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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Gibran Escalera
ENGL 200
Seattle Campus

Reading Literary Forms

Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

This course examines both the idea of modernity and the aesthetic practice of modernism as they appear in border spaces. In 1890, the U.S. census declares the disappearance of the American frontier, one of America’s most conflicted border spaces, despite continued U.S. imperialist efforts to redraw border lines and inhabit border lands. Further, the U.S. enters the 20th century precisely through such ambivalent engagement with borders. The aesthetic practice known as modernism coincides, and also engages with, this historical moment of border conflict. Modernism is used in this class as a mode for reading beyond limited North-South conceptions of borders. The different types of borders, and the various movements across them, is illustrated in our selected texts.

As a way to trace the relationships among borders, modernity, and modernism, students of this course read across genres, including selections from Walt Whitman’s *Leaves of Grass*, Américo Paredes’s *George Washington Gómez*, John Dos Passos’s *The Big Money*, and Djuna Barnes’s *Nightwood*. Students in the class write two 5-7 page papers, participate in class discussions, as well as regularly submit writing-intensive homework assignments. The consistent focus on reading and writing in this course satisfies the University of Washington’s writing requirement (W).

Text information: Whitman, Walt. *Leaves of Grass*. ISBN: 0393974960. Paredes, Américo. 8George Washington Gómez*. ISBN: 9781558850125. Dos Passos, John. *The Big Money*. ISBN: 9780618056835. Barnes, Djuna. *Nightwood*. ISBN: 9780811216715.

Student learning goals

Students are able to contextualize and analyze the materials or topics covered, historically, politically, culturally.

Students are able to perform competent close readings of course texts and similar texts.

Students understand the investments, contexts, and effects of the kind of close reading skills and approaches under study.

Students have a fundamental knowledge of genres and/or arguments about genre.

General method of instruction

Discussion, reading and writing.

Recommended preparation

At least one quarter in a university-level writing course is recommended. Students should be prepared to read and write every day.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Gibran Escalera
Date: 09/27/2011