You are here

Course Descriptions - Winter 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.

Winter 2014


TTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
SAV 132 - SLN: 11745
Instructor: Yasaman Naraghi
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

Reading, understanding, and enjoying literature from various countries, in different forms of expression (e.g., dramatic, lyric, narrative, rhetorical) and of representative periods. Emphasis on the comparative study of themes and motifs common to many literatures of the world.


MW 8:30am - 10:20am
SAV 132 - SLN: 11746
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.


TTh 8:30am - 10:20am
MGH 082A - SLN: 11747
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.


MW 9:30am - 11:20am
MGH 082A - SLN: 11748
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
SAV 156 - SLN: 11749
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.


MW 10:30am - 12:20pm
MEB 243 - SLN: 11750
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 3:30pm - 5:20pm
JHN 111 - SLN: 11761
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Surrealism, which emerged in Paris in the early 1920s from the social upheaval of post-WWI Europe and more especially from Dadaism, is arguably the most influential avant-garde movement of the 20th century.  It rejected social, moral and logical conventions and sought to revolutionize art, literature, politics  and life in the name of freedom, desire and the unconscious.  Surrealist art, which was viewed by the surrealists as a means of liberation beyond purely aesthetic considerations, is characterized by a diversity of forms of expression:  writing, painting, drawing, photography, film, collage, found objects, sculpture, theater;  and of practices:  automatic writing, hypnosis, and somnambulic strolling in the streets of Paris.  We will study all these forms of expression and examine the challenges surrealism poses to traditional notions of art, literature and politics. 

Readings:  André Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism;  Communicating Vessels;  Nadja;  Louis Aragon,  Paris Peasant.  

 


MTWTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
KNE 220 - SLN: 11764
Instructor: James Tweedie
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Cinema Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course provides an overview of the career of Alfred Hitchcock, one of the most popular directors in history, one of the key artists for post-WWII film critics and scholars, and one of the most profound influences on filmmakers from the French New Wave to the present. The course examines each of these aspects of his career: the film themselves, from his early days in Britain to his migration to Hollywood, from the series of masterpieces of 1950s and 1960s to his final days; his crucial role in film criticism and theory, including his foundational importance in academic cinema studies; and the film world that developed under his influence, including the domestic thrillers of Claude Chabrol, the many Hitchcockian Cold War spy stories, and the various recent remakes and homages to his work. Course work includes weekly lectures, reading, and screenings, as well as short papers and examinations.


MW 9:30am - 11:20am
SAV 156 - SLN: 11773
Instructor: Míċeál Vaughan
Course Website
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

This course offers an introduction to literary and critical study from a comparatist perspective. It focuses on a relatively small number of texts and examines topics such as: how literary forms and genres shape our reading of texts; how their conventions manifest themselves; how these conventions vary within different cultural traditions; how the functions and effects of literary texts change over time, and from place to place; and how such texts (oral, written, visual; canonical or 'popular') provide occasions for revealing and refining their readers' values and for sharpening their critical thinking.  We will examine the ways in which authors' words and ideas -- presented in common, shared texts -- construct for their readers differing, even contradictory, meanings and carry varied significance for individual readers.

We will read (in a non-chronological sequence) some major works from diverse places and times, including medieval Iceland (Njal's Saga); Norman and Elizabethan England (Marie de France's Lais; Shakespeare's Richard II); and twentieth-century Ireland and U.S. (James Joyce's Dubliners and Brian Friel's Translations, and Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping). Though our main texts for the course exist primarily in words meant to be read, we will also look at the ways in which such texts are performed (and transformed) in the theatre (we'll attend a performance of Shakespeare's Richard II) and on film (John Huston's The Dead). We will also read and discuss some other, short texts (biblical parables and lyric poems), as well as some critical and theoretical materials.

Requirements for the course will include a number of short writing assignments and two longer (4-5pp.) papers. The main readings for the course will consist of the following books (read, probably, in this order):

Joyce, James.  Dubliners.  Ed Margot Norris  New York: Norton, 2006. Marie de France. Lais.  Ed Glyn S. Burgess and Keith Busby. Penguin, 1999. Friel, Brian.  Translations. Faber and Faber, 1981. Shakespeare, William. Richard II.  Ed. Anthony B. Dawson and Paul Yachnin. Oxford World Classics, 2011. Njal's Saga. Trans. Robert Cook. Penguin, 2002. Robinson, Marilynne.  Housekeeping. Picador, 2004


MW
SIG - SLN: 11774
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Overview of the main conceptual problems in film criticism such as: "What is a film?", "What is the relationship between film and reality?", "Does a film have a language?", "What is the connection between image and sound?" Follows a historical timeline within five individual sections.


MW
ARC - SLN: 11775
Instructor: Sudhir Mahadevan
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Covers the vast changes in filmmaking since 1960. Topics include the continuing influence of the French New Wave, the New German Cinema of the 70s and the "New Hollywood" of the 70s, American independent film of the 80s, and the resurgence of Chinese filmmaking since 1980.


TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
SAV 132 - SLN: 11776
Instructor: Cynthia Steele
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

C LIT 315 A / JSIS 480 A

Along with Brazil and Mexico, Argentina was one of the founders of Latin American cinema, from the silent era through the ‘New Cinema Movement’ of the 1960s. In recent years it has also been at the forefront of the new boom in Latin American cinema, producing a steady stream of innovative films in every genre, from documentary to avant-garde film. Some of these films examine the legacy of dictatorship and repression during the 1970s and 1980s, while others explore the subjectivities of new social actors, including women, gays and indigenous people. In this class we will watch films by nine key filmmakers of the past decade: Carlos Sorín (Bombón: el perro), Fabián Bieliski (Nine Queens), Juan José Campanella (The Secret in their Eyes), Lucrecia Martel (The Swamp and The Headless Woman), Adrián Israel Caetano (Bolivia and A Red Bear), Pablo Trapero (Lion’s Den and White Elephant), Benjamín Avila (Clandestine Childhood), Lisandro Alonso (Liverpool), and Lucía Puenzo (XXY and The Fish Child). We will read general overviews of contemporary film history, as well as analyses of specific films. Students will keep a viewing and reading journal, write a 5-7-page final analytical essay, and give a group presentation, in addition to participating actively in class discussions.  Some of the films will be screened in class, while we will watch others at home on instant streaming. Our basic textbook will be Jens Andermann’s New Argentine Cinema (London: IB Taurus, 2012).


TTh 12:30pm - 2:20pm
CMU 326 - SLN: 11778
Instructor: Gordana Crnkovic
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

 with SLAV 320 A

In the post-World War II period, Eastern European writers have created a wealth of dazzling and still lesser known literary works. This course introduces students to fiction by Polish, Czech, Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav, Hungarian, and Baltic writers, created during and after the communist era in the Eastern European countries themselves and in exile.  The course also discusses features of the literary production in non-market socialist-era societies, with values and world views profoundly different from those in the west.  Required readings consist of four novels (two of them around 100 pages-long), shorter excerpts from another two novels, and selected stories from the two collection of stories. All readings are in English, and no prior specialized knowledge of the area or its literature is required.

 


MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
MGH 228 - SLN: 11779
Instructor: Cynthia Steele
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

C LIT 321 A / JSIS 480 A

In much of the Americas modernization has been accompanied by rampant abuse of human rights, by massacres and tortures carried out by armies and governments, as well as by rogue groups taking advantage of weak states. Using Jean Franco’s new book Cruel Modernity (Duke UP, 2013) as our conceptual framework, we will read recent narrative and watch films from various regions of the Americas (the Southern Cone, Central America and Mexico, the US, and the Caribbean). These works deal with political violence in its various forms: from military repression, torture and disappearance to the violence associated with human trafficking and the drug cartels. We will read Roberto Bolaño’s Distant Star, Martín Kohan’s School for Patriots, Patricio Pron’s My Father’s Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain, Oscar Martínez’s The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail, and Junot Díaz’s The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Films will include La mirada invisible / The Invisible Eye (Argentina), Violeta Went Up to Heaven (Chile), La bestia (Guatemala), and La fiesta del chivo/The Feast of the Goat (Peru). Students will be responsible for writing a final 5-7-page analytical essay and for directing the class discussion of one set of readings, in addition to participating actively in our other discussions.


MWF 11:30am - 12:20pm
SMI 205 - SLN: 11780
Instructor: Ellwood Wiggins
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Elective for both Literature and Cinema
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

German 390a, Philosophy 301a, CHID 498c, Comp Lit 357a, Classics 496a

Is compassion the foundation of human morality or a dangerously unreliable emotion? This course examines the strategies and motivations in different media (plays, novels, films) of fostering empathy for commonly held enemies or discriminated groups. The syllabus runs from Ancient Greece to depictions of Nazis and terrorists in modern film, and considers philosophical assessments of sympathy (positive and negative) alongside examples of its aesthetic manufacture. Half of our readings are in moral philosophy (Aristotle, Spinoza, Rousseau, Hume, Adam Smith, Kant, Nietzsche, Arendt), and in each case we use the literary text or film (e.g., Sophocles, Shakespeare, Lessing, George Eliot, Brecht) as a kind of experimental field to test the concepts laid out by the philosophical texts, and to evaluate the philosophers’ claims about the moral efficacy of compassion. We will also look into the ethical implications of using dramatic compassion to further laudable social agendas of toleration. This line of questioning reveals the discomforting unity of pity as a device in portrayals, for instance, of both Nazis and their victims: Is it possible for art works to persuade bigots to accept minorities and outcasts? Is it right for a film to invite sympathy for a monster like Hitler or a public menace like suicide bombers? It is vital to understand the action of sympathy before we assign it such momentous tasks as guiding our moral vision and encouraging a more tolerant society.


MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
MLR 316 - SLN: 11781 Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

The Renaissance is marked by a radical re-orientation in how human beings think about their place in the universe. In the wake of a medieval pessimism that tended to view humanity as the passive victim of largely uncontrollable external forces, the new voices that emerge in this period, working in all manner of disciplines, begin to re-think the individual’s relationship to the environment—political and social, but also natural. The result is a proliferation of new ideas, some subversive, some deeply attached to inherited power structures, but all preparing the way for our modern sense of who we are as human beings.

In ten weeks, we can only scratch the surface of this very large topic, and I have chosen a sampling of texts that is designed to provide some sense of the varied ways in which the question of subjectivity is re-configured throughout the early modern period.

Readings:

Cervantes, Exemplary Stories (selections)

Galileo, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (selections)

Las Casas, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies

Machiavelli, The Prince

Montaigne, Essays (selections)

Shakespeare, The Tempest

 

 

 


TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
KNE 110 - SLN: 11782
Instructor: Elissa Washuta
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

Indians in Cinema explores the development of images of Indians in mainstream cinema from 1900 to the present.  Within the class students view movies such as BROKEN ARROW, DANCES WITH WOLVES, TWILIGHT: NEW MOON, POCAHONTAS, SMOKE SIGNALS, and THE LESSER BLESSED and will learn to analyze how movies have created problematic images and, more recently with Native direction and influence, more accurate representations. 


MTWTh 12:30pm - 2:20pm
SIG 226 - SLN: 11783
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

C LIT 397 - Third Cinema: A Call to Action? will run M/T/W/Th. M/W are screening days and T/Th are interactive lecture days. If students wish to receive a 'W' (writing) credit they may do so with no additional work. There is no expectation that students should be already familiar with vocabulary and concepts necessary for analyzing film as part of making social change.

Description: Fundamentally, third cinema is that of anti-colonial resistance emerging out of Latin America and Africa in the 1960s. We are going to consider the impact of Third Cinema on more contemporary work around the world. It has had such enormous impact that each time film theorists declare its demise, new questions, which may actually be old questions, arise. As such, Third Cinema: a Call to Action? begins by contextualizing the works of such anti-colonial filmmakers as Pontecorvo, Solonas, Rouch, and Sembene to revisit the significance of a Third lens.

We trouble the language and politics of Diaspora, imperfect, hybrid, creolized, transnational cinemas across time and nation as these are taken up within the contexts of more contemporary queer, feminist, anti-racist and post-colonial cultural production. Although a good number of the contemporary films will come from communities of African descent, we will ask what it means to claim inheritance of third cinema practice in contemporary First Nations film as well as that of Latino and South Asian Diaspora within North America, and the U.K.


TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm
ART 003 - SLN: 11785
Instructor: Gordana Crnkovic
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

with SLAV 423

This course focuses on East European directors who moved to the West (including Milos Forman, Roman Polanski, Dusan Makavejev, Agnieszka Holland, and Istvan Szabo).  We will compare their East European films with their American or Western European one, and see the things we can learn about cinema in general from this comparative perspective.  The course will examine in more depth the cinema of filmmakers such as Milos Forman, who did outstanding films in his native Czechoslovakia at the time of the so-called Czech New Wave of the late sixties, and then proceeded to make some of the most American Hollywood films, such as <One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest> and <The People vs. Larry Flint>, Roman Polanski, director of the Hollywood classic <Chinatown> and the 2003 Academy Award winner <The Pianist>, Agnieszka Holland, who worked in her native Poland but also in Germany, France, Great Britain, and the USA, Hungarian Istvan Szabo, and Yugoslav Dusan Makavejev.     

This course will also offer a basic insight into Eastern European film production in the post-World War II period, examining issues of film making in a non-market society, the strong presence of women directors and gender-related themes in East European cinema, the vibrant tradition of experimental and animated films, and East European film in the socialist and post-socialist eras.  No prerequisites.


TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
DEN 213 - SLN: 11789
Instructor: Marshall Brown
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

The Declaration of Independence puts liberty immediately after life; the French Revolutionary slogan puts it before equality and fraternity.  Liberty meant, above all, independence of social constraint.  In the Romantic era a subject-centered world-view replaced a value-centered world-view.  In this seminar we will examine some of the key philosophical and literary texts that helped define, imagine, and delimit the reach of subjectivity.  With Locke and Hume on personal identity as the background, we will begin by working through sections of two of the most difficult and most influential books of the modern era, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.  Then we will turn to the paranoid selfhood of Rousseau's Confessions and the countering ideal of self-formation in the greatest and most bizarre novel of the era, Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship.  We will continue with close readings of a selection of Romantic poems and conclude with Heinrich von Kleist's shattering comedy of stolen identities, Amphitryon.  We will also read some representative critical and theoretical essays.

This seminar is intended for advanced honors undergraduates and graduate students.  There will be several short writing exercises and a critical essay.

Some guiding maxims:

Alexander Pope: Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; / The proper study of Mankind is Man.

Eduard von Mörike: Was aber schön ist, selig scheint es in ihm selbst [But what is lovely, blissful seems it in itself.]

Rousseau: Je voudrais que cet instant durât toujours [I wish that this instant might last forever.]

Goethe: Wenn Norberg zurückkehrt, bin ich wieder sein, bin ich dein, mache mit mir, was du willst; aber bis dahin will ich mein sein. [When Norberg returns, I will be his again, I will be yours, what you will; but until then I will be mine.]

Wordsworth: often do I seem / Two consciousnesses, conscious of myself / And of some other Being.

Keats: Forlorn! the very word is like a bell / To toll me back from thee to my sole self!

Kleist: "Halt dort! Wer geht dort?"  "Ich" "Was für ein Ich?" ["Stop there!  Who goes there?"  "I."  "What sort of I?"


MW 3:30pm - 5:20pm
SMI 111 - SLN: 11792
Instructor: Laura Chrisman

Offerings vary to cover individual theorists and particular manifestations of cultural criticism and ideology critique.


Share