Current Courses (Spring 2017)
- 100-Level Literature Courses
- 200-Level Literature Courses
- 300-Level Literature Courses
- 400-Level Literature and Language Courses
- Rhetoric Courses
- Creative Writing Courses
- Public and Professional Writing Courses
L204 Introduction to Fiction: FICTION OF THE MIDWEST
5696 11:15a-12:30p MW 3 cr.
This course aims to acquaint students with the fundamental elements of the art of fiction (especially including point of view, plot, character, style, narrative technique, theme, imagery, symbol, and setting). My hope is to enhance your ability to read, interpret, write about—and ultimately to enjoy and to appreciate—literary fictions. We will focus on a topic that unites us all: the American Midwest, as rendered in works as diverse as Willa Cather’s My Antonia, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Richard Wright’s Native Son, Craig Thompson’s graphic memoir Blankets, and the Coen Brothers’s film Fargo. These five works could not be more different in tone, perspective, character, theme, or historical era. But what brings them together is the view of the American Midwest as a cultural unit, meaningful literary trope, and source of creative inspiration. Assignments will include 3 medium-length essays, in-class writing assignments, and regular class attendance and participation.
L205 Introduction to Poetry: SUSTAINING POETRY
5698 1:00p-2:15p MW 3 cr.
From its pastoral lyrics to its laments about industrialization, from its descriptions of botany to its characterizations of birds, poetry is a genre that often attends closely to place and ecology, inviting its readers to see the non-human world with new eyes, and to consider the place of the human being in that world. But, can poetry be ecological? What does poetry have to do with sustainable ways of living? With confronting ecological disaster and loss? What can it offer ongoing conversations about environmental conservation or ecological awareness? In this intensive-writing course, we will consider these questions and many more as we approach poetry as a sustaining art. We will read and discuss a wide range of poems that encourage environmental reflection. And as we consider the aims and modes of ecopoetry over the course of the semester, we will focus on cultivating the interpretive skills needed to understand poetry, and, even more importantly, to enjoy reading it, discussing it, and writing about it. Since this is an intensive writing course, you should expect to compose three papers over the course of the semester along with several shorter pieces of writing.
L207 Women and Literature: WOMEN'S WORK
16526 1:00p-2:15p TR 3 cr.
In this course, we will read selected works from the 19th century to the present, examining how women authors use writing similarly and differently to represent women’s lives, particularly their domestic, creative, and professional work. We will investigate how, in addition to work, several other thematic issues informed by history and culture are represented in literature and film through the lens of gender—including class, race, education, motherhood, the body, and abuse. We will be particularly concerned with how fictional and cinematic texts work through conflicting ideals of femininity, equality, and difference, often via the use of and/or the subversion of stereotypes. We will also explore the bases for our own connections to these works, as we cultivate critical reading and analytical writing skills. There will be quizzes, a midterm exam, a final exam, and a comparative analysis paper. Readings will include: Jane Eyre, The Yellow Wallpaper; Women & Economics, A Room of One’s Own; “Professions for Women”, Imitation of Life, The Bluest Eye, “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens”, The Help. Films: I Walked With a Zombie (Tourneur, 1943); Imitation of Life (Stahl, 1934); and Imitation of Life (Sirk,1959).
L208 Topics in English and American Literature and Culture: EXPATRIATES IN PARIS
12688 2:30p-3:45p TR 3 cr.
In the early twentieth century, thousands of young people moved to Paris from the U.S. and elsewhere, drawn to the city's bohemian culture, relaxed morality, and vibrant arts scene. Avant-garde painting, jazz, dance, and literature flourished. Stravinsky debuted his Rite of Spring in 1913, Picasso developed Cubism, Gertrude Stein wrote literature unlike anything written before; Hemingway aimed to buttress masculinity following the devastation of the first world war, and Josephine Baker delighted crowds with her primitivist banana dance. Young people gathered at literary salons and bookshops, and sought to revolutionize their worlds through art. Was this a generation of lost and wounded youth, heading toward self-destruction? Or was this a golden age of artistic production that saw the birth of the century’s most enduring art? In this class we’ll study some of the most fascinating literary works of the early to mid 20th century, including those by Stein, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, and James Baldwin. We’ll look across the arts, too, and talk about the jazz scene, the visual arts, and performance. Our first text will be Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Course evaluation will be based on one short presentation, three papers, and regular quizzes.
L210 Studies in Popular Literature and Mass Media: AMERICAN NARRATIVE(S) IN THE AGE OF TERRORISM
31127 2:30p-3:45p MW 3 cr.
What can filmmakers, television show runners, investigative journalists and novelists tell us about this contemporary American age of war, economic diminishing, and terrorism? We will watch a set of television shows and movies, and read a set of literary novels that represent 21st century American experience. We will study these visual and literary artists, asking whether or not they can influence how we shape our ideas and personal narratives about the 9/11 attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, definitions of terrorism, the Mexican borderlands “drug war,” Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, American identity and ethnicity, and the 2007-08 financial collapse. Can these artists help us understand the consequences of terrorism and war on our imaginations? Do their works offer useful revisions of other popular narratives about 21st century America? Our close readings of both the artists’ aesthetic choices and their cultural/political arguments will drive our discussions. Readings will include Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Submission, and The Dark Side. Possible viewing will include Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Inside Job (2010), and Homeland -- Season 1 (2011).
L220 Introduction to Shakespeare
5700 1:00p-2:15p MW 3 cr.
Ever wonder where the phrases “all that glitters is not gold,” “bag and baggage,” “neither a borrower or a lender be,” “budge an inch,” “give the devil his due,” “melted into thin air,” “one fell swoop,” came from? All of these are found in the works of William Shakespeare. Introduction to Shakespeare involves a rapid reading of about a dozen plays, mostly comedies and tragedies. Some of the plays will have been read in high school; we will be treating dramas that most scholars consider among Shakespeare’s greatest creations. We will examine the plays as works of literature and cultural artifacts—the emphasis will not be upon performance, though drama students often find this course of use in arriving at their own interpretations of the plays. Students write 5-8 short “first passes,” one-page essays in which we take on an issue that will be discussed in the next class; students will be invited to take part in those discussions; there is a mid-term and a final. Non-majors and majors report that they find the course engaging—after all, it’s Shakespeare, the greatest dramatist writing in English, and familiarity with his work is generally considered essential to being considered an educated person.
L223 Introduction to Ethnic American Literature
16527 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
This course will provide a general introduction to Ethnic American literature. We will examine some of the important and representative writers from across a wide array of ethnic traditions, including, African, Asian, and Anglo American, Latina/o, and American Indian, whose work collectively paints a more inclusive and fully realized picture of American life in the late 20th and 21st centuries. The course will ask two basic questions: what does it mean to be an American? and how does literature both represent and create that experience? This course will expose you to an array of ethnic American writers who represent some of the most visible ethnic groups in the U.S., but also those producing some of the most influential work. Together we will introduce and work to develop the basic skills of literary and cultural analysis by examining texts across a wide variety of media and genres. This includes fiction (both novels and short stories), poetry, film, and graphic literatures, as well as autobiography, popular culture artifacts, and critical work. Selected texts may include work by: Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, Jose Antonio Villarreal, Alice Walker, Gene Luen Yang, Alex Rivera, Jhumpa Lahiri, Justin Simien, and others. Concepts we will address include but are not limited to: race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and ethnicity, but also on globalization, transnationalism, border theory, neoliberalism, im/migration, and history.
L224 Introduction to World Literatures in English: HOSPITALITY – LOCAL CULTURES, GLOBAL CHALLENGE
13691 1:00p-2:15p MW 3 cr.
Through our daily interactions, we experience cultural diversity within society and the world. Amidst such diversity, however, hospitality stands out as a universally shared value and an enduring theme in literature across the cultures. The works we read in this course are chosen because they: (1) explore the ways in which hospitality, beginning in the home, shapes one’s values and relation to other people, to nature, and to the world; (2) track the breakdown of hospitality in the face of war and environmental challenges to co-existence; and (3) enable us to imagine the ways hospitality may hold the key to a sustainable future. We will begin by studying stories and episodes from the western tradition of hospitality (and/or its breakdown), both to understand the role of hospitality in the ethics and politics of everyday life, and also to develop critical skills for literary analysis. This unit will provide grounding for units 2 and 3, which focus on hospitality as a social force within South Asian cultures. Readings will include 2 novels: The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh and Green On Blue by Elliot Ackerman; several short stories or episodes from longer works; and several critical perspective essays on hospitality. In addition to active participation in class discussion and activities, students will be responsible for a group presentation; notes on readings and in-class writings; 1-page “first passes” (4 total); a mid-term exam and a final paper.
L230 Introduction to Science Fiction
13381 2:30p-3:45p MW 3 cr.
This course offers an introduction to the analysis and appreciation of science fiction, or as it is sometimes called, the literature of cognitive estrangement. We will follow five units—usually featuring one novel, one film, and one theorist—each of which focuses on a topic of particular relevance to the genre: Cognitive Estrangement, Governmental Dystopia, Economic Dystopia, Cyberculture, and Time Travel. Along the way, we will explore such concepts as cognitive estrangement, speculative fiction, postmodernism, posthistoricism, posthumanity, and the uncanny. Special attention will be given, especially in light of the works by Moore, Gilliam, Atwood, Cuarón, Ishiguro, and Scott, to the critical concept of dystopia: the depiction of a fictional world marred by disharmony. My intention is to foster not only an understanding of such concepts and their implications for contemporary culture but also a love for what is surely one of the most imaginative of all literary genres. Readings may include Left Hand of Darkness, Oryx and Crake, Cloud Atlas, Never Let Me Go, and V for Vendetta. Possible viewings may include Blade Runner, Brazil, Children of Men, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and La Jetée. Assignments will include three medium-length papers, in-class quizzes, as well as regular attendance and participation.
L240 Literature and Public Life: CONFESSION CULTURE
32762 4:00p-5:15p TR 3 cr.
America has become a confessing culture, as individuals use social media to disclose information, and celebrities and politicians are increasingly compelled to publicly apologize for their behavior. In this course, through fiction, autobiography, and real-life cases, we will examine how public performances of confession function narratively and rhetorically—in particular, how they are marked by contradictory intentions in their efforts to admit wrongdoing, express the self, seek forgiveness, and renegotiate social values. We will examine some historical examples, tracing how confession has evolved into private and public rhetorical and literary performances that accomplish things other than the revelation of truth. We will consider how confessants—public figures, ordinary people, and authors of fiction—inform, persuade, and entertain, and why we respond as we do to their truths and deceptions. Assignments will include a comparative analysis paper, quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam. Texts include Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter; Ian McEwan’s Atonement; J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace; and O.J. Simpson/ Goldman Family’s (If) I Did It: Confessions of a Killer. We will also read excerpts from the confessions of Saint Augustine, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Bill Clinton, and former New Jersey governor James McGreevey, as well as some contemporary analyses of confession, including sections of Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality; Susan Bauer’s The Art of the Public Grovel; and Alec Wilkinson’s Mr. Apology and Other Essays. Films include The Contender, directed by Rod Lurie and Fall to Grace, directed by Alexandra Pelosi..
L260 Introduction to Advanced Study of Literature
14852 2:30p-3:20p TR 3 cr.
This course introduces students to advanced methods of literary interpretation using a range of texts and criticism that address the theme of nightlife. In the stretch between sunset and sunrise, whole worlds come into being. Nightlife has been denounced, celebrated, and romanticized; analyzed, excavated, and interpreted; legislated, protested, and reformed; written, acted, and sung. This course will take the time and space of the night as a way to introduce the concerns of humanistic study and pose questions about the uses and possibilities of literature, film, visual art, and performance, with an emphasis on the practice of critical interpretation. We will examine how writers, artists, and performers have imagined nightlife—its people and places, its sounds and sights, its ethics and values, its comforts and fears. What themes and issues become most clear in the darkness of nightfall? What activities and practices flourish while most people slumber? What are the genres, settings, and characters that make up the literature of nightlife? How does nightlife contribute to the formation of communities and identities? What goes on afterhours, either in the saloons and nightclubs of the city or in the dreamscapes of our minds? In exploring these questions, we will consider a diverse range of creative forms and genres, including short stories, poetry, novels, drama, young adult fiction, graphic novels, philosophical texts, and film. Alongside these works we will also read scholarly criticism and consider closely the work of an English major that moves beyond literary appreciation toward more complex forms of research, argumentation, and analysis.
13625 9:30a-10:45a TR 3 cr.
“The Canterbury Tales, though written seven hundred years ago, can still make us laugh, make us ponder, and make us look up sometimes from the page with a wild surmise,” wrote Chaucer scholar Donald Howard. This course will introduce you to that collection of tales by Geoffrey Chaucer with the aim of provoking the kind of wild surmise, laughter, and rumination to which Howard alludes. We read Chaucer In the Middle English with help from various online guides to pronunciation and translation, modern rap versions of the tales, and even Chaucer’s Twitter account. The more provocative strains of Chaucer’s work—his interest in gender and sexuality, medieval religious issues, debates about marriage, and social critique—will be the foci of our literary encounter with this fabulous text. In addition, this course will put to rest any preconceptions about the “boring Middle Ages” in favor of a more informed appreciation of the complexity of the literature and culture of this text. Requirements for the course include two papers (6-8 pages), a midterm and final exam, as well as Middle English translation quizzes.
L310 Literary History 1: Beginnings through the Seventeenth Century
16590 11:15a-12:05p MW 3 cr.
In this course, we will survey and sample the earliest literatures in English, from the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf, to the often bawdy stories of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the courtly quest of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, to early drama, renaissance love lyrics, and finally to Milton’s epic, Paradise Lost. Beginning in the 700s and ending around 1700, you should expect a fast and furious journey through the “greatest hits” of early literature, as we approach early literary history as the story of cultures’ imaginative engagement with their historical, social political, and religious contexts. We will also pay special attention to how the texts we consider construe their relationship to the past and the future: asking, for example, how do literary texts represent their debts to earlier texts and literary traditions? How does literature engage the inherent tensions between residual and emergent cultures in periods of transition? How does literature confront new regimes? New forms of knowledge? New technologies? The discovery of new worlds? How does it represent the passing away of the old ones? You should leave the course with a strong grounding not only in the history and the texts we cover, but also in methods for reading literary texts in relation to their historical contexts. Course requirements include regular attendance and active participation in both lecture and discussion sessions, midterm and final exams, several in-class close readings, and a critical essay.
L312 Literary History 2: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
14737 4:00p-5:15p TR 3 cr.
In this course we’ll read and analyze a representative range of some of the most important, representative, & interesting poetry, fiction, essays, and drama published in Britain and the United States in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Amid a wide range of topics and questions, one abiding focus for us will be the conflict between the era’s faith in “Enlightenment,” reason, and rationality, on the one hand, and its awareness of a host of opposing forces that challenge or offer an alternative to the rule of reason: superstition, ignorance, the unconscious, the Gothic, revolution, imagination, prophecy, inspiration, nonsense, dreams, and the supernatural. Some recurring questions will be: what can be known? What are the objects of our knowledge or knowing? What evades or exceeds such knowing, and what are the limits of knowledge? What kind of knowledge does literature create, embody, and represent? Can we ever truly know ourselves? We’ll consider such questions while considering a range of genres, modes and literary movements – including Neo-Classicism, the Gothic, Romanticism, and Realism – and a range of authors. Evaluation will likely be based on a midterm and final exam, two papers, and reading quizzes.
L313 Early Plays of Shakespeare
5701 1:00p-2:15p TR 3 cr.
This course will examine social and political politics, familial relations, and competing versions of “history” in six of Shakespeare's Elizabethan plays. We will pay special attention to how social and economic systems organize familial and love relations, how conflicts between individuals and social codes are worked out (or not, depending on one's viewpoint), through strategies of genre, scapegoating, misrecognition, marriage, death and revenge. We will ground our reading of the plays in Renaissance social and cultural history, looking at the effects of female rule in a patriarchal culture, an emerging capitalist economy, and other factors that strongly influenced gender, family and class relationships. We will read several comedies, history plays, and tragedies; and look at how the choice, structure, and conventions of genre alter, disguise or reveal the debates and crises circulating in early modern England and the theatre. Plays will include Richard II, 1 Henry IV, Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, and Hamlet. Requirements will be two papers, a midterm, attendance and participation, and a final exam.
L314 Late Plays of Shakespeare
16532 2:30p-3:45p TR 3 cr.
This course will examine literature and political psychology. Concentrating on Shakespeare's most political plays-Antony and Cleopatra, Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Henry V, and Coriolanus-we will examine how the playwright anatomizes power politics and the dynamics of getting to be, being, or staying, “in charge.” The seminar will spend considerable time looking at the historical conditions that organize Shakespeare's political thinking. Since it is an election year, we will also make connections between the politics of Shakespeare's day and our own, to see what Shakespeare can teach us about our own political psychology. Although we will conduct deep, complex and respectful political conversations with each other, the seminar will be run in a “non-partisan” manner and will remain focused on how Shakespeare himself understood and represented power dynamics. This course is NOT an introduction to literary study; it is designed only for upper-division students who have already satisfied their composition requirements and who have experience studying literature at an advanced level. Majors in Political Science, English, History, Psychology and other cognate fields are encouraged to apply, as are students of all political backgrounds and sensibilities.
L316 Literary History 3: Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries
16593 1:25p-2:15p MWF 3 cr.
This course surveys major works in twentieth- and twenty-first century Anglophone literatures. We will read classics by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston, and James Baldwin as well as recently lauded works by Edwidge Danticat, R. Zamora Linmark, Alison Bechdel, Dave Eggers, and Cormac McCarthy. Along the way, we will cover the global expanse of modern and late modern literary writing: from New York City to the Great Plains, from the swampland of Florida to the streets of Paris, from Haiti to Honolulu, and from pre-Katrina New Orleans to the end of the world. We’ll also cover major genres such as modernism, regionalism, African-American literature, the gay and lesbian novel, diasporic literature, and dystopian fiction. Assignments will include a midterm, a final, and two papers. Books will include The Great Gatsby, My Antonia, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Giovanni’s Room, Brother, I’m Dying, Quicksand, Rolling the R’s, Fun Home, and The Road.
L318 Milton: CONTROVERSIES AND CONTRADICTIONS
31005 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
The poet John Milton loved controversy and wasn’t afraid of contradictions: He evokes the pleasures of love in Eden while shading them with misogyny; he represents God’s authority by paralleling it to the king he wanted executed; he gives us one of literature’s most attractive heroes in the rebellious Satan. By reading Milton’s poetry and prose, you’ll discover how his poetry shaped our sense of what great literature is and how poetry itself works. And you’ll gain a sense of why Milton has become a lightning rod for critical debate. From his prose advocating free speech to his great biblical epic Paradise Lost to his drama about religious violence, Milton confronted issues that we’re still debating today. Coursework will include short writing pieces, a research paper, and a final exam. You’ll also have an optional extra credit assignment.
L320 Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Literature: CHANGING CLIMATES, CHANGING NATURES
31128 1:00p-2:15p TR 3 cr.
This course will be interested in reading a range of eighteenth-century literature in the era immediately prior to the Anthropocene. We will be concerned with attending to questions of the meaning of “climate,” “nature,” and “Anthropos [human]” in a variety of settings, both literary and cultural. We will read poetry, drama, and prose by such authors as Swift, Pope, Thomson, Somerville, Gay, and Johnson. Students will write two brief essays and one long essay.
L332 Romantic Literature
31123 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
British literature of the Romantic period was, and is, revolutionary: much of it was written during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars; it contested long-standing notions of natural order, social organization, ethical behavior, and artistic value; and it invented new genres and reanimated old ones. We are still living in the cultural legacy of Romanticism’s revolutionary thought. This course will focus on the poetry of British Romanticism, but will also include a range of nonfiction prose as well as two novels – Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Lectures will incorporate formal analysis, historical contexts, and a variety of critical approaches, but will also set aside time for discussion in each class meeting. Evaluation will likely be based on attendance and participation, two essays, and two exams. Previous familiarity with poetry is recommended but not required.
L346 Twentieth-Century British Fiction
31132 2:30p-3:45p TR 3 cr.
A broad overview of English prose literature of the second half of the twentieth century. We’re going to create an intellectual map of the period that connects the era’s aesthetic innovations --including new realism, postmodernism, and postcolonialism--to its political and philosophical developments. England is an excellent test case for studying a period that began with the great European empires being pushed aside by the superpowers of the Cold War and ended with that bi-polar, nation-focused world itself giving way to the pressures of globalization. In the class you’ll increase your store of knowledge and hone your interpretive and analytical skills. But best of all, you’ll be able to indulge in the pleasure of engaging with beautiful, moving, and sometimes funny works of art that take on big questions such as the significance of the individual, the basis for ethical action, and the dubious legacy of previous generations. We’ll read plays and novels by J.B. Priestley, John Osborne, Sam Selvon, Tom Stoppard, Caryl Churchill, Kazuo Ishiguro, Salman Rushdie, Pat Barker, and David Mitchell. Assignments will include two essays, two exams, and one research presentation.
L357 Twentieth-Century American Poetry
13446 1:00p-2:15p TR 3 cr.
Exploring how poetic language, structures, and devices grow and change over the course of “the American century,” in this course we will study some of the most memorable, rapturous, irreverent, innovative poets and poems in the history of English. We will examine the kinds of pleasure and rigor and freshness to which the verse of this era aspires, always striving to “make it new,” and trace the shifting notions of authority and authenticity poets invoke in the face of profound upheavals of value and historical consciousness. Though our focus will always be on poems as individual works of art, we will also consider how they reflect and pronounce upon the social world; we will situate the poems we read within broad aesthetic movements, within the long history of the genre in English, and within the oeuvres of their makers. Poets will include Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Amiri Baraka, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich, and Rae Armantrout, among others. Evaluation will be based on two essays (the latter of which may take the form of a review of a recent book of poetry), two exams, and class participation.
L358 American Literature from 1914: NOVELS FROM DIFFERENT ERAS IN CONVERSATION
31136 11:15a-12:30p MW 3 cr.
This course is for students interested in reading, comparing, and discussing several major twentieth-century American novels. Our approach will be to put novels from the 1920s in “conversation” with post-World War II counterparts. We’ll read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in conjunction with Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine, studying how each treats the self-transforming American. We’ll compare Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises with Don DeLillo’s White Noise, analyzing their treatments of Americans adrift. We’ll read Nella Larsen’s Passing together with Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, tracing how they focus on conflicted human relationships. We’ll compare William Faulkner’s novel The Sound and the Fury with Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, both of which chronicle the history and present state of a family. Finally, we’ll pair Dashiell Hammett’s classic detective mystery The Maltese Falcon with Paul Auster’s postmodern take on the genre, City of Glass. Classes will be mostly discussion. Required writing will informal reactions to the readings; two papers; and a final exam.
L363 American Drama: PERFORMING AMERICA: THE INVENTION OF MODERN US DRAMA
32764 4:00p-5:15p TR 3 cr.
This course explores how theater and performance shaped and responded to transformations in American culture between 1830 and 1950. While our emphasis is on the emergence of modern drama in the twentieth century, we will begin the course with theater and performance of the nineteenth century to better understand the historical development of the US stage. In addition to studying dramatic texts and attending to the world of the theatre, we will look closely at cultural performances that take place off the stage as well. We will read plays by T. D. Rice, Anna Cora Mowatt, George Aiken, Angelina Weld Grimké, Eugene O’Neill, Susan Glaspell, Sophie Treadwell, Lynn Riggs, Tennessee Williams, and Elmer Rice, as well as additional primary and secondary materials about American performance culture. Students will be expected to attend class regularly and participate actively in readings and discussions throughout the semester, as well as complete one short essay, one longer research paper, and a number of formal response papers.
L369 Studies in British and American Authors: KURT VONNEGUT AND AMERICAN POSTMODERNISM
17367 9:30a-10:45a TR 3 cr.
“I keep losing and regaining my equilibrium, which is the basic plot of all popular fiction. And I myself am a work of fiction.” --Kurt Vonnegut, Wampeters, Foma & Granfaloons. Kilgore Trout. Midland City. Church of God the Utterly Indifferent. And so on.
These familiar figures from the mad genius of Kurt Vonnegut rarely receive critical attention. This class aims to rectify that oversight by analyzing how Vonnegut uses irony, cynicism, class rage, techno-pessimism, and pop zaniness to remake popular genres like the science fiction novel, the bildungsroman, the boy’s adventure novel, the spy narrative, and the war memoir to suit postmodern American culture. We will consider Vonnegut as a philosopher of fictionality as well as a novelist and so we will read his nonfiction prose next to contemporaneous theorists of the postmodern condition. We will be attentive to the fit between the forms of his novels, the rhetoric of his essays, and the political postures they appear to endorse and we will wonder what endorsement might mean in the hands of such a sly metafictionalist. Vonnegut writes from an unremittingly white male perspective, and so we will see how ideas about race, gender and sexuality in his work appear to us when placed next to writing by and about women, queers, and people of color. Time permitting, we will screen a few examples of postmodern and science fiction film and television. Finally, students will be able to take advantage of the Vonnegut archives available at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis as well as the collection at IUB. Assessment will be based on formal and informal writing.
L371 Critical Practices: HOW TO READ A PAGE
10694 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
In this class we'll examine some of the major theories that have shaped critical reading practices over the past one hundred or so years. What assumptions determine the ways we read? What cultural narratives govern our understandings of human life? What role does interpretation have in the ways we view the world around us? And what role does literature play? Through our readings in semiotics, psychoanalysis, Marxism, deconstruction, identity-based theories (centered on race, gender, and sexuality), postcolonialism, and postmodernism, we'll consider how they transform the ways we read. We’ll read theoretical work alongside three novels – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Heart of Darkness, and City of Glass – in order to think through the possibilities opened up by theoretically-informed interpretation. Course evaluation will be based on several short “keyword” definitions, two papers, and a mid-term exam.
L381 Recent Writing: CONTEMPORARY FICTION - LOSS, LONGING, AND WHAT IS SALVAGED
9091 1:00p-2:15p MW 3 cr.
This course will focus on fiction writers of the last twenty-five years whose works have addressed the culturally pervasive, universally relevant themes of loss and longing. Although our emphasis will be on close examination of these themes in fiction, we will also consider larger cultural issues raised by these texts, such as: why are so many contemporary writers focused on these themes? What constitutes significant loss and longing in our culture? In what ways are these themes compatible with a stance of possibility and/or hope? We will also consider a film or two to suggest how these themes are conveyed in a different medium. Students will write two 4-5 page essays and two essay exams. There will be creative options for the writing assignments as well as analytic options. Students will also post brief comments and questions on our Canvas Discussion site every week.
L389 Feminist Literary and Cultural Criticism: FEMINIST & QUEER THEORY - AMAZONS, CROSS-DRESSERS, AND HERMAPHRODITES
31006 2:30p-3:45p TR 3 cr.
From debates about sexual consent to controversies about bathroom usage, sex and gender are at the forefront of public debate. In this course, we will follow three guides – the amazon, the cross-dresser, and the hermaphrodite – who offer unique perspectives on these issues and their history. Together, they’ll help us think about ways feminist and queer theory offer new perspectives on literature and society. For the amazon, it’s all about the relation between gender and power, from early feminist critiques of society and patriarchy to the sacrifices demanded by strength. The cross-dresser highlights ideas of performance: how do clothes make the woman or man? How do our actions shape who we think we are underneath our clothes? How is this all shaped by societal expectations of gender? Finally, the double-sexed hermaphrodite questions the distinctions we’ve discussed thus far: where do we draw the line between female and male? What happens if we do – or don’t – choose to draw it? Course requirements will include reading responses, a short paper, and a research project.
L395 British and American Film Studies: BRITISH AND AMERICAN FILMS IN CONVERSATION
17582 2:30p-3:45p MW 3 cr.
This course is for students interested in viewing, comparing, and discussing several major British and American films. Our approach will be to put British movies in “conversation” with related American ones. We’ll compare Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps with his 1959 American update North by Northwest. We’ll juxtapose the beloved 1941 classic Casablanca with Carol Reed’s study of postwar corruption The Third Man. We’ll pair David Lean’s romantic drama Brief Encounter with the contemporary film Carol, two movies that start with strikingly similar scenes. We’ll study two ballet films, Michael Powell’s masterpiece The Red Shoes and Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 Black Swan. Finally, we’ll pair two brilliantly artistic portraits of murderers: Powell’s Peeping Tom (which wrecked his career) and Hitchcock’s Psycho (which revived his). The Monday night sessions will be screenings of these films. You will be required to attend at least five screenings, seeing the other films on your own. Our classes will be mostly discussion. Required writing will informal reactions to the films; two papers; and a final exam.
L396 Studies in African American Literature and Culture
14435 2:30p-3:45p MW 3 cr.
This course explores the changing nature of African American narrative from its earliest inception in the slave narrative to its dynamic possibilities in the 21st century. We will begin with foundational texts by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs to understand the particular challenges men and women faced under conditions of bondage. Further discussions will focus on the dangerous allure of passing as well as the exciting contributions of the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement. We will conclude the course by thinking through what blackness means in the 21st century.
G405 Studies in the English Language: ENGLISH AND THE CULTURE OF CORRECTNESS
13366 2:30p-3:45p MW 3 cr.
Why are we so concerned about “correctness” of English we write and read, speak and hear? Who gets to decide what’s correct and what’s not? How do grammar rules and dictionary definitions affect our day-to-day lives? What are the social consequences of correctness? These are the central questions of ENG-G405 in Spring Term 2017. It’s a great course for future writers, editors, teachers, or anyone else interested in our attitudes towards language.
L460 Seminar: Literary Form, Mode, and Theme: MODERN LITERARY ARCHIVES
12702 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
Have you ever wondered about what it would be like to work not with someone else's edition of a novel, poem, or a play but with the actual manuscript or typescript handled by the author him- or herself? Have you ever asked yourself how your argument in a term paper might be made stronger by referring to an unpublished letter, an early draft of a poem, an annotated book once owned by your author? Or do you just enjoy spending time in libraries or museums? If any of this applies to you, then this is the course for you! This course will introduce you, in hands-on fashion, to the practical and ethical principles of working with modern literary archives. We will draw exclusively on original materials from the Lilly Library's collections, from the papers of both well-known writers (such as William Wordsworth, Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Kurt Vonnegut) and lesser-known ones (the Italian anarchist Bartolomeo Vanzetti; the Hoosier novelist Mary Hartwell Catherwood). If your interests are interdisciplinary, the Lilly has resources for you, too: wouldn't it be fun to work with original letters written by Charles Darwin or with the notes left by Florence Deshon, Charlie Chaplin's lover and one of the stars of early American film? Some of the topics and skills to be covered might include the “archaeology” of texts (i. e., all that comes before the “fair copy” of a manuscript, such as drafts, notebooks, reading notes, and letters); exercises in deciphering handwriting; principles and types of textual transcription; the nature of the literary archive or collection; the use of finding aids in libraries, and so forth. My hope is that the skills you acquire in this course will not only make you a better literary critic but will also give you a taste of what it is like to work in a job that involves archival work. This is a practicum, in which, after some weeks of introductory conversations, I will assist you in your work. By the end of the course, you will have completed a project that is entirely yours. You will share your results with the rest of the class and, if you wish, a larger audience, too (e.g., in the form of a web exhibit).
L470 Seminar: Literature and Interdisciplinary Studies: LITERATURE OF CONTAGION
14919 9:30a-10:45a TR 3 cr.
Epidemics, like other kinds of suffering, call for stories. A community facing an epidemic inevitably produces narratives meant to express, explain, or escape suffering. Accounts of the Black Death, cholera, influenza, AIDS, Ebola and other infectious diseases raise dystopic visions of human society and offer inspiring tales of human compassion. Often pitting humans against one another in a struggle for survival, epidemics and the stories told about them, often incite fear-based prejudice, expose problematic social assumptions, and thus provide an opportunity for a range of affective responses, social analysis, and critique. In this seminar we will consider the possibilities for responses, and for analysis and critique, that the literature of contagion offers, emphasizing in particular the relationship between the particular person and the larger group—the individual body and the social body. After reading in the history of epidemics, we will ask how literature—fiction as well as memoir—can help us to examine the relationship between the physical and social experiences of disease. Furthermore, examining historical depictions of plagues from centuries ago, we will consider the cultural work accomplished by current depictions of these long past events. What does a 1990s novel about the 14th-century plague tell us about particular cultural anxieties in the 1990s and after? Students will explore these ideas as well as the major themes and challenges that the literature of contagion presents in two shorter papers and a final paper. Requirements also include a group presentation, posts to the CANVAS discussion forums, and regular reading quizzes.
R209 Topics in Rhetoric & Public Culture: BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL SPEAKING
12316 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
Business and Professional Speaking focuses exclusively on teaching students the speaking skills necessary to succeed in professional and non-profit environments. The course will cover topics in the use of presentation aids, interviewing strategies, the ability to present complex information in an easy to digest way, and making concise arguments that are persuasive in a professional context. The course is recommended for students looking to enter professional, non-profit, or public policy fields after graduation.
R210 Introduction to Digital Rhetoric
31009 2:30p-3:45p TR 3 cr.
This course explores communication practices in the digital age. Specifically, this semester’s focus will be on the use of video as a writing tool. How does video construct meaning? How does one use video rhetorically? In this workshop-oriented course, we will examine how YouTube and other web-based video platforms have influenced the style and distribution of video media and where digital media rhetorics might be going from here. Over the course of the semester, we will discuss a range of theories and case studies in digital communication, including how issues of identity, power, and activism are extended and complicated through digital media. Additional requirements include two essays, an exam, a final digital video project, and class participation.
R211 Rhetoric and Sports
16544 1:00p-2:15p TR 3 cr.
The sports industry is a financial and cultural behemoth that regularly responds to significant ethical and legal situations with little more than sound-bytes from public relations executives or leading figureheads. Combine that with the limited federal oversight into the governance and function of these multi-billion dollar entities, the intensity of media coverage and investigation with regards to the athlete/celebrity figure, the diverse cultural backdrops in which athletes emerge (with issues ranging from race to privilege, class to exploitation), and the ever-present role of social media and self-branding, and what we are presented with is a petri dish of rhetorical situations, ecologies, homologies, and practices. Given this dynamic, this course will ask students to be more than mere sports fans—asking them to critically and creatively engage key sports issues, texts, artifacts, and moments in exploring the intersections of sports, rhetoric, and culture.
12830 4:00p-5:15p TR 3 cr.
Advocacy and Debate centers on the role of debate in public life and its applications for public advocacy and democratic institutions. Over the course of the semester, students will read foundational theories of the role of debate in democratic societies and engage in multiple competitive debates against other classmates. The course culminates in tasking students with formulating and executing a group advocacy campaign related to the topics debated over the course of the semester. Recommended for students interested in pre-law, or considering entering non-profit, public policy, or advocacy fields after graduation.
R228 Argumentation and Public Advocacy
15489 1:00p-2:15p MW 3 cr.
Argumentation techniques are powerful tools that can be used for pure self-interest and consolidating power or promoting policies that help people and serve the greater good. As we learn about different kinds of rhetorical advocacy you will have the chance to develop your own sense of how you would like to use argumentation as a citizen who is concerned about the common good. You will learn specialized terms to describe how persuasion functions on the surface and deeper levels of public culture. Topics may include presidential campaign rhetoric, mythologies of the American past, how university research establishes credibility, how nationalist identity fosters political change, and the role of emotion in democracy. You will practice argumentation in friendly classroom debates.
R305 Rhetorical Criticism
16545 2:30p-3:45p TR 3 cr.
R305 is a course in the practical art of rhetorical criticism. It focuses on the application of a variety of critical tools to communication artifacts. Those tools will help us discover how persuasive messages are formulated, why they work the way they do, whose interests are being served in their production, and what the implications are for human beings of “buying in” to what we’re being sold. While rhetorical criticism originates in the study of speeches, in this class you will have the opportunity to examine many different kinds of communication artifacts including television, speeches films, photographs, museum exhibits, and much more. R305 enables you to write about the kinds of artifacts that interest you, with guidance from me. Rhetorical criticism can be a life-changing experience. Through it, we can better understand the strategies and motives of the myriad of communicative texts we experience every day.
R355 Public Memory in Communication and Culture: RUINS
33877 11:15a-12:30p MW 3 cr.
Fine Arts (FA) Room 010
Examines the contested nature of public memory in the context of ruins and physical sites altered by decay, obsolescence, and abandonment. Focuses the study of communication and culture on concrete issues significant to public memory that can be analyzed through objects impacted by ruination. Credit given for only one of ENG-R 355 or CMCL-C 355.
This course introduces students to a variety of cultural images and media materials related to pressing contemporary issues of ruination and decay. It explores media in terms of its aftermath and asks us to think about the values and attachments public memory has to visual depictions of ruins, abandoned physical sites, and ruined media artifacts themselves. The course readings and film screenings will trace the topic of ruins through various issues related to theories of media and link them to concrete ethical decisions and discourses about cultural heritage, representation, and historic preservation. We will explore these matters of concern by reading about abandoned industrial sites, fictional dystopias, and subcultures of “place hacking.” We will also watch films compiled by Bill Morrison that decay right before our eyes and try to understand why centuries old vampires in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) dwell in the abandoned landscape of Detroit. Final projects for the course will consist of advocacy portfolios that address real world dilemmas affecting the fate of sights/sites of ruination, and provide students with an opportunity to improve their writing, professional speaking, project management, and graphic design skills.
R396 The Study of Public Advocacy: FEMINISM AND PUBLIC ISSUES
32775 11:15a-12:30p MW 3 cr.
What does “feminism” mean today? Is there a single meaning? This class will examine controversial high-profile public issues such as sexual violence on university campuses, mandatory paid maternity leave, transgender identity and representation, the pink tax, and beauty culture. How do various advocates of feminism respond to these issues and how are those responses influenced by different feminist traditions and priorities? Students will write essays about each issue and do an in-class presentation on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor.
R396 The Study of Public Advocacy: CRISES IN PUBLIC LEADERSHIP
14990 1:00p-2:15p TR 3 cr.
In this course we will focus our attention on key moments in the history of the United States that have seemed to call out for a public response. These are moments in which individuals in positions of public leadership have been expected to say something that addresses the crisis. Their words might have put the situation into historical perspective, calmed jittery nerves, encouraged steely resolve, motivated action, or have resulted in any number of other effects, both intended and otherwise. We will concentrate on select case studies from among these examples of public address and examine their context, tactics, and outcomes. Students will come away from this course with a rich vocabulary, drawn from the 2000 year old tradition of rhetorical studies, through which to describe and evaluate speeches delivered by public leaders in moments of crisis. Students also will develop, and put into practice, a deep and expansive repertoire of rhetorical strategies that they can use themselves. In this way, this course will help to prepare students for their future careers as well as for their lives as engaged and effective citizens. Speakers we study may include: Abraham Lincoln, Booker T. Washington, Angelina Grimké, Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Emma Watson, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton.
R397 Visual Rhetoric
31008 9:30a-10:45a TR 3 cr.
The “video essay” has within the last couple years become an exciting new genre of film criticism. Critical commentary on movies is presented as a visual and audio experience in the same medium as the works it considers. Each student in this course will create a substantial “video essay” as a capstone project, ‘quoting’ scenes from films, using your own voice-over commentary, and creating a personal video aesthetic to share your critical analysis. We’ll be mastering Premiere and other post-production software to create these video essays. The subject of the course is movie genres. Each student will focus on a genre of your choice, discover through research what kind of cultural work that genre does, and select a film that in some way extends, complicates, or subverts the genre in an interesting way. Your video essay will ‘show and tell’ how your film does that. To prepare for this major project, we will study film genre theory, watch classic genre movies, and learn how to do serious genre criticism. You can find out about this exciting new form of the “film essay” here. NOTE: Having a laptop is a requirement for this computer-intensive course.
R398 Culture, Identity and the Rhetoric of Place: THE RHETORIC OF ARCHITECTURE
9584 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
This class provides an introduction to the study of the built environment from a rhetorical perspective. It does so based on the assumption that the built environment is rhetorically constructed and therefore both reveals and influences the social values and issues of the past, present, and future. Taking a rhetorical approach to architecture provides a materially-focused way to understand our society, to assess its values and behaviors, and to evaluate the implications of those values and behaviors for human beings. Even more specifically, architecture and its corresponding discourses function to shape certain kinds of citizens. In other words, architecture both addresses and shapes its audiences; it “produces” people. We will see that the shaping process of architectural rhetoric operates along a continuum between the overt and intentional to the inadvertent and unforeseen. The course explores the persuasive dimensions of places and spaces people build and that simultaneously shape those people. It examines how structures like buildings, theme parks, and housing developments are the product of strategic communication choices designed to influence how we think and behave.
W301 Writing Fiction
14228 1:00p-2:15p TR 3 cr.
In W301, we will read short stories (and perhaps a novel) by those considered masters of the genre. I will expect you to put your analytical skills to use in reading like a writer and taking stories apart according to their craft elements. I will ask you to write a few short creative assignments, and analytical essays in addition to writing two stories to share in workshop. To obtain permission to enroll, submit form at: http://www.indiana.edu/~engweb/permissions.shtml.
W303 Writing Poetry
Romayne Rubinas Dorsey
11650 2:30p-3:45p TR 3 cr.
This upper-level poetry workshop will focus on developing original work while reading and discussing what’s being written and published in contemporary poetry. We will read work by contemporary poets, which we will explore through class discussion and in generative writing. In class, we will focus on craft through close reading of poetry along with a few essays on poetics as well as in-class writing. In workshop, we will engage poems in process: what is found there, what calls for further exploration, etc. You will be expected to hand in 8-10 new and original poems, several from prompts or in-class writing. Revision is where writing happens and you will be expected to discuss your process in the preface to the course’s final portfolio of your work. You will be expected to offer substantive written critique of peer work as well as participate actively in all workshops and class discussions. In preparation for discussion, you will keep a reading journal on course readings. Possible texts include selected essays on poetics; a variety of individual poetry collections (possibilities include: The Balloonists, Rocket Fantastic, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, Bright Dead Things, The Spoons in the Grass Are There to Dig a Moat, Look, Life On Mars, Night Sky With Exit Wounds). To obtain permission to enroll, submit form at: http://www.indiana.edu/~engweb/permissions.shtml.
W381 The Craft of Fiction
12378 4:00p-5:15p TR 3 cr.
This course will focus on the most important elements of craft in fiction. We will focus on reading like writers, examining both the content and the technique writers employ to create their fiction. We will also write a series of short exercises intended to stimulate new writing. Our goal will always be to push our understanding of fiction writing and encourage each other in class discussions. To obtain permission to enroll, submit form at: http://www.indiana.edu/~engweb/permissions.shtml.
W383 The Craft of Poetry
12701 1:00p-2:15p TR 3 cr.
PREREQUISITE: Completion of W203, W303 or permission of instructor. To obtain permission, first submit the form at http://www.indiana.edu/~engweb/permissions.shtml.
This is a class for those that write poetry or would like to give it a try. W383 is also a class for any writer, artist or scholar that that wishes to explore the “oldest art.” In this class we will look at ancient and sacred texts. We will experiment with the traditional fixed forms of poetry such as the sonnet and the sestina. We will also try restraint-based oulipo experiments. We will discuss aspects of how a poem begins and how it makes its way down the page to closure. We will explore diction, syntax, the line, tone and rhythm. We will look at literary lineages, poetic schools and communities, aesthetic and cultural values embodied in poems past and present, the art of translation, poets and painters, poets and musicians, visual forms of poetry, publication and what’s going on in the poetry world today. There will be lots of in-class writing, craft assignments and response papers. You will also write and revise your own poems. We will read several collections of poetry and essays on craft and poetics.
W401 Advanced Fiction Writing
31139 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
In this course you will deepen your study of the craft of writing fiction. You will read selections from an anthology as well as one or two story collections. A large part of the course will be in the workshop format, where you will read and discuss one another’s work. Expect to write three to four stories during the semester, and also to provide written critiques on your colleagues’ work. The aim is to deepen your understanding of the fiction through writing, reading, and critiquing. You will also do individual presentations, in which you will discuss your literary interests and books that have inspired you. The course will challenge you by pushing you into new arenas of form and content. To obtain permission to enroll, submit form at: http://www.indiana.edu/~engweb/permissions.shtml.
W403 Advanced Poetry Writing
31010 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
This class will build upon the skills, language, and tools that you’ve acquired in your previous study of poetry by reading contemporary poets, discussing advanced concepts of technique and craft, and workshopping and revising your own original poems. Group work will include generative writing exercises as well as field trips and campus explorations to seek out subjects beyond our own stories and work with poetic constructs such as persona and ekphrastic poetry. We will also read and discuss essays on craft. But the majority of the work will be the creation, workshopping, and revision of the students’ own original poems. Requirements include 500-word responses to several assigned poems, the creation of one broadside (a poem rendered on a medium other than the page), and a final portfolio that will include the original and revised versions of the poems workshopped over the semester. To obtain permission to enroll, submit form at: http://www.indiana.edu/~engweb/permissions.shtml.
W413 Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing
16972 2:30p-3:45p TR 3 cr.
In this class we will practice the art of the memoir and the creative essay. We will look at notable personal essays and memoirs, past and present. We will work together to figure out our subjects and structures. We will focus on self, family, community, environment, memory, perception, observation, and perspective. How do we write and reveal our exterior and interior consciousnesses? We will work on craft, technique, and voice through several exercises and prompts. In this workshop-based class, we will comment on and critique our essays and longer creative projects. To obtain permission to enroll, submit form at: http://www.indiana.edu/~engweb/permissions.shtml.
W240 Community Service Writing: GOING PUBLIC: WRITING WELLNESS IN THE COMMUNITY
14920 9:30a-10:45a MW 3 cr.
N.B. This service-learning course requires a minimum total of 20 service hours over 10 weeks. Because W240 fulfills an IW requirement, you can expect frequent writings and revisions throughout the course.
Most of us are familiar with the conventions and requirements of writing and research within our academic disciplines, over time developing proficiency as communicators. How do we adapt these skills in the service of others, relocating the writing self from the academy to the community? How do we reorient ourselves from being professionals in training to being engaged citizens, addressing public audiences on public issues in public venues? What responsibilities come with citizenship, and how do we develop a voice that goes beyond our individual and academic needs and interests to address larger public issues? Going Public aims to help students develop as public communicators through a holistic approach to wellness in the community. This course invites students to practice and expand the critical skills of synthesis and analysis, and rhetorical skills of persuasion through service, writing, and research in the community. In going beyond the classroom, students will develop the knowledge and understanding needed to address issues of concern to the community, and find their own voice in communicating this knowledge to public audiences—the very people whose lives are affected by these issues. Both your service and your participation in class activities will provide a rich basis for your written assignments. These will include: public service writings for a community agency, reflective essays, and a research paper on a topic related to your service.
W321 Advanced Technical Writing
11567 11:15a-12:30p TR 3 cr.
The purpose of this course is to give you practice writing within professional situations. You will write to a variety of audiences using a variety of common genres (including proposals and progress reports). Along the way, you will consider the ways writing functions rhetorically within situations such as the workplace by drawing upon and discussing various theories of rhetoric applicable to the study and production of professional documents. Planning and revision will feature prominently, and you will be able to take advantage of in-class workshops to get feedback on your writing.
W350 Advance Expository Writing: RHETORIC, PLAY, AND GAMES
5827 9:30a-10:45a TR 3 cr.
In the wake of the video game explosion in the early 1990s, scholars began to investigate the teaching/learning potential of games, the knowledge-making practices of games, and the cultural implications of games. Not surprisingly, games have been exceedingly fruitful for these discussions: from understanding how games offer immersive learning models (cf. James Paul Gee) to how games, based in critical theories of play, have proliferated the histories of humanity (cf., Johan Huizinga). Beyond those considerations, games offer us access to wide range of conversations, from narrative theory to new media practices. Add to this the fact that the gaming industry rivals the cinema industry in terms of yearly sales, and we see not only a cultural shift occurring but also a need to critically and creatively consider the rhetorical possibilities emerging with games. As such, this course will focus on gaming rhetorics: from rhetorical considerations of ludology (theories of play) to conversations on social media, games, and gaming communities, to serious games (games designed to make critical/cultural commentary or to engage in civic/social issues). Along the way, students will be asked not only to read texts on games and game theory, but to play games. Playing will be a central part of this course. And students will be asked to use those play/gaming experiences to inform their research, writing, and digital making activities. Course artifacts will include readings from James Paul Gee, Johan Huizinga, Roger Caillois, Mary Flanagan, Ian Bogost, Jesper Juul, and Jane McGonigal (as a sample) and a few targeted games (ranging from Candy Crush to World of Warcraft, as potential examples).
W350 Advance Expository Writing: GLOBAL CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
12374 1:00p-2:15p TR 3 cr.
This class is limited to multilingual speakers who have completed the IU Gen Ed requirement for English Composition (EC).
Global Civic Engagement is an advanced writing course focusing on the interconnected activities of reading and writing in cross-cultural contexts of community-based research and service learning. Students will work directly with agencies and community groups on developing writing projects and research reports that address local, social issues from global perspectives. Course readings and in-class activities will provide the necessary scaffolding and heuristics for engaging in public writing and community partnership; trouble-shooting writing projects that develop through cross-cultural, civic engagements; and shaping writing for specific audiences. You can expect to develop your writing projects through successive drafts and receive helpful feedback on your writing at different stages in the writing process. Language support through embedded tutorials and in-class practice activities will facilitate the success of multilingual writers who are writing in English as an additional language. This course will appeal to international students and multilingual writers seeking to gain, valuable experience writing for non-profits, public advocacy, local government, and civic engagement and for those seeking to enhance their writing ability in community and public writing contexts. This is a service-learning course that requires a minimum of 20 service hours. This course fulfills the intensive writing (IW) requirement.