Fall 2014 Course Offerings
This is an unofficial list of FYWP courses that will be offered in Spring 2014. For a list of non-FYWP English courses, please consult the English department's course descriptions page. For the complete official course offerings, please consult the UIC schedule of classes.
TUESDAY / THURSDAY SECTIONS
ENGL 070: Introduction to Academic Writing for the Nonnative Speakers of English
CRN 30496 (TR 8:00-9:15)
This class will examine writing as a process that needs to understand the following in order to be effective: “Who are we writing for?” “What is the public situation concerning the topic?” And , “What is the expected outcome of our writing?” We will write in both academic and public genres. The class will also cover grammar appropriate for non-native or bilingual speakers of English. We will be producing three major written projects, in which we will not only write about what we have learned about language, but we will use what we have learned about language to increase the quality of our writing.
ENGL 070: SITUATIONAL WRITING: How Awareness of Audience, Purpose, and Language Impacts Writing
CRN 30498 (TR 9:30-10:45)
Romeo, Robert R.
This course will focus on the following: *That writing offers a way of understanding the world. *That different situations require specific language choices. * That language choices require the writer to examine the form, meaning, and use of words- what many refer to as grammar. * That writing is a way to get things done. In other words, writing has purpose.
ENGL 070: Introduction to Academic Writing for the Nonnative Speakers of English
CRN 32797 (TR 3:30-4:45)
This class will explore elements of writing from analyzing audience, the situation prompting the written response, to the effects of your completed texts. We will focus on the expectations of both academic and public genres of writing. The class also includes grammar and language study appropriate for non-native or bilingual speakers of English.
MONDAY / WEDNESDAY / FRIDAY SECTIONS
ENGL 071: Introduction to Academic Writing
CRN 30508 (MWF 9:00-9:50); CRN 30501 (MWF 1:00-1:50)
This class is designed to prepare you for the challenges of writing in the languages of academic and other forms of social discourse. You will be responsible for producing multiple drafts of each writing assignment, and for making substantial revisions to each as needed. You will also work on honing the mechanics of your prose at the sentence level, acquiring active academic reading skills, and broadening your vocabulary. The guiding principle for the course is that what we write about and how we write it matters. In “Popular Music and Politics,” we will investigate subjects that may find us debating such questions as: “Why do the meanings of some words appear to change, depending on who is saying them?” “What might something so basic, so essential, as the music we listen to reveal about our social class or political beliefs?” “Can mere ideas, or products of thought, ever be harmful enough to warrant regulation?” These are some of the starting points for much stimulating critical thinking and writing we will undertake together this semester.
ENGL 071: Writing, Identity, and Institutions Description: How Do College Writing Courses Imagine Writers, Produce Identities, and Shape Public Institutions?
CRN 30509 (MWF 10:00-10:50); CRN 30512 (MWF 11:00-11:50)
In this course, we will develop and pursue a sustained inquiry about the intersections between writers, texts, and institutions. Beginning with our own writing experiences, we will explore the history and function of first-year writing courses, the kinds of writers they hope to produce, the methods they employ, and their effects on students, universities, businesses, and the public sphere. Our course will structure this inquiry through a series of argumentative writing projects that will ask you to actively participate in a variety of genres, as well as an examination of their contexts (social and physical locations) and their consequences (the changes they might produce in the world). As we explore the situations and genres that motivate and organize these projects, we will attend to the language choices that writers make and the expectations and conventions that shape these choices.
TUESDAY / THURSDAY SECTIONS
ENGL 071: Writing about the Media
CRN 30507 (TR 9:30-10:45); CRN 30964 (TR 2:00-3:15)
This course assumes that “the mass media (newspapers, television and radio [and film, photography, the Internet, social networking, etc.]) are of considerable, and still growing, importance in modern societies” (McQuail 1). In this class, focusing mainly but not exclusively on the news, we will examine how local, national and international media help shape our daily lives and interactions with others.
This semester our readings and writings cover a range of perspectives on the news media. Exploring the local mediascape, interviewing media workers, and examining websites, etc. we critically think and write about the production, dissemination and reception of news in Chicago, the United States, and the English-speaking world. Synthesizing our assignments, we end the semester writing a media manifesto in which we outline and advocate for a media practice that suits our individual needs, preferences and politics.
These projects—as well as our in-class work—are based on the cornerstone of the UIC composition program: situated writing. We consider how situation shapes genre choice, how language choices produce consequences, and how the ideas we generate as a class this semester can impact a broader social context.
ENGL 071: Writing About Representations of Marginalized Groups
CRN 30521 (TR 11:00-12:15); CRN30517 (TR 12:30-1:45); CRN32782 (TR 3:30-4:45)
To prepare students for English 160, this rigorous writing course will introduce the concepts of situation, language, genre, and consequence. Through formal writing projects and numerous other writing tasks, students will explore the portrayal of minorities in American popular culture. Specifically, we will analyze how marginalized groups are portrayed in popular culture and how various media such as advertising, television, and movies reinforce or counteract predominant stereotypes. We will debate whether certain genres are more conducive to stereotyping. Through class discussions and writing assignments, we will learn that language is a form of power and that we can adapt it for our purposes. Finally, by discussing the intended consequences of various works and how well they reached their objectives, we will develop strong rhetorical skills. Overall, we will discover that we are already participants in a larger community and its discourse. Ultimately, this course will provide you with the skills to be successful in English 160.
MONDAY / WEDNESDAY / FRIDAY SECTIONS
ENGL 160: Writing About Marriage in America
CRN 11526 (MWF 11:00-11:50)
In this class, you will engage in a semester long investigation of the debates surrounding the issue of marriage in America. This investigation will range from the various definitions of marriage to its pivotal role in debates on equality and freedom of choice. More specifically, you will become scholars of the issues of same sex marriage, marriage as regards immigration policy, and arranged marriage. Ultimately, the purpose of this class will be to prepare you to engage in academic writing. You will learn to situate your own ideas into the context of ongoing conversations about marriages, expressly by writing in four different genres (profile, explanatory research essay, argumentative essay, and debate reflection). Your chief task is to become a better academic writer, to accomplish this by improving your knowledge of writing genres and honing your ability at every stage of the writing process (planning, drafting, and revising.)
ENGL 160: Stand-Up Comedy: Writing in Genres
CRN 28744 (MWF 12:00-12:50)
The main purpose of this class is to provide you with writing experience that you can use throughout your entire career here at UIC as a contributing member of an academic community. Specifically, you will employ a variety of reading and writing strategies to draft and revise four major writing projects: a Dialogue, a Review, an Argumentative Essay, and a Personal Essay. In each of these projects, situation and genre will operate as guiding concepts, and your subject will be standup comedy. In order to complete these projects with confidence and clarity, you will spend a significant amount of time in class focusing on areas key to reading and writing at the college level.
ENGL 160: (Writing About) Representations of Chicago
CRN 30965 (MWF 1:00-1:50)
A.J. Liebling coined the term “Second City” in his controversial book on Chicago. Carl Sandberg called it the “City of the Big Shoulders.” John Burns told a reporter that Chicago was “a pocket edition of Hell.” All of these add up to the idea that Chicago is a city of some significance and worth sharing one’s impression of, regardless of what that is. This class will focus on how Chicago is represented in texts ranging from literary fiction to newspaper articles, analyzing the rhetoric of those examples and using their writing as a template for our four writing projects. We’ll read texts about Chicago directly, texts set in Chicago, and texts generated from Chicagoans to synthesize the various genres through which Chicago (and cities writ large) are represented. We’ll work on crafting sentences, building paragraphs, and organizing arguments with elegance. Students should leave this class ready for any writing project thrown at them here at UIC and out in the real world.
ENGL160:Writing as a First-Year Academic
CRN 11341 (MWF 9:00-9:50); CRN 11601 (MWF 11:00-11:50); CRN 28745 (MWF 2:00-2:50); CRN11792 (MWF 3:00-3:50)
You are, suddenly, a first-semester student at a world-class university. This new situation leads to a long series of questions that are likely on your mind: what were the experiences that led you to college, what did you expect to find once you arrived at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and what do you want most out of college and college life? In this class, which prepares you for university-level writing, you will explore what it means to be a first-semester student at UIC by writing, revising, and submitting to peer review a handful of sustained writing projects. All of these assignments begin with you: each writing project in this class will ask you to write from issues that arise from everyday situations specific to first-year students at UIC. You will complete four such writing projects over the course of the semester: an argumentative essay, an interview-and-profile, a proposal, and a photo essay. To support your writing this semester, you will read a variety of different texts, including blogs about street art in Chicago, an essay on the history of Reggaeton music, and a photo essay about American nationalism and group identity. The purpose of this course is to prepare you for the kinds of writing you will do as a college student, and the kinds of critical thinking that college classes require, regardless of your major.
ENGL 160: Writing about Technology, Identity, and Selfhood
CRN 11337 (MWF 8:00-8:50); CRN 11462 (MWF 10:00-10:50)
The topic of this course relates to the issues of technology, narrative, identity, and selfhood. Students will read excerpts from Jaron Lanier’s books You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto and Who Owns the Future, Sherry Turkle’sAlone Together, as well as excerpts from Robert McChesney’sDigital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy—in addition to current articles from Wired, New York Times, the blog Gizmodo, Psychology Today, some articles on Narrative Theory etc. relating to these issues. In this class students will investigate what it means to construct a narrative identity that increasingly relies upon and is mediated by current forms of media/technology (e.g.; Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.). Students will ask themselves how these new forms of technology have enhanced, devalued, or altered the way we project our identity publically, how we relate and communicate to our friends and family and, ultimately, how we view our selves and the world around us. The course is structured around four key writing projects—a memoir, a photo essay, a blog post, and an argumentative essay. These writing projects, along with our in-class assignments and discussions, will be structured around the UIC composition model: situated writing. We will consider how situation shapes genre choice, how language choices produce consequences, and how the ideas we generate as a class this semester can be applied to a larger social context.
ENGL 160: Writing for Business: Corn, Candy, Moto, & Steel
CRN 24146 (MWF, 8:00-8:50); CRN11505 (MWF, 11:00-11:50)
This section of English 160 focuses on genres and subjects central to the marketplace. What core issues and challenges define Chicago’s economy? How do these issues reflect national, regional, and local histories? Is Chicago “the Second City?” One more city in the “Rust Belt?” The great Midwestern “brain drain?” Through practical and professional genres, we will explore these and other questions to define common perspectives on trade and commerce in “the City that Works.”
ENGL 160: Writing and Engagement with Extracurricular Activities
CRN 25964 (MWF 1:00-1:50)
In this class, you will investigate an extracurricular activity at UIC that is new to you, the needs it fills, how it is funded and the ways in which it does or does not link to the larger Chicago community of cultural events. The information you glean surrounding extracurricular activities and the students they benefit, cause you to respond as an engaged citizen. As a result of your desire to become involved at UIC and beyond, you will become knowledgeable about an extracurricular activity that is new to you and share this activity with the rest of the class by writing a blog to be posted on the class site. Your new-found interest will then lead to attendance of a performance, meeting or competition of your chosen activity which will inspire you to write a review which will also be shared with the class. After learning about the ways your activity fills students’ needs, you will isolate areas of possible improvement in your activity and you will write a proposal that argues for the funding of an extracurricular activity of your own design. Finally, you will create a brochure to persuade other students to join your newly created organization. Through attention to situation, genre, language and their consequences in your writing, you will become deliberate in your responses and develop methods for moving these critical conversations forward in meaningful ways. You will also learn how your writing choices allow you to engage with issues that are important to you. This is a collaborative class – you will have the opportunity to interact in small group discussions, and to share peer reviews of writing assignments.
ENGL 160: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: How the Written Word Opens Our Eyes, Unplugs Our Ears, and Propels Us to Meaningful Social Action
CRN24124 (MWF 8:00-8:50)
In college, you write. And then you tear it apart and write again. The purpose is to refine how you transform all that stuff in your head into a successful act of authorship. What defines success? The effectiveness in which you represent yourself, other people, a specific community, important academic insights, or social action that is important to you. Writing sometimes requires representing something that others might try to silence or ignore in their own ways. Have you ever been misrepresented? My guess is yes. So this semester you’ll think about writing as an effective means in which to represent a certain opinion, issue, or outlook on life. But first you have to represent yourself. To do so, we will begin by focusing on your own representation of yourself (as a man, woman, student, musician, singer, lover, sister, brother, community activist, poet, painter, sinner, saint, etc.), and then we’ll practice taking this fluid, changing self-image into our local community. Next you will construct an argumentative essay examining the so-called “decline of men” and how society is affected by shifting gender orders; don’t let anyone else tell you what counts as “appropriate” masculinity, femininity, or something in between. Get your cameras ready because this course goes beyond your own self-representation as you construct a photo essay about one of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. Finally, you will culminate the semester by nominating someone in the UIC community for a WOW! Award and presenting a profile of that individual in your final feature profile project. We’re here to learn how to write successfully for college and earn our degree. Since we are all in different departments, and some of us are still undeclared majors, we’ll tackle different types of writing styles used in different departments. Each writing project is designed to allow for the free flow of your creative impulses while remaining loyal to expected conventions in that particular genre. Naturally, scientific writing might rely more on data and objective facts, but there’s room for creativity in there too. Likewise, writing literature analyses and psychological studies allow for more creative thinking, but these essays must be proofread, edited, restructured, and redrafted, so get ready. We’ll write, rewrite, rip things apart, start anew, and give ourselves an awesome final product. In the process, we’ll hit those annoying things like comma splices, run-on sentences, punctuation mistakes, and other “nuts and bolts” (semantics) of the writing process. If you’re already a good writer, be prepared to further advance, integrating semi-colons, parentheses, and dashes to liven up your thoughts, along with deepening the connections you make between yourself, the written word, and the dynamic world around you.
ENGL 160: Writing in Diverse Workplace and Community Situations
CRN 11332 (MWF 8:00-8:50); CRN 27286 (MWF 9:00-9:50); CRN30667 (11:00-11:50)
In this course, will read and write about current workplace and community issues from various perspectives, ranging from the endemic problem of bullying in workplace and community settings (gone viral the summer of 2012 in the Karen Klein bus incident), the struggles of not for profits to survive in a time of economic recession, to a variety of arguments focusing on controversial business practices of the global retail giant, Walmart. A thorough exploration of these issues will require you to take the assigned readings and integrate them into the four dimensions that shape writing: situation, language, genre, and consequences. We will pay close attention to developing cohesion, clarity, and specific vocabulary in your writing.
ENGL 160: Fantasy Novels, Comics, and Films
CRN 11560 (MWF 10:00-10:50)
In this class you will employ a variety of reading and writing strategies to draft and revise four major writing projects: a film review, a comic, an argumentative essay, and a personal blog post. In each of these projects, your subject will be contemporary fantasy literature and cinema. In order to have something to say, we will examine current trends in fantasy literature and cinema, as well as arguments made about current culture and the audiences driving those trends. Readings will include comics, reviews, historical narratives, critical analyses, informal interviews, and argumentative essays. To accomplish these reading and writing tasks with style and substance, you will spend a significant amount of time in class focusing on areas key to reading and writing at the college level. Specifically, you will study and practice using: * Annotation strategies to help you map out, remember, and analyze texts. * In-class note taking in order to better remember and utilize what happens in class. * Rhetorical analysis as a means for better understanding the writing strategies of others, and for crafting your own writing to better meet the knowledge, attitudes, and expectations of your audience. * Situation, genre, language, and consequences as key concepts in writing. * Paragraph structure, i.e. how to formulate topic sentences, supporting evidence, and how to make explicit transitions both within and between paragraphs in order to increase logic and coherence. * Sentence structure and grammar, i.e. parts of speech, the relationship between subject and predicate, simple and complex sentences, and the functions of various types of punctuation. The main purpose of this class is to introduce you to writing in academic and public contexts by providing you with strategies and knowledge that you can use to prepare yourself for the writing that you will be expected to produce throughout your entire career here at UIC as a contributing member of an academic community, as well as beyond.
ENGL 160: Cinematic Chicago: Writing About Movies, Focusing on Chicago
CRN 11399 (MWF 1:00-1:50); CRN 11572 (MWF 3:00-3:50)
In the early 20th century, when the film industry was just beginning, some of the most popular movies were made in Chicago. The industry eventually moved west to Hollywood, but again and again over the years, filmmakers have returned to Chicago, making this great city home to characters as diverse as Ferris Bueller, Batman, and John Dillinger. A large part of what makes our city such an appealing movie location is the combination of our iconic architecture, fascinating characters, and intricate history. In this section of English 160 students will explore these aspects of Chicago’s cinematic heritage, reading works from a variety of genres, including film histories, reviews, and interviews. We will watch a few films and clips in class, but students will be expected to watch others as homework. Using the readings and class discussions as guidelines, students will complete a variety of genre-based writing projects related to Chicago and its place in film history. Towards the end of the semester, we will spend some time analyzing the use of argumentation and visual rhetoric in a Chicago-based documentary film; students will then respond to the issues raised in that film in their final writing project, an argumentative essay. Each of the assigned writing projects is designed to provide students with an understanding of genre expectations and aid them in gaining proficiency across a range of writing situations, thus preparing them for success in meeting the challenges of academic writing.
ENGL 160: Writing What You Eat
CRN 27575 (MWF 9:00-9:50)
How and what do you eat and why? Not too long ago this would have seemed like a relatively straightforward question. However, the questions surrounding our food consumption have grown increasingly important and complicated. Recently, food has been placed at the center of economic, health, and even energy debates. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about it and its role in our lives. And why wouldn’t they? Issues surrounding food production and consumption in some way affect everyone from local farmers to multi-national corporations; from farmers markets to national grocery chains; from the largest restaurants to individual shoppers. Each of these groups must deal differently with production technology, distribution, and consumption. Using food as our primary subject matter, we will use the concepts of situation, genre, language, and consequences to discover and rediscover writing about our food choices and the impact consumption can have in national and local contexts. From interviewing and profiling a member of the local food community to reviewing a local eatery, we will write in multiple genres to explore how our position at an urban university can enrich our academic experience, while at the same time, discovering how writing matters in an urban context.
ENGL 160: Communities and Writing
CRN 11327 (MWF 2:00-2:50)
We will explore issues of community at home, at school, in professional fields, and as citizens in a democracy and of the global community. By reading and examining various genres and the ways in which they are used for specific purposes and audiences, you will come to see writing as more than something you do for school. Instead, you will see ways in which writing applies to everyday circumstances that you will encounter not only in school, but also in various other communities. Over the course of the term, you will produce your own writing in four different genres: a profile of a classmate, a rhetorical analysis of an advertisement, a proposal, and a critical analysis. Through frequent peer review sessions, you will learn to examine your own writing and your peers’ critically and constructively, and you will use the writing process as a way to clarify your ideas. Through revision, you will learn to improve your writing and thereby prepare for the variety of writing situations that you will face here at the university and in both your professional and private lives.
ENGL 160: Writing the Migrant Experience
CRN 30668 (MWF 12:00-12:50)
During the 2012 Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney began his speech repeating what countless of other political and cultural figures before him have said about the United States: “We are a nation of Immigrants.” Of course, Romney is saying this after just having advocated the construction of an electric fence across the Mexico-U.S. border during the Republican primaries. So on the one hand, we have a presidential candidate embracing multiculturalism (the belief that the nation is composed of different-but-equal cultures), and on the other we see him push forth a political and economic agenda that excludes those that compose a multiculturalist state (when he advocates for building an electric fence to deter Mexican migrants). One hears this statement so often from both sides of the political aisle (democrats and republicans) that it has become tantamount to a meaningless cliché. In resisting such superficial (the “why can’t we all just get along”) understandings of the immigration process, this class attempts to dive into the multi-faceted dimensions of 20th and 21st century U.S. immigration. Most likely, you have already seen traces of these issues in the exponential rise of highly-lucrative immigration detention centers and private prisons, the long standing tradition of exploiting immigrant labor, and the constant accusations that “Mexicans are taking jobs away from Americans.” Each one of these trends can be viewed as symptomatic of an emerging American public anxiety about the changing demographics of the country from an Anglo-majority into a minority majority country (i.e. “the browning of America”). For the scope of this course, we will take a step back and attempt to use writing in order to not only map our individual subject positions into the social fabric of Chicago, but also to examine the historical layers of such a social process which spans various ethnicities and nationalities. This positioning will allow us to examine the structures of situation, language, genre, and context. Certain motifs that we will brush up against throughout this course will focus on who, why, and how different groups migrate to the U.S., how they integrate into the country’s economic infrastructure, and how they are portrayed by various news outlets. Specific issues to explore concern general areas of interest such as: settlement, education, identity, assimilation/acculturation, discrimination, employment, language, marriage, legal status, and political participation. Over the course of this semester, you will compose, piece-by-piece, a portfolio featuring four writing projects: an interview, a letter to the editor, an argumentative essay, and a team debate. As we draft, edit and revise these writing projects, we will also discuss how to best manage argumentative structure, tone, rhetorical appeals, and grammar mechanics. More importantly, through the work assigned in this course, students will learn a set of writing practices that, if employed correctly, will empower the student to enact change not only in their college careers, but outside of the university setting as well.
ENGL 160: Writing as Workers: Critiquing and Writing Our Work(ing) Lives in Chicago
CRN 11385 (MWF 10:00-10:50);CRN11534 (MWF 12:00-12:50)
Welcome to UIC! As you are now learning, Chicago has been a hotbed of political activity, protests, and questioning (articulating conditions, objections, and arguments for change through language [logos]) for some 160 years. Most if not all of you are either working now while pursuing your studies--whether as a work-study employee, or as a part-time worker--or you have had a job in the past. Indeed, as Adam Kader, Managing Director of Arise Chicago (a worker’s rights advocacy group) recently put it, “we spend more time at work than we do at anything else” (“Wage Theft in Chicago 2011”). With Labor Day coming up, and considering the fact that we are a few feet away from Hull-House, an institution created by Jane Addams in the late 19th century to address, in part, labor conditions in Chicago, this course will address the question of labor, with particular emphasis being placed on how we can become active and articulate agents for change through writing as workers (or as future workers). A note on the word “change”: while this course is designed to teach students how to become articulate writers, it is not a course designed to advocate for one position over another concerning the labor issues we’ll be discussing. In fact, one of the skills we will develop is how to advocate a position we do not personally agree with. Why? Because learning counter arguments allows us to see our interlocutors as human beings while also allows us to sharpen our own arguments.
ENGL 160: Rhetoric and Democracy in the 21st Century
CRN 30663 (MWF 9:00-9:50); CRN 11558 (MWF 10:00-10:50)
“Democracy” is a term whose meaning and use has changed and evolved within the environments and workings of government, education, media, and foreign affairs. What did it mean for ancient Greece, the original “founding fathers” of the United States, women suffragists, and civil rights activists? What does it mean for Iraq, Afghanistan, and the events surrounding the Arab Spring in Libya and Egypt? What does it mean American citizens today? Why fight for it? Why should countries write it into their constitutions? This class will attempt to construct a working definition of democracy based on the discourse surrounding democracy by studying its earliest philosophical foundation, its American historical foundation, its use in the current media, and its use in discussion on international foreign policy and current global events. The course will empower you by providing the tools and history to understand a belief system intrinsic to our culture. Readings will take both an American and global perspective and draw from across a wide historical range from the writings of ancient Greece to contemporary political commentary on democracy within global current events.
We will explore issues of community at home, at school, in professional fields, and as citizens in a democracy and of the global community. By reading and examining various genres and the ways in which they are used for specific purposes and audiences, you will come to see writing as more than something you do for school. Instead, you will see ways in which writing applies to everyday circumstances that you will encounter not only in school, but also in various other communities. Over the course of the term, you will produce your own writing in four different genres: a profile of a classmate, a rhetorical analysis of an advertisement, a proposal, and a critical analysis. Through frequent peer review sessions, you will learn to examine your own writing and your peers' critically and constructively, and you will use the writing process as a way to clarify your ideas. Through revision, you will learn to improve your writing and thereby prepare for the variety of writing situations that you will face here at the university and in both your professional and private lives.
ENGL 160: Appropriation in the Arts
CRN 11330 (MWF 9:00-9:50); CRN 29462 (MWF 12:00-12:50)
Though increasingly facilitated by recent advances in technology, the use of “borrowed” materials to create new works of art has been a more or less accepted practice since the early 20th century. This course will explore various uses of appropriation across the arts, from visual art (Dada and Surrealist collage, pop art, 1980s appropriation art, including Sherrie Levine), literature (Grace Krilanovich’sThe Orange Eats Creeps, the work of Kenneth Goldsmith, and the cut-up technique as employed by William Burroughs), music (hip hop sampling over several decades leading to the mashup), and film (video collage). In this course you will engage with various forms of cultural appropriation as well as respond critically to these examples.
ENGL 160: Writing about American Cultural Myths
CRN30661 (MWF 9:00- 9:50); CRN11821 (MWF 12:00-12:50); CRN11446 (MWF 1:00-1:50)
In this course you will work on your critical reading and writing skills to help you in your academic career at UIC. The core reading material we will look at will be from Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle’s Rereading America (Eighth Edition). This book centers on some of the prevalent cultural myths in America. The publisher states, “Rereading America takes on the myths that dominate U.S. Culture: family, education, success, gender roles, race and the environment.” Although we will be analyzing and using critical thinking in the readings, primarily this course provides the opportunity to explore writing and its consequences in four different situations and genres. Through a selection of readings centered on the cultural myths of America, you will explore the ways that different written genres have an impact on their audiences and how the rhetorical construction of these genres can be effective in different situations. Each writing project lasts three weeks, and asks students to work in different genres, including personal and argumentative essays, the opinion piece, and a dialogue. Required Texts: 1. Anson, Chris and Schwegler, Robert A. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers: UIC Custom Edition. New York: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009. In the syllabus I will refer to this book as LH. 2. Colombo, Gary, Cullen, Robert and Lisle, Bonnie. Rereading America: Eighth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Marin, 2010.
ENGL 160: Writing on Chicago Neighborhoods
CRN 11548 (MWF 9:00-9:50); CRN 11575 (MWF 11:00-11:50)
In this course we will examine Chicago neighborhoods and your place in them as a UIC student. Discussions will focus on critical conversations about Chicago as a neighborhood-centric city and reflective writing projects that address your ideas in relation to Chicago. You will be asked to develop connections between those ideas in situated writing exercises that will engage you with your surroundings. The four writing project genres you will engage in are: the review, the memoir, the argumentative essay, and the photo essay. These assignments are aimed to enhance your understanding of writing genres, to spark a critical understanding of how the language of each genre produces consequences, and finally to connect these concepts through a situated writing experience that evolves from your position as a Chicago student. You will learn not only about the unique experiences Chicago neighborhoods have to offer, but also to think critically about the value these neighborhoods afford to you.
ENGL 160: Writing about Travel and Homecoming
CRN 11458 (MWF 10:00-10:50); CRN11818 (MWF 12:00-12:50); CRN11759 (MWF 1:00-1:50)
In this class, you will read and write about travelers and their destinations. You will examine the places you and others have traveled to, near or far; about how art travels to and from Chicago; and about the place you call home. These habitats, as well as the ways we reach them, are not necessarily pretty, and some might be outright terrifying. You will master the basics of analytical reading, thinking, and writing, by completing four writing projects that will be collected in a portfolio at the end of the semester. These projects are conceived as responses to texts--essays, comics, and documentaries--we will read and view throughout the semester. You will also learn how to write professional cover letters.
TUESDAY / THURSDAY SECTIONS
ENGL 160: “The Horror! The Horror!”
CRN 11731 (TR 12:30-1:45)
All writing exists as part of a situated genre. Over the course of the semester, you will learn to identify, navigate, and effectively respond to diverse writing situations using a genre of a different medium: the horror film. Just as the horror film tends to operate via strict generic conventions as it participates in a larger public conversation, we will explore writing as one of the many ways we can contribute to and participate in our world. Writing is an instrument of community involvement and a tool of social change. Whether the community you choose to involve yourself in is an online one of unabashed movie fandom or larger academic discussion, this course invites you to actively participate in these exchanges. Warning: not for the faint of heart.
ENGL 160: Writing About Food
CRN 11766 (TR 8:00-9:30); CRN32836 (TR 9:30-10:45)
Cox, Nikki Paley
This course approaches writing as an instrument of community involvement and a tool of social change. Writing is one of the many ways we can contribute to and participate in our world; local, national and global issues generate numerous forms of public “conversations.” This course invites you to actively participate in these exchanges, specifically in areas related to food and food studies. In this class, you will complete four writing projects: a rhetorical analysis, a dialogue, an argumentative essay, and a review. Additionally, you will write a cover letter explaining how you understand the key terms of the class as they apply to these four assignments and your growth as a writer. Through this series of writing projects you will be asked to contribute to the public discourse(s) surrounding specific social situations and community or national issues. These writing projects will ask you to respond to diverse situations by employing different types of writing from a variety of genres. As we explore various forms of writing, we will also work towards an understanding of how different genres are created out of and shaped by the particular situations from which they arise.
ENGL 160: Writing and Rhetoric for a Global Audience
CRN 11727 (TR 9:30-10:45); 23460 (TR 2:00-3:15)
This class is designed to recognize the benefits and advantages of bilingualism, and to serve the needs of bilingual and English-language-learning students. This is not an ESL class--instead, the class will explore global rhetoric, focus on the cultural norms of American Academic and public discourses, and help students find ways to express linguistic diversity while still communicating clearly and effectively with a chosen audience. We will examine both personal and public writing, and also examine how our language choices and forms change when moving in and out of different linguistic contexts. Please note: This section is designed to meet the needs of English-language learners. Instructor permission is required to enroll.
ENGL 160: Your UIC
CRN 11343 (TR 2:00-3:15); CRN 27283 (TR 3:30-4:45)
The cornerstone of the UIC composition program is the idea that successful writing both arises from a specific situation in the world, and has the ability to shape that world itself. Your writing for this semester will be generated by a real-life situation that you are already becoming steadily more familiar with: the UIC campus. You have no doubt been bombarded by a steady stream of new people, ideas, and environments since your arrival as a student. The first task for your work for this course is to become intimately acquainted with the situation of campus itself, and the excitements and challenges that are unique to this space in which you and your peers are pursuing your educational goals. Once you have become familiar with your surroundings, you will soon see opportunities for their improvement. From there you will learn how, through the genres of writing that we will explore in this course, you can go about effecting the kind of changes that you determine are necessary to make the campus a better place. Through your work for this course, you will learn a set of writing practices that will help you become an active participant in your new social and cultural environment. These practices will become evident as you compose both a set of letters to newspaper editors and a proposal that details the type of changes you would like to make on campus. By the end of the semester you will have developed ideas about the role of student organizations on campus as well as strategies for starting your own student organizations. In short, you will enact in writing ways to establish new opportunities for your campus community to thrive and your issues to be addressed. The writing you will practice in this course will empower you not only to enact change in your environment at UIC, but outside the boundaries of the university as well. You will, after taking this course, be capable of understanding and participating in projects that can be applied to the social and cultural issues of your community, your city, and beyond.
ENGL 160: Writing from Life; Writing for Life
CRN 11791 (TR 8:00-9:15); CRN23296 (TR 9:30-10:45)
Writing well means getting things done. Good communication skills—listening, verbal, and written—help you succeed in classes, share stories with friends and family, receive satisfaction as a consumer, attain employment, and much more. The pieces that you will write for this class come out of your own experience and knowledge—the context you are already in. In this class, you will learn to analyze situations, genres, language, and consequences as both a reader and writer, which will allow you to write in and for the many situations you haven’t even considered yet—the contexts in which you will find yourself throughout your life. In addition to an argumentative essay, you will write and revise three other projects, which are likely to include a dialogue, an advice article, and a piece in the genre of your choice that responds appropriately and effectively to a given situation.
ENGL 160: Academic Writing I
CRN 11539 (TR 2:00-3:15)
This course asks you to get outside of the classroom bubble and write in a variety of situations, for a variety of purposes, and in relation to a variety of communities. The pieces that you will write for this class come out of your own experience and knowledge—the context you are already in. What’s more, each writing project will situate you within a community, whether that community is Chicago graffiti writers or a church choir. You will write responses to readings and other class prompts, an op/ed piece, an advertisement and cover letter, a feature story or profile, an argumentative essay, and a proposal.
ENGL 160: Writing into Community Conversations
CRN 11720 (TR 11:00-11:15); CRN27280 (TR 2:00-3:15)
This course approaches writing as an instrument of community involvement and a means of instigating social change. Writing is one of the many ways that we can contribute to and participate in our world – from personal letters, web logs, and emails to resumes, articles, formal proposals, and academic presentations. Local, national, and global issues generate numerous forms of public [written] “conversations.” This course invites you to actively participate in these exchanges. Through a series of four writing projects you will be asked to contribute to the public discourse(s) surrounding specific social situations and community issues. These writing projects will ask you to respond to diverse situations by employing different types of writing from a variety of genres. As we explore various forms of writing, we will also work towards an understanding of how different genres are created out of and shaped by the particular situations from which they arise.
ENGL 160: The Technology of Writing in the Information Age
CRN 27372 (TR 9:30-10:45); CRN11390 (TR 2:00-3:15)
We live in times of sweeping technological innovations, rapid communication, and increased connectivity. Recognizing the implications of these changes for our society and responding to them through writing is vital to negotiating our place in the contemporary world. In this class, we will situate ourselves as respondents to the changing technology of communication through writing. Although the course covers a wide range of topics—on writing as means of establishing an explanation, on appropriating art, on peer-to-peer file sharing systems, and on social networking sites—the situation to which these topics refer is always the same. A change in the technologies of writing has brought forth responses from writers and we will enter this conversation via four major writing projects: a manifesto, a review, an argumentative essay, and a dialogue. In these projects, we will assess how the genre and language that we choose determine the consequences of our writing.
ENGL 160: Writing about Things and Stuff
CRN 21630 (TR 3:30-4:45)
Our contemporary is one in which we have more stuff than ever. We need look no further than occasional glances at trash cans, garage sales, shows like “Antiques Road Show” or “Storage Wars,” eBay, or simply common trips to Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods, or Costco. Stuff abounds. We are living in a time of objects, things, and stuff. But what might this stuff have to do with academic writing? Our course will explore our responses to common objects in the world–commodities–in order to learn how to write in a meaningful, creative, and vibrant way, a way that seems to go against common notions of academic writing as boring, dull, scientific, etc. But we will also investigate academia itself, particularly academic writing, in this course, asking what makes writing either academic or non-academic. In other words, we will look at both the labor of writing, and the final product of writing, asking ourselves not only what makes a particular piece of writing “academic” but also what makes a particular kind of work “academic work.” Put still another way, we will use our relationship to objects in the world (think of our relationship with our cellphones!) as grounds for an exploration of different types of writing, including narrative, blogging, and argumentative genres. We will also take creative approaches to grammar, paying particularly close attention to writing at the sentence level.
ENGL 160: Writing into the World
CRN 11583 (TR 11:00-12:15)
This course approaches writing as a means of interacting with the world. We are interested in discovering the world—the political world, the world we exist in as actors upon the world stage. We begin by taking a self-portrait or self-expression. As we do this, we understand that the picture we present to the world can be taken through many different lenses (writing Project #1 and #2). From there we will explore how our own lives intersect with our family and community (writing projects #3). Finally, we will venture out into the world and use our language as an agent for change (writing projects #4 and #5). Even if our words do not change the world, we can at least make our own worlds larger. In the end, these two goals, changing the world and changing our perception of it, may actually be the same thing.
ENGL 160: Music as Social Experience: Connecting Lives, Communities, and Environment
CRN 27282 (TR 11:00-12:15)
The main goal of this class is to introduce you to writing in academic and public contexts by providing you with strategies and knowledge that you can use to write about ideas which can impact a broader social context. The wider theme of this course is music, or to be more exact, our experience of the musical performance in which we take part whether by performing, listening, rehearsing, practicing, or dancing. We will work on a number of writing projects which, on the hand, will explore the topic of music as a “participatory,” not merely “presentational” experience, and on the other, will require that we participate in that social experience through writing.
ENGL 160: Pop Culture and Life Writing
CRN 11551 (TR 9:30-10:45); CRN11787 (TR 11:00-12:15)
In this section of English 160, you will be challenged to rethink the connections between popular culture and the stories we tell about “everyday” lives. Entertainers market their personalities when they pen best-selling biographies or appear in magazine profiles. We’re interested in the human lives behind film, music and sports, and we also tell our own life stories with references to these cultural artifacts. What song was playing when you fell in love? Who were you sitting with during Jordan’s “flu game?” This course will examine the intersections between popular culture and life-narratives to uncover the implications of these moments. As part of final portfolio for the course, you’ll write a movie review, a profile of a local entertainer, a memoir with a playlist, and an argumentative essay. Every project will undergo a process that includes peer review, revision and drafting. We will be attentive not only to matters of composition (grammar, mechanics, style and so forth) but to an understanding of rhetorical practices and how critical examination of genre might empower students to better understand writing situations inside and outside the university.
ENGL 160: Academic Writing I
CRN 11543 (TR 9:30-10:45)
Why do we write? How do we adapt our writing to the circumstances surrounding it? What can writing do for us in general, and how can strong reading, grammar, and writing skills enhance and inform your studies? English 160 asks you to consider these questions through two sets of four central concepts: situation, genre, language, and consequences; and *logos*, *ethos*, *pathos*, and *kairos*. As in all English 160 courses, you will critically examine some of the situations in which we write, the effects of those situations on our language and genre choices, and the potential consequences of writing. In this course, though, you will also be asked to analyze the modern university model and to apply that analysis to your own education in order to better understand higher education in general and UIC in particular.
ENGL 160: Writing About Work
CRN 11512 (TR 8:00-9:15); CRN 11796 (TR 9:30-10:45); CRN 11801 (TR 2:00-3:15)
In this writing workshop we will examine employment issues in the U.S. from a variety of academic perspectives, from the social to the political, from the literary to the philosophical. Course readings, writing assignments, and class discussions will explore the values and beliefs that have shaped common-sense ideas about jobs, careers, and “opportunity” in 21st-century America. Along the way, you will be asked to examine your career goals and ambitions, i.e. “How do you define success?” We will study many kinds of writing situations, and will produce highly-polished pieces of writing in four genres: the oral history, the satirical news article, the argumentative essay, and the personal essay.
ENGL 160: Writing about Culture in Personal, Public, and Academic Contexts
CRN 11514 (TR 11:00-12:15)
In this course, we will examine the role of culture in our personal, public, and academic lives. You will be asked to consider cultural products critically, countering the tendency to “experience” them passively. Some might believe popular culture, for example, to be too “lowbrow” for serious analysis and study; but why is that? We will consider the ways in which culture, including popular culture, works rhetorically to influence our lives and beliefs, and we will discuss why (or whether) it is, in fact, worthwhile to study.
We will read texts about a variety of subjects, from the content of music videos to the role of liberal arts in education, and compose in a variety of genres. You will be asked to write four papers, which we will call “writing projects” because they are not your standard term-papers: a memoir, a rhetorical analysis, an argumentative essay, and a photo essay (accompanied by a cover letter).
These projects—as well as our in class work—will be based on the cornerstone of the UIC composition program: situated writing. We will consider how situation shapes genre choice, how language choices produce consequences, and how the ideas we generate as a class this semester can impact a broader social context.
ENGL 160: Knowing Your Place: Writing About the Politics of Space in Chicago
CRN 11570 (TR 9:30-10:45)
What makes studying in the city of Chicago attractive to you? Have you ever wondered why somany people from other parts of the country—or even other parts of the world—have decidedto make Chicago their home? In this section of English 160, students will pursue several writing projects designed to bring the concerns of the “What Makes Your Place Great?” contest and Chicago’s city-wideplacemaking initiative into the classroom. We will begin the course with an exploration of the city’s most beautiful and vibrant “undiscovered” places and end the course with a vision of what might be done to ake the city even more inhabitable. The final assignment, a placemaking proposal, will take the shape of an in-class contest. (Prizes will be awarded for the best entries).
Over the course of the term, we will read the works of urban planners, architects, sociologists,psychologists, art historians, poets, fiction writers, travel writers, oral historians, economists,scientists, homeowners, disability activists, and fellow students in order to learn more about thecultural, emotional, spiritual, practical, and political uses of space in the Chicagoland area andbeyond. By reading up on “placemaking,” students will come to see that home is not only theplace you live but also the places you want to inhabit—i.e., a special corner of a public park, afountain hidden away on a city side street, the bleachers next to the baseball diamond whereyou grew up, a coffee shop in your new neighborhood, the rainbow resource room at UIC, theelementary school where you tutor, and so on.
In this course, students will not only contribute to a long tradition of urban ethnography byinterviewing a Chicagoland dweller on his/her favorite place but will also create new knowledge through their writing: by joining a conversation on a controversial use of space on campus or in the Chicagolandarea, by exploring the politics of the workplace and arguing for more equitable arrangements, and, finally, by proposing the creation of a new place designed to memorialize an important person or event, to serve the needs of a community, or to solve a social problem of personal significance. Each writing project willserve not only as a means to get students connected to the city in which they study and to help them imagine a productive and fulfilling future in it but will also prepare students for the academic writing expectations of the university community.
ENGL 160: The Technology of Writing in the Information Age
CRN11583 (TR 11:00-12:15)
We live in a period of sweeping technological change, rapid communication and increased connectivity. Recognizing the implications of these changes, as well as the ways in which we might respond to them through writing, is vital to negotiating our place in the contemporary world. In this class we will consider changes in technology and technological communication and examine how people are reacting to them. Through this examination, you will begin to situate yourself as a respondent to these events and technologies through writing. We will be specifically considering the genres through which individual writers have chosen to respond to this larger situation, and you will be asked to use some of the genres we examine in four major writing projects: a Manifesto, a Review, an Argumentative Essay, and a Dialogue. For each of these projects, you are going to assess arguments made for and against the various aspects of these topics and consider the ways in which the language that we choose influences the consequences of our writing.
ENGL 160: Travel Writing and the World
CRN 28743 (MWF 1:00-1:50)
When we write, we generally seek to connect with a broader audience, and to share our vision of the world. Travel writing—that is, writing about the pleasures, pitfalls, and peculiarities of a particular place—helps us do just this. In this class, you will practice and improve your writing skills through the specific genre of travel writing. This class will ask: How can writing be used to capture a vivid, unique sense of place? How can writing itself work to transport readers to other places, and to make them feel invested in the vividness of someplace they may have never been? Most importantly, how can travel writing connect us with communities of fellow travelers and fellow writers, even if those communities may be spread far across the globe? You will be asked to read excerpts from a wide variety of travel writing, including literature, online forums, guide books, journalism, and comics. Then, you will apply what you have learned through reading to four travel-related writing projects: a restaurant review, a blog post, an argumentative essay, and a photo essay. You will be able to choose the places you write about, whether you have been there or not, and whether they are across the planet or right here in Chicago. In order to make this course useful and relevant to you, there will be a strong focus on online reading and online publishing. Ultimately, I hope to give you a toolkit that will be helpful not only for travel writing, but for all kinds of writing in personal, academic, and professional contexts.
BLENDED SECTIONS (Tuesday Only)
Blended courses have a reduced number of physical class meetings. This reduction is made possible by haveing a significant number of activities and assignments done online and through new media.
ENGL 160: Writing Your Way into the Public Conversations
CRN 11550 (Tues. 9:30-10:45); CRN11803 (Tues. 11:00-12:15); CRN19880 (Tues. 12:30-1:45)
Young, Andrew Paul
The purpose of this course is for you to examine and develop your “voice”—the sense of self that allows you to be both yourself and a member of a community larger than yourself. Writing, and how you reveal your voice in your writing, is a social activity that creates “public conversation.” The public conversation is defined by the voices of its participants. Writing in the public conversaction will require you to coexist in a community which has a tolerance of diversity and respect for others. In this class, we will not only add our voices to the public conversation, but we will try to bring our ideas into useful relation to the ideas of others. Our public conversation will not be dominated by the loudest voices, but will be balanced with both voicing your ideas and opinions and listening to the voices of others. In this class, you will write 20 pages in 4 projects. Each paper will go through a draft process: it will be reviewed by a peer, receive comments and edits from me, and you will submit a final draft for a grade. You will do many types of writing this semester in a number of different genres: advice article, cover letter, guidelines, opinion piece, argumentative essay, discussion boards, peer review and impromptu class responses. I believe your writing improves the more you do it, so I want you to do ample writing this semester.
Please note: This is a blended version of the course, which means class will meet once a week with all other activities completed through online and new media activities and assignments. Please Note: This is a blended version of the course, which means the class will meet one day a week with all other activities being done through online and new media activities and assignments..
MONDAY / WEDNESDAY / FRIDAY SECTIONS
ENGL 161: Writing After Globalization
CRN 11952 (MWF 9:00-9:50)
What is globalization? Where did it come from? And what has it become in the 21st century? This section of 161 focuses on identifying and interpreting globalization's effects throughout the world and more specifically in the U.S. and Chicago. Students are expected to become active members in the classroom and develop individual projects of inquiry. Using Peter Singer's book One World to frame general research and introduction, students will engage problems regarding economics, culture, history, philosophy, public health, and environmental sciences, among other disciplines. Final research papers require students to read across multiple texts and arguments through sustained intellectual engagement with their topics. Many research projects negotiate the tensions between local and global as well as individual and social needs in light of globalization's fundamental effects on daily life.
ENGL 161: Inquiring into and Writing about Education
CRN 11861 (MWF 12:00-12:50)
What is education? What does it mean to be educated? Is it simply a matter of amassing knowledge? But don't we all know, or haven't we all at least met someone who knows a lot, and yet we think is “clueless”? How can someone know a lot, and yet “not know anything”? You may have heard the distinction between “booksmarts” and “streetsmarts,” the former referring to formal education and the latter to experience and wisdom. So is education about wisdom as well? Ought it to be? How would you teach it? If you don't already know it, it may interest you to learn that the word philosophy means “love of wisdom.” What does it mean, then, to be a lover of wisdom, or a philosopher? Can anyone love wisdom, or does one have to be trained? And what does wisdom have to do with truth? Or truth with knowledge? If you find yourself stuck trying to answer some or all of these questions, you're note alone. But consider for a moment: If you can't answer these questions, how can you tell if you have been educated or not? Given the amount of time, work, and money that college requires, this might be a question worth trying to answer. This course will expose you to and give you practice in academic inquiry and writing. We will read about education from a variety of sources, disciplines, and perspectives. From these you will find a topic of interest and develop questions that will shape and guide your research. By the end of the semester, you will have composed a 10-page research paper, the findings of which you will present to the class.
ENGL 161: Writing About Chicago Architecture
CRN 11866 (MWF 10:00-10:50); CRN11868 (MWF 2:00-2:50); CRN29283 (MWF 3:00-3:50)
In this course we will continue the examination of “situated writing” begun in English 160 while exploring the skills associated with academic research. Using the four key terms of language, genre, situation, and consequences, we will uncover how architecture creates the urban experience in Chicago. The city has typically been characterized as a gritty, industrial, and materialistic city that lacks real culture. Does the urban skyline of Chicago reflect that narrative or have observers been misreading the city’s architecture? What changes have happened to the city’s appearance over time and how are they significant? How exactly does one read a city’s architecture? These are simply a few of the questions we will consider in this class as you explore your own relationship to Chicago’s individual buildings and overall design. You will be asked to choose a topic related to Chicago architecture and engage in extended research on that topic. The subject of your research might be the history of a specific building in Chicago or a study that explores patterns of development in the city. Whatever topic you choose, it should reveal an aspect of Chicago architecture that you feel we are not aware of or change our perception about a building or group of buildings we thought that we understood. By the end of this course, you should have an understanding of the process that leads from inquiry to academic writing. You should also have a better understanding of the perception of Chicago’s architecture and how that perception relates to the reality of life for the city’s residents.
ENGL 161: The Pain of the Macho: Writing About Masculinity in the 21st Century
CRN 21629 (MWF 11:00-11:50)
English 161 is designed to provide you with the tools that you will need to engage academic inquiry. During the first half of the semester, you will complete three writing assignments in which you will learn to summarize, analyze, and synthesize class readings. In the second half of the semester, you will write a research proposal about one aspect of the course you’d like to research. You will spend the remainder of the semester turning your proposal into a research-assisted essay using the skills we learned in the first half of the semester. You will emerge as an incipient scholar joining the masculinity research community and offering your perspective on many of the pertinent debates in the field. In this course we will examine the subject of the so-called “declining American male.” Recent studies in academic journals, magazines, and the mainstream press agree that the American male is in a state of crisis. Rigid definitions of masculinity are outdated and dysfunctional, leading men to a variety of health, economic, and sexual problems, as verified by recent statistical evidence. We will examine the research in a variety of disciplines—psychology, sociology, economics, history, sport, sexuality, and pop culture, among others—and trace the historic roots of contemporary masculinity. In addition, our readings will address several different topics in the masculinity debate, including the nature-versus-nurture divide, the politics of gender, adolescent male development, father-son dynamics, hyper-masculinity in sports, the metrosexual, and cultural constructions of manhood. The central question, as posed by journalist Guy Garcia, is this: can men stop being defensive without going on the offensive? And does the American male have anything to be defensive about? You will be expected to take into account your own experiences and integrate these into the ongoing masculine narrative of contemporary American culture.
ENGL 161: Writing the Revolution
CRN 30669 (MWF 12:00-12:50); CRN23990 (MWF 1:00-1:50)
In this class, we will analyze Emma Goldman’s highly romantic and wildly impractical theory of anarchism. Since Goldman became an anarchist primarily in response to the treatment of Haymarket anarchists, we will start here in Chicago, 1886, move to the early 1900s when Goldman lectured throughout the U.S., and finally make connections to contemporary movements and politics. We will examine Goldman’s essays, which are rich in references to the work of respected scientists, sexologists, and literary writers as well as a few quacks (!). We will hone our critical thinking skills, develop our own positions, and write about the justice system, education, gender, politics, and class. Finally, we will examine the way in which many of Goldman’s arguments are strikingly relevant today. We will be entering into an intellectual conversation on anarchism and students will be positioning themselves within that conversation. The later half of the semester will be dedicated to employing our critical thinking skills and writing a research paper. Our text, From Inquiry To Academic Writing: A Practical Guide, explains how to develop ideas, analyze essays, synthesize sources, construct a thesis, organize an essay, conduct basic research, and use appropriate styles and forms of citation.
ENGL 161: Writing About Debt
CRN 22420 (MWF 10:00-10:50)
In one form or another, debt is a daily part of our popular discourse. Mortgages, consumer debt, government deficit spending, and student loans all cycle endless through news media, academic discourse, political debate, and popular culture. But what is debt? What are the major theories of debt? Students will identify and analyze the major arguments about debt and credit from social, economic, and political perspectives. Students will learn and practice the skills necessary for analytic, research-based, academic writing by studying and forming arguments about debt.
ENGL 161: Writing about Poverty
CRN 21626 (MWF 10:00-10:50)
In this class, we will examine the ways in which we discuss poverty and will advance those discussions through our own writing. We will consider the origins of poverty, the mechanisms that preserve it, and possible ways to alleviate or end it. At the core of our discussions and writing will be the premise that poverty is not an individual ill, but a societal one. As a result, we will examine different societal institutions to understand the way they preserve or fight against poverty, such as schools, businesses, and the media.
ENGL 161: Writing about Race, Class, and Gender in Chicagoland
CRN 29300 (MWF 11:00-11:50); CRN29333 (MWF 1:00-1:50); CRN29334 (MWF 2:00-2:50)
This course explores the relationships and intersections between race, class, and gender in Chicagoland. In its vast and diverse history, the city of Chicago has remained ambitious, if not utopian in its aims and ambitions. In this sense, Chicagoland makes all the more sense as a utopian term. What are the realities of a place and how is it represented? How do race, class, and gender inflect upon and shift our nderstandings of one another? And, perhaps with its utopian ambition lies a dystopia. In this class, you will critically examine the meanings of race, class, and gender with an emphasis on how these inflect and affect our lived urban environment. You will visit relevant public places, connecting these concepts to our role in the world. By combining the physical experience of exploring public spaces with relevant written assignments and readings, you will enhance your research skills considerably. Your written assignments include journaling, summary, synthesized analysis, a research proposal, and a culminating research paper. In each assignment, you will demonstrate an ability to argue and analyze effectively.
ENGL 161: Getting Real: Rhetoric, Politics, and the Biology of Human Empathy
CRN 27565 (MWF 12:00-12:50); CRN24048 (MWF 2:00-2:50)
The philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote that life in a state of nature is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Based on that comment, people sometimes talk about Hobbes as though he was a “realist,” who reminded us not to overlook our violent natural tendencies. At the same time, however, Hobbes and many other political voices also suggest that unlike animals, humans can create “civilization,” through contracts, law, or public discourse. In this class, students will not only practice the argument skills necessary for such a society, students will also investigate one of Hobbes's main assumptions: our fundamental difference from animals. Is it true that our best hope for a non-violent society are the things that separate us from animals, namely: language, rationality and law? Are we so different from animals? If, in important ways, we are not so different from animals, what does that mean for our hopes for peace? Can language, reasonable argumentation and democracy keep us from chaos and violence? Where do empathy and cooperation come from, and can they be relied upon? How can we create a just society, if there are conflicting ideas of what justice is? What is realistic to hope for? The class will be centered around a single text having to do with apes and their social behaviors. Based on that text, students will practice the moves of argumentation, academic writing and critical conversation. By the end of class, students will produce a lengthy, documented argument paper related to the themes and questions of the class.
ENGL 161: The Working Poor
CRN 11864 (MWF 8:00-8:50); CRN24055 (MWF 9:00-9:50)
In this course, we will extend and further develop our skills that evolved in English 160. We will enter even further into public conversations and their consequences, first discerning what these conversations about the "working poor" in fact, are, assessing their validity, and articulating our own, well-supported arguments. As summary, analysis and synthesis are central components of the academic research paper, we will practice these, and we will learn to find and evaluate a variety of primary and secondary sources for our final projects. One of our goals is to identify and participate in public conversations about poverty and work. In order to do this we will each bring in one newspaper or magazine article per week. It can be any piece that interested you for any reason (having to do with the working poor!). Please identify (in writing!) the issue at hand, what/who you think the author is responding to, and consider how the author defines/uses major terms such as poverty, work, welfare, etc. This will be part of your journal and will help you move toward your final research portfolio as well as spark class discussions. Our first two writing projects are summary and synthesized analysis essays. You will base these on David Shipler’sThe Working Poor and the Course Packet, which includes: “The Myth of the Working Poor,” by Steven Malanga; “Taken” by Sarah Stillman (from The New Yorker August 2013) “The Working Poor” by Tim Jones; selections from Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich; “What a Higher Minimum Wage Does for Workers and the Economy” by Peter Coy and Susan Berfield; “The Minimum Wage Debate” by Kevin Hassett and Michael Strain; “Minimum Wage Madness” by Thomas Sowell and “Raising the Minimum Wage Isn’t Just Good Politics” by Noam Scheiber. The third project is an annotated bibliography and final project outline, and the final research portfolio will be the culmination, in the form of a ten-page paper, of the semester’s inquiries and efforts.
ENGL 161: Academic Writing II
CRN 30673 (MWF 1:00-1:50)
In this course, we will attempt an inquiry into the idea of happiness in its various manifestations and valences. Do the things we think will bring happiness actually provide it? What does that word, “happiness” actually mean? Is the pursuit of it worth all the fuss? Through a combination of academic, philosophical, and literary texts, we will explore questions of happiness as it emerges in discourses surrounding culture, politics, and economy. Each of these forms of writing demands different ways of reading and critical thinking that will be useful as we engage our contemporary moment. Writing instruction will run parallel to and take up the questions explored in our primary readings and culminate in an academic essay.
ENGL 161: Writing About Comedy and Gender
CRN 11956 (MWF 12:00-12:50)
In this course we will examine the history and style of various female comedians in stand-up and on television. Throughout the years, several famous male comedians have felt indifferent enough (or strongly enough) to declare that women, simply, are not funny. And yet, women are headlining major comedies such as Bridesmaids, while others have created hit sitcoms such as Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock. We know women are funny, can be funny, so the question is not what makes someone funny, but why people feel the need to declare that women specifically are not funny. At the heart of the matter is an ambiguous definition of the sexes. What, as a culture, do we say is “woman?” What do we say is “man?” How do these ideas conflict and come together? We will see how female comedians have accepted and dealt with issues that are present before they even take the stage, and how their comedy reflects the issues at the heart of this debate. For the first half of the course we will complete two writing assignments: a summary essay and then an analysis/synthesis essay. In addition to this students will be required to present and act as discussion leaders for two classes. The second half of the semester will work towards your research proposal (based on inquiries—well-formed questions concerning the content of the course and the ongoing arguments addressing that content) and finally, your research paper. During these last few weeks students will also be required to give group presentations on outside research that they think might benefit the class as a whole. Students are expected to do an extensive amount of reading both on the primary content (comedy and gender) and on the form of writing (the academic essay). There will also be a large amount of supplementary videos.
TUESDAY / THURSDAY SECTIONS
ENGL 161: Talking to Strangers: Writing about Stand-Up Comedy in Comedy at the Edge
CRN 11979 (TR 11:00-12:15); CRN33322 (TR 12:30-1:45);CRN21668 (TR 3:30-4:45)
Richard Zoglin characterizes stand-up comedy in the United States during the 1970’s as marking a shift from a primarily impersonal, joke-based entertainment to a more varied and ambitious art invested in personal experience and direct social commentary. But while Richard Pryor and George Carlin and Andy Kaufman engaged in experimentation that was often in conflict with the older style of stand-up, we will treat this tension between a set-up/punchline joke-telling tradition, and the development of other approaches in the 1970’s, as an opportunity to explore connections between this “new” type of stand-up comedy and standup's complicated past, from the Borscht-Belt to Vaudeville to Blackface Minstrelsy. My hope here is that you will not only find a research project that interests you, but that throughout the semester you will also find yourself drawing memorable connections between the moves stand-up comics make as performers and the moves we make as writers, all of us trying to convince an audience of something. English 161 is designed to provide you with the tools that you will need to engage in academic inquiry. So with this in mind, you will complete four writing projects: Summary (3 Pages); Synthesized Analysis (5 Pages); a Research Proposal including an annotated bibliography (3 Pages); and a final Research project (8-10 Pages). Through the first three writing projects, you will develop skills that will enable you to create a well-organized final research paper. Each writing project will include at least two drafts, and the final draft for the research project will be highlighted to show all revisions and will also include a cover letter explaining the changes you made.
ENGL 161: Taking Thought: Writing Analytically about Philosophy
CRN 27288 (TR 12:30-1:45); CRN22416 (TR 3:30-4:45); CRN 27376 (TR 5:00-6:15)
Ford, Dr. William
Why does anything exist, rather than nothing? Was the universe brought into being somehow by accident, or was it intentionally created? Does God exist? What happens after we die? If the universe is “nothing but” matter and energy, what is consciousness? Could machines (robots) ever become conscious (artificial intelligence)? How can we be sure that we really know what we think we know? What are the rules of thinking? How does language relate to the world that it purports to describe? Do we have free will? How do we know right from wrong? What is the best way to organize a society? Are there universal standards for art, or is beauty just “in the eye of the beholder”? As the title of one of our texts puts it, "What does it all mean?" Such questions are the stuff of Philosophy. In this course, we shall be investigating these questions, and many more, with the aid of three texts: Thomas Nagel’s What Does It All Mean?, Ralph M. McInerny’sA Student’s Guide to Philosophy, and Mel Thompson’s Understand Philosophy. In addition, we shall be consulting a writing text specifically designed for beginning philosophy students (to be announced) that will help you, literally, to “compose your thoughts” in a methodical and analytical way, as you learn how to conduct research, how to formulate and clarify a specific philosophical question, and how to fairly consider all the alternatives in order to approach a reasonable--if tentative--solution to it. You will compose your Research Project in sections over the course of the semester, and by the end, you will have completed a thorough analytical study (of about 25 pages) of the philosophical question of your choice. Philosophy majors (current or prospective) are especially welcome, but this course is open to anyone with an interest in the subject; no prior knowledge of philosophy is required--just a deep curiosity about the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.
ENGL 161: Writing about College and Career
CRN 35789 (TR 2:00-3:15); CRN27375 (TR 3:30-4:45)
You have made a significant commitment of time and money by choosing to enroll in classes at UIC. Why? What do you expect from your university education? What do you hope to achieve while you are a student and after you graduate? How do you expect to accomplish those goals? As college tuition continues to rise, student loans mount, and technology evolves, many people are asking: Is college worth it? Who should pay for it? Is it time to reinvent postsecondary education? How much do students really learn in college? How do they learn best? Is college necessary for a successful career? What might a “successful career” really be? Does it simply involve one’s occupation, or should “career” be more broadly defined? Does or should a college education provide more than a stepping stone to professional employment?
We will explore possible answers to these questions and initiate further inquiry into the topic of college and career as you learn more about academic research and writing. You will write a series of shorter assignments including a summary, an extended analysis, and a research paper proposal. Your final writing project will be a 10-page documented research paper in which you join the academic conversation as you pursue your own specific inquiry within the broader context of issues concerning college and career. You will develop and support your own distinct claim in relation to the research you have done. As further goals for this class, I hope that as a result of the class conversations we have and the research you do, you will gain a fuller understanding of why you are in college, what you hope to accomplish here, and how you will go about achieving your goals, and I hope you will become an advocate for your own academic success and that of others.
ENGL 161: Writing Against the Myth of Kafka: Should We Give a Damn about Literature Anymore?
CRN11853 (TR 2:00-3:15)
Our topic is, ostensibly, a Czech-born, German-speaking lawyer and writer of fiction, who represents one of the great conundrums of modern literary study. Each of our core texts makes a bold claim in its very title: one suggests a melancholy, depressive Kafka, the other (not much thicker) claims to have collected every word of his short fiction. But our course is not ultimately concerned with reading, comprehending, and being able to argue about one of the great figures of 20th century Western literature (and one who authored, arguably, its most famous work in “Metamorphosis”). It is instead an investigation into mythmaking, fact and fiction and the blurring thereof, and (often heated) arguments concerning the position and value of an author who penned three unfinished novels, a few hundred pages of stories, a stack of letters, and a diary which only serves to confuse matters further. We will first examine the historical conditions which brought about Kafka, then proceed to the various myths about him and their validity, and finally proceed to the key question: who cares? Your instructor is more than happy to hear a disagreement about this point as well as any other in the course, and that brings us to our goals. In this course, we will make better readers, writers, and arguers of ourselves and each other. We will engage in debate based on our own intuition as well as a deepening knowledge of the author at hand. We will engage with texts ranging from short fiction to academic argument, all in service of developing our own opinions, tastes, and styles of argumentation. For our grand finale, over the back half of the course, we will develop research skills and write an argumentative paper about a potential variety of subjects directly and indirectly related to our Kafka studies. Upon exiting this course, you will have rigorously researched and defended a paper on a topic of your choosing, and complicated and deepened your understanding of literature, literary icons, and their place in today’s world. Along the way, you will be dazzled, confounded, and perhaps occasionally repelled by the odd and alluring literature and confessions of our dear, enigmatic Franz. As the course moves forward, we’ll consider other, related fiction, possibly including Genet, Gombrowicz, Goethe, and other writers whose names may or may not begin with the letter “G.”
ENGL 161: Writing Urban Secret Histories
CRN 21700 (TR 11:00-12:15); CRN11961 (TR 2:00-3:15)
This Composition II course focuses thematically on the contested narratives visible in the actual social histories of cities like Chicago and New York. Students will read a variety of texts by writers such as Luc Sante and Marco d’Eramo, while encountering different writing techniques, culminating in an independently researched, thesis-driven 10-page research project. This course should appeal to students who are willing to engage historical narratives as text evidence, and wish to build their writing skills in terms of logic, clarity, and specificity.
ENGL 161: Radical Compassion
CRN 11886 (TR 9:30-10:45); CRN 11892 (TR 3:30-4:45)
O’Hara, Mary Ellen
Our journey will begin with an exploration into the nature of compassion. What is compassion? How does it manifest in our daily lives? Is compassion culturally specific? How does it function in a political context or situations of extreme conflict? Can compassion be practically used in issues of justice, the environment, equality and violence? Enlisting the writings and actions of such notable figures as the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi we will construct a unique definition of compassion and use it to enlighten our understanding of human interactions. As with other research writing courses we will learn about summarizing, analyzing and synthesizing arguments as well as the best practices regarding academic research. All these elements will be engaged in a final research work which answers a significant question about compassion you have unearthed during the course of our time together.
ENGL 161: Writing about Chicago: Pursuing Inquiry through Research
CRN 11854 (TR 11:00-12:15)
Reading about Chicago’s 19th-century emergence as a mighty industrial force is difficult to reconcile with today’s city of Millennium Park, but this dynamic interplay characterizes Chicago’s remarkable story. Our central text, Dominic Pacyga’sChicago: A Biography, will be augmented with more critical analyses by Marco d’Eramo, and Donald Miller. Students will gain competence in academic writing through summary and synthesized analysis practice. For final research projects on Chicago, students will choose topics that intersect with their own academic and personal interests.
ENGL 161: Give Me a Place to Stand (and I’ll Move the Earth): Writing about the Scope and Impact of Mathematics
CRN 11875 (TR 8:00 - 9:15); CRN25973 (TR9:30-10:45); CRN11972 (TR 12:30-1:45)
“Give me a place to stay and I’ll move the earth,” proclaimed the Reverend Al Green on his take of the Gospel standard Up Above My Head (I Hear Music in the Air). While it’s clear that Green was quoting the standard, is it possible that Green was referencing more than Gospel? That he was in fact alluding to that great Greek mathematician Archimedes, who claimed that given a lever and a place to stand he could move the earth? Certainly there’s a difference between stay and stand, but the similarity between the terms might give one pause. And that’s the heart of this section of English 161--To pause and consider the presence, impact, and relationship of mathematics to ourselves and the world we’re treading on. Through daily reading and writing assignments, group presentations, and writing projects emphasizing components of academic writing that equip students to engage in independent research, students will learn how to better use summary, analysis, and synthesis in order to write academically. The course also seeks to view academic writing through the lens of mathematics in the hopes that students who see themselves as stronger in one discipline (Mathematics or Composition) at the expense of the other (Composition or Mathematics) might find that their perceived weaknesses are in fact strengths. After all, both Mathematics and Composition are languages and so depend on orders of operations to communicate or make conversation. Both seek to express, question, solve, and perhaps most importantly explain. After all, aren’t mathematical proofs in effect stories? Aren’t stories attempts to explain or tell some truth? And don’t the best stories, in their attempts to express truth invite retellings, entertain a range of interpretations and at least serve as some other to speak back to? Welcome to English 161, where we’ll read close, think free, and with the aid of others make academic conversation.
ENGL 161: The Language of “Us” and “Them”: Linguistics and Identity CRN 11958 (TR 9:30-10:45) Williams, Charitianne This class is designed to recognize the benefits and advantages of bilingualism, and to serve the needs of bilingual and English language learning students. In this class we will study language variation with a focus on how language shapes our own and other's sense of identity. Examining major national linguistic events such as the Oakland Ebonics debate and the English-only movement, the class will attempt to separate truth from myth as course members gain mastery of one discourse community in particular: Academia. This course is designed to meet the needs of English-language learning and bilingual students. Please contact the instructor for permission to register.