Winter Quarter 2002
 English Graduate Studies  | University of Washington Graduate School English Department 

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History of Criticism and Theory II: Medieval to 18th Century (w/C Lit 508A)


TTh 11:30-1:20

This course aims at familiarizing students with the thinking about literature that was done in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, and with the two-way interchange between theory and production that took place during this time. The survey begins with late antiquity and ends just prior to the French Revolution. Its constant theme is that literature conveys knowledge-but what kind of knowledge, how, how well, and to who change radically, as one might expect over so long a stretch of time. We shall study the changes in their sequence and seek for their causes in various social and intellectual locales.
Required for the course: daily response papers and group work (in lieu of seminar reports), and a final examination (with the option of a final project instead for those who are ready to undertake one).
Texts: Hazard Adams, ed., Critical Theory since Plato, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Course packet available from the copy center at Suzzalo library.


Literary Criticism: Kojeve's Legacy (w/C Lit 510A)


TTh 3:30-5:20

Kojčve's Legacy -- During the years 1933-1939, the French philosopher Alexandre Kojčve gave a series of lectures on Hegel that were to exert a deep influence on the French intellectual elite of the time. Although Kojčve's anthropological interpretation of the Phenomenology of Spirit has often been decried (especially by Jacques Derrida), it can be argued that it provides the philosophical key to modern French thought. This course will put special emphasis on Kojčve's influence on Sartre (the "for-itself" and the "in-itself"), Bataille ("sovereignty" and "useless negativity"), Blanchot (literature and death), Lacan (the "desire of the desire of the Other") and Girard ("mimetic desire"). -- The following texts will be read and discussed in class: Alexandre Kojčve, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel; Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness; René Girard, Deceit, Desire and the Novel; Georges Bataille, "Hegel, Death and Sacrifice" and "Letter to X, lecturer on Hegel"; Maurice Blanchot, "Literature and the Right to death"; selections from Jacques Lacan's writings; Jacques Derrida, "The Ends of Man". Students will be asked to write a substantial paper at the end of the quarter.
Required texts: Alexandre Kojčve, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel (Cornell University Press, 1980);
Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness (Washington Square Press/Pocket Books, 1966);
René Girard, Deceit, Desire, and the Novel (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1965).
The other texts will be photocopied.


Old English Language and Literature: Beowulf


MW 1:30-3:20

This is the second part of the two-part sequence in Old English Language and Literature, completion of which may serve to fulfill a graduate language requirement. In this seminar we will undertake a close reading of Beowulf, the most substantial surviving Old English poem, in the original language. Considerable attention will be paid to the most recent work in Beowulf studies, notably Kevin S. Kiernan's revised edition (1996) of his controversial study of the original manuscript; feminist criticism on Wealtheow and other women figures in the poem; ideological background studies of the Germanic migrations; and archeological and more broadly cultural approaches to the contextualization of this enigmatic poem. Course Texts: Klaeber, Beowulf (3rd ed.); Alexander, Beowulf: (Penguin)




MW 3:30-5:20

A seminar on Chaucer's narrators, or narratorial voices, and their tonalities and modalities. These were recurrent matters of critical discussion and debate in the twentieth century and look like they'll continue in the twenty-first. Some (like Kittredge), taking the 'Canterbury Tales' as their basic model, insist on hearing fully developed 'dramatic' characters giving voice to distinctly individual views. Others (like Leicester and Burrow) have taken his voices a less 'impersonated' and insist instead on rhetorical features (Payne) in his works. We'll take up these topics in some of Chaucer's earlier and later writings, selecting the readings on the basis of the needs/desires of the seminar members.
Seminar participants will present weekly short essays and an oral report on one (or more) secondary works; they will also lead discussion of one of the Chaucer texts, and complete a term paper on a topic related to the seminar.




TTh 1:30-3:20

This course charts the multiple, Protean transformations of "romance" in literary history. We will explore how different conceptions of the term emerge dynamically, in opposition to other types of literary production. Precisely because the history of "romance" is so complex, it serves as a touchstone for larger questions of literary and cultural theory. By exploring various definitions of "romance," we will discover ways to conceptualize more general problems of genre, reception, and the political import of imaginative literature. The central questions that we will address throughout are:
a) How does the history of "romance" as a category force us to rethink the historicization of literary genres? What kind of definitions can we provide for our own time that are both historically situated and yet flexible enough to help us recognize and analyze new forms of "romance"?
b) To what extent is the resistance to romance a resistance to the imaginative force of literature? How do reactions to romance register a culture's attitude towards the marvelous or to narratives with a broad popular appeal?
c) How may we account for the connections between romance and travel? In what particular ways does romance figure the encounter between Europe and its Others?
Texts will range widely, from Homer's Odyssey to Almodóvar's The Flower of My Secret.


Romantic Hellenism


MW 1:30-3:20

Romantic Hellenism is easy to document but difficult to conceptualize. We shall examine poetry (by Akenside, Byron, Shelley, Keats, et al.), prose (by Winckelmann, Schiller, Schelling, Hazlitt, et al.), and visual artwork (by David, Flaxman, Turner, et al.), seeking to understand the intense appeal of ancient Greece in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Depending on the interests of the students, the particular topics of consideration might include the erotic and political appeal of classical antiquity; the relations between Hellenism, Orientalism, and the Gothic; the commodification of antiquity; and the relation of classical scholarship to literary uses of classical mythology. Students will be expected to give a presentation summarizing critical positions on a particular text or author (or artwork or artist), write a review of a recent or older critical study, and write an essay of 10-12 pages.
Required Texts:
Byron, The Major Works, ed. McGann (Oxford, 2000);
Shelley's Poetry and Prose (2nd ed.), edd. Reiman/Fraistat (Norton, 2001);
Keats, Complete Poems, ed. Stillinger (Harvard, 1982);
David Irwin, Neoclassicism (Phaidon, 1997).
The remaining texts will be supplied electronically in PDF format.
Further information on the course Web page:


Victorian Literature and India


TTh 3:30-5:20

In the 19th C. India as distant resource moved into closer imaginative proximity and significance for the English nation and its literature as Anglo-India. Anglo-India has also recently moved into closer proximity to our own 21st C. American and Western concerns for its Afghan Wars. Cultural exchanges multiply over their material base in economics. Within a frame set by Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, Rudyard Kipling's "The Man Who Would be King" and other stories, plus Kim, Rabindranath Tagore's The Home and the World and other stories and essays, and E.M. Forster's A Passage to India, we will trace developments through stages: 1) The East India Co. from 1813; Political Economy and the Liberal Agenda; 2) Mid-Century and Mutiny; 3) After the Mutiny-the Great Game and Afghanistan; 4) Partition of Bengal, Boycott, and Indian Nationalism at the Turn of the Century. The first two stages are covered in good part by independent readings and reports (including my presentation from a book-in-progress); the second two by more discussion of texts read by all. Historical context is provided by selections on India in The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire, along with "historical briefs." Reports offer secondary literature selections by British and Indian writers. Critical/theoretical reference points will be drawn from the collection Literature and Nation, Britain and India, 1800-1900 and En-Gendering India by UW Ph.D. Sangeeta Ray (and former student in a UW seminar on Victorian Literature and India), with further coverage through reports from criticism on reserve.
Requirements: in-class report on materials not read by all (20min., 1-2 pp. handout); historical brief (5 min. or 10 min. max, 1 p. handout); informal lead-off of discussion of a primary work plus on-going seminar discussion; seminar paper (12-15 pp.).
Evaluation: 30% in-class work; 70% paper).


In Quest of an American Focal Center


MW 3:30-5:20

An exploration of the powers (and limits) of various cultural mechanisms seeking to impart integrity and communal consensus to a sprawling American society during the nineteenth century. A study of American art and culture in general--of government maps of the continental interior, for example, and lithographic prints--as well as of major theorists and critics of nation-building and cultural consensus such as Bhabha, Anderson, and Bercovitch to supplement our reading of literary texts. Readings include "Chief Seattle's Speech" (and an attendant series of textual and interpretative problems), Margaret Fuller on her encounter with native tribal peoples of the upper American Midwest, Whitman's poetry and prose, MOBY-DICK, selected fiction by Hawthorne, Douglass's slave narratives, a study of American class divisions and their disruptive potential in fiction by Rebecca Harding Davis and Stephen Crane, and, finally, a close reading of Henry James's THE AMERICAN SCENE, which from it's turn-of-the-century vantage point will help both to sum up and to sharpen our discussion of the problematics of an American focal center.


Race, Migration and Sexuality in American Literature


TTh 11:30-1:20

This course will provide students with an advanced introduction to recent theories and cultural studies of two related social processes: race and sexuality. In particular we will be concerned to establish the intersection between these categories of social and bodily organization within the context of inter- and intra-national migrations to and within the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Following Foucault's suggestion that modern politics must be studied within the broader rubric and social realm of governmentality, we will endeavor to think about both race (of which Foucault has little to say, though his model is richly suggestive) and sexuality as sites for the contest of modern governmentality. Throughout the class we will consider U.S. nationalism comparatively, looking to the work on other "settler" colonial formations (such as Brazil, South Africa, Australia, etc.) for alternative models for the study race, sexuality and governmentality at the turn of the century. Secondary readings will probably include essays by Foucault, Chatterjee, Balibar, Lowe, Roach, Spivak, and Rafael, Terry, Chauncey, Donham, and Mauer. We will read a limited number of primary texts from turn of the century U.S. literature to help ground our discussions. However, the literature will not be approached as sociological evidence for our theories, but rather as formal and aesthetic theories of the social.


Post-National American Studies


Th 5:30-8:20

How do we study the culture of the United States in an age of globalization? The purpose of this interdisciplinary graduate seminar is to develop an answer to this broad question. We will approach it by mapping the wide-range of meanings attached to the term "globalization" within contemporary, U.S. academic discourse, and by synthesizing a variety of approaches to it, focusing specifically on three geographical regions that have served as sites of much of the most innovative recent research in American Studies: the Atlantic world, the American Southwest, and the Pacific Rim. Colonial and post-colonial studies, world-systems theory, and recent studies of nation and diaspora will inform our readings. While our focus will be primarily on the U.S., we will understand that focus as requiring an appreciation of the wider American context since the late eighteenth-century.
In pursuit of a new model for doing American Studies, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which processes of knowledge-production have been shaped within a crucible of shifting national, sub-national, and trans-national communal formations and identifications produced out of the colonial encounter, the Atlantic slave trade, the nation-building project, and international labor migration. Our tentative reading list focuses on a selection of the major writings that have revitalized the field of American Studies over the course of the last ten years: Bendict Anderson, Imagined Communities; Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic; Philip Deloria, Playing Indian; Matthew Frye Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color; Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera; Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization; Melanie McAlister, Epic Encounters; Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts. Alongside of these secondary historical and theoretical writings, each week we will also read selections from primary documents, so as to more fully historicize contemporary thinking about "America" in the world.
Overall, the course will attempt to provide a framework for understanding a variegated contemporary lexicon in which types of what might be termed post-national(ist) governmentality are currently being imagined and elaborated, including often conflicting discourses of cosmopolitanism, civil society, and cultural justice.
This seminar will meet once per week for three hours. Students will be evaluated upon the basis of one in-class presentation and a final paper. To fulfill the first requirement, each week two students will be responsible for preparing in collaboration a brief introduction and a set of questions for the assigned reading. For the second requirement, each student will write a 10-12 page conference talk. Each of these assignments will ask the student to address a particular theme, issue, or topic from the course in greater depth. Topics must be approved in consultation with the professors.


(Mostly American) Women and Cultural Work, Paris: 1920-1940


MW 1:30-3:20

In this course we'll read literary and cultural texts (novels, memoirs, autobiographies, journalism, weird hybrid genres) to study the women writers, performers, artists, photographers, publishers, and general women-about-town who lived or worked in Paris between the wars. From well-known figures like Gertrude Stein through less-well-known writers, like Gwendolyn Bennett, to infamous characters, like Dolly Wilde, we'll take up such questions as whether we'd have Ulysses without Sylvia Beach and Margaret Anderson, what connections there were between the Harlem Renaissance and "Paris Noir," why Djuna hated Gertrude's admiring her legs, what sort of politics happened in literary salons, and how both "American culture" and "literary modernism" shape and are shaped by such questions. The reading will focus especially on the 1920's, but students may want to follow the transition of various American Parisian communities in the rapidly-changing Europe of the 1930's.
In addition to our common seminar reading, each student will focus on a single figure or cultural site, and share research and texts with the rest of us. This course is open to all students and would be of particular interest to those considering American literature and culture, literary modernism, and/or queer history and culture. A fascination with gossip also helps. . .


Traditions of the Avant-Garde


TTh 3:30-5:20

There was a messianic strain in the avant-garde that thought it would build the future upon "the ruins of time." The paradox of the title suggests that time remains the spoiler by some indelible habit of keeping track of itself and calling that history, while the outrageous avant-garde, in defiance of tradition, eventually became part of it, with traditions of its own. We shall be studying those traditions as a form of consciousness, along with the major strategies of the avant-garde, as they emerged in early modernism and still appear, not only in our most experimental forms but, in the trickle-down economy of the aesthetic, as conventions in fiction and poetry, as well as the media and popular culture. (The impetus of it all has been felt in theory, as with the emergence of deconstruction.). After a prefatory look at various manifestos from Symbolism through Dada and Futurism to the Russian avant-garde, the emphasis will be on Anglo-American practice that picked up on those incitements with its own scandal and modulations. "Make it new!" said Ezra Pound, and the syllabus will range from the onset of Imagism and Vorticism--launched in Blast by Wyndham Lewis--through Williams' Kora in Hell and the "tender buttons" of Gertrude Stein (with her affinity for Picasso and Cubism) to the conceptual art of Duchamp, who entered the American tradition in the antiaesthetic of John Cage, setting the scene for Robert Smithson, who in the Great Salt Lake of Utah built the Spiral Jetty, which in its disappearance had a considerable influence on artists and poets in New York.


Contemporary Rhetorical Theory: Genre Theory


TTh 11:30-1:20

In this course, we will examine contemporary rhetorical theory by way of genre theory, which will enable us to problematize popular notions of rhetoric as a type of discourse or a specialized skill. We will examine rhetoric not only as a dimension of all discourse, but also as "the condition of our existence"--a way of being, knowing, and acting in the world (what David Fleming calls "anthropological rhetoric"). Through the lens of genre theory, we will study rhetoric as both an action and an occasion--a habit as well as a habitat for acting in language. We will begin the course by reconsidering sophistic rhetoric in light of contemporary rhetorical theory and then, out of this rhetorical framework, embark on an intensive introduction to genre theory and explore its claims that genres are not just ways we define and organize kinds of texts (genres as classification systems), but also ways we rhetorically define and organize kinds of social actions (genres as sites of and for action). Along the way, we will grapple with such questions as: What is/are rhetoric(s)? What is a rhetorical situation (and can there be such a thing as a non-rhetorical situation)? What is the relationship between social and rhetorical action, and to what extent does genre shape both? Where do genres exist? How and why do genres change? Along the way, we will speculate on the "nature" and role of the writer, reader, text, and context in non-literary and literary genres, as well as the relationship between power and rhetoric, in particular, the kinds of social actions, identities, and relations that genres rhetorically make possible. Coursework will include presentations and a final research paper or its equivalent.


Topics in Language and Rhetoric: The Ethnographic Study of Spoken and Written Discourse


MW 11:30-1:20

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 several articles describing the methodology used in and the theory that informs ethnographic research, we will read Guerra's Close to Home (1998) and Cushman's The Struggle and the Tools (1998), two recent studies that examine the uses of oral and written language among Mexican immigrants and African Americans, respectively. During the second half of the quarter, we will 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 an extended discussion about The New Literacy Studies Group's formulation of orality and literacy as situated practices. In addition to a reading journal and a midterm essay, each student will develop a final paper based on a pilot study that examines 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. The course is intended for graduate students enrolled in the Department of English MAT(ESL) Program.


Methods in TESL


MW 10:30-12:20

Course Objectives: By the end of this course students will:
1. Be familiar with a wide range of approaches, materials and techniques for teaching ESOL.
2. Be aware of the general historical development of ESOL methodology.
3. Have developed a personal position on the desired roles of teacher and learner in some teaching contexts.
4. Be able to select or develop materials and techniques to fit different teaching situations.
For more details on the course see:


Critical Issues in TESL


TTh 10:30-12:20

This seminar will examine critical issues in TESL. We will look at pathbreaking discussions of such issues as critical pedagogy and critiques of the concept of "methods", English only, and the role of English worldwide.


Advanced Fiction Workshop




Advanced Poetry Workshop


TTh 1:30-3:20

Course description not available at this time.


Textual Studies: Textual Theory and the Arts (w/Hum 520 and C Lit 596C)


MW 3:30-5:20

This seminar is one of the four core courses developed by the campus-wide Textual Studies Program. Course credit will count toward the Textual Studies Ph. D. track in all participating departments and may count toward the Critical Theory concentration in Comparative Literature. This course is open to all graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Students completing this course will develop basic skills of literary scholarship (the use of literary archives; aspects of physical bibliography and the printing and production of books; scholarly editing; manuscript-based textual criticism) which will be of help for other courses.
The goal of this course is to challenge the assumption that textual theory and practice occupy a domain separate from literary theory and criticism, and from other disciplines such as art history, architecture, music or film studies. Confronting this territorial fallacy, the course will show that developments in contemporary theory have influenced, and at times radically altered, the direction of textual studies; and conversely, that textual scholars have often anticipated and conceptualized the speculations of theorists in intellectually provocative ways. The first part of the course will familiarize students with major theories of textual criticism and editorial traditions that address the concepts of authorship and authorial intention; the distinction between document, text, work and the physical book; "ideal" texts and transcendental hermeneutics; the relationship of biographical and sociological contexts to texts, and of creators to producers of literature; and the functions of readerships. It will also document contemporary controversies in textual editing (such as the challenge posed by Jerome McGann to established canons of editing), as well as debates about the editing of particular texts in Renaissance (especially Shakespeare), romantic (especially Keats and Wordsworth) and modern literature (especially Joyce's Ulysses). The second part of the course will explore the relevance of textual theory to the study of paintings and forgeries of art works; the philosophies of curation of historic houses; film adaptations of literary works and digital cinema. Students completing this course will learn to scrutinize the texts they are using and develop awareness of the editorial and cultural ideologies that inform them.
The course will involve the participation of several UW visiting faculty and three outside specialists: Professor Randall McLeod (University of Toronto), well-known for his provocative work of "unediting" canonical English writers, such as Shakespeare, Herbert and Donne; Professor Dick van Vliet, Director of the Constantijn Huygens Institute for text-editions at The Hague (Holland), author of numerous editions of Dutch literature and of a new scholarly edition of the letters of Vincent van Gogh; and Barbara Earl Thomas, a noted painter living in Seattle, and winner of the 1988 and 2000 Seattle Arts Commission Award for new non-fiction. Her work is exhibited in a number of prestigious private and public collections, including the Seattle Art Museum's permanent collection.
Readings include a wide range of contemporary writings on critical, textual, art and film theory. Assignments will include a final paper on one of the following topics: an essay on a particular aspect of textual theory; a critical edition reading text (with editorial rationale) of a poem or short story; a review of an existing edition and of controversies surrounding it; the history, transmission and alteration of a give literary or artistic work.

English Graduate Studies

Graduate Study in English at the University of Washington