ENGL 111 H: Composition: Literature

Meeting Time: 
MW 10:30am - 12:20pm
CDH 141

Syllabus Description:

ENGL 111-H Composition through Literature

Representing the Other: Graphic Narratives and Encounters With Difference

M, W 10:30pm – 12:20pm | Condon Hall (CDH) 141| Fall 2015


Required Texts (print copies are much preferred for discussion, but digital copies are acceptable):

Channel Zero, Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan, 1997, (978-1595829368)

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, 2014, (978-0785190219)

Alex + Ada, Vol. 1, Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, 2014, (978-1632150066)

WE3, Grant Morrison, 2006 (978-1401243029)

Saga, Vol. 1, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, 2012, (978-1607066019)

Suggested Text:

Contexts for Inquiry: A Guide to Research and Writing at the UW (the smaller version, white cover)

Texts are available on Amazon, from local comic shops, and some may be purchased in digital form from:



Course Description:

This course explores a range of provocative science fiction comics and graphic novels from the last two decades. Comics and science fiction have tremendous subversive potential; long considered “low” art and a product of mass culture, their blazing social commentaries often go unrecognized. As the course progresses, we will uncover their capacity to resist cultural and political authority and the ways in which they explore alternatives to current conditions with moments of estrangement and wonder.

Readings will engage themes that include race, religion, animal rights, gender, and class.

The coursework will give you the opportunity to think about issues through writing, to discover connections or conflicts between texts and ideas, and finally to demonstrate you can meaningfully orient and create persuasive arguments in a larger social or cultural context.

While we will study and discuss literature, this course focuses on writing; the objective is to provide composition skills that can be transferred across disciplines. These strategies will help develop the content, structure and style of your writing in ways appropriate for different audiences. We will work towards an understanding of how varied rhetorical elements of composition act together to create persuasive arguments.


Course Policies

Participation and Attendance – (30%)

What does it mean to participate? Participation is intellectual work that makes a significant contribution to the life of a classroom. It is a process of working through critical concepts and problems and being able to articulate a response among a group of peers who are engaging with the same material. While I do not expect you to speak every day, our goal is to create a learning community in which everyone participates. Both class and conference attendance are essential to pass the course.


Final Portfolios – (70%)

You will complete two major assignment sequences. Each assignment sequence consists of two shorter assignments building to a major paper. You will have a chance to revise those papers using written and conferenced feedback from the instructor. At the end of the course, you will be asked to compile and submit a portfolio of your work along with a critical reflection.


The portfolio will include the following:

  • One of the two major papers (revised) for evaluation
  • Three of the short assignments (revised) for evaluation
  • A critical reflection essay that explains how the selected assignments demonstrate the four course outcomes.
  • Copy of the remaining short assignment and major paper.

A portfolio that does not include all the above will be considered "Incomplete" and will earn a grade of 0.0-0.9. The grade for complete portfolios will be based on the extent to which the pieces you select demonstrate the course outcomes.


Writing Resources

There are two fantastic writing resources for you here on campus at UW. And I offer EXTRA CREDIT for visiting them!

Odegaard Writing and Research Center allows you to schedule tutoring sessions in advance at: http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/

CLUE Writing Center is located in Mary Gates Hall, and offers late-night drop-in tutoring. Details are here: http://depts.washington.edu/clue/dropintutor_writing.php


Evaluation Rubric

Throughout the quarter, your papers will receive feedback to help you identify what you are doing well and what you need to improve. The following evaluation rubric will be used as part of my feedback:

Outstanding (3.7 – 4.0): Offers a very highly proficient, even memorable demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the course outcome(s), including some appropriate risk-taking and/or creativity.

Strong (3.1 – 3.6): Offers a proficient demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the course outcome(s), which could be further enhanced with revision.

Good (2.5 – 3.0): Effectively demonstrates the trait(s) associate with the course outcome(s), but less proficiently; could use revision to demonstrate more skillful and nuanced command of trait(s).

Acceptable (2.0 - 2.4): Minimally meets the basic outcome(s) requirement, but the demonstrated trait(s) are not fully realized or well-controlled and would benefit from significant revision.

Inadequate (1.0 – 1.9): Does not meet the outcome(s) requirement; the trait(s) are not adequately demonstrated and require substantial revision on multiple levels.




in-class activities

BE Prepared with:




Wed 9/30


Topics: Syllabus / Outcomes / Introductions

Terms: Metacognition, Context, Critical

Handout: Atwood’s “Aliens . . . Angels”







Mon 10/5

Discuss: “Jennie One” 144 – 209, in Channel Zero

Introduction by Warren Ellis

Writing Topics: Close Reading & Annotation

Reading Science Fiction

Reading Comics / Visual Rhetoric


Intro by Warren Ellis and

“Jennie One” 144 - 209


CFI 1-15, CFI 191 – 202,361 - 371

McCloud’s Understanding Comics


Wed 10/7

Discuss: Channel Zero 1-140

Writing Topics: Integrating Quotation, Citing Evidence

Due 5pm: SP1

Close Reading


Channel Zero 1-140

Suggested: CFI 228 - 249






Mon 10/12

Discuss: Ms. Marvel 1-3



Ms. Marvel 1-3 “


Wed 10/14

Discuss: Ms. Marvel 4-5

Writing Topics: Developing Basic Claims

Recognizing Assumptions







Mon 10/19

Writing Topic: Establishing Context

Introduction Paragraphs

Conclusion Paragraphs

Establishing Stakes

Due 5pm: SP2

Compare & Contrast  

Read: CFI 301 - 306


Wed 10/21

Topics: Style Matters / Revision Strategies

Writing with Concision (handout)


*Bring a copy of your draft to workshop

Due 5pm: MP1 Draft

Suggested: CFI 411 - 416







Mon 10/26

NO CLASS: Midterm Conferences

(see sign-up sheet for times)


Bring questions

Wed 10/28

View (film): Her, Ex Machina, A.I., and/or Blade Runner

Discuss: Artificial Intelligence in Popular Culture






Mon 11/02

Due: Major Paper 1 (Revised)

Writing Topics: Library Research, Annotated Bibliographies

Due 5pm: MP1 Revised

Suggested: CFI 252 - 273

Wed 11/04

Discuss: Alex and Ada


Luna’s Alex and Ada






Mon 11/09

Writing Topic: Logos, Ethos, Pathos


Suggested: CFI 379 - 391

Wed 11/11








Mon 11/16

Discuss: WE3

Read: WE3

Wed 11/18

Writing Topics: Developing Complex Thesis Statements

Concessions & Counterarguments

Due 5pm: SP3

Rhetorical Analysis

Suggested: CFI 321-338



wrap up second sequence



Mon 11/23

Discuss: Saga

Read: Saga

Wed 11/25

Library / Independent Research Day

Due 5pm: SP 4

Annotated Bib.



don’t forget to give course evaluations



Mon 11/30


Due: Major Paper 2 (Draft)

Writing Topics: Style Matters / Revision Strategies

*Bring a copy of your draft to workshop

Due 5pm: MP2 Draft



Wed 12/2



Portfolio Development / Reflection Essays




don’t forget to give course evaluations



Mon 12/7

NO CLASS: MP2 & Portfolio Conferences

Due 5pm: MP2 Revised


Wed 12/9

Closing Remarks, Evaluations

Final Portfolio Questions


Catalog Description: 
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.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 12:38pm