Daniel C Nelson
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.
This course positions literature as an artistic space where questions about humanity can be explored through the mediums of character, setting, plot, and narration. Specifically, the course will take an embattled character—the devil of Christianity—and examine how authors have used the character to make statements about mankind’s value, basic nature, and capacity for redemption. Looking across genres and across centuries at favorable descriptions of the devil will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of this figure, as well as prepare them to grapple with the question of why this supposed embodiment of evil is so often depicted as humorous, likeable, or sympathetic to mankind.
Students of the course will be asked to focus their careful reading practices with argumentative writing. At the conclusion of the course, students will be expected to make their own highly- polished, well-researched arguments regarding the nature of the devil in the texts the course has read. Because of its intense focus on wide-ranging texts and writing ability, this course fulfills the W credit and the VLPA credit for the University of Washington. Students will be expected to write 4 short papers (2-3 pages) and one longer paper (5-7 pages) in order to acquire the W credit.
- Texts - Course Reader Benet, Stephen Vincent. The Devil and Daniel Webster. ISBDN: 978-0822203032 Gaiman, Neil. The Sandman Volume 4: Season of Mists ISBDN: 978-1563890413 Milton, John. Paradise Lost (Norton Critical ed.) ISBDN: 978-0393924282 Warner, Sylvia Townsend. Lolly Willowes. ISBDN: 978-0940322165
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading