WINTER 2007 
400-Level Courses

Course Descriptions (as of 3 January 2007)
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.)

440 A (Special Studies in Literature)
MW 1:30-3:20
Literature of Nature: The West. This course offers "special study" in a literature that forms part of the reading in various English courses, and is more and more showing up among English departments' regular offerings. This is literature of nature and the environment. You will engage with books that are very "close to home" in interest, for our emphasis will be Literature of Nature of the American West. In this class you will cap your acculturation in language and literature as an English major by going "back to nature." After all, culture is part of nature--as Gary Snyder says, words are wild. Nature. At the same time, nature, or human experience of it, is influenced by culture—and we will explore a range of frames or perspectives for experiencing, thinking, writing, and reading about nature. Following initial short readings from the Bible, Edmund Burke, Henry David Thoreau, and John Muir that set historical reference points, the course directs main focus to Literature of Nature in the West from the mid 20th C. to the present. The West here means the West Coast and inland Northwest. Our region has produced writers worthy of a rich tradition. (But be aware that the "Western" of story and film is a subject in itself and beyond our range.) Primary readings are drawn from Barry Lopez, “A Presentation of Whales,” Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums, sel. poems of Gary Snyder, video segment from Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert, The American West and Its Disappearing Water, John McPhee, “Los Angeles Against the Mountains,” James Welch, Winter in the Blood, Gretel Ehrlich, sel. from The Solace of Open Spaces, Annie Proulx, "Brokeback Mountain" (with attention to the recent film), Richard White, sel. from The Organic Machine, The Remaking of the Columbia River; Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping, sel. from William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground, Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. As seniors you have background preparing you to recognize and reflect further on conceptual framing or perspectives at work in texts and how readers read them. Here important frames or perspectives are: Christian, pastoral, sublime, Zen, environmentalist, Native American, work-oriented, gender/sexuality-oriented. We cover essays, fiction, historical accounts, and poetry, making for quite a number of works, but many are in slim volumes and short selections, and some are available via coursepak, class handouts, or video. Lecture-discussion. As you complete your undergraduate work there is value in deepening your experience and comfort in oral interchange as well as reading and writing. Our 30-person or smaller class size makes for a good learning environment for that, and I encourage your in-class contributions. (In-class engagement can factor into the overall grade by + or -.3). This capstone course also offers extra opportunity for conferencing with me on your papers (5-6 pp. paper 30%; 8-10 pp. paper 40%). The papers can build on each other, and for the longer paper I would like to see you expanding the scope of what you can assimilate into a multidimensional analysis, such as consideration of more than one text and/or consideration of text(s) in relation to relevant conceptual frame(s)/perspective(s) we have studied. Final (30%). Senior Capstone course. Majors only, Registration Period 1.

444 A (Dramatic Literature: Special Studies)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Comedy. This class will explore the genre of comedy. Its main objectives are (1) to read closely ten major comedies, from ancient to modern times, and see a few taped or live stage performances; (2) to grasp the esthetics of major writers such as Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Moliere, and Beckett; (3) to examine some major theories of the comic, and 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 origins of comedy; the forms and features of “high” and “low” comedy; the conventions and techniques of romantic and satirical comedy; types and functions of laughter; tragicomedy, travesty, and farce. Requirements and Grading: This is a capstone course of English seniors, with an emphasis on practical skills. Attendance is mandatory, and along with participation, will count as 25% of your final grade (or one grade unit). Several brief assignments on individual authors and (a) one longer paper on a major author, period, genre or problem (8-10 pages) or (b) a research-and-review portfolio. No final. I am open to adapt assignments to your purposes as you conclude your undergraduate work.
Senior Capstone course. Majors only, Registration Period 1. Texts: Aristophanes, Four Plays: The Clouds, The Birds, Lysistrata, The Frogs (tr. Fitts); Plautus, Four Comedies: The Braggart Soldier, The Brothers Menaechmus, The Haunted House, The Pot of Gold (tr. Segal); Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Moliere, The Misanthrope and Tartuffe (tr. Wilbur); Gilbert & Sullivan, The Mikado; Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest; John M. Synge, The Playboy of the Western World; Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot; Tom Stoppard, Travesties.

453 A (American Folklore)
TTh 1:30-3:20
This course will introduce students to the study of Folklore in America. We will discuss the major theories and methods used by Folklorists. We will learn approaches and techniques, then practice fieldwork, collect lore and interpret it in cultural, historical, and sociological context. Through assigned readings, we will cover a broad range of disciplines over many years but focus on American Folk expressive culture--music, dance, oral tales--from the perspective of a cultural aesthetic. Essentially, we will investigate the lore, of diverse cultures, which has profoundly shaped American cultural life. Class will consist of lectures, study of readings in Folklore, hands-on-observation of Lore, listening to music, viewing films on lore, class discussion, research, research presentation of lore, some quizzes, some ethnography. Assignments will include quizzes to review course concepts; research to learn in depth particular lore; presentation of that lore; writing ethnography. Potential students should have an interest in culture, willingness to read and observe cultures, reading and writing proficiency of upperclass persons ideally, but all are welcome. (Meets w. AFRAM 498D) Text: Barre Toelken, The Dynamics of Folklore.

457 A (Pacific Northwest Literature)
TTh 12:30-2:20
Contemporary Native American poets, authors and short fiction writers who are from the Northern Coast and Pacific Northwest. This is a “Northwest” that will for our purposes include Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Starting with the oral traditions of these writers and their communities, the class addresses the transition made between oral storytelling and the work of contemporary authors, some whose work is nationally and internationally known. (Meets w. AIS 378A.)

471 A (The Composition Process)
MW 3:30-1:20
This course introduces prospective English teachers and others interested in the study and teaching of writing to some of the major theories that drive contemporary composition instruction. With an eye on pedagogies of the last forty years or so, we’ll discuss and examine the staying power of the process approach and explore a range of theories and practices of teaching writing that will inform the work you will do in your own classroom. Texts: Joseph Harris, A Teaching Subject: Composition Since 1966; photocopied course packet.

478 A (Language and Social Policy)
T Th 2:30-4:20
This course examines various phenomena related to the Serbo-Croatian language, on the one hand, and, on the other, to the Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian languages. Concepts such as language death and language birth are explored. The relationship between dialect and language is analyzed. Notions of language politics, language standardization, and language codification in general and specifically in the Balkans are considered. Structures of Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian are briefly addressed for purposes of making linguistic comparisons. No prior knowledge of the language(s) is necessary since most readings are general and students may work on any language(s) of their choice. Meets with SLAV 470A & SLAV 570B.

483 A (Advanced Verse Workshop)
TTh 10:30-11:50
Intensive verse workshop. Emphasis on the production and discussion of student poetry. Prerequisite: ENGL 383; ENGL 384. Add codes available in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.

484 A (Advanced Verse Workshop)
Wed. 4:30-7:20
[Intensive prose workshop. Emphasis on the production and discussion of student fiction and/or creative nonfiction. Prerequisite: ENGL 383; ENGL 384.] Add codes available in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL.

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.

The Object(s) of Literature. The overall title of the English honors seminars for 2006-2007, The Object(s) of Literature, refers to a number of questions: Does literature have an object or objective, that is, a purpose, an end, some reason to be? Moreover, what are the objects that it takes up or represents or creates? By objects we mean the range of topics, characters, histories, and forms made possible by literary texts. The four honors seminars will take up some aspect of these questions, either about the (cultural, personal, or political) purposes of literature or about the ways literature is employed to produce some sense of an objective world that we engage as subjects.

494 A (Honors Seminar)
MW 12:30-2:20
Objects in the Mirror are Closer Than They Appear: The English Department at Work in Literature. This course will examine the university English department as object of ridicule, fantasy, and theater of the absurd. The players (English professors) engage in all levels of the seven deadly sins and commit heroic and cowardly acts of betrayal, loyalty, and revenge. What’s behind the curtain of academia and higher education? The lower depths of depravity? Henry Kissinger once remarked that the reason academic politics were so petty and bitter was due to the fact that professors have nothing to fight over. So what is the contested terrain? What are the intellectual stakes for those combatants? Are students standing in the way of the gunfire? While we’re reading fiction, students in the class will research real life incidents of dysfunctional English departments and report on the real versus the fake in academia. English Honors majors only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Texts: Alison Lurie, Foreign Affairs; Richard Russo, Straight Man; Francine Prose, Blue Angel; Ishmael Reed, Japanese by Spring; Jim Hynes, The Lecturer’s Tale.

494 B (Honors Seminar)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Colonial Thingification. We explore the transformation of human subjects into objects within the practices of colonialism, and within its neo-colonial aftermath, considering literary and theoretical representations of this process. We also examine the dynamics of consumerism and commodification. Primary texts may include works by H. Rider Haggard, Frantz Fanon, Aime Cesaire, Jamaica Kincaid, Grace Nichols, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ayi Kwei Armah. Some of these will be collected in a course pack. English Honors majors only; add codes in English Advising, A-2B PDL. Texts: H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines; Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy.

498 D (Senior Seminar) 12/18: NOTE NEW INSTRUCTOR, TOPIC
MW 1:30-3:20
Pre-Shakespearean Drama. In this course we will examine some varieties of English drama written before and leading up to Shakespeare, including .examples from English cycle plays, a number of non-cycle plays, morality plays and Tudor interludes. We will be formulating ways of approaching them as cultural markers, as expressions of civic identity, as performative spectacles, as intellectual parents and children of their own eras, as contemplative texts for reading, and simply as good plays. Senior ENGL majors only. Senior ENGL majors only. Meets w. ENGL 516A. Texts: David Mills (ed.). The Chester Mystery Cycle; John Coldewey (ed.). Early English Drama: An Anthology; Albert Labriola and John Smeltz (eds.). The Bible of the Poor (Biblia Pauperum): A Facsimile and Edition of the British Library Blockbook C.9.d.2; Michael Camille. Image on the Edge; Victor Turner. From Ritual to Theatre.

498 E (Senior Seminar)
TTh 9:30-11:20
New Black Aesthetics. What cultural, theoretical and political trends inform black literary production at the end of the twentieth century, or in the era to come after the civil rights movement, the black cultural nationalist movements of the late 1960s and 1970s, and integration? In this course, our primary goal will be to examine how various “postmodern” texts—marked in part by the shifting terrain of race in America—take a look back toward earlier forms of black culture and aesthetics. Many of the texts to be considered make self-conscious efforts to re-represent history, the meaning of black identity, and the conditions of community. As we engage this literature, we will consider how it addresses both past and present circumstances, and whether we can discern a “new” black aesthetics. Required texts are likely to include: Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo; Octavia Butler, Kindred, Andrea Lee, Sarah Philips; George Wolfe, The Colored Museum; Trey Ellis, Platitudes; Jewelle Gomez, The Gilda Stories; Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist. Texts likely to be available on E-Reserve: Linda Hutcheon, The Politics of Postmodernism (excerpts); Manning Marable, “From Freedom to Equality: The Politics of Race and Class”; Cornel West, “The Postmodern Crisis of the Black Intellectuals”; bell hooks, “Postmodern Blackness”; Mark Anthony Neal, Soul Babies (excerpts). Senior ENGL majors only.

498 G (Senior Seminar)
TTh 11:30-1:20
Gift, Sacrifice, and Literary Identity 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, they did so in a way that challenges ordinary methods of assessment.” We will begin with a study of contemporary theories of gift exchanges and sacrifice, which will highlight major themes in Coleridge’s and Wordsworth’s poetry and offer a new model of interpreting their unusual collaboration. We will then proceed with a close examination of Coleridge’s and Wordsworth’s work, focusing on periods in which they found themselves in close competition with one another. For example, while early on Coleridge wrote successful nature poetry and Wordsworth wrote moving stories of human suffering and social injustice, after their collaboration on the Lyrical Ballads (1798), Wordsworth turned to the philosophy of the mind’s relationship with nature, while Coleridge started to explore the effects of supernaturalism on agents caught in a world that no longer makes sense in terms of orthodox Christian theology. What will emerge from this seminar is a clear sense that Wordsworth’s and Coleridge’s careers were profoundly shaped by what each took to be the identity of the other, often misconceived through the distorting lens of self-projections. We will also compare multiple versions of a few major works by Coleridge and Wordsworth (such as Wordsworth’s “Salisbury Plain” poems and The Prelude and Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”), which are an important source of understanding the origins and nature of their literary collaboration. Senior ENGL majors only. Texts: Wordsworth, Selected Poetry (ed. Roe); Coleridge, Poetry and Prose.

498 H (Senior Seminar)
TTh 1:30-3:20

Love and the Social Bond in the Middle Ages, The goal of this course is to study the tension between individual erotic passion (whatever its form of expression) and the constraints of the family, feudal society, and religion. We will address these questions by reading a selection of examples of works written between the 12th and 14th centuries: preceded by the Old Testament Song of Songs as a foundation for medieval understandings of desire. This will be followed by two stories of virgin martyrs, a selection of Provençal and French courtly lyric poems, one or two courtly romances, (Tristan and Iseut; Yvain, and/or the Knight of the Lion, by Chrétien de Troyes), Dante’s Vita Nuova, Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath’s Tale,” the “Pardoner’s Tale,” and an unusual spiritual love letter by St. Catherine of Siena. All readings will be based on English translations, but students will be encouraged to read whatever writings they can in their original language.

Here are a few of the questions we will address:

• What is the relationship between courtly desire and medieval misogyny?
• What necessary link is there between sexual desire and sin?
• How is homoerotic desire understood and expressed in medieval letters?
• Can men and women of differing social ranks or classes properly love each other?
• What is the relationship between courtly love and chivalric combat in medieval romance?
• What are the social purposes of marriage in medieval society?
• What are the consequences, real or imagined, of adultery in medieval literature?
• What place does wealth have in courtly erotic desire?
• Can there such a phenomenon as truly spiritual or sacred erotic desire?
• Can men and women desire the Virgin Mary or the flesh of Christ?

Undergraduate students will be evaluated according to: their participation (30%), two short papers, 5-8 pp. (40%) and a take-home quiz (30%) at the end of the course. Senior ENGL majors only. Meets w. ENGL 516B, C LIT 496A; FRENCH 411, FRENCH 591. Taught by Prof. Eugene Vance, French & Italian Studies.

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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