400-level Courses

Course Descriptions (as of 28 February 2002)
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 2001-2002 Senior Seminars

440 A (Special Studies in Literature)
MW 10:30-12:20
Literature and the Holocaust.  By examining fiction, poetry, diaries, monuments and aspects of popular culture, this course will explore representations of the Holocaust and focus on responses to the Holocaust in America and Israel. Among the topics to be covered: bearing witness and survivor testimony; the shaping of collective memory; the second generation and future generations; gender and the Holocaust.  Readings will include the diary of Anne Frank, David Grossman’s See Under Love, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Aharon Appelfeld’s, Tzili, and other texts.  Offered jointly with NE 496, C LIT 396.  Texts: Grossman, See Under Love; Spiegelman, Maus I; Appelfeld, Tzili; Frank, Diary of a Young Girl; Wiesel, Night.


466 YA (Gay & Lesbian Studies)
TTh 7-8:50 pm
Representational Politics.  During the quarter we will look critically at differing "queer" representa-tions, paying close attention to how lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gender Americans are mediated, by whom, in what contexts, and with what conse-quences.  A few representations are drawn from the mass-media; the vast majority are the work of self-identi-fied glbt fiction writers, film-makers, journalists, and critics.  The course aims are: 1. to familiarize students with U.S. queer history from 1950 to the present--and thus to establish an context for contemporary cultural and political practices involving diverse sexual minorities; 2. to practice reading across social surfaces, starting with a message relayed by one work (eg., the liberation slogan "gay is good," state statutes criminalizing "homosexual sodomy," the Defense of Marriage Act, Boys Don't Cry) and following that message to other locations where it is reinforced, modified, or contested; 3. to hone critical reading skills and representational strategies that challenge regimes of the normal, affirm queer identities, and/or encourage respect for sexual and gender differences; 4. to acquire greater knowledge of contemporary queer authors, primarily lesbians and gay men; and 5. to enable informed participation in a contemporary critical conversation that is often referred to as queer theory talk. Evening Degree students only, Registration Period 1.  Texts to include Kenan, Let the Dead Bury the Dead; Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues; others to be determined.

471 A (The Composition Process)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Theory and Practice of Teaching Writing. In this class students will read and reflect on a number of theoretical issues that have emerged over the last twenty-five to thirty years in the field of composition studies. This focus will enable the course members to consider how the act of writing has been perceived in terms of product, process, and post process. It will also encourage participants to see how that continues to evolve and change and how we might wish to position ourselves with respect to existing knowledge. Because the purpose of 471 is to introduce students to the theory and practice of teaching writing, and to help them reflect on their own position as a writer/teacher, they will be involved in both individual and group projects which will enable them to work collaboratively and individually. Add codes in English Advising office, A-2B Padelford.

479 A (Language Variation & Policy in North America)
TTh 12:30-2:20
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 11:30-12:50
Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem.  Prerequisite: ENGL 383 and writing sample.  Add codes available in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.  No texts.

483 B (Advanced Verse Writing)
TTh 2:30-3:50

484 U (Advanced Short Story Writing)
W 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; writing sample.  Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 Padelford.

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. Add codes, further information in Undergraduate Advising office, A-2-B Padelford (206-543-2634).

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, further information available in Undergraduate Advising Office, A-2-B Padelford (206-543-2634).

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, further information available in Creative Writing office, B-25 Padelford (206-543-9865; open 1-5 daily).

494 A (Honors Seminar)
TTh 11:30-1:20
Strategies of Interpretation: History, Politics, and Form in the Work of W.E.B. DuBois.  “Strategies of Interpretation” introduces English majors to a wide range of methods for interpreting literary texts, analyzing historical and political contexts, and addressing questions of genre, form, and literary value.  At the center of our inquiry will be The Souls of Black Folk, the monumental work by the African American writer and activist W. E. B. DuBois.  In order to make meaning of this complex and multifaceted text we will consider the moment in which it was written, other period writings that treat similar issues, criticism written on it both at the turn of the century and more recently, biographical material on DuBois, and recent theoretical work on race.  Even as DuBois remains central to our discussion throughout the quarter, we will always at the same time remain focused on the development of a variety of different strategies for interpreting literary texts.  In the second part of the course the interpretative tools that we have crafted while reading Souls will be used to produce criticism on other works by DuBois, including his romantic novel Dark Princess (1928), and his genre-busting assemblage Darkwater (1920).  The course will conclude with a discussion of the relationship of literary form to political content, and will raise questions about our role as readers and critics in shaping the literary canon and defining literary value.  For Departmental Honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL.  Texts: W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk; Dark Princess; Darkwater;  Michael Omin & Howard Winant, Racial Formations in the United States; Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark.

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, A-2-B Padelford.

497/8 A (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 12:30-2:20
"Other" Representations of World War II.  The lore and legacy that constitute the national memory of World War II is so familiar that it hardly needs mention.  Even as Americans approach the 21st century and a "war against terror," the events and crises of World War II remain important to cohering and validating the current declared mission of the US.  In this course we will explore the making of the legacy of World War II from an often-neglected location, that of ethnic or racialized Others living in the US, whether national or heroic subjects or not.  We will read or view a wide range of primary works from and about the period of World War II, as well as turning our attention to the contemporary recycling of World War II in the wake of the events of September 11.  The materials we will cover will include novels, short stories, jourrnalistic accounts, films and histories. (The textbooks listed below will be supplemented with a course readings packet.)  What we hope is to gain a better understanding of the myriad ways in which that war has been recorded, remembered, and re-imagined.  Students taking this seminar should be aware that it is structured as an interdisciplinary, team-taught course.  Our class will meet with a senior-level history class enrolled with Professor Susan Glenn from the History department.  Professor Glenn and I welcome, in particular, those students interested in thinking and writing across disciplinary lines.  Texts:  Plenberg, War and Society; Okubo, Citizen 13660; Himes, If He Hollers, Let Him Go; Spiegelman, Maus, Vol. 1; Hersey, Hiroshima; Mailer, The Naked and the Dead; photocopied course packet.

497/8 B (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 10:30-12:20
Literature and Myth. In this course, students will study transmissions and transformations of myth through literature. Using various critical approaches as tools, we will explore literary uses of myth by tracing the transmission of particular myths from "original" sources to a later adaptation, and examine how the meaning of a myth can shift according to the context in which it occurs.   During the first three weeks of the quarter students will become familiar with various critical and methodological approaches used in the literary analysis of myth, begin to plan their individual projects, and develop course proposals. Students are free to choose their primary text from any literary period that interests them, and their mythic sources from any culture. Subsequent weeks will be devoted to class presentations and discussions of each project, and pursuit of research.  Students should be interested in the intersections of literature and myth, familiar with the mythology of at least one culture and have some familiarity with literary or anthropological critical theory.  Each student will pursue his or her own research project during the quarter, and turn in a 20-page paper at the end of the quarter. Grades are based upon successful completion of individual research projects.    Text: photocopied course packet.

497/8 C (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 12:30-2:20
Colonial and Post Colonial Writers and Writing from the Archipelago and the Continent. This course will look at Philippine writing under colonialism (Spain, United States) and after with side trips to the cosmopolitan center with Philippine-American writers.  Texts: Jose Rizal, Noli me tangere; N. V. M. Gonzalez, A Season of Grace; Work on the Mountain; Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart; F. Sionil Jose, Dusk; Jessica Haggedorn, Dogeaters; Peter Bacho, Cebu.

497/8 D (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 1:30-3:20
Classrooms, Lunchrooms, and Playgrounds -- Contemporary Discussions on American Education and Race.  This interdisciplinary seminar will bring together a wide variety of texts in order to further our understanding about two interrelated processes: the racial dimensions of contemporary education, and how we as contemporary subjects are educated into a racial logic.  Our discussion-oriented seminar will focus on both social history and literature. Texts: Ann Arnett Ferguson, Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity; Cameron & McCarthy, eds., Race, Identity and Representation in Education; Theresa Perry, ed., The Real Ebonics Debate: Power, Language, and the Education of African-American Children; Beverly Daniel Tatem, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations about Race; Shawn Wong, American Knees; Gillian & Gillian, Growing Up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction about Learning to be American.

497/8 E (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 9:30-11:20
Contracts of the Heart: Sacrifice, Gift Economy and Literary Exchange in Coleridge and Wordsworth.  In this seminar we will study the literary relationship of Coleridge and Wordsworth who, as one critic remarked, “not only pervasively influenced one another, but did so in a way that challenges ordinary methods of assessments.”  We will explore the possibility of deriving from theories of gift exchange and sacrifice a new model of literary influence that would shed light on this remarkably intimate and deeply conflicted relationship.

We will spend the first four weeks of the quarter studying theories of gift exchange and sacrifice as proposed, among others, by Marcel Mauss, Marshall Sahlins, Georg Simmel, Lewis Hyde and Pierre Bourdieu (on the gift); and by Sigmund Freud, Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss, René Girard and Georges Bataille (on sacrifice).  The next six weeks will be devoted to the study of major poems by Coleridge and Wordsworth in chronological order, showing how the two poets, while desiring to imitate each other, find themselves competing for the same themes and appropriating each other’s subjects.  Thus, while early Coleridge wrote successful nature poetry and Wordsworth portrayed moving stories of human suffering in a supernatural setting, after their collaboration on the Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth turned to the philosophy of the mind’s relationship with nature, while Coleridge started to explore the effects of supernaturalism on the psyche.

Such moments of merging and separation can be profitably viewed through the lens of gift exchange and sacrifice.  The gift, for example, generates a number of paradoxes that are relevant to the relationship between Coleridge and Wordsworth, being at once an altruistic model of social interaction, placing value on human bonds above economic or private interests, while at the same time remaining embedded in a self-interested power structure.  Gift exchange often secures the privileged position of the donor at the expense of receivers and yet, as Mauss showed, receivers seem to retain “a sort of proprietary right” over everything that belongs to the donor.  The gift thus generates the obfuscation of ownership rights and an erasure of the differences between donors and beneficiaries.  We will see how Wordsworth and Coleridge, while collaborating early on a single unauthored volume (Lyrical Ballads) and wanting to write the same poem (“The Wanderings of Cain,” “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”), found themselves increasingly asserting “proprietary rights” over the stock of inventions which they initially passed on to each other according to the law of the gift.  Wordsworth continued to use Coleridge’s ideas but tried hard to displace Coleridge as a gift-giving source, turning to nature or his private fund of “possessions,” to “Something within, which yet is shared by none” (“Home at Grasmere”).  Assignments: A long paper (10-16 pp.), written in two stages and subject to revision; bi-weekly comments on assigned readings; a final exam.   Texts: Marcel Mauss, The Gift; Rene Girard, Violence and the Sacred; S. T. Coleridge, Selected Poetry (ed. Beer); Biographia Literaria (ed. Leask); Wordsworth, Selected Poetry (ed. Roe).

497/8 F (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Plantation Hollywood.  This course will explore the representation of slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction in film and literature.  We will start with the question why two of the most important American films – Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind – are about the war between North and South, the conflict that Lincoln described as “a house divided.”  In order to answer this question, we will look at a series of 19th-century literary texts written after the Civil War that attempted to heal the geographical, social, and racial divisions that emerged in Reconstruction.  These texts will also create the context for the 20th-century films like Birth of a Nation and Shirley Temple’s The Little Colonel that served to rewrite slavery and the Civil War in ways that help us understand how the South might have lost the Civil War but won the ideological battle of Reconstruction.  In addition to these films, we look at more recent films like Glory, Sommersby, and the popular Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War.  Literary texts include Albion Tourgee, Fool’s Errand, William de Forest, Miss Ravenal’s Conversion; Lydia Maria Child, Romance of the Republic; Elizabeth Keckley, Behind the Scenes; Charles Chestnutt, The Conjure Woman; Frances Harper, Iola Leroy. Texts: Child, A Romance of the Republic; Keckling, Behind the Scenes; Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman; Tourgee, Fool’s Errand; Harper, Iola Leroy.

497/8 G (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 12:30-2:20
Electronic Literature.  This course will offer a chronological survey of the new literatures made possible by the advent of the computer and other digital technologies.  We will discuss such classics as Laurie Anderson’s USA, William Gibson’s Neuromancer; Shelley Jackson’s hypertext fiction Patchwork Girl; and the video game Myst.  We will also be looking at such 90s genres as e-poetry, microcinema, and web art.  Secondary readings will include essays by Espen Aarspetch, Donna Haraway, George Landow, and Jennefer Ley. Texts: William Gibson, Neuromancer; Shelley Jackson, Patchwork Girl; UBI Soft, Myst.

497/8 H (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 1:30-3:20
British Writing of the 1920s.  The class 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 Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D. H. Lawrence’s most notorious novel -- banned for decades – and fiction by Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, and Aldous Huxley.  In addition, each student will be assigned a “lost” or neglected book written during this decade as the focus for individual research and writing.  This quarter, the seminar will be held in a computer-assisted classroom, which will make it possible for students to explore the research possibilities of the Internet in addition to those of the library.  Texts: Mansfield, The Garden Party; Eliot, The Waste Land and Other Poems; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Wodehouse, The Inimitable Jeeves; Huxley, Pount Counterpoint; Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

497/8I (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 10:30-12:20
Added 1/30; sln's: 497I - 8405; 498I - 8406.
Visions and Revisions In this seminar we’ll explore modern revisions of four classic texts of the Western canon – Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Brontë’s Jane Eyre; Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  In addition to the four works, we’ll read revisions produced by advocates for colonial and postcolonial cultures in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the cultures of the African diaspora.  Readings from postcolonial and feminist criticism will also accompany our discussion of the social, political and interpretive controversies these works have generated.  Meets with C LIT 493/C LIT 496.  Texts: Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place; Shakespeare, The Tempest; Brontë, Jane Eyre; Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

497/8 YA (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 7-8:50 pm
Self-Help and Inheritance.  “Self-Help” is the title of a  best-selling book from 1859 by Samuel Smiles.  It serves in the title for a course exploring  literature in English from the 19th-20th C.,  a  period that has sharply promoted self-making through “self-help.”  But with this has also come a complication in thinking about inheritance.  Inheritance fills out the title and sets questions for the course about  the extent to which we are “made” by what has gone before, whether through family, gender, race, class, national/ imperial legacy, or cultural/ literary tradition.  The class is designed as an appropriate capstone for seniors completing an English major given its theme and its seminar format.  It provides a forum for reflection on your own educational  experience as an interplay between self-help and inheritance.  Primary readings drawn from:  Austen, Pride and Prejudice,  Mill, ch. “Of  Individuality” from “On Liberty,” Carroll, Alice in Wonderland  (with recent TV production), Dickens, Great Expectations (with recent film),  Woolf, “ A Room of One’s Own,” Naipaul,  A House for Mr. Biswas,  Ackroyd,  English Music (2 ch.).   Secondary historical/ critical/ theoretical material (short selections, not read by all) covered by presentations, drawn from:  Samuel Smiles,  Edmund Burke, Matthew Arnold, Barbara Hernstein-Smith,  colonial/postcolonial criticism on Naipaul, Frederick Jameson on post-modernism,  possibly A. S. Byatt. Requirements:  on-going seminar discussion plus 2 presentations (whether leading discussion of a primary text or reporting on a secondary text); 4-5 pp. paper; 8-10 pp. paper treating more than a single text.  If you choose, these can be related, so that the second paper revises and expands on the first.  The above requirements count 25%, 25%, 50%.  No final.  I am open to adapt assignments to your purposes as you conclude your undergraduate work.  Research, discussion, oral presentation, critical writing (in tight focus and more synthesizing formats) are practical skills you can enhance and lay claim to via this course.  Past senior seminars of mine have proved helpful to students for providing the basis of letters of recommendation and writing samples, for purposes of graduate school or other training, or employment.  Evening Degree senior majors only, Registration Period 1.  Texts:  Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; John Stuart Mill, On Liberty and On the Subjection of Women; V. S. Naipaul, A House for Mr. Biswas; Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.

499 A (Independent Study)
Individual study by arrangement with instructor. Prerequisite: permission of director of undergraduate education. Add codes, further information, available in Undergraduate Advising office, A-2-B Padelford (206-543-2634)

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