Katrina M. Harack
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.
Spring 2014: This class is focused on interdisciplinary research of a specific topic, in this case the theme of "Memory, Trauma, Representation, and Identity." 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.
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 do a series of shorter assignments leading toward your final research paper, including brief presentations, a rhetorical analysis, an annotated bibliography and a research proposal. You will also be evaluated on your in-class participation, peer editing, and written homework assignments.