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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Emily M. James
ENGL 207
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Cultural Studies

Introduces cultural studies as an interdisciplinary field and practice. Explores multiple histories of the field with an emphasis on current issues and developments. Focuses on culture as a site of political and social debate and struggle. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

This course focuses on print culture from 1850 to 1950, a period that saw tremendous changes in the production and consumption of reading materials. We will begin the quarter with a brief introduction to cultural studies. For the remainder of our time, we will examine novels, short stories, and poems in conversation with popular newspapers, little magazines, advertisements, and other texts from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Accordingly, we will work closely with digital and print archives, including the London Times, the Modernist Journals Project, and UW Special Collections. Collectively, these texts offer us a survey of important cultural issues from the period: discussions of art and work, compulsory education, the rise of female clerical labor and the emergence of the typist as a cultural icon, World War I and the circulation of political rhetoric, the class tensions that arose in tandem with mass literacy, and the industrial production of cheap and increasingly accessible reading materials. In presentations and essays, students will have the opportunity to pursue specific interests as they pertain to this period.

Selected writers may include Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George Gissing, Olive Pratt Rayner, Aldous Huxley, and Virginia Woolf. This course is reading-intensive and requires regular and active participation in class, essays, presentations, and exams.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

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 Emily M. James
Date: 06/07/2010