400-Level Courses

Course Descriptions (as of 5 Novemer 2003)
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.

471 A (The Composition Process)

TTh 10:30-12:20


Once the rallying cry of radical reform in the teaching of writing, “Process, Not Product” is now the official line of SPS and many other public school systems. As an official doctrine, it is ripe for analysis and critique, especially since there are other, strong winds of “reform” now blowing both from the State (Legislature?State Superintendent Burgeson) and a large private corporation called ETS. In addition we are beginning to think of writing as something that does not require paper and that can include components of several media. We begin this review and critique with the writing process, moving then to the kinds and purposes of Language Arts writing, the role of the teacher, and the issues of standards and of inclusion/exclusion. There will be a group investigation project, a two-page Response paper each week to one of the readings for the week, a midterm, and a final (individual) report of an empirical investigation. Each of these will be worth 20% of your course grade, the final 20% being for class participation (includes presentation of group report). Course URL: Add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Text: photocopied course packet.

483 A (Advanced Verse Writing)

TTh 1:30-2:50


A poetry-writing workshop with emphasis on poetic language, line patterns, and the orality of poetry. Prerequisite: ENGL 383, writing sample; add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL. Text: Voight & McHugh, Hammer and Blaze: A Gathering of Contemporary American Poets.

484 A (Advanced Short Story Writing)

MW 11:30-12:50


A capstone course in which students will attempt to demonstrate what they’ve learned about story form by writing several short-shorts (among the most difficult of all prose forms). Prerequisite: ENGL 384, writing sample; add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL. No texts.

485 U (Novel Writing)

Mon. 6:30-9:10 pm


[Experience in planning, writing, and revising a work of long fiction, whether from the outset, in progress, or in already completed draft.] Prerequisite: ENGL 384 or 484, writing sample; add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL. Texts: John Gardner, On Becoming a Novelist; John Braine, Writing a Novel.

486 A (Playwriting)

TTh 10:30-12:20

Added 11/13; sln: 8892
Students will write the equivalent of a half-hour’s stage time, do script-in-hand performances of their own scenes and/or sketches, critique each other’s work, and possibly attend rehearsals of plays in the Drama Department and at ACT. Add codes available in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL; ENGL majors receive priority. No texts.

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.

494 A (Honors Seminar)

MW 10:30-12:20

Lowlife. In this seminar we will be considering literary and theatrical representations of criminals and outcasts. This is a big subject with a long tradition, from Elizabethan rogue narratives to “The Sopranos,” but our focus will be on the English eighteenth century: partly because that is an unusually rich period within this tradition, partly also because I know it best and can contribute more from that perspective. We will concentrate on just a few texts. The centerpiece will be Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, (1728), with Defoe’s Moll Flanders (1722) and Fielding’s Jonathan Wild (1743) on either side. The crooks and street characters of those works are stylized figures, though having an obvious connection with real social life, and so for comparison we will also be looking at some archival documentation of their real-life equivalents in the Session Papers, which are rough and colorful transcripts of the court proceedings in the City of London criminal court (the Old Bailey), now accessible in full text form online. Though we will spend most of our time on eighteenth-century materials, the seminar will end in the twentieth century with a reading of Brecht’s reworking of Gay’s famous play as The Threepenny Opera, and a screening of the musical Chicago, just to sample some vivid modern versions of this old tradition. Students in the seminar thus will get some experience with these literary texts, with archival and documentary sources, and with critical opinion and theory about the representation of class and crime. For English Honors students only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL. Texts: Defoe, Moll Flanders; Gay, The Beggar’s Opera; Brecht, The Threepenny Opera; Fielding, Jonathan Wild.

495 A (Major Conference for Honors in Creative Writing)

MW 11:30-12:50


This class will be run as a series of tutorials or independent studies, though we may also meet occasionally as a group, should the students desire to read each other’s work. I see this as a capstone to your study of fiction writing at the University of Washington. I’ll expect you to produce 30-40 pages of writing, concentrating on revision of stories you have written in earlier classes. Some new material may also be included. Each student will work out a schedule for turning in work, discussing it with me, and revising for the final portfolio. Required of and limited to honors senior majors in creative writing emphasis. Add codes available in English Advising, A-2B Padelford. No texts.

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 office, A-2B PDL.

497/8 A (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)

MW 9:30-11:20



The Piers Plowman Tradition. Next to the works of Chaucer, the poems associated with the figure of Piers Plowman can claim an important and continuous place in the development of what we can call an English vernacular literary canon. The Piers tradition contains works that (primarily) focus on criticism and satire of contemporary secular and religious institutions and on the development of a morally reflective and personally engaged individual citizen of early modern England. We’ll start with two of the fourteenth-century versions of Piers Plowman, the A Version (in the original Middle English) and the (longer) B Version (in modern translation). We will then read and discuss works which evidence the reception and development of this idealized figure of the plowman as he appears during the subsequent two centuries. Requirements for the course will include – in addition to attendance and participation in class discussions – weekly short writing assignments, an oral report, and a term paper. 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only. Texts: Vaughn, ed., Piers Plowman: The A Version; Donaldson, tr., Piers Plowman: An Alliterative Verse Translation; Barr, ed., The Piers Plowman Tradition.

497/8 B (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)

MW 10:30-12:20



Early Modern Literature, Medicine and the Self. This course will focus on early modern literary and medical texts and the ways in which they defined the early modern self. The juxtaposition of the medical with the literary may seem strange, but the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries were a time both when the literary arts flourished and when the burgeoning field of anatomy was beginning to come into its own as a scientific discipline. Many writers of the period therefore appropriated images of the body and its constituent parts in order to help them express their ideas of human nature. We will be looking at poetic, medical, and secondary critical texts with the goal of understanding how and why major writers of the period appropriated medical terminology and anatomical theory in order to write about selfhood. Because we will be spending the majority of the time reading literary texts, the excerpts from both medical and contemporary scholarly works will be very brief, but will figure prominently in class discussion. Major authors we’ll be focusing on will include John Ford, Edmund Spenser, John Donne and John Webster. Students will be required to write weekly response papers, write one substantial research paper, take a mid-term examination and give one class presentation. 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only. Texts: John Ford, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore; William Shakespeare, Coriolanus; John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi.

497/8 C (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)

MW 11:30-1:20



Introduction to Australian Literature and Film. In this seminar we will read and discuss a selection of modern and contemporary Australian novels, short stories, and poetry; we will also view an example of the recent and significant revival in Australian film. The aim of the seminar will be to acquaint ourselves with major themes in Australian literature and film, and to situate these themes with regard to their historical, aesthetic, and cultural contexts. These themes will include: indigenous storytelling/writing and first contact; European homesickness; colonial ballads; the “yarn,” tall stories, and hoaxes; writing and the idea of a nation; women’s writing and writing for/about women; history and myth; exile and expatriatism; the pastoral and anti-pastoral; iconoclasm; rebellion; and disrespect. No prior knowledge of the literature or the cultural landscape of Australia is required, although a keen spirit of inquiry would be an advantage. Relevant contextual material will be provided in a course reader and will be developed in class during the quarter. Course participants will be welcome to make links between the course material and indigenous and New World experiences in North America (certain links will become clear rather quickly, as will some fundamental differences between Australian and North American contexts). Most classes will follow a seminar format. Assessment: Class participation 15%; seminar presentation 115%; short research assignments 15%; mid-term paper (5 pages) 20%; final paper (10 pages) 35%. 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only. Texts: Peter Carey, The True History of the Kelly Gang; Jack Davis, Mudrooroo Narogin, et al., eds., Paperbark: A Collection of Black Australian Writings; Stephan Elliot, dir., The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994); Miles Franklin, My Brilliant Career (1901); David Malouf, Remembering Babylon; Phil Noyce, dir., Rabbit-Proof Fence (2001); Doris Pilkington, Rabbit Proof Fence; photocopied course packet.

497/8 D (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)

MW 12:30-2:20


Reading Proust’s "In Search of Lost Time." In this course we will read all six volumes of Proust’s semi-autobiographical novel, variously translated from the French as Remembrance of Things Past, and In Search of Lost Time. The novel cycle was published between 1913 – 1927, the last two posthumously, and its techniques and themes are considered integral to the development of literary modernism. In addition to its heavy reading component (each volume is approximately 600 pages in length; we will read them all in ten weeks), the seminar will demand oral presentations and weekly response papers. 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only. Texts: Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time, Vols. 1 - 6.

497/8 E (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)

TTh 9:30-11:20



From McCarthyism to the Patriot Act. Until recently conventional opinion saw the McCarthy period as safely behind us, the American civic religion of anti-communism a distant memory, its connection with our current narrowed range of political choices conveniently forgotten. The legislative response to the Oklahoma City bombing and even more the Patriot Act and its proposed sequel, Patriot Act II, however, have given new interest to the earlier period of repression and resistance. In the course we will get inside the McCarthy period—or more properly, the Age of J. Edgar Hoover. Secondary studies will give us a sense of the conflicting interpretive possibilities. Even more revealing, though, is the work of suppressed writers like Meridel Le Sueur, suppressed films like Salt of the Earth, and such well-known works as The Crucible and On the Waterfront. E.L. Doctorow’s The Book of Daniel places the Rosenbergs in historical and fictional context. The Rosenbergs' sons have their own first person perspective. Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and Mark Jenkins’ All Powers Necessary and Sufficient give us 1990s interpretations, the latter in a work set at the University of Washington during the Hoover/McCarthy period. During the last part of the course, as a further bridge between past and present, we will test the similarities and differences between the earlier period and our own. 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only. Texts: LeSueur, Harvest Song; Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes; Miller, Crucible; Wilson, Salt of the Earth; Doctorow, Book of Daniel; Kushner, Angels in America, Pt. 1: Millenium Approaches; Jenkins, All Powers Necessary and Convenient.

497/8 F (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)

TTh 10:30-12:20



Representing the New Biologic: Fiction and Theory in an Age of Genomics. This course will examine a range of literary, filmic, and theoretical texts that represent transformations in our conception of the human body, the “natural” world, the distinctions among species, and reproductive processes that have been heralded by the mapping of the human genome and the advent of a range of new biotechnologies. We will consider theoretical and scientific writings on genomics alongside literary and visual texts, and will read historical materials on the history of genetic (often eugenic) scientific interventions. Our aim will be to understand how works of creative imagination allow us to envision the possibilities and pitfalls of “the new biologic” by which our culture has become saturated. Students will be expected to write original term papers and a series of shorter assignments over the course of the quarter. This course is designed to be reading and writing intensive. 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only. Texts: M. Pollan, The Botany of Desire; B.Katz-Rothman, The Book of Life; N. Ordover, American Eugenics; Octavia Butler, Dawn; Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats; Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake; photocopied course packet.

497/8 G (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)

TTh 11:30-1:20


Trauma, Memory and Invention: Contemporary Central European Literature. This course focuses on Central European writers since World War II and on the role they played in recalling fractured European pasts and in engaging the changed landscape of the European present. The holocaust, ethnic persecutions and resettlements and the partitioning of Europe created two distinct Germanies, an augmented Poland, a subject Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, a Czechoslovakia tilting away from historic ties to Vienna and Berlin towards remote Moscow and an independent, multinational and communist, Yugoslavia under Marshal Tito. The imaginative recall and questioning of the thread that joined past and present was taken up by the writers of the region. Whether exercising dissident or minority points of view, or simply trying to reconcile the lived experience of history with “official” history, these writers represented the holocaust, ethnic and pre-industrial cultures “time has forgotten,” as well as the wartime Nazis and Stalin era occupations, while posing critical questions about the “economic miracle” in the West and the “soft totalitarianism” and stagnation of the East. Requirements: Frequent short papers, presentations and a term paper reflecting independent research on the literary, cultural or political background of the region or a specific writer. 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only. Required Texts: Tadeusz Borowski, This Way for the Gas Ladies and Gentleman, Gunter Grass, Cat and Mouse; Czeslaw Milosz, Captive Mind; Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting; Vaclav Havel, The Garden Party and other Plays; Danilo Kis, “Encyclopedia of the Dead;” Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude; Tadeusz Konwicki, Moonrise, Moonset; Christa Wolf, Cassandra; Dubravka Ugresic, Museum of Unconditional Surrender.

497/8 H (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)

TTh 12:30-2:20



The Book in Literature. Our studies will start with a look at some pre-Gutenberg images of books and bibliophiles (Lucian, Augustine, Dante); then we’ll focus on the strange surprising uses of the book as object and idea, form and metaphor, in modern times (Cervantes, Swift, Flaubert, Mallarmé, Borges, Fowles, O’Brien, Kis, Phillips, et al.). Several brief assignments and a research project resulting in a 15-page final paper. 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only. Texts: Gustave Flaubert, Bouvard and Pecuchet; John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude; Danilo Kis, The Encyclopedia of the Dead; Flann O’Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds.

497/8 I (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)

TTh 1:30-3:20



Decolonizing Literature: African American Writers Between the Iron Curtain and the Color Curtain. For two decades after World War II, the politics of American literature and culture were defined not only by the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union but also by the struggles of writers and intellectuals such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, Chester Himes, James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry to replace the Cold War paradigm with one that viewed emerging global conflict in terms of North/South rather than East/West and defined “freedom” as the goal of struggle against racism, capitalism, colonialism, and ‘internal colonization’ rather than the Sovet Union. For both of these culture battles, “race” was a central term of conflict. In this seminar, we will examine discourses of the cold war and global decolonization movements in order to give an account of the many alternative internationalisms developed in the novels, books and essays of black writer-intellectuals in the period. Students will have the opportunity to investigate a “post-nationalist” approach to American studies and to learn critical approaches to the study of gender, sexuality, race and nationalism. The final result of the seminar will be a research essay taking up a topic related to black internationalism after World War II. Texts will likely include: Richard Wright, White Man, Listen!; The Outsider; The Color Curtain; Chester Himes: The End of a Primitive; Lorraine Hanesberry, Raisin in the Sun; Les Blancs; Amiri Baraka, The LeRoi Jones - Amiri Baraka Reader (selections); James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time. 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only.

499A (Independent Study)

Individual study by arrangement with instructor. Add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL.

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