Spring 2019 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: Rhetorics of the Digital
Prof. Nathaniel Myers
WR 13100-01 / TR 2:00 to 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. Jessica Shumake
WR 13100-02 / TR 12:30 to 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

Prof. Matthew Capdevielle

WR 13100-03 / TR 9:30 to 10:45 

 

What is the difference between manipulating and convincing someone? Is there anyone with whom we share no common ground? To what degree are we bound to respond to others? These are ethical questions: by their very nature they entail a consideration of our relations with others. And our relations with others take shape in language. This studio/workshop course seeks to explore the ethical issues of reasoned dialogue with special emphasis on persuasion. It is a course in argument as a way of reasoning with others by advancing claims and supporting them with evidence. Through a series of papers and seminar discussions, we will work to see how academic argument is more than just staking out a position and supporting it; argument involves understanding the different ways that issues may be viewed by members of different audiences and communities. In order to gain this perspective, we will work, as Aristotle tells us, to "see the available means of persuasion" in any given situation. This is the art of rhetoric.

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetoric, Ethics, and Cultural Community

Prof. Elizabeth Capdevielle

WR 13100-04 / MWF 12:50 to 1:40

 

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
Prof. Jessica Shumake
WR 13100-05 / TR 11:00 to 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. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetoric, Ethics, and Cultural Community
Prof. Elizabeth Capdevielle
WR 13100-06 / MWF 11:30 to 12:20

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
Prof. Talisha Halitwanger Morrison
WR 13100-07 / 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. Abby Burns
WR 13100-08 / MWF 8:20 to 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. 


Writing and Rhetoric: Propaganda and Reasoned Discourse

Prof. Kurt McGee
WR 13100-09 / TR 11:00 to 12:15

 

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
Prof. Jessica Shumake
WR 13100-10 / TR 9:30 to 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: The Rhetoric of the Anthropocene

Prof. Julian Dean
WR 13100-11-/ MWF 9:25 to 10:15

 

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. Ian Gerdon
WR 13100-12 / TR 12:30 to 1:45

 

Course description coming soon. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Rhetorics of the Digital

Prof. Nathaniel Myers
WR 13100-13 / TR 3:30 to 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: Rhetorics of the Digital

Prof. Nathaniel Myers
WR 13100-14 / TR 11:00 to 12:15 

 

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. Anton Povzner
WR 13100-15 / MWF 12:50 to 1:40

 

Writing is all too often treated as a simple transmission of information or filling in a template; an argument is seen as a confrontation between set positions. Pursuing a more nuanced view, we will adopt a rhetorical vocabulary to approach writing as a deliberate activity in a social context. Arguments are launched from concrete positions, addressing particular audiences in pursuit of certain goals, which will rarely be limited to proving the other person wrong. We will use this understanding to both write and read a variety of texts. In reading, we will be particularly concerned with writers’ means of persuasion both pragmatically and ethically, thinking about virtues such as knowledge, judgment, and intellectual courage—and about our own position as readers. Writing will naturally follow on our analysis of others’ texts, addressed as a process of discovery and growth to develop skills to be used in other writing situations at Notre Dame and beyond. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Ethical Discourses Across Media

Prof. Kasey Swanke
WR 13100-16 / MWF 10:30 to 11:20

 

Albus Dumbledore remarked that "words are our most inexhaustible source of magic--capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it." Every day we encounter words and arguments, some of which are injurious to discourse and some of which promote peace, fairness, and dialogue. Focusing on issues of contemporary and ethical significance, we will learn how to use words (as well as images, sounds, and other forms of media) to persuade others in ways that serve ourselves and our audiences.

The content of this course prepares you for writing successfully in your current and future courses at Notre Dame. Each class that you take here will introduce you to specific conversations regarding topics of moral, political, scientific, and intellectual significance. Most often, these conversations are not simple, but instead quite complicated. Thinking about them often requires qualifications, trade-offs, and excruciating honesty. Navigating and responding to them well requires a keen understanding of argumentation and presentation tactics. While we develop a diverse rhetorical toolkit and strategies for successful writing, our multimedia focus lends us a distinct advantage: you will sharpen these important skills within the context of a variety of rhetorical modes spanning memes, campaign ads, and scholarly journal articles, to name just a few.  

 

Writing and Rhetoric

Prof. Talisha Halitwanger Morrison
WR 13100-17 / TR 2:00 to 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. Abby Burns
WR 13100-18 / MWF 9:25 to 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. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric

Prof. Abby Burns
WR 13100-19 / MWF 10:30 to 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. 

 

Writing and Rhetoric: Food & Culture 

Prof. Emily McLemore
WR 13100-20 / MWF 2:00 to 2:50

 

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. 

 

 

WR 13200: Community-Based Writing and Rhetoric


WR 13200

Community-Based Writing and Rhetoric: Nature and the Community
Prof. Elizabeth Capdevielle
WR 13200-01 / MWF 9:25 to 10:15

 

In this sustainability-focused Writing & Rhetoric course, you’ll spend some time outdoors, refine your ways of thinking and communicating about society and the environment, and enjoy new relationships and experiential learning through service in our local South Bend community. In a unique combination of sustainability work and tutoring, we will assist with a program that gives urban youth the opportunity to explore nature through visits to a local permaculture farm and conservation organization, followed by journaling and essay writing about their experiences. In a given week, you should expect to spend your time in several different types of activity. You’ll do traditional homework like reading academic and literary articles, drafting papers, and revising your own writing as you prepare for discussion of rhetorical texts and concepts in our ND classroom. But you’ll also spend some of your time outside of class in non-traditional ways, such as working outdoors in a farmyard, prairie, wetland, or woods, and working at a community center as a tutor and discussion partner to a middle school or high school student. These core service experiences will shape our discussions of rhetoric and writing, as we analyze texts that send certain messages about environmentalism, social responsibility, identity, and community. You will develop college-level research and writing skills through essay and presentation assignments that help you shape your own ethos as a member of both the university community and the wider community beyond our campus boundaries.

 

Community-Based Writing and Rhetoric
Prof. Sarah Snider
WR 13200-02 / MWF 12:50 to 1:40

 

Jewish American novelist Nathan Englander reflected to the New York Times about the beginnings of his writing career, "I was being asked to consider myself a 'type' of American, to see myself as other from inside my own mind. But I didn’t see a Jew when I looked in the mirror; what I saw were gentiles when I looked at everyone else."

 

Many of us periodically, perhaps subconsciously, label different religious groups as "other," without always taking the time to consider how each community might view itself, both among its own members and in dialogue with other faiths. When we form opinions about members of diverse religions and their practices, do we necessarily do so with an in-depth appreciation of their experiences and traditions, as well as their humanity and personhood?

 

This course will give students the opportunity to develop an understanding of multiple faith traditions through reading assigned texts as well as thoughtfully reflecting on direct interactions with members of the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian religious communities. Students will build ethical, rhetorical, and practical knowledge through considering multiple viewpoints, analyzing arguments, and practicing skills to shape their own ethical discourses. The experiential component of this course will consist of multiple meetings throughout the community, which will require a limited number of evening and weekend commitments totaling 10 hours over the course of the semester.

 

WR 13300: Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric 
Prof. Sarah Snider
WR 13300-01 / MWF 11:30 to 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 
Prof. Sarah Snider
WR 13300-02 / MWF 10:30 to 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 
Prof. Erin McLaughlin
WR 13300-03 / TR 2:00 to 3:15

 

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 
Prof. Erin McLaughlin
WR 13300-04 / TR 11:00 to 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 
Prof. Erin McLaughlin
WR 13300-05 / TR 12:30 to 1:20

 

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: Technology, Visual Media, and Us 
Prof. Kade Ivy
WR 13300-06 / MWF 9:25 to 10:15

 

Technology and media, ostensibly, are tools that create opportunities otherwise unavailable. Where we once had the phone call and letter to the editor, we now have the Snapchat story and personal blog. Where we once viewed TV shows once a week, we now have on-demand access to more visual media than ever before on our streaming services. These opportunities to both create and experience suggest many questions for academic practice. What issues-ethical, scientific, or otherwise-does our multimodal moment raise, and what research can be done to address them? What arguments are being made via technology and media, and how do we assess and build upon them? What, if anything, do we lose as we consume technology? To tackle these questions, students will consider their own uses of technology and the rhetoric they consume from visual media to craft narrative, analytical, and argumentative essays, as well as one public-facing episode of an imagined podcast. To both anchor and provide exploratory ground for our thinking, we will work extensively with Patrick Somerville’s 2018 Netflix miniseries, MANIAC. This course, put simply, invites us to explore how the inundation of technology and visual media affects us as thinkers, arguers, and, perhaps most pertinent, writers.  

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric
Prof. Patrick Clauss
WR 13300-07 / TR 2:00 to 3:15

In The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton observes that "a danger of travel is that we may see things at the wrong time, before we have had an opportunity to build up the necessary receptivity, so that new information is as useless and fugitive as necklace beads without a connecting chain.” de Botton’s point, it seems, applies not only to travel in the literal sense, physically going from one location to another, but also travel in a metaphoric sense, the kind of travel a scholar might undertake while moving through a complex research and writing process.

How might one build up such a necessary receptivity, ensuring that new information and new experiences are not "useless and fugitive . . . without a connecting chain"? The study of rhetoric offers answers: Rhetoric—understood here as the science of argumentation (privileging logos) and the art of persuasion (privileging ethos and pathos)—trains one to be a skilled researcher, speaker, and writer. In the liberal arts tradition, the study of rhetoric also trains one in ways of knowing, of being receptive to how seemingly disparate information, old and new, fits together. Thus, in this section of Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric, we will cultivate our receptivity to the rhetorical worlds around us, researching, speaking, and writing with integrity, compassion, and wisdom. 

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric: The Rhetoric of Hope and Resistance in Pop-Culture 
Prof. Laura Ortiz Mercado 
WR 13300-08 / MWF 10:30 to 11:20

 

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 WhoHarry 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. Joanna Lin Want
WR 13300-09 / TR 9:30 to 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 genrerhetorical 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 Rhetoric of Right Now 
Prof. Leanne MacDonald
WR 13300-10 / TR 3:30 to 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. Joanna Lin Want
WR 13300-11 / TR 11:00 to 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 genrerhetorical 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. Joanna Lin Want
WR 13300-12 / TR 12:30 to 1:20

 

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 genrerhetorical 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. Sara Judy
WR 13300-13 / TR 5:05 to 6:20

 

Just as every superhero has an origin story, so too are the arguments that punctuate our days saturated with origins. We might consider advertisements that suggest our food comes from idyllic farms, or our water from pure mountain streams. We could debate the benefit of products that originate in overseas factories versus domestic ones, or consider our national obsession with genetics. We might also discuss current global debates over immigration, which have everything to do with ideas about national origins.

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, across various media. Informed by discussions about the origin of arguments and the rhetoric of origins, students will write their own persuasive arguments, and create a podcast about a topic of their choosing.  

 

Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric 
Prof. Shinjini Chattopadhyay
WR 13300-14 / TR 9:30 to 10:45

 

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.