Summer Quarter 2009 — Undergraduate Course Descriptions

111 A COMPOSITION: LIT (Composition: Literature) MW 9:40-11:50 10957

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from reading and discussing stories, poems, essays, and plays.

111 B COMPOSITION: LIT (Composition: Literature) Cohen M-Th 10:50-11:50 10958

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from reading and discussing stories, poems, essays, and plays.

111 C COMPOSITION: LIT (Composition: Literature) Stygall M-Th 9:50-12:00 13548

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from reading and discussing stories, poems, essays, and plays.

121 A COMPOSTN: SOC ISSUE (Composition: Social Issues) Boyd MW 11:30-1:30 10959

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from reading and discussing essays and fiction about current social and moral issues.

131 A COMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Casillas M-Th 8:30-9:30 10960

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects.

131 B COMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Terry M-Th 9:40-10:40 10961

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects.

131 C COMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Anderson M-Th 10:50-11:50 10962

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects.

131 D COMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Sudhinaraset M-Th 10:50-11:50 10963

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects.

131 E COMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Mahmoud M-Th 11:30-12:30 10964

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects.

131 F COMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Lewis M-Th 11:30-12:30 10965

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects.

131 G COMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Kelly M-Th 12:00-1:00 10966

Catalog Description: Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects.


Catalog Description: Techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature. Examines some of the best works in English and American literature and considers such features of literary meaning as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Emphasis on literature as a source of pleasure and knowledge about human experience.


Techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature. Examines some of the best works in English and American literature and considers such features of literary meaning as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Emphasis on literature as a source of pleasure and knowledge about human experience.

200 C READING LITERATURE (READING LITERATURE) Gillis-Bridges M-Th 9:40-11:50 10972

Heather: “It's just like Hamlet said, ‘To thine own self, be true.’”
Cher: “Ah, no, uh, Hamlet didn't say that.”
Heather: “I think that I remember Hamlet accurately.”
Cher: “Well, I remember Mel Gibson accurately, and he didn't say that. That Polonius guy did.”

Amy Heckerling, Clueless

Cher Horowitz’s Gibson quotation attests to the way most students remember Shakespeare’s tragedy: via film. In English 200, not only will we examine cinematic and novelistic interpretations, revisions, and expansions of Hamlet, but we will also analyze the play itself. By doing so, we will develop strategies for reading and writing about fictional texts. Throughout the term, we will focus on several approaches to literature and film: close reading, structural and thematic analysis, psychoanalysis, and feminist theory. During the first week, we will develop our own interpretations of Hamlet before moving to other “readings” of the play, including Aki Kaurismäki’s 1987 film Hamlet Goes Business, Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film Hamlet, and John Updike’s recent novel, Gertrude and Claudius. As we explore the ways other artists have interpreted, recreated, and expanded upon the original text, we will reconsider and revise our own understanding of the play.

English 200 is computer-integrated, with students moving between a wired seminar room and a computer lab during most class meetings. The lab setting allows students to view and offer feedback on their peers' work, collaborate on group activities, and conduct online research. However, technical savvy is not a course prerequisite; students will receive instruction in all technical tools used in the classroom.

200 D READING LITERATURE ("Utopian Islands") Meyer M-Th 12:00-1:00 10973

There is a difference, one might suppose at the outset, between merely "reading" literature and "studying" it. When literature is the object at or in hand (in the form, say, of a best-seller, a famous poem, a harlequin romance), the commonplace notion of reading suggests it is primarily for entertainment; or, when things get tough, and the weight of everyday life pressurizes living into burden, reading literature becomes a kind of place—a world into which a reader "escapes," for a time, from the cares and curses of the "real world." What both notions of reading fail to consider are the fundamental processes that actuate and trouble the understanding when one sets out to read. Reading literature is, of course, not mere entertainment, and it can be a strange, uncomfortable destination for an escape.

The idea that unites the course is an implicit argument that reading literature is, in a sense, an exercise in Utopia-building. In other words, the literary imagination is utopian insofar as it is interested in conceiving of places that don’t physically exist, yet have some kind of actual life that influences the "real world" of a reader. In this course, then, we’ll try to experience, observe, and describe the often "invisible" processes that make such utopian reading happen, in an effort to understand how little we understand about what reading is, and, moreover, what it does and does not do. The literary texts we’ll consider span an expansive historical and cultural gap: from 16th century British imperial fantasy to 20th century American science fiction. These texts work in responsive ways to the actual conditions of the world in which they were written and read. But they all attempt in some way to confront and challenge that world by imaginatively "leaving" it in order to imagine something better—and we might see how such a "leaving" is, in the end, hardly an escape. Likewise, by the end of it all you will, hopefully, have begun to reconceptualize your own experience of reading, and, thereby, of imagining the actual world in which we live.
This is a ‘W’ course, so writing requirements will include several shorter reading responses and a longer, final essay (10-15 pages) with feedback and revision. Each student will also be responsible for a small-group presentation and an exam during the quarter. NOTE: As these are dense texts, the reading schedule will be demanding. Be prepared to spend a lot of time reading so that you’re able to contribute significantly to in-class discussions and have enough familiarity with the texts to sustain an extended, thorough argument.


207 A INTRO CULTURE ST (: Comic Books and Graphic Novels) Foster M-Th 8:30-10:40 10974

This course will provide an introduction to cultural studies within the field of English and literary studies, by focusing on the topic of comics. The course is intended to provide a historical introduction to the generic diversity of the American comic book as a hybrid medium of visual art and print fiction, as well as to discuss in detail specific examples of the medium and its potential, using Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, an essay on the nature of the comics medium written as a graphic novel. The course will use this topic to raise questions about the methodological implications for literary studies of analyzing non-literary objects of study. How do comics challenge our assumptions about literature and literary analysis? To what extent are literary methods of textual analysis applicable to comics? We will also use our discussions of comics to consider key concepts or questions within cultural studies, such as ideology, the status of authorship in the production of meaning, and the role of the reader and processes of reception or consumption in constructing meaning. Comics, moreover, are a privileged site for considering the relation of literary culture to visual culture in contemporary American society.

We will begin by reading McCloud’s book in relation to some examples of early newspaper comic strips, probably including Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland, George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, and Frank King’s Gasoline Alley, with particular attention to the relation between newspaper comics as a mass medium and formal experimentation in modernist art, to exemplify the ways in which the value hierarchy of high art and mass culture has been challenged in the comics medium. We will then consider the origins of the comic book in the superhero genre, with particular attention to early Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, and Spirit comics, along with the history of later superhero revisionism. We will do some reading in non-superhero genres in the later 40s and 50s, possibly including romance, war, western, science fiction, horror, and true crime comics, along with some example of the contemporary resurgence of one or more of these genres. We will end the course with some readings in the development of what are called alternative comics, which are generally less commercial, more experimental, more literary, and more aimed at an adult audience than either superhero or genre comics. Readings for the course will include some works available through library reserve, as well as works chosen from the following list (we will not read all of these books): Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics; Grant Geissman, Foul Play!: The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics; Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen or Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns; Alan Moore and Gene Ha, Top 10, vol. 1, or Warren Ellis and John Casaday, Planetary or David Mack, Kabuki: Metamorphosis or Paul Chadwick, Concrete or Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr., Who Is the Black Panther; Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben, The Saga of the Swamp Thing (vol. 1) or Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan: Lust for Life (vol. 2); Jaime Hernandez, The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S.; Roberta Gregory, Life’s a Bitch; Kyle Baker, Nat Turner or Gene Yuen Lang, American Born Chinese.

Assignments for the course will probably include two formal essays, and some shorter informal writing.

212 A LIT ENLTMT & REVOLN (The World Turned Upside Down) Butwin M-Th 12:00-2:10 10975

Between the Bloodless Revolution of 1688 in England and the bloody revolutions in America and in France a century later the world turned, some would say, upside down. We live with the results of the real and imagined transformations of the world in that period. In this course we will examine the fantasies and realities that helped to define our brave new world. Lecture and discussion and a series of short essays written in and out of class.


213 A MODERN/POST MOD LITERATURE (Modern & Postmodern Literature) Wacker 9:40-11:50

This course undertakes the impossible but exhilarating task of mapping a movement from modernist fiction and film anchored in imagined national communities to more recent work that engages the global and transnational settling and unsettling of community and communication. We will read selected James Joyce stories, Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts, Graham Green’s The Third Man and Dubravka Ugresic’s The Museum of Unconditional Surrender. We will also screen Carol Reed’s The Third Man and Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire. Course requirements include close work with the primary texts and films, individual presentations and short essays on questions raised by individual works. W-credit.

Major Texts: Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts; James Joyce, Dubliners; Graham Green: the Third Man, Dubravka Ugresic, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender and essays by, Eliot, Woolf, Kincaid, Bayard and Lyotard.

225 A SHAKESPEARE (SHAKESPEARE) Gonyer-Donohue M-Th 10:50-11:50 10977

Shakespeare, like most playwrights, never intended for his works to be read and studied as words on a page but rather to be watched as performances on a stage. However, by emphasizing performance over the written word, one can easily lose sight of the carefully constructed subtexts, historical and literary references and allusions, and narrative twists. In this class, we will consider Shakespeare's plays as both literary texts and as scripts meant for live performance. In addition to reading film adaptations and performing scenes as critical interpretations, we will see two free live productions at various parks around town (seeing these performances will be integral to the writing assignments and class discussion). Because this is a W-writing course, you should expect to write 10-15 pages of formal writing that has been fully revised at least once. Also, please note that most 200-level English courses are intended for pre-English and non-English majors. Plays: Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, Henry IV Part I, and Richard III.

242 A READING FICTION (READING FICTION) O'Neill M-Th 8:30-10:40 10978

Reading fiction from different periods we will develop the necessary interpretive skills based on close attention to detail and an appreciation of the work's historical context. Through critical reading and analytical writing, we will identify themes and test theories to engage with the production, reception, and interpretation of fiction. Texts include Melville, Conrad, Mengestu, and Zadie Smith.

242 B READING FICTION ("Placing the Self" in Fiction by Women) Barlow M-Th 9:40-11:50 10979

This course begins from growing critical interest in literary depictions of "place" to ask how and why certain locales are used to express individual and group identities. We’ll read a variety of novels from the twentieth century by American (U.S.) women writers. Recent studies of culture, literature and the environment, and human geography will help us to explore how place-based constructs, identities, and relationships are relevant to the literature as well as how they might impact contemporary readers. More broadly, the course will introduce you to the primary concerns and methods for critically reading and responding to literature. Because the course is intensive and based on discussion of the readings, active participation will be essential. Expect a substantial reading load, group facilitation of discussion, essay assignments, and a longer final paper. The following authors likely will be included in our schedule: Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston, Marilynne Robinson, Jamaica Kincaid, Linda Hogan.

242 C READING FICTION ("Modernist Innovations") Peck M-Th 10:50-11:50 10980

"Much of the allure of Modernist writing derives from the shifts in both perspective and technique which characterize it. In this course, we'll examine these innovations in light of the social changes that pushed writers (and all artists) of this period to forge new modes of expression. Each of the authors we will study was, in his or her own way, breaking from a narrative tradition they found inadequate for expression of the contemporary human experience. What, exactly, does Modernism reject, and what, if anything, does it affirm in its place? What aspects of this heritage have endured, and with what repercussions?

We'll read classic works by Hardy (Jude the Obscure), Conrad (Heart of Darkness), Hemingway (In Our Time), Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) and Salinger (Catcher in the Rye), and a few pieces of short fiction. In addition to framing our discussions with pertinent literary criticism, we'll take a brief look at changes in visual arts to trace the shifts in ideology that characterized the close of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries in English fiction. The course will also include a general review of effective writing skills."

242 D READING FICTION (The Graphic Novel) Simpson M-Th 12:00-2:10 10981

This is a course in reading so-called ‘graphic novels,’ although our texts are neither wholly graphic nor are they, properly speaking, novels. The term graphic novel is instead a loose designation that publishers use to describe the very recent genre of serious illustrated storytelling that has developed from the traditions of comics and cartoons. While the graphic novel has a relationship to other forms of writing or storytelling, its predominantly visual nature means we must adopt a different approach to it as readers. Drawing from recent theory and criticism on visual narratives, we will read and discuss four highly-regarded graphic novels, each of which presents a different challenge for readers of other stories. The goal is to learn both the key critical claims and approaches to reading graphic novels and to be able to perform your own original close readings as well. Assignments include weekly in-class exercises and two critical essays.

250 A INTRO TO AM LIT (Telling Stories of America) George M-Th 9:40-11:50 10982

It has always seemed to me a rare privilege, this, of being
an American, a real American, one whose tradition it has taken
scarcely sixty years to create. We need only realize our parents,
remember our grandparents, and know ourselves, and our history
is complete.
The old people in a new world, the new people made out of the old,
that is the story that I mean to tell, for that is what really is and
what I really know.

--Gertrude Stein
The Making of Americans

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

--Maya Angelou

The above quotations define the main objectives of this course: to survey a cross section of stories from 19th – 21st century American life, perspectives rooted in historical, cultural, and biographical fact. In 5 weeks we will read and reflect on an assortment of American narratives, acquainting ourselves with the facts of American history that preceded and followed the writing of these narratives, just as we will consider them from socio-cultural as well as biographical, race, gender, and class perspectives--we will connect those contexts to the substance and style of the stories.

By the end of the quarter, you should have a sophisticated understanding of what American literature "really is" and what more you'd like to read after course completion to "really know" past and present “Americas” that help to configure your contemporary culture.

250 B INTRO TO AM LIT (Cities on the Hill) Patterson M-Th 9:40-11:50 10983

Jonathan Raban (a British writer who now lives in Seattle) claims “living in cities is an art, and we need the vocabulary of art, of style to describe the peculiar relationship between man and material that exists in the continual creative play of urban living.” This course will be about the “arts” of urban living, both as literature depicts it and as we inhabitants experience it. In particular, we will be investigating the relationship between the evolution of American literature and the rise of the modern city. From the perspective of Puritan settlers, America was to be a “city on a hill,” a utopian community of true believers. However, it didn’t take long for the realities of urban living to create very different stories. This course will consider some of complex ways in which the actual cities gave rise to the writers and literary forms that mark important moments in our literary history. Beginning with Benjamin Franklin’s entrance into Philadelphia, we will look at the ways in which the city has shaped the stories and lives of Americans. Among the writers and works in the course, we will consider Nathaniel Hawthorne’s urban tales, Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Nella Larsen’s Passing, Leroi Jones’s Dutchman, and Paul Auster’s postmodern novel, City of Glass.

281 A INTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Lives of the Great Essayists) Willet M-Th 8:30-9:30 10984

This class believes that the most direct route to strength in prose-making is through broad and informed reading. Our method then, will be to walk for awhile alongside master practitioners of the essayic form, from several counties, communities, and centuries, aiming therethrough to detect the diversity of schema available to fellow travelers. There’s a menu-button at the top of most word-processing programs called “reveal formatting,” or “show invisibles;” that’s one thing we’re after in this class: to make such revelations and sightings part of our writerly accoutrements.

In order to help situate the essays we’re reading artifactually (as we attempt to situate our own writing similarly) we’ll investigate, group-wise, a handful of “great” essayists, which investigations will serve as de facto subjects of inquiry, and as stones against which--Michel Foucault says language is for cutting--we sharpen our (mightier?) swords.


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 (Writing About Media) Rai M-Th 9:40-11:50 10985

The focus of this class is writing. Good writing does not occur in a vacuum, which is to say that it cannot be pulled off effectively without considering audience, social context, intention, genre, and a whole host of other rhetorical concerns that we will address in this class. Although there is not a heavy duty reading load or a tightly formed “theme,” the secondary focus of this course is on studying the “media” (how to critique and write about various media, how to effectively create content for media, and so on). In particular, we will use contemporary social issues being talked about in the media (broadly defined to include magazines, newspapers, blogs, film, music, art, television) as an entry way, content, and exigency for our writing projects. There will be ample room for students to explore issues key to their own interests, disciplines, career plans, etc.

We will consider what it means to write effectively at all stages of the process, for different audiences and contexts, and in various genres. We will be concerned not only with rhetorical invention (how one comes up with something important to write about in the first place), but also with polish, style, and the consequences of our writing. We will also consider surface-level language choices, organization, use of evidence, and so on.

Students will do short, daily written responses and complete various writing assignments that build up to a larger project. Many of the projects will be in the publicly oriented genres like those we study (news articles, blog entries, etc.).


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 (Environmental and Social Justice) Rose M-Th 12:00-2:10 10986

In this course we will work to improve your skills as a critical writer. The goal will be to produce clear, analytic, and persuasive arguments that are defended by researched evidence, targeted towards a particular audience, and enter into a critical conversation. In order to help achieve our goals, we will also concentrate heavily on the ‘writing process’ itself, including first drafts, peer review, revision and editing. The course theme of environmentalism and social justice will operate as a critical framework for our reading, discussions and writing this quarter. . Our focus will be on the connections between environmentalism and the broader quest for social justice and equality in our society, and how these issues relate to our everyday lifestyles and value systems. To do this we will be reading and writing about both non-fiction essays and fictional texts.

How are modern ecological problems tied to our society’s economy, popular culture, energy use and overall lifestyles? Has our culture’s recent discussion concerning global climate change changed our collective understanding of the relationship between humans and nature in any significant way? How and to what effect? Furthermore, what new opportunities does this more public and visible debate over climate change afford us in terms of transformative changes to our environmentally destructive economic and social practices? Is eco-consumerism (or, the “go green” movement) an effective and useful development? And finally, which of our values and assumptions do we think can and should be challenged in order to create a more socially just and environmentally responsible society?


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 TTh 9:40-11:20 10987

n this course we will come to terms with the form and the content of poetry from the outside and from the inside. That is, both as careful readers and as intrepid writers of poems. We will focus not so much on what a poem means, but on how it means; the extraordinary effect its meter, form, and language can have on us.

284 A BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing) Wong M-Th 12:00-1:30 10988

This course is an introduction to the writing of fiction. Students will examine and analyze writing strategies with respect to developing readable and challenging short stories. To that end, students will investigate risks and rewards of constructing a story, telling a story, and managing the elements of fiction, such as character, plot, dialogue, setting, tone, mood, theme, and point of view. Students will write a series of short two-page assignments, critique each other’s work, and lead a discussion of the craft of fiction using work by published authors. Text: George Plimpton, ed., The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, the Art of Writing, and Everything Else in the World Since 1953

284 C BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing) Corbo M-Th 10:50-12:20 10989

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 10-15 page short story, which will then undergo substantial revision.


284 D BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (The Bright Blank Page: Beginning Short Story Writing) Brower MW 9:40-11:20 10990

"What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you." - Anne Lamott

This course is ideal for students who love to read and want to write. We will be doing a good deal of both as best we can. The bulk of class time will be devoted to engaging with published fiction, studying elements of narrative craft, and respectfully rigorous peer workshopping. We'll read and study a wide array of fictions, from ancient folktales and myths to contemporary short stories and collages. We'll read about wolf-men and shebeen queens, disgruntled soldiers and failing strippers, mourning mothers and killer robots. Our literary journey will take us around the world, from Alabama to Zanzibar, as we examine the variations and convergences of the world's storytelling traditions. There will be brief lectures on key craft elements such as plot, voice, pacing, point of view, dialogue, and character; but our primary focus will be on the practice of these techniques. To this end, we'll be completing lots of in-class exercises as well as weekly writing assignments. At the conclusion of the course each student will compile a final portfolio of revised writing (including several finished short stories), but it is my hope that you'll leave with something more than that: that you'll have fallen in love with the practice of writing, or been eviscerated by one of the stories, that you'll have written something you're proud of or surprised by, and that you'll be hungry for more.

302 A CRITICAL PRACTICE (Walter Benjamin’s Artwork essay) Simpson M-Th 9:40-11:50 10992

This course will focus students on one essay by one critic, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” by Walter Benjamin. It is often referred to simply as “the Artwork essay,” thus the title of this course. In his 1936 essay, Benjamin argues that the function and experience of “art” is radically altered after the advent of new visual technologies, and that this revolution in the artwork’s status has far reaching political and social implications that must change the way artists produce and critics analyze art. We will unpack his argument with care, making sure we understand the myriad points from which he attempts to assess this revolution. Next, we will read a few essays by contemporary cultural critics who have used parts of Benjamin’s argument to understand some further manifestation of this phenomenon in the later twentieth century. That’s it. My hope is that the very limited scope of this summer course will give us time to realize the essential goal of any English 302: to improve students’ ability to explain, discuss and draw on arguments in theory, both in conversation and in written work. Course grade will be based on regular class attendance and participation; impromptu in-class exercises; and two typed papers, with the first paper providing a foundation for the second. A course packet of our readings will be available at The Ave Copy Center.

302 B CRITICAL PRACTICE (Ways of Reading) Patterson M-Th 12:00-2:10 10993

In Ways of Seeing, John Berger says, “every image implies a way of seeing.” This course will start from his claim and extend it to different modes of reading. We will focus on theorists who are also very good readers, that is, who offer us not only useful interpretations of texts but also help us think about the very practice of reading and the assumptions that go into it. Although the theorists that we’ll be considering are not always focused on literary texts, they will serve as models for developing and complicated our own reading practices. Included in the course are Freud’s reading of the uncanny, Clifford Geertz’s cultural interpretation, “Notes on a Balinese Cockfight,” John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing,” and Michel de Certeau’s “Reading as Poaching.” We will use these essays to read Louisa May Alcott’s “Whisper in the Dark,” Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, and Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire.

310 A BIBLE AS LITERATURE (The Bible as Literature) Griffith M-Th 8:30-9:30 10994

A rapid study of readings from both the Old and New Testaments, focusing primarily on those parts of the Bible with the most "literary" interest--narratives, poems and philosophy. 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 in-class essays done in response to study questions handed out in advance.


We will read a variety of poems and fictional works from France, Germany, England, and the U.S. in order to get a sense of the complex phenomenon called “modernism,” a style or cluster of styles of writing that flourished from roughly 1910-1930, but the beginnings of which can be traced to France in the mid-19th century. There is no simple definition of what “modernism” means; like other period terms in literary theory (e.g., “romanticism” or “realism”), it refers not to any single quality of literary works but to a diverse set of stylistic characteristics, which get mixed and matched differently by different authors. The only way to get a sense of how the term works is to read a number of texts that are labeled with it and see how they are similar and how they are different.

We will also be concerned with the /methodology/ of the study of literature and specifically with the method called /formalism. /Formalism in criticism developed in close contact with modernism in literature (for example, T.S. Eliot is both one of the central modernist poets and one of the fathers of formalism); formalism could thus be called “modernist literary criticism.” *In my class lectures I will continually stress formalist methods of reading, and in the papers you write you will be expected to develop skill in these methods.*

There will be a 2-3 page paper on Baudelaire due the third week, followed by a 4-5 page mid-term paper on Rilke and Eliot, and a final paper, 4-5 pages, on modernist fiction.

324 A SHAKESPEARE AFT 1603 (Shakespeare after 1603) Streitberger M-Th 8:30-10:40 10996

Shakespeare's career as dramatist after 1603. Study of comedies, tragedies, and romances.

349 A SCI FICT & FANTASY (Science Fiction and Fantasy) Foster M-Th 12:00-2:10 10999

This version of this course is designed to provide a historical introduction to print science fiction as a genre, with a strong but not exclusive emphasis on the development of the genre in the U.S. during the 20th century. The course will be organized around debates over the definition of science fiction that are internal to the science fiction field. We will therefore read examples of pulp adventure narratives; the hard SF tradition promoted by John W. Campbell, editor of Astounding (later Analog); alternative forms that begin to emerge in the 1950s, including the more self-consciously literary narratives associated with Anthony Boucher's Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as the traditions of social satire and political SF associated with H.L. Gold's magazine Galaxy, and early feminist science fiction; the "New Wave" movement of the 1960s and 70s; and cyberpunk fiction and responses to it. In addition to this historical narrative, the critical concerns that we will consider include the historical and ideological contexts for science fiction narratives, such as the traditions of travel writing and utopian/dystopian speculation, and the formal tension between science fiction's tendency toward a realist aesthetic and its simultaneous commitment to the fantastic and to imagining departures from realism that often have the effect of defamiliarizing our assumptions about what is normal. Primary readings for the course will include essays and stories available on electronic reserve, as well as the following set of books: Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars; Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man; Thomas Disch, Camp Concentration; Pat Cadigan, ed., The Ultimate Cyberpunk; Nisi Shawl, Filter House; and Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life. Assignments for the course will probably include two essays, and some shorter, informal writing assignments.

352 A EARLY AMER LIT (The Early Nation -- Questioning Foundations in the Early Nation) Griesbach M-Th 12:00-2:10 11000

This course is a study of American literature in the period leading up to the Civil War, including American Renaissance writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, as well as a selection of other important authors such as Washington Irving, Margaret Fuller, Frederick Douglass, and Rebecca Harding Davis. Topical concern will be broad, with a general emphasis on discovering how these writers bring to the fore the dualisms taking shape in American society during a transformational and formative time. One can discover in these works striking visions of the new nation’s optimism and potential amid contrasting perceptions of instability, inconsistency, and incoherence in American society; a struggle to understand the meaning of the American Revolution and how that revolution relates to the ongoing calls for liberation and reform; and a constant reevaluation of the disjunction between ideals and material facts, collective identity and individual experience. Evaluation of student progress will take the form of midterm and final exams, a series of short written responses to the readings, and a classroom participation component. Regular attendance, keeping up with the reading assignments, and participating in classroom discussion and activities are necessary for success in the course.

353 A AMER LIT LATER 19C (Isms and Schisms: Late-Nineteenth Century American Literature) George M-Th 12:00-2:10 11001

The nineteenth century dislike of Realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in the glass.
--Oscar Wilde

Serious American writers of the late nineteenth century increasingly mirrored in at first realistic and then naturalistic literatures the ravaged faces, psyches and souls of disenfranchised Americans. Through these literary lenses, smiles shifted to scowls, once noble behavior turned brutal, and all escapades ended in graves. Like Caliban, these writers suggested, our struggle for dignity is determined by overpowering, ruthless forces; but unlike literary tempests, they showed, our social storms never subside.

Needless to stay, such harsh literary perspectives shocked a still divided republic whose readers sought solace in sentimentalized aesthetics. We’ll analyze the responses of these readers to this literature, placing ourselves critically in the personal and social circumstances of that American era. We’ll also examine our own aesthetic, our current response to 19th-century Realism and Naturalism, in an effort to discover how and why our responses unite us with or divide us from our American heritage.

Requirements include weekly readings of primary and secondary texts; thoughtful, engaged discussion; researched presentations; and critical writing, in and out of class.

354 A EARLY MOD AM LIT (The Early Modern Period. A study of American writing between WWI and WWII) Griesbach MW 4:30-6:20p 13588

(Evening Degree Program)

This class focuses on examples of literary modernism as responses to the larger social processes of modernization in the United States. Literary works are read for how they register the impact of historical events and changes that made the early 20th century seem “modern,” or radically disjointed from the past: not only the Great War, the Great Migration, and the Great Depression, but also the appearance of new kinds of media (photography, radio, cinema), new technologies of the “machine age” (automobiles, moving assembly lines, mass advertising), and new intellectual and aesthetic currents (psychoanalysis, cubism, jazz). This course develops skills in analyzing how modernist writers grappled with the consequences of these historical changes through vigorous experimentation in language, narrative, and form (resulting in works that can still surprise and challenge us as readers!). Some significant focus will be placed on understanding the combination of heterogeneous genres, forms, and/or media within a single work, as well as how such combinations relate to the ideas and perspectives the authors wished to convey. Authors include: T. S. Eliot, Jean Toomer, Ernest Hemingway, William Carlos Williams, Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and James Agee. The primary mode of evaluation will be papers satisfying the “W” additional writing requirement.

355 A CONTEMP AM LIT (American Literature: Contemporary America) Cummings M-Th 10:50-1:00 11003

This course will examine diverse representations of “living on the edge” in post World War II American literature, film, popular media, and other discourses. We will pay particular attention to novels and short fictions and the events that they represent: eg., subsequent wars in Asia and the current “war on terror,” as well as domestic “states of emergency” and their impact on those perceived as threatening the well being of the nation, community or family. We will describe and evaluate the alternate worlds that many of these subjects attempt to fashion, and we will do the same with the world(s) we inhabit. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, produce short critiques of assigned readings (probably 5) and a final 7-8 page paper that draws on these critiques and discussion. Required texts will include a course packet and the following novels: Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go; Robinson, Housekeeping; Alamedine, KOOLAIDS: The Art of War; and Beatty, White Boy Shuffle.

363 A LIT & OTHER ARTS (Literature in "Place": Cityscapes) Barlow 7:00-8:50p 13589

(Evening Degree Program)

From debates over connections made between national identity and the "exploration" of geographical space to meditations on the seeming disappearance of "solid ground" in a postmodern world of capital and information flows, the concept of place has been, and continues to be, important to the study of American (U.S.) literature and culture. This course will begin from growing critical interest in place-based literary studies to ask how we (as readers and scholars) conceive of "place" and what that means for reading literature, other cultural documents, and our own everyday experience, especially in relation to urban space or "the city." The following authors likely will appear in our schedule: Anzia Yezierska, Edith Wharton, Nella Larsen, Don DeLillo, Joan Didion, and Sherman Alexie. Study of photography, art works, and film will help us to respond to the readings. Expect to engage in lively class discussions; to read a variety of texts and documents published across a large time span (from the 1850s to the present) in various contexts and disciplines; and to complete critical response papers, group facilitations of discussion, reading quizzes, and a final project.

370 A ENGL LANG STUDY (English Language Study) Dillon M-Th 9:40-11:50 11004

This course introduces both basic concepts and issues of current language theory and some tools for representing and analyzing the structures of contemporary English. It covers phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and several other topics. There are numerous links to on-line resources, two of which are tutorials you may find helpful. You should have a look at these as part of your preparation for the days on which they are assigned.

We will go over the exercises for the File (at end of chapter) on the day the File is assigned. You should have them done at the start of class. I will log this work in at the end of class as "done." You can come up 2 in- or out-of-class assignments short by the end of the Quarter, but each "not done" beyond that will cause .1 to be deducted from your final grade. This exercise work should prepare you to do similar problems on the midterm and final exams. These exam grades will be 60% of your grade; the project will be worth 20%, and the remaining 20% will reflect the exercise work and class participation.


471 A COMPOSITION PROCESS (The Composition Process) Stygall M-Th 1:00-3:10 11005

Catalog Description: Consideration of psychological and formal elements basic to writing and related forms of nonverbal expression and the critical principles that apply to evaluation.

477 A CHILDREN'S LIT (Children's Literature) Griffith M-Th 10:50-11:50 11006

We'll read and discuss an assortment of fairy tales, other stories and novels for children. 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 in-class essays done in response to study questions handed out in advance.

498 A SENIOR SEMINAR (SENIOR SEMINAR) Coldewey M-Th 9:40-11:50 11012

This course will trace the moments of development from late medieval English drama through Elizabethan drama. We will look at examples of medieval plays -- cycle plays, non-cycle plays, interludes and humanist drama, in part to understand the flowering of drama that followed during the last half of the sixteenth century. We will be concerned mainly with critical and cultural issues.

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