These are syllabi for the courses I am currently teaching.
Sample Syllabi (Click on each title.)
Living Literature Seminar: Star Trek and Doctor Who
In this one-hour seminar, we will examine the reboot versions of two groundbreaking science fiction series, Star Trek (TNG) and Doctor Who, to consider issues of subjectivity, intersubjectivity, and objectification. These shows also ask us indirectly to reflect on our notions of virtue, power, and justice—ultimately, what it means to be human.
In this particular iteration of the course students read select works by major contemporary authors representative of diverse backgrounds who engage social issues through the writing of novel-length fiction. We explore how to subject literary works to critical analysis through the reading of critical essays that illustrate how to analyze historical, social, political, and cultural contexts represented by and in novels. In addition to learning about specific literary techniques and methods of narrative organization, students learn how texts function at the literary, rhetorical, and cultural levels, so that they may acquire better understanding of how their own writing speaks to diverse audiences.
Histories of Rhetoric
Students read critical texts that represent major concerns of rhetorical studies in the ancient and premodern worlds. We examine how deeply-ingrained perceptions about rhetoric (mis-)represent historical literacies and composition, and how they continue to inform contemporary views of culture, gender, and power. Students deconstruct the traditional European, Athenian-centered timeline of rhetorical history through the study of histories, canons, and ethical systems pertaining to non-Greek rhetorics from Asia, Africa, India, and the Americas.
This version of the course critically investigates the phenomenon of ethnic community as a polyvalent, multivocal, and culturally-situated ideal. Students are asked to consider how verbal, visual, spatial, and embodied rhetorics inform notions of community; how perceptions of community inform literacy and composition practices and are likewise affected by these practices; and how community as an abstract entity is both eristic and irenic, creating and bridging racial, gender, class, ability, and geographical divides. In particular, students are expected to interrogate topoi typically associated with the construction of national(istic) and local communities, as well as how appeals to ethnicity work within both groups.
Advanced Composition for Teachers II
Students gain historical and theoretical knowledge of traditional rhetorical praxis and culturally diverse praxes. We determine how each unique strand uses audience, purpose, space, and place to craft its own rhetorical genres, and how argumentation takes place within each. Students also consider how these complex histories inform contemporary composition practices, developing a solid grounding in rhetorical theory to better assist their own students in becoming accomplished writers.