Spring 2018: New Themes Announced for Analytical Writing and Thinking!

Published: October 30th, 2017

Category: Featured, Uncategorized

ENC 2305, Analytical Writing and Thinking, is designed to advance students’ critical thinking and writing skills beyond first-year composition. To achieve those goals, students will learn advanced analytical techniques and communication strategies that professors in all disciplines expect them to know.

The texts and assignments in the course will expose students to challenging ideas. The subject matter of the course will be developed in accordance with the instructors’ own studies, with wide-ranging themes in areas such as Languages, Political Science, Anthropology, or Biology. By examining humanistic or scientific theories or principles, students will learn how to read deeply and think critically. As such, the students will be introduced to seminal ideas in specific disciplines and will be asked to engage in in debates important to our time and our culture.

This course challenges students in both writing and thinking:

“I hoped for a class that would expand my mind in areas I had not considered before and teach me techniques to become a better writer. My expectations were blown away. I have been forced to consider ideas and topics that have never been topics of thought for me. The focus of this class, illicit behavior, is something that people are so often taught to accept and not question. I used to be one of those people. Now, I can proudly say I question everything” (UF ENC2305 Student).

 

“Coming in to this class, I hoped to improve as a writer. However, what I learned in this class went far beyond that. This class taught me a lot about writing–things I am good at and things I need to improve on. It taught me to front load sentences, make topic sentences clear, limit modifiers, have better organization in my papers, and write effective introductions. I also learned so much about critical thinking. For example, the critical definition paper helped me to think abstractly and show me that things can be looked at from many different viewpoints and angles” (UF ENC2305 Student).

Section 045C/0446–Poverty and Power

Section 1071/09BB–Analyzing Propaganda

Explores the nature of propaganda and how it differs from other forms of persuasive or political communication.  We’ll consider some visual media (film and art), but we’ll mostly deal with texts of varying sorts.  We will focus on identifying, defining and comparatively analyzing propaganda from the 1930s to the present day, and we will ask questions including: Can we agree on what makes a work of propaganda?  How do moral or ethical concerns shape our perception of propaganda, and its effectiveness?

 

Section: 0386/039G–Media and Activism

Explores the interrelationship between media and activism: the collective act of protesting has swept the U.S. and the globe, from Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring, to Black Lives Matter, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Women’s March. Central to these movements is the role that media has played in molding, mobilizing, and mapping activist agendas both nationally and internationally. This course will examine contemporary examples of such mediated activism, that is, movements that specifically employ media and social media to advocate for a specific cause, propose a plan of action, and promote global solidarity for that action.

Section: 09A4/09A7–-Alternative Facts

Examines the concept of a “fact” as it is interpreted and disseminated across a variety of disciplines including science, history, art, religion, and politics. Typically, facts are presented as immutable truths about the world, giving them tremendous power within social institutions and over our human experience. Assignments and discussions in this course, however, will challenge students to unpack their assumptions about what facts are, how they are established, and the purposes they serve in society. Key questions include: “What defines a fact?” “Who controls access to facts?” and “Why do facts matter – or do they?”

 

 

Section: 1068/1D95–Diagnosis and Disease

Examines Freud’s well-known psychoanalytic theory of ‘the Self’ for a common language of identity and continues on to an examination of the relationships among diagnosis, language, and identity (including, perhaps secondarily, other people’s shifting perceptions of the diagnosed person).  During the course, students will question how diagnosis impacts the identity (a diagnosed person’s conception of ‘self’).  Students will seek to see if a diagnosed person will ever get back to her previous conception of her ‘self’ before diagnosis or if it even possible to fully recall this pre-diagnosis identity.

 

Section: 0460/047C–Ghosts and Race

 

 Explores the trope of ghosts in multiethnic American literature as a means of understanding why the dead refuse to remain buried. To help us read these ghost stories in relation to the contexts of their production, we will draw from anthropological, sociological, philosophical, feminist, and historical texts, among others. We will consider the following questions: Why are some people and places more haunted than others? Are phantoms those who were unjustly killed and so ghost stories always involve a question of justice? What kinds of histories of violence and oppression haunt these narratives? Is haunting a question of memory and trauma, of remembering and forgetting?

 

Section: 108H/1E06–No Place Like “Home”

Explores how we define certain places, how places are imbued with a variety of identities, and how we create and use spaces. In order to develop a better understanding of ourselves, our history, and our relationships with the world around us, we will consider what forces influence our understanding, knowledge about, relationship to, and behavior in a particular place.

Section: 2A37/09BA–Language of Civil Rights

From Thomas Paine to #BlackLivesMatter, language has figured prominently in freedom movements. In this course, we will analyze the language used by American freedom fighters; uncover forgotten specimens of freedom writing; and consider how different disciplines – from political science and English to sociology and history – understand freedom writing’s impact.

 

 

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