2019-2020 University Catalog 
    
    Sep 17, 2019  
2019-2020 University Catalog
[Add to Portfolio]

WRIT 100 - Writing Seminar for First-Years


FDR: FW
Credits: 3


No credit for students who have completed FW through exemption. Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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 2019, WRIT 100-01: Writing Seminar for First Years: Homeward Bound (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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 literal 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, for instance, or units of consumption. As a result, imaginings of home, literary or otherwise, offer us a window through which to consider how normative and alternative families take shape. In this course, we explore varying, often contradicting, expressions of domesticity and family. Particular attention is paid to how "home" intersects with markers of identity, such as race, class, and gender. Possible topics and genres include: kinship, sexuality, alienation, homelessness, and memory/nostalgia. (FW) Millan.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-02: Writing Seminar for First Years: Faith and Doubt (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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 writing-intensive 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. (FW) Gertz.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-03: Writing Seminar for First Years: Fashion and Society (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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. Because fashion exists at the intersection of personal identity and commerce, the study of clothing is a fascinating lens through which to talk about a variety of cultural and political ideas from freedom of expression to gender to race to class to sustainability. Students in this seminar study and respond to an array of formal critiques and explorations of fashion—including documentary, personal essay, poetry, film, and cultural analysis—to think critically about the role of clothing in their own lives, their communities, and in the global landscape. Though this is ostensibly a course about fashion, it is mostly a course about writing. Students learn the fundamentals of strong writing, with an emphasis on clarity, evidence, and form as they create their own arguments. (FW) Staples.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-04: Writing Seminar for First Years: What Are the Facts? Making Arguments and Changing Minds (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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. Did NASA fake the moon landing? Are vaccines safe? Should we forbid smoking in public? Is Elvis still alive? Is climate change a threat to Americans? Is the government secretly controlled by a Deep State? How do we make up our minds about issues like these? How and when do we change our minds? And how on earth can we convince other people to change their minds when we think they're wrong? This seminar examines the way we as individuals—and Americans more broadly—find and process information, decide what to trust and what not to believe, and make up our minds about issues ranging from what to eat to how to vote. We explore the different ways people approach facts, authorities, and even outlandish conspiracies, and we hone our own ability to read generously, think critically, and embrace opportunities to examine our beliefs. We also investigate the extent to which it's possible to change someone else's mind, and develop strategies for writing in ways that have the best chance of changing other people's minds. (FW) Bufkin.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-05: Expressing Ourselves in Words (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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, we examine a range of philosophical issues related to the expression of the self through language and art. What does it mean to put a thought or feeling into words? Do public languages allow us to genuinely share thoughts and feelings? Is every truth linguistically expressible? Can figurative thought and language help us express otherwise ineffable thoughts? How can we develop new concepts by using or modifying old ones? Should a religious person agree that we can state truths about the nature of the divine? What kinds of relationships are there between language, experience and the world? What does it mean to talk about visual art or music as expressive? What makes an action, gesture or glance expressive? (FW) McGonigal.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-06: Writing Seminar for First Years: Environmental Thought and Food Justice (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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 is an exploration of the human relationship to nature. How do writers and environmental thinkers understand their relationships to "the natural world"? How can we understand our own? We read widely within environmental literature with a focus on environmental justice and food justice. Wendell Berry, Walt Whitman, Annie Dillard, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Vandana Shiva, among others, provide scaffolding for our discussion of "nature," "interdependence," "poverty," "community," "life," and "death". We explore the implications of these ideas for individuals as well as for a globalized world in which ecological concern is a matter of daily news and attention. (FW) Green.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-07: Writing Seminar for First Years: The Good Wife (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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 good wife, or, how to survive a marriage, run a household, and save a kingdom. This seminar examines two iconic wives in literature: Griselda and Scheherazade. One is known for her sacrificial patience, the other, cunning fabrication. Yet both share the status of female paragons around whom a community coheres. Reading an eclectic range of texts from the medieval to the postmodern, we ask how gender shapes representation, and vice versa. We chart the various transformations of the two female archetypes through literary history and are on the lookout for moments of breakdown under the burden of exemplarity. And if their goodness resides in securing common profit, how do Griselda and Scheherazade compare to other figures of femininity, such as the diva and the whore? Throughout the seminar, our emphasis is on learning the craft of academic writing via close reading, research, and engagement with critical sources. That is, we read, think, and write like Griselda and Scheherazade—with fortitude and deftness. (FW) Kao.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-08: Writing Seminar for First Years: Misfits, Rebels, & Outcasts (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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 seminar leaves out a lot. If extended, it might include strangers, visionaries, fanatics, prophets, artists, lovers, criminals, transients, deviants, 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 2019, WRIT 100-09: Writing Seminar for First Years: Don't "I" Me: Privilege, Otherness and Writing Good (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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" (aka, 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 2019, WRIT 100-10: Writing Seminar for First Years: Memoir & Identity (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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. "Tell your own story before someone else does," is a quote sometimes used to inspire memoirists. However, writing about one's own identity is complicated; it means crafting a narrative in ways that address issues such as gender, race, age, ethnicity, nationality, history, class, culture and, of course, audience. Does memoir also challenge and educate us about the identities of marginalized or silenced voices? Does such memoir also challenge history, cultural assumptions, media representations? How do memoirists write an identity at odds with mainstream perceptions and still connect with their mostly-mainstream audience? We explore how to read and then write about such life narratives as a form of resistance literature, stressing critical analysis, active reading, argumentation, presentation of evidence, and revision. (FW) Miranda.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-11: Writing Seminar for First Years: Aspects of Elizabeth (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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 2019, WRIT 100-12: Writing Seminar for First Years: Fables, Animal Satire, and Tales of Beasts (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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. Different cultures have used animals as allegorical elements in instructional stories and as evocative symbols in the preservation of particular ideologies. Some appear in Native American folk tales illustrating connections between animal spirits and people. Others, like Aesop's fables, originated in India and have traveled the globe communicating cultural norms and inspiring numerous forms of art. We read animal fables from around the world, investigate themes and story patterns, and trace different versions of animal tales right up to the 21st century. How and why have cultural representations of particular animal traits changed? Is our modern world more separated from the realities of the animal world? Students learn to compose clear, organized, and well-supported articulations of their understanding of the texts and issues at hand. (FW) Ruiz.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-13: Writing Seminar for First Years: A Whole New World (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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 seminar, 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 2019, WRIT 100-14: Expressing Ourselves in Words (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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, we examine a range of philosophical issues related to the expression of the self through language and art. What does it mean to put a thought or feeling into words? Do public languages allow us to genuinely share thoughts and feelings? Is every truth linguistically expressible? Can figurative thought and language help us express otherwise ineffable thoughts? How can we develop new concepts by using or modifying old ones? Should a religious person agree that we can state truths about the nature of the divine? What kinds of relationships are there between language, experience and the world? What does it mean to talk about visual art or music as expressive? What makes an action, gesture or glance expressive? (FW) McGonigal.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-15: Writing Seminar for First Years: Writing As Consolation (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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 section focuses on the theme of writing as consolation, with a close look at meditations on grief, healing, loss, complicated relationships with the body and with nature, ranging from work by Roxane Gay, Joan Didion, Rachel Carson, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and more. The central question is how and why writers turn to their craft to move through tremendous shifts in their life. What does it mean to write about difficult issues publicly, to put oneself — as a writer, as a person, as someone who grieves — out there? What is achieved in this relationship between reader and writer? Students should be prepared to discuss and write about sensitive issues like trauma, grief, loss, assault, illness, and death. (FW) Kharputly.

Fall 2019, WRIT 100-16: Writing Seminar for First-Years: The Hero's Journey (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. 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. Tales of heroes and heroism have long been central to the stories that societies tell about themselves. This section highlights some of the similarities between these stories across cultures and across time, focusing in particular on the motif of the hero's journey. By pairing theoretical readings with a selection of texts spanning four millennia, from the time of ancient Babylon to the Middle Ages to the modern day, we develop a model for understanding the hero's journey and the role it plays in heroic narratives. In the process, students ask questions about what it means to be a hero in different cultural contexts and why societies continue to tell stories of heroes. (FW) Loar.




[Add to Portfolio]