Fall 2017

An important note on reading for class: When you have a particular reading due, that means you should read carefully, take notes, and create “talking points” you can use for class discussion, and BRING THE TEXT WITH YOU TO CLASS. Mark down questions, points of disagreement, points of interest, and notable moments where the writer’s voice is especially audible. Mark passages where the writer uses effective rhetorical techniques (the artful use of sentence fragments, the allusions, etc.). This active reading is a crucial part of preparation for class and a useful intellectual habit too.


            Introduction to course

Active Reading (PDF posted on Canvas Files); (Watch this video and practice Active Reading )

on plagiarism: http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism/



Rhetoric: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3klMM9BkW5o

Rhetoric and Advertising: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeCz5fy02JE

Cultural Studies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUgb8E7L0DE

Stuart Hall Race, Gender, Class in Media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWP_N_FoW-I

Write: (in-class writing assignment on videos):

Write about how using cultural studies to examine contemporary culture and society can help us learn more about social and political topics and issues. And how can learning more help us to take action, engage in solutions, or work to create change in ways that can improve society? Be specific, explain, include specific examples in detail. Bring this to class Thur.


14           Narrative and Identity

  • Watch: The Danger of a Single Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg
  • Read:  From Safe space to Brave space (go to the middle of the article and read the analysis of the “rules” of conversation)
  • Write, print, bring: reflect on the relationship between the Danger of the Single Story and the analysis of Safe Space. How does the revised/alternative Brave space for group communication expand from single stories to consider more complex stories? 1-2 paragraphs.



19       Democracy and Civic Engagement

  • Henry Miller (Canvas PDF)
  • Read: Soul of Citizen Intro p1-13 (Canvas PDF)

Write: Summarize the main points Loeb is making in Soul. Discuss 1-2 quotes and explain why those are important. Highlight and write notes on Miller; what points are interesting in this essay? Why? What main ideas is he presenting? What is unique about his writing style and how does that relate to what he is trying to say?

Set up a blog and bring the URL with you to class. Use wordpress or blogger; links to instructions:

wordpress: https://wordpress.com/ (and start a blog) (make sure to choose a free layout and say no to any questions that ask you if you want to pay for service; just use the free blog service)


blogger: https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/1623800?hl=en


21         Democracy and Civic Engagement



26  Public Writing as Action

Read: Douglass, MLK (PDFs)


Blog Post HW (and post URL in Canvas Assignments): Write about any connections you see between 3-4 of the recent texts (Bhutto, Mandela, Miller, Soul, Single Story)… Include quotes and examples, explanation, reflection, response. Write 2-3 comprehensive (6-10 sentence) paragraphs.



WatchSelma (film) at the library or rent online on your own

Write about the film and how this historical example relates to contemporary events. What scenes in the film were the most interesting, why? Print and bring this with you to class.

In-class begin work on summary




Print and bring the Summary with you to class for Peer Review

 Blog Post Due : Write Democracy. Go beyond generic definitions of democracy and use ideas and quotes from any of the reading and films so far. Think about how any of these ideas relate to our contemporary American society. Be specific, describe and explain, include your own personal reflection and ideas. Write 3-4 comprehensive paragraphs.(6-10 sentence paragraphs with examples, detail, description, discussion, etc).

*Post this on your blog posts page and post the link in Canvas Assignments Blog Reflection



Listen to the Podcasts, and bring detailed notes that summarize and explain specific examples that you found interesting in the podcases:

Listen:  Rep Sweats http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/06/22/482525049/on-the-podcast-rep-sweats-or-i-dont-know-if-i-like-this-but-i-need-it-to-win


Listen: United States of Anxiety: The Culture Wars

Discuss analysis paper in-class


Fri 10/7   Upload Revised Summary to Canvas Assignments by 11pm




Read: Soul of a Citizen chap 2 selection (PDF in Canvas)

Articles on #BlackLivesMatter TBA in class

Herstory:  http://www.thefeministwire.com/2014/10/blacklivesmatter-2/

Jesse Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee7OCnqAVKM

Stay Woke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIoYtKOqxeU

Obama on Books: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/obamas-secret-to-surviving-the-white-house-years-books.html




READ: Gladwell’s Outliers Ch 1; think about the different ways people become “successful” (and what defines success); how is “success” multifaceted and stories of success much more complicated in reality than the popular narrative versions we often hear (about how people become successful, etc)? Bring some specific examples, passages, pages from the text.

*Bring analysis paper typed and printed to share and workshop in class






*   Blog Response on blog site and post URL in Canvas Assignments: write 4-5 comprehensive paragraphs that focus on an idea from Outliers and connect or relate to any other texts/videos/podcasts we’ve read/heard/discussed. You can write about whatever idea you want, but do some summarizing and analyzing of some of the texts we’ve read/watched, as well as reflecting and responding. Make sure to include  quotes and examples. Also make sure to appropriately quote and cite the texts you discuss and do not copy and paste any additional ideas from anywhere else without referencing/quoting them.

Post to your blog and then put the URL in the Canvas Assignment. Due by Thur 10/19 at 11pm.


*Analysis Paper Revised: Due on Canvas by Fri 10/20 at 11pm




READ: Gladwell Outliers Chapters 3 & 4

Watch: What is privilege video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5f8GuNuGQ

WatchCrenshaw on Intersectional Feminism:

Write  homework: write about 2-3 points or connections you see between what Gladwell discusses in Outliers, Privilege (from video) and Intersectional Feminism. Go back to From Safe space to Brave space for more info on “privilege” especially in terms of race and gender issues and having conversations about these.  Print and bring to class.


In-class discuss Personal  Essay Assignment




from 1-/24 and in-class:

Privilege questions

Laverne Cox



Watch: Active Citizenship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMdt50_dDAE

Social media don’t get deleted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjrf6vzrV6w


WatchBeyonce Formation Video and Superbowl performance video (fast forward to Beyonce)

Read: Two articles analyzing cultural relevance and impact of song, performance, video; make sure to read both and compare the different perspectives/interpretations:






Nov 2


Watch Never Sorry at the library or   via netflix or amazon. or watch this different free film about Ai Wei Wei: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/ai-weiwei-without-fear-or-favour/

Write and Bring to class: write 2-3 paragraphs in which  you summarize 2-3 examples from the film and respond/reflect: what do you find interesting about these examples and why?

*Personal Essay Draft Workshop – type, print, and bring paper to class


Nov 7


Read: Chapter 8 Soul of a Citizen (PDF in Canvas Files)

Write: summarize 2 specific passages from each (how is the passage/paragraph working in relation to the ideas of the whole article/argument) and bring these to class to share and discuss, include the page #s; I’ll check to see who has this with them, in class.



Nov 9

Read Gladwell : Chapter 9 + Epilogue


Blog Response Due on your blog and post URL to Canvas: What is Citizenship? Privilege? Opportunity? Using recent readings, films, etc, and any homework or  in-class writing that you’ve done recently, organize, revise, expand, and develop further to address any of these question from your own perspective using examples from readings, videos, or other sources. Write 4-5 comprehensive paragraphs. If you have already written about some aspect of these, consider the new texts we’ve discussed since then and think about how you can develop your ideas further, and in more detail… Due  on Canvas.

In-class introduce Rhetorical Analysis Assignment


* Fri Nov 10 Personal Essay Due on Canvas


Nov 14


fake news, persuasion/propaganda, media;  “post-fact” discussion; READ: https://granta.com/why-were-post-fact/ ;  this study about creating false memories, and this: 10 Journalism Brands

How false news can spread  (video)

*come prepared to write about these in class


Nov 16

Postin-class writing to Discussions

Bring typed & printed draft (2-3 pgs) of rhetorical analysis

Discuss Mind Map & Proposal (Rationale) assignment


*Mon Nov 20 Upload Revised Rhetorical Analysis to Canvas by 5pm


Nov 21

READ: Kozol Amazing Grace pages: “To the Reader” to p61

*In-class Writing on Amazing Grace; come prepared to write and discuss

LISTEN:  http://www.nytimes.com/video/nyregion/100000004557748/brujas-of-the-bronx.html?playlistId=1194811622241

Welcome to the South Bronx poorest U.S. District video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL-86vs6Fok

*Bring draft of Mind Map to discuss in class (see Mind Map and Final Paper Assignment sheets in Canvas Files)




Nov 28

No class Meeting

Watch I AM (film by Tom Shadyac, 2011)


Nov 30

READ: Kozol Amazing Grace pages:  up to p155

Write, Print, and Bring to Class: write about two passages, sections from the text, stories, or examples Kozol presents from the beginning up through p155, and especially from p61-155; reflect and respond in detail. Also read “To the Reader” and write about how that reflects on the writing and construction of the book and/or how we read; how are we to use the information we get as reader? How does Kozol tell us the stories of the people he talks to in his writing? Also, how does the structure and style of the writing of the book engage (or not) readers in the stories?


In-class Workshop: bring complete draft of Final Paper


Dec 5

optional: sign up for a conference to talk about your final paper or other assignments

Kozol: finish reading Amazing Grace

*Bring (printed and revised )Final Draft of Paper to class

Read p5-15 of this report on structural inequality: http://rooseveltinstitute.org/rewrite-racial-rules-building-inclusive-american-economy/

Post to Canvas Discussion: see assignment on Amazing Grace. Write about 1-2 stories or examples from the first half of the book and at least 2 stories or examples form the second half of the book. Summarize and reflect on what intrigues you about each and explain why. Explain what seems to be the significance of that story in relation to the whole. What is Kozol’s purpose in writing and what do we get out of it as readers?Write 3-4 paragraphs.

Final paper discussion: Citing Sources: See handouts on MLA citation in Canvas Files Misc Docs See OWL info on MLA formatting for in-text citations and bibliography

E-Portfolios discussion


Dec 7

**Meet in Active Learning Classroom in the Library (upon entering the library, head toward the front desk then turn right into the hallway with the classrooms… the Active Learning Classroom is at the end of the hall just upon turning left); bring a laptop or check one out from the main desk upon entering the library.

Read through the Discussion posts on Amazing Grace and come to class prepared to write/discuss.

Start working on your e-portfolio using the Checklist and looking at examples (go to links to class blogs at top of page and click through some e-portfolios from previous semesters). Samples here and here

see help for making pages in WordPress

*Upload final draft of paper to Canvas

Course Evals in class


Dec 12 

Last Day of Class present portfolios: prepare a 4-5 minute presentation of your portfolio that includes discussion of the paper/topic and what you wrote about in the paper, as well as showing/sharing elements of the e-portfolio.

* Blog Response 4 Due and post to Canvas

Write about the relationship between the individual and society by describing, discussing, and reflecting in detail on 2-3 examples that we have looked at in class. Consider, especially, writing about Amazing Grace and 2 other texts or examples that you can use to explain or define how the individual and society are in dynamic relation, what that means, why it’s important, and how you feel (or what you think) about any of that. Be sure to be specific, explain in detail, include quotes and/or summary of examples, and offer explanation of the significance of the relationship as you have described it. Write 4-6 comprehensive paragraphs.