Advanced Expository Writing

W350 — Spring 2018

Days and Times
4:00-5:15 TR
Course Description

As part of work on your reading and writing practices in this course, we will examine how fiction, non-fiction and film depict the experiences of schooling, especially learning (and unlearning) how to write. In complex ways, fiction, drama, and film reflect and shape the myths and assumptions in our culture about the purpose of an education and what it takes to be a successful writer, as well as student or teacher. Narratives about schooling in popular media reflect and sometimes ignore or reconcile conflicts having to do with social class, race, and gender difference. We will explore the ways in which fictional and cinematic texts attempt to work through those conflicts, often through the use of, or the subversion of, stereotypes like the rebel-student and the savior-teacher. In the process, you will be examining your own beliefs, assumptions, and goals tied to literacy acquisition. Is an education about finding an identity and a writing voice, acquiring knowledge, exploring how to live a purposeful life, or is it just something you pass through on the way to something else? We will develop a collective inquiry through class discussion and sharing of writing. Writing assignments will include quizzes, microthemes that practice close reading, summary, and analysis, and two major papers using in-course and outside source material. Texts will likely include the novel Old School by Tobias Wolff; two plays, Alan Bennetts History Boys and Donald Margulies Collected Stories; Richard Rodriguezs literacy memoir Hunger of Memory, Erin Gruwells Freedom Writers Diary; and the films Educating Rita, Dead Poets Society, and Freedom Writers. Instructor: Christine Farris

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The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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