Spring 2017 First-Year Writing Seminars
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APPLIED ECONOMICS & MANAGEMENT 1106 Economics and the Environment
As political leaders, media sources and businesses adapt themselves to the reality of impending climate change effects, rather than debating their existence, we are left with the question of how to balance the need to adjust humankind's footprint on the earth with the material needs of society and the desires of the developing world to attain a better standard of living. How do we balance economic needs with those of protecting the planet? Environmental economics has stressed the importance of efficiency, choosing policies that maximize social and private benefits net of costs. Topics in the course will include climate change, air and water pollution, energy and the environment, environmental challenges in developing countries, and environmental policies in cities. Writing assignments aimed at various audiences will include editorials, summaries of research, and policy briefs.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Oleg Firsin 17424 Cindy van Es
AMERICAN STUDIES 1140
Common Ground: Education Beyond the Ivory Tower
This course offers you a chance to become a more engaged member of the Ithaca community as part of your first-year writing experience. For two afternoons a week, Cornell students will engage with Ithaca middle school students as mentors and tutors outside of class. Writing assignments will help you reflect on the tutoring experience and the role of education and responsible citizenship in a democratic society. Readings will includeSavage Inequalities by Kozol, Life and Death of the Great American School System by Ravitch and essays by Barber, Freire, and King. Our ultimate goal will be to broaden students' perspectives on our public educational system and the role of universities in their communities. Cross-Listed section: To add this seminar to your ballot, choose WRIT 1400.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. x-listed w/ WRIT 1400 & ENGL 1140 17536
Student schedules must accommodate TR trips (3-5 PM) to Boynton Middle School.
AMERICAN STUDIES 1146 The American Suburb 2.0
America’s suburbs aren’t what they used to be. After being built out all through the 2000s, the past decade has seen suburbs remade by foreclosures, lifestyle centers, first-ring poverty, local governments shrinking from declining tax revenues, and a generation of millennials who have forsaken them for gentrified downtowns and transit-oriented developments. Drawing on readings from the popular press and the academy, and using the lenses of political economy and American Studies, we will rediscover today’s suburbs, and how they came to be this way. In class and through written assignments, students will analyze, explain, and debate the new urban geography of U.S. cities, all the while learning the writing skills you’ll need at Cornell and in the wider world.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Peter Wissoker 17832
Culture, Society, and Power: Happiness As Project—Conversations on Mind, Time, and Politics
Is happiness a skill or an achievement? An orientation towards the present or a projected future? What knowledge of ourselves and the world can we gain via the idea of happiness? Can it enable us to look beyond the margins of the world as it is? Answers to such questions undergird recent efforts by theorists, governments, international organizations, and self-help gurus to place happiness on our collective agenda. To lay the foundations for our own discussion of these issues, we will examine how happiness has been thought across a range of fields:
in economics, psychology, policy, philosophy, religion, literature, newspapers, and film. Assignments will stress both conceptual investigation and creativity, and will include personal reflections, responses to readings, and a final paper in several drafts.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Ana Laura Cocora 17406 Marina Welker
Culture, Society, and Power: Asians in the New World
Asians in the New World have won repute as a people who cling to their cultures and resist assimilation to their host societies. Asian upward mobility, as model minorities, is also attributed to Asian cultural norms. But, who are “Asians”? What does a fourth-generation Chinese American have in common with more recent arrivals, such as refugees from Burma or Nepal? Is Asian an ethnic or racial identity? This course will explore diverse experiences of Asian groups in the New World, primarily the U.S. and Caribbean, to address broader questions of identity formation from an anthropological perspective. Writing assignments will consist of short critical reviews of readings and a series of assignments—from identifying topics to formulating arguments—to developing a research paper.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Viranjini Munasinghe 17407
Culture, Society, and Power: Firm Representations—Stories about Business Corporations
Since the 2008 economic crisis, a series of films depicting the “inner workings” of financial institutions have caught the attention of audiences in the United States and around the world. This genre of film that looks at the inner workings of a modern capitalist workplace harkens back to representations of economic activity like Chaplin’sModern Times and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. This course will look at different depictions of companies in literature, films, media, and academic scholarship and ask how they understand this staple institution of modern life. Assignments will focus on building critical reading skills that lead to the construction of effective arguments in writing, and will invite students to become conscious of the importance of the different stages of the writing process.
SEM 103 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Mariana Saavedra Espinosa 17408 Marina Welker
Culture, Society, and Power: No Science in the Wild—Anthropology's Writing Inside Out
In their song "No Church in the Wild" Kanye West/Jay Z remind us not to take any scripture for granted, to always question forms of authority, and to invent our own ways to apprehend the world. Taking that program into the field of anthropology, this course questions the narratives and theories that shape the construction of “Others” through the study of culture. We will attend to the workings of academic writing while analyzing anthropologists' various modes of cultural descriptions. Students will produce their own ethnographies based on the close observation of/with other individuals, exploring the various genres of fieldnotes, fiction, poetry, and visual media. The course provides pathways for alternative academic writing while our eyes remain open to this curiosity that life is.
SEM 104 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Emiko Stock 17409 Marina Welker
ART HISTORY 1158
Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii
Buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE and rediscovered in the mid-eighteenth century, Pompeii serves as an ideal model for the study of ancient Roman daily life and death. The forums, baths, theaters, brothels, inns, taverns, homes, apartments, villas, tombs, inscriptions, graffiti, and gardens provide rich and unparalleled data on ancient life. The city allows us to study the full spectrum of society—the elite and the poor, women, men, and children, freedman, and slaves. In this course we will use a number of different archaeological, art historical, and literary approaches to investigate ancient life in Pompeii. We will examine architectural remains and their decoration, ancient food, plants and animal remains, and analyses of the victims in Pompeii trapped in plaster casts.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Kaja Tally-Shumacher 17411 Claudia Lazzaro
ART HISTORY 1160 Dangerous Women
Upon viewing Carolee Schneemann’s Fuses, fellow avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas proclaimed it the film of the year, saying, “It is so gorgeous... so dangerous.” While Fuses was censored as pornographic, Schneemann reflects that it’s lasting impact as a work of art can be attributed to how it differed from pornography, in visually conveying female pleasure: “There’s no objectification or fetishization of the woman.” In pushing boundaries of representation, Schneemann and her feminist cohort were considered dangerous, and they are not alone in the history of art. Female artists can be situated among other educated women in their presumptive ability to disrupt the natural (patriarchal) order of things. This course considers: women artists connoted as dangerous, from Frida Kahlo to Kara Walker; how women have been villainized in the visual record, from witches to suffragettes; and the pioneering scholars who uncover and interpret these issues, from Linda Nochlin to Deborah Willis. Ultimately, we will connect danger to power.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Hannah Ryan 18100 Claudia Lazzaro
ASIAN STUDIES 1108 Food on Film: Asia
Food on Film studies the politics and aesthetics of food production and presentation, nourishment, and consumption across a variety of Asian screen cultures and political-economic contexts. We will “consume” classics of the food film such as Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, analyze the Mokbang phenomenon of commercial on-screen eating as well as consider documentaries about the food industries. What has cooking, eating, consuming, nourishing, mass-producing, or refusing food come to mean in the globalized, neoliberal economies and mobile societies of South, Southeast, and East Asia? Students will submit and receive feedback on responses to weekly readings; learn different styles of argumentation and kinds of analysis (e.g., close readings); write short and long essays; as well as write conference proposals and article abstracts.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Arnika Fuhrmann 17422
ASIAN STUDIES 1110
Piety, Politics, and Protection: Indian Ocean Buddhism
Long before the steamship, the airplane, the iPad, and Snapchat, Buddhist monks, merchants, pilgrims, and adventurers created a Buddhist network across the space of the Indian Ocean, including much of what we now refer to as southern China, India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Why did Buddhist travelers leave their homes for other corners of the Buddhist world? What texts, religious rituals, and magical talismans did they carry? How did mobile persons and things create Buddhism? In this seminar we move between brief primary sources composed by these travelers and their patrons, literary and art historical evidence related to Buddhist networks, and scholarship on trade and networks in order to see the hopes and fears, aims and motivations, of premodern Buddhists on the move.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Anne Blackburn 17423
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1822 The African American Short Story
The short story is an ideal genre through which one might gain a basic introduction to African American literature and its major themes. As a form and genre, the short story’s specific origins within African American literature are traceable back to the antebellum era of the nineteenth century. The genre was significantly advanced in the post-bellum era by authors such as Charles Chesnutt, thrived throughout the twentieth century, and continues to develop in contemporary African American literature. In this course we will consider short stories by Chesnutt, Jessie Fauset, Nella Larsen, Arna Bontemps, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Ann Petry, Rosa Guy, Paule Marshall, Ernest J. Gaines, and Toni Morrison. The primary goal of this course as a First-Year Writing Seminar is to reinforce the skills of students in good and effective writing. Through weekly entries in a reading journal, the production of six papers, including several of which will be revised, and
periodic in-class writing exercises, students will produce an extensive portfolio of written materials over the course of the semester. This course is designed to give students one of the strongest possible foundations upon which to build for success as writers in the years at Cornell and beyond.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Riche Richardson 17425
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1830 Black Expatriate Writing
What difference did living outside the United States make for African American writers during the modern civil rights movement (c. 1945–1968)? How did international travels to Europe, Africa, and other destinations by African American performing artists, athletes, activists, and intellectuals transform African American consciousness, and contribute to struggles for freedom and equality? We will explore the writings and careers of such international figures as Josephine Baker, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Claudia Jones, Paul Robeson, and Maya Angelou, and Malcolm X. Their writings and activities will introduce us to the complexity of exile, expatriate status, or simply international travel, as enabling for creative writing or political activism.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Kevin Gaines 17635
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1840 The Prize and The Peril: African Nations at Fifty
The recent Jubilee celebrations of fifty years of African independence offer an apt moment to assess the legacy of the nationalist movements that brought about independence and the nations they spawned. One observer has argued that even in countries with “nothing to celebrate,” all jubilee nations eventually featured “some form of official commemoration.” Why were these commemorations so important to Africans? Why does nationalism continue to catalyze such heated debate, in Africa as around the world? What does “independence” mean anyway? This course examines the tension over who gets to define “the nation” in Africa and why. The goal will be to analyze historical debates on “the nation” in Africa and to write persuasive arguments assessing them.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Mark Deets 17791
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1841 Exotic/Erotic Blackness: Race, Sex, and Cultural Consumption
How did Blackness become an object of curiosity, desire, and fascination? How did it become exotic? In this course we will see that this is not the result of a recent development in the representation of black bodies. Rather the construction of Blackness as exotic/erotic originates as far as the beginnings of colonialism. We will look at how and why black bodies have been sexualized and commodified through literary and media representation. We will then turn to works by black intellectuals and writers who analyze and resist this form of cultural consumption. Students will critically address these issues and demonstrate their knowledge of the material through close readings and essay writing.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Alex Lenoble 17885
AFRICANA STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER 1842 Exploring Food (In)Justice: Race, Class, and U.S. Food Movements
This seminar explores issues of injustice constructed around race, class, and food in the United States. Students will think and write critically about real-world problems related to food access and security, while studying three intersecting, yet countering U.S. food movements—corporate industrial agriculture, local food, and food justice—that impact the way food is produced, distributed, and consumed. We pay particular attention to efforts in these food movements that mitigate and exacerbate race and class-based inequalities within the context of the U.S. food system. Our exploration of food (in)justice relies on the idea that the U.S. food system is what Omi and Winant (1994) call a racial project—political and economic undertakings through which racial hierarchies are established and racialized subjectivities are created.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Bobby Smith 17437 Noliwe Rooks
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING 1130 Dimensions of Cancer
Cancer is an intricate disease on all scales. At the microscopic level, malignant cells evolve within a complex biological landscape. At the human level, the diagnosis accompanies a cascade of physical, emotional, and financial distress. On population and institutional levels, cancer constitutes a morbid epidemic, and enormous resources are exchanged in the relentless quest for effective treatments. “Dimensions of Cancer” examines the variety of ways that people grapple with this disease. In conversations about cancer, the mutual exchange of knowledge, experiences, and ideas requires skillful communication. The class will emphasize the centrality of clear, sensible writing to effectively contribute to the cancer discourse.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Peter DelNero 17820 Robert Weiss
Subversive Mythology and Politics in Imperial Rome
In this seminar we will begin by observing the death of free speech in the last years of the Roman republic, culminating with the brutal execution of Cicero in 43 B.C.E. We will then examine how poets such as Virgil and Ovid turned to subversive uses of myth and legend in an attempt to critique the new totalitarian regime without getting into too much trouble. The necessarily subtle nature of such criticisms has left them open to sometimes diametrically opposed interpretations. Class discussions will introduce students to these interpretations and perhaps generate new ones. Students will then write essays defending or attacking the various positive or negative nuances of mythological references in a given work.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Todd Clary 17438
CLASSICS 1531 Greek Myth
This course will focus on the stories about the gods and heroes of the Greeks as they appear in ancient literature and art. We will examine the relationship between myths and the cultural, religious, and political conditions of the society in which they took shape. Beginning with theories of myth and proceeding to the analysis of individual stories and cycles, the material will serve as a vehicle for improving your written communication skills. Assignments include preparatory writing and essays focusing on readings and discussions in class.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Jennifer Carrington 17439 Tod Clary
CLASSICS 1564 Socrates v. STEM
Plato’s Protagoras presents a debate about the method/s by which one can become a successful person and a good citizen through an often funny duel between Socrates and Protagoras. Protagoras and his fellow intellectuals claim to have a set of technical skills (ranging from math to public speaking) that empower students. Socrates finds their claims underwhelming and inadequate as the basis of real happiness. To even the odds, we will also read a number of short contemporary works that support Protagoras’ side. The course will follow Plato’s intense focus on methods of debate and analysis. We will learn how to interpret informal arguments and how to reconstruct theories sketched in the text and to set them out with clarity and concision.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Charles Brittain 17786
War, Politics, and Human Nature: The History of Thucydides
The war between Athens and Sparta (431–404 BC) as written by Thucydides is recognized as a paradigm for international relations, military strategy, and the challenges of political leadership under a democracy. Its admirers range from Colin Powell to Bob Dylan. But Thucydides is also a compelling storyteller, portraying advocates of idealistic patriotism or aggressive brutality, relating episodes of tragic miscalculation or murderous political hysteria. We will study him as a model for observing and understanding the range of actions that humans can take against each other. We will also note what he edits out, but his contemporaries did not: women and the family (Lysistrata), religion (Antigone and Oedipus), and transcendent moral values (Plato’s accounts of Socrates). Requirements include regular participation, presentations on assigned topics, and six essays.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jeffrey Rusten 17788
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1109
Writing Across Cultures: The Ulysses Theme—Coming Home to Ithaca (Over and Over Again)
As we return to Ithaca for a new year at Cornell, let’s spend our spring charting the literary journey of the character of Odysseus, a man striving to finally get back to his own Ithaca (an island in Ancient Greece, not a city in upstate New York). We will follow Odysseus through time and space as he gets resurrected in different time periods, languages, genres, and cultures by some of the most brilliant literary minds in history. From epic hero to tragic villain, from philosophical wanderer to eternally damned sinner, to a well-meaning ad man trying to rekindle his relationship with his wife, Odysseus (or Ulysses) has traveled a long way and inhabited countless characters. In this class we will use Odysseus to get a sense of the way literature continually builds on old themes in order to once again make it new. The class will read selections of the writings of a number of authors including Homer, Sophocles, Dante, Joyce, Cavafy, and Walcott. We will try to borrow Odysseus’ craft in writing assignments that will involve analysis and comparison of texts as well as research.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Hannah Karmin 17441 Jonathan Monroe
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126
Comparative Arts: Digital Poetry, or Literary, Visual, and Sonic Art
In the 1980s the literary critic Hugh Kenner famously translated a passage of Samuel Beckett to a computer program. Today however, computer-generated poetry, digital visual poetry, interactive poetry, and code poetry, are not uncommon. But does a computer “write” poetry? Does poetry expand to other media? What is the relation between “digital poetry” and its precedents in twentieth-century literature? This seminar will explore the theory and practice of “digital poetry.” Students will learn to write analytically about image, sound, and text with increasing knowledge of literary theory and criticism. We will read canonical authors including Apollinaire, Beckett, and Raymond Queneau in dialogue with contemporary digital practitioners such as John Cayley, Nick Montfort, and Stephanie Strickland.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Junting Huang 17442 Jonathan Monroe
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1126 Comparative Arts: Visual Islam?
In this course we will consider the questions of visual representation and visual perception in Arabic Islamic literature, art, and culture. The relationship between Islam and visuality is a complex, multidisciplinary one: thus, our exploration of the intersection between both ‘Islam’ and ‘visuality’ will lead us to consider material ranging from the Qur’an, as well as classical and modern Arabic literature, art, and architecture. All Arabic sources will be studied in translation; in addition, we will also turn to select examples of European and American visual art and literature which engage—directly or indirectly—with our subject of study, such as Birk’s American Qur’an and Thompson’s Habibi. Through our consideration of such materials, we will practice composing conceptually and structurally compelling argumentative essays.
SEM 102 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Kholoud Hussein 17963 Jonathan Monroe
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1133 Studies in Literary Theory: The World as Text
When we meet people for the first time, it is common to be asked about our names and where we are from. This course will explore what it entails to identify ourselves and others with place. What does it mean to belong to a place? What is the relationship between place and our bodies, values, thoughts, and worldviews? Does place construct who we are, or is it the other way around? How are place and identity represented in literature, film, and other genres? We will attempt to examine these questions in a variety of theoretical and literary texts, films, and other media. Authors and films may include Cresswell, Silverman, Baudrillard, Borges, and The Matrix. Writing assignments will encourage students to write with style and make complex arguments.
SEM 101 MWF 03:35–04:25 p.m. Ahmad Alswaid 17404 Jonathan Monroe
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 1133
Studies in Literary Theory: Powers of Literature
Both "power" and "literature" are prevalent, yet ambiguous cultural keywords of today. Power is frequently understood as power over something or someone, the power of prohibition or limitation for example, or, alternatively, power might be understood as the capacity to do something or act in a certain way. Likewise, literature is frequently attributed multiple meanings. Simply defined as the result or product of writing, literature has been understood as a supplement to memory, a substitute for personal interaction or first-person observation. However, beyond serving as an instrument of communication, literature is also frequently construed as an art, or an end in itself, and as worthy of the same kind of lasting merit society places on painting and music, for example. This course will examine the ambiguity in both these terms as well as how their meanings and uses might reflect upon and elucidate each other. Thus we aim to examine powers of literature in a double sense: asking what powers help constitute literature and how literature constitutes particular powers. Authors will include Hoffman, Joyce, Kafka, Melville, Stifter, Tieck, Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Freud, Derrida, Foucault, and Agamben among others.
SEM 102 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Jonathan Davenport 17405 Jonathan Monroe
CITY AND REGIONAL PLANNING 1109
Cities and Regions: Housing in the American City
Housing affordability, quality, and access are some of the most pressing issues facing urban policy-makers. In some areas costs have risen rapidly, while in others an excess of housing has led to widespread blight and abandonment. On top of this, the recent housing crisis shows quite starkly the important role housing plays in the U.S. economy. This course examines the functioning of housing markets, the public policies that regulate them, and the impact of this system on neighborhoods and their residents. Students will read widely on housing topics from academic journals to historical accounts to newspaper articles. In addition to readings and in-class discussions, students will practice a range of writing styles through the completion of blogposts, essays, and policy briefs.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Daniel Kuhlmann 17410 Stephan Schmidt
DEVELOPMENT SOCIOLOGY 1200
The “Third World Within”: Poverty and Paradox in the United States
We typically see the U.S. as exemplifying the First World. But poverty, exploitation, and marginalization are everywhere, evident in widespread income inequality, high rates of incarceration, contaminated drinking water, gun violence, and more. Together, we will examine these problems and forgotten backwaters in the U.S., asking whether they stand apart from modern development or are a hidden part of it, learning to see the world as more than just developed and undeveloped. For example, how do the natural gas pipelines crisscrossing Pennsylvania forests relate to energy markets in nearby Manhattan, or compare to energy extraction in other parts of the world? Writing assignments (personal essays, satire) will build towards a sociological research proposal, where students will articulate realistic, data-driven research questions about the paradoxes that surround us.
SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Eleanor Andrews 17413 John Sipple
SEM 102 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Eleanor Andrews 17413 John Sipple
EDUCATION 1170 Teens in School
What do research and experience tell us about adolescents in the U.S.? What needs and desires are fundamental, and which are culturally or individually variable? Are U.S. middle and high schools (at least some of them) well designed in light of what we know about teens and the world they are growing up in? Insight into these questions will come from reading, frequent writing, discussion, and weekly trips off campus to work with students at a rural middle or high school.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Bryan Duff 17789
Student schedules must accommodate Tuesday trips (2:40-4:30 PM) to a local middle or high school. Transportation provided. Because of the weekly trips, the amount of reading will be reduced so that total hours of commitment to the course will be commensurate with other FWSs.
Writing and Sexual Politics: Stories of Female Friendship
How have alliances between women been expressed in fiction? How have these literary depictions contributed to, contradicted, or complicated our ideas of how females relate among themselves? How well has recent writing done to address Virginia Woolf’s 1929 observation of the dearth of female friendship on the page—her insistence that the hypothetical line, “Chloe liked Olivia,” represents “a first in literature”? This course will explore the bond between members of “the second sex” as constructed in a range of narratives, from biblical stories to play and novel excerpts (William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Lorraine López, Elena Ferrante), to the contemporary television series Girls and Orange is the New Black. Writing assignments will include reading responses, analytical essays on single works, and comparative assignments bringing ideas from one to bear another, and creative assignments in which students tell their own stories of female friendships.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Tess Wheelwright 17415 Dagmnawi Woubshet
Writing and Sexual Politics: Queer Women Writers
In this course we will read texts by and/or about queer women such as Audre Lorde and Alison Bechdel to analyze the queer ways authors and protagonists visualize themselves and the world from positions of abjection and joy. We will also think through what it means to be “queer,” and how queerness both shapes and is shaped by one’s position. Students will encounter a range of authors including texts by and about nonwhite, nonAmerican, and transgender/gender nonconforming subjects. This will serve to enrich our analysis of queerness in literature, but also to nuance our understanding of queerness as a lived experience. To this end, students can expect to write both critical and creative essays.
SEM 102 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Elizabeth Alexander 17416 Dagmawi Woubshet
Writing and Sexual Politics: Sex, Girls, and Misogynoir—Feminist Essays
This course will introduce students to a personal yet often political genre of personal, creative nonfiction, and academic essays that focus on combating sexism, writing women’s lives, and redefining gender. Reading essays by writers such as Jessica Valenti, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, Mark Anthony Neal, and Sikivu Hutchinson will highlight questions surrounding women’s bodies, religion, queer sexualities, and masculinity. The readings will query how, in Simone de Beauvoir’s words, one becomes a woman, and consequently what effects patriarchy and male domination have on the gendered world. Writing assignments will range from writing your own creative nonfiction, poetry, and personal essays, to close reading analyses of texts.
SEM 103 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Marquis Bey 17417 Dagmawi Woubshet
Writing and Sexual Politics: Empathy and Technology
“Unplug,” “do a social media purge,” “just go outside”: psychologists, bloggers, and our moms all claim that using less technology might lead to more genuine emotional connections. But what about our current relationship with technology draws worries of social disengagement? How are current digital technologies different from telephones, photographs, and even letters, that have connected us with other people over the past centuries? And, technology aside, how much do we know about our ability to empathize anyway? We’ll engage these questions through case studies of hashtag activism, SecondLife, cyborgs, war photography, and crisis helplines. As a writing community, we’ll draft, workshop, and revise frequent creative and critical essays considering the ways that technologies support, interfere with, or interrogate our experiences of empathy and apathy.
SEM 104 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Liza Flum 17418 Lyrae VanClief-Stafanon
Writing and Sexual Politics: Erotics of Knowledge
What is the erotic? In Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, Audre Lorde defines it as “our deepest and nonrational knowledge,” associated with love, intimacy, and attachment as well as the “measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings.” Similarly, in Plato’s Symposium, erotic love is defined as something “in between mortal and immortal,” akin to discernment which is “something in between wisdom and ignorance.” In this discussion- and writing-intensive course, we will question the “in-betweenness” of erotic love and whether it implies perpetual transition. Texts will include Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. Together, and writing frequent critical and creative essays, we’ll explore the ways in which erotic love is a form of self-knowledge and how self-knowledge is a form of chaos.
SEM 105 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Korey Williams 17419 Dagmawi Woubshet
Writing and Sexual Politics: Science Fiction and Feminism
Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Vonnegut: these are some of the names that come to mind when thinking about the seminal writers of science fiction, a genre historically dominated by men. Often ignored in this history are the women who also contributed influential works. This course will examine texts by some of the pioneering female authors of science fiction, including James Tiptree, Ursula Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Margaret Atwood, and Octavia Butler. We will read their stories and novels in the context of history and politics, especially feminist movements. We will discuss how science fiction’s strength as allegory gives writers the freedom to explore questions not only about gender but race, sexuality, and class as well. Writing assignments will encourage critical engagement with primary and secondary texts.
SEM 106 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Ji Hyun Lee 17420 Cathy Caruth
Writing Across Cultures: Imaginary Lands
What does it take to make a world real? This course will study texts that seem as if they could be set in reality, perhaps our own or perhaps one entirely distant. Using a mixture of speculative fiction and alternate histories firmly grounded in logic and realism, we will read world-building texts that present their lands as real, encyclopedias, codices of imaginary lands and languages, and meta-fiction. Focusing on intersections of narration, creation, and deception, we’ll explore novels and stories by Italo Calvino, Jan Morris, Jorge Luis Borges, and others. Through class discussions and a variety of writing assignments designed to develop and adapt your skills from analytical convictions to creative projects, this course will investigate writing as a means to understand worlds.
SEM 101 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Amber Harding 17426 Mark Morris
Writing Across Cultures: Race and (Dis)ability
We will explore the intersections between race and disability to ask: How are “difference” and “weakness” understood in anti-racist politics (e.g., strength in Black Power versus survival in Black Lives Matter)? How do people with prosopagnosia (aka face blindness) see race? Do we all have a case of prosopagnosia when trying to see individuals beyond race? How do those people born blind think race differently from those who lost their sight? How have particular races been imagined as less-than or more-than human to justify white supremacy (e.g., slavery, prisons, "the wall," war, etc.)? How have definitions of race and disability been mutually constitutive in medical discourse? Is mental illness aligned primarily with whiteness, and how has social policy kept racialized groups from mental health support?
SEM 102 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Katherine Thorsteinson 17427 Satya Mohanty
Writing Across Cultures: Speaking Science Fictions
How will people speak with their neighbors hundreds of years from now? Email? Telepathy? Messenger bat? In this course we will look at how future humans, aliens, and machines communicate with each other in science fiction—and what happens when communication fails. Readings will include works by William Gibson, Walter Miller, and China Mièville. Writing assignments, both analytical and creative, will explore how science fiction uses unconventional or invented language to comment on real-life social problems and conflicts. As we read and write, we'll consider how language is changing today to anticipate and shape the future.
SEM 103 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Claire Whitenack 17428
Writing Across Cultures: Inside the Haunted House
Enter only if you dare: This course is for supernatural sleuths compelled to investigate the haunted sites of Western film and literature both classic and new. What exactly constitutes a haunting? How and why are phantoms so often tethered to place? In what ways are our pasts linked to our present—both for good and for ill? Our explorations will include a crumbling Victorian mansion (del Toro’s Crimson Peak), a “spiteful” old house in rural Ohio (Morrison’s Beloved), and a phantom London alley where vampiric prophets lurk (Mitchell’s Slade House). Student sleuths will further their oral and written communication skills through collaborative discussion, informal presentation, and the individual completion of six linked “investigative reports” on each haunted site we encounter.
SEM 104 MW 07:30–08:45 p.m. Cody Klippenstein 17429 Ernesto Quiñonez
Writing Across Cultures: History from the Margins
What stories has mainstream America tended to leave out of its “official” historical record? Through work by Sherman Alexie, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Andrea Gibson, and Tarifa Faizulla, we will explore the way the literary qualities of history endow it with the potential for multiple representations, honing in on how minoritized American identities have revised the historical/political record. Informal experimental writing assignments will lead toward the drafting and revision of argumentative essays.
SEM 105 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Briana Thompson 17430 Satya Mohanty
Writing Across Cultures: Text(ing) in the Digital Age
Have you ever wondered if Shakespeare would work on Twitter? Ever worry that technology will render obsolete our favorite dog-eared books? Or whether tweeting and texting will destroy the English language with slang and emoji? This course considers such looming questions by exploring the evolution of textual production. We will study how a text like Romeo and Juliet changes from stage to page to screen—or how a graphic novel likeV for Vendetta changes the way we read. We will also investigate how readers both navigate and understand new literature like hypertext and crowd-sourced novels. Writing is central to this seminar. Five out of six essays produced in class will go through a drafting process that includes workshops for topics, outlines, and peer editing.
SEM 106 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Kaylin O'Dell 17431
Writing Across Cultures: Revenge!
“How did I plan this moment? With pleasure.”—Edmond Dantès (The Count of Monte Cristo). To plan revenge is easy, but what are the costs and consequences of getting it? This class will examine the methods and motives of vengeance in order to understand its historical and cultural significance in literature and film. In the process we will attempt to answer the question of why these narratives not only endure but also enjoy such a prominent place in the canon. We will look for revenge everywhere: from Shakespeare, to Bollywood films, to American Westerns. Working independently and in class, students will gain experience in interpretative reading and analysis, as well as innovative writing and editing.
SEM 107 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Mary-Margaret Stevens 17432 Helena Viramontes
Writing Across Cultures: Autobiographies of Childhood
The German-born writer W. G. Sebald once remarked “no one can explain exactly what happens within us when the doors behind which our childhood terrors lurk are flung open.” In this course the autobiographies of childhood we will read will bring us back into the other-worldliness and strange beauty of childhood memories of some of the world’s most gifted writers. Students will write critical responses to the books and frequent short creative pieces. Books include: Jose Saramago’sSmall Memories, Maxim Gorky’s My Childhood, Wole Soyinka’sAke, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Patrick Chamoiseau’s Childhood and J. M. Coetzee’s Boyhood.
SEM 108 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Ishion Hutchinson 17433
Writing Across Cultures: Native American and Latino Hauntings
What does it mean to haunt or to be haunted? This class will investigate the ways in which many North American indigenous cultures negotiate the concepts of home, memory, and identity through ghost stories of various kinds. Framed correctly, the concept of the ghost can upset Western notions of time and place: it explores our relationship to place, and it speaks to the ways in which indigenous peoples remember. On the other hand, the ghost has been used against indigenous peoples by Western colonizing powers. We will look at the tensions revealed by the concept, and we will explore how the ghost as a tool can, in different hands, be used as both a mode of oppression and of decolonization. The class will look at different kinds of media, and class readings will include works by Lorraine López, Eden Robinson, Juan Rulfo, Sherman Alexie, and LeAnne Howe. Writing assignments will include formal, analytical arguments as well as creative pieces.
SEM 109 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Mariana Alarcon 17434 Satya Mohanty
Writing Across Cultures: Get in Formation—History in Real Time
When Beyoncé dropped “Formation,” Internet heads spun deconstructing its intention. Did she mean to make a political or historical statement? Via texts aligned in thought with many current sociopolitical movements (#blacklivesmatter, LGBTQA rights, etc.), we’ll consider the art and literature of this moment as the center of a pop culture phenomenon made possible by the current digital stage. As we encounter multi-genre works by artists and writers such as: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Warsan Shire, Eula Biss, Juliana Huxtable, and others, we’ll investigate, debate, and analyze these texts as inextricable from both the implications and power of history formed and history in “formation.” We’ll evolve from just consuming and disseminating these texts to being thinkers and writers who analyze them to make our own university-level written works.
SEM 110 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Revnia White 17436
ENGLISH 1134 True Stories
When students write personal essays for college applications, they often discover just how challenging
writing about and presenting themselves to the public can be. In this course we’ll examine how well-known authors such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Alison Bechdel, Tim O’Brien, and others construct their public, written selves. We’ll consider how an author’s self-presentation affects how readers interpret the experiences, insights, and knowledge presented in each text; we’ll also consider how the style of writing affects how readers understand an author’s personality and motives. Readings will include short essays, possibly some poems, and a few longer works. Together, and writing frequent essays, we’ll explore why and how people write about themselves—for self-exploration, political or social change, purely to practice a form of art, or for other reasons—and we’ll investigate how writing shapes lived experience.
Common Ground: Education Beyond the Ivory Tower
This course offers you a chance to become a more engaged member of the Ithaca community as part of your first-year writing experience. For two afternoons a week, Cornell students will engage with Ithaca middle school students as mentors and tutors outside of class. Writing assignments will help you reflect on the tutoring experience and the role of education and responsible citizenship in a democratic society. Readings will includeSavage Inequalities by Kozol, Life and Death of the Great American School System by Ravitch, and essays by Barber, Freire, and King. Our ultimate goal will be to broaden students' perspectives on our public educational system and the role of universities in their communities. Cross-Listed section: To add this seminar to your ballot, choose WRIT 1400.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. x-listed w/ WRIT 1400 & AMST 1140 17535
Student schedules must accommodate TR trips (3-5 PM) to Boynton Middle School.
The Mystery in the Story
What makes a story, and what makes it a mystery story? In this course we'll study and write about the nature of narratives, taking the classic mystery tale written by such writers as Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Raymond Chandler as typical of intricately plotted stories of suspense and disclosure that have been written and filmed in many genres: Greek tragedy, horror tales by Poe and Shirley Jackson, psychological thrillers by Ruth Rendell and Patricia Highsmith, neo-noir films such as Memento and Fight Club, and postmodern mystery parodies such as those of Paul Auster and Jorge Luis Borges. We'll look at the way they hold together, the desire and fear that drive them, and the secrets they tell—or try to keep hidden.
American Voices: Cool Stuff—American Literature and Pop Culture
Where would Junot Diaz be without hip-hop? Langston Hughes without jazz? Nathanael West without film? American Literature developed during the explosive growth of industrial capitalism and mass consumerism. Consequently, the study of American Literature, as a field, has to account for the influence of mass/popular culture in identifying a uniquely “American” tradition. No longer confined to the text, the current field of American Literature now considers a range of non-print media (such as film and music) to be valid and necessary objects of study. We will explore how authors of classic American literature have been influenced by popular culture. Expect to read, watch, listen to, and write analytically about works from Faulkner, Hughes, West, Diaz, Tarantino, Scorcese, Coltrane, Guthrie, Wu-Tang Clan, and Public Enemy.
SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Christopher Berardino 17469 Shirley Samuels
American Voices: American Ghosts
Sociologist Avery Gordon argues that, “To study social life one must confront the ghostly aspects of it.” This course will explore the ghostly figures that appear in American literature from the early national period to the twenty-first century. What forms do ghosts take? In what ways can people be haunted? How do specters recalibrate our understanding of chronology and history? And what do ghosts demand of us—ethically, socially, and politically? We will pay particular attention to what ghosts have to do with gender, race, class, and sexuality. Texts will likely include Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Anna Lee Walters’s Ghost Singer, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, short works by Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Henry James, and Sherman Alexie, and selections from theoretical texts. We will think about critical writing, research, and reading as ways of engaging with spectral—with what seems invisible, insubstantial, unreal, non-present, dead, or past. In addition to formal assignments, students will do regular informal writing activities such as reading reflections, a brief essay that connects an older literary text with a current event, and a collaborative in-class paper written in small groups.
SEM 102 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Gabriella Friedman 17470 Shirley Samuels
American Voices: Performing America
From the drama between brothers in Sam Sheppard’s True West to the family stories in Helena Maria Viramontes’ Under the Feet of Jesus, characters try to understand themselves through conflicts with their families and their sense of place. To express identity through geography, class, race, sexuality, and gender preoccupies many authors. In this class we will read attentively, write carefully, and think as clearly as we can about such issues as how to locate a sense of self in the U.S. Authors will include Rebecca Harding Davis, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Toni Morrison, and Helena Maria Viramontes. Weekly writing assignments.
SEM 103 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Shirley Samuels 17471
American Voices: Documenting America, 1900 to 1945
The demand for documentation, the hunger for authenticity, and the urge to share in the experiences of others were widespread in the first half of the twentieth century. This course explores the various ways artists, photographers, writers, and government agencies attempted to document American life. How do such documents fluctuate between utility and aesthetics? In what ways do these works document issues of race and gender that complicate our understanding of American life? How are our understandings of industrialization and consumerism,
the Great Depression and World War II, shaped and altered by such works as the photographs of Hine, Lange, and Evans, the paintings of Lawrence, the films of Chaplin, and the literary works of Himes, Williams, Hurston, and Agee? Writing assignments will include analyses and comparisons of photographs, films, and texts.
SEM 104 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Vincent Hiscock 17472 Shirley Samuels
American Voices: Hauntings in Asian American Literature
A ghost is a figure that holds a disruptive status. The question “did you see that?” hinges between visibility and invisibility, and the question “did you hear that?” indicates a sound or rhythm out of place. “Hauntings” in Asian American Literature is a first foray into the question: what is and is not visible, what is and is not heard, in a canonized “American Voice”? How might the theme of haunting be related to questions of belonging, of marginality, of mourning, and literary representation? We will address these and other questions as we explore the figure of ghosts and the theme of haunting within Asian American literature. The readings span from Joy Kogawa’s Obasan, to Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms, Nora Okja Keller’sComfort Woman, to Kyung-Sook Shin’s Please Look After Mom. Drawing upon class discussions of the readings, as well as written responses, students will learn to develop focused lines of inquiry for writing papers. We will work collectively toward asking interesting questions, finding meaningful frames of analysis, and writing with effective economy.
SEM 105 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Mee-Ju Ro 17473 Shelly Wong
American Voices: Writing as Self-Exploration
Didion says, “I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means.” We often don’t know the depth and nuance of what we feel and think until we work to uncover it. Writing can help us expand and unravel ourselves, our world, and complex theories. We’ll explore class and family through George Saunders’ madcap surrealist stories, race and invisibility in James Baldwin’s personal essays, sexuality in Maggie Nelson’sexperimentallyricessays,listlessnessinTaoLin’s Taipei,addictionandredemptioninDenisJohnson’sJesus’ Son, love and loss in Junot Díaz and Stuart Dybek’s stories, and more. We’ll write personal and critical essays that ask who we are, what we’re up against, and why it matters.
SEM 106 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Kirsten Saracini 17474 Shirley Samuels
American Voices: Race, Law, and the Black Lives Matter Movement
Why is it necessary in the United States, in the year 2017, to assert that Black Lives Matter? This course explores this urgent question through African American literary and performative texts that grapple with the racial inequalities of American law. While Black Lives Matter as a movement is of course about more than just legal reform, the centrality of police brutality and the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Aiyana Jones, and too many others to name will focus our course on the intersection of race and law. We will use the setting of a writing seminar to explore how the written word both intervenes in and resists the law—itself a mode of writing. Through formal and informal assignments, students will both build concrete writing skills and attend to the power of writing as authorship of a world, ultimately synthesizing a doubly meaningful sense of revision.
SEM 107 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Jesse Goldberg 17475 Margo Crawford
American Voices: The Culture of Great American Cities
Despite poverty, depopulation, and social disruption, the minoritized populations of American cities have been the source of creativity in the arts. Through frequent writing and revisions, you'll analyze and describe a variety of cultural forms, from rap music to subway graffiti, and from journalism to fiction, that reflect the lives of people in inner cities. A guiding theme will be hip-hop culture, which originated in the South Bronx in the 1970s and went worldwide. What are the socio-economic conditions that produced hip-hop? What's the relationship between hip-hop and contemporary movements like Black Lives Matter and prison reform? How does hip-hop construct identities? How did commercialization affect art forms that arose in poverty? And most broadly: What does aesthetic pleasure have to do with social justice?
SEM 108 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Paul Sawyer 17476
ENGLISH 1167 Great New Books
Would you be able to identify the Shakespeare or Austen of your time? What are the best books being written today and how do we know they are great? What role do critics, prizes, book clubs, and movie adaptations play in establishing the appeal and prestige of new literature? Are there some books that are great in their moment and others that will be considered great for generations to come? These are some of the questions we'll explore as we read, discuss, and write critical essays about several of the most acclaimed books published in the last twenty years. Our readings will include works in a range of genres, from novels and memoirs to poetry and graphic novels.
Cultural Studies: Literature and Climate Change
What does literature have to offer a dying world? Indeed, what is the point of reading and writing in an age of ecosystem collapse, climate change, and mass animal extinctions? In this course we will examine how a diverse set of authors imagine environmental degradation and climate change, taking special care to emphasize eco-disasters as both scientific and cultural phenomena. We will also explore how texts and films, from Walden to Wall-E, fromEating Animals to Mad Max: Fury Road, envision more hopeful and just environmental futures for all of earth’s inhabitants: plant, animal, and human. Writing assignments will include creative projects, a film review, and, because action is the antidote to despair, a letter to a government representative.
SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Kristen Angierski 17499 Elizabeth Anker
Cultural Studies: Monsters in Fiction
We find ourselves fascinated by vampires, zombies, and aliens. But why? What do we find so compelling about these monsters? And what can they teach us about ourselves? This course will investigate a variety of monsters and use them as critical lenses into the societies they terrorize. We will thoughtfully examine the fears, anxieties, and transgressions that monsters reflect, the cultural moments they capture. We will learn to discern and analyze the undercurrents of meaning that boil beneath our most popular narratives—and we will learn how to write about them. From Dracula toThe Walking Dead, this class uses monsters to engage with human questions and concerns. What is it that makes us human? The answers might surprise or even frighten us.
SEM 102 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Lena Nguyen 17500 Elizabeth Anker
Cultural Studies: Word Spirits
The Japanese term kotodama refers to the spirits or ghosts of words. The idea is that negative words can haunt you or harm people, and good ones can improve the world. What are words made of, what are their mysterious powers, and how best to harness them? Can they really change the world? Or are there limitations to the powers of language, as indicated by the cliché: “actions speak louder than words”? We will converse with the word spirits of authors such as Jamaica Kincaid, Haruki Murakami, Richard Wagamese, Lucille Clifton, William Shakespeare, and Eduardo Corral. By writing love poems, personal stories, and analytical essays, we will explore the ghosts of words and the possible ways language can “move” us and, just maybe, the world.
SEM 103 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Richard LaRose 17501 Lyrae VanClief-Stafanon
Cultural Studies: Everyone’s a Critic
“In many ways,” says Anton Ego in Ratatouille, “the work of a critic is easy.” Is that true? This course examines critical writing intended for general readers—book and film reviews in particular—with an emphasis on the practical strategies critics use in framing their writing for different audiences and in manipulating different forms (the review-essay, the survey, the hatchet job, the retrospective, etc.). We’ll read from some of the great mid-century critics (Pauline Kael, Randall Jarrell), as well as the many critics who have flourished in the contemporary era (Updike, Vendler, Wood, Dargis, et al.). Our goal will be to better understand, if not answer, the ancient question, “What’s the point of criticism?”, as well as its modern variant, “Why should anyone care what That Guy thinks?”
SEM 104 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. David Orr 17502
Cultural Studies: Nature, Land, Property
Westerners routinely understand land (and by extension nature) as property. But American naturalists and Indigenous peoples offer alternatives conceiving nature, legally, aesthetically, and empathically. We will examine narratives of property and ownership that have been constructed around “nature” since the classical period—narratives that have led to outcomes as divergent as the formation of National Parks to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. We will explore alternative narratives that conceive of nature as a kinship system shared between humans and other beings, and asking in the process what is or might be meant by concepts of “nature,” “environment,” “land,” and “place,” and thinking through diverse understandings of what nature is, and whether it can be “owned.” Writing assignments will range from personal essays about property, to close readings and comparative analyses.
SEM 105 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Lauren Harmon 17503
Cultural Studies: Digital Literature and New Media
Could a Twitter feed be literature? How about a video game? Is the computer coding underlying both a kind of poetry? In class we will address these questions and many more, in an effort to understand and write about emerging digital forms and their relation to “Art” and “Literature.” In the past 30 years, computer technology has enabled new forms of art to be possible and visible. We will read, watch, and play a plethora of these works. We will also read recent scholarly work on digital literature and new media. And we will become better writers and thinkers as we articulate this still-new world of potential literature.
SEM 106 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Travis Duprey 17504 Andrew Galloway Alice Fulton
ENGLISH 1170 Short Stories
What is the difference between an anecdote and a short story or a memoir and a short story? How does the short story separate itself from the prose poem, the myth, or the parable? What can a short story do that no other art form can do, including cinematic narrative? This course will focus on the reading and analysis of short stories derived from a range of cultures and time periods, with some emphasis on English-language stories, particularly those from the North American continent. Writers may include but not be limited to: Tobias Wolff, Alice Munro, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Willa Cather, Edgar Allan Poe, Nikolai Gogol, Eudora Welty, Louise Erdrich, Haruki Murakami, Denis Johnson, Margaret Atwood, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O'Connor, Edith Wharton, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anton Chekhov. There will be a research component and some workshop discussion of student work.
ENGLISH 1183 Word and Image
Writers and artists from Homer to Raymond Pettibon have been fascinated by the relationship between words and images, a relationship that is sometimes imagined as a competition, sometimes as a collaboration. What are the differences between literary and visual media? What can the juxtaposition of word and image teach us about the nature of representation? What other goals do artists and writers hope to achieve by coupling words with images? To explore these questions, we will consult works drawn from a range of periods and genres (graphic novels, medieval manuscripts, contemporary art and new media, emblem books, film, literary gaming, fiction, and poetry). The course is structured around a progressive set of writing assignments and will include both informal exercises as well as formal essays.
British Literature: Medical Monsters
Surgery and writing have a lot in common: both involve taking a body, (physical in the first case, textual in the second) cutting it apart to see how it works, extracting useful pieces, inserting new bits, and discarding others, all in attempt to create a whole which is more than the sum of its parts. This course uses the experimented-on physical body as an occasion to consider how we “experiment” on our own textual bodies, through examining the “medical monsters” of nineteenth-century fiction. Reading Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” and The Island of Dr. Moreau, we’ll learn how nineteenth-century medical experimentation challenged ideas of religion, nature, animality, and human identity. Visits to Cornell’s Brain Collection and the Johnson Museum will supplement readings. Writing assignments will include literary analyses, a descriptive “dissection” of a textual body, and a final research essay.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Amelia Hall 17446 Elisha Cohn
Writing About Literature: Reading Poetry
What can reading poetry teach us about good writing and critical thinking? This writing seminar deals with a variety of poetry, from the Renaissance to contemporary musical lyrics, in order to make students better readers and writers. We will work collectively in a seminar setting to 1) learn about the formal aspects of poetic texts; 2) improve writing skills; 3) develop habits of critical thinking; 4) learn how to write critical papers; 5) talk about what is at stake in reading a poem and doing critical analysis.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Barbara Correll 17450
GERMAN STUDIES 1109
From Fairy Tales to the Uncanny: Exploring the Romantic Consciousness
How did bawdy tales of peasants using magic to climb the social ladder get transformed into moral lessons for children? The answer lies in Romanticism and its appropriation of the imagination as a force for social transformation. As Romantics edited older tales for juvenile consumption they wrote new ones for adults. This new fiction created the matrix for modern pop genres like fantasy, science-fiction, murder mysteries, and gothic horror. To understand this paradigm shift in modern culture, we will read, discuss, and write about a variety of texts the Romantics collected, composed, or inspired, including poetry and film, in addition to classic fairy tales and academic scholarship on the topic.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Ben Tam 17642 Douglas Brent McBride
GERMAN STUDIES 1115 Sports Fanaticism
Sports are never just entertainment. They also create communities of fans—fanatics—with values and rituals that closely resemble religious movements. The guiding principle behind this writing seminar is that there is a relationship between the form of a particular sport—what happens on the field—and the fans it produces. The difference, then, between a Yankees and a Cowboys fan is not just a jersey, but a worldview. Students will practice academic writing skills by analyzing these worldviews as expressed in the books and films surrounding specific sports themselves. These will include Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch, Phil Alden Robinson’s Field of Dreams, and Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia, as well as critical works by Immanuel Kant, Susan Sonntag, and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Matteo Calla 17452 Douglas Brent McBride
GERMAN STUDIES 1118 Let’s Play!
Why do we play games and why do we have fun with them? What makes us winners and losers? This course will explore various approaches to games and humans at play. We will try to understand why people play and why they prefer some games to others. Interdisciplinary in nature, the class will offer readings from areas of sociology, psychology, history, mathematics, and cultural studies (just to name a few). By reading and analyzing and playing with Nabokov, Hesse, Zweig, Berne, Huizinga, and Schenkel we will make connections between games, national identity, gender, class, and intelligence, and will construct arguments about various scholarly and fictional written and cinematic texts.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Ekaterina Pirozhenko 17456
GERMAN STUDIES 1170
GERMAN STUDIES 1170 Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
A basic understanding of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud is a prerequisite for participating in critical debates in the humanities and social sciences. Our seminar will explore key terms in the revolutionary models of critical analysis these thinkers pioneered: historical materialism, post-metaphysical philosophy, and psychoanalysis. This will mean articulating points of contrast as well as convergence. Discussions and writing exercises will focus on texts that created the discursive framework for critiquing society and culture today. Our method will proceed from the premise that critical reading, thinking, and writing are inseparable moments in the same operation of critique. The question that guides that method will be: Do alternative ways of thinking exist in opposition to the ones we view as natural, inevitable, or universal?
GERMAN STUDIES 1190
Evil, God, and Modern Thought: Exploring the Enlightenment
How could a just God create a world full of incomprehensible suffering? Finding solutions to this persistent question seriously preoccupied enlightenment thinkers who promised to make the world more coherent. This seminar explores a number of “modern” attempts to justify the existence of “evil” both in the world and in us. As we read and discuss novellas (Kleist, Voltaire), poems (Milton, Goethe, Blake), essays (Leibniz, Rousseau), letters (Shaftesbury), manifestos (Lessing), and philosophy (Kant, Hegel, Marx,), we will discover how culture appropriates religious authority in its quest to vindicate God from the charge of having catastrophically failed humanity. To understand the significance of this development we will critically engage with and write about a number of diverse texts that challenge assumed boundaries between religion and culture.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Matthew Stoltz 17972 Douglas Brent McBride
Power and Politics: Contemporary Political Protest
What drives people to protest? Nations undergo economic and political changes that affect citizens all the time, yet citizens don’t always react. So what happens in a moment of discontent that sparks one’s decision to sign a petition, wear a badge, or take to the streets? In this course we will seek to understand causes and consequences of mobilization through an analysis of three relatively recent events: the resistance to policy reforms in Latin America in the beginning of 2000s; the current protests against austerity in Europe; and responses in the U.S. after the 2008 financial crisis. Students will be asked to write on these topics in a variety of styles, including pamphlets, flyers, political speeches, op-eds, and argument analysis.
SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Maria Jimena Valdez Tappata 17467 Gustavo Flores-Macias
Power and Politics: Just Words? Just Inequality
This writing seminar will consider the politics of justice and inequality through a focused examination of the work of a diverse set of writers, ranging from classical political thinkers and contemporary politicians to novelists and poets. How do these writers mobilize language to cast inequality in a new light, to persuade others about the meaning of justice, or to open our eyes to hidden inequity? Through close readings of texts ranging from Plato to Thomas Paine to Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, and a series of related writing assignments such as op-eds and speeches as well as argumentative essays, this course will give students the opportunity to write with, against, and about compelling writers politically engaging the topics of inequality and justice and seeking to change their worlds.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jacob Swanson 17468 Jill Frank
Power and Politics: Women and Political Violence
What is the relationship between sex, gender, and violence? Why do some armed groups engage in rampant wartime sexual violence while others do not? Are women always victims of violence or can they be perpetrators too? In this course we will seek to understand how gender and violence interact during times of war and times of peace, and critically examine government policies surrounding these issues. We will investigate not only sexual violence during war but the trafficking of women as slaves and “mail order brides,” as well as women's participation in violence as leaders, soldiers, guerillas, and terrorists. Students will be asked to write on these topics in a variety of styles including op-eds, literary analysis, and academic research.
SEM 103 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Mariel Barnes 17477 Matthew Evangelista
Writing History: Japan After Fukushima
The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster has opened up a series of questions on the social and historical structures of nuclear technology and disasters: What are the impacts of nuclear technology on humankind and environment? What is the difference between natural disasters and man-made disasters? What is the relationship between politics and science? In this course students will pay special attention to contentious issues about nuclear technology and disasters in modern and contemporary Japan. While this course mainly focuses on natural, industrial, and nuclear disasters in Japan (i.e., atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Minamata disease, and radiation exposure), students will build up abilities to analyze historically and think critically about the politics of nuclear technology and disasters within a much broader context. Viewing modern and contemporary Japan through the lens of post-Fukushima will allow students to reconsider the relationships between humanity and nature, and science and politics.
SEM 101 MWF 02:30–03:20 p.m. Sujin Lee 17481 Nakoi Sakai
Writing History: Islam and Science in the Modern World, 1800 to Present
What does science mean? The history of science presents a puzzle. Vibrant cultures of astronomy and medicine have long flourished in Muslim societies, yet they are often considered unscientific within western frameworks. Why has knowledge produced by Muslims been understood at different times as either ‘scientific’ or ‘unscientific’? To address these questions, we will explore Muslim cultures of science in the modern era. We will follow an Egyptian traveler in Paris and listen to podcasts on Ottoman scientific endeavors. In turn, we will examine a global corporation of traditional Muslim medicine and Pakistani science fiction. Readings will include travel accounts, histories, and fiction. Students will engage these diverse readings to craft strong arguments through formal and creative writing assignments and explore alternative understandings of science.
SEM 102 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Andrew Amstutz 17482 Durba Ghosh
Writing History: A Life Under Cover—Spies in History, Fiction, and Cinema
What does it mean to be a spy? Why are we so interested in other people’s secrets? The continued success of the James Bond franchise and the scandal generated by Edward Snowden’s revelations show how topical the issue of surveillance has become. This course will explore practices of espionage from a range of historical periods and sources, including authors such as Jeremy Bentham, Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, George Orwell, and Philip K. Dick. Twentieth-century Europe will get special emphasis, but other geographical areas will also be covered. Students will develop skills in close reading and written analysis of a wide array of sources, such as memoirs, diaries, surveillance files, journalistic accounts, and movies.
SEM 103 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Benedetta Carnaghi 17483 Enzo Traverso
From Utopia to Catastrophe: The Long History of Climate Change
How can history shape our understanding of climate science, climate change, and their implications for society? Our class will engage with this question by focusing on historical debates about climatic change, starting in the seventeenth century and moving into the present day. We will pay special attention to the language used by historical figures to communicate their views on climate. Some envisioned utopias brought about by human-induced climate improvement, while others described catastrophes caused by deforestation and other human influences. We will examine and write about an eclectic range of primary and secondary sources, from nineteenth-century newspaper articles to twenty-first-century graphic novels. Using climate as a starting point, this course will raise questions about the meanings of and relationships between science, technology, and nature.
SEM 104 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Joe Giacomelli 17484 Aaron Sachs
Writing History: Space, Land, and Territory
Where do you think you are? What does it mean to be in a place, and how are different places conceived? How do we construct space, and how might it construct us in turn? In this course we will explore questions emerging from the dynamic and mutually constitutive relationships of space, land, and territory. We will engage these relationships by looking critically at maps, journals, letters, novels, and short stories; and our analysis will be informed and complimented by the work of historians and geographers.
SEM 105 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Nicholas Myers 17485 Raymond Craib
Writing History: Converts and Traitors in the Early Modern World
This course explores shifting forms of identity, otherness, and social control through the stories of people who have transgressed social, political, or religious boundaries. Where possible, students will read accounts by “converts” and “traitors” as well as by the people who tried to stop or punish them. A central goal of the course is to question the ways in which the methods, motivations, and legacies of social classification in early modern contexts (from, roughly, the fifteenth to the early nineteenth centuries) differ from those we can observe today. With the encouragement and guidance of the instructor, students will wrestle—in writing—with argument, organization, perspective, analysis of historical sources, and the measured introduction of creativity into academic prose.
SEM 106 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Matthew Reeder 17486 Tamara Loos
Kipling’s India: Literature, Culture, History
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936), most famous today as the author of children’s stories, including The Jungle Book, was one of the most popular and acclaimed writers of his day. He was also a noted chronicler of the world of the British empire. In this class we will read the short stories, poems, and novels that Kipling wrote about India—including his most famous novel, Kim. Students will explore the intersections between Kipling’s stories and the history of British rule in India, and also consider the broader question of how fictional works can be used to explore the history of past cultures.
SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Robert Travers 17489
In Search of Ethiopia: History, Myth, and Politics
Ethiopia, one of the oldest states in Africa, has a rich history that is often enveloped in myths and legends. Home to a number of ethnic and religious communities, Ethiopia’s political geography changed as new dynasties came to the forefront. Each new dynasty offered its own creation myth that legitimated its power and control over other communities. Ethiopia’s colorful and dynamic history has helped nurture the political aspirations of many beyond its boundaries. Christian chroniclers claimed it as the home of the Queen of Sheba. Continental Africans and Africans in the diaspora celebrated it as a symbol of African achievement and a beacon of independence because it was the only indigenous African state to retain its independence following Europe’s division of Africa in the nineteenth century. The name of Ethiopia’s last emperor before he assumed the throne, Ras Tafari, helped launch a new religion—Rastafarism. This course juxtaposes Ethiopian history against the myths and legends that shaped Ethiopia and gave rise to Ethiopianism, a complex array of cultural, religious, and political movements in other parts of Africa as well as the African diaspora.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Judith Byfield 17714
Writing Italy, Writing the Self: Jewish-Italian Literature and the Long Twentieth Century
The Jewish community of Rome is the oldest one in all of Europe, dating back to 200 BCE, and the authors of some of the most important twentieth-century works of Italian literature are Jewish. In this course we will examine how some of these writers (Moravia, Bassani, Primo Levi, Carlo Levi, Ginzburg, Sereni, Bruck, Loewenthal, Janaczek, Elkann, and Piperno) have articulated the self against the background of the historical events that have shaped the past hundred years: two world wars and different social movements of the pre- and post-WWII eras. The seminar includes two film screenings.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Kora von Wittelsbach 17505
JEWISH STUDIES 1987
Jews on Film: Visible and Invisible
Why were Jews virtually invisible in films made during the Hollywood’s “golden age”? Is this a surprise, given the leading role played by American Jews in founding the studio system? Writing about the films studied in this course will help students situate and interpret the presence (and absence) of characters identifiable as Jews in Hollywood films released from 1927 until the present. We will view approximately six films outside of class and study excerpts from others. Films to be studied in whole or part may include: The Jazz Singer, The Great Dictator,Holiday Inn, The Apartment, Funny Girl, Silent Movie, Annie Hall, Yentl, Barton Fink, and A Serious Man. Students will write film analyses, review essays, reflective responses, and explorations of contextual material. Readings from film studies and popular journalism will situate these films within the historical, cultural, and industrial contexts in which they were produced.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Elliot Shapiro 17901
Language, Thought, and Reality: Linguistics and (pre-)History
How do linguists use language as a tool to discover prehistory? In addition to the more obvious sources of historical data (documents, physical remains, etc.), scholars often make use of linguistic data in constructing theories about (pre-)historical events and patterns. In this class we will examine and write about four basic questions. First, how do linguists uncover earlier stages of linguistic history? Second, what kinds of inferences can be legitimately drawn from linguistic data for (pre-)historical investigation? Third, how can we distinguish between plausible and implausible uses of linguistic data? Fourth, what role does ideology play in shaping or misshaping historical reconstruction? Some particular topics that may be covered: The Indo-Aryan invasion hypothesis; Ancient Macedonian; The peopling of the Americas and pre-Columbian contact; Egyptian influence in Africa. Students will write critical analyses of proposals evaluating them for logic, attention to contradictory
evidence, ideology, and rhetoric. They will also try their hands at constructing both a good and a specious theory. SEM 101 MWF 01:25–02:15 p.m. Michael Weiss 17508
Language, Thought, and Reality: The Death of Language
This course will address issues related to language death, including: What does it mean for a language to be endangered? For a language to die? Should we care? Are some languages more viable or valid than others? We will discuss issues such as the role of English and other global languages, language as a vehicle for culture, linguistic prejudices, language revival programs, etc. The course will touch on many diverse languages and dialects with an emphasis on languages of the Americas including Mi'gmaq (Canada), Ch'ol (Mexico), Passamaquoddy (United States), and Kaqchikel (Guatemala). Texts will come from a variety of sources including academic articles, book chapters, and primary sources. Short papers assignments will focus on revision, group discussion, and argumentation.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Carol-Rose Little 17509 Michael Weiss
Language, Thought, and Reality: Creating the Science of Language
Language is a subject of interest for many people because it is an integral part of human interaction. If we want to study language, how can we do so in a rigorous and scientific manner? Can the mind be a domain of scientific study? We will have many questions to write about and discuss concerning linguistics as a science. We will discuss what it means to study language and the advantages and limitations inherent in the subject matter. We will become familiar with the field of linguistics though readings from linguists such as Steven Pinker and Noam Chomsky, among others.
SEM 103 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Mary Moroney 17510 Michael Weiss
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Reading Medieval Legends—Heroism that Never Was?
How does the heroic past come down to us? By reading Beowulf along with related texts such as The Battle of Maldon and The Saga of the Volsungs, we shall investigate heroic legends and consider their representations of the past: for instance, what did idealism and nostalgia have to do with these tales? We will also pay attention to style, which ranges from sentence structure, point of view, and voice, to the general manner or form in which a work of art is constructed. Class discussions and a series of papers will encourage clear writing, close reading, and analysis of the texts.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Edward Currie 17519 Thomas Hill
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: The Briton’s Britain—Constructing Medieval England
Today, if you think of England, a fairly well-defined image likely comes to mind. You can picture its basic geographies, you imagine monuments like Stonehenge or London Bridge, and you can probably place the country in some type of historical context. But how did people in the Middle Ages conceive of England, or of Britain? How did the medieval English understand the history and geography of their island home? These are the basic questions that we will address over the course of the semester. Course readings will include Bede, Geoffrey of Monmouth, and Gerald of Wales. The semester’s essay assignments will ask students to think about the ways that history and geography get created—both in the medieval period and today.
SEM 102 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. John Greenlee 17520 Raymond Craib
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Traveling Peoples and Traveling Stories in the Medieval World
In this course we will read a variety of global texts that recount the legendary origins of peoples and the migration myths that bind them together. We will begin by examining the foundations of medieval ideas about migration and national history in the Hebrew Bible and in Greco-Roman epic. We then turn to early medieval narratives about conquest and conversion, observing how Christians and Muslims adapted these ancient texts to imagine themselves as the heirs of Rome and Abraham. These themes will also be explored in later Central Asian texts such asThe Secret History of the Mongols. Through class discussion and a series of formal papers, this course will introduce students to the analysis of literary texts and the fundamentals of writing and research.
SEM 103 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Patrick Naeve 17521 Samantha Zacher
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Gods and Kings in the Middle Ages and Beyond
Throughout the Middle Ages, Church and State frequently cooperated and just as frequently were at odds. When did Church and State come to be seen as separate powers? How do medieval authors justify the Church over the State, and vice versa? To what extent do medieval ideas of Church and State still apply today? In this course we will examine texts that argue for and against Church power and State power, including the Book of Kings from the Old Testament and Machiavelli’s The Prince, letters from Popes and Kings, and modern theories of sovereignty. Students will be expected to write one 8–10 page research paper on a topic of their choice, with several shorter response assignments to encourage critical thinking and discussion.
SEM 104 MWF 09:05–09:55 a.m. Paul Vinhage 17522 Andrew Hicks
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: Young Idiots vs. Toxic Elders
“Kids these days,” “back in my day,” and “boring old men”—how far back do these complaints go? The current rhetoric of generational strife pits “Baby Boomers” against “Millennials,” spawning a supposedly unprecedented flurry of thinkpieces and commentary. We will examine the medieval predecessors of these attitudes by looking at English poetry, treatises, and chronicles from Beowulf to Chaucer. The course will track the changing stereotypes of the ages of life, the various medieval medical and religious approaches to aging, the social consequences of demographic upheavals, and the recurring narrative of youth against age. Writing assignments will focus on crafting persuasive, clear arguments. Students will acquire skills in mining texts for evidence, conducting historical research, anticipating counterarguments, expressing relevancy, and adapting writing for different audiences.
SEM 105 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Anna Waymack 17523 Andrew Galloway
MEDIEVAL STUDIES 1101
Aspects of Medieval Culture: From Parchment to Pixel—The Future Lives of Medieval Books
This class explores the history of the medieval book in today’s digital world. Together we will explore a range of medieval topics through a modern lens; from the production of luxury bespoke manuscripts to the casual scribblings of scribes and readers, from the introduction of the printing press to the rise of a reading public. We will examine primary sources in class visits to Kroch Library and the Johnson Museum, read medieval texts that deal with book production, and study digital editions of manuscripts. Discussions will seek to draw out details and major themes to develop the skills for writing informal responses, close readings, and critical essays. The class builds towards a final project in which students curate their own online exhibition.
SEM 106 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Ruth Mullett 17524 Andrew Galloway
Music and Morality: From the Republic to Compton
Is music a source of moral improvement or corruption? What can music reveal about a person’s moral character? Can music be malevolent or is it inherently benign? In this course we will add our voices to lively and longstanding debates about the ethical value of music through guided essay assignments that develop critical writing skills. Drawing on key philosophical texts, such as Plato’s Republic, films, such as Straight Outta Compton, newspaper articles, blogs, and government documents, we will investigate and write about a series of modern musical controversies. Topics to be covered include alleged links between music and violence in hip hop and metal scenes; the CIA’s use of music in its enhanced interrogation program; and the place of popular music within contemporary Islamic cultures.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Nicole Reisnour 17447 Steve Pond
Music and Morality: Writing Soul, Writing Funk
As “rhythm and blues” morphed into “soul” in the late 1950s and “funk” in the late 1960s, American mainstream markets embraced cultural blackness in its many forms, with black popular music as a soundtrack for a decades-long cultural transformation. This course embraces soul and funk from several viewpoints. How can we translate notions of soulfulness and funkiness, across realms of hearing and text? What are soul's and funk's musical and political legacies? In this course we will engage with recordings and texts in discussion, hands-on music-making and, most of all, writing to delve into a vital historical moment in black popular music, as well as implications for the music's role today. Musical experience is not required.
SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Steve Pond 17448
NEAR EASTERN STUDIES 1963
That’s in the Bible? Archaeology and the Religion of Israel
A casual reading of the Hebrew Scriptures might lead one to believe that the normative religion of the Israelites was that spelled out in the Torah and Prophets. However, a more critical appraisal of the Biblical texts, along with an analysis of extra-Biblical texts and archaeological materials, demonstrates that the Israelites were often closer to their pagan neighbors than to modern Judaism or Christianity. Students will explore these similarities and differences in their essays. Topics may include: cult prostitution, magic, funerary rites, temple ritual, Hebrew mythology, etc. Readings will be from the Hebrew Bible, translations of extra-biblical texts, articles on archaeology, and modern synthetic treatments of Israelite culture.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Jeffrey Zorn 17449
NATURAL RESOURCES 1200
Why are Environmental Problems so Difficult to Solve?
Do humans have what it takes to solve environmental problems? Or do our self-interest and short-termism make sustainable living impossible? Are we really as selfish as some would have us believe? What can we discover about our capacity to cooperate by learning about how other species cooperate? Using the lens of environmental sustainability, we will explore many fascinating approaches that investigate the tension between selfishness and cooperation. We will read, discuss, and write about real-world challenges such as biodiversity loss, water scarcity, and climate change. We will strengthen our own writing by learning to recognize that good writing can take many forms. We will read across disciplines and eras, exploring connections between classic texts and emerging ideas, and relating these to contemporary environmental problems.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Darragh Hare 17636 Rebecca Schneider
Philosophy in Practice: Conservation Ethics
Redwoods and spotted owls. Yellowstone and the Great Barrier Reef. Do we have an obligation—a moral obligation-—to protect them? Should we protect them only when they are useful to us, or do they have their own value independent of human needs? To answer these questions, we need to think more about biodiversity, conservation, nature, and global warming. What is ecosystem health? What is a natural area? In this course we consider ethical and theoretical questions about conservation, and engage with what philosophers, biologists, and others have had to say about these issues, including E.O. Wilson and Bill Nye the science guy. Like any philosophy course, writing will be central to the work of the class. Students will be required to describe issues and views in conservation ethics and defend their own views on the topic.
SEM 102 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Brandon Conley 17454 Tad Brennan
Philosophy in Practice: Feminism, Gender, and Education
This course will explore many different issues involving gender in the lives of university students and recent graduates. Issues will be examined through the lens of critical feminist theory. What are the unique problems that women experience while in college? What does masculinity mean in the twenty-first century? In what ways is gender relevant in the classroom? Is there a “boys crisis” in public education? We will consider the various ways that conceptions of gender limit and frustrate social interactions and the sense of self. Subject matter will include Title IX, social constructionism, fraternities and sororities, sexual relations, sexual assault, masculinity, men’s rights, and others. Writing assignments will include thoughtful responses to challenging reading, argumentative papers on policy related to gender, expository writing explaining historical social change, and a comprehensive final paper that will demonstrate synthetic understanding of course material.
SEM 103 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Daniel Manne 17455 Tad Brennan
Philosophy in Practice: The Meaning of it All
What is the meaning of life? Is there a unique meaning to life, or could life have many meanings? If life does have meaning, how can I find out what it is? Is it discovered or created? How should we understand the question? What would count as a satisfactory answer? Is some kind of transcendent being, like God, needed to give life meaning? If life has no meaning, what implications does that have for how I choose to live? Should I even care about the question, or is it, in the end, unanswerable or meaningless?
SEM 104 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Chad McIntosh 17638 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: Business Ethics
Does the use of cheap labor disrespect humanity or benefit people in need of employment? What do CEOs owe their investors? What about their communities? What happens when these responsibilities conflict? These are just some of the questions that students will think critically about in this course. Reading assignments will be drawn from a variety of sources, from philosophical journals toThe New York Times, and class work will include both essays and in-class activities. Coursework will be designed to teach students the fundamentals of philosophical writing: understanding writing that describes and argues for the views of others; thinking critically about and arguing for one’s own views; and explaining one’s own reasoning and the reasoning of others clearly in writing.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Catherine Mathie Smith 17457 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: Puzzles in Ancient Ethics
Are actions good because God approves of them, or does God approve of them because they are good? Are we obligated to obey the law? Why should I behave morally? Can a life without pleasure be happy? Ancient Greek philosophers debated these ethical questions, among others. Students will use these philosophers’ works as springboards to examine these issues. Writing assignments will focus on developing three skills: explaining others’ arguments, formulating criticisms of others’ argument, and formulating one’s own arguments. Reading assignments will come from the works of Plato, Aristotle, and contemporary moral philosophy.
SEM 102 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Ian Hensley 17458 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Problems: Can You Believe It?
You probably think you know a few things, like what day it is, what policy should be passed, basic arithmetic, etc. But how? What justifies your beliefs? In this introductory epistemology course students will grapple with a variety of answers to these questions, and apply their findings to a range of pressing issues. Topics may include the ethics of belief, theories of what counts as scientific evidence, implicit bias, skepticism, and the importance of first-person experience.
SEM 104 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. August Faller 18127 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Conversations: Speech and the Modern Society
The freedom of speech is integral to our democratic society. One obvious and compelling reason to protect it is that uninhibited political discourse is our tool for conveying our needs and preferences to the government. Recent events, however, have raised questions about how respecting this value ought to look in practice. Does everyone, in fact, get an equal opportunity to participate? How do we ensure that? What, if anything, might pornography, censorship on social media, voter ID laws, and the recent protests on college campuses tell us about the limits of free speech in society? With the help of both classic and contemporary works we will contemplate the value of free speech and its limits. Writing assignments will include responses to case studies, short papers and reviews, and longer argumentative essays.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Lucia Munguia 17462 Tad Brennan
Philosophical Conversations: At Life’s Crossroads—Philosophy and Choices
Life is full of choices. They shape our lives. But we do not always make good ones. Why? What constitute good choices? What makes a decision-making process good and rational? How can we make right decisions for our future selves? Is it even possible? Is it rational to make decisions based on our past experiences? In this seminar
we will survey a number of different philosophical approaches to these questions and discuss practical questions and decisions everyone would face at least once in their life: for example, whether to be religious, whether to have my own child, whether to give money away to charity, whether to be a vegetarian, and so on. (Subtopics may change.) Through reading and discussing classic and contemporary works in philosophy dealing with these questions and writing assignments, students will develop the ability to critically read, understand, and write about academic texts
SEM 102 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Yuna Won 17463 Tad Brennan
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1104 The Case of the Female Detective
“Women don’t fit well into a trench coat and slouch hat,” Marilyn Stasio observed, yet female detectives can be found solving crimes and busting bad guys across media. Drawing from TV, film, fiction, and theatre, this course explores the ways in which the female detective radically revises the conventions of the crime narrative in which she functions. Interrogating an inherent tension between gender and genre, we’ll ask how different media construct female detectives and what gets re-visioned when Miss Marple and Clarice Starling fight violence and restore social order. By engaging with course texts, students will develop strategies for attentive reading and thoughtful writing. Assignments ranging from reviews to research papers will focus on critical thinking, preparation, clear prose, and papers structured around well-supported claims.
SEM 101 TR 08:40–09:55 a.m. Aoise Stratford 17478
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1130
Going Undercover: Radical Undercover Journalism and the (re)creation of Self
What would it be like to go through life as a completely different person? In order to expose and combat social injustice, journalists have crossed lines of race, gender, age, class, and appearance, and gone undercover, sometimes risking their reputations, sanity, and even their lives. But what are the results of these experiments? Do the ends justify the sometimes ethically questionable means? How does “going undercover” affect an individual or a community? By examining works of John Howard Griffin, Sarah Jones, Morgan Spurlock, Barbara Ehrenreich, Norah Vincent, and a variety of identity-probing texts, we examine the complex facets of diverse identities. The course facilitates a range of writing assignments and culminates in students devising and executing their own undercover journalism and research projects.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Rosalie Purvis 17479 David Feldshuh
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1132 Boyfriendtwin: Queer Uncanny Doppelgängers
Why are two identical people unsettling? “Uncanny” resemblances suggest the strange, even the supernatural. This course will investigate the doppelgänger myth influencing superstitions about un- or supernatural twins across the history of literature, drama, tv, and film. We will look at a diverse selection of materials by authors, scholars, and artists including Plato, E.T.A. Hoffman, Hans Christian Andersen, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sigmund Freud, Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, and Joss Whedon. While considering the ways doubles work across literary, cinematic, and televisual styles fromDr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the course simultaneously explores the contemporary social phenomenon of “twinning” in queer culture as it relates to the double’s long legacy. With an emphasis on in-class discussion and peer editing, this class will foster and enhance each student’s ability to produce coherent, concise, persuasive prose in the form of critical arguments.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Joshua Cole 17480 David Feldshuh
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1133 Sex Acts: American Drama 1950 to Present
Is sex always a private matter? What constitutes sex and what happens when it is performed in public? This course asks: how does sex in theater and performance contribute to our understandings of identity, power, and community? Grounded in a study of dramatic literature and theatrical spectacles, this course discusses how representations of sex in theater and performance contribute to and challenge prevalent understandings of theater history, intimacy, and what “good” and “bad” theater is. With an emphasis on in-class discussion and peer editing, this class will foster and enhance each student’s ability to produce coherent, concise, persuasive prose in the form of critical arguments. Students will analyze examples of performance through the lenses of critical texts drawn from the fields of performance studies, theatre studies, gender and sexuality studies, Black studies, and critical race theory.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Jayme Kilburn 17487 David Feldshuh
PERFORMING & MEDIA ARTS 1135 Screen Queens of Comedy
Joan Rivers has lamented, "Nobody looks at female comedians as groundbreakers or as commentators on what’s going on in the world, because we do it with comedy." In this seminar we will take a closer look at various media—including movies, television episodes, and stand-up specials—featuring American comediennes from the twentieth and twenty-first century, and consider how their comedy addresses crucial social issues of their times. From the “fast-talking dames” of thirties' and fourties' cinema, such as Barbara Stanwyck or Rosalind Russell, or the trailblazer stand-up comedian Jackie “Moms” Mabley, to the recent boom in television and web comedy series, we will closely analyze audiovisual materials with a keen eye to their historical, social, and industrial contexts.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Kriszta Pozsonyi 17643 David Feldshuh
East European Film
Eastern Europe has contributed unique films to the global cinema. In this class students will watch, discuss, and write about a variety of movies: Oscar winners and lesser-known films, thrillers and comedies from Russia, Poland, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and more. In addition to learning film terminology, students will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the cultures, history, and geography of Eastern Europe. They will write film reviews, technical analyses of films, and personal essays. All class films are available for streaming through Blackboard.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Ewa Bachminska 17488
Apply the Basics: An Exploration of Cognition and Perception
Understanding pathology requires knowledge about the cognitive and perceptual systems that underlie behavior, and how these systems are implemented in the brain. Oliver Sacks’ collection of case studies inThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat will illustrate numerous neurological disorders and exemplify the applied research mindset. Empirical articles written by basic science researchers will complement Sacks’ writings and provide a foundation for understanding the disorders depicted therein. In order to learn how theory-driven science can inform clinical practice and how clinical populations can provide insights into the link between brain and behavior, we will critically evaluate and synthesize both basic and applied perspectives through class discussion and a variety of writing assignments.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Ethan Jost 17493 Morten Christiansen
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: Decameron
All of us tell stories for a variety of reasons—to entertain, to console, to teach, to persuade—to discover and explore both our inner lives and the world we inhabit. Stories are one of the prime ways in which we make sense of a world that is not always propitious. They serve as instruments by which we seek to shape our future. In this seminar we shall consider how the craft of storytelling helps us face the task of living: the love and the happiness and the community we seek, the virtues we espouse, our talents and our vulnerabilities. Our principal reading (in English translation) will be a masterpiece of European literature, Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron (ca. 1349–51), which showcases one hundred stories told by ten young Florentines fleeing the Black Death of 1348. Students will write both analytic and personal essays.
SEM 101 MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m. Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi 17494
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: Based on a True Story
What kind of truth can fiction tell about the world when it changes a real story’s facts? What happens when reality takes after fiction? Can fiction—or nonfiction—be judged as true or false? This seminar addresses these questions through narratives primarily from Latin America, whose writing has been read in terms of “magical realism” but which often addresses difficult fact. We will examine how written stories change the world, both on and off the page, and the relationship between perceived reality and representations of it through classic authors such as Borges, Cortázar, and Rodolfo Wash, as well as young writers like Alejandro Zambra and Valeria Luiselli. Through critical essays and creative work, we will explore the mechanisms by which fact and story interact.
SEM 102 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Janet Hendrickson 17495 Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: Apocalypse Now in Latin America
When we think of dystopias we usually imagine far away, apocalyptic futures. But what if those scenarios were already here? In Latin America several works of fiction remind us that the makings of dystopia are all around us. With a recent history of dictatorships, corruption, and political and economic instability, fiction need not be a projection of societies’ fears and anxieties, but rather a mirror of its present condition. Through short stories, graphic novels, and novellas we will explore the definition of dystopia as “bad-place” as opposed to the “no-place” that is utopia. Students will develop innovative skills for critical writing and close reading. Texts will include Oesterheld’s The Eternal, Bioy Casares’ The Invention of Morel, Aira’s The Literary Conference, Bolano’sDistant Star, among others.
SEM 103 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Francisco Diaz Klaassen 17496 Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: The Cannibal and the Explorer—Ethics of Travel Writing
Sailors, explorers, travelers—their stories are among the oldest sources of entertainment for humanity—and travel literature one of the oldest genres of writing. Why do travelers fascinate us so much? This class will explore connections between travel and literature, from Montaigne and Jean de Léry to Jules Verne and Isabelle Eberhardt. By exploring different forms of travel writing, we will consider ethical questions of race, gender, and class generated by the discovery of Others, and examine the mirror that travel places in front of us. In this class you will be prompted to write your own adventure short story, and a travel journal, as well as think critically about stories others have written about American cannibals and African adventures. Come explore!
SEM 104 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Anne-Caroline Sieffert 17497
ROMANCE STUDIES 1102
The Craft of Storytelling: Speculative Fiction—Science Fiction and Fantasy
This course will investigate Speculative Fiction, the umbrella term for science fiction and fantasy literature. In this course we will examine the historical development of the genres and how the genre allows insights into our everyday “real” world, and how this process of speculation may comment on political and social conditions in ways that other genres cannot. We will learn to critically read and write, how to research, and to engage in academic dialogue. We will read the works in English as well as those in French, Spanish, and Italian by authors such as García Marquez, Luís Borjes, Calvino, Eco, and Verne. We will also study how speculative fiction has been advanced in film. All works will be read or viewed in English translation.
SEM 105 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Xan Stepp 17881
ROMANCE STUDIES 1108
Cultural Identities/Cultural Difference: Writing Italy
Starting in the mid-1600s, one of the most important experiences for many young upper-class Europeans was the Grand Tour, an extensive educational trip that culminated in Italy, the land of classical ruins, Renaissance art, and breathtaking landscapes. Since then, Italy has become the destination where artists have searched for insight, growth, and renewal. This seminar covers literature produced by the Italian experience from the Romantics to contemporary authors, both European and American. We will read from travel memoirs by Goethe, Stendhal, and Twain; from novels by Henry James, Thomas Mann, and E. M. Forster, and from letters and poems. We will also consider movies by Ivory, Visconti, and Rossellini. The students will write creative and analytical essays, and produce the text for a media project.
SEM 101 MW 08:40–09:55 a.m. Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi 17647
ROMANCE STUDIES 1109
Image and Imagination: Photographic Fixations
Focused on the intersection of photography and literature, this course explores how the camera has captured the attention of Latin American writers. In addition to comparing the photographic and written works of figures like Juan Rulfo and Julio Cortázar, we will examine representations of photography in narratives by other authors as we try to understand the differences between literary and visual media. Two questions we will constantly ask are:
What potential do these writers see in photography and how do they develop it? Readings include literary texts and selections from theorists such as Barthes, Benjamin, and Sontag. Students will refine their analytical skills as they confront photographs and texts in writing assignments that emphasize the construction and critique of arguments.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Sam Carter 17498 Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi
ROMANCE STUDIES 1113
Thinking and Thought: The Limits of Waste from Gargantua to WALL-E
“Waste” might seem a paradoxical literary object—shouldn’t art address only the beautiful? Is there any way of thinking about waste that doesn’t produce anxiety, as landfills rise and we worry about how consumption threatens our environment’s future? In the French Renaissance, Francois Rabelais created a world of gluttonous giants who consumed and excreted with joyful abandon. Comparing the figures of waste in Rabelais’s works, but also in those of Francis Ponge and Charles Baudelaire, we will interrogate how art and literature look at the leftover. Through written analyses of films (WALL-E, The Gleaners and I, Redemption, Wasteland) and literature, from early modern France to today’s society, we will learn to consider the status of “waste” in the world, but also in our own writing.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Pauline Goul 17506 Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi
ROMANCE STUDIES 1113
Thinking and Thought: Dante’s Examined Life
Why do we study? What is the point of learning? Do we aspire to more than career success? A philosopher once said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Is this true? In this course we’ll answer this question while venturing into Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno,” a work that not only describes the state of souls after death, but also urges us to consider how we, in this life, envision ourselves and our communities. Reading the poem in English translation, we shall use it as a frame for further interrogation. Students will write both analytic and personal essays.
SEM 102 MWF 11:15–12:05 p.m. Antonio DiFenza 17507 Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi
ROMANCE STUDIES 1114 Semiotics
What allows us to make assumptions about people based on the way they speak or dress? How can we understand the deeper meaning of a fairy tale or an episode of The Simpsons? What does macaroni and cheese mean, and why is it not on the menu at most upscale Manhattan eateries? This seminar introduces semiotics, the study of signs and the meaning-bearing sign systems they form; sign systems that include not only human language but also literature, painting, sculpture, film, music, dance, and also such aspects of popular culture as advertising, fashion, food, and television, to name just a few. The diversity of semiotic systems provides many possibilities for thinking and writing critically about the world we live in.
SEM 101 MWF 12:20–01:10 p.m. Ti Alkire 17526
Social Networks in a Global World
We live in a world where economic and social life increasingly spans national borders. Corporations base their operations in multiple countries; workers and professionals migrate to follow job opportunities while keeping their connections to their home countries. How do individuals navigate the economic and social networks within and across borders? This seminar will introduce students to the core ideas on how social networks operate in a global world and guide them through the preparation of writing assignments (progressing from short responses to longer syntheses). To aid in this process, we will have workshops throughout the course on the various steps of the writing process, from understanding and synthesizing the relevant research to formulating the argument and supporting it with evidence.
SEM 101 MW 02:55–04:10 p.m. Filiz Garip 17792
Narrating the Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War of 1936–39 started as a domestic conflict that soon became an international event as the first confrontation between democracy and fascism. The support of the right-wing military uprising by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and support of the left-wing Republican Government by the Soviet Union and international volunteers, turned the struggle into a rehearsal and prologue to the Second World War. In this class we will explore the literary, photographic, and cinematic representations of the war from its outbreak to the present, paying particular attention to its rich international intellectual legacy. Authors may include Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda, and del Guillermo Toro, among others. Students will develop their critical thinking and analytical writing skills through oral presentations, reading responses, and essays.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Itziar Rodriguez de Rivera 17527
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1116 Global Darwin
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) lived during an extraordinary period in global history. In Darwin's time, imperial politics combined with the rise of industrial capitalism to produce a world order dominated by Victorian Britain. This class will investigate how these larger social developments would become crucial to the origin and reception of Darwin's scientific work. We will explore topics such as: narural history and colonialism; Darwin's scientific theories and Victorian political and economic theories; social Darwinism and scientific racism; and the use of evolutionary ideas by anti-imperialist intellectuals in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. We will tackle recent Darwin scholarship, and we will also make use of online databases of Darwin's letters and Victorian texts in the library's special collections.
SEM 101 TR 02:55–04:10 p.m. Jessica Ratcliff 17529
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1123
Technology and Society: Beyond Big Brother— Surveillance in Contemporary Society
Surveillance is a pervasive feature of contemporary life: CCTV, biometric identification, data collection, airport security, and other systems for watching over populations operate in various settings in today’s world. Big Brother—from Orwell’s 1984—remains a popular cultural image when we talk about surveillance. Yet, surveillance in contemporary society is much more messy and contested than one all-seeing figure. What exactly is surveillance? What effects does it have on people’s lives? How do people resist and struggle with surveillance? This class will explore everyday examples of surveillance and unpack both the technological infrastructures and socio-political systems that make them possible. This class will teach you how to conduct academic research and write about complex political issues with clear academic language and argumentation.
SEM 101 TR 10:10–11:25 a.m. Brian Clarke 17530 Ronald Kline
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY STUDIES 1126 Science and Society: Thinking Bodies
In this course we will “think with” the human body. Through the eyes of different scholars, we will peek into anatomy theaters, laboratories, medical schools, and clinics to understand how knowledge about the body is made, and how this knowledge shapes our own bodies. How are (arguably) universal biological categories like race and sex made meaningful on the body’s surfaces and in its molecular depths—and what are the consequences? Can we understand our bodies differently? We will explore concepts of power, emotion, and what it means to be a body with(out) rights or a body in migration. We will tackle all this through discussions, critical reflections on readings, creative writing about bodies in the media, and longer essays.
SEM 101 TR 11:40–12:55 p.m. Lisa Lehner 17531 Rachel Prentice
Elements of Academic Writing: Metaphor in Art, Science, and Culture
Metaphor is the essence of human creativity—a form of thought, desire, and the language of the unconscious mind. How does metaphor operate in literature, pop culture, politics, and the thought of theoretical scientists such as Einstein and Richard Feynman? Can we improve our capacity to think metaphorically? The Writing 1380 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore these complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1380 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1380 is an alternative route FWS that provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 101 MW 11:15–12:05 p.m. Brad Zukovic 17625
Elements of Academic Writing: Food for Thought
How does the food on your table tell a story about you, your family, your community, your nation? How do we make food choices, and how are these choices complicated by the cultural, socio-economic, and political forces that both create and combat widespread international hunger and food insecurity? The Writing 1380 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore these complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1380 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1380 is an alternative route FWS that provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for
producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 102 MW 12:20–01:10 p.m. Tracy Hamler Carrick 17626
Elements of Academic Writing: Theories of Happiness
What makes you happy? And how does happiness differ between different people? How do complex factors like genetics, culture, family, education, socio-economic background, and gender determine how happy we are, and how do our life choices contribute to our own and others’ happiness? The Writing 1380 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore these complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1380 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1380 is an alternative route FWS that provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only. This section is designed for multilingual writers and international students.
SEM 103 MW 01:25–02:15 p.m. Jessica Sands 17627 SEM 104 TR 10:10–11:00 a.m. Jessica Sands 17628
Elements of Academic Writing: Public Writing and Rhetoric
What does it mean to engage in public issues in 2017? Post-election, what counts as effective public writing and speaking in politics? How do we engage in social issues to voice our perspectives and advocate for change through writing? How is our engagement with public issues shaped by identity, who has access to civic-spaces, and technology? And, what is the relationship between public writing and change? Because Writing 1380 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1380 is an alternative route FWS that provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only. This section is designed for multilingual writers and international students.
SEM 105 TR 11:15–12:05 p.m. Kate Navickas 17629
Elements of Academic Writing: Writing Back to the News
Students will ensconce themselves in debates raging within the contemporary news media—such as politics, conflicts within higher education, gender equality, international crises, American popular culture—and will write about contemporary controversies to different audiences in a variety of mediums, such as argumentative essays, investigative pieces, and blog posts. The Writing 1380 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1380 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1380 is an alternative route FWS that provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 106 TR 12:20–01:10 p.m. Kelly King-O’Brien 17630
Elements of Academic Writing: Short Stories
What can a short story do that no other art form can do? What is the difference between an anecdote and a short story or a memoir and a short story? What, if anything, do short stories have in common with each other, besides being short? The Writing 1380 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to analyze short stories derived from a range of cultures and time periods and to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1380 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With smaller class sizes, two 50-minute class sessions, and weekly student/teacher conferences, Writing 1380 is an alternative route FWS that provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims. “S/U" grades only.
SEM 107 TR 01:25–02:15 p.m. Molly Katz 17631
Common Ground: Education Beyond the Ivory Tower
This course offers you a chance to become a more engaged member of the Ithaca community as part of your first-year writing experience. For two afternoons a week, Cornell students will engage with Ithaca middle school students as mentors and tutors outside of class. Writing assignments will help you reflect on the tutoring experience and the role of education and responsible citizenship in a democratic society. Readings will includeSavage Inequalities by Kozol, Life and Death of the Great American School System by Ravitch, and essays by Barber, Freire, and King. Our ultimate goal will be to broaden students' perspectives on our public educational system and the role of universities in their communities.
SEM 101 TR 01:25–02:40 p.m. Darlene Evans 17534 x-listed w/ AMST 1140 & ENGL 1140
Student schedules must accommodate TR trips (3-5 PM) to Boynton Middle School.