Keith M Feldman
Concentration on the development of prose style for experienced writers.
In the seemingly quiet winter of 1976, a quiet marked by a global economic downturn that would transform the terrain of global capitalism, a retooling of U.S. militarism from the “quagmire” of war in Southeast Asia to the law and order policing of domestic space, and the emergent linking between the crises of resources and terrorism, French philosopher Michel Foucault took up the vital questions of the day with typical broad strokes: “If we look beneath peace, order, wealth, and authority, beneath the calm order of subordinations, beneath the State and State apparatuses, beneath the laws, and so on, will we hear and discover a sort of primitive and permanent war?”
Taking that moment as an antecedent to our own, this advanced expository writing course will introduce students to various methods of understanding, analyzing, and critiquing how different representations of and arguments about the issue of war get mobilized in various genres, including print and internet journalism, academic scholarship, film, poetry, and music. We will explore “war” as both method and object, that is, to see how war functions as a rhetorical strategy in various domains, and how different rhetorical strategies address “war.” The reading content of this course will center on contemporary interventions from prominent theorists, scholars, artists and activists, and will provide students the ground from which to produce their own interventionist strategies. The purpose of this inquiry will be to equip students with a perceptive understanding of how different arguments can be made and mobilized according to the audiences to which they are addressed, and thus to account for the material effects of particular rhetorical strategies. In the end, students will utilize analytical and close reading skills in developing arguments that are based on mobilizing different kinds of evidence that can persuade various audiences of your political positions regarding the issue and concept of war.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading