Summer Quarter 2011 — Undergraduate Course Descriptions

111 ACOMPOSITION: LIT (Composition: Literature) Chetty MW 9:40-11:50


111 BCOMPOSITION: LIT (Composition: Literature) Canton M-Th 10:50-11:50


111 CCOMPOSITION: LIT (Composition: Literature) Gutierrez M-Th 11:30-12:30


131 ACOMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Hill M-Th 8:30-9:30


131 BCOMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Dwyer M-Th 9:40-10:40


131 CCOMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Pedersen M-Th 10:50-11:50


131 DCOMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Bashaw M-Th 12:00-1:00


131 ECOMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Jennings M-Th 1:10-2:10


131 FCOMPOSITN: EXPOSITN (Composition: Exposition) Jaccard M-Th 11:30-12:30


200 AREADING LITERATURE ( Ways of Reading) Patterson M-Th 9:40-11:50
This course will focus on different aspects of reading literary texts critically. We will pay attention to figurative language, structures of time and space, historical context, and end up with a reading of postmodern novel. In addition to a reading packet of poems and short stories, we will read Julie Otsuka’s When the Emperor was Divine, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Requirments will include several short essays.


200 BREADING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms) Ravela M-Th 10:50-1:00
This course will provide an introduction to reading literature, both in print and film. To that end, the course objectives are to teach you “habits of mind,” literary/critical terminology, and reading practices as a general disposition and techniques to approach, read, and analyze literature critically, thoughtfully, and intellectually.

To ground these goals, the course content focuses on the relation between nationalism and literature. More specifically, we will be tracking representations of death/violence as a motif that aides in the forging of national identity. To that end, we will ask the following questions throughout the course: how does the way in which death, violence, and mourning get represented produce a particular form of national identity? Who or what gets ‘forgotten’ in each form of remembrance?

Course Texts:
Alice Walker's Meridian (1976)
Paul Beatty's The White Boy Shuffle (1996)
Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men (2006)
Selections of Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities
Nathaniel Hawthorne's “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” (1831)


200 CREADING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms) Jaussen M-Th 12:00-2:10
The simple, two-word title of this course has embedded within it a few implications. Among them, that there is a category of texts which one could qualify as “literature”; secondly, that such texts require a particular kind of reading, different from the reading demanded by other linguistic structures (such as, for example, course descriptions); and, finally, that “reading literature” is sufficiently strange that it warrants its own university course. Instead of taking these implications for granted, our class will be dedicated to experimentally, critically, and rigorously testing their verity. Is there something peculiar to the way “literary” texts are made? Do those constructions both demand and produce reader participation in ways other texts do not? What might be the value of reading these texts? Such basic yet complicated questions will occupy our thinking, reading, and writing.

To conduct this experiment, we will examine a broad sample pool of texts that have been called “literary,” looking for constants and variables. We will begin with readings in one of the oldest textual traditions, namely the lyric poem, considering works by Sappho, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, Charles Baudelaire, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, Charles Olson, and Bernadette Mayer. As we read, we’ll examine poetic devices such as metaphor, voice, rhyme, and meter, as well as poetic tropes and genres, for their conceptual, aesthetic, and affective consequences. For the second half of the quarter, the attention will shift to prose, as well as to the last 200 years (for reasons we’ll discuss), beginning with short fiction by Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville, moving to Nathaniel West’s novella Miss Lonelyhearts, and ending with an extended examination of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. We will pay close attention to the strategies of narration, the function of character, and the role of plot, as well as the social, ethical, and philosophical implications of fiction. To aid our inquiry, throughout the course we will also examine some key theoretical literature (!) on these topics, testing the claims others have made against our own discoveries.

Students will be asked to participate actively in each class discussion. The writing will be divided up into three 2-page critical response essays; students will chose one of these essays to expand into a final 6-8 page paper.

Required texts: Herman Melville, Bartleby & Benito Cereno, (Dover Thrift Edition, ISBN 9780486264738); Nathaniel West, Miss Lonelyhearts & the Day of the Locust, (New Directions, ISBN 9780811202152); Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, (Harper Perennial, ISBN 9780061120060). A course pack will also be required.


200 DREADING LITERATURE (Literature in the Marketplace) Morgan M-Th 11:30-12:30
What do you do with a B.A. in English? Literature is not a profitable profession, according to Forbes Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

In this course, we'll read literature about money: stories of the filthy rich, and the down and out -- and people whose lives change suddenly from one to the other. We'll also consider the relationship between literature and the marketplace, and how technology is changing that relationship, to wit, why are there suddenly so many novels about sexy, sparkly vampires? And are e-readers really going to lead to the end of the book?
How do fiction and poetry affect the economy? Where did the stereotype of the starving poet (or starving artist) come from? You'll have the opportunity to read fiction and poetry from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as more contemporary works.


200 EREADING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms) Stansbury M-Th 9:40-11:50
In this course, we will focus on the themes of ambition and desire in a variety of literary works and forms. The aspirations of glory, the pangs of unrequited love, and the psychological and physical consequences of forbidden desire are some of the topics to be explored. We will begin with some poetry, taking an extended look at Shakespeare’s sonnets. We will continue to look at poetic devices as we move from sonnets to epic poetry with excerpts from Milton’s epic poem about the fall of man, Paradise Lost. With this text, Milton’s Satan and his pursuit of power will be explored in great detail. Returning to the great bard, our reading of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a play as much about fate and freewill as it is about ambition and desire, will be enhanced with a live performance of the drama outside of class, as well as by scenes from film versions to be screened in class. We will end with Vladmir Nabokov’s controversial novel of taboo desire Lolita. Please be warned that some readings will be difficult, but I promise they will be rewarding. These works can be provocative, but my hope is that they will allow for rich discussions. Issues of gender and sexuality will continue to arise.

A course packet will also be required, and a few critical pieces on our primary texts will be assigned. As this is a W course, you will be expected to write.


207 AINTRO CULTURE ST (Introduction to Cultural Studies) Cummings M-Th 10:50-1:00
Course Description: 207
This course is designed to introduce students to the practice and value of cultural studies through the examination of diverse representations of public health in the 20th and twenty-first century US. Our studies will zero-in on the production and distribution of food, the promise of “clean coal” and nuclear power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and global warming, workplace safety, and the health care delivery system. Particular attention will be paid to the workers who produce what the rest of us of consume, the conditions under which they labor, and the environment in which they, their families, and those not employed by these industries live. Primary texts include fiction, film, scientific studies, and investigative reporting. Students are expected to actively participate in class discussion and a group project pegged to one of the above topics, to produce short responses to assigned readings, and a final 7-8 page essay or an alternative project. Required texts: Course packet; The Jungle; My Year of Meats; Strange As the Weather Has Been.


210 ALIT 400 to 1600 (Medieval and Early Modern Literature, 400 to 1600) Hansen M-Th 10:50-1:00
English 210 - Lit. 400-1600: Love and War in the “Dark Ages”

Like any historical stretch, the years 400-1600 (call them the Middle Ages, the Medieval Era, the Dark Ages, or whatever else you like) are characterized by popular misconceptions. It is common sentiment that the Middle Ages were a time of violence, superstitiousness, and an overall failure to measure up to the “enlightened” potential of humankind (i.e., our glorious, 21st-century present). This course will use these ideas as a starting point to question what the Middle Ages “really” were like—keeping in mind all that the quotation marks around “really” imply—or, at least, how writers textually represented the concerns of their era. We will look at some different origins of the legends of Arthur and other British kings before turning to bloody religious poems (Judith and Andreas) and the bizarre Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We’ll end with one of Chaucer’s raunchier Canterbury Tales and, bringing us to the cusp of the modern age, Shakespeare’s King Lear.

Note that this is an A-term class, which means that we will fit eight weeks of classes into four weeks. Thus, you can expect a heavy and fast-paced reading load. Students will be graded through in-class quizzes and writing, participation in discussion, a couple of short response papers, and one longer (5-6 pp.) final essay.

Course Readings:
Shakespeare. King Lear, (Broadview). 978-1551119670
J.R.R. Tolkien (trans). Sir Gawain and the Green Knight…, (Del Rey). 978-0345277602.
Course pack, including shorter readings and critical texts (available the first week of the quarter at Ave Copy, 4141 University Way)


225 ASHAKESPEARE Butwin M-Th 9:40-11:50
English literature, it would appear, has a designated writer. It may not be our job to account for that designation, but his status gives us an opportunity in one quarter with four plays and several poems to begin to figure out what makes Shakespeare tick. The plays vary enormously: light-hearted comedy, tragi-comedy, pure fantasy, and downright tragedy. That might suggest at least four playwrights behind the name of Shakespeare, but we will find, in fact, elements of each kind of play lurking in the others. Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, King Lear and The Tempest. Lecture, discussion, short essays and a final exam.


242 AREADING Prose FICTION (Read Prose Fiction) George M-Th 9:40-11:50
“It had been my accidental reading of fiction and literary criticism that had evoked in me vague glimpses of life’s possibilities.”

--Richard Wright
“Reading Fiction”

“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”

This course is an introduction to various ways of reading “serious” fictions, imaginative prose narratives that challenge cultural norms, vs. reading popular fictions, which pander to convention. We will look at the differences initially and briefly but concentrate thereafter on serious fiction, reading and analyzing it, as well as formulating interpretations about what O’Connor would term “startling” fictions. Employing various critical approaches to what we read, we’ll figure out why we or others are startled.

This five-week course is designed to broaden your fictional reading repertoire, expose you to a variety of fictional authors, genres, styles, and historical/cultural movements, enhance your critical expression, and convince you that the critical reading of fiction can help in the critical reading of life. Requirements for this intensive 5-week course include daily readings, short critical researched writing in our departmental wired classrooms, a midterm, a final, and thoughtful, vocal participation in each class session.

Texts include Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer, 7th compact edition


242 BREADING Prose FICTION (Read Prose Fiction) O'Neill M-Th 10:50-1:00
Readings include short novels Heart of Darkness (by Polish-born author Joseph Conrad), The Lazarus Project (by Bosnian-American novelist Aleksandar Hemon), The Yacoubian Building (by best-selling Egyptian writer Alaa Al Aswany) and Eat the Document, a contemporary work set in Seattle, by Dana Spiotta. Core themes involve interactions between violence and ideology, agency and authority, and history and identity. Students will have an opportunity to develop their writing skills through short essays and essay exams and consultation with the instructor, a member of the faculty in English and Interdisciplinary Writing. This course fulfills both the "W" and the "VLPA requirement, and will be of particular interest to students interested in current events in Egypt and Eastern Europe, in the legacy of colonialism, or in the role of social media. For further information contact the instructor, John O'Neill,


242 CREADING Prose FICTION (The Contemporary Short Story) Simpson M-Th 12:002:10
In this course we will focus on the contemporary short story, with a particular focus on how certain key practitioners are reshaping narrative form in response to historical and political urgencies. We will focus on grasping the particular economy of social observation and historical argument that drive the most provocative contemporary short stories. Students will be expected to read closely, to participate in class discussion, and, at times, to work collaboratively on special exercises. Two papers required. Authors in the course packet may include Alice Munro, Junot Diaz, Annie Proulx, Steven Millhauser, Yiyun Li, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Charles Saunders.


242 DREADING Prose FICTION (Conduct and the Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century British Novel) Grant M-Th 10:50-11:50
In their essay collection, The Ideology of Conduct, Nancy Armstrong and Leonard Tennenhouse argue that “…the literature of conduct and the conduct of writing known as literature share the same history. Both literature and conduct books, especially those written for women, in particular, strive to reproduce, if not always revise, the culturally approved forms of desire” (1). Our in class discussion of eighteenth and nineteenth-century British novels will use this claim as both a starting point, and an argument to be tested out throughout the quarter. What kind of woman is represented as ideal, or natural, in our novels? What kind of woman do our novel authors present as desirable? And what kind of man desires this ideal woman? What are the “culturally approved forms of desire” that this literature constructs?

We will supplement our novel reading with very brief selections from eighteenth and nineteenth-century conduct manuals and newspaper advice columns, allowing us to ask the question – Are the heroines and heroes of our novels the same types of characters that populate more traditional conduct literature? What revisions or alterations are made, and why might this be so?
Our primary texts will include selections from Eliza Haywood’s short fiction, Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, and Charlotte Bronte’s Villette. Our secondary readings will be available in a course pack.

In addition to a heavy reading load, this course requires significant student participation in our daily class discussions, and an in-class final exam. This course meets the “W” requirement. Students will write three short response papers and revise one into a longer, 5-7 page paper at the end of the quarter.


242 EREADING Prose FICTION (Growing Up and Fitting In? Reading Modern Coming of Age Novels) Matthews M-Th 9:40-11:50
This course will focus on two big questions: (1) How free are children to choose the kind of adults they become? and (2) Why should we care about literary depictions of growing up? We will look to four novels to explore these questions and discover what works of fiction can tell us about how children actually grow up and might grow up.

The texts in this course are modern versions of a literary genre that emerged in eighteenth-century Germany, the Bildungsroman, which follows a character’s self-development from childhood or adolescence to adulthood. We’ll move backwards in time, from the 21st century to the 19th, beginning with a contemporary novel (Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go) in which the protagonist remembers a childhood that at first seems romantic, then… well, you’ll see. For our second novel, we’ll turn to the late 20th-century American White Boy Shuffle, which is both hilarious and deeply sad. Next, we’ll read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, which was published in 1920 when the author himself was barely an adult (23 years old), and we will conclude with the oft-banned classic story of an American boy’s maturation, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

This course aims to help you become a better, more sophisticated reader of literature. whether you’re in the habit of reading novels or not. As we read, we will pay attention to obvious elements of a novel, such as character, setting, plot, and point of view, and to more subtle ones, such as tone, word play, sarcasm, and irony. I will ask you to write regularly and mostly informally, though I’ll also guide you through two formal writing assignments, a short paper on one novel and a comparative paper that analyzes two of the novels we have read.


281 AINTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Intermediat Expository Writing) Gillis-Bridges M-Th 12:00-2:10


281 BINTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Intermediat Expository Writing) Holmberg M-Th 10:50-1:00


281 CINTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Intermediat Expository Writing) Meyer M-Th 12:00-1:00


283 ABEGIN VERSE WRITING (Beginning Verse Writing) Feld M-Th 9:40-11:20
This class will start with an intensive study of the traditional elements of the craft of poetry: meter, line, stanza, form, the poetic conceit, metaphor, etc. We will then move on to study the elements of the craft of free verse, which we’ll find isn’t as free as one might think. This class will also progress in historical time: we’ll start working with some of the earliest English poetic forms and continue on to a study of contemporary poetry. Wit and imaginative play will be exercised.


283 CBEGIN VERSE WRITING (Beginning Verse Writing) Feld M-Th 9:40-11:20
This class will start with an intensive study of the traditional elements of the craft of poetry: meter, line, stanza, form, the poetic conceit, metaphor, etc. We will then move on to study the elements of the craft of free verse, which we’ll find isn’t as free as one might think. This class will also progress in historical time: we’ll start working with some of the earliest English poetic forms and continue on to a study of contemporary poetry. Wit and imaginative play will be exercised.


284 ABEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing) Wong M-Th 12:00-1:40
Students will learn how to write a short story by learning how to construct scenes, build characters, read fiction like a writer, develop a plot, tell a story through characters and images, and learn how to evaluate and critique their own writing and the writing of others.


284 FBEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing) Ritscher M-Th 9:40-11:10


284 GBEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing) Szilagyi MW 9:40-11:20


300 AREADING MAJOR TEXTS ("Wilde, Woolf, and After.") Burstein M-Th 12:00-2:10
This course does three things: first, it introduces the student to two major texts, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890, 1891) and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (1925). Second, by reading them against two contemporary novels, one early twenty-first century and another late twentieth century—Will Self's Dorian: An Imitation (2002) and Michael Cunningham's The Hours (1998)—the class provides the opportunity to contemplate whether there is a difference between modernism and postmodernism; and, earlier, modernism and late Victorian ways of going about writing. Alongside close reading, the course should provide some early acquaintance of questions of historical periodicity: that is, what does it mean to read Wilde as a Victorian writer, or a modernist? What does postmodernism do that modernism did or did not? Third, the course will raise the issue of themes of imitation, doubling, and selfhood—along with examinations of aesthetics, literary style, and originality.

Students will need these editions, given our emphasis on close reading and use of these editions' supplementary materials: (1) Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway annotated edition (Mariner Books, ISBN-10: 9780156030359 or ISBN-13: 978-0156030359); ed. Hussey, introduction by Kime Scott; (2) Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Norton Critical Editions, 2nd edition, ed. Gillespie ISBN-10: 9780393927542 or ISBN-13: 978-0393927542), (3) Self, Dorian (Grove Press, ISBN-10: 9780802140470 or ISBN-13: 978-0802140470); (4) Cunningham, The Hours (Picador, ISBN-10: 0312243022 or ISBN-13: 978-0312243029).

This is a discussion-based class, with two short papers and the possibility of quizzes.


302 ACRITICAL PRACTICE (Reading Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay) Simpson M-Th 9:40-11:50
This course will focus students on the influence of 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 must change the way we think about art’s relationship to everyday life. In the first few days, we will unpack his argument with care, making sure to contextualize his approach within Marxist studies, make sure we understand the myriad points from which he attempts to assess the artistic-technological revolution he perceives, and be able to form relevant questions and connections related to his arguments. It’s a dense, sometimes cryptic essay, so slow-going is the best way to find sure footing. This first section of the course will culminate in a first short paper exploring the relevance of one part of the essay to the overall argument. In the second section of the course, we will read essays by two key contemporary critics who have expanded on the meaning or importance of key parts of Benjamin’s argument. We will see how Benjamin’s influence has adapted itself to newer modes of cultural and materialist critique. All readings in a course packet.


310 ABIBLE AS LITERATURE (The Bible as Literature) Griffith M-Th 8:30-9:30
A rapid survey of parts of the Old and New Testaments will emphasis on the writings of the most literary interest. Students will be expected to attend class regularly and take part in open discussion. Written work will consist entirely of between five and ten in-class essays, written in response to study questions handed out in advance.

Text: THE NEW OXFORD ANNOTATED BIBLE, Michael Coogan, editor


315 ALITERARY MODERNISM Staten M-Th 10:50-1:00
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.” Modernism is 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.

I don’t expect you to already know how to read poetry; one of my main goals in this class is to teach you how to do it. I will provide you with a “tool box” of techniques by which to break poems down into understandable language. Then, in the second half of the course, we will work on a comparable tool box for fiction.

There will be a 2-3 page paper on Baudelaire due the second week (worth 20% of your grade); a 4-5 page mid-term paper on Rilke and Eliot (40 %), due the sixth week; and a final, 4-5 page, paper on modernist fiction (40%), due exam week. Your entire grade will be based on these three papers.


318 ABLACK LIT GENRES (Black Literary Genres) Retman M-F 10:50-1:00


323 ASHAKESPEARE TO 1603 Streitberger M-Th 10:50-1:00
Shakespeare' s career as dramatist before 1603 (including Hamlet). Study of history plays, comedies, and tragedies.

Required text:
The Complete Works of Shakespeare, ed David Bevington. Pearson Longman, 2004. Older editions are acceptable.


335 AAGE OF VICTORIA (Eccentricity in Victorian Britain) Butwin M-Th 12:00-2:10
The middle of the 19th century was the first period of human history when a modern, industrial economy would permit all people to live in the same house, light the same gas lamp, wear the same clothing, read the same newspapers and novels, think the same thoughts and behave exactly like their neighbors. When John Stuart Mill wrote his celebrated essay On Liberty in 1859 he was troubled more by this massive conformity than by the restrictions of the antiquated monarchies or the possibilities of modern dictatorship. Public Opinion was more dangerous, according to Mill, than Secret Police. We will begin our study of non-conformity in 19th century Britain with a bit of nonsense (poems by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland) followed by careful reading of Mill, On Liberty (1859) and the Subjection of Women (1869), R. L. Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde, Oscar Wilde’s hilarious Importance of Being Earnest, and Thomas Hardy’s gloomy masterpiece, Jude the Obscure. Each in its way will take us to the periphery of late Victorian England and permit us to reflect on the perils of industrial and imperial power. Lecture/Discussion/Short Essays.

J. S. Mill, On Liberty and Other Writings
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Robert Lewis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure


353 AAMER LIT LATER 19C (Isms and Schisms: Late-Nineteenth Century American Literature) George M-Th 12:00-2:10
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 lens, 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.

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 reading aesthetic, our current response to 19th-century sentimentalism, romanticism, realism, and naturalism, in an effort to discover how and why our responses unite us with or divide us from our American heritage.

Requirements of this intensive five-week course include weekly readings of primary and secondary texts; thoughtful, engaged discussion; group presentations, using our departmental in-class wired facilities for research and review; critical writing, a midterm and a final exam

Course texts include: The Portable American Realism Reader


355 ACONTEMP AM LIT (American Literature: Contemporary America) Harkins M-Th 12:00-2:10
What is postmodernism? Or perhaps we should ask, what was postmodernism? Many critics use “postmodernity” to describe a historical period that emerged sometime after 1945 (starting dates vary). In this account, postmodernity is an era marked by transformations in political economy (transnational capitalism, a growing service sector, neoliberalism), in cultural forms (aesthetic pastiche, metafiction, intertextuality), and in critical theory (post-structuralism, deconstruction, anti-essentialism). But this period also saw the rise of major anti-colonial resistance, civil rights and race radical struggles, and feminist and gay/lesbian/queer social movements, conditions that are not always addressed in the concept of “postmodernity.” In more recent years, struggles over globalization, migration, and mass incarceration have revealed the connections between broader political economic change and struggles for race, gender, and sexual liberation. And yet these recent years are not always considered “postmodern.” Instead, since the 1990s critics have not always been clear if we are still in living in the condition of postmodernity or if we have entered some other, brave new era.

This class will explore the historical conditions of postmodernity through the lens of literary fiction. Despite the description above, which sounds like we will focus primarily on historical summaries of the broader period, we will spend the majority of our class time reading 5-6 very difficult novels very closely and carefully. This class is a chance to hone your analysis of literary language in a context that is historically and politically rich. The stakes of these novels are high – they participate in efforts to shape the meaning of history and politics, but they do so in ways that are aesthetically challenging and formally complicated. So while we will read some critical pieces to help situate us in the broader period, we will focus primarily on reading “postmodern” and “post-postmodern” novels and figuring out whether these critical terms illuminate or mystify the major struggles and possibilities of the period.

Required Texts:

Thomas Pynchon, Crying of Lot 49 (1966)
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (1977)
Don DeLillo, White Noise (1985)
Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)
Karen Tei Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rainforest (1990)
Additional course reading are available through Electronic Reserves or the course website.


358 BLITOF BLACK AMER (Black Pulp Fictions) Chude-Sokei MW 4:30-6:20

(Evening Degree Program)

This course explores a century of African-American literature that operates within the context and confines of popular genres. Though it will range from early 20th Century adventure and detective fiction, to science fiction, fantasy, horror and romance, the course will also explore those specific genres produced by African-American writers once those established genres have been mastered, transcended and reshaped. Writers to include W.E.B. Du Bois, Pauline Hopkins, Rudolph Fisher, Chester Himes, Samuel R. Delany, Octavia Butler, George Schuyler, Iceberg Slim, John Edward Bruce and Donald Goines.


359 ACONT AM IND LIT (Contemporary American Indian Literature) Washuta M-Th 9:40-10:40
This course will focus on Native autobiography, storytelling and memoir produced during the time before European contact through the present. The act of writing about oneself arrived in the Americas with the European colonizers, and at that time, changes occurred in the mode of Native autobiographical storytelling. Anthropologists began to collect, shape and publish Native stories, using European languages and the written form rather than oral storytelling. During the twentieth century, Native writers who have been considered “authors" who generate “literature" have worked with the traditional storytelling mode to varying degrees. We will examine the role of contemporary Native autobiography, memoir and essay within the larger body of writing being produced.


361 AAM POL CLTR AFT 1865 (American Political Culture: After 1865) Cummings T Th 7:00-8:50

(Evening Degree Program)

This course examines dominant and insurgent histories of the “Cold War,” the Civil Rights Movement, the US War in Vietnam and its legacy, the “AIDS Crisis,” and the “war on terrorism.” It turns primarily to literature and film for accounts of these events, but also to the “official histories” (eg., government documents, news reporting and other institutionalized memories) that they engage. Recent scholarship on the construction of history and cultural memory introduce three questions that will guide our studies. They are: how does this text make sense of the past; what factors are likely to have influenced this interpretation; and what are the consequences of constructing history in this way. Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions and a group project and to write 6 short responses to assigned texts and a final 7-8 page paper. Required texts: E.L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel; Le Thi Diem Thuy, The Gangster We Are All Looking For; Sarah Shulman, Rat Bohemia.


370 AENGL LANG STUDY (English Language Study) Dillon M-Th 10:50-1:00
How to analyze speech into phones and phonemes, words into morphemes, and sentences into parts of speech and constructions. How to represent word and sentence meanings. Nature and extent of variation in language; function of a standard and definitions of correctness. Uses of a corpus.
Course will meet in computer lab (and break out room as needed) and use on-line materials. There will be exercises (some done in class) , a few problems, mid-term, and final.


440 ASPEC STUDIES IN LIT (House of Leaves and the Future of Reading) Patterson M-Th 12:00-2:10
This course will use a single text, Mark Danielewski’s postmodern novel, House of Leaves, to consider the state of the book and of the various practices of reading at the present moment. House of Leaves is a novel that requires us to reconsider the material and social facts of the book—how it feels and looks, and how it functions as an object—along with the reading practices it both requires and complicates. Understanding how we have learned to read—the practices of reading books, websites, and others texts—and how reading has changed over time will require us to enter into the labyrinth of theory. But this is not a “theory” class, since House of Leaves is a novel that undoes what we normally think of as the difference between “literature” and theory. Rather, I want to use our experience of reading the novel to reflect on the ways that it offers us creative possibilities for building new and creative forms of understanding and experience


471 ATEACHING WRITING (The Theory and Practice of Teaching Writing) Stygall M-Th 3:30-5:40
Course Description
This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of teaching writing, focused on practices in high school. We’ll start with an examination of “best practices” in teaching writing. Because you may not have experienced for yourself many of these practices, we will enact them as we read. Then we’ll turn to what teachers are actually doing, especially with diverse student populations found in almost every school district in the Puget Sound area. We’ll take that a step further with a group project designing unit plans based on the group’s research into a particular school and school district’s student population. In the final section, we’ll take up the issues of assessment of writing, especially as they are relevant to teachers in Washington. At the same time we consider barrier assessments, we’ll also examine the assessments specific students will face in the move to college–what “writing” tests do community college students take? How relevant are the AP English tests to what colleges expect? What kind of writing do students do in first year composition.

You’ll be writing response papers to the readings every other day, produce a group project on writing curriculum, and write a final empirical paper on some aspect of writing or writing instruction.

Readings packet


477 ACHILDREN'S LIT (Children's Literature) Griffith M-Th 9:40-10:40
We will read and discuss a variety of stories and novels for young people. Students will be expected to attend class regularly and take part in open discussion. Written work will consist entirely of a series of between five and ten in-class essays, written in response to study questions handed out in advance.



487 ASCREENWRITING Wong MW 9:40-11:20
This course teaches the basics of screenwriting: story, character, dialogue and structure. Students will learn the craft of screenwriting by reading and analyzing screenplays and film treatments, writing short original screenplays adapted from essays, news stories, and published short stories and in the process learn how to tell a story both narratively and visually.


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