400-Level Courses

Course Descriptions (as of 15 February 2005)
The following course descriptions have been written by individual instructors to provide more detailed information on specific section sthan that found in the General Catalog.  When individual descriptions are not available, the General Catalog descriptions [in brackets] are used. (Although we try to have as accurate and complete information as possible, this schedule remains subject to change.)

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

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

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

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

452 A (Topics in American Literature)
TTh 10:30-12:20
American Jewish Writing Today.
Offered jointly with C LIT 496B, SISJE 490B.

466 A (Gay & Lesbian Studies)
TTh 12:30-2:20

During the quarter we will focus on the politics of "queer representation," paying particular attention to how gays, lesbian, bisexuals, transgendered and/or other 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. Texts: Kenan, Let the Dead Bury the Dead; Linmark, Rolling the R’s; Selvadurai, Funny Boy.

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

483 A (Advanced Verse Writing)
Tues 3:30-6:20

This advanced workshop focuses only partly on student work; instructor will provide numerous handouts. No textbook purchases required. Students will be graded on quality of final portfolio (8 – 10 new poems), regularity of attendance, assiduous attention to poems of others, and submission of assignments and exercises. Admission requires instructor permission. Apply via e-mail by the end of Registration Period 1 (March 6) to hmch@earthlink.net including your name, student number, academic status and a writing sample of 5-7 poems. Prerequisite: ENGL 384 and instructor permission (see above). Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.

484 U (Advanced Short Story Writing)
Wed. 4:30-7:20
[Experience wit hthe theory and practice of writing the short story.] Prerequisite: ENGL 384 and instructor permission. Contact Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL, (206) 543-9865, for information on submitting writing samples, application form, receiving add codes, etc.

486 A (Playwriting)
TTh 10:30-11:50
{experience in planning, writing, and revising a play, whether from the outset, in progress, or in already completed draft.] Contact Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL, (206) 543-9865, for information on submitting writing samples, application form, receiving add codes, etc.

491 A (Internship)

Supervised experience in local businesses and other agencies. Open only to upper-division English majors. Credit/no credit only. Add codes available 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. Add codes available 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. Add codes available in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.

497/8 A (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 8:30-10:20

Classics of Young Adult Literature. While fiction addressed to general readers has often depicted adolescence, only in the past few decades has such fiction addressed to young readers come into its own. With the publication of S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, Paul Zindel’s The Pigman, Alice Childress’s A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich, and Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Young Adult Literature came of age as a serious forum for adolescent study of its own anxieties, desires, conflicts, and joys. Since then, gifted writers such as Francesca Lia Block, Sue Ellen Bridgers, Bruce Brooks, Paula Fox, Rosa Guy, Virginia Hamilton, M. E. Kerr, Robert Lipsyte, Norma Fox Mazer, Walter Dean Myers, Richard Peck, William Sleator, Cynthia Voigt and others have brilliantly explored lives of contemporary youths. Works by such writers are taught in many English Departments. They have been neglected in ours. This seminar will introduce students to rewards of studying and teaching young adult literature. Requirements: class attendance/participation, written answers to study questions, small group presentations, research essay, and mid-term and final exams (short-answer and essay questions). 497: Senior honors majors only (add codes: A-2B PDL); 498: Senior majors only. Text: Frey and Rollin, eds., Classics of Young Adult Literature (includes Malaeska, Ragged Dick, Anne of Green Gables, Seventeenth Summer, The Outsiders, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich, The Chocolate War, Forever, Homecoming, Hatchet, and Parrot in the Ove: Mi Vida).

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

Twenty-First Century Literature. What are authors up to these days? Have current events – above all, September 11th and the war in Iraq – changed what people read, write, and value? We will begin by reading recent work by some of the most prominent authors of the late twentieth century – among them John Ashbery, Jorie Graham, and Toni Morrison – in order to see whether the “old guard” has been successful at adapting the postmodern aesthetics of the 1980s and 90s to suit the needs and dreams of a new century. Subsequently, we will be reading a variety of ambitious, innovative, celebrated texts from the last five years, including fiction (Chabon, Danielewski); poetry (Mullen, Young); nonfiction (Vollman); drama (Parks); and less classifiable, trans- or intergeneric writing (Bök, Carson). Texts: Christian Bök, Eunola; Anne Carson, The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos; Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay; Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves; Toni Morrison, Love; Harryette Mullen, Sleeping with the Dictionary; Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog / Underdog; Wiliam T. Vollman, Rising Up and Rising Down; Kevin Young, To Repel Ghosts: Five Sides in B Minor.

497/8 C (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 1:30-3:20

Medieval Legends of Good Women. At the end of the fourteenth century, the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer produced, among his last works, a collection of narratives he called “Seintes Legende of Cupide,” (i.e., “The Legends of Cupid’s Saints: Introduction to the Man of Law’s Tale"). Alternatively titled The Legend of Good Women, the collection contains stories about a dozen ancient women (and their men), e.g., Cleopatra, Dido, Thisbe, Medea, to mention a few. A close reading of the Legend reveals how Chaucer’s late-medieval narratives about these classical heroines have been influenced by genres like the Christian saint’s life and the traditions of so-called “courtly love,” The tensions between the ideals of Christian hagiography and courtly romance lend a lively complexity to his stories, and to their interpretation. This course will attempt to define these competing ideals by discussing literary examples from ancient times – in the Old Testament (e.g., the books of Ruth, Judith, and Esther) and Ovid’s Heroides -- through the Middle ages, with its rich range of saints lives, retellings of Ovid, and classic works like the Romance of the Rose, Dante’s Vita Nuova, and Boccaccio’s Famous Women. After Chaucer’s Legend (and some of his other works), we will discuss his near-contemporary, Christine de Pizan, esp. her Book of the City of Ladies, and conclude with a discussion of the mid-fifteenth-century Legends of Hooly Wommen by the English Augustinian friar Osbern Bokenham. Requirements for the course will include active participation in seminar discussions, weekly short writing contributions (response papers), individual leading of seminar discussion on at least one text, and a substantial term paper. (Meets with ENGL 516A) Texts: Ovid, Heroides (tr. Isbell); Guillaume de Lorris, Jean de Meun, Romance of the Rose (tr. Horgan); Dante Alighieri, Vita Nuova (tr. Musa); Cazelles, The Lady as Saint; Chaucer, Love Visions (tr. Stone); Christine de Pizan, Book of the City of Ladies; Osbern Bokenham, A Legend of Holy Women (tr. Delany); Boccaccio, Famous Women (tr. Brown).

497/8 D (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 2:30-4:20

Sentimental America. What is the relationship among literature, feeling, and social change? In this course, we will develop an understanding of how nineteenth-century American writers used sentimental narratives to address particular sociopolitical issues. We will look at novels that attempt to criticize the nation by challenging representations of “other”; subjects and government policies based on unjust laws. As a class, we will examine the success of these criticisms and their reliance on the sympathy they produce in their readers. Throughout, we will pay close attention to the ways that these writers engage the relationship between individual actions and political change. We will also read a number of literary critics (including Jane Tompkins, Ann Douglas, Lauren Berlant, Laura Wexler, and Glenn Hendler) who are similarly engaged with this relationship between feelings produced by literature and the possibility of actions that promote social justice. We will then use this work on the sentimental literature of the nineteenth century to develop individual projects on how sentimental narratives remain a potent cultural form in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Our study of nineteenth-century American sentimental narratives will include novels such as Charlotte Temple, Hope Leslie, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Little Women and Iola Leroy. At times the reading load will be heavy. Students should expect to write a number of response papers, to lead discussion, and to make an in-class presentation on their final paper topic. If you have any questions about the structure of the class, please feel free to email the instructor at cwooley@u.washington.edu

Texts: Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple; Catharine Maria Sedgwick,Hope Leslie; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; Louisa May Alcott, Little Women; Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Frances E. W. Harper, Iola Leroy; Charles Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars; Thomas Dixon, The Clansman.

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

Festina Lente: Calvino, the Butterfly, and the Crab. In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino writes, “From my youth on, my personal motto has been the old Latin tag, Festina lente, hurry slowly.” This class will hurry slowly over a number of works (novels, plays, poems, essays), always keeping in mind the qualities that Calvino identifies as essential to great literature: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. We’ll read works by Calvino, Ovid, Lucretius, Eugenio Montale, Franz Kafka, P. G. Wodehouse, Amy Hempel, Joe Wenderoth, Denis Johnson, Lydia Davis, Milan Kundera, Elizabeth Bishop, Wislawa Szymborska, Philip Larkin, Jack Gilbert, Joan Didion, Sei Shonagon, Alan Lightman, Annie Dillard, Jorge Luis Borges, Samuel Beckett, Walt Whitman, Anto Chekhov, Donald Barthelme, and Raymond Carver. Writing and conversation will follow. Texts: Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium; Invisible Cities; Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters; Johnson, Jesus’ Son; Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams; Nabokov, Pale Fire.

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

Common Sense: Desire and Domination in Contemporary U.S. Fiction. In this course we will explore the notion of “common sense” as it shapes contemporary U.S. fiction. We will begin by asking how popular discourses about the United States often assume that common sense is simple, immediate, and shared across a broad field of social groups. To contest these recent efforts to produce a shared ethos of national belonging, this course will provide a brief genealogy of common sense as a physical, intellectual, and emotional repository of broader political, social and economic forces. We will read key Marxist, feminist, queer, anti-racist, and psychoanalytic critics to examine the development and critique of common sense as a key component of modern nationalism. Following this opening discussion, we will read a series of novels and short fiction that offer alternate accounts of common sense, exploring the relation between desire and domination in fictions of national belonging. Texts: Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1; Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature; Junot Diaz, Drown; Jessica Hagedorn, Dogeaters; Gayl Jones, Corredgidora; Franz Kafka, The Trial; Nella Larsen, Quicksand.

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

Violence and the Modern: Postcolonial Literature and Theory. This course takes up the question of violence as a way to explore a genealogy of our present moment. From an understanding of violence as an institutional form, we will branch out to consider its emancipatory and irrational forms across the postcolonial landscapes of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. How does violence bind and break apart communities? What is the relation between violence and the founding of a nation? How do various forms of violence legitimize themselves? We will consider these questions within the broader themes of the translation, identity formation, national consciousness, sexuality an dhistorical narration. Texts will include essays by Benjamin, Fanon, Marx, Said, Spivak, Zizek, and fiction by Coetzee, Djebar, Gordimer, Rushdie, Sembene, Salih, and Shammas. Students will prepare one class presentation, a short paper (4 pp.), and a research paper (7 pp.). Some background in literary theory is recommended, but not required. Texts: Assia Djebar, Women of Algiers in Their Apartment; Salman Rushdie, The Moor’s Last Sigh; J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth; Nadine Gordimer, Burger’s Daughter; Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North; Anton Shammas, Arabesques; Wole Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman; photocopied course packet (from Ave Copy Center).

497/8 H (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 11:30-1:20

Celebrity Biography: The Early Years. Do we care about the real lives of famous authors? In the case of the poet and critic Samuel Johnson, some clearly do: the monumental and surprising Life of Johnson (1791) by James Boswell, is probably more widely read now than anything Johnson ever wrote himself. In this seminar, we’ll ask how personal reputation became such a powerful category in the eighteenth century – a question directly relevant to the study of literature today, because Johnson and his contemporaries were instrumental in identifying the privileged group of English poets we still think of as “the canon.” We’ll read the Life of Johnson in its astounding totality, alongside the works of other writers Johnson read or knew, including Alexander Pope, Mary Wortley Montagu, Thomas Gray, and Frances Burney. We’ll also glance at Samuel Johnson’s own work in establishing the English literary canon, such as his Lives of the Poets, his dictionary of English, and his edition of Shakespeare’s plays. Texts: James Boswell, The Life of Johnson (ed. Chapman); David Fairer & Christine Gerrard, eds., Eighteenth-Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology, 2nd ed.; Samuel Johnson, The Major Works, ed. Greene; optional: John Sitter, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry.

497/8 I (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 12:30-2:20

Hamlet. We’ll begin our study by situating Shakespeare’s Hamlet in its historical context before tracing the development of criticism of the play to the present, paying particular attention to post-modern approaches based on Feminist, Psychoanalytic, Deconstructivist, Marxist, and New Historicist theories. Our focus will be on four contemporary film interpretations of the play: Laurence Olivier (1948), Franco Zeffirelli (1989), Kenneth Brannagh (1997), Michael Almereyda (2000). Requirements: research essay (12 pp.), at least two in-class reports (2 pp.), and continuing participation in seminar discussions. Texts: Shakespeare, Hamlet (Woffard, ed.); Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy (Mulryne, ed.).

497/8 J (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 1:30-3:20

1200 B.C.E. to D.D.T.: Literary Commentaries on Environmental Degradation and Repair. Taking a cross-periods approach, this seminar’s focus is human-induced environmental degradation as portrayed in substantial and engaging literary works: two epics, one Near Eastern, the other, Central Asian; a Chinese Taoist “classic”; two Platonic dialogues viewed as sources for the enduring “Atlantis” myth; romantic poetry that may proffer a form of urban renewal; and three contemporary American works sympathetic to environmental protection. Aims are more empirical than theoretical, and we will read each text with an eye towards specific instances of damage to the earth. That said, secondary readings bring important questions to our work on the primary texts. Investigations may include: tensions in epic material between conquest and the consumption of resources (trees, local monsters, and the land itself); controversy as to whether strands in Taoist philosophy can be allied with “environmentalism”; and the presence of lyricism in a work whose matter is largely scientific.

Discussion will be lively, demanding rigorous preparation, and students should bring relevant secondary materials to the attention of the seminar. Class work includes two shorter essays, one focused on a single text, the other, a meditation on a philosophical or methodological quandary identified in class discussion. The final project is a ten-page review of the secondary literature. This last is expected to demonstrate a hermeneutic competence developed through taking on the primary readings, and will serve as an excellent preparation for graduate school, or for jobs involving reading, research and writing. Texts: Gilgamesh (tr. Gardner); Tao Te Ching (tr. Mitchell); Plato, Critias and Timaeus; Gesar of Ling (tr. Neel); William Blake, Songs of Experience, Milton, Jerusalem; Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac; Rachel Carson, Silent Spring; Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place.

497/8 U (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
MW 4:30-6:20

Comedy. This seminar will explore the genre of comedy from classical through modern times. The main objectives are (1) to read at least ten representative comedies (where possible we’ll also see taped performances of the respective plays); (2) to develop a critical understanding of the esthetics of major writers such as Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Moliere, and Beckett; (3) to develop an overall sense of the tradition and cultural contexts of comedy, how comedy has changed over time and which features have remained constant. Specific topics include: the forms and features of “high” and “low” comedy; the conventions and techniques of romantic and satirical comedy; the types and functions of laughter in comedy; the role of music in comedy and the specificity of musical comedy. Requirements: there will be a number of small assignments and presentations on individual authors (40% of the final grade); each seminar participant will work on a research project resulting in a final paper on a major author, period, or genre (60% of the final grade). Please note in order to come up with a good research project and have enough time for its execution it is essential that you read at least three or four of the comedies on the reading list before the beginning of the quarter. Texts: Aristophanes, The Frogs; Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Moliere, Tartuffe; Gay, The Beggar’s Opera; Sheridan, The School for Scandal; Beaumarchais, The Marriages of Figaro; Gilbert and Sullivan, The Mikado; Wilde, The Ideal Husband; Synge, The Playboy of the Western World; Beckett, Happy Days.

499 A (Independent Study)

Individual study by arrangement with instructor. Instrutor codes, A-2B PDL.

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