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Course Descriptions - Summer 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.

Summer 2011 A-term

MTWThF 12:00pm - 2:10pm
SIG 226 - SLN: 10521
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 8:30am - 10:40am
SMI 407 - SLN: 10522
GE Requirements Met: C, W

The self constantly looks for that moment where it is the agent of its path, a moment that affirms its indissoluble autonomy and its existential freedom. That precise moment defines many a character we will examine in our readings and in the movies. In a breath of fresh air, they inhale freedom, and their actions thereon translate an evilness that cannot be dismissed, as they come face to face with their human limitations. Can we understand evil as an assertion of freedom in the face of our unwavering fate? Or is it merely a byproduct of our struggle against fate? Does committing evil become a 'collateral damage'? or the essence of that freedom? Does (self-) destruction become an automatic result? Finally, does our perception of evil differ, across time and space? In this class, we will address these issues through close reading and writings about literary, philosophical and film texts from a variety of cultural contexts: from Classical Greece to Elizabethan England to Twentieth-Century France and Egypt. We will examine how various characters in literature and film express and exercise their freedom, and how in the course of their actions, evil unfolds. Eventually, the aim of the class is to demonstrate whether we can understand evil through its relation to freedom and fate.

Required readings in order:
Sophocles. Oedipus, the King. Shakespeare, William. Othello. Camus, Albert. Caligula. Sartre, Jean-Paul. The Flies. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Mahfouz, Naguib. The Thief and the Dogs.

Theory (available on class website):
Camus, Albert. Selections from The Rebel. ----. Selections from The Myth of Sisyphus. Freud, Sigmund. Selections from Civilization and Its Discontent. ----. Selections from The Interpretation of Dreams (on the Oedipus Complex). Nietzsche, Friedrich. Selections from On The Genealogy of Morals.

The Dark Knight (Batman). Dir. Christopher Nolan, 2008 (US). Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Dir. Kenneth Branagh, 1994 (UK).

Class assignments and grading
You will be required to write 2 short essays (2 pages) and 2 long ones (4-5 pages) and give a presentation.

THO - SLN: 13948
Instructor: Yizhong Gu
GE Requirements Met: C, W

How can we understand a film from the perspective of culturally distinct audiences? How can we organize clear and cogent arguments when faced with complex human issues such as self-sacrifice? The primary goal of this writing course is to familiarize you with the basic terms and concepts of film analysis, approaches to writing analytical papers with both accuracy and poignancy, and essential procedures for peer-editing and essay revision.

Revolving around the contested concept of martyrdom, this course will also tease out specific topics in cinema studies, including nationalism, ideology construction, subject formation and gender politics. To shed light on these topics, we will alternate viewing and discussion of a few theoretical and analytical essays and major films from various cultural contexts, with discussions of strategies for writing about film. Readings will include some foundational theoretical works such as Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities and Louis Althusser's “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.” Films will include recent Hollywood blockbusters (Flags of our Father, 2006 and Letters from Iwo Jima, 2006); European art cinema (Ivan‟s Childhood, 1962); East Asian cinema (The Assembly, 2007; Lust, Caution, 2007; and Yasukuni, 2008); and Middle Eastern cinema (Paradise Now, 2005).

The cinematic representation of martyrdom poses many questions. How is nationalism constituted in different cultural and historical contexts? How does the collective passion of sacrifice for one's nation sublimate the individual desire to sacrifice for one's lover or family? Can we clearly delineate the boundaries between martyrs (self-sacrifice) and scapegoats (those forced to sacrifice themselves)? Finally, what makes us take for granted the necessity of martyrs' voluntary self-sacrifice for the nation?

Coursework will include four papers (two short, two long), as well as two oral presentations for each student.

MTWThF 10:50am - 1:00pm
SAV 169 - SLN: 13949
Instructor: Milan Vidakovic
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Even after we‟ve seen them sing, dress dapperly, and carry on conversations that most literature majors would give their right arm to be able to emulate, do we still think of Bugs Bunny or White Rabbit as bunnies? This summer, we will cover a variety of novels and short stories that prominently feature animals, looking into how their images morph within fantastical realms. You might have heard of some basic plot strategies, such as conflict, crisis, peripeteia, and recognition; or you may have learned about literary devices such as pastiche, allusion and parody. If you haven't, you will now; if you have, you will have the opportunity to refresh your memory and learn more about them. Then we will do some serious literary analysis (read: writing) about animals in these somewhat weird-sounding literary situations.

Tentative reading list:
Greek myths: a selection, Aesop fables: a selection, Medieval bestiaries: a selection, Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland, Jorge Luis Borges: Book of Imaginary Beings, Terry Pratchett: Witches Abroad, and David Sedaris: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. Secondary readings (discussions of issues addressed in fictional works we read) will be drawn mostly from Richard Bulliet‟s Hunters, Herders and Hamburgers.

This class is a combination of a reading-intensive course and a writing workshop, so most time we will spend working on these two skills. If you have not taken a literature or a writing class at UW, you will be relieved to know that fancy phrases and highfalutin words are neither expected nor welcome; you will practice deploying textual evidence, analyzing it critically, and writing in a no-nonsense style that you can later apply in other areas of your study and life.

There will be three major papers of 3-6 pages, and daily short writing assignments. We will organize study/writing groups every day after class to help you keep up with this considerable amount of work, so make sure to leave some time in your schedule in the afternoons. Required readings are available on a variety of media: in print, as audio books (CDs/audio files), or online. It is up to you which medium you use, but in your papers you will be expected to quote from either books or online sources, so make sure you have access to them. In early June, I will send out a group email with the finalized reading list so that you will have enough time to get hold of the readings before the class starts.

Passing this class with a grade of 2.0 or higher fulfills the 5-credit English composition (C) requirement, or half of the 10-credit Additional Writing (W) requirement.

MTThF 2:20pm - 4:30pm
SAV 156 - SLN: 10527
Instructor: Claudio Mazzola
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.

MTWTh 10:50am - 1:00pm
DEN 217 - SLN: 10528
Instructor: Henry J. Staten
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

We will read a variety of poems and fictional works from France, Germany, England, and the U.S. in order to get a sense of the complex phenomenon called “modernism.” Modernism is a style, or cluster of styles, of writing that flourished from roughly 1910-1930, but the beginnings of which can be traced to France in the mid-19th century. There is no simple definition of what “modernism” means; like other period terms in literary theory (e.g., “romanticism” or “realism”), it refers not to any single quality of literary works but to a diverse set of stylistic characteristics, which get mixed and matched differently by different authors. The only way to get a sense of how the term works is to read a number of texts that are labeled with it and see how they are similar and how they are different.

I don‟t expect you to already know how to read poetry; one of my main goals in this class is to teach you how to do it. I will provide you with a “tool box” of techniques by which to break poems down into understandable language. Then, in the second half of the course, we will work on a comparable tool box for fiction.

There will be a 2-3 page paper on Baudelaire due the second week (worth 20% of your grade); a 4-5 page mid-term paper on Rilke and Eliot (40 %); and a final, 4-5 page, paper on modernist fiction (40%). Your entire grade will be based on these three papers.

We will spend the first half of the course reading the work of three poets, the second half the work of three prose writers, as follows:
Baudelaire, poems (xerox)
Rilke, poems (xerox)
Eliot, Selected Poems
Kafka, The Metamorphosis
Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Gide, The Counterfeiters
The work of Baudelaire and Rilke will be available in a course packet from the Ave. Copy Center, 4141 University Way (known as “the Ave.”). It‟s below street level, located beneath the University Credit Union. The other texts (Metamorphosis, Mrs. Dalloway, and The Counterfeiters) will be available at the University Bookstore. I strongly recommend you buy the editions that I‟ve ordered for you; otherwise you won‟t have the same page numbers, and it will be hard for you to follow class discussion of the text.

MTWTh 9:40am - 11:50am
SAV 140 - SLN: 10529
Instructor: José Alaniz
Department Requirements Met: Elective for both Literature and Cinema
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

If, as the author Christopher Hedges has claimed, “War is a force that gives us meaning,” how have artists communicated and shaped that meaning? And what meanings have been communicated? This course examines war as a subject of ideology, protest and representation. We will investigate how authors have defined and depicted war in Western civilization, from Homer‟s epic poetry to Shakespeare‟s nationalist rallying cries to Hollywood‟s widescreen blockbusters. At every point we will acknowledge both war‟s allures and its costs, with emphasis on the role played by masculinity in the long history of representing human conflict. Authors include Homer, William Shakespeare, Stephen Crane, Isaak Babel and Jacques Tardi. All course readings and viewings in English.

TTh 1:10pm - 4:30pm
DEN 312 - SLN: 14196
Instructor: Nicole Calian
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Offered by visitors or resident faculty. Content varies.

Summer 2011 B-term

MTWThF 8:30am - 10:40am
LOW 217 - SLN: 10523
Instructor: Greta D'Amico
GE Requirements Met: C, W

This course is designed to help students become engaged, proficient readers and writers through a comparative approach to literature. Our readings will focus upon the human-environmental dynamic from both romantic and contemporary ecological perspectives, with particular, though not exclusive, emphasis upon feminine representation, subjectivity, and experience in nature and its counterpart, society. We will examine the relationship between nature, social formation, emotional and physical vulnerability, and the inhabited environment. Through our readings we will consider precedents and inherent problems in the romantic idea of Man in harmony with nature, particularly with regard to such significant influences as pre- and post-industrialism, Darwinian thought, colonialism, and war. In what ways, for instance, do female, as well as less traditionally susceptible male protagonists, influence or alter our perceptions of humanity in the changing natural environment, both yesterday and today? Supplementary readings will include writings from the field of ecocriticism, including feminist and psychological perspectives, with small amounts of physical and cultural anthropology (Jane Goodall and Mary Douglas, for example) thrown into the mix. Classroom time will focus upon close reading and discussion of the texts, weekly intensive, workshop-style writing laboratories, group and peer editing. You will produce three short papers and two group oral presentations during the quarter.

Required Texts:
Claire de Duras, Ourika (John Fowles, trans. 1995); George Sand, Indiana (Sylvia Raphael, trans. 2001); Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders (1998); Kazuo Ishiguro, A Pale View of Hills (1990); Margaret Atwood, Surfacing (1998) Short stories will include the work of Flannery O'Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, and Sherwood Anderson, among others.

Student learning goals
Students will learn requirements and skills of analytic writing involving one or several literary texts.
How to develop individual paragraphs and structure beginnings, middles, and ends, to create a cohesive, articulate essay.
How to edit your own essays and work with others to improve drafts.
How to read closely, compare, and interpret a variety of texts.
How to develop and articulate ideas through writing.
How to become more comfortable discussing interpretations, ideas and questions in a classroom setting.

MTWThF 9:40am - 11:50am
SAV 168 - SLN: 13950
Instructor: Or Rogovin
GE Requirements Met: C, W

C LIT 240 introduces students to the writing of critical essays in the discipline of Comparative Literature. It aims to develop writing and critical skills through a variety of discussion, group-work, and writing assignments. This section focuses on the theme of crisis and identity in modern Jewish fiction with much attention to the narrative techniques applied in its communication. The writers are Jewish by birth but their writing - in different ways and degrees - deals with universal problems: ethnic or religious identity and commitment to it; the power of religious faith; immigration and immersion; familial problems and confrontation; personal development and demise; weak men and powerful women. We will be reading in English translation stories and novellas by twentieth century Jewish writers from different cultures and continents: Berkowitz (Hebrew), Roth (English), Singer (Yiddish), Kafka (German), Appelfeld (Hebrew), and Bellow (English). The ultimate goal is to produce an interesting, precise, well-grounded, and well-articulated analysis of literary texts while making use of the approaches and techniques of Comparative Literature.

General method of instruction
Lectures, class discussion, group work.

Recommended preparation
No association with Judasim or knowledge of Jewish culture is assumed or required. An interest in literature is recommended.

Class assignments and grading
Reading tasks, quizzes, short writing assignments,response papers and longer essays.
Grades will be based on class participation, punctual attendance, on-time submission of writing assignments and papers.

MTWThF 10:50am - 1:00pm
PCAR 291 - SLN: 13951
Instructor: Artur Rosman
GE Requirements Met: C, W

This course is an introduction to film analysis and writing about films. The course will help students analyze film form and style, develop arguments, evaluate their own writing as well as that of their own colleagues, and use feedback to revise their drafts.
We will learn how to create persuasive arguments, which means learning how to turn initial responses into specific, arguable claims. We will also learn how to support those claims with appropriate evidence, and then place those claims in conversation with other scholars and writers.

The course is designed with the premise that writing is a process and furthermore, it is a powerful mode of learning, thinking, and communicating. Writing, and being self-aware of ourselves as writers, is an activity that allows us to pose questions, clarify thoughts, and make connections we would not otherwise.

Films and film clips will be wide-ranging in style, genre, period, and may include films like Sherlock, Jr, Rope, Blue Velvet, Don't Look Now, The Conversation, Dawn of the Dead.

The course does not require any prior knowledge of film analysis.

Student learning goals
Learn, through writing, about film studies as a discipline.
See writing as a process which requires us to revise our written work as well as our ideas
Write thoughtfully and persuasively about the texts we read and the films we view by creating and defending complex, narrowly defined, arguable claims.

General method of instruction
lecture, discussion, screening

Recommended preparation
No prior knowledge of film is necessary for this course.

MTWTh 12:00pm - 2:10pm
GWN 201 - SLN: 10524
Instructor: Willis Konick
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Cinema Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

Introduction to authorship in the cinema. The work of a major director or directors. C LIT 270, C LIT 271, C LIT 272 are designed to be taken as a sequence, but may be taken individually.

MTWTh 2:20pm - 4:50pm
THO 101 - SLN: 10525
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.

MTWTh 10:50am - 1:00pm
MLR 301 - SLN: 10526
Instructor: Cynthia Steele
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

An analysis of eight films from Latin America that address two major issues in late twentieth-century politics, revolution and dictatorship: the 1960s ideal of the „New Man‟ and the corresponding social movements, including the Cuban Revolution; and the dictatorships and repression in Chile and Argentina during the 1970s and 1980s. Genres include the biopic, the political thriller, family melodrama, the road movie, and the coming of age film. We will screen the films on Mondays and Wednesdays and discuss them and related readings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your success in the class will depend on regular attendance and participation. You will write two short (three-to-four-page) analytical essays, based on close readings of the films and texts and library research; and keep a diary of the films and readings. Students enrolled in the Spanish portion of the course should read, write and do their research in Spanish.

Texts: Ernesto Che Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey. Ocean Press, 2003, 175 pp. ISBN 1876175702 OR Diarios de motocicleta: Notas de viaje. Ocean Press, 2004, 200 pp; essay packet.

Films: Los diarios de motocicleta/The Motorcycle Diaries (Brazil, 2004). Dir. Walter Salles. Universal, 2005; Che. Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Irvington, NY: Criterion Collection, 2009; Missing. Dir. Costa-Gavras. New York: Criterion Collection, 2008;
Machuca. Dir. Andres Wood. Venice, CA: Menemsha Films, 2007; La historia oficial / The Official Story. Dir. Luis Puenzo. Port Washington, NY: Koch Lorber Films, 2004;
Cronica de un escape / Chronicle of an Escape. Dir. Israel Adrian Caetano. Santa Monica, CA: Genius Products, 2008; Kamchatka (Argentina, 2002). Dir. Marcelo Pinero. Argentina AVH, 2007; Cautiva. Dir. Gaston Biraben. Port Washington, NY: Koch Entertainment, 2007.

MTWTh 10:50am - 1:00pm
THO 125 - SLN: 14274
Instructor: Carol Edelman Warrior
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

Varying topics relating to film in social contexts. Offered by resident or visiting faculty.