2023-2024 Catalog

WRD 201 The Art of Essay Writing

This course provides students with opportunities to develop and practice the skills and habits that are foundational to academic writing and with knowledge of how to adapt these skills and habits for the varied writing demands students will encounter in college.  This course fulfills (when passed with a grade of "C" or better) the college's First Stage Writing Proficiency Requirement (and in some cases, the Second Stage Writing Proficiency Requirement), and it is also appropriate for students in various disciplines seeking to develop their writing, argument, analytic, and communication skills.  All sections of this course focus on developing complex writing, analytical, and research skills for various audiences, disciplines, and genres. May be repeated to fulfill both the First- and Second-Stage Writing Requirements.


Art House Cinema

In this course, we will explore a selection of “art house” films and consider the important technical and imaginative differences between them and those made within the traditional Hollywood studio system. Selections range from low-budget, DIY independents to international masterpieces. Film analysis will be complemented by a variety of readings from some of the sharpest and most insightful critics of not only cinema but also painting, theater, music, and other fine arts.


The Body Politic: Writing in the Politics of Pleasure 

This course will examine the politics of sexuality in the U.S. It aims to consider intersectional identities and cultures drawing on social considerations with respect to race, gender, and sexuality. The regulation of sexuality by the state, and the commodifying of sex will be studied as well as power and the body. Readings from Audre Lorde, Michael Foucault, and others will be explored.


Writing About Independent Film

This section will explore independent film as an important art movement and alternative to the commercial mainstream.  We will focus on a small number of personal, low-budget films made outside the studio system and consider the important ways they break from Hollywood, both stylistically and imaginatively.


Rhetoric and the Fine Arts

This course is designed to provide intensive, guided training in college-level writing through the study of the fine arts—including but not limited to painting, music, film, and poetry—with an emphasis on recent work, exhibitions, and scholarship.  Students will enter the current cultural conversation by writing their own critical essays, employing a variety of rhetorical techniques.  Our focus will ultimately be on all the core elements of successful academic writing, including thesis statements, the use of evidence, source integration, developing and expanding ideas, and matters of form, clarity, and style.


Writing in Class, Whiteness, and Conflict

The readings and assignments in this course are designed to help students understand the social constructions of class hierarchies and the emerging theories about white identity politics, whiteness, and how race informs class analysis. We will engage in critical analysis and written argument to explore white identity, white supremacy, and the intersections of race, class and geography.


Writing, Rhetoric, and Formal Poetry

This section will focus on the relationship between poetry and rhetoric--more specifically, how form shapes understanding and is used to construct different types of rhetorical argument.  We will study a variety of texts including poems, critical essays, biography, and literary and rhetorical theory.


Writing, Gender, and Sexuality

This section will explore gender and sexuality in our contemporary American context. Drawing on readings from pop culture, critical theory, current events, and literature, we will examine how gender and sexuality are constructed, theorized, and represented, and how they intersect with other areas of identity including race and class.


Wanderlust Writing and Rhetoric
This section will explore the writing and rhetoric of wandering and adventure, from premodern adventure stories to the present-day #wanderlust as a synonym for free-spiritedness and Instagram humblebrags; our texts will be drawn primarily from literature, pop culture, and critical theory.


Protest Writing and Rhetoric

This section will examine the rhetoric, ideology, and context of protest genres, including social movements, speeches, literature, and visual texts, as we consider how writers, artists, and activists protest issues relating to race- and class-based oppression, gender inequity, ableism, colonialism, homophobia and heterosexism, and other concerns.


Writing on Travel

This section will examine travelers' tales ranging from pilgrimages, the Grand Tour, island vacations, luxury cruises, and scientific expeditions,  analyzing them from anthropological and post-modern critical perspectives, all while exploring images and texts from the 1700's to the present.


4 units


Not open to first-year students