Writing Studio II: Critical Research
As a university student, you are spending a great deal of time and money on a college education. The academy is a life-shaping institution that heavily influences how it’s graduates will run the industries and institutions they inhabit after they leave the university. This class examines the history of the academy, tracing its origins and its growth over the last century in order to develop a clearer understanding of where we are currently positioned within this institution. We will take up a shared inquiry into the cultural and social impact that universities have had, and examine the rhetoric of academic discourses as well as the rhetoric surrounding them.
In pursuing an understanding of the history of the academy, we will analyze rhetorical choices made by universities today in creating the kind of image they wish to project and the kinds of students they attract. We’ll also look at college from the student perspective.
Some of the broad questions that the course inquiry addresses will include:
• What were the ostensible purposes of the American university at its inception?
• To whom was the university most accessible and practical?
• How did social and cultural shifts change the structure, function, and purpose of the academy?
• How does the modern university work?
• How do academic structures operate to enforce standards?
• Who determines those standards, and how are they maintained or challenged?
• How do college students perceive the university experience?
• How does the lore surrounding the university experience influence expectations about college for students, for parents, and for potential employers?
It’s undeniable that today’s job market demands comprehensive training in visual, digital and electronic literacies; this course will combine contextual awareness with opportunities to actively work with and within electronic interfaces. As we concentrate on developing skills in critical inquiry and research, we will practice and hone these skills as consumers and as producers of both print and digitally-borne media.