The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Selected Fall 2011 Course Offerings From Across Campus

ANTH 515 – Social Theory, M. Bunzl & E. Moodie, M 2-4:50

ART 550 – Writing with Video Workshop, J. Squier, R 2-4:40

Additional lab to be arranged. $95 Facility Charge. IMPORTANT: Enrollment requires ownership of a laptop and video editing software. For further information on technical specifications, see

CI 507 – Advanced Language Arts Pedagogy, A. Dyson, T 4-6:50

Topic: Pop Culture, Contemporary Childhood

CI 560 – Trends & Issues of Language Arts, S. McCarthey, W  4-6:50

Advanced seminar in literacy for teachers, researchers, and specialists. Focuses on trends and issues in elementary and middle school language arts. Current theories, relevant research and practical applications are considered in relation to reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

CI 563 – Writing Studies I, S. Schaffner, M 1-2:50 (See ENGL 505)

CI 565 – Researching Writers: Ethnographic Methods in Writing Studies, K. Vieira, W 1-2:50 (See ENGL 584)

CI 590 – SAM: Semiotic Analysis, M. Dressman, T 4-7

CI 590 -- Seminar for Advance Study of Education, A. Dyson, T 4-6:50

Topic: Introduction to Language Study in Education

This course focuses on classic questions about language and why they matter for public education in a democratic society. Among those questions are: What is language? How does it develop? How is it linked to societal power, sociocultural history, and technological possibility? What is the nature of the interrelationships among language modes (oral, written, multimodal)? We will consider changing conceptions of language and, therefore, of "what" is developing, "how" it's developing, the roles adults (including teachers) play in the process, and the ideologies of “good” language and “good” language learners. I will include in "what's" developing varied varieties of English and heritage languages other than English, since language diversity among American school children is the norm, not the exception. Throughout we will consider two basic issues: What do these questions about language and its variations have to do with teaching children and youth in a multidialectal, multilingual world? How have varied responses to these questions undergirded research on language and literacy education?

CMN 416 – Early Modern Rhetorics, N. O'Gorman, 12:30-1:50

This course offers a survey of major developments in rhetoric between 1500 and 1900.  Special attention is paid to the social and political settings in which various rhetorics appeared, and to themes in psychological and political theory that eventually get played out in 20th century communication theory.  Authors read include Erasmus, Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and George Campbell, among others.  Students taking the course for graduate credit will be expected to do additional reading and research.

CMN 429 – Race and the Mass Media, T. Dixon, 2:00-3:20

Presents an overview of racial stereotypes in the mass media and the effects of stereotypical imagery on viewers. Discussion of the structural and social origins of stereotypic media from multiple perspectives focusing on published scholarship that systematically assesses the content and effects of racial representations from a social scientific perspective. Intersections between race, ethnicity, class, and gender also will be explored. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours

CMN 529 – Seminar Communication Theory, R. McChesney, W 5-7:50

Topic: Critical Research in Communication

CMN 529 – Seminar Communication Theory, S. Davis, T 2-4:50

Topic: Folklore Communication & Culture

CMN 529 – Seminar in Rhetorical Theory, J. Murphy, W 2:00-4:50

Topic: Civil Religion

CMN 538 – Seminar in Rhetorical Theory, C. Finnegan, R 2-4:50

Topic: The Problem of the Public

Most formulations of communication assume the existence of something called “the public.” As citizens, we behave as if there is a public in which our participation matters. As teachers, we teach as if there is a public to be addressed and influenced by our students. As researchers, we study rhetoric and politics as if it exists in a public space that we are capable of locating, grasping, and describing. As activists, we work as if it is possible to change norms of public engagement. But what precisely is this thing we call “the public”? In the 1920’s John Dewey wrote about “the public and its problems.” This seminar tweaks Dewey’s framework to suggest that the public is the problem. That is, if we wish our work to speak to or about “the public,” scholars ofcommunication must come to terms with ongoing contestation over the term itself.

This seminar will engage a range of critical and theoretical literature so that students may familiarize themselves with this foundational construct of rhetorical and communication theory. Questions we will engage include: How best should we conceptualize “the public”? Is it a space? A mode of communication? An attitude? A habit? How are we to understand what happens “in public”? What is the role ofmedia and digital culture in framing our experiences of publicity? What modes of citizenship are enabled or disabled by the ways we choose to be “in public”? How do race, class, gender, and sexuality influence our sense of what constitutes “the public”? In exploring these and other questions, a number of interesting tensions will emerge, including those between public/private, consensus/dissent, civil society/the state, and rational/spectacular.

CWL 581 – Seminar in Literature Themes, N. Blake, M 3-4

Topic: Psychoanalytic Reading of Visual Arts, Poetry & Film

ENGL 403 – History of the English Language, D. Baron. MW 12:30-1:45

An examination of the history of the English language from its beginnings to the present, this course will treat in detail, and with equal emphasis, the English of the middle ages, the Renaissance, and the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the English used in the Americas and elsewhere in the world today.

We will concentrate on relationships between language and literature; dialect and the process of language standardization; the social implications of linguistic variety; and the nature of World Englishes.  We will also study new word formation and the attempts, over the past four centuries, to reform English spelling, grammar, and usage. No previous background in language study is necessary, although such experience will not be held against you.

ENGL 481– Composition Theory and Practice, K. Vieira, MW, 3:30-4:45

Who are you as a writer? What makes a writer a writer? And how might we nurture writers’ development in our classrooms? This course, for future teachers of English and for those interested in writing, will explore these questions. In particular, through extensive writing and reading of composition theory, we will develop a vocabulary to understand our own and others’ writing processes, challenges, and talents. Moreover, we will grapple with two of the most complex tasks in the teaching of writing: developing authentic writing assignments and responding authentically to writers’ work.

ENGL 505 – Writing Studies I, S. Shaffner, M 1-2:50

This seminar is an introduction to writing studies, a field originally defined by the teaching of academic writing. In recognition that writing structures a good deal of our institutional and interpersonal exchanges, writing studies has expanded to include a much wider array of topics. Over the course of the semester, we will read broadly to explore how different disciplines contribute to writing studies. Our topics will include discourse analysis, writing in everyday life, historical research, literacy studies, ethnographic studies of language use, digital literacy, and document design. Students will present on new research and complete a research paper.

ENGL 578 – Seminar in Literature and Other Disciplines, M. Littlefield, T 1-2:50

Topic: The Neuroscientific Turn: Humanities Scholarship and the Emergent Neurodisciplines

Are we in the midst of a neurorevolution? a neuroscientific turn?  What is ‘brainhood’? How are the emergent neurodiscipliens being constructed? How can we—as humanists—have a say in the potential neurosociety to come? Over the past two decades, neuroscience has become an important player in humanities scholarship. Emergent neurodisciplines (from neuroaesthetics to neurohistory to the neuro-humanities) have adopted neuroscience for fact finding and theory building. But is there any rhyme or reason to representations and uses of neuroscience? What can we learn from neuroscience and what can neuroscience learn from a discipline such as English? In this course, we will read historical, popular, scientific, and literary material from journalists, scientists and authors such as Richard Powers, Jonah Lehrer, and Mark Haddon. Students will learn about the basics of neuroscience, critical neuroscience, and literature and science scholarship. Assignments will include response papers, a book review, and a final research project.  **NOTE: students DO NOT need to have a scientific background to take this course. All are welcome!

ENGL 582 – Topics in Research and Writing, K. Vieira, W 1-2:5

Topic: Researching Writers: Ethnographic Methods in Writing Studies

What is an ethnography of writing? What kinds of questions about writing can ethnographies answer? And how does one do ethnographic research about writing? In this course, we will address these questions by analyzing selected literacy ethnographies and by developing our own small-scale ethnographic projects. As we work, we will pay particular attention to study design, research ethics, data collection, data analysis, and of course, writing.

GWS 550 – Feminist Theories Humanities, T. Barnes, T 1-3:50

Interdisciplinary graduate-level course in feminist theory, with an emphasis on the humanities. Explores current debates in feminist theory as they pertain to humanities disciplines. Prerequisite: At least one graduate-level humanities course or consent of instructor.

GWS 590 Topics in GWS, C. Nadeau, M 3-5:50

Topic: Inside/Outside Discourses of the Body

MEDIA 590 – Sociology of News, A. Reisner, M 2-4:50

Production and Content: Examines the media logics that convey, shape, and define public life. Particular attention will be paid to how succeeding theorists critique/extend earlier explanations of news production, what evidence is used in specific research studies, and the limitations of evidence/analysis presented in individual papers for understanding news production/content. The final course project will be a research proposal prepared using the guidelines for submission to a social science or humanities granting agency
Restricted to Graduate - Urbana-Champaign.

MEDIA 590 – New Directions in Media Theory, Hay, J., T 5:30-8:20

Description: Reviews a broad range of recent theories about media. Primarily focuses on theories of contemporary media and their context, but will devote some attention to recent theories that have rethought earlier media/contexts. Focuses on media theory, but also examines how this theory informs various kinds of analysis. Though the course is offered through the College of Media and the Institute of Communications Research, it is designed for students from any discipline who have an interest in media and/or theory.

MEDIA 590 – Techno-Scientific Networks, A. Chan, R 2-4:50

Title: Techno-Scientific Networks: Productivity and Protest in the Age of Digital Networks From Bittorrent to Twitter, and from transnational fast food franchises to free software producers, global networks have emerged as the defining organizational structure of the contemporary information age. Capable of channeling the productive and creative potential of diverse participants, and organizing the knowledge- and information-based exchanges of individuals, they have at once become the circuits through which new forms of political contest and challenges to logics of social inclusion/exclusion manifest. This course examines the network as a social formation that responds to the current conditions of digitaliz-able capital, labor, and governance. And it will study networks as discursive technologies that manifest the political tension between free markets and free individuals, and between the competing aspirations of participatory democracy and late capitalism. With readings from Michel Foucault, Hardt & Negri, James Scott, David Harvey, Nikolas Rose, Manuel Castells, Jean and John Comaroff, Bruno Latour, Anna Tsing, Marcel Mauss, Clifford Geertz.