The Craft of Writing
R1B - 002 | CCN: 77821
Humanitarianism, Human Rights, and "Human Connection" in the Modern Era
Instructor: Dannah Budny and Ryan Ikeda
Date / Time: MWF 12-1P, 109 DWINELLE
Already in the early 20th Century, questions of humanitarianism and human rights were being posited and challenged on the global scale: Between a confluence of wartime crises, fights for self-sovereignty, and the birth of international organizations which all gestured to define the “transcendence” of issues which were seen to cross nation-state lines, the notion of the human and when, where, and how action must be rallied in its defense became the preoccupation du jour. Today, in the early 21st Century, that constellation seems both eerily continued and yet, in the particularities of space and time, transformed by the development of technologies that have transmitted the discussion from radio waves and printed page to the feeds of Facebook, Twitter, and beyond— as flows of communication, information, commerce & peoples circle the globe, and as individuals experience an evermore omnipresent feed of news, livetime digital communities, and demands for response, the need to re-examine these questions compels us to ask again, and more deeply still:
How can we examine critically the question of “The Human,” and what we have come to know as “Human Rights”? What is a nuanced and self-reflective view of “Humanitarianism,” both as a concept and how it has been put into form? How are these ideas relevant to the geopolitical events we see occurring today, and how do we track the figure of the refugee, who first in the 20th and now the 21st Century has emerged as a particularly catalytic marker for these debates of rights, actions, and future(s)?
This course will examine theory, realtime examples, &works of both conceptual and artistic means. It will explore human expression as an opportunity for critical discussion and shared discovery. Note that in addition to the skills of close reading, analytical thinking, and rhetorically astute writing, this semester will also focus on the development of research, and the self-guided crafting of designs in the arc from original idea to final project.