Course Descriptions (as of March 24, 2000)
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.)
To Spring 200-level courses
To Spring 300-level courses
To 1999-2000 Senior Seminars
407 A (Special Topics in Cultural Studies)
The Long Half-Life of Memory: Representations of Internment in American Culture. The title says it all: this course will address the ideological implications of the lingering cultural memory of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. While one need not have an in-depth knowledge of the internment, some general knowledge of Japanese American history will not doubt be useful as we explore the means by which both Japanese Americans and others have represented and interpreted this unprecedented event in American history. The course texts will be varied, inlcuding novels, films, autobiographies, nonfiction, phtography, and journalism. Students should expect to do a lot of writing and must be willing to participate regularly in class discussions. This is a Service-Learning course and involves some work at the Wing Luke Museum as part of the course requirements. Texts: Okada, No-No Boy; Kogawa, Obasan; Mura, Where the Body Meets Memory; Sone, Nisei Daughter; Houston, Farewell to Manzanar; Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars.
422 YA (Arthurian Legends)
TTh 7-8:50 pm
Most of you know that the story of Arthur gets “updated” to suit the interests and tastes of new audiences. T. H. White wrote The Once and Future King in 1941 for the “war effort.” The Mists of Avalon retell the story from the women’s point of view for a market which wants stories about women. And so on. What we will be doing in this course is looking at the way the myth/legend of Arthur was “updated” for various medieval audiences. We will start with the earliest surviving records, move on from these Latin records to the vernacular tales of the Celts, French, and English. We have about a thousand years of stories to cover, so there will be a lot of updating to think about. There will be a substantial amount of reading to do. Mostly from purchased text books, but some also off the web. There will be some in-class tests (facts and identifications) and three 5-page papers. Participation will be counted toward the final grade. Evening Degree students only, Registration Pd. 1. Texts:The Alliterative Morte Arthure; Gawain and the Green Knight; Marie de France, Lais; Chretien de Troyes, Erec and Enide; Yvain; Malory, Morte d'Arthur.
430 YA (British Writers: Studies in Major Authors)
TTh 4:30-6:20 pm
Virginia Woolf. This quarter we will read the experimental fiction of Virginia Woolf, the most influential British woman writer of the twentieth century. We will consider her evolution as a writer of modernist fiction from Jacob’s Room in 1922 to her last novel, Between the Acts in 1941. Will meet Period 5 requirement for English majors. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room; Mrs. Dalloway; To the Lighthouse; A Room of One’s Own; The Waves; Between the Acts; Moments of Being.
442 A (The Novel: Special Studies)
Booker Prize Novels. This is a course in the contemporary English novel, the books drawn from the Winner’s List of the Booker Prize over the last decade. The Booker Prize has by now become the most prestigious literary award in England, and even if you disagree with the eventual winner each year (as many have), reading these novels can give you a honed sense of what has been happening in English fiction in the last ten years. Texts: A. S. Byatt, Possession (1990); Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger (1992); Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarks Ha Ha Ha (1993); Roy Arundhati, The God of Small Things (1997); Jan McEwen, Amsterdam (1999).
443 A (Poetry: Special Studies)
Inside Poetry: Imagery, Sounds, and Emotions. Just about all of us agree we can see visual images in our mind’s eye. Can we hear auditory images in our minds’ ear? Smell olfactory images in our mind’s nose? Feel kinesthetic images in our mind’s muscles? How do we actually experience non-visual poetic “images” treating inside feelings of heart-heavy sadness, stomach-wrenching fear, or physical arousal or trance? How do listeners physically respond to musical elements in poetry? In addition to inner responses of laughter and crying, what other inner responses do readers and listeners experience (subvocalization? muscular tension and release? Kinesthetic empathies?)? Can readers be trained to intensify bodily and emotive responses to poems? What may be characteristic differences in our behavior, thoughts, and feelings when reading, hearing, saying, chanting, or physically enacting the “same” poem? How may we decide which responsive behaviors may be best suited to particular poems? What physical range of responses may be appropriate in the appreciation of poetry generally?
How, more particularly, to rhythms work in poems and in persons? Do rhythm, song, and poetic devices such as alliteration and rhyme merely enhance meaning? Do they add dimensions of experience (physical emotion, sublimity, paradoxical wonder and freedom from conventions of language) not well captured in terms of discursive “meaning”?
What, finally, are the nature and significance of feelings, emotions, moods, and other affective states experienced through poetry? Is “aesthetic emotion” just knowledge about emotions? Do aesthetically-induced emotions have a special character that distinguishes them from other emotions? Are poetic emotions culturally constructed? Biologically mandated? Both? What is it appropriate to do with or about the emotions one experiences through poetry?
This course explores the hypothesis that a revitalization of literary study, after years of arguable enervation through overly abstract and theoretical study, may come partly through attention to the sensory and tonal life of literature. Students will read poems and secondary readings, discuss issues, write several short papers, memorize and perform briefly, and take a final exam. Text: X. J. Kennedy & Dana Gioia, Introduction to Poetry, 9th ed.
443 B (Poetry: Special Studies)
Seamus Heaney. This course will discuss the poetry of the Irish poet and Nobel Prize Winner Seamus Heaney. We will trace the development of one of the most important poets writing in English from his early beginnings (Death of a Naturalist, 1966) to his latest collection of poems (The Spirit Level, 1996), against the backdrop of twentieth-century Irish poetry and in the context of recent debates about the state of contemporary British poetry. Requirements: regular attendance and ongoing seminar discussions (10%); two presentations (introductions to poems) (15%); one short paper (3-5 pages: report on research) (25%); one longer paper (8-10 pages: a critical study of several poems) (50%). Meets with C LIT 496; ENGL 551B. Text: Seamus Heaney, Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996.
452 A (Topics in American Literature)
Narratives in Diverse Englishes. English is the language of many different communities around the world each complete of itself, but all interacting more and more in this modern world. Variations, subtle and not so subtle, mark these linguistic markers of cultural difference. The class will examine the works of four authors as they move across boundaries of culture and geography, of memory (time) and place into imaginative fictions built on those moves. We will read three memoirs and four works of fiction, questioning how the authors have relied on their "languages" to investigate memory, to invest their fictions with a sense of time and place. Texts: N. V. M. Gonzalez, Work on the Mountain; A Season of Grace; Garry Pak, Ricepaper Airplane; John Dominis Holt, Recollections; Waimea Summer; R. K. Narayan, The Grandmother's Tale; My Days.
466 YA (Gay and Lesbian Studies)
MW 7-8:50 pm
During the quarter we will focus on the politics of “queer representation,” paying particular attention to how gays, lesbians, and/or queer-identified subjects are represented, in what contexts, by whom, at what points in time, and with what consequences. Some of the representations we’ll be looking at are drawn from mainstream media and government documents; the majority are the work of self-identified lesbian and gay fiction writers, performance artists, film and video-makers, educators, columnists, and critics. There may be an optional service-learning component to this class. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues; Randall Kenan, Let the Dead Bury the Dead; photocopied course packet.
471 A (The Composition Process)
This course, through reading and fieldwork, introduces students to the various approaches that guide the study and teaching of writing. In it, we will explore the different methods of teaching writing that have emerged in the last thirty or so years, ranging from methods for teaching students how to produce texts to methods for assessing these texts. We will also examine the theories that underscore these methods, starting with the emergence of the process movement in the 1960s and then inquiring into its various manifestations (and critiques of these manifestations) in the years since. Along the way, I hope we can begin to think critically about the various practices that inform the teaching of writing, in particular, what values and assumptions guide these practices so that we all can become more self-reflective readers, writers, and teachers. Most of all, though, I would like this course to give us all a chance to think about what it means to teach writing, to develop and share our own goals for teaching writing, and to generate and articulate practices that will help us achieve these goals. To that end, there is built into the structure of the course a community-based learning component, one which will allow you not only to participate in local schools and programs of your choosing, but also to observe and study the theories we read as they are at work in these actual learning environments – to explore, in short, how theory and practice inform one another. Coursework will include keeping a reading and fieldwork journal, conducting a brief teaching ethnography, preparing a bibliography and presentation, and creating a teaching portfolio. Add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL. Texts: Harris, A Teaching Subject: Composition since 1966; Wiley, Gleason & Phelps, Composition in Four Keys: Inquiring into the Field.
473 A ( Current Developments in English Studies)
History of the English Language. Tracing the history of a language is something like writing a biography—in this case, a biography of English. English used to be a little-known west Germanic dialect spoken on a small island off the coast of western Europe. Today it has blossomed into a distinct, international language spoken as a native tongue by almost 400 million people. How did this happen? As we will discuss in this course, language always changes, no matter how we, as speakers, feel about that fact. This course offers the opportunity to explore the dramatic ways in which English has changed over the past 1500 years—dramatic enough that we as Modern English speakers can barely understand those who first began to call their language English (and wrote texts such as Beowulf). We will look at questions such as: Where did the pronoun she come from? (And why is it the word of the millennium?) When was double negation considered standard? How did English spelling become, according to Mario Pei, the world’s most awesome mess? This course will examine the traditional stages of the life of English: Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English, and Modern English. We will focus on the general sound, word, grammar, and spelling changes within the language, as well as related cultural and historical events. In the process, as we learn more about the language’s past, we will think about the meaning and implications of the language'’ present and future. No background in linguistics is required. Texts: C. M. Millward, A Biography of the English Language; Workbook to Accompany A Biography of the English Language, 2nd. ed.
478 A (Language and Social Policy)
This course examines the paradox that societies dedicating vast resources to language teaching are often unable or unwilling to remove linguistic barriers to education, employment, and political power. In order to explore this paradox, we will study the relationship between language policy and social organization. We will focus especially on the links between language and such processes as migration, education, and access to economic resources and political power. We will also look at the spread of English internationally and the growing attention to language and human rights. Texts: Tollefson, Planning Language, Planning Inequality; Power and Inequality in Language Education.
483 A (Advanced
[Intensive study of the 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)
This workshop class will focus on development of your individual voices as fiction writers and especially on revision. You will draft two stories and take one of these drafts through several revisions, as well as producing a handful of brief exercises. Expect to write a lot, and to read your classmates’ work thoroughly and respond to it with thorough written comments. As this is an advanced class, I’ll expect that you are familiar with the basics of fiction writing and are serious writers. This is NOT a class in genre or commercial fiction (romance, mystery, horror, science fiction, westerns, etc.) Prerequisite: ENGL 384, writing sample. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.No texts.
484 B (Advanced
Short Story Writing)
Reading, rereading, writing, rewriting short stories. Extremely strong emphasis upon the short short story. Prerequisite: ENGL 384, writing sample. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL. Text: Photocopied course packet.
485 U (Novel
Tues 4:30-7:10 pm
This is not a course for beginning fiction writers. Just as one should never attempt a marathon before training at shorter distances, it is not wise to attempt a novella or novel without some experience in short fiction. It is presumed, then, that you are familiar with the fundamentals of fiction writing, of dramatizing experience, and creating a "fictional moment." For although we will pay attention to all dimensions of fiction, emphasis will be placed on those problems which arise from length--how one orders a longer sequence of events, how one manipulates a large cast of characters, how one retains a sense of unity and identity within the diversity which characterizes most novels. (Note: it is acceptable for this course, and in many cases advisable, to undertake a long story or novella before attempting a full-length novel.) Fiction writing is a serious way of knowing the world, and no time will be squandered on analyzing the purely commercial marketplace, or on how one might reduplicate fiction whose only function is the passing of time or the making of money. Prerequisite: ENGL 384 or 484 or equivalent, and writing sample. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 Padelford, (206) 543-9865. Text: Don DeLillo, End Zone.
490 A (Study Abroad)
Follow-up to foreign study in Rome. Open only to EOP students assigned to the course by the Office of Minority Affairs. Add codes in main English Office, A-101 PDL.
491 A (Internship)
Supervised experience in local businesses and other agencies. Open only to upper-division English majors. Credit/no credit only. Prerequisite: 25 credits in English. Further information and add codes in English Undergraduate 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. Prerequisite: permission of program director. Instructor codes in English Undergraduate 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. Prerequisite: permission of program director. Instructor codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.
494 A (Honors Seminar)
Boredom. Patricia Spacks argues that boredom is a recent construction, originating in the mid-eighteenth century, and finding its fullest articulation in the twentieth. Now that we’re in the twenty-first century, are we post-boredom? This class will investigate the invention of boredom, its literary manifestations, and various species of the phenomenon: ennui (boredom’s “more dignified cousin”), velleity, dullness, sloth, and accedia. We will, between carefully stifled yawns, read Samuel Beckett, Nicholson Baker, Evelyn Waugh, J. K. Huysmann, Thomas Bernhardt, and Anto Chekhov. We’ll look at some Andy Warhol, or pretend to. Other questions will include: What is the relationship between the self and the world that makes boredom possible? What is the relation between boredom and the interesting -- boredom and repetition, boredom and pornography? What is the conjunction between boredom and class, and boredom and leisure? Students will write three papers, and give an oral presentation in which they explain why a particular text arouses the reader to new heights of boredom. Given that “The taste for the horrible, is the consciousness of the dull” (Charles Bathurst), our class will conclude with a breakneck survey of the conjunction between excessive stimulation and the failure to engage, and explore why it is that the work of the Marquis de Sade and Brett Easton Ellis is in fact so numbing. Special credit will be awarded to students who bring highly caffeinated drinks for the instructor to consume. Honors English majors only. Add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL. Texts: Patricia Meyer Spacks, Boredom; Thomas Bernhardt, Woodcutters; Wallace Shawn, Four Plays; J. K. Huysmans, Against the Grain; Brett Easton Ellis, American Psycho; J. G. Ballard, Crash.
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 English Advising office, A-2-B PDL. No texts.
496 A (Major Conference for Honors)
Honors English majors only. Add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL.
497/8 A (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Texts for A Time. This seminar most broadly deals with the oxymoron "popular classic" as we explore the cultural status in Dickens's time and in our own of A Christmas Carol (1843) and Great Expectations (1861). What did these books have to say about and for mid-nineteenth-century England? How was their popularity and literary stature regarded when they appeared, as they became part of a growing body of Dickens's work, and as part of a boom in literary production? The first part of this seminar will look at these and related questions. The remainder of the quarter we will consider the status of these texts in another time -- ours -- including the past four or five decades. On the one hand there has been much effort to sustain or recreate Dickens's originals--readings and adaptations that tend to look backward. On the other hand, there has been much cultural appropriation of the Dickens originals--products more or less "based on" the Dickens stories, but directed to the tastes and terms of our own times. As with Shakespeare on stage and film, new versions may prove the universalitiy of the literature's message and manner, or they may lampoon and undercut it. The challenge for this seminar is to see just what questions about Dickens, his age, us and our age these texts and their progeny raise. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts: Dickens, A Christmas Carol; Great Expectations.
497/8 B (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Gilles Deleuze. Though firmly grounded in the history of philosophy and therefore presenting a number of difficulties for one approaching his work from a strictly literature-oriented standpoint, Gilles Deleuze’s writings resist any stock categorization or classification, and his thinking is not restricted to academic philosophy. Throughout his career, he was concerned with what he later referred to as “the creation of concepts” that would allow for the critical understanding and opening up of new practical possibilities vis-à-vis both politics and art. He had, moreover, a special affinity for Anglo-American literature and discusses at length in books and essays the writings of Lewis Carroll, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Malcolm Lowry (in addition to Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Antonin Artaud and numerous others writing in languages other than English). In this seminar, a number of the main elements of Deleuze’s philosophy will be presented. We will discuss, for example, Deleuze’s perspectivism, his notion of difference, his concept of productive or machinic desire, and his ideas concerning the relation of sense and nonsense, delirium and the self. Emphasis, however, will be on how Deleuze educes these concepts from his readings of literary works and how they may be applied in turn in literary analysis. No special training in philosophy or prior reading of Deleuze will be assumed. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts: Constantin V. Boundas, ed., The Deleuze Reader; Gilles Deleuze, Dialogues;Essays Critical and Clinical; Isabelle Eberhardt, The Oblivion Seekers; Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland; Herman Melville, Bartleby; Benito Cereno; Witold Gombrowicz, Cosmos and Pornographia.
497/8 C (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Alternative Images of the Nation. We’ll begin by studying efforts to created 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. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts:Margaret Fuller, The Essential Margaret Fuller; Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave; Henry Thoreau, The Portable Thoreau; Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills; Kate Chopin, The Awakening and Selected Stories; Stephen Crane, The Portable Stephen Crane; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Portable Hawthorne.
497/8 D (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Ulysses. This is a comprehensive introduction to James Joyce's Ulysses as the summit of literary modernism. To dispel fear of Ulysses, we'll read the book one episode at a time, focusing on the progressive making and unmaking of sense, and emphasizing Joyce's exuberant comic transvaluation of all novelistic values (narrative devices, generic conventions, topics, perspectives, styles and humors). Desiderata: inklings of Joyce's earlier work, intimacy with The Odyssey, interest in sly uses of language. Requirements: weekly page-long assignments and a course project (term paper). 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Text: James Joyce, Ulysses (ed. Gabler).
497/8 E (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Downwind from the Boom: Re-reading U.S. Cold War Culture. In this course students will re-evaluate the Cold War period by reading texts and seeing some films not typically considered in classes on the era. These texts attempt to represent communities or individuals existing at a remove from the middle class suburban culture that seems to incarnate the booming postwar economy of the 1950s and 1960s. They include written works by working class, ethnic and lesbian writers, as well as a number of films, including Bad Day at Black Rock, Salt of the Earth, and Blackboard Jungle. Students will be expected to keep a journal, in which they track their responses to the texts and discussions on a weekly basis. They will also be required to lead at least one class discussion. The final course project will be the writing of an essay of 10-15 pages that analyzes an issue or problem covered in the course. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts: Chester Himes, If He Hollers, Let Him Go; Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt; Amerigo Paredes, The Hammon and the Beans; Hisaye Yamamoto, Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories; Paula Marshall, Brown Girl, Brownstones; Louis Chu, Eat a Bowl of Tea; SLoan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.
497/8 F (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Invention, Creativity Theory, and the “Myth of Genius.” Going beyond what Robert Weisberg has called the “myth of genius,” this course will examine how and why texts (literary and non-literary) are produced. In it, we will focus our attention less on what a text means (the question of interpretation) and more on how it came to exist (the question of production), shifting our emphasis from the product to its production. We will begin by examining various and at times conflicting theories of invention and creativity, from classical theories of imitation to the “birth” (in the eighteenth century) and subsequent “death” of the author (in the twentieth century), reading several case studies along the way. Some questions we will consider: What are the political, economical, and other social factors that contribute to the production of texts? What is the role of the writer, reader, and language in all this? What role does gender, race, and class play? From there, we will perform our own case study, applying the theories we’ve read to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The last third of the course will be devoted to students’ own case studies leading to a final seminar paper and class presentation. Texts: Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Karen Burke LeFevre, Invention as a Social Act.
497/8 G (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Learning the Ropes: The Process of Acculturation and the Powers of Fiction We’ll be using this senior seminar as an occasion to ask some basic questions about the nature and purposes of narrative in the European tradition. How does fiction contribute to the process of teaching individuals what their appropriate social roles and expectations ought to be? How does this process vary across historical moments and across different cultures? We will be reading a series of texts from different historical periods, ranging from Chrétien de Troyes’ Yvain and Quevedo’s The Swindler to Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, Faulkner’s Go Down Moses, and Walker’s The Color Purple. What will make this class different from most other seminars, though, is that it is part of an NEH-sponsored collaborative project between UW and a pair of local high schools. We will be trying devise effective modes of interacting with those other classes, electronically and/or in person. What I hope we can help provide for those classes is a sense of the broader historical reception for each of these works. Thus a significant part of the formal work for the course will involve research group projects, with small groups working on each of the last four novels in the course, investigating their public and critical reception. What issues stirred public debate when these works came out, and why? How has that changed over time? Besides the group research project, students will be expected to write several relatively short comparative papers dealing with each of the texts in the course. I am looking for participants interested in this as an experimental project and interested in taking a more active role in the process of education, that is, in serving as facilitators and teachers for other students rather than simply as learners. We’ll be figuring out how to do this as we go along, in what I hope will be a collaborative process of invention. Contact me at email@example.com if you have specific questions about the class format. Meets with C LIT 496B. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts:Chrétien de Troyes, Yvain; Quevedo, The Swindler; Brontë, Jane Eyre; Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Faulkner, Go Down Moses; Walker, The Color Purple.
497/8 H (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Shakespeare and the Renaissance Philosophy of Love. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts: Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier; Shakespeare, Sonnets; Love's Labour's Lost; Romeo and Juliet; Troilus and Cressida; Othello; Measure for Measure; Antony and Cleopatra.
497/8 I (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Language and Gender. Over the past twenty-five years developing research on language and gender has spawned lively debates concerning claims that language announces and reinscribes gender. This course will introduce students to issues of gender-differentiated language use. We’ll explore a range of claims related to topics including gender differences in conversational practice, cross-cultural issues of gender and language, and the ways linguistic aspects of gendered use intersect with constructs of race and class and sexual orientation. Finally, we’ll explore theoretical debates concerning models of culture vs. power in evaluating these findings. One goal of this course is to see how the tools of the academy can illuminate debates taking place outside its walls. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts: Jennifer Coates, ed., Language and Gender: A Reader.
497/8 J (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale. We will be studying the Knight’s Tale from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Much of the course we will be looking at the text in detail: sorting out its values, looking at how Chaucer creates characters, studying his narrative techniques, poetic language, style, tone – and considering the problems that arise from his assignment of this particular tale to the Knight. We will be looking at the larger intellectual context as well: Christian views of / attitudes toward paganism, the planetary gods / stellar influence / horoscopes, natural philosophy (Plato and Aristotle), medieval notions of psychology, Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, Boccaccio’s “original” version of Chaucer’s story, Greek and Latin myths and their survival in the medieval Christian world. Last, but not least, we will look at the immediate context of the Knight’s Tale – which means the Miller’s Tale and the Reeve’s Tale as “answers” to the world view and arstistic practices of the Knight. Class reports, discussion, major research paper. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts: Chaucer, Knight’s Tale (ed. Spearing); Canterbury Tales (ed. Hieatt); Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy; Plato, Timaeus.
497/8 K (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Novels, Politics, and Power. This senior seminar, taught in conjunction with Political Science 405 (Professor Stuart Scheingold), will use novels to study politics. Although our main interest is in the kinds of power which operate within both macro and micro politics, the novels and student concerns will surely take seminar discussions in other directions as well. To facilitate those discussions there will be very short weekly writing assignments, and at the end students will write a longish seminar paper. Anyone wishing to discss the course should see Professor Griffith in A-11-F Padelford. Meets with POL S 405. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Texts: Ahron Appelfeld, The Iron Tracks; Pat Barker, Regeneration; Andre Brink, A Dry White Season; Russell Banks, Continental Drift; Bernard Schlink, The Reader; Ian McEwan, Black Dogs; Pavel Kohout, I Am Snowing; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale.
497/8 YA (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 7-8:50 pm
Classical Stories in Medieval Literature. The Renaissance claims for itself the “rebirth” of interest in the classical past, a claim credited in literary and intellectual history ever since. Yet the Middle Ages was fascinated by ancient culture as well. This class addresses medieval ideas of history and the relation of the (medieval) present to the classical past as they are represented in a wide range of narrative traditions, from romance to moral literature and feminist polemic. What do poems with classical sources or themes tell us about medieval ideas of the value of history? of its accessibility through textual tradition? of the difference between their culture and ancient culture? What does the medieval perspective on classical traditions teach us about our own interest in the past? The class will be organized around two classical stories: the Ovidian tale of Orpheus and Eurydice and the story of Thebes, known to the Middle Ages primarily through Statius’ Thebaid. We’ll read these in English, of course, but we will read most Middle English texts in the original (no previous experience necessary). Other readings include: Sir Orfeo, Henryson’s Orpheus and Eurydice, Roman de Thèbes, Chaucerian texts including Troilus and Criseyde and selections from the Legend of Good Women, and Christine de Pisan’s City of Ladies. 497: Senior English honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL; 498: Senior majors only. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Melville, trans., Thebaid; Benson, ed., The Riverside Chaucer; Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies; Kindrick, ed., Poems of Robert Henryson; Patterson, Chaucer and the Subject of History.
499 A (Independent Study)
Individual study by arrangement with instructor. Instructor codes and further information in English Undergraduate Advising office, A-2B Padelford.