Autumn Quarter 1999
 English Graduate Studies  | University of Washington Graduate School English Department 

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Reading Medieval Literature


TTh 9:30-11:20

     This seminar will focus on a few of the major "books" of the later fourteenth century: Chaucer's Legend of Good Women, the poems of the Pearl MS (Pearl, Patience, Cleanness, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), and the A Text of Piers Plowman. We will examine linguistic, textual/editorial, and literary issues.
     I am particularly interested in matters of form and closure in these (and other) texts, and we'll definitely be addressing the matter of "versions" in regard to at least two of them (e.g., the two prologues to the Legend, the alternative endings of the A Text--and by implication at least the B, C, and Z Texts of Piers). The seminar presumes some (slight) familiarity with late-medieval English language and literature-an undergraduate Chaucer course or Middle English survey.
     The course will require oral reports on selected recent criticism on these poems and some substantive written work.


The Renaissance & Literary Tradition: Teaching Shakespeare; Teaching Spenser


MW 3:30-5:20

     One purpose of 501 is to show how Renaissance texts require something different if they are to be read well from what texts from other periods do. In this course we'll do that by focussing on just two authors, one--Shakespeare--greatly loved and hugely read in the twentieth century, even by people who haven't the first clue about the English Renaissance, the other--Spenser--greatly loved but seldom read, even by English graduate students. The two illustrate beautifully a seeming paradox of literary history: the first apparently accessible, "easy" to read and (beyond the now somewhat archaic vocabulary) without much need for "historical context" (Shakespeare, Our Contemporary, one critic titled his book); the other apparently IN-accessible, seemingly "hard" to read--indeed, completely impossible without stacks of arcane preparatory work. As one might imagine, of course, Shakespeare turns out to be more difficult to read well than many moderns have thought, and Spenser turns out to be a great deal easier--provided one starts from the right place.
     Within that context, the business of this course will be twofold: First, we will find and explore at least one such "right place" from which the reading of Shakespeare can be interestingly complicated, and the reading of Spenser interestingly simplified, and that will be the place of "knowing"--for the Renaissance generally had a sense very different from ours of what it knew, how it knew it, and what good any of what it knew actually did. And second, we will focus all our reading and discussing through questions of teaching each of these authors. Those questions would include: What are the problems teachers encounter when they set out to teach these authors? What might one choose to accomplish in the teaching of Shakespeare? Why would one want to teach Spenser at all? How can one make the language of Renaissance England come to life for late 20th-century readers?
     Texts: Shakespeare, Henry IV, part 1, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, Pericles (Signet Editions); Spenser, The Faerie Queene (Penguin Classics); Miller and Dunlop, eds, Approaches to Teaching Spenser's Faerie Queene; (MLA, 1994); Hunt, ed., Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare's The Tempest and Other Late Romances (MLA, 1992); Teaching Shakespeare into the 21st Century (1998); Rice and Grafton: The Foundations of Early Modern Europe, 2nd ed. (Norton, 1994). Xerox packet.


Black Film: Theories of Race and Representation


MW 1:30-3:20



Critical Approaches to Literary Texts

M. Griffith

MW 9:30-11:20

     English 506 (Fall, 1999) will be an advanced introduction to Literary/Critical Theory for first-year graduate students and more senior ones who have realized they need Theory. The readings will familiarize students with key questions, terms, and methods of inquiry characteristic of recent Theory and its relations to literature. Because no one can learn Theory watching others do it, there will be a goodly number of short papers in the course (but no final exam nor large seminar essay). Students should have read with great care David Richter (ed.), Falling into Theory by the time of the first class meeting. If you have questions, call (206) 543-3072, email, or come by my office (A11F Padelford).
     Note: Though I have constructed this class as an autonomous seminar I have also worked out the sequence of readings to parallel the readings in Mark Patterson's English 531. Students wishing more coherence than sometimes available in their classes might think of registering for both courses, but, rest assured, a decision not to do so will put no one at a disadvantage.
     Texts: Terence Hawkes, Structuralism and Semiotics; Roland Barthes, Roland Barthes; Etienne Balibar, Race, Nation and Class; Patricia Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights; Diana Fuss, Essentially Speaking; Judith Butler, The Psychic Life of Power (and, of course, the Richter book mentioned above).


History of Criticism and Literary Theory I (CLit 507)


MW 3:30-5:20

     This course is the first in a series of survey courses on the history of literary criticism and theory in the West. It will concentrate on ancient literary theory from Plato to Augustine by way of Aristotle, ancient rhetoricians, Horace, Plutarch, Longinus and Plotinus. Students will be asked to give one presentation in class and to write one substantial term paper.
     This course fulfills the requirements for the Ph.D. Program in Theory and Criticism.


Contemporary Criticism (CLit 510)


MW 11:30-1:20

     The object of this course will be to initiate you into the lingua franca of contemporary literary criticism - that blend of "discourses" (as we like to call them) drawn from all over the place - Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Saussure, Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, and so forth. We obviously don't have time to do everybody, so I've tried to create the richest melange of texts we can do. Be forewarned: my emphasis is very strongly on understanding and analyzing what the thinker in question is actually saying, and then writing essays that demonstrate this understanding in a way that is both faithful and trenchant - the sort of thing that Derrida in the Grammatology called "doubling commentary."
     We will read the following works in 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
Derrida, Signature Event Context
Austin, selections from How to Do Things with Words
Todorov, Verisimilitude
Keats, Odes; Eliot, Prufrock
Volosinov, selection from Marxism and the Philosophy of Language
Lacan, The Mirror Stage and selections from Ecrits
Freud, chs. 7-8 of Civilization and its Discontents
Derrida, Before the Law
Althusser, Ideological State Apparatuses
Marx, selections from The German Ideology and Capital
Robinson Crusoe
Glisserman, The Vicissitudes of Greed
Zizek, The Spectre of Ideology

     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 (8-10pgs.).


Introductory Reading in Old English


Daily 8:30

     This is a beginning course in the earliest written form of the English language, indispensable for study of literary (and other) texts in Old English, extremely helpful for study of English texts of the entire middle ages, and fundamental to historical study of the English language. And if that's not enough, it's fascinating stuff. It transforms Chaucer's language from "olde English" into nearly modern, makes you a far more accurate and sensitive reader of Wyatt and Surrey, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and the seventeenth century writers, and gives you a long enough perspective on language change and diversity to be able to understand better your own language and its uses.
     There are no enrollment limits on this class, and undergraduates are welcome.


Victorian Lit & Political Economy


MW 9:30-11:20

     This course presents a new development in Victorian Studies with its focus on Political Economy or Utilitarianism. As Raymond Williams says, this socio-political-economic theory influenced a great deal of radical thought in the period, but it is hard for critics to take account of it because of "a very confused idea of what Utilitarianism was as a reforming movement." The course aims to clarify the confusion. It joins with some other current efforts of scholarship to press back before Marx and to widen what has been a predominantly Marxist frame of reference for criticism and theory concerned with literature in relation to socio-economics. The course contends against a caricature of Political Economy/Utilitarianism that has made it into something too easy to love to hate in Victorian Studies. After brief, influential (unflattering) introductions to of Political Economy/Utilitarianism from Altick to Foucault, we will develop our view through primary readings drawn from: selections from Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations; Jeremy Bentham, ntroduction to Principles of Morals and Legislation and essay on "The Panopticon," Thomas Malthus, Essay on the Principle of Population, J. S. Mill, selections from Political Economy and "On Liberty" OR "The Subjection of Women," two chapters from Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, Charles Dickens' Hard Times and Bleak House, Anthony Trollope's short novel The Warden, a (shorter) novel by George Eliot or George Gissing. The course may be of a more informational bent than many seminars because there is a lot to learn about Political Economy/Utilitarianism in itself, while we will retain a place for consideration of criticism (drawn from an overview of studies of Victorian social history by Christopher Kent, and selections from D. A. Miller, Nancy Armstrong, Mary Poovey, Jeff Nunokawa, Lee Erickson, myself, and, I hope, 1-2 advanced UW students).
     Seminar participants will give an "historical brief" and be responsible for either leading discussion of a work read in common or giving a report from a work not read by all (e.g., David Ricardo, Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Gaskell). There will be a 3-5 pp. paper answering the basic question: "What is Political Economy/Utilitarianism?" and an 8-10 pp. critical paper interpreting the discourse of Political/Economy/Utilitarianism in the work of one of our authors. In class 25%, short paper 25%, long paper 50%. The course may serve students in different ways: Extension or shift of understanding of Victorian Studies as a field. For those interested in Marxist approaches prevalent in many areas of English Studies, grounding in the position that Marx critiqued. The course is relatively focussed rather than general-purpose. But while some class members will have background in Victorian literature, and perhaps some in Marxist-based literary criticism and theory, few are likely to have substantial background in Political Economy/Utilitarianism, so that an introductory approach will be appropriate.


The Long American 18th Century


TTh 1:30-3:20

     This course will survey American literature from 1630 to 1799, making this "century" very long. Just as English literary historians often begin their eighteenth-century in 1660 because of historical disruptions and reconstructions, we will look at American literature of the eighteenth-century as starting with the Puritans. Throughout this 170 year span American writers negotiated their forms, identities, and social agendas with and against various European authorities. Among the writers we will consider are John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Jonathan Edwards, Phillis Wheatley, Benjamin Franklin, Timothy Dwight, Hannah Foster, Susanna Rowson. The course is designed for those who want background in colonial American literature, and its requirements will include a "mock" Ph.D. exam, a longer essay, and class presentations.
     Note: Though I have constructed this course as an autonomous seminar, I have also worked out the sequence of readings to parallel the readings in Malcolm Griffith's English 506 (Critical Approaches to Literary Texts). Because we will be focusing on reading (a lot of) primary materials, you might think of registering for his course as well as a way to think about parallel theoretical issues. However, you will not be at a disadvantage if you register only for this one.
     Texts: Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography; Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland; Hannah Foster, The Coquette; Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple; Giles Gunn, ed., Early American Writing; course packet.


American Feminist Writing 1940-1960


TTh 11:30-1:20

     Description not available at this time.


Radical Writers in Cold War America


TTh 11:30-1:20

     Well-respected American radical writers as obscure as Meridel Le Sueur, Josephine Herbst, and Albert Maltz and as famous as Arthur Miller, Richard Wright, and Allen Ginsberg created powerful political art during the early Cold War (1945-1960). In the face of and sometimes stimulated by official suppression, they produced a body of work that is especially important today, partly because it brings into sharp focus the American Inquisition, a period that for most contemporary readers is still hazy and not at all well-understood. The radical political art of the Cold War also shows that, contrary to the standard view of the buttoned-down fifties, strong currents and undercurrents of radical exposure were stirring during the decade. This politically committed art challenges contemporary readers whose postmodern sensibilities favor irony and an absence of closure. For today's readers the powerful, engaged art of the Cold War period places current practice in historical perspective, so that readers can better understand their preferences and also extend them, since many people find the earlier literature compelling and not, as advertised, flat and monolithic. In any case, one of my aims is to articulate in the radical art of the Cold War those qualities that continue to speak to contemporary readers. For my purposes Allen Ginsberg is important because he is disruptive in several ways: of Cold War complacencies, for example, and also of any attempt on my part to put the radical art of the period into neat compartments, since Ginsberg encourages us to regard as problematic such categories as "avant-garde," "modernism," and "postmodernism," concerns we will engage in the course.
     Although I'll probably scale down the list, I'm planning to read a few of Meridel Le Sueur's stories from the thirties to contrast with her postwar work. Selections from Arthur Miller's autobiography, Timebends, and A View from the Bridge will play off against the Kazan/Brando film On the Waterfront, which in turn plays off against The Salt of the Earth, a still-neglected film made by blacklisted film makers. As part of a unit on Holywood, we will read Dalton Trumbo's The Time of the Toad, Albert Maltz's A Day in the Life, and selections from HUAC testimony. Then Ginsberg through "Kaddish" and Wright's last novel, The Long Dream.


British Modernism


TTh 1:30-3:20

     This course will orient the student with a general overview of British Modernism circa 1909-1930, as well as engage current critical debates in the field.  We will focus on issues of form: embodiment, narrative, and materiality; as well as historical avant-gardes such as Vorticism and Imagism.  Texts will include both prose and poetry: Conrad, The Secret Agent; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Lewis's Tarr; as well as the poetry of Eliot, Pound, and Loy.  Students will give a presentation summarizing critical arguments on a particular author; write a book review of recent critical text, and pen a final paper combining formal and critical analysis.  The course will accomododate both those new to the field and more jaded practitioners.


Theories of Literary Functions: Emotions in Readers & Performers


MW 11:30-1:20

     Theories of literary functions treat responses for which literary texts seem particularly fitted. Many literary texts seem particularly fitted to produce strong, interesting emotions, but literary theory has not, over the past two or three decades, taken great interest in this function, at least not until recently. Now, however, increasing numbers of scholars and critics are writing on the history and social uses of emotions and on the nature of emotions in readers of literary texts. This seminar aims to introduce new and continuing graduate students to ways of approaching feeling and emotion in readers of literature, to possible sensory bases of imagination (particularly nonvisual imagination), and to issues in teaching about emotion in literature.
     Students will apply secondary readings to primary literary texts, and groups will lead some of the discussion and exercises. Two or three modest papers, a longer paper, and an exam. Reserve list probably will include such works as: Abdulla, Catharsis in Literature; Berlyne, Aesthetics and Psychobiology; Dadlez, What's Hecuba to Him: Fictional Events and Actual Emotions; Damasio, Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain; Feagin, Reading with Feeling: The Aesthetics of Appreciation; Frey, Making Sense of Shakespeare; Harre and Parrott, The Emotions: Social, Cultural and Biological Dimensions; Kreitler and Kreitler, Psychology in the Arts; Rosenwein, Anger's Past: The Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages.


Cultural Studies of the 1950s (Clit 535A)


MW 3:30-5:20

     During the quarter we will look critically at contemporary and retrospective constructions of 1950's "America" and "American," taking up such interrelated topics as the cold war (consensus), communism, capitalism/consumerism, mass culture/popular culture, normalcy and deviance. Course materials are drawn from cultural criticism/cultural studies, literature, (social)science, history, cinema, television, and journalism. Disciplinarity and national security, histories and their functions as disciplines are problematics we will pursue in works investigating U.S. subjects and abjects, mass society and individualism, postmodernism and late 20th c. capitalism, memory and nostalgia, the cold war and its aftermath, historiography, and "the crisis of liberalism." Students are expected to have read Foucault's Discipline and Punish and Ellison's Invisible Man prior to the seminar. Other required texts are: Doctorow, Book of Daniel; DeLillo, Underworld; Jameson, Postmodernism and Late Capitalism; and a course packet.


Psychoanalysis and Colonialism: Colonial Parochializations (Clit 535U)


TTh 7:00-8:50

     The emergence of psychoanalysis in the late nineteenth century occurred simultaneously with the theorization of nationalism and at the height of colonial expansion. In this course, we will explore the relationship of psychoanalysis to colonialism, decolonization and postcolonialism through literary and psychoanalytic texts. While studying the ways that psychoanalysis developed partially through the language of colonial disciplines such as archaeology and anthropology, we will ask why it is drawn upon as a resource for the understanding of the coloniality, decolonization, and questions of national subjectvities.
     Required Texts: Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo; Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego; The Future of an Illusion; Wulf Sachs, Black Hamlet; Frantz Fanon, Black Skin White Masks; Mayotte Capecia, I am a Martinican Woman and The Negress; Albert Memmi, Pillar of Salt; The Colonizer and the Colonized; Erik Erikson, Gandhi's Truth; M.K. Gandhi, The Story of my Experiments with Truth; Sudhir Kakar, The Analyst and the Mystic; Colors of Violence; Ritu Menon, Borders & Boundaries: How Women Experienced the Partition of India


Nature of Language


MW 9:30-11:20

     In academia, we traffic in language - reading, writing, and talking in order to transmit knowledge. In fact, Robin Lakoff goes so far as to argue that the university's only acts are speech acts. And yet we rarely step back to analyze the nature of the language in which we work. In this course we will examine both the structure and use of language - focusing particularly on English - as well as the role of conceptual metaphors and the relationship of language and thought. As we describe the system of language and our manipulation of it (from sound to syntax to discourse, from semantics to pragmatics to "the social"), we will consider various theoretical models for conceptualizing language, including structuralist, functionalist, generativist, and sociolinguistic schools of thought. No background in linguistics is required. This course will also focus on refining the research and writing skills that you need in the profession of academia - in anticipation of and as preparation for the writing of your thesis and the publication of your research in specific journals.


Approaches to Teaching Composition

Stygall / Dillon / Guerra

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 department teaching assistants. The course begins with an overview of the field in the past 30 years, with an emphasis on the ideas that have guided composition theory and practice, beginning with reading A Teaching Subject by Joseph Harris. Reading Harris will be interspersed with essays from Victor Villanueva's collection, Cross-Talk in Comp Theory. We may add David Russell's Writing in Academic Disciplines, 1870-1990 to this section. We then spend some time on language issues in the classroom, reading Martha Kolln's Rhetorical Grammar, and we'll close with Susan Miller's Textual Carnivals. Assignments include a weekly response paper on a reading, two group projects on curriculum design, one on writing in the disciplines and one on rhetorical grammar, a review essay of new work in the field. Each seminar participant creates a final teaching portfolio as well.
     This year we have scheduled three sections and for the first time we will admit graduate students who are not TAs but would like the opportunity to be appointed during the academic year. In the past, because we require both the Fall Orientation and the ENGL 567 as a part of holding a teaching assistantship, no new TAs could be appointed after the beginning of the Autumn Quarter. While attending the orientation and taking ENGL 567 does not guarantee a teaching assistantship, it does make mid-year appointments possible. All three sections will be reading the same materials and completing the same assignments. Places in sections will rotate through the three sections by the order in which students sign in.
     Texts: Joseph Harris, A Teaching Subject; Victor Villanueva's, Cross-Talk in Comp Theory; David Russell, Writing in Academic Disciplines, 1870-1990 (possibly); Martha Kolln, Rhetorical Grammar, 4th ed.; Susan Miller, Textual Carnivals.




TTh 11:30-1:20

     Texts: Gunter Kress and Theo van Leeuwen, Reading Images: the Grammar of Visual Design (Routledge: 1996), George Landow, Hypertext 2.0 (John Hopkins, 1997)
     SCOPE: The course will examine the markup languages (esp. TEI and HTML) that have been developed in the last fifteen years for coding online e-text and hypertext. We will look principally at their uses for artistic creation, scholarly exchange, and teaching. We will also examine the strengths and limitations of hypertext as a medium.
     TOPICS: We assume that the initial phase of describing, advocating, and celebrating hypertext (a la Jay David Bolter, George Landow, Michael Joyce, and Stuart Moulthrop) with its political metaphors of freedom/oppression and its proclamations of the End of the Age is over, done, finished, deceased, an ex-trope. We can move on to describing and assessing options in this new medium-a stylistics and rhetoric of hypertext. Issues will include the movement of the reader (controlled/wandering) through a document, text and/versus image as a mode of knowledge, and ways of representing structure in sites. Special attention will be given to visual design and the semiotics of the visual (Edward Tufte, Kress and Van Leeuwen).
     BACKGROUND AND EXPECTATIONS: The seminar will work from the point of view of the writer/maker/developer of sites rather than the consumer/reader. So you will need to become writers of HTML and taggers of TEILITE. HTML is very simple and gives results quickly, so that a working grasp can be developed in a few weeks (at the start of the course). No other computer languages are required.
     I will expect you to give reports and mount a final project on line, preferably a TEILITE edition of a text. We will meet in the A&S lab with Win95 on the machines. It would be good if seminar members come knowing a little HTML.


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


TTh 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 interlanguage; discourse analysis in language acquisition; and current theories of second language acquisition.


Pedagogical Grammar


TTh 11:30-1:20

     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.


Creative Writer as Critical Reader


TTh 1:30-3:20

     This course will examine how writers - both poetry and prose - processes, its demands, its foibles. We will be concerned with the life of the writer, how contemporary writers approach subjects, forms, and voice. We will consider what influences writers, from Richard Hugo's notion of geography and Alice Fulton's thoughts on fractal poetry to Isabel Allende's discussion of cultural parameters and Norbese Philip's look at language parameters. Finally, we will consider the importance of "schools" of writing, those writers who have expressed similar interests and approaches to writing, from the Dadaists to postmodernists.


Advanced Fiction Workshop


MW 3:30-5:20

     MFA status in fiction, or permission of professor.


Advanced Poetry Workshop


MW 11:30-1:20

     MFA status in poetry, or permission of professor. Prerequisite: English 386, or an equivalent second class in verse writing.


English Graduate Studies



     The class will be a seminar for MFA students who hold teaching assistantships. The students will meet occasionally with the instructor to discuss their teaching. Time and place TBA. No texts.

English Graduate Studies

Graduate Study in English at the University of Washington