For room assignments, please see the Schedule of Classes.
Hybrid courses blend face-to-face classroom instruction with online learning to improve learning outcomes. Hybrid courses thus move a significant amount of course work to an online environment.
Service-learning courses address a community need through direct or indirect service and community-based research.
- Bieda, Casey - (De)Constructing the Non-Human
- Donovan, Julie - Women & Knowledge in the Work of Jane Austen
- Dueck, Jonathan - Beautiful Play: Writing Gesture in Sport and Dance
- Fletcher, Wade - Reading Without Words: The Image as Text
- Friedman, Sandra - The Writer in Context: Writing as a Social Practice
- Goward, Shonda - Power to the People: Black Art as Social Commentary
- Hayes, Carol - WTF?! Profanity and Its Contexts
- Hindin, Zachary - Magazine Journalism
- Johnston, Elizabeth - American Environmental Advocacy
- Koenig, Susan - The Politics of Performance: Theatre, Political Arenas, and Their Masses
- Kirch, Lisa - Sympathy and Empathy: Mediating the Self and the Other
- Larsen, Katherine - Media Fandom: Geeks, Fanboys and Stalker Chicks
- Magellan, Peter - Composition Through Creative Nonfiction
- Mantler, Gordon - Memorials, Museums, and Monuments: Writing the Past through Place and Space
- Marcus, Robin - Jacked: The Appropriation and Exploitation of African American Culture
- McCaughey, Jessica - Please Like Us: Selling With Social Media
- McReynolds, Leigha - Imagining the Future: Genetics in Popular Culture
- Miller, Bruce - Music as a Reaction to Societal Ills and as a Source of Community
- Mullen, Mark - Choose Wisely
- Myers, Danika - Fashion Emergency!: Clothing and Global Capitalism
- Pollack, Rachel - Dutch Painting at the National Gallery of Art
- Presser, Pamela - Writing Lives: Composing Consciousness and Service Learning
- Renault-Steele, Summer - Philosophy of New Media
- Riedner, Rachel - Writing Global Women's Lives
- Riley, Matthew - Songs & Script: Writing Critically about Music
- Ryder, Phyllis - Writing for Social Change: Civil Rights, Then and Now
- Salchak, Steven - Academic Writing in an Age of BS
- Smith, Caroline - Feminist Filmmakers? Writing about Women and the Movies
- Sparks, Allison - Women Aren't Funny and Other Nonsense from the Patriarchy
- Svoboda, Michael - The Political Brain
- Tomlinson, Niles - Fake News and Ironic Views: Satire as Social Critique
- Troutman, Phillip - The Visual Past: Images in History
- Troutman, Phillip - Students' History of GWU and MVC
- Yunis, Bernardita - Latin@ Identities & Stereotypes in the United States
CRN 52313 | Section M47 | TR 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
CRN 52314 | Section M38 | TR 4:10 PM - 5:25 PM F 4:10 PM - 5:00 PM
With the vast proliferation and popularity of science fiction in video games, comic books, and popular literature at large, the actor of the “non-human” (or “other”) has cycled through a vast number of representations. These representations have long been the subjects of theological, political, philosophical, sociological, and scientific debate. These debates have raised larger issues of “humanity”, creationist responsibility, animate/inanimate “life”, “animacy” hierarchy, anthropomorphism, and technological supremacy. What is “human”? In this age of technology and exploration, how do we define ideas of “human”, “post-human”, and “non-human”? What happens when those definitions touch, blend, or oppose one another? What narratives do they create? Who gets to tell those narratives, and why are those narratives important in how we engage with our contemporary culture?
In this course, we will investigate points in literature, film, graphic narratives, and other media forms where the familiar and unfamiliar touch and analyze how humans both react and interact with these non-human entities. Through these points of contact we will grapple with larger discussions of scientific advancement, animal rights, and how the world expands (or contracts) when we consider life beyond the purely “human”. We will investigate, challenge, and report on several sources of interest ranging from Medieval poetry, to 1950’s science fiction, to contemporary podcasts and graphic narratives through several concentrated writing assignments and classroom discussion. We will also write a final intensive research paper focused on one subject from/or based on our classroom material.
CRN 51619 | Section M40 | TR 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 51816 | Section M25 | TR 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; in addition to classroom instruction, students are required to participate in course activities for 50 minutes every week in lieu of a Friday class meeting.
CRN 51522 | Section M1 | TR 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 51535 | Section M15 | TR 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
Are images texts? Can images be “read?” What does it mean to “read” an image? As individuals, we are confronted with, interpret, process, and ignore a barrage of images every day. Via these images, visual narratives and arguments manifest across many spectrums, from business, advertising, and politics, to popular culture, art, and fashion, with each image vying for our attentions. In this course, we intersect with the study of visual culture and visual rhetoric, considering the role images play in our culture(s), while exploring what it means to examine something as an "image" and investigating how visual narratives and arguments are formed, composed, and realized. To this end, we’ll examine images alongside written texts, exploring the parallels between the two forms.
Our subject matter will include two wordless graphic novels, visual art (specifically the collection at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum), and iconic and cultural images, the latter of which will potentially comprise photographs, advertising, branding and marketing, iconic images, and much more. Assignments will include three essays of increasing length, each focusing on a particular image (or set of images) – a blog critique, an analysis of a visual argument, and an argumentative research essay – as well as short visual projects, contributions to an online class discussion forum, and a turn (with a partner) leading class discussion.
CRN 51713 | Section M70 | MW 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
“I begin: the first memory. This was of red and purple flowers on a black ground—my mother’s dress; and she was sitting either in a train or in an omnibus, and I was on her lap.” Virginia Woolf begins her memoir, “A Sketch of the Past,” with the vivid and rapturous sensations of earliest childhood. Woolf used writing to revisit memories, to process “sudden shocks” of realization, and to uncover patterns beneath the apparent randomness of everyday life. For Woolf, giving form to experience through writing was “far more necessary than anything else.” While some of us, like Woolf, write from internal necessity, we all write in response to external demands, whether from school, work, or our personal lives. The premise of this course is that by studying writing itself, students can become more skilled writers in diverse contexts.
We begin the semester by considering writing studies scholar Deborah Brandt’s argument that our ways of reading and writing are profoundly shaped by “literacy sponsors.” We read literacy narratives by writers including Ta-Nehisi Coates, Richard Rodriguez, Amy Tan, and Malcolm X. Drawing ideas from these sources, students write their own literacy autobiographies. In the second part of the class, students choose a social context—within the university, in the professional world, or on social media—and conduct research, interviewing an expert on how writing works in this community. What are the shared goals, and how do members use writing to meet those goals? What genres do experienced writers use, and why? How do novice members learn to write in these genres? In the final project, students look back on the work they have done and the concepts they’ve acquired over the course of the term; from this material, each student develops her own theory of writing.
CRN 51536 | Section M19 | TR 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction.
American social norms have attached a derogatory label of "mad" to women who assert themselves, who seek to define their lives separate and apart from social norms, or who stand in the way of their husband's younger prospective bride. However, many of the women labeled mad were simply fighting against patriarchy for the right to be equal, or in the case of women of color, fighting to be considered human. Nonetheless, many women have actually gone mad for various reasons including being forced to remain in suffocating marriages, being subjected to abuse, or from the fear of death as they petitioned their nation for rights. This class will explore women and madness in literature to uncover how American women writers depict the descent into madness and its causes. Our work will include analyzing the time period in which the work was written and that period's influence on the writer. Our methods will include peer to peer workshops; journaling; historical research; and analytical writing which will all challenge your ability to read critically and write on a scholarly level.
CRN 56148 | Section M65 | TR 4:10 PM - 5:25 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction.
CRN 51720 | Section M4 | TR 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 51618 | Section M67 | MW 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
This seminar will immerse you in public debates about global climate change, as we trace its evolution from arguments over facts and causes to more recent focus on effects and actions. We will study the ways that scientific information is used in climate change debates. We will also consider the pressing question of whether it’s mandatory to have a picture of a polar bear in any text about climate change and how such visuals can dramatize its effects. And, we’ll discern ways that various publics can be informed about the issue and persuaded to respond. Since this is a class about language, argument, and writing, we seek to learn from other speakers a range of ways to talk about climate change, so that we can enter the debate too. This course will have you analyzing films, images, museum exhibits, scientific writing, and popular texts, and you will write a definitional argument, a rhetorical analysis, and a research-driven project.
CRN 51719 | Section M7 | MW 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
CRN 52786 | Section M61 | MW 10:000 AM - 11:15 AM F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
CRN 51530 | Section M10 | MW 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
CRN 56146 | Section M35 | MW 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
Politics and performance are intimately tied to one another. Politics is, arguably, performance distilled by rhetoric, while performances tend to be politically driven. You cannot ever entirely separate the two. Throughout this course we will dwell on a variety of questions, including: Is it possible to remove performance from its political ties or vice versa? What sort of relationship is formed between verbal and visual rhetoric in political performance and performative politics? What kind of relationships do we see being performed by the speechwriter/organizer/playwright and the politician/protestor/actor? What does it mean for the general populace that the three are so closely tied? How do audiences respond to provocation where they seek entertainment? How do voters respond to entertainment where they seek provocation?
While we will focus on theatrical and political performance in our readings, this course certainly will not limit itself to traditional theatrical and political spaces. Students are encouraged to think about the ways in which political performativity takes center stage at Slutwalks, #BlackLivesMatter rallies, the RNC and DNC, Pride Parades, news interviews, talk shows, and other similar political phenomena. Our primary texts will be two politically minded plays, with supplements from a variety of performance studies texts with various critical lenses. From these readings we will branch out into the many avenues performance and politics cohabit.
As writing is the center of the course, students will be asked to write an ethnographic paper on a political rally or theatrical performance of their choice, and a final research paper.
CRN 51524 | Section M3 | TR 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 51533 | Section M13 | TR 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 52301 | Section M48 | TR 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction. Larsen, Katherine
Lonely Trekkies in Vulcan ears, hysterical Twilight fans weeping at the sight of Robert Pattinson, basement dwellers, pale in the glow of a computer screen. These are our stereotypes of media fans. They make us laugh, they make us nervous, they are objects of derision, but who are they really?
A better question might be who we are – since we are all fans of something – and how do we consume culture. How do we talk back to it, reshape it, pull it to pieces and then put it back together? The answers to these questions have the potential to offer insight into what we value (or devalue) as a culture and why. What captures our imaginations? Why do we love Sherlock or Doctor Who or Mass Attack or One Direction? Why do others look down on us for loving them? If we all consume so much media why do we have such a problem with fans?
This writing and research intensive course will begin with an examination of the current research on fans and fan communities. We will then look closely at fan practices in online fan communities and analyze a range of fan generated media, especially fan fiction. Student research will involve close examination of an online fan community.
CRN 58453 | Section M75 | MW 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 58454 | Section M76 | MW 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
"Here was a man inspecting his mind as a means of inspecting the human mind."
-John Jeremiah Sullivan
Creative nonfiction, and in particular the personal essay, has given writers a special form, a space where they can merge experience with research, in order to ask complex questions about the world we live in. It is a genre that encourages writers to look at life closely and make arguments about themselves and by extension, humanity as a whole. This class will study the personal essay as a form, letting students explore narrative and argument, pulling from experiences in their lives and putting them under the microscope, using this specificity to unlock universal ideas. It will focus on observation, critical thinking, and reflection, the most important tools in an essayist’s toolbox.
We will read essays by Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and others and discuss the ways that these essayists pair their own experience with research in order to address interesting (and sometimes difficult) topics. Graded work will be comprised of weekly pastiches and prompts, which will get students to look analytically at moments in their lives, and use certain experiences as entry points into examining larger questions about the world. There will be two major essay assignments, one a personal essay that requires students to balance narrative and reflection, the other an argumentative piece that relies on research to explore a question, or problem, that they think needs to be answered.
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CRN 53931 | Section M14 | TR 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
CRN 53929 | Section M36 | TR 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
CRN 53930 | Section M20 | TR 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
The National Museum of African American History and Culture just opened on the Mall – the culmination of more than one hundred years of advocacy for such an institution. But while the museum has enjoyed tremendous attention in its opening months, many other museums, memorials, and monuments already here in Washington have commemorated and narrated the American story, or stories, of race for generations. From the African American Civil War memorial to the National Museum of the American Indian, public spaces throughout the city depict the nation’s often tortured relationship with race. Visitors of such spaces generally consider them reliable vehicles for telling that history. But how historically reliable are such public history accounts? What sorts of pressures do these institutions face in relating their interpretations? And, perhaps most importantly for a writing course, are there explicit rhetorical features that distinguish academic history and argument from popular ones found in museums, memorials, and monuments? In this class, students will analyze these carefully crafted, sometimes controversial places and spaces around Washington and how they narrate race – including their physical locations, their visual symbolism, and written interpretations. In the process, you will be asked to write your own argument-driven narratives, sharpening not just your ability to convey your thoughts on paper but also bolstering an array of academic skills, such as critical reading, argument development, substantive revision, and primary source analysis.
CRN 51538 | Section M22 | MW 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 51715 | Section M44 | MW 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 52308 | Section M55 | MW 4:10 PM - 5:25 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction.
Using the terms "appropriation" and "exploitation," this course examines the theft of African American labor, income stability, wealth building capacity and intellectual property as a result of institutional racism. Over the semester, students will examine, analyze and discuss questions of cultural authenticity and realness, white supremacy, and the ways appropriation and exploitation have been embedded in American institutions, and will explore contemporary strategies for resistance and reclamation. Selected texts (scholarly and non-scholarly) will provide a foundation for class discussion and analysis. Students will write three linked papers of increasing length and complexity. The research process is designed to produce a discovery that contributes to the body of knowledge related to a subject of students’ choosing.
CRN 52028 | Section M71 | MW 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
CRN 51615 | Section M31 | MW 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction.
What convinces us to buy or support a company or a cause? What makes writing effective in the world of social media marketing and promotion? How does this shift from industry to industry? When a business disaster strikes, how do organizations respond through social media? How should they? The new and complex rhetoric of selling through social media (whether one is selling an idea, a product, a person, or a cause) has its own language and writing conventions – even if not everyone using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Pinterest, or blogs for this purpose has mastered them yet.
In this class students will take on the roles of scholar and critic, examining the rhetoric of social media as it is used for selling and promotion. They will choose a related group of individuals, companies, or organizations that are active in social media and track, analyze, and critique their marketing or promotion efforts over the course of the semester. Further, they will work to develop critical thinking skills and find, understand, and utilize research in a series of written arguments. The class will focus significant time and energy exploring audience, evidence, and revision, both in our own work and in the writing of outside individuals and organizations as students become expert critics of social media selling.
CRN 51526 | Section M5 | MW 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM F 8:30 AM - 9:20 AM
CRN 52787 | Section M34 | MW 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
From the mainstream news media to Hollywood, our obsession with genetics suggests that some of our strongest fears surround the human ability to manipulate DNA. Our cultural preoccupation with this issue is rooted in the birth of eugenics at the end of the nineteenth century. Since then, scientific progress has led us to contemplate the potentially threatening consequences of technologies from cloning to gene therapy. Imagining dystopic futures where genes determine one’s destiny or where expensive procedures create a genetic underclass is far more common than depictions of progressive futures where a democratic society is enhanced by access to lifesaving therapies. In this class we will explore where these fears come from; what, exactly, we are so afraid of; and how our fears about and the promises of genetic research and technology are represented and manipulated.
We will begin the class by performing cultural analyses of popular culture artifacts that center around or draw on genetic science. We will consider the purpose of these artifacts — why do they use genetics and what message are they presenting to the audience? — as well as the developments in science and technology that have enabled these representations. Then through a conceptual archaeology and a synthesis paper, you will research in-depth an aspect of genetics that is of particular interest to you; you will trace its development through history and science as well as various popular media such as comics or cinema. We will end the semester with a research paper in which you present an original contribution on the ways that culture is shaped by and in turn shapes advances in genetics.
CRN 51718 | Section M17 | MW 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
CRN 58452 | Section M74 | MW 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
From homemade banjo-like stringed instruments employed by rural Malawians, Florida musician Moses Williams fashioning a one-stringed instrument out of a door, to Nigerian Afro beat pioneer Fela Kuti’s slogan that “music is a weapon”, various types of sound art have been used to stare down poverty, radicalize groups of people into a movement for social justice, or simply allow us all to recognize something about where we come from and what we have in common. In this course, we will survey readings, performance, video, documentary, and no doubt some deep listening in order to craft our own writing, and perhaps opinion, on the subject. Along the way, we’ll take on everything from urban free jazz, rural folk and the complexities inherent in semi-known folk-pop hybrids from Mauritania to Thailand.
Students will craft papers that trace anything from origins of a particular musical form and how it was shaped by environment, to musical statements both cultural and political, to various folk traditions, and how they are either preserved or threatened. Topics may deal with movements such as Rock Against Racism, and Riot Grrrl; we will check in with the West Blue Nile People of Sudan and note their ability to harness song and dance in order to fight back against a government that bombs its own people. There will also be a chance to write short reviews or other commentary on the importance of an artist or style.
Texts may include:
- Alan Lomax’s The Land Where the Blues Began (video)
- Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life
- Francis Bebey’s African Music: A People’s Art
- Photo collections of early phonograph memorabilia from around the globe
- Reebee Garofalo’s Rockin’ The Boat: Mass Music and Mass Movements
- Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony
…and of course, select recordings to enhance what we discuss and write about.
CRN 51616 | Section M33 | MW 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 51539 | Section M24 | MW 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 51531 | Section M11 | MW 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction.
CRN 53535 | Section M37 | TR 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 51529 | Section M30 | TR 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
CRN 51613 | Section M26 |TR 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM + 50 mins/week unscheduled activites
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction.
Did you wake up this morning and feel like you had nothing to wear? Where does that feeling come from, when you’re standing in front of a closet full of clothes? Or maybe you feel like you pay no attention to what you wear—yet what you “thoughtlessly” put on still tells the world something about you.
This class will start by exploring the cultural meanings that articles of clothing acquire: how can clothes communicate a sense of humor, morality or religious beliefs, an appreciation for certain types of music or culture, lifestyle, class, and even politics? From there, we will begin to consider how economics and modes of production shape our desire for clothing that communicates the “right” message while layering our clothing with additional meaning.
Over the past decade, fast fashion, off-shore manufacturing, and shortened design “seasons” have all put pressure on consumers to purchase more and more clothing, while “slow fashion”, DIY movements, and small retailers that advertise ethical labor practices and environmentally sustainable manufacturing have grown. Paradoxically, these movements “sell” themselves as a way to defy the pressures of a global capitalist fashion industry while tapping into a different set of consumer desires.
Over the course of the semester you will first familiarize yourself with some of the questions scholars ask about how clothing fashions mean and matter in the contemporary economic and cultural landscape, and then develop an original research project that takes a closer look at some aspect of clothing, exploring how and why it communicates meaning, and identifying those economic and cultural forces that shape our complex relationship with clothing.
Assignments in the class will include an article review, an annotated bibliography, and a final research project. This is a hybrid course, which means that significant course work will make use of cyberspace formats including wordpress blogs and wiki technology.
CRN 51527 | Section M6 | MW 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
CRN 51623 | Section M66 | TR 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
NOTE: Friday classes meet at the National Gallery of Art. See department for details.
In this course we will develop writing skills through careful observation and analysis of 17th Century Dutch painting at the National Gallery of Art. Each student will write 2 polished catalogue entries (2-3 pages each) of works from the National Gallery collection, a short exhibition review (3-5 pages), a short research paper (5-7 pages) and a larger research project (15-20 pages). Artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals will be the central focus of class discussion, as well as various landscape and still life masters. We will explore issues of technique (i.e. materials and methods) and art historical interpretations. Why do we consider Rembrandt a "genius?" Did Vermeer use the camera obscura? How did the new wealthy middle class affect art patronage? Together we will read a selection of scholarly articles related to each subject, as well as visiting the museum collection firsthand. Through critical writing, class discussion, and individual research, each student will learn to see and appreciate the art of the Dutch Golden Age.
CRN 52302 | Section M49 | TR 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
CRN 51617 | Section M45 | TR 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
CRN 52310 | Section M57 | TR 4:10 PM - 5:25 PM F 4:10 PM - 5:00 PM
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction. This is a service learning course, for more information see http://serve.gwu.edu/information-students.
CRN 52307 | Section M54 | TR 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction. This course intended for WLP students only. Departmental approval required to register.
To what extent is your sense of self shaped by your culture, circumstances and location? How does where you are living and working influence what you dream? Does performing service, and writing about your experiences, change your ideas about who you are?
Such questions fall within the domain of consciousness studies, an interdisciplinary field which will be the subject of this class. Because consciousness studies in its present incarnation is a new and largely uncharted field, most questions its scholars are asking remain unanswered. This course, then, will be best suited for curious students eager to explore inner and outer space. Indeed, the course requires a willingness to leave the GWU bubble, since students will be required to perform 20 hours of community service off campus, with a non-profit organization.
Assignments may include, but will not be limited to, collaborative projects, an annotated bibliography, a journal in which you engage in meta-cognitive writing, and a final paper combining research on service and consciousness. This is a hybrid class, and will include a significant amount of on-line instruction and discussion. Class texts will be drawn from several genres and will include academic essays, autobiographies, and graphic narratives.
CRN 52026 | Section M23 | TR 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
CRN 52311 | Section M64 | TR 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
CRN 52312 | Section M72 | TR 4:10 PM - 5:25 PM F 4:10 PM - 5:00 PM
This course is an ongoing study conducted by first year students about how popular music serves as a reflection of society. We will investigate a variety of ways that music is analyzed and argued about in both popular and academic communities, and we will research the issues about music that we, as a group, consider to be important. "Songs and Script" is based on the idea that students who take the course, past, present, and future, should form a community of scholars who build the course over repeated semesters. Consequently, the issues we address and the knowledge we establish comes equally from the students and the professor, and current students must always build upon the work of previous classes. Further, the course maintains a concentrated focus on different means of analysis. Therefore, not only will students write analytical research essays about critical issues, but they will also participate in several collaborative group projects, including writing, composing, and producing an original song and developing a multimedia presentation that investigates an historically significant music artist. Every assignment will involve research, analysis, argument, and formal expression.
CRN 52299 | Section M32 | MW 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
Would you have marched at Selma? Would you march for Civil Rights today? In this service-learning class, we will study the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement 50 years later to discover how it applies to contemporary life in DC today. How did the organizations within the Civil Rights Movement define (and argue about) the problem they were up against, the appropriate methods for naming that problem, and the best methods for demanding change? At the same time, we’ll work with DC community organizations to learn from and support today’s leaders as they continue to work for equality and freedom. We'll draw on academic and community research to consider whether the circumstances of our contemporary political, economic, and media systems require new models of social change. As we explore all of this in a writing class, we will focus on the power of language to create justice.
CRN 53534 | Section M62 | TR 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
CRN 51532 | Section M12 | TR 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
CRN 51714 | Section M43 | TR 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
NOTE: This course is a hybrid; classroom and online instruction.
CRN 51716 | Section M39 | TR 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM F 8:30 AM - 9:20 AM
CRN 56147 | Section M60 | TR 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
Google “Women aren’t funny.” Surprised to see how many men will tell you that this is true? Women in comedy has historically been a tricky business, to say the least. But is the cultural moment for funny women finally here? In this seminar, we’ll explore the careers of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (and more!). We’ll delve into the past to explore who paved the way for these comediennes today by investigating feminism in its various iterations and comediennes like Lucille Ball, Goldie Hawn (Kate Hudson’s mom), and Joan Rivers. We’ll answer questions like is Hillary Clinton funny? What was up with SNL’s stupid comments on women of color in comedy? Has the industry really changed for the better? Or are these women simply refusing to be told “women aren’t funny”?
Further, this topic and course are designed to develop students’ writing skills. Students will practice critical analysis by engaging with comic performances and writing, criticism, and feminist theory. Much like comedians, who strive not only to evoke laughter, but to challenge audiences to arrive at new ideas, students will grapple with provocative material that will inspire new ways of thinking. Students will undertake their own research projects in order to become engaged in the ongoing dialogue surrounding comedy and feminism. All students will complete two original, argumentative research essays that undergo extensive revision to achieve successful final projects. By studying and emulating the dedication these funny women have to their craft, students will hone their skills as critical thinkers, researchers, and writers.
CRN 52306 | Section M53 | TR 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
CRN 52309 | Section M56 | TR 4:10 PM - 5:25 PM F 4:10 PM - 5:00 PM
CRN 52573 | Section M18 | MW 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
While satire has a long history of exposing social/political excess and human folly, never has it been so prevalent as in our current cultural moment. From The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to The Simpsons to the mockumentaries of Sasha Baron Cohen to the controversial Jutland Post Muhammad cartoons, satire is a potent and sometimes dangerous rhetorical tool for illuminating the absurdities of extremist views and partisan propaganda. This course starts with the question of why satire has become such a pervasive phenomenon and then moves towards an exploration of the value of, and potential problems with, satire as a rhetorical lens of social criticism.
This course will include assignments like a self-written and performed satire that critiques a relevant current issue, a rhetorical analysis of a scholarly article on satire, a critical reading of a satirical film or novel, and a capstone research project which will give students a chance to explore in depth a particular example of satire in contemporary culture. In all, this course will make the larger points that the language of satire and irony is our language and that laughter and seriousness are not mutually exclusive.
CRN 51614 | Section M29 | MW 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
CRN 51537 | Section M21 | MW 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
Images from the past say things. Political cartoons, propaganda posters, paintings, and films obviously interpret, idealize, and shade the truth. But so do photographs, maps, and technical drawings. They even lie outright. From the earliest colonial encounters through slavery and civil rights, from frontier wars through civil wars, foreign wars, and culture wars, people have used images to represent, reinterpret, and reinscribe ideas about race, gender, national identity, class, democratic politics, immigration and migration, science and technology, and religion. But images do not speak for themselves. To write about images requires description, which implies some level of interpretation, or at least translation from visual to verbal. Scholars of visual culture have created specialized terms and concepts you will need to adopt and adapt in order to do your own analytical work. In this course, you will analyze primary sources from digital archives, engaging in ongoing debates about the roles images have played in history. Researching and writing about images in a scholarly way will help you hone your critical thinking, research, and analytic skills generally. But you will also have to approach image description and analysis with creativity, finding new words and phrases, and new interpretations to rise to the task.
CRN 51621 | Section M63 | MW 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
Did you know that in 1970 Thurston Hall was called “the Holiday Inn of the Revolution” as students invited anti-war protesters nationwide to camp in the dorm? Or that The Hatchet’s editors were sacked in a 1938 showdown over academic freedom? Or that students at the all-women’s Mount Vernon College played baseball, basketball, and tennis, and attended Women’s Suffrage demonstrations? GW’s Archives has the full run of The Hatchet (1904-), all GW and MV yearbooks, student literary journals, and a scandalous Prohibition-flaunting student magazine, The Ghost. Plus records of student organizations like the Columbian Women (1894-), Progressive Student Union (1966-), and GW Pride (1971-). Plus scrapbooks, photographs, and other materials donated by alumni over the years. In this course, you’ll generate new knowledge—discovering and interpreting GW/MV students’ history—campus life, student organizations, social movements, sports—both for a scholarly audience and, in a web-based exhibit, for a public audience of GW students and alumni.
CRN 51620 | Section M41 | MW 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
CRN 52571 | Section M58 | MW 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
From Lucy and Ricky Ricardo to the Sofia Vergaras, Gina Rodriguezes, and Salma Hayeks of today, Latin@s in the United States have regularly been the objects of exaggerated representations, commercializing Latin@ culture and history for popular consumption. A focus on Latin@ identities and stereotypes in the United States will provide an opportunity for practice in the processes and techniques of academic writing that will encourage students to use critical analysis skills and thoughtful evaluation in their writing. Through the use of writing assignments that require creativity and research, this course will help students be critics of the Latin@ identities presented by the media and the society at large. Students will create their own testimonios (testimonials/memoirs) and research papers that look at the process of identity creation and how that can quickly devolve to stereotypes and misrepresentations. These projects will give students a platform from which to use critical thinking and researched argumentation in order to shine a light on the inaccuracies and oversimplifications of Latin@ stereotypes that develop in our media culture.
The goal is that towards the end of the semester, students will have developed rhetorical strategies and critical analysis skills that will be important tools not only for future academic writing, but also for consuming media and cultural narratives with more awareness and a keen critical eye in their everyday lives.
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