The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Selected Spring 2012 Course Offerings From Across Campus

ANTH 508—Feminism, Gender and Sexuality—Gottlieb, T 2:30-5:20

Theoretical issues raised in recent feminist writings in anthropology. Theoretical approaches to be explored include constructionist, postmodern, textual and historical materialist perspectives. Selected contemporary ethnographies introduce the integration of feminist theory into data analysis.
Art 550: Writing with Video—Squier

CI 561: Theory and Practice in Children’s Composition—McCarthey

The course will focus on the theory and practice of children¹s written composition. Content will include the development of children¹s understanding of texts, theories of writing pedagogy, and classroom practices that facilitate children¹s writing. The overall goal is to provide students with an overview of the field of composition as it relates to children from preschool through middle school. The course is organized with discussion as the primary mode of instruction. Students will have opportunities to learn about their own writing, participate in peer writing conferences, and produce research or curricular projects for use in classrooms.

CI 580: Qualitative Research in Language & Literacy Education—Dyson, W 4-6:50

CI 590: Advanced Issues in Qualitative Research—Dyson, 3-5:50 F

CMN 417: Contemporary Rhetorics—O'Gorman, TH 12:30-1:50

During the years following World War I and, even more, after World War II, a number of influential writers sought to rehabilitate the old discipline of rhetoric as a way of addressing the intellectual and political crises of the time. While they were hardly in agreement about the nature of rhetoric, they all recognized how important effective communication had become in the 20th century. In this course, we will read from I. A. Richards (The Philosophy of Rhetoric), Richard Weaver (The Ethics of Rhetoric), Kenneth Burke (The Grammar of Motives and The Rhetoric of Motives), and Chaim Perelman (The New Rhetoric) and try to sort out their agreements and disagreements so as to present a range of theoretical options that provide a context for continuing discussion of what the study of rhetoric can contribute to our larger concerns with communication and civic participation

CMN 496: Play and Technology—Sandvig, TH 11-12:20

CMN 529: Seminar Communication Theory, Topics in Language, Culture & Identity—Koven, TH 5-6:20

CMN 529: Seminar Communication Theory, Oral History: Theory & Practice—Davis, W 2-4:50

CMN 529: Seminar Communication Theory, Social Scientific Theory Construction in Communication—Poole, TH 2-4:50

ENGL563: Queer Color Critique—Rodriguez, TH 3-4:50

In this seminar we will examine recent work directly or indirectly contributing to an emergent interdisciplinary enterprise known as “queer of color critique.”  Beginning with José Esteban Muñoz’s Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics and Roderick Ferguson’s Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique, our first item of business will be to distinguish the central critical tenets of such texts (the linkage of racial/ethnic matters to queer theory, the dislodging of the term “queer” from specifically (white) LGBT concerns, etc.) and the social and political antecedents (civil rights and racial/ethnic empowerment movements in the U.S., women of color feminism, etc.) that have guaranteed their publication. We will then turn to the work of scholars like M. Jacqui Alexander, Martin Manalansan, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, Kathryn Bond Stockton, Karen Tongson, Michael Hames-García, Ernesto J. Martínez, and Chandan Reddy to ascertain the ongoing struggle to put queer theory in dialog with race/ethnic studies but also to consider how queer theoretical projects attentive to interlocking forms of difference assist in troubling traditional disciplines, discourses, and social spaces.  The course will conclude with Sharon P. Holland’s The Erotic Life of Racism in order to ponder the relevance of queer of color critique in the face of quotidian manifestations of inequality and exploitation.

English 581: Posthumanism—Markley, TU 1-2:50

This seminar examines a rich, evolving, and the controversial literature that, since c. 1980, has critiqued “humanism” and its concerns with individual consciousness, theories of language and representation, social contract theory, and the discourses of political and civil rights. In different ways, Posthumanism argues that the traditional disciplines of the humanities either neglect or misinterpret the profound challenges posed by science and technology studies, animal studies, disability studies, science fiction, and systems theory to its seemingly core values and assumptions. During this seminar, then, we will read a number of articles and sections of books that both extend and critique much of the theoretical work of the 1970s-1990s with which you may be familiar. Taken as a whole, Posthumanism challenges the anthropocentricism of much that we take for granted in the western philosophical and literary tradition. Over the course of the semester we will read texts by both theorists who define themselves as posthumanists, including Donna Haraway, Cary Wolfe, Bruno Latour, Katherine Hayles, Jacques Derrida (the late work that isn’t in the anthologies), and Freidrich Kittler, as well as work by recent critics such as Stacy Alaimo, Bruce Clarke, John Johnston, Lisa Yaszek, Mark Hansen, Susan Squier, and others.  Because science fiction has played such a powerful role in reshaping what we imagine as the “human,” and the always incomplete and always ongoing “evolution” to the posthuman, we read some key works of recent science fiction by William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, Richard Powers, and Octavia Butler.

English 584: Language and the Law—Baron, TU 1-2:50

The history of language and law from an American perspective, considering how legal texts make meaning; how lawyers, judges, and ordinary people interpret that meaning; and how governments, schools, and businesses create policies that privilege one language over others by making it official, or that protect minority-language and minority-dialect speakers.

The law depends on our common understanding of language to frame and interpret everything from statutes and contracts to witness statements and judicial rulings. The law assigns meaning to language as well, sorting out ambiguity and resolving opposing readings of the same text. For example, in Washington, DC, v. Heller, 9 highly-educated Supreme Court justices came to two completely different interpretations of the Second Amendment (the one about the right to bear arms). If you haven’t noticed, this process of reading and interpretation sounds a lot like what English majors do with literary texts, which is why so many of them go on to law school.

In addition to considering various aspects of legal meaning-making, we’ll look at instances where language becomes the subject of the law: First Amendment cases from the Alien and Sedition Acts to George Carlin’s “7 Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV” to the USA Patriot Act. And we’ll look at attempts to designate English as an official language at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as official language policies in schools and workplaces, together with various efforts to protect the rights of minority-language and minority-dialect speakers.

English 584: Rhetoric of Social and Environmental Movements—Schaffner, TH 1-2:50

This is a course about some of the more radical rhetorical arts. We will examine how people attempt to change their worlds with rhetoric, action, the alteration of space, and embodied practice. Meeting as a seminar, we will study scholarship on a wide array of activist movements, from women's rights to environmental justice, peace activism to veganism. Over the course of the semester, we will pay close attention to the rhetoric and rhetorical actions of the groups we study, comparing engagements across time, place, and tactics. Students in the seminar will read contemporary scholarship, examine primary documents (video, images, art, and text), form groups to complete a collaborative review essay, and complete a seminar paper. This course is open to graduate students from across campus.

GWS 508—Feminism, Gender and Sexuality, Gottlieb, TU 2:30-5:20

Theoretical issues raised in recent feminist writings in anthropology. Theoretical approaches to be explored include constructionist, postmodern, textual and historical materialist perspectives. Selected contemporary ethnographies introduce the integration of feminist theory into data analysis.

GWS 512: Gender Relations & International Development, Summerfield, TH 2-4:50

Interdisciplinary seminar examining theoretical and empirical research on gender and the transformation of social and economic structures. Students will develop a comparative perspective on issues of women and public policy by contrasting and comparing such policies in North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, and Africa.

GWS 590/MDIA 590—Feminist Girls Media Studies, Projansky, TH 2-4:50

What is a girl? How do girls' experiences redefine culture and society? What kinds of cultural knowledge do narratives about girls produce? How are girls regulated? How do girls define themselves? Course provides an overview of recent work in Girls' Studies, an emerging interdisciplinary area of study, and conceptualizes a feminist approach to the study of girls and the media. Topics include: cultural production of girlhood in multiple media forms; girls' media production; and girl audiences, as fans, interactive users, consumers, and spectators. Course asks what theoretical assumptions and methodological approaches emerge in these scholarly contexts, and it considers what areas of feminist studies and media studies that have not yet engaged girls' studies might profit from doing so.

HCD 539—Youth, Culture and Society, Kwon, T 2-4:50

Examines youth as a historically and culturally specific social formation; examines discursive and material positioning of youth within broader intersecting racial, cultural, socio-economic, gender and political contexts to situate youth and youth cultural practices within global and local processes. Specific topics include youth cultures, juvenile justice, education, labor, consumerism, politics, sexuality and activism, as well as methodological considerations of conducting research on youth.

HCD 594—Advanced Quantitative Methods, Bost, TH 2-4:20

Detailed overview of quantitative research methods and analyses used in human development, family, and community research, including data management, multi-method approaches, and considerations typical in longitudinal research. Students prepare an NSF-format research grant proposal, including budget and IRB approval documentation.

LING 550—Sociolinguistics II, Bhatt, TH 11-12:20

Focus on a critical examination of issues in the theory and practice of sociolinguistics concerning the study of language variation from a cross-linguistic perspective, language diversity, multilingualism, language ideology and power.

LING 551—Pragmatics, Terkourafi, TH 9:30-10:50

Examination and development of theories of language use, addressing the role of pragmatics in linguistics and in linguistic theory, with special attention to the major research questions concerning natural language processing.

LING 587—Topics in Sociolinguistics, Terkourafi, TH 12:30-1:50

LIS 590—Media Literacy and Youth, Tilley, TH 4-6:50

Literacy involves the ability to read, write, and understand the meanings of text. Media literacy and critical viewing extend traditional literacy to include the construction and deconstruction of texts mediated by audio and video technologies. This course has a three-fold task: to examine our own histories with media and to question how we currently use and analyze mass mediated texts and technologies; to acquaint students with instructional resources and strategies for media literacy in libraries and schools; and to guide students in a production project that will utilize and deepen their critical understanding. The course will take child development into account as we consider the need for media literacy in the rapidly changing media environment of the digital age.

MACS 504—Theories of Cinema, Ono, TU 2-4:50

Seminar on influential theories and accompanying debates about the textual/extra-textual mechanisms and cultural/political impact of cinema and related screen media. This semester the course begins with a review of basic and formative film theory, understood within the historical context in which it was and is written and received. Building on this groundwork, the course then moves on to consider rhetorical aspects of film theory and askswhat theories film scholars can use to address the relationships among film, politics, and society.

MDIA 572—Proseminar II, Valdivia, TH 11, W 1-2:50

Addresses the problems of communications, including the individual as a communicating system, symbolic processes, analysis of messages, psycholinguistics, and language as social behavior.

MDIA 575—Cultural Studies and Critical Interpretation, McCarthy, C. TH 12-1:50

Explores the history, applications and limitations of various theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary culture and popular media. Examines debates and issues within cultural studies and with other schools of thought. The impact of cultural studies across the disciplines.

SOC 501—Power, Culture, Subjectivity, Instructor TBA, TU 3:30-6:20

The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students with a systematic overview of contemporary social and sociological theories from various parts of the world as they relate to the central issues of power, culture, and subjectivity. We will compare and contrast concepts of power, conceptual frameworks of relating structure and agency, and diverging meanings of and significance attributed to culture.