LSWA 125 - College Writing
Fall 2020, Section 006 - Our TV, Our Selves: The Rhetoric of Television
Instruction Mode: Section 006 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Lloyd Hall Scholars for Writing and the Arts (LSWA)
Department: LSA Lloyd Hall Scholars
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
A maximum of 20 Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts credits (including any LHSP credits) may be counted toward a degree.
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Participants in the Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts Program. Non-LSWA students welcome and may request permission to enroll pending availability.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


How many times have you heard someone say (or have you said), “It’s just TV!” In this class, those, as they say, are “fightin’ words.” Television—from high drama like Breaking Bad to goofy animation like Bob’s Burgers—makes meaning, makes arguments. Television both reflects and creates current attitudes about public issues; and it can and should inspire important, sometimes difficult, conversations. I’ve designed this course around one major question that should be important to those of us who love TV (or who hate it!), who live for the next episode of Riverdale or the next season of Queer Eye, or who would rather eat glass than watch Game of Thrones: How does TV make meaning? How does it contribute to our senses of self—as individuals, as citizens or residents of the U.S. and/or other home nations, as [you-fill-in-the-blank]?

The content that we study will be television; the end result of our study will be an intimate relationship with rigorous thinking, writing, and revising processes.

We will practice strategies of close reading, thick description, research, analysis, reflection, revision, and responding in writing to a variety of texts: television episodes and series (some chosen by me, some by you), academic articles, podcasts, and mainstream publications. We will engage in the kinds of tasks you will be asked to do often as a college student: blogging, social media writing, informal writing, planning and conducting research, review writing, analytical essay writing, etc. We will argue about the virtues and shortcomings of the shows we watch. We will disagree (respectfully but enthusiastically) about all manner of things. We will “live every week like it’s shark week.”

This will all help you look anew at something you likely know well (tv) as you practice making dynamic, savvy, even artistic academic arguments. And we’ll hopefully have a lot of fun doing it.

“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

Intended Audience:

Participants in the Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts Program. Non-LSWA students welcome and may request permission to enroll pending availability. Contact

Class Format:

Course modules, readings, viewings, etc. will be made available asynchronously. We will have weekly discussion sessions that require synchronous participation, four peer review sessions that require synchronous participation, and small group or 1-1 synchronous sessions with the instructor (for feedback on your writing and follow-up on course materials) as needed.

This is a labor-based grading course.

This course will use a combination of Canvas and Google drive for hosting course materials and Slack for asynchronous discussions, with the exception of the actual TV episodes assigned, which will be available on streaming services. It's best to have the following services: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime. We will use Zoom for synchronous sessions and office hours. Students will need access to the internet, a camera, and a microphone.


LSWA 125 - College Writing
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 9:30AM - 11:00AM
002 (REC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
003 (REC)
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
004 (REC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
005 (REC)
MW 11:00AM - 12:30PM
006 (REC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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