Environmental Design Building
1060 18th Street
ENVD Rm. 1B60
317 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
(303) 492 8188 | pwr@colorado.edu

3020 - Topics in Writing Course Descriptions

The following list is alphabetical, by course title. The course offerings below are for the Spring 2017 semester. Check the current Course Schedule.

ANIMALS IN AMERICAN INDIAN NARRATIVES, Dr. Catherine Kunce
According to Carolyn Dunn and Carol Comfort in the introduction of Through the Eye of the Deer, in “traditional American Indian narratives...many early tribal societies looked to the animal world for guidance” (x). Dunn and Comfort further claim that “animals were often the teachers...and in the world of modern narratives [animals] appear as culture-bearers and messengers” (x). The idea that animals might serve as “teachers” and “culture bearers” seems far from notions that some people hold today. Many believe that animals are to be exploited. Others believe that animals are to be pampered. While many agree that animals have the right to be protected from misuse, can we really accept that they can instruct humans? Is it possible that how a culture perceives animals relates to its belief about humans’ position on the planet? Are we actually superior to animals? Does our belief in animals’ placement on the earth relate to our beliefs about the supposed hierarchies among people? We will explore these questions by looking at American Indian narratives in multiple sources and by examining the implications of species equality and how it might relate to the stewardship of the planet.
AFTER THE HOLOCAUST — The Narrative of Survival, Dr. Naomi Rachel

"Who knows only his own generation remains forever a child." (Quote above the entrance to the George Norlin Library)

We have learned a great deal from the Holocaust and in this course we will explore those lessons from the Nuremburg Code (medical research standards) to contemporary hate speech legislation. But anti- Semitism, ethnic cleansing and racial conflicts are still part of daily life throughout the world. Beginning with “Maus”, the two part graphic memoir by Art Spiegelman, we will explore the narrative of survival including concepts such as the banality of evil and identification with the aggressor. We will also read “The Psychology of War “by Dr. LeShan.

Students will give news updates, presentations and write research papers on contemporary topics with a direct link to the Holocaust and genocide. The reading will vary from graphic novels to fiction, memoirs and critical works. The written work for this course will be as diverse as (and directly linked to) the reading. Students will learn how to critique the writing of their peers and to revise their own work. Although the focus of this course is on writing, our discussions will combine history, sociology, art and ethnic studies. Participation is an important part of the class experience.

BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS, Dr. Eric Burger
In his introduction to The Best American Essays 2007, Guest Editor David Foster Wallace writes, “your guest editor isn’t sure what an essay even is.” In this class you’ll see that DFW’s expression of bewilderment here—about a genre he excelled in—is far from false modesty; it’s a marker of his honest engagement with the form. The essay is curiously elastic, mobile, and slippery. There are personal essays, lyric essays, argumentative essays, hybrid-form essays, photo/video 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, compose studiously in many of the 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.
APOCALYPSE NOW OR NOT?, Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, MFA
Of the procession of factors that divide us, of the myriad elements that polarize humanity, one element we seem to share is our fear of our end. Earthquakes. Global warming. Peak oil. Giant, irradiated, man-eating ants... Every generation invents their vision(s) of the apocalypse, and every culture has its thinkers—regardless of period, genre, or biography—who utilize various rhetorical methods and genres to explore our end. From ancient texts to Y2K to rising sea levels, this fear has been used to engineer society, legitimize war, and generate profit, yet this end has yet to occur. Why are we so obsessed with an end that seems never to come? “Apocalypse Now or Apocalypse Not?” will be a truly interdisciplinary treatment of apocalyptic textual/multi-modal compositions (podcasts, videocasts, TedTalks, snapchat stories) and what these expressions say to us about our culture and our time. This course will investigate this question and many others via primary texts (i.e. World War Z and The World Without Us) and a variety of multi-modal compositions and genres (i.e. film, television, digital storytelling, podcasts, video games, music, photography, etc.) as we expand on our rhetorical skill sets and deploy this rhetoric in a variety of familiar and new and exciting ways.
BIOMEDICAL ETHICS, Don Wilkerson, MA
We will use current issues in biomedical ethics and public health policy to study the basic elements of an argument. The course will be structure around Beauchamp and Childress's Four Principles of Biomedical Ethics--a rubric commonly used by bioethicists to evaluate ethical dilemmas. Students will write number of brief responses to ethics scenarios and two major papers. The first paper will be prompt driven. It will encourage students to address a wide range of ethical questions relevant to clinical ethics, research ethics, health inequalities, the impact of technology on patient care, the nature of professional duty, and ethical theory in general. In the second, major term paper, students will identify a current issue in public health and then write a novel argument supported with secondary research. The themes covered in this course can help pre-med students with medical school interviews and with the Social Foundations section of the MCAT. This course is approved as an elective for CU's Public Health Certificate program.
BIOMEDICAL ETHICS, Dr.Rachel Naomi

" The effective practice of medicine requires narrative competence, that is, the ability to acknowledge, absorb, interpret and act on stories and plights of others. Medicine practiced with narrative competence, called NARRATIVE MEDICINE, is a model for humane and effective medical practice" -- Dr. Rita Charon

My goal for this course is to enable students to read analytically and to write with clarity and focus. This class will teach you to write well in a variety of styles and to state and defend an argumentative thesis. An educated person must be able to read with in-depth comprehension and to be able to communicate complex medical and ethical ideas in economical and elegant prose. The skills learned will help students with the MCAT and other graduate level exams and job applications. The main text is “Case Studies in Biomedical Research Ethics” By Dr. Timothy Murphy. We will also read, write about and discuss works by Dr. Atul Gawande, Dr. Oliver Sacks, Richard Preston and others. Students will give News Update on biomedical issues . This class is taught as a writing workshop with peer critiques, revisions, and presentations. Participation is an important part of the class experience. Students will write a minimum of five papers totaling 50 pages and give two presentations.
COMEDY WRITING, Daniel Long, MA
TBA
CROSS-CULTURAL WRITING AND FILM, Samira Rajabi, MA
TBA
DIGITAL COMMUNITIES, Dr. Seth Myers
This course will ask students to devise and then implement an Action Research Inquiry Project in collaboration with an online community of which they consider themselves a part. Action Research (AR) is less a specific social science research methodology, than a perspective with which traditional methodologies are critiqued and re-purposed for ethical, collaborative action toward community generated objectives. Most often associated with critical sociology, anthropology, and education, the fundamental value of AR is inquiry, a value shared by the field of rhetoric and composition. In this course, students will explore their communities and the rhetorical features of these communities. Students will then apply their analysis as they begin to identify an objective or set of objectives important to this community. Next, students will interrogate the method and theory of AR as they develop a plan for collaborative action. This plan will be “tested” before it is publicized in a library-researched essay. As a result of these research findings, students will revise and then implement their AR plans. Finally, students will assess their own projects with qualitative research methods.
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.
EDUCATION, AUTHORITY, AND THE GOOD STATE, Tim Lyons, MA
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 living that enhance people’s lives. In this course, you will consider some of the conundrums that arise in these areas. You will begin by writing refutations and short critiques of others’ arguments about questions related to education and/or authority; later in the term, you will write your own arguments as you contribute to ongoing discussions of these important matters. You will also write a researched essay in which you engage an educational issue of current concern. The course will emphasize critical reading, clear thinking, and the relationship between sentence-structure and nuanced argument. Throughout, you will have to take a creative approach to policy making as you work with tools relevant to academic writing and civic engagement.
EUROPE IN CRISIS, Dr. Damian Doyle
This course focuses on role of the European Union in Europe and how it has informed the geopolitical, economic, social and cultural landscape of our contemporary world. We will examine the overarching theme of the integration of the European Union using writings that illuminate its history, institutions, policies, politics and culture. Europe is in crisis: it has not experienced such refugees numbers since World War II; it’s monetary system is being stretched to its limits with the bailout of Greece; its immigrant populations are changing the cultural landscape and many countries are experience a pushback from ultra-nationalists groups. Europe is the United States main trading partner and in that context, is it important and expedient for us to understand the history and complexity of this relationship. The course readings consist of writings that appeal to several different discourse communities examining the emergence of the European Union, and in working with them we learn how writers adapt content and style conventions, such as tone, genre, vocabulary, and organization to respond to multiple audiences and different rhetorical situations. By reading and analyzing different types of texts---including required course readings, texts you discover through research and peer essays—you will learn more sophisticated ways of communicating knowledge, particularly how audience, purpose, and context (rhetorical situation) in a text intersect with one another to make meaning. This writing course is designed to develop your critical thinking and analytical skills, increase your awareness of the relationship between writing and how knowledge is disseminated, better understand how rhetoric works in our lives and using research to draw connections between your ideas and those of others—both scholarly and non scholarly.
FOOD & CULTURE, Dr. 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 American 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 a short essay, a longer, persuasive essay, and short weekly responses. In addition, students will also analyze a documentary about food and culture and complete a final multimodal assignment.

FOOD & CULTURE, Dr. Merrit Dukehart
TBA
FOOD & CULTURE: From Industrial to Local (community engaged),  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, access, and resilience 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 literacy. 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 community-engaged portion of the course, we will work as a class to understand the current food culture and politics in Boulder County. Specifically, we will investigate through community-based research how language and rhetoric work in relation to these issues. You will hear from some of our local leaders in the food movement, and your final project will be a public writing project for one of our community partners.

Assignments may include a comparative rhetorical analysis, an inquiry research paper, a discourse analysis, a community-based research project, and an oral presentation. Our course readings, discussions, writing assignments, and community-based work will center on the intersections 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, Maria Sclafani, MA
Gender and sexuality are two oft-debated, oft-discussed topics that permeate many aspects of modern society, including politics, pop culture, the arts, and education. In this course, we will be examining the rhetoric(s) used to discuss gender and sexuality across a variety of genres and formats, including essays, documentaries, TV shows, comics, and video games. We will read selections from Bad Feminst by Roxane Gay, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson, and Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel. You will also be examining how new media impacts the rhetoric(s) of gender and sexuality in society. 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.
GLOBAL JUSTICE, Lev Szentkirályi, MA
This interdisciplinary course teaches principles of academic writing by examining a host of contemporary problems of international politics, which challenge students to engage difficult texts in normative political theory. Students will explore the rights of migrants and refugees, global poverty and theories of distributive justice, moral culpability for the effects of climate change, public health risks and environmental racism, individual and collective responsibility for perpetuating structural injustices,humanitarian intervention and the ethical duty to prevent genocidal violence, the moral impermissibility of terrorist violence and the permissibility of insurgent violence, and the extent to which democratic governance can safeguard against injustice. Through course readings, independent research, and various writing assignments, students will critically evaluate diverse moral arguments in these different issue-areas, and will appraise proposed solutions to these prevailing injustices. In having students apply lessons of rhetorical analysis learned in the classroom to real world states of affairs and complex ethical problems, this course strives to motivate students to think beyond themselves and their own interests, to appreciate the hardships others endure, and to develop a sense of civic responsibility toward victims of injustice.
GRAPHIC MEMOIR AND NONFICTION, Dr. Olivia Miller
This course centers on the exciting graphic nonfiction genre. In order to write in a genre, we need to study it critically. We’ll begin by considering the landscape exploring a variety of graphic nonfiction texts across the first half of the semester. The second half of the semester will be dedicated to applying the visual and narrative techniques we learn to create a short graphic script and design the accompanying storyboards. We’ll work page-by-page and frame-by-frame to create the first twenty pages, one or two chapters, of a graphic creative nonfiction book. The course’s theoretical focus will be on visual narrative theory, writing and analysis, as well as research. While artistic ability can’t hurt in this class it is not a requirement, as stick figures and sketches work just as well. However, a passion and curiosity for the genre is critical. The class will approach the genre in different formats including daily in-class writing exercises and discussions, an analysis essay, a treatment, script and series of storyboards, and a group narrative presentation. Sample reading list may include works like: Maus by Art Speigelman, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Persepolis by Marjane Strapti, Stitches by David Small, Relish by Lucy Knisley, Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, Tomboy by Liz Prince, American Born Chinese by Gene Yang, and March by John Lewis.
HEROISM, Chris Ostro, MA
We often see words like “hero” and “heroic” thrown around pretty liberally. The vagueness that surrounds this term can have real political consequences, such as when Donald Trump questioned whether or not John McCain should be considered a hero (July 18th, 2015). Regardless of your political leanings, Trump was underlining something obviously true: the word “hero” is way more complex than we give it credit for. So… what’s a “hero?” What makes an action “heroic?” In this course we’re going to explore exactly this question. To this end, we will be looking at literature that claims to know something about “heroism” throughout the ages. This course will examine a variety of sources (Classical Epic, Medieval Epic, Graphic Novels, War films) so as to learn more about the topic at hand.
NARRATIVE AND SELF, Dr. Sigman Byrd
When we think about the self, typically we think about beliefs we have, certain physical traits and psychological attributes that define us. We think of an identity with which we wake up each morning and go about our day. Perhaps we look in the mirror and recognize ourselves, and other people, by looking at us and interacting with us, come to know us, too. In time, we become conscious of the narrative form our lives take, the rhetorical structure that provides us with a purpose and meaning. We become familiar with the “story of our lives.” But how real is this self and how true are these stories? Is the identity we construct for ourselves reliable and stable? And what is the connection between this self and these stories?
ON THE BORDER: U.S. AND MEXICO, Raúl Melgoza, MA
This course examines the ways in which the U.S.-Mexico border acts as a rhetorical site through which racialized, gendered, sexualized, and classed notions of citizenship and national belonging are socially constructed. In doing so, the class will address the history of the border in regards to colonialism, white supremacy, heteronormativity, and notions of illegality. Through class discussions, writing assignments, and an engagement with scholarly readings, students will come to see how the border travels across bodies, locations, and contemporary discourses as they learn to rhetorically engage with and write on the ways border rhetorics are constructed, endured, contested, and refashioned.
STORIES IN AMERICAN CULTURE, Tobin von der Nuell, MA
Students will read a number of story texts, both print and visual, which one might categorize as having something to say about “gender, race, class, and the American family.” In our efforts to critically analyze these texts, and then frame and defend arguments found within them, students will read supplemental materials on narratology, story structure, intertextuality, pattern recognition, text/subtext, image systems, visual rhetoric, mise en scene, and rhetoric and argumentation. Students will write within specific genres and to specific audiences, and their assignments will include a literary analysis as a paper text for an academic journal and a film analysis as a multimodal essay for a film-critique website. We will end the semester by having students apply what they’ve learned about story texts as they compose their own digital “American” narrative (and accompanying rhetorical analysis).
COMICS AND THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, Sharon Beck, MFA
Comics and graphic novels, once deemed low literature fit only for children, have gained both popular and critical traction in recent years. An explosion in the medium has moved comics away from the collector’s basement and into mass popular culture, proving itself worthy of scholarly consideration. This course explores the societal changes that gave rise to this shift as well as the role of the graphic novel in larger cultural discourses of gender, ethnicity, conflict, and trauma. We will focus on content and form, looking at print- and web-based comics as well as filmic translations and consider how these platforms can alter the way comics and graphic novels are created, transmitted, and understood. In addition to critical analysis of the medium, students will engage with the texts through their own writing, crafting papers and responses that contribute to an ongoing discussion of graphic novels’ cultural legitimacy.
THE DOCUMENTARY, Sarah Barkin, MA
This course provides an exploration of documentary as an idea (or set of ideas) as well as a practice—a cultural production that operates across various film, video, photographic, and interactive techniques and technologies. We'll be looking at a number of classic and contemporary documentary films and readings as we explore the relations between documentary practices and (often radically) different national, historical, and political contexts. Along the way we'll ask questions such as: "What makes something 'documentary'?" "How have documentaries changed over time?" "How can we talk and write about documentaries?" "What is the relationship between documentary and ethics?" "What is the future of documentary?" Over the course of the semester students will investigate these questions and others through a number of different assignments, including a short scene analysis, a movie review, a longer article, and a researched project. With this final project, students will have the option to produce an academic paper; try their hand at making a documentary themselves; create a photographic essay on a specific topic; or construct a multi-media web project. Each assignment will build on the concepts introduced in WRTG 1150, and will give students the opportunity to practice and develop their skills in analysis, research, composition, and argumentation/persuasion. This class encourages participation and collaboration through lively discussion and workshopping.
RACE, CLASS, GENDER, Dr. Patricia Sullivan
Race, class, gender—all three are tied to the basic question of identity. In this class, we’ll begin by reading and discussing a wide range of perspectives on identity. We’ll then explore how various definitions of identity are revealed in matters of race, class, and gender through analyzing both scholarly and popular texts. The course will involve three major writing projects that emphasize analysis and argument.
TRAVEL WRITING, Kristen Drybread
TBA
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, Daniel Levine, MFA

Travel is a process of exploration, expansion, calculated risk, and self-discovery. It is about seeing the world, but more importantly it’s about seeing the world— and your place in it—with fresh eyes. The “world” in this context could be a faraway locale, but it could also be someplace close to home. What matters is that the trip forces you to confront your beliefs and expectations, to press against the boundary of your comfort zone.

Whenever you travel and write about the experience, you engage with rhetoric: you are trying to win readers over with your story, and to convince readers to see the world through your perspective. In translating your travels into a written story, you begin to grapple with some essential tricky questions. What are your motives for the journey? How are you perceived by the people you meet? What is your impact on the culture/environment you are visiting? How much danger and discomfort are you willing to endure for the sake of the adventure and the tale you’ll be able to tell afterward? How does your journey, and the act of writing it down, change your view of “home” upon your return?

We will attempt to answer these questions by reading and writing a variety of travel essays, and learning how to analyze the mechanics and effect of each story. You don’t need to have traveled extensively—or at all—to write the essays in this class, for we will be studying skills and techniques which can be applied to more “ordinary” experiences. Each student will share his/her writing assignments in progress with the group, and together we will respectfully discuss the work and help the writer grow.

VISUAL CULTURE/VISUAL LITERACY, Dr. Anthony Abiragi
TBA
WAYS OF TELLING THE STORY, Kerry Reilly, MFA
In this class, we will study an array of nonfiction genres including vignettes/shorts, autobiographical poetry, radio essays, humorous and satirical essays, lyric essays, graphic memoir and other types of work by nonfiction writers known for risk-taking and originality in content and form. We will consider and practice the techniques nonfictionists use to suit different purposes and appeal to various audiences. We will also discuss the philosophical questions raised by the acts of nonfiction writing and reading. While most of the focus will be on contemporary nonfiction writers, we will reflect on the genre as part of a diverse, evolving, long-standing literary tradition. Like professional writers, you will develop strategies for brainstorming ideas and for writing, revising and editing drafts. You will practice critiquing your own work, the work of your classmates and the work of published writers. You will also practice conducting research within the CU Library system and beyond.
WRITING AND MONEY, Dr. Eileen Lagman
The purpose of this course is to understand the intersections of writing and money--how writing works within economic systems and how writing creates economic systems. We often think of writing as a fundamentally artistic and expressive enterprise, separate from the everyday world of money and financial transactions. In fact writers, writing, and the systems that depend on them have long been implicated in commercial exchange. This course will explore how everyday writing has been implicated in global economic trends in historical and contemporary life. Over the course of the semester, students will read writing studies theory that teases out writing’s relationship to economics. Readings will be organized around the themes of: writing as commercial exchange, writing as labor, writing as capital, writing as an economic system, writing and ownership/property, and writing and national development. Through these readings, students will understand how economic systems and economic imperatives shape the contexts for writing—they will explore how economic systems determine the value of writing, the purpose of writing, and the exigency for writing.
WRITING IN POLITICAL SCIENCE, Lev Szentkirályi, MA

This advanced writing course, which teaches principles of academic writing through a careful examination of political science research, has two overarching and complementary aims. The first (WAC) goal is to have students develop fundamental and transferable skills of rhetorical analysis, information literacy,reading comprehension and critical thinking, and academic argumentation, which they can apply in all facets of their undergraduate education. Yet, by having students critically analyze a diverse selection of literature in American Politics, Public Policy, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Normative Political Theory, the second (WID) goal is to have students build knowledge of key standards of research and conventions in writing within the discipline of political science and across its various subfields.

Designed primarily for those majoring or minoring in political science—or the social science fields more broadly—this course challenges students to develop a working understanding of basic principles of social scientific inquiry, to enhance their ability to interpret descriptive statistics and regression tables and to critically analyze the empirical analyses of peer-reviewed scholarship, and to emulate the thesis-driven and evidenced-based writing that they will be expected to complete in content-based political science courses. In this way, this writing-intensive class is intended to preface and to augment the advanced quantitative, qualitative, and analytical research methods students will be expected to learn and apply in their upper-division studies in political science. Students will also be strongly encouraged to think about their civic responsibilities as writers of political science, and how the knowledge their research and writing helps to generate may be used to improve the welfare of others.

WRITING ON MUSIC, Dr. Alexander Fobes
What is the relation between music and language? What does it mean to approach music, not just lyrics, as a text—one that is authored, conveys a message, and one whose message is in part constructed by its audience and context? This course invites you to explore music as a way of knowing and communicating. Drawing on listenings and readings from a broad range of musical and literary genres, students will analyze, share, critique, and create musical texts, select and pursue lines of inquiry related to their areas of interest, and apply their round knowledge of sound, sense, form, and perspective to refine their communicative skills and style.