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3020 - Topics in Writing Course Descriptions

The following list is alphabetical, by course title. The course offerings below are for the Spring 2015 semester. Check the current Course Schedule.

AFTER THE HOLOCAUST, TBD
Coming soon.
AMERICAN ROAD TRIP, Steven Caldes
The road is where both opportunities arise and dreams die. The road is peopled with a variety of characters—the outcast, the runaway, the opportunist, the felon, the lost soul, the intellect, the sopping wet and hopeless, the observer, the elitist, and the phony, just to name a few. While there are similarities between all these people, the road offers something different to each. In this class we will investigate the myriad reasons why we take to the road and attempt interpretations of what happens when we get there (wherever or whatever “there” is). Questions such as: In what ways might these forces, these exploratory impulses, be distinctly American, and in which ways are they more central to the essence of the human character? What is the role of the road in literature/media/art, and how does this role help shape public consciousness concerning the road? What do we seek to learn through travel? Can travel teach us anything about the value of slowing down or speeding up? Can it give us any insight into the human character that lies beneath cultural trappings? Once we’ve heard from others, we will then attempt to enter the conversation ourselves through an extended piece of literary journalism in an attempt to show through personal experience and contemplation some of the ideas, questions and concepts explored in the course.
AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, Tobin von der Nuell
Working under the concept that "everything is an argument," we will explore the realm of contemporary American short stories to shape and defend arguable opinions. We first will work through the challenges of reading stories critically to discern what questions they raise. Next we will derive working issues to frame arguments, and then we will analyze the text to find evidence to support our claims in defense of a thesis. We will shape arguments to convince a variety of audiences to our opinions. We will not be crafting short stories in the class; on the contrary, we will work hard to learn how to pull stories apart and argue within the confines of their data. The stories will come from such sources as the Best American Short Stories series, The New Yorker, Harper's, and The Atlantic Monthly.
BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS, Dr. Eric Burger
In his introduction to The Best American Essays 2007, Guest Editor David Foster Wallace writes with characteristic candor, "your guest editor isn’t sure what an essay even is." In this class you'll see that DFW’s bewilderment—about a genre he excelled in—is a marker of honest engagement rather than ignorance or laziness. The essay is a curiously elastic, mobile, slippery form. There are personal essays, lyric essays, argumentative essays, literary journalism pieces, travel essays, and much more. There are wonderfully meandering, discursive essays like Thoreau’s classic "Walking," and then there’s Stephen Dunn’s "Little Essay on Form" which reads, in its entirety, "We build the corral as we reinvent the horse." In Best American Essays, we’ll read widely in the essay genre, write studiously in the many sub–genres, and push ourselves to both learn and challenge established taxonomies/compositional strategies. We’ll also consider the essay’s history and role in civic engagement. Ultimately, I want you to know so much about the genre’s practitioners, its permutations, its compositional challenges and opportunities, that your head spins when you consider reducing "essay" to a catchall description. "We build the corral as we reinvent the horse," writes Dunn. And in the essay world, we never stop that reinventing.
BIOMEDICAL ETHICS, Don Wilkerson
We will use current issues in biomedical ethics to study the basic elements of an argument. We will write three papers, the first of which will be patterned after the MCAT writing test. This assignment is designed to introduce students to the basic elements of awritten analysis. (The assignment might also offer valuable test-taking preparation to students planning to take the MCAT.) In the second paper, students will respond to a fictional case study or public policy scenario in light of some of the common ethical precepts that inform biomedical debate. This assignment is designed to help students develop a sense of audience and to teach them how to summarize and refute counterarguments. In the last paper, students will perform one of the following tasks: they will refute a brief essay on a current issue in biomedical ethics, or they will analyze an existing policy or professional code to show that it is unlikely to achieve its stated ends. This is not a survey course in biomedical ethics; instead, we will use issues in biomedical ethics as a framework for developing the students' skills as writers and analytical thinkers.
CONVERSATIONS ON THE LAW, Dr. Gail Georgeson
In this upper division course we will explore legal arguments on a variety of issues at the forefront of cutting edge law and policy including those in the arenas of discrimination, privacy and free speech. Students will become involved in the process of researching and writing briefs, developing rhetorical strategies, and they will practice their oral argument skills in a “Moot Court” case based on an actual controversy before the courts. Conducting outside research and working as part of a legal team will be important components of the course. Issues explored will be driven by students’ own interests; students will develop critical thinking skills while gaining experience in simulated law firm and courtroom settings.
CONVERSATIONS ON THE LAW, Dr. Kathryn Pieplow
The law pervades American society: from the O.J. Simpson trial to Judge Judy, from contracts to traffic tickets. Through our writings, we will discuss the law as its own creation and as a civilizing force. Topics for exploration may include the unique language of the law, how the law is viewed by those inside and outside of the profession, the development of common law versus statutory law, alternatives to "the law," and the law in other societies.
THE DOCUMENTARY, Kelsey Cody
Through selected readings, videos, and research, we will look at the history of the documentary (both worldwide and in the U.S), the kinds of documentaries that exist (educational, persuasive, propaganda, etc.), and the methods used in composing them. The class will ask such questions as: “What has been the role of the documentary in portraying social problems to the American public?”; “How have documentaries changed over time and why?”; “What makes a documentary popular?”; “When have documentaries motivated social change?”; “What patterns emerge between documentaries on the same subjects?”; “What is the future of the documentary?” etc. Students will write review articles, memos, a long form journalism piece, and an academic research paper. In the final paper, students will be able to research and explore documentaries on social problems of their own interest.
DON'T FENCE ME IN, Dr. Jay Ellis
"I don't know what happens to country."— John Grady Cole in All the Pretty Horses. How is it that Americans feel entitled to open spaces, with privacy somehow included? This course studies the aesthetics of, ambivalence about, and violence in American spaces (real and imagined) to provide students with a field of inquiry for writing well researched and radically revised academic essays. We will range widely from poetry and fiction through spatial theory in two progressions. Progression I, Dimensional American Fictions, leads through brief exercises to a revised close reading essay on literature or film. Progression II, Histories and Theories of Space, explores the violence that tensions over space elicit in art and life; students weave extensive research through several revisions of an interdisciplinary essay. Readings may include poetry from Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman; fiction from Chester Himes to Flannery O'Connor and Cormac McCarthy; and brief selections of non-fiction from F. J. Turner to Michel de Certeau and contemporary journalists. We will study one film, such as Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. All students are welcome: close reading skills, advanced research, attention to the writing process, and stylistic prowess are goals of - not prerequisites to - this class.
DYSTOPIAS ON FILM, Dr. James Walker
Films like The Matrix, Bladerunner, and Brazil dramatize not just futuristic fictions, but present-day fears, questions and social concerns. What is the nature of intelligence (artificial or otherwise) and how do our answers to this reflect on what it means to be human? How do we define or “know” reality and how is technology challenging this? What are the limits of government in overseeing, protecting, or policing our personal freedoms – and what are our responsibilities? The course uses recent filmic representations of dystopias – that is, anti-utopias or worlds-gone-wrong – to address these and other issues. Students are encouraged and assisted in developing their own analytical and creative responses, which may be based on films, written texts, secondary sources, and/or concepts – including current trends or events. Why and how have artists at least since Plato turned to imagined worlds to discuss the here and now? Why is it we so often fear what we create? What is the nature of the world we are creating?
EDUCATION, AUTHORITY, AND THE GOOD STATE, Tim Lyons
Through the centuries writers as diverse as Jonathan Swift, Plato, Stanley Milgram, E.D. Hirsch, Ivan Illich, and Noam Chomsky have concerned themselves with questions about authority-systems, education, and the ongoing efforts of human beings to develop and maintain modes of social living that enhance people’s lives. In this course, you will engage a series of challenging texts by these and other writers as you consider the conundrums that arise in these areas. You will begin by writing refutations and short critiques of others’ arguments; by the end of the term, you will write your own arguments as you contribute to ongoing discussions of these important matters. You will also write a researched analysis of a controversy involving questions about education and authority. The course will emphasize critical reading, clear thinking, and the relationship between sentence-structure and precise, nuanced communication. It will also demand a creative approach to policy-making and will provide you with tools relevant to academic writing and civic engagement.
ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING, Douglas Dupler
Environmental Writing is a second-level writing course that expands and refines students’ writing, critical thinking, and communication skills. Topics such as sustainability, environmental ethics, environmental communication, and current environmental issues that also contain scientific, economic, and political considerations are the grounding for our semester-long practice of writing and rhetoric. The course introduces, analyzes, and guides the production of various texts in important genres of environmental and professional writing, and aims to prepare students for the writing situations and critical-thinking challenges that they will encounter as professionals and citizens.
ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING, Dr. David Williams
In this course we will researching and discussing a host of environmental topics, everything from the historical debate between Conservation and Preservation, to Eco Worldviews past and present, Global Warming, Wildlife Extinction, Sustainability, and Environmental Ethics.  We will also examine our deep connection to nature through evolutionary theory, dealing with issues ranging from DNA to neuroscience to gender, and how all of these play into our thinking about ecological concerns.  Students will engage in the rhetorical analysis of writing and media in relation to the environment, and they will create and critique their own work through various papers and media presentations.
FOOD & CULTURE — You Aren’t Always What You Eat Dr. John Chavez
At the heart of our industrialized food system, according to critics and alternative producers of food alike, is dysfunction. In fact, essayists, reality TV personalities/ chefs, nonfiction prose writers, and filmmakers all have commented on this dysfunction, and their points of view and voices have worked to highlight the power rhetoric has both within and beyond this discourse community. Take, for example, the fries you eat at lunch and imagine a world were a small child is able identify the fry but not the vegetable from which it was made; or, imagine a world where a family loses a child to E. coli poisoning but cannot harness enough political power to change food safety regulations. Now, imagine a world where we not only use technology to feed the world, but also one where we care for the ways in which we feed the world. Put simply, we aren’t always what we eat, and our choices to eat fast food, to eat organic food, to eat non-genetically modified food, etc., are at times antithetical to our values and at times in sync with our values. Whatever the case, this course explores the food system, from topics centered on the industrial food system, to childhood obesity and school lunches, to globalization’s impact on small farmers, to local food movements and sustainable agriculture, etc., and it does so in the service of exploring the notion that food and the system by which it has been produced, though they have informed our culture and other cultures for centuries, is as intimate and complicated an issue as any that impacts people’s lives each and every day. And, in this case, with each and every bite.
FOOD & CULTURE, Dawn Colley
“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him... the people who give you their food give you their heart. —Cesar Chavez

Food is both a necessity and a statement: of identity, of belonging, of belief. It is also, according to Chavez, an extension of the self. This course will explore the relationship between a variety of issues—food and social relations, ethics of farming and food production, and the evolution of sustainable foodscapes—in an effort to understand the role of food in the invention and shaping of culture. Further, it will consider the notion that while food and food production create culture, the connection to food remains intimate, complicated, and individual. Potential topics for investigation include cannibalism and food taboos, self and the senses, race and ethnicity, factory farming versus local food movements and sustainable agriculture, and gender, sexuality, and kinship. Students will be asked to write two shorter essays and a longer, persuasive essay, document a cooking/eating experience, and complete a final digital storytelling assignment.

FOOD & CULTURE: Food Glorious Food: From Industrial to Local (service-learning),  Dr. Veronica House
As a class, we are going to study the rhetoric surrounding the food movement in the United States and relate it to current issues of sustainability, resilience, and access in Boulder County. To do so, we will consider the rise of agribusiness, large-scale monoculture, and factory farms, counter-movements such as the organic and local movements, and social issues such as food security and food justice. We will consider who has access to what kinds of food, the socio-economic consequences of our current food system, the role of government subsidies, and how organic, beyond-organic, and local food movements have responded to the current food climate. For the service-learning portion of the course, we will work as a class with a local non-profit called The Local Food Shift on a variety of writing and communication projects.

Assignments will include a comparative rhetorical analysis, a community discourse analysis, a community-based research and/or writing project, an oral presentation to Local Food Shift representatives, and a multimodal final project. Our course readings, discussions, writing assignments, and community-based work will center on the intersection of food, sustainability, and rhetoric. We will read Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and excerpts from Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, and others. We also will analyze documentaries about the local food initiatives springing up around the country.

FROM ESSAY TO BLOG, Dr. Sarah Massey-Warren
In this course, we’ll explore the protean, creative form of the essay and its Internet version, the blog, using a selection of essays drawn from a number of sources, including The Next American Essay, by John D’Agata and other readings that will be on D2L and online. What is an essay or a blog? How do current events, locations, politics, ethnicity, other genres, cultural psychology, economics, and so forth affect the form and narrative of the essay? In this class, we will extract the essay from its academic box and understand what a rich poetic, political, and cultural heritage it has. We will investigate the essay’s vital role in social, political, physical, and emotional exploration into what it means to be human on this planet. We will query how the narrator’s position in relation to audience, use of rhetorical devices and poetics, publication medium, and real world context affect the essay. An understanding of the work of essayists and bloggers can influence your own forays into critical and creative writing and thinking. You will write a series of essays (including a blog) of different lengths to experiment with different kinds of essays for different audiences. Your essays will constitute a substantial part of class reading.
GENDER, SEXUALITY, & NEW MEDIA, Amy Goodloe
We will investigate a variety of claims made about gender, sexuality and relationships, including competing claims made by scientists and social constructionists. We will examine the assumptions and values on which these claims are based and we will evaluate the validity of the reasoning, evidence and rhetorical devices used to support them. You will write several short analytical papers in response to readings and documentaries about related issues, such as gender roles, transsexual and intersexidentities, alternatives to monogamy, and the marriage movement. You will also complete a course project in which you develop and defend a sustained critique of a particular essay. A variety of homework assignments and in-class activities will help you improve the skills you need to successfully complete these assignments. This course will also further strengthen your skills in reading critically, composing strong paragraphs, evaluating and using outside sources, targeting specific audiences, revising for clarity and conciseness, and editing for publication.
GENDER, SEXUALITY, & NEW MEDIA, Stephanie Hartzell
This course explores contemporary discourses of gender and sexuality with a particular interest in how these discourses are shaped by and mobilized in new media contexts. We’ll read and write in multiple genres, from tweets to formal academic essays, which will sharpen your abilities to communicate with multiple audiences in diverse contexts about issues that (should) matter to everyone.

Over the course of this semester, we will question and complicate concepts that are often taken for granted—“gender” and “sexuality” are terms that will provide us with a point of entry into a discursive universe in which our multiple, intersecting identities are constructed and contested. Through critical thinking, reading, and writing, we will work to better understand the ways in which gender and sexuality are produced, negotiated, embodied, and transformed.

THE LANGUAGE OF WAR, Shari Beck
This is a writing course based on the culture of war, with a focus on the rhetorical strategies and language used by both sides of the issue. Our primary concern is to consider how war is represented in various forms, including literature, film, and historical records. We will discuss how those forms make sense of the twentieth century's mass wars, how wars are remembered and forgotten, and how war has been adapted to the dominant aesthetic and cultural movements of the century. The bulk of our readings will center on World War II, the Vietnam War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will also look at smaller conflicts like the Rwandan genocide and the civil war in Sierra Leone. Issues of national identity, gender, and protest will be at the forefront of our inquiry. Our goal is to understand the way language shapes both conflict itself and the way we come to understand that conflict.

The course is organized chronologically, but each week we will explore a broad topic, applying certain concepts to the literature of the time. We will write extensively and sophisticatedly about the following topics: conventional war language and its undermining; the body in pain; the language(s) of protest; masculinity resplendent and masculinity under siege; commemoration and memorialization; the problem of mental disease (shell shock, post-traumatic stress disorder); reporting, propaganda, and the press; experimental forms for representing war (absurdism, black humor).

MULTI-CULTURAL RHETORICS, Dr. Andrea Feldman
This course will ask students to write analyses and arguments based on readings that reflect our multi-cultural heritage. In responding to texts that represent cultural diversity, students will evaluate issues and relate them to their own multi-cultural experiences. Through these readings as well as class discussion of written assignments, students will learn to make reasoned arguments in defense of their own opinions. By examining diverse voices, this course helps students meet the challenges of academic writing. The need for a cross-cultural writing course becomes more apparent as the United States becomes ever more interdependent with its worldwide neighbors. Students need to join this "global village" by thinking critically about the roles of writing and language in forging a multi-cultural society. Because language and writing are necessarily culturally bound, diverse aspects of our own culture are often neglected in traditional writing courses. This course offers a chance to examine and debate concerns which are all too often undervalued or ignored. Language — often a tool to disenfranchise — can thereby become a tool to meld.
MYTHS OF THE AMERICAN WEST, Jacquelin Pelzer
Coming soon.
NARRATIVE AND THE SELF, Dr. Patricia Sullivan
The stories we tell about our lives/become our lives. Adrienne Rich

It might be said that each of us constructs and lives a “narrative,” and that this narrative is us, our identities. Oliver Sacks

In this course we will explore the provocative thesis that the self is essentially a narrative construct—that we are, in a sense, “the stories we tell about our lives.” Our inquiry will include questions of narrative (What constitutes a narrative? Do all genres “tell a story?” Is the world intelligible without stories?); questions of self and identity (What constitutes a self? Is a self given content/shape/meaning through the telling and retelling of stories? Can we imagine an “I” apart from the capacity to narrate?); and questions of the relationship between story and self (How do particular narratives construct particular selves/identities? What role does rhetoric play in creating and maintaining identities? What roles do history and culture play? Do we revise our “selves” when we revise the personal narratives we write?)

ON THE BORDER: U.S. AND MEXICO, Dr. Tracy Ferrell
This course will explore the spaces where Mexico and the U.S. intersect both on a literal and metaphorical level. We will look at the unique cultures of the “frontera”, the effects of government legislation on the peoples of the two nations and the ways in which Mexican and U.S. cultures inform one another on a larger scale. In exploring these issues, students will explore such questions as: What effect has NAFTA had on the peoples and economies of the two nations? In what ways is illegal immigration beneficial or detrimental to the two countries? Does Mexican and American cultural integration create new forms of culture? How do drug cartels and the war on drugs affect the border regions? The course will employ fiction, non-fiction, music and video in exploring these topics. Readings may include T.C. Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain, Sandra Cisneros’ short stories, essays by Gloria Anzaldua and more.
RHETORICS OF EXILE, Dr. Olivia Miller
In this course we will explore how exile influences a writer rhetorically. In a recent essay, Wole Soyinka writes that “sometimes exile is indeed a place, and thus a new-found-land...and so, in both physical and other senses, one confronts the question: Is there a moment when you know intuitively and accept that you have now truly arrived in exile?” How does this acceptance or denial of a politicized geography impact a writer’s work? With a quick glance through history, one can see the connection between writers and exile is vast. There are many famous exiles: Dante, Aristotle, Byron, Shelley, Victor Hugo, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Joseph Conrad, T.S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, Gertrude Stein, Thomas Mann, Salman Rushdie, Milan Kundera, Pablo Neruda, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and many others. In this course we will read and analyze essays from authors about their experiences in exile in order to understand the deep connection between home, the loss of a homeland and the creation of a new home in order to understand how we write and experience exile.
RHETORICS OF FAITH, Dr. Sally Green
“The supernatural is by definition the realm of the ‘ineffable’ and language by definition is not suited to the expression of the ‘ineffable.’” Kenneth Burke

In spite of this limitation, humans have continued to try to express their experience of the spiritual and religious realm, in a variety of “rhetorics of faith,” historical and contemporary, mainstream and outlying, religious and secular. In this course we will explore a variety of instances of this expression, the ways in which they are shared, and the ways in which they shape human experience, in turn. We will examine both religious rhetorics and rhetorics of the departure from or criticism of religion. In doing so, we will use our perspective as students of writing and rhetoric. How can a rhetorical perspective provide insight into some of the many intersections of religion, writing/literacy, and identity? What rhetorical appeals do religious rhetors employ? What arguments are being forwarded? What are the effects or implications of these arguments? How might some arguments have unintended consequences? What audiences do these rhetors imagine? Which ones do they reach?

We’ll take up these and other questions as we look at a range of genres: religious symbols and artifacts, spiritual memoirs, historical documents and images, sacred texts, essays, news stories, and others, in addition to specific religious discourse such as law, prayer, sermon, prophesy, and wise sayings. The course will address a range of religious traditions: the monotheistic tradition, of course, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American traditions, Paganism/Goddess worship, and 'new' religions. Assignments include a personal narrative essay; a rhetorical analysis of a text; a visual rhetorical analysis delivered digitally; regular blog posts in response to class readings; responses to films, visits to houses of worship, and other experiential assignments, and a final project incorporating a class presentation and longer essay. A hallmark of this course is students’ ability in assignments to address topics of personal choice, with instructor approval.

RHETORICS OF SUSTAINABILITY, Lydia Dixon
What does it mean to be “sustainable?” In this course, we will explore this question through the lens of several themes, such as water, transportation, food, and energy, to understand different, and sometimes conflicting, ideas of sustainability. We will use a variety of texts, including popular and academic writing, as well as films, media, and web content, to explore the choices that authors make to influence our perception of sustainability, as well as the effectiveness of those decisions. Through several major projects on a topic of your choosing, you will be prepared with a diverse portfolio of writing and communication skills essential to your career after college.
SLAVE NARRATIVES, Dr. Catherine Kunce
In order to evaluate how interpretations of slave narratives might support, subvert, or complicate negotiations of “difference,” we’ll consider, throughout the semester, the following questions:

Do slave narratives constitute America’s rhetorically unique form of protest? If this is true, what specific elements contribute to that uniqueness? Even if slaves tell their own stories, does appropriation of those narratives put the stories in bondage to white agendas? How does speaking for another reconfigure rhetorical platforms? Can our analysis break the bonds of slave narrative interpretation? What does formulating answers to these questions have to do with your life in the twenty-first century?

SPORTS IN AMERICAN CULTURE, Dr. Peter Kratzke
This section of WRTG 3020 will examine how sports not only define but, sometimes, even transcend their competitive boundaries. When they do is easy to spot: in 1971, people everywhere were mesmerized by a chess match--a chess match!--between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky; in 1980, folks far from the frozen ponds of the upper Midwest pulled over in their cars, honking their horns to the US Hockey Team's "Miracle on Ice." This coming semester, we shall examine why such moments register and ripple in our collective conscious and, so, have both reflected and informed American history. As such, this course should appeal to those with interests in Sociology, History, American Studies, and the like. But beware: our topic will provide only the occasion for students to continue developing their writing skills; assignments will include succinct essays and three sustained arguments.
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES, Catherine Lasswell
In this course we will read and write about many current environmental issues as we cultivate our awareness of writing as engaged environmental action. We will investigate the interface of the environment, society, the economy, and social justice in today’s context of climate change, energy use, industrialized food production. Of critical focus will be the specific ways these issues are discussed rhetorically. Course texts will include works by leading environmental writers Bill McKibben, Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Pollen, John Muir, Alan Weisman, E. O. Wilson, and others. Students will use scholarly research from their disciplines to compose a persuasive project that aims to effect a positive change on the environment. The course will include a local outdoor project with Boulder County Open Space which will help us see the ways that public and private entities can find common ground. Throughout the course, we will seek ways to de-politicize environmental writing and to carve out spaces of shared values in order to reach wider audiences. In the end, we will explore our own human connections to nature to find our own “place in the family of things.”
TRAVEL WRITING, Dr. Christine Macdonald
“Wherever you go, there you are.” This cliché implies that people cannot change themselves or their perspective by changing their location. In this course we will explore the potential and limitations of travel as a means to facilitate different types of journeys: physical, cultural and psychological. We will study theories of “place,” and the interplay between the viewpoints of traveler, “native,” writer, and reader. In addition to writing critical analyses of the readings, students will write their own travel narratives. You need not have traveled extensively to take this course. Readings may include works by John Steinbeck, Annie Dillard, Bill Bryson, Paul Theroux, Rory Stewart, Alexandra Fuller, Eula Biss, and others.
TRAVEL WRITING, Kerry Reilly, MFA
“Our nature lies in movement,” wrote French philosopher Blaise Pascal in 1670. In this course, we will study the craft of travel writing and we will also consider the moral and philosophical questions raised by the acts of travel and exploration. What makes good travel writing? What are the struggles and ethical dilemmas the travel writer faces? We will read widely from across the ages and regions of the world. We will write critical essays about what we read and we will also write our own travel narratives. You need not have traveled extensively to take this course. Some of you may be writing about road trips to Kansas and others may have had experiences camping in Madagascar. Readings include work by: John McPhee, Isabel Fonesca, Mary Morris, Paul Theroux, Jon Krakauer, John Berendt, Rory Stewart, Freya Stark, Isak Dinesen, Bruce Chatwin, Redmond O’Hanlon and Paul Bowles.
WOMEN WRITERS, Diane DeBella
It has become commonplace to say that women’s voices have been absent from the Western rhetorical tradition, as either practitioners or theorists. So total has been this erasure that no standard history of rhetoric includes even one woman, leading many to conclude that women had nothing to contribute to theories or practices of persuasion. Recently, however, there have been a number of challenges to such assumptions. As a result, we are recovering–and finally hearing–women’s voices, and we are examining how women’s life experiences—their personal truths—have led to greater societal change. In this course you will be exposed to history, literature, psychology, and feminist theory as you analyze the lives and writings of creative women who have examined themselves as subject since the eighteenth century, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Adrienne Rich, Maya Angelou, Isabel Allende, Amy Tan, and others. You will see how their life experiences, choice of genre, and intended audience shaped their rhetorical message, and you will examine the impact those messages had on the society in which these women lived.
WORD AND IMAGE, Dr. Alexander Fobes
Students will explore the extraordinary 20th- and 21st-century convergence of word and image through a host of artistic and social media, with the goal of honing their discursive ability and versatility. Readings and viewings will include a cinematic novel, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and theory, as well as photography, painting, sculpture, film, and all that falls in between. In a variety of approaches, students will analyze, critique, and create visual texts, select and pursue lines of inquiry related to their areas of interest, and apply their informed knowledge of word, image, form, and perspective to refine their communicative skills and style. Engaged class and workshop participation a must.
WORD AND IMAGE, Joshua Ware
Many scholars and theorists have noted that we, as a society, have entered a “pictorial turn” in relation to how we engage and encounter the world. This so-called turn acknowledges the ascent of the image over the word, at least with regard to its rhetorical and ideological power.

Many scholars and theorists have noted that we, as a society, have entered a “pictorial turn” in relation to how we engage and encounter the world. This so-called turn acknowledges the ascent of the image over the word, at least with regard to its rhetorical and ideological power.

The purpose of this course, then, will be to explore this intersection of text and image, noting how “textual pictures” and “pictorial texts” effect their audiences, as well as assessing their ideological and rhetorical outcomes.

WRITING ABOUT ART, Mary Angeline, MFA
The intended purpose of this course is to introduce new strategies for writing about visual things. Our on-going agenda in the class is to explore some of the traditional ways of writing about visual art as well as to utilize technology to “write” a web-page response to our favorite artist/art. This is Not an art appreciation course nor does it require any extensive art education. What the class does demand is a willingness to see and write the world from inside and outside of the box!