Courses: Fall 2011
Classics 427, Greek and Roman Tragedy in English
SLN 12067, M/W, 2:30-4:20, Sarah Stroup
Study of the development of Greek and Roman tragedy, with extensive readings in representative plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Seneca.
Comp Lit 549/English 541, Migrations, Borders/Borderlands, Diasporas
SLN 20300 or 13539, T/Th, 1:30-3:20, Monika Kaup
Migrations, Borders/Borderlands, Diasporas: Contemporary Literatures and Cultures of Transnational Displacement
A broadly comparative course on the effects of transnational displacement and dislocation on culture, identity, and place as depicted in contemporary literature and cultural theory. All transnational displacements are not the same, and we will examine important paradigms featured in critical discussion on the topic: migration (the movement of peoples from one place to another); diaspora (scattered communities displaced over wide distances but held together by myths of the homeland); borderlands (transnational space centered on a geopolitical line).
Primary texts: Americo Paredes, George Washington Gomez; Francisco Goldman, The Ordinary Seaman; Edouard Glissant, The Fourth Century; Francisco Jimenez, The Circuit; as well as excerpts from Gloria Anzaldua; Thomas King; Alfonso Quijada Urias, and others. Secondary readings by Stuart Hall, James Clifford, Edouard Glissant, Bruce Robbins, Arjun Appadurai, Edward Said, Deleuze, Rosi Braidotti, Paul Gilroy, Doreen Massey, Karen Kaplan, Robin Cohen, William Safran, Iain Chambers, Rey Chow and others. Assignments: 12-15 pp. research paper; mock review of journal article; presentation on secondary readings.
Comparative Literature 596 C, Spanish Cinema (taught in Spanish)
SLN 20323, M, 2:30-5:20, Leigh Mercer
This course will give students a theoretical grounding in the development of Spanish film history and familiarize them with major trends in Spanish cinema, from the silent era to the globalized present. We will focus particularly on the uneven processes of modernization that have affected Spanish filmmaking. Included in the course are films by directors such as Segundo de Chomon, Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali, Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis Garcia Berlanga, Carlos Saura, Pedro Almodovar, Iciar Bollain, and Juan Jose Bigas Luna.
This course is offered as part of the MFA in Dance curriculum requirements with a focus on collaboration with other art forms. The emphasis is on learning about creative processes that extend across disciplines, while creating a common language to communicate ideas, generate material and reflect on the outcome. A variety of collaborative studies will encourage creative exploration and development of ideas from the conceptual stage to working models. While based in the Dance Program the outcome of the collaborative process is completely informed by the participants, their medium and artistic interests. The regular Tuesday/Thursday class meetings start October 19th. Some previous planning and meeting sessions are likely. Open to all graduate level students in the performing and fine arts
Dance 544, Topics in Dance History
SLN 12620, T/Th, 12:30-2:20, Th 2:30-3:20
Historiography as a mode of inquiry reflects a way of thinking about dance that draws one to understand and explain the past. The historian asks questions about the events, art works, and personalities that shaped dance in the past. Historical inquiry seeks to create a meaningful interpretation of what happened, an in some cases, why it happened and how it relates to who and what we are today. Penelope Hanstein, Reseaching Dance (p42)
This is a lecture course in western theatre dance history, specifically the history of ballet, stemming from its roots in Renaissance court dance through the mid-20tcentury. We will examine specific dances from this canon with attention to the cultural context in which they were created. Assigned readings and in-depth analyses of dances on video will guide our discussion of form, content, interpretation, and critical reception. Watching dances, class discussions, research and writing assignments will be integral parts of the learning process in this class, therefore, all reading and video assignments much be completed on time. This is a writing/research-intensive course. In general, Mondays and Wednesdays will be reserved for lectures and video-viewing, Fridays will be devoted to group discussion, in-class writing assignments and other participatory activities, which may movement classes, or additional video viewing. Dance experience is not required for the movement classes.
In general, Mondays and Wednesdays will be reserved for lectures and video-viewing, Fridays will be devoted to group discussion, in-class writing assignments and other participatory activities, which may movement classes, or additional video viewing. Dance experience is not required for the movement classes.
Drama 571, Historiography - "History, Memory, Narrative, and other disorders"
SLN 12731, T/Th, 2:30-4:50
"In the cellars of the Vatican, as narrow and winding as catacombs, there is a strange enormous graveyard. It is of parts of ancient statues, thrown on the ground in a rough classification, feet in one heap, then knees, then whole legs, and so on. There is something particularly poignant about the fingers and elbows. There are also parts of dogs and wild boars, and once the head of a Parthenon horse was found there." - Eleanor Clark, Roman Journal
The past, it seems, is always awaiting ordering: sorting, assembling, telling, re-assembling, and re-telling. In the case of the ancient statues, the Vatican's criteria was anatomical: "feet in one heap, then knees." With only fragments to go on, one choice may be as informed or arbitrary as another, and often is. The ancient statues might just as well have been ordered, say, by sculptor, or century, or subject. Or the pieces might be left utterly unordered in some monstrously dismembered, post-modern montage of feet, spears, and hydras. As it is, the elbows of Roman statuary co-exist with Renaissance re-makes, sharing only a common form, staring profuse and ambidextrously across the centuries.
The historian’s compulsion to order, to assemble and narrativize the past, and the problems of historigraphy are the subject of this doctoral seminar. Using a field of study, each student their own, we examine the problems of evidence, of narrative, of the genres and voicings of history. The end goal is to develop a tool kit of historigraphical styles, genres, approaches, available to the student, and suited to the field of study at hand.
Drama 581, Women of the Road, the Picara in the Theatre
SLN 12732, M/W, 2:30-4:50
The aim of the course is to study the pícara as she appears in theater or film as a character, and as she has lived in real life as an actress, playwright, director or other occupation. Our study will use both history and theory, particularly materialist historical feminism. We will proceed in general chronologically from past to present. The history of the pícara begins in ancient times, but is first recognized as a term in 15th century Spain that continues today. The picaresque novel and drama became recognized genres in Spain at the height of its colonial quest and Inquisition in the 15th and 16th centuries, when feudal and Catholic values were being eroded by those of early capitalism.
English 506, Modern and Contemporary Critical Theory
SLN 13531, M/W, 1:30-3:20, Brian Reed
Engages ongoing critical conversations that inform English studies, including: language, textual production, disciplinarity, the university, capital, nation formation, postcolonialism, the environment, race, gender, class, and sexuality. The historical focus is contemporary, with attention to foundational modern theorists.
English 532, American Anti-Worlds: The Aesthetics of Transgression in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
SLN 13536, M/W, 3:30-5:20, Robert Abrams
The clean, wholesome world assumed to set the nineteenth-century national standard in Currier and Ives engravings and Godey’s Lady’s Book notwithstanding, a dark American aesthetic exerts a power of its own, soliciting disgust, arousing fascination, summoning up repressive mechanisms, and throwing otherwise excluded possibilities into relief. Lots of rich issues are at stake in exploring such an aesthetic. To what degree does any would-be norm actually entail a reciprocal and interdependent system of differences, to the degree that a tale such as Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” becomes inseparable, at the bottom, from contemporary pamphlets on good, Christian housekeeping such that both sorts of texts at bottom require one another for their deceptively fractured modes of power. To what degree does system itself set the rules and boundaries which can then be violated by anti-system, repression invoke the carnivalesque, and normalization give rise to a reactive counter-world of the abnormal, the excluded, and the anomalous? Conversely, do specific modes of regulation and control actually derive their legitimacy, mission and structure from various forms of criminality and transgression? Or can this binary be transcended? That is to say, do ostensibly queer, freakish phenomena--which scramble and mongrelize assumed categories, blur taken-for-granted boundaries, mark epistemic limitations, and shatter parochial frames of reference--manage to preserve, in the process, a critical and skeptical openness in the depth of which radically different cultural alternatives might be created and spawned? Finally, do certain cultural forms move upon threateningly deviant, transgressive tendencies by absorbing them into the cultural mainstream, if in blunted, diminished, cosmetic ways? Background theorists will include Raymond Williams on the nature of culture, Bakhtin and Geoffrey Harpham on the grotesque, Mary Douglas on filth as epistemic disruption, Peter Stallybrass and Allon White on transgression, Witold Gombrowicz on the willed aesthetic degradation of mediating codes and norms, and Virgil Nemoinanu on theory of the secondary, with perhaps a bit of Foucault and a smidgeon of Freud. In a course that will focus primarily on the close, intensive reading of literary texts, these theoretical readings will supply us with helpful critical vocabularies and conceptual tools. Themes and issues foregrounded in contemporary scholarship--gender, class, race, sexuality and ethnicity—will all be addressed as we explore the way norms are established only to invite their disruption, transgression and critique. Readings in Whittier, Clement Moore, Poe, Dickinson, Catharine Beecher, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Margaret Fuller, Rebecca Harding Davis, Stephen Crane, and Henry James, perhaps supplemented by a bit of visual art: Blythe’s weird paintings, for example, and the luridly racist “Dark Town” series published by Currier and Ives
English 537, Slavery and Narrative
SLN 13537, T/Th, 11:30-1:20, Alys Weinbaum
Afterlives of Slavery
This course will explore how chattel slavery has been treated in a variety of contemporary texts. It will examine not only how these texts (re)conceptualize and (re)historicize the experience of slavery, but also how the racial, sexual, gender and economic dynamics set in place by slavery have been commented on and (re)configured in and by contemporary culture. At the center of the course are thus questions about how texts advance arguments about historical continuity (and/or discontinuity), and how they in turn enable meditation on changing racial formations and regimes of economic exploitation, and on historically contingent concepts such as property, class, consciousness, humanness, and freedom. Necessarily related issues that we will take up include human commodification, the power of various styles, forms, and genres to (re)narrate the history of commodification, and the different roles of the social sciences, literary fiction, and theory in the creation of historical memory and in the production of cultural critique. Over the quarter we will read a selection of contemporary fictional works (possible authors include O. Butler, F. Goldman, C. Johnson, E. P. Jones, V. Martin, T. Morrison, Perkins-Valdez, and I. Reed) and a range of theoretical and historiographical works on slavery and dehumanization (with focus on W. E. B. Du Bois, O. Patterson, and W. Johnson). We may also examine one or two films, depending on the interests of course participants.
English 540, Introduction to British Modernism
SLN 13538, T/Th, 11:30-1:20, Jessica Burstein
Introduction to British Modernism This course does four things: orient the student with an overview of British modernism circa 1900-1930; provide a general background for modernity torqued toward aesthetics; engage some current critical conversations in the field of literary modernism; and allow focus on the work of particular authors. The class is loosely organized around two heuristic rubrics, minds and matter: we will engage the topoi of embodiment and materiality, with particular attention to the status of mind or mindedness on the one hand and the modernist object on the other. Along the way the student will get a grip on the historical avant-gardes of Vorticism and Imagism—that's history—and some sense of how to do research in periodical studies, arguably one of the major legacies we have from the era—that's methodology and history. Texts include prose (Conrad's The Secret Agent; Ford's Good Soldier, West's The Return of the Soldier; a story by Woolf), poetry (Loy, Pound, Eliot), essays and manifestos, and perhaps Wyndham Lewis's novel Tarr if a decent copy is available (there are several issues floating about and only one is worthy at the introductory level, by my lights). Students will write a 1,000 word book review of a critical monograph published 2010-11; and a 20 page final research paper. Strongly suggested pre-class reading: A canter through Levenson's The Genealogy of Modernism for theory and Ekstein's Rites of Spring for event would be appropriate break reading. Too, check out The Modernist Journals Project online—try Blast under "journals": http://dl.lib.brown.edu:8081/exist/mjp/index.xml. You might also acquaint yourself with the scholarly journal Modernism/modernity and Modernist Cultures (free online through our library) for a sense of current critical conversations.
English 544, Continental Criticism: Contemporary Afraican Thought
SLN 13540, M/W, 1:30-3:20, Louis Chude-Sokei
In the wake of Cultural Studies, Black Atlantic, Diaspora and Post-Colonial Criticism and Theory, and on the tail end of a continental resurgence of fiction and visual art, the literary and cultural criticism of Africa has been undergoing something energetic enough to dare call itself a renaissance. Yet it continues to be marginalized by first-world academic and racial formations that find it hard to imagine Africa as a crucial zone for ideas pertinent to a global/transnational world of debate, theory and academic/scholarly production. This course will directly engage this emergent tradition and situate it both within and against contemporary Western discourses of race, politics and cultural production. Materials will be drawn from Eastern Africa to West Africa, and from post-Apartheid South Africa to the North. Writers and critics may include Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Breyten Breytenbach, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Wole Soyinka, Dambisa Myo, George Ayittey, Ngugi Wa Thiong'O, Koigi wa Wamwere, Oyeroke Oyewunmi, Manthia Diawara, V.Y. Mudimbe and Olu Oguibe
English 551, Metaphysical Poetry,
From Early Modern to the Millennium
SLN 20293, MW, 3:30-5:20
“The heart,” wrote Emily Dickinson, “is the Capital of the Mind.” But Dickinson was elusive, more so in being reclusive, and in her “ecstatic Nation,” where you’re asked to seek “Yourself,” that capitalized word may be unsettling too. Meanwhile, when love, death, human frailty, faith or disbelief, often suffused with sexuality, take possession of poetry, through a brilliant derangement of language at the edge of impossibility, who can tell what’s in the mind. But if you respond to the challenge, and are willing to pursue a thought, beyond what you thought you could think, you may very well take heart from that. Whether with irony, paradox, or mind-stretching metaphor, the poems we’ll be reading are passionate, but passionate as thought—so deeply felt, indeed, that as we think about such poetry, viscerally, in the body, it appears to be thinking us.
That’s what T. S. Eliot had in mind when, writing of the metaphysical poetry of the seventeenth century, he described its perceptual power, however elliptical or circuitous, as “the sensuous apprehension of thought.” As he was defining what poetry should be in the twentieth century—and his own poems, surely, had a lot to do with that—he gave a retrospective status to a poetry of ambiguity. Even at this historical distance, one of the most compelling things about reading John Donne or Andrew Marvell is that, if you’re engaged with any intimacy, you may—as Freud said we must in modernity—learn to live in doubt. Given the dubious state of the world after the millennium, no less after 9/11, there seems no alternative to that. But, if you think about it, it’s doubt that prompts questioning, which unsettles the “certain certainties” of any presumably reasoned, but actually doctrinaire, or ideological view—or even, from some uncritical reflex, your own “subject position.” There is, of course, a subjectivity to poetry, but even in being elusive, as premised on the belief that precision is next to godliness, it may even serve politics by cultivating an awareness for reading between the lines.
The readings for the seminar will move across history from the period we once called the late Renaissance (now “early modern”), to the Eliotic modern, or that of Wallace Stevens, its witty accretions of high intelligence, through the visionary poetics of Harte Crane or Robert Hayden to the linguistic deposits of Susan Howe, who thinks of herself today, as in her writing on Emily Dickinson, as a metaphysical poet. As for the reading between the lines, the lines themselves will change considerably as we move into regions of the mind where, where with signs of divinity as dubious as the notion of a soul, poets will be struggling with ideas in a material world that seems to defy transcendence. And then our task—as in the quirky concentration of Marianne Moore, seemingly engaged with trivia and inconsequence—will be to discern the metaphysical when it sneaks up on us, or with paradox and ambiguity maybe leaves us behind. So, too, with the exquisite indirection and luminous eye of Elizabeth Bishop, as it brings a “rainbow, rainbow, rainbow” to a “pool of bilge,” in an otherwise mere semblance of a potentially redeemable world, where the metaphysics, to be sure, is something other than theological—and if not at all Creationism, still an exacting matter of intelligent design.
Engl 556A/GWSS 590A, Queer Theory
SLN 20297 or 20564, T, 5:30-8:20, Chandan Reddy
Multi-ethnic literature, twentieth-century American literature, American studies, critical race theory, globalization, queer theory, feminism, transnational cultural studies.
Engl 556 B/Hum 596, Cultural Studies
SLN 20410 or 20301, M, 5:45-10:00pm, Joseph Milutis
Seminar will explore the various ways in which visual culture has intersected with textual production, with an emphasis on cross-media literary works. Areas of inquiry will include the politics of the caption, digital image aggregators, aesthetics and practice of multimedia authoring, the ontology of the photograph, image vitalism, psychoanalysis and the image, surrealism and photography, conceptual writing, metadata and archives, the video essay, online publishing environments, cross-genre literary experimentation, text and experimental film. See http://www.washington.edu/students/crscatb/bculst.html for full course description.
Engl 560, The Nature of Language: History and Theory
SLN 13543, M/W, 11:30-1:20, Gail Stygall
This course is a survey of contemporary language theory as it intersects with the Language and Rhetoric track of the Ph.D. program in English. The course will begin with an overview of Chomsky's work in its many variants, move to sociolinguistic theory, cognitive linguistics, Hallidayan approaches and critical discourse analysis. Students should leave the course with solid background knowledge for further work in Language and Rhetoric, especially Discourse Analysis.
European Studies 490, Travelers in Greece in the Nineteenth Century: Western Perceptions and Their Impact
SLN 13930, T/Th, 10:30-12:20, Nektaria Klapaki
This course focuses on the perceptions and representations of Greece by nineteenth-century Western travelers, and it explores their impact on Modern Greek history and the construction of modern Greek identity. The course maps the nineteenth-century travel writing on Greece, it examines its relation with the discourses of Hellenism and orientalism, and places it in the contexts of colonialism and imperialism, among others. The course also explores the role of gender in travel writing, by focusing on paradigmatic travel texts written by women, who offer a representation of Greece and its inhabitants different than that sketched by male travelers.
GWSS 429/Scand 427, Scandinavian Women Writers in English Translation
SLN 14656, T/Th, 1:30-3:20, Ann-Charlotte Gavel-Adams
Selected works by major Scandinavian women writers from mid-nineteenth-century bourgeois realism to the present with focus on feminist issues in literary criticism.
GWSS 501, History of Feminism
SLN 14660, T/Th, 11:30-1:20, Shirley Yee
Study of feminism from the 18th through the 20th centuries in the national, international, and intranational world system, with a focus on imperialism, colonialism, nationalism, and modernity. Surveys the literature in a global context, supplemented by critical essays and historiographic reviews.
GWSS 572, Transnational Chicana Feminist Theory
SLN 14662, T, 3:30-7:20, Michelle Habell-Pallan
Examination of the body of knowledge and scholarship produced under the rubric "Transnational Chicana feminist theory." Analyzes the ways Chicana feminist theory dynamically engages intellectual, poetic, and aesthetic traditions. Considers how Chicana eminist theory functions within and between disciplinary frameworks. Explores transnational roots and routes of Chicana feminist theory.
History 563, Modern Near East
SLN 14768, W, 1:30-3:20, Shaun Lopez
This seminar-style course will be organized around scholarship that considers the paradigm of "modernity" as it pertains to the 19th and 20th century Middle East. Within this loose framework, the course readings will discuss how "modernity" has been defined and applied in scholarship in the region. More specifically, students will consider the intersection of so-called modern ideas, technologies, and institutions with local, regional, and religious "traditions". Within this framework, important developments related to gender, ethnicity, the mass media, colonialism, and nationalism will be examined. Readings for the course may include Timothy Mitchell, Ami Ayalon, Lila Abu-Lughod, Afsaneh Najamabadeh, Brinkley Messick, and others.
History - Modern European, HSTEU 484, Colonial Encounters
SLN 14935, T/Th, 9:30-11:20, Jordanna Bailkin
History of European colonialism from the 1750s to the present, with an emphasis on British and French colonial encounters. Offered jointly with CHID 484.
From Columbus’ voyages to the New World in the late fifteenth century to the era of decolonization in the 1960s, Europeans and the peoples they colonized were engaged in a vast project – often an extremely violent one – of trying and failing to make sense of one another. This course offers an opportunity to study the history of encounters between Europe and its colonies in a variety of geographical contexts. We will focus on a comparative analysis of British and French colonial encounters from the mid-eighteenth century to the twentieth, but will refer to Spanish, Dutch, and German colonial histories as well as to earlier incarnations of colonial encounters. The course will proceed chronologically and thematically, considering the impact of colonial science, law, sexuality, education, and economy on European identity and politics and, more broadly, on the trajectory of global history. Readings will include works by Oloudah Equiano, Charles Darwin, George Orwell, Frantz Fanon, and M.K. Gandhi; films will include Pontecorvo's Battle of Algiers, Ousmane Sembene's La Noire/Black Girl, and Matthieu Kassovitz's La Haine/Hate.
Humanities 594, Public Scholarship
SLN 15040, Friday afternoons, Miriam Bartha
This short course serves as the gateway to the certificate in Public Scholarship. It introduces new Public Scholarship fellows to research conversations about the public dimensions of professional practice within and beyond the university, orients them to the resources of the graduate certificate, and provides an initial opportunity to shape the learning and professional portfolio that structures the certificate as a whole.
Italian 466, Italian Society in Cinema
SLN 15298, M/W, 2:30-4:50, Claudio Mazzola
This course will discuss the most creative period of Italian cinema, what is commonly known as Nearealism. We will first focus on the historical background that stimulated the making of movies like Ossessione and Open City. We will then analyse the major cinematic characteristics of Neorealism: from editing to cinematography, from acting to camera movement. Particular emphasis will also be given to the narrative structure of these movies. In the second part of this course we will analyse the influence of Neorealim on directors not usually associated with this label. We will screen some of the early movies by Fellini, Bertolucci and Fellini and discuss their connection to Neorealism.Movies will be screened on Thursday and discussed on the following Tuesday. Attendance is mandatory. Instruction will be in English. Students enrolled in ITAL 466 need to sign up for ITAL 390. The texts will be read in English.Students who wish to take this course as Italian 466 must have completed Italian 203 and will read to write on class paper in Italian. Concurrent enrollment in ITAL 390 B required for those taking this class as ITAL 466.
Italian 531, Italian Theater
SLN 15302, F, 1:30-4:20, Susan Gaylard
The development of Italian theater from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century.
Spanish 598/Comp Lit 596, Detective Narrative in Latin America: Novel Into Film
SLN 19394, T/Th, 11:30-1:20, Cynthia Steele
An overview of the development of the detective novel in Mexico and Argentina, along with a comparison of film adaptations of the novels in question. We will examine the basic tenets of the detective genre and of film adaptations of literature, and will analyze how Mexican and Argentine authors and directors have adapted the U.S. hard-boiled crime novel to comment on Latin American society at various sociopolitical junctures over the past half century. The crimes addressed range from serial murders to political conspiracies and repression of dissidents; the authors’ approaches combine elements of psychoanalysis, Marxism, anti-imperialism, feminism, and the critique of neoliberalism. Readings for the seminar will be in Spanish; Spanish students should also do most of their research and write their essays in Spanish. Students will give an oral presentation, keep a reading and film journal, and write an 8-10-page final analytical essay.
Ukrainian 420, Literature, Film and Culture of Ukraine
SLN 20154, M/W, 2:30-4:20, Maria Rewakowicz
The other in Ukrainian literature: female characters and authors. This course provides an analysis of Ukrainian literature from the viewpoint of gender studies. It first describes and critically examines the pervasive images of women in works of literature by male authors and then moves to introduce the tradition of women's writing, beginning in the 19th century. The course follows a historical sequence with selections from as early as the late 12th century to the present. Students will investigate the roles in which women have been typically cast and study how female authors have rejected male- imposed definitions by opening the doors for self-exploration of female identity. some premises of feminist critical theory will be introduced. The reading list includes poetry, short stories, plays and novels. All readings are in translation.