Syllabi

Below are syllabi for some of the courses I have taught or have developed. To view a syllabus click on the course title.

Fall 2017

Composition I

ENGL 1101 is a composition course focusing on skills required for effective writing in a variety of contexts, with emphasis on exposition, analysis, and argumentation, and also including introductory use of a variety of research skills.

In this section of ENGL 1101, we will learn how to “play detective.” In the same way a good detective “reads” a crime step by step, we will use detective and crime narratives to “uncover” the nature of rhetoric (The “what,” the “why,” and the “how”). However, a good reader should also be a good writer, in the same way a detective must be able to effectively and clearly present her or his findings to others. To this end, we will spend a large amount of time exploring writing as a process (a way of using language and building rhetorical strategies) and developing our information literacy (identification, evaluation, and application of information across contexts). Ultimately, this course is designed to give you experience in three core areas: “What” (identifying rhetoric/critical reading); “Why” (the function and aim of rhetoric/critical reading and thinking); and “How” (producing rhetoric/critical argumentation).

Spring 2017

American Crime

In this course we will consider two seemingly straightforward, yet contentious issues: who commits crimes and why they commit them. To address these inquiries, we will engage with representations of crime and criminals, both historical and contemporary, as a lens through which to explore popular beliefs regarding criminality. Our goal will be to synthesize popular and academic ideas to gain an informed perspective on the current debates surrounding nature of crime in the United States.

Writing with Archives and the Arts

Fall 2015

Transnationalism in Asian American Literature

This course explores the theme of transnationalism in Asian American literature. Our primary goal will consist of envisioning “Asian” and “American” as modes of selfhood containing multiple definitions not necessarily limited by geographical boundaries. We will pay particular attention to representations and theories of transnationalism as an aesthetic, cultural, individual, political, and social form of expression. Most importantly, we will engage with the inevitable intersection of these seemingly disparate categories and even contribute our own methods of approaching and interpreting Asian American transnationalism.

Spring 2014

Moral Panics

Belief in “threats to the very fabric of society” is everywhere in popular culture. Many TV commercials depict living rooms as breeding grounds for hordes of animated bacteria that surround unsuspecting infants. Advertisements with captions such as “See Something, Say Something” promote distrust of strangers as well as one’s friends and neighbors. Do we really now live in a world of constant risk, on the verge of social and literal collapse? While potential threats to ourselves and to others are very real, where do we draw the line between ensuring safety and succumbing to moral panic that leads to paranoia and unfair persecution of certain peoples? This is one of the questions we will address in this class. Through an exploration of various texts, films, and media, we will encounter tropes from the cultural imagination of the United States that have caused, and continue to cause, dread and anxiety: “the mentally ill,” “the dysfunctional family,” “children at risk,” “the fall of America,” “contagion and disease,” and “uncontrollable crime.” This course should appeal to students interested in literature, psychoanalysis, history, sociology, and film.

Spring 2012

African-American Speculative Literature in Cultural and Historical Context

Although usually considered a recent literary phenomenon, African-American involvement in the genre of speculative literature dates back to the turn of the twentieth century. Lost worlds, mad scientists, human transformation, seemingly impossible occurrences, and apocalyptic narratives have been and continue to be represented in African-American Literature alongside other literatures such as Gothic, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Slipstream, Paranormal, Cyberpunk, and many others. As with all literary genres, whether traditional or unorthodox, authors and audiences engage with the cultural moments shaping the lives they live and the texts they read. While this is no less true for African-Americans, their unique historical struggles present them with expressive needs, challenges, and opportunities for which speculative literature is especially suited. This course will introduce you to a world of imaginative exploration and real-world issues and concerns represented by black Americans in the United States.

Courses Developed

Survey of American Literature: 1865-Present

The Beat Generation

Night Doctors and Needle Men

Literature and Film

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