What is America? Many think this is an easy question,
answerable by core concepts that have become dominant in American culture and
society. America is the land of freedom,
individual opportunity, equality (between different sexes, races, ethnicities,
abilities, and sexual orientations), and liberty. Or is it?
Where have these concepts come from, and what do they really mean? Should they be taken as natural facts, or are
they rather social conventions that cloud some of the more pressing problem
facing us today? What mythologies do we
tell ourselves and what are the consequences?
This class will examine these concepts and challenge the cultural myths
and conventional assumptions that structure American culture and society.
Through our primary focus on American culture and society students will
experience a variety of college-level writing and explore the nuances of a
given subject. Through course readings,
class discussions, research, and writing assignments, students will think and
write about a complex topic in a variety of ways, all in an effort to learn how
to write well at the college level.
Through our topic
students will be introduced to the rhetorical, conceptual, and stylistic
demands of writing at the college level.
This class guides students through the writing process, search
strategies, and how to incorporate secondary sources into their own
writing. Students will gain experience
in the library and on the internet to enhance their skills in accessing and
using various types of primary and secondary materials. Students will learn how to read critically
and make use of a variety of sources in expressing their own opinions, ideas,
and perspectives in writing. Students
can expect to write three to four longer papers as well as short writing
assignments, and construct a final portfolio of their work.
Robert Cullen and Bonnie Lisle, Rereading
America, 9th edition
Gerald Graff and
Cathy Birkenstein, They Say, I Say: The
Moves that Matter in Academic Writing
and Francine Weinberg, The Little Seagull