Spring 14 WSC 2 Course Themes
WSC 002 offers continued instruction in expository writing, and an introduction to writing in the disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Reading and writing assignments are organized around a central theme. You will find a description of central themes for the Spring 2014 semester below. Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes: WSC 1. May not be taken on a Pass/D+/D/Fail basis. The Writing Proficiency Exam is given as part of the course. (Formerly ENGL 2.) If you have questions, please contact the Writing Studies and Composition Department at 463-5467. The department is located in Mason Hall room 124. The Art and Science of Making Meaning of Our Lives Professor DeCarlo 002 01 21710 MWF 002 04 21707 MWF 9:05-10:00 10:10-11:05 How do we make sense of our lives? Who are we? Where are we? And where are we going â€“ and why? These perennial questions will be addressed from the rhetorical and logical perspectives of existential philosophy, dream psychology, and cognitive linguistics. Exploring our Technological Selves Professor Lay 002 02 21708 002 03 21722 MWF MWF 9:05-10:00 10:10-11:05 What is our relationship with the screen? How does the computer screen differ from the cinematic screen? Does it serve as a mirror or a veil? What version of self is revealed or concealed, reflected or distorted by the screen? How do we construe the multiple screens we view and interact with in public and in private? How do we feel about the portable screens we carry with us? What kind of self (or selves) do we promote on screen? How is our identity tied to such screenshots? By investigating the ways identity is presented -- by individuals and by groups â€“ on screen, we will learn a lot about how our technological selves feel about words and images. By such study, we can come to terms with the way writing can communicate what we know or what we wish to be true. The second course in composition is an opportunity to learn more strategies for gathering information, drafting, revising, and formalizing writing. In this class, we will write in a variety of media, including print, digital, and visual modes. In addition to writing three formal, text-based, academic essays, students in this class will write a course blog, make a collaborative prezi, and prepare a visual montage. Love, Marriage, and Friendship Professor Dresner 002 N 23733 MWF 10:10-11:05 "Love, marriage, and friendship: which of these ideals is most important to us as human beings? Can love for one’s partner be compatible with deep friendship with one’s friends? Does marriage require love? What historical, scientific, philosophical, and cultural factors might determine our thinking about these ideals? To answer these questions (and many more), our course takes an interdisciplinary approach towards examining the varied intersections and tensions among love, marriage, and friendship. Sleep and Dreams: An Inter-disciplinary Investigation Professor Jarvis 002 06 21735 MWF 10:10-11:05 Sleep. All living things require it in some form or other. By rough estimate, human beings spend 1/3 of their lives doing it. Next to love, but more than money, we crave it most. You’d probably rather be doing it now than reading this, yes? So, to meet you half way, this semester our course theme is “Sleep and Dreams: An Inter-disciplinary Investigation.” Readings for our course will consist of texts in the Natural Sciences (Biology, Neurology), Social Sciences (Anthropology, Psychology) and Humanities (Literature). We will engage with these texts through reading response, class discussion, and composition. The composition portion of our course will focus on students’ continued practice in developing thesis and argument, through each stage of the composition process; discovery, organization, drafting and revision. All major assignments are designed to give students a proper grounding in the kinds of academic writing with which they will be engage during their Hofstra careers. Crime and Punishment Professor Fichtelberg 002 11 21711 MF 11:15-12:40 This is a course about crime, punishment, and mystery. We’ll explore why people are led to commit horrible acts. What motivates serial killers like Aileen Wuornos, the Florida prostitute who killed seven men before she was caught and executed? How should a just society treat such criminals? Should the killers be killed or rehabilitated? And, most important, what is the nature of the mysterious power that these figures exert over our imaginations and our culture? To answer these questions we’ll read widely in philosophy, psychology, animal behavior, history, the law, and criminology. We’ll study fictional accounts of crime, including the world’s first mystery story, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and we’ll take a long look at Truman Capote’s hard-hitting crime story, In Cold Blood. We’ll also view a film version of the Aileen Wuornos story, Charlize Theron’s Monster. After studying and writing about these issues, we’ll turn experts ourselves, and the class will stage a series of debates on how to address this disturbing social problem. By the end of the course, you will have developed not only a greater understanding of crime and punishment, but also the critical skills to address a complex issue with sensitivity and authority. Pop People, Words and Music Professor Prinz 002 13 22720 002 09 21720 MF MWF 11:15-12:40 1:55-2:50 The goal of this course is to make a critical assessment of popular culture over the past 50 years or so. We will focus on the likes style, technology and (mostly) singers and songwriters, their words and work, with a possible comment on the direction pop culture is, will be or should be taking. There will be there three papers (in a way, one large paper in three parts) showing some logical progression/evolution of pop culture, a genesis of sorts, a turning point and the current state of affairs. The American Corporate Imperium and its Discontents Professor Friedkin 002 07 21730 MWF 12:50-1:45 The thematic focus of this course will be “The American Corporate Imperium and its Discontents”. We often hear of the U.S.’s need to promote “free trade” and protect its “national interests” abroad, but rarely are these terms clearly defined for us, nor the means of “promoting” or “protecting” them made sufficiently clear. This course will take a critical look at the motives, methods, and effects of U.S. foreign intervention, corporate globalization, and the exercise of American and trans-national corporate power throughout the world. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: The Woodstock Nation Professor Marinelli 002 10 21732 MW 002 A 21740 MW 2:55-4:20 4:30-5:55 The 60’s: the decade that shaped a generation and a nation (and do I dare say, the world?) will be our theme for the semester. Hippies, Flower Children, Freaks, Flower Power, Free Love, The Summer of Love, Make Love Not War, Turn on, Tune in, and Drop out: all terms you’ve heard before. But “If you want to be experienced” as Jimi Hendrix once asked, burn your bras and draft cards and board our Magical Mystery Tour Bus for the “Trip” of your life. In this section, we will study the 60’s counter-culture revolution by reading Tom Wolfe’s novel, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and by viewing such films as Woodstock, Alice’s Restaurant, Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke, and Across the Universe as it relates to the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences disciplines. Social Justice and Diversity Professor Montemurro 002 15 21723 TR 8:00-9:25 Multicultural perspective on advocacy for social justice and an affinity to identify the appreciative value of diversity are still imbued within marginalized ethnic, racial, and gender differences. This course examines how written discourse in the Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Humanities has contributed morally, legally, financially, politically, and scientifically either to exacerbate or to preclude bias. During the term, we will explore how individuals can empower themselves as conduits of civility, civil liberty, and civil rights. Dust, Depression, and Drama Professor Vestigo 002 002 17 34 21725 21733 TR TR 9:35-11:00 12:45-2:10 A look at the 1930s through the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and a decade's worth of film, dance and music. This semester we will look closely at these two major events that created nearly a decade's worth of trauma and change to life in America, and the entertainment that not only provided a much needed escape from the resulting hardships, but also reflected the shifting changes to societal attitudes and expectations. Parameters of the Mind Professor Bengels 002 18 002 22 21734 22879 TR TR 9:35-11:00 11:10-12:35 This is first and foremost a writing course which will explore man’s need to know the unknowable through the areas of fantasy, psychic phenomena, and scientific extrapolation, We will be reading learned essays by scientists such as astronomers and psychiatrists, social scientists such as anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists, as well as some articles from magazines and newspapers. Some works of fiction and art will also help us explore how people have responded to what is real and what isn’t. We will explore through the literature why a recent essay in NEWSWEEK suggested that high schools need to include in their science courses the analytic ability to discern “good” science from “Bad” science (referred to in the article as “BS.”) It is important for every member of our society to be able to differentiate between what we’d like to believe in and what is actually possible if we are to make wise choices and be wise citizens. Too much is at stake if we don’t. “ The Beat Goes On (Sonny and Cher)”: Writing to the Rhythms of the Woodstock Generation Professor Parkoff 002 16 21723 TR 9:35-11:00 002 29 21718 TR 11:10-12:35 This course is WSC 02 with readings from or about the 1960's generation -- the generation that embraced the Civil Rights Movement, challenged the Viet Nam War, led the sexual revolution, partied to a highlycharged rock musical culture, and dangerously experimented with hallucinatory drugs. We will be writing to the readings of Bob Dylan's Chronicles, Ron Kovic's Born on the Fourth of July, plus the essays of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, President John F. Kennedy, the Beatles, the Stones, and Dr. Timothy O'Leary, just to name a few. Dangerous Reproductions Professor Reesman 002 19 002 25 21728 21738 TR TR 9:35-11:00 11:10-12:35 A variety of reading selections throughout the semester will be chosen on the theme of “Dangerous Reproductions,” a broad theme that encompasses the humanities and the sciences as topics on sexual reproduction, scientific reproduction, artistic reproduction, historical reproduction, literary reproduction, and cultural reproduction, to name a few, will be explored. Our discussions will evaluate the cross-disciplinary literature we read in class based on questions such as: what were the prevalent social attitudes during the period in which the literature was written? How did families, political leaders, writers, artists, scientists, and other individuals, live, dress, eat, and think during this period? What were the political and cultural views that influenced the author’s work? These perspectives will dominate class conversations as we examine the theme of “Dangerous Reproductions.” These issues will circulate around the major influential novel of nineteenth-century England written by Mary Shelley in 1818, Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus. Taming the Wild Professor Janssen 002 38 002 24 21721 21731 TR TR 2:20-3:45 11:10-12:35 Animal, Vegetable, Human – one thing we all share is some form of conditioning process that we either participate in or resist, or both. In this section of WSC-2, we examine “documents” (i.e., essays, stories, poems, pictures, videos, and more) in many disciplines (especially natural science, social science, and the humanities) to understand the “rules” by which the wild are made into the tame. Including us! We write four papers, at least three of which are workshopped in class. Lecture, discussion, collaboration. Indoor and outdoor work (hey, it’s spring). What you need: imagination, intuition, analytical skill, diligence, good nature, and a journal that really entices you to write, draw, paint in it at every instant. Writing from Both Sides of the Brain Professor Navarra 002 23 21719 002 32 21712 TR TR 11:10-12:35 12:45-2:10 This composition class will examine the role of creative thinking in a robust society. Stanislavsky’s “Method” parallels Freud; Meisner’s work mirrors Autism research. The Arts tap into our collective unconscious. The Arts can reflect our society’s unfolding narrative, help us metabolize rapid changes, restore community, and help us decide what it all means. Readings will include Carl Jung’s “Man and His Symbols”, Joshua Foer’s “Moonwalking with Einstein”, and Kim Addonizo’s “Ordinary Genius”. Culture and Experience Professor Dube 002 12 002 08 21717 21715 MF MWF 11:15-12;40 12:50-1:45 This course will feature a discussion of the appeal of television and other media ( songs, books, video games, movies). This analysis will serve as a point of departure for a broader analysis of the ways we understand scientific and historic issues ( the war on drugs, food consumption, etc.) The connection between these ideas? Personal experience, specifically how it helps us or misleads us in our understanding of and relationship with larger ideas. Oblivion or Absorption: Mind, Memory, and Molecules Professor Stein 002 26 21737 TR 002 20 22106 TR 11:10-12:35 9:35-11:00 Memory seems to be essential to our identity as individuals and as human beings so what happens if our memory becomes impaired or even lost? How do we then define identity? Why are we fascinated by stories of amnesia, recovered or false memories, or science-fiction tales of implanted or erased memories? In what way are we a product of the way we’ve learned about our history? We’ll read and discuss texts about trauma, collective and cultural memory, repressed, recovered and false memories and the recent scientific discoveries about what actually happens in our brains when we form memories. Mind Reading and Metacognition: Constructing an Audience Professor Miller 002 27 22719 TR 11:10-12:35 002 31 22717 TR 12:45-2:10 In a story, probably apocryphal, Henry Ford commissioned a survey asking which parts of the Model T Ford were most reliable. Almost every part, it was reported, was subject to breakdowns with one exception: the kingpins. As psychologist Nicholas Humphrey reports, “With ruthless logic Ford concluded that the kingpins on the Model T were too good for their job and ordered that in future they should be made to an inferior specification.” What kind of thinking is this? Is this “ruthless logic” exclusive to human beings? This WSC 2 class examines how we think and how we think about thinking. We will read texts from the Social Sciences, the Humanities and the Natural Sciences that either delve into meta-cognition (thinking about thinking) or apply some facet of it to the writing and subject. Much of this comes down to Theory of Mind, or “mind reading,” as it has been called. We will discuss how writers spend a lot of time “mind reading” their audiences and how this informs many of their rhetorical moves. Our essays will focus on how writers in their respective disciplines organize knowledge and construct their own ways of knowing and communicating. Work Professor Harrison 002 33 002 39 002 E 21709 21724 21742 TR TR TR 12:45-2:10 2:20-3:45 4:30-5:55 This course focuses on the themes of work and the job. The readings come from economics and history. All of the writing assignments derive from these fields. One of the essay assignments allows students to incorporate their own work experiences into the essay, a so-called "autobiography of work." Most of the graded essays are thesis-driven, i.e., students will have to create a thesis and support it with evidence. There will also be in-class essays, all of which are ungraded-- usually some form of reader-response writing. Globalization Professor Green 002 28 002 37 22776 22473 TR TR 11:10-12:35 12:45-2:10 This section of WSC2 will focus on a number of aspects of the process of Globalization – one that is changing the nature of our lives. It will include: The emergence, via internet and cell phones, of a worldwide electronic village; the clash of religions and cultures that results from increasing interconnections and interactions; the shifting balance of economic and technological power to emerging nations. As we are swept up in these events, it becomes more and more important to learn about them in order to make the best choices for our future. Our jobs and economic livelihood depend on them. Land Use and the Environment Professor Anderson 002 35 21716 002 40 21739 TR TR 12:45-2:10 2:20-3:45 The course will explore how we use and abuse the land on which we live, including the Hofstra campus and surrounding area. Field trips will include the Bird Sanctuary and other Hofstra locales. Readings are designed to match the theme, as well as the student's major area of interest. The Urban Millennium: Writing the Cities of the Past, Present, and Future Professor Cole 002 21 21743 TR 11:10-12:35 002 36 22126 TR 12:45-2:10 For the first time in human history, more than half of the people on earth live in cities, a phenomenon that’s come to be called the Urban Millennium. Most of this growth is taking place in Asia and Africa, where cities are absorbing one million new people a week. Such massive influxes both testify to the unique place cities hold in human imagination and experience, and also represent the challenges cities are facing for the future. This section of WSC 2 will use an exploration of the various ways that cities have been imagined, studied, and constructed as a touchstone for examining the conventions of writing and argumentation in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Social Issues of Our Time Professor Brot 002 41 21744 TR 2:20-3:45 The course will explore major contemporary social issues of our time. Topics of conversation and writing will be guided by up-to-the- minute news, social media, and publications. Class focus will weigh the legal, ethical, economic, social and political consequences of each issue, asking students to analyze the full context of each. The Social Construction of Our Lives Professor Hynes-Musnisky 002 B 22721 MW 4:30-5:55 According to Hugh Rosen, “Much of our world is socially constructed, a fact worthy of being conscious of much of the time, lest we mistake such constructs for palpable, objective realties that exist independently of how we construct and construe them. Socially constructed reality is not merely a reference to the individualistic beliefs, perceptions, and personal myths that one shapes in the course of developing, but rather is predicated on a whole community, nation, or culture's view of the way things are. It requires consensual agreement amongst a group of people who decide (or have had transmitted to them by the generation preceding them) a set of ways for interpreting segments of the world.” In WSC2, we will examine some of the social constructs of our time: gender, consumerism, environmentalism, etc. We will (1) discuss how these constructs infiltrate our lives and (2) wonder whether we are conscious of the message(s) we receive from various media. Additionally, we will examine images because “No longer are the abilities to read and write in a linear, left-to-right fashion the sole indicators of successful communications. Rather, the world is made up of visual symbols that require more complex thinking skills than traditional literacy requires”. (R. Seglem & S. Witte) The Individual and Society Professor Gullen 002 D 002 C 22348 21741 MW MW 6:30-7:55 4:30-5:55 The purpose of this course is to improve essay writing skills by close-reading and analysis of texts reflecting the course theme of The Individual And Society, from the points of view of Society, the Humanities, and Science. Technology and Society Professor Carson 002 F1 See FYC Program 22458 TR 11:10-12:35 Hacking the Climate: Geoengineering and the Coming Climate Crisis Professor Barbarello 002 J 21727 TR 6:30-7:55 With carbon emissions continuing unabated, even after repeated efforts to reach global consensus on reducing them, scientists, economists, business leaders, environmentalists, and others are taking a hard look at methods of intervening in natural processes on a global scale to avert what many see as an impending ecological disaster. Call it hacking the planet, playing God, tuning the weather, fixing the sky, or simply madness, the debate over its viability has begun. This course weighs the legal, ethical, economic, political, and scientific arguments being made for and against geoengineering for their implicit assumptions, values, and rhetorical methods. Although the course addresses the scientific bases for various geoengineering proposals, its focus is on scrutinizing the logic and rhetoric of the arguments for and against geoengineering and on writing in response to these arguments.