(Descriptions last updated March 15, 2007)
431A (Topics in British Literature)
Women Writers (Along with a Few Men) in Eighteenth-Century England. In this course, we will read the work of some of the earliest women writers in England, along with that of the men who inspired, angered, mentored, teased, goaded, loved, hated, or tormented them (or whom they inspired, angered, mentored, teased, goaded, loved, hated, or tormented). Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, in particular, influenced English poetry into the nineteenth century, and over the course of the century women writers (such as Anne Finch, Elizabeth Rowe, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Mary Leapor, Fanny Burney, Ann Yearsley) engaged in various kidns of literary conversations with them. During the last four weeks or so of the course, we will examine more extensively the work and life of Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the most brilliant minds (female or male) of English letters. Requirements: short response papers, one seminar presentation, one longer (8-10 pg) critical research paper. Senior major capstone course. Senior and fifth-year English majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Roger Lonsdale, Eighteenth-Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology; Mary Wollstonecraft, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark; Maria, or, The Wrongs of Women; photocopied course packet.
431 B (Topics in British Literature)
Apocalypse, Ruin, and Unfinished Narratives, 1700-1900. During the eighteenth century human experience was pushed into unfamiliar and ever more disorienting extremities by the advancements of science and medicine, new technologies, unfolding political events, and global exploration. This sent the imaginations of reading audiences reeling, and it spurred a variety of drastic literary innovations as authors made radical experiments with the materials, structures, and generic forms of texts. In this course, we will analyze certain literary, critical, and textual consequences of those experiments. On the one hand, we will consider the trope of time's end (apocalypse, Armageddon, the Fall, Consummation, etc.) and reflect upon what it means to narrate The End or The Beginning, especially with the peculiar truth-claims of "history" and "science" in such narratives. On the other hand, we will reflect upon divergent theorizations of ruin, fragmentation, and "unity," from Defoe's realism to Wilde's objectivism. The experiments of some poets that purposively create "fragments" will be of special interest to our investigation, and we will examine the underlying critical assumptions that those "fragments" imply. Also to be considered is the closely related problem of the "unfinished" or incomplete work of art, and some time will be spent studying the practical (editorial) and theoretical issues involved with any study of "unfinished" works.
Readings will include portions of three major unfinished poetic works
of apocalyptic "spiritual history": Blake's The Four Zoas, Wordsworth's
The Recluse, and Keats' The Fall of Hyperion. Shorter unfinished poems
will also be read, such as Erasmus Darwin's The Progress of Society and
Percy Shelley's The Triumph of Life. The thematization of "fragments," "ruins," and
the "finish" of life or history will be considered in poetry
purposively published as fragments such as MacPherson's Ossian Poems, Byron's
The Giaour, and Coleridge's "Kubla Khan." And we will read three
novels: Mary Shelley's The Last Man, Thomas Carlyle's Sartor
and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Selected works of the following
authors may be also be studied: Daniel Defoe, Edward Young, Thomas Gray,
Robert Thomas Malthus, Edmund Burke, Aristotle, Jacques Derrida. Class
work to include short response papers, a class presentation, a midterm,
and a 10 page final paper. Senior major capstone course. Senior and fifth-year
English majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Blake, The
Urizen Books (Princeton); James MacPherson, Ossian Poems (Edinburgh UP); Mary Shelley,
The Last Man (Oxford Classics); Thomas Carlyle,
Sartor Resartus (Oxford Classics); Oscar Wilde, Picture of
Dorian Gray (Norton Critical Edition); photocopied course packet.
440 A (Special Studies in Literature)
The Graphic Novel and Historical Violence. A recent NYT Magazine article celebrated the “arrival” of the graphic novel as a new and popular form of writing or expression, particularly well-suited to treat a century of violence, genocide and trauma. In this course, we will attempt to understand the appeal of the contemporary graphic novel by thinking about how the development of its formal or aesthetic properties is shaped by and has shaped modern visual/narrative representations of historical violence. In short, we will try to balance the consideration of this form as a genre of literature and the national claims on the historical events and questions it represents. Course activities will emphasize the richness of such an approach by asking participants to engage in interactive discussions of the graphic novel form and its historical conditions. Our primary texts will be Art Spiegelman’s Maus I, along with excerpts from Maus II, Palestine, Louis Riel, etc. While there is scant critical work at this point – chiefly Marianne Hirsch’s famous essay on postmemory in Maus – we will find a rich resource in a range of visual cultural theory on the relationship between modern visuality (more generally) and historical memory. Senior major capstone course. Senior and fifth-year English majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660; Joe Sacco, Palestine; David B., Epileptic; Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan; Chester Brown, Louis Riel; Jacobson & Colon, 9/11 Report.
443 A (Poetry: Special Studies)
TTh 4:30-6:20 pm
Missing Him One Place Search Another: The Poetry of Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” first published in 1855, ends with the following challenge: “Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, / Missing me one place search another, / I stop some where waiting for you.” We’ll take Whitman up on this challenge, as we examine his continuing relevance as a poet and (at times) a provocateur. Along with reading Whitman’s poetry and prose with close attention, we’ll look at work by 20th-century poets who claim Whitman as an influence. Critical perspectives will be provided by Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, Randall Jarrell, William Carlos Williams, Justin Kaplan, and others. Expect a great deal of reading, writing and conversation. The class ends, sort of wonderfully, on Whitman’s birthday. Senior major capstone course. (Evening Degree students only) Texts: Whitman, Leaves of Grass and Other Writings (ed. Moon); Justin Kaplan, Walt Whitman: A Life.
466 A (Gay & Lesbian Studies)
This course examines ongoing tensions between sexuality and belonging from the l. 19th century to the present. In many of the texts we’ll consider, sexuality is understood as desire and desire as a productive force that connects us to other bodies and things, scrambles every identity and so queers the possibility of totally belonging to a social group (eg., American, Chicano, lesbian) or to a class of beings (eg., homosexual or male). We’ll track these tensions between sexual desire and belonging from modern representations of sexuality and race which trouble the hetero/homo and white/black binary through contemporary queer writers who, among other things, critique belonging to the nation-state, “the gay and lesbian community,” “the queer movement,” and same sex marriage, while promoting more dynamic modes of affiliation. In other texts, sexuality is identified with sexual identity and the latter with homosexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality, maleness and femaleness. Here, the emphasis falls on sexual belonging and the tension produced by not fitting in. This type of belonging may be imposed, as in: medical assignment to a pathological sexual category or to a particular sex, cold war era identifications of homosexuals as “UnAmerican,” etc. It may also be “chosen,” as in “coming out” into a sex/gender community. Required reading will include a course packet, Foucault’s The History of Sexuality; Baldwin’s Another Country;Alameddine’s Koolaides: the Art of War and Chua’s Gold by the Inch. Students should expect to engage with queer theory and to participate actively in class discussions. Short responses to assigned readings, a class presentation and final paper are required. Texts: Rabih Alameddine, Koolaids; James Baldwin, Another Country; Lawrence Chua, Gold by the Inch; Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Vol. 1.
483 A (Advanced Verse Workshop)
Advanced poetry workshop. Prerequisite: ENGL 383 and 484; majors following the pre-2005 major requirements who have not taken both prerequisites should see an English adviser in A-2-B PDL for assistance in registration. No texts.
484 A (Advanced Prose Workshop)
Wed. 4:30-7:20 pm
Prerequisite: ENGL 383 and 484; majors following the pre-2005 major requirements who have not taken both prerequisites should see an English adviser in A-2-B PDL for assistance in registration.
491 A (Internship)
Supervised experience in local businesses and other agencies. Open only to upper-division English majors. Credit/no credit only. Add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL.
492 A (Advanced Expository Writing Conference)
Tutorial arranged by prior mutual agreement between individual student and instructor. Revision of manuscripts is emphasized, but new work may also be undertaken. Instructor codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL.
493 A (Advanced Creative Writing Conference)
Tutorial arranged by prior mutual agreement between individual student and instructor. Revision of manuscripts is emphasized, but new work may also be undertaken. Instructor codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.
495 A (Major Conference for Honors in Creative Writing)
Students will work individually with instructor to produce a portfolio of prose or poetry. Students may work with either Professor Sonenberg or another creative writing faculty member – Prof. Sonenberg will be available to assist students in selecting a faculty supervisor compatible with the student’s interests and proposed project. The length of the project and the nature of the work will be determined jointly by the student and the supervising faculty member. The portfolio should be the culmination of a student’s best work that represents a clearly conceived and well-integrated whole (either a single, well-developed work, or a coherent group of texts that make a collection). It shoudl aspire to the level of creative work expected of graduate students in MAF programs in creative writing. English Honors seniors following the creative writing emphasis only. Add codes in A-2B
496 A (Major Conference for Honors)
This course requires a thesis project, a substantive essay, usually 20-30 pages, but sometimes longer. Broadly speaking, the thesis is a complex piece of research-based literary analysis, criticism, theory, or other critical work related to English. Although most students choose literary topics, they are also welcome to do thesis work in English language study (linguistics), rhetoric and composition, cultural studies, film studies, and other emerging areas of the discipline. The honors thesis should aspire to the level of a good graduate term paper. Students will meet as a group at the assigned time and place; there may be days when the instructor chooses for the group not to meet and days when there will be individual conferences, but students should generally plan on meeting during the scheduled days and times. English Honors seniors only. Add codes in A-2B PDL.
496 B (Major Conference for Honors)
This course requires a thesis project, a substantive essay, usually 20-30 pages, but sometimes longer. Broadly speaking, the thesis is a complex piece of research-based literary analysis, criticism, theory, or other critical work related to English. Although most students choose literary topics, they are also welcome to do thesis work in English language study (linguistics), rhetoric and composition, cultural studies, film studies, and other emerging areas of the discipline. The honors thesis should aspire to the level of a good graduate term paper. Students will meet as a group at the assigned time and place; there may be days when the instructor chooses for the group not to meet and days when there will be individual conferences, but students should generally plan on meeting during the scheduled days and times. English Honors seniors only. Add codes in A-2B PDL. No texts.
498 B (Senior Seminar)
Screenwriting for Readers & Writers. This seminar is designed for both creative writers and those who don’t consider themselves writers but think of themselves as critical readers. The class will study films adapted from short stories, examine the screenwriting process and, through small group collaboration, write a screenplay adaptation of a short story. Senior English major only, Registration Periods 1 & 2. Text: Paul Argentini, Elements of Style for Screenwriters.
498 C (Senior Seminar)
Literary Learning: Challenges to Sense-Making.
“Is it not a pleasure to learn and to repeat or practice from time to time what has been learned?” –Confuscius
“Fictions are for finding things out, and they change as the needs of sense-making change.” –Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction
“Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense.” --favorite adage of former Seattle DJ team
This seminar focuses on three primary texts: a late 20th-century consideration of what schools are for, Neil Postman’s The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School; a writer’s meditation about ways of knowing and being, John Fowles’ The Tree; and a novel that makes its own sense of individual and collective American life, post-Vietnam, John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany. This seminar will provide opportunity for reflective as well as critical conversation and writing, and both creative writing and literature/culture majors are welcome. Senior English majors only, registration periods 1 & 2. Texts: Postman, The End of Education; Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany; Fowles, The Tree (note: the Bookstore may not be able to acquire used copies of Fowles’ The Tree; therefore please try to purchase from on line –google author and title for available copies.)
498 L (Senior Seminar)
Consuming Literature, Literary Consumption. Love, money desire, consummation, shopping: in this course we will delve into the pleasures and delusions of consumption. Starting in the late nineteenth century when department stores brought mass-consumerism to cities in Europe and the United States, we’ll investigate how consumption is a key trope in literature, and by which we read literature throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. We’ll consider consumption broadly as an economic, emotional, corporeal, and historical concept – and one that simultaneously encapsulates mundane, everyday activities (buying coffee, eating lunch, cruising the mall) and global economic and political conditions. We will follow these various notions in and through literature to evaluate how consumption and consumerism develop and change, and to ask just how prominently they matter. Some of the ideas, debates and phenomena we’ll trace include how anxieties over the cultural impact of mass-consumerism and consumer capital emerge in literary texts; how consumption and circulation condition national, gendered and racial identities and histories; whether love and desire are forms of consumption, and what it means to be consumed by one’s desires; how literature itself is consumed as a commodity in the marketplace and as stories that have cultural staying-power. Be prepared for a brisk reading pace, regular writing and collaborative assignments, and an annotated bibliography and substantial research paper at the end of the quarter. Senior English majors only, Registration Periods 1 & 2. Texts: Emile Zola, The Ladies’ Paradise; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Djuna Barnes, Nightwood; Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle; Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight; Monique Truong, The Book of Salt; Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’ Diary.
498 M (Senior Seminar)
Mapping the Reader’s Journey. We book lovers have had our hearts stolen, been transported to a different place by at least one book. Because you can never take the same journey twice, rereading a beloved book can be revelatory, of the reader as well as the book. In this course we’ll attend to the process of reading, exploring the difference between first readings and subsequent readings, discovering how the book is never the same and how we change as readers trekking across readings and through time. In addition to Anne Fadiman’s Rereadings, a collection of essays by diverse writers on the surprises and insights rereading brings, Italo Calvino’s compound positioning of the reader in If on a winter’s night a traveler, and a few articles, you will work closely with a book you choose. Writing assignments will include regular reflective exercises to log your journeys, as well as formal arguments you develop through rereading and revision. To prepare for this class, think carefully about which old love you want to revisit again for a few weeks. A book you read several years ago when you were in another time and place, and one about which you’ve already done some writing will be a good choice. Hopefully, neither of you will get through your reunion unchanged and you, dear traveler, will have a deepened appreciation for who you are as a reader and the role reading can play in your present and future journey. Senior English majors only, Registration Periods 1 & 2. Texts: Anne Fadiman, Rereadings; Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler.
498N (Senior Seminar)
Added 2/14; sln: 12792
Circa 1900: Transitional Realisms. How did resourceful, independent Huckleberry Finn grow up to become Benjy Compson, the wise-fool "idiot" narrator of Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury? How did late nineteenth-century American literary values, which emphasized everyday life and everyday folks, transform in just a few decades to accommodate the experimental forms and perspectives of modernist writers like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, T. S. Eliot and Zora Neale Hurston? In this class, we will investigate the pronounced cultural change that occurred across the divide of the twentieth century by examining its roots, through several clusters of "realist" texts produced around the year 1900. Our first "case study" involves Henry James and the perceptual uncertainties of novels such as The Turn of the Screw (1898) and What Maisie Knew (1897), along with several longish short stories, texts by James' literary associates, nineteenth-century psychologists, critical essays and some examples of visual art. Our second "case study" focuses on Charles Chesnutt and the ambiguities of the color line, via his novel The Marrow of Tradition(1901) and his stories of the color line (1899), alongside other stories about racial identity and conflict, critical essays, and examples from popular journalism, photography and anthropology similarly concerned with race and its elusive "definitions." In the final third of the quarter, students will compile their own "case study" of another set of texts circa 1900, working individually and in groups. Overall, our aim is to query the idea of "realism" and its capacity to generate radically different approaches to representation. This class should be especially useful (and fun) for students of literary history, cultural studies, modernism and nineteenth-century American literature, but will also satisfy those who simply like to read deeply. Senior English majors only, Registration Periods 1 & 2.
Individual study by arrangement with instructor. Prerequisite: permission of director of undergraduate programs; add codes in A-2B PDL.