English Language and Composition: Advanced Topics (ENGL.1292)

About the Workshop

Over the course of four days, we’ll examine methods for teaching analysis, interpretation, and argumentation using more familiar rhetorics such as classical, Rogerian, and Toulmin, as well as less familiar ones such as feminist, Native American, and other multicultural rhetorical traditions. As part of your advanced training, you’ll be able to investigate Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Systemic-Functional Grammar (SFL) as analytic tools, both of which can empower student rhetors and analysts to examine language use and its relations to power, social justice, and social change. Both of these approaches draw on an understanding of language as a resource (rather than a set of “rules”) that people draw on to make meaning, an understanding students find both fresh and empowering. We’ll practice using these methods, share best practices, refresh our current pedagogy, and develop new approaches to teaching rhetoric and composition.

Additionally, we’ll examine ways to incorporate these methods into rigorous, but inviting (and energizing) student writing and research-based assignments. We’ll be exploring these issues in relation to the question of training students to be effective rhetors and writers, and also to be informed and engaged citizens. Of particular interest in this regard will be understanding how students’ analytic, writing, and research practices—as well as our own pedagogies—need to be responsive to the “post-truth” moment. With so much misinformation, fake news (and news that is not fake but called fake) within easy reach, with so much harmful and deleterious rhetoric circulating in American public and political discourse, how do we help students understanding the importance of truth-seeking in a culture that appears to have begun to embrace the notion that truth no longer matters?

Register for the 2017 English Language and Composition: Advanced Topics workshop online.

About the Instructor