Writing papers communicating information and opinion to develop accurate, competent, and effective expression.
English 281: "Crisis in the Commons"
This section of English 281 will engage a variety of controversies which fall under the rubric of "the commons." The definition of what is considered "common," or "public property"--from open spaces to public domain art to water and air to the genome itself--is neither stable nor guaranteed. This course will explore the terrain of the "commons" debate and ask course participants to delineate and defend in writing a specific critical position.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Course readings will include selections from Garrett Hardin, David Bollier, Hardt & Negri, and Howard Rheingold (among others). Course work will consist of in-class discussion and presentations, a number of exploratory, responsive, and critical short papers, and a two-part longer paper of approximately ten pages. This is a computer integrated class, which means that class meetings will alternate between a computer integrated classroom and a traditional seminar room.
This course assumes that you have previous experiences in college-level writing (such as ENGL 109/110, 111, 121, or 131 or equivalent), as we will be building on those skills and techniques begun in your introductory courses. With that in mind, this class also takes as a basic assumption that writing is a skill and that, like any skill, it can always be furthered and improved through guided practice and experimentation. We will work to develop, challenge, and enhance the writing skills you already possess into the skills and intuitions necessary for academic, professional, and creative "readable things."
Class assignments and grading