WRITING 405 - Contemporary Topics and Multidisciplinary Writing
Winter 2021, Section 001 - Why (and how) We Fight: Origins of Conflict and Interdisciplinary Writing
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Sweetland Center for Writing (WRITING)
Department: LSA Sweetland Writing Center
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
Students must have fulfilled their first-year writing requirement.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This upper level writing course assumes that the most important topics are often the ones that are best understood via the multiple disciplinary approaches. In this case, the important topic is Conflict: how does it arise, how should we understand and manage it, what are the limits of what we can hope for in mitigating it, and what can we learn from how we conduct and experience it. Students will examine different aspects of conflict through various academic lenses ranging from chemistry, biology, and neuroscience to anthropology, sociology, history, and psychology, as well as perspectives from literature, philosophy, fine arts, and even a few professional disciplines like law and public policy. During this whirlwind tour we will examine how each field constructs knowledge and imagines and deploys writing, and consider ways the disciplines can usefully complement each other as well as how we can translate their insights for general readers. If we have to fight, we should know what we’re doing and why.

Course Requirements:

Three substantial analytical and comparative essays with revision, one longer reading response essay and/or presentation, reflective writing, and participation in the class discourse community.

Intended Audience:

Juniors, seniors, and very intrepid sophomores looking to meet the Upper Level Writing Requirement and who are interested in the relationship between the academic disciplines and writing between and about them. Also anyone who's ever experienced conflict.

Class Format:

Instruction Mode: All instruction will be online and synchronous; individual meetings as well as scheduled small group work via Google or Zoom.

Learning Mode: Canvas, meetings conducted via Zoom or Google; students should have access to a camera and microphone.


WRITING 405 - Contemporary Topics and Multidisciplinary Writing
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM

It is department policy that registered students must participate in the first two class sessions or activites in whichever format offered by the instructor or notify the instructor that they will be unable to do so and why. Failure to do so may result in the student being dropped from the course.

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for WRITING 405 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)