Sharon E. Crowley
B CUSP 120
Evaluates progress at the conclusion of the first year through the construction of a portfolio and offers an experiential learning opportunity, either on- or off-campus. Prerequisite: either B CUSP 115, B CUSP 116, or B CUSP 117; may not be repeated. Offered: Sp.
In this course, students will finish creating their year-one CUSP portfolios. As they engage reflectively with their own academic work, our readings in utopian/dystopian literature will explicitly encourage them also to think critically and imaginatively about how they will inhabit and help to build the world around them. Some have argued that a recent uptick both in production and popularity of utopian/dystopian SF is a symptom of late capitalism's tight hold on culture and politics. Explicitly future-facing "thought experiments" can serve as a crucial venue for imagining cultural and political possibilities that cannot be fully expressed in other forms. This literature raises important questions about how we imagine a future world and our own role(s) in building it: What from the present do we hope to preserve, or to change, and why? How are one's answers to those questions shaped by culture, history, and lived experience? What might a future look like, that "solves" the most pressing problems we face today? How do we account for the observation that one person's utopia is another's dystopia, and what implications does this have for us, as we make educational, political, and personal choices in the "real world"? In this VLPA course, students will consider these questions while reading a variety of utopian/dystopian texts, and constructing portfolios that are both reflective and projective.
Student learning goals
Critical and Creative Inquiry: Interpreting literary and visual texts, evaluating arguments about those texts, constructing and entering conversations among texts and peers.
Communication/Writing: Making good arguments about literature, and expressing those in class discussions and in writing.
Self-Reflection and Portfolio Assembly: Review, evaluate, and assemble year-one work into a cohesive, reflective final e-portfolio.
General method of instruction
Class lectures and discussion, in-class writing, small group work.
An introductory, college-level composition course like BCUSP 114 or 134.
Class assignments and grading
Formal written work: Final paper, written in drafts Informal written work: close readings, in-class writing Exams: 3 exams to test for comprehension of material CUSP ePortfolio
Written work and exams: 55% Participation: 15% CUSP ePortfolio: 30%