English | Projects in Reading & Writings
W170 | 2057-2066 | Associate Instructor


W170 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
Fall Semester 2003

TITLE:     SOCIAL CLASS                Instructor: Gina Brandolino
€ 2067    5:45-7:00 pm    TR         BH 319
€ 2068    7:15-8:30 pm    TR         BH 222

This course will give students an opportunity to investigate the
roles social class plays in our society.  Readings, writing
assignments, and class discussions will address topics including the
intersection of class and education; town and gown conflicts; class
as a cultural force harnessed by celebrities, advertisers, and the
mass media; and artistic representations of class.

TITLE:     AMERICAN HORROR FILMS        Instructor: Michelle Ross
€ 2066      5:45-  7:00 pm    TR        BH 315
€ 2061      7:15-  8:30 pm    TR        BH 221

This analytical writing course will take as its topic American
horror films, and in our analysis of these films we will take into
consideration how they represent America in general, and to a large
extent, their representations of the family in particular.  American
horror films have been obsessed with the family ever since
Hitchcock¹s Psycho in 1960, arguably the first horror film to locate
the source of horror within the family.  Because horror films are
often products of our collective, national nightmares, they can show
us a lot about our fears and anxieties as a culture.  When they
depict the horror coming from inside the home, they suggest
something of our fears and anxieties about family in particular.  We
will view about six films in their entirety; among the films we will
study may be Psycho, Rosemary¹s Baby, Night of the Living Dead,
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the 1978 revision of Invasion of the
Body Snatchers. This is an analytical writing course, and thus it
will involve a significant amount of writing and reading.

TITLE:  AMERICANS IN SPACE:  FROM OUTER SPACE TO CYBERSPACE
€ 2058       8:00-  9:15 am        TR        BH 105   Instructor:
Matthew
Johnson
€ 2063       5:45-  7:00 pm        TR        BH 333

The aim of this course is to analyze the grand narratives of Outer
Space and Cyberspace, why both are called ³the last frontier² and
how they each promise to create a ³global community² and to
illustrate their close and essential relationship with humanity¹s
past, present, and future.  Through reading, discussion, and
analytical writing, we will examine the evolution of space
exploration and virtual reality, looking at their representations in
the media, public perceptions from the late 1950s through the early
21st century, and speculations beyond, using a wide variety of texts
from newspaper articles to cultural essays, from websites to films.
We will investigate the fiction and science of NASA and the
Internet, the cultural and political forces behind them, and how
they have fueled two of America¹s major driving forces:  technology
and imagination.  (No prior/special knowledge of outer space or
cyberspace is necessary.)

TITLE:     THE PARANORMAL: EXPLORING THE BOUNDARIES OF SCIENCE
Instructor: Kevin Knott
€ 2062      2:30-  3:45 pm    TR        GY 447
€ 2064      4:00-  5:15 pm    TR         GY 447

In this writing course, we will examine the techniques of formal
analysis by investigating popular representations of the paranormal.
While the paranormal is a nearly inexhaustible category of study,
this course is primarily concerned with the paranormal as a field of
study that mimics, even as it resists, scientific inquiry‹what has
popularly been labeled ³pseudoscience.²  For this reason, we will
look closely at the pseudoscientific phenomena of astrology, psychic
ability, ghosts and ghost hunting, and finally, we will look briefly
at reports of UFO sightings and abduction stories.  The course in
this way will challenge each student to analyze, in writing and
class discussion, the methods by which researchers on both sides,
whether they be debunkers or believers, have approached the problem
of the paranormal, and we will start by looking at first hand
accounts of that research as well as its popular representation via
film, television, and of course literature.

TITLE:    READING (AND WRITING) FOOD CULTURE
€ 2057      8:00-  9:15 am    TR        BH 149      Instructor:
Emily Heady
€ 2060    11:15-12:30 pm    TR         FQ S021

This course seeks to develop and hone students¹ critical reading and
writing skills through exploration of a topic that often proves
provocative, rich, and entertaining: food. Texts analyzed in this
class will be taken from a variety of sources, including canonical
works of literature (Proust's In Search of Lost Time and
Rossetti's "Goblin Market," for example), prominent food writers
ranging from M.F.K. Fisher to Martha Stewart, diverse essayists such
as Sara Suleri and Wole Soyinka, food marketing texts
(advertisements, menus, etc.), and popular shows from the Food
Network. In this course, students will be asked to think about food
on a variety of levels--not only to appreciate and evaluate its
deservedly powerful role in culture, but also, through research,
critical writing, and wide reading, to make some sense of the many
ideological functions food serves in our society.  This class will
build on knowledge and interests students already have--most of us
love food, after all, and certainly we all find it worth our time--
and thus introduce the processes of critical reading and writing in
a fairly painless, even appetizing, way.  Students should know that
although the assignment sequence for this class is quite structured
(5 formal essays, plus several small assignments and a group
presentation), the topics are not pre-assigned.  While this format
allows students to explore their own interests, it also requires a
good deal of independent thinking and research, so students should
come prepared to be creative, active learners.


TITLE:     BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE:   ASIAN AMERICA(N) IN
CONTEMPORARY CULTURE             Instructor: Anne-Marie Larson
€ 2059      8:00-  9:15 am    TR        BH 205
€ 9897      1:00-  2:15 pm    TR         BH 233

In recent years, American culture has been filled with Asian images,
objects, and cultural practices.  New Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies
appear regularly, Asian American characters appear on TV shows like
Survivor and Ally McBeal, and Disney¹s Mulan  featured a Chinese
heroine. This course seeks to explore Asian American culture, in
part as a means of complicating our notions of race and ethnicity in
American culture.  We will begin by looking at various
representations of Asians and Asian Americans in popular culture,
thinking about the implications and assumptions behind those
images.  Next, we will examine a wide range of written and visual
texts about, and for the most part written or directed by, Asian
Americans as we work to complicate these pop cultural
representations.  One important question for the course will be
where Asian Americans fit into a racial system often dominated by
concerns about the relationship between blacks and whites. This is
an analytical writing course which requires substantial amount of
reading and writing‹four major papers and a number of shorter
writings. We will look at several short stories and essays, a novel
and several films.


TITLE:     FANS                            Instructor: Brigid Reardon
€ 9903    2:30-3:20 pm    MWF    BH 219
€ 9904    3:35-4:25 pm    MWF    BH 219

What's the difference between a fan and a fanatic? Are fans
brainless consumers or active, creative participants in their
particular branch of fandom? Where do we draw the line between fans
and stalkers? We will examine these issues by looking at what fans
do -- what they buy, what they create, how they communicate amongst
themselves and with non-fans -- as well as how they are depicted in
films and on television. This course is designed to allow students
to examine fan communities surrounding topics in which they already
have an interest, such as specific television shows, films, novels,
games, musicians, or sports. Since this is a composition course, our
main tasks will involve writing papers culminating in a researched
analysis of a fan-related trend of the student's own choosing.