Craft of Writing
R1B - 008 | CCN: 77833
Instructor: Keerthi Potluri
Date / Time: TuTh 1230-2P, 130 DWINELLE
This course asks the following: What does it mean to be human, together – to be part of a community? To be a citizen, an illegal resident, a nation? And what are our obligations to others? By interrogating the notion of cosmopolitanism, long a part of Western philosophical traditions, we will explore what it means to be a citizen of the world, as well as the basic condition of “being together” – a fundamental condition of politics. We will read texts in political and social thought, philosophy, urban studies, and literature to develop our understanding of what it means to be cosmopolitan and what a cosmopolitan orientation to the world can potentially offer us amid growing inequality on both national and planetary scales. Some lives are considered less valuable than others, even along shared lines of national citizenship. How does globalization in our time shape such relationships? In light of this, can we think about belonging to something other than, or in addition to, a nation?
Alongside these inquiries, we will also cover how to craft writing. Since this is an R1A course, there will be an emphasis on developing skills to write well – analytically, gracefully, and effectively. We will focus on learning how to do critical textual analysis, how to conceptualize thesis-driven arguments, how to find and incorporate evidence, and how to write clearly and persuasively. Over the course of the semester, students will write and revise several short essays (2-4 pages each).
Most required course texts will either be compiled in a reader, available at Metro Publishing, OR posted on bCourses. We will decide collectively on the first day of class which option works best for our group. Additional materials – including writing exercises – will be made available on bCourses throughout the semester, as needed. You must independently obtain a copy of one text (Camus’ The Stranger).