Course Description

“If the work demanded by any labyrinth means penetrating or escaping it, the question of process becomes extremely relevant. . . . In order to escape then, we have to remember we cannot ponder all paths but must decode only those necessary to get out.” (House of Leaves 115)

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This intensive advanced writing course asks students to consider which models of mind best suit the digital age in its ambition of matching mental and emotional processing with “new media.”  How we interact viscerally with the world plays a large role in our creative and critical thinking processes and the kind of writing that we produce. Our changing relationship to data – as producers, collectors, and consumers – raises numerous questions about the potential of comprehending such a vast archive. Such a “digital humanities” (DH) paradigm is used in this course to cultivate digital-born compositions.  We engage close-reading and analysis with the postmodern novel House of Leaves, which crosses the boundary between liminal text and hypertext. House of Leaves is a labyrinthine text that pairs well with discussions of DH due to its intertextuality (even hypertextuality), ambiguousness, horror, multimodality, meta-commentary, and playfulness. Danielewski seems to have created this text with a hyperconscious awareness; it is carefully crafted through a kind of “networked” presentation that parallels how knowledge is circulated online. Writing emerges from independent and collaborative exercises that include multifaceted exploration of multimodal literary genres, behaviors, and problems of the digital age in which so many experiences are mediated by technology. Through the study of various modes of argumentation students have the opportunity through EN3011 to refine their ability to communicate effectively in a variety of rhetorical situations, and to examine the social construction of knowledge across disciplines and discourse communities.  We ask: which new genres emerge in the digital age? What do such massive collections of data reveal about time, space, perception, history, consciousness, authorship, identity, and accessibility?

CORE OUTCOMES

Throughout the term we will focus our activities on honing the skills noted in the “Core Outcomes” below. By the end of the term, we should all be able to manifest these key practices:

 

Course Objective Specific Skills/Actions BA LST Goal/Outcome Course Assessment
 

 

 

 

Enhance critical thinking skills to deepen understanding of central topics and contexts

Hone close-reading, analysis, and argumentation skills around primary texts and ideologies Goal 2/Outcome B: Identifies biases and assumptions inherent in any viewpoint Essay 1

Essay 2

Select Blogs

Select In-Class Writing

Select Discussion

Explore unique contexts to develop strong lines of inquiry Goal 1: Presents examples, facts, opinions, or theories from more than one discipline to demonstrate interdisciplinary learning Essay 3

Select Blogs

Select In-Class Writing

Problematize issues to make aggressive arguments that include counterargument and stakes Goal 5/Outcomes A & B: Recognizes ethical issues when considering problems; considers consequences of possible actions in solving problems Select Discussion

Select Blogs

Essay 1

Essay 2

Essay 3

Reflective Letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engage in collaborative research to compose creative projects with new media

 

Build intentional cross-cultural connections to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought Goal 3/Outcome B: Articulates insight on how membership in a particular culture impacts worldview Select Discussion

Collaborative Project

Set clear goals for group work that moves the projects forward with increased complexity Goal 6: Works actively within community contexts to achieve a civic aim Group Contract
Work with others in a nurturing and productive way to meet group goals and foster deeper inquiry Goal 4/Outcome B: Demonstrates effective oral communication skills in a variety of settings Collaborative Project

Select Discussion

Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology Goal 2/Outcome A: Engages in research that includes muliple perspectives on a particular issue Annotated Bib

Select Blogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustain an ongoing process of self-awareness and advocacy that contributes to the writing process

Manage strategies of lifelong learning through executive functioning skills NA All
Use reflective processes to move toward sharper awareness of strengths and challenges NA Select Blogs

Reflective Letter

Improve writing processes through pre-writing, editing, proofreading, and peer review NA All
Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes Goal 4/Outcome A: Demonstrates a thorough understanding of rhetorical context when engaged in writing tasks Select Discussion

Select Blogs

All Essays

Collaborative Project

Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information Goal 3/Outcome A: Demonstrates an understanding of the impact of culture on values Select Blogs

All Essays

Collaborative Project

Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts with increased confidence Goal 1: Draw connections across multiple disciplines to integrate learning All
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