California State University, Northridge Spring 2011 English 650: Twentieth Century Rhetoric



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California State University, Northridge

Spring 2011

English 650: Twentieth Century Rhetoric

Instructor

Dr. Ian Barnard

Office Hours in ST 834: MW 11:30-12:30, and by appointment

Email Office Hours: ian.barnard@csun.edu


Course Description

The catalog description for English 650 explains that the course treats “major rhetorical theories and their relationship to literary criticism, linguistics, and language philosophy; competing paradigms of the rhetoric of written composition; and implications of rhetorical theories for students and teachers of literature and composition.” This particular section of English 650 will focus on the collisions and intersections between composition studies and critical theory.

How has the field of composition studies responded to / incorporated / impelled / ignored recent developments in critical theory? To answer this question, we’ll engage with critical composition theory and poststructuralist theory, as well as / including work in disability studies, queer theory, feminism, and postcolonial theory, and Trinh T. Minh-ha’s revolutionary documentary film, Reassemblage. We’ll examine the productive and reactionary intersections and collisions between “composition” and “theory.” We’ll also look at ways in which the teaching of writing seems hopelessly out of step with contemporary theory and imagine ways of developing a postmodern composition pedagogy.

Course requirements include critical reading / viewing, vigorous participation in class discussions, Moodle posts, facilitation of discussions, individual or collaborative final projects, and project workshops. No tests or exams. Few lectures--seminar meetings will be discussion-based. This course may be counted toward the Literature and Rhet./Comp. options in the English M.A. program.

Students who are new to critical theory should read Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction and Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction before the first class meeting.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Seminar participants will


  • understand some of the conflicts and convergences between critical theory and composition studies

  • engage with these conflicts and convergences by extrapolating their significance, developing applications of one field to the other, and developing theories and models for teaching writing

  • enhance critical and creative reading, writing, teaching, and presentation skills through class discussions, Moodle posts, facilitation of class discussion, presentations, reading assigned and other texts, and developing individual and/or collaborative research projects


Required Texts:

  1. Alexander, Jonathan. Literacy, Sexuality, Pedagogy: Theory and Practice for Composition Studies. *

  2. Arroyo, Sarah J. “W/holes: Rethinking Writing Spaces, Moving Toward a Post-Critical Composition.” &

  3. Barnard, Ian. “Anti-Ethnography?” &

  4. Bartholomae, David. “Writing with Teachers: A Conversation with Peter Elbow.” &

  5. Baudrillard, Jean. “Simulacra and Simulations—I. The Precession of Simulacra.” &

  6. Course Reader. (Available from ASAP.)

  7. Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. On the Line. *

  8. Faigley, Lester. Fragments of Rationality: Postmodernity and the Subject of Composition. * #

  9. Lethem, Jonathan. “The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism.” &

  10. Lewiecki-Wilson, Cynthia, and Brenda Jo Brueggemann, eds. Disability and the Teaching of Writing. *

  11. Oliver, Kelly, ed. French Feminism Reader. * #

  12. Olson, Gary. “The Death of Composition as an Intellectual Discipline.” &

  13. Schilb, John. Between the Lines: Relating Composition Theory and Literary Theory. * #

  14. Trinh T. Minh-ha. Interview by Constance Penley and Andrew Ross and Sketch of Reassemblage Sound Track. &

  15. Trinh T. Minh-ha. Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism. * #

  16. Vitanza, Victor. "Three Countertheses: A Critical In(ter)vention into Composition Theories and Pedagogies." &

  17. Worsham, Lynn. “Writing Against Writing: The Predicament of Ecriture Féminine in Composition Studies.” &


Recommended Texts:

  1. Belsey, Catherine. Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction. *

  2. Butler, Christopher. Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction. *

* = available at Matador Bookstore

& = available on Moodle or in Course Reader

# = on reserve in the Oviatt Library


Films:

  1. The King’s Speech

  2. A Question of Silence

  3. Reassemblage


Grade Distribution:

  1. Participation: 10%

  2. Discussion Facilitation: 20%

  3. Final Research Project: 40%

  4. Moodle Posts: 30%


Participation:

I expect you to attend all seminar meetings, read/view all assigned texts carefully and critically, and participate thoughtfully in all seminar discussions. Participation grade includes your posting of your final project draft on Moodle, active participation in peer workshops on the final project, and presentation of the final project. You may miss two seminar meetings without penalty.


Discussion Facilitation (feel free to meet with me beforehand to discuss your facilitation):

  • individually or with a partner, lead a class discussion on a chapter of your choice from Disability and the Teaching of Writing

  • 20-30 minutes; I will stop you after 30 minutes

  • must be interactive (e.g., could include writing activities, discussion, role-playing, etc.)

  • don’t just summarize the reading--class members will read your text ahead of time


Final Research Project:

Details to follow


Moodle Posts:

You may use the “Miscellaneous” discussion heading any time during the semester to discuss issues related to the course, pose questions, refer class members to other resources, reflect on readings and class discussions, etc.



Position Papers

  • may be informal, but should be thought-out and revised

  • don’t have to be authoritative; may reflect your ambiguities, ask questions, or identify problems you have with the texts

  • may be formally experimental, in keeping with course themes/texts

  • should not summarize the readings

  • should be 1-2 pages each

  • may be incorporated into your final project

Responses to Colleagues’ Position Papers/Responses

  • should be thoughtful and substantial

  • should each be at least a paragraph long

  • may be formally experimental, in keeping with courses themes/texts

  • may be incorporated into your final project

  • don’t respond to the same colleagues as everyone else


Tentative Schedule


1/24/11

  • Introduction to the course

  • Reading and discussion of excerpt from the Preface to Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, 10th Anniversary Edition

Assignments for next week:

  • Read Faigley

  • Moodle Post #1: Position Paper on Faigley due by noon on 1/30; Respond to at least two colleagues’ Position Papers / Responses by noon on 2/1




1/31/11

  • Discuss Faigley

Assignments for next week:

  • Read Schilb




2/7/11

  • Discuss Schilb

  • Discuss Moodle posts

Assignments for next week:

  • Read Trinh, Woman, Native, Other

  • Moodle Post #2: Position Paper on Woman, Native, Other due by noon on 2/13; Respond to at least two colleagues’ Position Papers / Responses by noon on 2/14




2/14/11




Assignments for next week:

  • Read Barnard

  • Read Trinh interview and sketch of Reassemblage soundtrack




2/21/11

  • Watch and discuss Reassemblage (40 minutes)

  • Discuss readings

  • Review requirements for discussion facilitation




Assignments for next week:

  • Read Alexander

  • Moodle Post #3: Position Paper on Alexander due by noon on 2/27; Respond to at least two colleagues’ Position Papers / Responses by noon on 3/1




2/28/11

  • Discuss Alexander

  • Meet with discussion co-facilitators




Assignments for next week:

  • Read Deleuze and Guattari




3/7/11

  • Discuss Deleuze and Guattari

  • Special guest: Syuzanna Babayeva

  • Mid-semester evaluation of course




Assignments for next week:

  • Read articles by Arroyo, Bartholomae, Baudrillard, Olson, Vitanza





3/14/11

  • Discuss readings





Assignments for next week:

  • Read assigned selections from Disability and the Teaching of Writing

  • Prepare discussion facilitation

  • Bring composition textbooks / assignments




3/21/11




Assignments for next week:

  • Read assigned selections from Disability and the Teaching of Writing

  • Prepare discussion facilitation




3/28/11

  • Student-led discussions of readings from Disability and the Teaching of Writing

  • Discuss final research project




Assignments for 4/11/11:

  • Watch The King’s Speech

  • Read Preface, Chapter 1, and Chapter 5 from French Feminism Reader

  • Moodle Post #4: Position Paper on The King’s Speech due by noon on 4/9; Respond to at least two colleagues’ Position Papers / Responses by noon on 4/10





SPRING BREAK


4/11/11

  • Discuss The King’s Speech

  • Discuss readings from French Feminism Reader

  • Work on final research project




Assignments for next week:

  • Read Chapters 6-8 from French Feminism Reader

  • Moodle Post #5: Position Paper on Chapter 6 or Chapter 7 or Chapter 8 of French Feminism Reader due by noon on 4/17; Respond to at least two colleagues’ Position Papers / Responses by noon on 4/19

  • Work on final research project




4/18/11

  • Discuss readings from French Feminism Reader

  • Work on final research project




Assignments for next week:

  • Read article by Worsham

  • Work on final research project




4/25/11

  • Watch and discuss A Question of Silence

  • Discuss Worsham article

  • Work on final research project




Assignments for next week:

  • Read article by Lethem

  • Post a draft or link to a draft of your final research project on Moodle by noon on 4/30

  • Read your group members’ final research project drafts




5/2/11

  • Discuss Lethem article

  • Workshops on final research project




Assignments for next week:

  • Work on final research project

  • Post your final research project on Moodle by 3 p.m. on 5/9/11




5/9/11

  • Presentations on final research project

  • Wrap-up

  • Party?








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Some Additional Resources:
Books

Anzaldúa, Gloria E. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.

Bergmann, Linda S., and Edith M. Baker, eds. Composition and Literature: The End(s) of Education.

Berlin, James A., and Michael J. Vivion, eds. Cultural Studies in the English Classroom.

Berlin, James A. Rhetorics, Poetics, and Cultures: Refiguring College English Studies.

Blitz, Michael, and C. Mark Hurlbert. Letters for the Living: Teaching Writing in a Violent Age.

Brueggemann, Brenda Jo. Lend Me Your Ear: Rhetorical Constructions of Deafness.

Butler, Judith. Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence.

Canagarajah, A. Suresh. Resisting Linguistic Imperialism in English Teaching.

Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung. Dictee.

Clifford, John, and John Schilb, eds. Writing Theory and Critical Theory.

Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia.

---. A Thousand Plateaus.

Fitts, Karen, and Alan W. France, eds. Left Margins: Cultural Studies and Composition Pedagogy.

Foucault, Michel. The Archeology of Knowledge.

---. The Order of Things.

Gilyard, Keith. Race, Rhetoric, and Composition.

Goleman, Judith. Working Theory: Critical Composition Studies for Students and Teachers.

Greenbaum, Andrea, ed. Insurrections: Approaches to Resistance in Composition Studies.

Harkin, Patricia, and John Schilb, eds. Contending with Words: Composition and Rhetoric in a Postmodern Age.

Horner, Bruce. Terms of Work for Composition: A Materialist Critique.

Hurlbert, Claude Mark, and Michael Blitz, eds. Composition and Resistance.

Jarratt, Susan, and Lynn Worsham, eds. Feminism and Composition: In Other Words.

Joeres, Ruth-Ellen Boetcher, and Elizabeth Mittman, eds. The Politics of the Essay: Feminist Perspectives.

Kent, Thomas, ed. Post-Process Theory: Beyond the Writing-Process Paradigm.

Lunsford, Andrea E., and Lahoucine Ouzgane, eds. Crossing Borderlands: Composition and Postcolonial Studies.

Malinowitz, Harriet. Textual Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Students and the Making of Discourse Communities.

Miller, Susan. Rescuing the Subject: A Critical Introduction to Rhetoric and the Writer.

Neel, Jasper. Plato, Derrida, and Writing.

Ohmann, Richard. English in America.

Olson, Gary, ed. Composition Theory for the Postmodern Classroom.

Sanchez, Raul. The Function of Theory in Composition Studies.

Trinh T. Minh-ha. When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender, and Cultural Politics.

Weathers, Winston. Alternate Style.

Weisser, Christian R., and Sidney I. Dobrin, eds. Ecocomposition: Theoretical and Pedagogical Approaches.

Wittig, Monique. The Lesbian Body.


Special Issues of Journals

jac 24.1 (2004). “Special Cluster: Queer Theory.”

pre/text: A Journal of Rhetorical Theory 13.3/4 (1992). Special Queer issue.
Articles

Davis, D. Diane. “Finitude’s Clamor: Or, Notes Toward a Communitarian Literacy.” CCC 53.1 (2001): 119-45.

Fort, Keith. “Form, Authority, and the Critical Essay.” Contemporary Rhetoric. Ed. W. Ross Winterowd. New York: Harcourt, 1975. 171-83.

Griffin, Susan. “Red Shoes.” The Politics of the Essay: Feminist Perspectives. Ed. Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres and Elizabeth Mittman. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1993. 1-11.

Hart, Ellen Louise. "Literacy and the Lesbian/Gay Learner." The Lesbian in Front of the Classroom: Writings by Lesbian Teachers. Ed. Sarah-Hope Parmeter and Irene Reti. Santa Cruz, CA: HerBooks, 1988. 30-43.

Kleege, Georgina. “Letters to Helen.” Points of Contact: Disability, Art, and Culture. Ed. Susan Crutchfield and Marcy Epstein. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2000. 147-68.

Kristeva, Julia. “Woman Can Never Be Defined.” 1974. New French Feminisms. Ed.

Elaine Marks and Isabelle de Courtivron. New York: Schocken, 1981. 137-41.

Lu, Min-Zhan. “Professing Multiculturalism: The Politics of Style in the Contact Zone.” CCC 45.4 (1994): 442-58.

Olson, Gary. “Toward a Post-Process Composition: Abandoning the Rhetoric of Assertion.” Post-Process Theory: Beyond the Writing Process Paradigm. Ed.

Thomas Kent. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1999. 7-15.

Trinh T. Minh-ha. "Introduction" and "Difference: `A Special Third World Women



Issue.'" Discourse 8 (Fall-Winter 1986-87): 3-37.


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