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WCore Writing Emphasis Courses

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WCore Requirements

ANTH 204 Studying the Supernatural 4 Credits
An introduction to the study of new religious movements and non-ecclesiastical religions from an anthropological perspective. Sometimes religion is specific to certain groups and reflects an integrated system of meanings and behaviors to reflect broader cultural features in a specific social environment. But often when viewed cross-culturally, religions also exhibit some interesting common characteristics with religions from other social environments. (WCore: WCSBS and WE)
ENGL 104 Books That Changed the World 4 Credits
Literature can be a powerful tool for social change. This course examines the international tradition of literary activism in which writers expose injustice, demand change, and inspire solidarity and struggle. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 105 Communicating Through Writing 4 Credits
This course immerses students into the process of becoming college writers. The workshop oriented class provides an opportunity for students to learn about the following: how rhetorical context shapes writing, how to write about readings, how to understand the information literacy needs and approaches to research, and how to synthesize research into a student’s own writing. By the end of the course, students will have confidence to read, write, research, and communicate in a college context. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 115 The Bible and Literature 4 Credits
We will examine the ongoing cultural dialogue between literature and the Christian Bible, focusing on themes such as creation, temptation, fall, revelation, exodus, testing, persecution, conversion, apocalypse, and the problem of evil. Works by by authors such as Shakespeare, Milton, William Blake, C.S.Lewis, Kafka, and Dostoevsky will be read in the context of relevant passages from the Bible. What light do the Bible and literature throw on perennial human issues? Our basic approach to these texts will be anthropological. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 116 The Serious Art of Humor 4 Credits
This writing emphasis (WE) Exploration course focuses on humor as a pivotal human experience in the twenty-first century. Students will explore how humor is tied to social contexts, and gain a deep understanding of ways in which humor entertains, instructs, and illuminates political issues. We will read comedy as a cultural text and explore a myriad of subgenres that span geographical contexts (including works by social activist Wanda Sykes, contemporary satirist George Saunders, Indian joke master Kushwant Singh, and cultural critic Barry Sanders), as well as examine styles of comic performances from Ali G’s shock-comedy to Margaret Cho’s political satire. In the process, we will investigate the meanings and effects of humor that have proliferated through social and digital media in the backdrop of such historical events as 9/11 and the Asian Tsunami. Throughout the course, students will reevaluate the concept of humor and ask “what’s funny and why?” (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 117 Writing Time 4 Credits
Both writing and drawing use time. That is a problem. This LC considers this problem by exploring how writing and drawing use time formally or conceptually, paying particular attention to the composition of our works or the assembly of many individual components into a unified whole. We will analyze sequential images, using ideas found in films, graphic novels, photographic experiments, and animation in order to better understand how time can be used as a medium, as well as an idea. We will work to connect our writing and drawing practices in form and content and reflect on the inherent similarities and dissonances we find in each. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 121 How Literature Matters Now 4 Credits
This course considers how literature continues to be a vital element of human experience in the 21st century. It may focus on how literary tropes and ideas manifest themselves in other media (in adaptations, allusions, or mashups), on how digital tools have opened up new ways of understanding literary texts, or on how the techniques of literary analysis can help us to understand political narratives. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 131 Shakespeare, Culture, and Society 4 Credits
Shakespeare's plays and poems are important cultural artifacts of English society, its customs, traditions, structures, and institutions. We will investigate how the performance of Shakespeare's works function in 17th-century England and global modernity, drawing on theorists such as Stephen Greenblatt, Clifford Geertz, and René Girard. We will consider the role of Shakespeare's art in relation to issues of social order and of social change. (WCore: WCSBS, WE)
ENGL 133 Walking 4 Credits
In this arts and humanities course, we will explore the cultural history of walking in the United States, we will walk with intention, and we will write and make art about walking. Some people walk only out of necessity. Others walk to improve their well-being, to see the world, or to save the earth. Depending on who is walking where, when, why, and how, this seemingly simple and ordinary activity can become an adventure, a sport, a crime, an artistic performance, a spiritual practice, a political protest, and more. By studying and practicing the art of walking, we will ask important questions and uncover sometimes uncomfortable truths about ourselves and our world. This course welcomes all people. For our purposes, walking is defined as slow movement across the land. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 204 Epistolarity: Letters to and From 4 Credits
This writing emphasis (WE) W seminar focuses on letters as both reading and writing texts. Students will read letters both real and imagined (for example Heloise and Abelard, Frederick Douglass, Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, Sojourner Truth, Madame de Stael, M.L.King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, McSweeney’s Letters to People or Entities Unlikely to Respond) across a variety of genres. Students will also write their own letters (love letters, rejection letters, condolence letters, complaint letters, etc.) to themselves, their loved ones, the instructor and classmates, the editors of newspapers or magazines, their communities, etc. The course seeks to combine a deep understanding of rhetoric (awareness of audience, purpose, and information literacy) with literary modes across a broad spectrum of relevance. Letters might include emails, texts, and tweets. The seminar aims to teach students the importance of establishing ethos in conjunction with educating one’s audience. Workshop format, with at least 20 pages of writing, including multiple drafts of each assignment. The course addresses three college-wide learning goals (writing/critical thinking/creative-reflective), plus diversity, because understanding issues of power, subordination, and privilege are inextricable from creating a standpoint from which to speak. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 207 Global Food Movements: Farms to Social Media 4 Credits
This course is a study of social movements around food and agriculture in the Global South. From farm worker movements in India to the indigenous fight for environmental justice in Ecuador, this course will investigate how global "food systems" intersect with issues of land, hunger, environment, and the economy. The focus will be on the phenomenon of food crises and the social movements in response to them. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 208 Wording Your Eats: Food Writing Across Genres 4 Credits
Students read, research, and write about food. In addition to reading the work of classic (MFK Fisher, Brillat-Savarin, Jane Grigson) and contemporary (Ruth Reichel, Michael Pollan, Samrin Nosrat) writers, students will produce more than 20 pages of writing themselves, revising each piece multiple times. Topics include agribusiness, terroir, the chemistry of flavor, the development of taste, the intersection of eating and health, wild versus cultivated or hybridized, cooking, table manners, molecular cuisine, and national and international customs. Writing assignments may include blog posts about personal cooking or eating discoveries, product and restaurant reviews, experiential accounts, abstracts and syntheses of scholarly research, and research articles. (WCore: WCSBS, WE)
ENGL 210 Digital Narratives 4 Credits
In this course we will learn how to create stories using digital media such as video narratives and podcasts. Alongside exploring creative elements, we will also reflect critically on how new media shape our understanding of narrative and audiences. The online forum will allow us to be fully immersed in a digital experience. We will create what Anne Burdick calls, "imaginative techno-texts" and critique each other's works online. To develop a common vocabulary, we will read critical texts about narrative and media. In the process, we will analyze the relationship between creator and audience, between form and medium, by asking questions like, "how do the intersections between technology and storytelling affect the ways in which we explore and express our stories?" Students don't need technical proficiency. We'll spend some time going over basic technical and production guidelines. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 215 Vampire Literature 4 Credits
This course proceeds from the assumption that reading literature bears certain uncanny similarities with vampirism, and that these similarities partly account for the success of the vampire subgenre in popular literature and cinema (the reception of which we will regard as a kind of reading). In particular, literary texts put their readers in a state of passivity that is at once often nerve-wracking and intensely pleasurable. Meanwhile, we will regard writing as a form of vampiric seduction, luring the reading into a receptive state only to strike at the decisive moment and thus achieve its aims (which we will assume are somewhat less violent than the aims of a vampire). (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
HIST 102 Alien Encounters in History 4 Credits
People often make the judgment that since the past has influenced our own world, the people of the past must somehow be “like us” in fundamental ways. This course will seek to undermine that judgment by arguing that we are fundamentally different from people in the past and that in understanding these differences, we can more freely choose our futures. Our field of inquiry will be European History in the centuries that include the Ancient World through the Renaissance. In particular, we will examine the ways in which Europeans (a definition that evolves over time) define themselves through encountering and interacting with “alien” cultures. Examples: What’s the difference between civilized people and barbarians? How do the people on both sides of the Crusades misunderstand each other? How do the Khan and the Pope try to negotiate their communication? These are a few of the “alien” encounters that we will study. (WCore: WCFAH and WE)
HIST 111 Patterns of Global Immigration 4 Credits
This course looks at the recent history of global immigration patterns in the context of modern world history, paying particular attention to the last century, or so, of migration. The course focuses on immigrant experiences in the US and Europe but it also closely examines global circumstances that affect who becomes an immigrant and why. Students will explore immigration through a variety of writing assignments that focus on the historical and contemporary influences shaping the immigration experience in many parts of the world. (WCore:, WCFAH, WE)
HIST 123 Citizenship & Voting in Europe 4 Credits
This course examines the struggle for citizenship and its attendant benefits in European History. The course will follow this focus by selectively looking at European history from the Renaissance through WWII. Approximately two weeks of the course will be developed to a service learning project related to individuals seeking citizenship and/or voter registration here in Salt Lake City. We will look at how the current local issues relating to obtaining citizen rights affect our understanding of the issues that have aided and impeded citizenship in history. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
HIST 202 America’s Best Idea 4 Credits
In 1872 the U.S. Congress declared the Yellowstone region the world’s first “national park.” In 1916 Congress created the National Park Service, “which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Today the Park Service manages 407 “units” with 28 different designations – including national parks, monuments, historical parks, military parks, preserves, recreation areas, seashores, parkways, lakeshores, and reserves – and nations around the world have created their own versions of “national parks.” This course will investigate the “national park” idea and its implications for natural and human history. Why has this been called “America’s best idea?” What have been the implications of national park designation for Native Americans? For wildlife? For American history and culture? How do historians answer such questions? (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
PHIL 134 Philosophy, Identity, and the Self 4 Credits
When we begin to look at the world philosophically, we begin to question the basic assumptions in our lives that we used to ignore. This forces us to start to live in our world with shakier scaffolding than before. However, while this can be uncomfortable and often downright annoying, it also allows us to reflect on what we truly find valuable and encourages to build more meaningful relationships with ourselves, our loved ones, and our world. Throughout this course, we will read philosophical reflections on five core questions in philosophy. Moreover, we will write about and discuss how these questions enter into our own lives and how the ideas of fellow philosophers shake or stabilize our own scaffolding. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
PHIL 208 Philosophy of Love & Sex 4 Credits
Love and sexuality are two of the most crucial and complex aspects of our identities. Moreover, these concepts are often intertwined and sometimes pitted against one another. In this class, we will examine different approaches to this topic from a wide selection of philosophical traditions. Furthermore, we will supplement traditional philosophical readings with analyses of artifacts from popular culture, such as music, movies, and television. All of this will prepare us to ask and respond to various questions, such as “what is love, what is sex, and how are they related?” “In what ways does who and how we love make us who we are?” “How is sexuality a personally and politically important construct?” and “How can love change the world?” (WCore:, WCFAH, WE)
PLSC 106 Explorations in Politics 4 Credits
This course explores contemporary political issues in the context of a diverse and globalized world. Issue areas explored may vary depending on political events at the time. (WCore: WCSBS, WE)
WCFAH 213 Revisioning (Dis)ability 4 Credits
This course has been designed to provide an in-depth exploration of social justice issues for people with disabilities. Through a series of visual images, including documentaries and digital photographs, students will examine the disturbing history of cruel treatment through ‘tyranny of the majority’ toward those with disabilities. Topics include the Eugenics Movement, forced institutionalization, and continued restraint and seclusion. Students will also delve into the social changes brought about by the Disability Rights Movement as well as the barriers to full inclusion that exist today. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
WCSBS 206 Social Entrepreneurship 4 Credits
Are you interested in contributing to the greater good through the career you choose? Do you want to do 'good' for others without sacrificing your own economic well being? Well, now you can. In this course you will learn about the growing phenomenon known as social entrepreneurship. In this class you will learn the theory behind social entrepreneurship and you will immerse yourself in the local economy of mission driven startups in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. (WCore: WCSBS, WE)
WCSBS 212 Piss on Pity 4 Credits
This course has been designed to provide an in-depth exploration of how pejorative words and actions lead to oppression for individuals with disabilities. Course topics cover a disturbing history of exclusionary and subjugating political platforms and educational practices that ensure segregation and subordination. Through a series of stories written and produced by people with disabilities, students will examine the history of the Disability Rights Movement and coordinated rallying cries that include "Piss on Pity" and "Nothing About Us, Without Us."The purpose of this W-Seminar course is to go beyond a survey of history, in order to reflect on the potentials of isms, bias, bigotry, power, privilege, and oppression in human interactions. Students will explore controversial issues of morality, ethics, and values, while learning how to put problems into broader historical and cultural contexts and develop an expanded view of self that includes one's relationship to others in diverse communities. (WCore: WCSBS, WE)
WRIT 123 Writing and Language Diversity 4 Credits
In this writing-intensive class, we will read, write, and discuss the intersection of writing and language. As college students, we are asked to write "academically." But what does academic writing mean? And how does it relate to language? Academic writing will be a subject of study as well as a skill we will develop. Language, though it seems neutral, is provocative because of social attitudes toward language standards, diversity, and change. In a sense, we judge - and are judged - on how we use language, both in speech and writing. As we explore this intersection, we will become stronger readers, writers, and researchers who are aware of linguistic diversity and language in various rhetorical contexts. (WCore: WCSBS, WE)