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Course Descriptions - Summer 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.

Summer 2016 A-term

MTWTh 9:10am - 11:10am
SMI 102 - SLN: 10577 GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

Typically, an English conversation about literature involves the canon of “great works” starting with Beowulf, moving through Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, Keats, Joyce and Eliot etc. Because of feminism, women are frequently woven throughout the list as well: Austen, Shelley, Brontë, and Wolfe etc. While their writing is, no doubt, brilliant, this course will explore more the politics behind writing itself. It will trace the rise of the concept of literature through its development with the Western Academy/University. It will then seek to answer and address how literature has been couched as superior to oral traditions; how literacy was used to legitimize colonization; how it created an elite class who, then, barred others from it; how women have fought for the right to write; and how people of color and queer communities have employed the spoken word as a means of resistance.

This course will engage with various forms of literature ([slam] poetry, prose [novels, novellas, essays, short stories] and drama [theater]) from some of the first written texts up to the 21st century. It will also entertain various feminist, anti-colonial and queer of color theoretical concepts. Students will
then develop their own creative and analytical skills by writing in various forms. Classes will be a mixture of small-group and large class discussions.

MTWThF 9:10am - 11:20am
CLK 316 - SLN: 10578
Instructor: Guntis Smidchens
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

Folklore (traditional stories, beliefs, songs, customs, and material culture) is a rich resource for remembering and understanding people and their worldviews. This course will survey genres of folklore: Folktales, legends and folk poetry, as a window into the lives of the people who maintain folk traditions. A variety of theories and methods applied in folklore studies during the past two centuries will be introduced in readings and lectures.

Course Objectives

  • Learn some “classic” folklore examples: variants of folktales, folksongs and legends in Northern Europe and America.
  • Learn some methods of collecting and analyzing folklore, with particular attention to folkloristics in Northern Europe.
  • Do folklore studies: Collect, describe and interpret items of folklore from oral tradition


  • Daily quizzes about reading assignments 20%
  • Four take-home exam questions, 20%
  • Class discussion (face-to-face and online) 20%
  • Four collection projects and portfolio: 40%

Required Readings

MTWTh 10:20am - 12:30pm
CMU 326 - SLN: 10579
Instructor: Mimi Nielsen
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Reading the Liminal—In Between Places, States, or Conditions.

A novelistic journey through Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.


In this class we will read excerpts from five different novels, from as many countries—all published 2005 or later. These books touch on liminal states, states of transition or unknowability; written in the styles of magical realism to family dramas and suspense, depicting vampires, boys in suitcases, long-ago lesbian lovers, and ancient Icelandic tales of witch-hunts. We will consider how the authors pull in their readers by grounding their narratives in the everyday, to then explore meaning that transcends the immediate and the ordinary, thereby launching readerly imaginations far afield. Come prepared to read and discuss the writings of John Ajvide Lindqvist, Erlend Loe, Riikka Pulkkinen, Lene Kaaberbol, and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. As we consider the styles, themes, differences, and similarities of these novels, we will also work on developing academic writing skills.

MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
THO 125 - SLN: 10582
Instructor: Sudhir Mahadevan
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

MTWTh 10:50am - 1:00pm
MGH 085 - SLN: 10583
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

MTThF 2:20pm - 4:30pm
PCAR 492 - SLN: 10586
Instructor: Claudio Mazzola
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Summer 2016 B-term

MTWTh 10:20am - 12:30pm
THO 231 - SLN: 10580
Instructor: Brad Gerhardt
GE Requirements Met: C, W

Although there are a number of conflicting perceptions of poetry since it “got confusing and stopped rhyming,” one pervasive reaction is simply dismissal: poetry is irrelevant, esoteric, self-indulgent, and so forth. This perception is partly due to the New Critical model of studying poems in isolation and identifying a wide range of interpretive tactics which are required to “understand” the poem. While this has helped in some ways to make the “craft” of poetry more apparent to the reader, in many ways it has also alienated readers and taught them to consider themselves outsiders to the discourse of poetry unless they have completed a rigid “discipleship” in poetic form. Our aims in C LIT 240 are in many ways a resistance to this model; the reading practice we will employ has relatively modest claims: 1. the equipment needed to read poetry does not come from prosody manuals: it tends to consist of eyes, brains, tongues, and ears; 2. the basic unit of poetry is not the individual poem but the book of poems; and 3. poetry actually is important, and primarily in a subjective and not an academic sense. We will be reading a range of 20th century poets, from Gertrude Stein and Anne Carson to William Carlos Williams and Ted Hughes, and simply practicing the art of reading and the skill of responding to texts through writing. As a composition course, we will focus on specific elements of the writing process, including analysis, organization, audience, and the comparative method. 

MTWTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm
SAV 130 - SLN: 14495
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.

MTWThF 1:10pm - 3:20pm
SAV 139 - SLN: 14498
Instructor: Yasaman Naraghi
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

The misunderstanding of passion and reason, as if the latter were an independent entity and not rather a system of relations between various passions and desires; and as if every passion did not possess its quantum of reason.

-Friedrich Nietzsche


The tension between passion and reason has been and is, to speak broadly, a prominent theme in literature. Passion and reason have been dichotomized and put in distinct categories as if one either possesses and lives by the rules of reason or by that of passion. In doing so, passion – related to the instinctual, emotional, and sexual aspects of an individual – is suppressed in order to elevate reason – the very human capacity for logical – which has been misguidedly a sign of so called “civilized” societies. This dichotomization, however, over simplifies the complexities of human experience and assumes passion divorced of reason and vice versa. In this class, we will read texts that explore the challenges of mitigating reason and passion in societies and cultures that privilege reason over passion. We will discuss the interplay of reason and passion as well as its implications within political, sexual, and aesthetic (creative) contexts.


Required texts:

Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
ART 317 - SLN: 14497
Instructor: Paul Morton
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Cinema Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

The history of the modern city is intertwined with the history of cinema. This introductory film course will examine how film captured the world’s cityscapes as they rose and fell throughout the twentieth century. Students will also learn the foundations of film analysis. There will be a mid-term and a final exam. Students will also write two short papers. Screenings to include: Taxi Driver, Chinatown, Blade Runner, M, The Third
Man, Man with a Movie Camera, and Double Indemnity.  

MTWTh 9:10am - 11:10am
PCAR 293 - SLN: 10581
Instructor: Sarah Ross
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

How do moving images transform and affect the way we think? Do screens function as an interface between us and the world, or become a window through which we see? An introduction to film studies that seeks to engage students with visual thinking and critical analysis. This course will provide students the opportunity to develop their skills in perception, comprehension, and interpretation of film and visual texts. Emphasis will be placed on the films themselves, engaging in intensive analysis and discussion of formal components. The goal of this course is to cultivate students’ ability to translate their informed understanding of films into oral and written expression. Films discussed include works from Hitchcock, Varda, Kubrick, Lynch, and Tarantino. 


MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
CLK 219 - SLN: 10590
Instructor: Jose Antonio Lucero
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA, W

Summer 2016 Full-term

MW 12:00pm - 1:40pm
LOW 216 - SLN: 10588
Instructor: Shawn Wong
GE Requirements Met: VLPA