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Course Descriptions - Summer 2012

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 2012 A-term

MTWThF 8:30am - 10:40am
DEN 206 - SLN: 10563
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 405 - SLN: 10564
Instructor: William Arighi
GE Requirements Met: C, W

In this course we will focus on developing good practices for academic writing, attempting to extend our skills in clarity, concision, claims-building, and revision through writing about literature selected from across the globe. This section of C LIT 240 will focus on the literary representation of money. Though often thought of in contemporary society as a thing in itself, a look into short stories, novels, literary essays, and movies that contemplate money exposes the crisis of representation in which money is always trapped. Money (like both literature and essays) is both a thing in itself and a means of communication between individuals. The readings for this course will include short stories by Juana Manuela Gorriti and Edgar Allen Poe, a short novel by Ousmane Sembène, essays by John Ruskin, Marc Shell, and Jean-Joseph Goux, and a movie directed by Marcelo Piñeyro. Through these readings, in-class discussion, and writing assignments we will develop skills in rhetorical analysis, literary analysis, analytic and expository writing, and comparative literary studies. We may also learn a thing or two about money. (All readings are available in English; select texts may also be available in their original language.)

MTWThF 10:50am - 1:00pm
SMI 405 - SLN: 10565
Instructor: Lin Chen
GE Requirements Met: C, W

The aim of this course is to enable you to read carefully, think critically, write professionally, and above all, find pleasure in what you do. The agenda is to read four major texts: Zhuangzi, Goethe‘s Faust (Part 1), Scarlet Letter and Anna Karenina, that are major in every imaginable way. They are foundational, engaging, intellectually stimulating, and oftentimes amusing. Each text raises its own set of questions, questions concerning knowledge, morality, desire, evil, mortality, family, nature, and society, all so fundamental to human experience that you may find yourself changed, unwittingly at times, as you engage with the readings. Literature, in this view - which is also the implied argument in the design of this class - is a form of emotive cognition, a union of profound thought with intense feeling. It is, therefore, neither an abstract enterprise, nor a hysterical outpouring, but teaches, moves, and pleases in and through the exact details of complex narratives, characters, and relationships in a verbally imagined yet historically determined space. Everything we will read is in English, and the pace will be such that no one will sink. You will be encouraged to participate actively in all sorts of individual as well as group activities. Additional help is available via meeting with me one-on-one outside the classroom.

MTWThF 1:10pm - 3:20pm
MGH 085 - SLN: 10566
Instructor: Patrick Zambianchi
GE Requirements Met: C, W

This course offers an introduction to the topic of Romantic literature (1780-1850) by focusing primarily on texts from the British and French traditions that challenge inherited ideas of ―nature‖ and of the human relation with the natural environment. In particular, we will question how the development of technology and scientific exploration at the end of the eighteenth century led to a new theorization of nature that openly contradicts Biblical accounts of the creation of the earth. How, that is, does the Romantic mind conceptualize nature as it discovers that men inhabit a complex ecosystem that is in constant evolution rather than a regulated and fixed natural space preordained by the Christian God? Also, what type of imaginative spaces and philosophical investigations did this new understanding of nature offer to the Romantic writer? We will start by reading sections from the Book of Genesis and continue with Jean-Jacques Rousseau‘s Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and The Reveries of a Solitary Walker, William Wordswoth‘s Prelude, and a selection of shorter poems by Wordsworth and Samuel T. Coleridge.

In order to better understand the environmentalist implications of some of these texts you will be introduced to some fundamental concepts in Ecocriticism and Green Studies. This will lead us to consider further and somewhat wider questions such as: Does our cultural background shape the way in which we think about nature? What can the natural world do for us and can literature do something for the environment? Is it possible not to think of nature in anthropomorphic terms or is our experience of the outer world always already framed by our mindset and cultural données? Ultimately, the goal of this course is to provide students with the necessary tools to become competent readers and critical thinkers and writers. Class time will thus include close reading and critical discussions of the literature, intensive writing workshops and peer editing.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. Trans. Franklin Philip. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN-10: 0199555427

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Reveries of a Solitary Walker. Trans. Russell Goulbourne. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN-10: 0199563276

Wordsworth, William. The Major Works. Ed. Stephen Gill. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN-10: 0199536864

MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
EEB 045 - SLN: 10571
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Francophone Cinemas will explore the very designation 'Francophone' as it relates to French national belonging among populations outside France, particularly Quebec and West African French speaking nations within and outside Quebec. How have questions and crises of belonging been negotiated through in film and visual production in spaces where to be included in French citizenry is as much a
matter or race, class, generational heritage or gender as it is the fact of growing up speaking the French language as a first language? The students will watch 2 films per week streamed online and participate in active lecture and discussion twice per week to explore the ways colonial nations have both disavowed and aligned themselves with their French heritage in the name of arriving at their distinct versions of Francophone national identities.

MTThF 2:20pm - 4:30pm
SAV 164 - SLN: 14186
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.

MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
THO 325 - SLN: 10574
Instructor: Cynthia Steele
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Workshop on translating short fiction and poetry from Spanish to English. We will read essays on the theory and practice of translation, compare published English versions of the same Spanish original text, and engage in a variety of translation exercises. Students must be fluent in both languages.

Texts: Edith Grossman, Why Translation Matters. New Haven: Yale UP, 2010; David Bellos, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything. NY: Faber and Faber, 2011.
Film: The Woman with the Five Elephants. dir. Vadim Jendreyko. Switzerland/Germany, 2009. 90 min.

MTWTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
PCAR 492 - SLN: 13943
Instructor: Yomi Braester
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

The course inquires into the changing meaning of existence in the digital age, when data manipulation can change perception and identity. The way in which our lives — and the meaning of life — is altered by gaming, and facebook, and smart IDs is reflected, and envisioned in recent films. Films watched include, among others: The Matrix, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Inception.

MTWTh 10:20am - 12:20pm
SMI 205 - SLN: 14242
Instructor: Tom Colonnese
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.

Summer 2012 B-term

MTWThF 1:10pm - 3:20pm
PCAR 293 - SLN: 10567
Instructor: Or Rogovin
GE Requirements Met: C, W

This section focuses on the theme of crisis and identity in modern Jewish fiction, with much attention to close reading and narrative techniques. The writers are Jewish but their writing deals with universal problems: ethnic or religious identity; the power of religious faith; immigration and immersion; personal development and demise; weak men and powerful women. We will be reading in English stories and novellas by twentieth century Jewish writers from different cultures and continents: Berkowitz and Liebrecht (Hebrew), Roth and Bellow (English), Singer (Yiddish), Kafka (German). 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.

MTWThF 10:50am - 1:00pm
SMI 313 - SLN: 10568
Instructor: Nobuko Yamasaki
GE Requirements Met: C, W

This course explores themes of native encounters in East Asia. The course is divided into two different sequences. In the first sequence, we will read Endo Shusaku‘s novel__Silence__(1966) that portrays Jesuit missionaries in seventeenth century Japan when Christianity was forbidden and persecuted. In the second sequence, we will examine themes of Japanese colonial literature. We will read twentieth century short stories that depict colonial Korea, Shanghai, and Okinawa, written by both Japanese and their former colonial subjects. We will also analyze a Manchukuo film, played by a multi-lingual actress Li Xianglan / Shirley Yamaguchi. This course also aims to introduce students to a field of post-colonial studies in East Asia under the Japanese Empire. No prior knowledge in Japanese, Korean, or Chinese languages is required. All readings will be in English translation.

MTWTh 8:30am - 10:40am
SIG 134 - SLN: 10569
Instructor: Andrea Schmidt
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Taking inspiration from Robert A. Rosenstone‘s seminal text History on Film/Film on History, this course will focus not only how history produces film, but also how film portrays and influences history. The purpose of the course is to equip students with knowledge of the major film movements and works of this specific time period. At the same time, they will be encouraged to develop a critical eye towards notions of the canon, nation, and filmic history itself.

A variety of filmic texts, including narrative films, documentaries, and short films will be shown. These Breathless, The Marriage of Maria Braun, A Room With a View, Days of Heaven, Blade Runner, and Close Up.

As this is an intensive course, active attendance is required for all classes. Cell phones and lap-tops are not allowed during lecture times to limit distractions for all members of the class. Students will watch 2-3 films per week and have a daily required reading. Films will be streamed on-line and the readings will be available through on-line library reserves. Three weekly in-class short answer and short essay exams will be given based upon the films and readings. The final paper will consist of 7-8 pages on a pre-approved film of this time period not shown in class. The paper should engage itself in debate with at least two other critical works.

While previous film course-work is not a requirement, students should establish familiarity with the discipline‘s basic terminology before the course. Suggested readings include Film Art: An Introduction by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson and A Short Guide to Writing About Film by Timothy Corrigan. These books should be available at the UW libraries or through Summit exchange.

MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
CMU 226 - SLN: 10570
Instructor: Cynthia Steele
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Analysis of seven documentary and fiction films from Argentina addressing the political repression under the dictatorships of 1973-1985, including the torture and disappearance of political prisoners, and the movement to recuperate kidnapped children of the disappeared and to hold the torturers responsible for their crimes. Students will present a group oral presentation, take quizzes, and write one three-to-four-page analytical essay, based on research and close reading of films and criticism. Those enrolled in the Spanish portion of the course should write and do half of their research in Spanish. Films: Spoils of War, The Official Story, Kamchatka, Trelew, Chronicle of an Escape, Cautiva, and The Secret in their Eyes.

MTWTh 12:00pm - 2:10pm
SMI 102 - SLN: 10572
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. Modernist writers explored areas of experience that literature had formerly neglected (extreme or even pathological states of mind, commonplace things and people, sexuality and other corporeal processes, and so forth), and in the course of this exploration they moved away from traditional literary forms, inventing radically new forms (of which the most familiar are free verse and stream of consciousness).

The first half of the course will be on the poetry of Baudelaire, Rilke, and T. S. Eliot; the second half on fictional works by Kafka (The Metamorphosis), Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway), and Camus (The Stranger). You do not need to know anything about how to read poetry; I will teach you everything you need to know.

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.

Baudelaire, poems (xerox)
Rilke, poems (xerox)
Eliot, Selected Poems
Fictional works:
Kafka, The Metamorphosis
Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Camus, The Stranger

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 Stranger) 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 10:50am - 1:00pm
CMU 120 - SLN: 10573
Instructor: Verena Kuzmany
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Elective for both Literature and Cinema
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

In most comic books and graphic novels, borders are crossed on every page: drawings are contained within frames and within them text and images are fused. The constant blurring of textual and visual borders is one of the medium‘s defining characteristics and makes graphic novels ideally suited to investigating the formal and thematic crossings, and transgressions, of boundaries of all kinds. Reading works from different national and linguistic backgrounds we will meander across a variety of borders this summer – political (Israel/Palestine), cultural (Germany/Japan), anthropological (humans/animals), ecological (human kind/nature), and social (generational divides) – as well as a variety of genres (graphic novels as Westerns, as Fantasy, as Journalism, as Memoir). National and cultural border scenarios represented range from the description of the contested regions of Gaza in Joe Sacco‘s Palestine to the political and cultural isolation of North Korea in Guy Delisle‘s Pyongyang. In two mangas, the class will explore the articulation of borders between genders in Takako Shimura‘s Wandering Son and between life forms in Hayao Miyazaki's post-apocalyptic Nausicaä. Two bandes dessinées will provide a glimpse of the unique and popular French/Belgium style of graphic novels. The quarter will be bookended by two meta-comics on how to understand the limitations and extraordinary advantages of the art form. Questions encountered along the way include how comics and graphic novels redefine, uphold, or challenge the traditional border between text and images in literature, which formal and stylistic strategies graphic novel artists employ and how they differ from those of novelists and film makers, and how examining borders in graphic novels can hone our recognition and understanding of the presence of borders in a globalized yet immigration- and migration-phobic world.