R1B - 004 | CCN: 29853

The Craft of Writing

Instructor: Kevin Block

4 Units

T/Th, 8:00am-9:30am

Dwinelle 209

Drawing is a mode of critical thought as well as a complex means of argumentation. As the cornerstone of design, drawing lies between conception and execution, the mental and the manual. If it is a kind of representation, it is never an exact transcription. Drawing can be a means of social ordering and control, personal expression, or enskilment. There is a history and anthropology of drawing; its conventions change over time and place. All of us draw and then at a certain age (normally around adolescence) most of us stop--but we continue to speak the language of drawing in adulthood. Those are the basic premises of this course, which we will investigate via a selection of primary-source and secondary-source readings taken from a variety of disciplines, including art and architectural history, education studies, psychology, geography, and sociology. Course materials will also include visual documents (e.g., architectural drawings and maps), works of art, and animated films. While this course will not include technical instruction, it may involve drawing exercises and assignments as a complement to reading and writing requirements.

As an R1B, the purpose of this course is twofold. To further develop the critical reading and writing skills introduced in R1A, we will break down the processes of reading and writing into a series of discrete tasks, such as learning how to frame a paper in relation to existing scholarship, learning how to develop a sophisticated thesis statement, editing the work of others, and rewriting. This process will culminate with the production of a 10-page argumentative paper based on original research. We will learn how to ask a feasible research question, consider the difference between primary and secondary sources, and visit libraries, archives, a laboratory, and a studio. Class time will be spent on both discussion and workshopping. The final week of class will be devoted to oral presentations of research topics.

This course is capped at 17 students and has one instructor. Please note the early start time! Consistent attendance is mandatory.