Spring Quarter 2009 — Undergraduate Course Descriptions


This is a course in reading, thinking about, and enjoying literature, with a focus on the relation between literature and autobiography. We will read a variety of novels and poems that use the authors’ own lives as material, thinking about how and why literature can succeed or fail in making the details of these authors’ experiences interesting and relevant to readers. Along the way, we will consider issues such as the possibility or impossibility of telling the truth about an experience; the expectations readers feel when a story is said to be “true” and whether it matters if a personal story is strictly accurate; the responsibility toward others when telling a story that is also theirs; masks, personas, alter-egos and the illusion of a “natural” or spontaneous voice; and the way authors attempt to use their own stories to embody narratives of larger national, racial, and cultural groups. Through this exploration, we will think more generally about how literature can challenge and complicate our idea of what it means to be a “self.”

As a “W” course, English 200 will require 15 pages of out-of-class writing,
with revision.

Required books:

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, 0061148512
Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums, 0143039601
Robert Lowell, Life Studies, 0374530963
Lyn Hejinian, My Life, 1931243336
Rita Dove, Thomas and Beulah, 0887480217

Course reader


This course will help students develop practices in reading and enjoying literature. The dominant mode of fiction in Britain during the 19th century was realism. However, there existed alongside the classics other forms of writing, which questioned the very tenets of a realism that claimed to transparently represent life and the world – in these stories, nothing is quite as it seems. We’ll start with appreciating the genre of realism by looking at the works of Jane Austen and George Eliot. Then, we’ll turn to the sensational fiction of Wilkie Collins, as well as the later anti-realist work of Oscar Wilde. Sensational fiction was considered dangerous in Victorian England, as the stories were so shocking that critics were afraid people would react in unseemly ways. Therefore one point of departure in understanding the relationship between realism and these other genres will be to consider the kinds of responses these texts produce in readers – whether the original 19th-century audience or, importantly, ourselves. Texts will likely include: Persuasion, The Mill on the Floss, The Moonstone, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as selections of critical work in a course packet. Course requirements will include group presentations, reading quizzes and active class participation. Students will be asked to write, and revise, two five to seven page papers.

200 D READING LITERATURE (“The Anxieties and Pleasures of Reading Literature”) Anderson M-Th 11:30- 12995

In this section of Engl 200 we will read texts that attempt to explicitly expose the act of reading for what it is: an active, frustrating, pleasurable, push-and-pull exercise that ultimately resists a final definition of itself. What is reading? What is this “thing” we do and more importantly, what is our role and what are our responsibilities upon opening a book? This course will challenge preconceived notions and definitions of the terms “reader,” “text,” and “author.” Often these terms are accepted at face value and as self-evident. However, as we investigate their possible roles during the act of reading literature we might find that they fail to maintain their popular definitions. However, whatever anxiety resulting from such an investigation will productively fuel our class discussions and your own writing.

To this end we will read Italo Calvino’s uncannily self-referential novel “If on a winter’s night a traveler”; Mark Z. Danielewski’s encyclopedic and labyrinthine “House of Leaves,” as well as short stories by Shelley Jackson, Thomas Ligotti, Jorge Luis Borges, and others. We will also be reading short critical work that explores the act of reading. In order to further our inquiry into the nature of reading literature and enrich our discussion of literature we will also consider film (Darren Aronofsky’s “The Fountain”) and music (Miles Davis, J.S. Bach, Steve Reich, John Cage) that, like the above literary texts, invites engaged and active participation.

The assigned writing for this class will take the form of online forum postings following the readings, and 2 short papers that together fall within the scope of 10-15 pages (with required revisions). There will also be opportunities to peer-review one another’s work. Participation in class discussion is absolutely necessary. The reading for this class will be demanding, but infinitely rewarding. Since this is a “W” course we will also spend some time on composition and revision. Each paper will be read and commented on with revision in mind.

Mark Z. Danielewski, “House of Leaves,” 038560310X
Italo Calvino, “If on a winter’s night a traveler,” 0156439611
Shelley Jackson, “My Body,” (available online)

Course Packet:
“The Big Money” (short excerpt), John Dos Passos
“The Shadow at the Bottom of the World,” Thomas Ligotti
“The Library of Babel,” Jorge Luis Borges
“The Death of the Author,” Roland Barthes
“What is an Author?” Michel Foucault
“Inhabiting House of Leaves,” N. Katherine Hayles
“Liminal Terror and Collective Identity,” Matt Cardin
* slight shifting of the course packet only may occur between now and the beginning of Spring Quarter.


The overall purpose of this class is to teach you to approach, read, and analyze literature critically, thoughtfully, and intellectually.

Literature is often understood to be a special form of imaginative/creative writing that gives access to "universal human knowledge" by rendering "immediate living experience." However, this unique status and capacity of literature, as Raymond Williams underscores, is achieved by the effective suppression of "the process and the result of formal composition within the social and formal properties of language" and the cultural and political circumstances that gave rise to such writing. In other words, literature is an ideological category that mediates a historical context and its modes of knowing. This mediation, however, is not simply the obscuring of history or the value-neutral accessing of history in all of its fecundity but rather a problematic by which come to know ourselves and others.

Therefore, the course centers on this problematic of history and literature through an exploration of forms of reading. Broadly, we will examine how the writing of history and literature are linked through questions of narrative form and representation. To do so, we will specifically engage with topics like the nation and death, revolution and memory, slavery and the body, war and trauma. And throughout, we focus how such narratives rely upon and make intelligible citizenship, race, gender, and sexuality as the terms by which we come know and feel ourselves.


English 200: Reading Literature
English 200 is intended to encourage and develop practices of critical interpretation in the reading of literature. Our focus in this course will be on U.S. literature from the mid-19th century to the early 20th C. We will read non-fiction essays, short stories and novels from key authors of each period in order to track the literary and cultural changes occurring during this period of increased immigration, intense industrialization and urbanization of the American landscape.
Some key questions we will consider are as follows: How do we understand the tradition of literature as readers and university students? What is the relationship between literature as a cultural product and the culture in which it is produced? Or, in other words, what is American literature’s relation to the nation-form itself? Finally, we will ask, what is the most effective critical framework for understanding literature’s place in the institution of the university? Through these particular focus-points, as well as selected readings in literary and cultural theory, we will attempt to formulate a critical approach to reading literature that emphasizes analytic reading and writing skills.
Note: This course fulfills a ‘W’ credit. Students will write one 3 page and two 5-7 page papers over the course of the quarter, and will required to revise their writing based on instructor and peer feedback. This class is primarily discussion based and daily participation will constitute a significant amount of the total grade.
Authors and texts include:
Emerson: “Nature”
Melville: “Benito Cerino”
Rebecca Harding-Davis: “Life in the Iron Mils”
Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton: The Squatter and the Don
Charles W. Chesnutt: The Marrow of Tradition
John Dos Passos: The 42nd Parallel

207 A INTRO CULTURE ST (Racial, Power and Cultural Studies) Patel M-Th 11:30- 13004

Cultural Studies is a diverse field of study that encompasses a plethora of approaches, methods and vantage points of inquiry. Since this arena is relatively difficult to define, this course aims to outline the main tenets and major movements of Cultural Studies as it applies to everyday practices and rituals. The course will consider American, British, and South Asian forms of Cultural Studies while also looking at the main critics and criticisms of the discipline to get an introduction into the field. After a framework is set in place, the class will specifically examine race and power relations in terms of the cultural perspective by looking at some fiction in the form of short novels and short stories. How might one consider race and stereotypes from the cultural perspective? This approach will help students think through the uses of cultural studies and its place in English literary studies.

We will be looking at artifacts and texts from critical theory, fiction, film, and visual imagery. We may be reading selections from: Stuart Hall, Edward Said, Benedict Anderson, Raymond Williams, Ashis Nandy, Homi Bhabha and others. Some of these reading material includes: A reader coursepack, selections from The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, Things Fall Apart by Achebe, Animal Farm by Orwell, and others. Additionally, we will be looking a number of films and TV programs which may include: Disney films, A Passage to India, The DiVinci Code, House M.D. and 24.

Students will be responsible for active in-class participation, group presentations, reading quizzes, short paper responses and a long paper. This is not a lecture class and my hope is that students will engage with the material by speaking up in class and contributing ideas. The writing assignments will be in a variety of formats including close readings and annotated bibliographies. Since this is a W-credit course, students will be expected to engage in revision of their assignments (10-15 pgs) and practice the craft of writing.

207 B INTRO CULTURE ST (Introduction to Cultural Studies) Burt MW 2:30-4:20 13005

This class will serve two purposes. First, we will trace the emergence of an interdisciplinary movement, which has come to be known as cultural studies, that was initially associated with the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in England. To this end we will consider the relationship between the politics of culture(s) in relation to class, race, and empire. Second, we will deploy a “cultural studies” approach as we consider the representation of race and “multiculturalism” in the United States during and immediately after the Second World War, with a particular emphasis on popular cinema and music. Representing a pluralist social order was an important cultural mission for a nation that fashioned itself as the rightful, benevolent global hegemon. Critically reading against this deployment of a “multicultural” pluralist social order (frequently manifested in World War Two movies), which betrayed the reality of racial formation in the period, we will look to the work of writers like Americo Paredes, Leslie Silko, and Chester Himes.

Key theorists most likely will include (but are not limited to): Karl Marx, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Edward Said, Lisa Lowe, Penny Von Eschen

Writers will likely include: Americo Paredes, Leslie Marmon Silko, Violet Matsuda de Cristoforo, Lawson Inada, Chester Himes

Films will include: Go For Broke, Bataan, Guadalcanal Diary, Gung Ho

General method of instruction
Active class discussions of readings.

Class assignments and grading
Daily reading and writing assignments, a mid-term exam, and a final research project.

211 A MID/REN LIT (Medieval and Renaissance Literature) Speser M-Th 1:30- 13006

This course is intended to provide a survey introduction to literature of the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Insofar as the works we will be reading are locatable across particular moments of cultural production, efforts will be made to engage the material from a variety of critical methods, including but not limited to New Criticism and New Historicism. The reading load will be heavy, but the stories rich and full of life.

Required Reading
1. Heaney, S. Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition 0393330109
2. Armitage, S. Sir Gawain And The Green Knight 0393334155
3. Chaucer, G. The Canterbury Tales 0553210823
4. Shakespeare, W. Othello 0140714634
5. Alighieri, D. Inferno 0553213393
6. Course Packet

Required Work
1. Vigorous reading.
2. One research paper 5-7 pages.
3. Group presentations.
4. Final examination.

212 A LIT ENLTMT & REVOLN (Liberal Thoughts) Mahmoud TTh 12:30-2:20 13007

The Age of Enlightenment in Europe brought about a revolutionary way of thinking by introducing a set of ideas that today we view as fundamental and universal human rights: liberty, freedom, and equality. However, since many proponents of the Enlightenment also held pronounced views on race, class, gender, and empire, the rights they espoused were for the most part only extended to certain groups. This class seeks to develop a critical approach to the philosophy of the Enlightenment by covering both sides of the issue. To this end, we will read some of the key figures of the Enlightenment while also reading about who/what their conversations excluded. Therefore, through an analysis of the ways in which the liberal philosophies of the age were used to justify various forms of subjugation, we will explore the merits, contradictions, and limitations of Enlightenment philosophy. Since the 18th century also saw the emergence of the modern novel, we will examine how novelists grappled with issues of freedom, emancipation, and liberty. Readings include Moll Flanders (1722), The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), Frankenstein (1818), and a course package of short stories, poems, and historical/ theoretical readings. Theoretical readings will include Kant, Voltaire, Newton, Rousseau, Locke, Franklin, Jefferson, and Descartes. This course requires regular attendance, a demanding reading schedule, quizzes, team presentations, active in-class participation, and participation on Go-post, short papers, a midterm and a final paper.

Required Texts:
•Daniel Defoe. Moll Flanders (1722).
•Goethe. The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774).
•Mary Shelley. Frankenstein (1818).
•A course package.

213 A MODERN/POST MOD LITERATURE (Textual Intercourse: Race, Sex, and the Literary in the 20C America) Morse MW 10:30-, TTh 10:30- 13008

Our lives could easily be defined by our intercourse with others. “Modernist literature” might be described as a representation and reaction to the alienation, or the increasing lack of intercourse, instigated by industrial capital’s contortions of social relations in the 19C and 20C. “Postmodernism literature” might be described as a representation and reaction to the ever-increasing (even hyper-) mediation of those social relations and the hyper-commodification of the other (often constituted as the embrace of diversity and multiculturalism). This class will trace some of the negotiations of this shifting intercourse with others, primarily by unpacking the cultural representations of the “other” we call stereotypes, as we read through the literature of the 20C. This class will think through the role of literature in negotiating, reinforcing, and challenging how we are defined and how we define others through social categories. Because race is the salient social category through which “America” is lived and sexuality is a salient way that race is constituted, this class will focus on reading representations of the negotiation of the intersection of these two modalities of power. To this end, we will mark the temporal and epistemological turn from “modernism” to “postmodernism” by asking how literary representations of the experience with this intersection change as these aesthetic, political, socio-cultural, interpretive, and theoretical shifts take place. We will read literature as one among many multiple, shifting discourses within the broader discursive formations of modernism and postmodernism. That is, we will read literary texts intertextually in and through the intercourse that deploys sexuality to define racial categories (and vice versa) in U.S racial/sexual formation.

Texts will include James Baldwin’s Another Country, Nella Larsen’s Quicksand, Gertrude Stein’s “Melanctha,” Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices. Other potential texts include the poetry of John Ashberry, Frank O’Hara, Langston Hughes and/or Allen Ginsburg, Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, and writings by William Burroughs, Gloria Anzaldúa, Samuel Delaney, and Fae Myenne Ng. We will temper our literary readings with literary criticism on selected readings, critical/theoretical essays (by José Muñoz, Eileen Boris, Roderick Ferguson), and primary historical texts (such as Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma).

A decent grade will depend heavily on class participation and engaged interrogation of each day’s reading as well as weekly response postings, a mid term and final project.

213 B MODERN/POST MOD LITERATURE (Make It New Media: Contemporary [Post]Modernity) Welsh MW 1:30-, TTh 1:30- 13009

The 20th century is often characterized as a period of artistic and literary experimentation in which language, narrative, and form were stretched to their limits in the search for new forms of expression. Writers from this period sought to break from, make new, and/or poke fun at literary tradition and conventional language use. Their work, as a result, was controversial and even shocking at the time. Much of it is still considered quite difficult today. And yet, vestiges of these experimental techniques can be found in everyday experiences of contemporary, digital culture. This class will examine several of these "shocking" techniques including collage and montage, the fragmentation of identity, decentering of narrative, and others as they are manifested in representational works from the modern and postmodern era. My hope is that we will be able to use our familiarity with such contemporary cultural practices as the remixing readymade media-objects, telepresent communication and online identity performance, and surfing the internet with hyperlinks, in order to gain perspective on the aesthetic devices that have defined 20th-century literature.

Our approach will be somewhat scattershot as I am aiming to expose the class to a broad range of cultural production. Texts and topics will be drawn from Ezra Pound, Filippo Marinetti, Stephan Mallarme, Guillaume Apollinaire, Wyndham Lewis, William Gibson, John Dos Passos, Curtis White, Mark Leyner, Marcel Duchamp, TS Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, DJ Spooky, Vladimir Nabakov, Toni Morrison, Kanye West, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, WEB DuBois, Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Coover, Shelley Jackson, Michael Joyce, Mark Danielewski, and a variety of other online media.

225 A SHAKESPEARE (SHAKESPEARE) Willet M-Th 1:30- 13010

The class will consider the work of William Shakespeare as a poet, dramatist, and cultural touchstone. In addition to producing the language’s most respected corpus of plays and of poetry, the bard’s work has also been an inspiration to hundreds of artists in genres as diverse as painting, ballet, opera, filmmaking, sculpture, architecture, and many others. We will engage all the sonnets, and read descriptive passages and speeches from nearly all the 36 plays, with an ear tuned to his unique language and image-making. We will also consider adaptations: listening to symphonies, and criticizing paintings inspired by his work. In order to understand his composite gifts of characterization and narrative structure, we will read, in addition to principle selections from the major plays, three in their entirety: one comedy, one tragedy, and one history.

The written component of the class is comprised of, in addition to your keeping a diligent reading journal, and producing a short paper regarding adaptation, two longer essays: one reflective and one interpretive which will pass through a revision process in response to instructor-reviewed drafts; that is: though our struggle is with literary texts, your own composition marks the field of contest.

Required texts include Ted Hughes' Essential Shakespeare (at the bookstore), and your own copies (any edition will do) of the three plays we're reading in toto.

229 A ENGL LIT: 1600-1800 (The Human Body in the Early Modern Age) Mukherjee MW 9:30-, TTh 9:30- 13011

What was it like to live in the body during the early modern period? How did lived experience interact with the ways in which the body was imagined and represented in the literature and the visual arts of the age? Engaging with a fascinating field of interdisciplinary studies, this course will introduce you to a variety of ways in which people during the early modern age gave meaning to the idea of the human body. We will look at a range of literary, non-literary, and visual texts--paintings, plays, poems, essays, woodcuts, medical treatises etc-- as well as recent critical and theoretical essays to understand how the human body functioned as a metaphor for aesthetic, gender, power, racial and social distinctions. Key themes will include the ideal body and aesthetics; anatomical dissections; the theory of bodily humors,; identity and interiority; the body and the cosmos; mystical kingship; sexuality; women’s beauty and cosmetics; clothing and manners; the deformed and the monstrous body; the spectacle of the black body; disease and pollution. Requirements: two analytical papers (5-7 pages each), a midterm, a final exam, multiple one-page responses, and energetic participation. Be prepared to think hard, read, write, come to class regularly and to contribute to discussions.
Required texts:
• William Shakespeare, Macbeth (The Bedford Shakespeare Series) ISBN-13: 978-0312144548
• William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure (The Bedford Shakespeare Series) ISBN-13: 978-0312395063
• William Rowley, Thomas Decker and John Ford, The Witch of Edmonton (Revels Student Edition) ISBN-13: 978-0719052477
• Cyril Tourneur, Revenger’s Tragedy (Revels Student Edition) ISBN-13: 978-0719043758
• A course pack

230 A ENGL LIT: AFTER 1800 (English Literary Culture: After 1800) Grant M-Th 1:30- 13012

This class will be a brief survey of British fiction and drama 1800 – present. Our primary focus will be literature’s representation of marriage as a social institution that defines and fixes a woman’s place in the social sphere. We will begin with the following broad questions: How does literature define marriage, and how does this change with time? Why might the novel and drama as literary genres be especially concerned with the question of marriage? How does literature address the social and public roles that are available for women outside of marriage? Along more formal lines, we will also track trends in narration as the novel progresses from 1800 to the present. How does each author’s choice of narrative style allow for a unique presentation of the marriage question? Texts will be selected from the following: Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’urbervilles, Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, Harold Pinter’s The Lover, and John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Student Responsibilities: The reading load in this course will be heavy; you can expect approximately 50 pages of reading a night. You will also be responsible for leading discussion at least one day during the quarter and writing several short reading responses. There will be a final exam.

Austen, Jane. Mansfield Park (1814). Ed. June Sturrock. Broadview Publishing, ISBN: 9781551110981 / 1551110989

Bronte, Charlotte. Villette (1853). Ed. Kate Lawson. Broadview Publishing, ISBN: 9781551114613 / 1551114615

Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the d’urbervilles (1891). Ed. Sarah E. Maier. Broadview Publishing, ISBN: 9781551117515 / 1551117517

Ford, Ford Madox. The Good Soldier (1915). Eds. Kenneth Womack and William Baker. Broadview Publishing. SBN: 9781551113814 / 1551113813

Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969). Back Bay Books. ISBN: 9780316291163/0316291161

* The drama texts for this course will be compiled and made available on E-reserve.

242 A READING FICTION ("Not Your Average High School Novel Class: Re-Reading as Critical Practice") Chang M-Th 8:30- 13013

MAYA ANGELOU once said, “When I look back, I am so impressed again with the
life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain
a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did
when I was young.” It is this sense that literature is important, that
literature can reveal something about ourselves and the world, and that reading
is a practice and lifeway maintained and sustained over time that is central to
this class. In other words, literature is more than just words on a page,
literacy is not a destination or a merit badge, and reading is as much about
rereading as writing is as much about revising. This class will take up reading
and rereading as critical practice by pointedly revisiting literature commonly
taught in high school curricula in the US, literature needing rescue and
revivification from this-is-so-boring mindsets, from the constraints of
teaching-for-the-tests, and from the too easy themes and summaries of notes by
Cliff and Spark. This is not your usual high school novel class. Texts may
include in whole or in excerpt the fiction of Mark Twain, Kate Chopin, Sherwood
Anderson, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Ayn Rand, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John
Steinbeck, George Orwell, J.D. Salinger, Maya Angelou, and J.K. Rowling.

AS A CLASS, we will engage the techniques and practices of reading and enjoying
literature. We will identify and develop different ways to read different kinds
of texts and understand and develop strategies, habits, and perspectives of
reading, thinking, and writing. Foremost, we will read with pleasure and for
pleasure. We will also rhetorically read, close read, read for analysis. And
lastly, we will read and deploy literature as theory, as dramatizing the
concerns, wonders, struggles, and politics of lived life and experience.

ASIDE FROM READING, students will be assessed on class participation, including
participation on the class web log, weekly one-page response papers, an in-class
readings presentation, and a final ten-page writing project, which incorporates
selected response papers for revision.

242 B READING FICTION (Fiction, Revision, and Discursive Histories) Lee M-Th 9:30- 13014

We may popularly approach fiction as being antithetical to history, but this categorical divide is one that has been debated, supported, and challenged by critics, authors, and scholars throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through to modern approaches to literature. One way to critically situate fiction in relation to history, rather than against it, is to understand that many earlier novels have come to be canonized as being works of great literature through approaches that seem to concern the aesthetic rather than historical. This course begins with a set of questions that seek to understand how the bounds of fiction and history were and are being produced.

Much postmodern fiction, written in the later twentieth century, specifically returns to this debate to open up these novels, as well as the idea of literature itself, to a more critical consideration. This course will look at a set of earlier novels as well as their "revisions" in postmodern fiction, keeping in mind that these later novels are not just retelling the original stories, nor are they completely antagonistic to them, but they are actively questioning what other narratives and stories might get suppressed, edited, or appropriated by a culturally, historically, and literarily dominant one. We will end with a Neo-Victorian novel, which will help round out our inquiry by moving from specific stories and the cultural capital they hold, into the larger concerns of Victorian literature and culture that some postmodern work is trying to address. In other words, the goal of this class is to understand how fiction can be used as a historical determinant, and we will use the postmodern novels to explore the relationship between fiction and history that is being both produced and critiqued. Supplementary material and criticism will also be available in a course pack.

Because the course is primarily discussion-based, a significant portion of your grade is based on class participation. Students will also write two short response papers (3-4 pages each), and one longer essay (5-7 pages), with required revisions. The workload also includes a presentation, discussion-leading, Go Post responsibilities, quizzes, and a heavy reading schedule.

Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. 1719. (978-0393964523)
Coetzee, J.M. Foe: A Novel. 1986. (978-0140096231)
Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. 1847. (978-0393975420)
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. 1966. (978-0141185422)
Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant's Woman. 1969. (978-0316291163)
Course Reader, available at Ave Copy (4141 University Way)

242 C READING FICTION (Epistemologies of Justice: Crime and the Detective Fiction Genre) Hisayasu M-Th 10:30- 13015

According to the general catalog, English 242 is designed to develop practices of “critical interpretation” around the question of “meaning” in fiction. In this class we will train that critical lens towards the various historically and geographically specific meanings 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 may be brought to light (the investigation). Critically locating this genre within history, then, means investigating the cultural pre-conditions for both criminal guilt and justice. How can the criminal be identified according to these texts? How does the rise of sciences like psychology and genetics aid or complicate this investigation? How do social structures built around gender and race politics inform the knowledge and authority of the detective? In working within these fields, we will also ask how these texts implicitly critique detective fictions’ reliance on truth and certainty. Our mode of “critical interpretation” will hopefully allow us to see these fictions as both emerging from specific contexts and responding to those contexts in complex ways.

Reading for this class will be heavy, and composed of both “literary” and “popular” examples of the genre. Required texts will include short stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Edgar Allen Poe, novels by Joseph Conrad, Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley and Paul Auster, and films such as Roman Polanski’s Chinatown and Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner. Short readings in cultural history and genre theory will also be included.

English 242 is also a “W” credit course that requires a set amount of writing and a series of required revisions. In this class, the writing will take the form of two required, 5-7 page analysis papers (with three optional due dates) and a mandatory set of revisions due at the end of the course. Additional course assignments may include weekly journal entries and a comprehensive final exam.

242 D READING FICTION (Novel Responses) Terry M-Th 11:30- 13016

The overall goals of this course are to equip you with techniques for and practice in reading and responding critically to fiction, specifically the novel. Even more specifically, we will be reading a series of retellings of major 19th-century novels by 20th- and 21st-century authors. With each text we read, the focus will be on developing close-reading practices that help us engage in and hopefully enjoy the reading process. One of our goals for this quarter will be to consider what it is about these particular novels that demands a response in the form of a second novel, asking questions such as: What is lost or gained in these novel retellings? What happens to the literary conventions in the original novels such as setting, point of view, and characterization when these novels are rewritten a century later? How do the responding authors play with the original texts? How does such play alter our responses as readers to each text? Though our selections will be paired off, we will not be considering each pair in isolation. That is, in all the fiction we read together we will focus on the social, political, and philosophical implications of the genre, considering the possibilities of fiction – specifically novels – as representative of human experience. Along the way, we will read accompanying works of literary criticism in order to situate our critical responses within existing critical conversations, asking how claims other readers of literature have made compare to our own findings and interests. Course requirements include a demanding reading schedule, short reading responses, active in-class participation, presentation and discussion leading responsibilities, an annotated bibliography of critical sources, and a final 10-12 page paper with required revisions.

Texts: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre [Norton, ISBN 978-0393975420]; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea [Norton, ISBN 978-0393960129]; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness [Norton, ISBN 978-0393926361]; Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians [Penguin, ISBN 978-0140061109]; Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray [Norton, ISBN 978-0-393-92754-2]; Will Self, Dorian (2002) [Grove, ISBN 978-0802140470]; possibly a photocopied course packet.

242 E READING FICTION (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Passing Fiction) Hernandez M-Th 12:30- 13017

We will begin the quarter by situating “passing” narratives within more familiar literary frameworks: the Gothic novel, Protestantism, and the captivity narrative. Readings for this class will center on various forms of passing—the ability to move undetected between multiple categories without fitting completely into any one. The passing figure is particularly interesting because he/she destabilizes tidy socially-constructed categories, and proves through the ability to transgress boundaries that these categories are not as impermeable as society finds comfort in believing. Our use of the term “passing,” as some might expect, will not be limited to racially indeterminate figures; we will also consider problematic forms of cultural and national hybridism, sexuality, gender, and socioeconomic class. Our literary travels will cross continents and span a period of roughly four hundred years.

Our reading will include a small handful of novels, and a considerably larger selection of short stories, excerpted works, and secondary material tentatively to include: John Milton, Horace Walpole, Mary Rowlandson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Charles Chesnutt, William Faulkner, Phillip Roth, and Annie Proulx.

*Course pack (Available at Ave Copy: 4141 University Way)

Course requirements: The final grade will be based on regular contribution to class discussion, several writing assignments, and the final exam. As this is a “W” course, writing will play a key role in analyzing the assigned literature. Each student will be required to write two short analytical essays (3-4 pages in length each), one major essay (5-7 pages), as well as revisions of each.

242 F READING FICTION (Travel and Alterity) Fitzgerald M-Th 1:30- 13018

The goal of English 242 is to encourage and develop practices of critical interpretation in the reading of fiction. This course will set about pursuing that goal by proposing reading, discussion, and writing on a regionally and temporally diverse collection of fictional texts operating loosely around the general theme of travel and encounters with "others."

In order to intelligently approach the interpretation of this diverse group of texts, primary readings will be supplemented by shorter secondary readings drawn from a course pack and possibly online material.

This class offers a "W" credit. This means that course participants will be expected to produce a total of 10-15 pages of formal, academic writing which has gone through a cycle of instructor feedback and revision. This requirement will be met with two 5-7 page essays over the course of the quarter


Candide: Or, The Optimist. Voltaire.

Typee. Herman Melville.

A Passage to India. E.M. Forster.

You Shall Know Our Velocity. Dave Eggers.

Secondary materials will likely include selections from Questions of Travel by Karen Kaplan and from the writings of Kwame Anthony Appiah.

243 A READING POETRY (Oh so American.) Maestas M-Th 10:30- 13019

What better time to read it than in the spring: poetry. This course will survey 20th century American poetry. Especially emphasized will be the avant-garde aesthetic that would come to be called an American aesthetic. This American experimental aesthetic began to emerge at the beginning of the 20th century and rightly exploded after World War II. This class will chart the major trends, progression, and culmination of an exuberant energy in poetry that shapes a very American aesthetic. Our readings will be organized by movements or rather schools of poetry and because of this it will be necessary for us to consider how economic, technological, and political and social history in America will underwrite the formation of these schools and consequently this American aesthetic. We will begin our reading in the late 19th century and end in the late 20th century. Included in our readings will be Whitman, Dickinson, and Frost; foundational modernists such as Pound, Eliot, Williams, Stein, Crane, Hughes and H.D.; Zukofsky and the Objectivists; Olson and the Black Mountain Poets; The Berkeley and San Francisco Renaissance; The Beat Poets; The New York School 1st and 2nd generations; The Umbra Poets; Rothenberg and Ethnopoetics; L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poetry and after; and lastly we will dedicate end of our course to Innovative Women in the late 20th century Americas. Some outside theoretical and historical readings will also be included alongside these schools of poetry. Whenever possible I will make available to you links to audio and visual files. Expect the reading and listening to be heavy but also entertaining. Your course material will include a course reader and supplementary audio files.

You will also be expected to write and revise a minimum of 10 pages over the quarter. This will be broken down into 3 essays: the first being 2-3 pages; the second 5-7 pages and the third will be a book review of approximately 3 pages. You will be required to attend at least one writing workshop and one conference.

250 A INTRO TO AM LIT (The Land of American Literature) Meyer M-Th 8:30- 13020

The possible approaches to the topic of American literature are legion. It's
difficult to describe what, exactly, makes a work of literature "American,"
given the tangle of competing values that could inform the description (e.g.
which "America" are we talking about? The one settled by European colonists?
The pre-American one whose descendants are called Native Americans?). Indeed,
the paths through the tangle often don't get "through" anything as much as lead
us right into the thick of it, the darkest part of the woods, the Protean,
uncatchable now, where we have to confront some of the more difficult facts that
underlie the adjective "American".

Yet nearly all the major approaches to American literature must in some way
engage the peculiar terrain of the physical continent itself, its unexpected
vastness, its unforgiving landscapes, but also its imaginative potential. What
language can capture it? How do we best describe the place? How might our
descriptions effect what happens to it? "It is conceivable," wrote William
Carlos Williams, "that a new language might have sprung up with the new
spectacle and the new conditions, but even genius, if it existed, did not make
one." Instead, writers had to struggle to use an aging English language that
wasn't always up to the task of describing the land still new and unbroken by
the colonists. BUT, so, too, were the colonists new to the civilizations
already alive in the land. And the responsive literary traditions of the
American Indians have proven to be a lasting rebuttal and complex challenge to
the Westward-moving forces of Europe's illegitimate child called "America."

This course, then, approaches the topic of American Literature by way of the
various cultural and literary responses to the variegated character of the land
itself--the binding force that all who live "here" must confront. The texts
we'll read in this course--narrative, poetic, and visual--make ideas out of the
land. As we encounter those ideas, we will situate them within the narratives
we make of our own lives in America, and, increasingly, the world.

The readings are dense and demanding--so students must be prepared to spend time
and trouble both in and out of class.
Student responsibilities include several short responses, periodic reading
quizzes, a group presentation, a 6-8 pp. essay, and an exam.

Texts and writers will include:
Thoreau: Walden [ISBN: 0691096120]
Willa Cather: My Ántonia [ISBN: 019953814X]
William Faulkner: Go Down, Moses [ISBN: 0679732179]
Louise Erdrich: Tracks [ISBN: 0060972459]
Susan Howe: Singularities [ISBN: 0819511943]
A photocopied course reader, including texts by William Bradford, Lewis & Clark,
James Fenimore Cooper, Emerson, Whitman, Dickinson, William Carlos Williams,
Leslie Marmon Silko, and others.

250 C INTRO TO AM LIT (Introduction to American Literature) Sudhinaraset M-Th 1:30- 13022

This course provides an introduction to American literature and culture beginning with texts from the Post-Reconstruction era to more contemporary 20th century writings. The aim of this course is to understand the ways in which American literary genres, such as realism, modernism, and postmodernism have posited, and negotiated, particular notions of the U.S. national subject. We will track the notion of U.S. citizenship, and belonging, through a focus on various literary and historical representations of race, gender, and labor. Such a focus will allow us to engage with the following questions: How does representation work in each text? How are those figures gendered and racialized in American literature? What might these different narratives tell us about the construction of dominant U.S. narratives and the different identities that are created through them? We will explore how literature might serve as a particularly rich site for understanding the socio-cultural impact of literary representations of race, gender, labor, and nation, as well as the effects that popular notions of these categories have had on U.S. literature itself.

250 D INTRO TO AM LIT (The Specters of American Literature.) Jaussen M-Th 2:30-3:20 13023

The gothic is a fascinating and recurring mode in American literature. It appears early and returns like the repressed, each time in a slightly different form and yet in each instance doing what the gothic does best: unveiling the haunted and haunting unconscious, unearthing the uncanny ghosts of America’s particular cultural past. As we’ll see, these texts evoke the bloody colonial expansion as compellingly as they mark the anxieties over the sexual, confront the disavowed heritage of racial conflicts and scrape the underbelly of religious imagination. For this reason, a sustained study of the American gothic allows us to consider both literary and cultural history at the same time, showing us how the two are distinct yet connected. As we carry out our investigation, we will make contact with many other traditions in American writing, including Puritan historiography, Enlightenment romance, transnational folk tales, Protestant hymnology, realist and modernist narrative, and contemporary experimental poetries.

This class will demand hard thinking and a critical imagination. Active participation in class discussion will be mandatory. Along with weekly in-class writing, students will compose three short response papers and a final 6-8 page critical essay.

Required Texts:
Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntley. Hackett. ISBN 978-0872208537
Nathanial Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables. Norton. 2nd Ed. ISBN 978-0393924763
William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! Vintage. ISBN 978-0679732181
C. D. Wright, Deepstep Come Shining. Copper Canyon Press. ISBN 978-1556590924
A course pack will contain selections from William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, and secondary material.

281 A INTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Intermediat Expository Writing) Gross MW 8:30-10:20 13024

The idea for this class is to give you an opportunity to work with some of your own writing (academic or otherwise) that you already like; to play with that writing by figuring out what makes it tick, rhetorically speaking; and to try pushing it to its generic and rhetorical limits by rewriting it in a number of different ways (again, academic and otherwise). The end goal of this being: you'll be more knowledgeable about rhetoric and more comfortable with your own writing.

How will you do this? Through intensive peer group sessions in class, individual research outside of class, one-on-one conferences with the instructor, and exercises and discussion about rhetoric. Because you will be working with your own writing, and that writing is the only "required text" for the course, coursework will look different for each student, but we will
work collaboratively to generate working rhetorical definitions and to increase each others' rhetorical awareness. Students who are invested in writing as a purposeful and meaningful exercise are encouraged to register!


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) Russell MW 12:30-2:20 13025

The idea for this class is to give you an opportunity to work with some of your own writing (academic or otherwise) that you already like; to play with that writing by figuring out what makes it tick, rhetorically speaking; and to try pushing it to its generic and rhetorical limits by rewriting it in a number of different ways (again, academic and otherwise). The end goal of this being: you'll be more knowledgeable about rhetoric and more comfortable with your own writing.

How will you do this? Through intensive peer group sessions in class, individual research outside of class, one-on-one conferences with the instructor, and exercises and discussion about rhetoric. Because you will be working with your own writing, and that writing is the only "required text" for the course, coursework will look different for each student, but we will
work collaboratively to generate working rhetorical definitions and to increase each others' rhetorical awareness. Students who are invested in writing as a purposeful and meaningful exercise are encouraged to register!


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 (Intermediat Expository Writing) Casillas TTh 8:30-10:20 13026

English 281 is an intermediate writing course designed to help you develop greater rhetorical sensitivity. A central goal of this course is to assist you to expand the reading and writing skills you possess by cultivating a critical awareness of the ways in which written communication takes place. In this class we will consider writing from a rhetorical framework. That is to say, writing will be understood as serving real purposes for real people under different circumstances. To this end, we will examine how, and why, the uses of writing vary from situation to situation, how writers can successfully recognize these differences, and how they can strategically use different writing forms to achieve distinctive ends.

English 281 will use a method of investigation called genre analysis—a method that enables you to recognize the conditions, attitudes and habits that motivate recurring writing forms, what we often call genres. These include standard compositions like the complaint letter, lab report, research paper, and less academic forms like the sales add. The emphasis in our class will not be on mastering anyone of these genres, but on becoming aware of the contexts that promote them. By understanding how and why specific situations and interactions encourage specific forms of writing, you will be better equipped to make more intelligent, deliberate and effective choices when writing under different circumstances.


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) Barrell MW 12:30-1:50 13027

Catalog Description: Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem.

283 B BEGIN VERSE WRITING (Beginning Verse Writing) Kimbrell MW 3:30-4:50 13028

Catalog Description: Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem.

284 A BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing) Corbo MW 2:30-3:50 13029

This course is an introduction to the writing of fiction. We are all inherently storytellers, blessed with imagination, the ability for observation and recollection, and a tireless need to share. But, how we tell these stories, how we situate each idea, each phrase, each word to play out with a particular rhythm, along a particular path, revealing truths about the world around us – this is the stuff of narrative craft. Our job as writers is to read and write deliberately, with intention. So, we’ll read published works, looking at the ways other writers approach key craft elements, and we will engage in writing workshops where you will receive and dole out respectful responses. There will be a number of short writing exercises and each student will produce a 10-20 page short story, which will undergo substantial revision.

Book List - Burroway, Janet, Writing Fiction: A Guide To Narrative Craft 0-321-27736-8

284 B BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing) Mohar TTh 1:30-2:50 13030

Catalog Description: Introduction to the theory and practice of writing the short story.

302 A CRITICAL PRACTICE (Theme & Narrative Form: How to Combine Cultural Criticism and Formalist Analysis) Kaup TTh 10:30-12:20 13032

This course provides practical training in critical analyses of narrative fiction. We will be reading three novels from three distinct periods—a nineteenth-century novel, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), a modernist novel, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), and a contemporary postcolonial novel, Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea (1966). These texts—all by women writers and dealing with the subject of madness—are linked thematically via gendered and racialized critiques of cultural constructs of insanity and madness.

We will analyze these narratives by placing equal emphasis on narrative form and cultural themes. Ideas and cultural materials can be transposed into different media (think about the countless film adaptations of literature, for example), but the medium is always part of the message: we must learn how novels signify (as media of communication), just as we must learn how cinema signifies differently, in order to fully understand the message. It won’t do to leap past the poetics of the novel straight to the topic. Thus, we will introduce ourselves to major elements of narrative fiction (such as the distinction between discourse [text] and story [plot], levels and voices of narration, etc.) studied by the discipline of narratology. In addition, we will also familiarize ourselves with some major paradigms of cultural criticism (such as feminism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, postcolonialism) that are relevant to the three assigned novels.

Formalist analysis (How does fictional narrative signify?) and cultural criticism (What is the novel’s ideology of gender, race, class, etc.?) are inseparable, even though I have presented them here as distinct for the sake of clarity. As we shall see, questions of What? (themes, ideas, ideologies) impinge on and shape the How? (narrative form), and vice versa. Exploring how this happens means to embark on the adventure of critical analysis.

Required Readings:
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics


This course will introduce students to Marxian cultural criticism, a major strain of comparative literary studies. Marxian cultural criticism builds on the work and intellectual method of Karl Marx, who argued that any "society" is but a reflection of its mode of self-sustenance and social reproduction. Hence, modern European and American societies are for Marx merely a reflection of the capitalist mode of sustenance, what he terms its mode of production and consumption. From this perspective literature, like law, philosophy, and social customs, is inextricably tied to and controlled by the demands of and on societies dependent upon the capitalist mode of daily sustenance. And yet, literature for Marx is also a resource or archive for diagnosing and revealing how one is socialized to a capitalist mode or way of life. Besides Friedrich Nietzsche, perhaps no other 19th century European intellectual has been so constitutive of contemporary literary studies as Karl Marx. Hence this course will introduce you to the work of Marx, specifically as it pertains to literary and cultural criticism, and to some of the major Marxian thinkers of literature in the twentieth century, such as Walter Benjamin, Frantz Fanon, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Gayatri Spivak, and Lisa Lowe. We will also read a set of narrative pieces, mostly short stories and novellas, to practice, ourselves, this critical method.

304 A HIST CRITICISM II (History of Literary Criticism and Theory) Cummings TTh 12:30-2:20 13034

This seminar grapples with an ongoing critical conversation whose starting points are Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. Four questions will orient our reading of every work. First, and fundamentally, what is the question or question-set that the theorist proposes to answer and what method does s/he employ to do so? This question and methodology determine what is thinkable and so drive the argument. (A recurring question for these theorists is how has history been manifested: in the human sciences, literature, theory, and other practices; in “facts on the ground” which these discourses work to promote, modify or contest; and in the formation of human subjects and social relations. A related question is, what kind of critique is best suited to transforming the historical conditions in which we live.) Second, what is the writer’s argument, how persuasive is it and why? (In evaluating the argument consider not only the assembled evidence but also significant omissions.) Third, what are the argument’s stakes? For instance, what other critical practices or insights does it enable or inhibit? How might you put this argument and/or methodology to use in your own work, why and with what modifications? Four, what other discourses (theories, institutions, social practices, etc.) does this critique engage and on what terms? (While this question provides a point of entry into all of the texts we will examine, I propose to pay particular attention to the ways in which 20th and 21st century theorists supplement, revise, and/or contest their predecessors—and for what reasons.) The histories that these writers investigate include nation formation, regimes of race, sexuality and gender, and—more broadly—strategies of governance and resistance.

313 A MOD EUROPE LIT TRNS (Modern European Literature in Translation) Popov TTh 9:30-11:20 13035

This course will introduce you to celebrated novelists, poets, and playwrights whose works probed the modern condition and defined modern esthetic values in Europe from the mid-nineteenth century through the aftermath of World War II. Reading List: Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil (selections); Flaubert, Sentimental Education; Ibsen, Ghosts; Kafka, The Trial; Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author; Beckett, Waiting for Godot; Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; Celan and Akhmatova (Selections). (This is a reading-intensive course: before the beginning of the quarter, you must read Sentimental Education). Numerous short assignments and a final.

315 A LITERARY MODERNISM (“Material Modernism”) Wayland TTh 10:30-12:20 13036

A course in modernism’s diverse struggles with matter in the early twentieth century. We will look at why materiality posed a problem for artists of this period and how this engagement with objects and embodiment shaped their work. The course will consist of novels, short stories, poems and critical reading. Poems will consist of imagist, futurist, and vorticist works. Fiction will include short stories by Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf; novels will include Paul Scheerbart, The Gray Cloth; Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis; Rebecca West, The Return of the Soldier; selections from James Joyce’s Ulysses; and Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway.


316 A POSTCLNIAL LIT & CLTR (Postcolonial Literature and Culture) Chrisman TTh 9:30-11:20 13037

This course introduces a range of important literatures, paying particular attention to writings connected with the historical experiences of colonialism, anti-colonial resistance and decolonization. It focuses on literature of the 20th and 21st centuries from the African continent. We will look at writings produced during the period of imperialism as well as those that followed national independence. Throughout the course we will examine key concepts in post-colonial theory, and discuss these in relation to the set texts. Aw well as examining the specific historical and cultural environments which frame post-colonial literatures, we will also chart broad issues such as language, race, gender, nationhood, neocolonialism, globalization, which are central to many post-colonial writers and critical commentators. Students are expected to keep up with an intensive reading schedule.

317 A LIT OF THE AMERICAS (History and Memory in the Americas) Kaup TTh 4:30-6:20p 18584

(Evening Degree Program)

This course juxtaposes fictional narratives from the northern and southern parts of the American hemisphere which share a common obsession with history. Traumatic scenes of the past—the European invasion of the “New World,” the institution of chattel slavery across the hemisphere, the Mexican Revolution, genocide and military dictatorships, civil and revolutionary wars—are revisited by twentieth-century novelists because these are “pasts that are not past.” Rather, these are historical events which keep festering like an open wound, and which continue to haunt the present of contemporary New World nations forged in the crucible of racial and ethnic violence.

Throughout the course, we will ask the following critical questions: What is an appropriate way of reconstructing violent histories such as slavery, dictatorships, or the Mexican Revolution? What are the advantages of using the overtly subjective, biased modes of memory and fiction as opposed to the detached, intellectual exercise of writing history? How do literature and historical fiction shape or reflect ethnic and national identities in the Americas? How does gender, race, and class influence the way writers approach the process of remembering and reconstructing the past? Is it possible to read these narratives as more than national (U.S., Mexican, Colombian, Guatemalan etc.) works—as works belonging to a common transamerican, hemispheric history, as well as a hemispheric “literature of the Americas”?


321 A CHAUCER (CHAUCER) Borlik MW 12:30-2:20 13038

English 321 offers an entrancing glimpse into the art and the age of Geoffrey Chaucer. First and foremost, students will learn to understand and relish the peculiar musicality of Middle-English verse. We will then earn our spurs by venturing into two of Chaucer’s dream visions, before embarking on an invigorating romp through The Canterbury Tales. Students should come prepared to discuss Chaucer’s representations of gender, love, sex, marriage, class, and the animal/human boundary. Coursework will include a short response essay, an in-class presentation, an annotated bibliography, and a 7-8 pp. research paper.

• THE RIVERSIDE CHAUCER, ED. LARRY BENSON ET ALT. (Required) ISBN-13: 978-0395-29031-6

• The Cambridge companion to Chaucer, ed. Piero boitani and jill mann (Optional) isbn-13: 978-0521
-8155- 6

• coursepack


323 A SHAKESPEARE TO 1603 (Ungentle Shakespeare) Borlik MW 8:30-10:20 13039

Although the mature tragedies center of the dissolution and betrayal of the family bond, Shakespeare’s early works brim with violence against the Other: violence against people of different faiths, violence against women, violence against foreigners, violence against non-human nature. In this course we will focus on stylized depictions of violence in Shakespeare, and his drama’s exposure of the cultural logic that sanctions such acts. We will examine the affinity between laughter and violence, between rhetorical prowess and physical force, between spectacle and state power, and discuss how characters use wit and humor to defuse potentially explosive situations. We will also view clips of film adaptations such as Taymor’s Titus and Zefferelli’s Taming of the Shrew, and attend a production of The Merchant of Venice at The Seattle Shakespeare Company.

Course work will include 2 short response essays (2 pages each), an annotated bibliography, and a longer research paper (7-8 pages). Some prior experience with Shakespeare or pre-1800 literature is recommended; intellectual curiosity is the only prerequisite.

Title Publisher Editor ISBN-13
Merchant of Venice Norton Leah Marcus 978-0-393-92529-6
Taming of the Shrew Bedford Frances Dolan 978-0-312-10836-6
Titus Andronicus Oxford Eugene Waith 978-0-199-53610-8
As You Like It Arden Juliet Dusinberre 978—1-904-27122-2

328 A LATER 18TH C LIT (English Literature: later 18th Century) Stansbury TTh 8:30-10:20 13041

The eighteenth century is known as the Age of Enlightenment and Reason, but we will be looking at the darker side of this movement in our course. The focus will be on the eighteenth century’s fascination with terror and horror (and we will make distinctions between these terms), its cultivation of extreme sensibility, and its anxieties concerning gender and sexuality. The literary manifestation we will use to explore these themes is the Gothic novel. As critic David Punter notes the “fundamental term” of the Gothic is taboo and we will examine how Gothic writers both insist upon the necessity of and transgress prohibitions. Writers will include Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew “Monk” Lewis, and others.

331 A ROMANTIC POETRY I (ROMANTIC POETRY I) Stansbury TTh 11:30-1:20 13042

This course will be an introduction to the so-called first generation Romantic writers and will focus mostly on the poetry and criticism of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Some time will also be spent with the eccentric poet and artist William Blake, particularly in regards to his arguably allegorical work The Daughters of Albion. We will examine the social, political, cultural, and philosophical concerns of the beginning of the Romantic movement of literature by exploring these writers’ complicated relationships with Christianity, their questioning of empiricism, and their fascination with the sublime.

337 A MODERN NOVEL (The Modern Novel) Wayland TTh 1:30-3:20 13046

What does it mean to be modern, and what distinguishes modernity from the past? At the beginning of the twentieth century, novelists grappled with the question of modern identity, both in terms of individuals and the literary works they created. We will read several modernist novels to understand what makes them distinct from previous novelistic forms, why these particular authors experimented with representation the ways they did, and what these texts can tell us about the intersection of literature and history. Modernism has been characterized as “grim reading,” but in this course a much more varied picture will emerge—reading that is also innovative, startling, strange and at times moving and amusing. Expect to read very carefully and closely in this course as we work through the experimental techniques and other challenges of the texts. Readings will include: James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Djuna Barnes, Nightwood; William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire.


345 A STUDIES IN FILM (Women Filmmakers) Gillis-Bridges M 2:30-5:20, TTh 2:30-4:20 13047

This course examines the work of female directors from around the globe. We will begin with silent-era directors Alice Guy Blachè and Lois Weber and culminate our study with films from the 2009 Seattle International Film Festival. An exploration of women directors’ work not only allows us to analyze cinematic narrative and form, but also provides a unique perspective on film history. Moreover, course films raise questions about the relationship between an individual filmmaker’s work and larger cinematic traditions or social movements. Throughout the term, we will address the following questions:

o What, if anything, distinguishes the work of women directors? Are there particular subjects and stylistic or narrative strategies that characterize films directed by women?
o How does an investigation of women directors change our conception of film history?
o How does feminist film criticism help us to interpret films made by women? What challenges do particular directors pose to critics?
o How do historical, cultural, and industrial factors shape the work of women directors?
o How do films made by women engage ideologies of gender, race, class, and sexuality?

As we explore these questions, we will discuss films produced both within and outside the mainstream film industry, films made by lesbian and heterosexual women, and films by women of color white women. Directors likely will include Chantal Akerman, Allison Anders, Dorothy Arzner, Alice Guy Blachè, Catherine Breillat, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Julie Dash, Claire Denis, Maya Deren, Germaine Dulac, Su Friedrich, Miranda July, Clara Law, Ida Lupino, Samira Makhmalbaf, Deepa Mehta, Kira Muratova, Mira Nair, Kimberly Peirce, Sally Potter, Helma Sanders-Brahms, Leontine Sagan, Marisa Sistach, Agnès Varda, Margarethe von Trotta and Lois Weber.


346 A STDYS SHORT FICTION (Studies in Short Fiction) George MW 4:30-6:20p 18787

(Evening Degree Program)

“Novel: a short story padded.”

--Ambrose Bierce, -The Devil’s Dictionary-, 1911

“When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures”

--Flannery O’Connor “The Fiction Writer and His Country”

“Each writer's prejudices, tastes, background, and experience tend to limit the kinds of characters, actions, and settings he can honestly care about, since by nature of our mortality we care about what we know and might possibly lose (or have already lost), dislike that which threatens what we care about, and feel indifferent toward that which has no visible bearing on the safety of the people and things we love. --John Gardner _The Art of Fiction_

This class in fiction celebrates the shorter rather than the longer narrative—the reading, writing, and interpretive critique of it.

Ambrose Bierce will be one of the “unpadded” writers whose fiction we will read first. Bierce’s stories are particularly fascinating, especially framed within the contexts of Flannery O’Connor’s and John Gardner’s assumptions about fiction. Over the course quarter, we will read stories as a means of investigating what subjects Ambrose Bierce and others cared about and thought they might lose or have lost, and we'll analyze how they crafted "unpadded" narratives with themes and styles that shocked the reading publics--both then and now.

All of the stories we'll read are modern and contemporary, stylistically conventional or experimental. We'll talk about why.

My primary goals of the course include:

*increasing your reading enjoyment of the short story sophisticating your reading practices

*exposing you to a variety of fictional authors, genres, styles, and literary movements

*enhancing your critical abilities, both orally and in writing, to analyze, interpret and evaluate responses to stories

*convincing you that the critical reading of fiction can help immensely in the practical reading and plotting of life

Course print texts include Ann Charters' _The Story and Its Writer_ as well as one or two stories online or otherwise distributed to you.

350 B TRAD AM FICTION (Traditions in American Fiction) Burt MW 8:30-10:20 13049

Historically the most pervasive, widely read literature of the 19th century, the dime-novel has only recently received serious attention from literary scholars interested in the relationship between literature, nation-building and social hierarchy. While the “classic canon” of American literature has ignored such novels, this quarter we will take seriously the cultural work of the dime-novel across the 19th century. In particular we will consider the novels as dynamically engaged with the era’s defining political crises and questions, including slavery, urban class exploitation, immigration, and imperial expansion. While primarily interested in the dime-novels themselves, we will briefly consider how now canonized writers, less read in the 19th century but celebrated in the 20th, strategically borrowed from this body of literature, even as they targeted a more “genteel” readership.

General method of instruction
Active class discussions of readings.

Class assignments and grading
Daily reading and writing assignments, a mid-term exam, and a final research project.

352 A EARLY AMER LIT (“American Exceptions”) Feldman TTh 8:30-10:20 13050

“To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it ‘the way it really was.’ It means to seize hold of a memory as “To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it ‘the way it really was.’ It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger.” – Walter Benjamin

This course takes what Michael Rogin has called the “American 1848” as a critical historical flashpoint through which to understand the formation of and various contestations around U.S. imperial culture. Students will develop a worldly and comparative reading practice to address, interpret, and displace some of the central texts and terms of “American Exceptionalism.” What cultural formations can we seize upon when we read the literature of the early American nation for the anarchic in the resolutely ordered, the hemispheric in the stubbornly local, the colonial in the doggedly liberal? Primary readings may include texts by: Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Lydia Maria Child, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, Sojourner Truth, John R. Ridge/Yellow Bird, Bayard Taylor, Chief Seattle, and Margaret Fuller among others. Secondary readings will be drawn from a range of contemporary scholars, artists, and activists on race, gender, class, and nation.

353 A AMER LIT LATER 19C (American Literature: Later 19th Century) Griffith M-Th 9:30- 13051

We'll read and discuss an assortment of novels, short stories and sketches written 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 a series of brief in-class essays done in response to study questions handed out in advance.


355 A CONTEMP AM LIT (Living in Place: Literature and the Environment) Handwerk TTh 9:30-11:20 13053

Comparative Literature 321 (Literature of the Americas); English 355 (American Literature); Environmental Studies 450 (Special Studies)

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 place 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. 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 supporting 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, both regular informal writing assignments and several medium-length analytical papers; it can count for W-credit.

Texts include Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Faulkner, Go Down, Moses; McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid; Abbey, Desert Solitaire; Appleman, Darwin; Butler, Wild Seed; Lopez, Arctic Dreams; plus one additional novel and a reading packet.

355 B CONTEMP AM LIT (American Literature: Contemporary America) Liu TTh 10:30-12:20 13054

Morrison has famously argued that race is a crucial lens through which to examine a central paradox of American society – that freedom is consistently defined through the creation and perpetuation of cultural and political oppression, both on an individual and structural level. This quarter we will trace this interplay between freedom and oppression in race as well as other cultural discourses, focusing in particular on how this dynamic has impacted the American promise of self-creation. What challenges are inherent in locating individual subjectivity in a consumer society? We will begin with two Morrison novels (The Bluest Eye and A Mercy) and Don Delillo’s White Noise in order to lay a baseline for problems attendant with establishing an individual identity in the modern age. The second half of the quarter will deal with how the autobiographical impulses of contemporary American literature arise out of a response to the mass media’s influence on personality development. Expect to write about four close reading assignments (1-2 pages) and 2 comparative essays (about 5-6 pages).

368 B WOMEN WRITERS (The Mind, the Heart, the Space Between: Women Writers and Emotional Life) Allen TTh 2:30-4:20 13055

In this course we’ll read contemporary women writers from a variety of backgrounds and with differing emotional investments, and look at how these authors use subtle style and careful craft to write about such emotions as fear, anger, joy, risk, trust. We’ll also explore the intense emotional reactions we have to some things we read, and try to understand exactly what they are, and why we have them. We’ll take up some provocative questions: What does it mean to “identify” with a character, really? How much of our own lives do we read into a character’s life? What does it mean to “escape” into a book? Why would someone want to do that, anyway? What does “being moved” by something we read involve? How do we enter worlds and beliefs very different from our own? Students will choose between writing two shorter or one longer paper, and will give a class presentation with others. Lively discussion, differences of opinion, and openness to other people’s points of view will be crucial in our class meetings. The reading list is not yet final, but may include such writers as Jeanette Winterson, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Tsitsi Dangeremba, Julie Otsuka and one or two others.

370 A ENGL LANG STUDY (What Do We Do When We Speak English?) Webster TTh 11:30-1:20 13056

English Language Study introduces students to the most extraordinary thing human beings do: speak. Indeed, this fact of human behavior is so central to our lives that we paradoxically tend to take it for granted. We speak our words so much, so easily, and so automatically that we hardly even think about what we’re doing when we do it.

But even if we aren’t thinking much about what we do when we speak English, in fact we are doing a lot. We look for words to fit our thoughts, and we judge them for how well they fit the context in which we’ll use them. We put the sounds of the words we select together in carefully articulated ways, and we slot the resulting words into different structures, each of which creates different meanings even when we’re using the very same words. And we do all these things at speed, not even noticing our actions.

How do we do it? How can all the tweaks, moans and pops that human beings so easily cast out into the air cause others to laugh or grow angry or reach out to take a hand?

It's actually all pretty amazing, and it sets us the problem: how can we capture even the basic facts of this extraordinarily ability to communicate?

All of which means: this class will introduce you to a range of language issues, like why grammar is your friend (and not boring at all), or how in spite of the fact that all the words we say English are made up of only about 40 distinct sounds, speakers can nevertheless say millions of completely different things. You’ll find out, too, why English spelling is so confusing, and how language change has caused enmity and war, or (with Shakespeare) how making language into poetry has often been a human being’s first step towards making love.

Most important, you’ll learn something about yourself—about the ways language can control you much more than you control it, and about how knowing more about that control can give you at least some of the power with which to fight back.

Frequent exercises, response papers and an occasional quiz. Two midterms, a final, and a final project.


381 A ADV EXPOSITORY WRIT (Writing War) Feldman TTh 2:30-4:20 13057

In the seemingly quiet winter of 1976, a quiet marked by a global economic downturn that would transform the terrain of global capitalism, a retooling of U.S. militarism from the “quagmire” of war in Southeast Asia to the law and order policing of domestic space, and the emergent linking of social crises around resources and terrorism, French philosopher Michel Foucault took up the vital questions of the day with typical broad strokes: “If we look beneath peace, order, wealth, and authority, beneath the calm order of subordinations, beneath the State and State apparatuses, beneath the laws, and so on, will we hear and discover a sort of primitive and permanent war?”

Taking that moment as an antecedent to our own, this advanced expository writing course will introduce students to various methods of understanding, analyzing, and critiquing how different representations of and arguments about the issue of war get mobilized in various genres, including print and internet journalism, academic scholarship, film, poetry, and music. We will explore “war” as both method and object. That is, we will see both how war functions as a rhetorical strategy in various domains, and how different rhetorical strategies address “war.” The reading content of this course will center on contemporary interventions from prominent theorists, scholars, artists and activists, and will provide students the ground from which to produce their own writing. The purpose of this inquiry will be to equip students with a perceptive understanding of how different arguments can be made and mobilized according to the audiences to which they are addressed, and thus to account for the material effects of particular rhetorical strategies. In the end, students will utilize analytical and close reading skills in developing arguments that are based on mobilizing different kinds of evidence that can persuade various audiences of political positions regarding the issue and concept of war.

383 A CRAFT OF VERSE (was Intermediate Verse Writing) Triplett T 3:30-6:10p 13058

Catalog Description: Intensive study of various aspects of the craft verse. Readings in contemporary verse and writing using emulation and imitation.


ENGL 283 & ENGL 284

383 B CRAFT OF VERSE (MAKING IT NOW) Feld MW 3:30-4:50 13059

This class will be focused on techniques and strategies for making poetry respond to the current moment. The primary goal will to be write poems which are alive and energetic and responsive to what Wallace Stevens called "the pressure of reality." We will look at satiric modes along with more "sincere" responses, with a strong emphasis on the craft elements of tone, tonal shifts, and the implications of stanza and line.

The required text will be Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology


ENGL 283 & ENGL 284

384 A CRAFT OF PROSE (was Intermediate Short Story Writing) Abood W 4:30-7:10p 13060

This section of English 384 will continue to develop and refine the basic skills students have learned in Engl284: Introduction to Short Story Writing through an imitative concentration on plot dynamics. We often speak of plot quantitatively (“this story has no plot”), or we couple it with other words like “mechanics” or “device” – words that suggest that plot is an easily automated, recyclable aspect of fiction writing. Yet, both of these usages isolate “what happens” in a story from all other components of the story itself. Instead, what we’ll emphasize in this class is the relationship that plot has to its mode of presentation – which is, essentially, a relationship that contains a story’s structure, form, and theme. In other words, we will use plot as the map for pursuit of a kind of Unified Theory of Fiction: a theory that supposes the connective nature of one element to all other elements of craft. We’ll do this by careful emulation of published fiction in various literary forms.

This will be a reading and writing intensive class.


ENGL 283 & ENGL 284

384 B CRAFT OF PROSE (was Intermediate Short Story Writing) Abood TTh 9:30-10:50 13061

This section of English 384 will continue to develop and refine the basic skills students have learned in Engl284: Introduction to Short Story Writing through an imitative concentration on plot dynamics. We often speak of plot quantitatively (“this story has no plot”), or we couple it with other words like “mechanics” or “device” – words that suggest that plot is an easily automated, recyclable aspect of fiction writing. Yet, both of these usages isolate “what happens” in a story from all other components of the story itself. Instead, what we’ll emphasize in this class is the relationship that plot has to its mode of presentation – which is, essentially, a relationship that contains a story’s structure, form, and theme. In other words, we will use plot as the map for pursuit of a kind of Unified Theory of Fiction: a theory that supposes the connective nature of one element to all other elements of craft. We’ll do this by careful emulation of published fiction in various literary forms.

This will be a reading and writing intensive class.


ENGL 283 & ENGL 284

440 A SPEC STUDIES IN LIT (Fictions of Diaspora) Taranath MW 8:30-10:20 13062

This interdisciplinary course surveys a century of migration from the Indian subcontinent to various parts of the globe, and examines the impact of South Asians on their new homelands. We will study theoretical frameworks for engaging with issues of migration and diaspora, and use the specific cases of the South Asian diaspora in order to examine how these theories play out in myriad texts, including literature, ethnography, social critical theory, labor history, and cinema. This class is collaborative in nature and will be based on focused discussions. We will pay close attention to the ways that migration effects identity constructions within the diaspora, and include in our analysis critical readings of gender, sexuality, class, generation, and citizenship.

452 A TOPICS AM LIT (American Literature and the Restless Vortex of Community) Abrams MW 2:30-4:20 13063

Ralph Ellison, the celebrated African-American novelist, writes that “perhaps we” as Americans “shy from confronting our cultural wholeness because it offers no easily recognized points of rest, no facile certainties to who, what, or where (culturally or historically) we are. Instead the whole is always in cacophonic motion. . . . It appears as a vortex of discordant ways of living and tastes, values and traditions. . . . In our intergroup familiarity there is a brooding strangeness, and in our underlying alienation a poignant—although distrusted—sense of fraternity.” No doubt when many people think of “fraternity,” “cultural wholeness,” and other such concepts of social unity, they think of values in common, a shared way of speaking, a flag for all to salute, and monuments and symbols that firmly register a collective identity and coherent sense of mission. But Ellison suggests that the United States of America adds up, at bottom, not to anything dependably stable, standardized and fixed but to a whirling “vortex of discordant” vocabularies, traditions, and values, and that if a genuine sense of “fraternity” or “wholeness” lies anywhere in such society, it lies precisely in “confronting”—rather than in masking over—such a dissonant, tumultuous whole. In this course we will explore a multitude of nineteenth-century American texts in which cosmetic, fundamentally unconvincing pretenses at expressing social unity are interrogated, critiqued, and found wanting, and in which what Ellison terms an “intergroup” sense of incongruity and dissonance rises to surface. Is it true that this specter of “intergroup” incongruity inevitably spells social disaster? Or does hope lie in a cluster of strategies and attitudes that potentially permit negotiation of a troubled social middle: a capacity to accept and even relish paradox; openness to oddity, surprise and shockingly alien perspectives as the avenue to adventure; an ability to see something (as in the case of an Escher etching) in several different ways all at once? From Hawthorne’s irremediably ambiguous fiction to Henry James’s The American Scene, we will explore these possibilities of tolerance, openness, and negotiation as the avenue to a sense of the social whole.

Books in Reading List:

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Portable Hawthorne
Frederick Douglass, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Margaret Fuller, Summer on the Lakes
Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills
Kate Chopin, The Awakening
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
Photocopied Course Packet with the following readings: Whittier, Snowbound; Chief Seattle’s Speech; excerpts from Moby-Dick; Emerson, “Circles”; Gilman, ”The Yellow Wallpaper”; Crane, “The Monster”; James, excerpts from The American Scene

471 A COMPOSITION PROCESS (The Composition Process) Rounsaville MW 3:30-5:20 13064

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. Prior to the 1960s, writing instruction consisted mainly of teaching and evaluating product-oriented skills such as organization, paragraphing, sentence construction, grammar, spelling, and so forth. These “technical” skills were meant to help students prepare and present their written products to teachers who then corrected them (often with the infamous red pens). By the 1960s, a few teachers began to turn their attention to the processes of text production, hence a shift in focus from a product- to a process-driven writing instruction that we now call the process movement. While today the product approach is far from extinct, the process movement has nonetheless played a large role in making the field of composition studies possible by giving writing teachers and scholars something to study in addition to something to teach, namely the conditions, socio-political and cognitive, that shape writers’ composing processes.

This course will introduce you to and help you work with some of these approaches that guide the study and teaching of writing. We will explore and challenge the different theories and methods of teaching writing that have emerged in the last forty or so years, ranging from methods for teaching students how to produce texts to methods for assessing these texts. Most of all, though, this course provides an opportunity to think about what it means to teach writing, to develop our own goals for teaching writing, and to generate and articulate practices that will help us achieve these goals in the contexts of the schools, communities, and state-mandated requirements we teach within.

473 A CUR DEV ENGL STDIES (Rhetorical Action: Activism and Interventions in the City) Rai TTh 2:30-4:20 13065

Rhetoric!?! What exactly is rhetoric and why should you care about it?

This course hopes to answer that question.

In this senior capstone, students will receive an overview of rhetorical theory before training their rhetorical lenses on various urban case studies to investigate how people use rhetoric to respond to and intervene in various social issues. We will look to art, public policy, citizen activism, and the media as sites where rhetorical action can be observed.

We’ll begin by dispelling (or at least complicating) rhetoric’s bad rap—as mere ornamentation; as distraction from “real” knowledge; as a dangerous means of obscuring truth; and as empty, meaningless mumbo jumbo.

In the sparest terms, rhetoric is the strategic use of language and symbols to get things done in the world (and the study of these uses). Rhetorical action is the timely, situated, opportunistic, and creative use of discourse (language, symbols, images, words) to discover timely ways to respond to situations that require action or change; to re-describe the terms of an argument in order to establish greater consensus or to galvanize broader support; and to locate and invent ways of understanding social issues and acting within them that are more just, effective, and/or beneficial to specific people living in concrete social spaces. Clearly, there will be no agreement on what a “good” use of rhetoric is, which actions lead to a greater “public good” for all; or what the content of justice might be. Rather than supplying answers for you on these matters, I hope to place you within the nuances, complexities, contradictions, and messiness of everyday situations and ask you to consider for yourselves what it might mean to respond effectively. Ideally, final projects will offer such a response to a social issue that you find salient.

Finally, Senior Capstone courses typically engage students in projects that showcase the culmination of skills, knowledge, and experiences that have been gathered throughout their time at the university. Building on your interests and expertise, this course challenges you to consider how these interests might manifest in a creative and intellectually rigorous project that enacts rhetorical action, “caps” off your time at UW, and launches you into the next phase of your career and life.


Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students by Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee
A course pack of readings


The umbrella-title of the movement known as Modernism covered a dizzying variety of smaller poetic movements: Imagism, Futurism, Surrealism, Dadaism and Objectivism are just a few of the more famous examples. For several tumultuous and wildly inventive decades it seemed impossible to write a poem without first issuing a manifesto re-imagining the purpose and nature of the poem and poetry. In this class we'll read the manifestos and write poems according to their revolutionary dictates: Futurist poems, Dadaist poems, etc. We'll move forward in time, looking at recent poetic trends (the Deep Image poem, the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poem, the New Formalist poem) and write poems according to these aesthetics, until we arrive where we are now—the age of the Post-Avant, Flarf, and The New Sincerity. Ultimately, students will write their own manifestos and write poems embodying their own revolutionary aesthetic. Along the way we'll see how different aesthetics establish different criteria (how can you tell a good Surrealist poem from a bad one? If Flarf uses intentionally bad writing, what makes one Flarf poem better than another?), fight a few Blog-wars, and write poems with radically different styles and subject matter.

Class Text: The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry (Two Volumes). Ed. Ramazani, Ellman, O'Clair

Course Pack.


ENGL 383, 384

484 A ADV PROSE WORKSHOP (Advanced Prose Workshop) Slean T 4:30-7:10p 13067

This is the third and final installment of the short prose writing curriculum and is designed to further develop students' understanding and practice of writing fiction and nonfiction prose, with an emphasis on revision. Through a generative process of exercises, readings, discussions and traditional workshop, students will be expected to present at least two short stories or creative nonfiction pieces and at least one significant revision of a piece workshopped during the quarter. This class is intended for students who are familiar with the basics of short fiction and/or nonfiction writing, and are ready to share their works-in-progress with peers. Prerequisites: English 284 and English 384.


ENGL 383, 384

493 B CREATIVE WRIT CONF (Advanced Creative Writing Conference) Wong W 2:30-4:20 19198

Catalog Description: Tutorial arranged by prior mutual agreement between individual student and instructor. Revision of manuscripts is emphasized, but new work may also be undertaken.

495 A HONORS WRITING CONF (Major Conference for Honors in Creative Writing) Sonenberg MW 2:30-3:50 13071

Catalog Description: Special projects available to honors students in creative writing. Required of, and limited to, honors students in creative writing.

496 A H-MAJOR CONF-HONORS (Major Conference for Honors) Liu TTh 1:30-3:20 13072

This writing and research intensive seminar is designed to help provide support for producing your senior thesis. While the writing of an academic humanities paper tends to be a solitary sport, we will use the time we have together to consider what forms a “good” longer paper can take, as well as develop the art of the generous, critical peer review. As you all know, the most effective writers are those who are as equally open to the rich necessity of editing and critical reading as the honing of sharp writing skills. Our goal is to use our class time to help you produce a thesis that will be all the better because of the intelligent support of your colleagues.

496 B H-MAJOR CONF-HONORS (Major Conference for Honors) Kaplan TTh 10:30-12:20 13073

Catalog Description: Individual study (reading, papers) by arrangement with the instructor. Required of, and limited to, honors seniors in English.

498 B SENIOR SEMINAR (“Real vs. Fake: The Literature of an American Chinatown”) Wong MW 9:30-11:20 13074

For decades much of what the average American knows about Chinatown was invented by films, television, and comics. The image of Chinese America and Chinatowns was a constant battle between real and fake portrayals. This class will explore the range and variety of those images from late 19th century to the present such as the D.W. Griffith’s silent movie classic “Broken Blossoms” (1919) to recent documentaries about Chinatown to fiction ranging from Sui Sin Far to Fae Myenne Ng to Timothy Mo.

498 C SENIOR SEMINAR (SENIOR SEMINAR) Foster TTh 9:30-11:20 13075

The topic of this class will the genre of alternate history or counterfactual narratives. The course will both explore the roots of the genre or subgenre within science fiction more generally, and consider the recent mainstream literary interest in it (by writers like Roth or Chabon). We will be especially interested in the assumptions about history that are implicit in different versions of this subgenre, as well as in defining the different kinds of cultural and ideological work that alternate history can perform. For instance, alternate histories can undermine the authority of dominant historical narratives, especially when that authority derives from asserting that historical events demonstrate a “manifest destiny” or teleology, while at the same time alternate histories can reassert the inevitability of historical events. What is the value of constructing a patently incorrect version of past historical events?

We will read some criticism and some classic alternate history stories (possibly from Turtledove and Greenberg’s Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century or Greenberg and Silverberg’s The Way It Wasn’t), along with some readings in historical precursors to alternate history, by writers like Charles Brockden Brown. The primary readings for the course will be drawn from this list (we will not read all of these books):
Joanna Russ, The Female Man; Octavia Butler, Kindred; William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine; Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union; Steven Barnes’s Lion’s Blood or Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots or Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt; Paul Di Filippo’s Lost Pages; and Jo Walton’s Farthing.

Requirments for the course are likely to include one shorter interpretive essay and one longer research paper.

498 L SENIOR SEMINAR (Closure in Chaucer (and Beyond)) Vaughan TTh 11:30-1:20 13076

The idea of ‘closure’ attracts attention from those interested in both formal and psychological analyses of literary (and other) works of human art. Some of the satisfactions of finishing a book (or a piece of music) derive from our sense of its completeness, whether it seems to fulfill its author’s and readers’ expectations and provide a convincing ‘sense of an ending.’ Some readers enjoy works that are firmly concluded; others prefer works that are open-ended, which invite readers to imagine multiple possibilities for the characters and narratives.
In the case of Geoffrey Chaucer’s works, the matter is complicated by the historical fact that some of his works have come down to us in what seems to be incomplete form, the result (arguably at least) of problems with the scribal ‘publication’ and transmission of his texts. Others of his works, however, which don’t appear to be fragmentary, play with layered or polyphonic endings. This may suggest that some of his ‘incomplete’ texts may in fact have been intended by him to be so.
In this seminar, we will begin with a classic book on literary closure (Kermode’s 1967 Sense of an Ending) and then turn our attention to some examples in Chaucer’s earlier works: e.g., Book of the Duchess, House of Fame, Troilus. After that, we’ll look at some of the Canterbury Tales.
Students will be required to provide weekly response papers discussing our readings, to produce (and revise) a couple of longer papers, and lead a seminar session discussing closure in a work of interest to them (one of Chaucer’s or someone else’s).

NOTE: Since much of our reading will be in Middle English, successful completion of ENGL 321 (Chaucer), or permission of the Instructor, will be a prerequisite for enrollment in the seminar.


498 M SENIOR SEMINAR (JAMES JOYCE'S ULYSSES) Popov TTh 12:30-2:20 13077

This seminar is a comprehensive introduction to Ulysses as the summit of literary modernism. To dispel fear of Ulysses, we’ll read the book one episode at a time, tracking the progressive weaving and unweaving of sense. Discussions will address the book’s Irish and European contexts and extensions, and Joyce's exuberant transvaluations of all novelistic values (narrative devices, generic conventions, topics, perspectives, styles and humors). A portion of each meeting will be devoted to music in Ulysses. Desiderata: inklings of Joyce's earlier work, intimacy with Homer’s Odyssey, interest in sly uses of language. Students interested in Joyce's continental influences are encouraged to enroll in English 313. Text: Ulysses: The Corrected Text, ed. by Hans Walter Gabler, (available at UW Bookstore and elsewhere). Requirements: weekly assignments and a course project involving independent research and resulting in a longer final paper (15-20 pages). Enrollment by permission only (contact instructor in person: A415 Padelford, TH 1:30-3:30)

back to schedule

to home page
top of page