400-Level Courses

(Last updated: 13 September 2005)

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.


407 A (Special Topics in Cultural Studies)
TTh 11:30-1:20
Comic Books and Graphic Novels. The goals of this course will be to examine the generic diversity of the American comic book as a hybrid medium of visual art and print fiction, as well as to discuss in detail specific examples of the medium and its potential, using Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. The first half of the course will provide a historical introduction, while the second half will focus on close readings of a selection of important texts from the mid-1980s to the present. Readings for the course will include some examples of early newspaper strips (probably George Herriman’s Krazy Kat and Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland, to exemplify the ways in which the value hierarchy of high art and mass culture has been challenged in this medium; the early superhero comic Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man), the explosion of other genres in the late 1940s and 50s (romance, war, western, science fiction, horror, true crime); later “revisionist” superhero narratives; alternative comics; and the resurgence of some alternative genres in the contemporary period. Texts for the course will be purchased from a comics store, and may include Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics; Frank Miller, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns; Alan Moore and Gene Ha, Top 10, Vol. 1; Grant Geissman, Foul Play: The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s EC Comics; Alan Moore and Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben, The Saga of the Swamp Thing; Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan: Lust for Life; Roberta Gregory, Life’s a Bitch; Ho Che Anderson, King. (McCloud, Understanding Comics, may also be available from University Bookstore.)

422 A (Arthurian Legends)
MW 4:30-6:20 pm (Evening Degree)
This course will explore a diverse group of texts recounting the fictive exploits of the women and men of Arthur’s court. Students will read and discuss a range of important works (in prose and verse) treating these legends, including works by a range of neglected early British writers who were active before the codification of the Arthurian “universe”; works composed by and for medieval women; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; episodes from Malory; and a selection of non-canonical items. Course requirements will include a mid-term, final, and major term paper. (Evening Degree students only.) Texts: Thorpe, tr., Geoffrey of Monmouth: The History of the Kings of Britain; Lawman, Brut (tr. Allen); Weiss, tr., Wace’s ‘Roman de Brut’; Marie de France, Lais (tr. Hanning & Ferrante); Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances; Winny, ed., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Malory, Le Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript (ed. Cooper).

430 A (British Writers: Studies in Major Authors)
MW 1:30-3:20
James Joyce’s Ulysses. This course, designed for advanced undergraduates and graduate students, will be devoted to an intensive reading of Joyce’s Ulysses. The primary goal is simply to get a handle on Joyce’s sprawling modernist novel, but we’ll also survey some recent critical approaches to the text. Coursework will include weekly quizzes, a group project and presentation on one specific critical approach, and an 8-10 page final paper. Previous Joyce experience useful, but not required; doing an initial reading of the first few chapters prior to the first class is strongly encouraged. (Meets with C LIT 496A) Texts: James Joyce, Ulysses: The Corrected Text; Harry Blamires, The Bloomsday Book; Hugh Kenner, Joyce’s Voices; recommended: Don Gifford, Ulysses Annotated.

471 A (The Composition Process)
MW 12:30-2:20
This course introduces prospective English teachers and others interested in the study and teaching of writing to some of the major theories that drive contemporary composition instruction. With an eye on pedagogies of the last forty years or so, we’ll discuss and examine
the staying power of the process approach and, ideally, explore a range of theories and practices of teaching writing that will inform the work you will do in your own classroom. Additionally, we’ll address how demands at both the state and federal levels for more, better assessments and teacher accountability have shaped curriculum and instruction. Course work will most likely include weekly short reading responses, a group project and presentation, teaching assignments of your own design, a mid-term, and your welcomed, consistent participation. Add codes in English Advising office. Texts: Joseph Harris, A Teaching Subject: Composition Since 1966; photocopied course pack.

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 learn how to help others with their writing while getting paid. The Dept. of English Writing Center is looking for experienced student to enroll for this Autumn. Students will 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 ENGL major requirements; it functions purely as a general elective toward the 180 total credits required for graduation.

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 11:30-1:20
Building the American Dream House. Befitting the overall theme of "Aesthetics and Power" for 2005-06 honors program, this course will consider a series of American houses for the narrative beauties they display and the forms of social control they represent. Houses have come to represent both the formal beauties of literature (as in Henry James' "house of fiction") as well as the fate of the nation (as in Lincoln's "house divided" speech). The houses we visit will offer us the occasions to think about what goes into constructing both novel and nation as well as the kinds of families that come to settle in them. In particular, the course will require students to think historically, as they encounter the specific social conditions out of which these houses are built, and theoretically, as students come to engage the theories of race, class, and gender that help us think through what makes fictional houses model for, or critiques of, society in general. In short, we work to understand the complex interpenetrations of literature and culture. Among the texts and issues we will engage are: Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, race, and sentiment; Edith Wharton's House of Mirth, class, and realism; Richard Harding Davis's Soldiers of Fortune, imperialism, and popular literature; Toni Morrison's Beloved, the body, and history; Marilynn Robinson's Housekeeping, consumption, and literary production. And last, but not least, Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House, starring Cary Grant. In addition to these texts, we will be considering a set of historical and theoretical readings to complement and complicate our understandings of both literature and culture. Honors ENGL majors only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Texts: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Edith Wharton, House of Mirth; Richard Harding Davis, Soldiers of Fortune; Marilynn Robinson, Housekeeping; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

494 B (Honors Seminar)
TTh 2:30-4:20
Aesthetics and Politics: The Black Radical Tradition. This course will examine the varying relations between aesthetics and politics by investigating many of the debates that came to define the Black radical tradition. That tradition, defined by social theorist Cedric Robinson, as a critique of the racial and class origins of western capitalism, sought to situate cultural texts and practices as both symptoms of their social contexts and as critical engagements with those contexts. In this course we will examine the innovative cultural practices employed by black writers, artists, activists and thinkers across the twentieth century to disrupt the continued commodification of black bodies and life-worlds even after the formal abolition of slavery. That examination will require us to focus especially on gender and sexuality as sites in which contests over the commodification of black life-worlds were produced. We will also situate this examination within the context of growing U.S. imperialism in the twentieth century, an inextricable aspect of its capitalist urbanization. Honors ENGL majors only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL.

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.

497/498 A (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 9:30-11:20
Reading Literary Economics. In this seminar, we will explore the relationship of literature and economics and develop an understanding of how the two help shape one another. In other words, the course will teach you how to read literature economically and economics literarily. We will concentrate on writing produced in nineteenth-century Britain – a period whose literature is characterized by its attention to the socio-economic and political questions of the age. More specifically, we will look at the ways in which gender comes to bear on nineteenth-century imaginative and poetic economics. For example, we will read the economics of marriage, motherhood, and prostitution alongside the more traditionally “masculine” economics of manufacturing and business. In 1832, Harriet Martineau argued that fictional narrative was the best way to teach economic theory because it provides “pictures” where economic theory provides only “very try arguments.” We will consider the implications of this statement as we study a wide range of texts, including economic theory, novels, and poetry , as well as secondary critical materials. The course requires a substantial amount of reading and writing, including a number of short response papers, a midterm annotated bibliography and a longer (10-15 pp.) final paper. If you have any questions about the course readings or requirements, please contact the instructor at Texts: Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations; J. S. Mill, Principles of Political Economy and Chapters on Socialism; George Eliot, Adam Bede; Charles Dickens, The Christmas Books; Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford; Harriet Martineau, Illustrations of Political Economy; T. R. Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population; recommended: Martha Woodmansee & Mark Osteen, eds., The New Economic Criticism: Studies at the Intersection of Literature and Economics; M. M. Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imaginations. 497: Senior honors ENGL majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 498: senior ENGL majors only.

497/498 B (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 12:30-2:20
Magic Realism. We will examine el realismo magical as coined by Alejo Carpentier, or magic realism in English. We will begin with stories, essays, and poems by Jorge Luis Borges, whose work inspired the magic realist movement, and we will discuss other key Latin American writers in this genre as well as writers working with the form who come from other geographic, social, and political backgrounds. 497: Senior honors ENGL majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 498: senior ENGL majors only. Texts: Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths; Julio Cortazar, Blow Up and Other Stories; Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude; Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, and Other Stories; Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses.

497/498 C (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 1:30-3:20
Voiceovers – Resonance and Contemporary Narratives.

“When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures” --Flannery O’Connor, “The Fiction Writer and His Country”

hooooooo what a fall what a soar what a plummet
what a dash into dark into light what a plunge what a
glide thud crash what a drop what a rush what a swoop
what a fright what a mad hushed skirl what a smash
mush mash-up broke and gashed what a heart in my
mouth what an end.
What a life.
What a time.
What I felt. Then. Gone.

--Ali Smith, Hotel World

What a voice! What a story! What a shock to the senses! That’s what this seminar listens to: voice. How an author creates voice to affect readers’ minds and emotions through the style of language selected to convey particular narrative elements. We will also consider why we as readers choose to amplify some of these voices while others we silence—voices of the living, the dead, the dull and the startling. Chords and discords that echo through conventional genre divisions of literature, culture, rhetoric, feminist linguistics, and ethnography we’ll employ and harken to as a means of framing and discussing texts in this course. Our focus on voice and the ways in which voice resonates in contemporary texts will call into question our views on issues of reading practices and preferences, and their intersections with issues of gender, religion, race, and class. We will spend class time voicing our analyses of voice as it reverberates in all these contexts--on the printed page, via digitized tape, in the inner ears of our imaginations.


Course requirements include discussion, writing critical stylistic analyses (of voice), and audiovisual presentations (you will be modulating your own voice, experimenting with critical voiceovers). Texts will include short stories, feature films, and documentaries. Spine bound texts for purchase at the UW Bookstore will include some or all of the following (list may be updated, so please attend the first day of class before purchasing books): Raymond Carver, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please; Ernesto Che Guevara, et al., Motorcycle Diaries: A Latin American Journey; David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day; Ali Smith, Hotel World; Roddy Doyle, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. (497: Senior honors ENGL majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 498: senior ENGL majors only.)

497/498 D (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 3:30-5:20
Fractured Consciousness in Twentieth-Century American Culture. WITHDRAWN 9/13.

497/498 E (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 9:30-11:20
American Literature and the United States of America. In tthis course we will combine literature, history, and social-political studies to probe the underside of American political culture, those tendencies the guardians of official culture need to repress, deny, minimize, or marginalize in order to sustain the approved sense of America as the redeemer nation. In concentrating on the early twentieth century, we’ll explore such topics as Mencken’s America, Sinclair Lewis’s Elmer Gantry, the Scopes trial, and early twentieth-century evangelicalism; the formative period of consumer capitalism (Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class, Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, selections from Leach’s Land of Desire); American empire and imperialism (Woodrow Wilson, Gore Vidal’s Empire, selections from William Appleman Williams and Emily Rosenberg’s Exporting the American Dream), and responses to World War I (Randolph Bourne, Dos Passos’s The Big Money, Hemingway’s In Our Time). Under the pressure of reality I’ll probably scale down the reading but this gives you an idea of the range and point of view. 497: Senior honors ENGL majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 498: senior ENGL majors only.

497/498 F (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 turbulent decade of modernist experimentalism and dramatic social change. We’ll read the decade’s most famous poem, “The Waste Land,” and 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. 497: Honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts: Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party; T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover; Radcliffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness; Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point.

497/498 I (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Semianr)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Loving/Hating/Reading/Fiction. This is a seminar in the weird pleasures, wild emotions, and secret seductions of reading fiction. How, exactly, do we “take in” fiction? How much control does the author have over how the reader feels while reading? Do we read differently when we’re reading across gender or sexuality or ethnicity? Why do some readers choose puzzle novels while others prefer love stories? Can we love novels if they are about things we hate? How do films “read” stories differently from books? Do we identify which characters who seem in many ways to be our opposites? We’ll read modern and contemporary fictions to try to get some tentative answers to these questions. Discussion will be at the heart of what we do, so come expecting lots of talk and lively differences of opinions. 497: Senior honors ENGL majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 498: senior ENGL majors only. Texts: Italo Calvino, If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Michael Cunningham, The Hours; Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body; Monical Truong, Book of Salt; David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas.

499A (Independent Study)

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

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