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English 3310
Writing Prose

Required Texts: Joan Didion, After Henry; Roland Barthes, Image-Music-Text; Gloria Anzaludua, Borderland

English 3310 is "writing of various kinds, such as speculation, reports, documented articles or criticism, with emphasis on persuasion as the object. Prospective teachers give attention to the psychology of helping others to write well through inductive and descriptive writing analysis."

English 3930
The Essay: Past, Present, and Future

Required Texts: Montaigne, Essays; Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem; Giorgio Agamben, Idea of Prose

This course will examine the history and philosophical journey of the essay, analyzing its premodern sensibility, modern maturity, and postmodern reinvigoration.  In order to consider these issues, we have to think about what it means to write at school, and in this case, at the university, because at school, at the university, writing means composing—componere, (Lat.) to put together. So, a better writer in the university would be someone who is putting together, right? The French word for essay is the word essai,   but in the French it is not a noun, but a verb—to essay, to experiment, to try. In order to truly experiment, then, we have to write fewer essays and essay more writing, so to speak.

Literature 4935
Network Culture

Required Texts: Mark C. Taylor, The Moment of Complexity; Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler; Ronald Aronica, The World is Flat? (NOT Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat)

Description: This course is an examination of the concept of network culture as a distinct movement. If network culture is not change as such but the acceleration of the rate of change, the aim of the course is to understand exactly what traits define this acceleration, and to identify the various sorts of motives that have historically brought about this movement in particular. The course is primarily concerned with the philosophical and rhetorical issues involved in these questions, but it carries out this goal by investigating how popular culture, corporations, and other institutions have appropriated this culture for their own purposes.

The course is divided into three sections. The first section will address how current notions of network culture are rhetorically constructed from philosophical contexts. The second addresses the literary treatment of network culture, and how the questions inherent in these treatments shape current conceptions.
The third part of the course will be a practical application of these contexts to examine the appropriation of globalization rhetoric for corporate purposes.

English 6700
Theory of Composition

Required Text: Bizzell and Herzberg, The Rhetorical Tradition

English 6700 is one of the three courses in the Rhetoric and Composition concentration within the M.A. in English. In this class we will explore some of the most influential theories of composition and rhetoric by reading primary and secondary texts. We will be reading with the following questions in mind:

  • What is rhetoric?
  • How and why have definitions of rhetoric changed over time?
  • How have classical, modern, and postmodern theories of rhetoric shaped the field of composition?
  • How and why has the teaching of composition changed over time?
  • What are the keys issues or problems that have engrossed contemporary composition theorists?
 
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