First Year Writing & Rhetoric

Spring 2010


Writing is a practice and a process, thus the “-ing” on the end of the word.  In this class, we will focus on the inventing, the doing, and the revising--and not as much on the finishing, not on the being done.  Nor will we emphasize the tried and true methods of writing (though we will keep our eyes and ears turned to grammar and style as necessary); instead, we will be called upon to invent writing as we do it.

        Since writing is more a medium and less a subject matter in and of itself, we will narrow our focus on a specific set of topics as we proceed throughout the semester, establishing a common ground for us as a community of authors by using our writing to ask and answer a series of related questions.  Thus, the reading and writing you do this semester will center around the topic of what it is to be human and the following sorts of questions:  How is the human constructed by language?  What is human nature?  What is our relationship as a species to the rest of the natural world?  How have we evolved as a species and how will we continue to evolve?  What is it to have a body--to be flesh?   How are our bodies being transformed in this era of technology and consumerism?  And, how do we relate to one another, how do we construct a politics, in the face of this transformation?


Required Texts

The Road

Understanding Comics


TOC: A New Media Novel

Knowing Words

The Word is Flesh

Course Details

“A class is also a process, an independent organism with its own goals and dynamics.  It is always something more than even the most imaginative lesson plan can predict.” 

                    ~ Thomas P. Kasulis