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Honors Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric

Honors Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric

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Published by Carmen Kynard
Welcome to your Fall 2014 English 101 Course: Representation, Rhetoric & the Writing (The Three Rs)!

In 1903, W.E.B. Dubois, the critical scholar and activist regarded today as the founder of sociology and social science, argued that “the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” In this case, he was referencing racial segregation/ oppression and, arguably, foreshadowed the most protracted battles for freedom of the 20th century in the United States, namely the Civil Rights Movement. Now, here we are in the 21st century, at a college focused on justice, meeting one another in an honors program that charges us with acting on and achieving social justice for a greater good. Imagine yourself then as a 21st century W.E.B. DuBois. Can you take what you are learning, what you are thinking about and witnessing, what you are examining and define what you see as “the problem of the 21st century”? What will you prophesize, if you will, and what is the course of theory and action that will guide your work and ideas?

Like all first year writing courses across the country, this course immerses you in the intellectual work that writing for college and the world requires. However, this course also asks you to engage the kind of thinking and writing that work toward a larger, public good. You will have multiple opportunities to compose texts that have the potential to reach 21st century audiences through digital means. You will offer your audiences original research and perspectives related to issues of justice in New York City as well as the issues you believe are most pressing for the 21st century.
Welcome to your Fall 2014 English 101 Course: Representation, Rhetoric & the Writing (The Three Rs)!

In 1903, W.E.B. Dubois, the critical scholar and activist regarded today as the founder of sociology and social science, argued that “the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” In this case, he was referencing racial segregation/ oppression and, arguably, foreshadowed the most protracted battles for freedom of the 20th century in the United States, namely the Civil Rights Movement. Now, here we are in the 21st century, at a college focused on justice, meeting one another in an honors program that charges us with acting on and achieving social justice for a greater good. Imagine yourself then as a 21st century W.E.B. DuBois. Can you take what you are learning, what you are thinking about and witnessing, what you are examining and define what you see as “the problem of the 21st century”? What will you prophesize, if you will, and what is the course of theory and action that will guide your work and ideas?

Like all first year writing courses across the country, this course immerses you in the intellectual work that writing for college and the world requires. However, this course also asks you to engage the kind of thinking and writing that work toward a larger, public good. You will have multiple opportunities to compose texts that have the potential to reach 21st century audiences through digital means. You will offer your audiences original research and perspectives related to issues of justice in New York City as well as the issues you believe are most pressing for the 21st century.

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Published by: Carmen Kynard on Sep 02, 2014
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Welcome to your Fall 2014 English 101 Course: Representation, Rhetoric & the Writing (The Three Rs)
In 1903, W.E.B. Dubois, the critical scholar and activist regarded today as the founder of sociology and social science, argued that “
the  problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line
.” In this case, he was referencing racial segregation/ oppression and, arguably, foreshadowed the most protracted battles for freedom of the 20th century in the United States, namely the Civil Rights Movement. Now, here we are in the 21
st
 century, at a college focused on justice, meeting one another in an honors program that charges us with acting on and achieving social justice for a greater good. Imagine yourself then as a 21
st
 century W.E.B. DuBois. Can you take what you are learning, what you are thinking about and witnessing, what you are examining and define what you see as “the problem of the 21
st
 century”? What will you prophesize, if you will, and what is the course of theory and action that will guide your work and ideas? Like all first year writing courses across the country, this course immerses you in the intellectual work that writing for college and the world requires. However, this course also asks you to engage the kind of thinking and writing that work toward a larger, public good. You will have multiple opportunities to compose texts that have the potential to reach 21
st
 century audiences through digital means. You will offer your audiences original research and perspectives related to issues of justice in New York City as well as the issues you believe are most pressing for the 21
st
 century. This course is a composition course: a writing course. We do not study literature, the content that you are probably most familiar with when a course is titled ENGLISH.
In writing classes, however, we study rhetoric.
 This means that we study how texts are created, why, for whom, when, and under what social circumstances. When we look closely at and talk about how other people write, we do so with two purposes in mind: 1) to better understand how social systems work, especially how to change them with literacies, and; 2) to write our own texts.
This is a class that asks you to write yourself into existence
. Textual analysis (analyzing essays, etc) will be important
Representation, Rhetoric Writing for the Public Good
http://bit.ly/honorswriting
ENGLISH 101
Honors Seminar in Writing Rhetoric
Section H01/Class #67673 Room 1.90NB
(F 10:50am-1:30pm)
 
Questions We Need to Keep Asking Ourselves:
 What can writing
do 
 in a Digital & Multimedia Age? How do we engage  writing for a positive, social impact? What social and cultural issues inspire and/or impact me as a writer?
 
 
Fall 2014 Honors Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric (HSWR) http://bit.ly/honorswriting
 
2
 
in this class; however, the end goal will be an examination of our own rhetorical choices and designs. The onus/own-ness is on you as
a writer
 now. As a college student, you will be engaging what is often called academic writing which, in the 21
st
 century, is as publicly shared, open, and accessible as facebook. If it’s not something that you wouldn’t want to go viral (and this includes emails), then do NOT hit send, submit, or upload. There is never any writing that you do for a course blackboard, email, or ePortfolio that is private. This does not mean that you have to hide who you are because writing is public. It just means that you need to be CLEAR on who you are. That is what this class is about.
You are each public academics/public intellectuals in this class working towards the common good.
 We will explore what writing like THAT kind of academic and intellectual can mean and do. You will be encouraged to be witty, interesting, visual, sonic, and creative. Last, but certainly not least, you will always be encouraged to interrogate how your own experiences, social position, and languages inform your perspectives. In other words, we will make sure that we know the difference between a politicized, creative storyteller from a superficial performer for reality TV offering too much information with no insights (T.M.I. w/ N.I.). In the early days of the semester, we will read and write about a variety of research that contextualizes digital cultures today. Because you will be working towards the creation of your own public website (via an ePortfolio platform), we start by tracing the new affordances and limitations of multimedia literate environments. From there, we will look closely at a variety of public, digital projects that center on New York City. We will ask ourselves:
what difference does this text make?
 We will also craft our own digital texts that we think offer a critical perspective on New York City as a 21
st
 century global metropolis. As we move into the second half of the semester, we will begin research projects of our own design, research that will be shared and presented via your websites. All along that path, we will constantly talk about the public nature of writing. There are no books to purchase for this class as everything will be made available to you online.
Please note that you will need internet access and continual access to a computer to do the work of the class.
 If you do not have  broadband at home, plan to work on campus computers very often (labs are even open 24 hours during finals). You will be able to do many things from your handheld in this class, but there are times when you will need a computer with good internet speed so plan accordingly. Set up a Google Drive if you haven’t already and keep everything there. You won’t need technological expertise for the class, just a willingness to play around with sounds, images, and words and make things. If any of this sounds a little scary (or crazy), don’t let it be. You made it through these classroom doors with the dreams of countless family members and friends who are counting on you. Now is your time. Your colleagues and teacher in this class are here to make it happen!
What You Need to Know about Attendance in this Course
Your PUNCTUAL attendance is mandatory.
Attendance is taken each class and lateness is marked after five minutes.
Almost each class will begin with a writing prompt or demonstration.
If you miss something, it will not be repeated for you. Each class agenda is available to you online so if you miss a class, find the date of the class on the course website and look to see what you missed. This is your own responsibility.
 
Please do not email me and ask what you missed. Look at the day’s agenda.
 Attendance counts for ten points of your final grade (see below for the full point-spread for the semester). You will find these attendance guidelines on the course website but they are also described here for emphasis.
Carmen’s Contact Information
Office
Room 7.65.27NB
524 West 59
th
 Street New York, NY 10019
Office Hours
Tuesdays, 3-4 pm Fridays, 2-3pm
Email
ckynard@jjay.cuny.edu
 
 
Phone
"#"$%"#$&#'(
"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line—the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.”
W.E.B. Du Bois,
The Souls of Black Folk
 (New York: New American Library, 1903)
Now it is your turn… "The problem of the twenty-first century is the problem of __________”
Your Name Here (John Jay College Honors Program)
 
 
Fall 2014 Honors Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric (HSWR) http://bit.ly/honorswriting
 
3
 
Assessment Philosophy Grades
The central projects of this course are common to all sections of English 101.
 Though we are following a common, standard curriculum, our task is to give our work its own signature, pursue our own interests and passions, and develop a digital-political identity with all of the attending multimedia connections that we will  be making. Assessment in this class is based on an overall 200-point spread for all projects in the course. Each project in this course weighs in and gets counted towards the overall 200 points. You will receive details for each project that are designed to ensure rigor and quality in your work, especially since much of your work could generate multiple public audiences in digital spaces. The point-spread for each project also intends to communicate as clearly as possible what is expected of you. For some of you, the point-spread may feel very new and different. 18-20 year old young adults today are often described in terms of the web 2.0 technologies that have saturated their childhood and early adulthood. However, there might be a better way to historicize young people in this age range:
the group who has witnessed and been subjected to the most rubrics, norming standards, high-stakes tests, etc than any other  group of K-12 students in the history of education in the United States.
 In this COLLEGE class, we will not be replicating the kinds of assessment strategies that you experienced in K-12 standardization regimes. Be prepared to comment on and think critically about the point-spread that you are given for each project. These point-spreads are designed
rhetorically
: to make you a stronger writer and to give you a more persuasive digital presence. Think of writing and designing in this class as giving you more than just an “A” at the end of the course. Understand yourself as establishing a digital/critical ethos. Here are the main projects of the semester along with a general grading overview (there will be detailed score sheets for each item distributed in class).
1)
 Dialogue Essay
(fulfills Scripted Interview requirement of the program)
In this project, you and peers will take the scholars and reporters who we read in the early part of the semester and bring those writers into dialogue about issues of digital literacies and digital cultures in the 21
st
 century.
(8 points)
 
    F    i   r   s   t    W   e   e    k   s 
2)
 Digital New York Stories
(fulfills Creative Non-Fiction requirement of the program)
 
In this project, you will be creating a digital project. We will use Justice Sonia Sotomayor as our inspiration, taking off from the NPR interviews and interactive movie that was created in relation to her memoir.
(7 points)
 
How Attendance Works in this Class
For each point-spread in the class, you will receive a table that looks very much like this one to describe how you acquire points for a project or assignment. 10 points
I attended every class and arrived on time for each class (because so many students in ENG 101 and 201 have never missed a day of class or ever been late, they alone get rewarded with the full ten points here). I attended every class and arrived late once.
8 points
(one lateness is the max for these 8 points) I missed one class AND was once late.
6 points
I was late twice. I missed two classes.
4 points
I was late three times. I missed three classes.
2 points
I was late four times. I missed four or more classes.
0 points
I was late five or more times.
Please Note:
 If you receive an email about your misuse/over-use of your handheld device, that will be counted as an absence from class.

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