English Course Descriptions: Fall 2009

Rhetoric Courses

100 RHETORIC TUTORIAL

Tutoring in writing skills to be scheduled by individual tutors. Students placed in and registered for Rhetoric 101 or 102 must register for Rhetoric 100 each semester. Concurrent registration required in Rhetoric 101 or 102. 1 hour. May be repeated to a maximum of 2 hours.

101 COLLEGE WRITING, I

Instruction in structuring argumentative essays: concentrates on defining and focusing problems, creating arguments, and providing evidence in academic essays. This course is the first semester of a two-semester sequence (Rhetoric 101-102) that fulfills the Composition I requirement. Credit is not given for both Rhetoric 101 and 103. Prerequisite: placement in Rhetoric 101; concurrent registration required in Rhetoric 100 (tutorial). 3 hours.

102 COLLEGE WRITING, II

Continued instruction in structuring argumentative essays: reviews the work in Rhetoric 101 and concentrates on providing support for arguments and elements of style. Students will write a research paper in this course. Second semester of a two-semester sequence (Rhetoric 101-102) that fulfills the Composition I requirement. Credit is not given for both Rhetoric 102 and either Rhetoric 104 or Rhetoric 105. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 101; concurrent registration required in Rhetoric 100 (tutorial). 3 hours.

103 COLLEGE COMPOSITION, I

Instruction in structuring argumentative essays: concentrates on defining and focusing problems, creating arguments, and providing evidence in academic essays. This is the first semester of a two-semester sequence (Rhetoric 103-104) that satisfies the Composition I requirement. Credit is not given for both Rhetoric 101 and Rhetoric 103. Prerequisite: Placement in Rhetoric 103. 3 hours.

104 COLLEGE COMPOSITION, II

Continued instruction in structuring argumentative essays: reviews the work in Rhet 103 and concentrates on providing support for arguments and elements of style. Students will write a research paper in this course. This is the second semester of a two-semester sequence (Rhetoric 103-104) that satisfies the Composition I requirement. Credit is not given for both Rhetoric 104 and either Rhetoric 102 or Rhetoric 105. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 103. 3 hours.

105 PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION

Rhetoric 105 is designed to develop students’ academic writing skills through frequent writing practice, particularly with writing analytic and argumentative essays based on course readings and outside sources. Emphasis will be on thesis, organization, drafting, and revising. All sections require 30 typed pages of finished writing, typically divided into 4-7 essays and a formal research paper. There is no final exam. Course size is limited to 22 students. This course fulfills the campus Composition I requirement.

105 AD1 PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION, Scheuer. MWF 10

TOPIC: Private Lives, Public Art

Enrollment in section AD1 is restricted to Art and Design majors

This course explores how art creates bridges between personal experiences and public, political commitments. Reading graphic novels such as Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home will allow us to explore how the characters’ personal lives have been affected by their historical and social contexts. We will continue to examine relationships between private and public lives by analyzing various forms of political art, including posters, broadsides, and graffiti. Students will produce their own examples of public, socially motivated art, as well as a reflection paper that discusses their design decisions. In this class, we will focus on skills essential to composition, such as analysis and research, but we will develop those skills through a series of creative, multimodal assignments. This course fulfills the campus Composition I requirement.

233 C PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION, Looker. MWF 10

TOPIC: Writing and Language in the University

This class will explore the many language and writing varieties used by university students. We’ll think about what makes us consider a way of speaking “standard” or “proper” and why some ways of writing are considered more “correct” or “appropriate” in university contexts than others. All students will research a specific aspect of this topic that interests them; you might, for example, explore the range of genres used within your major, compare and contrast the academic writing expectations of different teachers/classes/disciplines, or explore the academic writing experiences of a particular language group. Your research will involve not just traditional library sources but also your own original ethnographic research (you’ll be encouraged to talk to other students and faculty, observe people interacting, and analyze university texts and websites). At the close of the course, you will have the option to share your research with the wider university community through presentation and/or online publication if you wish. If you’re interested in linguistics; want to engage in scholarly exploration of your own language or dialect background; are curious about why different classes, profs, and majors tend to look for different things in writing; or just want to improve your ability to tailor your writing to different circumstances, you'll find a lot to interest you in this class. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

233 D PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION, Stone. MWF 11

TOPIC: Forms of Composition: Rhetoric, Politics, and Everyday Life

This class is designed to increase students’ understanding of the art of rhetoric, its terminology, principles, and everyday uses. Rhetoric, most generally described as the art of using language persuasively, got its starts alongside democracy in ancient Athens, where citizens gathered to deliberate about public issues such as what young people should study in school, the merits of Aristophanes’ latest play, or whether or not to go to war. As a class, then, we will study the methods and terms of the ancients, but we will do so in light of everyday rhetorical strategies of contemporary politicians, journalists, and artists. We will venture out of the classroom to consider the “ethos” of people, cars, and buildings. We will examine the local arts scene—theatre, museums, film—as instances of rhetoric. We will follow political issues and their rhetorical transformations in The New York Times. In these ways, the seminar will explore the age-old art of rhetoric as it is practiced here and now. The course will also be a regular occasion for lively rhetorical exchanges. Since it aims to help students hone their rhetorical abilities, the seminar will be ideal for students interested in law, art, politics, medicine, or business, but will also interest anyone who wants to learn how to develop a stance on issues, to craft effective arguments, to become an active member of a community—in short, to become a more effective communicator. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

233 E PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION, Rudy. MWF 1

TOPIC: Writing Out: Contemporary Conflicts and Composition

In this class we’ll explore several different kinds of “writing out”: we will examine networks of communities that develop between some groups of authors and readers, the way those authors work with representations of themselves and others, and, finally, think about the “writing out,” or the silencing, of certain groups of people and experiences. We will make use of a variety of different kinds of current writing—for example, students will be asked to locate and analyze a small, interconnected community of bloggers—and we will practice reading both academic and non-academic sources critically and analytically. There will be five papers (two of which will be research-centered and connected thematically), and we will work through revision processes with all papers. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

233 P PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION, Olson. TUTH 11-12:15

TOPIC: Writing the Visual, Spatial Campus

This advanced composition course will introduce students to rhetorical criticism and engage them in analysis of the images and spaces that shape their everyday experience. Students will take the campus and community as their laboratory for this course. They will produce and analyze images of life on, and beyond, campus, will consider university spaces in light of their historical context, and will present their analyses in class and (potentially) in broader contexts. Course requirements include production and revision of the equivalent of 30 pages of reflection and analysis.

Assignments will include analyses of campus or community spaces, studies of images and texts in local or national news, and research into the history of iconic campus images. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

233 Q PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION, Claverie. TUTH 12:30-1:45

TOPIC: Reading Cannibalism

This course develops students’ skills in argumentation, the analysis of texts, and expository writing. We will read books on rhetoric and logic, as well as a collection of texts dealing with human cannibalism, ranging from ethnography to satire to pulp fiction. We will look at the discourse on cannibalism as a body of texts in conflict: conflict not just over who gets labeled a cannibal—and thus a “savage”—but also over the methods and conclusions of ethnography and history, which have effects not just in academia but also in parliaments and on battlefields. Students will write regular one-page response papers, as well as a research paper and multi-draft essays on topics of their own choosing. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

233 S PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION, Sanders. TUTH 2-3:15

TOPIC: Confronting and Creating Craft-Based Nonfiction

This course will explore the expanding genre of creative nonfiction, with a critical focus on the growing possibilities, purported goals, and hidden limitations of the form. Students will produce a portfolio of creative nonfiction writings that examine a central theme. Purpose-driven research, a devotion to craft, and the ability to synthesize thematically resonant components will be key elements of success in producing these works. We will also read a wide variety of creative nonfiction written by established masters and newer voices alike. We will look at variant forms such as the visual essay and the montage, as well as essays that question the nature of the genre itself. Throughout the course, a heavy emphasis will be placed on creative thinking, creative discussion, and creative production. The course is committed to expressive freedom and the pursuit of inspired writing. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

233 T PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION, Roberts-Stanley. TUTH 3:30-4:45

TOPIC: Composing + Cinema

This course is designed to expose students to new ways of thinking about their writing and composing processes by focusing on another mode of expression: film. In this course, students will explore narratives and texts relating to the genesis, pre-production, production, distribution, reception, and impact of a landmark Hollywood film in order to begin to understand filmmaking as a complex, situated collaborative composing process. In addition, students will be a part of a “sandbox” production company and will work in groups to write, produce, and market their own short fiction films on campus. We’ll explore different facets of composing for the cinema as well as look at what studying cinema production can tell us about our own writing processes. The emphasis of the course is not so much on producing professional shorts (far from it), but rather on engagement in the process, active participation in class and group work, and the quality of numerous written responses and reflections. No previous filmmaking experience required; industrious, dedicated students of all backgrounds and experience-levels are welcome. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

243 M INTERMEDIATE EXPOSITORY WRITING, Holding. TUTH 9:30-10:45

TOPIC: Bodywriting

Enrollment in RHET 243 is restricted to Rhetoric majors

Writing on the body, writing with the body, and writing for the body (you are eligible if you have one). Specifically, we’ll look at the intersection of rhetoric, activism, and the body through creative writing and performance.

While course content will be largely student driven and discerned, readings will tap rhetorical history and theory, fiction, creative nonfiction, and current events at and past campus.

Participants should expect to use bodies as well as various technologies to write quite a lot (we will stretch definitions of “bodies” and “write”); to research; to collaborate; to speak up and act out; to materialize commitments, generally.

Students will have regular opportunity to share and evolve work both in class and before other audiences. The course will culminate in student-designed, public enactments of some aspect of the intersection noted above.

Please feel free to contact the instructor with questions. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

243 CHP INTERMEDIATE EXPOSITORY WRITING, Spindel. TUTH 12:30-1:50

TOPIC: Tales of the Quest: Writing the Personal Essay

Enrollment in section CHP is restricted to Campus Honors Students

Our primary goal in this writing workshop is to create a collaborative community of writers, readers, and editors in which each student plays all three roles. Using guided practice assignments, students will focus on developing a personal writing style and voice. Exercises started in class and revised for the following week will highlight specific craft points including elucidating character, writing dialogue, visual and sensory description, and developing voice. The techniques taught in the class are applicable to fiction, literary nonfiction, and narrative journalism.

Reading for the class will include several book-length memoirs and one collection of personal essays. The notion of writer as explorer and pilgrim on a quest will frame our discussions of first-person literature.

Required to successfully complete the class: participation in discussions, completion of all rough draft assignments, vigorous revision that results in several longer finished pieces, and active participation in a final group project. Writing is graded on the basis of each student’s improvement over the course of the semester and credit is given for risks taken. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

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