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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jennifer Mc Collum
ENGL 111
Seattle Campus

Composition: Literature

Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from reading and discussing stories, poems, essays, and plays. Cannot be taken if student has already received a grade of 2.0 or higher in either ENGL 111, ENGL 121, or ENGL 131.

Class description

FERAL BODIES: THE WILD ANIMAL WITHIN

Even before Charles Darwin's claim that humans evolved from "lower" animals we have been fascinated by our own tendencies toward barbarism, brutality, and wildness. Conversely, we've also been increasingly preoccupied with proving that we're NOT animals, but rather something entirely different from mere beasts. Western popular culture from the 18th century to contemporary times has both challenged and supported the concept of the human as animal. This ENGL 111 course takes feral bodies as a topic for inquiry, as we learn how to write sophisticated, complex, and critical academic prose.

This class will focus on writing about the "animal within" through different genres and styles, including popular, business, reference, creative, personal, and academic. ENGL 111 combines literature and writing together as a way to help you focus inquiry and develop convincing argument in specific contexts.

The course is broken into three sequences, including "The Human Animal," "A Less-Than-Human Animal," and "E-race-ing the Monster." Each sequence confronts different issues in the topic of feral bodies (including gender, race, and class), which will open new and interesting doors of investigation for your writing.

Readings in each sequence may include selections from the following: Swift's *Gulliver's Travels,* Stevenson's *Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Hyde,* Le Fanu's "Carmilla," West's "Indissoluable Marriage," Hoffmann's "The Sandman," Freud's "The Uncanny," Butler's *Bloodchild,* Russell's "St. Lucy's School for Girls Raised by Wolves," Capek's *R.U.R.,* and Morrison's *Beloved.*

Films for the class will explore zombie culture, and may include: *28 Days Later,* *Paranormal Activity,* or *The Exorcist.*

Student learning goals

Although we are interested in critical and creative readings of the course texts and their manifestations in popular culture, learning how to fashion our writing to various discourse communities, to use diverse writing genres rhetorically, and to improve our linguistic prowess are also goals of the course. In this course we will learn to write persuasive prose that matter in academic, business, personal, professional, social, and political contexts.

Expository writing is designed to help us “expose” our writing style in a way that draws from critical thinking skills and risk-taking. We will use literature as a way to achieve these composition goals.

General method of instruction

I like to use a variety of methods of instruction ranging from computers, lectures, images, discussion, debate, surrealism, film, and experimentation.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Assignments may include visual interpretations, oral presentations, editorials, reference documents, narratives, reviews, creative writing, business letters, proposal writing, resumes, memos, poetry, academic essays, etc.

Grades in ENGL 111 are based on class participation and writing. Class participation may include blogging, discussion, presentation, preparation, etc. Writing is graded in small assignments and also in a cumulative portfolio of works.

NOTE: Please find the course materials at my website, noted below. I will replace my Fall course with the appropriate ENGL 111 course during Winter break. Look for updates!


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Jennifer Mc Collum
Date: 11/19/2009