Dr. Alexandra Hidalgo, Assistant Professor Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures Office: 265 Bessey Hall Office Hours: Tuesdays 10:30-12:00 and by appointment Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Goals And Outcomes
For the Rhetoric & Writing program, WRA 882 introduces you to postmodern, posthumanist, feminist, decolonial, and postcolonial theoretical frameworks. For PhD students in the program, it is one of the courses upon which your Core Comprehensive Exam will be based. In the course you will:
Read and analyze orally in class and in writing some of the texts in postmodern theory that have had substantial and sustained resonance with Rhetoric and Composition’s formation and ideas. Although many of the scholars we’ll read do not identify as members of our field, they have helped shape our field and continue to do so.
Develop a familiarity with a number of theoretical frameworks: postmodern, posthumanist, feminist, decolonial, and postcolonial.
Read/watch/listen to the work of contemporary rhetoric theorists and draw connections between that work and the postmodern/posthumanist/feminist/decolonial/postcolonial theory we have read and discussed in class.
Develop a sense of the biographies and trajectories of some of the scholars we’re reading so you can begin to connect their stories with their scholarship.
Articulate how you see postmodern/posthumanist/feminist/decolonial/postcolonial theory as still being relevant in helping us address current societal/global issues or issues we’re engaging with in Rhetoric and Composition as a field.
This course is designed to help you get a sense of the vital intellectual movements that have shaped the field to which you now belong. Some readings are challenging and others may feel outmoded to you in a variety of ways. Don’t get discouraged. We’ll make sense of them together during our class discussions.
You will read the books listed below. You can purchase them, borrow them from someone or from the MSU Library, and so on:
Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish. 1977. Lyotard, Jean-François. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. 1979. Mignolo, Walter. The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. 2011. Mohanty, Chandra Talpade, Ann Ruso, and Lourdes Torres, editors. Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism. 1991. Royster, Jacqueline Jones and Gesa Kirsch. Feminist Rhetorical Practices: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies. 2012. Said, Edward. Orientalism. 1978. Turkle, Sherry. Reclaiming the Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Era. 2015.
Other readings are in PDF form and are available on our Course Google Drive. There are also links to online content available on our course calendar.
Text Responses (20%) You will write four 1,000-1,200-word responses where you compare two class texts, selecting one issue/concept/idea brought up by both of them and analyzing how each text deals with it.
Due Date: Anytime between 1/17 and 4/21. You need to submit your response by class time on the day we’re discussing the readings you’re addressing.
One Scholar Biography Presentation (20%) Once during the semester you will select one of the scholars we’re reading for that day and give a 12-minute Powerpoint/Prezie presentation in which you tell us about their lives and their scholarly trajectory.
Due Date: it varies, depending on which scholar you choose.
I Wish We Were Reading/Watching/Listening to/Experiencing This Presentation(20%) In pairs, you will come up with a 20-minute presentation in which you share two texts in any medium (alphabetic writing, video, podcast, slidecast, webtext, and so on) that you believe would have made great additions to our class readings.
Due Date: You and your partner will sign up for a slot on our course Google drive.
Initial Thoughts on Final Essay Presentation (5%) In a five-minute presentation, you will discuss your idea for your final project and ask questions you would like the class to help you resolve.
Due Date: 2/25
Final Essay Ideas Reshaped Presentation (5%) In a five-minute presentation, you will provide a detailed plan for your project and ask questions you would like the class to help you resolve.
Due Date: 3/31
A Case for Revisiting Ideas Final Essay (30%) You will write a 16-20-page (4,000 - 6,000 word) essay in which you make an argument for how one of the the non-contemporary theoretical frameworks we have studied during this semester could help us address the societal/global issue we are facing or an issue we are working through in Rhetoric and Composition as a field. You can select from postmodern, posthumanist, feminist, decolonial or postcolonial theoretical frameworks.
Due Date: 5/1 by 11:59pm.
We will be doing things during every class meeting that cannot be replicated outside the classroom, as a result I expect you to be there for every session. If you are unable to attend class for some reason, make sure to let me know in advance so you can try to make up some of what you’ll miss. I’ll do my best to make you want to come to class and make class worth your while. In exchange, I expect you to come to class prepared and to contribute to our activities and discussions. We meet only once a week, so missing class more than once will impact your grade. Please discuss absences related to conference attendance and other professional activities with me so we can work something out together.
You are expected to do the assigned readings. Some of the readings we’ll be doing are very complex and some of the ideas may seem outmoded or problematic to you but you still need to read the assigned texts. These are important texts that have shaped our field. In order to understand who we are now and how we got here, you need to read them and try to engage with them. Even if they are hard to read or if you don’t agree with what they are saying, you should stick with them. We’ll elucidate them and critique them during class together.
The best way to understand these texts and their significance to the field and to your own intellectual development is to read them, to talk about them, and to listen to the ways in which others understand them. Please be respectful of fellow members of the class as you participate in our discussions of the texts and be open to others’ interpretations. Even if you don’t agree with what others are saying, different perspectives will help you refine your own ways of thinking about an issue. If you disagree with someone’s views, do it in a constructive and generous fashion. In order for us to be able to discuss the texts with depth and honesty, we need to know that our intellectual companions will listen to what we have to say and engage with it with an open mind. Treat others during discussion as you would like to be treated yourself.
We are all learning together and trying to make sense of these texts with each other’s help. When we are at first formulating ideas, they can come out sounding a little funny, silly, unfinished, undercooked, and so on. As we listen to each other, let’s do so with kindness. Articulating our thoughts and hearing others articulate theirs is key to digesting the complex texts we are reading together. Let’s address each other understanding that we are all on the same boat as we work through our thoughts and ideas about texts.
Evaluation of Work and Participation
You need to complete all course assignments in order to pass this class. You should submit your work on time. Late work will only be accepted if you consult with me prior to the class period in which it is due. You also need to fulfill all requirements of the work as outlined on the assignment description. Because this is a graduate course, I will not grade your work but I will provide written and oral feedback. Please meet with me if you’re concerned about your performance in the course.
Services and Resources
MSU Writing Center: http://writing.msu.edu. 432-3610. 300 Bessey Hall. The MSU Writing Center is the primary writing resource on campus. You’ll also find satellite centers in several campus locations including the main library. MSU ESL Lab: http://www.elc.msu.edu. 353-0800. 714 Wells Hall. The ESL Lab assists international students with writing in a second language. MSU Learning Resource Center: http://lrc.msu.edu. 202 Bessey Hall. This center offers individualized assistance to help students develop successful learning strategies and study habits. MSU Libraries: http://www.lib.msu.edu. Purdue OWL: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl. Purdue’s Online Writing Lab provides information about writing, such as how to use MLA and how to plan and structure your texts.
Americans with Disabilities Act
In order to receive any accommodation for any disability, students must first register with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD). The RCPD will request appropriate documentation and make a determination regarding the nature of the accommodation to which a students is entitled. The RCPD will then give the student a “visa” that specifies the kind of accommodation that may be provided. It is then the responsibility of the student seeking accommodation to present the visa to his/her instructor.
Title IX Mandatory Reporting
"Michigan State University is committed to fostering a culture of caring and respect that is free of relationship violence and sexual misconduct, and to ensuring that all affected individuals have access to services. For information on reporting options, confidential advocacy and support resources, university policies and procedures, or how to make a difference on campus, visit the Title IX website at www.titleix.msu.edu."
Any student in this class who experiences difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, is urged to contact their academic advisor for support. You may also contact the MSU Food Bank for help getting access to healthy foods. Furthermore, if you are experiencing any other challenges with basic needs, you may also notify me, and I will work to connect you with any resources that I know about.