Thematic Title: Ethnography of the University: Developing an Inquiry State of Mind
Description: This course asks you to become an author of our campus community—through writing about your own experiences, researching university life, and submitting proposals for change that could enhance the university in some important way. This structure—what we’ll call “ethnography of the university”—is designed to give you practice in written, oral, visual, and multi-modal communication; in applying theory and research on writing and methodology; and in experimenting with different genres of writing for different audiences.
Specifically, you’ll design and implement an in-depth research project motivated by a driving question or problem you identify through previous projects, including a narrative essay and qualitative sketch, and you’ll do a range of field research—e.g., making observations and conducting interviews—which involves writing and rhetorical awareness. The class will culminate in a research showcase in which we’ll invite other members of the campus community to see the original research you’ve conducted and to take notice of the proposals you develop.
As you engage in this range of writing and research, you’ll create a portfolio and compose a carefully crafted cover letter (twice during the semester, at midterms and finals), reflecting on your agency and growth within the process. These reflective moments provide opportunities to assess your work and to set new goals for future writing and research, this semester and beyond.
Readings: Although much of your work will be writing, researching, and responding to your colleagues’ texts, we’ll also read the book-length ethnography My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student by Rebekah Nathan (Penguin, 2005). This book will be supplemented by either a course reader with a range of articles we’ll read together OR the methods textbook Becoming a Writing Researcher by Ann Blakeslee and Cathy Fleischer (Routledge, 2010).
Assignments: The course is centered around your original research project, culminating in a substantial and revised paper, oral-visual presentation, and research poster, which build on related assignments, including a formal proposal, annotated bibliography, narrative essay, and qualitative sketch. Additional assignments include portfolio cover letters, peer review notes, informal reading responses, and self-assessments.
Thematic Title: Writing and Writing Education for a Digital Age
Description: In this section of English3210, we will spend the semester investigating writing and writing education for a digital age. As a class, it will be our shared goal to discover and communicate informed answers to the following overarching questions:
To begin, in Unit 1 (weeks 1-3) we will consider whether and how current definitions and uses of writing are shaped by available digital resources and related cultural expectations. Similarly, in Unit 2 (weeks 4-7) we will study whether and how current college-level writing instruction reflects available digital resources and related cultural expectations. Last, in Unit 3 (weeks 8-16) we will focus on writing and writing education at Marquette, examining where and how our university is helping students prepare to "be the difference" digitally.
Materials: Assigned readings, videos, and audio recordings will be available through D2L or Ares. To use these resources effectively,everyone must have regular access to the Internet, and everyone who has a laptop, iPad, or tablet should plan to bring it daily to class. In addition, everyone must have a print copy of Stuart Selber's book Multiliteracies for a Digital Age (2004) and 12GB (minimum) of memory (e.g., free gigs on a laptop hard drive, space on an external hard drive or flash drive, cloud storage).
Course Description: A course in writing fiction, organized as a discussion/workshop. In addition to writing exercises covering the basics of the craft, students will produce 30-40 pages of fiction by the end of the semester. They will also discuss each other’s works and write critical responses to a number of short stories.
Readings: Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway and student short stories.
Assignments: Exercises in fictional techniques, at least one complete short story, and critical responses to workshop fiction.
Course Description: A course in writing poetry, organized as a discussion/workshop. In addition to writing exercises covering the basics of the craft, students will produce 20--30 pages of poetry by the end of the semester. They will also discuss each other’s poetry and write critical responses to a number of poems.
Assignments: Exercises in poetic techniques, critical responses to workshop poetry, review of a volume of contemporary poetry, and the compilation of a portfolio of poems.