Course Descriptions (as of 25 August 1998)
The following course descriptions have been written by individual instructors to provide more detailed information on specific sections than 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.)
430A (British Writers: Studies in Major Authors)
William Blake. This course will concentrate on reading William Blake's poetry, particularly his engraved works. Class participation essential; each student will write at least one short and one long paper. Seminar format. Texts: Blake, Complete Poetry and Prose, rev. ed.; The Songs of Innocence and Of Experience; The Book of Urizen; The Marriage of Hevaen and Hell. Course added 6/30/98. SLN: 9021.
440 A (Special Studies in Literature)
Reading the Urban Experience. This course is designed as a two-quarter sequence on representations of the city in early modern and modern Europe. Students may take either quarter independently, but taking the entire sequence is strongly recommended. The premise of the course is that the city is the central space of modernity. By reading a wide variety of literary and cultural texts from the 15th to the 20th century, we will address the very different meanings of "the modern" in different historical periods. Our readings will be informed by architectural theory, art history, and, of course, social and cultural history. Class discussions will focus on issues of class, space, subjectivity, and agency. The first part of the course will trace the connections between the emergence of centralized states and the central city. We will focus on the national theater in Spain and England, and consider also such urban genres as the picaresque and the royal entry. Some of the main questions we will consider are: "What is the relationship of European cities to Rome as a literary, imperial, and urban center?" "How do these early modern cities facilitate the transformation and 'self-fashioning' of their inhabitants?" "How do European cities become the centers for colonial expansion?" "How is royal power represented in coronations, processions, or pageants?" Texts will include: Fernando de Rojas, Celestina; François Rabelais, Pantagruel; Anon., Lazarillo de Tormes; Miguel de Cervantes, "Rinconete and Cortadillo"; Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair; Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton, The Roaring Girl; Tirso de Molina, Don Gil of the Green Breeches; selected royal entries, processions, pageants. (Meets Pd. 2 requirement for majors.)
471 A (The Composition Process)
Two central questions focus this course: (1) what cognitive and psychological processes are set in motion when individuals are given writing assignments? and (2) how can composition teachers ensure that students' experiences of those processes are productive and rewarding? We'll explore theories informing practices in the composition classroom, beginning with Aristotle's Rhetoric and moving through contemporary developments. And we'll pay attention to how the practical concerns of the classroom and our own experiences composing texts determine the sorts of knowledge needed to be an effective teacher of composition. Add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL . Texts: Aristotle, The Rhetoric and Poetics of Aristotle (intro. by E. P. J. Corbett); Lad Tobin, Writing Relationships: What Really Happens in the Composition Class; James Moffett, Teaching the Universe of Discourse; Mark Wiley, et al., eds., Composition in Four Keys: Inquiring into the Field.
473 A (Current Developments in English Studies)
Cross-Cultural Communication. Texts: Valdes, Culture Bound; Coleman, ed., Society and the Language Classroom; Seelye, Teaching Culture: Strategies for Intercultural Communication; optional: Seelye, Experiential Activities for Intercultural Learning, Vol. 1.
483 A (Advanced Verse Writing)
Explore poetic techniques that strengthen voice, such as metaphor, rhythm, and various patterns of repetition. Class will stress class reading as well as writing poetry. Prerequisite: ENGL 383 and writing sample to be screened by instructor. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 Padelford, (206) 543-9865, open 11-3 daily. Text: Buckley/Merrill, What Will Suffice: Contemporary American Poets on the Art of Poetry.
484 U (Advanced Short Story Writing)
Tues 4:30-7:10 pm
This is the last in the undergraduate sequence of short story workshops; entry will only be allowed for student writers who demonstrate real familiarity with the fundamentals of short fiction, and who have both specific ambitions as a story writer, and the capacity to work independently. Exemplary readings, written student critiques, and formal introductions to fictional work will also be required, as well as a conscientious willingness to help other students with their manuscripts. Fiction writing is a serious way of knowing the world, and no time will be squandered on analyzing the strictly commercial marketplace, or on how one might reduplicate fiction whose only function is the passing of time or the making of money. No texts. Prerequisite: ENGL 384 and writing sample to be screened by instructor. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 Padelford, open 11-3 daily.
485 A (Novel Writing)
MW 12:30-1:50 (NOTE NEW TIME!)
Students will learn how to conceive, write, re-write, and read novels. Prerequisite: ENGL 384 or 484 and writing sample to be screened by instructor. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 Padelford, open 11-3 daily. Texts: Kundera, Art of the Novel; Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Supervised experience in local businesses and other agencies. Open only to upper-division English majors. Credit/no credit only. Prerequisite: 25 credits in English. Add codes and further information in English advising office, A-2-B Padelford.
492A (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 and further information available in Undergraduate Programs office, A-11 Padelford.
493A (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 and further information available in Creative Writing office, B-25 Padelford, open 11-3 daily.
494 A (Honors Seminar)
On Difficulty. This course is designed to consider the current state of literary studies (criticism and theory) as a kind of introduction to the English Honors Program. Rather than give a broad overview of the various approaches to literature, I want to look at two specific and difficult novels--Toni Morrison's Beloved and William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!-in order to understand what makes them difficult and how we as readers can approach their difficulty. Both novels are about family, history, and memory, and both novels are about the difficulty in telling stories. This course will incorporate a variety of reading strategies, including historical research, textual analysis, and contemporary literary theory as ways to introduce students to particular critical practices as well as to some consideration of the institutions of criticism. I hope that by the end of the course, students will feel more confident in their critical skills, have a clearer understanding of some of the major theoretical terms, and appreciate the difficulty and rewards of intense engagement with literature. Add codes in Undergraduate Programs office, A-11 PDL. Honors English majors only. Texts: Lentricchia & McLaughlin, Critical Terms for Literary Study, 2nd ed.; Morrison, Beloved; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
495 A (Major Conference for Honors in Creative Writing)
[Special projects available to honors students in creative writing. Required of, and limited to, honors students in creative writing.] Add codes in Undergraduate Programs office, A-11 PDL.
496A (Major Conference for Honors)
Individual study (reading, papers) by arrangement with the instructor. Required of and limited to honors seniors in English. Instructor codes and further information in Undergraduate Programs office, A-11 Padelford.
497/498 A (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 10:30-12:20 (W)
Theory of Genre: Romance and Realism. An exploration of the interplay in the English novel of two seemingly antithetical representational modalities: romance and social/domestic realism. As an introduction to the genre of romance, we will begin with a work by the most famous writer of medieval romances, Chrétien de Troyes, followed by the book generally considered the first Gothic romance, The Castle of Otranto. We will then read Jane Austen's Emma as an example of domestic (or domesticized) realism, and Jane Eyre as an instance of the mixture of romance and domestic realism. We will also read a number of theoretical texts, both historical and modern, in which critics struggle with the definitions of romance and realism. Senior English majors only. Texts: Chretien de Troyes, Yvain, or The Knight With the Lion; Walpole, Castle of Otranto; Austen, Emma; E. Bronte, Wuthering Heights; C. Bronte, Jane Eyre.
497/498 B (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 11:30-1:20 (W)
Coleridge and Wordsworth: Literary Rivalry and the Problem of Identity. In this seminar we will study the literary relationship of Coleridge and Wordsworth who, as one critic remarked, "Not only pervasively influenced one another, they did so in a way that challenges ordinary methods of assessment." We will proceed chronologically, focusing on works in which Coleridge and Wordsworth, while desiring to imitate each other, find themselves subverting each other's beliefs and appropriating each other's subjects. Such moments of merging and separation are particularly instructive, showing the extent to which Coleridge's and Wordsworth's literary careers were shaped by what each took to be the identity of the other, often misconceived through the distorting lens of self-projections. In addition to major works such as the Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude and Biographia Literaria, we will study the multiple versions of early poems such as Wordsworth's "Salisbury Plain," which are an important source of understanding the origins of their literary collaboration. We will also read a few texts on gift exchange and sacrifice and test the possibility of deriving from them a new model of literary influence that would address the nature of this altogether unusual relationship. Assignments: two papers (subject to revisions); a final; biographical reports; and occasional take-home comments (1-2 pages) on assigned readings. Senior English majors only. Texts: The Oxford Authors: S. T. Coleridge; The Oxford Authors: William Wordsworth; Marcel Mauss, The Gift; Rene Girard, Violence and the Sacred; Paul Magnuson, Wordsworth and Coleridge: A Lyrical Dialogue.
497/498 C (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 12:30-2:20 (W)
Work and Meaning. In this seminar we will focus our reading on the relationship between work and meaning, beginning with Melville's anticipation of major alienations and dispossessions of the 20th century wrought by the changing nature of work. Taking this reading list itself as a narrative, we'll employ intertextual echoes--for example, between Miller and Melville, Snyder and Steinbeck--to consider how the nature of work and its relationship to meaning both change and persist over time, and imagine possible futures in this narrative of the nature of work and its relationship to meaning. Texts: Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener; Robertson, The Orchard; Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath; Miller, Death of a Salesman; Snyder, The Cliff Walk. Plus one additional work of the student's choosing. (Interested in helping to design this seminar? Contact me to talk about your ideas and the possibility of an independent study for Summer. (Kim Johnson Bogart, Box 353760, 543-2618, firstname.lastname@example.org)) Senior English majors only.
497/498 D (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 1:30-3:20 (W)
Constitutional Fictions: The Cultural Jurisprudence of Race, Rights, and Citizenship in Late 19th- and early 20th-Century American law and Literature. In this class we're going to read some literature, watch a film, and study some law. In these diverse materials, we'll examine the figuration of race, politics, and notions of equity. We'll consider what the different discourses have to say to each other and what role these particular texts have had in shaping our sense of justice and civic virtue. The texts include Plessy v. Ferguson, D. W. Griffiths's "The Birth of a Nation," Pauline Hopkins's Contending Forces, and Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, among others. Texts: Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn; Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces; James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery. Senior English majors only.
497/498 F (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 10:30-12:20 (W)
Blood. This class will explore literary representations of blood in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British texts. We will supplement this reading with scientific and scientistic approaches to this peculiar substance. Our focus will be on what blood carries-pathology, gender, evidence, nationality-and how such distinctions come to be made. We will engage in a mixture of close reading and genealogical interpretation: what characteristics does one text inherit from another in its depiction of blood? This is a discussion course, so if blood makes you squeamish and squeamish makes you silent, this is not the class for you. Senior English majors only. Readings will include Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors; Bram Stoker, Dracula; Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet; Weininger, Sex and Character; Sander Gilman, Difference and Pathology; D. H. Lawrence, Women in Love; Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness; H. G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau; and Blast (a journal).
497/498 G (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 11:30-1:20 (W)
William Blake and the Bible. This is a course with two subjects: (1) reading the Bible, especially biblical narratives (like Genesis and the Gospels) and biblical poetry (like Job and Isaiah), and (2) reading William Blake. We'll be reading a number of works by Blake: Songs of Innocence and Experience, Marriage of Heaven and Hell, some short prophetic works, The Everlasting Gospel, Cain and Abel, his illustrated Book of Job, and parts of Jerusalem. What brings these two subjects together are Blake's view that the Bible is "the great code of art," his magnificent illustrations of the Bible, his use and revision of biblical stories, and his stance as biblical prophet. There will be papers, in-class reports, and discussions. Senior English majors only. Texts: John and Grand, eds., Blake's Poetry and Designs; Blake, The Book of Urizen; Songs of Innocence; Songs of Experience; Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Blake's Illustrations for the Book of Job; The Bible (Old and New Testament; any good translation, e.g., New Revised Standard Version or King James (Authorized) Version). Senior English majors only.
497/498 H (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 12:30-2:20 (W)
Race and American Life and Literature. This is a seminar in which we will explore race as a central fact of American life through some of the many ways it is expressed in literature. We will begin with Huckleberry Finn, a text central to the tradition, and the running controversy that has dogged it for the more than a century since its first publication, and then move on to some further texts: DuBois, Souls of Black Folks, Larsen, Passing; Bulosan, America is in the Heart; and Fenkl, Memories of My Ghost Brother. Against these literary worlds we will examine, text and evaluate our own lives and believes. Out of your experience, most notably the past several years of academic life, and your reading, you will, through class presentation and discussion, develop an essay based upon your personal experience (being) as that has been, in some larger part at least, defined for you by a specific "work of literature or philosophy, of imagination or doctrine." Senior English majors only. Texts: Twain, Mississippi Writings (ed. Cardwell); DuBois, Writings (ed. Huggins); Larsen, Quicksand and Passing; Bulosan, America is in the Heart; Frankl, Memories of my Ghost Brother; optional: Lang, Writing and the Moral Self.
497/498 I (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 1:30-3:20 (W)
Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Joy and Other Emotions I Have Known While Reading and Living. This is a course about emotional responses to literature (and some film). Its point is to explore the intense reactions we have to some things we read and view, and to try to understand exactly what they are, and why we have them. We'll read fiction and poetry (mostly from modern and contemporary writers) together with essays about emotions, feelings, and affects from other disciplines including psychology, communications, and anthropology. We'll take up some provocative questions: What does it mean to "identify" with a character, really? How much of our own lives do we read into a character's life? What does it mean to "escape" into a book? Why would someone want to do that, anyway? What does "being moved" by something we read/view involve? How do we account for the bodily responses that sometimes accompany intense emotional responses? Students will choose between writing two shorter or one longer paper, and will give a class presentation. Participation in discussion is required. So are lively opinions, and an interest in this topic..Texts: Jeanette Winterson, The Passion; Oni Morrison, Sula; Tim O'Brien, In the Lake of the Woods.
497/498 YA (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 7-8:50 pm (W)
Literary Alternatives to Mainstream America in the Nineteenth Century. We'll begin by studying efforts to create mainstream, middle-class models of nineteenth-century American life: safely stereotypic visions of national culture and experience promoted through popular "fireside poetry," Currier and Ives engravings, and other art forms. Then we'll explore, in dramatic contrast, a series of literary texts in which the meaning of America is hazarded into an agitated interplay of perspectives, in which voices excluded from the official cultural mainstream are attended to, and in which otherwise neglected aspects of the historical moment are granted visibility We'll be studying the battle between stereotype and underlying social complexity, between the official cultural mainstream and what it would exile to its margins, as this battle is fought in novels and biographies, poems, and tales. Readings in Douglass, Fuller, Whittier, Whitman, Thoreau, Melville, Hawthorne, Rebecca Harding Davis, Chopin, and Crane. Texts: Fuller, The Essential Margaret Fuller; Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave; Thoreau, The Portable Thoreau; Davis, Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories; Chopin, The Awakening and Selected Stories; Crane, The Portable Stephen Crane; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Portable Hawthorne. Senior Evening Degree English majors only.
499A (Independent Study)
Individual study by arrangement with instructor. Instructor codes and further information in Undergraduate Programs office, A-11 Padelford.