Critical Writing

Course descriptions

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GLOBAL ENGLISH
WRIT 011 301
TR 9:00am-10:30am
Kwok
Morality in Babies
Fulfills the Writing Requirement
KELLY WRITERS HOUSE 203
FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES ONLY
Psychological research suggests that we are born with some moral understanding, such as the ability to distinguish between kindness and cruelty. When given the opportunity, one-year-olds will punish a “bad” puppet, and even three-month-olds show a preference for helpful cartoon characters over unhelpful ones. Other aspects of morality, it is argued, develop during one’s lifetime. In this class, we will consider various facets of morality, such as the feelings of empathy and compassion, understanding of fairness and punishment, in-groups and out-groups, and even disgust. We will examine the evidence of these moral faculties in babies, and the nature of the moral sense in adults.

GLOBAL ENGLISH
WRIT 011 302
MW 2:00pm-3:30pm
Vellani
Global Cities
Fulfills the Writing Requirement
WILLIAMS HALL 204
FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES ONLY
This writing seminar examines the role of the city in the twenty-first century. In an increasingly urbanized world, the city has been portrayed as both a scourge and a panacea for humans. This writing seminar examines the phenomenon of the Global City with particular attention to why more and more cities wish to be defined as Global. What does 'Global' mean, and how is this designation measured and assigned? Readings in the seminar address a wide range of issues including spatial inequality, urban renewal, gentrification, and the economic and environmental challenges faced by cities.

GLOBAL ENGLISH
WRIT 011 303
TR 10:30am-12:00pm
Choi
Video Game Psychology
Fulfills the Writing Requirement
DAVID RITTENHOUSE LAB 2C2
FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES ONLY
Video games are big business. Be it studio blockbusters like Mass Effect, free-to-play apps like Candy Crush, or even the ever humble Pong, video games have infiltrated almost every aspect of our culture. Could it be that they have also infiltrated our brains? In this seminar, we will explore the psychology and economic theory of video games. With a multidisciplinary toolkit of cognitive science, marketing research, and a splash of humor, we will answer perennial questions, such as, "Why do people cheat with strategy guides?"; "Why do we keep getting excited about new loot?"; "Is it a problem that we like violence in video games?"; and, of course, "Do video games make you smarter?" This course is open to non-gamers, newbies, and eSports champs alike. No gaming console or Steam account required.

GLOBAL ENGLISH
WRIT 011 304
MW 3:30pm-5:00pm
Mohr
Global Health
Fulfills the Writing Requirement
WILLIAMS HALL 1
FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES ONLY
In most of the world, multiple therapeutic traditions co-exist, sometimes symbiotically and at others competitively. Many societies have radically different ideas and practices concerning health, the body and disease than in the US. And these ideas and practices are contested both within these societies and between different societies in an emerging global world. In this writing seminar, we will examine several contested topics within the field of medical anthropology in Haiti, Ghana, Eastern Europe, Japan, India, Southern Africa and the US: holistic versus ontological approaches towards disease, the politics of suffering, religious healing and contestation, the meaning(s) of organ donation, biomedicine under conditions of poverty, female circumcision, the ethics of clinical trials in the developing world, and finally, HIV/AIDS. This course is designed to improve students’ writing skills via peer review, multiple drafts and revisions of essays, and midterm and final portfolios.

GLOBAL ENGLISH
WRIT 011 305
MW 5:00pm-6:30pm
Kalin
Global English: America's Image Abroad
Fulfills the Writing Requirement
WILLIAMS HALL 29
FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES ONLY
American movies, TV shows, fast food, and other aspects of popular culture can be found virtually anywhere on the planet these days. But is it a mistake to let commercial entertainment serve as America's de facto Ambassador to the world? What does popular culture have to do with American ideals of freedom and democracy? How can public diplomacy at U.S. embassies overseas better advance these ideals and correct misperceptions? Students in this seminar will read a recent book by prominent American media critic and educator Martha Bayles that attempts to answer these questions. Students will choose an aspect of the topic to explore in a focused review of the scholarly literature, and then write a public argument based on their own research and personal experience. The instructor is a retired American diplomat.

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