B CUSP 135
Strengthens performance of college-level argumentative writing and scholarly research, critical reading and thinking, and the critique and the creation of print and new media texts. Prerequisite: either B CUSP 101, B CUSP 114, or B CUSP 134. Offered: AWSp.
Our course theme will be "Memory, Trauma, Representation, and Identity." This class is focused on interdisciplinary researching of this specific topic, and this quarter you will build your writing and research skills toward the production of an in-depth research paper. We will explore how concepts of memory (on both a personal and a cultural level) have changed and developed in the 20th century, particularly in relation to large-scale traumatic events. In the contemporary period, why do issues of memory become so fraught with fear and a sense of unreliability? What does it mean to be a part of the modern world, and to preserve and record information? What connections are there between trauma and memorialization or representation? Whether fictional or supposedly objective, our reports about human activities often attempt to place a plot on experience to make it understandable. This course examines concepts of memory, time, and history in relation to the stories we tell and the way we represent our memories. Along the way, we will discuss how ideas of “proper” representation of the past (and particularly a traumatic event) have changed, as well as shifting concepts of what should be preserved, and in what manner. Thus, our focus will include not only traditional “stories” but also stories told by certain spaces or objects meant to memorialize certain people, places, or events. As we discuss these issues related to our course theme, you will have the opportunity to strengthen and develop your critical reading, writing, and thinking skills. Many of the texts we cover, and the ideas they present, will be new to you. We will be examining works of many different genres, from many different disciplines. By engaging with these different means of expression and new ideas, you will develop new writing and analytical skills yourself. Over the course of the term, you will be required to try different types of academic research writing, which will provide you with skills that will apply to any discipline you choose to study.
Student learning goals
1) select and continually refine a research topic, question or problem using appropriate sources
2) develop and support claims with valid evidence and contribute new insights to existing academic conversations or lines of inquiry
3) use academic library resources to develop research strategies, including the ability to identify keywords and perform search queries, recognize relevant resources/tools, and collect and evaluate information
4) plan, organize and compose a focused research project
5) quote, summarize and paraphrase from texts and to produce appropriate documentation of source and effectively present research to a specific audience
6) assess one’s research process through engaged self-reflection and peer critique
General method of instruction
Class will include a mixture of group discussion, short lectures, student presentations, group work, research instruction, writing workshops, and online discussion boards.
Class assignments and grading
During the quarter you will produce discussion board responses, three shorter assignments leading toward your final research paper (including a youtube presentation of historical background research), and your final research project. You will also be evaluated on your in-class participation, peer editing, and written homework assignments.