Writing / Composition

scales of environmental writing

syllabus

This junior-level writing course models a variety of critical methods in order to provide you with the tools to think and write analytically about literature—in particular, literature interested in questions of environment and conservation. The course builds sequentially on your ability to analyze literary texts and requires that you generate critical pieces of writing. We will work collaboratively on a variety of assignments with the objective of developing a critical voice that engages with other scholarly perspectives. Rather than prepare you to become literary critics, this course will furnish you with skills that can be used profitably in your other classes and elsewhere. The course strives to drive home that writing can be an enabling skill that situates your thinking within developing conversations and allows you to contribute meaningfully to the construction of knowledge.

In this course, the writing process becomes a means for thinking about relationships between different scales of space and time: the local, the national, the planetary, etc. We’ll use writing of various kinds to investigate the relationship between these scales—e.g., how individual experience is influenced by and influences the planetary—while also engaging with other writers that are thinking about these relationships in the context of climate change and ecological transformation.


science fiction and gender

syllabus

This is a junior-level writing course that models a variety of critical methods in order to provide you with the tools to think and write analytically about literature—in particular, literature interested in questions of gender and sexuality and the political/cultural implications in both concepts. To achieve these goals, we will focus our attention on the genre of science fiction, as it appears in novels, short stories, poems, or films. We’ll exploit this science fictional lens in order to discuss the ways that authors have dealt with issues of gender in specific social, cultural, and historical contexts.The course builds sequentially on your ability to analyze literary texts and requires that you generate critical pieces of writing. We will work collaboratively on a variety of assignments with the objective of developing a critical voice that engages with other scholarly perspectives. Rather than prepare you to become literary critics, this course will furnish you with skills that can be used profitably in your other classes and elsewhere. The course strives to drive home that writing can be an enabling skill that situates your thinking within developing conversations and allows you to contribute meaningfully to the construction of knowledge.


women and writing

syllabus

In this course, we will explore a variety of genres, from the ghost story to the fairy tale, from the bildungsroman to the creative essay. With each of these genres, we will pay close attention to the ways that they reflect upon or respond to the questions of gender on which our class will focus.


writing for english majors

syllabus

This course focuses on developing writing skills essential to academic English studies. Our major concerns are sharpening close reading skills and thinking carefully about a number of fundamental questions that accompany humanistic inquiry: how do we transition from interpreting texts to formulating critical arguments? How do we isolate existing conversations within English studies and contemporary culture? What constitutes an audience? What counts as research and how does one conduct research in the humanities? Through the semester we will study a variety of texts in a variety of forms (novels, short stories, poems, drama, film) and supplement them with critical, historical, and theoretical readings. Through these texts, we will learn to triangulate sharp textual analysis with historical thinking and theoretical inquiry in order to contribute to lively conversations in and outside of the university. To emphasize the writing process, our course is structured around a series of essay assignments, which allow you to practice the range of techniques necessary to produce high-quality essays about literature: outlining, doing close analysis, using textual evidence, thesis writing, using argumentative rhetoric effectively, organizing paragraphs, responding to other critics, and revising.


writing & rhetoric: strange spaces

syllabus

This introductory writing course employs methods of critical analysis to provide you with the tools to think and write analytically. The course builds sequentially on your ability to analyze texts and requires that you generate critical pieces of writing. We will work collaboratively on a variety of assignments with the objective of developing a critical voice that engages with other scholarly perspectives. Rather than prepare you to become literary critics, Writing and Rhetoric I will furnish you with skills that can be profitably used in your other classes. The course strives to drive home that writing can be an enabling skill that situates your thinking within developing conversations and allows you to contribute meaningfully to the construction of knowledge.

In order to focus our analyses, we will attend to a variety of “strange,” “weird,” or “disorienting” literary spaces—from the fairy tale landscape to the modern high rise, from the belly of a slave ship to the post-apocalyptic zombie landscape. This strangeness will be present at a variety of levels—from the strange worlds create by the literature to unusual arrangements of text on a page down to the very surfaces on which texts appear. We will use the various writing assignments throughout the semester to consider ways that these strange spaces shape our relationship with a text and influence our textual analyses and the ways that we create conversations in our writing.