(Descriptions last updated: 7 May 2007)
The following course descriptions have been written by individual instructors to provide more detailed information on specific sections than that found in the General Catalog. When individual descriptions are not available, the General Catalog descriptions [in brackets] are used.
NOTE: Students not previously admitted to the University of Washington (non-matriculated status) may enroll in ENGL 111, 121, 131, 281, 282, 381, 382, 471, or 481 only if they have met the following ESL requirements: a TOEFL score of at least 580 (paper based), 237 (computer based) or 70 (internet based (total of reading/listening/writing sections), or one of these equivalent scores: 90 on the MTELP, 410 on the SAT-Verbal (taken before April 1995), 490 on the SAT-Verbal (taken April 1995 – February 2005), or 490 on the SAT Critical Reading (taken after February 2005); or 20 on the ACT English. For more information, consult an English adviser in A-2-B Padelford, (206) 543-2634, firstname.lastname@example.org.
111 (Composition: Literature)
[Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from reading and discussing stories, poems, essays, and plays.] For information on ESL requirement for non-matriculated students, click here.
121 (Composition: Social Issues) S
[Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from reading and discussing essays and fiction about current social and moral issues.] For information on ESL requirement for non-matriculated students, click here.
131 (Composition: Exposition)
9 sections: M-Th 9:40-10:40; 10:50-11:50; 11:30-12:30; 12:00-1:00, MW 1:50-4:00
[Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects.] For information on ESL requirement for non-matriculated students, click here.
200aA (Reading Fiction)
We will read works from a variety of genres to develop interpretive skills based on a close attention to textual detail and an appreciation of context. Critical thinking and analytical writing are the means and end of the course. Participation, presentations, and writing are required. Texts: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Muller, Ways In; Zadie Smith, White Teeth; Herman Melville, Melville’s Short Novels; Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
200aB (Reading Fiction)
Introduction to Law and Literature. This class seeks to provide students with techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature. To that end, students will read literary texts with a mind to developing their own close-reading practices. Alongside these literary texts, students will also read judgments and trial transcripts from criminal cases in both contemporary and historical periods. Thematically, we will use these legal and literary texts to think about the different ways in which the law regulates relationships between individuals and communities. We will also examine the nature of processes that function alongside and outside the law, (eg, “norms”), to discipline individuals and communities. Course work will include a demanding reading schedule, participation in class discussion, a mid-term paper and a final paper. Texts: Atwood, Alias Grace; Dostoevsky, Memoirs from the House of the Dead; Drewe, The Shark Net; Golding, Lord of the Flies; Morrison, Beloved; Sophocles, Antigone; Foucault, Discipline and Punish (excerpts)
200 C (Reading Fiction)
Literature and Photography: This course introduces the study of literature by exploring the relationship between literature and photography. At times we will find direct connections between the two, as when writers comment on photography or vice-versa. But for the most part it is our task to put these two media in conversation, comparing and contrasting different kinds of content and matters of form. The primary text for this course is the collaborative book by James Agee (writer) and Walker Evans (photographer), Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. This challenging but perennially rewarding work is about southern sharecropper families during the Great Depression, but it is equally about revolutionizing the documentary use of words and pictures. Examples of writing and photographic work in America in the 19th and 20th centuries constitute the rest of the material we will examine. Readings include a sampling of poetry by Whitman and American modernists, a novella by Stephen Crane, and a short novel by Thomas Pynchon. As we read, we will also survey the work of exemplary American photographers, photographic circles, and movements, including Matthew Brady, Alfred Stieglitz and pictorialism, Lewis Hine, the 1930s FSA photographers (Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, and others), and Diane Arbus. To gauge the actions, reactions, and interactions among writing and photography, we will have some recurrent questions to pose, such as: what counts as artistic/literary subject matter? What is the position of the writer or photographer vis-à-vis his or her subject? What are some of the ways literary and visual art relate to technology? How do words and images represent social difference, like class, race, and gender? How do texts construct or imply their own audiences? What makes art socially critical? What do instances of cross-pollination, when images appear in texts and text in images, teach us? Course work will include active participation in class discussion, a group presentation, some short writing assignments, and two papers that add up to 10-15 pages. Texts: Stephen Crane, Maggie and Other Tales of New York; James Agee & Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49.
213aA (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
“Novel, a short story padded>” --Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911
This intensive 5-week course will focus upon modern and postmodern fictions:
short stories published during the close of the 19th century, and others throughout
the 20th. We will analyze each story closely and formally, and then in the
contexts of literasry modernism and postmodernism, as well as in relation to
shifting cultural ideologies. We will also view and analyze certain of the
short stories adapted to film (including “An Occurrence at Owl Creek
Bridge”) as a means of understanding various reading and viewing audience
receptions to these print and audiovisual narrative formats. Writers and stories
we’ll read, discuss, and write about include: Bierce, “An Occurrence
at Owl Creek Bridge,” Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” Hemingway, “Hills
Like White Elephants,” Chopin, “The Story of an Hour,” Faulkner, “A
Rose for Emily,” Jackson, “The Lottery,” Wright, “The
Man Who Was Almost a Man,” Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues,” Oates, “Where
Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” Mason, “Shiloh,” Jen, “Who’s
Irish?”, Cisneros, The House on Mango Street; Carver, “Cathedral,” Coupland, “Microserfs,” Proulx, “Brokeback
Mountain.” Course requirements include active attendance, intellectual
engagement and critical discussion, online reading gof seom stories, (e.g.,
Douglas Copeland’s “Microserfs”) as well as research of biographical,
critical and cultural contexts; short quizzes and short-essay responses, and
a final examination. Text (print): Ann Charters, The Story
and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction.
213bB (Modern & Postmodern Literature)
[Introduction to twentieth-century literature from a broadly cultural point of view, focusing on representative works that illustrate literary and intellectual developments since 1900.]
225 A (Shakespeare)
“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet / Are of imagination all compact.” So says Theseus at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For Summer quarter, we will be examining the notions of madness, love, and the poetical figure in the works of Shakespeare. We will read texts that explore altered states of consciousness, the power of sexual jealousy on the psyche, feigned and true insanity, and the implications of these illusions and realities in Shakespeare’s dramas. We will be focusing much of our discussions on the themes of desire and sexuality as offered in Shakespeare’s works. We will also be working with modes of production, including film and art, and will be seeing a stage performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays. The main goals of the course are to help you learn to “decode” the language of Shakespeare through close readings and to make you more confident readers of the great Bard. In addition, we will negotiate the difference between the works as they perhaps might have been understood in Shakespeare’s own culture and how they have been understood since. As this is a W course, you will be expected to write. Text: David Bevington, ed., The Complete Works of Shakespeare, 5th ed.
242bB (Reading Fiction)
Modernist Short Fiction. Much of the allure of Modernist writing derives from the shifts in both perspective and technique which characterize it. In this course, we’ll examine these innovations in light of the social changes that pushed writers (and all artists) of this period to forge new modes of expression. What, exactly, does Modernism reject, and what, if anything, does it affirm in its place? What aspects of this heritage have endured, and with what repercussions? These are a few of the questions we’ll consider as we seek to develop our critical awareness as readers and hone our rhetorical skills as writers via in-class discussion and impromptu group presentations, weekly in-class writings, and two 5-page argumentative essays. To adjust for the compressed nature of this B-term class, we will consider a wide array of short stories as well as one novella. Texts: Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Shorter Seventh Edition; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time; photocopied course packet,
242 C (Reading Fiction)
This course takes as its primary assumption that fiction participates in political life. As a literary form, fiction can reveal fractures in society, provoke scandal or criticism, align public sympathy to a political cause, and create the conditions for imagining alternative possibilities. Fiction in the nineteenth century was particularly invested in these political aims. Whether it was exposing injustice, advocating reform, or proposing radical change, nineteenth-century authors harnessed fiction as a mass-consumed cultural form to reach a wide reading public. The result was an array of generic forms that, more explicitly or more subtly, became articulated to social and political concerns. Over the summer, we will read short stories and novels clustered by genre (the gothic, sensational fiction, sentimental fiction, and the romance)—though with the caution that most, and arguably the best, of what we read will transgress the law of genre. We’ll start with the American gothic: Poe, Melville, and Hawthorne, but also the lesser-known stories of Alcott. From there, we’ll move into sensational fiction of the market, particularly George Thompson and George Lippard. Our study of sentimental fiction will focus on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which we will use to debate the possibilities and, critically, the limits that fiction has for promoting social and political change. Lastly, we’ll finish out the quarter reading a selection of short stories that fall under the heading of the romance. Throughout the readings, we will engage nineteenth-century fiction for the ways in which it both defined ideals of political society and diagnosed social injustice, particularly racialized slavery, capitalism and urbanization, and the subordination of women. Method of Instruction: Class discussion, student presentations, and some lecturing for historic background and framing. Writing assignments (3 short papers, 1 longer paper) will help students identify narrative elements and analyze fiction through both close-reading and resistant reading practices. Texts (required): Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables, George Lippard’s The Quaker City, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. A course packet will be made available of short stories, secondary/critical essays, and historical texts coordinated with the course.
242aD (Reading Fiction)
This course will focus on the literature of the American Renaissance with a particular focus on the historical construction of vision, the workings of ideology and their relation to nineteenth-century concepts of madness. Drawing on a range of writings from the period we will look at the aesthetics of the sublime and the problematics of vision at work in the fictions from the 1820s through the 1850s. Specifically, the larger cultural enterprises – landscape painting and the picturesque, and transcendence with nature – and their attendant “ways of seeing” allow members of nineteenth-century society to look out upon a landscape -- that once would have been viewed as harsh and life-threatening -- as instead beautiful, unblemished, and serene. It was a way of seeing that allowed people, who enjoyed the advantages of spectatorial distance, to view the fresh snows that blanketed a rugged “top most cliff” as a “new-dropped lamb, its earliest fleece” (Melville). This sentimental mode of seeing the world can and was transferred to social spaces and urban landscapes as well as people and the result is a breakdown of nineteenth-century concepts of social justice. For those who did not participate in these culturally-constructed meanings of the natural world, but instead took notice of the horrors of slavery, genocide of Native Americans, the plight of urban workers and women there emerged in the fictions of the period the nervous body (and the unreliable narrator) with its host of physical and/or psychological ailments. We will be reading Melville’s Piazza Tales and “Billy Budd,” several short stories form Poe (including “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Black Cat,” “The Maelstrom”), Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” Louisa May Alcott’s “Flower Fables,” as well as the poetry of Whitman, Emerson and Dickinson. We will also draw on a few non-fiction texts to assist in our analysis, including: Emerson’s “Astronomy,” Fitzhugh’s “Cannibals All!”, Frederick Douglass’s 4th of July speech, and Marx’s 1844 Manuscripts. All of these titles are available online and will be included in a course packet.
250bA (Introduction to American Literature)
National Belongings. This course provides an introduction to studies of American literature and culture. The course surveys a broad range of historical materials, from Puritan proclamations of American Exceptionalism to political and literary texts of the early Republic, mid-nineteenth-century texts on abolition and Manifest Destiny to mid-twentieth-century texts on the Cold War and civil rights. We will focus in particular on how “America” has been constructed through changing narratives of national history. This summer we will ask how different narratives create or contest the meaning of belonging in national history. What does it mean to “belong” in the United States? How have practices of national belonging changed over time, and how have different narratives about history been used to make sense of these changes? In this class we will explore the ways that changing narratives forms – from oral speeches, newspapers to popular music and animation – have shaped the making and re-making of the American past. Our primary texts will include Charles Brockton Brown, Wieland: Or, The Transformation; Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Herman Melville, Benito Cereno, and John Okada, No No Boy.
281 A (Intermediate Expository Writing)
Students will write five different types of persuasive prose essays (4-5 pages each), working on identifying different aims of writing, adjusting their own writing according to specific aim and audience, critiquing pieces of writing in relation to their aims, and assessing language and style as means of persuading. Class will proceed by means of discussion and workshops. Grades will be based on portfolio of writing for the course. Successful completion of ENGL 131 or equivalent is recommended preparation for taking this course. Text: Bryan A. Garner, The Oxford Dictionary of Americna Usage and Style. For information on ESL requirement for non-matriculated students, click here.
281bB (Intermediate Expository Writing)
[Writing papers communicating information and opinion to develop accurate, competent, and effective expression.] For information on ESL requirement for non-matriculated students, click here.
281aC (Intermediate Expository Writing)
This course will be a workshop for writers. My premise is that there is no better way to improve your writing than to write. Yes, reading helps, grammar helps, talk helps. Assignments and deadlines help. But you must write. I will provide most of the assignments and all of the deadlines. I’ll talk about writing and I’ll assign some reading from current newspapers and magazines along with some older material on Electronic Reserve. I’ll refer you to good sources for grammar and spelling. But you must write. And you will, at and for every meeting. Five weeks later, you’ll be better writers. For information on ESL requirement for non-matriculated students, click here.
282 A (Composing for the Web)
Introduces the writing of nonfiction narrative and expository pieces for publication on the Web. Analysis and criticism of on-line work. All assignments will be submitted as web pages and will involve analysis, redesign, and fresh composition of websites. The course is taught in a computer-integrated environment using PCs and Windows programs. Small group work, presentations, workshopping, and individual assignments will be supplemented with brief lectures. Recommended preparation includes some experience editing digital images, knowledge of how to upload and download files, familiarity with Dante/Vergil command line (Unix commands).Text: Musciano & Kennedy, HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide. For information on ESL requirement for non-matriculated students, click here.
283 A (Beginning Verse Writing)
This class will start with an intensive study of the traditions/elements of the craft of poetry: meter, line, stanza, form, image, concrte detail vs. abstraction, etc. We will then move on to study the elements of the craft of free verse, which we’ll discover isn’t as free as one might think. The class will also progress in historical time: we’ll starts working with some of the earliest English poetic forms and work our way up to a study of contemporary poetry. Text: Ferguson, et al., eds., The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th ed.
284aA (Beginning Short Story Writing)
This course is an introduction to the writing of fiction. Students will examine and analyze writing strategies with respect to developing readable and challenging short stories. To that end, students will investigate risks and rewards of constructing a story, telling a story, and managing the elements of fiction, such as character, plot, dialogue, setting, tone, mood, theme, and point of view. Students will write a series of short two-page assignments, critique each other’s work, and lead a discussion of the craft of fiction using work by published authors. Text: photocopied course packet.
284bC (Beginning Short Story Writing)
English 284 is an intensive, daily exploration of the art of writing short fiction. Through the reading of classic short stories, the creation of our own original pieces, and active explorations of Seattle in the summertime, we will be learning how to see the world through the eyes of a writer and mine it for its creative possibilities. The course will explore such fundamental topics in short story writing as plot, character, setting, dialogue, theme, metaphor, image, and point of view. Small group workshops will illuminate the relationship between readers and writers and will allow us to ask questions of our stories and our own writing process, opening possibilities for future creation and revision beyond the limitations of the class. An interest in writing and reading and an active, open mind are the only requirements necessary. Assignments will include daily reading of one canonical short story; short writing exercises and at least one longer short story; written feedback upon peer work. Grades will be assessed through a final, comprehensive portfolio of work completed over the course of the class. Texts: Anne Bernays & Pamela Painter, eds., What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers; photocopied course packet.
284 D (Beginning Short Story Writing)
By the end of this course, students should have a better understanding of what defines a great contemporary short story and how to craft their own work. While the class will contain discussions about the typical elements of fiction (plot, character, setting, etc.) the real emphasis will be on equipping students with a process for exploring and creating stories on their own. In approaching fiction, perhaps for the first time, students have a fresh perspective on the generative process, and as such will be able to benefit from thinking about the roots from which great prose arises. This course will be held in a class-wide workshop format. Students will submit work to be reviewed by other students and the professor after which the class will discuss the author's work and make suggestions for its improvement. We will also be discussing published stories by professional writers and excerpts from Robert Olen Butler's book on writing, From Where You Dream. The class may also venture outside the classroom to write from experiences in art galleries and natural areas. The best thing a student can do in order to prepare for this course is read. Familiarizing yourself with modern literary fiction will help you understand the expectations for how to create your own stories. Magazines that publish short fiction include The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, etc. Prominent anthologies of contemporary authors include The Best American Short Stories, Best New American Voices, and many others that are readily available in almost any bookstore. As always, studying the classic works of authors like Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Virginia Wolff, Alice Munro, etc. will surely help as well. Students will be writing two stories over the course of the quarter and revising one of them. A presentation on one of the stories in the required fiction anthology will also be required. In addition, in-class writing activities, exercises, and responses to other students' stories will also be considered part of the body of work students should produce by the end of the quarter. Evaluation will consist of a response to the written stories, the presentation, and class participation. Course website: http://courses.washington.edu/engl284. Texts: .Nicholas Delbanco, ed., The Sincerest Form: Writing Fiction by Imitation; Robert Olen Butler, From Where You Dream.
302bA (Critical Practice)
Cultural Studies of the Novel. This course provides a follow-up to ENGL 202, the Introduction to the English major. It is a practicum of critical methods. This particular section of 302 will provide in-depth practice in “cultural studies” approaches to the novel. Our focus on cultural studies will include attention to the following methodological questions: what is the “form” in formalist approaches to the novel? What is “materialism” and why would you use it to read novels? What kinds of critical practices – close reading, archive development, historical research – are important to cultural studies methodologies? Does narratology (the study of narrative form) have a role? What about ethnography or other research methods from anthropology, sociology, or the empirical human sciences? By the end of the course, students should have a grasp of various approaches to the study of culture and narrative forms. Students will also have been exposed to a range of social and political questions related to cultural studies methodologies, including theories of race, gender, sexuality, and class. We will read literary theory alongside Henry James, Daisy Miller; Jeanette Winterson, The Passion; and Caryl Philips, Crossing the River.
310 A (The Bible as Literature)
A rapid study of readings from both the Old and New Testaments, focusing primarily on those parts of the Bible with the most “literary” interest – narratives, poems, and philosophy. Students will be expected to attend class regularly, keep up with reading assignments, and take part in open discussion. Written work will consist entirely of a series of in-class essays done in response to study questions handed out in advance. Text: Coogan, ed., New Oxford Annotated Bible, 3rd ed.
315bA (Literary Modernism)
[Various modern authors, from Wordsworth to the present, in relation to such major thinkers as Kant, Hegel, Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche, Bergson, and Wittgenstein, who have helped create the context and the content of modern literature. Recommended: ENGL 230 or one 300-level course in 19th- or 20th-century literature.] Meets with C LIT 320A.
An introduction to Chaucer in Middle English, with emphasis on learning to read and interpret the Canterbury Tales in Middle English. We will study how the Tales are wonderfully entertaining stories, generic experiments, and extraordinarily complex and beautiful poetry. The tales can be bawdy, heartbreaking, ironic, and revealing of the human condition. Situating the Tales in their literary, social, and historical context will help us to appreciate Chaucer's genius and his era. You will also become acquainted with some of the best scholarly responses to Chaucer’s work. Emphasis on close reading and class discussion, reading aloud. Reading quizzes, short papers, final. Required texts: Benson, ed., The Riverside Chaucer; Boethius (tr. Green), The Consolation of Philosophy; optional texts (will also be on library reserve): Mann & Boitoni, eds., The Cambridge Chaucer Companion; Miller, Chaucer: Sources and Backgrounds; Cooper, ed., The Canterbury Tales.
323bA (Shakespeare to 1603)
Shakespeare's career as dramatist before 1603 (including Hamlet). Study of history plays, comedies, and tragedies. Text: Bevington, ed., The Complete Works of Shakespeare, 5th ed.
328bA (English Literature: Later 18th C.)
In this course we will read literature of the period known as the “Age of Johnson.” It has also been known as the “Age of Sensibility” and the “Pre-Romantic” era. All of these titles are limited and limiting, and we’ll examine the why and how of all of them by reading poetry and some prose of the period. This was a time when the idea of authorship was in flux, and undergoing changes that led to modern conceptions of creativity and literature. Authors may include Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Oliver Goldsmith, Ann Yearsley, Hannah More, and others.
335aA (English Literature: Age of Victoria)
Victorian England: Anxiety and Aspiration. Premise: I could have said “Hopes and Fears” but the simple premise of the course would be the same: that the hopes and fears, the anxiety and aspiration of entire societies emerge from the same source. Utopian hopes are inspired by the same stimuli that inform most dire anxieties of the age. Each reveals the other, and each will give us access to the common culture of a period. In this case our subject is England in the 19th century when that small island of the NW coast of Europe owned the largest empire and the most powerful navy; it was home to the largest city, and it was the primary source of new technologies, industrial production and fossil fuels in the world. And, as we know, all of those claims come with a penalty. We will look to the rich literary production of the period for demonstration of our premise . . . and for the pleasure that comes with reading its major authors. Lecture, discussion, and a series of short essays. Texts: Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist; R. L. Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; John Ruskin, On Art and Life; selection of prose and poetry on Electronic Reserve.
337aA (The Modern Novel)
While the definition of the novel seems clear, at least as a noun, what precisely does it mean to be modern? “The Modern Novel” seeks to acquaint students with some of the ground-breaking literary texts of the early twentieth century. Our primary geographic focus will be England, but we’ll take at least one pass across the Atlantic, circa 1925, by moving from Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway to Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Hopefully, this will prove startling. We will read closely, at once focusing on the ambiguities of the texts as hand – the sentient student will emerge from the course with a clear sense of what it means to dissect literary language – and intertextual comparisons. Thematic topics will include: the status of adultery and fidelity; the role of the modern woman/”The New Woman”/ and more generally the pros and cons – or limitations and liberations – of individual consciousness and its modes of expression. (Can a consciousness be expressed? Or can it be anything other than expressed?) In addition to the above, authors will include Conrad and Ford. We will do five novels in five weeks, beginning with Heart of Darkness. Texts: Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Ford, The Good Soldier; Lawrence, Womein in Love; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
338bA (Modern Poetry)
[Poetry in the modernist mode, including such poets as Yeats, Eliot, Pound, Auden, and Moore.]
342aA (Contemporary Novel)
“Writing a novel is not merely going on a shopping expedition across the border to an unreal land: it is hours and years spent in the factories, the streets, the cathedrals of the imagination.” – Janet Frame, contemporary New Zealand novelist
“We’re all one beat away from becoming elevator music,” --Don Delillo
Not Stranger than Fiction: The Contemporary Novel and Memesis.(c) Popular
social myth holds that novels are a means of merely escaping life; however,
the readings for this course challenge you to do otherwise: to read
and analyze these works as reflections of you and your neighbors, local and
global, to offer a mimetic rendering of life as actual people currently live
or have lived it in the recent past. These texts, devoid as each is of escapist
endings, create mindful melodies that move well beyond Muzak, helping readers
gain a felt intellectual, emotional, and ethical awareness of current conditions
that can help us finally understand how both the contemporary novel critiques
cultural norms in ways that revitalize the soul. The first text is a film
about novel writing – Stranger than Fiction. The contemporary
core of its narrative theme focuses upon mythical lifeless conformity vs.
nonconformity. Thereafter, all the novels we will read, analyze, and discuss
in this five-week course will be filled with similar themes concerning the
afflictions of idealism upon characters recognizable to us in everyday life.
We’ll track the cast of characters conforming to or defying social
myths and norms, and analyze the consequences. Course requirements include
engaged attendance, discussion, short essays, in-class online research,
and a final examination. Texts: Doyle, The Woman Who
Walked into Doors; Morrison,
The Bluest Eye; Smith, Hotel World.
349aA (Science Fiction and Fantasy)
M-Th 10:50 - 1:00
“Terminal Identities” and the Cyberculture Imaginary. Scott Bukatman defines "terminal identity" as follows: "an unmistakably doubled articulation in which we find both the end of the subject and a new subjectivity constructed at the computer station or television screen." This course examines the interface of subjectivity and post-industrial (cybernetic and digital) technologies, particularly as it is represented and aestheticized in science fiction literature and film. Working primarily (though not exclusively) with U.S. science-fiction, it attempts to understand the shifting valences of this interface by exploring its various literary, cinematic, and theoretical responses. Whereas the first half of the course will examine this interface from the perspective of the white/male cultural dominant, the second half will consider it from a distinctly racialized perspective. Thus, in addition to asking what have become central philosophical questions in contemporary “cyberculture” (How, if at all, does the “posthuman” problematize or interrogate the assumptions of Enlightenment humanism? How have post-industrial technologies reshaped how we relate to each other, ourselves, and other cultures?), this course will also take into account how race (and, more to the point, the experiences, attitudes, behaviors, and innovations of America’s “racial” others) figures into the discourse of cyberculture in its literary, cinematic, and theoretical contexts. Readings are likely to include fiction by Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, Maureen McHugh, Pat Cadigan, Cory Doctorow, Neal Stephenson, Walter Mosley, Nisi Shawl, and Greg Pak, and theoretical work by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Paul D. Miller, Tom Foster, Lisa Nakamura, Alexander Weheylie, Donna Haraway, Chela Sandoval and Kathleen Hayles. In addition to purchasing a few novels, students will also work with a substantial course packet that will include short-stories, theoretical essays, interviews, and excerpts from novels and comics. Students will be expected to write frequent (and sometimes in-class) response papers, one mid-term essay, and take one comprehensive final exam covering a wide-range of both the fiction and theory.
353bA (American Literature: Later 19th C.)
Uncanny America. In America, the late 19th century saw the emergence of the nation as an economic and cultural power. As Americans looked to a promising future, the city as we know it came into being, the intellectual life was vibrant, and hope for individual accomplishment was bright. And yet the America was haunted. This is a course about the haunting of America, or rather, about the ways in which American literature between 1865 and 1910 held the mirror up to society to reveal its darker realities. Economic optimism was countered by works about poverty, the bright future was haunted by the legacies of the Civil War, and praise for equality was tempered by the writers’ obsession with the ways in which minorities and women were constrained by the very forces that offered such promise. We will use Freud’s famous essay on the uncanny to discuss the various forms of haunting in the period. Included will be real ghost stories by Edith Wharton, Henry James, and Ambrose Bierce, but we will also consider other forms of the uncanny, like the doubling of racial passing in Charles Chesnutt and Mark Twain, and the alienation in city life in Horatio Alger and Stephen Crane. Assignments will include in-class writing assignments and short essays. Texts: Henry James, Turn of the Screw and Other Short…; Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick; Elizabeth Keckley, Behind the Scenes; Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson.
353B (American Literature: Later 19th C.)
(full term; Evening Degree section)
Uncanny America. In America, the late 19th century saw the emergence of the nation as an economic and cultural power. As Americans looked to a promising future, the city as we know it came into being, the intellectual life was vibrant, and hope for individual accomplishment was bright. And yet the America was haunted. This is a course about the haunting of America, or rather, about the ways in which American literature between 1865 and 1910 held the mirror up to society to reveal its darker realities. Economic optimism was countered by works about poverty, the bright future was haunted by the legacies of the Civil War, and praise for equality was tempered by the writers’ obsession with the ways in which minorities and women were constrained by the very forces that offered such promise. We will use Freud’s famous essay on the uncanny to discuss the various forms of haunting in the period. Included will be real ghost stories by Edith Wharton, Henry James, and Ambrose Bierce, but we will also consider other forms of the uncanny, like the doubling of racial passing in Charles Chesnutt and Mark Twain, and the alienation in city life in Horatio Alger and Stephen Crane. Assignments will include in-class writing assignments and short essays. Evening Degree students only. Texts: Henry James, Turn of the Screw and Other Short…; Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick; Elizabeth Keckley, Behind the Scenes; Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition.
359aA (Contemporary American Indian Literature)
[Creative writings – novels, short stories, poems – of contemporary Indian authors; traditions out of which they evolved. Differences between Indian writers and writers of the dominant European/American mainstream. Offered jointly with AIS 377.]
361B (American Political Culture: After 1865)
MW 7:00-9:20 pm
(full term; Evening Degree section)
The Family Politic. Family: perhaps no other word has as much symbolic or fund-raising power in U.S. political culture. Since the Civil War, when “brother” fought against “brother,” the family has been metaphorically applied to the nation itself; at the same time, the family is often invoked as the “basic social unit” that many consider it a national duty to protect and preserve. The idea of the family is potent across the political spectrum, but what different people mean by the family – both in terms of actual configurations of people and the political stakes associated with these configurations – is highly contextual. In this class, we will investigate different literary, sociological and political treatments of the family from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. Our focus will be on three historical moments: the early twentieth century and the challenges that immigration brought to traditional definitions of family; the 1940s and 1950s, when “invisible” families and domestic concerns shadowed the “ideal” family of American mass media; and the 1980s and 1990s, when gay and lesbian activists began to insist on the recognition and rights of alternative families. Evening Degree students only. Texts: Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers; Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Michael Cunningham, A Home at the End of the World.
457 A (Pacific Northwest Literature)
This course will focus on literary texts by historical and contemporary writers associated with the Pacific Northwest., and will feature visits by prominent writers associated with the region. Students will meet and talk with the following writers about their work: Marilynne Robinson (author of Housekeeping and the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Gilead); Heather McHugh (UW poet, essayist, and translator); Richard White (Stanford historian of the American West); Debra Magpie Earling (novelist and professor of Native American Studies, University of Montana); Kim Barnes (memoirist and novelist, University of Idaho); Roberrt Wrigley (poet and essayist, University of Idaho). In addition to the class sessions, students will also attend readings by the above writers, and see, in Seattle’s ACT Theatre, David Wagoner’s play, First Class, about the influential teaching of renowned poet and UW professor Theodore Roethke. Professor Dan Lamberton is Director of the Humanities Division, Walla Walla College. The course meets with HSTAA 433A, taught by Professor John Findlay, UW Department of History. Students in both classes meet together, and share most of the same readings, but will have different assignments, depending on whether they are signed up for ENGL 457 or HSTAA 433. By arrangement, students may opt to enroll for more than one course. See department advisers for more information.
477 A (Children’s Literature)
We’ll read and discuss an assortment of fairy tales, other stories and novels for children. Students will be expected to attend class regularly, keep up with reading assignments, and take part in open discussion. Written work will consist entirely of a series of in-class essays done in response to study questions handed out in advance. Texts: John Griffith & Charles Frey, eds., Classics of Children’s Literature, 6th ed.; J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Supervised experience in local businesses and other agencies. Open only to upper-division English majors. Credit/no credit only. Prerequisite: 25 credits in English. Add codes, further information in Undergraduate Advising office, A-2-B Padelford (543-2634).
492A (Advanced Expository Writing Conference)
Tutorial arranged by prior mutual agreement between individual student and instructor. Revision of manuscripts is emphasized, but new work may also be undertaken. Instructor codes, further information available in Writing Programs office, A-11 Padelford (543-2190).
493A (Advanced Creative Writing Conference)
Tutorial arranged by prior mutual agreement between individual student and instructor. Revision of manuscripts is emphasized, but new work may also be undertaken. Instructor codes, further information available in Creative Writing office, B-25 Padelford (543-9865; open 11-3 daily).
496A (Major Conference for Honors)
Individual study (reading, papers) by arrangement with the instructor. Required of, and limited to, honors seniors in English. Instructor codes, further information available in Undergraduate Programs office, A-11 Padelford (543-2190).
498bB (Senior Seminar)
Hamlet. The seminar begins with a historical overview of the revenge genre and of the principal critical approaches to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Our main focus will be on postmodern criticism of the play as it influences late 20th-century film productions. Requirements: short reports and a 10-12 pp. paper focusing on film interpretations of the play. Senior majors only. Texts: Shakespeare, Hamlet; Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy; photocopied course packet.
499A (Independent Study)
Individual study by arrangement with instructor. Prerequisite: permission of director of undergraduate education. Add codes, further information, available in Undergraduate Programs office, A-11 Padelford (543-2190).
Add codes are required for all graduate courses, and may be obtained in the English Graduate office, A-105 Padelford.
586A (Graduate Writing Conference)
590A (MA Essay)
Research and writing project under the close supervision of a faculty member expert in the field of study, and with the consultaion of a second faculty reader. The field of study is chosen by the student. Work is independent and varies. The model is an article in a scholarly journal. Prerequisite: graduate standing in English. Add codes available in English Graduate office, A-105 Padelford (543-6077).
591A (MAT Essay)
Research and writing project under the close supervision of a faculty member expert in the field of study chosen by the student within the MAT degree orientation towards the teaching of English, and with the consultation of a second faculty reader. The model is an article in a scholarly journal. Add codes available in English Graduate office, A-105 Padelford (543-6077).
597A (Directed Readings)
Intensive reading in literature or criticism, directed by members of doctoral supervisory committee. Credit/no credit only. Add codes available in English Graduate office, A-105 Padelford (543-6077).
600A (Independent Study/Research)
Add codes available in English Graduate office, A-105 Padelford (543-6077).
Credit/no credit only. Add codes available in English Graduate office, A-105 Padelford (543-6077).
700A (Masters Thesis)
Add codes available in English Graduate office, A-105 Padelford (543-6077).
800A (Doctoral Dissertation)
Add codes available in English Graduate office, A-105 Padelford (543-6077).