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Response-abilities

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Fall 2008 Syllabus

ENC 1101/1102: Sustainable Identities

 

Dr. Trey Conner

office: TR 12:00-1:30 PM Davis 119A

lab: Davis 280

conner@stpt.usf.edu

I.M. handle: "rhythmizomenoid"

skype: dial "Trey Conner"

1101class: Fridays 11:00 AM - 1:50 PM Coquina 220

1102class: Mondays 11:00 AM - 1:15 PM Davis 240

 


Course Description

As a foundational course in your undergraduate composition curriculum, this course is intended to introduce you to a "problematic," a tangled set of problems for which the skills of writing and analysis are paramount. Our focus meets the standards for a worthy topic of discussion: all of us are stakeholders in the discourses responding to global ecosystemic crisis. You are being asked to analyze and contribute usefully to these discourses. Consider this class an opportunity to form a commons, a chance to rehearse engaged forms of collaborative writing facilitative of sustainable identities in an interconnected infosphere.

 

What is sustainability? As practices devoted to the mindful tuning of human habitats to the freedoms and constraints of ecosystems, sustainability begins with the deployment of rhetorical practices for visualizing, mapping, narrating, and advocating specific and informed responses to the issues and problems of any given ecosystem. Such an ecological framework begins with this premise: each one of us must become responsible stewards of life on our planet, and human beings must learn to work together to guarantee a healthy, sane existence for all, today and in the future. Wikia's sustainable community action page builds on this assumption, but also further insists that over-specialization is part of the problem. "Sustainability isn't just something for experts," they say. Rather, sustainability is "about everyone's quality of life and we all have a part to play." In order to play, "non-experts" and experts alike read and write by a rhetorical process of learning, and in this way, form communities of practice, or "sustainable identities." This course will review global definitions, concepts and increasingly noisy discourses of sustainability, and remix them toward practices of civic engagement. We will form groups and compose with new media rhetorical tools to help remix sustainability rhetoric into persuasive compositions, and browse for civic engagement opportunities in our campus, in St. Petersburg, and across the increasingly informatic biosphere.

 

In this course you will write for persuasion - you will analyze and define ideas, texts, and issues, share useful information and novel ideas with specific audiences, and attempt to move someone to do something, such as change their mind. And you will write for inquiry - by putting ideas into different contexts and forms, you will explore problems, evaluate their components, and find (sometimes unexpected!) solutions. Most importantly, you will learn how to build a rhythm and a process for a lifetime of composing.

 

The requirements of the class include but are not limited to:

 

Acquire and read the books for the course in time for our discussion of them.

Attend and Contribute to class. More than three unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.

Post at least four significant blog posts per week to this wiki. This means you will need regular and reliable internet access.

Complete a proposal and a semester project in a timely fashion.

Contribute energy to class discussions, exercises, and workshops.

Open a tab for this wiki in your browser whenever you are online

 

Spotlight on Writing

 

Sustainable Identities is a Gordon Rule course--all students must write at least 6000 words of polished text in the course.

 

When reading, planning, drafting, and revising, keep these WPA outcomes in mind (designated in bold are tags that you will apply to your best writing, so that you can easily assemble a portfolio of your best work):

 

1. rhetorical knowledge RK

 

* purpose

* responding to the needs of different audiences

* kairos

* constraints (format, conventions, appropriateness/surprise value)

* tone

* genres

 

2. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing CTRW

 

 

* writing for inquiry, learning, communicating, and commons-formating

* finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources

* mixing: integrate your ideas with those of others

* Understand the relationships among language, knowledge, and power

 

3. Process

 

 

* recursion and drafting

* flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading

* remixing - writing is an open process, by which early writing and the writing of others can be reworked, revised

* the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes

* critique your own work and others' works

* multi-person composition: learn to balance the advantages of relying on others with the responsibility of playing your part

* multimedia composition: use a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences

 

 

4. Knowledge of Conventions KC

 

 

* awareness common formats for different kinds of texts

* genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics

* appropriate means of documenting your work

* surface features - syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

 

 

Bare-minimums

 

*For the duration of the course, you will perform at least four significant writing actions per week to this wiki, and link your writing to your "home" page, which you will link to your section's class roster page. In other words, we will blog. This means you will need regular and reliable internet access. More than three unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.

 

*as important as it is to blog 4 times weekly, it's even more important to interact. If you arrive on time prepared to discuss your writing and the writing of your peers, you're on the path.

 

*Prepare to collaborate openly and effectively with your peers towards a FinalProject. This will involve informal communications, blogging, and experimentation, as well as polished "formal" pieces tailored to a specific audience. Late work depreciates one full letter grade per day!

 

*read, write, and arrive to class prepared to present, respond to presentations, and discuss the projects as they emerge.

 

*Complete informal writing assignments, formal assignments, a project proposal, an electronic portfolio, and a semester project in a timely fashion. The audience for this final project is different than the readership we imagine for our portfolios, and the very process of sampling from our compositions and "remixing" our projects into portfolios will provide opportunities to reflect, in writing, on our rhetorical development.

 

*Assemble an electronic portfolio. Even though the final portfolio is not due until the end of the course, you need to work on this project throughout the whole semester. The project will include a cover letter in which you analyze what you have learned this semester as measured against the aforementioned course learning goals. Essentially, your assertion in the portfolio cover letter is this: “Here are the skills and knowledge that I have learned this semester, and here’s the evidence that I have acquired these skills and this knowledge.” Note that the evidence will be crucial, and you should draw on all sorts of sources to find that evidence—for instance, your journal/blog/wiki-presence, excerpts from formal/polished assignments, notes from peer-group discussions, internet chats with the collaborators in your group, and any other record of your effort. You will turn in a draft of your portfolio at mid-term with a mid-term reflection to make certain that you’re on track. Be sure to click on the following link, where you will find a Student Portfolio Permission Form, which you will sign and return to the professor the second week of class. Participating students will become acquainted with proprietary and open source creation tools, and will analyze the functionality of both software paradigms.

 

*Open a tab for this wiki in your browser whenever you are online. Check the CourseCalendar, read your peers' wiki posts, and read ShareRiff's mind...in other words, keep "tuning up" regularly and you'll stay in tune with weekly assignment prompts.

 

 

Prosody Workshops, Peer-Review, and Response-able Participation

 

We will dedicate a large portion of each class meeting to reading our writing aloud, making presentations based on our readings, and workshopping our writing as it happens. Because our course is premised on the idea that ideas and revisions emerge by means of frequent and dynamic exchanges, students will be expected to visit our recent changes page and revise pages in common, daily. In-class participation will depend on staying in tune with our wiki's activity during the week, by reading and responding to each others' writing. Although daily blogs, responses to peer blogging, and early versions of working drafts need not be “polished,” our early-and-often uploads should address the prompts and issues of the week, as well as address and solicit feedback from your peers. Under no circumstances will I accept a “final” version of a major assignment, proposal, or final project unless I have seen a regular rhetorical process. Students show up to class on the day an important draft is due without having posted draft work by midnight the night class will forfeit all possible participation points for that week.

 

 

Attendance, Participation/Assignments, and Grades

 

Attendance in this course is required. While it is understood that emergencies / University-sanctioned activities may arise which result in your missing one or more classes, frequent absences will negatively affect your final grade. As a rule, one or two absences will have little impact on your final grade, assuming you participate enthusiastically when you are in class and realize you are responsible for all material covered during the missed class(es). In the event that your prepared attendance, or lack thereof, becomes a problem, I will ask you to meet with me to discuss our options. These options may include a failing grade or a lower grade than you might have earned had you attended classes regularly. In short: show up prepared to talk and write about the wiki's recent changes.

 

Participation

 

*weekly wiki'ing and in-class activity (all blogging, linking, tagging, planning, mapping, reflecting, feedbacking, and peer-grading, in-class and on the wiki), first 10 weeks: 100 points

*4 polished and formal compositions: 100 points (25 points each)

*final project: 100 points

*portfolio: 100 points

Total possible points: 400

 

Peer-calibrated grading

We will rigorously pursue an evaluation process known as peer-grading. Response-able and consistent interaction in wiki will help us create rubrics for each assignment, and each student will do an evaluation of each group assignment. We will be well-prepared for this response-ability, as we will frequently engage in small-group work in class so that everyone can benefit from multiple forms of feedback. In order to create and sustain a livable writing practice, writers need thoughtful feedback on their writing. This "swarm" approach will ensure a steady and ample rate of useful and ongoing feedback on our projects. The professor will, in turn, grade the evaluations, and pay special attention to the written rationales detailing and justifying each evaluation performed. Also, where necessary and at his discretion, the professor will override any "off-the-mark" peer-assigned grades.

 

GradingStandards

These standards build on the WPA outcomes listed above and will help us produce accurate, consistent, and rhetorically-informed assessments of the 4 polished compositions and final projects.

 

Course Portfolios

 

The final course portfolios will be graded holistically by a team of writing instructors in a blind review. They will be scored on the following criteria: rhetorical knowledge, critical reading/writing/thinking skills, process, and knowledge of conventions. The outcomes will be rated on a 1-5 scale:

 

Beginning (1)

Developing (2)

Competent (3)

Mature (4)

Exemplary (5)

 

The score for the portfolio will count 25% of your final grade for the class.

 

Incomplete Grade Policy

An “I” grade indicates incomplete coursework and may be awarded to an undergraduate student only when a small portion of the student’s work is incomplete and only when the student is otherwise earning a passing grade.

 

 

Information Management

 

Please back up everything you write for this course. You should either write your wiki posts in a word processor and save before posting. Or, if you like the feel of writing directly in wiki, cut and paste your work to an open word processing window, saving a back-up version in this way as you proceed. Information technologies carry a trace of instability, so it is always good to have redundancy in your writing process: make copies and put them in different places!

 

Freedom of Speech and Cognitive Liberty

 

This is a rhetorical space, one where composers are response-able to each other: they think and write in response to each other, and not to a preconceived notion of each other. Assume the best in those you study with and be generous with your respect, and you will teach them to respond in kind. As you will see and hear, classrooms and wikis are both spaces devoted to free inquiry.

 

 

The First Amendment of The United States Constitution

 

 

Religious observance absence policy

 

Students who find a meeting time in conflict with a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.

 

Disability access policy

 

In my capacity as instructor, I will do everything I can to make fully available the educational resources we use and create in ENC 1101 and 1102. Any student with a disability should be encouraged to meet with the instructor privately during the first week of class to discuss accommodations. Each student must bring a current Memorandum of Accommodations from the Office of Student Disability.

 

Academic Dishonesty Policy

follow the hyperlink above, and read the definitions of and penalties pertaining to academic dishonesty and behaviors disruptive of the academic process.

 

Required Texts

 

Shiva, Vandana. Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace''. Cambridge: South End Press, 2005.

 

McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.

 

The McGraw Hill Guide: Writing for College, Writing for Life'' Roen, Glau, Maid ISBN: 978-0-07-249647-5

 

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