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Undergraduate Course Descriptions
202-001 MWF 12:00-12:50
202-002 MWF 1:00-1:50
Introduction to Journalism
Discussion, and more importantly, lots of practice, you will develop the tools that you will need to identify, gather, and report the news. While many of the practices you will learn in this course were developed by reporters working for large urban newspapers, you will apply these same core principles and practices (lede writing, story structure, how to cover news events, and conducting interviews) to reporting for any kind of outlet: print, broadcast, or the internet. We will also examine the differences between news stories and feature stories, and cover the basics of journalism ethics.
204-001 MWF 12:00-12:50
204-002 MWF 1:00-1:50
Introduction to Professional Writing
In this class, you will reflect on how rhetoric and visual design can inform effective communication in collaborative and technologically diverse contexts. Using print and online tools, you will explore the composing process through invention, collaboration, audience analysis, and revision. In addition to composing traditional professional genres, like memos, proposals, instructions, and public relations materials, you will also reflect on how these can be redesigned and delivered in digital and networked contexts. Consequently, you will be required to experiment with various emerging Web 2.0 technologies, culminating in a major design project purposed for a specific professional audience. This course will enhance your ability to compose well-designed, persuasive, and purposeful texts in a variety of professional and academic contexts.
Introduction to Professional Writing
We use writing in our everyday lives to communicate change, give instructions, create relationships. We write to inform, request, offer apologies, lodge complaints, and seek clarification. In this course we will use a rhetorical lens to consider what it means to be an effective, efficient, and ethical composer in the workplace and in our social and civic lives. To do so we will explore a wide array of composing tools and strategies. And we will reflect on how these strategies and tools apply across contexts. Throughout the semester students will work with design software and utilize a variety of media to do workplace research, perform audience analysis, and conduct usability testing. By the end of the semester each student will have compiled a portfolio of work in both digital and print media.
Introduction to Professional Writing
Offering an overview of the basic concepts and practices in the field of technical writing, this course serves as a gateway to the rest of the professional writing program. With an emphasis on service learning in the community, we will create and analyze effective documents for organizational audiences. We'll focus our attention on considerations of audience, purpose, clarity, research and design. In addition, we'll examine cross-cultural communication, ethics in organizational writing, and genres like resumes, proposals, and procedures. Held in a networked classroom, our class will take advantage of and examine the role of technologies at every stage of the composing process.
Introduction to Professional Writing
This course will be taught online throughout the fall 2014 semester. Students should have basic technology skills and have access to Blackboard Learn. The course will introduce students to the basics of Professional Writing. Students will work with traditional documents like resumes and cover letters, but will also introduce students to the basics of design, applied learning, and collaborative writing within a professional context. Students will be asked to experiment with new technologies related to Web 2.0 and social media.
Introduction to Professional Writing
This course prepares you to face workplace challenges that require professional communication skills in terms of writing and presentation. It will enable you to develop critical appreciation for core technical concepts including audience, context, persuasion, and purpose in writing situations with an emphasis on ethics in communication. You will be exposed to writing a variety of business collaterals, such as resumes, memos, proposals and reports in different contexts and for different purposes. Additionally, this course puts a huge emphasis on information design from a visual communication framework and challenges students to create technical documents from a defined visual perspective. Most importantly, you will find opportunities to collaborate with peers to share expertise, knowledge, and experience in a service-learning framework. By the end of this course, you will learn to design effective technical documents to solve problems with attention to text, visuals, format, usability, and citation. e-text: Johnson-Sheehan, Technical Communication Today. 4th ed with free access to MyTechCommLab.
Introduction to Literary Studies
This course serves as an introduction to the vast terrain of literary studies and scholarship. We’ll begin mapping our way with an atlas that defines and demonstrates the classic terms used to explore literature analytically. Following our foray into close reading, we’ll explore what happens when we shift our subject positions; in particular we’ll be examining how specific ideological structures inform what and how we see, and how we can begin to become aware of those invisible structures. In addition to studying the terms and concepts of literary scholarship, our time in the course will be devoted to praxis. We’ll interview current scholars in the field, analyze our own critical methodologies, and speak with counselors in career services about how the skills we’re learning in this and other liberal arts classes transfer to a professional context.
Introduction to Literary Studies
This course is designed to introduce students to literary criticism as a form of writing, and to develop their research, analytical, and interpretive skills by exposing them to the key questions and basic assumptions of various theoretical perspectives. We will do this by spending the first portion of the term focused on Toni Morrison’s novel, Song of Solomon; generating meaning through close readings and the development of a reader-response essay first; and then studying an array of critical responses to it in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon: A Casebook. We will then read John Updike’s Rabbit, Runand students will select a theoretical approach, such as feminism, New Criticism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, or queer theory, and write a research-based comparative essay about the conversation taking place about the novel in scholarly journals dedicated to that particular paradigm or in a collection of critical essays about the author. Texts include: Tyson,Using Critical Theoryand theMLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7thed.
Introduction to Literary Studies
How does one find something interesting and informative to say about a work of literature? And how does one convey that interpretation effectively in writing? This course seeks to answer those two questions by introducing students to the theories and methods of literary criticism and by providing an opportunity for detailed attention to the process of writing and revision. We will begin by examining a variety of interpretive strategies for reading literature; and then we will write a series of papers applying what we have learned to several literary works. Texts include: Gibaldi, The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.; Lynn, Texts and Contexts, 6th ed.; Treadwell, Machinal; Alger, Ragged Dick.
205-004 TR 11:00-12:15
205-005 TR 2:00-3:15
Introduction to Literary Studies
As English majors (or “would-be” English majors), you like to read and write and you are probably good at both, but when faced with the assignment: “Analyze the following poem, or play, or novel,” how should you begin? This class will give you the practical steps to take when confronted with just such an assignment. Primarily a writing class, you will produce four carefully revised essays all of which will demonstrate a particular critical approach to literature. Together we will read contemporary theory and learn useful interpretive strategies so that you will have the analytical skills to compose informed and insightful essays in your future upper division English courses. Texts include: Schilb and Clifford, Arguing about Literature; Tyson Critical Theory Today; Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.
In this course, students will become familiar with Greek, Roman, and Norse Mythology, as well as myths from other cultures. In addition to critical analysis of the myths, students will learn different approaches to the study of mythology. They will also explore how mythological narratives affect our own culture and can inform our reading of literature.
211-001 TR 9:30-10:45
211-002 TR 11:00-12:15
British Literature to 1800
As a survey of English literature to 1800, our course will consider the enduring literary and cultural legacy of such major figures as Geoffrey Chaucer, Sir Thomas More, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Milton, Richard Steele, Joseph Addison, and Samuel Johnson and less familiar, though nonetheless significant, figures as Eliza Haywood, Frances Burney, Mary Astell, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (all of whom, you might note, are women) in relation to such topical and thematic concerns as power, freedom, social order, conformity and rebellion, life choices, happiness, the problem of evil, happiness, life choices, gender roles, romantic love, marriage, sexual commerce, and sexual exploitation. Over the upcoming weeks, we will encounter major barnyard mayhem, diabolical contracts gone bad, demonic delinquents on a tear, and, for better or worse, the full simmering broth of human emotion. Throughout the course, we will further consider strategies of interpretation, literary devices and conventions, and matters of literary form and genre.
Beyond the general focus of the course as a survey of English literature to 1800, I can think of a number of further concerns that should characterize our collective, and your individual, enterprise over the coming weeks.
First of all, since literature doesn’t originate in a vacuum, we will be concerned throughout the course with the informing intellectual, cultural, and historical context for the assigned readings and will be similarly concerned with recurring emphases, ideas, and topical issues—e.g., art and nature, reason and faith, ideals of conduct, the role of women in society.
We will also be concerned with establishing complementary relations between our assigned readings and
- other works of literature you have read, either independently or in other courses;
- the current arena of local, national, and international affairs;
- contemporary popular culture (television, film, popular music, etc.); and
- other academic courses you have taken—e.g., English history, psychology, philosophy and religion, sociology, anthropology, women’s studies—the supposition being that, beyond the usual platitudinous lip service, a real liberal arts education should be consciously and purposefully interdisciplinary and thereby should encourage a sensitivity to the interconnectedness of both major and non-major courses.
Perhaps most importantly, we will be concerned with an ongoing attempt “to come to terms,” both individually and collaboratively, with each of the assigned readings. Such a “coming to terms” will require a thoughtful interaction on your part with the assigned texts—i.e., determining the values and beliefs that condition and inform a particular text and then measuring those values and beliefs against your own. Such thoughtful interaction may lead, in some cases, to a clarification or confirmation of your own values and beliefs or, in other cases, may lead to a delayed judgment. At any rate, whatever judgment you come up with should be based upon deliberative and reflective negotiation on your part. Beyond recreational pleasure, emotional engagement, and intellectual stimulation, one of the most compelling arguments for reading literature is the simple fact that the “thoughtful interaction” I’ve been talking about can lead to a greater sense of self-insight and self-understanding (the very destination, interestingly enough, of many of the characters we encounter in literature).
British Literature Since 1800
This course is a survey of British literature from the Romantic period through to the early twenty-first century. By the course’s end, students will be familiar with major authors such as Wordsworth, Keats, Smith, De Quincey, Browning, Rossetti, Yeats, Eliot, Ford, Mansfield, Auden, and MacNiece. We will engage with canonical and non-canonical works in a wide variety of modes, genres, and media, including lyric, dramatic, and narrative poetry; autobiography, the novel, and the essay; and cinema, television, and popular music. Throughout the semester, we will make a point of considering how aesthetic value, literary form, representational strategies, and language practices develop in dynamic relation to historical, political, and material contexts of production and reception— for example, the Industrial Revolution and city life, nationalism and colonialism, shifting gender roles, the emergence of “popular culture,” World Wars I and II, the decline of the British Empire, postmodernism, and globalism.
Readings may include poetry selections from The Norton Anthology of British Literature – vol. 2; Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater; George Meredith, Modern Love; Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier; T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land; recordings by The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Joy Division, The Smiths, Pulp, Oasis, Sade, and Massive Attack; Nick Hornby, High Fidelity; and Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s The Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End). Attendance and participation are essential to success in the course.
American Literature to 1870
This course focuses on literature produced in the United States before 1870. We will begin with American Indian, colonialand slave narratives, and then we will survey thepoetry of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, the fiction of Herman Melville, Edgar Allan PoeandNathaniel Hawthorne, and the nonfiction of Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. We will approach the readings from a variety of perspectives including historical context, andwe will discuss texts through the prismsof gender, race and class, but most significantly we will delve into how early American literaturehelped definethe America we live in today. This is a reading-intensive course thatdemands preparation and participation, as well as three analytical papers, journal writing andan in-class presentation.Prerequisite: ENG-201 or 103, or with the permission of the instructor. Texts: Cain, Anthology of American Literature, vol. 1.
American Literature to 1870
This course will offer you an overview of American literature from its very beginnings through the late Romantics in the nineteenth century. We will read this literature in its literary, historical, political, and social contexts. As such, we will look at literature of the European Explorers, at American Indian responses to encounters with Europeans, at the colonial era including Puritan poets and historians, at the writings of some of the founding fathers and mothers, and into the Romantic era with writers such as Poe, Irving, Stowe, Hawthorne, Dickinson, and Whitman—writers of the American literary renaissance, as it has been called.
You will be asked to keep an informal reading response journal, to write formal and informal short response essays, to be responsible for the readings and class discussions, to take occasional reading quizzes and mid-semester and a final essay exams. As this will be a discussion based class, attendance and attention to the readings will of course be required.
224-001 TR 9:30-10:45
224-002 TR 11:00-12:15
American Literature since 1870
The course surveys major authors in fiction, poetry, and drama from 1865 to the present.
Every student keeps a reading journal and writes two critical essays, each of which comprises 25% of the semester grade. The average of reading-quiz scores accounts for the remaining 25%. Text: McQuade, et al. The Harper American Literature, 3rd ed.
American Literature since 1870
In this course we will read representative fiction, plays, and poems in American literature from the late 1900s to the present. We will discover how and why each story “works”—how it captures the reader’s interest, the aesthetic methods the authors use to tell their story. We will also look at the political, social, and cultural context; and we will discuss such issues as emerging feminism, critical responses to racism, the literature of propaganda, alienation and literary experiment, and why some writers get represented in anthologies and others do not. This section will also emphasize critical discussion and writing. Texts include: Cain, American Literature, vol. 2, 2nd ed.; Faulkner, As I Lay Dying.
World Literature to 1600
Our readings will include the Gilgamesh epic; selections from Ancient Egyptian poetry and the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament); selections from Homer’s Iliad (another epic); the Medea of Euripides (a tragedy); selections from ancient Chinese literature (The Classic of Poetry) and the Analects of Confucius; selections from ancient India (the Bhagavad-Gita); selections from Roman poetry (Catullus, Virgil, and Ovid); selections from the Christian Bible (the New Testament); selections from key Islamic texts (The Qur’an and The Thousand and One Nights); selections from the Italian Renaissance (Petrarch’s sonnets and Machiavelli); and selections from Montaigne’s Essays. Reading quizzes, written responses, midterm and final exams. Text: The Norton Anthology of World Literature, ed. Puchner et al., Shorter Third Edition, vol. 1.
World Literature since 1600
This course explores representative works of world literature from Asian, African, European, and South American traditions since 1600. Featured authors may include Cao Xueqin, Voltaire, Basho, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Ellison, Tolstoy, Tagore, Kafka, Borowski, García Márquez, and Achebe.
We will look at common themes, the techniques of storytelling, the use of metaphoric language, how literature relates to the other arts and to political, social, philosophical, or religious ideas. We will trace a chronology of world literature from the 1600 to the present, while making comparative explorations between national literatures.
Students will be required to write two analytical essays, do group work, give short oral reports, and participate actively in class discussions. There will also be a final examination.
Women in Literature
Together we explore how women are depicted in literature written by women during the 20th and 21st centuries. You will become more practiced in reading literary texts through the lenses of gender, race, class, ethnicity, and age. We will discuss fiction and nonfiction by American authors of color, authors who are immigrants to the U.S., or authors whose parents were immigrants. We will also examine ways of becoming resisting readers, challenging stereotypes that persist in our society and our literature. Finally, you will get to sharpen skills associated with writing about how women are portrayed in literary texts in written essays and essay exams.
230-002 MW 3:30-4:45
230-003 MW 2:00-3:15
Women in Literature
Fiction reflects cultural conflicts. Far from resolved, roles for women in society continue to evolve. For this course, we will read canonical novels and contemporary novels that address women’s assertiveness, independence, and the vulnerability that comes with new roles for women. We will confront violence against women, both in the home and in the community. What happens when women resist traditional gender roles, when they refuse to tend hearth and home or to remain quiet and compliant? The books we will read address triumph and tragedy in unique ways, but these are not all sad stories; in fact, they are inspiring books about strength, compassion and ethical vitality. Texts may include: Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Baker, Longbourni; Rhys, The Wide Sargasso Sea; Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Diffenbaugh, The Language of Flowers; Stedman, The Light Between Oceans. Informal responses, 2 essay tests, 1 final paper.
The Bible as Literature
This course examines the Bible as a literary work, or, more accurately, as a collection of literary works. Through readings in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha, we will consider matters such as genre (for example, narrative poetry, history, letter, parable); style (for example, diction, metaphor, simile, symbol); historical and geographical context, authors, and organization; literary and cultural influences on the Bible; and the canon. Written responses; reading quizzes; midterm and final exams; oral participation. It is absolutely essential that everyone who enrolls in the course acquire both of the assigned texts. The only acceptable version of the Bible for class use is The New Jerusalem Bible (the hardback edition with full footnotes—not the paperback version and not any other Bible). Texts include: Gabel et al., The Bible as Literature, 5th ed.; The New Jerusalem Bible, Wansborough, ed..
Themes in Literature: Legitimate Danger
“What are ideals of form for if we aren't going to be made to fear for them? All our ingenuity is lavished on getting into danger legitimately so that we may be genuinely rescued.” (Frost)
This course will explore literary texts that blur, combine, and collapse form. We will read documentary poetry, micro-fiction, lyric criticism, and other in-betweens to discover how device can contribute to message and when artifice may lead to evasion. Readings may include sections from journals and anthologies like The Seneca Review and The Next American Essay. Writers will range from David Shields to CD Wright. In response to Frost, we will pursue writing that is risky and rebellious, and we will evaluate whether or not the risk is legitimate, the rebellion earned.
Themes in Literature: Monsters in Literature
In this course, we’re going to read and write about literature that revolves around monsters—the monstrous, the weird, the horrifying, the other. Some texts may include World War Z, The Road, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Frankenstein. We’ll ask what our cultural fascination with monsters is all about. (It seems you can’t throw a proverbial stick—to borrow the cliché—without hitting a zombie these days, whether it’s on television, in a movie, or in a book.) Why do we tell ourselves so many stories about monsters? Why are zombies so popular? Why do people love (and hate) Twilight with such passion?
In our exploration of the monstrous, we’ll also ask questions about ourselves. How do we understand our humanity? How have we tried to explain and express the human condition through art? What does the “other” (the monster) say about what we think about ourselves? How do we respond to difference, to the unknown? How do we deal with our mortality, the fact that we’re all certain to die one day? What does it mean to be human? And how have writers and readers of literature at various points in history grappled with these very questions?
Themes in Literature: Virtual Realities
This course explores multiple texts that interrogate the connection between our physical selves and their online incarnations in digital environments and video game worlds.
Learn the fine points of beat reporting, investigative and feature writing, op/eds, and 'new journalism' while reading old and new classics of journalism online. Emphasis is on reporting for newspapers and online, but we will consider magazine writing, multimedia and broadcast along the way. Pre-requisite is ENG 202 or consent of the instructor.
303-001 MWF 9:00-9:50
303-002 MWF 10:00-10:50
Reading and Writing Arguments
A course in critical reading and writing exploring the way both visual and written arguments are made in a variety of contexts. We will study readings and visuals which focus mainly on contemporary social and political issues, and we will critique these texts for the argumentative strategies the authors employ. Students will write argumentative texts and analyses of others’ argument. Re
Required will be a portfolio of five polished essays (the last of which will require significant research). Text: Gooch and Seyler, Argument! 2nd ed.
304-001 MWF 12:00-12:50
304-002 MWF 1:00-1:50
Writing for Teachers
This course will introduce theoretical foundations and instructional strategies for teaching writing in secondary schools. We will begin by examining skills such as vocabulary, grammar, brainstorming, prewriting, and basic paragraph structures. We will then address the most frequently encountered/tested writing in secondary schools: narrative, expository/informational, argumentative, and research papers. Techniques such as scaffolding instruction, peer editing/review, alternative forms of assessment, and culturally relevant instruction will play a critical role in this course. We will also examine requirements for on demand standardized writing assessment and discuss how the Common Core State Standards and the new trend in using End of Course tests may impact writing instruction in the future.
Professional Review Writing
And in this course, everyone is a critic. Students will have an intensive hands-on experience in the fundamentals of how to think and write critically – and fairly – about plays, restaurants, concerts, music, photography, movies and other creative endeavors, all with an eye to producing professional-quality – and publishable – work. Emphasis is on background research that will strengthen the perspective and credibility of the student’s finished review. Students do not need experience in any of the areas they will review, but all students will need a willingness to learn about unfamiliar topics and to think about them analytically. No formal text is required, but students will need to budget about $60 (or more) for expenses involved in reviewing assignments.
“Every man has within himself the entire human condition.” – Michel de Montaigne
In this course, we will explore the rich and varied tradition of the essay. We will read essays about life and death and racism and nature. What it feels like to be young and optimistic in New York City. What it’s like to have an alcoholic father.
Along the way, you’ll craft your own works, exploring not only who you are and what has shaped you, but what you might be, and how the world is, and how the world might be. We’ll talk about what it’s like to be alive, and how writers have tried to capture something true and real on paper, in ink, how they have worked to put letters and words together in a certain order that evokes in us the smells and sights and heartbreaks of life itself.
In this writing course, students will study and practice the art of the essay through daily online assignments. The course is taught exclusively through Blackboard, UNCW’s online learning system, and is organized into Weekly Units. Each unit begins with information about the focus for the week, the week's learning objectives, a list of tasks for the week, and the daily assignments with due dates and point values. It is imperative that students read and follow all instructions carefully. Failure to use Blackboard, email, and/or Microsoft Word correctly will result in poor performance. Before signing up for this course, I suggest that students go through the orientation at http://www.uncw.edu/OEL/students.html.
Students in this course develop strategies to improve documents and to clearly express their plans for revisions orally and in writing. Along the way, they will acquire an interest in and appreciation for the conventions of English grammar, punctuation, and usage. Students work on the fundamentals of effective writing, organization, and design in order to develop the language and proficiencies necessary to edit technical documents, which include forms, manuals, policy handbooks, websites, and other texts used in organizations, and to argue successfully for the changes they make or recommend. Projects prompt students to edit documents comprehensively, addressing everything from the sentences to the overall structure and visual design.
Theory and Practice of Editing
Instruction in strengthening the backbone of writing. Course work includes extensive practice in the fundamentals of punctuation and grammar, editing, copyediting and rewriting, all done with an eye to preparing work for publication. Privacy and libel law are examined. Texts include: Creative Editing; Media Writer's Handbook, and The Associated Press Stylebook.
Writing for Business
Why Writing for Business? Do you want, my sixty second or six-volume answer? You’re right—it depends on how much and what you want to know. Writing for Business is precisely about finding how much your audience in workplace wants and how they want it. It is less about what you know and want to tell and more about what someone else wants to hear. In this sense, the course marks a transition from academic to professional/workplace writing in four major ways:
- Action-oriented: writing that influences actions in your audience
- Collaborative: writing situations will invite you to work in groups to meet real-life workplace challenges
- Genre-orientated: writing that spans across communication channels— memos, social media, resumes, reports, and write papers; Twitter, podcasts, Wikis, and blogs for business
- Strategic: writing that utilizes various organizational techniques in the writing process
These three features will help you to realize and identify the basic goals and objectives of ‘another’ kind of writing that exists when you’re ready to explore the professional space.
Finally, you will also learn about separating two very important skills in writing: creative and critical skills. According to Peter Elbow, an eminent theorist, we need creative skills to generate ideas, topics, sentences, and words while require critical skills to decide which ones to use. Most often writers are unable to separate the two skills and create miscommunications in reports, proposals, and even in regular emails. Therefore, in this course you will learn to get yourself started with your creative side and then let your critical side steer you through planning, organization, drafting, and delivering the message.
Writing about Sciences
Students in this course learn to write about science and technology primarily for non-scientific audiences. Through course projects, students analyze scientific texts and compose articles based on scientific and technical information. Students are encouraged to center course projects on the areas of science of most interest to them, such as marine biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, psychology, medicine, and technology. The course also teaches research skills useful for writing in and about all areas of science. Readings include articles by successful science writers as well as information about the profession of science writing, including the specific techniques, responsibilities, and challenges related to effectively and ethically writing about science.
Writing and Technology
In this class, you will examine the interdependent relationship between writing and technology from various angles. In addition to exploring the historical relationship between writing and technology, you will draw on rhetorical theory to examine how technology is changing the nature of writing in the 21st century. Specifically, we will examine how technology shapes the production of knowledge and community in multiple contexts. You will also learn to analyze and produce multimedia works, like videos, podcasts, and websites. Consequently, you will be required to explore various Web 2.0 environments through collaborative, individual, and public work.This course will prepare you to thoughtfully engage new technologies and new writing environments as they appear in your professional and public life.
Topics in Writing and Rhetoric: Backpack Journalism
Whether you’re covering an uprising in Egypt, a championship basketball game or the fashion runway in Milan, those photos, sound bites and video are not going to wait until you get back to the newsroom to be published. This hands-on course is aimed at using the latest technology to make each student a one-person newsroom, capable of soup-to-nuts reporting and editing, all using simple, yet powerful, tools tailored to smartphones. This course is ideal not only for those who want to go into journalism, but also for marketing majors, business majors and computer science majors – anyone who needs to communicate multimedia information quickly and completely from remote locations.
Topics in Writing and Rhetoric: Grant Writing: A Practical Tool for Social Change
In this economic and political climate, government funding for important initiatives is scarce, meaning that more and more non-profit organizations are turning to grants for vital financial support. Important work in areas ranging from the environment to the arts often relies heavily on the abilities of grant writers, making grant writing a highly marketable skill for students of all majors and career aspirations.
This course will introduce students to the mechanics of proposal writing, including needs assessment, identifying and evaluating potential funding sources, and tailoring proposals to address specific audience interests. Additionally, students will develop an understanding of the political and social aspects of grant seeking as it shapes initiatives to promote various kinds of social change. During a semester-long partnership with a local non-profit organization, students will work in teams to develop actual grants for the organization’s use.
Because of the hybrid nature of the course, the class meets officially only once a week; however, in addition to online discussion and readings, grant-writing teams should be prepared to meet as needed during the semester with myself and/or their community partner organization. This course is open to students of all majors, and students who complete it will be able to list grant writing experience on a resume.
This course focuses on analytical writing about other writers' styles, in order to be able to speak with specificity about what makes an effective prose style. We will begin by addressing grammatical and stylistic principles and concepts and applying them in shorter writings, readings and discussions. We will then move to looking in detail at various authors, both contemporary and historical. Grades assigned from class discussion, analyses and a final project. Texts include: Corbett and Connors, Style and Statement; Hale and Gordon, Sin and Syntax.
Writing about Film
*listed as MO 104 (in the process of being changed since it is a film class.)
This class will give you the opportunity to carefully analyze and write about film.
Throughout the semester, you will be asked to write a variety of personal responses, pithy reviews, and longer critical essays, with a particular emphasis on crafting sentences, understanding your audience, and citing relevant sources.
As this is a cross-listed course, English majors and film majors (as well as any others who join us) will have the opportunity to draw on the expertise of others in related, but different, disciplines. We will discuss issues of aesthetic and technical detail as well as social and cultural context as we watch a variety of documentaries, animated features, and more.
Texts may include various versions of Alice/Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Persepolis, and Man on Wire.
Writing and Activism
Electronic spaces, tools, and applications are increasingly used by activists to communicate their messages, attract adherents to their causes, and, perhaps, monitor or even disrupt the activities of their adversaries. In this course, we will examine a range of types of cyberactivism, from signing online petitions to using digital spaces to expose perceived wrongdoing as Anonymous has done. We will consider the practical, functional, and ethical aspects of pursuing activism in digital spaces. Additionally, we will investigate the potential futures for cyberactivism. Part of the work for the course will involve students in developing example electronic activist campaigns.
Students in this course will explore principles of document design through critical analysis and practical application. Students will generate multimedia documents through iterative drafting and revision cycles that incorporate usability feedback. Course readings will examine professional design theory and practice. Texts include: Kimball and Hawkins, Document Design: A Guide for Technical Communicators; Lupton, D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself.
320-001 MWF 10:00-10:50 MO 204
320-002 MWF 12:00-12:50 MO 201
Introduction to Linguistics
What can language tell us about ourselves and our communities? In this introductory linguistics course we will address how language reveals important aspects of our social identities. Students will produce language podcasts as a means of exploring sociolinguistic topics such as language and gender; language and sexuality; code-switching; language shift; language variation; ethnic and regional dialects; and bilingual and multilingual education. Through reading, analyzing, and presenting on contemporary linguistics issues, students will gain the necessary foundation for further work in the field. The course will culminate in an independent research project presented at the end of the semester.
321-001 TR 8:00-9:15
321-002 TR 9:30-10:45
Structure of English Language
In this course you will become an expert in themetalanguage of the structures of English, particularly the syntactic ones. You have been a master of most of those structures since early childhood; we need to concentrate on making this knowledge conscious, giving you the ability to describe what you know, and making predictions based on that knowledge. In addition, some of the structures that we deal with in here may be new to you. This deeper understanding of your language should carry over into several related areas, and learning how to apply syntax to your own interests is one of your responsibilities. You need no special linguistic training to succeed.
Shakespeare: Early Plays/Poems
William Shakespeare: The Reviews Are In
“The answer to the question ‘Why Shakespeare?’ must be ‘Who else is there?’”
“With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise as entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his. It would be a positive relief to dig him up and throw stones at him.”
---George Bernard Shaw
“I know not whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, but if he did not it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life.”
“He was not of an age, but for all time!”
“Shakespeare was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul. He was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature; he looked inwards, and found her there.”
“To know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare; to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators.”
“The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.”
The above compilation is but a random sampling of testimonials to Shakespeare’s genius, achievement, and enduring influence over the ages. One of the truly amazing aspects of Shakespeare’s reputation and popularity is that he has both literally and figuratively “held the stage” during his own career as a professional dramatist and over succeeding centuries up to the present. In terms of the established literary canon, and no disparagement intended, Shakespeare is probably the ultimate “dead white guy,” and like the “energizer bunny,” he just keeps on going and going and going with no end in sight. Not bad for a small-town kid from the provinces who, without the benefit of a college education, left Stratford-upon-Avon (a village of approximately 1500) to try his luck as an aspiring playwright in London. So how do we account for Shakespeare’s enduring status as one of the most prominent figures in world literature and his complementary status as the most famous and the most widely read playwright in the English language whose plays are still performed on a regular basis throughout the world?
That’s where our course, the focus of which is Shakespeare’s early dramatic and poetic career through 1600 (admittedly, a rather arbitrary date), comes into play. Through a careful reading and discussion of seven of Shakespeare’s “early” plays, we will attempt to explore and identify the basis for Shakespeare’s enduring legacy, influence, and pervasive iconographical status across cultures and continents. At the same time, and more importantly, our course will provide us (and I include myself in your good company) with the opportunity to negotiate and transact our own personal and critical response to each of the assigned plays and, quite aside from the authoritative assessments of Ben Jonson, John Dryden, William Hazlitt, Robert Graves, and others, to arrive at our own measured assessment of Shakespeare’s “greatness.” In terms of the written texts, this can be a daunting enterprise for the modern reader, who may feel challenged by Shakespeare’s language, versification, and a likely unfamiliarity with the many topical, mythological, Biblical, historical, and political allusions in his plays. However daunting, such challenges shouldn’t interfere with our enjoyment, appreciation, and larger, “holistic” understanding of the plays themselves. It is worth noting, in this regard, that whatever his eye toward posterity, Shakespeare was a professional dramatist whose livelihood and income depended upon his productivity and the popular reception of his plays on stage. Thus, Peggy O’Brien (the Head of Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.) has observed: “Shakespeare’s plays were written to be performed—acted and seen on a stage. About half of Shakespeare’s plays weren’t even published until after his death. . . . Shakespeare wrote his sonnets to be applauded and remembered as a writer. He wrote his plays to make money. And he made lots of it.” It is also important to recognize that the popular theater was one of the primary venues of entertainment on every social level and across class lines during Shakespeare’s career as a dramatist. As O’Brien further observes,
Everyone—all levels of society—went to see Shakespeare’s plays. There weren’t many other forms of entertainment: no TV; no cable; no DVDs; no videos, hand-held electronic game players, or personal CD players; no CDs; no movies; and only the rudiments of a newspaper. People went to the bear-baiting or bull- baiting ring for a thrill, they went to a public execution or two—and they went to the theater. Experiencing a play in the Globe Theatre in 1603 was sort of a cross between going to an Oscar de la Hoya fight and an ‘N Sync concert.Thus, though his plays may present any number of challenges for the modern reader, Shakespeare didn’t write his plays to be difficult; he wrote his plays to make money and, as Peggy O’Brien notes, he clearly succeeded. Thus, while our course will involve an assiduous, thoughtful, and creative attention to the written texts, we need to recall, once again, that for Shakespeare the written text was secondary to the dramatic presentation and live enactment of the text on stage—which, rather than the written text, served as the primary “rate of exchange” between Shakespeare and his audience, a considerable percentage of whom were uneducated and illiterate. It might be appropriate to conclude, in this regard, with a number of illuminating quotes, the spirit of which should inform our approach to and experience of the assigned plays:
“In Shakespeare’s plays, you find drunks, ghosts, teenagers running away from home, boy who gets girl, boy who loses girl, king who loses everything, woman caressing her lover’s body which is minus its head, woman caressing her lover’s head which is minus its body, weddings and celebrations, murder by stabbing, suffocation, decapitation, and drowning in a vat of malmsey wine.”
“There are some parts of the play you’ll never understand. But excuse me, I thought that’s what great art was supposed to be about. Don’t freak out over it. Keep reading.”
“I went to see a Shakespeare play when I was 15, and it changed my life.”
“If the public likes you, you’re good. Shakespeare was a common down-to-earth writer in his day.”
Note: Mickey Spillane was a legendary pulp fiction writer, whose hard-boiled detective series (featuring Mike Hammer) enjoyed such immense popularity in the 1950s that Spillane was the most widely read and best-selling author in the U.S. Hence, the implied, and admittedly self-flattering connection with Shakespeare.
“Children trust Shakespeare because they can still see the plays as play, with all the joy and wonder of discovery that this truly entails.”
---Janet Field-Pickering, The Folger Shakespeare Library
Shakespeare is Early Plays and Poems
This course covers six plays chosen from those written in the first part of Shakespeare’s career to represent the major genres of tragedy (Romeo and Juliet), history (Richard II, Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2, Henry V), and comedy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream); and selected sonnets. We will give attention to matters like cultural context, gender, and genre. There will be special emphasis on various aspects of performance. Reading quizzes, informal response papers, oral presentation and reading, critical paper of 2000 words, midterm and final exams. Text: The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Bevington, ed., 7th ed.
In this course we’ll trace the rise of the novel from the late eighteenth through the early nineteenth century, the Age of Revolution. We’ll explore how and why the domestic stage offers an ideal aesthetic platform to explore the human condition at a time of unprecedented social change, technological innovation, and political turmoil. In particular, we’ll explore how the rise of the heroine and her triumph over or succumbing to adversity mirrors the cultural anxieties of her age. What does consciousness have to do with femininity? How does gender affect genre? Why—until recently—was Romanticism identified with poetry and Wordsworth rather than novels and Edgeworth? Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley will serve as our guides, as we ponder what the revolutionary new genre of the novel offered its writers and readers during this time of vast uncertainty. Does the popularity of domestic fiction indicate the victory of conservative fantasy? Can revolutionaries find home in the pages of novels, or are they restrained by conventions? What does the marriage plot offer its readers, and what does the current nostalgia for all things Regency reveal about our own historical moment?
The nineteenth century was marked by radical change in many arenas, including science and technology, politics, and class. What began as a time period with candlelight, horse-drawn carriages, and quill pens, ended with electricity, a subway system, and the typewriter. The literature of this century, of course, also changed. We will be looking at literature across the century, from 1832 (the date of the Reform Act) to Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, from the industrial/social-problem novel to the “New Woman” narrative, and plenty in between. The nineteenth-century Briton was breaking new ground, and yet along with this pioneering spirit and confidence, according to Walter E. Houghton, comes an anxiety that also pervaded most aspects of life. While on one hand, the Victorian era became one of opportunity, particularly social mobility, this opportunity was met with fear, doubt, and nostalgia. The Victorians went boldly where no person had gone before, but it made them really nervous. We will be examining these complexities, as well as using material culture, namely Victorian objects available today in British museums, to help us decipher the literature of the period.
Multiculturalism and Literature
Prerequisite: ENG 103 or ENG 201. ENG 205 recommended.
A preference for cultural unity and conformity accompanied the nineteenth-century global rise of nationalism. By the 1970s, however, nations were actively professing to champion diversity, difference, and inclusion. Multiculturalism became a popular concept, especially in the United States. This course will investigate changing perspectives on multiculturalism in its focus on “between-worlds” Chinese-American writing. Students will begin with Sui Sin Far’s stories of San Francisco’s Chinatown and reinforce their study with the Page Act of 1875, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and texts dealing with racial stereotypes, such as Frank Norris’ “The Third Circle,” and with assimilation, such as Wong Chin Foo’s “Why Am I a Heathen?” More contemporary readings include Maxine Hong Kingston’s Woman Warrior, as well as fiction and nonfiction selections by Amy Tan. During the semester, students will present individual research on related scholarship and report on the work of one additionally chosen author.
This course will offer you an in-depth look at American literature of the Romantic era, roughly 1790s through the 1860s and beyond. We will read the literature by writers of the American literary renaissance, as it has been called, in its literary, historical, political, and social contexts. Possible texts include Dickinson’s Final Harvest collection of poetry, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, Thoreau’s Walden, Melville’s Moby-Dick, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Other authors will include Poe, Irving, Stowe, and Emerson, to name a few.
You will be asked to keep an informal reading response journal, to write formal short response essays, to be responsible for the readings and class discussions, to take occasional reading quizzes and mid-semester and a final essay exams. You will also be asked to lead at least one class discussion.As this will be a discussion-based class, attendance and attention to the readings will of course be required.
In its reaction to rising industrialism, urban displacement, WW I, and the Great Depression, literary modernism explores the increasing tension between American individualism and a desire for community and order. As urban centers displace the rural experience, issues of identity become increasingly fragmented under the tension between isolate individual experience and the desire for community and order. Although this half-century is remembered for its artistic break with literary traditions what constituted “Art” was hotly contested by critics and artists. The “winners” and “losers” of that aesthetic debate have shaped the literary canon we all study.
African American Literature to 1945
This course provides an advanced survey of literature by Americans from the African Diaspora. It covers a wide variety of works from major authors, and provides a model for approaching literature from a variety of literary and socio-cultural perspectives. Students will lead discussion on assigned dates, write weekly analytical response papers, research and present on a major cultural debate, and take a final exam.
Study in Poetry: Lyrical Poetry
This course is an in-depth exploration of lyric poetry. We will explore a vast range of work and interrogate individual poems in extreme detail. Students will master the intricacies of close reading, and the art of scansion. We will situate poems in their historical, cultural, and aesthetic contexts, as well as our own; and we’ll address questions of canon formation, genre, and critical methodology. This course will be writing and discussion intensive. The student should also be aware that a number of the poems studied contain “mature themes.”
American and British Poetry since 1945
“notice where the money is you’ll find out where the killers lie
the men who are annihilating the universe don’t joke you’re recovering
recovering from the hatred of the doctor how does one (we) recover?
what is happening?” – Kathy Acker
This course will specifically focus on innovative and experimental women’s poetry from the postmodern period. We will examine radical poetic works by American, Canadian, and British poets who have been double exiled from the study of modern and contemporary poetry: as Ellen G. Friedman explains, “For the most part, women experimental writers in the twentieth century were absent from surveys of innovative writing, and they were also absent from studies that focused entirely on women writers.” We will investigate how women poets interrogate and unsettle the formal, social, and political values of terms such as “woman,” “poetry,” “innovation,” and “experiment”— that is, what exactly does it mean to be oppositional, and does this account for the marginalization described by Friedman? Similarly, we will investigate the historically rich and complex relationship of disjunctive poetry and poetics to second- and third-wave feminism: in other words, what do we do with women’s poetry that cannot be readily incorporated into, or politically used by, the narratives of feminism and social action/political sloganeering? Students will be expected to engage thoughtfully with difficult poetry but also works of poetic theory by groundbreaking women writers who are often absent from literature syllabi. In addition, students will have the occasion to think about how postmodern experimental women’s poetry is indebted to earlier work by the likes of Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, H.D., Mina Loy, and Laura Riding Jackson.
Readings may include works by Kathy Acker, Helen Adam, Hannah Weiner, Alice Notley, Sonia Sanchez, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Rae Armantrout, Jorie Graham, Barbara Guest, Lyn Hejinnian, Haryette Mullen, M. NourbeSe Philip, Vanessa Place, Susan Holbrook, Karen Mac Cormack, Daphne Marlatt, Julianna Spahr, Jennifer L. Knox, Eileen Myles, Bernadette Mayer, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Alice Burdick, Dodie Bellamy, and Linda Besner.
Literature for Children
In this course, we will become acquainted/reacquainted with a variety of children’s literature of different genres (fairy tales, picture books, mysteries, historical fiction, and more). By engaging with topics such as family strife, playfulness, and the monstrous, we will scrutinize not only our notions of children’s literature but also our (often romanticized) notions of what it means to be a child. While the course can be useful for educators, it is intended for all those who are interested in a rigorous examination of literature and the cultures of childhood. Books may include Where the Wild Things Are, Inside Out and Back Again, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.
Literature for Young Adults
This semester we will explore constructions of both young adult literature and the young adult, with a particular eye towards issues of agency. We will look at the history of young adult literature from the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century conduct books, to the post-war phenomenon of the American teenager, to current young adult literature and authors. We will consider issues of genre (including both fiction and non-fiction), marketing, and, of course, censorship. We will discuss the goals and agendas of young adult literature, especially when it comes to identity formation, and will pay special attention to how young adult literature handles issues of “otherness,” particularly in depictions of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and age. Our texts range from canonical to contemporary, and include diaries, poetry, novels, and one graphic novel. Part of young adulthood entails gaining and negotiating power in the move from childhood to adulthood, but this is often a source of conflict between young adults and the adults in their lives. In looking at these representations of young adulthood (most often written and produced by adults), where can we locate narrative young adult agency in cultures that often disprivilege them? How do young adults and their narratives overcome disempowerment?
Ways of Teaching Literature
The “I Don’t Like English” Literature Class: Although primarily designed for English Education majors who are working towards teacher licensure K-12, this class is open to all students interested in analyzing how literature is taught. Using an intertextual or “transactional” pedagogical approach to the study of literature, this course seeks strategies to engage even the most reluctant readers in the class by using dark themes as a way to entice resistant readers, especially male students who studies show lag significantly behind female readers. In addition to popular texts, students read challenged, banned or censored selections from all levels (elementary to high school) to reflect on their own individual responses and experiences to literature, to examine the underlying pedagogy of best practices, and then to create lessons incorporating those theories. We will learn the basics of connecting classics to contemporary texts, using more relatable, engaging, and even simpler texts to lead students to a deeper understanding of a more difficult text. By making connections to past texts they have encountered, examining strategies that past teachers have used, and connecting to others in their course community, students will learn how to use innovative and age-appropriate teaching methods.
Multicultural Young Adult Literature
This course studies a wide variety of multicultural literature written for and about culturally and linguistically diverse adolescents such as African Americans, Hispanic/Latino/Latinas, Native Americans, Asian Americans, LGBTQ students, and students with disabilities. In addition to studying texts that reflect the ever changing population of American adolescents, we will explore themes and issues such as censorship, race, gender, class, immigration status, war, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation.
This course satisfies the University Studies Living in a Diverse Nation requirement.
386-001 TR 11:00-12:15
386-002 TR 2:00-3:15
Critical Theory and Practice
This course will introduce you to some of the major intellectual developments of the last 150 years that have played a crucial part in our understanding of, and appreciation for literary and cultural texts. Our readings will come from the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Second Edition and will include workfrom the New Critics, Marx, Freud, Lacan, Althusser, Barthes, Foucault, and many others. This is a challenging class to be sure, but it can also be a rewarding one if you are willing to immerse yourself in the questions and concepts these works explore.
Rhetorical Theory to 1900
This class will provide an overview of definitions and practices of rhetoric, focusing on the history and significant movements that occur throughout the discipline of rhetoric. Students will learn rhetorical theory through readings, class/group discussions, and producing research essays and/or projects that focus on subjects within rhetorical theory. This course, broadly conceived, will focus on rhetorical theory and history from 500 BCE to 1900. Students will conduct library research considering online sources, and use digital communication technologies to offer oral presentations to create new media projects related to the concepts of rhetorical theory.
Studies in Literature: “Literature of the Great Wall”
We live in the world that the Great War helped shape a century ago. No war, before or since, so reshaped the style and structure of literature as the First World War. The Modernist movement was already underway, but the actual andpsychological horror of this war tore apart any remnants of Victorian stability for the writers who witnessed it. This course will re-introduce some of the classic literature of WWI—Remarque's, All Quiet On the Western Front, Hemingway's, The Sun Also Rises, and such poets as Brooke, Owen, Graves, Sasoon, etc., but we will also read less well-known classics as we examine the impact of the war on the literary landscape of the 20th century and after.
Senior Seminar: Jack London
This seminar will examine the work and life of an icon of American literature. At Jack London's birth in 1876, no one would have predicted his later success. Born out of wedlock and spending much of his early life in poverty and delinquency, London largely educated himself to become one of the world’s most popular and most highly paid writers, in the process living an adventurous life that captivated the public’s imagination. He sailed on a sealing schooner, prospected for gold in the Klondike, ran for mayor as a socialist when only 25, risked his life investigating London’s slums, covered the Russo-Japanese war, built his own yacht in an aborted attempt to sail around the world, and later became a successful California rancher. In only 18 years, London published 50 books and more than 500 magazine pieces, the fruit of his self-imposed regimen of writing 1,000 words each day—no matter what he was doing. Beginning with the short stories that made him famous, this course will examine the development of a writer whose life and work have never ceased to amaze readers. Texts include: The Portable Jack London; The Call of the Wild and White Fang; The Sea-Wolf; Martin Eden; The Iron Heel.
Senior Seminar: “John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath
“I ain’t got no home, I’m just a
I’m just a ramblin’ workin’ man, I
go from town to town.
Police make it hard wherever I may
And I ain’t got no home in this world
“My brothers and my sisters are
stranded on this road
It’s a hot and dusty road where a
million feet have trod.
Rich man took my home, and he
drove me from my door,
And I ain’t got no home in this world
“Was a farming on the shares and
always I was down,
My debts was so many my pay
wouldn’t go around.
My wife took down and died upon the
And I ain’t got no home in this world
“Now as I look around it’s very plain
This wide and wicked world is a
funny place to be,
The gambling man is rich and the
working man is poor.
And I ain’t got no home in this world
any more.”As an introduction to the Great Depression, we will begin by reading selected interview accounts from Studs Terkel’s Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, a fascinating and demographically inclusive compilation of personal recollections by survivors of the Great Depression nearly forty years later. Our longest and, no doubt, most familiar text will be John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath, “the powerful story of human dignity and spirit under the most desperate conditions,” as it vividly recounts the harrowing and heroic cross-country saga of the Joad family from the drought-ridden and dust-driven plains of western Oklahoma to the promise of a better life and fresh start in California, a novel that Steinbeck’s contemporary Dorothy Parker described as “the greatest American novel I have ever read,” an assessment still shared by many readers to this day. To situate Steinbeck’s landmark novel within a broader intertextual context, we will also read Steinbeck’s Harvest Gypsies, a series of seven newspaper articles on migrant workers in California written in 1936 (three years before the publication of The Grapes of Wrath) that gives “an eyewitness account of the horrendous Dust Bowl migration, a major event in California history, and provides the factual foundation for Steinbeck’s masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath.” In addition, we will read Jerry Stanley’s Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp, an account of the “Great Okie” migration from the “dust bowl” of the American Southwest to the presumably “greener pastures” of California, with a special focus on the establishment of a remarkably progressive and innovative school at a farm-labor camp (with which Steinbeck was intimately familiar) located outside the town of Arvin in the San Joaquin Valley in central California; Karen Hesse’s Newberry Award-winning young adult novel Out of the Dust, an “elegantly crafted and gut-wrenching” account of the “grim domestic realities of living during the years of constant dust storms” during the 1930s in rural Oklahoma, as recorded, in journal format, by the 14-year-old narrator-protagonist Billie Jo, who eventually decides “to flee the lingering ghosts and dust of her homestead and jump a train west, [only to discover] a simple but profound truth about herself and her plight”; Erroll Lincoln Uys’s Riding the Rails: Teenagers on the Move during the Great Depression, a gripping account of the danger, hardship, and adventure experienced by the nearly quarter of a million teenage hoboes roaming America during the height of the Great Depression; and, finally, Woody Guthrie’s Bound for Glory, an inspiring autobiographical account, which will be supplemented by early recordings of Guthrie’s “Dust Bowl Ballads,” of the author’s early years of “hard travelin’” during the process of which he discovers his vocation as a folk lyricist-performer in promoting, no less than John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath and Harvest Gypsies, social change and the dignity of the common man. While The Grapes of Wrath is the featured “centerpiece” of our course, the most prominent and sustained focus in our course will examine the impact of the Great Depression on American youth at the time. Thus, in addition to Jerry Stanley’s Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the Weedpatch Camp, Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust, Erroll Lincoln Uys’s Riding the Rails: Teenagers on the Move during the Great Depression, we will read selections from Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters from Children of the Great Depression, a sobering and often heart-wrenching compilation of correspondence addressed to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt that reveals “the physical and psychological burdens and fears visited upon the vast majority of American youth during their formative years in the 1930s”; Mildred Armstrong Kalish’s Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm during the Great Depression, the author’s fascinating and often humorous account of growing up on her grandparents’ Iowa farm during the depths of the Great Depression as well as a remarkable repository of “recipes and how-tos for everything from catching and skinning a rabbit to preparing homemade skin and hair beautifiers, apple cream pie, and the world’s best head cheese”; E.L. Doctorow’s World’s Fair, “a wonderfully moving and evocative novel of a boy growing up and a family surviving [in New York City] in the 1930s” that juxtaposes “the grim realities of the Great Depression” and “the indomitable hopes for the future as embodied in the wondrous exhibits of the  New York World’s Fair”; and, not least, Children of the Great Depression, a remarkable, often haunting anthology of photographs by such legendary Farm Security Administration photographers as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, and Arthur Rothstein.
I hope to make this class as casual and informal as possible. While I will provide a sense of guidance and structure, what matters most in the course is your thoughtful and meaningful interaction with and response to the assigned readings. The course will thus be slanted more toward informal discussion than formal lectures. To facilitate such discussion, I would emphasize the importance of reading critically; if you haven’t already developed the habit, learn to read with a pencil or pen—underlining key points/passages, raising questions, noting personal insights and perceptions, and identifying illuminating cross-references with other texts, the current arena of local, national, and international affairs, other academic courses you have taken, and, as relevant, your own personal history and experience. Required Texts in Order of Presentation: Terkel, Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression; Cohen, ed. Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters from Children of the Great Depression; Uys, Riding the Rails: Teenagers on the Move during the Great Depression; Hesse, Out of the Dust; Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath; Steinbeck, Harvest Gypsies; Stanley, Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Cam; Guthrie, Bound for Glory; Armstrong Kalish, Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm during the Great Depression; Thompson and MacAustin, eds., Children of the Great Depression; Doctorow, World’s Fair.
Senior Seminar: Intercultural Communication and Globalization
How does culture reveals itself?What is the basis of American culture? How do we define and understand the East-West and North/South divide? What is more important, who we are or what we do? Is time defined in the past, the present, or the future? These and many such questions will provide basic lens for tackling the concept of intercultural communication. This course will serve as an introduction to the core concepts, theories, and practices of communication across the globe. You will be exposed to major readings focusing on the key paradigms of thinking in intercultural communications:
- Cultural perceptions: ethnocentrism, racism, stereotyping, discriminations
- Cultural values, beliefs, communication styles
- Forms and models of intercultural communication, cultural dimensions, contexting and value orientation models, and notions of ‘-scapes’
- Language culture: importance and functions of NVC, kinesics, proxemics, and haptic
In addition to these core concepts, the course will also open up debates on cultural and social benefits of intercultural communications, diversity management, cultural relativism and pluralism.
Is the world flat? When did globalization begin? What are the impacts of dissolution of nation –states? How is dependency theory helpful to understand globalization? These and many such defining questions will lead our discussion on globalization. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how we as individuals are affected by globalizations on daily basis. From how we sit back and consume news to what we buy for our running shoes and everything in between will form the part of our classroom discussion. We will cover key concepts and terms like maquila industries, harmonization, Eurocentricism, biocapital, inew communication technologies, biopolitics, core and periphery nations, and international communication flows.
The primary aim of this course is to offer a broad groundwork to participate in the intercultural and globalization discourse that directly or indirectly shapes our everyday experience. By the end of this course, you will be in a position to critically react and analyze cultural products and processes that are conceived, designed, distributed, and used in globalized contexts.
Senior Seminar: The Phenomenon of Social Media in America
This course will explore social media considering the following ideological constructs: gender, age, race, and class. The course will also explore social media from an educational and professional communication perspective. To be sure, social media is also entertainment, but how are businesses and non-profit organizations harnessing the collective intelligence of others to bolster exposure, instigate cost-effective marketing, and publicity? How has the United States considered social media as compared to other countries in the world? What are the best uses of social media and where can social media disrupt professional communication strategies? Students will use social media and other Web 2.0 tools to present research and new media projects. Students are also required by the Professional Writing Program to put together a well-rounded portfolio that illustrates the breadth of one’s work while in our Professional Program here at UNCW.