The WPE minor is designed to help students hone the rhetorical arts of persuasive writing and public engagement. Through a variety of courses offered through PWR and English, students will find opportunities to write in diverse genres for diverse purposes and public audiences; leverage a wide variety of digital technologies to design, produce, and distribute multimodal compositions; write in professional settings and with community partners; and write collaboratively for social change. From forwarding public arguments to designing social media content to composing for non‐profits, this minor will enable students to learn valuable skills, practices, and tools for creating, participating, and connecting as active technocitizens in the 21st century.
- Earn 18 credits in ENGL and WRTG courses with grades of C- or better. At least 12 credits must be in upper division, and at least 9 credits must be ENGL designated courses.
Students may apply no more than 9 credit hours of transfer work, including no more than 6 upper division credit hours, towards a minor. This is a college residency rule for an 18 credit minor.
Students may apply one lower or upper division Creative Writing or Literature ENGL course of their choice to count towards the minor for Writing and Public Engagement. A list of recommended courses is offered below.
Students must maintain at least a 2.00 (C) GPA in all courses counting toward the WPE minor.
All courses for the Writing and Public Engagement minor must be in English and PWR.
English majors (Creative Writing or Literature and Cultural Studies) are not eligible to declare an English minor.
To complete the Writing and Public Engagement Minor, all students must:
Complete the following Prerequisite for Minor:
Meet the 3 credit lower division Written Communication Requirement as required by all schools and colleges at CU Boulder.
Complete 9 required credits in the following way: (NOTE: When registering, please look for WPE designation for the topic courses listed above to make sure they count for the minor. You can also find a list of courses that count toward the minor each semester listed below.)
THEORY: 3 CREDITS (Choose one of the following courses)
WRTG 2090: Electives in Writing: Writing and Public Engagement
ENGL 3377: Literatures of Race, Multiculturalism, Ethnicity
PRACTICE: 3 CREDITS (Choose one of the following courses)
ENGL 3856: Topics in Genre Studies
ENGL 3830: Topics in Advanced Writing and Research
WRTG 3020: Topics in Writing
Approved WRTG 3020 Topics:
Composing Civic Life Citizenship and Civic Engagement Fld Study/Civic Engagement Environmental Issues
Writing About the Body
Educ/Authority/Good State Writing on Music Food, Glorious Food Myths of the American West
Writing Real/Virtual Society
Race, Class, Gender Language/Power/Perception Colonialism & Imperialism On the Border/ US & Mexico Technology & Amer. Culture
Conversations on the Law Language of War Consumer Culture Gender & Sexuality
Visual Culture/Visual Literacy
Urban Issues Rhetorics of Faith Native American Topics Crime/Ethics/Justice
Rhetoric of Exile
Writing About Ethnicity New Media & Civic Engagement Rhetorics of Sustainability Gender, Sexuality & New Media
Sustainable Communities World Englishes Social Media and the Mind Changing Digital Communities
Gender and Sexuality Multicultural Rhetorics Education/Public Policy Writing about Space
Writing Civic Life
U.S. Resistance Movements ESL
ACTION: 3 CREDITS (Choose one of the following courses)
WRTG 3035: Technical Communication and Design
ENGL 4206: Writing for the Real World
ENGL 4116: Advanced Topics in Media Studies
ENGL 3940: Service Learning Practicum
Complete 9 credits in minor electives in one of the following ways:
Choose 9 credits from any of the courses listed above not being used to fill the Theory, Practice, or Action requirements.
Choose 6 credits from any of the courses listed above not being used to fill the Theory, Practice, or Action requirements and 3 credits of any other ENGL courses (see recommended courses below.)
ENGL 1800: American Ethnic Literatures
ENGL 2036: Introduction to Media Studies in the Humanities
ENGL 2046: Future Histories of Technologies
ENGL 2707: Introduction to Queer Literature
ENGL 2717: American Indian Literature
ENGL 2727: Introduction to African American Literature
ENGL 2747: Introduction to Chicana/o/x Literature
ENGL 2767: Race, Empire, and the Postcolonial
ENGL 3005: Literature of New World Encounters
ENGL 3006: Digital Editions & Web Publishing
ENGL 3106: Introduction to Literary Study with Data Science
ENGL 3026: Syntax, Citation, and Analysis: Writing About Literature (recommended prerequisite: completion of lower-division writing requirement.)
ENGL 3246: Topics in Popular Culture
ENGL 3031: Studies in Creative Writing for Nonmajors (prerequisite: ENGL 1191: Introduction to Creative Writing)
ENGL 3767: Feminist Fictions
ENGL 3796: Queer Theory
ENGL 4018: Literature and Globalization
ENGL 4106: Literary Study with Data Science (recommended prerequisite: ENGL 3106)
WRTG 2090: WRITING AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT, Dr. Laurie Gries
From the Greensboro sit-ins in the 1960s to the 1980s pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing to the recent Black Lives Matter and March for Our Lives protests, young people have long been at the forefront of civic activism. This course explores what it means to be critically engaged in public activism in the 21st century. With full acknowledgment that public activism is a highly contentious and contested struggle about rights, responsibilities, and opportunities, this course asks a number of important questions: What are the most effective means to public engagement? What barriers to civic engagement exist for some rather than others? Depending on one’s positionality and status, what available means are at our disposal to actively participate in collective life? And how can we write and design our way toward meaningful social change?
In this course, we will take up such questions as we consider the relationship between rhetoric, writing, bodies, agency, and public life. For the purposes of this course, we may commonly agree that public engagement refers to actions taken by individuals concerned with the affairs of a community, state, nation, or world. But we may not agree whose voices deserve to be heard, what actions are appropriate for public engagement, and/or how systems impacting collective life (government, economy, etc.) ought to be maintained. This course is your opportunity to weigh in on such discussions, as we engage with various theories, perspectives, and political activities to study how public engagement has been and continues to be enacted, challenged, and transformed both from within and beyond the United States.
One of the goals of this course is to introduce you to a body of diverse rhetorical and critical theories that will provide a strong conceptual foundation for defining, interrogating, and reimagining engaged activism. Therefore, we will read and consider the critical cultural perspectives of diverse scholars stemming from various locations, time periods, and fields of study that will introduce you to competing notions of publics, civic/civil/human rights, persuasion, power, activism, and resistance. In wrestling with such material, you will develop your own working definition of and vision for public engagement, a definition that is grounded in theories from the course but unique to your positionality, experiences, motivations, desires, etc.
After developing your own notions about public engagement during the first part of the semester, you will decide on a pressing social issue to focus on for the rest of the semester. Through analysis, discussion, and formal writing, we will compare and contrast how various people, organizations, and communities have attempted to address pressing social issues through various rhetorical tactics. Then, you will spend the remainder of the semester focused on addressing a social issue of your choice by proposing a speculative idea for public engagement that aligns with your own visions of rhetorical action. Your final project will be a TED Talk with an accompanying multimodal presentation intended for a public audience.
WRTG 3020: COMPOSING CIVIC LIFE, Dr. John Ackerman
Go ahead! Search “Civility in the United States” and you will find countless assessments that the basic civilities of listening, patience, and tolerance are declining with numerous authorities to blame: facts are now political fodder; information travels faster than evidence; and social anxiety sells band width. Our course begins with a brief historical review of public life presumed to be required in a liberal democracy; then then we turn to our civic lives in the Boulder community. We compose ‘civic life’ by living in residence, which in turn points us to the twin horns of civility—we enjoy a civil society when people work from common awareness, respect, and a commitment to the common good (not easy to achieve), and civic life speaks to our common experience in an urban environment—the city. You and I by virtue of our residency in Boulder and along the front range of Colorado are the subject matter for this course, as it will be our actions, our voices, our movements, and occupations that provide the evidence for your compositions. Along the way, we will visit recent and future debates over the future of campus and the city: the 2021 “party” on the Hill; mass violence in word and deed (e.g., King Soopers shooting), and the unfolding “CU Boulder South Annexation.” We will do our work by walking, convening, listening and “giving ground” as well as claiming it. Our writing will be observational, analytic, and speculative as we cover topics such as the will to speak, the commons, terra nullius, strangers and settlers among us, and emplacement. Bring sensible shoes, and if mobility is a problem, please let me know in advance.
WRTG 3020: MULTICULTURAL RHETORICS: CHICANA/X RHETORICS, Dr. Gabriela Ríos
Kendall Leon has articulated "Chicana" as a rhetorical term: "Chicana/o/[x] people created 'Chicano' identity to speak to the experiences of living in the United States with a connection to a Latino/a/[x] background, and for most, recognizing an indigenous connection as well” (which terms like Hispanic and Latin American erase). In other words, while identities like Hispanic and Latino were created for census data, identities like Chicana are intentional and were created from within the community to account for the breadth of Chicana lived experience.
Chicana rhetorics, then, are the rhetorical strategies and concepts that communities who identify as Chicana use to create community identity as well as to cultivate social and political change. In this course, we will primarily (though not exclusively) trace Chicana rhetorics through the history of radio/podcasting forms of public engagement, and the final (group) project for the class will be to create a podcast. Ultimately, our goal will be to better understand how Chicanas have contributed to larger social and political movements into the present day.
ENGL 3377: LITERATURES OF RACE, MULTICULTURALISM, AND ETHNICITY: RACE AND RIGHTS, Dr. Cheryl Higashida
Claims to civil rights and human rights have been some of the most transformative and visible means of fighting racism. But what racial freedoms and capacities are limited or left out by civil and human rights claims? How do civil and human rights shape our ideas of race, and how are rights shaped by race? How are Indigenous rights and other group rights aligned or undermined by the intersections of race and rights? What is “race,” anyway?
We will explore these questions through literature and other cultural works from the nineteenth century through the present. Although our focus will be on U.S. culture and history, we will necessarily study them in relation to Indigenous, hemispheric, and global frameworks. A proposition of this class is that literature and culture are crucial sites for engendering critical and creative perspectives on the way things are, and the way things could otherwise be.
The works we study might include Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson (1893), James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912), Oscar Zeta Acosta, Revolt of the Cockroach People (1973), Janet Campbell Hale, The Jailing of Cecelia Capture (1985), Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel (2010), and the TV series The Wire.
Through class discussion, oral presentations, and public-facing as well as college essay writing, you will develop your skills in critical thinking, argumentation, and literary, cultural, and genre analysis.
WRTG 3020 Section 006 Instructor: Dawn Colley Topic: Social Media and the Mind
WRTG 3020 Section 007 Instructor: Alex Fobes Topic: Writing on Music
WRTG 3020 Section 008 Instructor: Laurie Gries Topic: Writing about Space
WRTG 3020 Section 051 Instructor: Denise Fernandes Topic: Environmental Justice
WRTG 3020 Section 201 Instructor: Warren Cook Topic: Environmental Justice
Continuing Ed Online, Sess 1
WRTG 3020 Section 582 Instructor: Alex Fobes Topic: Writing on Music
Fall 2022: Main Campus
WRTG 2090, Section 001: ELECTIVES IN WRITING: WRITING AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT, Laurie Gries
WRTG 3020, Section 007 and Section 018: TOPICS IN WRITING: SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE MIND, Michelle Albert
WRTG 3020, Section 028: TOPICS IN WRITING: CHANGING DIGITAL COMMUNITIES, Seth Myers
WRTG 3020, Section 053 and Section 076: TOPICS IN WRITING: ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING, Kurtis Hessel
WRTG 3020, Section 068: TOPICS IN WRITING: NEW MEDIA AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, Paula Wenger
WRTG 3020, Section 069: TOPICS IN WRITING: U.S. RESISTANCE MOVEMENTS, Tracy Ferrell
WRTG 3020, Section 071: TOPICS IN WRITING: MULTICULTURAL RHETORICS, Gabriela Rìos
WRTG 3020, Section 077: TOPICS IN WRITING: COMPOSING CIVIC LIFE, John Ackerman
WRTG 3035, SECTION 001: TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Nathan Pieplow
WRTG 3035, SECTION 003: TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Nathan Pieplow
WRTG 3035, SECTION 005: TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Alex Fobes
WRTG 3035, SECTION 007: TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Alex Fobes
WRTG 3035, SECTION 014: TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Rolf Norgaard
WRTG 3035, SECTION 016: TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Petger Schaberg
WRTG 3035, SECTION 018: TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Petger Schaberg
WRTG 3035, SECTION 020: TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Paula Wenger
ENGL 3830, Section 001: TOPICS IN ADVANCED WRITING AND RESEARCH: CHICANA/X RHETORICS, Gabriela Rìos
ENGL 4206, Section 001: WRITING FOR THE REAL WORLD, Martin Bickman
ENGL 3856, Section 001: TOPICS IN GENRE STUDIES: HISTORY OF THE BOOK, Thora Brylowe
Fall 2022: Continuing Ed
WRTG 3020, Section 582: TOPICS IN WRITING: WRITING ABOUT THE BODY, Dawn Colley
Spring 2023: Main Campus
WRTG 2090, Section 001, T/TH 12:30pm - 1:45pm : ELECTIVES IN WRITING: WRITING AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT, Gabriela Rìos
ENGL 3377, Section 001, MWR 11:15am - 12:05pm, LITERATURES OF RACE, MULTICULTURALISM, AND ETHNICITY: ASIAN AMERICAN LIT., Cheryl Higashida
ENGL 3830, Section 001, T/TH 9:30am - 10:45am, TOPICS IN ADVANCED WRITING AND RESEARCH: CHICANA/X RHETORICS, Gabriela Rìos
WRTG 3020, Section 004, MWF 9:05am - 9:55am, TOPICS IN WRITING: MULTICULTURAL RHETORICS, Marisa Tirado
WRTG 3020, Section 019, MWF 12:20pm - 1:10pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: MULTICULTURAL RHETORICS, Marisa Tirado
WRTG 3020, Section 015, MWF 11:15am - 12:05pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: NEW MEDIA AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, Paula Wenger
WRTG 3020, Section 030, MWF 2:30pm - 3:20pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: NEW MEDIA AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, Paula Wenger
WRTG 3020, Section 016, MWF 11:15am - 12:05pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: VISUAL CULTURE/VISUAL LITERACY, Jason Lagapa
WRTG 3020, Section 040, MW 3:35pm - 4:50pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: WRITING ON MUSIC, Steve Lamos
WRTG 3020, Section 045, MW 5:05pm - 6:20pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: WRITING ON MUSIC, Steve Lamos
WRTG 3020, Section 075, T/TH 2pm - 3:15pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: U.S. RESISTANCE MOVEMENTS, Elia Newsom
WRTG 3020, Section 085, T/TH 3:30pm - 4:45pm: TOPICS IN WRITING: SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE MIND, Michelle Albert
WRTG 3020, Section 091, T/TH 5pm - 6:15pm: TOPICS IN WRITING: GENDER AND SEXUALITY, Riley Barlett
WRTG 3020, Section 586, Online, TOPICS IN WRITING: WRITING ABOUT THE BODY, D. Levine
WRTG 3020, Section 014, MWF 11:15am - 12:05pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING, Kurtis Hessel
WRTG 3020, Section 032, MWF 2:30pm - 3:20pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING, Kurtis Hessel
WRTG 3020, Section 026, MWF 1:25pm - 2:15pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING, Rebecca Dickson
WRTG 3020, Section 074, T/TH 2pm - 3:15pm, TOPICS IN WRITING: ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING, Sarah Massey-Warren
WRTG 3035, SECTION 018, T/TH 11am - 12:15pm, TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Alex Fobes
WRTG 3035, SECTION 022, T/TH 2pm - 3:15pm, TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Alex Fobes
WRTG 3035, SECTION 008, MWF 12:20pm - 1:10pm, TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Rolf Norgaard
WRTG 3035, SECTION 004, MWF 10:10am - 11am, TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Petger Schaberg
WRTG 3035, SECTION 006, MWF, 11:15am - 12:05pm, TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Petger Schaberg
WRTG 3035, SECTION 010, MWF 1:25pm - 2:15pm, TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN, Paula Wenger
ENGL 4116, Section 001, MWF 10:10am - 11am, ADVANCED TOPICS IN MEDIA STUDIES: INTERACTIVE STORY VIDEO GAMES, Karim Mattar
To recieve additional information on the WPE minor, please fill out the survey below: