|200 A||READING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms)
By reading poetry, novels, and essays about writers and writing we will begin to talk about what literature is and what it is for. Aesthetic elements will be prominent in our discussion, but we will also focus on the political and social effects of literature. In particular, we will discuss the rules of literature and of writing.What are the rules? Why do they exist? What can be done within the constraints of rules and forms. How and why do writers break them? We will also consider the use of imagery and genre as elements of form. To discuss the the "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" of writing we will begin by reading a selection of ars poetica (poems about poetry). As you begin writing essays for the class, we will read some other essayists discussions of non-fiction prose writing and reading before moving on to reading a novel (or two) to discuss genre, imagery, authorship, and form.
As part of this course meditating on the effects and purposes of writing, you will be required to write two essays: One 4 page midterm, and one 6 page final essay. Both essays will go through draft and revision processes with teacher and peer review. Participation in these review process will be part of our developing conversation on the theme of the course. The writing and revision requirements for this course fulfill the W credit. This course also fills the VLPA requirement.
Grade calculation will be roughly:
25% Essay 1 (4 pages)
40% Essay 2 (6 pages)
15% Participation (based on pop-quizzes, 2-3 discussion questions submitted over the course of the quarter, participation in in-class discussion in small and large groups)
10% Peer Review paper
10% In-class presentation.
Reading selections are subject to change, but are likely to include:
Poetry: Pablo Neruda "?Poetry", Robert Hass, "Meditation at Lagunitas" Marianne Moore "Poetry", Horace "Ars Poetica", Alexander Pope "Sound and Sense" and/or "Essay on Criticism", Wallace Stevens "The Idea of Order at Key West", Nikki Giovanni "kidnap poem" and "My Poem".
Novels: (we definitely won't read all of these): Italo Calvino If On a Winters' Night a Traveler, Vladimir Nabokov Pale Fire, or Orhan Pamuk Black Book.
|200 B||READING LITERATURE (Writing the Body)
This class will introduce students to critical reading strategies across a variety of genres, including novels, drama, short stories, poems, film, and experimental writing.
Each of texts in this class shares a common focus on the human body. By reading, discussing, and writing about our texts, we will inquire into the representation of the body
and its connection to writing. In what ways are bodies “written”? How do we understand the body in writing? What happens when we write on a body or with a body?
Texts will include: Franz Kafka’s “The Penal Colony”, Neil La Bute’s The Shape of Things, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Sarah Hall’s The Tattoo Artist, Shelley
Jackson’s “Skin”, Doug Wright’s Quills, and the Peter Greenaway film The Pillow Book, among others.
This course satisfies the “W” requirement, which means that students will be required to produce 10-15 pages of graded writing throughout the quarter. This will take the form
of several short response papers and one final essay of roughly 10 pages in length. Other assignments may include short presentations and reading quizzes.
|200 C||READING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms)
This course will introduce students to a variety of literary forms as an approach to discover how we read character – how does literature reveal identity from either omniscient or tightly-focused angles, and how does this affect the realism of the characters we are empathizing with? In other words, how does a work’s genre affect our ability to empathize with a character, arguably one of the main goals of literature? By observing a character’s thought processes while they are being conceived of first-hand (essays by David Shields, for instance), one gauges a highly realistic – yet of course biased – view of somebody’s “identity,” but is this not more or less realistic than viewing multiple interpretations of a single character from various narrators and side characters, as in various postmodern short-stories and novels? Within this lens, what do we take to be “real” anyway?
The course will be broken into five literary forms – the personal essay, the graphic novel memoir, works of short fiction, one novel, and one play. This is a “W” course, with two 5-7 page papers due, in addition to several short writing assignments and quizzes throughout the quarter.
|200 D||READING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms)
In this course we will read literary works to critically engage with themes of life-altering loss, personal and social disintegration, and recovery. We will study multiple forms, including novels, short stories, poetry, oral history, memoirs, and testimonials. You will come away with an introduction to historical and contemporary literature that depicts experiences of crises precipitated by family breakdown, racial and gender discrimination, and geographical displacement by colonial occupation and war. The literary study of loss and regeneration offers unique and diverse perspectives about the troubling moments in life that challenge us all. The intention of this course is twofold: 1) to better understand literature through the narrative study of grief and its personal and social consequences and 2) to explore the relevance of literature for responding to the experiences of life-altering crises.
Through reading, discussion, presentations, lectures, and your writing, you will gain skills to analyze fiction from diverse theoretical perspectives in terms of form, content/theme, and cultural/historical context. We will refine what it means to close read and analyze complex literary texts. Moreover, we will question the intentions and stakes underlying the practice of literary analysis as a discipline. To this end, we will identify and develop strategies of reading, writing, thinking about, and discussing different kinds of texts—many of which are provocative and potentially challenging. As we will be explicitly engaging with difficult and at times problematic issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ideology, it is crucial to bring an open-minded, curious, and respectful attitude to this class in order to foster engaging and productive discussion.
To complement the primary texts listed below, the course pack includes readings from a variety of pivotal literary figures, including Michel de Certeau, Ronald Laing, Franz Fanon, N. Scott Momaday, Tomás Rivera, Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Sigmund Freud, David L. Eng, Shinhee Han, and John Murray.
This class counts for "W" credit, and will require students to write two 5-7 page revisable papers. Students can also expect to write several informal reading responses and to participate in a group presentation. **Please note that students are expected to keep up with the weekly reading and are expected to come to class prepared to discuss and engage with the texts**
**PLEASE NOTE: ALL REQUIRED TEXTS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE UW BOOKSTORE. PLEASE PURCHASE THE REQUIRED EDITION OF EACH TEXT. THE COURSE PACK IS AVAILABLE AT AVE COPY**
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison ISBN 978-0-307-27844-9
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday ISBN 0-06-093194-9
Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena María Viramontes ISBN 0-452-27387-0
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss ISBN-13:978-0-393-32862-2
Course Pack (purchase at the Ave Copy Center)
|200 E||READING LITERATURE (Melancholy: Early Modern and Modern)
Melancholy has been a central idea in Western history and culture that has alternately focused, explained, organized, and formed the way people see the world and frame epistemological norms. While melancholy has been discussed and diagnosed since Aristotle, Albrecht Dürer’s 1514 engraving Melancolia I will bookend this course as both a product of its own historical moment, and as an emblem of Modernity stranded between past and future – a Modernity helpless in its own creation. In between the century of Dürer and our present Modernity, we will examine selections of Robert Burton’s dizzyingly encyclopedic Anatomy of Melancholy, Sir Thomas Browne’s meditative Religio Medici and Urne-Buriall, the poetry of Baudelaire and Marianne Moore, and W.G. Sebald’s allusive Rings of Saturn. Sigmund Freud’s definitive 1917 essay, “Mourning and Melancholia” will act as the transition to Modernist iterations of melancholy such as Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood. Finally, Giorgio Agamben’s Stanzas: Word and Phantasm in Western Culture will invite us to consider melancholy as a potential space of the imagination.
Widely divergent (as the reading of this course will attest), melancholy has been seen as the product of bodily imbalance (black bile), the immoderate effect of astronomical movement (the Saturnine), the work of the Devil, and flatly, the fate and state of the artist and scholar. Whether melancholy is an affliction of the soul, the mopes, or how one feels on Mondays, the variety of its expressions demands we read and think in a variety of artistic and formal mediums. Melancholy is not limited to affect – it moves, ponderously, across the spaces of culture. It does not belong simply to a knowing subject surrounded by objects. Its proper place is the imagination confronted by and conceiving unattainable objects. Like the artist and the lover, the melancholic is paradoxically driven and defeated by the unattainable.
This course fulfills the University of Washington’s W credit, and will require students to write two 5-7 page revisable papers. Students can also expect to write several informal reading responses. **Please note that students are expected to keep up with the weekly reading and are expected to come to class prepared to discuss and engage with the texts**
• Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici and Urne-Buriall (ISBN: 978-1590174883)
• W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn (ISBN: 978-0811214131)
• Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (ISBN: 978-0811216715)
• Giorgio Agamben, Stanzas: Word and Phantasm in Western Culture (978-0816620388)
• Course Packet
|200 F||READING LITERATURE (Diabolical Literature)
This is a class on popular representations of the devil, on devilish behavior, ugliness, and evil in its myriad literary manifestations. Poems, plays, essays, and paintings throughout the ages have attempted to render the malignant force the universe seems possessed of in words: these attempts have produced some of our very greatest literature. This is not a class on the occult, as such, nor on religious history. Rather, we aim to confront some masterworks of western literary and visual representation that are themselves concerned with the nefarious and otherworldly.
We'll measure our responses through writing, research, and editorial projects that both satisfy the university's (W) requirement, AND count for one of the 3 pre-1900 courses required for an English major.
|200 H||READING LITERATURE (Moving Images and Documentary Forms)
In this writing-intensive reading and literature course, we will be looking at forms of literary art made with documentary techniques. Working with documentary poems,
documentary films, and other forms of documentary art, we will be looking at how documents (in art and in everyday life) construct ways of imagining the world. In looking at
multiple forms of documentary, we will be looking at how documentary makers in different media work with “moving images.” With the filmmakers, poets, and other artists whose
works we will be encountering, we will be thinking about how literary images relate to visual images, about how images move in the world through different media, and about how
images move us emotionally and kinesthetically.
Over the quarter, we will study the history of documentary forms while we closely engage specific documentary works. Assigned readings include four books of text and images, a
brief history of documentary film, and some essays presenting differing views on documentary and the circulation of images.
As part of a “W” course, the course materials and assignments will provide an opportunity for you to develop your writing capacities. Short writing responses to course
readings and screenings will be due each class. The writing responses will prepare you to write a 5-page response paper in the middle of the quarter (revised over the rest of
the quarter) and a final 5-page research paper.
Class time will be used for film screenings, introductions of (and short quizzes on) key terms and history, discussions of assigned readings, and demonstrations of writing and
research techniques useful for the two papers.
1. Patricia Aufderheide, Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2007), 9780195182705
2. Bhanu Kapil, Humanimal, a Project for Future Children (Kelsey Street Press, 2009), 9780932716705
3. Miné Okubo, Citizen 13660 (University of Washington Press, 1983), 9780295959894
4. Jena Osman, Public Figures (Wesleyan University Press, 2012), 9780819573117
5. Claudia Rankine, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2004), 9781555974077
|200 I||READING LITERATURE (Reading Lit Forms)
Long before the spectacles of the digital age, Victorians experienced a technology boom in 19th-century Britain that revolutionized their culture. Innovations including rail travel, the telegraph, and factories seemed to collapse time and space. Steam engines powered everything from printing presses to the ships that crossed the vast reaches of the British Empire. This class will examine the ways Victorian writers struggled to make sense of the dizzying array of changes produced by these new technologies, including the sudden creation of a middle class, shifting gender roles, abusive factory conditions, and ever-expanding imperialist projects. Novels will include Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret and H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. Reading selections will also include the short story “The Telegraph Girl” by Anthony Trollope, poems by Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Rudyard Kipling and Lord Alfred Tennyson, as well as non-fiction by prominent essayists like Thomas Carlyle and John Stuart Mill. Course requirements include timely completion of assigned readings, group presentations, reading quizzes and active class participation. Students will be asked to write, and revise, two five to seven page papers.
|200 K||READING LITERATURE (C.S. Lewis and the Inklings)
The Inklings were an informal literary society centered in Oxford in the 1930's and 1940's consisting of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield and various others who met to drink, share ideas, discuss drafts, and read literature together. A high-minded set, their writing is at times esoteric and philosophical, and at other times playful, childish, and extremely popular. This class will study a sampling of the group's output--detective fiction, essays, fables, lectures, and letters--listening for the ongoing imaginative engagement these works have with one another all while engaging big philosophical questions: what is real? how do we know? how might literature help us toward clearer perceptions?
The Silver Chair;
War in Heaven
Farmer Giles of Ham & Smith of Wootton Major
|207 B||INTRO CULTURE ST ( Hip-Hop and Cultural Studies)
||T Th 11:30-1:20
Course Description: Through an investigation of Hip-Hop music and culture this course will introduce students to the terms, analytical techniques, and interpretive strategies
commonly employed in cultural studies. A particular emphasis will be placed on interdisciplinary approaches that explore how cultural processes and artifacts are produced, shaped, distributed, consumed, and responded to in diverse ways. Through discussion, research, and writing, class members will investigate these varied dimensions of culture; learn to understand them in their broader social, aesthetic, ethical, and political contexts; and thereby prepare for more advanced coursework in Cultural Studies.
Book List: Tricia Rose; Black Noise; ISBN 0-8195-6275-0
Imani Perry; Prophets of the Hood; ISBN 0-8223-3446-1
Jeff Chang; Can't Stop, Won't Stop; ISBN 0-312-42579-1
Jay-Z; Decoded; ISBN 0-8129-8115-4
|211 A||LIT 1500-1800 (Literature, 1500-1800)
The course will provide a lively and wide-ranging introduction to the literature of the later Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, in a survey that will endeavor to place texts remote from our modern era in their social and historical contexts. For this offering of the course, an emphasis will be placed on the fictional "universes" implicit in various medieval conceptions of the Otherworld and their modern reflexes in works including More's _Utopia_. The discussion will be linked in turn to recent theoretical analyses of boundary-crossing and "liminality." Students will read and discuss important works of prose and poetry from the later Middle English period; a range of poetic works dating from c. 1500 until c. 1800; and -- in an especially close analysis, taking in the whole of range of medieval and early modern traditions -- sections of Spenser's _Faerie Queene_. There will be a mid-term, final, and major term paper.
|212 A||LIT 1700-1900 (Literature, 1700-1900)
This course offers a survey of some major literary texts and themes of the British eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, from the classical period of social comedy in works like Gulliver’s Travels or Pride and Prejudice, through the inward lyrical voyaging of the Romantic movement (think Wordsworth, Keats) to the complex outlook of Victorians like Dickens and Oscar Wilde. There is a bright mountain of great reading in these two centuries but we get only ten weeks, so will focus on works that trace the conflict between social forms and individual liberty—between responsibility to society and responsibility to self. Short response papers, quizzes, two exams, group work. Questions? Write me at email@example.com.
|213 A||MODERN/POST MOD LITERATURE (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
||T Th 10:30-12:20
English 213 explores U.S. and British literary modernism and postmodernism as responses to distinct historical, political, social, and cultural contexts of the 20th century. The period witnessed two world wars--and the concomitant development of military technology that brought destruction on an unprecedented scale--economic depression; the refinement of mass production methods; continuing migration from rural to urban areas; civil and womenâ€™s rights movements; the development or proliferation of transportation, communication, entertainment and computer technologies; and the effects of globalization. Modern and postmodern literature reflects as well as shapes human perception of these phenomena. As we examine novels and poems of the era, we will focus on how artists experimented with language and form to represent the altered sense of history, space, time, and the self engendered by modernity and postmodernity.
|225 A||SHAKESPEARE (The Language of Shakespeare)
To read the works of Shakespeare, we must return to the world and words of Early Modern England. Relishing Shakespeare's plays requires us to examine the word-play, the dialect politics, and the general celebration of language that the Early Modern stage encouraged. This class provides an introduction to the plays of Shakespeare in conjunction with the language of late sixteenth-century England. When did one use "thou" or "thee"? Why do "prove" and "love" rhyme? Why does Shakespeare's grammar seem so different than our own? We will consider the sounds and meanings of words, the construction of sentences, and the dialect representation that give such a rich texture to Shakespeare's work. Readings include Twelfth Night, Love's Labor's Lost, Henry V, King Lear, and some accompanying linguistic/cultural material on Early Modern England. No previous experience with Shakespeare or language study is necessary; enthusiasm for the plays is the only prerequisite.
|242 A||READING Prose FICTION (Read Prose Fiction)
This course will examine 20th Century U.S. women of color fiction. We will explore the proliferation of literary, cultural, and intellectual work by women of color beginning in the 1970s. Rather than treating literature by women of color as providing transparent accounts of their lives, this course will focus on the critiques that grew out of their experiences at the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality and emerged in their fiction. This course will study the ways women of color writers used literary form and genres, especially speculative modes of writing, to alter and contribute to conversations around social change, and equality from the 1970s and through the 1980s and 1990s. Readings might include works by Karen Tei Yamashita, Rosaura Sánchez, Beatrice Pita, and Octavia Butler.
Student Learning Goals
1. To engage with women of color feminist critiques, concepts, and theories through examining fiction.
2. To strengthen writing, critical reading and analytical skills of texts, culture, history and society.
3. To engage with other students in a collaborative way through reading, writing, and thoughtful discussion.
4. To understand the historical context through which cultural texts emerge.
General Method of Instruction
Small and large group discussion, writing workshops, and a little bit of lecture.
Class Assignments and Grading
As a “W” course, you will be required to write two papers that will total 10-15 pages. Together, the two paper assignments will make up 70% of your grade. They will be graded according to the goals listed above. 30% will be based on your class participation, and the completion of assignments.
|242 C||READING Prose FICTION (The Fairy Tale in Literature)
In this course, we will study prose fiction by reading fairy tales in both short and long prose genres. Fairy tales have long been a prominent form of literature in addition to being told orally. As tales have been shared over time and over various geographical and cultural spaces, some of their elements have remained the same and others have hanged to reflect their new environments. Our reading for this class will consist of versions of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Bluebeard, and Beauty and the Beast – versions from various parts of the world and various historical periods, including our own. Some are short, and some are full novels. Some are for children, and some are very definitely for adults. Some are traditional, and some play with conventions. We will also study a number of critical studies of fairy tales, representing the various theoretical lenses that have driven fairy-tale scholarship in the past several decades. Since this course carries a W credit, you will be required to write two 5-7 page papers, one of which you will revise and resubmit for your final assignment.
Folk and Fairy Tales: 4th Ed., edited by Martin Hallett and Barbara Karasek; 9781551118987
The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter; 9780143119043
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Gregory Maguire; 9780060987527
Beast, Donna Jo Napoli; 978-0689870057
|242 D||READING Prose FICTION (Russian Crime Fiction)
From czars to comrades and to new Russians, from Alexander Pushkin and Fyodor Dostoevsky to Boris Akunin and Alexandra Marinina, the course will cover more than two centuries of Russian crime writing. Other featured writers include Anton Chekhov and Vladimir Nabokov. It’s all about who is good, who is evil, who is up, who is down, and, of course, who dunnit. All readings, lectures, and discussions will be in English. No prior knowledge of Russian, Russian literature or history is required to take this course. No prerequisites.
|242 F||READING Prose FICTION (The Making of Wars in American Literature)
This course is a survey of American literature from the Civil War to the Vietnam War with a focus on the ways in which wars, as political and social catalysts, enable writers to interrogate, re-construct, and re-present their historical realities. Our readings in this class will locate and propel us chronologically, from the Civil War (Harper), to the Spanish American War (Twain), to WWI and WWII (Hemmingway and Vonnegut), and finally, to our contemporary “post-war” America (Butler)--but this progression is neither linear nor even through time, space, and events. Rather than approaching our texts as “war literature,” we will instead consider the ways in which wars, in their destructive and reconstructive totality, become symbolic vehicles for literary construction of modernity, nationhood, and identity. As characters in our texts struggle to regain familial genealogies, mourn the loss of lives and limbs, battle against wizards, and befriend aliens, so will we emerge from reading, discussing, and writing on these geographical, spatial, and temporal disjunctions with some critical apparatus to interrogate the intersection between wars and literary construction.
This class fulfills the University of Washington’s “W” requirement, which means that you may apply the course towards the additional 7-10 writing credits required by the university. Writing is a critical component of this class, and you will be expected to complete 10-15 pages of graded, out-of-class writing, in the form of two major papers. You will have an opportunity to submit rough drafts, meet with me to discuss your essay, and complete substantive revisions prior to turning in each of the two major papers.
> 4. Book List
> Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, ISBN 9780393951370
> Frances Harper, Iola Leroy, ISBN 9780143106043
> Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, ISBN 9780684801469
> Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, ISBN 9780385333849
> Robert Olen Butler, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, ISBN 9780802137982
|242 G||READING Prose FICTION (Black Women Writers and the Politics of Respectability)
From the 19th century onward many black women writers have both adopted and critiqued a “politics of respectability” as a form of resistance to the negative stigmas and
stereotypes about their morality, sexuality, class, race, and gender. Claiming respectability through forms of public representation such as literature provided an opportunity
for black women to assert will and agency as they redefined themselves in response to predominant racist discourses. Although many used the politics of respectability as a
form of resistance, its ideology was ultimately in line with mainstream societal values that marginalized and excluded those who did not “fit.” The politics of respectability
continues to resonate today and is often considered a burden with critical complications.
In this course we will pay close attention to the ways in which black women writers and contemporary public figures such as Beyonce and Michelle Obama engage, problematize,
and are caught in ideological debates regarding the politics of respectability. We will read novels by black American women writers from the 19th through the late 20th
centuries, occasionally supplemented with critical and popular material to provide historical and social context for the politics of respectability explored in the primary
texts. As we will be explicitly engaging with difficult and at times problematic issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ideology, it is crucial to bring an open-minded,
curious, and respectful attitude to this class in order to foster engaging and productive discussion. Novels may include in whole or in part: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Iola Leroy, Nella Larsen Quicksand, Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God, Anne Petry The Street, Paule Marshall Brown Girl, Brownstones, Toni Morrison Sula, and
Pearl Cleage What Looks Like Crazy on An Ordinary Day. There will also be a required course packet of supplementary reading, and we will likely be watching Tyler Perry’s 2013
This class counts for "W" credit, and will require students to write two 5-7 page revisable papers. Students can also expect to write several semi-formal reading responses
and to participate in a small group project in which the group will lead the day’s class discussion. Please note that students are expected to keep up with the daily reading
and are expected to come to class prepared to discuss and engage with the texts. While it is not a prerequisite for students to have already completed a "C" course, such as
131, 111, 109/110, or 121, those students who have done so, or who have the equivalent of college-level composition instruction, will probably feel more prepared to handle the
writing requirements of this course.
**PLEASE NOTE: ALL REQUIRED TEXTS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE UW BOOKSTORE. PLEASE PURCHASE THE REQUIRED EDITION OF EACH TEXT. THE COURSE PACK IS AVAILABLE AT AVE COPY**
Nella Larsen Quicksand, ISBN: 978-0486451404
Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God ISBN: 978-0061120060
Anne Petry The Street ISBN: 978-0395901496
Paule Marshall Brown Girl, Brownstones ISBN: 978-1558614987
Toni Morrison Sula ISBN: 978-1400033430
Pearl Cleage What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day ISBN: 978-0061710384
|242 I||READING Prose FICTION (Well, That Was Climactic: Apocalyptic Literature Across the Ends of History)
||T Th 3:30-5:20
In 1989, writing about the end of the Cold War, historian Francis Fukuyama suggested that history – understood as a series of conflicts between opposing ideologies – was drawing to an end:
What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.
Thirteen years later, however, Fukuyama identified a less triumphalist eschatology – another type of historical “end” - in the development of biotechnology and transhumanism; he suggested that the potential for modification of “human nature” posed an existential threat to the continuing existence of the species as such.
These are, of course, only two of many possible conceptions of the end of human history, and they occupy two rather extreme poles relative to the vast field of possibilities which has been and continues to be staked out relative to it.
In this class, we will read fictional texts written since the beginning of the Cold War that portray a variety of “ends of history” - some apocalyptic, some hopeful, some ambiguous – and pair them with nonfictional contextualizing sources with the goal of investigating a few of the many ways in which our conceptions of this topic have varied (and possibly evolved) in response to and conjunction with shifting political, technological, and social conditions.
Note: This will be a reading- and writing-intensive class. Students should expect to do 50+ pages of reading per day, often of fairly dense material. As this is a W class, students will do at least 15 pages of graded writing, most probably in the form of two 7-8 page essays.
Trigger warning: Much of the material we will be reading and discussing in this class (as might be expected, given that we'll be talking about various ways in which human history might come to an end) will be dealing with intense and possibly triggering material, including graphic violence and sexuality and intersections of the two. Students will not have to write about these topics, but should be prepared to talk about them in class in a straightforward manner.
A Canticle for Liebowitz – Walter W. Miller (1960)
The Road – Cormac McCarthy (2006)
Scorch Atlas – Blake Butler (2012)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (1978)
The Children of Men – P.D. James (1992)
Course Packet – essays and short stories
|243 A||READING POETRY
||T Th 2:30-4:20
Our course will serve as an in-depth consideration of the genre of poetry. We will focus upon English-language traditions from the medieval period to the present day. (Generally speaking, we will progress from older works to more recent ones.) We will devote special attention to the sonnet as a form of particular importance in this tradition. We will devote our classes in the month of December to UW poets: professors and lecturers who have taught and written poetry on this campus.
Students will read poetry and poetic theory beginning with Anglo Saxon alliterative verse and continuing through the Victorian period. This course will satisfy the pre-1900 requirement for English majors.
|244 A||READING DRAMA
||T Th 12:30-2:20
This seminar will explore the genre of comedy. Its main objectives are (1) to read closely a few famous ancient and modern comedies; (2) to grasp the esthetics of major writers such as Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Molière, and Beckett; (3) to develop an overall sense of the traditions and cultural contexts of comedy, how comedy has changed over time, and which features have remained constant. Specific topics include: the origins of comedy; the forms and features of “high” and “low” comedy; the conventions and techniques of romantic and satirical comedy; types and functions of laughter; tragicomedy, travesty, and farce. Reading List: Aristophanes, Four Plays by Aristophanes (read: The Frogs, The Birds, and Lysistrata), tr. Dudley Fitts (Harvest). Plautus, Four Comedies (read: The Braggart Soldier and The Brothers Menaechmus), tr. Erich Segal (Oxford World’s Classics). Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (any edn). Molière, The Misanthrope and Tartuffe, tr. Richard Wilbur (Harvest). Wycherley, The Country Wife (Cambridge ppb). Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (Dover Thrift.). Beckett, Waiting for Godot (Grove). The above are editions I recommend; you can use other editions so long as they contain the full text. Several brief assignments on individual authors and a final.
|250 A||American Literature (American Literature)
We will read and discuss five novels and a number of short stories written by American authors in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Students will be expected to do the assigned reading and attend class regularly. Written work will consist entirely of a series of in-class essays written in response to study questions handed out in advance.
Milton Crane, ed., FIFTY GREAT AMERICAN SHORT STORIES; Nathaniel Hawthorne, THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES; John Steinbeck, EAST OF EDEN; James Baldwin, GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN; Mark Twain, THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN; and Anne Tyler, A PATCHWORK PLANET
|270 A||USES OF ENGL LANG (English Through Literature)
||T Th 9:30-11:20
This class will introduce you to the connections between the English language and its literature. We will read a limited number of texts—a few stories, a few poems. As we do, we’ll also study elementary linguistics to account for many of the effects these texts have. We’ll look at the sounds of English to study rhyme; we’ll look at the forms of sentences to understand tone; and we’ll look at how words mean in order to understand how poems—in English or in any language—develop symbolic meaning.
Though much of what we do will be in English, I also hope to have students who speak other languages enrolled so we can do some comparing of the phonetics and syntax of one language with those of another. So: Subject? Language and literature. Object? Fun with language and a solid introduction to the basics of reading literary English.
|281 A||INTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Intermediat Expository Writing)
|281 B||INTERMED EXPOS WRIT (Intermediat Expository Writing)
||T Th 10:30-12:20
|283 A||BEGIN VERSE WRITING (Beginning Verse Writing)
|283 B||BEGIN VERSE WRITING (Beginning Verse Writing)
||T Th 2:30-3:50
|284 A||BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing)
|284 B||BEG SHORT STRY WRIT (Beginning Short Story Writing)
||T Th 2:30-3:50
|297 C||ADV WRITING HUM (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities)
|297 D||ADV WRITING HUM (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities)
|297 E||ADV WRITING HUM (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities)
|297 F||ADV WRITING HUM (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities)
|297 G||ADV WRITING HUM (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities)
|297 H||ADV WRITING HUM (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities)
|297 I||ADV WRITING HUM (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities)
|297 J||ADV WRITING HUM (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities)
|297 K||ADV WRITING HUM (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities)
|298 A||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 B||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 D||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 F||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 H||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 I||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 J||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 K||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 L||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 M||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 N||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 P||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|298 R||ADV WRITING SOCSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences)
|299 A||ADV WRITING NATSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Sciences)
|299 B||ADV WRITING NATSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Sciences)
|299 C||ADV WRITING NATSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Sciences)
|299 D||ADV WRITING NATSCI (Advanced Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Sciences)
|300 A||READING MAJOR TEXTS
||T Th 10:30-12:20
This course is framed by two sets of questions. One set is focused on examining the cultural value assigned to fictional narratives. Why are some texts deemed “major” and others not? Who decides what is major (besides Oprah)? How does knowing that a text is “major” change what we notice in a text?
The other set of questions is focused on the relationship between reading, self-making, and aesthetics. How does reading form how we see our individual selves in relation to larger notions of desire and beauty? In what ways does reading both potentially foster and foil compassion? And in an age of declining readerships and the ascendancy of electronic media, why focus on reading fiction anyway?
We will read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and a third book that will be announced later, supplemented by selected theory on narrative, genre, and aesthetics. In order to best develop answers to the slew of questions in the previous two paragraphs, I will be asking you to practice some different forms of analytical writing this quarter. Some writing will be of the kind expected in traditional English class analyses, but others will use more open formats to better access the deep and myriad ways that reading affects our imagining of ourselves and our culture.
Please note that I do not get addcodes until the first week of class.
|301 A||INTRO ENGL LANG LIT (Introduction to the Study of English Language and Literature)
|301 AA||INTRO ENGL LANG LIT (Introduction to the Study of English Language and Literature)
|301 AB||INTRO ENGL LANG LIT (Introduction to the Study of English Language and Literature)
|301 AC||INTRO ENGL LANG LIT (Introduction to the Study of English Language and Literature)
|301 AD||INTRO ENGL LANG LIT (Introduction to the Study of English Language and Literature)
|301 AE||INTRO ENGL LANG LIT (Introduction to the Study of English Language and Literature)
|302 A||CRITICAL PRACTICE (Theme & Narrative Form: How to Combine Cultural Criticism and Formalist Analysis)
This course provides practical training in critical analyses of narrative fiction. We will be reading three canonical novels from three distinct historical 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 are connected by a common central theme: authored by women writers and dealing with the subject of madness, they 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 in a cinema course we would 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, 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.
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; Norton Critical Edition, ed. Richard Dunn: 3rd ed. ISBN 0-393-975-42-8
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway; Annotated Edition, ed. Bonnie Kime Scott. ISBN 978-0-15-603035-9
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Norton Critical Edition, ed. Judith Raiskin ISBN 0-393-96012-9
Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics (Routledge) ISBN 0-415-28022-2
|304 A||HIST CRITICISM II (History of Literary Criticism and Theory)
We will study some of the most influential critical theories of the last fifty years (cultural and gender studies, deconstruction), and also some of the foundational ideas of traditional literary criticism which exemplify what it is that recent theory was reacting against and â€œdeconstructing"? (mimesis, Romanticism, realism, â€œNew Criticism"?).
Backgrounds: Aristotle, selections from Poetics Wordsworth, selections from Henry James, â€œThe Art of Fiction." Cleanth Brooks, â€œThe Heresy of Paraphrase"
|309 A||THEORIES OF READING (Theories of Reading)
Everything can be read, every surface and silence, every breath and every vacancy, every eddy and current, every body and its absence, every darkness every light, each cloud and knife, each finger and tree, every backwater, every crevice and hollow, each nostril, tendril and crescent, every whisper, every whimper, each laugh and every blue feather, each stone, each nipple, every thread every color, each woman and her lover, every man and his mother, every river, each of the twelve blue oceans and the moon, every forlorn link, every hope and every ending, each coincidence, the distant call of a loon, light through the high branches of blue pines, the sigh of rain, every estuary, each gesture at parting, every kiss, each wasp's wing, every foghorn and railway whistle, every shadow, every gasp, each glowing silver screen, every web, the smear of starlight, a fingertip, rose whorl, armpit, pearl, every delight and misgiving, every unadorned wish, every daughter, every death, each woven thing, each machine, every ever after.
What does it mean to read in the 21st century? Is it different from times past? Are current practices of reading too superficial, too entertainment oriented, such that self-fulfillment can no longer be found within the covers of a book? Alternatively, as spines collapse and dust jackets disappear, does the electronic conveyance of the word better engage the mind, the emotions, the senses—even the soul?
Throughout the quarter, you will attempt to answer these questions, among others, by reading a variety of theories, past and present, about what constitutes the act of reading literature and then putting those theories into practice. Both activities will make you more adept at understanding the underlying theoretical premises about reading “acts” and you yourself will be more self-aware about social influences that shape popular narrative reading norms. You will also be asked to critique what’s at stake in changing those norms. You will critique and test ways of reading and various authors’ views about the pleasures and dangers of limiting reading practices—intellectual, imaginative, sensual, soulful—in print, in film, and online, and via numerous other media formats.
Course readings include reading theory, reading fiction about acts of reading, reading film adapted from fiction, reading readers’ responses to writing, writing about reading, and discussing reading practices, past and present. Course exams may include individual presentations, group presentations, objective identifications of literary and reading theory terminology, a final exam and other writings. As a junior-level course, 307 assumes proficiency in fluent essay writing and knowledge of basic literary terms, and as this is a discussion-based, in-person course, weekly attendance and vocal participation are also essential to course success.
|313 A||MOD EUROPE LIT TRNS (Modern Eurpoean Literature in Translation)
||T Th 7:00-8:50
(Evening Degree Program)
“Modernity is a word in search of its meaning” says Nobel-Prize winner Octavio Paz. This course will introduce you to celebrated novelists, playwrights, and thinkers whose works challenged and changed the fundamental ideas of art, language, history, and human nature. Reading list: Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (any edn); Gide, The Immoralist (any edn); Ibsen, Ghosts (Dover Thrift); Kafka, The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, and The Burrow (any edn); Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author; Beckett, Endgame (Grove); Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (any edn); Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Requirements and Grading: final = 2 grade units; mid-term = 1 grade unit; quizzes, attendance, and participation = 1 grade unit.
|320 A||ENGL LIT: MID AGES (English Literature: The Middle Ages)
(Evening Degree Program)
The course will provide a lively and wide-ranging introduction to the literature of the Middle Ages, in a survey that will attempt to place texts remote from our modern era in their social and historical contexts. Students will read and discuss the "classics" of the Old and Middle English period (e.g., _Beowulf_, a miscellany of Old English poems, and works by Chaucer, the anonymous-_Gawain_ poet, Margery Kempe, and other Middle English mystics). We will also a selection of lesser known items (ranging from runic inscriptions to treatments of Arthur that pre-date Malory). The informing critical theme of the course will be the theory of "syncretism" -- the process of cultural accommodation that may account for the fact, e.g., that the days of the week are name after pagan Norse gods. There will be a mid-term, final, and major term paper.
|322 A||ELIZABETHAN LIT (English Literature: The Elizabethan Age)
||T Th 10:30-12:20
The golden age of English poetry, with poems by Shakespeare, Spenser, Sidney, and others; drama by Marlowe and other early rivals to Shakespeare; prose by Sir Thomas More and the great Elizabethan translators.
|323 A||SHAKESPEARE TO 1603
The course surveys the major works of William Shakespeare thought to be produced in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Our focus will be performance spaces: the long-lost theatrical culture of Greek and Roman antiquity, the itinerant medieval stagecraft that Shakespeare inherited, the newly (and wildly) popular public theaters of Renaissance England, and the numerous “private” and political sites of performance that competed with or complemented Shakespeare’s Globe: boys companies, court masques and Tudor pageantry, the performance of identity in language, the drama of early modern social relations, clothing/fashion, and spectacles of power. We will explore the broad spectrum of early comedies, histories, and tragedies such as Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Merchant of Venice, 1 Henry IV, and Twelfth Night, and we will conclude with Hamlet, the familiar tragedy first published in 1603 (though not in the form most familiar to us).
|329 A||RISE OF ENG NOVEL (Rise of the English Novel)
||T Th 11:30-1:20
Given that the word “novel” means “new,” it should not be surprising that the novel as a literary form is constantly re-inventing itself and exploring new ways of telling stories about individuals and their societies. This course will ask what exactly was new about the novel when it first appeared on the literary scene in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. We will read examples of picaresque, epistolary, and gothic novels including Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, and Matthew Lewis’s The Monk among others. As we consider what characterizes these disparate works as novels, we’ll examine why and how the novel developed as a genre during the eighteenth century. We’ll also consider how these early novels differ from the novels with which we’re familiar as twenty-first-century readers. To build a vocabulary for analyzing novels, whether early or recent, we’ll discuss brief excerpts from critical studies such as Ian Watt’s Rise of the Novel. Course requirements will include several short response papers, a midterm and a final exam.
|331 A||ROMANTIC POETRY I
||T Th 3:30-5:20
This course offers in–depth look at the poetry and criticism produced in England from the beginning of the French Revolution (1789) through the end of the Napoleonic wars (1815). Our central focus will be the great landmark text of Romantic poetry: Lyrical Ballads, an anonymously–published and experimental collaboration between William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge that went on to become a manifesto of sorts for a new type of poetry. As we look into the friendship, collaboration, rivalry, and eventual falling out of Wordsworth and Coleridge, we will consider the place of Lyrical Ballads in the cultural and historical landscape of England at the turn of the century. Be prepared to read a lot of poetry (including some long poems) and contemporary criticism. Grading will consist of exams, short papers, reading quizzes, and occasional in–class writing. A good grade in this class requires regular attendance and consistent in–class engagement.
Lyrical Ballads, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth: 978–1551116006 (Broadview).
Coleridge's Poetry and Prose, eds. Halmi, Magnuson, and Modiano: 978–0393979046 (Norton).
Wordsworth's Poetry and Prose, ed. Halmi: 978–0393924787 (Norton) (Subject to Change).
|332 A||ROMANTIC POETRY II
||T Th 4:30-6:20
(Evening Degree Program)
: The course will offer a broad overview of the political, philosophical and literary history of the Romantic period (1789-1850), focusing on the works of the second generation of Romantic writers. We will begin with an investigation of the impact of the French Revolution on the Romantics and of radical developments during this period in religion (the opposition to Christianity), philosophy (the revolt against empiricism), aesthetics (the prevailing interest in the sublime and the emergence of the aesthetics of the picturesque), art ( the change from the tradition of portrait paintings or paintings on historical subjects to landscape paintings in which the main subject is represented by nature as the human figure diminishes is size and significance)
and gardening (the change from the formal garden to a landscape that more nearly resembles the uncultivated look of the wilderness, according to standards set forth by picturesque aesthetics). After four weeks on these introductory topics, we will then turn to an in-depth study of the work of John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and George Gordon Byron, focusing on their different representations of transcendence, the sublime, narcissism, transgression and the Promethean hero.
BOOKS: John Keats. Selected Poems and Letters (Riverside)
Percy Bysshe Shelley. Poetry and Prose (Norton)
George Gordon Byron. Poetical Works (Norton)
Mary Shelley. Frankenstein (St. Martin’s)
XEROX: One course package (abbreviated as CP in Syllabus) is available from the
AVE COPY CENTER (4141 University Way, Suite 103; tel.: 633-1837).
It contains readings on the French Revolution; on the Revolution controversy
in England ( Richard Price, Edmund Burke, Tom Paine, Samuel Taylor
Coleridge and William Wordsworth) and the aesthetics of the sublime
(Longinus, Burke) and the picturesque (William Gilpin, Uvedale Price).
|333 B||ENGLISH NOVEL (English Novel: Early & Middle 19th Century)
This course covers the English novel at one of the most brilliant moments of its history. We will read four classic examples from this period, including Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Great Expectations. Students should develop a detailed critical knowledge of these texts through close reading, along with some understanding of their place in the broader development of the novel, and a picture of the social and cultural background. The emphasis will be on mastery of the material for appreciation and enjoyment. The reading load is fairly substantial--plan on about 200 pages per week--and you won't be able to do well in the course at all unless you are reading carefully and keeping up, both. On the cheerier side, this is great reading. Lecture/discussion format, with short papers, quizzes, two exams, group work. I'm happy to answer questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
|334 A||ENGL NOV LATER 19 C (English Novel: Later 19th Century)
||T Th 11:30-1:20
Realist fiction—a vague term—at the end of the 19th century would turn its attention to the very origin of conditions whose consequences help to define the world we occupy a century later. Emile Zola, in France, explores life underground in the hunt for fossil fuel—that is, coal—in Germinal (1885; English tr. 1894), a novel that would have enormous impact across Europe and the English-speaking world. Thomas Hardy, in Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1890) examines agricultural life at the very moment when it, like mining, had begun to be mechanized in a way that would feed the new mega-cities and, incidentally, de-populate the countryside. Joseph Conrad, in Heart of Darkness (1902) focuses on imperial adventure in central Africa at a time when he was part of the project in 1890 just after the European “scramble for Africa” began. Each of these novels—along with supplementary texts—translates these vast transformations of the planet into the human and intimate terms of fiction. A study of the response of novelists to that crucial period may help us to understand our own. Lecture, discussion, short essays.
Emile Zola, Germinal, tr. Roger Pearson, Penguin Classics ISBN 9780140447422
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Penguin Classics ISBN 9780141439594
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Dover Thrift Editions, ISBN 9780486264646
|335 A||AGE OF VICTORIA (English Literature: The Age of Victoria)
|336 A||Early 20th C Engl Lit (English Literature: Early Twentieth Century)
||T Th 11:30-1:20
This class will focus on the relationship between literature and social change in England during the first three decades of the twentieth-century, which included the struggle for women's suffrage, the First World War, and the Depression. The poems, short stories, and novels that we will be studying this quarter reflect-- both in style and content--the conflicts, discoveries, and social/psychological theories that were current during this period. We will consider the relationship between "modernism" and modernity, the implications of Freudianism for literature, the impact of war and its aftermath, class conflict, changing gender roles, and other topics relevant to our reading.
E. M. Forster, Howards End ; D.H. Lawrence, Selected Stories ; Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories; World War One British Poets; Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway; Elizabeth Bowen, Death of the Heart
|342 A||CONTEMPORARY NOVEL ( Reading Emotion)
||T Th 2:30-4:20
How does emotional life get written about in fiction? Why do some readers hate books that others love? These are the sorts of questions we’ll take up in the course. We'll think about why characters seem to act as they do in fiction, we’ll explore personal reactions to very recent novels, and we'll read essays about emotions themselves. 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 "being moved" by something we read or view involve? How do writers (try to) solicit particular responses from readers? Are emotions universal or do they vary from culture to culture? How do emotions become a commodity in work and personal life? What kinds of situations require emotions on demand? How do we account for the bodily responses that sometimes accompany intense emotional responses? What are the consequences of repressing one's feelings? What are the differences between related emotions like shame and guilt, and jealousy and envy?
Lively opinions and an interest in emotions in fiction and in life will be central to the class. Students can choose between writing one longer or two shorter papers; they’ll also take an exam, and present their developing ideas to the class. We’ll read novels by such diverse contemporary writers as Nicole Krauss, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Kevin Powers, Louise Erdich and Don Lee.
|343 A||CONTEMP POETRY (A World Perspective)
This class offers an introduction to the history of poetry written in English around the globe since the mid-twentieth century. Featured writers are likely to include Anne Carson, Allen Ginsberg, Seamus Heaney, Christopher Okigbo, Hone Tuwhare, Derek Walcott, and Judith Wright, and topics likely to be covered include decolonization and neo-imperialism, African diasporic
poetics, English-language poetries in Asia, indigenous poetics, the influence of second-wave feminism, the rise (and fall) of postmodernism, the neo-avant-garde, and digital poetics.
|348 A||Studies Pop Culture (Studies in Popular Culture)
||T Th 3:30-5:20
“Pop quiz, hot shot”: name the film or TV show associated with each of the following taglines: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” “With great power comes great responsibility.” “One ring to rule them all.” “To boldly go where no one has gone before.” “Winter is coming.” It’s likely you knew at least one of those popular—albeit potentially nerdy—lines, even if you’ve never seen the source. And this should come as no surprise, as in the last several years, the top grossing films have been comprised of movies from traditionally “geeky” genres: superhero, science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural films have dominated the lists for the last decade. Rather than being the genres favored by nerdy kids in their parents’ basements, these once-marginalized genres are now the cornerstone of popular culture. Our intensive focus will therefore be on films, television, novels, and short stories drawn from these popular genres, as we consider how these genres have evolved over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and what these changes signify about our own culture at any moment.
Although often derided as having less intellectual value than “high culture,” studying popular culture has the potential to reveal how society interprets itself, what the dreams and fears are of a culture at any particular historical moment. Although we’ll be analyzing works you likely have encountered previously and in less academic settings, we’ll be taking seriously the project of popular culture and what it can tell us about ourselves and our history. This class therefore has several, mostly intertwined, sometimes overlapping, and occasionally competing goals: 1) to gain an understanding of the history of popular culture and the history of theories of popular culture, primarily in the United States, primarily of the twentieth century (lectures, groups projects, and textbook readings will hope to accomplish this); 2) to survey a range of contemporary popular genres as well as their antecedents (the novels, short stories, films and television episodes will cover this territory) in order to understand both their historical development and distinctive formal features; 3) to provide a critical, scholarly framework for analyzing popular culture, especially regarding issues of race, gender, class, and nation (the theoretical readings from our textbook [and some additional on Canvas] are designed to enlighten us in this regard). Although much of our attention will be focused on the popular genres discussed above, through weekly student presentations we will also target a wider array of examples of popular culture, with music, advertising, video games, clothing, fan fiction, and so on all possibilities for discussion. In one way or another, we are all experts on popular culture, and consequently we’ll be drawing a great deal on each other’s expertise; therefore active, engaged participation will be an important part of the success of our class.
As mentioned above, we will be reading several novels, a few short stories, watching multiple films and episodes of television, as well as reading a great deal of theory about popular culture. In addition to the texts available at the bookstore, you will be responsible for watching several films/television shows outside of class; many will be available on reserve at Odegaard, but I also recommend having either a Netflix or Amazon Prime account for the quarter—several are available for streaming through these sites—or arranging some other way of viewing these films/series. Grading will likely be based on participation in discussion, weekly online discussion board postings, reading quizzes, two group presentations and projects, and two essays.
Available at UW Bookstore:
1. Guins, Raiford and Omayra Zaragoza Cruz. Popular Culture: Reader (Sage; ISBN: 978-0761974727)
2. Tolkien, The Hobbit (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; ISBN: 978-0547928227)
3. Haggard, Rider. King Solomon’s Mines (Broadview; ISBN: 978-1551114392)
Available Online Through Netflix and/or Amazon Prime
1. Star Trek: The Original Series—Space Seed and Devil in the Dark (online Amazon Prime; Netflix)
2. Battlestar Galactica: The Mini-Series Part 1 & 2 (2003) (online Amazon Prime; Netflix)
3. Game of Thrones—Episodes 1 & 2 (online Amazon: $2.99 per episode)
4. Walking Dead—Episode 1 (Netflix)
Available on reserve at Odegaard Undergraduate Library
1. Star Wars: A New Hope
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
4. Game of Thrones
6. Dark Knight
|352 A||EARLY AMER LIT (American Literature: The Early Nation)
||T Th 12:30-2:20
In this course, we will address a set of literary texts written in the U.S. between (roughly) 1790 and 1860, not as examples of a seemingly self-evident category --“early national American literature,” -- but rather as an opportunity to interrogate the relation between literature and nationality. By what logic and to what extent can various forms of literary production in the early United States be assembled under a rubric of early national culture? What has counted as “early national American literature” at different historical moments and across different cultural and institutional contexts? We will begin by considering how issues of citizenship and national belonging are at stake in the literary texts themselves. Our reading will focus on selected works of early national and antebellum literature with emphasis on the way this writing intervenes in wider public debates on identity, rights, freedom, and property. Relatedly, we will explore competing definitions of the literary in the period and how ideologies of nationhood are linked to norms of literary value.
I am still pondering the selection of materials, but the syllabus will possibly include Charlotte Temple, Wieland, Hobomok, The Heroic Slave, Benito Cereno, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, as well as short fiction by Sarah Willis Parton (Fanny Fern), Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Catherine Sedgwick. Critical materials will likely include work by Jacques Derrida, Michael Warner, Cathy Davidson, Joan Dayan , Priscilla Wald, and Valerie Smith.
|353 C||AMER LIT LATER 19C (American Literature: Later 19th Century)
We will read and discuss novels and short stories written by American authors in the period just following the Civil War. Students will be expected to do the assigned readings and attend class regularLY. Written work will consist entirely of a series of in-class essays writen in response to study questions handed out in advance.
The texts: Judith Fetterly, ed. AMERICAN WOMEN REGIONALISTS 1850-1910; William Dean Howells, THE RISE OF SILAS LAPHAM; Kate Chopin, THE AWAKENING AND SELECTED SHORT STORIES; Frank Norris, McTEAGUE; Stephen Crane, THE GREAT SHORT WORKS OF STEPHEN CRANE; Henry James, THE AMERICAN; Charles Chesnutt. THE CONJURE WOMAN; Mark Twain, THE GREAT SHORT WORKS OF MARK TWAIN
|355 A||CONTEMP AM LIT (“Into the Wild”)
The course focus is on American literature and landscapes and travels of many kinds—flight, escape, exile, relaxation, recreation, and refuge—physical and metaphysical, mental and spiritual. We will study a series of contemporary American “wilderness” narrative fictions and non-fictions set in realistic locales, mostly American, some not. Possible texts on this motif include Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, Callie Khouri’s Thelma and Louise, Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, Andre Dubus’ “In the Bedroom,” Walter Kirn’s Up in the Air, Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain,” and Sherman Alexie’s “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona.” When possible, and within the time quarter limits, we will read and critically evaluate both narrative print and film texts. Requirements include an interest in serious literature reflecting realistic genre traditions (no country for happy fairy tale endings); openness to learning narrative theory and film techniques and applying them actively and critically to reading texts and cultural contexts; secondary research of texts using reliable scholarly databases; consistent in-person vocal and considerate participation in critical discussion of texts; reports, oral and written; a midterm and/or final exam. Please note that as this is a junior-level English course, student proficiency using standard literary critical terminology and writing coherent, analytical (not merely impressionistic) essays are essential necessary skills for course success. Please note as well that this is a discussion-based, in-person course, and thus weekly attendance and vocal participation are essential to course success.
|358 A||LITOF BLACK AMER (Literature of Black Americans)
||T Th 1:30-3:20
How are concepts that are foundational to American nationhood—citizenship, law, racial differentiation, and gender—related to questions of power? Why is “culture” an especially useful site for investigating how power functions? What questions do African American literary studies allow us to ask about power and liberation, history and society? And when it comes to black producers of culture, what (counter) responses to nationhood do they think into being? This course will focus on the interdisciplinary formation of African American Literary Studies, and draw our attention to a few key theories and methods that have shaped this field. Our goal is to understand how the theories and analyses that we cover in this course may bear on our reading of literary texts. Primary texts may include: Nella Larsen, Passing (1929) Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952), Toni Morrison, Sula (1973), and Ernest Gaines, A Gathering of Old Men (1983).
|363 C||LIT & OTHER ARTS (Freud and the Literary Imagination)
This course examines a set of central themes that emerge from Sigmund Freud’s theories of the dream, the nature of literary creativity, the operation of the human psyche, and the substance of human culture. We will take as our starting point the hypothesis that Freud conceives the psyche as a kind of writing machine, an “author” that produces fictional narratives that share many properties with the prose fiction generated by creative writers. For this reason, our focus throughout the quarter will be restricted to prose narratives. The course will concentrate on literature produced in the wake of Freud’s theories, that is, on texts that consciously or unconsciously develop Freudian ideas. The class is structured around a set of themes that will be developed on the basis of paired readings: in each case we will examine a text or excerpt from Freud’s psychological works in conjunction with the reading of a literary text that exemplifies the issue or issues highlighted in Freud’s theory. Literary works treated include writings by Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Ingeborg Bachmann, and others.
Book list: Sigtmund Freud, The Freud Reader Arthur Schnitzler, Lieutenant Gustl Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis and selected short stories Thomas Mann, Death in Venice Robert Musil, Young Torless Ingeborg Bachmann, The Book of Franza
|363 CA||LIT & OTHER ARTS (Literature and the Other Arts and Disciplines)
|363 CB||LIT & OTHER ARTS (Literature and the Other Arts and Disciplines)
|363 CC||LIT & OTHER ARTS (Literature and the Other Arts and Disciplines)
|363 CD||LIT & OTHER ARTS (Literature and the Other Arts and Disciplines)
|365 A||LIT OF ENVIRONMENT (Literature and Discourses on the Environment)
|368 A||WOMEN WRITERS
||T Th 1:30-3:20
In this course, we will study five of the most famous and canonical women writers who have written in English: Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Toni Morrison. As we read these authors’ works, we will consider the texts alongside the peculiar cultural prominence of the writers themselves, from Jane Austen’s recent selection as the face of the British ten-pound note to Toni Morrison’s multiple appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show. As women writers serve as icons, symbols, and objects of fascination, we will ask how these perceptions of what it means to be a “woman writer” obscure, illuminate, and skew our understanding of women’s literary works.
Texts will include Pride and Prejudice, A Room of One’s Own, Mrs. Dalloway, The Bell Jar, and Beloved, along with selected poems by Dickinson and Plath. We will also watch several films based on the writers’ lives, including Becoming Jane, The Belle of Amherst, The Hours, and Sylvia.
|381 A||ADV EXPOSITORY WRIT (Advanced Expository Writing)
||T Th 1:30-3:20
Marco Polo and Mark Twain are just a couple examples of travel writers who, through their rendition of faraway locations in persuasive prose, radically altered how readers pictured the world. Through descriptions of people encountered and landscapes traversed, travel writers familiarize, exoticize, or destabilize the unknown in order to transform places into cultural significant landmarks in the imagination of their armchair readers. As a genre, travel writing is an excellent illustration of the immediate power of prose and lends itself well to the study of the effective use of words. In this class, we will analyze some signature pieces of this genre as a way to develop our own prose styles. Classwork will consist of discussion of various essays and peer critiques of student writing. Assigned texts: The Best Travel Writing 2010 ed. James O’Reilly, Larry Habetter, and Sean O’Reilly (required).
Please note that I do not get addcodes until the first week of the quarter.
|383 A||CRAFT OF VERSE (was Intermediate Verse Writing)
||T Th 10:30-11:50
|384 A||CRAFT OF PROSE (Force Follows Form)
In this intermediate level prose writing class, we will be reading and writing short fiction through the lens of form. The quarter will start with an exploration of traditional linear narratives, move on to a consideration of more experimental forms of short prose, and culminate with each student creating a physical book in which the text will reflect the specific form of the physical object. No previous art or book-making experience is necessary (I’ll be guiding you through the steps and providing basic supplies), but expect to do a LOT of reading and writing. Weekly short writing assignments, two complete stories, and the final book project.
Text: course reader
ENGL 283 & ENGL 284
|384 B||CRAFT OF PROSE (was Intermediate Short Story Writing)
|440 A||SPEC STUDIES IN LIT (Narrative as Time Machine)
||T Th 9:30-11:20
This is a course about different ways to tell time. Stories engage us in issues of time in two ways. First, narrative happens in time, and we are always experiencing the different ways that stories shape this experience (“How long will it take me to read this novel before class?” or “I had to read the same sentence three times before I understood it”). Second, narrative is always about time, or at least about different ways to represent time (historically, experientially, deep time, etc.) We will read a series of novels and study several films that engage these different ways of experiencing time. These works will help us think about and discuss issues like the representation of history, the deep time of evolution, the expansion and contraction of time (and space) in our contemporary global society and narrative techniques like stream of consciousness. Readings will include H.G. Wells, The Time Machine, Virginia Woolf, Orlando, Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine, William Golding, The Inheritors, Toni Morrison, A Mercy, and Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces. Films will include Ground Hog Day and Twelve Monkeys, among others. There will also be a course reader with theoretical essays.
While comic treatment of potentially tragic experience is as old as Euripides’ ironic tragedies with comic endings and as new as some of the latest films, tragicomedy has predominated mainly in two periods--the Renaissance and the modern era. The theoretical conceptions common to both periods are that tragicomedy is a quintessentially ‘modern’ genre, that it is more true to life than either tragedy or comedy, that the relationship between the comic and tragic must not be haphazard but rather the one should modify the other to bring a meaningful mixture of responses from the audience, and, finally, that success in this genre is difficult to achieve. We will read several significant plays and key theoretical statements about the genre from the Renaissance and modern periods before going on to investigate its manifestations in some contemporary plays and films.
Plays by Guarini, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Beckett, Pinter, Gray, and contemporary films. Essays, Reports, Exam.
|457 A||PACIFIC NW LIT (Pacific Northwest Literature)
||T Th 11:30-1:20
|471 A||TEACHING WRITING (The Theory and Practice of Teaching Writing)
||T Th 12:30-2:20
|483 A||ADV VERSE WORKSHOP (Advanced Verse Workshop)
||T Th 1:30-2:50
|484 A||ADV PROSE WORKSHOP (Advanced Prose Workshop)
|494 A||HONORS SEMINAR
|494 B||HONORS SEMINAR (Making History)
||T Th 10:30-12:20
This honors seminar is designed as an introduction to this year’s investigation of the relationship between literature and politics. The literature and theory that we’ll read in tandem are counterhistories in two senses of the work. First and fundamentally, they debunk common (i.e. positivist) conceptions of history as a disinterested record of “the past as it really was;” they define history as a narrative which imposes a particular meaning on indeterminant events; they affiliate history with literature; and they affirm that historical narratives are inevitably political. Second, the seminar’s counterhistories render visible the violence that such ostensible goods as progress, freedom, family, and community conceal. Critical works by such writers as Benjamin, Butler, Foucault, and Williams supplement late 20th and early 21st century American fiction. Required texts are likely to include a course packet and the following novels: Le’s The Gangster We Are All Looking For, Wideman’s Two Cities; Chua’s Gold by the Inch; and Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange. Students are expected to produce 8 short critical responses to assigned readings and a final 10 page critical essay.
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