400-Level Courses

(Last updated: 14 August 2003)

Notes of Interest

Course Descriptions
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.)

Add Codes
English classes, 300-level and above, require instructor permission for registration during Registration Period 3 (beginning the first day of classes). If students have not registered for a class prior to the first day, they should attend the first class meetings and/or contact the instructor to obtain the necessary add codes.

First Week Attendance
Because of heavy demand for many English classes, students who do not attend all reguarly-scheduled meetings during the first week of the quarter may be dropped from their classes by the department. If students are unable to attend at any point during the first week, they should contact their instructors ahead of time. The Department requests that instructors make reasonable accommodations for students with legitimate reasons for being absent; HOWEVER, THE FINAL DECISION RESTS WITH THE INSTRUCTOR AND SPACE IS NOT GUARANTEED FOR ABSENT STUDENTS EVEN IF THEY CONTACT THE INSTRUCTOR IN ADVANCE.  (Instructors' phone numbers and e-mail addresses can be obtained by calling the Main English Office, (206) 543-2690 or the Undergraduate Advising Office, (206) 543-2634.)

Upper Division (400-level) creative writing courses
Admission to 400-level creative writing courses is by instructor permission.  To receive an add code, prospective students must fill out an information form available in the Creative Writing office (B-25 PDL), present copies of their transcripts verifying that they have taken the appropriate prerequisite classes, and turn in a writing sample for instructor screening.

Senior Seminars
ENGL 497 (Honors Senior Seminar) and ENGL 498 (Senior Seminar) are joint-listed courses; students choose which number to sign up for depending on their individual status. ENGL 497 is restricted to senior honors English majors taking the additional senior seminar required for the departmental honors program. Add codes for ENGL 497 are available in the English Advising office, A-2B Padelford. All other senior English majors should sign up for ENGL 498. Neither ENGL 497 nor ENGL 498 can be taken more than once for credit.


452 A (Topics in American Literature) 
TTh 1:30-3:20

Added 8/14; sln: 9363
Yiddish Culture in America. This course is designed as an introduction to Yiddish culture in America. Students will become familiar with the poetry, short stories, journalism, and film produced in Yiddish in America, with specific attention to the social context in which this culture was produced. We will examine the range of responses Yiddish-speaking writers and artists had to America and explore the role of the Yiddish press as an Americanizing agent, the transformation of Yiddish into a literary language, and how film created new cultural possibilities. We will observe how Yiddish poets confronted a radically different (and rapidly changing) physical landscape as well as an ethnically diverse population. We will also examine perceptions of Yiddish by American scholars and intellectuals. How have attitudes toward Yiddish shifted since the Holocaust? What new subjects emerge in Yiddish literature after the Holocaust? What associations continue to adhere to Yiddish in the 21st century? The course will be balanced between instructor lecture and student discussion of the assigned readings.  Careful reading of the assigned texts, attendance and active participation in class important.  Weekly reading assignments; one short and one long analytical essay; mid-term examination.  Grades will be assigned on the basis of essays, examination, and class participation.  Cross-listed with SISJE 490A; instructor is Hazel D. Cole Fellow, Alisa Braun.  Texts: Singer, Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories; Howe, ed., Treasury of Yiddish Stories.

471 A (The Composition Process) 
MW 1:30-3:20
[Consideration of psychological and formal elements basic to writing and related forms of nonverbal expression and the critical principles that apply to evaluation.]  Add codes available in English Advising, A-2B PDL.

473 A (Current Development in English Studies) 
TTh 1:30-3:20
Language and Gender. 
This course will examine current work on the intersection of language studies with gender in its complex manifestations.  Drawing from feminist linguistics, we’ll begin with Deborah Cameron and Don Kulick’s Language and Sexuality and then work through two collections of readings.  We’ll work on a variety of empirical projects, using the methods of discourse analysis and critical sociolinguistics.  I’ll provide the background in discourse analysis and sociolinguistics for those without previous linguistics or English language coursework.  We’ll ground and frame the empirical projects with some additional readings in theory.  Course requirements include reading responses; one empirical paper, and one theoretical paper, to be combined into a final course paper; and a brief classroom presentation.  (Cross-listed with WOMEN 490C.)  Texts:  Cameron, Deborah, and Don Kulick,  Language and Sexuality; Johnson, Sally, and Ulrike Hanna Meinhof,  Language and Masculinity;  Bergvall, Victoria L., Janet M. Bing, and Alice F. Freed,  Rethinking Language and Gender Research: Theory and Practice.

474 A (Special Topics in English for Teachers)
MW 2:30-4:20


Writing Center Tutor Training.
This class presents an opportunity for students to expand their writing abilities and to learn how to help others with their writing – while getting paid! The Dept. of English Writing Center is looking for experienced students to enroll for Autumn 2003. Students iwll have the opportunity both to read and write about various approaches to tutoring writing, as well as to practice tutoring through conferencing and observation. Then, starting in November, students will have the chance to get hands-on experience tutoring in the English Writing Center.  Students will be paid for this tutoring. N.B.: ENGL 474 does not satisfy English major requirements; it functions purely as a general elective toward the 180 total credits required for graduation.  Add codes available from instructor (Writing Center, B-12 PDL).

479 A (Language Variation and Policy in North America) 
TTh 11:30-1:20
Once we establish a working knowledge of the structure and function of language, this course will examine the social, cultural, and economic forces that have led to the emergence of language variation based on region, gender, race, ethnicity, and class.  Special interest will be paid to on-going discussions about the place of bilingualism and bidialectalism in home, community, and school settings.  We will then explore the ways in which both informal and institutionalized forms of linguistic discrimination affect the degrees of access to education, the labor force, and political institutions available to members of various groups in our society.  Finally, in light of the “new immigration” (i.e., the post-1965 immigration of non-European peoples to this country), we will pay special attention to the impact of both the English Only and the English Plus movements on second-language speakers and learners living in the United States.   Texts: Rosina Lippi-Green, English with an Accent; Walt Wolfram & Natalie Schilling-Estes, American English.

483 A (Advanced Verse Writing)
TTh 1:30-2:50
Intensive study of ways and means of making a poem.  Prerequisite: ENGL 383, writing sample.  Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL. No texts.

484 A (Advanced Short Story Writing) 
MW 3:30-4:50
[Experience with the theory and practice of writing the short story.l  Prerequisite: ENGL 384, writing sample.  Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.  Texts: Mary Gaitskill, Because They Wanted To; KGB Bar Reader; Antonya Nelson, In The Land of Men; Junot Diaz, Drown; Jesse Lee Kercheval, Building Fiction: How to Develop Plot and Structure.

485 U (Novel Writing)
Tues. 4:30-7:10 pm

491 A (Internship)

Supervised experience in local businesses and other agencies.  Open only to upper-division English majors.  Credit/no credit only.  Add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL.

492 A (Advanced Expository Writing Conference)

Tutorial arranged by prior mutual agreement between individual student and instructor.  Revision of manuscripts is emphasized, but new work may also be undertaken.  Instructor codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL.

493 A (Advanced Creative Writing Conference)

Tutorial arranged by prior mutual agreement between individual student and instructor.  Revision of manuscripts is emphasized, but new work may also be undertaken.  Instructor codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.

494 A (Honors Seminar)
TTh 2:30-4:20
Fifties New York.
  During the 1950s, New York supplanted Paris as the center of the international artworld.  This transition coincided with the emergence of a new aesthetic that quickly became known as “postmodernism.”  This seminar will serve as an intensive introduction to this extraordinary moment in U.S. cultural history.  We will be looking at novelists (Bannon, Sorrentino), poets (Ashbery, Baraka, Corso, Ginsberg, O’Hara), intellectuals (Greenberg, Kenan, Sartre, Steinberg, Trilling), composers (Cage, Feldman), and visual artists (Pollock, Johns Rauschenberg).  Other likely topics include underground cinema (Anger, Brakhage), Happenings (Kaprow), and bebop (Parker, Davis, Coltrane).  There will be two required essays; berets and espresso will be optional.  Department Honors students only.  Texts: Ann Bannon, Beebo Brinker; John Cage, Silence; Gilbert Sorrention, Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things; optional: LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Blues People.

495 A (Major Conference for Honors in Creative Writing)
TTh 11:30-1:20
Special projects available to honors students in creative writing. No texts. Required of and limited to honors senior majors in creative writing emphasis. Add codes available in English Advising, A-2B Padelford.

496 A (Major Conference for Honors)

Individual study (reading, papers) by arrangement with the instructor.  Required of, and limited to, honors seniors in English.  Add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL.

497/8 A (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar) 
MW 9:30-11:20
Freud and/as Fiction.
A consideration of Freud's relation to literature, both in his use of literary texts and in his exploitation of literary techniques and forms.  Primary readings will be a handful of seminal Freudian texts on dream interpretation, sexuality, and culture, as well as at least one case history; ancillary readings will include some literary texts of particular importance to Freud (e.g., Oedipus Rex, Hamlet) and some theoretica texts on Freud and fiction (e.g., by Sarah Kofman and Malcolm Bowie).  The course will be concerned not with psychoanalytic literary criticism per se, but with Freud's use of literature in the formulation of his theories.  No prior knowledge of Freud will be assumed, but a knowledge of Sophocles's Oedipus Rex and some Shakesperean tragedies (Hamlet, Macbeth, Lear, Othello) would be helpful.  Class web site:  Texts: Freud, Writings on Art and Literature; Dora; Interpretation of Dreams.

497/8 B (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar) 
MW 10:30-12:20
Comics Literature.  Comics have long been considered a “low” cultural art form.  In this course, we consider comics as a genre worthy of academic attention.  The course offers a whirlwind history of comics: early forms of writing in ancient times, medieval illuminated manuscripts, political satire and caricature, and contemporary comic strips and graphic novels.  The ways in which the interaction of pictures and words produces effects special to this genre will shape our investigations.  We engage in focused study of a relative explosion of late twentieth-century graphic novels globally.  We will read texts by comics writers from around the world – including Japanese, New Zealand, American, and Iranian – about topics and themes as varied as the WWII holocaust, the first Palestinian Intifada, Lesbians and the media, Serbia/Bosnia/Croatian war, racism, the Iranian revolution, incest, apocalypse, and, of course, crimefighting.  Questions of race, class, and gender, and colonialism inform this exploration of a genre that is popularly classified as being a western “white-boy” thing.  Readings include both literary and critical texts.  We will make at least one field trip to view the wonders of comics-related materials in the Suzallo Special Collections.  Assignments include response papers, a creative project and presentation, and a critical research paper and presentation.  Please read Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics before the first day of class.    

497/8 C (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar) 
MW 11:30-1:20 
British Literature on Film. 
This class will examine the theory and practice of film adaptation. Students will encounter British literary works in both book and film forms. Assignments involve completing close readings of books and films, giving oral presentations, applying adaptation theory, and designing a film adaptation.   This is a Computer-Integrated Course. Class sessions alternate between a computer lab and a seminar-style classroom.  Web design is a component of several assignments--basic design skills will be taught in class.  There will be three or more evening film screenings. Films will be on reserve in the Odegaard Media Center for those unable to attend the screenings.  Books and Films:  A Room With a View, Frankenstein, Mansfield Park, Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, and A Christmas Carol.

497/8 D (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 12:30-2:20

Double Consciousness in 20th-Century American Culture.  Beginning with the early 20th-century roots of double consciousness in W.E.B. DuBois’ analysis of African American thought, we will then explore how the metaphor of a dual consciousness has manifested in radical feminist thought, masculinity studies, Chicano and Asian American literary criticism, and popular psychology. A sampling of writers and texts to be included are: W.E.B. DuBois, Gloria Anzaldua, Luce Irigaray, Stanley Sue, Frank Chin, The Three Faces of Eve,  Chuck Palahniuk, and Richard Condon. 

497/8 E (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 1:30-3:20
.  This seminar is an introduction to James Joyce’s Ulysses as the summit of literary modernism.  You will review Joyce’s Irish and European contexts, study Joyce’s methods of composition, and revel in his comic transvaluation of all novelistic values, styles, and humors.  A portion of each meeting will be devoted to the musical “subtext” in Ulysses; opera, Irish street ballads, and turn-of-the-century music-hall favorites.  Desiderata: inkling’s of Joyce’s early work, intimacy with Homer’s Odyssey, interest in sly uses of language.  Students interested in the poetics of the novel (Cervantes, Rabelais, Defoe, Swift, Sterne) are encouraged to enroll in ENGL 329A.  Requirements: five or six brief assignments and a course project involving independent research and resulting in a final paper (15-20 pages).   Texts: James Joyce, Ulysses; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  

497/8 F (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar) 
TTh 9:30-11:20

"Life, friends, is boring.  We must not say so."  -- John Berryman

This course not only will say so, it takes the statement as its opening premise.  Boredom is as familiar an experience as it is alien to an expressive vocabulary.  We will place boredom in different cultural and historical contexts: are there differences between ennui, the blasé, understimulation, acedia, world-weariness, and a case of the yawns?  We will read literary texts that treat the topic thematically, as well as critical assessments of the phenomenon, ranging from sociological to psychological accounts.  Even while attempting to synthesize an account of the experience, we will practice close reading in the spirit of distinguishing what particularly is at stake in each artist's or writer's depiction.  Regardless of the mimetic fallacy, the course is reading and writing intensive.  Students should be close readers, and bring their own coffee.  Texts will include Chekhov, Samuel Beckett, Andy Warhol, Huysman's "Against Nature," Kracauer, Simmel, Patricia Spacks, Evelyn Waugh, J. G. Ballard, Brett Easton Ellis, Wallace Shawn, Thomas Bernhard, and Adam Phillips.

497/8 G (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 10:30-12:20

British Writing of the Nineteen Twenties.
  This seminar will read a variety of works from this decade, ranging from its most famous (and difficult) poem, The Waste Land,  to one of its favorite examples of popular fiction, The Inimitable Jeeves.  We’ll read fiction by Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, and Aldous Huxley, as well as two notorious novels banned by the censors: D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Radcliffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness.  Each student will be assigned an additional “lost” or neglected book as a focus for individual research and writing.  Texts:  Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party;  T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land;  Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway;  P. G. Wodehouse, The Inimitable Jeeves;  D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover; Radcliffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness;  Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point.

497/8 H (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 11:30-1:20
Success and Failure in the American City: Lily Bart and Carrie Meeber.  Published a few years apart, House of Mirth and Sister Carrie are realist novels about two female heroines.  This course will focus on these two novels as a way to understand the social, historical, and literary contexts from which they emerged.  In particular, we will look at the rise of the modern city, the changing class and economic conditions for men and women at the time, and the rise of realism as the predominant mode of writing.  While we will primarily be reading and rereading these novels, there will be corollary texts, including sociology (Veblen on the leisure class), critical essays, and theoretical works (Henri Lefebvre on urban spaces).  By considering only two literary texts, we will have the luxury to read them in depth and to understand their connections to larger social and cultural systems.  Assignments will include in-class work, participation, and a long final project.  Texts: Edith Wharton, House of Mirth;  Carol Singley, Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth: A Casebook; Theodore Dreiser,  Sister Carrie; Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class.

497/8 I (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar) 
TTh 12:30-2:20
Medieval to Renaissance English Literature: From Script to Print, from Orality to Literacy.  In this class we will be examining English literature as it evolves out of the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, and we will focus on two main cultural events: first, the shift from orality to literacy that began taking place during the Anglo Saxon period; and second, the invention of printing as an important technological agent that supercharged textual production. Early English texts are to an extraordinary degree both witnesses and children of their own age, and as we consider how literary texts evolve out of an oral to a literate culture, and out of a manuscript culture to a print culture, the ground rules of textual production, dissemination, and consumption themselves change.  Coursework:  Three quizzes (15% each), class discussion (15%), a class presentation (15%), and a 7-11 page paper (25%).  497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only.  Texts:  Will include the following and perhaps others:  Primary: The Battle of Maldon; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale; Malory’s Morte Darthur; various Sonnets from Petrarch to Shakespeare; The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play; The York Play of the Crucifixion; Everyman; Dr. FaustusSecondary:  Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe;. Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy. Michael Camille, Image on the Edge.

497/8 J (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 1:30-3:20
The Power of Virginia Woolf.  What makes Virginia Woolf live on so vibrantly in the imaginations of others?  Why does she have such passionate fans?  Movies are made about her; plays refer to her even when they are not about her; actors dress as she did and take to the road inone-woman shows.  In this course we’ll try to figure out why Woolf’s life and work have captured so many contemporary readers.  Is it her thoughts on war?  On the fluidity of gender and sexuality?  On women as writers?  On the politics of class?  Or is it her complicated life story, full of successes, but also of anguish?  We’ll read a selection of her fiction, and autobiographical writing as well as some recent essays and film tributes by those drawn to her work, her life, and her fascinating reputation.

499A (Independent Study)

[Individual study by arrangement with instructor.]  Add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL.

to home page
top of page