Autumn Quarter 2000
 English Graduate Studies  | University of Washington Graduate School English Department 

Degree Programs

Course Schedules


Current Students

Recent Graduates

Academic Resources

Financial Support




English Literary Culture 1660-1800


MW 1:30-3:20

Nature and Commercial Culture--Enlightenment/Romantic/Victorian. It can be said that 19th C. British culture confirmed its creative powers in mutuality with nature, and set them to work in the industry, commerce, and citybuilding that came to threaten nature and the human sense of connection to it The course begins with depictions of Romantic relations to nature and the city in Wordsworth’s The Prelude (sel.). Looking back to Enlightenment thought and Adam’s Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (sel.) provides context on the economic buildup that produced the London of Wordsworth’s poem—with supporting reports on short sel. by theorists of political economy Jeremy Bentham and J.S. Mill. Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus marks a Romantic/Victorian transition. Creativity as imaginative response to nature becomes a work ethic of productivity—in industry, commerce, cities. Following a report on "Captains of Industry" from Carlyle’s Past and Present comes Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. This sets off the north of industry/city from the south of the country, and we will also look at the gendering of this difference as that between a Captain of Industry and the woman he loves. Charlotte Bronte on a woman’s "outsider" perspective on London bears comparison through a report on a chapter of Villette. Lecture background fills out sel. readings in Darwin’s Origin of Species to show Darwin’s debt to the political economist Thomas Malthus for the germ of "natural selection." Ideas of nature and economics converge. We see different responses of disquiet in Alfred Tennyson’s "In Memoriam" (handout sel.), John Ruskin’s "The Nature of Gothic" (by report), and short poems by Matthew Arnold. The course concludes with Our Mutual Friend, Dickens’ great novel of the city as nature, a place of pollution and recycling, predation and mutuality, destruction, production, and creation.
Tracing developments across Enlightenment, Romantic, and Victorian writings often studied separately, the course emphasizes primary texts and correlations between them. Raymond Williams’ The Country and the City offers some critical guidance, and we will take note of recent critical interests in the economic in literature and in ecocriticism. These, too, are typically pursued separately, but combine here.
The course can serve students in different ways: as introduction and overview for new students or those seeking a secondary field; as opportunity for field consolidation for those with a primary interest. Requirements: On-going seminar contribution, including a report and/or leading discussion (25%); response paper on a single text or set of short texts (7-8 pp., 25 %); longer paper building on the shorter one, more synthesizing and treating at least 2 authors (10-12 pp, 50%).


Understanding American Culture


TTh 11:30-1:20

In "Understanding American Culture" we’ll concentrate on the vital cultural-historical-political context of the literature covered in upper division American literature period courses. The course will give you a chance to read further than you have in the three areas we’ll cover: race and slavery in America, American religion, and consumer capitalism. As a class we’ll read key scholarly works on each of these topics. You will select one area for special emphasis and a 10-20 page paper. The course reading will range from Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class to more recent scholarship on our three large topics. In the paper you’ll be able to go deeper than in class into the area you select or to apply your reading to one or more primary works.


Literary Criticism: Classical (w/ CLit 507/French 576)


MW 1:30-3:20

Course description not available at this time.


Contemporary Criticism (w/CLit 510)


MW 11:30-1:20

The object of this course will be to introduce you to a complex set of debates that in my view constitute the cutting edge (or at least one cutting edge) of what is called "theory." We will begin with Aristotle as a way of setting up the traditional take on the complex of issues that contemporary theory is rethinking: the nature of language, thought, and poiesis in the context of the political community. We will then move on to Marxism, poststructuralism, and deconstruction, focussing on the concepts of ideology, desire, and the gift, with constant attention to the question of the political and the economic. Be forewarned: my emphasis is very strongly on understanding and analyzing what the thinker in question is actually saying ("close reading" of the texts), and then writing essays that demonstrate this understanding in a way that is both faithful and trenchant.
We will read the following works in something like the following order. I have despaired of keeping to a timetable, so I won’t go through the fiction of giving dates.

Aristotle, selections from Poetics
Derrida, "Signature Event Context"
Volosinov, selection from Marxism and the Philosophy of Language
Wittgenstein, selections from Philosophical Investigations
Lacan, the Mirror Stage and selections from Ecrits
Freud, passages from Civilization and its Discontents
Althusser, "Ideological State Apparatuses"
Marx, selections from The German Ideology and Capital
Zizek, selections from The Plague of Fantasies
Deleuze and Guattari, selections from Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
Baudrillard, "The Political Economy of the Sign"
Lyotard, "The Desire Called Marx," from Libidinal Economy
Spivak, selections from A Critique of Postcolonial Reason
Derrida, Given Time

I will ask you to write several very short papers in which you practice the fine art of concisely anatomizing a complex argument (say, e.g., two pages that say what Lacan is up to in The Mirror Stage), and then a longer but not very long final paper (8-10 pp.).


Introductory Reading in Old English


TTh 9:30-11:20

In this course we will learn to read English in its earliest written form, at a time when the Latin alphabet was relatively new to English (and still contained runic letters) and when the lexicon was still primarily Germanic. As we study Old English grammar and vocabulary, you will discover such things as where the wer in werewolf originates, how wifmann (‘woman’) could be a masculine noun, and why we still have some nouns in English that form the plural with –en (e.g., oxen). As the quarter progresses, you will become proficient at reading, understanding, and translating Old English poetry and prose, to the point that you will be able to read Beowulf in the original the following quarter. We will devote much of our time to learning the fine points of Old English grammar; in the process, we will read selections from Old English poetry such as The Dream of the Rood and The Wanderer and from Old English prose such as biblical translations, historical chronicles, and medieval medical texts. We will come to a better understanding of what it means to translate Old English and the ways in which studying Old English can make you a more sensitive reader of Middle English and Renaissance literature. We will also talk about the ways in which studying Old English provides a different perspective on language change and language diversity—and hence a new perspective on the language that you speak. This course will be valuable for students interested in both medieval and later periods of literature, as well as students interested in historical and modern language study.
Undergraduates are welcome. Expect regular translation and grammar exercises.


Arthurian Literature


MW 1:30-3:20

Dismantling the Arthurian Myth. The figure of King Arthur continues to emblematize the world of the Middle Ages even though contemporary resonances of this personage are essentially early modern in origin. The past twenty years have seen a revolution in the study of genuine early medieval witnesses to the Arthurian myth. Antedating Geoffrey of Monmouth’s twelfth-century establishment of the Arthurian canon, ancient accounts of a non-aristocratic Arthur, legendary Celtic women such as the Morrigan, the bestial Merlinus Rusticus, among other figures, have been edited and translated; hundreds of manuscripts documenting the earliest circulation of the legends have been catalogued and situated in hitherto unsuspected social contexts; other aspects of the material culture supporting these narratives have been brought to light and subjected to critical scrutiny. With an eye toward bolstering individual seminar members’ preferred theoretical approaches with new material, the primary goal of the seminar is to provide a key to the latest advances in the study of medieval Arthurian texts.

New Arthurian Encyclopedia, ed Lacy, Norris J., et al. Garland 1995, 0815323034
Thorpe, Lewis, tr., Geoffrey of Monmouth: The History of the Kings of Britain 0-14-044170-0
Marie de France, Lais, trans. Robert W. Hanning and Joan Ferrante (Baker Books 080102031X or 0525143408)
Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances Boston, Tuttle 1993 046087389-X
Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, ed. Hieatt Bantam 1982 0553210823
Malory, Le Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript, ed. Cooper, Helen, Oxford 0192824201


Reconstructing American Reconstruction


TTh 1:30-3:20

This course could also be called "Representing Reconstruction," since it focuses on the various representations of the (literary) historical moment (roughly 1863-1877) coincident with the end of the Civil War. I am interested not only in reading the texts that emerged from, and attempted to give shape to, the legal, cultural, and literary climate, but also in understanding the ways in which Reconstruction itself became a trope for future texts. Thus while the course begins with Louisa May Alcott's 1863 story about the attack on Fort Wagner by African American soldiers, it ends with the film version, Glory, which redeploys Reconstruction as a metaphor for racial harmony and sacrifice. Starting with emancipation, we will first look at the initial attempts by Alcott, Albion Tourgee (Fools Errand), Lydia Maria Child (Romance of the Republic), Rebecca Harding Davis (Waiting for the Verdict) to engage in the work of literary nation building. Then we will consider the reactions to so-called "redemption," including Thomas Dixon's The Clansman and its film version, Birth of a Nation, Frances Harper's Iola Leroy and Charles Chesnutt's Marrow of Tradition. Finally we will consider Hollywood's attempts to rewrite Reconstruction (along with the histories of racial representation, citizenship, and gender relations) through Gone With the Wind, Glory, and Sommersby. Accompanying these readings will be a set of theoretical, critical, and historical secondary texts.


Cold War Feminisms: Sexual Politics and Postwar U.S. Culture


MW 3:30-5:20

This course will approach the study of the Cold War as a feminist, cultural studies project. The "feminisms" of the title invokes both the feminist methodology to be employed and the period’s particular interest in domesticity and femininity. Although critics like Elaine Tyler May and Joanne Meyerowitz have provided useful directives for Cold War feminist studies, we will attempt to bring together a wider variety of cultural texts and issues, not all of them perhaps explicitly concerned with women’s experiences. The reading list for this course will be quite long. In addition to works by Betty Freidan, Ann Petry, and Lillian Smith we will also look at works usually neglected in overviews of the sexual politics of this era. These include: John Hersey’s Hiroshima; Hisaye Yamamoto’s Seventeen Syllables; John Okada’s No-No Boy; Jo Sinclair’s The Wasteland; James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific; Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt; Americo Paredes’s The Hammon and Beans; and Chester Himes’s If He Hollers Let Him Go. We will also view and discuss at least two films (possibly Bad Day at Black Rock and The Best Years of Our Lives). These works will be buttressed by additional readings from the era that include: excerpts from Alfred Kinsey; Louise Farnham; Philip Wylie; Daniel Bell; Leslie Fieldler; Ruth Benedict, and David Riesman. We will also read critical essays by scholars like Alan Nadel; Robert Corber; Wendy Kozol; May and Meyerowitz; and Kaja Silverman. We will also test assumptions about sexual politics in postwar U.S. culture, as well as expand the terrain of previous feminist analyses of the period.


African American Feminist Epistemology & Pedagogy


MW 3:30-5:20

This interdisciplinary course surveys African American feminist theories of knowledge, gender, race, sexuality, and class, and black feminist theories that outline an emancipatory educational vision and a liberatory pedagogy. The texts consist of literary, sociological, and psychological studies of black women’s education, intellectual history and critical essays by and/ or about women, including Ann duCille’s Skin Trade, Lois Benjamin’s Black Women in the Academy, and bell hooks’s Teaching to Transgress. We will explore what black feminists have written about how African American women know, reason, learn, and teach. The course is designed to develop and enhance prospective instructors’ encounters with both African American women students and black feminist pedagogy. One or two texts by white feminists on the function and play of whiteness in U.S. education.




TTh 11:30-1:20

Stylistics is an approach to literature based in linguists and discourse analysis, and it has changed a good deal since the days of Stanley Fish’s "What Is Stylistics and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things about It?" Contemporary stylistics focuses on three areas: comparisons of naturally occurring discourse with literary representations of that discourse, cognitive representations of literature that are socially shared, and examinations of the community of readers for whom literature is a salient category. We’ll examine all three areas in this course, as well as survey the major works in stylistics over the past three decades. We’ll practice applications to genres of literary works, you’ll be expected to make a presentation on a major theorist in stylistics, and you’ll be expected to make a presentation on a major theorist in stylistics, and you’ll produce an extended analysis of a literary work as a final seminar paper.

Mills, Sara. Feminist Stylistics
Radway, Janice A. A Feeling for Books
Toolan, Michael. Language in Literature
Turner, Mark. The Literary Mind
Weber, Jean Jacques. The Stylistics Reader: From Roman Jakobson to the Present


Approaches to Teaching Composition

Stygall / Bawarshi / Dillon

TTh 3:30-5:20

This seminar serves as both an introduction to the field of rhetoric and composition as well as a continuation of the orientation for new Teaching Assistants. The course begins with an overview of the field and turns initially to readings and discussions about practices in the writing classroom. From there we will move into more theoretical (but still pedagogically oriented) discussion of rhetorical theory, rhetorical history, genre theory, and multicultural approaches. We will also spend some time reading and discussing materials on Standard English and non-prescriptive approaches to teaching grammar from a rhetorical perspective. Assignments will include at least six brief response papers, a mid-term analysis of a personal teaching artifact, and a final seminar paper in which an empirical analysis of writing is the central focus.

Martha Kolln. Rhetorical Grammar, 4th ed. Richard Miller. As If Learning Mattered: Reforming Higher Education Course packet


The Ethnographic Study of Oral and Written Discourse


TTh 1:30-3:20

The purpose of this course is to explore the ways in which ethnography has been used to do research on and problematize our notions of orality and literacy. After the class reviews articles describing (and we discuss the nature of and methodology used in) functional, interpretive, and critical ethnography, we will read Shirley Brice Heath's Ways with Words (1983), a classic ethnographic study on orality and literacy. Afterwards, we will examine a series of essays that critique Heath's work. To avoid basing all of our assumptions about ethnographic research practices on Heath's study alone, several students in class will be asked to report on a number of other ethnographic studies in the field. We will then consider some of the key issues that have led to the theoretical and ideological reconceptualizations of the relationship between orality and literacy as autonomous, continuous, and dialectical entities. Finally, we will engage in a discussion about Brian V. Street's formulation of orality and literacy as communicative practices. In addition to a short midterm essay based on our readings, each student in class will develop a longer final paper based on a pilot study that investigates some aspect of spoken and/or written discourse in an area of personal interest.


Practicum in TESL



English 570 is a credit/no credit course in which students sharpen their understanding of the technical, interpersonal, and practical elements involved in effective ESL teaching through regular observations of ESL classes, daily ESL teaching or assistance and observation in an ESL classroom, and seminar discussion of issues and problems related to ESL teaching. No required texts. Only open to MAT(ESL) students.


Theory & Practice in TESOL


MW 1:30-3:20

This course is an introduction to theory, research, and practical aspects of teaching English to speakers of other languages. The course provides an overview of major issues in second language acquisition, teaching methodology, and classroom practice, as well as closely related topics in linguistics, psychology, sociology, and education. Topics include: the relationship between first and second language acquisition; age as a factor in language learning; contrastive analysis, error analysis, and performance analysis; sociolinguistics and discourse analysis; affective variables; methodologies of language teaching; language policy; needs analysis and syllabus development; testing; and current theories of second language acquisition.
Text: Larsen-Freeman and Michael H. Long, An Introduction to Second Language Acquisition Research.
Packet of readings.


Pedagogical Grammar


TTh 1:30-3:20

This course is designed to provide language teachers with a working knowledge of those structures most crucial in the teaching of English as a second/foreign language. In addition, students in this seminar will: relate and apply knowledge of the structures studied to classroom situations (i.e., student errors, student questions, lesson planning, etc.); review recent research on explicit grammar instruction; develop a repertoire of techniques for teaching grammar; and evaluate and critique grammar texts and grammar tests. In order to develop descriptively rather than prescriptively-oriented ESL course materials, seminar participants will also conduct original research on grammatical structures in use as they occur in authentic spoken or written discourse.


Sociocultural Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (w/Asian 503A)


MW 2:30-4:20

This seminar examines second language acquisition from a perspective informed by the writings of Vygotsky and his contemporary interpreters. After establishing a theoretical framework through reading of theoretical sources, the seminar will turn to examination of second language research which utilizes neo-Vygotskian framework for analysis of data. This is not a course about teaching methodology, but the literature presented in the course will provide evidence upon which language teachers may consider methodologies of teaching, and should stimulate analysis of language acquisition and teaching experiences of students enrolled. Previous background in SLA is helpful, but not required. The course will be taught in a seminar format with both lecture by the instructor and presentations and discussions led by students enrolled.


Creative Writer as Critical Reader


TTh 1:30-3:20

Memory, Culture, and Art. This course will focus on how writers of both poetry and prose view the tools of writing: experience, memory, technique, revision, and how they examine the effects of contemporary cultures on those tools. This is a course for writers to explore the process more than the product, the concerns that carry writers from idea to the written word.


Advanced Fiction Workshop


MW 3:30-5:20

In this class students will write 3 short stories, the first one 1,000 words in length, and second and third 15 to 25 pages. They will also turn in one writing exercise a week assigned from John Gardner's "The Art of Fiction," and one plot outline for a new story each week. Class participation in the daily discussion of stories we workshop is not only mandatory it is crucial, for each student will critique the work of at least two others students during fall term.


Advanced Poetry Workshop


TTh 11:30-1:20

Course description not available at this time.

English Graduate Studies

Graduate Study in English at the University of Washington