|200 A||READING LITERATURE (Islands in Modern Literature)
“Dreaming of islands,” according to Giles Deleuze, “is dreaming of pulling away, of being already separate, far from any continent, of being lost and alone—or it is dreaming of starting from scratch, recreating, beginning anew.” We will look at twentieth-century novels that treat islands as figures for modern alienation, idyllic pasts, and potential utopias. Our work in class will focus on honing your critical thinking skills, your ability to analyze literary texts, and your ability to write about literature. (This course fulfills a "W" requirement.) Our main novels will be Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and Aldous Huxley’s The Island. In addition, the course pack will include D. H. Lawrence’s short story, “The Man Who Loved Islands,” poems by Elizabeth Bishop and Derek Walcott, prose by Gertrude Stein, and critical writing by Gillian Beer, Jed Esty, and Giles Deleuze. Student Responsibilities: daily attendance and active participation, careful reading and critical thinking, and two five-page essays with revisions.
Plus a required course pack.
Rebecca West. The Return of the Soldier. Modern Library, 2004. 
Virginia Woolf. To the Lighthouse. Harvest, 2005. 
Aldous Huxley. The Island. Harper Perennial, 2002. 
|200 B||READING LITERATURE
In this course, we will critically examine—through close reading—three texts that present the fantastic side by side with the real, as if the fantastic were part of everyday reality. One is the epic, Beowulf. The others are Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard, and Ben Okri’s Booker Award-winning novel, The Famished Road. We will discover as we study these texts that they are much more than pretexts that the authors use to indulge in the fantastical. We will, therefore, study them both as autonomous texts that present specific realities, and as representatives of their genres/modes of expression.
2. The Palm-Wine Drinkard
3. The Famished Road
1. A two-page summary of Beowulf (10%)
2. A two-page summary of The Palm-Wine Drinkard (10%)
3. A two-page summary of The Famished Road (10%)
4. A ten-page term paper, to be submitted first as a draft, and then as a final paper after revision at the end of the quarter. (50%)
5. Class Participation (20%)
|200 C||READING LITERATURE ((Autobiography and Memory))
In this class we will read contemporary autobiographical writing, with an emphasis on reading the way in which memory both deploys, and is represented in, narrative. In pursuit of this goal, we will read across a range of very different styles of autobiographical writing from the twentieth century. A course pack will accompany the following readings:
Woolf, Virginia. “A Sketch of the Past” (in Moments of Being).
Nabokov, Vladimir. Speak, Memory.
Momaday, N. Scott. The Names: A Memoir.
Kincaid, Jamaica. My Brother.
Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung. Dictée.
Harrison, Kathryn, The Kiss.
Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.
This is a writing intensive course, or ‘W,’ course. As such, in addition to regular response papers you will write two papers which will incorporate revision: a mid-term paper of 4-6 pages and a final paper of 6-8 pages. Our meetings will be discussion based, so regular attendance and participation in class will be essential in pursuing our work together.
|200 D||READING LITERATURE (“Borrowed Literature: Investigating Inclusiveness and Exclusiveness in Literary Traditions”)
We recognize a poem or work of fiction as literature by comparing it to other texts we deem literary, from which we have constructed a general definition. The literature that we still read today is usually highly valued for its originality, but that measure is of course a relative one, and many times what was once innovative now seems commonplace. Our general definition of literature expands every time we welcome a departure from the norm, absorbing the force of the new. And perhaps that makes literature as a concept rather unwieldy, or even devalues it, because it is too inclusive—or that could mean that our definition becomes refreshingly democratic.
Allusions, generic conventions, thematic similarities, character types, and parody allow for continuity of a literary tradition, thereby helping us to define literature, but they are also evidence that texts borrow from one another. To an extent this borrowing is tolerated and even expected. But how much and what kind of borrowing is too unusual, and how does unusual borrowing make us rethink the value of the specific texts and the definition of literature? How does borrowing change our regard for the works that become the lenders? In the face of borrowing, how do we reassess the values we associate with literature, such as originality?
We will pursue those questions throughout the quarter by reading several examples of unusual borrowing. First we will read a section from Don Quixote and consider how Cervantes draws from the picaresque tradition to create what some have called the first modern novel. Next we will explore the highly allusive poetry of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound and consider how some critics viewed the intentional difficulty of their modernist poems as a mark of literary achievement. Kathy Acker parodies and plagiarizes Arthur Rimbaud and William Faulkner in service of postmodern angst, and we will read her novel In Memoriam to Identity to consider how borrowing can be creative with and critical of lender texts, as well as disrupt tradition. We will conclude with Derek Walcott’s book-length poem Omeros, exploring how its cross-cultural and cross-historical borrowing transposes Homer’s Odyssey to an island in the Caribbean, formerly a colony of France and Britain. In addition to these four principal texts, we will read related shorter fiction and poems from a variety of periods and national traditions (including summaries and excerpts from lender texts), and criticism and theory pertaining to intertexuality and literary history.
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Don Quixote 1605, 1616. Trans. Edith Grossman. Harper Perennial, 2005. [0060934344.]
Acker, Kathy. In Memoriam to Identity. 1990. Grove, 1998. [080213579X.]
Walcott, Derek. Omeros. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1992. 
Course reader available at Ave Copy.
|200 E||READING LITERATURE (“War and Human Experience”)
For SPRING 2008: This course will focus on the theme of “War and Human Experience” and give us an opportunity to read some of the most prominent literary texts in American literature, such as Chester Himes’s If He Hollers Let Him Go and John Okada’s No-No Boy. Through close reading and textual analysis, we will see these literary texts not only as a source of pleasure but also as an indispensable medium for advancing our knowledge about human experience, especially the experience among diverse racial and ethnic groups in the United States during and after the WWII. In this course we will discuss how the social, economic, and political changes during the wartime act on the interactions between different ethnic groups (especially between African Americans and Asian Americans) and the ways in which such interactions reflect on our current discussions of racism and nationalism. In addition to reading several full novels, the students will be required to read short stories, historical documents, literary criticism, and theoretical essays complied in the course pack. Course requirements include active participation, group presentation, weekly response papers, and two research papers (5-7 pages in length). Please also note that this is a W-course.
1) Course Pack
Chester Himes. If He Hollers Let Him Go. 
John Okada. No-No Boy. 
|200 F||READING LITERATURE (Making Mistakes on Purpose)
“It is wonderful the number of mistakes a verb can make and that is equally true of its adverbs.”
How do we read poetry that that exploits the weaknesses and ambiguities of this thing called “language”? How do we read writing that crosses the very boundaries of its own genre? How do we read works that thrive on the making of mistakes? How can we read literature that it is making these mistakes on purpose? How do we respond to a syntax based on mistake? In order to ask these questions this course will be heavily focused on poems that are often testing and crossing the laws of syntax, grammar, logic, and genre in order to in order to examine the limits of language itself. Consequently we will also find ways in which language can be expanded and changed beyond its prescribed limits. The goal is this course is to figure out how to read poems that offer radical forms of syntax and grammatical logic. The readings for this course will include selections from Stein, Crane, Cummings, DADA, the Oulipo, Frank O’Hara and the New York School, Bernadette Mayer and the Language poets, the Berkeley/San Francisco Renaissance, Ann Waldman & Allen Ginsberg and the Beats, The New Narrativists. The New Brutalists, and a plays by Suzanne Lori Parks, and Carla Harryman.
Since this class has a “W” requirement you will be assigned a series of short essays approximately 3 pages each, and one longer paper of approximately 5-7 pages with required revisions.
|207 A||INTRO CULTURE ST (Cultural Studies and the Promiscuous Archive)
The course will ask what ‘cultural studies’ entails and how defining ‘culture’ requires consideration of political and economic institutions that influence how we define ‘culture’ as a discrete sphere of social practice. While ‘cultural studies’ has derived its inquiry and methodologies from specific intellectual and institutional formations, this field of study is also the subject of heated criticism. Interestingly, some critics of cultural studies question the value and consequences of researching the broad cultural sphere, namely popular media and mass culture, to suggest that such research opens the humanities to ‘unserious’ knowledge production. Bracketing these critiques, this course will take up ‘archival promiscuity’ as both an animating feature and a generative “problem” in ‘cultural studies’ practice.
Exploring what cultural studies does and what sources cultural studies uses to derive its critiques, this section will focus on two thematic scenes: the classroom and the workplace. We will think about how different examples of cultural production (fiction, poetry, music and television) have taken up these scenes and denaturalized their boundaries. As ‘promiscuous’ spaces, we will consider how these scenes produce and are produced by discourse of class, race, sex and gender. We will also consider how exploring these scenes for their geo-historical specificity demands research that violates the boundary of media specific study and therefore requires a kind of promiscuous method. As we think through the stakes of cultural studies, we will emphasize how methodologies of cultural study provide us with powerful investigative tools to problematize culture’s relationship to ideology, and offer ways to think about sites of resistance to ideological domination.
Our ‘promiscuous archive’ will draw from novels, films, and television from the following list: John dos Passos’ The Big Money, Chester Himes’ If He Hollers Let Him Go, Don DeLillo’s White Noise, Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy, Fae Myenne Ng’s Bone, Li Thi Diem Thi’s The Gangster We Are All Looking For, Rebel without a Cause (1957), American Psycho (1999), NBC’s The Office, HBO’s The Wire.
A course packet with key theoretical works by Antonio Gramsci, Raymond Williams, Walter Benjamin, Louis Althusser, Stuart Hall, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkeimer, Michel Foucault, Gayatri Spivak, will also be required.
Chester Himes. If He Hollers Let Him Go. 
Don DeLillo. White Noise. 
Fae Myenne Ng. Bone. [006097592X]
|207 B||INTRO CULTURE ST (Introduction to Cultural Studies)
This course will focus on two primary questions: how does one "do" cultural studies, and what does cultural studies "do"? To address these issues, we'll focus first on the historical origins of the disciplines, inquiries and values that describe cultural studies, and then examine recent examples of work with a special emphasis on urban visual and material culture. We will examine and employ different strategies of reading culture to understand their different intellectual, creative and political aims and investments.
We will read across a wide range of genres and media, including critical theory, cultural criticism and literature, as well as film, visual art, websites, everyday artifacts and urban locations. Specific texts are still to be determined; expect to buy a course reader and several books.
Classroom time will be devoted primarily to discussion, so your participation will be essential.
|211 A||MID/REN LIT (Medieval and Renaissance Literature)
The course will focus on a selection of plays, prose and poetry from the late Middle Ages to the early modern—we will read them from a social and cultural point of view, examining how issues of contact and conflict are represented in the literature of the time. Our main topic in the course will be border crossing—we will interrogate how it provoked narratives of joy and fear, hopes and anxieties regarding ethnic, religious and national identity, empire building and otherness. As we read about strangers outside the realm, we will also attend to strangers within the realm. Readings will draw from Mandeville’s The Travels, the anonymous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Croxton Play of the Sacrament, Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Othello and The Tempest, and William Daborne’s A Christian Turned Turk. The Middle English texts will be read in modern English. Requirements: regular attendance, participation, a group presentation, a series of quizzes and a term paper (8-10 pages long)
The Merchant of Venice. Arden.
The Tempest. Arden.
A Course Pack.
|212 A||LIT ENLTMT & REVOLN (The Age of Enlightenment and Revolution: Solitude and Society)
As direct heirs of what has been called the “invention of liberty” in the 18th and 19th centuries, we have been obliged to learn new ways of maintaining our individuality in a community made up of millions of other free-wheeling individualists. One strategy, of course, is to go it alone; another is to design large, well-populated states that set out to insure the individual liberty of all members. In this course we will discuss efforts, imagined and real, to reconcile the benefits and liabilities of solitude and society. Experiments in solitude include Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Walden by Henry David Thoreau. The large, well-populated state that emerges from this period is the USA, and the documents are the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Thoreau tests the authority of the new nation in his “Civil Disobedience” and J. S. Mill in On Liberty and The Subjection of Women would redefine the terms of the debate for the world that would emerge from “The Age of Enlightenment and Revolution.” Lecture, discussion, short essays written in and out of class.
|213 A||MODERN/POST MOD LITERATURE (Modern and postmodern violence)
This class will introduce you to key modern and postmodern literary texts, which you will learn to read in their historical, cultural and material contexts. Thematically, we will use these texts as a starting point to ask questions about “violence:” At what point can we say that an act, or a relationship between people, is violent? What are the consequences of making this judgment? In what kinds of circumstances is language violent? What is the relationship between the insights these texts provide about violence and the context in which they were written?
Course work will include a demanding reading schedule, participation in class discussion, short writing assignments, and mid-term as well as final papers.
Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
Foucault, Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality: An Introduction (Vol.
(excerpts in course pack)
Kane, Blasted (excerpts in course pack)
Eliot, The Waste Land (excerpts in course pack)
Woolf, To the Lighthouse
William Faulkner. The Sound and the Fury. Norton, 1993. 
Toni Morrison. Beloved. Vintage, 2004. 
Jeanette Winterson. Lighthousekeeping. Harcourt, 2005. 
Virginia Woolf. To the Lighthouse. Harvest, 2005. 
|213 B||MODERN/POST MOD LITERATURE (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
This course will focus on some well-known early twentieth-century novels (Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway) and some of their later twentieth-century reworkings (Waugh, Coetzee, Cunningham). These novels will allow us to consider not just the changes going on in the twentieth century, but also how writers made sense of these changes in their work. In our discussions, we’ll divide our time between close-reading these texts themselves and investigating their social, cultural, and historical context.
In addition to a Course Reader with some historical context and supplemental readings, we will likely read novels by Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Evelyn Waugh, J.M. Coetzee, and Michael Cunningham.
This course requires regular attendance and participation in class discussions, a group presentation, response papers, and a final research paper of 7-8 pages.
1. Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad
2. Mrs. Dalloway (1925) by Virginia Woolf
3. A Handful of Dust (1934) by Evelyn Waugh
4. Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) by J.M. Coetzee
5. The Hours (2000) by Michael Cunningham
6. Course Pack at the Ave Copy Center
How did the son of a provincial glove-maker write a series of plays that have come to be esteemed the supreme achievement of Western Literature? What accounts for their enduring popularity on stage, screen, and in the classroom? In pursuit of the answers we will hurl ourselves into some of the most famous writings to spill from his quill: 2 Comedies, 2 Tragedies, a History Play, a Late Romance and a smattering of Sonnets. Beyond familiarizing students with the basic plotline of the dramas, the course will offer strategies for understanding and savoring Shakespeare's English. Class discussion will center on in-depth analysis of key passages, while lectures and supplementary readings will help situate the plays in the context of the cultural, political, and religious turmoil engulfing Elizabethan England. The writing portion will consist of two short essays (3pp. each), and one 5-6 pp. research paper. Finally, we will also view clips of several film adaptations of Shakespeare to better size up the shadow his legacy casts on our culture today. Course website:
Greenblatt, Stephen et al. The Norton Shakespeare. Norton. [0-393-97087-6]
McDonald, Russ. The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare. Bedford St. Martins, Optional. [0-312-24880-6]
Crowl, Samuel. Shakespeare and Film: A Norton Guide. Norton, Optional. 
In this introductory course on Shakespeare, we will examine the language and poetry of several of his plays, consider the socio-historical and literary-dramatic contexts from which they emerge, and analyze the critical and artistic responses to the plays in literature and film. We will explore two comedies (A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice) and three tragedies (Othello, King Lear, Macbeth), and we will also examine the multiple and divergent interpretations of some of these plays by actors, directors, and filmmakers whose own work may be seen as attempting to join or intervene in the conversation Shakespeare was having with literary sources that informed his work. We will study what it is about Shakespeare's plays that make them especially open to a range of interpretations across history and genre, providing artists and audiences with a creative springboard for modern retellings on arguably universal themes (desire, revenge, bigotry, ruthless ambition, tyranny). We will have occasion to study early and recent film versions of the plays, from Laurence Olivier's turn as Macbeth (1948), Shylock (1973), and Lear (1984) to cinematic adaptations by Roman Polanski (Macbeth, 1971), Peter Brook (King Lear, 1971), Michael Hoffman (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1999), Michael Radford (The Merchant of Venice, 2004), and Tim Blake Nelson (O, 2001).
|228 A||ENGL LIT: TO 1600 (A Survey of Medieval and Early Modern Poems of Murder, God and Love)
riting in New Literary History, Charles Altieri comments, "students must experience the reading of poetry as a sensuous indulgence that turns into the delights of staging ourselves as different identities." One of the pleasures of reading poetry, therefore, is the permission it grants the reader to crawl out of his or her own skin and to imagine the world through the eyes of another. Taking Altieri's dictum to heart, this course will use poetry as a means to venture through the uneven contours of medieval and early modern England's emotional and spiritual geography. We will pay special attention to medieval and early modern poetry of love (where the will is overcome by the desire for another,) murder (where the will is driven to take another's life,) and God (where the will is directed towards, fused with, or thwarted by the ineffable.) The poems themselves will appear to us as an invitation to try on for size--to stage, in the words of Altieri--the feelings and thoughts of other people, all long dead, as they surrendered themselves to adoration, to wrath, or to the sinking pull of the ineffable.
The course's reading will be organized historically: we begin in the Anglo-Saxon world, reading Beowulf in its entirety. Moving into the lyric poetry of the Late Middle Ages, the class will then take up selections drawn from the Pearl manuscript ("Pearl" and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,) and Chaucer ("The Book of the Duchess" and selections from The Canterbury Tales.) The course will conclude in the verse of the English Renaissance, reading the great majority of Shakespeare's sonnets, in addition to selections from the metaphysical poetry of John Donne and George Herbert.
Grading is based on three short papers, a group project, and weekly reflections posted to the course website.
|230 A||ENGL LIT: AFTER 1800 (Writers on Writing)
This course is meant to be a survey of the literature and culture of a period that spans over 200 years, from Romanticism to the Victorian Age to our own present moment. In order to make such a survey more manageable, we will focus our study on a series of texts that ask a similar question: What makes “good” literature? In order to grapple with that question, we will divide our time between close readings of fiction and investigations of these texts’ cultural and historical contexts. In all of the literature we read together, we will focus on the social, political, and philosophical implications of writing as they change from the Romantic to the Modern periods. Along the way, we will read accompanying works of literary criticism by authors of fiction themselves, all of whom grapple with the possibilities of literature as representative of human experience.
Course requirements include a demanding reading schedule, short reading responses, active in-class participation, an annotated bibliography of critical sources, a midterm paper, and a final paper. Writing requirements will include bi-weekly 1-page responses, and two 5-7 page analytical papers, one involving research. This course fulfills both VLPA and W credits
Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey.
Emily Brontë. Wuthering Heights.
George Gissing. New Grub Street. Penguin Classics edition. 
James Joyce. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Willa Cather. The Professor’s House.
John Fowles. The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
photocopied course packet containing short fiction and critical essays.
|242 A||READING FICTION (Sex, Freedom, and Constraint)
There are many stories we tell ourselves about sex. We locate our identities in sexuality, we consider our sex lives to be the secret core of our personhood, we take for granted that sexual desire is where we’re free from social influence, and we assume that culturally we’re moving toward greater freedom from sexual repression as well as greater tolerance toward sexual expression. It’s hard to read a book, watch a film, or listen to the news without encountering these “fictions” or discourses about sex. French historian Michel Foucault launched one of the most persuasive theories about the curious status of sex in modern society by first asking how sex came to be simultaneously what we should never talk about and what we can’t stop talking about. Through his analysis of historic transformations in modernity, he offers a trenchant critique of the political work that happens in and through ideologies about sex, desire, freedom, and constraint.
For Spring Quarter 2008, we will read selections from Foucault’s History of Sexuality alongside texts that coincide with touchstones in his periodization of “sex.” As we acquaint ourselves with Foucault’s critical framing, we’ll read and discuss short selections from the sixteenth to early-eighteenth century. We’ll then read a series of novels that proceed from the late-eighteenth century to the present. The majority of our texts will counter and critique commonly-held notions about sex, and we’ll use them as the occasion to discuss how deeply-entrenched ideologies about sex, freedom, and constraint have managed to sustain themselves despite historic evidence to the contrary. This course will thus trace Foucault’s claim: that against the belief that we are moving toward greater freedom, we are instead more subjected to power and relations of force through discourses about “sex.”
This course is highly recommended for students interested in women’s studies, queer studies, or critical study into the intersections of race, class, nation, and gender. Students who enroll for this course should be prepared to read and discuss roughly a novel a week.
To qualify for W-writing credit, students will complete one- to two-page writing assignments for each novel. These assignments will instruct students in how to write about fiction. Students will be required to: analyze narrative form, analyze characters, gloss a text, trace a thematic, close-read, locate historic context, articulate a line of inquiry, dialogue with critical sources, and finally generate a claim. At the end of the quarter, students will translate these skills into a 6- to 8-page final paper.
Required Texts: The History of Sexuality: An Introduction, The Coquette (1797), The Scarlet Letter (1850), The Awakening (1899), Passing (1929), Another Country (1962), No Telephone to Heaven (1987), Bastard Out of Carolina (1993), Middlesex (2002)
Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction. ISBN 0-679-72469-9
Foster, Hannah. The Coquette. ISBN 0-195-04239-5
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. ISBN 0-679-78338-5
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. ISBN 0-380-00245-0
Larson, Nella. Passing. ISBN 0-142-43727-1
Baldwin, James. Another Country. ISBN 0-679-74471-1
Cliff, Michelle. No Telephone to Heaven. ISBN 0-452-27569-5
Allison, Dorothy. Bastard Out of Carolina. ISBN 0-452-28705-7
Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. ISBN 0-312-42773-5
|242 B||READING FICTION (Reading Literature: Sex, Race, and Gender in Literature)
In his seminal text The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault writes “What is peculiar to modern societies, in fact, is not that they consigned sex to a shadow existence, but that they dedicated themselves to speaking of it ad infinitum, while exploiting it as the secret.” This course will examine how literature has spoken about sex ad infinitum, particularly how sex and sexual practices have been tied to notions about race (which has similarly been spoken about ad infinitum). Through critical engagement with a variety of texts we will examine literary explorations of various sexual pleasures and perversions while acknowledging that these practices do not occur in a cultural vacuum, but must be considered within the socio-cultural conditions which fostered their articulation. While all of texts may not be explicitly erotic, they all substantially engage with how sexuality is connected to other identity categories. Some key questions guiding this course will be: How has race been sexualized and sexuality racialized? How have sexual practices been articulated in concert with and counter to narratives of normative heterosexuality? How and why have sexual practices been regulated and reproduced? What role does race play in perversion? We will begin with a brief look at the scientific sexology texts which form the basis for many of our presumptions about sex and race in the West. Our exploration of more modern texts will be supplemented by psychoanalytic and cultural theory, particularly Freud and Foucault.
This class functions through a student-centered pedagogy. This means that active in-class participation is required and will comprise a substantial portion of your final grade.
Lectures will be rare occurrences, and class time will mostly be comprised of focused discussions and classroom activities. Expect hearty, and sometimes dense, readings and weekly 2 page response papers. Since this is a W-credit course, you will also be required to write two short papers. Your in-class participation, weekly responses, and short papers will comprise your final grade.
Texts: Another Country by James Baldwin, Rolling the Rs by R. Zamora Linmark, and Corrigedora by Gayle Jones. A course reader will contain short stories by authors as varied as Nella Larsen, William Faulkner, Kate Chopin, and Marquis De Sade.
|242 C||READING FICTION (Investigating Detective Fiction: Epistemologies of Crime and Justice)
English 242 is intended to encourage and develop practices of critical interpretation in the reading of fiction. In this class we will train our critical lens towards the various historical incarnations of one of popular fiction’s most resilient genres: the detective narrative. From Sherlock Holmes, to Batman, to Veronica Mars, detective stories are a ubiquitous cultural force. As a genre, these fictions are primarily concerned with the discovery of a necessary truth (the criminal act) and the various means and methods by which that truth can be brought to light (the investigation). Locating this genre within a critical history, then, means investigating the cultural assumptions around human knowledge, criminal guilt and justice. How can the criminal be identified according to these texts? How do the rise of sciences like psychology and genetics effect how the criminal is defined? How are categories of race and gender constructed as a part of the criminal investigation? In working within these fields, we will also ask how these texts implicitly critique the genre’s reliance on truth and certainty. Our particular mode of interpretation will hopefully allow us to see these fictions as both emerging from specific contexts and responding to those contexts in complex ways.
This class is primarily discussion based and daily participation will constitute a significant amount of you’re the total grade. In addition, English 242 offers a “W” writing credit. Students will write two 5-7 page papers over the course of the quarter and will have opportunities to revise their writing based on instructor comments. Students should also be prepared for up to 150 pages a week of reading in literature, history and popular culture.
Selections From (not to be ordered by the bookstore):
Christie, Agatha. Thirteen Problems. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1973.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, and Christopher Morley. The Complete Sherlock Holmes. New York: Doubleday, 1930.
Kern, Stephen. A Cultural History of Causality Science, Murder Novels, and Systems of Thought. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.
Poe, Edgar Allan, and James Albert Harrison. The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. New York: AMS Press, 1965.
Sayers, Dorothy L. Whose Body? New York: HarperPaperbacks, 1994.
Ford, Harrison, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. Bladerunner. [London?]: Warner Bros, 1996.
Towne, Robert, Roman Polanski, Robert Evans, Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Diane Ladd, John Huston, and John Hillerman. Chinatown. Widescreen DVD collection. Hollywood, CA: Paramount, 1999.
Auster, Paul. City of Glass. Contemporary American fiction. Penguin Books, 1987. 
Chandler, Raymond. The Long Goodbye. Vintage crime/Black Lizard, 1992. 
Conrad, Joseph. The Secret Agent. Oxford University Press, 2004. 
Mosley, Walter. Devil in a Blue Dress. Norton, 1990. 
|242 D||READING FICTION
This course will help students develop a critical approach to fiction. Students will learn to place literary texts within a certain line of inquiry, and articulate their contribution through close reading and analysis. Towards this end, we will focus on a specific set of texts produced during a historical moment: the long 19th century. From tyrannical abuses of power to anti-Semitism, 19th-century British literature targeted a range of social and political ills, and writers often sought to produce in their readers some sort of moral change through an affective representation of these wrongs. A specific point of departure within the broad theme of social critique will therefore be the role emotions play in this regard. We’ll be looking not only at how certain problems were represented in literature, but at the way such emotions as anger, fear, shame and sympathy position the texts within broader discourses on these topics. Students will also learn to work with secondary criticism and current critical theory in order to place their ideas within a larger scholarly framework. Required readings will include: William Godwin, Caleb Williams; Elizabeth Gaskell, Ruth; Charles Dickens, Hard Times and Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure, as well as a course packet.
“For a people who made much of their ‘newness’—their potential, freedom, and innocence—it is striking how dour, how troubled, how frightened and haunted our early and founding literature is.” -Toni Morrison
As Morrison suggests, America, a nation self-heralded for its optimistic visions of seemingly never ending possibility, is yet haunted by the violent past that promoted its greatness. The ghosts of the past lurk in every dark corner of its literature—an indication of anxiety and repressed guilt that emerge as the foil to American conscience. This quarter we will face these demons (or specters, bugaboos, and bloodthirsty savages) in order to better understand why they constantly reemerge, throwing a wrench in our nationalistic machinery, fueled by American exceptionalism and denial. Our literary travels will take us from the frontier to the plantation, the sitting parlor, and back onto the streets of America’s great cities before embarking on a foray into the mind, showing that no space—whether geographical, psychological, biological, or temporal—is safe from these “hauntings.” No doubt these so called “ghost stories” still speak to our anxieties as well today as they did at the times of their inceptions, begging the question of how much America’s agenda has truly changed in the past four hundred years.
Our reading will cover a variety of (pared-down) historical and theoretical texts in order to provide context for literature spanning the period of European settlement to the present. We will sample a small handful of novels and a significantly larger selection of short stories by authors including: Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ambrose Bierce, Edith Wharton, Henry James, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison. The following texts will be available through the University Bookstore: Billy Budd and Other Stories, The Turn of the Screw, Absalom, Absalom!, and Beloved. Additionally, a course pack will be available at Professional Copy located 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 response papers (3-4 pages in length each), one major essay (5-7 pages), as well as mandatory revisions.
|242 F||READING FICTION (Fictional Change: Literary Transformations and Deformations)
This course is designed to create a critical conversation focused on the genre of fiction and the discipline of textual studies. We will focus particularly on two paths of inquiry throughout the quarter. The first will examine the flexibility of stories – in what ways may a single fictional story be altered intentionally or unintentionally over time, and what are the effects of these changes? For what purposes are stories changed and adapted; and what is the significance of changing (or attempting to change) a story’s primary audience? Finally, what constitutes the core or essential components of a story, and what elements may be judged as nonessential? For this unit, we will be examining a selection of fairy tales written or collected by Hans Christian Andersen, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Charles Perrault, Ludwig Tieck, and Andrew Lang; as well as Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, an American “fairy tale” whose content has been altered in a variety of ways in response to the controversy of its content.
Our second inquiry will center around the fictional book as a material object. We will continue our critical discussion of the way that fiction may be altered, and how a story’s integrity may be damaged or remain intact, but our focus will shift to the container of the physical book, and studying the choices that authors and publishers have made in order to alter the audience’s reception of the fictional work. Our main text will be Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and we will be studying both a traditional critical edition as well as the recently published Penguin illustrated edition, which presents itself not as a novel, but as a “graphic novel.” How is the impact of a “classic” literary work altered when it is changed from a novel to a graphic novel? By the end of this quarter, you should be able to develop critical arguments about the significance of changes made, both to a text’s verbal and its physical states.
To qualify for the W writing credit, you will be asked to compose weekly responses to the readings, contribute to the formation of discussion questions, and to compose one 3-4 page paper and one 5-7 page paper over the course of the quarter. Participation in class discussion also constitutes a significant portion of the final grade.
Because of the focus on the book as a physical container, it is especially important that you obtain the following editions; however, you are strongly encouraged to use the ISBN numbers in order to find used copies at sites like ABEbooks and http://used.addall.com
Course packet (available at the Ave. Copy Center, 4141 University Ave.)
(Norton Critical edition). Jane Eyre. 
Penguin Illustrated Classics. The Illustrated Jane Eyre. 
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Norton Critical Edition, 1998. 
|243 A||READING POETRY (Visionary Poetry: Romanticism to Postmodernism)
The poems that we will read in this course represent or exemplify the visionary experience. With the exception of the biblical book of Revelation, which will serve as an introduction to the concept of literary vision, our readings will span the 200-year period between the end of the eighteenth century and the end of the twentieth. Beginning with British romanticism, we will progress through French symbolism and Anglo-American modernism to American postmodernism. Though our focus will be on close reading poetry, we will also study one play and its film adaptation, for the sake of variety.
To define the concept of the “visionary” is tricky. For visionary poets, physical sight is often less important than the working of the so-called mind’s eye. Visitations, hallucination, dreams, second sight, divine revelation, spiritual mania, drug-induced delirium, madness, utopianism and progressive politics can all serve as vehicles to—or content for—the production of visionary literature.
Most modern literature (and the scholarship surrounding it) takes materiality for granted; literature emerges from a world that is physically visible, legible and scientifically verifiable. In considering the theme of vision, we will in a sense be dealing with a form of anti-modernism. Fittingly, then, our genealogy will commence with an anti-Enlightenment reactionary, William Blake, and his idiosyncratic national and theological allegories. In the course of our reading, we will also explore the supernaturalism of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the prose poetry of Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, the Irish mysticism of W.B. Yeats, the Beat revelations of Allen Ginsberg, the New American spiritualism of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov, the feminist revisions of Adrienne Rich, and the postmodern phantasmagoria of Tony Kushner's two-part play Angels in America.
A course pack (available at the Ave Copy Center).
Tony Kushner’s. Angels in America both volumes.
|250 A||INTRO TO AM LIT (Introduction to American Literature)
English 250: Introduction to American Literature—but what is American Literature (not to mention those terms taken independently of one another), and what is a proper introduction to it (them)? How might the Department of English (or any other department, institution, person, group, etc.) answer these questions? How would you? Have you taken this course to get the canonical texts (whatever they are), or are you looking for something more diverse (or is the canon too diverse? Is there a canon at all?)? Are you even interested in these questions, or are you sitting in your chair, woefully recalling the decision to take this class over any other that might have fulfilled this requirement for you, much less, one that fit into your schedule? And this further begs the question: what might you have put as required readings for this course, and why? What would your goals have been? You will have a chance to answer these questions and more as we continue through the quarter. The texts I have chosen begin with certain static (and perhaps common) notions of “American Literature,” and then move both forward and backward through time, often juxtaposing the past and the present in order to provide you with productive contact zones between times, identities, forms, and such which in turn, allows you to generate your own notions on how (and what) American Literature is doing. Along the way, we’ll be reading very popular, canonical texts, as well as the less common (but equally relevant) ones to provide you with a large reservoir of material. Famous authors such as the “Founding Fathers,” Emerson, Whitman, Dickenson, Pound, Stein, W.C. Williams, Joseph Heller, and Don Delillo will appear, but so will lesser known authors, as well as contemporary critics and text-makers of all sorts. I will be lecturing for a good part of the class, but you, too, will carry some of the pedagogical load through group assignments, in-class projects, and eventually, research. You’ll find that the relationship between the identity (political, cultural, etc.) of an America, and the textual produce of America are intertwined in fascinating and continually evolving ways. Ultimately, my goal is to not only acquaint you with American Literature, but also to help sharpen your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills so that you can further develop the invisible but important relationship between American Literature and American Life. Learn more about this class, its requirements, course readings, and other information at the course website.
|250 B||INTRO TO AM LIT (Introduction to American Literature)
|250 C||INTRO TO AM LIT (Introduction to American Literature)
This survey class will examine how a variety of American writers struggle with “transcendent” questions of being, knowing, truth, and belief. In Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!, for example, this struggle is realized as a search for a new historical mode, while H.D.’s Trilogy is focused on the poet’s project of forging her own religion in the wake of the devastation of the Second World War. Is there a common impetus that connects these projects? Is there perhaps a “metaphysical” quest that subtends much of the American literature of the past two centuries? This course will investigate these issues (and more) by considering literature from Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, William Faulkner, T.S. Eliot, H.D., Wallace Stevens, Susan Howe, and perhaps others. The reading will be very challenging, but equally rewarding. Class grades will be based on daily participation, frequent quizzes, and mid-term and final exams. In addition, students will be asked to complete between 12 and 15 pages of writing, in the form of three short essays, which they will have a chance to develop and revise over the quarter.
William Faulkner. Absalom, Absalom!
H.D. Trilogy. New Direction, 1998, 1998.
Herman Melville. Clarel. Northwestern UP, 1991.
Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass. (1855).
T.S. Eliot. Collected Poems 1909-1962. Harcourt Brace, 1991.
Susan Howe. Souls of the Labadie Tract. New Directions, 2007.
|258 A||AFRAM LIT 1745-PRES (African-American Literature: 1745-Present)
||MW 11:30-1:20, F 11:30-12:20
|281 A||INTERMED EXPOS WRIT ("Food Matters: Writing about Food, Community, Class and Culture")
"Food Matters: Writing about Food, Community, Class and Culture"
In this course, we will examine and write about how culture connects to food in our everyday lives, on both individual and social levels. We will look at food cultures (and language about food) in the contemporary US as highly complex, multilayered, and rhetorical activity systems constantly involving their participants in choices with very real material consequences. Our inquiry will be guided with careful analysis and creative unpacking of a frequently invoked cultural commonplace: you are what you eat.
If the common saying is true, then what are you? Why? What guides the daily choices we make about food and the options we believe are available as we make those choices? What determines the significance ascribed to these choices, both individually and due to memberships in our various cultural groups? How and why might we intervene in established patterns and relationships with food, on either individual or cultural levels? Taking a critical look at something as allegedly simple as what you’re eating for dinner tonight can promote new insights into how cultural values (as related to gender, class, race and ethnicity, to name just a few) are continually reinscribed and at times challenged--both through food practices themselves and the rhetorical moves and situations giving meaning to these practices.
We will begin with localized personal glances that will likely extend to global and transnational sites as we trace how and why certain foods are on our plates, and what those foods mean to us, to society, and to the planet on their varied journeys from seed to table. Throughout the quarter, the class will examine and produce a spectrum of creative and analytical texts as we think critically about food genres and food cultures, and also celebrate their significance in our lives.
Though our theme is food and culture, ultimately, this course should help you build a wide repertoire of creative and critical rhetorical skills so you can adapt your writing strategies and style for what is appropriate to the varied rhetorical situations in which you participate, whether in your chosen academic discipline, your civic or personal life, or your various community affiliations. Assessing your intended audience and purpose for writing, as well as the appropriate genre conventions and rhetorical techniques to get your message across, form essential components of effective writing This course will approach writing as a highly recursive, interactive, and situated rhetorical process that requires experimentation and attentive practice to accomplish its intended work in the world.
Revision and reflection form the core elements of this course, since they will help deepen your insights and critical abilities with language. The course will be student centered, meaning your active and informed participation is essential to our work—lectures will be scarce, so come prepared to engage and to discuss. My goal for this course is to assist you in forming a community of supportive, engaged peers who are responsible for their own and each other’s learning, who can make astute rhetorical choices to communicate effectively in numerous rhetorical situations through multiple genres, and who are committed to improving each other’s writing and thinking.
"It is both extraordinary and unsympathetic in our culture to refrain from having everything one can afford." --Barbara Kingsolver
Michael Pollan. The Omnivore's Dilemma. Penguin Press, 2007. 
Barbara Kingsolver. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. HarperCollins, 2007. 
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.
|281 B||INTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Intermediat Expository Writing)
The fundamental premise of this course is that language, which we use so very casually on an everyday basis, is powerful. Charles Bazerman (2006) puts it particularly well: “[through] writing we spread the means of describing reality, evaluating what exists, exploring remedies for life’s ills, and asserting persuasive terms for new realities.” In other words, discourse – spoken and written communication – is not only the means by which we describe our realities, it is also the means by which we shape them. To operate with that as our premise means accepting that language can be (and is) enormously persuasive.
We think about discourse in this class in two main ways: in terms of genre (loosely, ‘text types’) and in terms of rhetoric (loosely, ‘the available means of persuasion’). If we are to use language to its fullest potential, we must balance the conventions and demands of existing genres (what people have done before) on one hand, and our understanding of the best rhetorical moves to make in a particular situation on the other. Because different fields/disciplines have different genre conventions and required (or most effective) rhetorical moves, it behooves us to cultivate an awareness of how writing, rhetoric, and genre function in those different disciplines – and in the various writing situations that occur even within those disciplines.
To put it more plainly, how do you begin to understand what it will take to communicate effectively in the field you choose – or in the various situations in which you might want to persuade people? How do you know which specific rhetorical moves work, and how can you put those moves to best use?
In order to explore these issues in more concrete ways, we will be looking at arguments surrounding language diversity and non-mainstream language and discourse. If we are willing to take it as a given that people use language to shape their realities, then what are the consequences, for example, of denying people the right to speak/write in their own language varieties? Who benefits and who is harmed when standard language is used to construct, transmit, police, and perpetuate particular kinds of ideologies, values, and practices (dominant, but by no means universal or inclusive)? Readings and discussion will center on these kinds of questions, but course texts are also themselves drawn from a variety of genres and represent an incredible range of successful rhetorical moves, so for each text, we will be employing a kind of double analysis (that is, of both content and form) that should serve you well as you move onward into other fields – not inconsequentially, fields with their own ways of addressing language diversity. Naturally, as this is a composition class, you will also have numerous opportunities to practice writing in different genres for different situations and purposes – and to receive extensive feedback from me, your peers, and other campus resources (such as writing centers) so that you may best expand your repertoire of successful rhetorical moves.
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.
|281 C||INTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Genre and the Northwest)
ENGL 281, the second class in the UW’s expository writing stream, is meant to help you sharpen the skills you acquired in your freshman writing course: academic writing and critical reading. My goals for the class are as follows: to develop your awareness of the goals and assumptions of particular writing styles (what we will call genres); and to recognize that particular writing situations require specific persuasive moves. That is to say, writers need to become familiar with the codes that govern writing in their area of the university, their discipline. You need to know about disciplinarity because, as a student who writes, you must be able to adapt your writing style, not only to the surface forms, but also to the codes, beliefs, and meanings that make up your discipline.
To find our bearings in our exploration of the notion of writing genres, we will investigate how various types of writing differentially construe peoples and objects in the Northwest. While most of the styles of writing that we will look at are found other places as well as just in the Northwest, our limiting of the scope of our exploration to texts about peoples and objects in the Northwest will provide us with a shared point of reference for entering the notion of genre, a very abstract and fluid concept. While we will read some creative works, most of the texts we will read will be of the non-fiction variety. The texts we will read will include the following: native narratives, anthropological tracts, scholarly work in the social and physical sciences,
journalism, and a novel. The ultimate goal of the course is to get you writing, and you will be doing plenty of it. Expect to write three short papers of approximately three pages and two longer six-page papers.
This section English 281 is computer-integrated, with students moving between a wired of seminar room and a computer lab during most class meetings. The lab setting allows students to view and offer feedback on their peers' writing, collaborate on group activities, and conduct research. However, computer savvy is not a course prerequisite; students will receive instruction in all technical tools used in the classroom.
Jack Hodgins. The Invention of the World
David Guterson. Snow Falling on Cedars (Popular Fiction)
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.
|283 A||BEGIN VERSE WRITING (Beginning Verse Writing)
"In this class we'll be reading poetry written in the 20th and 21st Centuries, and producing a wide variety of the latter. We'll read voraciously and put what we read under a microscope, looking at how others (critics and writers) have responded and constructing our own analysis. We'll write fervidly, under constantly varying conditions, to explore the full range of work available to us. Our approach will be like that of a prism, reversed: we'll spend each week on a single color band—a single technique, or form—scrutinizing it and wielding it—and we'll work our way towards fusing these focused investigations into a unified sense of poetry's possibility."
|283 B||BEGIN VERSE WRITING (Beginning Verse Writing)
This course is about writing poetry — about falling in love with language, with sound-play and shades of meaning, sentence structures and stress-patterns. This course is about creating a deep agreement between what you say and how you say it.
This course is open to anyone who has ever felt the itch to write poems, to read poems, or to learn more about how poems are written. Along the way, we'll cover an array of basic craft elements (diction, syntax, figurative language, image, voice, sound, meter, etc.) at the same time that we ask larger questions about the writing process and poetry itself — What makes poetry different from prose? What does contemporary poetry look like? How do poems create an effect on the reader? Where do we begin when we sit down to write? Why and how do we revise?
Great poetry has a certain magic; there are some things about poetry that can't be taught. But there are also many things about poetry that can be taught. And that's where we'll begin.
|284 A||BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (The Bright Blank Page: Introduction to Creative Writing)
"What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you." - Anne Lamott
This course is ideal for students who love to read and want to write. We will be doing a good deal of both as best we can. The bulk of class time will be devoted to engaging with published fiction, studying elements of narrative craft, and respectfully rigorous peer workshopping. We'll read and study a wide array of fictions, from ancient folktales and myths to contemporary short stories and collages. We'll read about wolf-men and shebeen queens, disgruntled soldiers and failing strippers, mourning mothers and killer robots. Our literary journey will take us around the world, from Alabama to Zanzibar, as we examine the variations and convergences of the world's storytelling traditions. There will be brief lectures on key craft elements such as plot, voice, pacing, point of view, dialogue, and character; but our primary focus will be on the practice of these techniques. To this end, we'll be completing lots of in-class exercises as well as weekly writing assignments. At the conclusion of the course each student will compile a final portfolio of revised writing (including several finished short stories), but it is my hope that you'll leave with something more than that: that you'll have fallen in love with the practice of writing, or been eviscerated by one of the stories, that you'll have written something you're proud of or surprised by, and that you'll be hungry for more.
|284 B||BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing)
English 284 is an intensive introduction to the writing of literary short stories. Students will be engaged in reading critically and writing both creatively and analytically. In addition to familiarizing students with the fundamental components of fictive works (e.g. metaphor, pacing, point of view, characterization, and detail), the course explores how these elements are used to ultimately communicate theme. Students will engage in close, analytical readings of both published and peer works. Through these readings and subsequent group discussions, the course aims to sharpen awareness with regard to language and to give students an introduction to the writers' workshop format.
|300 A||READING MAJOR TEXTS (Watching and Wondering: Whitman’s Legacy)
In Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” first published in 1855, the poet describes himself in the following way: “Both in and out of the game, and watching and wondering at it.” We’ll discuss the importance of this line both to Whitman’s poetry and to the poetry that followed in his wake. Along with reading Whitman’s poetry and prose with close attention, we’ll look at work by 20th-century poets who claim Whitman as an influence. Critical perspectives will be provided by Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, Randall Jarrell, William Carlos Williams, Justin Kaplan, and others. Expect a great deal of reading, writing, and conversation.
Walt Whitman: A Life by Justin Kaplan
Leaves of Grass and Other Writings by Walt Whitman (edited by Michael Moon). Harper Perennial. 
Leaves of Grass and Other Writings by Walt Whitman (edited by Michael Moon). W. W. Norton. [ 0393974960]
Brad Leithauser. Curves and Angles. Knopf. 
Mary Jo Salter. A Phone Call to the Future: New and Selected Poems. Knopf. [ 0307267180]
|302 A||CRITICAL PRACTICE (
Cultural Studies of the Novel: Formalism and Historicism)
This course provides a follow up to English 202, the Introduction to the English major. It is a practicum of critical methods. This particular 302 will provide in-depth practice in “cultural studies” approaches to the novel. Our focus on cultural studies will include attention to the following methodological questions: what is the “form” in formalist approaches to the novel? What is “historicism” and why would you use it to read novels? What kinds of critical practices – close reading, archive development, historical research – are important to cultural studies methodologies? Does narratology (the study of narrative form) have a role? What about ethnography or other research methods from anthropology, sociology, or the empirical human sciences? By the end of the course, students should have a grasp of various approaches to the study of culture and narrative forms. Students will also have been exposed to a range of social and political questions related to cultural studies methodologies, including theories of race, gender, sexuality, and class. In addition to materials collected in a course reader we will read the following novels: Henry James, Daisy Miller; Jeanette Winterson, The Passion; and Caryl Philips, Crossing the River.
|302 B||CRITICAL PRACTICE (Critical Practice, or, What Do We Do When We Do English?)
To the world outside, English Studies are about reading and writing—and that’s just about that. But over the past few decades the field itself has become intensely self-conscious of what those two activities actually are. “Reading” and “writing,” we’ve decided, are complex processes, and depending on how you understand them, you will be doing very different things. One kind of reading, for example, has for some critics come to look like a kind of cultural cheerleading; another takes an angle that makes it deeply distrustful of anything—including successful authorship—that looks like the promotion of power or privilege.
In that context, this course will ask you to think carefully about what English Studies people actually do when they do English, particularly as readers. We’ll begin with half a dozen essays that make claims about what work in English actually is or should be, and we’ll go on to read the whole of a short book that seems to argue that you needn’t actually read much at all (but doesn’t actually). Finally, we’ll also read/watch some of the texts that that book looks at as part of its argument—some short, like Montaigne’s essay “On Reading,” others more substantial, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I’ll also be asking you to “read” a couple films.
Throughout I will be asking you to think carefully about the reading and writing you do, and how and why you might choose to do either of them differently. You’ll write, too, about your own habits, and in the end I’ll ask you to formulate for the future your own reading/writing plan. What are you doing when you do English, and how and why might you want to modify either?
Students will write short response papers for most classes; there will also be three formal paper/mid-term assignments and a group project.
Texts: Pierre Bayard, How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read. Shakespeare, Hamlet. Assorted essays on electronic reserve.
|302 C||CRITICAL PRACTICE
|315 A||LITERARY MODERNISM
This course will consider the influence of Friedrich Nietzsche on six important British Modernists. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche sketches his notion of the overman, and the concept of eternal return. How do these ideas influence the novels of Virginia Woolf and May Sinclair, the poetry and prose of TS Eliot and Ezra Pound? In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche describes the opposition between Apollonian and Dionysian influences. How does this opposition in manifest in the novels of DH Lawrence and James Joyce? We’ll begin with these questions, but by no means end there. In addition to the two texts by Nietzsche mentioned above, we’ll read (contingent upon text availability) Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Sinclair’s Mary Oliver, and Woolf’s The Waves, together with selected poems and essays by Eliot and Pound.
Course Requirements: Class members will write a two to three page paper addressing the influence of Nietzsche on each literary author, and an eight to ten page term paper analyzing some aspect of Nietzsche across several literary texts.
|320 A||ENGL LIT: MID AGES (English Literature: The Middle Ages)
This course will provide an introduction to the literary traditions and cultural contexts of the English Middle Ages. The first part of the course will focus on Anglo-Saxon poetry, and the second part will examine Middle English literature. Texts will be read mostly in translation, though we will read some in the original language, especially in the latter part of the course. There will be two main papers, a midterm, and a final. Texts: Richard Hamer, tr., Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse; Seamus Heaney, Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (dual-language edition); Hanning & Ferrante, eds., The Lais of Marie de France; Millet & Wogan-Brown, eds., Medieval English Prose for Women; Marie Borroff, tr., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience, Pearl: Verse Translation; Julian of Norwich, Showings; Covella, tr., Piers Plowman: The A-Text.
|323 A||SHAKESPEARE TO 1603
In this course we will be considering some of the plays Shakespeare wrote during the first half of his career. Already they are masterpieces, mainly comedies and histories. The plays we will be reading include The Comedy of Errors, Richard III, Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV Part 1, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, and Hamlet. Maybe Measure for Measure too, depending on our pace. Work will include 3 short tests, 2 short papers, participation in a class presentation, and postings to our discussion site.
The Norton Shakespeare, ed. by Stephen Greenblatt, et al. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997) (ISBN 0-393-97087-6)
McDonald, Russ. The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare, 2nd ed. (Boston: St. Martins, 2001) (ISBN0-312-24880-6)
E.M.W. Tillyard. The Elizabethan World Picture. (New York: Vintage, 1959) (ISBN 0-394-70162-3
|324 A||SHAKESPEARE AFT 1603 (Shakespeare after 1603)
Shakespeare's career as dramatist after 1603. Study of comedies, tragedies, and romances.
|333 A||ENGLISH NOVEL (English Novel: Early & Middle 19th Century)
The development of the English Novel in its “golden age.” Attention to themes, forms, and styles in fiction of the Romantic and Victorian eras to the mid-19th C. Primary readings: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens, Great Expectations. The course turns on ideas of individuality and aspiration in the period that shape Romantic fiction of philosophic fantasy and Victorian novels of psychological and social realism, such as the Bildungsroman, the love story or marriage plot, and the panoramic, multi-character, multi-plot novel of urban spaces and large, dense social and economic systems. These works contemplate the individual both solitary and in webs of connection to others, in settings of Romantic nature and the "Dickensian" city. We will place the novels in their times with the help of short secondary readings on E-reserves: Robin Gilmour, "Introduction" to The Victorian Period, sel. from Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, J.S. Mill, ch. 3 "Of Individuality" from "On Liberty," sel. from Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South. While placing the novels in their times, the course suggests the on-going power of these "classic" novels, including references to films that preserve and re-imagine them. Lecture-discussion format; midterm with significant essay component (25%); @7-8 pp. critical paper from a choice of topics (50%); in-class final with significant essay component (25%).
|335 A||AGE OF VICTORIA (Age of Victoria: Self-Help, Reform, Empire)
The Victorian era was characterized by an impulse to improve things, beginning with the self and extending outward to the nation. Importantly, this impulse also provided impetus to imperial expansion and ideological projects such as the “civilizing mission.” This course pursues Victorian improvement regimes through three units—self-help, reform, and empire—which are, ultimately, not all that distinct from one another. Readings include Dickens’ Hard Times, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” Stevenson’s “The Beach of Falesá,” excerpts from John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography and On Liberty, Samuel Smiles’ Self Help, Engels on The Condition of the Working Class in England, Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor, and writings on the “Woman Question.”
|337 A||MODERN NOVEL (The Modern Novel)
The modernist preoccupation with subjective experience is widely acknowledged, but it manifests in very different ways. Why do Modern writers have such different notions of what it means to tell the truth about “inner life”? What makes a novel identifiably Modern? In this class, we’ll read six canonical Modern novels published in Europe and the US within less than a decade of one another. We’ll consider what makes these works similar to one another and what makes them different. We’ll evaluate stylistic and thematic choices and think about how each work is affected by the assumptions and concerns of its writer and the context in which it was produced. Our inquiry will be broad, taking into account not only questions of race, gender, and empire, but also developments in science and industry, and the philosophical preoccupations of the times. Students will be encouraged to develop their own line of questioning within an area of interest to them. Requirements: In addition to class discussion and group work, each class member will write three six-page papers, and have the opportunity to rewrite and extend one paper at the end of the term.
Texts (depending upon availability): Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Gide, The Counterfeiters; Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Joyce, Portrait of the Artist; Kafka, The Trial; and Woolf, To the Lighthouse
|338 A||MODERN POETRY
(Evening Degree Program)
This course will explore the forms and values of modern poetry – its ambitions and anxieties, its daring innovations, difficulty, and sheer beauty. In the first half, we’ll trace the emergence of a distinctly modern poetic sensibility and style, from Baudelaire and the French symbolists through the heyday of Anglo-American modernism (Pound and Eliot). The second half is dedicated to the work of W. B. Yeats. Requirements: commit to memory one poem of at least 50 lines (or two shorter poems), participation, midterm, and final examination (more info in class).
Texts: Yeats is required (W. B. Yeats, The Collected Works, Volume I: The Poems, ed. By Finneran); most of the Eliot and Pound poems we’ll look at can be found in the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, ed. By Ellmann and online (but T. S. Eliot, Selected Poems, Harvest, and Ezra Pound, Selected Poems, New Directions, are highly recommended).
|343 A||CONTEMP POETRY (Postmodern American Poetry: Experimental Form and Political Engagement)
Postmodern American poetry was a fragmented—and occasionally fractious—cultural development, and its practitioners were often associated with various avant-garde movements or groups. The Black Mountain School poets—named for their association with Black Mountain College in North Carolina—developed a new poetics in which the poem was intended to transfer the rhythm of the poet’s breath to the page. This “Projectivist Verse,” as Charles Olson called it, was all about energy and movement: “always one perception must must must MOVE, INSTANTER, ON ANOTHER!” In San Francisco following the Second World War, Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer became central figures in a new generation of poets who valued political radicalism, sexual liberation, Renaissance erudition, and magic. As students at UC Berkeley, Duncan and Spicer contributed to a “Berkeley Renaissance” that eventually blossomed into the San Francisco Renaissance of the later 1950s. In New York, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery and co. developed their interest in Abstract Expressionist painting and French poetry into the poetics of the New York School. In the 1960s and ‘70s, Gwendolyn Brooks and Amiri Baraka combined postmodern aesthetics and Black Nationalist politics into a new poetic idiom intended first and foremost for an African-American readership. In the ‘70s and early ‘80s, Language writing emerged as arguably the last major avant-garde formation of the century. Poets like Lyn Hejinian, Ron Silliman and Charles Bernstein constructed disjunctive, theoretical texts informed by leftist politics and structural linguistics.
In this course, we will attempt to understand these various poets and movements in both historical and intertextual terms. That is, we will try to get a sense of how individual poets were shaped by historical pressures, by cultural milieu, and by the work of other poets. By reading American poetry in a historically “thick” context, we will explore not only the poetics of the last century but also the complexities of American (literary) history, canon formation, cultural capital, and avant-gardism.
Paul Hoover’s. Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology.
|345 A||STUDIES IN FILM (American Independent Film)
||M 2:30-5:20, TTh 2:30-4:20
What constitutes “independent film” in an era when independent distributors have merged with Hollywood studios? English 345 addresses this question by examining the narrative, stylistic, and industrial aspects of contemporary U.S. independent film. While we will briefly investigate the history of independent film in the U.S., beginning with the industry’s earliest days, we will concentrate on the burgeoning of independent cinema that began in the mid 1980s. In addition to viewing films in class, students will attend selected screenings at the Seattle International Film Festival. Course films will likely include, among other titles, Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003), Gas, Food, Lodging (Allison Anders, 1992), Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999), Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001), Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, 2004), Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994), Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995), Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Steven Soderbergh, 1989), She’s Gotta Have It (Spike Lee, 1986) Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch, 1984), and 21 Grams (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2003)
One of the following titles:
King, Geoff. American Independent Cinema. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 2005. ISBN: 0253218268.
Levy, Emanuel. Cinema of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film. New York: NYU Press, 2001. ISBN: 0814751245.
Tzioumakis, Yannis. American Independent Cinema: An Introduction. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2006. ISBN: 0813539714.
Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction 8th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008. 
|350 A||TRAD AM FICTION (Traditions in American Fiction)
(Evening Degree Program)
A sampling of significant nineteenth-century American fiction, featuring a comprehensive look at the ranges of theme and technique that have traditionally engaged American authors. Students should come prepared to read texts closely and to deliberate on the reciprocity between fiction and the socio-political context it both reflects and helps to shape.
Texts: Packet of readings (purchase specifically for this course at University Book Store; includes "Bartleby" and "The Yellow Wallpaper"); also, Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Stories; Hawthorne, The Portable Hawthorne; Melville, Moby-Dick; Davis, Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories; Twain, Huckleberry Finn; Crane, The Portable Stephen Crane.
|353 A||AMER LIT LATER 19C (American Literature: Later 19th Century)
We'll read and discuss an assortment of novels, short stories and sketches produced by American authors in the decades following 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 from five to ten brief in-class essays done in response to study questions handed out in advance.
Judith Fetterly, ed. AMERICAN WOMEN REGIONALISTS 1850-1910.
Henry James. THE AMERICAN.
William Dean Howells. THE RISE OF SILAS LAPHAM.
Mark Twain. THE GREAT SHORT WORKS OF MARK TWAIN.
Charles Chesnutt. THE CONJURE WOMAN.
Frank Norris. McTEAGUE.
Stephen Crane. THE GREAT SHORT WORKS OF STEPHEN CRANE.
Kate Chopin. THE AWAKENING AND SELECTED SHORT STORIES.
|355 C||CONTEMP AM LIT (Postmodern Places and Spaces)
This course is about the literary transformation of place. While place used to be seen as a geographical fixed point, now it seems to be more like My Space, a virtual and conceptual space. However literature has in some ways always served as a virtual place, a fictional location of utopias, empires, and individual imaginations. This course will use several contemporary literary works to explore the ideas of space and place. Is a place a location, a point of origin, a community, or something more theoretical and abstract? What does it mean to be dis-placed? How does a text produce its own kind of place? Together these works will help provide some very different perspective on post-modernism, whereby we can explore its possibilities or suggest some of its problematic consequences. Texts include Mark Danielewski’s complex novel, House of Leaves, Nicholson Baker’s comic novel of the office, The Mezzanine, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Marilynn Robinson’s Housekeeping, Julie Otsuka’s novel of internment, When the Emperor was Divine, and Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel, Maus.
|368 A||WOMEN WRITERS (Women Writers: The Reading and Writing Self and her Others)
“Read and Write I don’t know. Other things I know.” So says Christophine, illiterate and savvy servant in Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys’ brilliant addendum to Emily Bronte’s Jane Eyre. This iteration of the Women Writers course examines how the privileges and powers attached to literacy, self-construction, creativity and authorship, have historically been gendered and raced. We will trace the historical processes by which women within the British Empire gradually demanded and obtained access to those privileges and powers. In other words, this course takes a comparative approach to the question of how women became reading and writing subjects within imperialism. Texts include A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, Mr. Meeson’s Will, and writings by Gayatri Spivak, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Rassundari Devi, Elizabeth Browning, Flora Annie Steel, and Susan Gubar.
|370 A||ENGL LANG STUDY (English Language Study)
This course introduces the systematic study of present-day English sounds, words, and sentences, as well as the contexts of language production. Speakers of a language command many complex levels of structure – many of which they are not even aware. We will look at these structural building blocks of language and become acquainted with the fundamentals of linguistic communication. How do people make meaningful noises? How are words put together? How do words combine to create meaning? How does language function in its social context? This course addresses these questions with particular reference to English. Course work will consist of daily homework, one short paper, a midterm and a final.
Anne Curzan and Michael Adams. How English Works.
|381 A||ADV EXPOSITORY WRIT (Advanced Expository Writing)
Marco Polo and Mark Twain are just a couple examples of travel writers who, through their rendition of faraway locations in persuasive prose, radically altered how readers pictured the world. Through descriptions of people encountered and landscapes traversed, travel writers familiarize, exoticize, or destabilize the unknown in order to transform places into cultural significant landmarks in the imagination of their armchair readers. As a genre, travel writing is an excellent illustration of the immediate power of prose and lends itself well to the study of the effective use of words. In this class, we will analyze some signature pieces of this genre as a way to develop our own prose styles. Classwork will consist of discussion of various essays and peer critiques of student writing. Assigned texts: The Best American Travel Writing 2007 ed. Susan Orlean (required) and The Travel Writer’s Handbook by Louise Purwin Zobel (optional)
Best American Travel Writing 2007 Ed. Susan Orlean. Houghton Mifflin. 
Jack Rawlins. The Writer’s Way. Houghton Mifflin. 
|382 A||WRITING FOR WEB (Writing for the Web)
This Spring, we will focus on writing and critiquing e-essays about place/locale/geography and issues thereunto appertaining. We will divide our time between the "grammar" of HTML (how to execute various things) and the "rhetoric" of using those things in web pages. /Ideally/ you should know:
* how to read the source of an HTML page
* how to set colors and fonts on a page
* how to insert an image in a page
* what Cascading Style Sheets are and how they connect to a page
GRAMMAR: Some of the more advanced bits we will use include:
* CSS layout, including
o elastic and liquid layout
o positioning and floating DIVs and other elements
o sizing and positioning secondary windows
o hidden/visible popups
* Conditional CSS, CSS imagemaps
RHETORIC: Major general design issues include:
* finding/retrieving vs. exploring/discovering
* reliability vs. magic
* control vs. cooperation
|383 A||CRAFT OF VERSE (was Intermediate Verse Writing)
|383 B||CRAFT OF VERSE (was Intermediate Verse Writing)
|384 A||CRAFT OF PROSE (was Intermediate Short Story Writing)
|384 B||CRAFT OF PROSE (was Intermediate Short Story Writing)
|407 A||TOPICS CULTURE ST (Living in Place: Literature and the Environment)
Our focus for this course will be upon how literature deals with the environment, i.e., how literary texts represent environmental issues and why it matters that they be represented in this form. How, that is, does where we live and, even more importantly, how we imagine the places in which we live, affect who we are? How do our relationships to nature and our relationships with other people intersect? We will be considering a range of prose texts, including fictional narratives, non-fictional essays and journalism, primarily texts written or set in the Americas, but with one African novel included for comparative purposes. Course goals include: 1) developing the analytical reading skills appropriate to different kinds of literary texts, 2) working on how to formulate and sustain critical arguments in writing, 3) learning how to uncover the logic and stakes of specific attitudes toward the natural world, 4) understanding how environmental issues are linked to other social and cultural concerns, 5) seeing how those linkages are affected by particular historical and political conditions. The course will contain a significant writing component, regular informal writing assignments, a collaborative analysis of a critical essay, and a collaborative group project on one of the primary texts in the course; it can count for W-credit.
Texts: Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Faulkner, Go Down, Moses, McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid, Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire, Appleman, Norton Darwin, Butler, Wild Seed, Lopez, Arctic Dreams, Head, When Rain Clouds Gather.
|407 B||TOPICS CULTURE ST (Special Topics in Cultural Studies)
This quarter will be all about you—or rather, why “you” have become the symbol of an electronic democratic culture. How did this celebration of the individual come about, and how is different from the past? What are the implications for thinking about “you” as the ultimate arbiter in matters of taste, social trends, and policy? And what is the relationship between “you,” as the vaunted savvy user of electronic media, and the United States’ military entanglements in the Middle East? Topics to be covered: celebrity culture, spectacle, travel literature, and soldiers’ blogs. Expect to complete your own project about the place of “you” in American culture by quarter’s end.
Required texts: David Shields’ Remote; Miranda July’s Nobody Belongs Here More Than You; and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. E-reserve readings will include such works as Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle; Francine Prose on reality TV and democracy; Mary Louise Pratt’s Imperial Eyes; Lisa Nakamura on identity tourism; Susan Faludi’s Terror Dream; and Time Magazine’s article proclaiming “you” as the 2006 Person of the Year.
|422 A||ARTHURIAN LEGENDS
(Evening Degree Program)
|440 A||SPEC STUDIES IN LIT (Double Exposures: Literary Character and Reader Salvation)
(Evening Degree Program)
“As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true.” –Kay Eiffel, writer and character, Stranger than Fiction
The limitations on the comparative analysis of literary fiction and the feature film are dominated by the socio-political situation of the two forms and disciplines which examine them. Literary fiction is an elite, privileged form--one which is legitimated by its commitment to an objective of excellence; however that is defined; while the feature film is produced by a commercial industry which is unable to survive without creating a popular audience. . . . The discomfort of the literary critic with popular cultural forms has a long and distinguished history . . . Similarly, film studies’ recognition of its situation as an area which has had to establish its respectability has produced a jealous wariness of the imperialism of other disciplines. . . . So the limited degree of intercourse that occurs between the two disciplines has to deal with suspicions of elitism and imperialism on the one hand, and accusations of ‘trendiness’ on the other.” --Graeme Turner “National fictions: film, fiction, and culture”
Conventional wisdom tells us to turn to psychotherapy or philosophy or religion rather than to literature and film for words of wisdom, for insights into the human mind and heart. This course would widen that lens, focusing upon a source of salvation given only marginal attention in contemporary culture: fictional characterization. In particular, this course tests the benefits of analyzing characterization in our age of multimedia, when the person silently printed on the page is also embodied and enacted on radio or screen. In tandem, contemporary literary characterizations might combine forces to “save our lives.”
Our primary means of investigating this theory to gain insightful, critical revelations will be in-depth, multi-genre studies of literary characterization in print and in audio/film adaptations of fictional narratives.
Some central questions for research and discussion over the course of the quarter:
? What constitutes “character” in life and in literature, both in the past but particularly in the present?
? Are we in contemporary society more or less likely to flatten existing traits of “character” into “caricature,” shaped as we can be by conventional cultural norms and relying on vague or conflicting notions about what it means to “have character”?
? Can the study of literary characterizations broaden and deepen our study of actual people while enriching our own moral and mental selves--while saving our lives?
? Do audio and visual adaptations flesh out character profiles, fusing words in print with resonant-voiced actors so as to allow readers richer insights into literary characters and conflicts?
? Should we adjust our aesthetic values, viewing multimedia and traditional print literatures as literary complements rather than competitors as a means of enhancing our own lives, redefining our individual characters, and reassessing our “American character”?
Course work includes a willingness to challenge one’s current aesthetic values about film and literature; engaged discussion; online research of literary terms and UW databases; critical written analysis of stories and films, as well as published reviews and critiques of those stories and films; and a final examination.
Course texts to purchase at the University Bookstore will include one play, John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation and any story that is not easily found online or in a magazine. (I will add books to this list according to availability and cost, so please attend class before you purchase the books.)
I will also make available for purchase a course packet of short stories that have been adapted to screen and are useful to this course focus on character (including Cornell Woolrich’s “Rear Window,” Andre Dubus’s “Killings,” Alice Munro’s “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” among possible others). If we have more time at course conclusion and a DVD film version is available, I hope to include a longer work of fiction—a contemporary novel--and its film adaptation, most likely Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner.
Portions of film adaptations will be screened in class for course discussion, and class attendance for these screenings is required. You will be expected to rent films for review and reflection outside of class. Again, please attend class before buying any books, as DVD availability might affect the textbook orders before the first day of the quarter.
|443 A||POETRY-SPEC STUDIES (Poetry: Special Studies)
The goal of this course is to provide students with a solid grounding in the history and evolution of lyric poetry in English, from its Old English origins up to the extraordinary variety of contemporary poetic practices. We will study the formal principles which have traditionally distinguished poetry from prose (meter, rhyme, stanza and form), poetic conventions such as courtly love and Romantic nature worship, and poetic genres such as the epic, the pastoral elegy and the greater Romantic lyric, and we will study how these forms, conventions and genres have changed from one historical period to another. In order to fully understand these changes we will study several of the important texts, written by poets, philosophers and critics, which have provided the theoretical foundations for each period’s dominant poetics, and we will examine how aesthetic judgments have been and are made about individual poets and poetic schools and styles. Students will learn how to read a poem closely, how to place a poem in its proper context, and how to appreciate and take pleasure in the rich complexities of this vibrant art.
|444 A||DRAMATIC LIT (Capstone in Dramatic Literature (Comedy))
This seminar will explore the genre of comedy. Its main objectives are (1) to read closely some famous ancient and modern comedies, and see a few taped or live stage performances; (2) to grasp the esthetics of major writers such as Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Molière, and Beckett; (3) to develop an overall sense of the traditions and cultural contexts of comedy, how comedy has changed over time, and which features have remained constant. Specific topics include: the origins of comedy; the forms and features of “high” and “low” comedy; the conventions and techniques of romantic and satirical comedy; types and functions of laughter; tragicomedy, travesty, and farce.
Requirements and Grading: This is a capstone seminar for English seniors, with an emphasis on practical skills. Attendance is mandatory, and along with participation, will count as 25% of your final grade (or one grade unit). Several brief assignments on individual authors and (option A) one ten-page paper on a major author, period, genre or problem or (option B) two six-page papers. I am open to adapt assignments to your purposes as you conclude your undergraduate education. No final. (Please note: some of the taped material exceeds the two-hour slot: allow for extra time.)
Aristophanes. Four Plays by Aristophanes (The Clouds, The Birds, Lysistrata, The Frogs), tr. Dudley Fitts. Harvest. REQUIRED.
Plautus. Four Comedies (The Braggart Soldier, The Brothers Menaechmus, The Haunted House, The Pot of Gold), tr. Erich Segal. Oxford World’s Classics. REQUIRED.
Shakespeare. The Comedy of Errors. Dover Thrift or any ed. REQUIRED.
Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Signet or any other edn. REQUIRED.
Molière. The Misanthrope and Tartuffe, tr. Richard Wilbur. Harvest. REQUIRED.
John Gay. The Beggar’s Opera. Dover Thrift. REQUIRED.
Gilbert & Sullivan. The Mikado. Dover Thrift. REQUIRED.
Oscar Wilde. The Importance of Being Earnest. Dover Thrift or any other edn. REQUIRED.
Anton Chekhov. The Essential Plays, tr. by Micheal Henry Heim. Modern Library Classics. OPTIONAL.
John M. Synge. The Playboy of the Western World. Dover Thrift or any other edn. REQUIRED.
Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot. Grove. REQUIRED.
Alfred Jarry. Ubu Roi. Dover Thrift. OPTIONAL.
Tom Stoppard. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Grove. OPTIONAL.
|471 A||COMPOSITION PROCESS (The Composition Process)
This course provides an overview of the key theories and methods that have informed writing instruction, assessment, and curricular design since the emergence of the process movement in the late-1960s. The “process” approach shifted focus from the formal features of a finished writing product to the process writers undergo to produce effective writing. The movement opened space, furthermore, for conversations about student voice, self-expression, political resistance, and exclusion.
We will explore and challenge composition theories that have evolved out of and in response to the process movement. The breadth of such work, among other things, pays greater attention to the challenges of teaching within “diverse” classrooms, to the social dimension of writing in various genres and contexts; and to the possibilities of service learning and community-based writing initiatives.
In practical terms, students will be expected to write weekly position papers in response to course readings, complete a literacy investigation project, facilitate a teaching forum discussion, and develop a teaching philosophy statement and portfolio. We will further ground our theoretical work by examining the Washington state mandates for student learning and assessment in secondary education, including the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) and the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs).
This course encourages lively dialogue about the teaching of writing with the hope of collectively clarifying and enriching our teaching practices (or aspiring practices) in relation to the history of composition theory and practice, within the constraints of our various institutions, within the political climate of classrooms, schools and communities, and with respect to our personal convictions about what it means to teach writing to real students in a specific time and place.
Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing.
Joseph Harris. A Teaching Subject.
Paul Heilker and Peter Vandenberg, Eds. Keywords in Composition Studies.
A course pack of selected readings.
|473 A||CUR DEV ENGL STDIES (Language and Gender)
ENGL473/WS490B is both a survey of work in language and gender and an opportunity to conduct research on actual language in use. We'll start with a survey of readings moving from early second wave research and then take up sociolinguistic research on language and gender. We'll close with a look at more recent work in language and sexuality.
|478 A||LANG & SOCL POLICY (Language and Social Policy)
What do all these items have in common? Global English, testing kindergarten readiness, U.S. English, laws about what can be on signs, interpreters in hospitals, the MLA Guide, and the New York Times style manual are all related to language policy in the United States. This course is an introduction to language policy. Each of the items in the list itself is part of a language policy. We'll examine how language policy works its way into many parts of our daily lives. In addition to reading an overview of the field, we'll read articles, legal cases, examples of language tests, and style guides as examples of language policy. Each individual class member will carry out a research project on a current U.S. language policy, reporting to the class and writing a paper on the results of the research.
|483 A||ADV VERSE WORKSHOP (Advanced Verse Workshop)
|484 A||ADV PROSE WORKSHOP (Advanced Prose Workshop)
|490 A||STUDY ABROAD PROGM (Study Abroad Program)
|490 B||STUDY ABROAD PROGM (Study Abroad Program)
|490 C||STUDY ABROAD PROGM (Study Abroad Program)
|490 D||STUDY ABROAD PROGM (Study Abroad Program)
|495 A||HONORS WRITING CONF (please contact Professor Maya Sonenberg, Director of Creative Writing, before registering)
By this time, you have become quite serious about your writing, and may even be thinking of applying to an MFA program in creative writing or of sending creative work out to magazines. As well as serving as a culmination to your undergraduate studies in creative prose writing, this course will allow you to polish a portfolio of work. While we may occasionally meet as a group, you will devote much of the spring to working independently on your writing, figuring out your dreams for individual pieces and learning how to accomplish those dreams. Of course, you’ll be getting feedback to help you along.
No required texts.
|496 A||H-MAJOR CONF-HONORS (Major Conference for Honors)
This intensive writing seminar is designed to provide the intellectual and disciplinary support necessary for you to produce a first-rate honors thesis on a topic of your own choosing. The course will entail workshops, library research, and individual conference meetings with myself. You will write (in this order) abstracts, outlines, rough drafts, and, finally, finished scholarly essays of 20-25 pages. We will meet regularly, but not every single week. It will be fun.
|496 B||H-MAJOR CONF-HONORS (Major Conference for Honors)
The honors thesis seminar allows you to spend a quarter writing an essay (20-25) pages on a topic of your choice as your final honors project. You may develop a paper you have already begun in one of your honors seminars or in another class. Or you may wish to write on a new topic. In any case, we will work together as a community on drafts and peer reviews, and I will meet with you individually as well. In order to give you time to do your writing, the class will not meet every week.
|498 B||SENIOR SEMINAR (Recent British Fiction)
This seminar will offer a reading of seven very recent novels from Britain and Ireland. "Very recent" means published since 2000, and the aim is to give students some sense of the range and quality of contemporary British fiction. English, Scottish, and Irish authors are represented in the reading; most are established writers but some are newer. Some of the novels are more experimental or (in one case) wacky, while others are more traditional. Most (as it happens) tell stories which are in one way or another about childhood experience. All of them are challenging and provocative. They are: William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault, Trezza Azzopardi’s The Hiding Place, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Lucy Ellmann’s Dot in the Universe, V.S. Naipaul’s Half a Life, Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, and Ali Smith’s Hotel World
|498 C||SENIOR SEMINAR (Literatures of the Black Atlantic)
Literatures of the Black Atlantic explores the production, reification, and contestation of various racial identities within the chronotope that Paul Gilroy has famously dubbed the “Black Atlantic.” We will read a range of primary texts produced during the 18th and 19th centuries by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Mary Prince, and Philip Maxwell, among others, as well as more recent historical and critical pieces by Gilroy, Marcus Rediker, C.L.R. James, and Eric Williams.
|498 L||SENIOR SEMINAR ("Consuming Narratives: Literature about Food")
In recent years, food and “foodies” have become prominent in the cultural scene in America in many ways, from the rise of The Food Network on cable television to the increasing popularity of food and kitchen memoirs and the widely circulated critiques of fast food in film (as in “Super Size Me”) and print (as in Fast Food Nation). Perhaps less known, though just as influential in scholarly circles, are recent histories of food; studies of the ways it circulates in families, nations, and global economies; and literary accounts of relationships with food explored in a range of narrative forms, from poetry to fiction. This course will focus on such literary treatments, asking how and why food becomes a subject for narrative and with which social, cultural, and political consequences for contemporary readers.
A few of the questions that we will consider include:
How are specific themes, issues, and debates (both scholarly and cultural)—such as ideas about the nation, multiculturalism, health, and globalization—engaged by recent writing about food?
Which narrative strategies are important to representing the nexus of relationships central to the production, distribution, preparation, and consumption of food?
How are environmentalism and environmental thinking, more broadly, important to recent writing about food?
How might different genres of food writing be read and compared, and with which potential impacts on both scholarly and popular audiences?
Readings will include recent autobiographies, novels, and poems, as well as critical essays by literary scholars, cultural geographers, and food critics. Likely authors and texts will be: M.F.K Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf ; Monique Truong, The Book of Salt; Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential; Jeff Henderson, Cooked; Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats; David Mas Masumoto, Epitaph for a Peach; poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca and others; and essays by Michael Ruhlmann, Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, John Elder, Wendell Berry, and Michel de Certeau. Because this course is a senior seminar, active participation in each discussion is expected and crucial to our work as a class. Graded work will include participation, response papers, and a final seminar paper.
|498 N||SENIOR SEMINAR (Mapping the reader’s journey)
We book lovers have had our hearts stolen, been transported to a different place by at least one book. Because you can never take the same journey twice, rereading a beloved book can reveal new insights, into the reader as well as the book. In this course we’ll focus on the experience of reading, exploring the difference between first readings and subsequent readings, discovering how the book is never the same and how we change as readers trekking across readings and through time. In addition to Anne Fadiman’s Rereadings, a collection of essays by diverse writers on the surprises and insights rereading brings, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, and selections from The Book that Changed My Life by Roxanne Coady and Joy Johannessen, you will work closely with a book you choose. This is a writing-intensive course; assignments include regular reflective exercises to log your journeys, formal arguments you develop through rereading and revision, and a portfolio essay. To prepare for this class, begin thinking about some of those old loves you yearn to revisit again for a few weeks. Works of literature you read several years ago when you were in another time and place will be good candidates. And if you’ve already done some writing about the books you are considering, that’s a bonus. Hopefully, rereading will leave both you and the book you revisit changed, and you, dear traveler, will have a deepened appreciation for who you are as a reader and the role reading can play in your present and future journey.
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