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Course Descriptions - Spring 2014

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.

Spring 2014


TTh 12:30pm - 2:20pm
SMI 115 - SLN: 11695
Instructor: Yasaman Naraghi
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

Comparative Literature 200 is an introductory literature course composed of a selection of international works of varying genres and mediums. For the purpose of coherence, we will focus on a body of texts organized around the topic of ritual death and sacrifice. ’ Antigone. We will, then, move on to the Renaissance by reading Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial by Sir Thomas ’  Browne and The Oration on the Dignity of Man by Pico della Mirandola. We will proceed to Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and conclude with two texts of European Modernism: Thomas Mann’s The Black Swan and Witold Gombrowicz’s Cosmos. Throughout the quarter, we will also examine excerpts from the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, RenéGirard, and Georges Bataille that aim at theorizing ritual sacrifices. 


MW 9:30am - 11:20am
PCAR 297 - SLN: 11696
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 9:30am - 11:20am
SMI 407 - SLN: 11697
Instructor: Russell Black
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.


MW 10:30am - 12:20pm
SMI 107 - SLN: 11698
Instructor: Lin Chen
GE Requirements Met: C, W

This is a writing course, but don’t let that mislead you into thinking that we will spend a whole lot of our time discussing the technical aspect of writing: how to formulate a thesis and develop paragraphs, how to integrate quotes and write commentaries on them, what is an appropriate format for academic writing, and so forth. While all that is important and we will make sure to talk about it in its own place, an overemphasis on that misses the key point: i.e. powerful writing is the result of long and deep exposure to powerful writing, which involves deep thinking and profound feeling. Hence our focus in this writing course will be the selected literary readings, which will serve as both the anchor and the springboard for all the writings we will be doing. The readings are such that it is my hope that they will constitute an interesting sampling of the literary achievement of the Western world insofar as that is possible in a period of ten weeks. We will begin by briefly looking at the twin origins of the tradition, a Greek tragedy Oedipus the King plus a really small section of the Christian Bible, which will then pave the way for the processing of two modern masterpieces, Goethe’s Faust (Part 1) and Dostoevsky’s Brother Karamazov, both of which pick up and rework the questions that came up in ancient times, questions of human life, fate and suffering, evil and divinity. If you are interested in stories that provoke those questions, and would also like to learn something about literature in general, its genres and how it operates historically, and practice some writing along the way, this is a course for you.


TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
MGH 295 - SLN: 11699
Instructor: Andrea Schmidt
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.


MW 11:30am - 1:20pm
MLR 316 - SLN: 11700
Instructor: Richard Boyechko
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 11:30am - 1:20pm
SMI 107 - SLN: 11701
Instructor: Megan Bertelsen
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.


MTWTh 1:30pm - 2:20pm
KNE 220 - SLN: 11702
Instructor: Leroy Searle
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Reading and analyzing literature based upon rotating genres such as sci-fi, detective fiction, romance, love, poetry, and comedy. Draws from world literature.


MTWTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
KNE 220 - SLN: 11707
Instructor: Jennifer M. Bean
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Cinema Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course examines the development of the horror genre in American cinema from the early 1920s to the early twenty-first century.  We will consider how the development of the horror film has been related to economic and structural changes in the film industry since the formation of Hollywood’s studio-era in the late silent period, as well as to changes in American culture and society.  Since these cultural shifts often go unacknowledged in more general histories of the U.S., a careful study of this genre (a vast array of popular films often dismissed as “pure escapism”) is particularly illuminating.  As critic Robin Wood aptly notes, “One might say that the true subject of the horror genre is the struggle for recognition of all that our civilization represses or oppresses, its re-emergence dramatized, as in our nightmares, as an object of horror, a matter for terror.”  Put simply, rather than tout variations of the “American Dream,” as in political campaigns and advertising strategies, this cinematic tradition tracks its uncanny double: hence the title of this course,  “American Nightmares.”

 While the overall structure of the course will be historical (and chronological), our focus will be analytical, with special emphasis on genre theory and criticism, theories of gender and sexuality, and textual analysis.  Assignments include weekly quizzes, several short formal writing assignments, and an in-class mid-term and final exam.  Weekly schedule includes two required class days per week devoted to lecture (T/TH); two optional days allotted for film screenings on M/W (you may watch the films on your own if you prefer), and one required discussion section meeting per week (F).  


MTWTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
SAV 162 - SLN: 11716
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

C Lit 303 - Black Contemporary Cinemas is open to AIS, AES, CHID, ENGL, GWSS, DRAMA students during Period 1 registration along with students in performance studies. No prior film analysis knowledge is necessary.

“Black Contemporary Cinemas” runs 4 days per week with M/W screening and T/R lecture. While students are responsible to watch both films each week, they are welcome to locate streaming versions to make viewing easier.  Many of the films are available on either Netflix or Hulu. All films will be placed on reserve at the Media Centre.

In this class we will look at a broad range of contemporary filmmakers from around the world who for whatever reason self-identify as Black from the 1970s to the present. Some of them were born in the US, some of were trained in the US and share citizenship elsewhere. If post-Obama does not mean post-racial, then what does it mean? With all of the films recently released, which deal with histories of slavery - are we in a different racial moment? What does it mean to an American public who sees black faces more frequently on screens than ever before, screens where black men are allowed to kiss white women and black men are allowed to kiss each other. We will look at the challenges of black film authorship and will ask: What is at stake in African American cinema? What is the visceral, gut-level function of motion pictures in African American and Black communities? Can we speak of a distinctive practice given the diverse experiences and variable conditions that affect Black lives? What do motion pictures mean for people whose sense of home has been dislocated by migrations and fraught with attacks on their citizenship and humanity, largely through visual representation? We will also trouble notions of nation, ability, gender, sexuality and class as they locate and destabilize blackness.

Together through film watching and interactive lecture, we will explore our present moment and ask ourselves if black citizenship is still in question in America in the same ways it may or may not be around the world?

 


MTWTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
THO 101 - SLN: 11717
Instructor: Eric Ames
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

The term film noir was coined in 1946 by a French film critic who, when viewing a number of recently imported American films (The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Laura, and others), described them all as noir or “black,” referring not only to their stylistic features (deep shadows, claustrophobic settings) but also to the existentially bleak and morally ambiguous vision that seemed to unite the films. Initially, then, noir was a critical term used for describing a post-war group of American-made crime films and the pulp novels that inspired them (stories by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, to name a few). At the time, however -- and many of these films had been made during World War II -- none of the filmmakers involved set out to make a film noir. Rather, they made thrillers, gangster films, detective films, police procedurals, and various types of melodrama. This course asks, how and when did film noir become a “genre,” and what does it mean to call it that? Where does genre come from? How does it originate? Who makes it? And how does it change over time? On another level, this course explores the films in terms of their historical contexts: namely, war, race, exile, trauma, gender, sexuality, modernism, and modernity. Finally, it touches on the emergence of “neo-noir,” in order to see how the process of genre revision works under changed social and political conditions and in various cultural contexts. How can we explain the enduring appeal of noir as an international phenomenon? MW screenings, TTh lectures and discussion.

This course is cross-listed with German 371.

Two required textbooks:

1.       Kaes, M (BFI Film Classics), London: British Film Institute, 2008, ISBN-13: 978-0851703701

2.       Isenberg, Detour (BFI Film Classics), London: British Film Institute, 2008, ISBN-13: 978-1844572397

 


MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
THO 101 - SLN: 11718
Instructor: James Tweedie
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course provides an introduction to recent developments in Hollywood, US independent, and world cinema. Topics may include the blockbuster, computer-generated imagery and animation, heritage cinema and literary adaptations, post-socialist cinema, new documentaries, low-budget movements like mumblecore, and the international film festival circuit. The course will be taught in conjunction with the Seattle International Film Festival, and students will be required to attend and write about screenings at SIFF.


MW
MGH - SLN: 11719
Instructor: Sudhir Mahadevan
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Examines the cinema of a particular national, ethnic or cultural group, with films typically shown in the original language with subtitles. Topics reflect themes and trends in the national cinema being studied.


TTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
SMI 205 - SLN: 11720
Instructor: William Arighi
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

What is the relationship between history and literature? What is the “nation” and how can its story be told? Who can tell it? The novels, short stories, and films in this course will be drawn from the Philippines, Indonesia, Algeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe, and Vietnam in order to discuss how the appearance and development of nations, nationalism, and nation-states are tied to historical imagination and cultural production. Understanding how the categories of “literature” and “nation”—which often seem quite distinct or wholly unrelated—might relate to one another in distinct contexts will be the main goal of this course, as well as articulating the imagining of a past with the experience of the present. This will be achieved by historical contextualization, analysis of texts, and the support of theoretical texts. Some topics that may be considered in developing our understanding of these relationships are: the modernity of the nation form; genealogies of race and racism; colonialism, post-colonialism, and neo-colonialism; the production of gender identities and their relation to nationalism; narrative technique; and native and non-native languages, their transmission, and transcription.


TTh 9:30am - 11:20am
CDH 139 - SLN: 11721
Instructor: Míċeál Vaughan
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

From Homer’s Iliad to Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (and beyond) the siege of Troy has been treated as the result of and the background for a number of love stories.  In the European Middle Ages, the story of Troilus and Cressida, a late invention, came in for particularly interesting treatments at the hands of major writers of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance: Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Henryson, and William Shakespeare.

After setting the stage for the medieval (and early modern) developments by reading Homer and selections from Ovid, we’ll concentrate on the variations in the characters and treatment of the Troilus and Cressida story and see what it may show us about love in a time of war and how that theme changes over the centuries.

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

Books ordered:

Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, trans. Rev. ed. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 2011. (ISBN13: 9780226470498)

Ovid. Heroides. Trans. Harold Isbell.  London/New York: Penguin, 1990 (ISBN13:  9780140423556)

Gordon, R. K., ed.  The Story of Troilus.  Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching.  Toronto: U of Toronto Press, 1978. (ISBN13: 9780802063687)

Shakespeare, William.  Troilus and Cressida.  Ed. Kenneth Muir.  Oxford World Classic. Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1982. (ISBN 9780199536535)

 


TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
CMU 120 - SLN: 11722
Instructor: José Alaniz
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Traditionally, readers have not seen fit to associate comics with such “serious” genres as autobiography, memoir and war reportage. But in resisting its ghettoization as a mere “children’s medium” and in a bid for cultural/literary legitimacy, comic art over the last 40 years has produced numerous works devoted to weighty real-world subject matter, documenting religious conflict, family dysfunction, migration and the banal realities of daily life. Apart from interrogating and theorizing such matters as autobiography, literary realism and journalism in a verbal/visual medium, this course examines graphic narrative’s depiction of non-fiction  topics in works by Alison Bechdel, Marjane Satrapi, Harvey Pekar, Art Spiegelman, Justin Green, David B., Phoebe Gloeckner, Joe Sacco, Robert Crumb and others. Come see what happens when the comics get “real”!


MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
MOR 220 - SLN: 20330
Instructor: Galya Diment
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course will deal with the major Russian and American novels of Vladimir Nabokov: The Defense (or Luzhin's Defense), Despair, Pnin, and Lolita.

Cross-listed with RUSS 240

All readings and discussions are in English.  No prerequisites.  Optional writing credit.


TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm
LOW 117 - SLN: 11723
Instructor: Olga Levaniouk
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Ancient and medieval epic and heroic poetry of Europe in English: the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid; the Roland or a comparable work from the medieval oral tradition; pre-Greek forerunners, other Greco-Roman literary epics, and later medieval and Renaissance developments and adaptations of the genre. Choice of reading material varies according to instructor's preference. Offered: jointly with CLAS 424.


TTh 5:30pm - 7:20pm
SAV 158 - SLN: 11732
Instructor: Louis O Chude-Sokei

Despite being enshrined and canonized for postures of resistance and its counter-hegemonic poetics and politics, much African-American thought and writing has also functioned to police its own borders, often in the name of racial solidarity. This self-policing has often manifest in a silent but authoritative control over appropriate notions of narrative form, ideological content and, most notably, terms of sexuality, desire racial tactics of representation and the tensions around appropriate racial representation and cultural/social definition. As such, the class will focus on writers and critics who go as much against the grain of conventional black thought and politics as they engage race, racism, history and culture in largely sexual terms. We will also be working through critics deeply engaged in theorizing sex, race, stereotype and violence.

A word of caution: for those students for whom extreme representations of race, sex and violence could be disturbing, and for whom unconventional political issues and conceptual framing might be hard to take, this course may not be for you.


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