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Special Topics Course Descriptions

Spring 2014 Course Descriptions

for Special Topics (English 1102)

As an alternative to ENGL 1102, students can choose a Special Topics course. These courses meet all the requirements of a regular 1102 class, except they focus on a particular subject, genre or topic. Perhaps you are interested in writing about sports, digital media, gender, humor, film, food, or more.  Join other students who share your interests. Special topics courses are listed in the bulletin so students are aware of the designated sections.

Check out the offerings for Spring 2014:

Register early!  These courses are in high demand.

ENGL 1102 (Section 009) - Writing About Film and Drama—Instructor: Charlotte Stephenson
3-0-3 - Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101
As you research and write, you will travel through space and time. Star Wars as mythology, The Matrix as a modern depiction of Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave,” What Dreams May Come as Dante’s “Inferno" provide enlightenment as well as enjoyment.  Among other films are Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, The Color Purple, Troy, Gladiator, To Dance with the White Dog, and Ben Hur. In this class we will examine our ideas through the lens of film and drama and the ways we are impacted by these popular literary forms. Come join us for a great ride into fantasy and fact through writing.

ENGL 1102 (Section 004, 014) – Sports, Film, and Society--Instructor: Dr. Cassie Race
3-0-3 - Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101
What does our passion for sports reveal about our culture? How are sports more than a game and act as an ongoing metaphor for life and living? This composition course examines the complex, many faceted role that sports...and movies about sports...plays in society. In class, you will view and analyze films with a sports theme, conduct research into contemporary issues and write on a variety of related topics, all within the context of sports. 

 ENGL 1102 (Sections 011, 850, 851*) - Our Hybrid Selves: The Critical and Digital Humanities - Instructor: Dr. Pete Rorabaugh 

3-0-3 Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101 Networked knowledge and use of the Internet has affected how our culture creates, communicates, learns, and identifies. Our Hybrid Selves will explore topics in the Digital Humanities (i.e., online identity, participatory culture, human/machine interaction), and students will practice composition, analysis, and argument in new media environments.

*Note: Section 851 - This course will run in conjunction with STS 2400/006 (Becky Lefebvre) and will include on-line group projects that span both courses. A student must be registered in both courses concurrently.

ENGL 1102 (Section 021) - Representations of Leadership in Literature and the Media- Instructor:Ann Parker 

3-0-3 - Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101
Leadership is depicted in literature and the media in numerous ways (some stereotypical and others not so much). When we stop to consider our leaders in the 21st century, how do they fit the stereotypical mold of leaders from the past?  Is one type of leader "better" than the other?  Can a leader also be a follower?  How necessary are each?  In this class we will explore personal experiences with leadership as well as leadership as it is developed in war, in religions, in politics, through celebrity causes, and in the business world.  Come create with us in writing and through film as we learn about leadership and the ways we might understand the leaders within ourselves. 

ENGL 1102 (Section 017) She Said/He Said: Negotiating Gender Identities and Humanity in Online Spaces - Instructor: Dr. Jeanne Law Bohannon 

3-0-3 Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101

Do you ever wonder whether your World of Warcraft opponent is really a dude or a chick?  Are you interested in gaming theory that explores how we represent our own genders online?  Then this class is for you!  During the semester, we will explore rhetoric through the lens of online identity construction and how emerging technologies interact with and on us to expand our ideas of humanity.  We will develop a diversity of writings across genres, including video essays and social media, to determine how we hybridize ourselves online.

ENGL 1102 (Section 015) Oh Yes She Did!: Exploring Women’s Past, Present, and Futures in STEM Fields - Instructor: Dr. Jeanne Law Bohannon --   3-0-3
Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101

Have you noticed how many female students we have at SPSU.? With a 22% representation in the student body, women here experience their campus classes and career goals in different ways.  In this course, we will explore women’s rhetorical experiences in predominantly male-centered spaces and how those experiences are negotiated in both academic and social environments.  We will re-discover the history of women in STEM fields, examine the current state of women in these fields, and advocate for future opportunities across these fields of study.  Readings include traditional rhetorics, such as research produced by women, and alternative rhetorics, such as their personal letters and journals.  Writings will move across genres, including blogs and videos.  Join us for a semester of “her” story and share in the bright future for women in STEM fields!

 ENGL 1102 (Section 013) - Food Forage: The Search for Sustainable Food  - Instructor: Monique Logan

3-0-3 - Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101
From the philosophy of agrarian thinking to the politics of food and farming, from land conservation to genetically modified organisms, the world as we know it will not be the same in the coming decade. Food systems are being challenged, and it has become the role of not only governments but grassroots organizations as well to examine choices made as it relates to food – its development, its production, its distribution. Join your schoolmates as we research and write about food, the politics of it, the sustainability of it and what we can do to improve food systems for our local community and economy and even our nation. Everyone has a part to play. What will be yours? This course aims to increase our understanding of global and local food systems as well as to provide an opportunity for engagement. Expect to participate in field trips to local farms, food pantries and more. Students should expect to spend between $35 to $50 over the course of the semester for course related external engagements.

 ENGL 1102 (Section 007) - Fieldworking: Discovering Muted and Emergent Voices of Un/Mis-Represented Communities -- Instructor: Monique Logan 3-0-3

Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101

 As a student field worker, you will listen to, observe, read and write about cultures that have either not been represented or misrepresented in society at large. Your goal as a student writer/researcher will be to identify or establish a voice for these cultures. This course guides you as you collect, interpret, and analyze the words and experiences of others from your perspective and theirs. You will examine how social identities are shaped by cultural forces and attitudes, become a proficient researcher, and explore a variety of resources and techniques for presenting your research. Engaging in actual field experience over the course of the semester, you will immerse yourself into a particular muted community, which will serve as a lens for writing.

ENGL 1102 (Sections 005, 027) - Facing Controversies Head-On  - Instructor -  Dr. Debora Stefani

3-0-3 - Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101
This is NOT your classical argument-based class in which you talk about death penalty, abortion, or gun control. If you are interested in your future, you will want to take this class and participate in discussing topics of this nature: human vs. machine, betrayal vs. loyalty, terroristic environmental actions vs. peaceful ignorance. We will investigate questions such as “Are genetic modified organisms better for your health or your pockets?”  and “Will companies hire us based on our  genetic testing results?” Whether you are interested in these topics or not, you are assured a dynamic and vibrant semester through movies, documentaries, readings, and heated debates.

ENGL 1102 (Sections 001, 006) - Memes,Media,& Marketing: Writing about Humor in the 21st Century -- Instructor: JoAnn Loverde-Dropp

3-0-3 - Prerequisites: "C" or better in ENGL 1101

What's the funniest print or digital ad you've ever seen? Who are you more apt to re-tweet, Stephen Colbert or Anderson Cooper? Whether you're following "Ugly Renaissance Babies" on Tumblr or trolling Meme Generators to find just the right way to express your political views on Facebook, humor appeals to almost every audience. This class will explore the rhetorical aims of satire, wit, and sarcasm. We’ll ask ourselves how humor serves both the writer and the audience in a variety of rhetorical situations and assess how this particular strategy compares with its straight laced counterparts.  Eye rolling and snickering are mandatory.