Department of English

Margaret Mendenhall


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Courses


E 314J • Literature And Film

35830 • Fall 2021
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM PAR 304
Wr

E 314J  |  1-Literature and Film

Instructor:  Mendenhall, M

Unique #:  35830

Semester:  Fall 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

Description:  Ranging from Renaissance drama to contemporary movies, this course will examine tragicomedy in literature and film.  We will pay special attention to questions of genre:  What does it mean to combine “tragedy” and “comedy” into one thing? How and why do certain stories evoke simultaneous extremes of emotion? What’s the history of tragicomedy, what are its conventions, and how do different texts play with these conventions?  We will also think critically about these tragicomedies in their social, cultural, and political contexts, investigating how authors and filmmakers relate experiences of identity or culture.

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

This course carries a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will constitute a major part of the final grade.

Tentative Reading List:  Parasite (dir. Bong Joon-Ho, 2019), Do the Right Thing (dir. Spike Lee, 1989), The Farewell (dir. Lulu Wang, 2019), Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Alison Bechdel), The Winter’s Tale (William Shakespeare).

Requirements & Grading:  Three essays, one of which will be revised, for a total of 70% of the final course grade.  The other 30% of the course grade will consist of class participation, short writing assignments, and group projects. (Please note that these assignments and percentages are subject to change.)

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Time Travel-Wb

43675 • Spring 2021
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

If you could travel to the future, what would you want to know? If you could go back in time, what would you change? If you’re stuck in a time loop, what do you have to fix about yourself to get out? Our chances of actually travelling in time are slim to none—so why do we find these hypothetical questions so fascinating? We constantly tell stories about exploring the future, revisiting the past, or reliving the present. But it’s not just fiction: from global warming projections to public apologies to eulogies and convocations, we often rely on depictions of past, present, or future events to make our arguments more convincing.

 

This course investigates how speculative explorations of time work as tools for persuasion. We will analyze fictional time travel narratives, examining how stories that seem to be about the past or future often make implicit arguments about social or moral change in the present. In addition, we’ll observe how the future, past, and present are invoked as rhetorical strategies in argumentative writing. In addition to building critical reading skills through exploring these topics, students will learn to write effective and responsible arguments by composing their own argumentative essays about the central questions of the course.

 

Required books

 

Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz, Everything’s an Argument

All other readings will be made available on Canvas by the instructor.

 

Assignments

 

Discussion Posts and Participation – 10%

Short Writing Assignments (3) – 15%

Research Synthesis – 10%

Paper 1: Rhetorical Analysis 1 – 15%

Paper 2.1: Rhetorical Analysis 2 – 10%

Paper 2.2: Revision – 10%

Paper 3: Argument – 25%

Paper 3: Peer Review – 5%

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Time Travel-Wb

42260 • Fall 2020
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

If you could travel to the future, what would you want to know? If you could go back in time, what would you change? If you’re stuck in a time loop, what do you have to fix about yourself to get out? Our chances of actually travelling in time are slim to none—so why do we find these hypothetical questions so fascinating? We constantly tell stories about exploring the future, revisiting the past, or reliving the present. But it’s not just fiction: from global warming projections to public apologies to eulogies and convocations, we often rely on depictions of past, present, or future events to make our arguments more convincing.

This course investigates how speculative explorations of time work as tools for persuasion. We will analyze fictional time travel narratives, examining how stories that seem to be about the past or future often make implicit arguments about social or moral change in the present. In addition, we’ll observe how the future, past, and present are invoked as rhetorical strategies in argumentative writing. In addition to building critical reading skills through exploring these topics, students will learn to write effective and responsible arguments by composing their own argumentative essays about the central questions of the course.

Required books

  • Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz, Everything’s an Argument
  • All other readings will be made available on Canvas by the instructor.

Assignments

  • Discussion Posts and Participation – 10%
  • Short Writing Assignments (3) – 15%
  • Research Synthesis – 10%
  • Paper 1: Rhetorical Analysis 1 – 15%
  • Paper 2.1: Rhetorical Analysis 2 – 10%
  • Paper 2.2: Revision – 10%
  • Paper 3: Argument – 25%
  • Paper 3: Peer Review – 5%

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