R1B-001 | CCN: 24761

The Craft of Writing

Rhetoric and Human-Making

Instructor: Devin Choudhury & Lyndsey Karr

4 Units

 M/W/F, 5:00-6:00 PM, Dwinelle 209

What is the human? To many of us, the answer may seem both obvious and unchanging—and yet our answers, whatever they may be, are inevitably the product of a constellation of artistic, philosophical, political, and scientific inquiries. Particularly influential, especially in what is often referred to as the West, is what might be termed the Enlightenment vision of the human: that is, the human—and, more specifically, “Enlightened Man”—as a being capable of a specific notion of “reason” and/or “empiricism.” Despite the seeming ubiquity of this vision, however, it is but one of many; despite its seeming unity, it is extraordinarily multifaceted and dynamic.

In this course, we will undertake a necessarily partial examination of this vision: its roots, several of the innumerable ways in which it has been troubled, and ways in which it should, perhaps, be troubled further as the 21st century progresses. We will encounter texts from a wide range of authors, including Immanuel Kant, John Locke, Jürgen Habermas, Mary Shelley, Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, Mark B.N. Hansen, Patricia Clough, and others. Through our engagement with these texts, we will develop our own reading and composition skills, with particular focus on the creation of a research-driven, analytic essay. Together we will learn to synthesize and analyze complex arguments across styles, disciplines, and contexts, all while constructing argumentative claims through the use of research and correctly cited textual evidence.