This course examines the history of the English language from Old English to the present day, with a particular focus on its recent changes—many would say “mutations”—in the digital age. Course content covers the macro-history of the English language and the Indo-European family of languages, various local cultural histories of English, dialectical variation, and some of the basic concepts of structural linguistics (phonemes, morphemes, grammar, and syntax).
The genre of creative nonfiction complicates the boundaries of what we normally think of as imaginative writing (e.g., fantasy novels, contemporary short fiction, romance, most “Literature”) and writing about real people, places, things, and events (e.g., journalism/nonfiction or documentary writing).
Course Description We live in a time forever transformed by scientific discovery and humankind’s drive to understand and control the natural world. Scientific and technological advancements in the West have made the present moment what it is—from smartphones to vaccines to NASA’s experimental plasma propulsion systems, science and technology are the twin engines of the… Continue reading ENG-W 221: Writing in the Life Sciences
This summer, as the world burned, the coronavirus raged, and the body count from police-assisted killings edged ever upward, I read Brian Jackson's wonderful new book Teaching Mindful Writers and wondered, "How can I pay my respects to the world-historical events of this summer in a way that both honors the enormity of what's going… Continue reading “This Time It’s Personal” Media Project 1: Looking In (ENG-W 131)
Yes, we should all probably be teaching online in Fall 2020. But the powers-that-be have decided, at least for some of us, that we are going to carry on with face-to-face teaching, even as they explain to us in calm, reassuring terms the conditions of our own demise. If we must head back to campus,… Continue reading Teaching in Fall 2020: Ten Strategies for Pandemic Learning
This fully-online, graduate-level course is an introduction to—and a history of—the field of writing studies, which goes by various names, including “composition studies,” “rhetoric and composition studies,” “composition-rhetoric,” and sometimes “rhet-comp.” This course historicizes approaches to writing instruction in the West going back as far as classical antiquity, it surveys writing studies' major movements and moments in the mid- to late 20th century in the US, and it speculates about the teaching of writing well into the 21st century. Together we study the major concepts, themes, debates, and politics of the discipline; investigate the theoretical assumptions and historical foundations that underpin the various movements within writing studies (e.g., expressivism, Writing Across the Curriculum, critical pedagogy, social constructivism, post-process, etc.); and explore the impact of digital technologies on the teaching of writing.
As we are often reminded, we now inhabit an increasingly complex and confusing hyper-fast media landscape, where traditional forms of journalism and reporting have been radically reshaped and even supplanted by emerging forms of digital media. This course will give you the tools to engage intelligently in the major issues of our time; to analyze media of all kinds; to parse out the subtle distinctions between various kinds of problematic information; and to find credible, carefully-researched, and accurate journalism, news, and opinion on a variety of topics.