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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Travis J Sands
B CUSP 134
Bothell Campus

Interdisciplinary Writing

Offers an interdisciplinary approach to composition, including generating a compelling topic; the articulation of a thesis; the development of supporting evidence; the ability to draw conclusions from the evidence, clear organization of the essay, correct mechanics; awareness of audience, and knowledge of resources for research. Prerequisite: may not be taken for credit if previously earned a minimum grade of 2.0 B CUSP 101, B CUSP 114, or ENGL 131. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

Common Sense, Racial Science

What is "common" about common sense? What does it mean to "sense" communally? How is common sense related to scientific knowledge? How are our understandings of racial differences shaped by interactions between common sense and science, and what are the consequences of these understandings for the ways we interact socially, politically and economically? How do both vernacular and formal types of knowledge produce the differences that they claim to merely describe? In this course we will begin to answer these questions by reading, thinking and writing about the relationship between common sense and histories of what have come to be called "scientific racism" and "racial science." As we work through sequences organized around two primary texts produced on opposite ends of the twentieth century, our goal will be to develop critical understandings of how common sense and scientific authority tacitly organizes practices of citizenship and belonging. Conversely, we will query the extent to which the "critical sense" encouraged by interdisciplinary studies is useful for projects of social justice and transformation. Along the way we will work to develop the skills necessary for uncommonly good academic writing skills that will serve you well throughout your educational and professional careers. By the end of the course you should expect to be familiar with: practices of close reading and critical analysis; generic and rhetorical distinctions between texts produced in different disciplinary, historical, social, and cultural settings; argumentative strategies suitable for academic contexts; and strategies for substantive revision.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Travis J Sands
Date: 02/06/2014