Spring/Summer Course Guide

Late Descriptions (June 25, 1998)

 

Courses which missed the Time Schedule

Spring

Summer

Spring/Summer

Spring Half-Term, 1998 (May 5-June 23, 1998)

English

125. College Writing. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
No one ever finishes learning to write, so this course focuses on helping students further develop their unique potentials as writers, readers, and thinkers. By analyzing texts from a variety of academic disciplines, students will come to understand the conventions writers follow to present their ideas effectively to their chosen audiences. What rhetorical strategies are common in different disciplines and why? How and when might we use those strategies in our own writing? For instance, what writing strategies would we call upon for a lab report, and would we use any of those strategies for a philosophical speculation, a history exam, a love letter? Throughout the term, students will work to identify the writing skills they most need to develop, and they'll invent and refine a personal style of expression that can be adapted to different audiences and purposes. Course requirements include at least 40 pages of writing, including at least 20 pages of revised, polished prose.

Section 101. Our primary goals in this class will be to think more analytically about the world around us and to communicate more effectively our observations about it. To this end, the course will focus on the skills of critical reading and writing. We will emphasize the principles of writing and revising essays, the organization of ideas and argumentation, and the use of appropriate grammar and style. We will experiment with a variety of genres, and you will be encouraged to try new things, take risks and expand your breadth as a writer. Requirements will include reading (Calvino, Gordimer, and others), writing (various drafts of four papers, a journal, other short assignments), participating (in class discussions and group workshops), and thinking (constantly). (Kodesh)

Section 102. Despite what the grapevine may have told you at some point or another, writing is not just for English majors and coffeehouse poets. It is a critical tool that we will all sooner or later need in order to convey our thoughts, intentions, and ideas to loved ones, graduate programs, and prospective employees. By the end of this half-term, we should all have succesfully refitted our writing abilites to better meet the needs and standards of the University and future circumstances, whatever they may be. I won't lie to you. This class is about writing, and there will be lots of it. We will be examining articles and artifacts on Popular Culture, a subject we are already very familiar with. These include screenings of South Park and the documentary Roger and Me. Our writing will be geared primarily towards examining the complex cultural, political, racial, and sexual intersections in popular expressions, so you'll need to engage with the assignmentw with a receptive mind and at point blank range. Expect four papers of varying length with a total of 20-30 pages of revised (polished) prose. (Silva)

Section 104 Voyages of Discovery: Writing Across Cultures. Starting with a selection of Columbus' accounts of his voyages to the Americas and looking at a variety of texts which deal with different cultures coming into contact, this writing class will focus on how individual authors convey information, use different styles, and size up their audience. The first part of the class will concentrate on "primary texts" or the actual documents written by historical personages such as Columbus, freed slave Harriet Jacobs, and Mary Rowlandson, who survived being captured by Native Americans. A trip to the Clements Library on campus to look at archival material is planned. We will read several critiques of these primary texts in order to give a counter perspective, as well as to model the kind of analytical essay writing expected in the longer essay. Each student will produce an autobiographical essay (4-5 pages) as well as two longer essays (one 4-5 pages, the other 6-7 pages) which will be revised for a final portfolio. Each student will write critiques of other students' essays, and have their longer essay workshopped by the entire class. (Stitt)

Section 105. This course provides an introduction to college writing and guidance through the writing process. Because reading, thinking critically, and writing are interdependent, we will be honing all three skills during the course of the term. The readings and discussions in this course will be centered around the objects, images, and issues that together form American culture as we know it. As a generation, we have seen much change in our society due to the information, education, and entertainment that technologies have been able to provide. But, while technology has been able to provide us with a plethora of stimuli, we seldom step back from our environment long enough to digest, analyze, and create meaning out of it all. The readings for this course have been selected to provide a variety of perspectives and aid us in our discussions. In addition to the readings and discussions, you will be required to write and revise four essays during the course of the term. You will also be asked to respond to each others' essays in an effort to help the class as a whole grow as writers. (Ha)
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223. Creative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (2). (CE). May not be repeated for credit.
Section 101.
This course is structured to foster the beginning writer's imagination and artistic potential. Emphasis will be on developing an alertness to the observed world and a feel for the vividness and accuracy of language. Our work will center on fictional and autobiographical traditions. While we will primarily focus on student work, we will also read short stories and essays by Anton Chekov, James Baldwin, Michael Ondaatje, Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O'Connor, and Lucy Grealy. Class time will consist of close, critical realding of student work, writing exercises, and discussion. In addition to reading assignments, students are responsible for a final portfolio, weekly writing "sketches," at least one student-teacher conference, and consistent class attendance. There is no final exam. Required Texts: The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction, Ann Charters, editor, and a course pack. (Stanton)

Section 102. Ever thought of English as a toolbox? You will now. We will roll up our sleeves and, through close readings, discussions, exercises, drafts, edits, and revisions of prose sentences and poetic lines, delve into diction, syntax, grammar, form, rhythm, image, narrative structure, metaphor, and more - not as abstractions, but as concrete tools you will come to understand and utilize in articulating vision and voice. The emphasis will be on your own writing, with a significant portion of class time spent in workshop. Students will be asked to read assigned poems and stories, to keep a writer's journal, to complete writing exercises, and to complete and significantly revise four poems and 10-15 pages of fiction. Required texts available at Shaman Drum Bookstore. (Kremer)
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225. Argumentative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (3). (HU).
This course furthers the aim of English 124 and 125 in helping writers to analyze the various claims of a given issue and to develop ways of exploring and defending positions, ideas and beliefs. Careful attention will be paid to the process of reasoning, the testing of assumptions and claims, the questioning of beliefs, and the discovery of ideas and evidence through analysis and rhetorical articulation. The course will also focus on considerations of style, formal strategy techniques, and revision as integral to precision in making points and developing argumentative ideas for the purposes of both individual reflection and of audience persuasion.

Section 101 Seeing is Believing: Voices and Images in Visual Culture. This argumentative writing class will be organized around the theme of visual culture, public images, ways of reading the image, and the practice of writing about it. Some topics to look at might include representations in the news media, entertainment such as South Park, debates about pornography, or advertising and the arts. Students will be expected to read approximately one essay weekly that addresses arguments in or ways of thinking, reading and writing about different aspects of visual culture. In addition to reading, the writing process will be inspired by visual aids and images from the everyday to the absurd. Writing will include four formal essays, constant rewriting, and about thirty pages of informal assignments. (O'Brien)
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Primarily for Juniors and Seniors

301. The Power of Words. (3). (Excl).
Section 101.
Effective communication is the goal of all writing. But communication is rarely as simple as it sounds. Writing must negotiate, first and foremost, the basics grammar, vocabulary, and mechanics. We will remind ourselves of such imperatives with various exercises that stress the finer points of these 'rules'. However, the main focus of the class will involve negotiating the dictates of specific writing tasks. How might we establish credibility in the cover letter of a resume? What kind of tone should we use to respond to a threatening memo from a co-worker? In essence, we will build effective rhetorical strategies for establishing authoritative and credible presentations of your written voice. Assignments include four papers (4-6 pages) and numerous short writing exercises. Class participation will be a significant factor in determining final grades. (Ray)

Section 102. The central argument of this course is that the power of words derives principally from a writer's ability to motivate a reader to share in a new perspective. We will rigorously analyze various expressive media (music, film, television, poetry, philosophy, among others) that mobilize the power of words to dramatic effect; we will seek to understand how a given piece of writing achieves its desired goal, whether that goal is persuasion, illumination, critical intervention, or imaginative expression. We will discuss writing strategies that will allow students to make optimum use of the power of words to create their own strong perspective in verbal expression. Focus will be on modes of critical and analytical writing beyond the university, but this practical writing will be grounded on a sound understanding of the function of motivated language in a variety of contexts. Reading assignments will include short, theoretical pieces as well as models of effective analytical and expository writing that we will discuss as a means of establishing criteria for effective writing. We will study individual words with great intensity and work on developing our vocabulary as a reservoir for tapping into the shared cultural beliefs that words embody. Formal writing assignments will include an analytical description, two pieces of evaluative criticism, and an analysis of a current news story. In lieu of a final, students will present a public address to the class on a topic of their own devising related to their future interests. (Kinch)
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325. Essay Writing: The Art of Exposition. (3). (Excl).
Section 101 Writing Biography.
In a culture enthralled with 'true' stories such as Titanic and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the genre of biography raises pressing questions. To what extent must biographies be 'true'? When is it necessary to invent? Whose lives get written about, and how? Who is most often left out, and why? In this course on biographical writing we investigate the relationship between literary questions of narration (realism, drama, portraiture) and political questions of identity (racial, sexual, and class identities). In particular we focus on the interplay between biographer and subject. What is the difference between writing about someone you know versus an historical figure? And what counts as 'evidence'? Four essays are required, including a final biographical piece. Reading includes Virginia Woolf, Radclyffe Hall, James Baldwin, Sigmund Freud, Carolyn Steedman, David Henry Hwang, and others. Students interested in gay and lesbian, African-American, and women's studies are especially encouraged to enroll. (Gordon)

Section 102. How is the world of a piece of writing, whether fiction or nonfiction, constructed? How do writers involve their readers in their worlds? How is writing an act of persuasion, and how is reading an act of assent or dissent? How do we become more conscious, in our own writing, of such factors as argument and audience? In this upper-level composition course we will read a variety of essays and works of literature, and these will provide us with material for our own writing. The reading list will involve us with works in a variety of styles and genres, including novels (Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, for one), short stories (including some science fiction!), essays (Virginia Woolf and Walter Benjamin come to mind), and contemporary reporting (but no Presidential scandals). Course requirements will include writing four essays (totaling 25-30 pages of writing), some shorter writing assignments, responses to other students' writing, and constant, relentless, highly vocal class participation. (Roberts)

Section 103 Writing Ourselves. In this class we will work together in a collaborative writing environment conducive to exploration and development of our individual voice, style, expression and tone. While honing our critical thinking and argumentation skills, we will learn to make our writing a persuasive and exciting account of our ideas and beliefs. Specifically, we will consider issues of identity (individual, communal, national) and the ways in which we express that identity, represent or perform ourselves, our opinions, and our pasts. We will be reading a wide variety of essays from a course pack as well as analyzing films, photographs, advertisements and television programs that help us to question expressions of self. Course requirements include four papers in several drafts (two shorter papers and two longer ones), short writing assignments, and daily "observation" exercises. Grades will be determined according to four papers, final portfolio presentations of selected assignments from the term and active, engaged participation in class. (Lieberman)

Section 104 Explorations in the Making of Meaning. The general course guide describes English 325 as emphasizing "exploration and style," for the purpose of helping students "develop new writing skills." While these descriptions will essentially be true of this section of English 325, the course really works on a level beyond mere notions of writing as style and skill. Writing is a way of knowing; it is part of our human process of constructing knowledge. It's not just about strengthening skills and exploiting tricky new formats. What we are trying to do, ultimately, is understand how we come to know things how we make meaning by expanding our notions of what constitutes an essay. To this end we will be cracking open the traditional essay to explore things in useful ways which the traditional essay cannot do. For instance, the multigenre essay combines a variety of genres in innovative ways to capture what cannot be captured in a traditional format. The course, ultimately, is designed to allow students to explore areas of their own interest. Course load consists of four papers (4-7 pages in length) with multiple rewrites, daily response logs, and a variety of short responses/sketches/ etc. At least one of the papers will require research. Students will work in peer groups and conference with the instructor on at least two essays. All reading material will be found in a course pack. (Murnen)
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Great Books

201. Great Books of the Ancient World. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Gt. Bks. 191 or Classical Civ. 101. (4). (HU).
In this course we will trace the movement of Western literature through the themes of journey, homecoming, and exile, depicted in the genres of epic, tragedy, and comedy, as well as in philosophical and theological writings. We will be reading the following texts: Homer's Odyssey; Aeschylus' Agamemnon trilogy; Euripides' Medea; Sophocles Oedipus the King and Antigone; Plato's Symposium; Aristophanes' Lysistrata; sections of the Old Testament; and Vergil's Aeneid. Our objective will be to see how the quest for home shifts through the unfolding of literary history. By examining the polemics of home and exile, external and internal movement (action versus contemplation), and the tensions of gender, we will explore the existential, ethical, historical, and theological implications of what it means to be at home. (Klingerman)
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Sociology

475/MCO 475 (Public Health). Introduction to Medical Sociology. (3). (SS).
This course will explore social aspects of health, illness, and the health care system in American society. We will examine such issues as the social causation of disease, relationships between doctors and patients, the health professions, health care among women and the poor, and the current health care crisis. (Murphy)
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Summer Half-Term, 1998 (June 29-August 18, 1998)

American Culture

309. Learning through Community Practice. Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (EXPERIENTIAL).
Section 001 Farmworker Outreach. (3 credits).
For Summer Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with Psychology 305.202. (Nerenberg)
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Communication Studies

459. Seminar in Media Systems. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001 Foreign News Coverage.
This course will investigate coverage of foreign news as a reflection of the structure and function of media systems. What factors influence decisions as to how much coverage to give to developments overseas, at the UN, and at the State Department? What criteria do the media use for deciding which events to cover and at what length, and how valid are these criteria? What value systems do they reflect? How successfully do the media make foreign news relevant to American readers and viewers? What special problems do foreign correspondents face? Cost:2 WL:1 (Collings)
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English

125. College Writing. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
No one ever finishes learning to write, so this course focuses on helping students further develop their unique potentials as writers, readers, and thinkers. By analyzing texts from a variety of academic disciplines, students will come to understand the conventions writers follow to present their ideas effectively to their chosen audiences. What rhetorical strategies are common in different disciplines and why? How and when might we use those strategies in our own writing? For instance, what writing strategies would we call upon for a lab report, and would we use any of those strategies for a philosophical speculation, a history exam, a love letter? Throughout the term, students will work to identify the writing skills they most need to develop, and they'll invent and refine a personal style of expression that can be adapted to different audiences and purposes. Course requirements include at least 40 pages of writing, including at least 20 pages of revised, polished prose.

Section 201 From Dead Dudes and Dames through Lively Lads and Ladies. This class is a workshop in which we will undertake a practical introduction to critical reading, writing, thinking, and expression for ourselves, each other, and the university. The concerns of the texts we will be reading (from Nietzsche, Freud, Woolf, de Beauvoir, Baldwin, Cisneros, Rock ...) are both radically diverse and strangely familiar opening up the experiences and perspectives of a host of characters, thinkers, readers, and writers exploring the cultural assumptions of their particular times and places. More importantly, these works of the recent and not-so-recent past will help us to sharpen our own critical perspectives as both readers and writers, giving us the chance to explore and to challenge contemporary cultural norms, manners and myths From where have they come? How have they developed? What did they mean then, and what effects do they produce now? Requirements: Four formal papers (including pre-writing, drafts, and revisions), peer critiques, short reading response papers, readings. (Geldenbott)

Section 202 Writing and Cultural Performance. What do Shakespeare, football games, weddings, and Budweiser frogs have in common? They are all "cultural performances" - activities or spectacles which encourage us to think and behave in certain ways. In this class, we will try to understand the persuasive power (or "rhetoric") of cultural performances by writing about them. Our guiding assumption will be that writing about culture is not only interpretation but intervention: each time we send a letter to the Michigan Daily, share a poem with a friend, or fill out a class evaluation, we affect the world through our writing. This class offers the analytic and rhetorical tools to improve the various kinds of writing you will do in future by developing your confidence, range, and clarity of expression. Since this is a writing class, you should expect to do a good deal of writing throughout the semester! Our short assignments will include a letter to the editor, an editorial, and a brief persuasive speech. Longer assignments will include analyzing a social ritual and a popular culture "text." Class time will be devoted to discussing assigned readings and to presenting and workshopping work in progress. Please note that extensive class participation is a requirement of this course. Each student will be expected to give class presentations and participate in class discussion, office hours, and peer workshops. (Sofer)
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Great Books

201. Great Books of the Ancient World. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Gt. Bks. 191 or Classical Civ. 101. (4). (HU).
Through the works of poetry, drama, history, and philosophy, this course will explore the complicated relationship between identity and justice. We oftern find that our sense of self is partly formed by our concept of justice, and if something acts in opposition to our understanding o justice out entire identity is compromised. These works depict the ways in which we try to form and understand ourselves and how our desperate need to hold onto our identity causes us to shape the world around us. To understand this relationship, we will read the following texts: Homer's Odyssey; Aeschylus' Oresteia, Euripides' Medea, Sophocles' Antigone, parts of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, Aristophanes' Clouds, Plato's Apology, and Vergil's Aeneid. It will be fun. (Miller-Purrenhage)
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Psychology

305. Practicum in Psychology. Introductory psychology. (1-4). (Excl). A total of six credits of Psychology letter-graded experiential courses may be counted for the Psychology concentration. Psychology 305 must be taken for at least three credits to count as an experiential lab in the psychology concentration. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 202 Farmworkers Outreach. (3 credits). This course seeks to enhance students' understanding of the lives of migrant farmworkers and their families. The subject matter will be approached interactively as the students read, discuss and listen to invited speakers in Spring, followed by a Summer practicum in the fields. Health issues will be an important aspect of the course as well as cultural and community strengths. Some Spanish is required; transportation will be provided. All classes are in the evenings. Undergraduates will be expected to read one book and course pack, write weekly reflective papers on readings and class and a final 8-10 page paper linking experiences with readings. Graduate students will also write a 15-20 page paper researching relevant topics and read two books. Grades will be based on attendance, participation, new skill building, journals and papers. Main text: Fields of toil: A migrant family's journey (Isabel Valle, 1994). (Nerenberg).

Sociology

470. Social Influence. One previous course in social psychology elected either through psychology or sociology. (3). (Excl).
This course examines systematically how people are influenced by their social environments and how they influence their social environments. The course advances students beyond the intuitively obvious idea that social influence matters to consider theoretically and empirically the several distinct processes by which different forms of social relationships exert effective social influence. Among the topics to be discussed within the framework of the course are love relationships, peer influence in juvenile delinquency, political media campaigns, and the acceptance of scientific discoveries. (Gold).
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Spring/Summer Term, 1998 (May 5-August 18, 1998)


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