the starting point of many notable careers in 19th century fiction where we are obliged to follow the trajectory of numerous orphans and bastards whose initial grip on personal identity is thin. They hardly can be said to have names. Dickens’ Great Expectations begins with a boy whose first and last names collapse into a single syllable—Pip—examining the names of his all-but-forgotten parents on their tombstone. He is never called by his father’s family name. Our close reading of four novels written in the first half of the 19th century will permit us to observe the making of a modern identity from which we, at the beginning of the 21st century have not emerged. Who we are and who we are to become depends—or so the story goes—more on our education than on birth and name. This will, then, be a study of education, identity, and the English novel. Lecture and discussion, short essays on each novel with a comprehensive essay at the end of the quarter. Texts: Jane Austen, Emma; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; supplementary readings on Electronic Reserve.
336 A (English Literature: The Early Modern Period)
This class introduces the student to modernism, primarily its fiction, appearing in Britain in the first three decades of the Twentieth century. Our focus will be on embodiment: what constitutes a body, a “self,” or a psyche for these various authors? Can you have a body without having a mind – or vice versa – and if so, which is preferable? Do the characters bleed or do they crackle with electricity? What is at stake in such distinctions? In addition to paying attention to individual bodies, we will focus on depictions of groups of bodies, which is to say crowds. Our focus will be fiction, with one dip, via Eliot, into poetry. The emphasis will be on historical interpretation grounded in formal analysis. Active participation is mandatory: following introductory lectures, we will use discussion as the primary means by which to get at the material. Therefore as we explore the stakes of embodiment, your own body – and presumably your mind or a viable facsimile thereof – must be in the classroom. Readings will include Conrad, D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, Evelyn Waugh; and perhaps Huxley, Ivy-Compton Burnett, and the entirely overlooked Welsh writer, Caradoc Evans. Texts: Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Lawrence, Sons and Lovers; Joyce, Dubliners; Eliot, Selected Poems; Waugh, A Handful of Dust; Huxley, Crome Yellow.
337 A (The Modern Novel)
How do modern novels establish ideas about modern life? In the course of reading a number of transatlantic novels of literary modernism, we will consider how literary form shapes a vision of what it means to be modern – and what the characteristics and conditions of the so-called modern or modernist novel are in the first place. Within this framework, we’ll entertain such questions as: what modern consciousness is, and how it can be accessed or understood; how history, politics and economics are incorporated into literary depictions (and critiques of modern life; narrative form and strategy, and the interfaces between author, narrator, text and reader; how modern fiction poses questions of gender, race, ethnicity and imperial relations; and (given the transatlanticism of our reading list) the status of the nation and national cultural identity. Those unfamiliar with modern malaise will be acquainted with it by the end of the course. The diverse and often technically experimental styles of these texts require careful close reading, so be prepared for lots of that. Texts: Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Virginia Woolf, The Waves; Jean Rhys, Quartet; Djuna Barnes, Nightwood; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God.
342 A (Contemporary Novel)
Something other than Other. The theme of this course centers on representations of mixed-race identities in contemporary American novels. Hybrid and ambiguous, multiracial bodies often resist easy categorization as they are impossible to fix, locate or pin down. In doing this, they also tend to defamiliarize and destabilize the very concept of “race” itself. In the U.S. cultural imaginary, mixed-race bodies are often seen as impure “mongrels” that threaten the U.S. national narrative, while simultaneously embodying the melting-pot ideals of an immigrant nation. In this course, we will discuss and analyze the deeply ambivalent representations of mixed race identities as they emerge in both contemporary American literature and film. We will discuss and deconstruct what they signify: how they reflect, that is, both desires for and fears of racial mixing in the contemporary U.S. multiculture. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats; Alejandro Morales, The Rag Doll Plagues; Octavia Butler, Imago; Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash; Danzy Senna, Caucasia; J. Ifekwuniqwe, ed., Mixed Race Studies: A Reader; photocopied course packet.
345 A (Studies in Film)
We will concentrate on films that portray the relationship between humans and technology. Our investigation of the visual language filmmakers use to represent technology 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 technology. Throughout the quarter, we will examine how films about technology both draw on and shape contemporary cultural notions of technology. The first part of the course focuses on early cinematic paradigms of technology. The second explores satires and critiques of technology and technological societies, and the third analyzes the melding of human and machine. Students in the course work toward several goals: learning how to read film both formally and contextually and developing as critical thinkers and writers. Course activities promote active learning, with most class sessions including a mix of mini-lectures, discussion, and group work. My role is to provide the tools and resources you will need to advance your own thinking and writing. I will pose questions, design activities to help you think through these questions, and respond to your ideas. Your role is to do the hard work—the critical reading, discussion, and writing. You will analyze films, generate ideas in electronic and face-to-face discussions, verbally analyze a film clip, construct written arguments, and revise those arguments. Coursework will include class discussion, electronic discussion, clip presentation, midterm essay and final project. For more information, click on: http://faculty.washington.edu/kgb/cinetech/
346 A (Studies in Short Fiction)
TTh 4:30-6:20 pm (Evening Degree)
"NOVEL, n. A short story padded."
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911
This class in short fiction celebrates the shorter narrative, both the writing and the reading of it. Ambrose Bierce will be one of the “unpadded” writers we read, as will be the film adaptation of his story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” After that, we will be reading primarily modern and contemporary short stories, and, when appropriate, their film adaptations. Course requirements include engaged critical discussion, short written analyses of stories and their readers’ receptions, and a final examination. Evening Degree students only. Texts: Ann Charters, The Story and its Writer, 7th ed.; photocopied course packet.
350 A (Traditions in American Fiction)
It is an accepted fact today that our nation first achieved a distinct cultural voice in the mid-19th century, a period dubbed the “American Renaissance.” Yet while Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Whitman, and Melville are now revered as the bedrocks of our national literature, these men achieved their iconic status due to the concerted efforts of Cold War literary critics, who desired to identify a period in the past that might restore a sense of American dignity and drive in a new age of atomic nihilism. This course is designed to critically examine how the idea of an American Renaissance was a response and salve to the fears and uneasiness of a post-WWII United States. The roots we revere, in other words, say as much about our present as it does the past. As history always dialogues with the current, we will examine how and why the themes of slavery and the seductions of idealism were resonant in both the 1850s and 1950s, and explore how they continue to haunt our contemporary moment. We will also explore who was included in the American Renaissance and why, as a way of interrogating how our search for tradition is a sensitive barometer of our trepidations and ambitions for the nation. The course’s tracing of American literature’s long-standing contemplation of certain themes is key to understanding the forces that bond our nation, and at what costs. Some of the texts we will be covering this quarter are: Frederick Douglass, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Herman Melville, Billy Budd; Philip Roth, The Human Stain; Richard Condon, The Manchurian Candidate; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.
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. 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. John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of 18th-Century American Life; Hannah Foster, The Coquette; Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories.
352 A (American Literature: The Early Nation)
MW 4:30-6:20 pm (Evening Degree)
Conflicting visions of the national destiny and the individual identity in the early years of America's nationhood (Evening Degree students only.) Texts: Margaret Fuller, Summer on the Lakes; 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, The Portable Emerson; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick.
353 A (American Literature: Later 19th C.)
Americans on Display. After the Civil War, many Americans found themselves in the midst of large-scale social, political, economic and cultural transformations. Although the slave system was dismantled by Reconstruction, new forms of control emerged to maintain racist hierarchies. Women activists, who had been central to the temperance and abolitionist movements, began to seek real political power through suffrage. Cities grew as immigration increased, creating a new kind of urban poverty. New industries, new inventions and a new emphasis on commerce meant that more people worked, lived and played with machines. These events changed life for many Americans in concrete , material ways but also in “imaginary” ways. Even abstract or seemingly distant political incidents and artistic enterprises had close-to-home effects, via technologies like photography, cinema and mass-market publication. Americans were bombarded with images of the new, but it was also through images that they attempted to hold on to old values and familiar ideas. In other words, people at this time began to live in a world increasingly organized by visual display. Displays of bodies, skin, clothing, household décor and even nature were coded exhibitions of self-hood, race, gender, power and nationality; but equally important were the sights that were not or could not be exhibited. In this environment, the relationship between words and images became more complex, as writers responded to the new visual phenomena and the altered landscapes of everyday life. In this course we will examine texts and images from the Civil War through the early years of the twentieth century that reflect and reflect on these American displays through different strategies of visibility and invisibility. Texts: Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. C (1865-1914), 6th ed.; Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins; Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie.
354 A (American Literature: The Early Modern Period)
This course will focus on some of the social and cultural contexts that shape American literature produced around the First World War. Our goal will be to trace representations concerning wartime or postwar experience, along with a tumultuous social/civic scene at home, in order to consider how they might articulate the stakes of America’s emergence into a new modern era. Required texts likely to include: Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Wharton, A Son at the Front; Cather, One of Ours; Toomer, Cane; Fauset, There is Confusion; Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night. Additional readings are likely to be available through electronic reserve.
361 A (American Political Culture: After 1865)
American Environmentalisms. Perhaps no movement has such widespread appeal as environmentalism. As Earth Day is celebrated by schoolchildren nationwide and hybrid SUVs dominate carpools, “green” has become mainstream. But even if nearly everyone is an environmentalist these days, what that means varies widely – from liberal environmentalism to deep ecology, from environmental management to environmental justice. In this course, we will explore some of the various environmentalisms that have comprised the “environmental movement” in the U.S. Though we will touch on issues of the early to mid-twentieth-century, our focus will be from Silent Spring to the present. We will ask: What impact have environmental movements had on American literature and literary theory? What notions of “nature” and “culture” have different environmentalisms favored? What constitutes “politics” for environmentalists? How do environmental practices counter or reinforce dominant political, economic, and social systems? Course requirements include attentive reading, active participation in discussion, group presentations, response papers, and midterm and final papers. Texts: Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang; Octavia Butler, Dawn; Don DeLillo, White Noise; Karen Tei Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest; Ruth Ozeki, All Over Creation; photocopied course packet.
368 A (Women Writers)
Women Writing Friendship. What are the delights, frustrations, complications and emotions of women’s friendships? In this class, we’ll read modern and contemporary novels by women that take up the dynamics of friendship of all sorts – with other women, with men, and maybe with pets as well; and across lines of age and race. We’ll ask such questions as: do women and men form friendships differently? Can people who have been lovers then be friends? What happens to emotional intimacy in moments of betrayal? Can your closest friend also be part of your family? What builds trust and what breaks it? Discussion will be at the heart of what we do, so come expecting lots of talk and lively differences of opinion. You’ll be thinking on paper too, in short responses and a longer seminar paper tailored to your own goals (or, if you prefer, two shorter papers); and giving a class presentation with others. Texts: Mako Yoshikawa, Once Removed; Zoe Heller, What Was She Thinking: Notes on a Scandal; Nella Larsen, Passing; Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan; Mary Gaitskill, Veronica; Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Apprentice; Toni Morrison, Sula.
370 A (English Language Study)
This course will introduce in some detail the various ways we can study and understand human language. Concentrating on English, the course will examine systematic ways linguists and language historians have of describing essential features of language and its many contexts. We’ll look carefully, for instance, at elements of the structure, style, syntax, and history of English. We will consider words and their sounds, their origins and development. We’ll make a start at discussions of dialects and Standard English; prescriptive and descriptive grammars; and various social aspects of language use and language policy. The goal of the course will be to provide the foundations for students to develop familiarity and confidence in describing what language is and how it works. Assignments that will help them demonstrate some competence in those topics include: oral and written classroom exercises, short essays and reports, and a final exam. Text: Fromkin, Rodman, & Hyams, An Introduction to Language, 8th ed.
373 A (History of the English Language)
The story of English tells of the dramatic changes to the English language over the past 1200 years. We will study the stages in the development of English (Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English and Present-Day English) to consider changes in the sound and construction of the language. We will encounter questions like the following: Why is “knee” spelled with a “k” and “gnaw” with a “g”? Why do other languages have masculine and feminine categories of nouns, but not English? If Shoes is the plural form of shoe and dogs the plural form of dog, why isn’t childs the plural form of child? Why do the Wiggles speak differently from Snoop Dogg? The goal of this course is to create proficiency in the phonological, syntactic, morphological, sociolinguistic and pragmatic evolution of English. To this end, course work will consist of frequent short assignments, two short papers, a midterm and a final. Prerequisite: ENGL 370. Text: C. M. Millward, A Biography of the English Language.
381 A (Advanced Expository Writing)
Marco Polo and Mark Twain are just a couple examples of travel writers who, through their rendition of faraway locations in persuasive prose, radically altered how readers pictured the world. Through descriptions of people encountered and landscapes traversed, travel writers familiarize, exoticise, or destabilize the unknown in order to transform places into culturally significant landmarks in the imagination of their armchair readers. As a genre, travel writing is an excellent illustration of the immediate power of prose and lends itself well to the study of the effective use of words. In this class, we will analyze some signature pieces of this genre as a way to develop our own prose styles. Classwork will consist of discussion of various essays and peer critiques of student writing. Texts: Tim Cahill, The Best American Travel Writing 2006 (required); Louise Purwin Zobel, The Travel Writer’s Handbook (optional).
383 A (Craft of Verse)
Mon. 3:30-6:20 pm
This class will consist of intensive study of various aspects of the craft of verse, including but not limited to image, narrative, syntax, sentence, line and sound. Readings in contemporary verse will be studied closely with a view toward student writing that uses emulation and imitation. Although student response will be primarily creative, a large component of the class will focus on reading as a writer. Prerequisites: ENGL 283, ENGL 384. Text: photocopied course packet.
383 B (Craft of Verse)
In this course, the work of producing and critiquing original poetry will be intertwined with the study of lyric poetry across several centuries – poets whose work we will examine and respond to in a collective effort to cultivate affinity and acquire technique. Prerequisite: ENGL 283; ENGL 284. Texts: Parina, The Wadsworth Anthology of Poetry; photocopied course packet.
384 A (Craft of Prose)
In this course students will read dozens of short, exemplary pieces of prose and write – in response – their own short pieces (fiction and nonfiction and blurred-genre). The goal of the course is for students to become aware of the possibilities available to the contemporary prose writer and learn key structural principles of effective composition. Text: photocopied course packet.
384 B (Craft of Prose)
Have you mountain-biked in the Golden Triangle? Rafted on the Amazon? Gone eco-touristing in the Galapagos? Hiked the Pacific Crest Trail? Traveled far and returned to wan tto tell the tale? In this class we will study the non-fiction travel memoir by reading contemporary examples (Byron, Chatwin, Rushdie and others) to study the techniques and stylistic devices of the genre. These lessons will then be put into practice in your own essays and stories. Since the travel essay is a form in which the border between fact and fiction is extremely permeable, students need not have traveled any farther than Spokane to take this class. Prerequisites: ENGL 283, 284. Texts: Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia; Robert Byron, The Road to Oxiana; Salmon Rushdie, The Jaguar Smile.