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Course Descriptions - Summer 2013

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 2013 A-term

MTWThF 10:20am - 12:20pm
MLR 302A - SLN: 10616
Instructor: Yasaman Naraghi
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Nostalgia stems from the Greek terms nostos, meaning “a return home”, and algos, meaning “suffering”. In common usage, it denotes a sentimental state in which one covets the past in favor of the present through a romanticization of past events or objects. The term also entered medical discourse in the late-seventeenth century describing a condition unique to mercenaries and soldiers serving away from home. The medical usage of nostalgia continues into the twentieth century specifically with the occurrence of the Great War. This course will focus on twentieth century European literature in which nostalgia is a driving force of the narrative. Furthermore, the texts we will be reading are either from or reflect upon junctures of European history that are marked by devastating conflict such as the Great War, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, as well as the Soviet acquisition and control of Central and Eastern Europe. The primary reading for this course includes a selection of poems by Siegfried Sassoon, Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, Italo Calvino’s Into the War, and Milan Kundera’s Ignorance. We will follow two main threads of inquiry in respect to these texts: one which deals with the precise etymological meaning of  “nostalgia” that is further complicated because the notion of home itself is associated with suffering, thus, suffering for a return to suffering; and another that traces characters’ nostalgic tendencies as a clinical matter while serving in the trenches. The goal of C Lit 240 is to hone your individual writing skills in addition to giving you the tools to grow as a critical reader. To this end, there will be two short papers (2-3 pages) and two longer papers (5-7 pages). Each paper will address a framing prompt regarding the course reading.

MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
DEM 124 - SLN: 10619
Instructor: Cynthia Steele
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Overview of the history of Mexican cinema, beginning with the influence of Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein and Russian immigrant director Arcady Boytler in the early 1930s, through the films of the Mexican Revolution of the mid 1930s, epitomized by Fernando de Fuentes; the culmination of national allegory and melodrama in the ‘Golden Age’ of the 1940s, as epitomized by the films of Emilio ‘El Indio’ Fernández; Buñuel’s surrealist and documentary cinema of the 1950s, the ‘New Cinema’ of the 1970s, women’s cinema in the 1980s, and the ‘New Wave’ of the 1990s and beyond. While most Mexican directors of the Golden Age, including Fernando de Fuentes and Emilio Fernández, construct a mythology of revolutionary nationalism, linked to essentialized gender and ethnicity, Luis Buñuel deconstructs these myths through the lens of modernization as underdevelopment. The best Mexican directors of the 1970s, including Arturo Ripstein, and those of the latest boom, including Alfonso Cuarón and Maria Novaro, interrogate changing definitions of gender, ethnicity, national and global citizenship.

Students will do an oral presentation (in pairs), write one three- to four-page analytical essay, and take four quizzes. Those enrolled in the Spanish portion of the course should write and do at least half of their research in Spanish.

Textbook: Andrea Noble, Mexican National Cinema. New York: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0-415-23010-1. Additional readings will be posted to our Catalyst web site. Films: Que Viva México, La mujer del puerto/The Woman from the Port, Vamonos con Pancho Villa Let’s Go with Pancho Villa, Maria Candelaria, Salón México, Los Olvidados, El lugar sin limites/Hell Has No Limits, Y tu mamá tambien/And Your Momma Too, and Sin dejar huella/Without a Trace. The films are in Spanish with English subtitles and will be available on Instant Streaming.


MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
SAV 158 - SLN: 10620
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. 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 131 - SLN: 14143
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 3:30pm - 5:50pm
SAV 136 - SLN: 14144
Instructor: Sudhir Mahadevan
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

"Indian Cinema" poses significant conceptual and practical challenges for discussion and pedagogy. For one, while it is most famously known as Bollywood, there is no one Indian cinema: rather, there are quite a few film industries in India, some producing hundreds of films a year in various languages. Of these, the most well-known, and the one that has been dubbed Bollywood, is the Hindi/Urdu language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), the financial, entertainment, and media capital of India. 

In this course, our main focus will be on the Hindi-language film industry. The aim of this course is to give you a sense of the stylistic, historical and ideological diversity of this cinema. Structured for the most part chronologically, we will start with the films of the 1940s and 1950s, with the first decade after independence. (India – and along with it, Pakistan - was established as a nation-state, and achieved sovereignty from centuries of British rule in 1947). This course will introduce you to key popular films, filmmakers and trends from the 1940s to the present. We will also look at "alternative" film-making traditions, such as the parallel and art cinema tradition. More recently, popular Hindi-language cinema itself seems to have diversified into star-driven blockbusters, and more formally adventurous films, often called "multiplex cinema".

MTWTh 10:20am - 12:20pm
MLR 301 - SLN: 10626
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 2013 B-term

MTWThF 8:30am - 10:40am
THO 334 - SLN: 10615
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. Offered: jointly with SCAND 230.

MTWThF 9:40am - 11:50am
DEM 124 - SLN: 14327
Instructor: Andrea Schmidt
GE Requirements Met: C, W

How do we atone for our sins? How do we atone for the sins of others?

The OED defines “atonement” as “the action of making amends for a wrong or injury.” While its definition suggests the possibility of retribution and relief, literature implies otherwise. In Ian McEwan’s Atonement, 12-year old Briony commits an unspeakable crime, and tries to relieve her own guilt through the manipulation of fact and fiction. In The Reader Bernhard Schlink portrays the psychological state post-war Germany as it works through the horrors of its recent past. The inevitable layers of gender and social hypocrisy in a rigidly structured moral system are exposed in Hawthorne’s Scarlett Letter. In these works, atonement is a brutal process, one that has the potential to make the crimes even more horrific.

This course is designed to provide you with the tools to embark on your career as critical readers and writers in academia. The final grade bases itself upon class participation, two paragraph close readings, and a final paper. 



MTWTh 9:10am - 11:10am
THO 101 - SLN: 10618
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Film History III will run 4 days a week. Mondays will be screening days and the second film for the week will be streaming online. All films will be available in the Media Center.  During the 1960s American film production transitioned from escapist musicals and westerns to more socially and politically concerned modes of representation. This course explores the connections and disparities between popular film movements around the world in relation to those of the US. What if anything might the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) “Consciousness Raising? films have to do with Cinema Verité, or the experimental cinemas of the 60s such as Third Cinema, French New Wave or Andy Warhol’s early work? We will examine the successes of New Hollywood in the 1970s from The Graduate, Carrie and Rosemary’s Baby to Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Apocalypse Now. Finally, the end of the 1970s into the 1980s brings us to new questions and tensions. Technical innovations in sound and cinematography influenced representational decisions of the 70s. Is this still the case in the 80s? We’ll look at representations of the late 70s in the form of Blaxploitation Cinema to lead into the 80s. What new questions are beginning to emerge? What influence has anti - discrimination movements had on marginalized cinemas from the UK, Africa and the US? We’ll look at works like Ordinary People, Flash Dance and Less than Zero as compared to the experimental documentary emerging out of Britain to conclude with very early 90s independent works including - She’s Gotta Have It and works from 1991 New Queer Cinema.

MTWTh 12:00pm - 2:10pm
SMI 115 - SLN: 10621
Instructor: Henry J. Staten
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

We will read five fairly short (only one over a hundred pages) prose narratives that give us a taste of how prose fiction began and how it developed up to the point that Kafka enters the scene.  We begin with a very funny Spanish narrative from the 16th century, Lazarillo de Tormes, which is about a poor beggar boy who gets into a variety of comical scrapes trying to get enough to eat, but winds up prosperous at the end.  This is the first “picaresque” narrative (a “picaro” is a clever rogue who uses his wits to survive).  Next is the 18th century Castle of Otranto, the first Gothic romance: an old castle, a dark family secret, a vengeful ghost, a beautiful young woman trapped by an evil-hearted older man.  This is the ancestor of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, among many other later “Gothics.”  The Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing, from the early 19th century, is a whimsical tale of fiddle-playing peasant boy who works for a noble family and falls in love with the daughter of the nobleman, then goes through a series of exotic adventures before winning her love.  Then in 1899 was published Heart of Darkness, which mixes romance and realism in a striking new way. Finally, Kafka’s Metamorphosis takes us into the strange new 20th century world of “fantastic” fiction.

We will compare the different ways these texts are put together in order to get a sense of the conventional nature of fiction—that is, of the way in which fiction is determined, not so much by some reality that it “represents,” but by the rules of fiction-making, rules that differ from one genre to another, and from one historical period to another.

 This is a “W” course.  I will ask you to write three essays analyzing the works studied, for a total of 10-15 pages.  Your entire course grade will be determined by these essays.


MTWTh 10:50am - 1:00pm
CDH 139 - SLN: 10624
Instructor: José Alaniz
Department Requirements Met: Elective for both Literature and Cinema
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Since the early 1980s, British author Alan Moore has achieved his greatest fame as the pre-eminent writer in the comics medium, particularly through his revisionist and deconstructive superhero series. This course examines Moore’s oeuvre in comics, emphasizing the roles which design; the tension between word and image; and visual/verbal allusion play in these works. We will also consider Moore’s non-comics forays in the novel, spoken word performance and cinema to see how his obsessions with art and magic transcend any one medium. Finally, we will discuss what impact Moore’s work has had on the ongoing debates over the “legitimacy” of comics as an art/literary form. Reading list includes: V For Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell, and Voice of the Fire.     


MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
MGH 085 - SLN: 10625
Instructor: Cynthia Steele
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

During the Argentine military dictatorship of 1973-1985, tens of thousands of Argentine dissidents were imprisoned, and often tortured, for their beliefs and some 30,000 of them were ‘disappeared’ (murdered by the military). Many of the disappeared prisoners bore babies in captivity that were adopted illegally to military families. In the wake of the dictatorship the Argentine people have been with the legacy of fascism. On one level, family members—first the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and later HIJOS, the children of the disappeared—have organized to demand that the truth about the victims’ deaths be told, that the remains be recovered and buried, that the kidnapped children be returned to their families, and that those responsible for ordering and carrying out the massive violations of human rights be punished.

Over the past three decades, dozens of Argentine films, both documentary and fiction, have examined this period in Argentine history. We will analyze eight of these films and see how Argentine directors have employed a variety of genres, and have adopted more or less realistic approaches, in their treatment of these issues over the past three decades. Readings will be posted to our Catalyst web site. Students will do an oral presentation (in pairs), write one three- to four-page analytical essay, and take four quizzes.

Films: Botín de guerra/Spoils of War, La historia oficial/The Official Story, Kamchatka, Trelew, Crónica de una fuga/Chronicle of an Escape, Cautiva, El secreto de sus ojos/The Secret in their Eyes, and La mirada invisible / The Invisible Eye. The films will be in Spanish with English subtitles, and will be available on instant streaming.

Summer 2013 Full-term

MTWTh 9:10am - 10:10am
MLR 302A - SLN: 10614
Instructor: Amy C. Lanning
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Our theme will survey the role of women as daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers across a wide body of literature representing multiple literary genres. In the first half of the course we will analyze two plays that explore the conflict between female autonomy and patriarchal values: “Antigone” by Sophocles interrogates the consequences of fierce devotion to family at the expense of the State and  “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen explores how women responded to and escaped domestic confinement during the Victorian era. In the second half we will examine modernist representations of the evolving role of women after the Great War by reading select Katherine Mansfield short stories that expose patriarchal culture in an attempt to bring clashing gender priorities to the fore, followed by a cinematic exploration of the negative consequences of extreme self-identification with the domestic function as evidenced in the nineteen thirties Hollywood film by director Dorothy Arzner entitled Craig’s Wife. We will end in the fifties with Alice Munro’s short story “Boys and Girls” about a young girl’s resistance to womanhood, addressing women’s challenge to develop beyond their gender role.