Language and place are often tied together. The way a person speaks can point to where they are from. Also, a geographical area can determine the characteristics of a people’s language, in terms of things like structure and vocabulary. This semester, we will be using different genres of writing to explore issues of place and language (sometimes these issues will overlap, sometimes not), specifically in the context of Hawai‘i. Along with that overarching goal, the purpose of this Composition I (Eng 100) class is to hone the tools of writing and language that you already have. We will do this by focusing on writing for specific purposes, situations, and audiences as well as on various aspects of the writing process, such as freewriting, brainstorming, outlining, writing, and revision. By looking at language and place in Hawai‘i, we will examine and develop understandings of current conversations about Hawai‘i’s history and its cultures, along with the way that Hawai‘i and its people are represented in contemporary culture. To allow us to actively participate in these conversations (inside the classroom and out), we will discuss various sources, such as newspaper articles, visual representations of Hawai‘i, Youtube videos, documentaries, stories and legends, and essays that deal with these issues.
You will be required to complete five formal essays and frequent writing exercises.
Readings will be disseminated electronically. I encourage student feedback on topics that they are interested in (in regards to Hawai‘i and/or language) and try to shape the reading list accordingly. For example, last semester, our assigned texts included Ho‘iho‘i Hou and music by and about George Helm, translations of articles from the Hawaiian-language newspapers, testimony against the genetic modification of kalo, Hawaiian poetry, stories about surf spots, etc.