The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Selected Spring 2011 Course Offerings From Across Campus

AAS 561: Race and Cultural Critique, W 1-3:30, Rana

Introduction to graduate level theoretical and methodological approaches in Comparative Race Studies. As a survey of theories of race and racism and the methodology of critique, this course offers an interdisciplinary approach that draws from anthropology, sociology, history, literature, cultural studies, and gender/sexuality studies. In addition, the study of racial and cultural formation is examined from a comparative perspective in the scholarship of racialized and Gender and Women's Studies. Same as AFRO 531, ANTH 565, GWS 561, and LLS 561.

ART 550, Writing with Video, TH 2-4:40, Squier

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 561: Theory Practice in Child Composition, T 4-6:50, McCarthey

Focuses on theory and practice of children's written composition from preschool through middle school. Includes development of understanding of texts, pedagogy, motivation and classroom practices that facilitate writing. Students learn about their own writing, participate in peer writing conferences, and produce research or curricular projects for use in classrooms. Prerequisite: CI 475 and CI 476, or course in writing, or consent of instructor.

CI 580: Qualitative Research in Lang & Lit Education, F 3-5:50, Dyson

Focuses on the goals and nature of qualitative, observational study of life in educational settings, with an emphasis on oral and written languages. Adopts interpretive and critical perspectives on research and includes key readings on the ethnography of oral and written communication in schools, given a socioculturally and linguistically diverse society. All students will conduct a small scale study in an education site. Prerequisite: At least one semester of graduate course work.

CI 590: Advanced Qualitative Research in Language and Literacy, W 4-6:50, Dyson

CMN 529: Seminar Communication Theory, T R 5-6:20, Koven

Topics in Language Culture & Identity
Examines the complex ways in which language and culture are related including how talk is culturally situated, and how culture is communicated (and constituted) through talk.

CMN 538: Seminar in Rhetorical Theory, M 2-4:50, O’Gorman

Topic: (Post-) Cold War Rhetorical Culture
This seminar will explore the rhetorical culture of America's Cold War--that is, its culture of persuasion, motivation, indoctrination, dispute, and dissent in word and image (and even sound?). Through readings and viewings of primary and secondary material, we will consider in some depth pivotal images and icons of the era, its central terms of debate, and the concepts which ordered its world. In addition, we will take up the problematic of "post-Cold War America," asking where and how such a differentiation can be made, and why now (all of the sudden, it seems) the Cold War is back in the thick of popular culture. Secondary readings will be aimed at basic familiarity with the scholarship on the Cold War, especially but not exclusively in rhetorical studies. Primary readings and viewings will focus on pivotal texts (or images, movies, and the like) in the period. Students will be expected to produce a research-based seminar paper.

EIL 511, Task Based Language Training, MWF 1-1:50, Markee

Introduces students to current issues in the theory and practice of communicative language teaching. Discusses the notion that communication is a social event from three perspectives: theoretical linguistics; applied linguistics; and classroom teaching. Specific questions addressed range from a consideration of the nature of applied linguistics to issues related to student autonomy. Prerequisite: EIL 411 and consent of instructor.

EIL 587: Seminar in Second Lang Studies, T R 9:30 – 10:50, Sadler

Topic: Virtual Worlds, CMC, and Language Learning

ENGL 380 / INFO 390: Writing in a Digital World, MWF 1:00-1:50pm, Schaffner

This course explores the rhetorical and cultural significance of new writing forms in this, our digital age. The written word still matters, but writing online is increasingly visual and enmeshed in a range of media forms. Learning to create interesting content for the web allows one to contact a global audience. Students in this course will study what it means to write in this digital world. Students will create eight digital online projects, all coded in simple html, css, and javascript. No previous coding experience or practice creating web sites is needed. Experienced coders and web writers will be able to work at an accelerated pace. See a profile piece in Informatics for more information.

ENGL 506: Writing Studies II, W 3-4:50, Prior

Topic: Text/Writing: Genres/Practices
This seminar (for which Writing Studies 1 English 505/C&I 563 is not a prerequisite) aims to foster an in-depth experience of theory, research, and pedagogy in Writing Studies. After a short overview of central issues that have shaped the field, we then turn to an examination of two sets of paired terms: text/writing and genres/practices. Exploring the relations between the first terms will allow us to consider how texts as artifacts (on paper, screen or other media) relate to writing as activity—as processes of production, representation, distribution, and reception. The second set of terms will help us examine how genres form, are learned, operate and evolve in relation to sociocultural practices. As we explore these terms, we will consider textuality, writing processes, genre systems, formats of learning, and literate practices across contexts (school, workplace, home, community, online) and across the lifespan (from pre-school children to adults). In addition to common readings, participation in activities, and regular informal writing, each student will select, explore and write on an issue of interest in greater depth.

ENGL 578: Seminar Lit & Other Disciplines—Disability in Culture and Literature, R 1-2:50, Prendergast

Topic: Disability in Culture and Literature
This course is a graduate level introduction to disability studies with particular attention to the literature and theory of mental disability. Led by one of the charter editorial members of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, the seminar will investigate current work in disability studies as well as scholarship that made the field including that of Lennard Davis, David Mitchell, Sharon Schnyder, Petra Kuppers, Elizabeth Donaldson, Sue Estroff, John Duffy, and Robert McCreur. Primary texts will include autobiographies, novels, films, and other cultural artifacts in which madness figures as a central trope. The complications of authorship and mental disability will be of central concern.

ENGL 584: Topics Discourse and Writing, T 1-2:50, Vieira

Topic: Writing and the Global Movement of People
Immigrants currently number about 12% of the U.S. population, and one in five U.S. children speaks a language other than English. Such demographics have prompted some policy makers to call for immigrants’ swift assimilation through literacy and others to call for their deportation. Language and literacy are clearly implicated in the processes of mass migration that characterize our times. But how? This graduate seminar will address this question. In particular, we will ask: How does writing facilitate our crossing of borders or, alternately, fix us in our “place”? How are writing practices revised in new national contexts? And how might we account for global movements in our conceptualization of and teaching of (bi)literacy? This course focuses primarily (though not exclusively) on U.S. immigration as an example of global movement, but I welcome final projects that explore other contexts. Potential texts include work by Cintron, Duffy, Guerra, Kalmar, Matsuda, Pandey, Sarroub, and Valdés. 

EPS 575: Cultural Studies and Critical Interpretation, T R 12-1:50, McCarthy

Course will offer students the opportunity to become familiar with the history, applications and limitations of several theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary culture and popular media that have been developed in the emergent research field known as cultural studies. It is intended to provide students with analytical frameworks for understanding contemporary cultural life.

GWS 512: Gender Relations & Intl Dev, R 12:30 – 3:20, Summerfield

This course focuses on analysis of the gendered dimensions of globalization and socio-economic transformation policies during the last few decades.  The course stresses global human security and gender equity, with special attention to livelihood, migration, and health. We will examine who gains and who loses from neoliberal policies, assess the disparities in the impacts of crises and reforms on women, men, and children, and study the successful strategies and policies that appear. The course will address conceptual tools for evaluating development policies based on different paradigms. It satisfies the core requirement for the GRID (Gender Relations in Development) graduate minor offered by the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives (WGGP) program and Human and Community Development in cooperation with departments and units across campus.

GWS 540: Intersectional Pedagogies, W 3-5:50, Mayo

Examines the link between political movements and pedagogies, including feminist, critical, critical multicultural, critical race, and queer pedagogies. Students will analyze pedagogical theories and implement practical techniques and strategies. Same as EPS 540

GWS 551: Women’s Issues, M 1-3:50, Carter-Black

Extends concepts and theories introduced in SOCW 451 with a focus on women including how cultural belief systems related to gender are instantiated through the differential treatment of females and males in our educational, mental health, social welfare and health care systems; and the consequences of such practices throughout the lifespan. This includes consideration of policies and practices that support women emphasizing issues of special concern to women of color, lesbians, older women, impoverished women and disabled women.

GWS 561: Race and Cultural Critique, W 1-3:50, Rana

This course is an introduction to graduate level theoretical and methodological approaches in Comparative Race Studies. As a survey of theories of race and racism and the methodology of critique, this course offers an interdisciplinary approach that draws from anthropology, sociology, history, literature, cultural studies, and gender/sexuality studies. In addition, the study of racial and cultural formation is examined from a comparative perspective in the scholarship of racialized and Gender and Women's Studies.

GWS 570: Feminist Research Social Science, T 1-3:50, Flynn

Interdisciplinary feminist theory and research course with emphasis on the social sciences. Examines theoretical, methodological, and empirical research on sex, gender, and women in the social sciences.

GWS 580: Queer Theory, R 12:30-3:20, Somerville

This course begins from the premise that queer theory is distinct from identity‐based formations such as lesbian and gay studies. Instead of anchoring its methods to the question of sexual orientation, queer theory might be thought to destabilize the ground upon which any particular claim to identity can be made. Further, while one familiar genealogy of queer studies locates its origins in the development of a theory of sexuality (as distinct from theories of gender), some of the most ambitious work in the field has critiqued any attempt to give exclusive priority to sexuality over other categories of analysis. The full potential of queer theory, it has been argued, is to dislodge "the status of sexual orientation itself as the authentic and centrally governing category of queer practice, thus freeing up queer theory as a way of reconceiving not just the sexual, but the social in general” (Harper, et al., 1997). We will trace signal moments in the development of the field of queer theory, over the past three decades, with an emphasis on U.S. contexts. While we will remain skeptical of origin stories, our readings will include texts that have been understood as foundational to the field, as well as more recent scholarship.  In addition to readings and discussions, assignments will include:  a journal review, two class presentations, a 20-minute conference paper, and a 10-15 page final paper.

HIST 572: Racial Formation in US History, T 3-4:50, Roediger

This course, taught in a seminar format, centers on the reading and discussion of ten books and several articles.   The readings open onto broad questions regarding the ways in which ideas about race, and racist practices, developed out of the experience of settler colonialism as well as out of racial slavery.  With exceptions drawn from the writings of Herman Melville, the books are historical, albeit interdisciplinary, in their approaches.  Students will report on one book not read by classmates and will lead discussion (with a partner) once during the semester.  Short (2-3 pp.) writing assignments accompany those tasks.  A longer (12-15 pp.) final paper puts a primary source (or sources) of the student's choosing into dialogue with the historians' works. For that reason the course may also be taken as a research seminar.

KIN 594: Bodies in Science and Culture, W 1-3:50, Melissa Littlefield

Bodies are central to knowledge production: they are what we work with, on, in, and through. But how have bodies been defined and redefined by science and culture? In this course, we will examine this question through a range of historical and contemporary readings and case studies: from the history of anatomy illustration to Barbie’s anthropometry, from body modification to theories of “fitness.” This graduate course is intended to serve students in a wide range of disciplines, from the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences. Although our focus will be a socio-historical approach, we will engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue about bodies that welcomes many different perspectives. Students will complete several profession-centered assignments (a book review, a conference presentation/poster) along with a final research paper. Authors include, but are not limited to: Joseph Dumit, Bernadette Wegenstein, Stephen J. Gould, Anne Balsamo, Pirkko Markula, Richard Pringle, and Susan Brownell.

LING 587: Topics in Sociolinguistics—Code Switching Across Languages & Cultures, T, 3-5:50, Bokamba

Topic: Code Switching Across Languages & Cultures
Discussion of current topics in sociolinguistics that have relevance to contemporary societies. May be repeated in the same term to a maximum of 8 hours. May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 12 hours. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. Prerequisite: LING 450.

MDIA 590: Digital Media Theory Seminar: Participatory Media and Identity, T 2-4:50, Nakamura

Topic: Participatory Media and Identity
Media consumers are spending increasing amounts of time online producing, spreading, and modifying digital media.  Media platforms such as digital games, websites, social networks, and online communities are sites where users engage with identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, nation, age, and youth.  In addition, new forms of labor are occurring on the Internet.  These are unevenly distributed due to factors such as class, place, skill, and cultural capital.  This course will examine how identities are produced and consumed in digital form as well as the possibilities for social justice movements online.

MDIA 590: Special Topics, W, 7-8:50pm, Denzin

Topic: Unorthodox Research Methods

MDIA 590: Special Topics, R, 2-4:50, Sandvig

Topic: Unorthodox Research Methods
Covers very recent developments in both qualitative and quantitative social scientific research methods and addresses the question of how new research methods are invented, applied, transferred between problems and disciplines, and formalized. The overall focus will be research design, rather than learning the procedures of a single method. The new methodological trends to be examined this year will be: Internet / new media research, new digital sources of data (sometimes called "big data" or "e-social science"), spatial / geographic methods, visualization as a research method, and unobtrusive methods.

SOC 521: Sociology of Race and Racism, R, 3:30-6:20, Jung

Examination of the social construction of race and racism, in various cultural contexts and historical moments and in relation to various groups and research problems.

MDIA 580, Advanced Interpretive Methods, Molina, W 4-6:50

Topic: Gender, Body and Power

SOC 562: Seminar in Transnational Studies, R 3:30-6:20, Instructor not listed

Topic: Globalization and Urban Life: Cities of Extremes
Intensive study of a selected area in transnational sociology, e.g., diasporas, global political economy, global environmental studies, transnational racial stratification, etc.