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WRI 101 & WRI 102 Course Descriptions

WRI 101: Writing Studio

Offered Every Semester

Prerequisite : Placement

Writing Studio offers writing support for FSP First Seminar and WRI 102 Academic Writing. A two-credit studio course, Writing Studio must be taken concurrently with FSP or with WRI 102. May be repeated.


WRI 102: Academic Writing

Spring 2018

1 Course Unit

Offered Annually

Academic Writing is a four-credit course that offers students the opportunity to develop, advance, and practice skills in the production of academic prose. Within a framework of sophisticated readings, highly coordinated writing workshops, and instructor feedback, students practice rhetorical approaches to the writing necessary to succeed in college. Students read critically, cultivate habits of effective and ethical research, practice conventions of documentation, and use information technologies. Topical readings vary among sections. May be repeated.

Science Fiction & Creative Possibility
WRI 102-01, TF 8:00-9:20AM
Susan O’Connor
“To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before” — Captain Kirk, Star Trek
“The best Science Fiction supposes an imaginary invention or discovery, probably something quite extraordinary, and speculates about what might happen. It, then, anticipates the impact of that scientific discovery upon humankind.” — James O. Bailey, Pilgrims Through Space and Time (New York, 1947)
Come stretch your imagination and explore some of these creative possibilities! How have the creation of constructs such as robots and warp drive given rise to such powerful philosophic statements as the Three Laws of Robotics and The Prime Directive? How have these constructs fostered scientific invention? Through the lens of various novels, short stories, flash fiction pieces, podcasts, television series, films, and artistic images, we will examine how the science and the art of this genre come together to create stories that not only interpret life, but can drive culture and creativity. Ultimately, we will grapple with what it truly means to be human.

“Will You Accept This Rose?”
WRI 102-02, TF 8:00-9:20AM
Erica Kalinowski
From the 1960’s Dating Game to today’s massively popular Bachelor franchise, reality television has shaped the way we view the dating experience. Through an often highly produced environment, we form connections with “characters,” rooting for or against individuals who are competing for love. Why have these programs developed cult-like followings, how do we relate to them, and how do they influence dating norms and expectations? What stereotypes and roles are reinforced? How have viewers gone from spectators to participants via social media? Through readings, podcasts, video clips and episodes, this course will dive into the controversial world of television dating and other non-traditional forms of courtship. In a competition with winners and losers, we will look to answer the question of whether being the last man (or woman) standing equals a successful love story.

Food, Glorious Food
WRI 102-03, MR 9:30-10:50AM
Janet Hubbard
Everyone needs to eat to live. Many of us have complicated relationships with food, yet many of us are also unaware of what goes into our food and the land and animals it comes from. This section uses common and individual resources, including readings, movies, and websites, to learn about the history of agriculture, and explore and argue about various aspects of the food industry as it exists today. You will cook one of your favorite foods and report to the class, as well as make a specific recommendation to improve some aspect of this important industry.

When Athletes and Issues Collide
WRI 102-04, MR 9:30-10:50AM
Lisa Roe
It has been said that sports and politics don’t mix. However, recent events may cause us to think otherwise. In this section, we examine sports as a social institution and focus on the role that sports and athletes play in matters of social justice and advancing change. We will look at issues surrounding sports, both past and present, including issues of race, class, and gender and tackle issues from youth, collegiate and professional sports. Through critical reading of academic and popular literature, thoughtful viewing of visual materials, classroom discussion and structured papers, we will develop arguments that reflect on the broader political contexts of sports.

How to Disappear: Escape & Reinvention
WRI 102-05/11, TF 9:30-10:50AM & TF 11:00-12:20PM
Randy Schmidt
We all like to think it’s easy to start over, but what challenges do we face when we decide to escape? Some choose to lose themselves in the forest. Some decide to shed their identities and create new ones. And for some, a simple weekend outing is enough to “escape” their lives. In this section, we will examine this topic in literature, film, and television: Is it possible to ever fully escape our past and change who we are?

The Argument of Film
WRI 102-06, TF 9:30-10:50AM
Nina Ringer
In analyzing selected films, we will explore how screenplay, camera angles and shots, editing, acting, and direction help form story and particularly our response to it. How we engage with a film shows us the impact of the argument the filmmaker is making. What ingredients make a film compelling? How can an audience’s response to a film make a difference in the world? Focusing on the implicit visual arguments that films make will allow us to create our own explicit written and visual arguments about these films. We will view three films together, make a ten-minute group film and create a longer researched essay on a film of the students’ choosing.

Creativity & Rhetoric
WRI 102-07/08, MR 11-12:20PM & MR 12:30-1:50PM
Jordan Blum
In this section, we will explore a variety of different artistic outlets, such as fiction, poetry, film, visual art, television, and music, to see how creative minds use their medium for rhetorical purposes. Rather than simply entertain us, these artists ask us to consider complex, sometimes controversial ideas while reflecting on the world around us. For example, the novel ‘Fight Club’ explores issues of masculinity, consumerism, materialism, sexuality, psychology, and cultism, while The Who’s ‘Quadrophenia’ acts as a musical sibling to Green Day’s ‘American Idiot,’ as both concept albums house statements about disenfranchised, rebellious male youths. We will examine many complex issues, including materialism, conformity, causes of violence, sexuality, and racism, through the works of many iconic figures–some of whom may include Langston Hughes, Chuck Palahniuk, Kurt Vonnegut, Flannery O’Connor, The Who, Pink Floyd, Ben Folds, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Lee, Norman Lear, and Alan Ball–to see how these creative minds express social commentary through stimulating (and sometimes entertaining) forms.

Dilemmas of the Digital Domain
WRI 102-09/10, MR 11:00-12:20PM & MR 12:30-1:50PM
Janet Mazur
Can you imagine a world without technology? The Internet, smart phones, laptops, tablets and desktops have been a part of our cultural landscape for decades, for better or worse. In this class, we examine the profound ways in which digital technology — everything from how we connect via texting, social media and the latest apps to how we shop, vacation, date and study — is shaping us.

War & Peace
WRI 102-12/13, TF 2-3:20PM & TF 3:30-4:50PM
Donna Raskin
In this class we explore many aspects of both “war” and “peace,” including issues around gender, money, diplomacy, veterans, and torture. We read one novel about war, and see a few films, while the majority of reading is non-fiction. We do not look at the history of warfare, but instead examine contemporary conflicts, including those in Syria and Nigeria.

Our Environment, Ourselves: The Changing American Landscape
WRI 102-14/15, TF 2:00-3:20PM & TF 3:30-4:50PM
Karen Deaver
In this course students will analyze media for messages conveyed about natural and built environments—locally, nationally, globally—and our place in them. We will evaluate how historically art, text, film, music, and advertising has impacted people and policy. Together we will investigate environmental movements and practice persuasive argument in a variety of genres for diverse audiences. Students will write as journalists for the on-campus publication, The Streetlight; draft academic essays on their environmental concerns; explore the TCNJ campus and its green initiatives; and collaboratively craft activist art, PSAs, or school curriculum for Environmental Education using interview strategies and critical thinking skills practiced over the course of the semester.

Street Art & Social Justice
WRI 102-16, TF 2:00-3:20PM
Courtney Polidori
How does graffiti writing give voice to the silenced? This section invites students to write about the ongoing debate about street art: while authorities criminalize graffiti, street artists believe their work can advertise disillusionment, marginalization or poverty. From spray paint to stencils to massive murals, street art can be a visual cry for help in public spaces and a means of healing fractured communities through restorative justice arts programs. We will explore the political, socioeconomic, and cultural problems that give rise to street art by reading articles, watching videos, listening to podcasts, analyzing artwork, writing essays, and even watching an episode of The Simpsons that satirizes street artists.
The course will explore both local and global street art, with a special focus on studying Philadelphia’s urban murals, including work by Benjamin Volta and Jesse Krimes. We will also read about the emotional effects of graffiti on viewers with essays by feminist bell hooks and others. Students will also write about Banksy, an anonymous British street artist, who creates awareness around social problems, such as poverty, war, and the inhumane treatment of animals. We will study the writing strategies of Banksy’s text, including satire, irony, and humor and analyze the visual elements of his artwork, including color, line, and placement. Students will also interrogate Banksy’s claim that stencil-style street art can “start revolutions and stop wars” by uncovering the history of graffiti and stencils.

Young Adult Romantic Fiction
WRI 102-17/18, TF 2:00-3:20PM & TF 3:30-4:50PM
Laura Kranzler
In this section, we will be studying romance novels and TV shows aimed at a teenage audience. We will be paying close attention in particular to issues of race, class and gender as they are represented in the novels, asking questions about what constitutes the ideal romance as well as potential challenges to the construction of romantic relationships in fiction. We will watch several episodes of Gossip Girl, and read novels by writers such as Sarah Dessen and John Green. Students will also be able to choose a novel to discuss in their final paper.

Reading & Writing Pop Culture
WRI 102-19/20, TF 2:00-3:20PM & TF 3:30-4:50PM
Paige Costantino
This course will focus on a semiotic approach to analyzing several different aspects of popular culture. Through the study of academic articles, television shows, and film, the course will allow students to examine how a collective, cultural consciousness is developed by the ways we read and interact with media and pop culture. The class will include a variety of semiotic analyses applied to individual units including Advertising, Television, Print Media/News, Film, and Social Media. Each unit will include readings that analyze and evaluate individual mediums of popular culture, and students will then apply these ideas to real-life examples. Each unit will culminate with a student essay that synthesizes academic analysis with the everyday examples that surround us in the Twenty-First Century.

All the Single Ladies
WRI 102-21, TF 3:30-4:50PM
Christina Tormey
This course will explore social and political perceptions of single women. Students will use different styles of argument to analyze short works, including both essays and videos, that address what it means to be a single woman. Class discussions will examine how women are valued or perceived according to their relationship status, but also how modern women may struggle more than prior generations to find fulfilling relationships. Content will include words by Beyonce, Rebecca Traister, Lizzo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Kate Bolick.

The Argument of Contagion
WRI 102-22, MW 5:30-6:50PM
Madeline Anthes
This course will look at various depictions of contagious diseases and examine how they are portrayed in history, fiction, and film. We will discuss how certain ideas are just as infectious and dangerous as a virus. Among the questions this class will consider: what provokes the spread of ideas? How does the spread of disease mirror societal fears? Why do so many fictional stories depict the spread of diseases? How have humans tried to control contagions, and what have we learned from past attempts? We will read short stories, watch a film, and read several historical texts to get a well-rounded view of the topic.

Communication and Relationships
WRI 102-23, TR 5:30-6:50PM
Dionne Hallback
This course examines the role of communication in various types of relationships such as family, romantic, professional, and social. We will discuss factors like gender, race, culture, social media, and pop culture that influence the communication that occurs in relationships, using academic journals, texts, movies, television shows, and videos to get a well-rounded view of this topic. In their essays, students will explore their views of the role of communications in relationships.

Celebrities and Society
WRI 102-24, MW 5:30-6:50PM
Rachel Hendrickson
Students will examine the effects of celebrity on our society – particularly the ways in which celebrities influence societal norms and values – through the examination of articles, television, and advertisements. We will discuss the roles celebrities have on youth and individuals’ self-perceptions, as well as the ways in which the media dictates trends in behavior and aesthetics. In addition, we will closely examine celebrities’ roles (both active and passive) in shaping and changing society’s views of various social issues (i.e. Caitlyn Jenner and transgender acceptance).

The Green Movement
WRI 102-25/26, TR 5:30-6:50PM & TR 7:00-8:20PM
Lindsay Knapp
What happens when the concept of sustainability becomes “big business”? As Americans, we understand that what we buy gives us power and a sense of identity; yet this social pressure to consume is increasingly in competition with environmental concerns and the need for sustainability. In this section, we will look at these competing forces and their effects in both the public and personal spheres. We will examine the arguments from environmental groups, political groups, and various businesses to navigate through this confusing issue of “being green.”

Asking Good Questions
WRI 102-27, MW 5:30-6:50PM
Kathryn Gessner
Asking good questions uncovers knowledge, drives modern advancement, and leads to better understanding of both ideas and people. In this course, five essential questions will serve as a framework for course discussion, student reflection, and the production of evidence-based argumentation. Students will develop skills of inquiry-based analysis while exploring topical issues such as clean energy, jury nullification, and artificial intelligence.

Dilemmas in the Modern World
WRI 102-28, MW 5:30-6:50PM
Amy Moyer
In this section, we will explore political and social dilemmas in today’s world through a critical examination of mass media and other news coverage. Special focus will be paid to current events affecting national and international politics, such as mass human migration, climate change, violence, and wealth inequality and global poverty. Students will critically analyze and research the historical, economic, and social conditions that have given rise to current events. This section of Academic Writing will challenge students to examine arguments in an objective manner and to write responses on a range of issues in logical and rational ways.

Masculinity & American Culture
WRI 102-29/30, TR 5:30-6:50PM & TR 7-8:20PM
Shawn Layton
What does it mean to be a “man” of the 21st century? How do we define manliness in our world? How have the definitions of masculinity changed from previous centuries? What roles do class, race, sexuality, and religion play in the creation of masculine identity? In this course, we will address these questions and the complex issue of masculine identity through our study of writings by Ernest Hemingway and Ta-Nehisi Coates, bromance films such as Superbad and The Wedding Crashers, and selected readings on college hookups and hazing and what each has to say about masculinity.

Marginalization in Literature
WRI 102-31, TR 5:30-6:50PM
Kristen Luettchau
In this section, students will explore issues of marginalization in the 20th and 21st centuries, as depicted in literature, film, and the media. Topics discussed will include: poverty, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender.

Argument of Storytelling: Is the Medium the Message?
WRI 102-32, MW 5:30-6:50PM
Emily Dodd
This course will explore news and storytelling, with an eye on how different types of media affect the public’s consumption of each. We will examine headlines and storytelling across various forms of media (podcasts, radio, television, print, and digital), discuss how stories are framed and reported through each, and try to figure out where we draw the line between real life and art/entertainment. This dynamic course will move as quickly as the news cycle–and our attention spans–as we keep current on headlines across a variety of publications.

Rebuilding a City
WRI 102-33/34, MR 3:30-4:50PM & MR 8:00-9:20AM
Tiffany Youngblood
In this course we will examine the issues youth living in urban areas have to deal with on a daily basis. The failing school system, the impact of drugs, and lack of parental involvement are some of the issues we will analyze. We will study historical patterns and follow current news to explore the issues, with the expectation of finding solutions for those communities. Some of the questions this class will consider are: Is the school system failing the youth or are the youth just not taking advantage of valuable opportunities? What decisions are the youth faced with when drugs and school are involved? What, if anything, can the community do to tackle these issues?

Issues in Health Care
WRI 102-35, Monday 5:00-7:50PM
Asmaa Kabel
[Location: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Hamilton. Open only to RN to BSN students]
This course will examine topics of general interest within the health care system and the health profession, as well as concerns and trends relevant to consumer health decisions. We will explore issues in women’s health, environmental health, and emotional health. Students will engage in readings and scholarly essays highlighting current events related to issues in health care. We will utilize rhetorical claim approaches such as definition, ethical, and proposal as a way in to writing about these issues.

Issues in Health Care
WRI 102-36, Wednesday 5:30-8:20PM
Asmaa Kabel
This course will examine topics of general interest within the health care system and the health profession, as well as concerns and trends relevant to consumer health decisions. We will explore issues in women’s health, environmental health, and emotional health. Students will engage in readings and scholarly essays highlighting current events related to issues in health care. We will utilize rhetorical claim approaches such as definition, ethical, and proposal as a way in to writing about these issues.

WE’RE OFF TO SEE (& READ) THE WIZARD!
WRI 102-37, Wednesday 5:30-8:20PM
Stefanie Marchetti
In this course we will examine and read L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as well as view the infamous 1939 MGM creation, The Wizard of Oz. Since the original printing in 1900, this novel has been remade in various films, cartoons, movies, novels, short stories, televisions series. For this reason, we will also read and view supplemental pieces based on the classic novel. We also answer questions such as: Why did an intended children’s novel become so popular? What was the actual color of Dorothy’s shoes? What mistake did Baum make when writing his novel? Is the story really a historical commentary? What makes this wizard so wonderful?

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