VLPA Courses

Autumn Quarter 2017 VLPA courses

Class times, credits, locations, fees, and course descriptions may change.  Check the time schedule or MyPlan for updates before enrolling in the course(s).

For more VLPA courses, see the Time Schedule search page at:  http://www.washington.edu/students/timeschd/genedinq.html.

African-American Studies

Afram 318 – Black Literary Genres (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Instructor:  Sonnet Retman
Diversity credit

Considers how generic forms and conventions have been discussed and distributed in the larger context of African American, or other African diasporic literary studies. Links the relationship between generic forms to questions of power within social, cultural, and historical contexts. Offered jointly with ENGL 318.

American Indian Studies           

AIS 170 – American Indian Art and Aesthetics (5 credits)
MW 9:30-11:20
Instructor: Dian Million
Introduces the aesthetic universe of Indigenous peoples of North America, peoples who are currently known as American Indian, Alaskan Native and Canadian First Nations. Explores multiple examples of North American Indigenous thought, expression, stories, dance, art, film, and music.

AIS 360 – American Indians in Cinema: Native American Film and Media (5 credits)
TTh 9:30-11:20
Instructor:  Daniel Hart
Diversity credit
Studies representations of American Indians in American films from 1900 to present. Examines the foundations of American Indian stereotypes and how Hollywood helped create and perpetuate those stereotypes. Activities include reading critical materials, and viewing, discussing, and writing critically about films by non-Native directors.


Anth 209 – Anthropology through Visual Media (5 credits)
MW 12:30-2:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor:  Daniel Hoffman
Theories of culture and cultural variation, as seen and understood through visual media such as films, video, and photography.

Anth/GWSS 235 – Global Feminist Art (5 credits)
MW 1:30-3:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Sasha Welland

Can art move you to understand the world in different terms?
How have feminist artists and critics looked power in the eye?
Do women really have to be naked to get into the Met?
Is the Met really the place for feminist intervention?

Guerrilla Girls ads have been published in magazines, pasted on signboards for street protests, and plastered on bathroom walls in museums and theaters. Their work, which involves image making, performance, and institutional critique, serves as one example of feminist art practice. Feminist art cannot be classified as a style, like impressionism or cubism; nor is it bound to a particular medium, like painting or quilting; nor is it simply art by women. Feminist art challenges norms and conventions; it embraces multiple media; it critiques inequalities rooted in gender, sexuality, race, class, and nationality; it proposes alternative, experimental ways of seeing the world. In other words, feminist art is an epistemological field of practice rather than an object, event, or project, in which thinking relationally, in terms of social hierarchies, aesthetic form, and ideology, is foundational. This course takes that premise to the global level, asking: 1) how social categories like gender and sexuality are constructed in similar and different ways across cultures, as well as through transnational cultural encounters; and 2) how the work of feminist artists responds to these powerful formations shaped by local and global forces. Rather than assuming that feminist art begins in the West, as origin stories like the formation of the Guerrilla Girls sometimes suggest, we explore an art history of innovation and intervention emerging from centers like Johannesburg and Mumbai, Tehran and Beijing to also ask if women have to be Western to get into textbooks of feminist art.

The first two weeks of the course addresses foundational questions such as “what is feminism,” “what is art," "what is visual culture,” and “what is feminist art.” An overview of how feminist art has been institutionalized focuses our attention on critical sightlines occluded by canon formation. After that, each week of the course presents a case study that introduces students to debates about gender, sexuality, nation, and artistic representation based in specific cultural, historical, and political contexts. With this background as interpretive lens, we then explore the work of specific artists and the configurations of power their artistic practices challenge. An emphasis on feminist transnationalism throughout unsettles static understandings of gender, culture, and identity. While this is a lecture course, close-looking exercises in the classroom are designed to sharpen students’ visual analysis skills and spark further discussion in TA-led sections. Students will be tested on their comprehension of core concepts in relation to the artists and artworks introduced in class; they will also complete assignments that explore and contribute to the project of feminist knowledge production.


ARCH 150 – Appreciation of Architecture I (3 credits)
TTh 3:30-4:50
Instructor:  Alex Anderson

A broad survey of architectural history from the beginning of written history up until the dawn of the western Renaissance. The course generally focuses on the western tradition, with a few lectures on non-western traditions for a broader view of the built environment.  For non-majors.

ARCH 251 – Non-Western Architecture (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:50
Instructor:  Tyler Sprague

Introduction to historical and contemporary built environments of non-Judeo-Christian civilizations, primarily Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, and Meso-American, as manifestations of cultural history and as responses to environmental determinants.

Art History

Art H 209 – Themes and Topics in Art History: Leonardo Da Vinci and the Renaissance Imagination (5 credits)
MTW 1:30-2:20
Quiz Th, times vary
Instructor: Morten Hansen
Introduces students to new ideas, developing themes, and current research in art history and visual culture. Check MyPlan for an update to this course’s description.

Art H 214 – Art of India: Mohenjo-Daro to the Mughals (5 credits)
MTW 3:30-4:20
Quiz Th, times vary
Instructor: Sonal Khullar
$30 course fee
Surveys the material culture and artistic production of South Asia, which includes the present-day nation states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, from antiquity until the early modern period.

Art H 233 – Survey of Native Art of the Pacific Northwest Coast (5 credits)
MWF 11:30-12:50
Instructor: Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse
$30 course fee
Surveys indigenous art of the Pacific Northwest Coast from the Columbia River in the south to Southeast Alaska in the north and from ancient through contemporary times. Focuses on the historical and cultural contexts of the art and the stylistic differences between tribal and individual artists' styles.

Art H 290 – History of Architecture (5 credits)
MWF 10:00-11:20
Instructor: Meredith Clausen
$30 course fee

An introduction to the history of buildings and cities throughout the world, emphasizing developments from the 15th century to the present. Emphasis is on developing analytic skills rather than memorization of names and dates. The aim is to introduce students to different building traditions across time and diverse cultures, and to cultivate skills in understanding architecture, the basic elements of structure, the design and purpose of architecture, its meaning and expressive power.

Art H 384 – American Art (5 credits)
MWF 12:00-1:20
Instructor: Susan Casteras
$30 course fee
Achievements and issues in painting, architecture, sculpture, and other arts in the United States from the colonial era to the present. Check MyPlan for an update to this course’s description.

Asian Language and Literatures

Asian 203 – Literature and Culture of Ancient and Classical India (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor:  Richard Salomon
Optional writing credit
Introduction to ancient and classical Indian literature in its cultural context. Texts in English translation.

Asian 498A – Special Topics: Books Behind Bollywood (5 credits)
MW 12:30-2:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor:  Heidi Pauwels
Optional writing credit

Content varies depending on the specialization and interest of instructor. Topics covered include, Bollywood, Indian film and literature and Hinduism.

Asian 498B – Special Topics: Print Culture in Asia (5 credits)
MW 1:30-3:20
Instructor: Jennifer Dubrow and Chris Hamm
The burgeoning field of “book history” has tended to focus on the history of the book in Western culture, and to premise the revolutionary nature of the invention of movable type. But what does book history look like in other regions of the world? Do other cultural and technological trajectories complicate our perspective on the Gutenberg revolution? What, specifically, can we learn from the rich literary and material cultures of Asia?

This course introduces the multiple print cultures that developed in 19th and 20th century Asia? China, Japan, Korea, and South Asia. We will survey the history of the book in Asia using a comparative frame. Topics covered include manuscript and pre-modern print cultures; technologies such as woodblock and lithography; print capitalism; readerships; serialized fiction and literature; presses, prizes, and publishing houses; periodicals; and the digital present.

This course is intended for advanced undergraduate and graduate students interested in textual studies, the history of the book, and print technologies and cultures. No background in Asian languages is required, but students with proficiency in an Asian language will be able to complete a final project using the language of specialty. Assignments will include hands-on work with print texts from Asia; short writing assignments; leading a discussion; and a final project using primary sources.


Clas 210 – Greek and Roman Classics in English (5 credits)
MWF 10:30-11:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor:  Olga Levaniouk

Epic, history, philosophy, tragedy, comedy, lyric: invented or reinvented by the Greeks and Romans, transmitted from the ancient Mediterranean to modern world literature. Whether you are completely new to this material, or looking to connect texts already read with texts not yet read, in this course we will explore the foundations of western literature and thought. Homer and Virgil; Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides; Herodotus and Tacitus; Catullus and Ovid; Sappho, Plato and more: great authors who have been shaping great conversations for over 2000 years.  Three lectures each week, team-taught by the entire faculty of the Department of Classics; twice-weekly discussion sections in which you will find out how these texts talk to each other and how they can talk to you.

Clas 314 – STEM in the Ancient World (5 credits)
MTWThF 11:30-12:20
Instructor: Sarah Stroup

Examines science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine in the cultures of Greece and Rome, from the late Bronze Age to early Roman Empire.

Clas 424 – The Epic Tradition (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor: Olga Levaniouk

This autumn’s Epic Tradition course will be an in-depth look at the Iliad and the Odyssey, their contexts and their background. Have you read the Iliad and the Odyssey and think you know what they are all about? You may be surprised to find out what’s lost in translation, what’s just under the surface, what was obvious to the ancient Greeks but is news to us, and how much there is still to discover. Have you never read Homer? The goal of this course is to make your first experience with Greek epic both more accessible and more interesting than you would have on your own. Apart from reading and discussing the poems, we’ll talk about the mythology of the Trojan war, what archaeology can tell us about Homer, how Homeric poetry was composed, performed, and passed down in Ancient Greece, how it survived for us to read, why there is still so much disagreement about it, how you can go about doing research on it, and many other subjects. The basis for the course will be reading and discussion: fundamentally, in this class we’ll gather to talk about Homer, ask and answer questions, debate difficult points and try out different approaches to solving them. The students’ main task is to read the epics and come to class with thoughts and questions. In addition, there will be some mini-lectures, videos, and podcasts to discuss, and some carefully selected articles or book chapters about Homer to read. Along the way, we’ll take a brief look at some modern works of fiction and poetry inspired by the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Comparative History of Ideas

Chid 250A – Special Topics: Home-Leavings and Home-Comings: Black British Migration, Identity and Literature (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor: Anu Taranath
What is involved in leaving a home and making a home elsewhere? How does who we are affect what home might mean to us? This course focuses on literature written by Black Britons-immigrants or the children of immigrants from the Caribbean, South Asia, and Africa living in the U.K.  We will read novels, short stories, critical essays and screen films, all of which thematize notions of home, racial identity and imperialism’s legacy. Through our discussions, we will begin to engage with some of the issues that are salient for many migrants and people of color in the UK, and extend our analysis to America as well.  While there are no prerequisites for this class, a willingness to learn about issues of power, privilege, racial identity, immigration, cultural assimilation, colonialism, imperialism, racism, class relations, gender, sexism, and sexuality will serve you well. Offered jointly with ENGL 316A.

Chid 250B – Special Topics: Underworld Poetics: Writing from Other Dimensions (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Instructor: Judy Cole
Visionary poets can stand in strange relation to the world. Some come from or speak from another world. Others inhabit worlds that are illuminated, haunted, or transparent. Some recount travel between layers of reality, or report enhanced encounters with animals, plants, and other beings. This class explores ways some writers cross into and write out of other dimensions-including punk clubs, gay underworlds, subway tunnels, fleabag hotels, outer space, undersea civilizations, angelic and demonic realms. We will read and discuss poetry and supporting texts, from Dickinson to Anzaldúa, Rimbaud to Drexciya, attending to writers' perception and cultivation of more-than-human entanglements. Class writings will probe poetic relations to natural and social environments, via automatic writing, somatic composition, text collage, and other techniques. Students will keep illustrated journals of their otherworldly engagements, and develop underworld poets? statements. The performative “final exam” project consists of improvising an underworld together.

Chid 260 – Re-Thinking Diversity (5 credits)
TTh 8:00-9:50
Instructor: Anu Taranath
Diversity credit
Add code required. Professor is keeping a waitlist. Please email professor if you want to be added. See MyPlan for more details.

There’s quite a lot of talk around equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice, but do you sometimes wonder what these terms actually mean? This class focuses on identity and social differences in a friendly and generous atmosphere that will not shame you for not knowing. We will investigate the meanings and implications of race, gender, class, sexuality, disability, and other social differences, and discuss how ideas about “difference” and “diversity” play out in society, our campus, and our own lives. This is an introductory course, designed to welcome students of all majors and intellectual interests. Our one requirement: a willingness to engage in productive, generative and collegial conversations.

Chid 270A – Special Topics: The Water Crisis in Literature and Film (5 credits)
MW 11:30-1:20
Instructor: Richard Watts

Interprets a variety of texts (literary, cinematic, etc.) that address the water crisis to understand how water’s meaning has changed as people become more conscious of risks in supply (pollution and natural/man-made scarcity) and as access to it is increasingly mediated in light of things like privatization and commodification. Offered jointly with Lit 228 and French 228A.

Cinema and Media Studies

CMS 275 – Perspectives on Visual Culture: Sex, Race and Power (5 credits)
MW 12:30-2:20
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Diversity credit
$15 course fee
All films will stream through Canvas. It is expected that students will obtain access to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu independently since copy write infringement prevents the instructor from providing access to these forms of streaming. 

The course CMS 275 is designed as an introductory film and TV analysis course, which includes audience and filmic interactions with other forms of public media. While we examine the impact of market and technological innovation on public media in the forms of TV and film, not surprisingly we will focus primarily on themes of representations of love, sex and violence in the context multiple negotiations of power. It may seem like a catchy course title, but in the increasingly varied forms, representations of love, sex and violence demonstrate major changes in contemporary media, shifting social mores and consumer demands for both quality and reality-based or more relatable programming. Throughout the class, we will compare our current TV revolution to those of the decades between 1970 and 2000, which mark a coming-of-age for American TV viewers and American TV as a whole. 

Through humour, 1970s shows like - All in the Family and M*A*S*H supplant an accepted popular version of the so-called all-American family who lived in the mythic “good old days”, while films like Dirty Harry and Marathon Man challenged those same ideas through extreme violence. In the 1980s family sitcoms are essentially less challenging, police and hospital dramas delve into the grit of everyday lives and Dallas offers a fantasy-driven peek into the world of money and corruption. Sound familiar? What of more current shows like Empire or serial dramas like The Fall? What of comedies like Arrested Development?

By the 1980/1990s American independent cinema experiences a renewed surge and reflects a new ethics against sexism, racism and homophobia. Just as stand-up comics dominate the stage with explicit hard-hitting humour, in the 1990s they begin to write a whole new form of humour aimed at the sitcom format and the big three networks - ABC, NBC and CBS - adapt yet again, faced with the spread of cable TV. Then as now, a TV viewing revolution of sorts responds to the desires of new audiences to see more.

CMS 320A – Cinema and Nation: Middle East through Cinema (5 credits)
TThF 3:30-5:20
Instructor: Terri DeYoung
$15 course fee
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. Check MyPlan for updates to course description.

CMS 320C – Cinema and Nation:  Italian Cinema (5 credits)
M 2:30-4:20
W 2:30-4:50
Instructor: Claudio Mazzola

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. Check MyPlan for updates to course description.

CMS 321 – Oppositional Cinema/Media: Queer Theory/Cinema (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:20
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
$15 course fee
In some sense, we are in a new era of queer identities and representation. LGBTQIA+ identities are now part of popular media in ways they have never been before. From Orange is the New Black to Transparent, Hit and Miss and Grace and Frankie, queer and trans bodies have become the fodder of mainstream film and TV, but what happens when the mainstream assumes representations of the other? Queer Screens considers the discussion of bodies as visual text from the 1980s to present. We interrogate proposed binaries between presumed male and female to arrive and gender expansive discourses. What do gender and sexuality mean? What has gender to do with representations of sexuality? When and where do we begin to consider a transitioning body? Students will look at moments of intersection between nation/ race/ class/ gender/ ability and sexuality as they complicate political agendas and blur binaries between male and female, gay and straight. We will look at photography, TV, film and other contemporary visual narrative, including a visit to Seattle’s Queer Film Festival. We will look at the emergence of queer theory as it becomes central to feminist theory and queer theory as it emerges in its own directions in the context of international independent queer visual narratives. Other than those from the Queer Film Festival, all films will be streamed through Canvas. It is expected that students will obtain access to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu independently since copy write infringement prevents the instructor from providing access to these forms of streaming.

Comparative Literature

C LIT 250 – Intro to Literature and Culture: Animals and Posthumanism in Graphic Narrative (5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20
Instructor:  Jose Alaniz
This course examines the representation of animals in comics, in particular how comics authors use hybrid verbal-visual techniques to represent animal experience, perception and subjectivity. In the process, we will touch on such issues as the ethics of animal representation, applying concepts from the emerging field of Critical Animal Studies to graphic narrative. Readings include the works of Nick Abadzis, Sue Coe, Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely and Stephen Murphy/Michael Zulli.

C LIT 357 – Literature and Film: Sympathy for the Devil: The Rhetoric of Compassion (5 credits)
MWThF 12:30-1:20
Instructor: Ellwood Wiggins
Diversity credit

Is compassion the foundation of human morality or a dangerously unreliable emotion? This course examines the strategies and motivations in different media of fostering empathy for commonly held enemies or discriminated groups. We examine the ways that casting minorities as objects of pity can strategically forward, but structurally undermine, the project of creating a more open and tolerant society. The syllabus runs from Ancient Greece to depictions of Nazis and terrorists in modern film, and considers philosophical assessments of sympathy alongside examples of its aesthetic manufacture. Half of our readings are in moral philosophy (e.g., Aristotle, Cicero, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Kant, Nietzsche, Arendt), and in each case we use the literary text or film (e.g., Aeschylus, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Lessing, Eliot, Brecht) as a kind of experimental field to evaluate the philosophers? concepts and claims about the moral efficacy of compassion. Students will also work creatively to engender sympathy in four genres (rhetoric, drama, narrative, film). Offered jointly with Classics 496B, CHID 496B.

C LIT 360 – Topics in Ancient and Medieval Literature: The Bible as Literature (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Instructor: Douglas Collins
Explores topics in literature and cultures of the ancient and medieval worlds across national and regional cultures, such as particular movements, authors, genres, themes, or problems.
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it,” we read in Deut. 4:2. What authorizes Bob Dylan, then, to outrageously re-do the Genesis episode of a family-on-family murder, the suggestion that a child be provided as burnt offering? In "Highway 61 Revisited" Dylan darkens a story already disturbing enough:
"God said to Abraham, 'Kill me a son.'/"Abe said, 'Man, you must be puttin' me on.'/
"God said, 'No.' Abe said, 'What!'/"God said, 'You can do what you want, Abe, but the next time you see me comin', you better run.'

All that remains in this version is a sadism with which the story appears to begin but does not end, a story in which God seems to pacifically resolve a problem that he had cruelly posed through the strategy of animal substitution, the becoming impersonal of negativity, that displacement of it that is the condition of civilization itself, condition of representation, of the esthetic, etc... What gives Dylan license to torture the Biblical passage? What does it mean that the tradition emerging from these texts can seem to at once encourage critique of manipulated, manipulating representations (See the Second Commandment) as well as allow space within which there is possible playful or critical distortions, interpretations taking the form of speculative re-imaginings of its stories? That mockery does not exclude affection is the lesson of representation itself that appears to be sometimes allowed and sometimes not. The silences, gaps, inconsistencies, and obscurities of the texts are the condition of and justification for a class on “The Bible as Literature.” Just as literature gives us different ways to think about the Bible, the Bible gives us different ways to think about literature.

Digital Arts and Experimental Media

DXarts 200 – Digital Art and New Media:  History, Theory, and Practice (5 credits)
MW 3:00-4:50
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor:  Afroditi Psarra
$20 course fee
Provides a historical and critical overview of artists and scientists pioneering the digital arts. Discusses important digital media issues from aesthetics, creative strategies, emerging trends, and socio-cultural aspirations.


ENGL 204 – Popular Fiction and Media (5 credits)
MWF 12:30-1:20
Quiz W, times vary
Instructor: Thomas Foster
This course will examine the emergence of the figure of the superhero and the superhuman in American popular culture, primarily comics, during World War II and the subsequent history of the reworking of this figure.  The course will spend some time on the literary contexts out of which the idea of the superhero emerged, especially science fiction, pulp adventure fiction, and immigrant literature, as well as the intellectual or philosophical contexts (especially Nietzsche’s concept of the ubermensch) and the historical context of the war and fascist rhetorics of the master race (in effect, appropriations and (mis)readings of Nietzsche).  

The course will treat popular culture as a site of critical reflection, and the figure of the superhero as an exploration of the limits of human identity and community.  From this perspective, superhero narratives function as a way to ask a set of questions, including what it means to be different and how we define both being “normal” and more or other than normal; how we define identity, through personal uniqueness or social connection and inclusion; what is the evolutionary future of human development and what are the utopian possibilities for reimagining ourselves; what are the limits of morality and institutions of law and order, and what problems and ambiguities emerge around vigilantism; and how to negotiate the tension between transcending  human community and representing a community, however defined (usually, but not always, nationally).

The course will therefore spend some time on the early or “Golden Age” superheroes and the sources that their creators drew on, probably focusing on Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, with some attention to Captain America and possibly Plastic Man.  We will then turn to a set of graphic novels that explore the potential of superhero narratives and their exploration of the questions associated with such figures.  We will pay some attention to the specific characteristics of comics as a medium and their function in presenting innovative representations of superheroes.  But we will also be concerned with the ways in which superhero narratives encode cultural and historical fantasies; the ways in which superhero narratives play with and mash up other literary and cultural genres; the ways in which the emergence of the superhero “universe” implies the development of new ideas about authorship, collaboration, and textuality or intertextuality; and the function and limits of superhero narratives as representations of social diversity, including gender difference as well as racial and ethnic differences.  As time permits, we will consider the adaptation of superhero conventions to media other than comics, possibly including print fiction, film, and live-action as well as animated television, though the focus of the class will be on the origin of superheroes in the comics medium. 

ENGL 265 – Environmental Humanities: Imperialism, Colonialism and the Environment in World Literature  (5 credits)
MW 10:30-12:20
Instructor:  Lubna Alzaroo
writing credit, diversity credit

People around the world have suffered and continue to suffer from the violence wrought by colonialism, nationalism and imperialism. This has been well documented in the writing of figures such as Franz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, bell hooks, Paul Gilroy, Patrick Wolfe and others. Discussions regarding the effects of colonialism, nationalism and imperialism on global ecology have been fairly recent however. This course aims to explore the connections between environmental movements and the fraught history of colonialism. The central focus will be on the U.S. within its settler colonial history and as an imperial power, however we also seek to place our discussion in a broader global context. This course will deal with literature from the U.S., Palestine, Nigeria and Brazil as examples of settler colonialism. We will also discuss the rise of the conservation movement in the last part of the 19th century in the U.S and its connection to U.S. nationalism. In addition, we will discuss the way the U.S conservation model gets exported abroad. The objective of this class is to explore the way literature from different contexts address the connections between ecological problems and the history of colonialism, nationalism and imperialism in their communities.

ENGL 270 – The Uses of the English Language (5 credits)
TTh 2:30-4:20
Instructor: John Webster
writing credit
This class will introduce you to the world of English Sentences.  You will learn about their elements and their structures, you'll learn to think about them as examples of a range of different styles and registers, and you will look at sentences from literature as well as from ordinary life.  You'll write many sentences yourself, both as your own and as imitations of famous sentences from the past - even sentences from the morning newspaper. This will not be a grammar class (though we will do enough syntax to make you a better reader and maker of sentences), but you'll nevertheless learn much about the many different ways English speakers put their thoughts into words. At the end of the course you?ll leave having memorized a few sentences, written more than a few others, read and spoken some of the most famous in our language, and heard many, many more. 

I want students leaving this class to be more confident and experienced with the reading and writing of English sentences and paragraphs. I also want students to leave with a strong intial understanding of some of the key elements of language - particularly in English, but also in some degree as those elements of English connect to other world languages. I also want students to leave having built their active reading and writing skills by having written in different ways about the interpretation of sentences and paragraphs throughout the quarter. And finally, I want students leaving the class to have had fun with language and knowing better what other courses in English might be able to offer them.

Texts: A good hardcover collegiate dictionary. We will also create our own textbook filled with a collection of sentences and paragraphs that you as a class will seek out and assemble yourselves. I will also provide additional materials, either in class, on-line or through library reserve.

ENGL 324 – Shakespeare After 1603 (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:20
Instructor:  Jeffrey Knight
This course surveys the works of William Shakespeare from the first appearance of Hamlet in print to the end of the playwright’s career. The period is considered the height of Shakespeare’s artistic achievement; it includes all four of the great tragedies - Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth - as well as the belated appearance of Shakespeare’s Sonnets in 1609, a late-career turn to “romance,” and a final run of plays that Shakespeare co-wrote with other dramatists. As we explore this material, we will pay close attention to both the formal complexity of Shakespeare’s works - what makes them engaging or thought-provoking as literature - and the equally complex sociohistorical forces that gave (and continue to give) them life: humanism and philosophical skepticism; political and religious controversy; discourses of race, sexuality, and gender; cultures of spectacle and public performance; and the rise and fall of empire, to name a few. Evaluation will be based on an exam, two papers, a performance review, and in-class participation.   

ENGL 357 – Jewish American Literature and Culture (5 credits)
TTh 2:30-4:20
Instructor: Joseph Butwin
In January 1938 Benny Goodman brought jazz to Carnegie Hall; later that summer the great Hank Greenberg hit 58 homeruns for the Detroit Tigers, just two behind Babe Ruth. In 1945 Bess Myerson, a Jewish girl from the Bronx, became Miss America. Saul Bellow’s Adventures of Augie March won the National Book Award in 1954; in 1953 Bellow’s translation from the Yiddish of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Gimpel the Fool” appeared in The Partisan Review.  The Magic Barrel (short stories) by Bernard Malamud won the National Book Award in 1959; Philip Roth’s Goodbye Columbus (also stories) won the next year. In 1964 Fiddler on the Roof, a musical drama based on the Yiddish stories of Sholom Aleichem, would begin an extraordinary run that hasn’t ever stopped. In the 1970s Bellow (1976) and Singer (1978) would both win Nobel Prizes; Woody Allen’s film Annie Hall beat back Star Wars at the 50th Academy Awards in 1978. Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, the Coen Brothers. In 1992 Art Spiegelman’s Maus was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize, a year later Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List took down most of the Oscars.

It would appear that after the rigors of immigration American Jews had finally - in the metaphoric sense- “arrived” in the new world.   The enormous success of several generations of Jewish writers, comedians, musicians, musical comedians and movie makers in the post-War period would seem to confirm that sense of cultural integration. But it is precisely the persistence of old - that is, old-world - obsessions that would be the signature of this apparent success and the binding agent of this course. How are we to account for the continuity, for the persistence of tradition on the part of several generations of artists who would seem to have emancipated themselves from the very conditions that they seem compelled to replicate? These are the kind of questions we will ask as we read, listen and watch our way through the Post-War literature and culture of Jewish America. Lecture, discussion, short essays. Offered jointly with JSIS C 357.

Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies

GWSS 235 – Global Feminist Art
See course description under Anth 235.

GWSS 451 – Latina Culture (5 credits)
TTh 3:30-5:20
Instructor:  Michelle Habell-Pallan
Explores the expressive culture of Chicana/Mexican American/Latina women in the United States. Cultural and artistic practices in home and in literary, music, film, spoken word, performing and visual arts. Focuses on how Chicana/Latina writers and artists re-envision traditional iconography.

History of Modern Europe

HSTEU 274 – European History and Film from the 1980s to the Present (5 credits)
TTh 9:30-11:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Jordanna Bailkin

The twentieth century, as the historian Eric Hobsbawm has said, was an “age of extremes.”  This course serves as an introduction to this turbulent age, exploring themes in European history from the 1890s to the 1990s.  We will survey the histories of world war, the rise and fall of fascism and communism, postwar migrations, the Cold War and decolonization, and the making of the European Community.

We will approach these themes through our analysis of a series of films, as film was one of the key vehicles of propaganda and politics in 20th-century Europe. This course is therefore intended to provide an opportunity for students to explore the diverse historical uses of film - and to sharpen their own skills of visual analysis - along with an overview of major themes in 20th century European history. Through our explorations of key moments in the recent European past, we will consider broader questions of citizenship and identity in modern political life.

Readings will include Art Spiegelman's Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began; films will include early French classics by Georges Melies, as well as Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion, Sergei Eisenstein's Ten Days That Shook the World, Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, Michael Verhoeven's The Nasty Girl, Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three, Gillo Pontecorvo's Battle of Algiers, and Mathieu Kassovitz's La Haine/Hate.

Landscape Architecture

L Arch 212 – Designing the Future (5 credits)
MW 10:30-12:20
F 10:30-11:20
Instructor:  TBA
Freshmen, Sophomores only period I registration.  Open to all students on June 20th.
Ecological/environmental instability and resulting social/cultural disruptions make the world in which spatial designers work increasingly uncertain. Lectures and guest speakers explore diverse ways in which design may create more sustainable futures. Course activities, including in-class design exercises, internet research, group discussions, take home projects, etc. encourage synthetic/integrative thinking.


LING 200 – Introduction to Linguistic Thought (5 credits)
MWF 3:30-4:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor:  Laura McGarrity
Counts as QSR credit
Language as the fundamental characteristic of the human species; diversity and complexity of human languages; phonological and grammatical analysis; dimensions of language use; language and writing; impact of historical linguistics on contemporary theory. Not open for credit to students who have completed LING 201 or LING 400.

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Near E 202 – Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (5 credits)
MW 1:30-3:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor:  Gary Martin
Examines the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) in translation and its relationship with literatures of ancient Near East. Comparisons drawn between Biblical text and literary works of Canaan, Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia. Emphasis on the sophisticated literary techniques employed by Biblical writers. Cannot be taken for credit if credit earned in NEAR E 240. Offered jointly with RELIG 240.

Near E 229 – Introduction to Islamic Civilization (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor:  Hamza Mahmoud
Covers major developments in the formative, classical, and modern periods of Islamic civilization from seventh century Arabia to the contemporary Muslim world. Looks at the development of Islamic religious thought and legal practice as well as the Muslim polities, cultures, and intellectual traditions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. May not be taken for credit if credit earned in NEAR E 210. Offered jointly with JSIS A 210.

Near E 308 – Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient Near East (3 credits)
TTh 1:30-2:50
Instructor:  Gary Martin
Diversity credit

Investigates and critically assesses trends and topics in recent studies of gender and sexuality in the ancient Near East, pertaining especially to texts, artifacts, art and images from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Levant. Explores ancient Near Eastern taxonomies and functions of gender and sexuality, and examines social, political and religious forces that inform and construct gendered categories of gods, humans, and their worlds. No prerequisites. NEAR E 201, Introduction to the Ancient Near East recommended.

Near E 430 – Classical Muslim Writing (3 credits)
TTh 3:30-4:50
Instructor:  Hamza Mahmood

Examines the origins and development of early and classical Muslim thought. Provides an in-depth survey of the three key genres of early and classical Muslim writing: scripture (Quran), historiography (Maghazi, Sira, and Tabaqat), and exegesis (Tafsir and Ta'wil). Offered jointly with Relig 430.


Phil 240 – Intro to Ethics (5 credits)
MWF 12:30-1:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor:  Jean Roberts
writing credit

Critical introduction to various philosophical views of the basis and presuppositions of morality and moral knowledge. Critical introduction to various types of normative ethical theory, including utilitarian, deontological, and virtue theories.

Phil 235 – Plato’s Republic (5 credits)
TTh 11:30-1:20
Instructor:  Charles Ives
Optional writing credit. See MyPlan for details on registration.

Designed especially for philosophy majors, but open to non-majors. Intensive study of Plato's masterpiece. Prerequisite: one PHIL course.


Russ 220 – Topics in Russian Literary and Cultural History: ‘Bad Love’ in Russia (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-3:20
Instructor: Jose Alaniz
Love, that mysterious and powerful force, can often turn dark and destructive. It can even come to threaten the body politic. At least, so has Russian culture often viewed “alternative” expressions of love and sexuality. This course examines several examples of “bad love” in Russia (from the Czarist era through the Soviet period and to the present day) for how they reflect and refract the culture’s values, politics and anxieties over time. Among other things, we will learn about Russian Orthodoxy’s views on sex, Soviet attempts to redefine marriage, post-Soviet treatments of homosexuality and the oldest profession throughout all these periods. More broadly, we’ll investigate the creation and enforcement of cultural values, and how “alternative” institutions negotiate always-fraught ideological terrain.  We will examine the idea of love in Western culture – what is it?  why is it important?  what counts as love? – before turning to its critique.  For this we will rely on the work of, among others, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Laura Kipnis and Lionel Trilling as we analyze short stories, novels and films. Authors include Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Nabokov, Eduard Limonov and Lyudmilla Ulitskaya. Please note:  We will be discussing mature subject matter which some may find disturbing, liberating, offensive, or all of the above. 

Russ 223– Russian Cinema: Russian Revolutions in Film (5 credits)
TTh 2:30-4:20
Instructor: Sasha Senderovich
From the Soviet avant-garde and film in the Stalin era to contemporary cinema in the age of Putin. Among the filmmakers studied are Eisenstein, Vertov, Muratova and Tarkovsky. Offered jointly with CHID 270C.

Russ 320 – Russia’s Big Books: Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov (5 credits)
MW 1:30-3:20
Instructor: Galya Diment

No other novel has been used to describe the "Russian mentality" or "Russian soul" as frequently as Ivan Goncharov's Oblomov. It was the favorite novel of both Leo Tolstoy and Samuel Beckett, while Anton Chekhov claimed that Goncharov stood "10 heads above me in talent." Find out for yourselves why this epic of laziness is so highly esteemed by so many.

Scandinavian Studies

Scand 156 – Introduction to Swedish Literary and Cultural History (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:20
Instructor: TBA
Introduction to modern Swedish literature, culture, and contemporary discourses on race, multiculturalism, gender equality, and LGBTI.

Scand 345 – Baltic Cultures (5 credits)
MTWTh 12:30-1:20
Instructor:  Guntis Smidchens
Cultures and peoples of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Baltic literature, music, art, and film in social and historical context. Traditional contacts with Scandinavia and Central and East Europe. Offered jointly with JSIS A 345.

Scand 445 – War and Occupation in Northern Europe: History, Fiction, and Memoir (5 credits)
MW 12:30-2:20
Instructor: Marianne Stecher
Diversity credit

The study of literary representations (fiction, memoirs, and personal narratives) dealing with World War II and the occupation of the Nordic and Baltic countries. Offered jointly with JSIS A 442.