|200 A||READING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms)
||M-Th 8:30-, M-Th 8:30-
As the official course description suggests, in this course we'll be delving into a range of American and British novels and short stories in order to, first and foremost, enjoy the richly-textured, deeply engrossing, and singularly challenging experiences only the process of reading fiction can offer. We’ll also be viewing a small selection of films of thematic and/or formal relevance to this exploration.
Our approach will be to experience and reflect on the complexity of reading as a practice, and "literature" as a particular (and peculiar) mode of meaning-making. As importantly, we'll consider the way that these different authors tackle the questions of individual worth and identity, communal belonging and violence, and national composition, decomposition, and recomposition which remain vitally important to us today.
Course requirements: Your final grade will be based on regular contribution to class discussion, GoPost reflections, and a number of writing assignments. Note that this is a "W" course, and as such will require you to produce 10-15 pages of graded, out-of-class writing, in the form of a longer paper with a required revision OR two or more short papers, likewise with revisions.
Books we’ll be reading:
Hammet, Dashiell. Red Harvest. 1929.
Faulkner, William. Light in August 1932.
Selby, Hubert Jr. Last Exit to Brooklyn 1964.
Whitehead, Colson. The Intuitionist. 1999.
Short selections may include:
Bobbie Ann Mason
|200 B||READING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms)
||M-Th 9:30-, M-Th 9:30-
This course approaches literature as a source of pleasure and knowledge about human experience. Students will develop a method for “reading literature,” and will practice engaging literary works (and, by association, other kinds of texts) on a complex, thoughtful, critical level. Much of this practice will come through simply reading a variety of texts, much will come through generating articulate questions about literature and its place in life, and much will come through working out responses (not necessarily answers) to those questions. In this course, we will read about people traveling into different cultural landscapes. We will explore the ways in which literature engages with issues of class, gender, race, sexuality, cross-cultural interaction, national identity, and empire at particular historical moments. We will read 19th century travel literature, a 19th century sensation novel, one 20th century novel, a contemporary postcolonial novel, and a course package including short stories, poems, and historical/ theoretical readings. Course requirements include regular attendance, a demanding reading schedule, quizzes, team presentations, active in-class participation, and participation on Go-post. To fulfill the W requirement, students will write and revise 2 short papers (each two pages long) and one final 6-8 page-paper. Total amount of writing: 10-12 pages.
• Bram Stoker. Dracula. (1897): ISBN 978-0-09-951122-9
• E.M. Forster. A Passage to India. (1924): ISBN 978-0-333-01458-5
• Ahdaf Soueif. The Map of Love. (1999): ISBN 978-1-4177-1111-6
• Amulya Malladi. The Sound of Language. (2007): ISBN 978-0-345-48316-4
• A course package
|200 C||READING LITERATURE (Rendering the American Family)
||M-Th 10:30-, M-Th 10:30-
This course orbits around two primary works: East of Eden, by John Steinbeck and Sometimes a Great Notion, by Ken Kesey. Like pulsar stars, these epic novels sound off of each other and send signals of American family life through constellations of critical inquiry. What does it mean to be a family in America? How does a family live in the American landscape? What is the role of work in a country that celebrates both independence and community? How are American identities (and citizens) formed in the context of family and work and landscape?
Questions such as these will be explored within the primary texts and also through diverse satellites of secondary material. By reading different genres such as fiction (both long and short), poetry, memoir, essays, and criticism, we can investigate the inter-dependent relationship between form and content that distinguishes literature as a means of making sense of the world (or, as we may discover, making worlds of our senses). A course pack will include diverse writers such as Sherman Alexie, Kate Chopin, Robinson Jeffers, Stephen Vincent Benét, and Martha Southgate, among others. And in addition to written works, we will watch a couple of films and listen to some radio broadcasts – fun for the whole family!
This course fulfills “W” designation requirements. As such, written work will include three short papers (with revision) and periodic reading responses. There will also be a mid-term exam, group presentations, and the threat of pop-quizzes. As a literature course, it is ASSUMED that you will read ALL of the assigned texts, participate in rigorous discussions, and engage the course material with imagination and introspection.
>> Steinbeck, John. East of Eden (0142004235).
>> Kesey, Ken. Sometimes a Great Notion (0140045295).
>> Course Pack
|200 D||READING LITERATURE (Colonial and Postcolonial Literature)
||M-Th 11:30-, M-Th 11:30-
This course considers the major literary texts of colonial and postcolonial literature with an emphasis on the shifts of the human experience. Students will survey texts from the 19th and 20th century in order to scrutinize issues of identity, imperialism, gender, and narrative style. The aim of the course will be to bring colonial and postcolonial texts into dialogue with each other in order to think about the ways in which modernity and tradition connect in the past and present.
By juxtaposing these literary periods, the course will also position literature in its social, historical and intellectual space while allowing students to comprehensively practice reading it. We will inspect a works by Chinua Achebe, Joseph Conrad, E.M. Forster, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jean Rhys, Jamaica Kincaid, Derek Walcott and others that will be used to generate critical analysis and discussion so that students can attain a better understanding of the ways in which postcolonial literature influences, rewrites, examines, and contradicts colonial readings. These texts will comment on, and often contest, the traditional historical and social representations of literature and for that reason, they serve as springboards for student discussions and papers. Course evaluation requirements include a rigorous reading schedule, short response papers, student presentations, in-class participation responsibilities, and a midterm and final paper that will require substantial revision to meet the W-course requirement.
•Heart of Darkness – Conrad
•Things Fall Apart – Achebe
•A Passage to India - Forster
•The Namesake - Lahiri
•Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
•A Small Place – Kincaid
•English 200D Reader – Available at Ave Copy (4141 University Way)
•“Gunga Din” - Kipling
•“Koenig of the River” – Walcott
• “A Far Cry from Africa” - Walcott
•“The Second Coming” – W. B. Yeats
•“The Ghost of Roger Casement” – W.B. Yeats
•"Passage to India" – Whitman
|200 E||READING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms)
||M-Th 12:30-, M-Th 12:30-
“Strange things I have in head, that will to hand; / Which must be acted ere they may be scann’d” (Macbeth III.iv)
In the Poetics, Aristotle writes that “there are some things that distress us when we see them in reality, but the most accurate representations of these same things we view with pleasure.” Edmund Burke echoes this sentiment in 1757: “When danger or pain press too nearly, they are incapable of giving any delight, and are simply terrible; but at certain distances, and with certain modifications, they may be, and they are, delightful, as we every day experience.” In this course, we’ll do the work of English 200--generally designed to offer techniques and practice in the reading and enjoyment of literature as a source of both pleasure and knowledge about human experience—with this alchemy in mind. Both Aristotle and Burke trace the process of how that which is unusual or discomfiting becomes pleasurable, through some act of representation or distance or modification; for the purposes of this course, that act is the literary figuring of those “things that distress us.” The course will focus on strange things in literature—what is considered strange in various contexts, how such things are represented and theorized, and what happens when writing itself becomes unfamiliar. The course will begin with Macbeth, and its climate of incessant unease, and move on to focus primarily on works from the nineteenth century, a period obsessed with categorizing and representing the strange, perhaps tracing this idea into the twentieth century, as Gothic characteristics become associated with the closely related genre of horror, and literature becomes concerned with representations of other kinds of strangeness—foreignness, modernity, illusion. By covering this generically and temporally expansive range of works, we’ll trace the legacy of the strange into our own time, and give attention to the question of the specific ways (including but not limited to the course description’s suggestions of imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense) literature works to offer pleasurable insight into (sometimes unnerving) human experience.
English 200 meets the university “W” requirement, which means that students must produce 10-15 pages of graded, out-of-class writing, which must be significantly revised. This will take the form of either two 5-7 page papers, or one 10-15 page paper. (For more specific W-course criteria, please see http://www.washington.edu/uaa/gateway/advising/degreeplanning/writreqs.php). Besides these papers, course work may include discussion leading, electronic postings, reading quizzes and exams, response papers, research work, presentations, etc.
Course Readings (subject to adjustment and change):
Macbeth, Shakespeare - 0393977862
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte - 0393978893
Dracula, Bram Stoker - 014062063X or 0140434062
Endgame, Samuel Beckett. 0802150241
*Course Pack/e-reserves with both primary and secondary readings
(readings may include: poetry by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, T.S. Eliot, and others; short stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Poe, and others; drama by Joanna Baillie and others; critical materials by Burke, Freud, and others).
|200 F||READING LITERATURE (Border Romances)
||TTh 1:30-3:20, TTh 1:30-3:20
This course introduces the practice of reading literature by considering
literary works that can be placed in conversation with the University of
Washington's common book for 2008-2009, Luis Urrea's The Devil's Highway.
Focus is on the concepts of "Border" and "Romance" in the novels of Carlos
Fuentes, Jovita Gonzales and Eve Raleigh, and Cormac McCarthy, as well as some
short fiction and secondary literature.
As this course is a writing-intensive W course, the primary mode of evaluation
will be in 15 pages of graded, revised, out-of-class writing, divided among
three papers. A participation component of the grade will involve shorter
assignments, both in class and to take home, geared toward enhancing your
knowledge of the texts and preparing for the papers.
|205 A||MTHD, IMAGNTN, INQURY (Method, Imagination, and Inquiry)
This course is offered as both an English and Comparative History of Ideas course. It offers a rigorous introduction to intellectual history by examining the rich relations between method and imagination, by treating Western intellectual history as overwhelmingly motivated by the idea of inquiry. Selections include literary, philosophical and scientific texts. The reading for the course is demanding, but coherent: each text provides a basis for better understanding the next. Selections include works by Plato, Aristotle, Giordano Bruno, Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, Descartes, Kant, Coleridge, C. S. Peirce, Thomas Kuhn and William Faulkner. The course meets daily; one meeting each week will be in smaller sections to go over reading and writing assignments. There is a take-home mid-term examination, a number of short papers, and a final paper.
|207 A||INTRO CULTURE ST (Intro to Cultural Studies: Virtual Worlds and Video Games)
||MW 9:30-, TTh 9:30-
Alexander Galloway in Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture argues that play "is a symbolic action for larger issues in culture" (16) and that video game "render social realities into playable form" (17). Using a broad archive of "imagined worlds" and video games, drawing on literature, film, hypertext, and scholarship, this course will identify and explore the key concepts, the key moves, and the key terms of the interdisciplinary fields of cultural studies. In other words, how do we develop a curiosity about the world? What are different critical practices and methodologies for unpacking cultural productions, such as websites or film or novels or video games? How do we understand and analyze the intersections of cultural and social formations like race, gender, class, nation, and sexuality? In this course, we will look at and analyze texts of media old and new through the lenses of cultural studies and deploy virtual worlds and video games as theories about and dramatizations of our social relationships and realities, our cultures, and our world.
Primary texts may include in whole or in excerpt: Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler's Keywords for American Cultural Studies, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Walter Benjamin, Will Crowther's Adventure, Judith Butler, Alexander Galloway, Shelley Jackson's Patchwork Girl, Benedict Anderson, Ian Bogost, Lisa Nakamura, Orson Scott Card, Sherry Turkle, Howard Rheingold, Maureen McHugh, N. Katherine Hayles, William Gibson, Tron, Donna Haraway, Nick Montfort, Cory Doctorow, The Matrix, and World of Warcraft.
New media and game play will be a required part of the class. Students will be required to keep a "plog" (play log) as part of the course website. Moreover, students will produce two short analytical papers (5-8 pages), which will potentially be used to develop into a larger online group project. Students seeking W-Credit will be accommodated.
|207 B||INTRO CULTURE ST (Exploring Cultural Studies in the Urban Archive)
A class that proposes to “introduce cultural studies” invokes a number of particular challenges. For one, rather than being located as a particular archive or collection of texts (Victorian poetry, the Postmodern novel, etc), cultural studies is a method – a way of reading generated from a diverse set of critical practices and academic disciplines. It requires asking questions not just about what we are reading, but how we are reading it and why. Secondly, cultural studies itself is a notoriously diverse approach that often varies greatly in practice and that takes its cues from humanistic and social sciences alike, making it difficult to define in any authoritative way.
This class will attempt to inhabit these difficulties while at the same time exploring the possibilities of a “cultural studies lens” as it is applied to the spaces, politics, and histories of 20th Century urban society. The modern city has a long history as a symbolic receptacle for both the specific values and historical anxieties endemic to national, democratic societies. In other cases, the city has also been seen as the physical expression of the conflicts and experiences – the speed, scale, and types of social relations – that define what it means to be “modern.” Our goal is to take up cultural studies questions in order to think about how issues of race and gender equality, tensions around capitalist production and consumption, questions of governance and authority, and problems at all scales of community and belonging are resolved or articulated through cultural representations and discourses of the city.
Our course texts may include James Baldwin’s portrait of a multi-racial New York, Another Country, D.J. Waldie’s mid-century suburban memoir, Holy Land¸ Paul Beatty’s satire of contemporary urban race narratives, White Boy Shuffle, and Samuel Delany’s investigation of Times Square sexual culture in Times Square Red, Times Square Blue. We will read these texts alongside a selection of popular culture materials (CSI anyone?) and a significant sampling of complex cultural theory. We may even attempt to get out into the city of Seattle itself to ask questions about urbanism in our own contemporary moment. Besides the reading, work for the course will include short, semi-weekly reflection papers and a larger, extended research project.
|211 A||LIT 1500-1800 (Medieval and Renaissance Literature)
||M-Th 1:30-, M-Th 1:30-
Pre-modern forms of excess. In this course we will read texts that exhibit pre-modern forms of excess. Our focus will be on pre-modern economic structures and their relationship to pre-modern forms of ritual and magic. We will read the poem Beowulf as well as selections from Chaucer. Supplementary readings in theories of excess and magic from Nietzsche, Bataille, Bahktin, Mauss and Bronislawski will also be included as part of your reading.
Regular Attendance is required, as well as participation in class, and two papers approximately 5-7 pages and 8-10 pages in length.
Texts will include: Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf, and selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. You will also have a course pack consisting of critical materials
|212 A||LIT 1700-1900 (Literature, 1700-1900)
||M-Th 8:30-9:30, M-Th 8:30-9:30
|213 A||MODERN/POST MOD LITERATURE (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
This course is designed to provide students with an entry point into major literary and intellectual concerns of twentieth-century literature. While focusing on the assigned texts, we will pay particular attention to the ways literature intersects with modern/postmodern social, political, and aesthetic phenomena. In addition to reading five novels, students will be required to read poems, short stories, literary criticism, and theoretical essays complied in a course pack. Other assignments include weekly in-class writings, four response papers (2-3 pages), group presentations, and a final research paper (5-7 pages). Primary texts include Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1902), E.M. Forster's A Passage to India (1924), Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart (1959), Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities (1972), and Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters (1990).
Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness. 
E.M. Forster. A Passage to India. 
Chinua Achebe. Things Fall Apart. 
Italo Calvino. Invisible Cities. 
Jessica Hagedorn. Dogeaters. [014014904X]
|213 B||MODERN/POST MOD LITERATURE (Modern and Postmodern Literature: Intellectual Developments of the 20th Century)
This section of English 213 will explore intellectual developments made during the 20th century in the areas of literature, film, and cultural theory. Students will need no prior experience with theories or representations of modernism or postmodernism. Our main objective will be to cover select texts in order to answer the following questions: What exactly were the interventions made in critical thought during the last century? What was specifically troubled by these interventions? And finally, what are the critical rewards offered by these interventions? Our basic course philosophy will argue that the intellectual developments encountered in the course must be measured by their impact on what we’ll term “culturally approved knowledge.” In other words, what did these 20th century texts change about both their respective media (i.e. how does Calvino challenge common conceptions about reading and literature)? And, how did these texts intervene into the socio-cultural landscape (i.e. how does Butler’s use of time travel help us think about race differently)?
To this end we are more concerned with the rewards and use value of the ideas developed during the 20th century rather than evaluating how true these ideas are to the concepts of “modernism” and “postmodernism.” Certainly, we’ll take up these terms during the course, but I want to resist using them as “check list” terms to identify what thought goes where. This course should be an exploration and confrontation with the multiple ways 20th century thought has developed and, more importantly, altered the intellectual landscape.
We’ll be reading Octavia E. Butler’s “Kindred,” Italo Calvino’s “If on a winter’s night a traveler,” and a selection from John Dos Passos’ “The Big Money.” We’ll also come to terms with Baudrillard’s investigation into kitsch, irony, and banality; Foucault’s discussion of panopticism; Zizek’s analysis of 9/11; the rhizomes of Deleuze and Guattari; and Barthes’ murder of the author. We’ll watch “Blue Velvet” by David Lynch and grapple with what Paul Coughlin’s calls the film’s “postmodern parody” of ideology. We’ll also traverse the virtual reality and simulations of David Cronenberg’s depiction of video game technology and reality in “eXistenZ.” Lastly, we will briefly cover select criticism on the above texts in order to further enrich class discussion and your own inquiry into the developments of 20th century thought.
Students will compose weekly GoPost responses online and submit two 5-page papers. Students will be graded on participation and the two papers.
Butler, Octavia E. Kindred, ISBN# 0807083054
Calvino, Italo If on a winter’s night a traveler, ISBN# 0156439611
Lynch, David Blue Velvet
Cronenberg, David Existenz
|225 A||SHAKESPEARE (Shakespeare’s World and Theatre)
The course is designed for students interested in becoming familiar with Shakespeare's work through a study of five of his plays. Our focus will be on the structure and language of the plays, their performative qualities, dramatic form and genres, and their relations to the social and political tensions of Shakespeare's time. The course centers on close readings of the texts and is designed to develop facility in dealing critically with the issues raised by the plays. Some of our main thematic concerns will be the theatrical conditions at the turn of the seventeenth century, marriage, family, economics, gender relations, and monarchical power. We will pair the plays with various documents from the early modern age such as homilies, philosophical writings, political and medical treatises, anti-theatrical tracts, and an early modern blockbuster, The Spanish Tragedy, from Thomas Kyd, one of Shakespeare’s theatrical predecessors. As we attempt to understand Shakespeare historically, we will also try to place him in our own world in its global context. Assignments include: two 5 page papers, each to be substantially revised, five one page responses, a midterm and a final exam.
Required Textbooks (the plays will be read in the following order):
Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew (Bedford) ISBN-13: 978-0312108366
Shakespeare, William. Richard II (Arden, 3rd Ed) ISBN-13: 978-1903436332
Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night (Bedford/ St. Martin’s) ISBN-13: 978-0312202194
Kyd, Thomas. The Spanish Tragedy (Revels) ISBN-13: 978-0719043444
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet (Bedford/St Martin’s). ISBN: 9780312055448
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth (Bedford/St. Martin’s) ISBN-13: 978-0312144548
A Course Pack
|229 A||ENGL LIT: 1600-1800 (English Literary Culture 1600-1800)
This introductory survey of seventeenth and eighteenth-century British Literature will focus on the topic of character, conduct, and behavior. We will begin our reading with the following questions: How did authors of this time period construct and comment upon behavioral norms through literature? How do the genre conventions of the time influence their treatment of conduct? And, how do the categories of class, gender, and race complicate the behavioral norms that are being prescribed and troubled?
We will begin with Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Milton’s Paradise Lost, but other authors may include: John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Aphra Behn, William Wycherley, William Congreve, John Gay, Eliza Haywood, and Olaudah Equiano.
Course requirements will include extensive participation, presentation and discussion leadership duties, small response papers, and a midterm and final exam.
William Shakespeare. The Taming of the Shrew. Penguin. 
John Milton. Paradise Lost. Norton Critical. 
Stephen Greenblatt. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Restoration and Eighteenth-century (v. C, 8th ed.). Norton. 
|230 A||ENGL LIT: AFTER 1800 (English Literary Culture: After 1800)
In How Novels Think, Nancy Armstrong writes that “wherever novels are written and read they are, in all likelihood, reproducing the modern individual in both fiction and fact” (9). The claim that novels not only describe, but help construct, the subject, necessarily leads to more questions about the work of the novel and the nature of individuality itself. In this class, we’ll limit the scope of our inquiry to British literature written between the mid 19th and early 20th centuries, a time-period in which the novel became the dominant form of literary representation. We’ll further refine our focus by considering the role emotions play in the novel’s articulation of the subject. Different representations of how emotions work – from, say, depictions of deep psychological interiority to instinctual, animalistic responses – create radically different claims to subjectivity. To contextualize the work that novels did in defining and creating the feeling subject in this time period, we’ll turn to contemporary works from other disciplines that also significantly contributed to this conversation, such as the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin and the psychological work of Sigmund Freud. Literary texts will include: Villette, A Christmas Carol, Dracula, and What Maisie Knew. Additional reading selections, including critical texts and literature from other genres such as poetry, will be in a course packet. Course requirements will include short response papers, a class presentation, and mid-term and final exams.
|242 B||READING Prose FICTION (Periodization and Aesthetic Trends)
||M-Th 9:30-, M-Th 9:30-
American lawyer, journalist, general and diplomat John Foster once remarked that “fiction may be more instructive than real history.” Foster’s pithy statement may be better understood in light of Robert Louis Stevenson’s lengthier one: “The most influential books and the truest in their influence, are works of fiction. They repeat, rearrange, and clarify the lessons of life, disengage us from ourselves, constrain us to the acquaintance of others, and show us the web of experience, but with a single change—that monstrous, consuming ego of ours [is] struck out.” In this class we will read a selection of Anglo-American novels and short stories in order to investigate the varied and shifting roles that fictional literature has played in society over the past two hundred years, as various authors have used fiction to both uphold and challenge the status quo. This course is also designed to familiarize you with different periods of literature and the dominant modes of thought that have influenced fiction writers at various historical junctures; to this end, readings will be drawn from the Romantic, Realist, Modern, and Postmodern periods. The overall course goals are to hone your: 1) critical thinking skills; 2) ability to analyze literary texts; and 3) ability to write about literature. Student responsibilities include daily attendance, active participation in discussions and activities, one brief oral presentation, two short paper proposals, and two 5-7 page papers with revisions.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Norton, 1995. 
Melville, Herman. Moby Dick (Eds. Herschel Parker and Harrison Hayford). Norton, 2001. 
James, Henry. Daisy Miller (Eds. David Lodge and Philip Horne). Penguin, 2007. 
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway (Ed. Bonnie Kime Scott). Harvest/Harcourt, 2005. 
DeLillo, Don. White Noise: Text and Criticism (Ed. Mark Osteen). Viking/Penguin, 1998. 
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th ed.). MLA, 2003. 
|242 C||READING Prose FICTION (Global Modernities, Global Intimacies)
||M-Th 11:30-, M-Th 11:30-
English 242 sets as its primary goal reading fiction from a rather expansive historic trajectory, spanning “the medieval to modern periods.” While covering such a broad sweep of time is a challenging feat for a single-quarter course, one field of critical work attempts to grasp the study of literature and culture at this scale: the study of “modernity.” A central concept in nearly every discipline—from history and English to political science and anthropology—modernity is traced to a number of interrelated social processes: the rise of democracy, the emergence of the nation-state, the shift to urban industrial capitalism, the invention of new print technologies, and the secularization of knowledge, to cite but a few. Yet behind this blithe narrative of progress, “modernity” has served ideological ends: dividing the world between “modern” societies and those relegated to “the waiting rooms of history.” The supreme contradiction about this division of the world—developed and developing—is that modernity itself was a necessarily global production. Slavery, colonization, and migration provided the material conditions for the “wealth of nations.” The particular modernity heralded by the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries could not have been achieved without encounters across and between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
For Winter 2009, we will read Herman Melville’s short novella Bartleby, The Scrivener as an inroad for analyzing modernity and its discontents. Then, for the duration of the quarter, we’ll read short stories and novels that situate modernity within a global scale. The fiction selected will highlight what cultural theorist Lisa Lowe has termed “the intimacies of the four continents”—those links, interdependencies, and intimacies between Europe and North America with Africa, Asia, and the creolized Americas.
Required course texts will likely include: Selections from Blake by Martin Delaney, Who Would Have Thought It by Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. There will also be a reader of selected short stories from the 18th – 20th century and possible critical selections from: Lisa Lowe, Paul Gilroy, Gloria Anzaldúa, Edward Said, Dipesh Chakrabarty, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
Method of Instruction: Some lecturing for historical framing and critical context. As a W-credit course, English 242 requires that students write and revise throughout the quarter. To meet this requirement, students will write a series of short writing assignments that will be revised and incorporated into a midterm essay. The final essay for the course may also revise, develop, and extend previous student writing. Additionally, there will be an in-class midterm and final exam, and students will sign-up to contribute to an online course archive.
|242 D||READING Prose FICTION (Read Prose Fiction)
||M-Th 12:30-, M-Th 12:30-
|242 E||READING Prose FICTION (Nature and the National Imaginary in Fiction)
||M-Th 1:30-, M-Th 1:30-
English 242 is intended to encourage and develop practices of critical interpretation in the reading of fiction. In this course we will work with fiction, spanning nearly 50 years from approximately 1900 to the mid-twentieth century, in order to examine the relationship between the physical environment and the political, social and economic practices of an industrializing U.S. A central concern of our class inquiry will be the social construction of nationhood, the national imaginary, and the relationship between nationalism and dominant conceptions of environmental degradation, resource-extraction, preservation and sustainable human/non-human interaction.
We will attempt to formulate a critical approach to fiction and the environment through investigating the ways that nature has been portrayed, in novels and short stories, in relationship to the nation form and its socio-economic power structures. The following are several questions that will drive our critical inquiry: What do fictional representations of nature tell us about the relationship between society and the physical environment? What role has the socially constructed meaning of Nature played in the national myth of the American Dream, expansionism, and U.S. exceptionalism? And, finally, what opportunities, and limits, do we discover in the project of privileging fiction in an analysis of these cultural meanings and practices?
English 242 is a ‘W’ credit course and students will write two 5-7 page papers (each with required opportunity for revision after instructor comments) over the course of the quarter.
Possible texts include:
Jack London, The Call of the Wild (1903)
Charles W. Chestnutt, “Po’ Sandy” and other stories from The Conjure Woman (1899)
Willa Cather, O Pioneers (1913)
Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin), selections from American Indian Stories (1921)
Ernest Hemingway, “Big Two-Hearted River”
William Faulkner, “The Bear” (1940)
Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957)
|242 F||READING Prose FICTION (Fictionalizing the Victorian Novel)
||M-Th 2:30-3:20, M-Th 2:30-3:20
In the Victorian literary marketplace, fictions abounded in the form of romances, short penny-press papers, lurid newspaper accounts and sensation fiction. The Victorian reader would have noticed, say, similarities between the tales of adultery and bigamy in the newspaper and tales of adultery and bigamy in his or her favorite novel. These simultaneous fictions were often competing for readers and competing for claims to “the truth.” In this course, we will take a look at many different examples of Victorian fictions, paying particular attention to the ways in which these fictions rear their heads in several novels of the time period. In order to pursue this, we will focus on England’s most famous literary family: In reading the major works of Charlotte, Emily and Ann Brontë, we will seek to understand them as individual writers and their novels as complicated amalgamations of different types of fictions. We will begin by reading some of the Brontë sisters’ earliest writing (often referred to as the juvenilia) as a means of understanding their literary beginnings. From there, we will move on to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, which is often thought of as a bildungsroman. We’ll complicate this notion by pairing the novel with a particular type of erotica that is concerned specifically with the figure of the governess. From there we will read Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, which will be paired with other, shorter gothic tales of depravity and misery. Our final novel will be Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which we will read alongside sensationalized accounts of domestic abuse and reform texts.
In this course, we will seek to make connections between these older types of fictions and contemporary fictions as well, as a means of establishing a line of continuity. (For example, after reading Jane Eyre, we will take a look at excerpts from The Nanny Diaries.) Each novel will be paired with a set of critical texts that will provide a variety of theoretical perspectives. At the beginning of the quarter, students will be responsible for choosing one of these critical texts and will lead a discussion on that text in small groups. Because this is a W course, students will be required to produce a significant amount of thoughtful, academic writing that is revised in response to instructor comments. There will be a required 5-page mid-term essay, as well as a final 5-page essay. Each essay must incorporate at least one of our major course texts as well as two critical sources. In addition to these two essays, students will be asked to submit weekly postings on Go-Post and will engage in a variety of shorter writing projects over the course of the quarter.
*Course pack at Ave Copy (critical materials, juvenilia, etc.)
*Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Penguin Classics, 2006. ISBN: 0141441143
*Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights, Norton Critical Editions, 2002. ISBN: 0393978893
*Brontë, Anne. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. OUP, 2008. ISBN: 0199207550
|243 A||READING POETRY (Sound Disorders)
The topic of this course is the troublesome relationship(s) between poetry and sound. Scholars and poets have often appealed to sound as a fundamental quality of poetry, a material characteristic that distinguishes poetry from other kinds of language. Such appeals have just as often landed poetry in the proverbial thicket, amid a tangle of conflicting identities. Partly at issue may be what we can properly call poetry’s “medium,” as different paints, utensils or materials serve the visual and plastic arts. Robert Pinsky has cleverly insisted that “[t]he medium of poetry is the human body: the column of air inside the chest, shaped into signifying sounds in the larynx and the mouth.” Taking Pinsky’s conception as a starting point, a thesis to both challenge and explore, we’ll confront poems from the Medieval period up to and through the current moment, paying particular attention to how poems sound, and how sound both constructs and breaks apart what we think of as poetry. We’ll also note some of the historical controversies that poetry has generated in artistic, scholarly, and political contexts, and see if we can get a sense of where and how sound figures into the form and function of reading poetry.
Student responsibilities include daily attendance, discussion, plenty of reading aloud, a group project, a few short critical responses, and two 5-7 page essays (with revisions).
Wordsworth & Coleridge. Lyrical Ballads. Routledge. [041535529X]
Susan Howe. The Europe of Trusts. 
Robert Pinsky. The Sounds of Poetry. 
|250 A||American Literature (American Literature)
||M-Th 8:30-, M-Th 8:30-
English 250 is a survey course that focuses on the major writers, modes, and themes in American literature and in this course we will be focusing on many of the defining texts of the nineteenth-century. We will be looking at the literature of the early Republic through the nineteenth century and the socio-economic, ideological and historical forces shaping the literary productions of the period. Republicanism in the words of Abraham Lincoln was the “political religion” of the United States so that America was a virtual echo chamber of republican assumptions and values. One of the consequences of the power of republicanism to shape American consciousness was that the ideological assumptions were reproduced throughout the literature affecting characterization, narrative structure, plot, theme and setting. And certainly one of the most resonant narrative structures to emerge out of the American Renaissance, foundational to republican ideology, is the Romantic archetype who emerges from “poverty and obscurity,” from the margins of society to achieve “a state of affluence and some degree of reputation in the world” (Franklin 3). We will focus on the major works of the early Republic, antebellum and late nineteenth century as well as a host of lesser known authors and dime novelists in order to hone the requisite skills necessary for successful literary interpretation.
With these texts in mind we will accomplish the following goals: (1) construct an interpretive framework with which we will conduct effective and informed analyses of the primary texts in question; (2) investigate the larger cultural ramifications that these texts as a group have had on the American imagination and consciousness; (3) formulate complex arguments concerning these writings; (4) bring to bear scholarly essays on specific primary texts in order to see how scholars have dealt with these texts and to broaden our own understanding of and relationship with the ideas expressed within; (5) and finally and ideally begin to reshape, re-imagine and deepen our own understanding of what America means.
|250 B||American Literature (A Poetics of “the People”: Literature and Crisis in American Studies)
||M-Th 12:30-, M-Th 12:30-
Antonio Gramsci defines historical crisis as a “crisis of the ruling class’s hegemony.” By this he means historical moments in which social categories as they are defined by those in power in order to represent their world-view become threatened. Some might argue this is true at all times but most would agree that certain moments in American history can be understood primarily through their definition as crisis. This class will focus on a few of these historical moments – roughly, the end of the 18th and 19th centuries and the middle to late 20th century – to try to think critically about what social structures, conditions of possibility, negotiations, and circuits of power are at work during what we’ll call crises in the definition of “the (American) People.” Our main intellectual questions will be: What does “America” mean? And who are Americans? Or, more precisely, who gets to be American? And how? And why? Since, literature has always played some role in producing answers to these questions, we will then ask: What is a national literature and why has literature even been associated with the nation at all? What role might the literary play in producing “the People” of a nation? What intellectual space might literature provide for reinforcing, negotiating, or challenging that definition and those that define it?
Because America is produced through multiple discourses, disciplines, and institutions, including but not limited to “its” literature, our literary readings will be juxtaposed with other kinds of readings, including: primary historical documents (such as the “Declaration of Independence” and Exclusion Acts); theoretical readings about the nation form; and literary criticism about the texts we read. This will all be in an effort to ascertain what they might mean by the term “the (American) People” in order to produce our own working definition of the term. As race is the salient modality through which “the People” are defined and through which “America” is lived, our focus will be on reading literary texts as part of U.S. racial formation. Readings will include multiple genres (novel, play, short stories, and poetry) and may include Thomas Jefferson Notes on the State of Virginia, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson “American Scholar,” Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman, Francis Harper Iola Leroy, Harriet Jacobs, William Faulkner, Richard Wright Native Son, Langston Hughes Simple Stories, James Baldwin Blues for Mister Charlie, and Gloria Anzaldúa.
A decent grade will depend heavily on class participation and engaged interrogation of each day’s reading as well as several short papers and a final paper project.
|250 C||American Literature (Introduction to American Literature)
||M-Th 2:30-, M-Th 2:30-
From the moment of their arrival on American soil, the Anglo settler began a process of reshaping identity from a “stale” European model into a uniquely American hybrid frontiersman—infusing old-world cultivation and Christian dogma with the get-up-and-go spirit necessary to survive in an inhospitable new terrain. This course will sample major American writers who have captured the essence of this spirit from the colonial period through the present. We will aim to track the development of American character as it morphed from persecuted emigrant to global superpower. While Puritan thought and the western frontier figure prominently as staging grounds for our readings, the focus of the class will be to recognize how our national mythology was first created and later reconfigured, giving rise to such figures as the robber barons of the Gilded Age or the heroes of hard-boiled detective fiction.
Our reading will include a small handful of novels and a significantly larger selection of short stories and poetry by authors tentatively to include: William Bradford, Jonathan Edwards, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane, Theodore Roosevelt, and others. The following texts will be available through the University Bookstore: Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick; Robert Montgomery Bird, Nick of the Woods; Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntley; Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian; Additionally, a course pack will be available at Ave. Copy on University Way.
Course requirements: The final grade will be based on regular contribution to class discussion, several writing assignments, and the final exam. As this is a “W” course, writing will play a key role in analyzing the assigned literature. Each student will be required to write two short analytical essays (3-4 pages in length each), one major essay (5-7 pages), as well as revisions of each.
|251 A||Literature and American Political Culture (The Possessive Individual and its Freedom(s))
||MW 12:30-2:20, MW 12:30-2:20
In the final chapter of C.B. MacPherson’s seminal book, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism, he identifies seven assumptions that undergird the theory of a liberal democratic society. Most notable, he identifies how “freedom from the will of others” is the defining feature of humanity and that this “freedom” is understood to be the capacity to own oneself. As he aptly states, in proposition three, “The individual is essentially the proprietor of his own person and capacities, for which he owes nothing to society.” Yet, with this negative version of freedom as the definition of the human, it begs the question of who exactly can occupy this position of freedom and thus, who can count as human. Rather than taking this idea of “freedom” to be an ideological ruse, we explore what it produces. Thus, one asks: where are the places where a “possessive individual” can be free from (an)Other? What are the historical and social conditions that maintain this freedom of the “possessive individual”? How does this “freedom” maintain those socio-political conditions?
In this course, then, we will inquire on the “possessive individual” and its “freedom(s),” tracing it through the organization of a liberal democratic social order and its necessary entanglements in the regulation of subjects. We will take C.B. MacPherson’s account as our starting point and move out to its wider imbrication in the organization of the state, the law, civil society, the family, and capital. Concomitantly, we see how each of these domains are predicated upon and reproduces forms of subjection in and through race, class, gender, and sexuality. Geographically, this inquiry will be situated in a U.S. context and historically begins in Reconstruction and moves onward. Ultimately, what compels this inquiry is two questions: 1) what is the historical and theoretical legacy of “possessive individualism” in the U.S.? 2) And what is its status in the contemporary neoliberal moment?
In order to develop this line of inquiry, we will work through a number different disciplinary methods and accounts, from political theory, cultural studies, history, literary analysis, and political economy. Also, we will examine a couple cultural text in, which will include Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Nella Larson’s Passing, Malcom X and Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Paul Beatty’s The White Boy Shuffle, and some episodes of Season 4 of The Wire.
|281 A||INTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Intermediat Expository Writing)
|281 B||INTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Intermediat Expository Writing)
|281 C||INTERMED EXPOS WRIT (The Rhetoric of Writing in the Workplace)
In 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded on lift-off, killing all
aboard. Why did that happen? Rhetoricians have identified key memos and
conversations between managers and engineers in which miscommunication
resulted in a series of disastrous decisions to launch. A critical
incident such as this raises questions about communication in the
workplace more generally: What is the function of piece of writing in a
workplace context? How does writing in the workplace come to be the way
that it is? What kinds of choices do writers make in workplace contexts
and what are the stakes of those decisions? This course will address
“writing” in the workplace as both a practice and as a phenomenon
that writing studies scholars study. Course assignments will engage
students in the scholarly literature about writing in the workplace, as
well as introduce students to workplace genres of writing and the
rhetorical choices that writers make. Enrolled students are not expected
to have either a current workplace or a commitment to a future workplace
or career. Course material will address a wide range of workplace
contexts at a level that can be generalized to suit all interests. This
is a computer-integrated course (CIC).
While 281 has no formal prerequisite, this is an intermediate writing course, and instructors expect entering students to know how to formulate claims, integrate evidence, demonstrate awareness of audience, and structure coherent sentences, paragraphs and essays. Thus we strongly encourage students to complete an introductory (100 level) writing course before enrolling in English 281.
|282 A||COMP FOR THE WEB (Composing for the Web)
This class will address the ways in which the task of composition changes in online contexts. All assignments will involve bottom-up website development. So, the first section of the course will cover the basics of coding in HTML and CSS. We will then look at the history of the internet, new media technologies, and writing for the web. From there, we will discuss the brief history of theorization of writing for the web, highlighting the specific features and capabilities, stakes and consequences of web composition. We will conclude by using these histories to analyze websites, web applications, and web-based narratives. Our final project will involve applying what we have discussed to develop a web-based discussion of course themes.
In keeping with the concept of the course, course readings will be available electronically. As mentioned above, course assignments will take the form of web pages that put into practice the tactics and theories discussed in class. There will be no final test, but there will be a final web-based project. Attendance is required, as is participation in discussion both on and offline.
N.B. This is not a composition class, nor is it a class on coding languages. It is a class on the theory and practice of web composition. As such, that will be our focus. This class takes place in a computer lab and we will talk about basic coding concepts, but students will largely be responsible for knowing or learning HTML&CSS on their own. In that vein, basic familiarity with a PC, the internet, and web browsers is recommended, but not required.
Recommended: Castro, Elizabeth HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Sixth Edition: Visual QuickStartGuide
|283 B||BEGIN VERSE WRITING (Beginning Verse Writing)
In this course we will come to terms with the form and the content of poetry from the outside and from the inside. That is, both as careful readers and as intrepid writers of poems. Weâ€™ll focus not so much on what a poem means, but on how it means; the extraordinary effect its meter, form, and language can have on us.
|283 C||BEGIN VERSE WRITING (Beginning Verse Writing)
|284 B||BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing)
This course is an introduction to the writing of fiction. We are all inherently
storytellers, blessed with imagination, the ability for observation and
recollection, and a tireless need to share. But, how we tell these stories, how
we situate each idea, each phrase, each word to play out with a particular
rhythm, along a particular path, revealing truths about the world around us –
this is the stuff of narrative craft. Our job as writers is to read and write
deliberately, with intention. So, we’ll read published works, looking at the
ways other writers approach key craft elements, and we will engage in writing
workshops where you will receive and dole out respectful responses. There will
be a number of short writing exercises and each student will produce a 10-20
page short story, which will undergo substantial revision.
Burroway, Janet. Writing Fiction: A Guide To Narrative Craft. [0-321-27736-8]
|284 C||BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing)
For the first time in a large-format class, the collective UW Creative Writing faculty, along with other visiting artists, will remember in public why they do what they do. On ten sequential Tuesdays, they will speak in depth about what interests them most, including the ways and means of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and the joys and vagaries of inspiration, education, artistic practice, and the writing life. Thursdays will constellate a literary reading series. Discussion sections will be scheduled in between.
Serious curiosity is the only requirement for admission. Students will be expected to attend all talks, do the assigned reading, respond to problems and exercises posed by the lecturers, and participate vigorously in the ongoing conversation. By the end, they will have had a disciplined brush with literate passion, practiced imaginative methods at the point of the pencil, learned something about books from people who write them, and gained a practical sense of the artist's way of knowing the world.
Conceived as a perpetual work-in-progress, according professors full freedom in designing their respective contributions, the course will find its coherence in the conversation we leap to make of it. Sample topics: What Is It? or, Ars Poetica; Forms of Poetry, Forms of Thought; Mythos-Minded Thinking: From Proverbs to Parables, Stories as Metaphors in Motion; Odd Autobiography; Reading the New; Literary Collage & Blurring Boundaries; The Writing Life; The Revision Process; Closing Words.
No required text. Readings will be posted online or handed out in class. Grading will be based equally on reading (by quiz and conversation), writing (solutions to assigned prompts), and participation (attendance and discussion).
Repeat: this course is intended to bring infectious literate passion within earshot of as many people as possible at the University of Washington. No formal prerequisites. Everyone is invited.
This course follows on English 202. It is designed to provide English majors with an in depth experience of the practice of literary study. Clearly there are many ways to study literature and our understanding of the “best” or “most useful” practices continue to be contested and changed over time. In this course we will focus on three critical frameworks that have become dominant in the contemporary academy and that inform work done by members of the profession (and the UW department) today: Marxist materialism, feminism, and critical race theory. By contrast to earlier models of literary criticism, particularly New Criticism (which we will discuss so that we know what we are critiquing) which sought to find in literary texts transcendent messages and universal meanings, the frameworks we focus on in this course situate texts within their historical context of production and reception and seek to understand the power dynamics, including dynamics informed by gender, race, and class, that necessarily shape their meaning and message, as well as their style and form. Our study of these critical frameworks will involve us in close, intensive reading of dense theoretical arguments about literature and of a few key texts by major modern thinkers that have impacted how we interpret literature in less direct, but no less significant ways. In addition, over the course of the quarter we will read several literary works; we will consider how our understanding of each is shaped by the critical frameworks we have developed and how each, in turn, reveals the (in)adequacy of these frameworks and/or suggests other ways of thinking about literary production. Theorists whom we will consider include: Marx, Freud, Althusser, Lukacs, Williams, Jameson, Sedgewick, Belsey, Spivak, McClintock, Carby, Smith, Gates, and Morrison. Literary texts include Melville, Woolf, Winterson, Kincaid, and Butler.
|302 B||CRITICAL PRACTICE (Critical Practice: Theories of the Everyday.)
This course will introduce you to the critical practices emerging from recent (and not-so recent) theories of the everyday. You might wonder, “Do we really need a theory of everyday life?“ While the term “everyday life” might seem self-evident, its significance can best be summed in Maurice Blanchot’s phrase, “the everyday escapes.” The seemingly ungraspable experience of everydayness has come to stand in for those aspects of urban modernity by which we organize our daily practices of production and consumption. We shop, go to work, make dinner, go to a movie, all as if in some form of ether. Yet, the everyday conceptually organizes our world in its accepted and repetitive forms: the separation of production from consumption, the division of modern life into work and leisure, and the emergence of panoptical surveillance as the prevailing form of power. The purpose of the course is, first of all, to provide some overview to the range of theoretical approaches to everyday life. We will do so both by reading literary texts and by reflecting on our own everyday lives as the objects for theoretical inquiry. “Okay,“ you might ask, “but what do theories of the everyday have to do with my work as an English major? After all, this is meant to follow up the Introduction to the Major (Engl. 202) and to prepare me for other English Department courses.“ The second purpose of the course is to use our investigations to think about the functions of theory and the place of literature in an academic setting. We will think about what it means to “do theory” or to “use theory” and how theory itself is a feature of our everyday lives. It’s my hope that this course will be a bridge not only to other English courses but also, and more importantly, bridge your personal and your academic lives. Among the issues we will consider are Pierre Bourdieu’s and Michel de Certeau’s theories of practice, Bill Brown’s “thing theory,” Susan Willis’s discussion of exchange and use value. Among the literary works we will encounter are Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine, Robert Irwin’s The Limits of Vision, Aimee Bender’s An Invisible Sign of My Own.
|310 A||BIBLE AS LITERATURE (The Bible as Literature)
The Bible is among the world's most influential works, and has contributed immeasurably to the literary traditions of the English language. This course will consider the Bible as itself a work of literature, with certain recognizable tropes and genres. No previous exposure to the Bible is needed; the only requirement is a willingness to engage with the Bible as a literary text.
|310 AA||BIBLE AS LITERATURE (The Bible as Literature)
|310 AB||BIBLE AS LITERATURE (The Bible as Literature)
|311 A||MOD JEWISH LIT TRNS (MODERN JEWISH LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION)
Course Description: Although the course requires the words “in translation” in order to accommodate the many languages adopted by Jewish writers after 1880, I am expanding the reading list this quarter to include several works that do not require translation because they were written originally in America and in the English language. Yet even for these stories written in English I would retain the notion of “translation” which comes to us from the Latin past participle—translatum—of the verb transferre which describes a journey, a crossing of rivers, borders, and oceans, to transport oneself or to carry baggage from one domain to another. Language and literature is an important part of that baggage. In this course we will trace the migration of Jewish literature between 1880 and 1940 from the Yiddish language commonly spoken in the shtetl and the ghetto of Eastern Europe to its re-emergence in various languages from Tel Aviv to Odessa and New York. Our readings include the Yiddish of Sholom Aleichem, I. L. Peretz, and I. B. Singer, the Hebrew of Dvora Baron and S.Y. Agnon, the Russian of Isaac Babel, and the first phase of a Jewish-American literature written in English with a heavy inflection of Yiddish by Abraham Cahan, Anzia Yezierska and Henry Roth. I will also appeal to film, painting, and song throughout the period. Although the focus of the course is Jewish writers before the Holocaust, we will conclude with several stories (and films) from the post-War period that bear the imprint of the tradition that we will have just studied.
Stories by Sholom Aleichem, I. L. Peretz and I. B. Singer (Electronic Reserve)
Dvora Baron [1887-1956] (H & Y) The First Day
Isaac Babel [1894-1941] (R) Collected Stories
Abraham Cahan [1860-1951] (E) Yekl and the Imported Bridegroom
Henry Roth [1906-1995] (E), Call it Sleep
Stories by Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth (Electronic Reserve)
For SUMMER 2007 and AUTUMN 2007: We will read a variety of poems and fictional works from France, Germany, England, and the U.S. in order to get a sense of the complex phenomenon called “modernism,” a style or cluster of styles of writing that flourished from roughly 1910-1930. There is no simple definition of what this term means; like other period terms in literary theory (cf. “romanticism” or “realism”), it refers not to any single quality of literary works but to a diverse set of stylistic characteristics, any of which might be missing from any given work referred to as modernist. Thus the only way to get a sense of how the term works is to read a number of texts that are labeled with it and see how they are similar and how they are different.
We will also be concerned with the methodology of the study of literature and specifically with the method called formalism. Formalism in criticism developed in close contact with modernism in literature (for example, T.S. Eliot is both one of the central modernist poets and one of the fathers of formalism) and could thus be called “modernist criticism.” In my class lectures I will continually stress formalist methods of reading, and in the papers you write you will be expected to develop skill in these methods.
There will be a short warm-up paper on modernist poetry in the first week, followed by a 3-4 page mid-term paper on the same topic. Your final paper will be a 4-5 page paper on modernist fiction. I highly recommend that you buy a manual, handbook, or glossary of literary terms (any one will do), and use it to look up concepts like ‘modernism,’ ‘romanticism,’ ‘sonnet,’ and so forth. You should study the definitions of these terms over and over during the quarter to try to get them firmly into your heads.
We will spend the first half of the course reading the work of three poets, the last half the work of three prose writers, as follows: Poems: Baudelaire, poems (xerox), Rilke, poems (xerox), Eliot, Selected Poems; Fiction: Kafka, The Metamorphosis, Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Gide, The Counterfeiters The work of Baudelaire and Rilke will be available in a course packet from the Ave. Copy Center, 4141 University Way.
|316 A||POSTCLNIAL LIT & CLTR (Postcolonial Literature and Culture)
This course investigates contemporary South Asian literature in order to think through the domestic and international politics of migration, violence, sovereignty, and gendered agency. In addition to the literature, we will engage with films and appropriate theoretical essays that draw on postcolonial, queer, and feminist theories and cultural studies. Class is structured around student participation and discussion.
4 required books:
the inheritance of loss
can you hear the nightbird call?
a. rau badami
and the world changed
m. shamsie, ed.
cast me out if you will
|320 A||ENGL LIT: MID AGES (English Literature: The Middle Ages)
(Evening Degree Program)
|322 A||ELIZABETHAN LIT (Literature in the Age of Elizabeth)
In a memorable scene from Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, the conjuror resurrects and
proceeds to question legendary figures from classical antiquity. Through the
magic of print we will attempt a similar feat, reanimating some of the famed
writers of Renaissance England: Shakespeare, Spenser, Sidney, Marlowe, Kyd,
Donne, Webster, Dekker and Middleton. Thanks to their efforts, the reign of
Elizabeth stands as a fabled, golden era in the history of English literature.
In this course, we will immerse ourselves in the cultural climate that produced
such a heady vintage of talented authors, and examine the ways their works
reflect the intellectual, political, and religious ferment of their age.
Spanning a variety of genres, from chivalric epic to pastoral romance, city
comedy to revenge tragedy, erotic to devotional verse, our readings should
provoke inquiry into a number of charged topics: nature vs. culture, gender and
sexuality, imperialism and spirituality, nationhood and selfhood. Students will
be asked to write two 5 page essays, two short reader response essays, and
participate in class and small-group discussions. A love of reading and
ruminating on great books is mandatory; doublet and hose are optional.
|324 A||SHAKESPEARE AFT 1603 (Late Shakespeare)
What does a playwright do after writing a work like Hamlet? In Shakespeare’s
case, totally explode the conventions of romantic comedy and tragedy that he had
mastered the decade before (while irreverently rewriting Homer), probe the
psychological mechanics of irrational hatred and jealousy with unprecedented
realism, undermine the tenets of received religion in a tragedy that questions
the competence and existence of the gods, and pen a profound meditation on the
uncanny power of art to mitigate the inevitability of suffering and loss. In
other words, Shakespeare was not about to rest on his proverbial laurels. The
four plays we will examine this quarter – Troilus and Cressida, Othello, King
Lear, and The Winter’s Tale – rank among his most philosophically daring and
Beyond familiarizing students with the plotlines and over-arching themes of the
plays, this course will also boldly wade into current critical debates swirling
around them: their sexual, spiritual, environmental and racial politics, their
performance and textual history, the ways they reward or resist
historicist/cultural materialist analysis. In addition students will learn to
recognize and savor the distinctive aesthetic charms of Shakespeare’s late
style. Course work will include 2 short response essays (2 pages each), an
annotated bibliography, and a longer research paper (7-8 pages). Some prior
experience with Shakespeare or pre-1800 literature is recommended; intellectual
curiosity is the only prerequisite.
Milton's early poems and the prose; Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes, with attention to the religious, intellectual, and literary contexts. Text: Orgel & Goldberg, eds., John Milton.
|327 A||REST/18TH C LIT (Sex and the Eighteenth-Century City)
The late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries saw the explosive growth of London and other English cities and an equally unprecedented outpouring of popular literature directed specifically at city-dwellers. This course will examine how urban growth dramatically changed literary representations of femininity and masculinity, and transformed the concept of personal identity. While some writers celebrated the city as a vibrant site of general debauchery (gambling, prostitution, drinking, masquerades), others suggested that literature could provide a moral antidote to the corruption that urban living engendered. We’ll explore the relationships between the city and the country, and between men and women, by surveying a variety of late-seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century drama, poetry, and fiction including Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, William Wycherly’s The Country Wife, Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock, and Eliza Haywood’s Love in Excess. In addition to active class participation, course requirements will include midterm and final exams, several reading responses, and an essay.
The Longman Anthology of British Literature, volume 1C—The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, ed. David Damrosch et al.
Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders
Samuel Richardson, Pamela
|330 A||ROMANTIC AGE (Gothic Romanticism)
Literary critics have long insisted on a difference in imaginative potentials between Gothic novels and Romantic writings. There has been a tendency to consider the Gothic as primarily a form of prose fiction, as something subordinate to its early contemporary. One critic goes so far as to call the Gothic the bastard cousin of Romanticism. Indeed, Romantic writers, particularly the first generation writers, attempted to distance themselves from the sensationalism and immorality of Gothic works. For example, William Wordsworth condemns such “frantic novels, [and] sickly German Tragedies” in his Preface to Lyrical Ballads, a work that is considered by many to mark the beginning of the Romantic period of British literature. Wordsworth’s friend and colleague Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a scathing review of Matthew Lewis’s popular thriller The Monk, particularly denouncing its depraved subject matter. However, both these poets and especially second generation Romantic writers adopted and adapted themes that were central to the Gothic. In this course we will explore the influence of Gothicism on writers such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary and Percy Shelley.
|333 A||ENGLISH NOVEL (Narrating Self, Narrating World: The Early to Mid Nineteenth-Century English Novel)
In this course, we will examine early to middle nineteenth-century novels that grapple with a variety of issues, among them Britain’s sense of itself in relation to other European nations; Britain’s abolition of the slave trade; issues around gender, marriage, and domestic violence; class conflict; race; and the British empire. In addition to these pertinent issues, we will also explore the various tasks the novel performed as a genre, including but not limited to its cultivation of national and imperial identity, its theorization of “development” and “progress,” the function of characterization in eliciting reader responses to pressing social concerns, the role of shock or sensation, and the use of wit and humor. Be prepared to read approximately 200 pages per week and to contribute consistently to class discussion. The primary method of instruction will be class discussions connected closely with short and long writing assignments. We will explore literary criticism and some literary theory (to be made available in a photocopied course packet) in addition to the novels. You will write a short paper on each novel plus a longer final term paper.
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, ISBN # 0141439793
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, ISBN # 0393975428
Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, ISBN # 0199207550
Charles Dickens, OliverTwist, ISBN # 039396292X
William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, ISBN # 0141439831
Photocopied course packet
|335 A||AGE OF VICTORIA (Identities and Literary Culture in the Age of Victoria)
In this course we will explore the broad theme of “Victorian” identity—individual, gendered, sexual, class-based, racial, national, and imperial—as it was theorized through literary production of the period. Some questions that will guide our work through the quarter include: what role did literary culture play in shaping different kinds of Victorian identities? What were some of the major trends—and corresponding shifts—in articulations of “Englishness” in the Victorian period? In what ways have we (in our current historical moment) inherited particular notions (or critiques) of identity from our Victorian precursors?
Besides our novels, we will explore work by Thomas Carlyle; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; John Stuart Mill; Matthew Arnold; Robert Browning; Christina Rossetti; Rudyard Kipling; and others. In addition to the assigned novels, we will also read poetry, possibly one play, short essays, and literary criticism. A photocopied course packet will provide additional readings. The course will rely heavily on class discussions that build close reading, critical questioning, and argument that you will further refine in a series of short papers, one mid-term paper (approximately 5 pages), and a final term paper (7-9 pages). Reading load, on average, will be 200 pages per week.
Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton, ISBN# 0393930637
Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, The Perils of Certain English Prisoners, ISBN #1419140892
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, ISBN #0199537054
Sarah Grand, The Heavenly Twins, ISBN #1406862444
Norton Anthology of English Literature: Eighth Edition, Volume E. The Victorian Age. ISBN #0393927210
Photocopied course packet
|336 B||EARLY MOD ENG LIT (English Literature: The Early Modern Period)
In this course we will follow the development of literary modernism in Britain, noting how the fiction (our primary object of study) and poetry (secondary object) of this period fashioned itself as a literature of transformation. We will focus on questions of representation: the issue of the relationship between art and reality, including how modern writers experimented with new techniques to represent minds and bodies. Part of this issue involves the notorious difficulty of modernist texts, and we analyze the challenges we encounter to understand why these writers were so preoccupied with finding new forms of representation. We will also examine the relationship between the major cultural transformations of this period and our readings. Readings will include James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Rebecca West, The Return of the Soldier; Ford Maddox Ford, The Good Soldier; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; David Garnett, Lady Into Fox; Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall; short stories and a selection of poetry that will include World War I poets, T. S. Eliot, and W. B. Yeats.
|337 A||MODERN NOVEL (The Modern Novel)
What does it mean to be modern, and what distinguishes modernity from the past? At the beginning of the twentieth century, novelists grappled with the question of modern identity, both in terms of individuals and the literary works they created. We will read several modernist novels to understand what makes them distinct from previous novelistic forms, why these particular authors experimented with representation the ways they did, and what these texts can tell us about the intersection of literature and history. Modernism has been characterized as "grim reading," but in this course a much more varied picture will emerge—reading that is also innovative, startling, strange and at times moving and amusing. Expect to read very carefully and closely in this course as we work through the experimental techniques and other challenges of the texts. Readings will include: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Evelyn Waugh, A Handful of Dust; William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Ivy Compton-Burnett, Manservant and Maidservant.
|340 A||MOD ANGLO IRISH LIT (Modern Irish Literature)
This course is a general introduction to Irish literature. After a brief
survey of medieval and early modern works and authors, we'll focus on the
Irish Literary Revival and its aftermath (1880-1940). The reading list
includes works of visionary intensity, humor, and irreverence, exploring
the tangles of Irish history and politics. We'll be paying special
attention to the role of literature in forging a distinct national and
personal identity, and the unique contributions of Irish writers to
modern British literary culture. The course will be especially useful to
students who wish to study further the Irish masters of British modernism
(Yeats, Joyce, and Beckett) or contemporaries such as recent Nobel-prize
winner Seamus Heaney. Requirements include: memorizing one longer or
several shorter poems by Yeats; short written assignments on each
author/work, and a final.
|343 A||CONTEMP POETRY (US Poetry Since WWII)
This course provides an overview of the kinds of poetry published in the United States since World War II. We will be looking at many of the genre's superstars--John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Adrienne Rich--but we will be spending as much or more time with lesser known but no less fascinating figures-Charles Bernstein, Judy Grahn, Lyn Hejinian, and Etheridge Knight. We will be discussing the period's principle movements-the likes of the Beats, the Black Arts Movement, and Language Poetry--as well as concentrating on thematic topics, such as the flurry of anti-Vietnam War verse from the later 1960s.
|349 B||SCI FICT & FANTASY (Science Fiction and Fantasy)
This version of this course is designed to provide a historical introduction to print science fiction as a genre, with a strong but not exclusive emphasis on the development of the genre in the U.S. during the 20th century. The course will be organized around debates over the definition of science fiction that are internal to the science fiction field. We will therefore read examples of pulp adventure narratives; the hard SF tradition promoted by John W. Campbell, editor of Astounding (later Analog); alternative forms that begin to emerge in the 1950s, including the more self-consciously literary narratives associated with Anthony Boucher's Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as the traditions of social satire and political SF associated with H.L. Gold's magazine Galaxy, and early feminist science fiction; the "New Wave" movement of the 1960s and 70s; and cyberpunk fiction and responses to it. In addition to this historical narrative, the critical concerns that we will consider include the historical and ideological contexts for science fiction narratives, such as the traditions of travel writing and utopian/dystopian speculation, and the formal tension between science fiction's tendency toward a realist aesthetic and its simultaneous commitment to the fantastic and to imagining departures from realism that often have the effect of defamiliarizing our assumptions about what is normal. Primary readings for the course may include such texts as: Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars; James Gunn, ed., The Road to Science Fiction, vol. 3; Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man; Samuel R. Delany, Babel-17; Thomas Disch, Camp Concentration; James M. Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), Her Smoke Rose Up Forever; Pat Cadigan, ed., The Ultimate Cyberpunk; William Gibson, Neuromancer; Octavia Butler, Dawn; Bruce Sterling, Distraction; Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life; Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars; Cory Doctorow, Little Brother; Nisi Shawl, Filter House; Sheree Thomas, ed., Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora.
|350 A||TRAD AM FICTION (The Captivity Narrative in American Fiction)
This class will consider the role of the “captivity narrative” in American literature and in the American social imaginary. To what degree, we will ask, does the shifting function and uptake of this genre, from the colonial period and across the 19th century, reveal particular anxieties about what, exactly, constitutes “American” identity? What do these stories reveal about the relationship between race and nation? What do they tell us about faith and discipline, historic gender roles, and the righteousness of American expansion? While privileging an inquiry that addresses the captivity narrative in relation to colonial and American literature prior to 1900, we will also consider the uptake of such narratives in American cinema after the Second World War, attending to the cultural and political function of this post-war repurposing.
Literatures will likely include, but not be limited to: Maria Martin, Mary Rowlandson, Roger Williams, Lydia Maria Child, James Fenimore Cooper, Zitkala-Sa
|352 B||EARLY AMER LIT (American Literature: The Early Nation)
We'll read and discuss an assortment of novels, stories, poems and memoirs by American authors in the period preceding the Civil War. Students will be expected to attend class regularly, keep up with reading assignments, and take part in open discussion. Written work will consist entirely of a series of brief in-class essays written in response to study questions handed out in advance.
Texts for the course:
Baym, Franklin, et al., editors, THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE, Volume B of the seventh edition
James Fenimore Cooper, THE PRAIRIE
Herman Melville, MOBY-DICK
Harriet Beecher Stowe, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN
|353 A||AMER LIT LATER 19C (American Literature: Later 19th Century)
A study of representative American texts culled from the latter half of the nineteenth century and deliberately selected to span a gamut of genres: the novel, the short story, the extended verse form or the short, intricately woven poem, along with mixed genres featuring song, narrative, philosophical meditation, and lyric utterance within a single text. Students should expect that in taking this course, they will keep needing to re-test the aesthetic ground-rules, and to keep re-adopting to radically different varieties of voice, ranging from Huck Finn’s down-home utterances to Dickinson’s gnomic phraseology to Henry James’s elaborately woven syntax. Themes will include race, immigration, industrial revolution, class, the frontier—lots of long-familiar subjects. Even so, there’s no getting around the absence of a single perspective or voice through which to treat these themes. What is representative about the America texts selected, that is to say, is the fact that either individually, or often in juxtaposition, they force one to think from several different standpoints all at once, to read different voices, to span a gamut of social milieus, and to accept the necessity of what one of the authors selected calls a “double consciousness.” Throughout this course the threshold will often be more important that whatever it seems to separate and divide.
|354 A||EARLY MOD AM LIT ((American literature: The Early Modern Period))
Literary responses to modernity in American literature between the wars. We’ll read selected novels and short stories, focusing on experiments in form and the development of new cultural identities by American writers as they negotiate the ambivalent (disruptive and liberating) impact of forces of modernity with the disappearing traditions of the past. The use of the plural (modernisms and traditions) is crucial; the course will juxtapose canonical modernisms (i.e. that of the post-war expatriate “lost generation”) to alternative modernisms emerging in the work of women and non-Anglo American writers. Texts: Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (1919); Willa Cather, The Professor’s House (1925); Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926); Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (1936); Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1936); Américo Paredes, George Washington Gómez (written 1930s; 1990); William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929).
|361 A||AM POL CLTR AFT 1865 (American Exits: Abolition and Exodus)
(Evening Degree Program)
While the national narrative of the United States as a "nation of
immigrants" has routinely turned to the biblical figure of the "Promised
Land" to explain its exceptional qualities, it has persistently run
aground when faced with the centrality of racial slavery to its history.
The figure of "Exodus," with its allusions to enslavement and escape,
freedom and fugitivity, diaspora and nation formation, has framed some of
the nation's most powerful counter-narratives. This reading-intensive
undergraduate course will turn to recent scholarship in African American
studies to help us understand the Exodus figure as central to post-1865
black culture. In particular, we will consider the various ways Exodus
has animated abolitionist thought from the wake of racial slavery in the
1860s to the wake of the civil rights movement in the 1970s. Such
thought, we will see, registers shifting understandings of race, nation,
and empire, geography and history, tradition and modernity. Our path will
follow Exodus where it takes us, to Haiti and Jamaica and Cuba, to
Monrovia, Addis Ababa, and Cairo, to the plantations, prisons, and cities
of the United States, to sites and spaces unmoored from the
nation-state's powerful gravity.
Our task, then, is three-fold: to develop critical tools to read
literary, visual, musical, theoretical, and social texts at the
intersection of narrative form and historical analysis; to survey the
cultural history and some of the major texts of Pan-Africanism, black
nationalism, and black internationalism from Reconstruction through the
end of the civil rights movement; and to develop a working knowledge of
some key texts in contemporary literary and cultural theory that help us
think through the bounds and binds of American political culture. Writers
may include: Amiri Baraka, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Octavia Butler,
Frederick Douglass, David Graham Du Bois, Shirley Graham Du Bois, WEB Du
Bois, Brent Hayes Edwards, Marcus Garvey, Paul Gilroy, Eddie Glaude,
Stuart Hall, Pauline Hopkins, Zora Neal Hurston, CLR James, Martin Luther
King, Jr., Malcolm X, Bob Marley, Toni Morrison, Sun Ra, Ishmael Reed,
Cedric Robinson, David Scott, Michelle Stephens, Scott Trafton, and
|367 A||GENDER STUDIES & LIT (Gender, Madness, and Sexuality)
This course is a reflection on gender in literature and to what degree gender is bound with sexual expression. How is gender represented in literature? How does gender relate to identity? How women have been depicted in literature (perhaps because of gender assumptions) and how have these portrayals transformed and opened up a need for a different kind of women’s writing? This class is concerned with cultural, political, sociological, and psychological explorations of gender. We will attempt to tackle these formidable topics through literature (drawing on various genres), criticism, and theory. Gender in literature – and the representation, performance, and restriction of gender -- can be one way to enter into critical discussion of normative and trangressive sexuality, and of course, the fluidity of these categories. We will be exploring issues that arise from social, psycho-sexual, and political complications of gender along the way. For instance, we will look at how social structures, in their policing of sexuality, have determined how gender is understood. There will be an assumption of the intersectionality of race, class, and gender. Among other things, we will examine bourgeois sexual conventions in turn-of-the-century Vienna, post-partum depression in a Victorian novel, and madness in a postcolonial novel. Theoretical writings and literary criticism will supplement our readings of literary works by William Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Jean Rhys, Jeanette Winterson, and others
|370 A||ENGL LANG STUDY (English Language Study)
||M 1:30-3:20, W 1:30-3:20
This course is an introduction to the formal and empirical study of language, with an emphasis on English. We’ll study the sound system through phonetics and phonology, how words are formed through morphology, how we build words and phrases into clauses and more in syntax, how meaning is realized through semantics, and then turn to the social side with the history of the English language, sociolinguistics and U.S. dialects, and social interaction in discourse. With each linguistic level, we’ll begin with the formal analysis and then we’ll also read an article or two on language in the United States knowing something about linguistics helps you understand something important about language variation in this country. That there are right and wrong answers in this course is often a surprise to English students, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll better understand how the English language works. Evaluation will be through weekly homework problems, short reading responses, a midterm, a final, and a paper. The textbooks are Edward Finegan’s Language: Its Use and Structure, 5th edition, and Edward Finegan and John Rickford’s collection of articles, Language in the USA: Themes for the Twenty-first Century.
Edward Finegan. Language: Its Use and Structure (5th ed.).
Edward Finegan and John Rickford, Eds. Language in the USA: Themes for the Twenty-first Century.
For WINTER 2009: The course provides the understanding necessary to
teach English, and writing, in the schools. It focuses on the basic
grammatical forms and structures of English and several approaches to
describing and representing them. We will cover
* lexical categories (Parts of Speech),
* syntactic categories (such as phrases, clauses, tense, and aspect),
* grammatical relations,
* dependency relations,
* constituent structure,
* loosely integrated srings of words in the sentence.
* connective links between sentences.
We will use some of the on-line tools for automated POS tagging and
graphing ("diagramming"). By the end of the course, students will be
able to describe most of the syntactic structures of English in several
ways. In addition, students will be able analyze the cohesion of
sentences in connected text.
|374 A||LANGUAGE OF LIT (The Language of Literature)
This course investigates the ways that literary texts structure and use
language. Employing tools from linguistics and stylistics, we will analyze
aspects of literary texts: sound, meter, lexicon, discourse structure, style,
pragmatic strategies, varieties of English, and narrative orientation. Texts
will be drawn from several literary genres: fiction, poetry, and drama. Over
the term, we will develop and use this linguistic “toolbox” to construct
sophisticated perspectives and arguments about literary texts. Requirements
include two papers, short writing assignments, and several quizzes.
|383 A||CRAFT OF VERSE (THE CRAFT OF VERSE: THE SERIES AND THE SEQUENCE)
We're familiar (from 283) with the elements of craft that happen at the level of an individual line, or poem: image, metaphor, meter, sound, diction, syntax, register, form, and the like. But some of the most fascinating (and less easily named) things in poetry happen at the multi-poem level. We'll widen our zoom lens, as it were, and look at 20th and 21st Century poets who are doing some very interesting and curious things with series and sequences of poems; we'll attempt to inhabit their aesthetics by "forging" additional poems in the sequence (and trying to convince each other that they're genuine); and ultimately we'll conclude by writing a 9-page series/sequence of our own.
ENGL 283 & ENGL 284
|383 B||CRAFT OF VERSE (THE CRAFT OF VERSE: THE SERIES AND THE SEQUENCE)
We're familiar (from 283) with the elements of craft that happen at the level of an individual line, or poem: image, metaphor, meter, sound, diction, syntax, register, form, and the like. But some of the most fascinating (and less easily named) things in poetry happen at the multi-poem level. We'll widen our zoom lens, as it were, and look at 20th and 21st Century poets who are doing some very interesting and curious things with series and sequences of poems; we'll attempt to inhabit their aesthetics by "forging" additional poems in the sequence (and trying to convince each other that they're genuine); and ultimately we'll conclude by writing a 9-page series/sequence of our own.
ENGL 283 & ENGL 284
|384 A||CRAFT OF PROSE (was Intermediate Short Story Writing)
Intensive study of various aspects of the craft of fiction or creative nonfiction. Readings in contemporary prose and writing using emulation and imitation.
ENGL 283 & ENGL 284
|384 B||CRAFT OF PROSE (was Intermediate Short Story Writing)
"Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed from one another. The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbors, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all." Voltaire (1694-1778)
There the future storyteller sits, at his grandmother's feet, listening. His grandmother's face is aglow with firelight, but there
is something else illuminating it too, something ecstatic, which seems to possess her as she sings out the tale's repeated chorus, as she mimics the ogre's speech patterns, as her voice leads the story's hero into and out of trouble and always towards transformation. The future storyteller watches the grandmother closely. He imitates her hand movements as she sweeps the story along with them, sways his head along with hers as if he's a miniature shadow. He mouths the words
after she says them, like a silent echo. He lets the story wash over him, abandoning himself to its current, absorbing all of it that he can.
After the grandmother has gone to sleep, the future storyteller lights a torch from the hearth and goes out to meet his four friends at the beach, where they gather each night. "Ninayo" he says – "I have one." The friends take seats in the sand at his feet, and he feels his face become his grandmother's. He hears the rhythms, the emphases, the cadences of his grandmother's voice coming out of his mouth. He sees four pairs of awed eyes staring up into his as he sings the chorus again, as he mimics the ogre's rough speech, then leads the story's hero into and out of trouble and always towards
transformation. Midway through he realizes that he's forgotten a key aspect of her grandmother's story which makes the next dramatic event impossible, but rather than let the others know, he forges ahead, feeling his grandmother's story slip away, and feeling a new story, his own story, begin. The four pairs of eyes remain in awe. He sees four pairs of hands moving along with his own, four shadowy heads swaying, four mouths silently echoing each word he says. The storyteller continues...
For most of human history this is how storytellers have been born: sitting around fires, enchanted. Let this class, then, be our hearth fire. Let our course readings be an enchanting blaze of pages that our literary ancestors have kindled. Let them singe our fingers. Let them consume us. Let us ignite.
OK, but what the heck does that mean? Course Goals:
This course is based on a dirty but beautiful little secret. Namely, that writers are not some superior race of inspired beings with a special relationship to gods or muses, but actually just members of an ancient tradition: a guild of pen-wielding readers and thinkers who hone their craft not in solitary fits of inexplicable genius, but in world-embracing, ancestor-worshipping, mindful imitation. Great writing, alas, takes much more than talent. Sorry, but it's true. It takes a lifelong apprenticeship to the words, sentences, and paragraphs that make up the stories that you love. And love is a prerequisite.
This course is ideal for students who sit up at night marveling at their literary heroes, in love with their prose. Our aim in here will be to make the magic a little bit less unfathomable. We'll look at how writers are able to awe and enchant us in practical terms. To do so, we will be using the atelier method, like a classical painting studio: we will study masterworks and do our best to imitate them, thereby internalizing invaluable techniques, strategies, and aspects of narrative structure.
The bulk of class time will be devoted to engaging with published fiction, studying storytelling techniques, imitating masters, and respectfully rigorous peer workshopping. We'll read and study a wide array of fictions, from ancient folktales and myths to 19th Century short stories to postmodern collages to autobiographical essays. We'll read about rock stars and talking chocolate bars, disgruntled soldiers and failing strippers, mourning mothers and sadistic goose-hunters, but our eyes will always be on structure rather than content. Our literary journey will take us around the world, from Alabama to Zanzibar, as we examine the tricks of patterning, rhythm, and dramatic arrangement that keep audiences rapt, no matter where they live. There will be brief lectures on key craft elements such as prose style, voice, pacing, point of view, dialogue, narrative time, character, and formal experimentation as they relate to story structure, but our primary focus will be on the practice and imitation of these techniques as they are demonstrated by the masters. To this end, we'll be completing lots of in-class exercises as well as weekly writing assignments (literary echoes, rewritten passages, forgeries, and theft blueprints). At the conclusion of the course each student will compile a final portfolio of revised and beautiful literary echoes, but it is
my hope that you'll leave with something more than that: that you'll have fallen in love with the ritual of writing, and been awed by a few clusters of words, that the works we read will have ignited something ecstatic inside of you, and that imitation will have brought you one step closer to originality. Still Fuzzy?
We sill be studying and imitating various masterworks in terms of narrative structure (by which I mean how the story is constructed and arranged and patterned in terms of scene vs. summary, narrative exposition vs. dramatic movement, internal vs. external action, causality vs. digression, present moment events vs. flashbacks, etc. vs. etc.)
We will be studying and imitating structures exemplified by:
Ancient myths, modern epiphanic short stories, realistic short fiction and essays, epistolary stories, postmodern and experimental prose, and "short shorts".
ENGL 283 & ENGL 284
|440 A||SPEC STUDIES IN LIT (When Post-Indian Warriors “Play Indian”: Late 19th and 20th Century American Indian Literary Production)
“It would be a folly,” Phillip Deloria writes, “to imagine that white Americans blissfully used Indianness to tangle with their ideological dilemmas while native people stood idly by, exerting no influence over the resulting Indian images. Throughout a long history of Indian play, native people have been present at the margins, insinuating their way into Euro-American discourse, often attempting to nudge notions of Indianness in directions they found useful.” Attending to Deloria’s call for a dynamic understanding of the way native cultural workers recognized and utilized dominant “Indian images,” this senior capstone course considers the relationship between the cultural politics of late 19th and 20th century American Indian literary practice and popular Western models of representing the figure of the “Indian” and the “West.” To this end we will think critically about dominant modes of representation, from literary and ethnographic “realism” to literary and performance based modes of “romance” (such as Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show), as we consider the strategic ways native writers engaged such narratives in an effort to simultaneously capture their white reader’s imagination, while interrogating the cultural logics that enabled U.S. colonial expansion.
Primary readings most likely will include both “autobiographical” and “fictional” stories by writers such as Zitkala-Sa, Luther Standing Bear, Charles Eastman, James Welch, and Thomas King. Secondary readings may include but not be limited to the work of Phillip Deloria, Vine Deloria, Jr., Gerald Vizenor, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Nancy Glazener, Richard Slotkin and Richard White.
|442 A||NOVEL-SPEC STUDIES (The Gothic Novel)
This course will trace the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century development of the Gothic novel, the literary ancestor of horror films and fantasy fiction. We’ll examine how conventional elements of the Gothic--supernatural encounters, monstrous transformations, imperiled heroines and satanic heroes—responded to very real social changes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Great Britain and America. By reading a range of Gothic fiction including Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and short stories by Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, we’ll begin to pose some answers to the following questions: Why did the Gothic novel originate in the mid to late eighteenth century? How and why did the genre develop differently in Great Britain and the United States? How does Gothic fiction represent the relationships between the natural and the supernatural, the human and the monstrous, the real and the imaginary? In addition to active class participation, course requirements will include a presentation, several reading responses, and two essays.
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Bram Stoker, Dracula
Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
There will be additional readings on e-reserves
|444 A||DRAMATIC LIT (Dramatic Literature: Special Studies)
Nineteenth and early twentieth century critics, all convinced that they knew Shakespeare’s ‘original’ texts, reacted with horror to adaptations of his plays. More recently adaptations have been studied as products of particular social, political, or theatrical conditions, or as examples of implicit criticism. We will concentrate on adaptations of a select group of plays—Macbeth, Hamlet, The Tempest, and King Lear—which will provide us with the opportunity to consider the notion of an ‘original’ Shakespeare text, to reconsider various explanations for the existence of multiple version of his plays, and to examine some very interesting Restoration and eighteenth century adaptations for the stage and late twentieth and early twenty first century adaptations for film.
|451 A||AMERICAN WRITERS (Toni Morrison, Multiculturalism, and the Post-Civil Rights Era)
This capstone course takes as it archive several works of fiction and
nonfiction by Toni Morrison, a slice of the voluminous secondary
literature on Morrison, and a range of theoretical texts, in order to ask
a set of literary, political, historical, and theoretical question.
These questions include: how do Morrison's texts register and respond to
the continuities and breaks marking the history of race in the U.S.? How
do these texts theorize and evidence the intersectionality of race,
gender, and class? What are the formal, aesthetic, performative, and
representational strategies imbuing Morrison's work? How are questions of
memory, history, and geography opened up by her works? How do these
relate to broader transformations in form seen across the post-civil
rights moment? How do these texts enable us to think about the relation
between the post-civil rights and post-modern eras? We will attempt to
read Morrison and her interlocutors as bound up in both the critical
destabilizing work her texts have engendered for U.S. literary canon
formation, and her recent incorporation into precisely such a national
canon. Novels will include The Bluest Eye, Sula, Beloved, Jazz, and A
Mercy; also, Playing in the Dark and Morrison's writing on Clarence
Thomas and OJ Simpson.
|457 C||PACIFIC NW LIT ("Contemporary American Indian Literature: A Northwest Focus")
Contemporary 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 (Formerly AIS 377: A Northwest Focus).
"Literature and poetry of the Pacific Northwest (Coast and Plateau) Native peoples. Contemporary literature and discussion of social and cultural issues raised by American Indian writers and writing."
|466 A||GAY/LESBIAN STUDEIS (Homosexual Agendas and Other Tales)
This course offers a deliberately uneven introduction to queer theory and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) studies. Such deliberation in the face of unevenness reflects one of the central premises of the course: that studying sexual cultures is neither an easy nor a straightforward task. The construction of sexuality across different historical periods, geopolitical spaces, and cultural practices varies tremendously. Studying such a complex field requires students to grapple with difficult concepts and to develop and practice new critical skills. The course is therefore designed to be challenging, but ultimately extremely rewarding. Our reading will focus on a few late twentieth poems and novels alongside key theoretical texts in queer or LGBT studies. The novels will include work by James Baldwin, Jeanette Winterson, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jessica Hagedorn, and Rabih Alameddine.
|483 A||ADV VERSE WORKSHOP (Advanced Verse Workshop)
Intensive poetry workshop. Emphasis discussion and critical analysis of works by professional writers, with discussion and production of student poems and critical writings. All too often, we thrill to initial “inspiration” only to have the piece peter out long before it is fully realized in idea, image, setting, or music. As an advanced class, we will focus on poetic structure as various patterns of the poetic turn, the calculated swervings, switches and surprises that make for interesting writing. During these ten weeks, we’ll pay close attention to opening and closing gestures, and the development of at least two specific types of poetic turns (the descriptive-meditative and the retrospective-prospective structures).
ENGL 383, 384
|484 A||ADV PROSE WORKSHOP (Advanced Prose Workshop)
|494 A||HONORS SEMINAR (Héloise and Abélard)
Peter Abélard was a brilliant theologian and teacher in 12th-century Paris. He fell in love with his equally gifted student Héloise, with savage consequences and a forced separation. This famously tragic romance was described first in a dramatic correspondence between the separated lovers, and their history has been retold in many different forms—poetry, fiction, drama, film. It is a compelling story, and so is the story of the storytelling. We will be reading both—the story as it survives from the words of the lovers themselves, and as reimagined or revisited in the words of others—from medieval origins through Enlightenment and Romantic culture, on into modern times. We will study certain versions of the story closely for what they can show us about the mind and literary imagination of their period cultures, as well as the many possibilities of interpretation one historical text can contain and create: including first the original letters, where Héloise and Abélard themselves interpret the story they lived, Pope’s great poem Eloisa to Abelard, and excerpts from Rousseau’s novel Julie, or the New Héloise, with a selection of related material by others who rewrite or reread this story, from the high serious to the not so serious, like the puppet show in Being John Malkovich. There will be research in both original and critical sources, with emphasis throughout on the sequence topic of history and imagination.
|494 B||HONORS SEMINAR (Killing Time: History and the Literary Imagination)
In this seminar we will focus on the similarities between leisure and murder/death in American culture through examining why we consume violent historical events for entertainment. What is it about death and amusement that encapsulate how identity formation is based upon displacement and disorientation? The reading list will (potentially) include the following novels: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford by Ron Hansen; Flight by Sherman Alexie; and Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. Films we may watch for the course: Capote and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
|498 A||SENIOR SEMINAR (What Is It to Be Modern? Literature and Visual Culture)
(Evening Degree Program)
This seminar offers a cross-section of some of the key works of, and debates surrounding, modernism in literature and visual culture. The focus is on modernist writers and their connections to the visual arts: for example, Gertrude Stein played with language in the 1910s in the way Picasso experimented with visual images in his post-Expressionist painting. Henry Miller praised Proust's literary ekphrasis with his own double-fold ekphrastic description of Monet via Proust via Monet.
At its core, this course will explore the close connections between literature and the visual arts within the context of cultural modernism, examining the work of modernist writers alongside other European and American artists including those affiliated with movements such as Surrealism, Expressionism, Cubism and the Alfred Stieglitz circle. It will also include films including works from Keaton, Chaplin, Berkeley, BuÃ±uel and Wiene.
The work of the modernist writers we will discuss is concerned directly with the general understanding that language serves the purpose of transmitting meaning or truth. By questioning the foundation of language these writers also expose "identity," which is most often the cornerstone of political and cultural action, to be instable and highly fallible. As a result, the works we will study play in surprising ways in the space between textual opacity and transparency, bringing to the fore the significance of instability in language and identity. To this end, this course has an interdisciplinary core that examines the relationship between visuality (particular ways of "seeing" the modern world) and the literary (unconventional ways of "writing" the modern world). Some of the key issues to be discussed include: experimentation in language, ekphrasis, perspectivism, cultural instability, spectatorship, questioning of traditional modes, representations of reality, and mass culture.
|498 B||SENIOR SEMINAR (An Introduction to Black South African fiction: race, space and resistance.)
South Africa has produced, and continues to produce, an extraordinarily rich and varied literary output. This courses focuses on the South African novel written in English from the 1940s, when the racist system of apartheid was first formalized, through to the present, post-apartheid society. It concentrates on writings by black South African writers, whose work provides an important and neglected literary archive that is not only of considerable aesthetic significance but also an important meditation on the meanings of racial identity, oppression and resistance. The course will raise questions about – among other things – the distinctiveness of South African writing, its relationship to South African history and politics, the conditions experienced by black women, the relationship between land and identity, the operations of urban space, the complexity of everyday and domestic life within state-structured racism, and the challenges presented to writers by the post-apartheid period. No prior familiarity with South African writing will be assumed, though preparatory background reading is recommended.
|498 C||SENIOR SEMINAR (Memoir: History and the Writing of the Self)
This seminar offers students a chance to think about the broader impact of one of the most consistently popular forms of writing, the memoir. While memoirs may cover a broad span of time–in which case they are often called autobiographies–more often than not they cover a specific experience or period in the author*s life. Our reading of the memoir will be even more specific, in two way. First, we will consider writing focused on incidents of personal trauma that are to some degree framed in terms of broad historical, cultural or political movements. We will ask how such writing, often called literary, is also a historical record. Second, we will consider memoirs by literary figures, some of whom are new to memoir-writing. We will ask how the memoir negotiates the self, not just or primarily by realistically reflecting lived experience, but by reflecting on the limits of narrative form itself. We will also read a short list of theoretical writing on autobiographical writing collected in a thin course packet available from The Ave Copy Center on University Avenue.
Course requirements will include active student participation, with each student asked to lead-off discussion at least once, reading and discussing other students* writing during a workshop week later in the quarter, and completing a final long essay (12-15 pages). The final three weeks of the course will be devoted to workshopping and writing the final essay.
Texts: The Fire Next Time (Baldwin); Scoundrel Time (Hellman); Patrimony (Roth); A Small Place and My Brother (Kincaid); Fun Home (Bechel).
|498 D||SENIOR SEMINAR (Novels Begetting Novels: Intertextuality in 19th and 20th Century Fiction)
This seminar will explore the concept of intertextuality through analysis of three sets of linking novels from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea; Gustav Flaubert's Madam Bovary and Julian Barnes's Flaubert's Parrot; E.M. Forster's Howards End and Zadie Smith's On Beauty. In addition to writing assignments, you can expect to do close reading of the six novels, oral presentations, and library and internet research. A large part of your grade will depend upon your active participation in class discussions.
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