Course Descriptions (as of 14 December 1998)
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.)
407A (Special Topics in Cultural Studies)
The Long Half-Life of Memory: Representations of Internment in American Culture. The title says it all: this course will address the ideological implications of the lingering cultural memory of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. While one need not have an in-depth knowledge of the internment, some general knowledge of Japanese-American history will no doubt be useful as we explore the means by which both Japanese Americans and others have represented and interpreted this unprecedented event in American history. The course texts will be varied, including novels, films, autobiographies, nonfiction, photography, and journalism. Students should expect to do a lot of writing and must be willing to participate regularly in class discussions. Texts: Okada, No-No Boy; Kogawa, Obasan; Mura, Where the Body Meets Memory; Sone, Nisei Daughter; Houston, Farewell to Manzanar; Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars.
430YA (British Writers: Studies in Major Authors)
MW 7-8:50 p.m.
Charles Dickens. This class will require student projects, individually and collectively, on such topics as Dickens's serial publication, illustration and adaptation of Dickens, Dickens and the theatre, Dickens as social critic, Dickens as journalist, Dickens and women. (Will meet Period 3 requirement for majors.) Evening Degree students only, Registration Periods 1 & 2. Texts: Dickens, Oliver Twist, Martin Chuzzlewit, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House, Great Expectations.
440A (Special Studies in Literature)
Reading the Urban Experience. The premise of this course is that the city is the central space of modernity. Our readings will be informed by architectural theory, art history, and, of course, social and cultural history. Class discussions will focus on issues of class, space, subjectivity, and agency. The course provides an introduction to a wide variety of literary genres that are intimately connected to the urban experience, such as Naturalist and Modernist novels, and the detective story. It also considers a number of "cultural texts" such as city plans, and visual depictions of the metropolis. We will examine journalistic representations of urban characters, early and "noir" films, and what art historian T. J. Clark has termed "the painting of modern life," in order to address some of the following questions: "How does the city represent 'the modern'?" "What kinds of identity and subjectivity are possible within the urban space?" "How does power circulate within the city" "How does a metropolis accumulate and represent 'cultural capital'?" (Meets Period 5 requirement for English majors.) Texts: Zola, Ladies' Paradise; Poe, Tales of Mystery and Imagination; Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Vol. 1; Joyce, Dubliners; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer; optional: Davis, City of Quartz.
440B (Special Studies in Literature)
South Asian American Literature. A quick look at the burgeoning South/East Asian communities through the eyes of their authors. The creation of an imaginative diasporic community. Texts: Meena Alexander, The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience; Manhattan Music; Mukherjee, Jasmine; Chandra, Sari of the Gods; Women of the South Asian Collective, Our Feet Walk the Sky: Women of the South Asian Diaspora; Rustomji-Kerns, Living in America: Poetry and Fiction by South Asian American Writers.
442A (The Novel: Special Studies)
The Pragmatic Attitude in Some Moderns. In this course we'll look closely at some aspects of the Pragmatism of William James to see how his psychological and philosophical ideas became part of Modernism in the work of Virginia Woolf, Robert Frost and Henry James, his brother. Be prepared to read closely and to write every week. There will be no exams; your grade will be based on four papers, 6-8 pages each. Texts: John J. McDermott, ed., The Writings of William James; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Henry James, What Maisie Knew; Robert Frost, Selected Poems.
452A (Topics in American Literature)
Emerson at Yosemite. Using Emerson's 1871 trip to Yosemite as our starting point, we'll discuss "the West" as the scene of various citations-nominations, reservations, portrayals, and preservations-that are overlaid like supervisory transparencies, on a landscape imagined as wild, wonderful, and, often, worthless. We'll investigate the ways in which the citation of wonder obliterates its own violent history, even as it performs an ongoing obliteration in the history it underwrites. As we unpack the exclusivities implied in imagining the West as the performative site of what one art critic called "the penetralia of destiny," we'll assay the social costs of wonder, of who can and cannot linger. Be prepared to range; one particular act of Emersonian nomination will take us from Winthrop's city on a hill to Jefferson's Monticello. We'll read three of the lectures Emerson delivered in San Francisco-"Immortality," "Resources," and "Character"-and circle back to earlier lectures such as "Nature," "Circles," "Self-Reliance" and "The Young American." We'll also read Thoreau's essay "Walking," several paintings by Albert Bierstadt, along with several short travel narratives about Yosemite (1848-1916). At the end of the quarter we'll read Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk with, and against our thickened understandings of "Yosemite." Requirements: participation in discussions; several short (1-2 page) response papers; reading and research journal; and a final paper (8-10 pages). Texts: Whicher, Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson; DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk; Peterson, ed., The Portable Jefferson; photocopied course packet of essays, reproductions, etc.
471A (Composition Process)
In this course, we will be talking about a number of the theoretical issues and concerns that have emerged over the past thirty years in the field of composition studies, focusing in particular on our everchanging understanding of the act of writing in terms of product, process, and practice. Along the way, we will find ways to test these theories through practical activities in the classroom so that you can gain insights into what different students experience when they are asked to write and what different teachers and researchers think should go on when students are asked to write. In the long run, the main goal of this course will be to expose you to a range of curricular approaches and pedagogical strategies that a variety of theorists and practitioners believe will lead to the successful teaching of writing. Your job will be to decide how to position yourself within this constellation of possibilities. Add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL. Text: Joseph Harris, A Teaching Subject: Composition Since 1966.
471YA (Composition Process)
MW 7-8:50 pm
This is a course about writing and the teaching of writing in the schools. We will discuss designing courses and assignments, responding to writing, standards and evaluation, roles of the teacher, and issues of difference. "Writing" more and more involves CMC (Computer Mediated Communication), and we will have a look at networked classes, virtual discourse communities, and the notion of net literacy. Writing for the course will include keeping a response journal (for some time), posting to an on-line LIST, and reflecting on that experience. Also a mid-term and a final. Add codes in English Advising office, A-2-B PDL. Texts: Tate, et al., Writing Teacher's Sourcebook; Dickson, Writing Narrative and Beyond; Harris, A Teaching Subject.
477A (Children's Literature)
Issues in the Study of Novels Read in Youth. What is Young Adult Literature? What is its history? What are its appeals? Why is it sometimes censored? How can it best be studied, taught, evaluated? We will apply such questions to novels written over a 150-year span that have appealed to teen-agers. Requirements: class attendance, participation, and memorized group performance; analytical essays, mid-term and final examination. Texts: Horatio Alger, Jr., Ragged Dick; L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables; Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage; Maureen Daly, Seventeenth Summer; S. E. Hinton, The Outsiders; Virginia Hamilton, The Planet of Junior Brown; Robert Cormier, The Chocolate War; Cynthia Voigt, Dicey's Song; Francesca Lia Block, Weetzie Bat.
479A (Language Variation and Policy in North America)
This course on the North American linguistic terrain examines ways that language policy can affect access to education, the labor force, and political institutions. The course focuses on dialect variation based in geography, class, gender, and ethnicity/race, also examining the policy issues affecting second language speakers. Text: McKay & Wong, Language Diversity: Problem or Resource?
483A (Advanced Verse Writing)
[Experience with the theory and practice of writing the short story.] Prerequisite: ENGL 383 or equivalent and writing sample. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL, (206) 543-9865, open 1-5 daily. Text: Heaney & Hughes, Rattle Bag.
484A (Advanced Short Story Writing)
This will be a workshop devoted to your stories. Plan on producing and heavily revising three stories (at least 25 pages) over the quarter. Also plan on reading and commenting carefully on your classmates' work. We will concentrate on the writing and revising process and on developing your individual visions of your work. This is not however, a class in writing genre or commercial fiction. As a draft of your first story will be due in the second week of class, it would be a good idea to get started over the break. Prerequisite: ENGL 384 or equivalent and writing sample.. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL, (206) 543-9865, open 1-5 daily. Text: David Michael Kaplan, Revision: A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction.
484B (Advanced Short Story Writing)
[Experience with the theory and practice of writing the short story.] Prerequisite: ENGL 384 or equivalent and writing sample. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL, (206) 543-9865, open 1-5 daily.
485A (Novel Writing)
Novel writing. Prerequisite: ENGL 384, 484, or equivalent and writing sample. Add codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL, (206) 543-9865, open 1-5 daily.Text: photocopied course packet.
Supervised experience in local businesses and other agencies. Open only to upper-division English majors. Credit/no credit only. Prerequisite: 25 credits in English. Further information and add codes in English Undergraduate Advising office, A-2B PDL.
492A (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. Prerequisite: permission of program director. Instructor codes in English Undergraduate Advising office, A-2B PDL.
493A (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. Prerequisite: permission of program director. Instructor codes in Creative Writing office, B-25 PDL, open 1-5 daily.
494A (Honors Seminar)
Strategies of Interpretation. This course will introduce English majors to a wide variety of strategies 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 scholar, writer and activist W. E. B. Du Bois. 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 that has been written on it both at the turn of the century and more recently, biographical material on Du Bois, theoretical work on race and nation, and some psychoanalytic theory. Though Du Bois will remain a part of our discussion throughout the quarter, we will always at the same time remain focused on how we develop different strategies for interpreting his work. In the last part of the course the interpretative tools that we have crafted will be used to produce criticism on other works by Du Bois, and to assess recent scholarship on his writings. The course will conclude with a discussion of the relationship between literary value and literary criticism, and on the role of the critic in shaping the literary canon. (Departmental honors students only; add codes in Undergraduate Advising office, A-2B PDL.) Texts: W. E. B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk; Dark Princess; Nella Larsen, Quicksand and Passing; Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark; photocopied course packet.
495A (Major Conference for Honors in Creative Writing)
Special projects available to honors students in creative writing. Required of and limited to honors majors in creative writing. Add codes in Undergraduate Advising office, A-2B PDL. No texts.
496A (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 Undergraduate Advising office, A-2B PDL.
497/498A (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
William Blake. This seminar will examine the poetry and visual art of William Blake. Our core concern will be to develop reading and viewing strategies that enable us to draw both meaning and pleasure from these verbal and visual texts. We will foreground in these efforts Blake's complex and peculiar notion of apocalypse and see what questions it raises, and might help us answer, in a variety of conceptual contexts: psychology, politics, epistemology, ethics, eschatology, logic, Christian theology, and literary criticism. We will also consider in what sense our own reading practices might be "apocalyptic." The course will emphasize close reading and discussion. There will be class presentations, occasional short writing assignments and exercises, and students will have the option of writing two short papers or one long paper. Senior English majors only. Texts: Erdman, ed., The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake; Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & Hell: A Facsimile in Full Color; Blake's America, A Prophecy and Europe, A Prophesy: A Facsimile; The Book of Urizen; optional: Blake's Illustrations for the Book of Job; Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience.
497/498B (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
The Literary Self-Portrait. In this seminar we will explore the existence of a literary type whose unusual "hybrid" nature has left it languishing in the margins of literary study yet whose texts are among the most prominent and canonical in literature. The "literary self-portrait" is one name for these narratives which purport-in one way or another-to tell the story of their authors' selfhood yet refuse to neatly fit into any literary category, least of all autobiography Yet is it autobiography? Is it fiction? Is it poetry? Is it reverie? Is it argument? Something of each? These texts will ask us to consider such questions, as well as whether or not gender matters in the narrative construction of identity. We will also consider how the forms and practices of story-telling itself figure in this context using excerpts from several critical sources. Senior English majors only. Texts: Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey with Journal to Eliza; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Reveries of the Solitary Walker; Wollstonecraft and Godwin, A Short Residence in Sweden and Memoirs of the Author; William Wordsworth, The Prelude; Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse.
497/498C (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Black Politics and Aesthetics. This course will analyze the relationship between aesthetic representation and political struggle in the civil rights and post-civil rights eras. We will focus our discussions primarily around a few central works of cultural criticism by black writers, written between 1940 and the mid-1970s. We will read these works in an effort to understand the major debates and controversies that have helped to shape black artistic and intellectual production in our own time. Major issues that we will consider include: (1) racially focused art as social protest; (2) the relationship of black artists to an "American" national identity; (3) the politics of inter-racial influence and cultural "theft"; (4) the impact of black nationalism and racial integration on aesthetic strategy; (5) the question of the existence of a "black aesthetic"; (6) intra-racial conflicts of class, sexuality and gender in representations of black "community"; (7) music as a model for a black cultural production; (8) the emergence of the black artist as a public intellectual. Primary readings for the course include works by Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neal Hurston, James Baldwin, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Harold Cruse, Eldridge Cleaver, Alice Walker, Ishmael Reed, and Toni Morrison. Senior English majors only. Texts: Wright, Black Boy; Hurston, Zora Neale Hurston Reader; Ellison, Shadow and Act; Jones/Baraka, Blues People; Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name; Cleaver, Soul on Ice; Walker, Living by the Word.
497/498D (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Shakespeare and Hypocrisy. I never have the heart to penalize people who offer the common misspelling "hypocracy" (for "hypocrisy"). What they are doing (consciously or not) is claiming that hypocrisy is a form of government-and who could argue with that? Not Shakespeare, who is both interested in and interesting about the role of hypocrisy in politics, the disasters that necessarily befall both unconscious hypocrities and those who think they can function without hypocrisy, etc. As we shall see. Senior English majors only. Texts: Shakespeare, Julius Caesar; Richard II; 1 Henry IV; 2 Henry IV; Henry V; Coriolanus.
497/498E (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Fictions of Whiteness. This class takes its cue from Toni Morrison's book Playing in the Dark: Whiteness in the Literary Imagination, in which she asks: What is Literary Whiteness?; What is it for?; And, what role does whiteness play in what is described as American? We will begin by reading some work in the growing field of critical whiteness studies to consider what is meant by "whiteness." We will then read some works of fiction by Toni Morrison, Kate Chopin, William Faulkner, Alice Walker and others to see what these texts can tell us about whiteness, Americanness and race. There will be three short response papers and one seminar paper. Senior English majors only.
497/498F (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Literature of the Fragment. In this seminar, we'll focus on the idea of the fragment in the late 18th century and the Romantic period. This was a time when the wealthy actually built ruins on their property, and the trend extended to literature! We'll read the fraudulent 'ancient' fragments of James Macpherson and Thomas Chatterton, novels by Sterne, Walpole, Goethe, Wollstonecraft, and Hazlitt, as well as poetry by Wordsworth, Coleridge, and others. We'll also look at some contemporary critical essays about the fragment. Expect to do a lot of thinking, a lot of talking, and a fair amount of writing. Senior English majors only. Texts: Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey; Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary and the Wrongs of Woman; Goethe, Sorrows of Young Werther; William Hazlitt, Selected Writings; Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto; Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling; photocopied course packet.
497/498G (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Tourists, Settlers, Explorers: American Travel Literature. Mary B. Campbell has written that the travel book is "a kind of witness: it is generically aimed at the truth. Neither power nor talent gives the travel writer his or her authority, which comes only from experience." This seminar grows out of the professor's fascination with traveling and scholarly interest in autobiography. It will concentrate on what truths travelers tell about their travel experiences and how they construct those truths in prose. So, we will study authenticity in travel literature-in the reconstruction of vistas and events that are observed and experienced, in the portrayal of encounters with "strangers" and strangeness, and in the articulation of the subjective yardstick by which travelers assess "other" cultures. The course will also enable students to develop a variety of travel experiences in the Seattle area and to translate those experiences into insightful critical prose. We will study travel narratives by exemplary American authors, write our own travel narratives, and research the critical scholarship available on travel literature. In this course students will be asked to make several geographical and psychic journeys on their own as well as to make several journeys together with the rest of the class. In addition to the required texts, students will need a camera (disposable will suffice) and a U-Pass. Senior English majors only. Texts: Carolyn Leighton, West Coast Journeys; Elaine Lee, ed., Go, Girl! The Black Woman's Guide to Travel; S. B. Wright, ed., Edith Wharton Abroad: Selected Travel Writings, 1888-1920; Mark Twain, Following the Equator; James Clifford, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late 20th Century; recommended: Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation; Emory & Ruth Strong, Seeking Western Waters: The Lewis and Clark Trail.
497/498H (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
Introduction to Greek Tragedy. We will start with Aristotle's Poetics, the first systematic account of the features of tragic drama: tragic hero, tragic flaw, catharsis, etc. Then we will read and discuss Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy (the murderous house of Atreus: Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Orestes); Sophocles' Theban plays (the tragedies of Oedipus and Antigone); and the domestic killings by Medea and Electra in Euripides' plays. Senior English majors only. Texts: Aeschylus, The Oresteia (tr. Fagles); Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays (tr. Fagles); Euripides, Medea and Other Plays (tr. Morwood).
497/498I (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
The 1950's. This seminar will take a cultural studies approach to the 1950's. We will focus on representative literary works, and we will read them in relation to "nonfictional" 1950's documents and events with two cultural studies precepts in mind. One is that context is everything. Implicit in this precept is the recognition that the meaning and force of any work depends on its context; reading contextually requires looking not only at how messages are expressed in one work but also how they are reinforced, amended, or contested elsewhere. The second cultural studies precept is that discourses matter because-and only insofar as-they move people to think, feel, and do certain things; in practice, this principle demands reading literature and other texts in terms of their effects. During the quarter we'll look critically at definitions of 1950's "America" and "American," taking up such topics as McCarthyism, the cold war, conformity, momism, rebellious youth (e.g., beats, rock 'n roll, juvenile delinquency), civil rights, and homosexuality. These definitions of nation and national subjectivity are taken from literature, law, (social)science, politics, cinema and popular media. The course objectives are: to hone cultural studies reading and writing skills; to cultivate a deeper understanding of 1950's America; and to evaluate the decade's definition of "America" and "American" on the level of their effects. Senior English majors only. Texts: Robert Coover, Public Burning; Paule Marshall, Brown Girl, Brownstones; Jack Kerouac, On the Road; in-class films; photocopied course packet.
497/498YA (Honors Senior Seminar/Senior Seminar)
TTh 7-8:50 pm
van den Berg (W)
English Women Writers: Is There a Tradition? This seminar examines poetry and fiction by women, focusing on woman as outsider--as character or narrator, exmaining issues of independence and relationship, of strength and weakness, of women's position(s) in society and in literary tradition. We'll focus on the ways women writers confront questions, from slavery to marriage to murder. Course requirements: one class presentation; one substantial research paper; class participation/discussion. Texts: Gilbert & Gubar, eds., The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women; Aphra Behn, Oronooko; Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth; Sara Paretsky, A Woman's Eye; Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Woods, ed., The Poems of Amelia Lanyer.