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

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Lit Crit: Medieval & Renaissance (w/C Lit 508)
MW 9:30-11:20
     The course is concerned with major issues in literary criticism and theory roughly from Dante to Dr. Johnson.  Discussions will center on various toipcs in this large stretch of literary history: allegorical interpretation, the attacks on and the defenses of poetry, rules, the ancients vs. the moderns, opposed views of language, universals and particulars, the sublime and the beautiful, imagination, genius and taste, and the sister arts.  The course will conclude with study of Lessing’s Laocoon.  One oral report, one term paper. Texts: Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato (rev. ed.); Lessing, Laocoon; photocopied course packet.
Old English Language & Literature
MW 11:30-1:20
     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.  Texts: Klaeber, Beowulf (3rd ed.); Chickering, Beowulf: A Dual-Language Edition.
Topics in Medieval Textuality & Sexuality in the Middle Ages
TTh 1:30-3:20
     “Sexuality, Textuality and Spirituality: Writing Women in the Middle Ages” is a more exact title for this course, since it explores issues of gender in writings by and about medieval women and discusses medieval women’s visionary literature, devotional texts written for a female audience, religious texts which “read” women, images of women in medieval literature, and reading and writing as a woman in the Middle Ages.  How are women represented in the Middle Ages?  How do they represent their gender in their writings?  What, indeed, is Gender?  What do they write about?  How do they see themselves?  What is the margin, what is the center?  How do they represent their relationship with their God?  How do medieval texts create female self-images and articulate the parameters of female and male desire?  Other topics we will explore are the social/historical/political contexts of the literature which is at the core of the course, feminist theory which illuminates medieval texts, medieval misogamous and misogynous literature, what it might mean to read “as” a woman, and the question of “voicing” and authority in a text.  Mainly seminar-style discussion and reporting on readings of primary texts and secondary works.  Seminar-readings and some lectures contextualize the works in terms of iconography, history and medieval culture.
     There will be a number of required primary texts and context readings (feminist theory, sources, criticism).  Class reports/participation, short mid-term paper, final paper.  (Students will have a book review to write and will have as their final project research on one Medieval Woman, or on a topic arising from the course, which they will present to the class.)  Groups will have a final project on one of the “optional” books.  Much emphasis on discussion.  Readings will be mainly in modern translations (alas).
     Texts: Petroff,  Medieval Women’s Visionary Literature I; Fiero, et al., Three Medieval Views of Women; Marie de France, Lais; Shahar, The Fourth Estate: A History of Women in the Middle Ages; Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies; Blamires, ed., Women Defamed and Women Defended; Radice, ed. The Letters of Heloise and Abélard; Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast; Wilson & Makowski, eds., Wykked Wyves and the Woes of Marriage; Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent; Partner, ed., Studying Medieval Women; Lemay, ed., Women’s Secrets; optional texts: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers; Christine de Pizan, Treasury of the City of Ladies; Delany, ed. & tr., A Legend of Holy Women; Staley, ed, The Book of Margery Kempe.
Renaissance Colonialism
MW 1:30-3:20
     This seminar analyzes how Early Modern Europe digests or assimilates the New World with a special emphasis on English texts.  The course considers the genres of discovery and colonization—letters, “relaciones,” chronicles, utopias—and their transformation by writers from the Americas and later English authors.  How do rhetorical problems of quotation, translation, and certification shape European visions of the Americas?  How do literary strategies relate to imperial goals?  Some of the issues we will discuss include the contrasts between imaginary conceptions of the New World and first-person, experiential accounts; the central role of language in the American exchanges; the relation of English imperial expansion to that of other empires; and the intersections between desire and conquest.  All readings in English.  Texts: Jane, The Four Voyages of Columbus; More, Utopia; Diaz del Castillo, Conquest of New Spain; Nunez Cabeza deVaca, Castaways; Lery, History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil; Hakluyt, Voyages and Discoveries; Shakespeare, The Tempest; Cavendish, The Blazing World; Behn, Oroonoko.
The Decline of Humanism in Early Modern Culture
TTh 9:30 11:20
     In the Later Early Modern Period, the word “Humanism” had yet to be coined, and “humanist,” a much older word, was no longer in use.  The revival of the classics had long since spit into grammar-school exercises on the one hand and advanced professional philology on the other.  Old-style literary intellectuals spoke to a world that understood them—and cared to understand them—less and less.  As Pope put it ruefully, the Muses that now held the ears of kings were born somewhere near Smithfield, and their Helicon was Fleet Ditch.  All of which is to say that we have a classic condition of “decline” to look at—a situation where a well-established set of assumptions and aspirations were on their way out, where it wasn’t exactly clear what was to replace them and why, and where certain powerful minds that had grasped the beauty of the earlier hopes were fighting rear-guard actions and yet also doubting themselves.  This was the drama that held center stage in English literary culture during the first four decades of eighteenth century at least, and had a long off-broadway run before and after.  This course will (very briefly, I promise) take up the assumptions and aspirations of “humanism” as they appeared in strength during the early early-modern period, consider conditions both material and intellectual that militated against them as the years went on, study some of the more famous self-doubting “rear-guard actions,” and consider positions both aggressive and conciliatory that were groping toward something new.  All in ten weeks.
Wordsworth & Coleridge
TTh 1:30-3:20
     The Relationship between Coleridge and Wordsworth constitutes a unique episode in literary history and has been the object of great fascination among critics and biographers, especially in recent years.  As Thomas McFarland accurately states, Coleridge and Wordsworth “not only pervasively influenced one another; they did so in a way that challenges ordinary methods of assessment."” Indeed, it is hard to bring to mind two other writers whose literary careers changed so dramatically under each other’s influence and who appropriated each other’s subjects to such an extent that one critic thinks it plausible to regard their poetry as a single work, constituted by two simultaneous and interdependent voices (Paul Magnuson).  In this course we shall study the relationship between Coleridge and Wordsworth from the perspective of  gift exchange and sacrifice, a richly suggestive model that will shed new light on this remarkably intimate and deeply conflicted friendship.  More broadly, we will attempt to derive from this particular example a new theory of literary influence based on the dialectic of contractual exchange.
      We will begin with a close examination of major theories of gift exchange (as proposed, among others, by Marcel Mauss, Claude Levi-Strauss, Marshall Sahlins, Lewis Hyde, Georg Simmel, and Jacques Derrida) and of sacrifice as advanced by Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss; E. B. Tylor, W. Robertson Smith, J. B. Frazer, Sigmund Freud, Rene Girard, Georges Bataille and Jean-Luc Nancy).  Our discussion will focus on the following issues: (1) the distinction as well as the interdependence between gift exchange and commodity exchange; (2) the problem of the incommensurability between originary and return gifts which may introduce an element of purchase in the exchange of spiritual gifts; (3) the erasure of the distinction between donors and receivers in gift exchange and conversely, between sacrificer, victim, priest and deity in sacrifice; (4) the function of alienation and misrecognition in gift exchange and sacrifice; (5) the role of intermediaries in sacrifice and gift exchange, i.e., the sacrificial victim or the person through whom the gift passes; (6) the relationship between sacrifice and the gift and between sacrifice and self-sacrifice.  In the second half of the course we will study the successive phases of Coleridge’s interaction with Wordsworth, following the process whereby the two authors, who originally began their literary collaboration in the spirit of gift exchange, regarding their productions as “one-work,” as Coleridge productions, even as they remained entirely dependent on each other’s philosophical ideas and poetic subjects. Texts: Schrift, ed., The Logic of the Gift; Mauss, The Gift; Hubert & Mauss, Sacrifice: Its Nature and Function; Girard, Violence and the Sacred; Bataille, Visions of Excess: Selected Writings 1927-1939; The Oxford Authors: S. T. Coleridge; The Oxford Authors: William Wordsworth; Wordsworth, The Prelude, 1799, 1805, 1850; photocopied course packet.
The Antebellum American Moment
MW 7-8:50 p.m.
     Readings in Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Whitman, Douglass, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Melville and Rebecca Harding Davis.  The following two approaches will be highlighted: (1) study of the European Romantic legacy as filtered through New England Transcendentalism, including the representation of landscape and nature, post-Kantian epistemology, theories of language, psychological inquiries into the nature of the human subject, and anticipations of postmodernism; (2) study of the impact of reformist attitudes and politics on the literary envisagement of slavery, race, gender, national expansion, Indian removal, mass marketplace economics, and the rise of a vast industrial underclass. I will be encouraging, in other words, a double-sided seminar in which we do quite a bit of deep theorizing and thinking--close, intricate work with writers like Emerson, Fuller, and Melville--even as we seek to read literary texts in socio-political context rather than in abstraction.  In practice, and certainly in the texts that we will be exploring, both the intricately theoretical and the more immediately practical and historical operate together.  For example, to explore westward imperialistic expansion is already to become involved, at least in part, in complex aesthetic issues of landscape representation leading back to the European Romantics.  Race and gender both involve inquiry into cultural constructions of the human body.  Economics and epistemology go hand in hand. One advantage of mid-nineteenth-century American texts is that they tend to be intellectually complex and historically particular both at once. We will try exploit this advantage.
James Baldwin & Being
TTh 1:30-3:20
     Throughout his career, the late James Baldwin explored the human need, ability, and inability to achieve, as George Kent described it, "true, functional being" among "the dislocations and disintegrations of the modern world." In Baldwin, "the moral vision that emerges is one primarily concerned with man (sic) as he relates to good and evil and to society.  For there is evil in human nature and evil abroad in the world to be confronted.  Within the breast of each individual, then, rages a universe of forces with which he must become acquainted, often through the help of an initiated person, in order to direct them for the positive growth of himself and others.  The foregoing achievement is what Baldwin means by 'identity.' To achieve it, one must not be hindered by the detritus of society and one must learn to know detritus when one sees it." This course will study selected essays by James Baldwin, his novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, along with selected essays from David R. Roediger's Black on White: Black Writers on What it Means to be White. The critical text we will use is Satya P. Mohanty's Literary Theory and the Claims of History: Postmodernism, Objectivity, Multicultural Politics. The central question of the seminar is "How does one write the agentive (we do use words that are made up sometime!!!) self and attain at least a vision of wholeness in a traumatic, fragmented world of postmodernity (as defined and used in Grewal and Kaplan's Scattered Hegemonies)?" Students will select a novel on which to write a seminar paper, addressing this, or related questions raised in the seminar.
Asian American Lit
MW 3:30-5:20
     Events in the past few years have ushered in a renewed interest in the cultural politics of Asian American experience.  Whether one is rooted in transnational, post-colonial, marxist-feminist, New Americanist, or racial discourse theory--or, more likely, some combination of these--Asian American culture offers a unique critique of the teleology of theories of historical development and the resulting homology of national identity.  As Lisa Lowe writes, the disjunction figured in Asian Americans' alienated inclusion in American national culture has "created the conditions for the emergence of Asian American culture as an alternative cultural site" to "U.S. national memory and national culture."  In this course we will test the depth and shape of this contemporary thesis by exploring a range of literary works by Asian American writers that seem to prove Lowe's thesis. And we will also ask whether many early (and later) writers' adoption of conventional genres and ideologies does not also complicate the view of Asian American cultural production as "an alternative cultural site." The course will include a lot of reading in the interest of providing students with a range of historical and cultural perspectives that will, I hope, appeal to your various interests and projects.  Texts will include Mrs. Spring Fragrance; East Goes West; No-No Boy; Eat a Bowl of Tea; On Becoming Filipino; Seventeen Syllables; Donald Duk, Jasmine; Dictee; Dogeaters; and Monkey Bridge (the first novel by a Vietnamese American writer, published last year).  Also critical essays from: Vincent Rafael, Lisa Lowe, Marita Sturken, Jenny Sharpe, Susan Koshy, Inderpal Grewal, Min-Jun Kim, Oscar Campomanes, Sau-Lin Wong, Colleen Lye, David Palumo-Liu.
Machinist Modernism
MW 3:30-5:20
     This course will undertake an historical investigation of the relationship between modernism and various forms of technology.  We will explore modernism in an international perspective, focussing on Italian Futurism, American Dada, and British Vorticism.  Topoi will include: the body as machine, art and the assembly line; the natural v. the alien; and the role of reproductive technologies in modernism.  Genre will range from the plastic arts to novels, poetry and manifestos; we will explore the relationship between particular avant-gardes and the high/low culture divide, and how that divide is constructed indifferent historical, artistic, and social spheres.  Texts, authors, and artists will include: Futurist manifestos, BLAST 1 and 2, Mina Loy; Ernst Jünger; Hugh Kenner; “The Counterfeiters”; Hillel Schwartz, “Torque: The New Kinaesthetic of the Twentieth Century”; Hannah Höch; and Marcel Duchamp.  The student will be responsible for preparing a report either on a machine’s appearance in modernism, or a particular avant-garde’s use of a machinist aesthetic.  All texts will be available in English translation.
M. Griffith
MW 9:30-11:20
     Although Postmodernism is a movement now identified with many, many disciplines, this particular seminar on the subject will be text-based.  I want to focus the readings around the idea of “disruption” (of our sense of what makes a text, for example, or of our sense of history, or of what makes a life, or of our gender expectations), but the seminar will be the students’ as much as mine and so I want their desires for focus to come into play.  I am also interested in whether to extend the idea of “disruption” to the pedagogy of the course (including the kinds of discussions we have and the kinds of writing we do).  In other words, could we or should we create a Postmodern seminar in addition to a seminar about Postmodernism?  Anyone having more qeustions about the course may phone, email, or visit my office.  Texts: Taylor, Hiding; Malcolm, Silent Woman; Barthes, Roland Barthes; Cha, Dictee; Winterson, Written on the Body; Spiegelman, Maus & Maus II; Baudrillard, America; Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates; Lanchester, The Debt to Pleasure; Serres, Genesis.
The Gothic Novel (w/CLit 570)
MW 11:30-1:20
     This course will survey romantic gothic narrative, together with selections from romantic philosophy and from representative critical studies.  A particular focus will be the links that can be established between romantic philosophies of the self and fictional explorations of madness and the supernatural.  Fiction by Beckford, Lewis, Radcliffe, Dacre, Mary Shelley, Tieck, Eichendorff, Hoffman, Balzac, Pushkin, and Poe; philosophical and critical readings from Burke, Kant, Fichte, Freud, Kristeva, and important recent critics writing on the gothic.  Students will write a 5-page book review of a critical study of gothic and a 10-page essay integrating critical and theoretical perspectives.  This course has a heavy dose of light reading, together with a light dose of heavy reading; students are encouraged to select in advance the text or topic for your critical essay.
Feminist Theories (w/ Soc 590)
MW 1:30-3:20
     We will concentrate on some recent directions in literary and cultural studies in the fields addressed by SIGNS, Journal of Women in Culture and Society: gender, race, class, sexuality, and nation.  In so doing, some attention will be given to the changing shape of feminist literary criticism and theory.  In addition, students will have an opportunity to see how an academic journal is edited, how submitted articles come to be accepted, and what is expected of a publishable essay.  The seminar is open to students in all years of graduate study.
Cultural Studies (w/CLit 535)
TTh 3:30-5:20
     During the quarter we will look critically at (re)constructions of "1950's America," paying particular attention to representations of health and disease, normativity and deviance in an emergent "national security state."  The red scare, alien invader texts, homosexuality, the Kinsey Report and its critics, female sexuality, "revolting" youth (beats, juvenile delinquents), African-American civil rights, capitalism/consumerism, and mass culture are topics we'll take up in considering divergent constructions of the national good, America's champions, and internal security threats.  Critical readings in cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and power (primarily Foucault's biopower) supplement primary texts on 1960's America. Two, Public Burning and Underworld, are historical fictions written after the decade's end.  The rest are 1950's documents: literature, law, (social) science, politics, cinema, journalism, and other mass media. Requirements: active seminar participation, oral presentation, final paper.
Discourse Analysis
TTh 9:30-11:20
     This course surveys systematic approaches to the analysis of texts.  We will examine a wide variety of approaches including linguistics, conversation analysis, ethnography, critical language study.  We will explore means for describing the discourse we find around us from literary texts to popular culture to classroom interactions and examine how these display and (re)produce the cultures from which they spring.
Ethnography of Literacy
TTh 3:30-5:20
     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 nature of and methodology used in traditional and critical ethnography, we will read Heath’s Ways with Words (1983), a classic ethnographic study on orality and literacy.  Afterwards, we will discuss a series of essays that critique Heath’s work.  To avoid basing all of our assumptions about qualitative research practices on Heath’s work 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 Street’s formulation of orality and literacy as communicative practices.  In addition to a short midterm essay based on our readings, each student will develop a longer 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
     This 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.
Methods & Materials in TESL
MW 12:30-2:20
     This course provides an overview of approaches, materials and techniques for teaching English to non-native speakers.  Each of these aspects of teaching is looked at from the basis of a few well-established principles of second language acquisition pedagogy.  The course is divided into three main parts: (1) Principles, History and Contexts; (2) Teaching Techniques; (3) Pragmatics.  Students will be expected to participate in in-class discussions and demonstrations, work on a group project and write at least two papers during the course.  Prerequisites: Linguistics 445 or ENGL 571.
Creative Writer as Critical Reader
Th 3:30-7:10
     A reconsideration of literary influence, as seen from the poet’s position (somewhat removed from the Bloomian pool).  Iconoclastic preference for the ripples, or movement of craft (over the still reflection) on literary surfaces.  Passages from writers as various as Heraclitus and the Yoruba poets of west Africa, Li Po and James Joyce (no accident The Wake begins and ends in rivers!), Edmund Spenser and modern American poets (Whitman, Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, Josephine Jacobsen, Galway Kinnell, Wallace Stevens and others.  There is no way to prepare for this course, and there will be no textbook.  Students will be expected to attend diligently, think movingly, develop etymological skills, and submit a literary essay in the month of March.
Advanced Fiction Workshop
W 3:30-7:10
     MFA status in Fiction, or permission of professor
Advanced Poetry Workshop
TTh 11:30-1:20
     This course will examine language and patterns of poetry, with some emphasis on the "painterly" approach to writing.  This course is about poetry and poets, and will include reading commentaries by poets on poetic voice, how poets talk about the craft of poetry.  Writing assignments will be geared twoard voice, tone and technique.
Textual Studies (w/Hum 522 & CLit596C)
MW 3:30-5:20
     One of the four required core courses in the Graduate Textual Studies Program, this seminar provides an introduction to the bibliographical resources for the study of printing as a means of textual transmission; a practical introduction to printing in the hand and machine press ages; an introduction to descriptive and analytical bibliography, to scholarly studies on textual transmission; to the history of the book; a review of current textual theories; and practical experience in editing printed texts.

English Graduate Studies

Graduate Study in English at the University of Washington