To browse the full list of courses available by academic department, visit Courses of Instruction.
To browse the most up-to-date faculty listing, click here.
To browse the 2014-2016 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2012-2014 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2010-2012 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2008-2010 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
The 2006-2008 Catalogue is still available online as a PDF. To browse it, click here.
If you have questions or comments about the new online Catalogue, please send us your feedback.
2014-2016 COURSE CATALOGUE : WRITING AND RHETORIC
The primary purpose of the Writing and Rhetoric Program is to offer rigorous courses at all levels that integrate the study of writing and the study of rhetoric. The courses help students across the Colleges strengthen their abilities to express themselves effectively in written discourse. They help students meet the challenges of the community curriculum, which puts effective written discourse at its center. Writing is both a way to learn course content and a result of learning: the mark of a liberally educated person.
Writing across the curriculum is also a central component of program offerings through the Writing Colleagues Program. This program prepares student mentors to help with the teaching of writing and reading through the program’s work in first-year seminars and other courses and supports faculty members' use of writing in their courses.
Finally, for students interested in a concentrated study of writing and rhetoric, the program offers a disciplinary major and minor, which require students to complete foundational courses in grammar and style, discourse analysis, and rhetorical analysis. Elective courses are offered at all levels. In addition, majors will select a concentration—Theories of Writing and Rhetoric, Language and Social Action, or Journalism and Professional Writing—to focus and extend the work of the foundational courses, electives, and a capstone seminar.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (B.A.)
disciplinary, 12 courses
One introductory course from among WRRH 100, 105, 106, and 200; three core courses 201, 250, and 312; a group of four courses in concentration (journalism and professional writing, language as social action, or theories of writing and rhetoric); one course in each remaining concentration; one additional elective; and the capstone (WRRH 420).
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
disciplinary, 7 courses
One introductory course from among WRRH 100, 105, 106, and 200; three core courses, WRRH 201, 250, and 312; two electives; and the capstone (WRRH 420).
COURSE CONCENTRATIONS FOR MAJORS
Note: Some courses serve more than one concentration. It is the students’ responsibility to discuss their plans for completing a concentration with their adviser. The introductory courses and the capstone do not count toward concentration.
Journalism and Professional Writing
This concentration focuses on the craft of writing for the public sphere. Students analyze and write in a variety of professional writing genres: science writing, memoir, investigative journalism, new media composition, travel writing, magazine features, and creative non-fiction. Students also engage with the theories and methods of interviewing, research, ethics, editing, and design.
This concentration prepares students for careers in journalism, publishing, editing, advertising, marketing, and public relations, though students interested in public policy, business, and the law also gain practical writing experience with this concentration. This concentration also prepares students for future graduate work in journalism, media studies, communication, technical writing, and the essay.
WRRH 202 Going Places: Travel Writing
WRRH 205 Rhetorical Bytes: Digital Rhetorics & Writing with New Technology
WRRH 275 Getting Dressed: Discourses of Fashion
WRRH 300 Writers World of Discourse: Issues and Practice of American Journalism
WRRH 302 Op-Ed: Writing Political & Cultural Commentary
WRRH 303 The Art and the Business of Ideas: An Introduction to Publishing
WRRH 306 New Media Writing: Theory & Production
WRRH 307 Literary Journalism: The Art of Reporting and Nonfiction Narrative
WRRH 308 Reporting Online
WRRH 322 Adolescent Literature
WRRH 351 Science Beat
WRRH 352 Writing in the Professional Workplace
WRRH 499 Internship in Writing & Rhetoric
Theories of Writing and Rhetoric
This concentration focuses on the theories that inform the study of writing and rhetoric. Students are exposed to the histories, research methodologies, and pedagogies that inform the field of rhetoric and composition specifically and theories of language and power more broadly. Students study diverse rhetorical traditions, exploring and articulating their own theories of how writing and rhetoric are culturally, ecologically and politically situated.
Students in this concentration gain exposure to academic conversations about language, literacy, and culture, preparing them for a range of careers including law, politics, business, public advocacy, and education or for further academic study in rhetorical theory, composition studies, literacy studies, and communication studies.
WRRH 208 The Other Englishes
WRRH 221 He Says, She Says: Language and Gender
WRRH 224 Writing and the Culture of Reading
WRRH 304 Hidden Writing: Journals, Notebooks, and Diaries as Creative Discourse
WRRH 305 The Writing Colleagues Seminar
WRRH 306 New Media Writing: Theory & Production
WRRH 309 Talk and Text II: Language in Action
WRRH 311 Rhetorics of Feminist Activism
WRRH 322 Adolescent Literature
WRRH 325 Rhetoric of Place
WRRH 499 Internship in Writing & Rhetoric
Language as Social Action
This concentration explores language as a form of action through which social relations, cultural forms, hierarchies, ideologies, and identities are mediated and constituted. Students are exposed to theories and methods that examine the politics of language with a particular emphasis on Discourse Studies, ethnography, and Intercultural Rhetoric and Communication. Students investigate discourse across genres, cultural contexts, modalities, and historical junctures and use these investigations to foster social action.
Students in this concentration acquire a theory-informed understanding of how to interpret, conceptualize and engage communicative and rhetorical interactions among different groups, fields and formations. Such grounding prepares students for further graduate work in rhetoric, intercultural communication, sociolinguistics, cultural studies, or for a professional career involving international communication, activism, education, or business, among others.
WRRH 150 American Sign Language I
WRRH 206 Immigrant Experience: Voices and Discourses
WRRH 208 The Other Englishes
WRRH 220 Breadwinners and Losers: The Rhetoric of Work
WRRH 221 He Says, She Says: Language and Gender
WRRH 223 American Sign Language II
WRRH 251 Black Talk, White Talk
WRRH 252 An Anatomy of American Class: Realities, Myths, Rhetorics
WRRH 301 Discourses of Rape in Contemporary Culture
WRRH 309 Talk and Text II: Language in Action
WRRH 311 Rhetorics of Feminist Activism
WRRH 499 Internship in Writing & Rhetoric
WRRH 100 Writer’s Seminar This course is for students in any major who want to become successful as college writers. By honing skills in critical reading and thinking, students are introduced to analysis and argumentation in order to consider their ideas within the context of academic writing and their own lives. Students develop writing techniques through composing and revising narratives, analytical essays, and guided research projects. The course focuses on writing individually and in collaboration with peers, the instructor, and other student support (Writing Colleagues or CTL) through an emphasis on the process of invention, drafting, and revision. Course times and themes vary with instructor. (Repeatable) (Staff, offered each semester)
WRRH 105 English for Speakers of other Languages This introductory English for Speakers of Other Languages course provides students with the opportunity to develop a foundational level of English literacy and communication skills. This course places an emphasis on writing in various genres including argumentation, narration, and summary, as well as various writing skills including cohesion, structure, grammatical fluency, and revision. Students will use their experiences at HWS to develop their English writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills, with priority being given to writing development. Students will improve their English skills through written responses to readings, essays written in multiple genres, and a presentation on an aspect in American culture or their home culture. The time and theme of the course may vary with the instructor. (Janney, Fall, offered annually)
WRRH 106 English for Speakers of other Languages II This intermediate English for Speakers of other Languages course provides students with the opportunity to build upon the English literacy and communication skills they acquired in WRRH 105. Through an emphasis on more advanced grammatical skills and academic communication skills, such as analysis, synthesis, and critical thinking, students will become increasingly familiar with using the English Language for effective communication in academia. Students will improve their English through weekly writing responses to readings, essays written in multiple genres, a presentation on a grammatical or mechanical feature of the English language, and acting as a discussion leader in class once per semester to improve verbal communication skills. The time and theme of the course may vary with the instructor and semester. (Janney, Spring, offered annually)
WRRH 150 American Sign Language I In this introductory course, students learn basic ASL vocabulary and grammar as well as strategies for successful communication with the deaf. Instead of assuming a disability or medical model of deafness, this course presents the American Deaf Community as a linguistic minority and examines the complex relationship between language and identity. Students will develop an appreciation for the Deaf Community’s contribution to the linguistic and cultural diversity of North America. They will consider the values and unique cultural characteristics of the Deaf Community in contrast to mainstream “hearing” cultural norms. Students learn about the historical context for the deaf experience in the United States from the early 19th century to the culmination of civil rights struggle with the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 through viewing documentaries like “Through Deaf Eyes.” Films like “Hear and Now” introduce them to the controversy of cochlear implantation and its impact on deaf identity. Readings include “Introduction to American Deaf Culture” and “A Journey Into the Deaf-World." (Cappiello, Fall, offered annually)
WRRH 200 Writer’s Seminar II This intermediate writing course offers students the chance to develop writing and research skills through reading and writing processes introduced in WRRH 100, with an emphasis on increased responsibility for engaging in critical analysis and argument and for developing research projects. Students become more familiar with academic standards and conventions, particularly with the ever-widening variety of research tools available to them. Invention strategies, multiple drafts and revision, peer responses, and editing are stressed. Texts are variable depending on faculty preference. (Staff, offered each semester)
WRRH 201 Grammar and Style Understanding grammar is important for writers because grammatical choices affect style; stylistic choices have grammatical implications. Yet grammar is often given last place in writing classes or made a mere matter of mechanics—correcting a comma splice, changing a relative pronoun. This course is designed for all writers and would be writers who want to understand the rhetorical power of grammar. It is designed for anyone who wants to understand what stylistic choices writers have available. It is not, therefore, a course in grammar or a course in style, but a course on the relationship between them. Students improve their grammar through working on style; they improve their style by working on grammar, sentence diagramming, weekly grammatical excursions, required weekly quizzes, and a final project. (Forbes, Werner, Fall, offered annually)
WRRH 202 Going Places: Travel Writing “Journeys,” writes Susan Orlean, “are the essential text of the human experience.” That experience is at the heart of this course. As Orlean says, though, a journey need not be to an exotic place, though she has been to many such places. But a piece about a journey—a piece of travel writing—can come from somewhere just around the corner, down the street, up a flight of stairs, any “there-and-back-again” that you might take. The only requirement is that the writer—the traveler first, then the writer—pay attention. Students read exemplary travel writers, write their own travel pieces, keep a reading journal and observation notes to prepare for their formal essays. A field trip is required. (Forbes, Mayshle, offered alternate years)
WRRH 205 Rhetorical Bytes: Digital Rhetorics & Writing with New Technology Digital Rhetorics analyzes the rhetorical and ideological aspects of established and emerging new media forms from Facebook to wikis and memes. Students produce content for digital platforms while building an understanding of written and visual rhetoric in an online environment. Although the course discusses the importance of digital literacy and how to use some technologies, the class more specifically examines how different new media and virtual interfaces impact the viewer, the reader, and the listener. Students have the opportunity to develop analytical skills that prepare them to write and design for specific audiences in both local and global contexts. By examining the cultural impact of word/sound/image in digital space, students perform as writers who better understand how technology (and the Internet) functions creatively and rhetorically. (Ristow, offered alternate years)
WRRH 206 Immigrant Experiences: Voices and Discourses This intermediate writing course studies immigrant experiences in their local, national, and global contexts with a particular focus on discourses surrounding immigrant lives. The course examines the historical, political and linguistic aspects of immigration, such as ethnicity, culture, and cross-cultural divides. Students will complete rhetorical and linguistic analyses of immigration policies, immigrant discourses, and produce their own writing. (Staff, offered alternate years)
WRRH 208 The Other Englishes: Global Flows and Local Complexities The purpose of this course is to investigate the spread of English as an international language: its historical development, socio-cultural diversity and linguistic variation. This course will provide an overview of the theories and principles on the development and structure of World Englishes, a controversial current issue in TESOL (teaching English for speakers of other languages) and applied linguistics. The general causes and effects of the global spread of English, including its current relationship with global media and the Internet will be examined, and the students will assess the notions of linguistic imperialism, linguistic genocide, and the maintenance of global inequality. Furthermore, English in context and the implications of English having become both a global and a local language in many parts of the world will be explored. In addition to considering the contemporary roles, status, forms and implications of native and non-native varieties of Englishes which can be found throughout the world (e.g. Indian English, Singaporian English, Chicano English, various pidgins and creoles, etc.), topics related to educational linguistics within a World Englishes background will also be addressed in order to better understand pedagogical problems and concerns related to the English language teaching profession. (Staff, offered alternate years)
WRRH 219 Feature Sports Writing
Glenn Strout, series editor of Best American Sports Writing, argues that sports writing is more about people and what concerns us--love, death, desire, labor, and loss--than about the simple results of a game or competition. This course builds from the premise that sports writing offers readers and writers important ways of making sense of our worlds. Whether we are reading Roger Angell's description of a baseball, considering a one-eyed matador, watching a high school girls' softball team, or contemplating a one-armed quarterback, we immerse ourselves and our readers in making sense of the world. We explore such questions as Why are sports so deeply imbedded in our culture? What are the ethics of sport? How do sports disenfranchise certain populations? To answer these and other questions, students keep journals, write weekly sports features, and produce a mid-term and final portfolio.
WRRH 220 Breadwinners and Losers: The Rhetoric of Work How do we talk about work in our society? How do we decide what work to do? How does work affect identity and what life means? Is work valuable in and of itself, or is work only a means to an end? What are the rhetorical requirements of various workplaces? What issues of gender, class, and equity are raised by workplace rhetoric? This course seeks to address these and other questions about a fundamental aspect of every person’s life. It explores the issue of work in school and after school through readings and discussions. Topics vary. (Staff, offered alternate years)
WRRH 221 He Says, She Says: Language and Gender Relations Awareness of gender difference often constitutes a significant barrier both to effective self expression and interpersonal communication, becoming for both men and women a source of either self censorship or an (often unconscious) silencing of others. Is there a value to having a sense of otherness based upon one’s gender roles? Are there ways to bridge the gender gap in order to communicate effectively and without diminishing one’s sense of self? If one takes the problem as an opportunity for serious study, one is confronted with fundamental questions about how language links individual identity with socially defined gender roles. Students encounter the potential for discovering new opportunities for personal expression and communication with others. (Staff, offered alternate years)
WRRH 223 American Sign Language II This course continues to develop the linguistic and cultural concepts introduced in ASL I. Students will expand their ASL vocabulary and incorporate greater use of the linguistic features unique to signed languages. Varied sentence structures are explored and encouraged. The use of space, classifiers, and storytelling techniques are also introduced. Current events relating to the deaf community are frequently discussed as they occur, and off-campus opportunities to venture into the Deaf-World are made available. After a brief survey of various professions related to deafness and deaf education, the course culminates with an introductory translation project that permits students to experience and appreciate the challenges and complexities of translation and interpretation from English. (Cappiello, Spring, offered annually)
WRRH 224 Writing and the Culture of Reading Academic, intellectual culture is a culture of the word, of reading and writing, of print. This course explores the dynamics of this culture through a close interrogation of the writing and reading practices of intellectuals, ourselves included. Through the course of the semester students keep a reading journal, write several critical essays, and complete a final project. (Forbes, offered alternate years)
WRRH 250 Talk and Text: An Introduction to Discourse Analysis This course investigates one of the fundamental theoretical ways language is studied today. Students study the theories of discourse analysis and practice those theories by analyzing spoken and written texts. Analysis of the various kinds of texts in our culture—from billboards to novels, from political speeches and academic lectures to radio and TV talk shows—leads into discussions of conversational style, gender, linguistic stereotypes, and problems in intracultural communication. (Dickinson, offered annually)
WRRH 251 Black Talk, White Talk What is BEV or Ebonics? Is it a language or a dialect? This course studies Black English Vernacular, also called Ebonics or Black street speech or Black talk (depending on the linguist): its sounds, structure, semantics, and history. It investigates the differences between black and white spoken discourse styles, which lead to tension and misunderstanding. It looks at written texts for the ways in which they reveal particular styles of spoken discourse. And it investigates the educational public policy issues surrounding Black English Vernacular. (Forbes, offered alternate years)
WRRH 252 An Anatomy of American Class: Realities, Myths, Rhetorics Visit any American high school and find most students dressed in trendy sneakers and jeans, a good representation of the hidden discourse of class since these same students originate from different social and economic backgrounds. This course interrogates American class—how is it defined?Who gets to define it? How is it represented in written and spoken discourse? What are its costs and hidden injuries? How does class shape and predict? What is the connection between race, ethnicity, and class? What is the language of class? Students think, read, and write analytically about their own experiences as well as develop critical interpretations about the cultural discourse of class. (Staff, offered alternate years)
WRRH 275 Getting Dressed: Discourses of Fashion The discourses of fashion are more and more a central, yet unexamined, fact to the life of HWS students and of America in general. This course takes a critical look at that discourse, using the sociolinguistic theories of James Paul Gee in his discussion of big D Discourses, Big C Conversations, and Figured Worlds. Added to this is the cultural analysis of Roland Barthes I essays and a book. We consider the social, economic, and political ramifications of style. (Forbes, Spring, offered alternate years)
WRRH 300 Writers World of Discourse: Issues and Practice of American Journalism This course introduces print journalism. It focuses on the basics of reporting and feature writing (business, sports, local government, and the law). Participants should expect to produce several pages of accurate, detailed, and well written copy a week and be prepared for extensive and numerous revisions. Students also work on typography and layout. As the major project for the semester, students in teams write, edit, design, and typeset a newspaper. (Forbes, Babbitt, offered alternate years)
WRRH 301 Writers World of Discourse: The Discourses of Rape in Contemporary Culture An examination of the many ways our culture talks about rape, from political rape to date rape; the changing definitions of rape; rape as metaphor; and the social, political, and ethical implications of such discourses. How does the news media cover rape? How does the entertainment industry portray rape? Issues of power and powerlessness, victims and victimization, and privacy and the public good emerge. (Forbes, offered alternate years)
WRRH 302 Op Ed: Writing Political and Cultural Commentary This course explores the roll of the columnist, the editorial writer whose columns appear opposite the editorial page in newspapers. Each week students write a column, making an argument about current issues related to politics, society, or the environment, to name a few. The course requires a great deal of independent research. The course is conducted as a workshop, in which each week three students volunteer to read their column aloud and have the whole class discuss it—raising questions, issues, looking at strong and weak points in the argument. Attendance is mandatory and students are expected to rewrite their columns as they prepare to turn in a mid-term and then a final portfolio. Course readings include a variety of editorial columns, especially those in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. (Forbes, Babbitt, offered alternate years)
WRRH 303 The Art and the Business of Ideas: Introduction to Publishing This course focuses on the principles and practices of magazine and book publishing. It explores the way rhetoric functions in publishing and how “gate keeping” functions in this industry of ideas and cultural influence: who decides what and who gets heard. The issues of gender, race, and class are central. Students study general interest and special interest magazine publishing; general trade book, academic or special interest book publishing; and the history of American publishing from the colonial era. Participants keep a reading journal; write several critical essays about the major issues in magazine and book publishing today; and complete a major semester-long project, individually or in teams (for instance, editing a book-length manuscript or producing a magazine). Two fieldtrips are planned: a local trip to visit a printer; a trip to New York City to visit a book and a magazine publisher. (Forbes, offered alternate years)
WRRH 304 Hidden Writing: Journals, Diaries, and Notebooks as Creative Discourse Creative ideas for writers often begin with jottings that remain out of sight when final artistic creations are unveiled. Journals, diaries, and notebooks are usually private but normally pivotal to the creative process. This course explores the connection between private and public texts and the value of private writing as a creative activity. How does the language of privacy prefigure or help shape public creations? Can private writing be considered an art form? Students investigate such questions while examining private writings of published authors. They also engage in their own hidden writing, making connections between their experiences, authors studied, and the discourse of hidden writing. (Staff, offered alternate years)
WRRH 305 Writing Colleagues Seminar: The Teaching of Writing and Reading This intensive course is designed for students who would like to work in the Writing Colleagues program, or study the current theories of the teaching of writing and reading at the college level. Students investigate the theories of writing as a process and the ways that reading is a critical and interdependent part of that process; engage in frequent critical reading, writing, and discussion; and, under the supervision of the instructor, work with at least one student during a five-week practicum to help her or him improve critical reading and writing abilities. In addition, students solidify and hone their grammatical skills. Prerequisites: Must be completing sophomore year although exceptional first-years are accepted; submission of portfolio; interview; and faculty recommendation. (Dickinson, Ristow, offered each semester)
WRRH 306 New Media Writing: Theory & Production New media technologies are currently exploding writing possibilities in thrilling multimodal, multimedia, and multidisciplinary ways. This course will explore new media writing through theory, literature, journalism, and practice. Throughout the semester we will build a firm theoretical foundation in theories of new media and technology (through writers such as Heidegger, Baudrillard, and Haraway). To complement our theoretical inquiry, we will study new media works in genres such as journalism, literature, and art (including work by Strickland, Goldsmith, and the Nieman Storyboard), as well as some criticism responding to those works and their methods. Major assignments will include academic blogs responding to assigned materials, a video essay, an audio collage, a multimedia online document, and the curation of a creative tumblr series. Students will respond critically to each other’s new media projects in regularly held workshops. (Babbitt)
WRRH 307 Literary Journalism: The Art of Reporting and Nonfiction Narrative Literary journalism blends factual reporting with narrative and stylistic strategies common in literature. Literary journalists are bound by many of the same standards as other reporters, but they have the additional goal, as Ben Yagoda puts it, of "making facts dance." The literary journalist might, therefore, suppress direct quotation-a staple of traditional journalism-in favor of scene and dialogue. Or, rather than withdrawing the writer's point of view to achieve objectivity, the story might foreground the reporter's voice and experiences. This course will explore specific ways in which journalism benefits from literary techniques. Our approach will be twofold: we will examine the genre historically, and we will critique student work during regular workshops. Although we will begin by identifying the genre's roots in the 18th and 19th centuries (including works by Defoe, Boswell, Dickens), we will spend the bulk of the semester steeped in 20th century and present-day practices. "New Journalism" (including works by Capote, Mailer, Didion, Thompson, Wolfe) will be a cornerstone of our study, as will today's cutting-edge practitioners (such as Lewis, Galdwell, Wallace). Students will both emulate and resist these writers in their own work. (Babbitt)
WRRH 308 Reporting Online This course is designed as a stand-alone or a follow-up to WRRH 300, the introduction to print journalism. Students read two online newspapers daily, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, write and rewrite at least one story a week, learn the principles of writing for an internet audience, and design and publish their own blogs and online newspapers. There is a fee for this course. (Forbes, Babbitt, offered alternate years)
WRRH 309 Talk and Text II: Language in Action This course seeks to develop an understanding of what language can do socially and communicatively, and how writing helps us make such negotiations as performing actions, asserting, persuading, telling stories, expressing individual identities and social affiliations by choosing among various ways of talking. This course engages students with the multiple concepts of linguistic practice, to explore the connections between human language and human life through readings, lectures, films, and discussions. (Dickinson, Spring, offered alternate years)
WRRH 312 Power and Persuasion: Readings in Rhetoric, Ancient to Modern In this course, students read and respond to texts of rhetorical theory, practice the art of detailed rhetorical analysis, and apply rhetorical theory to their own persuasive texts. They also focus on suasive rhetoric as exemplified in contemporary social and political movements and non-profit organizations. Students learn methods for assessing what makes one text more persuasive than another and in turn, how to better assess the effectiveness of their own writing. (Werner, offered annually)
WRRH 315 The Rhetoric of Memory Memory resides privately in the mind but once made public, memory becomes rhetorical. How, then, does memory, in particular, to the ways public memory informs and performs in built environments. Drawing on classical and contemporary readings in rhetoric and communication studies, we will explore a variety of memory sites such as monuments, museums, cultural events and performances. Students will engage with these spaces through site visits and participation, and produce multimodal projects that include image-texts, ethnographies, rhetorical analyses, and memorial (re) designs. By examining, experiencing and producing public memory, students gain important knowledge and skills applicable to public communication and civic engagement, thereby helping them develop as engaged citizens.
WRRH 322 Adolescent Literature This course, run as a workshop and complement to EDUC 320 Children’s Literature, considers contemporary works that represent the main forms of literature for early and late adolescence: science fiction, fantasy, realistic and “problems” novels, and historical novels. Students write young adult fiction, as well as read and discuss young adult novels—their rhetoric, style, and issues. Participants form reading partnerships with local middle and high school students to discuss the books they are reading and the stories they are writing. There is a lab with this course. (Forbes, Staff, offered alternate years)
WRRH 325 Rhetoric of Place How does the language we use affect the way we experience a place? What role does language playas a part of our environment? Rhetoricians often speak of language being situated (from the Latin in situ: "in position"); philosophers and theologians have spent millennia discussing the primordial role that language plays in where we live ("In the beginning was The Word"); literary scholars talk about every text having a context; urban planners write codes that directly affect how a town gets built and its sense of place. We can even see evidence of language's role in our environment by the fact that a "topic" of discussion takes its meaning from the word topos, which means "place" in Greek. Developing critical thinking skills while we learn, this class will work through ancient, modern and contemporary texts to reveal place as a vital concept in philosophy and rhetoric. Tracing the neglect of the concept of place throughout the modern period and examining recent attempts to reinvigorate it in architectural, rhetorical and philosophical circles, students will create projects that explore how these concepts are enacted in theory as well as in everyday practice. Intended to fulfill Environmental Studies Humanities Core requirement. (Staff, offered annually)
WRRH 329 The Lyric Essay HWS is the birthplace of the lyric essay. It was I the introduction to the Fall 1997 issue of Seneca Review that esteemed HWS professor Deborah Tall and Hobart alumnus John D'Agata gave the sub-genre its most seminal end enduring definition. We will, therefore, begin out course examining the essays of Tall, D'Agata, and writers published in Seneca Review. And in order to gain an appreciation of the lyric essay as a hybrid, inherently innovative, ever-evolving genre-busting art form, we will proceed to study a wide range of essayists, which may include Jenny Biully, Eula Biss, Edmond Jabes, Claudia Rankine, Ander Monson, Wayne Koestenbaum, Anne Carson, Joe Wenderoth, Mary Reufle, Susan Howe, Ben Marcus, Carole Maso, Thalia Field, Maggie Nelson, C.S. Giscombe, Susan Stewart, Kristin Prevallet, and more. Students will both create their own lyric essays and respond critically to each other's essays in regularly held workshops. To enrich our on-going discussion, we will also occasionally incorporate key progenitors such as Montaigne and theorists such as Deleuze & Guattari, Derrida, and Wittgenstein.
WRRH 331 Advanced Style Seminar Language-like the people who use it-constantly shifts and evolves. Language isn't a thing that is; it is an art that performs. If we're careful with it, it often performs as we wish, but there are no guarantees. There are, however, strategies that writers use to gain control over their written performances. In this course, we will work from the idea that good writing performs, and we will call that performance "style." we will study the textual, social , and cultural dimensions of style and explore how effective style is both imitative and unique. Students will practice close readings of a variety of texts with a particular focus on style. Through learning to pay attention to and analyze stylistic performances in texts, students will also learn how to take greater control over their own textual performances.
WRRH 351 The Science Beat This course is designed for students interested in writing about science, in science journalism, or in strengthening their research and writing skills. Students produce weekly articles, read and discuss articles by major science writers, and read and discuss each other’s articles in a workshop. (Forbes, offered alternate years)
WRRH 352 Writing in the Professional Workplace Preparing students for the principles and practices of professional writing in nonacademic settings is the focus of this course. It explores the way rhetoric functions in professional cultures and, more broadly, within a high-tech “information society.” Issues of gender relations and multiculturalism in the workplace are also addressed. Students investigate, read, and write about professional writing, as well as practice its numerous forms, including (but not limited to) job application materials, letters and memos, reports and proposals, oral presentations, and electronic communications. (Staff, offered alternate years)
WRRH 360 Writing Colleagues Field Placement Writing Colleagues must enroll in WRRH 360 every semester they are in a placement. In addition to attending their placements, helping professors develop writing assignments and activities, reading student essays, and working one-on-one with writers, Writing Colleagues enrolled in WRRH 360 must also attend monthly professional development meetings, meet bi-weekly with the WC Coordinator, submit a weekly WC journal, and contribute to the community’s writing culture through blogs, op-eds, or newspaper articles. These activities are designed to support Writing Colleagues as they continue to strengthen their own reading and writing skills and develop as Writing Colleagues. (Dickinson or Ristow & Janney, offered each semester)
WRRH 420 The Writer’s Guild As the senior seminar that acts as a capstone to a major or minor in WRRH, this course requires students to write extensively, to think critically about their own and others' work, to synthesize old writing and produce new arguments about it, and to pursue publication. WRRH 420 is structured around two major components. The first, the capstone portfolio, is designed to help students synthesize their learning as a WRRH major or minor. The second, a substantial publishable work, requires students to learn and follow the publishing process: choosing a text, selecting a venue, analyzing the venue, revising the text for that venue, and submitting the piece for publication. In addition, students will engage in many smaller steps along the way including proposing their ideas, workshopping in writing groups, and presenting their work in a public forum.
Prerequisite: permission of the instructor based on a portfolio draft. (Staff, offered each spring)
WRRH 450 Independent Study
WRRH 495 Honors
WRRH 499 Internship