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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 2013 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 21966 MWF 002 07 21952 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 – 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 21953 002 03 21958


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 – 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. Interrogating Trauma Professor Rich 002 10



This course will focus on the issue of trauma. We will explore this issue from several different vantage points, including but no limited to, psychology, history, the humanities and the creative arts. We will consider understandings of trauma, historical experiences of trauma, and representations of trauma. Our

readings will include personal memoirs and psychological and historical analyses of trauma in history and society. Throughout the course, students will write analyses of trauma, utilizing different disciplinary perspectives. Love, Marriage, and Friendship Professor Dresner 002 05 21959 002 16 23297


10:10-11:05 1:55-2:50

"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. This course aims to give you continued facility with the tools you need to read and write effectively at the college level. In particular, this course should give you the tools you need to pass Hofstra’s Writing Proficiency Exam. After completing this course, you should be adept at applying the rules of grammar, spelling, organization, support, coherence, citation, and attribution that you should use when you write for school and for work. This course will also introduce you to different writing strategies that should help you organize your thoughts so that you do well on essay exams and that should help you develop a writing process that works well for you. Finally, this course will also introduce you to reading, thinking critically about, discussing, and writing texts in a variety of scholarly disciplines in the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities." Sleep and Dreams: An Inter-disciplinary Investigation Professor Jarvis 002 06 21958 MWF


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 08




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. Music of the Soul Professor Wasserman 002 09




Music affects us, shapes us, informs our memories, reflects our culture, and molds it. It is mentioned in the first chapters of the Old Testament, and there are songs throughout the Bible. Music played a central role in the social movement of the 1960’s and each generation is sure that “the times they are a changin’. We all have music we love and music we hate. This semester we will examine the impact that music can have in every aspect of our being. We will begin with a scientific examination of the effects of music on the brain and on mood. We will then segue into a look at the manner which music both reflects our culture and, at the same time, affects it. This will bring us to ask the question - are lyrics a form of poetry? We will end with an analysis of the importance and role of music in literary texts. Pop People, Words and Music Professor Prinz 002 11 23302 002 14 21966


11:15-12:40 1:55-2:50

This course focuses on popular culture singer/songwriters, their words and their work and a possible comment on the direction pop culture is/will be taking—so with a 3 day a week class (which would work every well by the way since you’re assigning classes) mon. we’d discuss an interview said person gave, or an article he/she has written—wed. listen to some songs and discuss the lyrics and wed. discuss a comparison between the person and what he/says in conversation and what he/she says in his/her songs— in other words, does the work reflect or represent the person—the final project is to choose 3 people of the list and show some sort of logical progress commenting in the state of pop culture-The American Corporate Imperium and its Discontents Professor Friedkin 002 13 21993 MWF 002 15 21975 MWF

12:50-1:45 1:55-2:50

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 17 21978 MW 002 A 21990 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 18




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, and it explores how individuals can empower themselves as conduits of civility, civil liberty, and civil rights. Dust, Depression, and Drama Professor Vestigo 002 19 21971 002 28 21976 002 39 21981


9:35-11:00 11:10-12:35 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 20 002 23

21982 23634


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 21 21972 TR 9:35-11:00 002 36 21984 TR 12:45-2:10 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 22 002 29

21974 21987


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. Materials, Materiality and Multi-modal Composition: Changing Society Through Communication Technologies Professor Papper 002 24 21967 TR 4:30-5:55 002 48 23299 TR 2:20-3:45 What do cave paintings of exotic animals have in common with Facebook? How does Gutenberg’s bible relate to the iPad? They’re all examples of communication technologies. What difference does it make if your book is paper-and-ink or pixels on a screen? How have communication technologies affected the humanities? The sciences? The social sciences? In this course, students will examine some of the more significant technological developments in human communication and their impact on civilization. We will further develop the skills in rhetoric and writing that you’ll find useful throughout your years at Hofstra and beyond—critical reading, summary, analysis, and argument. You’ll conduct an original research project using online sources and primary research. The course will provide you with the skills and strategies you need to pass the Writing Proficiency Exam.

Writing from Both Sides of the Brain Professor Navarra 002 25 21965 002 34 21957


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 26 002 37

21977 21983


11:10-12:35 12:45-2:10

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 30 21986 TR 002 38 21980 TR

11:10-12:35 12:45-2:10

Emily Dickinson asked "Is it oblivion or absorption when things pass from our mind?" In this course we will attempt to investigate Dickinson’s question: what happens in our brains when we remember (“absorb”) things? What happens when we forget them and they pass into “oblivion”? How do our memories contribute to the construction of our persona, our “self”? And what happens to our capacity to remember if we increasingly “outsource” our memories to electronic devices? What’s the difference, if any, between the mind and the brain? Is there social memory as well as individual memory? We will read the works of scientists and scholars, writers and poets, as well as discuss what distinguishes each discipline’s (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences) conventions, how knowledge is created in particular fields, and what is understood to be good writing in each type of discipline. Mind Reading and Metacognition: Constructing an Audience Professor Miller 002 32 23301 TR 11:10-12:35 002 44 21963 TR 2:20-3:45 123 01 24539 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 35 002 45 002 G

21954 21970 21992


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 33 002 43

23411 22886


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. How We Define Other Professor Migliaccio 002 40




Reading and writing assignments for this course are organized around marginal groups in the US, groups that are excluded from or existing outside the mainstream of society, a group, or a school of thought and simultaneously located on the fringes of our consciousness. We will investigate newspaper articles, photographs, historic records, literature, personal accounts, and other resources such as the United States Census and its self identification data items, to discover a side of our nation often overlooked. Our readings and observations will provide a glimpse into our self definitions and how we define other. Land Use and the Environment Professor Anderson 002 41 21961 002 46 21988


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 42 22425 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 49




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 23304



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 E

22730 21991


6:30-7:55 8:05-9:30

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




Hacking the Climate: Geoengineering and the Coming Climate Crisis Professor Barbarello 002 J 21973 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.

Spring 2013 WSC 2 Course Descriptions  

Course descriptions for the WSC 2 in Spring 2013