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Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, MI 48197

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Posted Monday, November 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM to Announcements. Comments: 0   
ENGL310: Writing and Civic Literacy

John Dunn | Tuesdays and Thursdays 11-12:15 p.m. (CRN 27181)

In our lives all of us encounter language and symbols that we share with those close to us, discourse that arises from the specialized expertise we employ in school and the workplace, as well as public arguments and appeals that circulate around the responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy. Taken together, our participation in what rhetorician Thomas Goodnight has termed these three spheres of argument helps form our sense of identity as well as allows us to recognize and enact the aspirations that inspire us. Recent events such as the Occupy protests, however, point up the challenge contemporary citizens, especially college students, often feel in making connections across these spheres of argument, especially between compelling matters in their personal and professional lives, and the possibilities for political change in the public sphere. Over more than 2000 years, the Rhetorical Tradition has provided citizens with tools, techniques, as well as a rationale for enacting versions of civic literacy that can help us connect personal, professional, and public life in order to work toward collective change. As an intermediate-level course in the Written Communication major, ENGL310, then, takes the lived experience of students as a starting point for the study of rhetoric. During this course, we'll read nonfiction accounts such as Tamara Draut's Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead to understand some of the specific economic and political challenges college students face today. We'll use autobiographical writing and revision to identify values and goals in our personal and professional lives that can guide our future plans. We'll study some of the ways rhetoricians through the ages have understood the responsibilities and opportunities of citizenship as well as the notion of the public good. We'll then explore the range of discourse - texts, media, and other symbolic action - available to represent what matters to us for public audiences that can help bring about change in different parts of our lives. Based on these major projects, you'll develop a final portfolio containing a collection of writing and related media that you can apply in your life going forward both as a student of rhetoric and a contemporary citizen in a changing society.

ENGL 328: Writing, Style, and Technology

Derek Mueller | Online (CRN 27638) and Honors (CRN 20732) Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11-12:15 p.m.

ENGL328 is a course designed to introduce you to the juncture shared among composing practices, stylistic knowledge, and writing technologies, new and old. We will explore the ways in which style, as a canon of rhetoric, pertains to a wide variety of genres, from conventional academic prose to new and emerging writing platforms online. Our examination of these genres will involve a considerable amount of writing insofar as we will not only study about the adaptive interplay between style and technology, but we will explore it first-hand, practicing stylishly in selected projects. Thus, the course consists of at least two dimensions: it is, on the one hand, a guided intellectual inquiry into what has happened where style and technology converge, and, on the other hand, a hands-on, studio-like venue for experimenting with writing, style, and technology.

ENGL 417: Rhetoric and the Written Word

John Dunn | Tuesdays-Thursdays 3:30-4:45 p.m. (CRN 27182)

ENGL417 explores a number of major definitions for the concept of rhetoric, each of which has implications for how you as a student of Written Communication might pursue your interests around composing, consuming, and interpreting discourse, whether here in the undergraduate major or as you plan career options in areas such as professional writing, technical communication, writing studies, or education. In particular, we'll look at some influential versions of rhetoric and the ways each can help you as a writer, reader, and citizen, among these, rhetoric as persuasion, rhetoric as a productive art, rhetoric as social action, rhetoric as a circulation system, and rhetoric as a constitutive act involving collective and individual identity formation. To guide us, we'll consider how each version of rhetoric addresses the key factors in any act of writing or reading, what theorists call the rhetorical triangle, emphasizing matters of text, audience, subject, genre, and authorship. Among some of the technical concepts of rhetoric we'll consider include the rhetorical canon of invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery; the rhetorical situation and rhetorical stance; audience analysis; topoi and the means of persuasion; the Pentad and terministic screens; spheres of argument; stasis theory; rhetorical personae and constitutive rhetoric; genre theory; and activity systems, among others. For each approach we'll study some of the major classical and contemporary theorists then apply key concepts to a collection of discourse (writing, media, and other symbolic action) which you gather on topics from your life that matter to you. Based on this analysis, we'll then try out a variety of strategies for composing and interpreting discourse that can help you persuasively adapt your ideas and beliefs to the expectations of audiences and occasions you encounter in everyday life. Besides examples of nonacademic and public discourse, some assigned and some that you recommend, course readings will feature excerpts from classical and contemporary rhetorical theorists such as Aristotle, Kenneth Burke, Lloyd Bitzer, Wayne Booth, Maurice Charland, Cicero, Sharon Crowley, Walker Gibson, Thomas Goodnight, Richard Lanham, Carolyn Miller, Walter Ong, Chaim Perelman, David Russell, John Trimbur, and Michael Warner, among others.

ENGL 444: Writing for the World Wide Web

Steve Krause | Online (CRN 26825)

This is a course about writing and the World Wide Web in at least two different and related ways. First, we will be reading, "browsing," and writing about the World Wide Web in order to understand how the web works rhetorically. Second, we will be writing "on" the web with blogs, wikis, Tweets, "good web sites," and a few other related things. As the title of the course suggests, students will be required to work with and explore the basic HTML and CSS coding that makes the web work. The course is available for graduate student credit. As an online course, students are required to have regular computer and internet access.

ENGL 515: Literacy and Written Literacy Instruction

Bill Tucker | Tuesdays 6:30-9:10 p.m. (CRN 22001)

Literacy is an academically and politically volatile term: we will examine definitions, issues, and theories of literacy and how these inform approaches to writing instruction, especially in secondary and college classrooms. To this end we will write personally, reflectively, ethnographically and authoritatively to explore versions of literacy. We will investigate a case of young adult or adult literacy. We will demonstrate classroom models of new literacy and their implications for theory and standards. We will respond thoughtfully and civilly to each others' writing and speculations and seek to understand our local versions of literacy.

ENGL 516: Computers and Writing: Theory and Practice

Derek Mueller | Thursdays 6:30-9:10 p.m. (CRN 24758)

Computers and Writing, a sub-field of Rhetoric and Composition, attends to the interplay of newer, networked technologies and composing practices, broadly conceived. With an explicit orientation to the scholarship associated with this sub-field, ENGL516 provides students with an advanced study of theoretical and practical dimensions of teaching writing with computer technology. Thus, this course is concerned both with teaching and practicing writing in digital environments and, also, with the ways an expanding digital milieu transforms rhetoric, writing, teaching, classroom spaces, curricula. Our general purpose is to grapple with some of these changes in the interest of becoming more deliberative, adept, and inventive as teachers, writers, and thinkers.

Provisional projects will include a C&W micro-anthology, a Teacher-Innovator's Cookbook, and an in-class presentation. We will read selected articles online and as PDFs in addition to the following books:

  • Stuart Selber, Multiliteracies for a Digital Age, 2004, ISBN 0809325519.
  • Devoss, Hicks, and Eidman-Aadahl, Because Digital Writing Matters, 2010, ISBN 987047040772.
  • Wysocki, Anne Francis et al. Writing New Media. Logan: Utah State UP, 2004. ISBN 0-87421-575-7.

ENGL 517: Topics in the Teaching of Writing: Women's Rhetoric

Cheryl Cassidy | Wednesdays 6:30-9:10 p.m. (CRN 24759)

This graduate course is designed to acquaint students with the rhetorical and stylistic structure of women's writing. My aim here is to broaden our ideas of how women look at the world and to undercover those perceptions in their discourses. Despite advances made in Women Studies, large numbers of students remain unschooled in the process of textual interpretations. Where much work has been accomplished in examining women's fiction, women's non-fiction prose has received less attention. This course unravels the internal and external structures of women's non-fiction prose from the late nineteenth century to the present. We will focus on women's voices, both in the multiplicity of those voices and in the variety of individual voices from letters, essays and articles.

The course is divided into three sections:

  • Part I: Travel Writing/Joining the Fray looks at late nineteenth-century American female missionary letters and articles from evangelical monthly journals as well as excerpts from female travel writers.
  • Part II: Social Commentary/Exploring Boundaries examines writers whose essays center on the evolving social order and its influence on women's lives in the early 20th century.
  • Part III: Ourselves in the World/Breaking Free: looks at a variety of women writers from the late 1970s through the present, focusing on how women writers renew our sense of the world, create (and exchange) stories of self, other and community, and approach the significant issues of our time. This portion of the course will examine blogging and social networking in electronic landscapes.

ENGL 527: Topics in Professional Communication: Multimedia Writing

Steve Krause | Mondays 6:30-9:10 p.m. and online (hybrid) (CRN 23310)

Multimedia Writing will be a workshop-oriented and collaboratively intense course where students will learn about multimedia texts (that is, writing that is not words alone but also includes audio, images, and video) by producing these texts. While we will read and discuss some of the theoretical implications of working with multimedia, the emphasis will be on producing multimedia with readily available tools. Along the way, we will contemplate the basic question of the class: what do writing professionals need to know about "non-print" writing tools?

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