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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kirin K Wachter-Grene
ENGL 131
Seattle Campus

Composition: Exposition

Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects. Cannot be taken if student has already received a grade of 2.0 or higher in either ENGL 111, ENGL 121, or ENGL 131.

Class description

So, what exactly is THIS English 131 all about?

Cultural Studies allows the analyst to attend to the many moments within the cycle of production, circulation, and consumption of [a text] through which meanings accumulate, slip, and shift? (Seeing Beyond Belief? 459).

As my colleague, and longtime ENGL 131 instructor Ed Chang states, a requirement for this course is a well-developed curiosity about the world, about the culture we live in, and about the cultural productions we imagine, produce, and consume. Thus, this is not a grammar class. This is a class first and foremost about learning to think critically. This is because we cant learn to write with depth until we learn to think with greater depth. This means that we will read and watch things that challenge and provoke us, in order to develop questions (lines of inquiry) and write complex arguments (claims) about them. As an organizing intellectual framework for this course we will explore the inquiry of Terminal Identity: Simulation, PostHumanism, and the HyperReal, paying particular interest to the manner in which these sci-fi concepts reflect salient anxieties prevalent in our contemporary society. We will respectfully challenge one another to think and write deeply about these ideas.

It doesnt matter if youre an English major or an Engineering major, what you learn here in this course are critical reading, thinking, and writing skills that you will carry with you throughout your tenure at the University of Washington, and throughout the rest of your life. This course will allow you multiple opportunities to practice the outcomes in traditional but also fun and creative ways, and you will steadily develop your writing confidence and abilities with each increasingly challenging task.

By the end of the quarter you will have learned how to use researched evidence to create complex, defendable arguments based on your own careful readings of the texts. The final result will be the ability to communicate your ideas effectively in any academic environment at the university level, and beyond.

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 Kirin K Wachter-Grene
Date: 03/03/2011