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Course Descriptions - Winter 2016

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 2016


MWF 9:30am - 11:20am
CMU 228 - SLN: 11803
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.


TThF 9:30am - 11:20am
MEB 250 - SLN: 11804
Instructor: Mimi Nielsen
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Any situation in which some men prevent others from
engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence.
                                                               Paulo Freire

Course Description:

Science fiction, fantasy science, and speculative fiction render the familiar unfamiliar and in so doing provide us, as readers, with the opportunity to perceive the world and ourselves in new ways. In this course we will take advantage of this loosely grouped genre-mix's imaginative scope—in depicting utopic and dystopic societies—to consider portrayals of power and control, inclusiveness and exclusivity, as well as the significance of culture, language and symbols. We will focus on the values in these texts that express, for example, individuality and/or collectivity, and query to what end? We will also ponder if these texts convey hope and meaning despite scenarios of immense destruction, totalitarianism, and pervasive futility, and if so how?

To learn to write well is to learn to think clearly, a process that is greatly helped by engaging with the ideas and language of other thinkers. To this end we will engage in small-group and class discussions to unpack our texts. Additionally, we will draw on some of the basic concepts of eco-criticism, feminism, and post-colonialism. We will also consider our various texts within their social and historical contexts.


TT
MEB - SLN: 11806
Instructor: Sarah Ross
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 11:30am - 1:20pm
MEB 235 - SLN: 11807
Instructor: Andrea Delgado
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.


TThF 11:30am - 1:20pm
MEB 246 - SLN: 11820
Instructor: Barbara Krystal
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.


TThF 9:30am - 11:20am
MEB 245 - SLN: 11822
Instructor: Brad Gerhardt
GE Requirements Met: C, W

            The word “occupation” has a variety of meanings, ranging from the mundane—occupying yourself with a hobby—to the geopolitical—the occupation of a foreign country. For women, the many nuances of the word have been historically fraught, as evidenced by the lack of occupations left to women throughout the 19th century, the relegation of many “women’s arts” such as embroidery to mere “occupations” in contrast to more masculine forms of “art,” or even contemporary gender debates about who can or cannot “occupy” the position of woman. To probe the semantic range of this term, we will examine four 20th-century novels written by women concerned with problems of “occupation”: Jean Rhys’ Good Morning, Midnight, whose narrator attempts to “occupy” a hotel room, Irene Nemirovsky’s Suite Française, which tells of women in Nazi-occupied France, Christa Wolf’s What Remains, a neurotic account of keeping “occupied” while under state surveillance, and Marilyn Robinson’s Housekeeping, which interrogates how women are called upon to occupy positions and possessions in families. We will also examine critical theory texts from thinkers such as Virginia Woolf and Judith Butler, as well as short stories and poetry. As a writing composition class, our primary task will be developing complex claims about these texts and developing strategies for writing in different situations and for different audiences. 


MWF 1:30pm - 3:20pm
THO 335 - SLN: 11823
Instructor: Gary Handwerk
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 12:30pm - 1:20pm
PCAR 290 - SLN: 11825
Instructor: Barbara J Henry
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

Study of literature in its relation to culture. Focuses on literature as a cultural institution, directly related to the construction of individual identity and the dissemination and critique of values.


MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
MGH 271 - SLN: 11826
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.  


TTh 12:30pm - 2:20pm
CMU 226 - SLN: 11829
Instructor: José Alaniz
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course samples classic and recent comics works from around the world devoted to food: growing it, making it, slaughtering it, preparing it, dressing it, serving it, obsessing over it,  and, of course, eating it! Discussions and lecture will cover such related matters as economics, agriculture, service work, food disorders and cross-cultural cuisine, as well as the specific challenges/rewards of representing food in comic art across several genres and national traditions. Come get served!

All readings in English translation.  


TTh 9:30am - 11:20am
THO 119 - SLN: 11830 Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

 

“The fault lies not with the mob, who demands nonsense, but with those who do not know how to produce anything else.”   

                                                            —Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

The long arc of modernity begins with Don Quixote.  So, at least, goes one reading of Cervantes’s most important work of fiction.  But what does an assertion of modernity for a book originally published in 1605 really mean for a reader in Seattle in the early years of the twenty-first century?  Is modernity something that impacts us from the outside or is it something that originates within us, a way of thinking about the world that is independent of such external factors?  And what does it mean to write a modern novel?  Are considerations of structure and style ever really capable of capturing something as elusive as the concept of modernity?  And finally, who is supposed to be reading this first modern novel?  Or, to put this question another way, how do reflections on the readership for a book like Don Quixote come to inform this basic claim to modernity?

All will be revealed in ten weeks of exhilarating class discussion …

Offered w/ SPAN 294


TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
ARC 147 - SLN: 11831
Instructor: Yomi Braester
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Cinema Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA


TTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
OUG 136 - SLN: 11840
Instructor: Stephen Groening
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Whatever it is called – the cellular phone, cellphone, mobile phone, or just plain mobile – it has become the preeminent communications device worldwide. Its uses include telephony, calendaring, mapping, instant messaging, time-telling/time-keeping, web browsing, and more. It has hailed as the new solution to economic development in so-called emerging (and neglected) markets. It has been vilified as the cause of shortened attention spans, decrease in sociability, and increase in teen-age driving accidents. Whether villain or panacea, the cell phone is seen as a necessary precondition for economic and social success in the contemporary world.

This course will explore these issues, treating the cell phone as a technological device whose cultural, social, and economic significance is a key indicator of the structures of contemporary society. After beginning with some foundational studies of the cell phone’s precursors, we will
examine contemporary histories and analyses of the cell phone and cell phone cultures.

Many assignments are completed using a cell phone and include video essays, photo essays, and texting; the final is a flash mob organized by students. 

 


MTWTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
SMI 102 - SLN: 11841
Instructor: Sudhir Mahadevan
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

What is cult cinema? How and when does a movie become a "cult classic"? Are certain genres (horror, sci-fi, obscure foreign films, disaster films, exploitation films) predisposed to producing "cult" hits? Cult films attract devoted and defiant fan activity; challenge established norms of taste and
aesthetics ("camp", "kitsch" and "trash"); often have or acquire distinctive exhibition practices (singalong Sound of Music, Halloween screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show); and engage with socio-political issues and ideologies in ways that can be distinct from mainstream films. The
emergence of BitTorrent and YouTube mashups raises new questions regarding the relation between technology and cultural value. Course work will be a combination of film analysis and research into the contexts around particular films and how they acquired cult status. Readings include a textbook and a course pack. We will consider a  wide range of US and international films: Toxic Avenger, Sins of the Fleshapoids, Holy Mountain, Night of the Living Dead, Suspiria, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Office Space, Branded to Kill, Zinda Laash and more.

 


TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
THO 325 - SLN: 11842
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course explores High Hollywood Cinema, its first golden age spanning from the end of silent cinema to 1960. A little over
30 years, during this same period America emerged solidly as the economic and cultural super power it is today. Through the
Great Depression and WWII to Desegregation, American industry film reflected and changed cultural landscapes. How
did risqué pre-code films give way to the newly defined glamour and glitz of musicals and tough-guy hard-boiled
detectives? What would American possibly mean without its culture of glamorous camp? We will explore questions of
contemporary Americana in High Hollywood film every T/Th.

All films will be streamed, either provided by the instructor, or available on Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube etc.


TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
THO 325 - SLN: 11843
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA


MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
JHN 111 - SLN: 11845
Instructor: Milan Vidakovic
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Topics designated by individual instructors.


MW 3:30pm - 5:20pm
MGH 254 - SLN: 11846
Instructor: Norma Kaminsky
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: DIV, VLPA

The 2015 migrant crisis in Europe is the most recent and visible example of massive geographical displacement of human populations. Yet the phenomenon of voluntary and involuntary migration is not new. War, human rights abuses, economic hardship, and political upheaval force individuals and entire communities to migrate to places where their lives are not threatened. While the study of displacement has typically been taken up by political scientists, sociologists, and historians, fictional literature also contributes to sharing and understanding the experience of geographical dislocation. This course will examine cases of migration and exile from North Africa, Southern Africa, and Latin America, as portrayed in novels, short stories, and memoires. We will discuss the historical background of each case in order to situate the literary work; we will also practice literary analysis and discover how works of literary are different from those produced by other disciplines, how extra-textual information helps to achieve a richer understanding of a literary text, and, conversely, how fictional works enrich our understanding of historical and social facts.


TThF 1:30pm - 3:20pm
SAV 264 - SLN: 11847
Instructor: Naomi Sokoloff
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Elective for both Literature and Cinema
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course explores major themes of Jewish life and Jewish identity in modern literature and cinema. Topics include

  • tradition and modernity; the forces of enlightenment and assimilation as they have challenged religious orthodoxy;
  • mass immigration – from Europe to North America and from the Diaspora to Israel;
  • responses to catastrophe: antisemitism, persecution and the Holocaust;
  • Jewish nationalism, Zionism and the Arab Israeli conflict;
  • changing relations between men and women, women’s changing roles as a result of upheavals in modern Jewish life

We will draw on principles of literary theory and film theory to compare the telling and retelling of stories in different media.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

Students are expected to do the required reading, to view assigned films, to attend class, and to participate in class discussion.  There will be two tests, a take-home essay exam, and several short in-class writing assignments.

Final grades will be determined as follows:

  • Tests (50%)
  • Take-home exam:  3 essays, 750 words each (40%).   
  • Class participation and in-class writing (10%)

Required Reading:

Tevye the Dairyman, Sholem Aleichem

Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

Everything is Illuminated, JonathanSafran Foer

In addition, there will be some short poetry and narrative excerpts.


MWF 12:30pm - 1:20pm
THO 125 - SLN: 11849
Instructor: Richard T Gray
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course examines a set of central themes that emerge from Sigmund Freud’s theories of the dream, the nature of literary creativity, the operation of the human psyche, and the substance of human culture. We will take as our starting point the hypothesis that Freud conceives the psyche as a kind of writing machine, an “author” that produces fictional narratives that share many properties with the prose fictions generated by creative writers. For this reason, our focus throughout the quarter will be restricted to prose narratives. The course will concentrate on literature produced in the wake of Freud’s theories, that is, on texts that consciously or unconsciously develop Freudian ideas. The class is structured around a set of themes that will be developed on the basis of paired readings: in each case we will examine a text or excerpt from Freud’s psychological works in conjunction with the reading of a literary text that exemplifies the issue or issues highlighted in Freud’s theory. Literary works treated include writings by Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Ingeborg Bachmann, and others. Course requirements: regular attendance at lecture and discussion sessions; weekly short writing assignments; 2 short interpretive papers.

 

Book list:

Sigmund Freud, The Freud Reader

Arthur Schnitzler, Lieutenant Gustl

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis and selected short stories

Thomas Mann, Death in Venice

Robert Musil, Young Torless

Ingeborg Bachmann, The Book of Franza

Students who would like more information about the course structure are encouraged to consult the course Web site: http://courses.washington.edu/freudlit


TTh 1:30pm - 2:50pm
JHN 175 - SLN: 11854
Instructor: Jason Groves
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: DIV, VLPA

This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding one of the more wicked problems of the 21st century: mass species extinction, or The Sixth Extinction, as it is often known. Rather than approaching this event as a discrete biological phenomenon, this course looks at how current threats to bio-diversity are implicated in, and connected to, threats to cultural diversity, in particular language loss. We will seek to understand how discourses of extinction, beginning from its “discovery” in the 18th century, are related to fraught histories of colonialism and imperialism, whose ecological and cultural effects extend into the present and threaten to shape the future.

While the course seeks to grasp the scale of the Sixth Extinction, it will also critically reflect upon, and propose alternatives to, the dominant apocalyptic narratives in which extinction is framed in the popular imagination. Course readings and critical texts drawn from across the humanities and social sciences will explore and critique various framings of “the end” in literature, art, music, and film.

This course is open to majors across the university. English is the language of instruction and course readings. This course satisfies the diversity requirement as well as VPLA.


MW 11:30am - 1:20pm
MGH 058 - SLN: 11855
Instructor: Stephen Groening
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

New media has become more or less synonymous with the digital. However, the path of this course is based on the straightforward, if neglected, observation that old media once were new. Therefore, this course focuses on moments of media transition, when old technologies encounter new ones. Some questions which animate this course include: How is the concept of “new” imagined and represented? How do older forms and expressions accommodate or respond to the threat of the new? What new aesthetics are opened up by innovation in media technology? How is the “shock of the new” managed by the promoters of innovation? How are “wild” media “tamed” and domesticated?

For the purposes of this course, we can understand history as the relationship between the present and the past. In this sense, we can only access the past through the mediation of historical records – which require interpretation, analysis, and narration; in short, historiography. Much of what we
will read are historical accounts, not primary sources (the historical record). Therefore, we will also be engaged in the question of how to write new media history. What methods are available? What are the metrics against which accuracy, precision, and fidelity to the historical record can be
measured? Even more fundamentally, what counts as “evidence” for the writing of history?


MTThF 9:30am - 10:20am
JHN 111 - SLN: 11856
Instructor: Justin Jesty
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA


F 2:30pm - 5:20pm
SAV 164 - SLN: 21910
Instructor: Leroy Searle
Course Website

This course, open by permission of the instructor only, will focus on an the work of Immanuel Kant, with particular attention on the third critique, The Critique of the Power of Judgment, in relation to the first two critiques, The Critique of Pure Reason and The Critique of Practical Reason.  To principal concern will be the implications of Kant's critiques for the idea of literature, including recent scholarly work concerned with expanding and revising the conventional reception of Kant, especially in the relation between moral reasoning and reflective judgment.  Participants in the seminar will have the option of integrating study of particular literary works and movements for final papers.  Cross listed with ENGL 559A,
Literature and Other Disciplines.


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