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Course Descriptions - Autumn 2011

For the most up-to-date information, please consult the UW Time Schedule. Keep in mind that future course listings are tentative and subject to change.

Autumn 2011


MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
MEB 238 - SLN: 21254
Instructor: Michael Shapiro
Course Website
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Introduction to ancient and classical Indian literature in its cultural context. Texts in English translation.

Students can be expected to gain a general familiarity with some of the major texts of Indian (i.e., South Asian) tradition and civilization. These texts span the period from the middle of the second millennium BCE to the end of the first millennium CE. Texts to be read and discussed include the Rig Veda, the Mahabharata and Bhagavadgita, the Pancatantra, drama and poetry by Kalidasa, and early South Asian lyric poetry. Because this is a "W" course, students will gain practice in writing analytical essays on assigned texts.

The most effective technique for success in this course is to read the assigned texts carefully. The course has no formal prerequisites. But students should be prepared to read assigned texts, to discuss them, and to think and write critically about them.

Weekly reading assigments. Weekly study guides with discussion questions.

Midterm examination (20%); final examination (30%); 8-10 page analytic paper (35%); class participation and preparation (15%).


MTWTh 11:30am - 12:20pm
SIG 134 - SLN: 11582
Instructor: Guntis I. Smidchens
Course Website
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

Comprehensive overview of the field of folkloristics, focusing on verbal genres, customs, belief, and material culture. Particular attention to the issues of community, identity, and ethnicity. Folklore (traditional stories, beliefs, songs, and customs) is a rich source for understanding people and their worldviews. This course will survey several genres of folklore and study the people who maintain those folklore traditions. A variety of theories and methods applied in folklore studies during the past two centuries will be introduced in readings and lectures.


MTWThF 9:30am - 10:20am
MLR 302A - SLN: 11584
Instructor: Yasaman Naraghi
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.


MWF
MGH - SLN: 11585
Instructor: Anagha Hastings
Course Website
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.


MTWThF 12:30pm - 1:20pm
CMU 228 - SLN: 11587
Instructor: Nobuko Yamasaki
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.


MTWThF 1:30pm - 2:20pm
LOW 217 - SLN: 11588
Instructor: Laura Eshleman
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.


MTWThF 12:30pm - 1:20pm
CMU 243 - SLN: 11589
Instructor: Sima Daad
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.


MTWThF 5:30pm - 6:20pm
SAV 158 - SLN: 20712
Instructor: Max Maier
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.


MTWThF 12:30pm - 1:20pm
PCAR 293 - SLN: 21021
Instructor: Elena Deem
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.


TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
SIG 134 - SLN: 20740
Instructor: Leroy Searle
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA, W

This course offers an introduction to the study of literature and its relation to culture. The principal focus is on reading great books, all of historical importance and continuing interest.

The main texts-- Shakespeare's King Lear, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, and Leo Tolstoi's Anna Karenina. These books will be supplemented by shorter texts, including poetry and prose.

The course has no prerequisites, and carries both VLPA distribution credit and "W" course credit. The selected texts will be read in English.

There will be three writing assignments (typically 3-5 pages), each of which can be revised, and an optional final paper (typically 3-7 pages). Students who complete all four papers will earn W credit.

Students may opt to take a final examination instead of writing the final paper.

In addition, there will be a short weekly quiz on assigned reading. These are short (taking only about 5 minutes), on details from the reading material for the week.

Required written assignments: 60%; The final paper or final exam: 15%; Participation (incl. attendance): 15% Weekly quizzes: 10%


MTWTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
KNE 210 - SLN: 11590
Instructor: Yomi Braester
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Cinema Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

How did martial arts grow into a popular genre in fiction and film, and how did the genre become a worldwide craze? How do martial arts movies comment on East Asian and North American cultures? The course examines the formation of literary and cinematic conventions of martial arts films, the history of their production in countries such as China, Hong Kong and Japan, and their ideological background. In addition to offering an introduction to filmic technique and Asian popular media, the course dwells on the importance of visual and bodily  perception, gender constructions, and intercultural translation.


M
MGH - SLN: 11601
Instructor: Sudhir Mahadevan
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Introduction to the analysis of film. Covers major aspects of cinematic form: mise en scene, framing and camera movement, editing, and sound and color. Considers how these elements are organized in traditional cinematic narrative and in alternative approaches.

This course will offer an introduction to the ways in which film criticism has interrogated the basic elements of film language - narrative structures, editing, mise-en-scene, cinematography and sound. Our aim is two fold. First, by the end of the quarter, you should be fully versed in the vocabulary and terms that constitute the language of film, and be able to analyze and interpret films using that vocabulary. Second, you should also be able to grasp the role the elements of film language have played in formulating core arguments and shaping important trends and schools of thought in the history of film criticism. We want to pursue a close analysis of the films we watch and understand the stakes of doing so. But we also want to familiarize ourselves with the way film criticism itself has taken up the task of
close analysis.

Some of the other questions we will ask include the following: How can film editing prescribe and proscribe viewing positions for us as spectators, transforming us into political and politicized subjects? What do the debates in classical film theory between proponents of montage and mise-en-scene have to tell us about presuppositions about the nature of film as a medium? What critical opinions and anxieties have been provoked about the relevance and nature of the cinematic medium because of technological transformations such as sound, widescreen, and digital media?

Grading will be based on essay-length close analysis of films, shorter responses to films screened, as well as contributions to more participatory discussion-based exercises.


M
SAV - SLN: 11604
Instructor: Claudio Mazzola
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course focuses on the effects on Italian cinema of the spread of commercial television in Italy in the mid-seventies. Since the beginning (1954), Italian television had been primarily an educational tool in the hands of the State. Programming was primarily focused on elevating the masses from a level of ignorance and disinformation, almost unknown in other parts of Europe (in post war Italy, illiteracy was still a huge problem, especially in large areas of the South).

Daily television shows included TV news, documentaries, drama and classical concerts. The only forms of entertainment were the weekly feature movie and quiz show. There were no commercial interruptions during the shows and commercials were actually grouped altogether in a ten minute special evening interruption. Obviously this kind of television was not in competition with cinema. Everything changed in 1975 when a number of privately owned channels were allowed to broadcast at a local level. These channels were proposing programs that focused only on entertainment (sports, movies, soap operas, quiz shows, etc.) and consequently both RAI, the state owned television, and cinema had to start facing the aggressive competition of these new channels.

In this course, we will first pay attention to the way in which cinema reacted to the invasion of commercial television and then we will analyze the work of two film-makers (Gianni Amelio and Fernan Ozpetek) who grew up in the new cultural environment of the '70‘s and analyze whether their movies have been influenced by the new kind of narration that commercial television imposed on audiences through soap operas, TV movies and TV series.

The concurrent NICE film festival in November at SIFF will allow us to screen some very recent (2010-2011) movies by first-time directors and continue the discussion on the influence of television on the youngest generation. Attendance to the festival is mandatory.


MW
JHN - SLN: 11606
Instructor: Sudhir Mahadevan
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Is Bollywood all there is to Indian cinema? This course is an introduction to Indian cinema, or more appropriately, the many cinemas of India. Spend 10 weeks watching great Indian movie classics and new surprises - violent urban gangster films, morbidly humorous films about youth cyber culture, unlikely Shakespeare adaptations, Paris as an exotic and distant city, inventive new sports comedies, to name just a few themes.

Our introduction will be structured thematically around broad ideas - nationalism and Indian cinema; film and mass media; film and the urban experience; cinema and globalization; film as art practice. Where possible, we will also explore the relation between film and other kinds of mages - popular film posters, lithographed, religious calendar images, photography, traveling slide show exhibitors.

Movies will be in Indian languages and subtitled in English. Titles include: LSD: Love Sex aur Dhoka (Love, Sex and Betrayal, 2010, English/Hindi); Satya (Truth, 1998, Hindi), Pyaasa (Thirst, 1957, Hindi/Urdu), Chennai 600028 (2008, Tamil), An Evening in Paris (1967, Hindi), Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road, 1957, Bengali), Harishchandrachi Factory (Harishchandra's Factory, 2009, Marathi).

Course work includes one screening and two lecture sessions a week. Readings will be drawn mainly from film studies but will include scholarship from other disciplines such as art history, anthropology, urban theory and sociology.

Grading will draw on short response papers, a longer term-end essay and participation.


MWF 1:30pm - 2:20pm
SAV 137 - SLN: 21078
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

The UN estimates the urban population in the Middle East and North Africa (M.E.N.A) will reach 430 million by 2020. 280 million, over 65%, are expected to live in urban environments. This course will examine how filmmakers in the region have been grappling with this phenomenon and how film, as a medium, can illuminate the experience of social existence en masse. The class will center on key films from the Twenty-First Century about life in four of the largest metropolises in the region: Casablanca, Cairo, Tel Aviv and Tehran. Students will be expected to view the films, in their entirety, either during special screening hours or independently. Readings and additional screening material will accompany each film. Assignments will include two papers and a final presentation.

Ali Zaoua (2000, Morocco), Nabil Ayouch
Ten (2002, Iran), Abbas Kiarostami
Or (2004, Israel), Keren Yedaya
Yacoubian Building (2006, Egypt), Marwan Hamed


MW 2:30pm - 4:20pm
MGH 241 - SLN: 11607
Instructor: Gordana Crnkovic
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Contemporary fiction by Czech, East German, Hungarian, Polish, Baltic, and Balkan writers. Topics include: history of colonization, the imagination of social utopia, socialism and nationalism, everyday life under communism, cultural identify between East and West, experimental writing, new fiction in post-communist Eastern Europe. All readings in English.


TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
GLD 435 - SLN: 20545
Instructor: Jennifer E. Dubrow
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

"What is found here is to be found elsewhere too... but what is not found here is to be found nowhere."
    - The Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva

This course considers masterpieces of story literature from India and surrounding regions, with focus on The Mahābhārata, A Tale of Four Dervishes, and The Arabian Nights. Each of these texts has had wide influence on Eastern and Western literatures and continues to inspire rich performance and literary traditions today. We will discuss the impact of indigenous and external sources on the major texts, their treatment of universal themes such as curiosity and fate, and narrative theory and structure. All works will be read in English translation, and no prior knowledge is assumed.

The major texts for this course are:
The Mahabharata, translated by Chakravarti V. Narasimhan
A Tale of Four Dervishes (Bāgh o Bahār), by Mir Amman
The Arabian Nights, translated by Husain Haddawy


MW 9:30am - 11:20am
SMI 309 - SLN: 11608
Instructor: Míċeál Vaughan
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

At the end of the fourteenth century, the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer produced, among his last works, a collection of narratives he called "Seintes Legende of Cupide." Alternatively titled The Legend of Good Women, the collection contains stories about a dozen ancient women (and their men), e.g., Cleopatra, Dido, Thisbe, Medea, to mention a few. A close reading of the Legend reveals how Chaucer‘s late-medieval narratives about these classical heroines have been influenced by genres like the Christian saint‘s life and the traditions of so-called "courtly love." The tensions between the ideals of Christian hagiography and courtly romance lend a lively complexity to his stories, and to their interpretation. This course will attempt to define these competing ideals by discussing literary examples from ancient times -- in the Old Testament (e.g., the books of Ruth, Judith, and Esther) and Ovid‘s Heroides -- through the Middle ages, with its rich range of saints lives, retellings of Ovid, and classic works like the Romance of the Rose, Dante‘s Vita Nuova, and Boccaccio‘s Famous Women. After looking at Juan Ruiz‘s Book of Good Love, we‘ll turn to Chaucer‘s Legend (and perhaps some of his other works), and conclude with his near-contemporary, Christine de Pizan, esp. her Book of the City of Ladies.

Requirements for the course will include active participation in discussions, weekly short writing contributions (response papers), and two longer (4-5pp) papers.


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