Fall 2018 Courses

WR 12100: Growing as a Writer

Critical Reading and Writing in the Disciplines
Prof. Nicole MacLaughlin
WR 12200-01 / Days and Times TBD

Course description coming soon.

WR 12200: Writing and Rhetoric Tutorial

Critical Reading and Writing in the Disciplines
Prof. Nicole MacLaughlin / Prof. Damian Zurro
WR 12200-01, 02, and 03 / Days and Times TBD

Students enrolled in Critical Reading and Writing in the Disciplines will have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Writing and Rhetoric 13100, 13200, or 13300. WR 12100 helps students apply rigorous reading and writing strategies in the context of challenging courses across the disciplines. Consisting of two weekly one-on-one sessions and one weekly small-group instruction session, this course offers intensive practice analyzing disciplinary readings and writing assignments. Students will receive individual instruction on how to apply professors’ feedback, and they will learn ethical practices for citation and collaboration. Enrollment by departmental approval.

WR 12300: Advanced Writing and Rhetoric Tutorial

Critical Thinking and English Academic Writing
Prof. Nicole MacLaughlin / Prof. Damian Zurro
WR 12300-01 and 02 / Days and Times TBD

Students enrolled in WR 12200 will have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Writing and Rhetoric 13100, 13200, or 13300. This course will offer strategies for successful written and verbal communication in the English academic context. Students will learn critical thinking practices, developing their capacity for thinking like a scholar in the context of different disciplines. Consisting of one weekly one-on-one instruction session and one weekly guided small-group session, this course helps students to develop an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses and to realize their potential as academic writers. Enrollment by departmental approval.

WR 13100: Writing and Rhetoric

 

Writing and Rhetoric

Prof. Talisha Haltiwanger Morrison

WR13100-01 / TR 2:00 - 3:15

 

This course takes a rhetorical approach to analysis, research, and argumentation. In it we will focus on studying events and issues from multiple perspectives, acknowledging that there are more than two sides to a story and considering how a story may change depending on who is telling it and when. Our rhetorical lens leads us to examine the author/speaker's purpose, audience, and context. In this course, we will think about the author’s own biases, his/her/their audiences, and our own. We will consider the viewpoints of various stakeholders who may have something to lose or gain in a given matter. Together, we’ll look at instances in which reality or "truth" is complicated or hard to discern, as well as instances in which the perspective taken fails to see or intentionally distorts it through logical fallacy. This analytical approach calls us to give attention to privileges and prejudices within a given perspective. We'll examine multiple stakeholder perspectives to better understand the complexity of the issues important to our lives and world. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric

Prof. Jessica Shumake

WR13100-02 / TR 9:30 - 10:45

 

In this course you will practice inquiry, reflection, invention, and revision. You will learn how to use stylistic conventions for a variety of situations, recognize established and emergent argument forms, offer evidence, and consider alternative perspectives. Throughout the semester you will select an audience, purpose, and context for the questions you ask and the provisional answers you offer. Questions concerning the obligations writers have to their readers and speakers have to their listeners will enable you to distinguish better from worse practices for ethical communication with your intended audience.

By the end of the course, you will be able to field questions such as: What are the uses of rhetoric? What must one know to create meaning and achieve one's purpose in specific contexts? How do I incorporate research and others' interpretations into my writing? What does it mean to become rhetorical? Finally, we will engage with the questions that emerge when analyzing and evaluating different styles of writing and different ways of structuring an argument, which pulls in some or all of the habits of mind that are at the heart of studying what it means to write well. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetoric, Ethics, and Cultural Community 

Prof. Elizabeth Capdevielle   

WR13100-04 / MWF 9:25 - 10:15

 

This writing studio course includes guided discussions, intensive workshops, extensive drafting processes, and one-on-one conferences with the professor, all designed to help students sharpen their rhetorical skills and put them to good use in university-level academic writing. Student professionalism is essential in this fun, challenging, and highly focused collaborative environment, as we study the messages that shape our culture today. Assignments and discussions address a wide variety of topics, from politics to commercial advertising to science. Each student completes a major research paper project, developing an original question on a topic that suits his or her own interests and values, while becoming comfortable using an academic research library. Along with taking a leadership role in discussion, each student also practices public speaking by presenting original research in a formal talk. We complete the course with final reflections on rhetoric and ethics in our cultural communities. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetoric, Ethics, and Cultural Community

Prof. Elizabeth Capdevielle 

WR13100-05 / MWF 2:00 - 2:50

 

This writing studio course includes guided discussions, intensive workshops, extensive drafting processes, and one-on-one conferences with the professor, all designed to help students sharpen their rhetorical skills and put them to good use in university-level academic writing. Student professionalism is essential in this fun, challenging, and highly focused collaborative environment, as we study the messages that shape our culture today. Assignments and discussions address a wide variety of topics, from politics to commercial advertising to science. Each student completes a major research paper project, developing an original question on a topic that suits his or her own interests and values, while becoming comfortable using an academic research library. Along with taking a leadership role in discussion, each student also practices public speaking by presenting original research in a formal talk. We complete the course with final reflections on rhetoric and ethics in our cultural communities. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Propaganda and the Rhetoric of Our Lives   

Prof. Kurt McGee 

WR13100-06 / MWF 10:30 - 11:20

 

A particularly cynical view of the world suggests that everything around us is propaganda. If we consider that propaganda is any information designed to promote a point of view, then this describes political campaigns and news sources, but also advertisements, entertainment, and, yes, course descriptions. Is propaganda always bad? Is it possible to escape it? Through a series of papers and seminar discussions we will practice defining, interpreting, and learning to recognize the subtle and not-so-subtle forms that propaganda takes, from World War II posters and ethical treatises to political ads and Reddit memes. Our syllabus will include daily readings, weekly writing responses, a few smaller papers, and a final research paper that will ask you to argue a particular idea at length. The through line of all our endeavors will be the principles of the art of rhetoric, and we will spend considerable time examining the techniques and ethics of this ancient, but continually relevant discipline. Ultimately our goals are to become more competent writers, more sympathetic classmates and colleagues, and more tolerant but assertive citizens of a world always trying to persuade us. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Food & Culture 

Prof. Emily McLemore

WR13100-07 / MWF 12:50 - 1:40


Each of us has an intimate relationship with food. It's not something we merely consume for energy but an entity that reflects and shapes our opinions and values, ethics and beliefs, identity and culture. As we explore the relationships between food and culture, we will engage with an array of topics, issues, and ideas connected to how people eat, think, and live. We will examine a variety of texts themed around food that will help students learn to read critically, argue both ethically and effectively, and write productively. 

This course focuses on teaching students how to craft compelling arguments; it provides instruction in various methods of persuasion and the development of research skills. Because successful argumentation requires meaningful attention to others' ideas, students will learn how to navigate multiple perspectives, so they can confidently and convincingly articulate their own ideas alongside those of others. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their own creative, writing-based project in addition to a traditional research paper. Whether you're interested in food's connection to heritage or health, social responsibility or global sustainability – or simply fancy yourself a "foodie" – this course makes your interests accessible, while sharpening your rhetorical awareness and writing skills. 

Writing and Rhetoric: The Rhetoric of the Anthropocene 
Prof. Julian Dean
WR13100-08 / MWF 8:20 - 9:10


Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winning chemist, has recently announced that we have entered a new geological age: the Anthropocene. The term, derived from the Greek roots for man and age, signifies that humanity has taken over as the largest determining factor on the environment. Through the prism of the Anthropocene students will learn to read and make arguments in a sound and, more importantly, ethical manner. They will learn not only to listen but to hear the other side of an argument. Furthermore, they will learn that an argument is not a competition but an opportunity for mutual development. They will develop these skills through class discussions and more formal writing assignments. These papers will not only help to develop the aforementioned rhetorical skills, but will also help students develop their writing skills. Leaving this class, students will be ready to both analyze and wield rhetoric, to write formal compositions, and to engage in ethical discussions on the Anthropocene and any other topic they choose to engage. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric 

Prof. Jessica Shumake   

WR 13100-09 / TR 12:30- 1:45

 

In this course you will practice inquiry, reflection, invention, and revision. You will learn how to use stylistic conventions for a variety of situations, recognize established and emergent argument forms, offer evidence, and consider alternative perspectives. Throughout the semester you will select an audience, purpose, and context for the questions you ask and the provisional answers you offer. Questions concerning the obligations writers have to their readers and speakers have to their listeners will enable you to distinguish better from worse practices for ethical communication with your intended audience.

By the end of the course, you will be able to field questions such as: What are the uses of rhetoric? What must one know to create meaning and achieve one's purpose in specific contexts? How do I incorporate research and others' interpretations into my writing? What does it mean to become rhetorical? Finally, we will engage with the questions that emerge when analyzing and evaluating different styles of writing and different ways of structuring an argument, which pulls in some or all of the habits of mind that are at the heart of studying what it means to write well. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetorics of the Digital

Prof. Nathaniel Myers

WR13100-10 / TR 3:30 - 4:45

 

Is it possible that, by the time you finish college, a machine will be able to write essays better than you, your classmates, and your professors? Well, not likely for any of us--and yet, we live in a world where this situation doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility. Already it is clear that our digital world exerts a powerful effect on us, such that we seem as much tools of our computers and iPhones as they are tools for us. We live our lives through an Instagram filter, in the 140-character tweet, and with a 10-second Snapchat video. In this course, we will consider the rhetorics of our digital world and the literacies (visual, digital, information) we require to negotiate that world, literacies we are already, however unwittingly, quite skilled in. Alongside text-based scholarship, we will draw on film, video essays, and other media platforms to formulate our own claims, discussion, and writing around topics like new media, information literacy and "post-truth" culture, and digital-born composition and argumentation. Assignments will include a visual analysis paper, a research paper focusing on the aforementioned topics, and a final assignment that integrates personal narrative with digital-born argument.  

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Academic Argument and Persuasion 

Prof. Kaden Ivy      

WR13100-11 / TR 9:30 - 10:45

 

When we think of the word "argument," our minds may conceive of something negative, such as a disagreement with a loved one, a political debate on Capitol Hill, or a frustrating comment war on social media. In the traditional sense, though, the act of argument doesn't have to be--and indeed shouldn't be--a negative experience but one that, with the right tools, we can approach with confidence and maybe even enjoy. At its most basic, argument is persuasion, and good argument seeks to persuade effectively and ethically. When taken together, argument and persuasion define for our purposes the field and art of rhetoric. Though it may take several forms, good argument and persuasion--in other words, the effective use of rhetoric--is the essential pursuit and intended practice of academic life across all scholarly disciplines. But we also encounter rhetoric once we leave the classroom, in every context from social media and advertisements to the movies we see and the music we enjoy. In this course, we will explore and practice the art of rhetoric--that is, the use of argument and persuasion--primarily, but not exclusively, in the context of academic writing. Our collective goals will be to learn from and enlighten one another through analytical reading, critical thinking, spirited but respectful discussion, and, ultimately, effective and original academic writing about pertinent topics.  

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetorics of the Digital          

Prof. Nathaniel Myers        

WR13100-13 / TR 12:30 - 1:45

 

Is it possible that, by the time you finish college, a machine will be able to write essays better than you, your classmates, and your professors? Well, not likely for any of us--and yet, we live in a world where this situation doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility. Already it is clear that our digital world exerts a powerful effect on us, such that we seem as much tools of our computers and iPhones as they are tools for us. We live our lives through an Instagram filter, in the 140-character tweet, and with a 10-second Snapchat video. In this course, we will consider the rhetorics of our digital world and the literacies (visual, digital, information) we require to negotiate that world, literacies we are already, however unwittingly, quite skilled in. Alongside text-based scholarship, we will draw on film, video essays, and other media platforms to formulate our own claims, discussion, and writing around topics like new media, information literacy and "post-truth" culture, and digital-born composition and argumentation. Assignments will include a visual analysis paper, a research paper focusing on the aforementioned topics, and a final assignment that integrates personal narrative with digital-born argument. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetorics of the Digital          

Prof. Nathaniel Myers 

WR13100-14 / TR 2:00 - 3:15
 

Is it possible that, by the time you finish college, a machine will be able to write essays better than you, your classmates, and your professors? Well, not likely for any of us--and yet, we live in a world where this situation doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility. Already it is clear that our digital world exerts a powerful effect on us, such that we seem as much tools of our computers and iPhones as they are tools for us. We live our lives through an Instagram filter, in the 140-character tweet, and with a 10-second Snapchat video. In this course, we will consider the rhetorics of our digital world and the literacies (visual, digital, information) we require to negotiate that world, literacies we are already, however unwittingly, quite skilled in. Alongside text-based scholarship, we will draw on film, video essays, and other media platforms to formulate our own claims, discussion, and writing around topics like new media, information literacy and "post-truth" culture, and digital-born composition and argumentation. Assignments will include a visual analysis paper, a research paper focusing on the aforementioned topics, and a final assignment that integrates personal narrative with digital-born argument.
 

Writing and Rhetoric 

Prof. Talisha Haltiwanger Morrison 

WR13100-15 / TR 3:30 - 4:45

This course takes a rhetorical approach to analysis, research, and argumentation. In it we will focus on studying events and issues from multiple perspectives, acknowledging that there are more than two sides to a story and considering how a story may change depending on who is telling it and when. Our rhetorical lens leads us to examine the author/speaker's purpose, audience, and context. In this course, we will think about the author's own biases, his/her/their audiences, and our own. We will consider the viewpoints of various stakeholders who may have something to lose or gain in a given matter. Together, we'll look at instances in which reality or "truth" is complicated or hard to discern, as well as instances in which the perspective taken fails to see or intentionally distorts it through logical fallacy. This analytical approach calls us to give attention to privileges and prejudices within a given perspective. We'll examine multiple stakeholder perspectives to better understand the complexity of the issues important to our lives and world.

Writing and Rhetoric 
Prof. Jessica Shumake   
WR13100-19 / TR 11:00 - 12:15

In this course you will practice inquiry, reflection, invention, and revision. You will learn how to use stylistic conventions for a variety of situations, recognize established and emergent argument forms, offer evidence, and consider alternative perspectives. Throughout the semester you will select an audience, purpose, and context for the questions you ask and the provisional answers you offer. Questions concerning the obligations writers have to their readers and speakers have to their listeners will enable you to distinguish better from worse practices for ethical communication with your intended audience.

By the end of the course, you will be able to field questions such as: What are the uses of rhetoric? What must one know to create meaning and achieve one's purpose in specific contexts? How do I incorporate research and others' interpretations into my writing? What does it mean to become rhetorical? Finally, we will engage with the questions that emerge when analyzing and evaluating different styles of writing and different ways of structuring an argument, which pulls in some or all of the habits of mind that are at the heart of studying what it means to write well.

WR 13200: Community-Based Writing and Rhetoric

Community-Based Writing and Rhetoric
Prof. Ed Kelly
WR13200-03 / TR 11:00 - 12:15

I ask students to build community both within and without the classroom, that is, to be attentive to and responsible for one another and the community members whom they serve. In class--through reading, writing, and discussion--we’ll focus on issues related to social justice (particularly criminal justice) and on the skills needed to build rhetorically strong arguments. Outside class, students can choose to serve at either Imani Unidad, a peer-to-peer counseling center for formerly incarcerated men and women, or the Dismas House, a venue committed to helping the formerly incarcerated re-enter society. Each requires about a two-and-one-half hour time commitment one night a week for ten to twelve weeks. In addition to argumentative essays, I require students to write critical reflections on their service experience. Interested in exploring and serving the common good? Sign up.

WR 13300: Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric


Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: The Rhetoric of Right Now      

Prof. Leanne MacDonald   

WR13300-01 / TR 3:30 - 4:45

 

In an era in which a six-character hashtag can radically alter public behavior around sexual misconduct, people too young to vote can bring a gun policy debate to the national stage within days, and natural wonders have begun to disappear, there is a renewed sense of urgency for writers to document, explore, and even shape the society we live in. Although journalism is in many ways under threat, the task of reading and writing about the world we live in is as important as ever. As we consider how writers respond to the changing social landscape and enhance their arguments through the media-specific tools at their disposal, we will practice some of these strategies by creating projects in a variety of media, including podcasts, visual essays, and print. As the world continues to shift throughout the semester, we will document and explore the significance of the popular culture, politics, and current events that define our current moment. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Laura Ortiz Mercado 

WR13300-02 / MWF 9:25 - 10:15

 

Whether you love or hate popular culture, it is undoubtedly an integral part of everyone's life. Books, films, commercials, television shows, video games, internet memes, social network, music . . . all play a central role in our social, ethical, and intellectual formation. Using films and TV shows like Doctor Who, Harry Potter, the Marvel universe and other fandoms, as well as social media platforms, this course aims to discuss how compositions of skillful rhetoric and persuasive writing mix storytelling and social commentaries, not only providing a message of hope but encouraging action. Some of the questions that will be discussed are: What is the difference between persuasion and manipulation? How do these fandoms, and the community created based on them, impact the quest for social justice? How is language used successfully (or not) in these different mediums?  

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Abigail Burns

WR13300-03 / MWF 10:30 - 11:20

 

Given the explosion of social movement and protest activity in recent years, ranging from young undocumented immigrants marching in support of DACA to ongoing protests against police abuse and injustice, there has never been a better time for the study of social movements, dissent, and protest. This course will examine the role of rhetoric in bringing about social change while building critical writing, thinking, and research skills. Students will take a critical look at the rhetorical strategies that are used across various forms of media by social movements to challenge established norms, values, symbols, and hierarchical relationships. We will ask fundamental questions such as what constitutes a social movement? What function(s) do social movements serve? And what makes a social movement effective or successful?

As we examine everything from speeches to hashtags, marches to boycotts, and petitions to graffiti, we will work toward two interconnected objectives: 1) to build the analytical and reading skills necessary to be attentive, critical, and ethical community members, and 2) to develop strategies to produce clear, concise, and compelling texts across various forms of media. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: Analyzing Media Arguments     

Prof. Sarah Snider  

WR13300-04 / MWF 10:30 - 11:20

 

How do media speak to us, and how do we talk back? In today’s media culture, we are constantly participating as both receivers and senders of messages in a variety of textual formats. In this course, we will analyze the ways in which different forms of media text put forth their messages, or rhetorical arguments, diving into various forms of communication including essays, speeches, oral storytelling, open letters, documentary theater, television, film, graphic novel, podcasts, visual art, and social media. We will examine both the messages and methodology of these texts in an interrogation of how the form shapes the argument, and how the argument shapes the form. In asking questions such as ‘Who is the audience for this text?’ and ‘How is this text constructed for its audience?’ we will begin to form our own theories about multimedia argumentation and the ethical implications behind the arguments. Through recognizing the ways in which arguments appear in media all around us, we will come to understand that writing is not limited to the page—and that our words matter. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: Analyzing Media Arguments

Prof. Sarah Snider  

WR13300-05 / MWF 11:30 - 12:20

 

How do media speak to us, and how do we talk back? In today’s media culture, we are constantly participating as both receivers and senders of messages in a variety of textual formats. In this course, we will analyze the ways in which different forms of media text put forth their messages, or rhetorical arguments, diving into various forms of communication including essays, speeches, oral storytelling, open letters, documentary theater, television, film, graphic novel, podcasts, visual art, and social media. We will examine both the messages and methodology of these texts in an interrogation of how the form shapes the argument, and how the argument shapes the form. In asking questions such as ‘Who is the audience for this text?’ and ‘How is this text constructed for its audience?’ we will begin to form our own theories about multimedia argumentation and the ethical implications behind the arguments. Through recognizing the ways in which arguments appear in media all around us, we will come to understand that writing is not limited to the page—and that our words matter. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: The Call to Write      

Prof. Joanna Lin Want 

WR13300-06 / TR 9:30 - 10:45

 

What do an Instagram post, philosophy paper, yelp review, lab report, and college application essay have in common? They are all genres of writing, some of which you may already be an expert at composing. We'll start the course by recognizing what you already know about writing and rhetoric, which is a lot. Most of us write every day, whether for school, extracurricular activities, or a job. In each case, we answer a "call to write," which may originate from external demands or from an internally felt desire to change situations we care about. Using genre, rhetorical situation, and rhetorical virtues as guiding concepts, we'll build upon your previous knowledge as we craft a framework for successfully navigating writing situations at the university and beyond. To this end, we'll study instances when writers have effectively responded to the call to write in ways powerful, creative, or unconventional. Throughout the semester, using a variety of modalities and media, you will compose and share texts intended to persuade and influence others. By semester's end, you will have gained a better understanding of what you, as a resourceful and ethical writer, can accomplish when you answer the call to write. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: Analyzing Media Arguments     

Prof. Sarah Snider  

WR13300-07 / MWF 12:50 - 1:40

 

How do media speak to us, and how do we talk back? In today’s media culture, we are constantly participating as both receivers and senders of messages in a variety of textual formats. In this course, we will analyze the ways in which different forms of media text put forth their messages, or rhetorical arguments, diving into various forms of communication including essays, speeches, oral storytelling, open letters, documentary theater, television, film, graphic novel, podcasts, visual art, and social media. We will examine both the messages and methodology of these texts in an interrogation of how the form shapes the argument, and how the argument shapes the form. In asking questions such as ‘Who is the audience for this text?’ and ‘How is this text constructed for its audience?’ we will begin to form our own theories about multimedia argumentation and the ethical implications behind the arguments. Through recognizing the ways in which arguments appear in media all around us, we will come to understand that writing is not limited to the page—and that our words matter. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Erin McLaughlin       

WR13300-08 / TR 11:00 - 12:15

 

This course is an introduction to writing, rhetoric, and research. Though each of these terms can be defined in numerous ways, we will focus most carefully on writing as a process of constructing meaning with symbols, rhetoric as the craft of using those symbols to achieve an argumentative purpose, and research as a process of investigation and analysis. While these concepts have long been cornerstones of liberal arts education, digital culture and media continue to transform the ways we experience writing, rhetoric, and research in the 21st Century. This course will explore these intersections between rhetorical theory and contemporary media, with particular attention toward the role of humor in public argument. While satire and comedy continue to be championed as important forms of non-violent rhetoric, instances such as the January 2015 shootings at the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo reveal the underlying seriousness and risk involved with deploying humor as argument. Such cases reveal, too, the import of medium to message and the role that social media continues to play in shaping, circulating, and archiving public debate. Throughout the term, students will analyze and produce arguments across a variety of media platforms, including audio, video, blogs, photography, posters, infographics, and traditional print. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: Aristotelian Arguments in a Digital Age     

Prof. Patrick Clauss          

WR13300-09 / TR 12:30 - 1:45

 

Two thousand years ago, someone wanting to share a message--to influence others--had a rather limited set of options: That person could write a letter, shout in a public place, or perhaps send up smoke signals. Today, communicators have an unprecedented number of options, including television, radio, cell phones, YouTube, Twitter . . . the list goes on. Available media have exploded in recent years. However, have the fundamental components of the messages themselves also changed? What about ethical argument methods and structures--have they changed, too? Finally, what might we learn about digital arguments, for instance, from Aristotle’s classic On Rhetoric? Such questions will guide our work this semester as we investigate the ways humans use (and misuse) symbols, like language, to influence others in the 21st century. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Erin McLaughlin    

WR13300-10 / TR 12:30 - 1:45

 

This course is an introduction to writing, rhetoric, and research. Though each of these terms can be defined in numerous ways, we will focus most carefully on writing as a process of constructing meaning with symbols, rhetoric as the craft of using those symbols to achieve an argumentative purpose, and research as a process of investigation and analysis. While these concepts have long been cornerstones of liberal arts education, digital culture and media continue to transform the ways we experience writing, rhetoric, and research in the 21st Century. This course will explore these intersections between rhetorical theory and contemporary media, with particular attention toward the role of humor in public argument. While satire and comedy continue to be championed as important forms of non-violent rhetoric, instances such as the January 2015 shootings at the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo reveal the underlying seriousness and risk involved with deploying humor as argument. Such cases reveal, too, the import of medium to message and the role that social media continues to play in shaping, circulating, and archiving public debate. Throughout the term, students will analyze and produce arguments across a variety of media platforms, including audio, video, blogs, photography, posters, infographics, and traditional print. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: Aristotelian Arguments in a Digital Age      

Prof. Patrick Clauss           

WR13300-11 / TR 2:00 - 3:15

 

Two thousand years ago, someone wanting to share a message--to influence others--had a rather limited set of options: That person could write a letter, shout in a public place, or perhaps send up smoke signals. Today, communicators have an unprecedented number of options, including television, radio, cell phones, YouTube, Twitter . . . the list goes on. Available media have exploded in recent years. However, have the fundamental components of the messages themselves also changed? What about ethical argument methods and structures--have they changed, too? Finally, what might we learn about digital arguments, for instance, from Aristotle’s classic On Rhetoric? Such questions will guide our work this semester as we investigate the ways humans use (and misuse) symbols, like language, to influence others in the 21st century. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Erin McLaughlin 

WR13300-12 / TR 9:30 - 10:45

 

This course is an introduction to writing, rhetoric, and research. Though each of these terms can be defined in numerous ways, we will focus most carefully on writing as a process of constructing meaning with symbols, rhetoric as the craft of using those symbols to achieve an argumentative purpose, and research as a process of investigation and analysis. While these concepts have long been cornerstones of liberal arts education, digital culture and media continue to transform the ways we experience writing, rhetoric, and research in the 21st Century. This course will explore these intersections between rhetorical theory and contemporary media, with particular attention toward the role of humor in public argument. While satire and comedy continue to be championed as important forms of non-violent rhetoric, instances such as the January 2015 shootings at the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo reveal the underlying seriousness and risk involved with deploying humor as argument. Such cases reveal, too, the import of medium to message and the role that social media continues to play in shaping, circulating, and archiving public debate. Throughout the term, students will analyze and produce arguments across a variety of media platforms, including audio, video, blogs, photography, posters, infographics, and traditional print. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Shinjini Chattopadhyay

WR13300-13 / TR 5:05 - 6:20

 

As we encounter a variety of texts--books, film, music, advertising, theatre, social media--we are inundated by knowledge and information. Michel Foucault has pointed out that the production of knowledge is associated with making a claim for power. Therefore, whenever we come across media and texts as sources of knowledge, we get enmeshed in networks of power. In this class, you will learn to read and write in a manner that will showcase your effective curation of knowledge and enable you to negotiate your own power position. You will navigate through print, audio, and visual texts and read critically how the power relation between producers and consumers of knowledge is determined by the media platform, generic convention, and rhetorical design of the argument. While examining the texts you will replicate those strategies in your own writings across various media forms to generate comprehensive, ethical, and persuasive arguments and to make an effective intervention in the power/knowledge complex. As the class will refine your faculties of mindful reading, critical thinking, and efficacious writing, you will be able to form a conscious engagement with the rhetoric of texts across disciplines.  

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetorics of Origins      

Prof. Sara Judy      

WR13300-14 / MWF 8:20 - 9:10

 

We live in a culture obsessed with origins. Consider the availability of at-home genetics tests like 23andMe, or family tree generators, like Ancestry.com; consider mass market food advertising, which suggests that all the food we buy is grown on bucolic farms, or that our bottled water comes from pure mountain streams; even consider the popularity of superhero action movies that tell “origin stories.” Origins are a powerful rhetorical tool in the arguments we consume, and the arguments we create. Analyzing origins is a challenge that is only compounded in the contemporary landscape, where ideas are spread at inconceivable speeds. This class is designed to help students navigate the argumentative strategies of the digital age to become both adept, responsible consumers of arguments, and skilled, ethical producers of arguments. Throughout the term, students will analyze a variety of texts, including audio, video, visual art, digital media, and traditional print. Informed by our discussions about the origin of arguments and the rhetoric of origins, students will have the opportunity to create their own persuasive arguments in one or more of these media. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: The Call to Write      

Prof. Joanna Lin Want 

WR13300-17 / TR 11:00 - 12:15

 

What do an Instagram post, philosophy paper, yelp review, lab report, and college application essay have in common? They are all genres of writing, some of which you may already be an expert at composing. We'll start the course by recognizing what you already know about writing and rhetoric, which is a lot. Most of us write every day, whether for school, extracurricular activities, or a job. In each case, we answer a "call to write," which may originate from external demands or from an internally felt desire to change situations we care about. Using genre, rhetorical situation, and rhetorical virtues as guiding concepts, we'll build upon your previous knowledge as we craft a framework for successfully navigating writing situations at the university and beyond. To this end, we'll study instances when writers have effectively responded to the call to write in ways powerful, creative, or unconventional. Throughout the semester, using a variety of modalities and media, you will compose and share texts intended to persuade and influence others. By semester's end, you will have gained a better understanding of what you, as a resourceful and ethical writer, can accomplish when you answer the call to write. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: The Call to Write      

Prof. Joanna Lin Want 

WR13300-18 / TR 12:30 - 1:45

 

What do an Instagram post, philosophy paper, yelp review, lab report, and college application essay have in common? They are all genres of writing, some of which you may already be an expert at composing. We'll start the course by recognizing what you already know about writing and rhetoric, which is a lot. Most of us write every day, whether for school, extracurricular activities, or a job. In each case, we answer a "call to write," which may originate from external demands or from an internally felt desire to change situations we care about. Using genre, rhetorical situation, and rhetorical virtues as guiding concepts, we'll build upon your previous knowledge as we craft a framework for successfully navigating writing situations at the university and beyond. To this end, we'll study instances when writers have effectively responded to the call to write in ways powerful, creative, or unconventional. Throughout the semester, using a variety of modalities and media, you will compose and share texts intended to persuade and influence others. By semester's end, you will have gained a better understanding of what you, as a resourceful and ethical writer, can accomplish when you answer the call to write. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Abigail Burns

WR13300-19 / MWF 8:20 - 9:10

 

Given the explosion of social movement and protest activity in recent years, ranging from young undocumented immigrants marching in support of DACA to ongoing protests against police abuse and injustice, there has never been a better time for the study of social movements, dissent, and protest. This course will examine the role of rhetoric in bringing about social change while building critical writing, thinking, and research skills. Students will take a critical look at the rhetorical strategies that are used across various forms of media by social movements to challenge established norms, values, symbols, and hierarchical relationships. We will ask fundamental questions such as what constitutes a social movement? What function(s) do social movements serve? And what makes a social movement effective or successful?

As we examine everything from speeches to hashtags, marches to boycotts, and petitions to graffiti, we will work toward two interconnected objectives: 1) to build the analytical and reading skills necessary to be attentive, critical, and ethical community members, and 2) to develop strategies to produce clear, concise, and compelling texts across various forms of media. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Abigail Burns

WR13300-20 / MWF 9:25 - 10:15

 

Given the explosion of social movement and protest activity in recent years, ranging from young undocumented immigrants marching in support of DACA to ongoing protests against police abuse and injustice, there has never been a better time for the study of social movements, dissent, and protest. This course will examine the role of rhetoric in bringing about social change while building critical writing, thinking, and research skills. Students will take a critical look at the rhetorical strategies that are used across various forms of media by social movements to challenge established norms, values, symbols, and hierarchical relationships. We will ask fundamental questions such as what constitutes a social movement? What function(s) do social movements serve? And what makes a social movement effective or successful?

As we examine everything from speeches to hashtags, marches to boycotts, and petitions to graffiti, we will work toward two interconnected objectives: 1) to build the analytical and reading skills necessary to be attentive, critical, and ethical community members, and 2) to develop strategies to produce clear, concise, and compelling texts across various forms of media. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Logan Quigley          

WR13300-21 / TR 2:00 - 3:15

 

Look around. What do you notice about the space you're in? How did it get that way? In our daily lives, we often take for granted the spaces through which we move and in which we dwell. This is a class dedicated to exploring what rhetoric is and how we can read the rhetorics of space. In exploring these questions, this course will ask you to consider (among other things) the decisions behind campus landscaping, the language we use to discuss national parks, and how the construction of spaces affect the ways we move through them. In pursuit of this, you will practice reading traditional texts as well as images, spaces, and audio compositions. Through the semester, we will move toward our eventual goals: (1) to develop a nuanced understanding of how rhetoric pervades our daily lives, and (2) to practice the creative, effective, and ethical deployment of rhetoric in our own compositions. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric      

Prof. Ian Gerdon

WR13300-22 / TR 3:30 - 4:45

 

Course description coming soon.