Craft of Writing
R1A - 001 | CCN: 77803
The Power of Truth
Instructor: Eugene McCarthy and Janice Yu
Date / Time: TuTh 1230-2P, 209 DWINELLE
This course investigates the notions of power and truth. We will try to determine whether or not there are such things as absolute facts, or if instead our society is based on contingent beliefs that are subject to constant change and powerful influences. To investigate these concepts, we will engage in a survey of key philosophical, theoretical, legal, and literary texts. These texts will show that some theorists are adamant about determining the “Truth,” while others hold a deep cynicism about the groups in power and the rules and regulations that they produce. Our course will help you think about your own position in this age-old debate. We will read excerpts from philosophers and theorists such as Plato, Marx, Nietzsche, Foucault, Butler, and others. We will also turn to texts from legal philosophers and read several U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The semester winds up with a film screening and a science fiction novel. This interdisciplinary approach will give you a taste of what we do in the rhetoric department.
In addition, this course aims to help you develop and master your analytical writing skills. We will engage in close readings and analytical discussions of the texts, but we will also devote a significant portion of our time to analyzing and practicing the key steps in the writing process. At the end of the semester, you will have the necessary tools to produce top-notch academic essays.