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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ariel E Wetzel
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

**Our classroom only seats 40, so I cannot overload the class. If you would like to take this class, I recommend signing up for UW Notify to be alerted if someone drops: https://www.washington.edu/itconnect/learn/tools/notify-uw/

**Due to the fast pace of our class, I discourage late adds. If you do late add, please note the reading schedule on Canvas, and come to your first class having read all of the readings from the days you missed.

Gender and Sexuality in Science Fiction

Science fiction (SF) is a genre that can radically transform how we think about gender and sexuality. In this class, we will read SF that challenges the stability of familiar categories such as man/woman and gay/straight. Readings may include The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, "When it Changed" by Joanna Russ, One Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor, “And Salome Danced” by Kelley Eskridge, “Deep End” by Nisi Shawl, Ōoku: The Inner Chambers by Fumi Yoshinaga, Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey, and “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler.

We will consider how science fiction has opened our understanding of gender and sexuality. We will supplement this literature with scholarly essays. Unsurprisingly, we will approach these texts through the lens of gender, women, and sexuality studies, meaning that we will both analyze the depiction of gender roles in these texts as well as put the histories and experiences of women and LGBT people in the center of our studies.

This course meets daily, Monday through Thursday, and consists of both seminar-style discussion and lecture. In-class participation is mandatory, so please do not take this class if you are unable to attend daily. Because class meetings will be student-centered and discussion-based, in-class participation will be a significant portion of the grade.

You should also note that we will be reading novels at a brisk pace, sometimes 60 or more pages per night. Please be prepared to keep up with the readings. You should also note that some of the course texts will have violent and sexual content.

Because this course fulfills the University of Washington’s W-requirement, you should expect to write 10-15 pages of graded, out-of-class writing. Assignments should help you improve your writing and critical thinking skills. In your essays, you will also practice the skills of close reading, claim-driven interpretation, and intertextual analysis.

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 Ariel E Wetzel
Date: 03/31/2014