English d150: Basic Writing | Writing Conventions Across Communities
Welcome to English d150. This course is designed to help you gain an understanding of how writing “rules” change across different situations and communities. Throughout the term, you will get the opportunity to study writing in at least two communities, one representative of academic writing, and one other community you choose yourself (which could be recreational, professional, social, etc.). By studying how the fundamental functions of writing (including mechanics, form, and conventions for borrowing) appear among these communities, you’ll also develop a knowledge of their conventions and the capability to be more effective in different writing situations.
English 101: Composition I | Habits of the Creative Mind
Composition I: Habits of the Creative Mind is a course designed to introduce you to college-level reading, writing, and thinking through sustained practice of eight habits of mind: Curiosity, Openness, Engagement, Creativity, Persistence, Responsibility, Flexibility, and Metacognition. These cognitive habits have been identified by experts in English and Writing Studies as crucial components of becoming a successful writer in college. More importantly, these habits will help you to become a more thoughtful, creative, and curious writer and thinker beyond your college experience. Working to develop and refine these habits will influence nearly all of the work we do in this course, and I want to invite you to open your mind to these new ways of thinking and being in the world. We will also pay attention, throughout the course, to certain writing concepts and skills, including but not limited to: rhetorical knowledge, genre awareness, the process of writing, research, and source work – that is, learning how to converse with others’ ideas in your own writing. A final central concept we will investigate will be the notion that writing conventions and expectations change as we, as writers, move across community and discipline. Welcome to Composition I. I look forward to reading your work and to listening to your ideas in our classroom discussions.
Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing: http://wpacouncil.org/framework
English 202: Composition II | Research, Information Literacy, and Democracy in the Age of Fake News
Composition II – Research, Information Literacy, and Democracy in the Age of Fake News – responds to the fake news phenomenon that emerged in the fall of 2016, at the height of a contentious presidential election and within a rapidly shifting media landscape. According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of U.S. adults now get their news from social media. For millennials and Generation Z, those who had access to Internet technology from a young age, this is hardly surprising. However, we are only beginning to realize how such a media landscape, in which social media giants and their sharing algorithms hold sway, will shape our access to and interaction with news and other information. Fake news websites, which intentionally publish misinformation or propaganda for financial or political purposes, are one such effect of this new landscape. Of course, research and information literacy are highly valuable skills in their own right – and the aim of this course is to help you improve your knowledge and practice of research as critical inquiry. We will discuss, learn, and write about what information literacy requires in the age of fake news. Finally, we will reflect on the importance of research knowledge and critical information literacy to a well-functioning democracy. Welcome to English 202! I look forward to reading your work.
English 220: Advanced Composition | Nonfiction Writing in Digital Media
A course in nonfiction and creative nonfiction, including study and practice of genres such as the magazine article and personal essay. We will pay particular attention to issues of style, form, and narrative strategy in the nonfiction essay, while also exploring how digital media open up new opportunities for these genres. As I have formal training in both creative writing and composition, we will employ hybrid methods from both disciplines for practicing, discussing, and improving your writing. Be prepared to discuss and apply conceptual knowledge on rhetoric, genre, style, voice, and process; share your writing in peer review and workshop activities; and use class time for writing exercises and discussion of published essays. You will also be expected to lead one class discussion of a published essay. I ask that you take an open-minded and experimental attitude concerning technology as we will explore how writing in digital media can allow us to reach a broader audience and work with modes of communication beyond print text. Welcome to English 220. I look forward to reading your work.
English 3060j: Women & Writing | Women Writing in Digital Spaces
This course explores the ways in which new media and digital geographies both open up new possibilities and create new challenges for women writing in public spaces. We will examine the ways in which women have used digital media to create new kinds of writing, and also the backlash against women speaking in digital spaces through movements such as Gamergate. We will also look at, and work to remediate, the under-representation of women and LGBTQA persons in online forums such as Wikipedia. As fulfillment of the junior composition requirement, this course is also focused on helping you become a better writer. In my time teaching writing, I’ve learned that that happens when you begin to understand writing as a tool through which we mediate (influence) our daily social realities (including our identities, thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs). I can help you become more aware of how this works by asking you to pay attention to how writing and writers are always affected by a number of factors, including: different forms of digital and analog media; social communities, both f2f and online; rhetorical goals/purposes (what reader and writer hope to accomplish), the genres being used, and the audiences being addressed and invoked.
English 3080j: Writing & Rhetoric II | Digital Rhetorics and Literacies
The design of this course emerges from the assumption that learning writing and rhetoric in the 21st century should include digital literacies that innovations in technology over the last 30 years have brought about. The goals for this course are centered on improving our writing, reading, and critical thinking abilities, but we will also consider what it means to be “literate” during this time in history when texts, and they ways we write and read them, are undergoing massive changes. To accomplish this we’ll read and write frequently to both increase our understanding of digital literacies and practice them, using new media and web technologies for writing projects. One central idea that will be a common thread throughout the course is the notion that texts and the writing technologies used to produce them are tools that influence our social lives, feelings, behaviors, even identities. We’re also going to start thinking about texts as more than just printed words on the page. As digital technologies develop and become more widely available, texts are increasingly including image, video, and modes of organization that go beyond the traditional. Projects in this course include a rhetorical analysis of the production of cultural and racial identity in video game environments, a personal essay written from your social media feeds, a group “hacktivist” project that endorses a social or cultural activism agenda, and a reflective essay on how you’ve come to understand digital literacy by the end of the course.
English 3080j: Writing & Rhetoric II | Writing in Wikipedia
Rather than ban or ignore it, this course invites you to learn about and practice writing by observing, analyzing, and contributing to Wikipedia. The encyclopedia has a lot to teach us, it turns out, about research, writing, collaboration, genre, authorship, and digital rhetoric—the way new media forms influence texts, and the author/audience relationship. Yet for all it can teach us, and in spite of its success, Wikipedia is still a work in progress. This course will ask you to critique and update the encyclopedia’s coverage of a subject that we all have access to, if not immediate experience with: the representation of Appalachia, and its related issues and identities. In doing so, we’ll also be studying how the encyclopedia, in its attempt to be “universal,” often leaves out or fails to represent regional and local culture. Our practical goal for this aspect of the course is to improve the encyclopedia’s representation of Appalachia, its people, places, art, etc. But we’ll also “zoom out” to think about some broader implications for understanding identity, rhetoric, and writing. How, for instance, does mainstream media perpetuate negative stereotypes about certain identities and regional cultures? How are these stereotypes circulated and promoted? How might they be reversed or dealt with? Finally, how can participation in Wikipedia serve some of these goals? Let’s find out together.
English 3840j: Writing, Reading, and Rhetoric in the Professions
Welcome to Writing in the Professions. This course invites you to learn more about how writing works in general and in your chosen profession. I designed the course with the understanding that texts are very much influenced by the social, material, political, and economic conditions of the environments in which they emerge. The psychological assessment written by a mental health counselor, for example, has very different goals and appears within a different set of circumstances—as defined by the professional community— than does the patient report written by an E.R. nurse. This makes it difficult to talk about what makes all forms or instances of professional writing “good” because “good” can change from profession to profession and situation to situation. Accordingly, instead of studying arbitrary rules about good writing in general, in this course you will study how writing actually works and what you need to know about your profession to be a successful writer in that particular community.This process entails studying some writing theory— through which you’ll gain the terminology and metaknowledge to understand how writing works and how to transfer that writing knowledge to different writing tasks. In particular we’ll be focusing a lot of time and energy on concepts of genre and discourse community, concepts which will help you understand how writing is always influenced by environmental factors. We’ll also do some more practical work, like creating a resume and cover letter. I will ask you to read and write quite a bit in this course, but I also expect that you’ll gain some valuable knowledge about writing in your field.
English 614: Critical Pedagogy in English Education
English 614: Critical Pedagogy in English Education serves as an M.A.-level introduction to critical pedagogy in English Studies (defined broadly as comprising English Education, TESOL, Literary and Cultural Studies, and Rhetoric and Composition). In this course we will work towards two central goals. First, we will increase our knowledge and understanding of theories and issues in critical pedagogy, including: critical theory and educational practice; issues of class, capitalism, and neoliberalism; critical race theory; gender, sexuality, and queer theory; disability and access/ibility; language; and the politics of digital culture. Second, we will apply this new knowledge as we work towards course projects in three broad areas: pedagogical design, digital intervention, and research inquiry. In addition to weekly reading and informal writing assignments, students will (1) design unit consisting of a major assignment and supporting lessons, readings, and activities for a specific educational context, (2) work in small groups to engage in a public, digital intervention project that promotes a social justice goal or agenda, and (3) conduct exploratory research on a topic related to critical pedagogy. Our classroom discussions and activities, finally, will also seek to highlight specific practices relevant to critical pedagogy and the creation of ethical and equitable educational spaces and methods.
English 730: Teaching Writing
English 730 serves as an M.A. level introduction to teaching college writing. In this course we will work towards two central goals. First, we will increase our knowledge and understanding of current concepts, theories, and issues in writing studies – especially those that are immediately applicable to the teaching of general-education, college composition. Second, we will apply this new knowledge to the practical work of curriculum development and other teaching practices – syllabus design, lesson planning, assignment development and assessment work. These two central goals, disciplinary knowledge and practical experience, will guide all of the work we do. But they will also allow us to explore multiple approaches to the teaching of college writing, and to think about how teachers adapt and evolve their pedagogies to account for cultural, educational, and technological shifts. Finally, we will pay special attention to the ways in which new digital technologies have opened up opportunities for the teaching of writing. Welcome to English 730. I look forward to reading your work and listening to your ideas in our discussions.
Syllabus: English 730: Teaching Writing
English 808: Technology & Literacy
English 808: Technology & Literacy examines how the notion of literacy has evolved with the advent of advanced computer technologies and computer-mediated communication in the 20th and 21st centuries. Our approach will involve both theoretical and practical engagement with technology and literacy and will cross fields and subfields of English, including literacy studies, computers and writing, digital rhetoric, and digital humanities. We will introduce and frame much of the course content around theories of mediation, the idea that technologies and new forms of media are tools that mediate and shape our everyday interactions with the world, that come with certain affordances and constraints that both allow and disallow certain realities. Digital literacy involves both an understanding of the ways that technologies shape writing, pedagogy, and culture and thorough engagement in actual practice and use of technology for scholarship, teaching, and public work. In this course we will read and engage with scholarship in literacy studies, computers and writing, digital rhetoric, and digital humanities in order to broaden our knowledge of literacy and technology and develop our own research interests. We will examine topics such as: Media and mediation theory; Characteristics, affordances, and constraints of new media (Innis, Ong, McLuhan); Digital identity production through/in new media and digital interfaces (Vie); Social interaction in digital culture and communities; Digital affinity spaces (Gee); Rhetorical methods for uncovering and interrogating ideologies and cultural formation in rhetorical work (Eyman); Theories of multimodality (Kress and van Leeuwen); Multimodality in composition (Ball, Yancey); Critical digital literacy; Collaboration and peer production: Technology and pedagogy
Syllabus: English 808: Technology & Literacy
English 831: Multicultural Rhetorical Traditions
English 831: Rhetorical Traditions serves as a multicultural introduction to rhetoric, rhetorical theory, and rhetorical history. Rhetoric has been predominantly and historically identified as a Western (Greco-Roman) domain, one in which male voices figure/d prominently. This course seeks to challenge and disrupt such identification, through a re-visioning of rhetoric as it is practiced and understood by voices outside dominant discourses. To that end, while we will read some classical texts by figures such as Plato and Aristotle, we will take a comparative approach that examines rhetoric in ancient cultures beyond the Greek tradition. Furthermore, by exploring contemporary theories, practices, and applications, we will work to validate traditionally marginalized voices and identities. We will pay special attention to the ways in which feminist rhetorical practices allow us to rethink rhetoric, and the ways in which digital technologies are shaping new methods of rhetoric and communication. Finally, throughout the course we will ground our study of rhetoric in its application to the teaching of writing.