2018-2019 University Catalog 
    
    Jul 22, 2018  
2018-2019 University Catalog
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WRIT 100 - Writing Seminar for First-Years


FDR: FW
Credits: 3


No credit for students who have completed FW through exemption. Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition with readings ranging across modes, forms, and genres in the humanities, social sciences, or sciences. The sections vary in thematic focus across disciplines, but all students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing  several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-01: Writing Seminar for First Years: War Is Hell: Literary Depictions of the Second World War (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. General William T. Sherman famously told a crowd in Columbus, Ohio, in the year 1880 that, "There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell." In this seminar we read, discuss, and write about three famous novels by authors who agreed with Sherman but chose very different strategies to convey that message: The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer (1948), Joseph Heller's dark comedy, Catch-22 (1961), and Thomas Keneally's carefully researched Schindler's List (1982). We compare these novels with oral histories collected from veterans and women who served on the home front to investigate what motivated support for the war effort, the different forms of suffering caused by the Second World War, its long-term psychological impact, and its role in causing social change in postwar America. We also compare the book version of Schindler's List with the film directed by Steven Spielberg. (FW) Patch.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-02: Writing Seminar for First Years: Homeward Bound (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. "Home" is an enduring topic in literature, in part, because of its broad appeal and applicability. It can refer to both a physical structure as well as the emotional bonds that hold us together. Building on both of these meanings, homes become symbols for broader social configurations—the unit whose safeguarding represents the security of the nation. Moreover, imaginings of home, literary or otherwise, offer us a window through which to consider how normative and alternative families form. In this course, we explore varying, often contradicting, expressions of the domestic. We explore how "home" intersects with markers of identity, such as race, class, and gender. Possible topics and genres include: kinship, sexuality, alienation, homelessness, memory/nostalgia, the gothic, and horror/home invasion. In addition to non-fictional accounts and sources, possible texts include: The Garies and Their Friends (Webb), House of Mirth (Wharton), Home (Morrison), Fun Home (Bechdel), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Albee), and A Raisin in the Sun (Hansberry). (FW) Millan.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-03: Writing Seminar for First Years: The Absolutely True Story of Literary Memoir (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. Patricia Hampl says, "True memoir is an attempt to find not only a self but a world." Over the course of the semester, we explore the diverse ways that memoir represents the interactions between self and world. What goes into this complicated act of interpreting "the truth," particularly considering how "selves" exist in/are shaped by issues of gender, race, age, ethnicity, nationality, class, and culture? We analyze novels, short prose, graphic novels and poetry by writers using memoir/life-writing as a tool to construct and inhabit an identity. (FW) Miranda.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-04: Writing Seminar for First Years: Faith, Doubt and Identity (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. In this seminar, we explore the topic of belief and how it shapes a person's selfhood. How does being a part of a religious community, or a variety of religious communities, shape one's identity? How does identity change with the adoption of either belief, skepticism, or another culture? We ask these questions primarily through the genres of novels and short stories, examining lives of faith and doubt in several religious contexts. Students also create a personal digital story in their final assignment that builds on ideas of the seminar. Authors studied include Paul Kalanithi, Marilynne Robinson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ian McEwan, and Orhan Pamuk. (FW) Gertz.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-05: Writing Seminar for First Years: Race, Memory, Nation (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. This seminar explores our collective national consciousness in relation to ideas of race. We examine archival texts, as well as 20th- and 21st-century fiction, poetry, and film. Authors and artists considered throughout the term include James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Claudia Rankine, Steven Spielberg, and Quentin Tarantino. Multiple writing assignments deal with Washington and Lee's legacy regarding slavery, integration, and civil rights. As we interact with a wide variety of mediums, emphasis is placed on critical reading and writing (and rewriting), as well as on research skills. In addition to traditional scholarly writing, an option exists for students to produce a creative project responding to the ideas of the seminar. (FW) Wilson.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-06: Writing Seminar for First Years: Civil Rights and the Press (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. This seminar explores the news media's role in the Civil Rights Movement of the South in the 1950s and '60s. Using the Pulitzer Prize winning history The Race Beat as guide, the course initiates students into college-level expectations for writing, reading, and classroom discussion. Combining the professor's interests in American press history and experience in newspapers and magazines for 25 years, we cover both academic and journalistic styles of writing. (FW) Cumming.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-07: Writing Seminar for First Years: Writing in Public (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. Fifty years ago, getting your writing into print could be tough. Now, anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection can publish their thoughts. But how do you get people to read what you've written? And what makes good public writing? How do you make your opinions about pop culture or politics or animal cruelty interesting and persuasive? How do you join the public conversation, instead of screaming into the internet void? This class investigates public writing on topics as varied as Kim Kardashian, Black Lives Matter, September 11, and Internet trolls. We examine ways authors use evidence and analysis to build persuasive arguments and learn strategies for identifying and engaging with public audiences. We also produce public writing in response to the essays we read and learn the skills for setting up, maintaining and promoting blogs and websites. (FW) Bufkin.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-08: Writing Seminar for First Years: Other Worlds (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. This course focuses on fiction and poetry about borders and boundary states. Many readings come from the edges of literary genre: serious fiction with dystopian elements, poetry based on fairy tales, and more. The core skill you hone is critical writing, but you also try other modes and media, including creative writing and digital storytelling. (FW) Wheeler.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-09: Writing Seminar for First Years: Aspects of Elizabeth (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) is among history's most fascinating figures. She ruled a small island, beset by threats both external and internal, during a period of tremendous political, religious and cultural change. Her 45-year reign saw the conspiracies and eventual execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, the consolidation of the Church of England, the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the flowering of English culture in such figures as Shakespeare, Donne, and Marlowe. We learn about both the public and private Elizabeth by focusing on four distinct topics: her own poetry, letters and speeches; the portraits of her as princess and queen; her controversial personal and political relationship with Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex; and films about Elizabeth. The primary texts of the course are each other's essays; we learn about our topic by reading what other students have written, while focusing most of our class time on improving our writing skills. (FW) Dobin.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-10: Writing Seminar for First Years: Don't "I" Me: Privilege, Otherness, and Writing Good (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. In this seminar, we examine "One of these things is not like the others" (a.k.a impostor) syndrome and its effect on the human quest to feel good enough. Our reading and writing explores the complexities of and correspondence between inferiority and otherness based on factors such as color, gender, privilege and language. We dig into works from, among others, James Baldwin, Peggy McIntosh, Claudia Rankine, Tucker Carlson and Isabel Allende. (FW) Fuentes.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-11: Writing Seminar for First Years: Misfits, Rebels, and Outcasts (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. The title of this section leaves out a lot. If extended, it might include strangers, visionaries, fanatics, criminals, prophets, artists, lovers, freaks, and monsters. We read stories and plays, as well as view films, about individuals challenging the status quo, either directly or indirectly, deliberately or inadvertently. We consider, among other things, what happens to the individual in the process, and what happens to the status quo. (FW) Oliver.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-12: Writing Seminar for First Years: A Whole New World (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. In this age of global travel, economics, and politics, people can go almost anywhere and find similar technology and consumer goods, experiencing a new place as a comfortable and in some ways familiar variation on home. At other times visitors and newcomers really have discovered a whole new world. In this section, students study novels, movies, and other accounts of cultural encounters between people who have been in the same place but experienced very different worlds. Works may include James Welch's Fools Crow about white men first meeting the Blackfeet Indians in Montana, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart about the English first coming to Nigeria, and Cormac McCarthy's The Road about the breakdown of shared culture in a post-apocalyptic world. We also think about how such encounters are depicted in popular culture, from Disney movies to advertisements to music videos. We compare these fictional encounters with international experiences, issues, and conflicts today. (FW) Smout.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-13: Writing Seminar for First Years: Superheroes (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. In this section, students analyze the evolution of the character type from Superman's first appearance in 1938 Action Comics to contemporary superheroes in 21st-century short stories, poetry, films, and graphic novels. (FW) Gavaler.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-14: Writing Seminar for First Years: Business Writing Essentials (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. From emails to pitch books, writing remains a foundation of modern business communication. This section offers students the essential theories, skills, strategies, and tactics to become effective written communicators in modern business settings. Students taking this course develop written work purposefully designed to engage readers within a business context with well-researched information and well-founded arguments. Students analyze, discuss, and produce various forms of professional documentation as they develop their abilities to ethically and effectively write. Projects involve chirographic, print, digital, verbal, and non-verbal forms of business writing. (FW) Lind.

Fall 2018, WRIT 100-15:  Writing Seminar for First Years:  Shut Up and Play:  Black Athletes and Activism (3).  Prerequisite:  First-year standing.  Concentrated work in composition.  All students write at least four revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process.  All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style.  Jessie Owens—a legendary African American participant in the 1936 Olympics—told Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two black Olympic sprinters who held a protest during the 1968 games, that "the black fist is a meaningless symbol...The only time the black fist has significance is when there's money inside."  In this seminar, we ponder Owens's observation by looking at black athletes and activism between 1968 and 2018.  We examine case studies that focus on Smith & Carlos, Curt Flood, Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Michael Jordan, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Colin Kapaernick, and LeBron James.  As we study these different athletes, we stress critical reading and writing, research skills, revision, and historical awareness.  Students write blogs, essays, and a traditional scholarly article.  In addition, students have the option to produce a podcast.  (FW) Hill.




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