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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Gregory Daniel Laynor
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

In this writing-intensive reading and literature course, we will be looking at forms of literary art made with documentary techniques. Working with documentary poems, documentary films, and other forms of documentary art, we will be looking at how documents (in art and in everyday life) construct ways of imagining the world. In looking at multiple forms of documentary, we will be looking at how documentary makers in different media work with “moving images." With the filmmakers, poets, and other artists whose works we will be encountering, we will be thinking about how literary images relate to visual images, about how images move in the world through different media, and about how images move us emotionally and kinesthetically.

Over the quarter, we will study the history of documentary forms while we closely engage specific documentary works. Assigned readings include four books of text and images, a brief history of documentary film, and some essays presenting differing views on documentary and the circulation of images.

Required Books:

1. Patricia Aufderheide, Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2007), 9780195182705

2. Bhanu Kapil, Humanimal, a Project for Future Children (Kelsey Street Press, 2009), 9780932716705

3. Miné Okubo, Citizen 13660 (University of Washington Press, 1983), 9780295959894

4. Jena Osman, Public Figures (Wesleyan University Press, 2012), 9780819573117

5. Claudia Rankine, Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2004), 9781555974077

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Class time will be used for film screenings, introductions of (and short quizzes on) key terms and history, discussions of assigned readings, and demonstrations of writing and research techniques useful for the two papers.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

As part of a “W” course, the course materials and assignments will provide an opportunity for you to develop your writing capacities. Short writing responses to course readings and screenings will be due each class. The writing responses will prepare you to write a 5-page response paper in the middle of the quarter (revised over the rest of the quarter) and a final 5-page research paper.


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 Gregory Daniel Laynor
Date: 05/15/2013