The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Selected Spring 2007 Course Offerings

Engl 506, Writing Studies II; Topic: Discourse Analysis

Spencer Schaffner
Thursdays, 4-5:50
same as CI 564

This seminar will provide introductions to discourse theory, discourse analysis, and critical discourse analysis. To focus our inquiry, we will attend primarily to work about gender, exploring how gender is constituted, challenged, and at times disassembled through discourse. Working in groups, students will engage in an in-depth inquiry into the work of one critical theorist of discourse. In-class activities will involve the analysis of print and online texts. Students from departments across campus are encouraged to enroll in this interactive seminar.

Engl 584, Foundations in Composition and Rhetoric

Catherine Prendergast
Tuesdays, 1-2:50

This course will introduce students to texts that have shaped the field of composition and rhetoric. Topics covered in the course include the abolitionist movement in composition, the feminization of composition, the rise and decline of process pedagogy, the challenge post-colonial theory poses to the notion of remediation, and the vexed but inseparable relationship between rhetoric and composition.  The emphasis on this course will be on close reading of texts in their entirety. Students will have the opportunity to trace and analyze the reception histories of these texts.

TEXTS: Miller, Textual Carnivals; Crowley, Composition in the University, Shaughnessy, Errors and Expectations; Faigley, Fragments of Rationality.

SPCM 529-CS, Seminar on Communication Technology

Christian Sandvig
Mondays, 2-4:50

This seminar addresses communication technologies as systems. Its focus is on the "greatest hits:" influential, or award-winning books that investigate entire systems of communication from diverse and competing theoretical perspectives. Its purpose is to develop an understanding of how scholarship in the social sciences and humanities reasons about systems of communication technology and humanity.

The authors covered address a wide range of problems, including: How is the Internet situated in the normal experiences of users? How does digital convergence complicate national sovereignty? How did the telephone alter the conditions of modernity? However, in addition to these specific questions, the broader aim of the seminar is to compare and contrast the construction of scholarly arguments about technological systems, with an emphasis on the development of these systems.

The seminar covers a range of intellectual traditions and disciplines, with some special emphasis on science and technology studies and the history of technology. Other perspectives and approaches include ethnography, "new" institutionalism, political economy, legal theory, and cultural studies. This seminar is intended to be useful for students interested in the study of media and communication generally or of technology generally.

The seminar is organized around competing theoretical concerns, assumptions, and approaches. We will read accounts of particular technologies (e.g., books about radio, television, the telephone, and the Internet). We will also read accounts that make arguments across communication technologies and/or across history ( e.g., books about digital convergence or about technology and politics).

No previous experience in this topic is required. Students will be responsible for a seminar paper of about 25 pages, in addition to short weekly assignments graded on a pass/fail basis.


Anth 518: Discourse Centered Approaches to Anthropology

Brenda Farrell
Tuesdays, 5-7:30

Debbie Hawhee recommended this class on discourse. Below is a link to the syllabus the last time the course was taught. Of course, some of the readings might change.

ARTS 499: Writing with Video

Joseph Squier
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-3:40

For a PDF of course description, click here. Additional information can be found at

C& I 590: Theories of Language and Literacy

Mark Dressman
Mondays, 4-6:50

This course has three main goals:

Course content is organized into three overlapping units:

Each unit will consist of lecture/discussion focused on the work of specific theorists of schools of theory, followed by examination of that work's application within school literacy research. Students will be required to attend all class sessions and participate in discussions; complete a take-home mid-term examination; and write a 20-page paper that critically examines one theorist/school of theory and its application within literacy research, or that applies one theorist/school of theory to a literacy research project.

Course Readings

Best, S., & Kellner, D. (1997). The Postmodern Turn. New York: Guilford Press.

Foucault, M. (1984). The Foucault reader. New York: Random House.

McCann, C. R., & Kim, S. (Eds.). (2002). Feminist theory reader: Local and global perspectives. New York: Routledge.

A set of readings, to be placed on digital library reserve.

EIL 445: Teaching Second Language Reading and Writing

Randy Sadler

EIL 587: Computer-Mediated Communication for Language Learning

Randy Sadler

LIS491 Literacy in the Info Age (formerly LIS 391)

Chip Bruce

Credit 3 undergraduate hours [Section AU]; 4 graduate hours [Section AG]

Description [Same as Comm 491.] [Undergrads enroll in Section AU; Graduate students in Section AG]. A capstone course in the Information Technology Studies minor that draws on students' experience throughout their undergraduate program to discuss a series of themes such as community, the political sphere, and education which have been impacted by the new information technologies.

Prerequisites LIS 201 or LIS 202, or consent of instructor.
Registration priority: 1) graduating seniors in the ITS minor; 2) other seniors in the ITS minor; 3) juniors in the ITS minor; 4) graduate students; 5) other juniors and seniors who have the prerequisite, but are not ITS minors.