Jessica A Campbell
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.
In this course, we will explore a variety of literary forms by reading a series of works that belong to different genres (poetry, drama, short story, fairy tale, novel, film) but share an interest in the figure of the storyteller or narrator. How does the difference between a first-person narrator and a third-person narrator affect the experience of reading? What about an unreliable narrator? Sometimes, particularly in contemporary literature, a character becomes aware of operating within a story. Questions of storytelling become complicated in texts with multiple narrators (such as Dracula) and in texts belonging to genres that tend to lack explicit storytelling figures (such as drama, film, and poetry). As we keep in mind the general question as to how stories are told, we will close-read each text and interrogate its relationship to the era and culture that produced it. Texts will include traditional and contemporary fairy tales; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; excerpts from several other nineteenth-century British novels; Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart; one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories; a variety of poems; and the films Stranger than Fiction, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Atonement.
This course fulfills the University of Washington’s W-requirement by requiring two graded, out-of-class essays (5-7 pages), one of which will be revised into a longer final paper. Informal response papers will be assigned in order to stimulate class participation; quizzes may be given. Each student will give one short presentation at some point in the quarter.
Most readings will be collected in the required coursepack. The books required for purchase are Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire (any edition) and the Norton Critical Edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This specific edition of Dracula is necessary, as we will use some of the critical essays included in that edition.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading