2021-2022 Edition

Academic Catalog

Writing (WRCT)

WRCT110F Academic Writing in the US for International Students (FYS)

This course explores United States culture and history through the art of writing essays. Students will analyze renowned works by US authors while concurrently writing their own essays and focusing on essay structure, analytical writing, cohesiveness, conciseness, and the mechanics of grammar. The course is designed to prepare international students for the expectations their US professors will have for their academic writing. Assignments will involve reading and writing a variety of essays, pre-writing activities, journal entries, academic vocabulary exercises, and advanced grammar analysis. As models for their own work, students will study exemplary essays from a variety of essay genres by authors such as Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Reginald Rose. The workshop-style format of the class will encourage academic exchanges, critical analysis, and peer editing. The course is recommended for international students, students who immigrated to the US after middle school, and students whose dominant language is not English.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Prereq: None

WRCT111F Writing About Culture (FYS)

In the age of social media, pithy critiques and quick reads circulate quickly. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit, the Internet provides a space for everyone to share their opinions on popular culture and current events. This course asks us to slow down and rewind a bit to consider what scholars in cultural studies might teach us when it comes to writing about culture. We will ask the following: What is culture? What can culture teach us about the powerful structures and ideologies that shape our worlds? How might this understanding of culture help us fashion our selves and imagine new realities and ways of being?

To address these questions, students will read theory alongside contemporary cultural criticism both for content and for style and method of analysis. In addition to reading and discussion, students will practice writing about culture through multiple lenses, discovering and developing their own writerly values in order to produce a publishable piece of cultural criticism to be submitted to a publication of their choice by the end of the semester.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT112F The Logistics of Climate Change (FYS)

According to the World Bank, an increase in global temperatures of more than 2°C by the year 2100 will likely submerge coastal cities from New York to Shanghai beneath rising seas. Yet as many theorists note, the global supply chains the World Bank helps facilitate also fuel global warming. How do we make sense of economic institutions warning us of disasters their actions may hasten? Why is there so much disagreement among scholars concerning the quickening pace of climate change alongside the emergence of supposedly postindustrial economies in the developed world? And what can we do about that pace today? This class surveys two sweeping transformations of social life in recent decades to pose such questions. Climate change, we will wager, can't be understood apart from the logistics revolution that made globalization possible: The massive freeway systems, ports, algorithms, microprocessors, and container ships transporting goods and money from one corner of the globe to another. Along the way we will pay particular attention to the uneven racial and gender dynamics governing who lives where, who acquires what they need to survive, and how they survive in a world arranged by the logistics revolution driving climate change today.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT113 A Nation of Immigrants?

America is a nation of immigrants. This ideological epithet has come to define the American experience as one of opportunity, advancement, and national incorporation. This course will approach this narrative from the perspective of im/migrants, refugees, exiles, displaced persons, and colonized minorities. To do so, we will read sociology, history, and political theory alongside literary texts, inquiring into discourses of migration, mobility, and (un)belonging through an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: ENGL113
Prereq: None

WRCT113F A Nation of Immigrants? (FYS)

America is a nation of immigrants. This ideological epithet has come to define the American experience as one of opportunity, advancement, and national incorporation. This course will approach this narrative from the perspective of im/migrants, refugees, exiles, displaced persons, and colonized minorities. To do so, we will read sociology, history, and political theory alongside literary texts, inquiring into discourses of migration, mobility, and (un)belonging through an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: ENGL113F
Prereq: None

WRCT114F Why You Can't Write (FYS)

Institutions of higher education have required first-year students to take writing courses for well over a century. In doing so, they have made it clear that educational and professional success are deeply tied to writing skills. But why is this? This class asks what it means to teach students how to write by probing seemingly stable concepts and practices like language and communication. We will discuss the history of writing studies in higher education before taking up debates over literacy, language standardization, education as imperialism and colonialism, theories of writing instruction, assignment design, and assessment practices. In addition to introducing students to the field of composition, rhetoric, and writing studies, so, too, will this course center the practice of writing. As such, students can expect to write, revise, and comment on classmates' writing regularly. Assignments will include a personal literacy narrative, response papers, weekly journals, and creative projects like assignment and rubric design.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: EDST114F
Prereq: None

WRCT115 Writing Mentoring

Have you ever wanted a personal writing collaborator? Someone who would meet with you privately to help you with your writing?

Your Writing Mentor will work with you on your particular writing concerns, whether you need help generating ideas, structuring your essay, improving sentence clarity and grammar, or managing your time. As mentors and mentees meet on a weekly basis, this program is designed for students who enjoy regular collaboration. If you participate, you will enroll in a .25 credit tutorial and have a peer assigned to meet with you throughout the semester.

We work with students of all writing abilities and in all disciplines. All services are free.

To apply for a writing mentor, contact the Ford Fellow at writingworks@wesleyan.edu.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 0.25
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT115F Diffusion of Innovation (FYS)

Most inventions never make it out of the laboratory. Few reach the public. Why? Innovations and great ideas are not self-evident. Rather, inventors must persuade their fellow citizens that their ideas have merit and are worth adopting. This course will survey the broad field of "Diffusion of Innovations." Through case studies from around the globe and discussions of diffusion theory, students will learn how innovations ranging from vaccines to the world's largest particle accelerator gained acceptance through analog and digital communication. Students will also learn about diffusion failures ranging from water boiling to the DVORAK keyboard. They will then design a strategy for disseminating an existing but underappreciated scientific or technological innovation to United States adopters. The strategy will demonstrate a keen appreciation of scientific merit, diffusion of innovation theory, and the nuances of U.S. culture. This first year seminar course will also familiarize students with the methods used to collect, interpret, analyze, and present evidence in the social sciences, particularly in the field of communication.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ALLB
Identical With: CSPL115F
Prereq: None

WRCT116F The Literature of Travel (FYS)

Travel literature has been one of the most fundamental subgenres of writing since humans first began to explore and record their thoughts. Much of what was first known about the world as we know it comes down to us from travelogues of early explorers, and this rich subgenre explores issues of identity and race, knowledge and power, while also often being alternately infused with longing for home or longing for difference. The literature of travel, exploration, and foreign milieus actually falls under various categories including journalism, nonfiction writing, and fiction. Any study of travel literature prompts us to ponder the theoretical problem of understanding people and places that are alien to us. This seminar will expose students to a wide variety of 'travel literature,' including novels, essays, travelogues, and documentaries. Throughout this course, we will compare received, conventional notions of particular places with what we discover through our readings. Come prepared to read and write intensively.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT117F Instances of Collective Memory (FYS)

Both history and fiction tell stories. They evaluate facts, construct contexts, and foreground patterns and associations--all using language as their primary tool. In this course, we will analyze key moments in the formation of collective and cultural memories in 20th-century history, philosophy, and literature. We will think about how individual memory and collective remembrance connect, how larger stories are built up from archives and personal stories, and how these narratives are shaped by changes in the world around them. We'll pay special attention to how the World Wars and the Cold War are memorialized and to the importance of these narratives to contemporary Jewish identity and remembrance in Germany, Israel, and the United States.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: CJST234F, GRST234F
Prereq: None

WRCT120F Uncertainty and the Future (FYS)

The world we live in is full of risk and uncertainty. Science, politics, and economics all tell us that this is a hazardous era in which great changes are inevitable and catastrophes are possible. How do people manage living in such an uncertain world? This first-year seminar introduces students to research and writing in the social sciences by studying a driving factor in the human search for knowledge: the uncertainty of the unknown future. We will consider how the ways in which humans define, relate to, and experience uncertainty influence social well-being and the production of the future. We begin with the anthropological study of uncertainty, which is rooted in the study of ritual and magic, and then consider perspectives in psychology, economics, and ecology. While we will reflect on the "negative" side of uncertainty, such as risk, precariousness, and insecurity, we will also examine the way the creative management of uncertainty is sometimes romanticized and consider the opportunities for creativity, adaptation, resilience, and imagination in uncertain times.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: SISP120F
Prereq: None

WRCT121F Are You a Feminist? (FYS)

Taking our cue from Beyoncé and the debates her music has produced, this First Year Seminar investigates the meaning of feminism by considering how writers, artists, activists, academics, and public intellectuals discuss the topic. Students' curiosity about feminism - as topic, politics, identity, and practice - will guide class meetings where we will discuss readings by prominent feminist writers, scholars, and critics. Students will leave the course with a clear sense of themselves as writers and thinkers, as well as an understanding of the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect with race, class, and other social identities and of the multiplicities of feminisms in our contemporary moment.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Prereq: None

WRCT130F Living within the Bio-Logical (FYS)

How do biology and society relate to each other? This first-year seminar provides an introductory overview of how the biosciences have been entangled in social contexts, from the Enlightenment to the current technoscience era. We will examine contemporary case studies where society impacts biology and biology impacts society, particularly those that show the complex interplay between the body and the environment. We will look at how rates of obesity relate to inequality and insecurity, consider the impact of toxins on the body and environment, and discuss emergent research that challenges longstanding beliefs about medical science. This anthropologically informed course provides ethnographic accounts that give crosscultural context to the questions posed. Throughout the course, students will learn to discuss the interrelation of the biological with the social, political, and economic, and we will critically reflect on the influence of politics and economics on human biological agency.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: SISP121F
Prereq: None

WRCT133F Race and Representation (FYS)

This first-year seminar will introduce students to theories and understandings of race, racism, and racial inequality as debated in the academy and the public (US) sphere. So, too, will the course consider race as it is lived and represented in cultural objects such as film, literature, law, television, and music. Reading and writing will be heavily emphasized. Through regular writing activities, students will find comfort with and a voice for discussing a range of cultural texts, preparing them for everyday discussions about race in US culture.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT135 Writing about Research: U.S. Style

This course is designed to prepare non-native speakers of English to write about research in U.S. academia. Students will focus on the structure, cohesive devices, citation styles, and academic vocabulary commonly used in literature reviews, theoretical papers, and primary research studies. As a topic of common interest, example readings will focus on language research including statistical analyses of language learners; anthropology studies of how gender, race, and socioeconomic group affect language; and overviews of theories about language acquisition. Throughout the course, students will learn organizational skills for longer papers, summarize numerical and theoretical data, and practice the mechanics of writing.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: ENGL135
Prereq: None

WRCT135F How Language Works: The Beliefs and Bias that Affect our Social World (FYS)

This first-year seminar takes an in-depth look at how we communicate. What do we believe about language? How does that affect our interactions on personal and societal levels? Drawing on readings from the fields of linguistics and anthropology, we will challenge common language myths and beliefs related to multilingualism, language and dialectal stereotypes, gendered language, and language learning. To synthesize those ideas, students will write reflectively and discuss their own oral and written language, conduct short research projects, and synthesize their ideas into a final paper related to a topic in the course.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: CGST213F
Prereq: None

WRCT140L Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

This course explores theories and teaching methods related to learning English as a second language (ESL). Students will critically examine current and past "best practices" for teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and the seminal theories they are based on. In addition, we will discuss the various needs of English language learners, including both children and adults, and students coming from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds. Students will be asked to apply what they've learned by creating their own lesson plans and activities, critiquing ESL textbooks, and giving teaching demonstrations. If you choose to work with a student (or tutor in an organization), you may be able to use this class to fulfill a Category 5 requirement in Education Studies.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: EDST140L, ENGL143L
Prereq: None

WRCT150 The Science Behind Popular Scientific Literature

The Science Behind Popular Scientific Literature. This course focuses on academic STEM writing and is an exploration of the scientific literature in the reference list of Elizabeth Kolbert's "The Sixth Extinction." Assignments will consist of numerous low-stakes writing prompts with extensive peer and instructor feedback, and a term project paper constructed along the lines of a STEM review paper. This course fulfills a key need in developing science literacy and teaching students how to find and use reliable sources to critically evaluate popular science writing.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: NSM-CIS
Identical With: CIS150
Prereq: None

WRCT150F The Science Behind Popular Scientific Literature (FYS)

The Science Behind Popular Scientific Literature. This course focuses on how to present material to a scientific audience and is an exploration of the scientific literature in the reference lists of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." Assignments will consist of numerous low-stakes writing assignments with extensive peer and instructor feedback, and a term project paper constructed along the lines of a STEM review paper. This course fulfills a key need in developing science literacy and teaching students how to find and use reliable sources to critically evaluate popular science writing.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: NSM-CIS
Identical With: CIS150F
Prereq: None

WRCT200 Integrative Learning Project 1: Reflecting About the Liberal Arts

The Integrative Learning Project is a .50 credit course that allows students to learn to describe in a coherent and engaging narrative the various academic and non-academic activities, projects, and experiences that have been important for them while in college and to practice doing so for a variety of audiences (e.g. employers, graduate schools, etc.). Participants should be students who are interested in crafting a narrative about their personal and intellectual development, and who want to be able to talk about what skills they have cultivated during their time at Wesleyan and what they still want to learn.

All sophomores, juniors and seniors are welcome in this course. This course requires a willingness to discuss one's strengths, achievements, weaknesses, and failures. Students will not only engage in reflection about their skills and experiences, but will also have the opportunity to design an online portfolio in WordPress, the world's most popular content management software, and test the portfolio with different audiences by employing user experience design (UX) principles and research methodologies. Students can take this course more than once, but only once per academic year.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 0.50
Gen Ed Area: None
Identical With: RL&L250, AFAM250, CSPL200
Prereq: None

WRCT201 Learning to Write

Writing is central to education in the U.S., but how does someone learn to write? In this course, students will consider this question by reading theories of composition, debating key concepts of writing such as reflection, transfer, and translanguaging, as well as discussing scholarship out of cultural studies, literacy studies, genre studies, technical and professional writing, and public writing. Together we will explore the potential of writing education, carefully considering how we, as educators, can foster just and innovative writing education. As we read about writing instruction, literacy, and assessment, students will be expected to bring scholarship in dialogue with lived experience. To do so, they will engage in a number of praxis-based assignments, including group work to develop assignments, assessment practices, and curricular recommendations. The course will culminate in a final project of each students' design, that tackles the practicalities of teaching writing.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: EDST201
Prereq: None

WRCT202 Pedagogy for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Tutors

This course offers an introduction to pedagogical techniques and theories for teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). The class is ideal for students considering a career in K-12 education, as the number of students whose first language is not English is rising in the U.S. every year. Students enrolled in this course will gain practical experience by committing to volunteering at Middletown public schools while taking this course and are encouraged to continue their service afterward. There is a volunteering commitment of 2 hours/week minimum during the semester.

This course fulfills the Pedagogy and Practicum requirements for the Education Studies major and minor.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 0.50
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: EDST202
Prereq: None

WRCT204 Extreme Landscapes of the Anthropocene

The "Anthropocene," a term coined to categorize the current geological epoch, has become a way in which social scientists can critically and creatively engage with the impact of humanity on the ecological well-being of the Earth. The interdisciplinary and uncertain nature of this subject matter provides space for experimental writing styles, innovative approaches to storytelling, and critical discussion and debate. This course is designed to explore and challenge the term "Anthropocene," questioning how narrative and drama are entangled in the dissemination of complex truths, for better or worse.

In this course, we will consider texts, short films, and other mixed media that investigate the everydayness of extreme landscapes, from "capitalist ruins" to the depleting seas. We will dive into the social, political, economic, and scientific power-scapes that influence narratives about the environment, from late liberal ideology to corporate influence on science and the news. Through the course materials and activities, we will question how to communicate complex information with a broad range of people, particularly surrounding issues of climate change, sustainability, and environmental justice. Each student will build their own writing portfolio of short essays for specific audiences. The class will collectively build and design a storytelling website where they can share their work. Students are encouraged to apply an ethics of care and the art of "non-judgmental attention" to their critical engagement with the Anthropocene.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-SISP
Identical With: SISP204, ENVS204, ANTH204
Prereq: None

WRCT205 English Language Learners and US Language Policy

This course explores how explicit and implicit language policies in institutions of power affect businesses, schools, and the legal system. More specifically, the course investigates how language choices, translations, and the policies regarding both affect ESL programs in K-12 education, bilingual businesses, immigration policies, and the U.S. legal system. We will also discuss the recommendations of scholars for increasing multilingualism in business and education, improving education for English-language learners, and efforts to improve non-native English speakers' ability to navigate the legal system. The course is recommended for non-native speakers of English and anyone considering working with English-language learners such as teachers, tutors, NGO personnel, and legal or business professionals.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: AMST227, EDST205
Prereq: None

WRCT211 Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: Legal Advocacy for Disabled Veterans

The public rarely understands what it takes to fight for one's legal rights or benefits. Good writers can translate those battles in ways that teach, empower, and (re)build community support for struggling individuals. This course is a study in the translation of legal challenges into civic advocacy.

In this course, students will write about real plaintiffs and legal cases for public audiences. As part of their journey, students will delve into the military and medical files of a disabled veteran applying for a discharge upgrade from the military. Most discharge upgrade applicants suffer from addiction and/or mental health issues, the same issues that cut short the veterans' military careers. Using academic legal writing, news sources, and confidential personnel and medical files, students will describe issues facing veterans in general, and our veteran client specifically. Students will write for a disability blog, a legal services organization (LSO) website, a middle school social studies magazine, a podcast, and a newspaper. Students' writings will inform the instructor's writing--as the veteran's pro bono legal counsel--of a discharge upgrade brief.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ALLB
Identical With: CSPL211
Prereq: None

WRCT213 Pitch It: Persuading Diverse Audiences to Support Original Theater Projects

You have a script, some songs, and a production design...but you need support to make your project happen. Inspiring people to support original ideas requires research, skill, and craft. This course will offer students the insight, skills, and judgment needed to pitch their projects to writers, producers, donors, designers, and audiences. We will examine a range of creative projects launched in New York City and smaller arts communities to answer the questions: Where did these start? What made them captivating? And who brought them to life? We will then discuss best practices for communicating future projects orally and in writing.

Ideally, students should come to the first class with several ideas for arts projects that they would like to pitch. These can be students' own creations or others' work that students believe should be seen by a wider audience. The first half of the semester will focus on successfully-launched theater projects. In the second half of the semester, students will conceptualize and develop an arts idea they are passionate about. They will learn what makes arts proposals competitive, and will practice pitching to classmates and others. Students will have the opportunity to revise and expand their ideas and work. Students will be graded on a written portfolio and an end-of-semester pitch to the class.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: THEA211
Prereq: None

WRCT225F Writing Biography: Denis Diderot, a Case Study (FYS)

How does one re-create someone else's life, in words? How does one conjure up the historical context that surrounds a far away existence? How does one bring together different forms of evidence--from the archive, primary sources, secondary sources, and written shreds of a life--to create the illusion of knowing the dead? In this course, we will ask these questions about the most fascinating figure of the French Enlightenment, Denis Diderot (1713--1784). In addition to editing the greatest encyclopedia of the 18th century, this would-be priest turned atheist also dreamt of natural selection before Darwin, the Oedipus complex before Freud, and a form of genetic manipulation centuries before Dolly the Sheep was born, all the while making significant contributions to art criticism, dramaturgy, natural history, and political philosophy. His private life, which includes affairs and prison, is also worthy of scrutiny and examination. While reading about his existence and studying a selection of his works, students in this class will undertake a series of biography-related written exercises that seek to resurrect various aspects of this intriguing thinker or members of his cohort. This course and readings are in English.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: RL&L225F
Prereq: None

WRCT226 Ethnographies in Medicine

Biomedicine looks different in different places. Biotechnologies change under new moral frameworks. The same pharmaceutical pill can offer freedom to some and evoke colonialism in others. And in some contexts hunger is more pressing than curing a specific disease. How do we go about challenging our biomedical assumptions and understanding medicine in context? Medical anthropologists have relied on the art and science of ethnography to provide cross-cultural accounts of health and healing that are accessible, provocative, and timely. In this writing-intensive course, we will read exemplary ethnographies in medical anthropology to explore the intersection of medicine, culture, and narrative text. We will explore four themes that cover provocative discourses in the field: the challenges of participant observation during vulnerable encounters with sickness and disease; regimes of power; local-global encounters; and food, eating, and the gendered body.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: ANTH227
Prereq: None

WRCT227 Life Writing: Writing About the Self and from Experience

This course will examine both the power and the complexities of writing that derives from personal experience. Topics to be addressed, in turn, are memory (and its reliability); experience (authoritative/reportorial vs. interpretative/symbolic); identity and voice of the narrator; and agency (the degree to which the narrator is in control, or not in control, of the narrative). Types of life writing that will be explored are coming-of-age narratives, illness and trauma narratives, confessional narratives, autobiographical poetry and song lyrics, and interviews/oral histories. Readings and materials include Shadd Maruna, William Styron, Mary Karr, Donna Tartt, James Joyce, and many others.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: COL227, ENGL228
Prereq: None

WRCT228 The Art of the Personal Essay

The personal essay is short-form, first-person, narrative nonfiction that encompasses many genres: memoir, reflection, humor, familial and social history, and cultural criticism. Yet even these boundaries often blur within a single essay, and the personal essay can expand to include almost any topic. Writing personal essays--what author and critic Philip Lopate calls "the self-interrogative genre"--helps us find out what we think, often makes us change our minds, and, ideally, leads us to new insights. In class, we will discuss the assigned readings, participate in group responses to each others' writing (workshops), and write in response to prompts. We will study both traditional and unconventional techniques of nonfiction, focusing on the elements of craft: structure, voice, clarity, the use of descriptive detail, and revision.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: ENGL259
Prereq: None

WRCT228Z The Art of the Personal Essay

We all have stories to tell. But there is hard work in the act of transforming our intimate experiences into meaningful and captivating stories. This course dives into this labor by focusing on the craft of essay writing. Quite specifically, students will practice a variety of creative nonfiction writing techniques as a means of critically reflecting and analyzing personal experiences in order to produce essays that speak to readers in and outside of our immediate communities and contexts. Course assignments will include a writer's journal, workshop letters to classmates, three short personal essays, and a final essay whose subject and style is decided by the writer. Readings will include essays published in the past 30 years by authors such as (but not limited to) Kiese Laymon, Jesmyn Ward, Jose Antonio Vargas, Zadie Smith, and Karla Villavicencio.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: ENGL259Z
Prereq: None

WRCT237 Communicate for Good: Public Speaking and Persuasion for Social Mobilization and Change

The world needs more...democracy, justice, equality, civility, love. Diagnosing that need is only the first step in changing society. To achieve social good, you must persuade your fellow citizens that the change is worthwhile and the path to change is worth it. In this public speaking and persuasion seminar, you will learn how to communicate for good. In the first half of the seminar, you will adopt the persona of a public organizer and develop mass media messages and public speeches to promote your public good. In the second half of the seminar, you will assume the mantel of leadership and produce a short speech and video storyboard for the leader of a nonprofit organization closely associated with your public good. In both halves of the course, you will be graded on your speech preparation and implementation (i.e., writing and speech).
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ALLB
Identical With: CSPL237
Prereq: None

WRCT250 An Introduction to Data Journalism

This course is designed to familiarize students with the basic principles and tools of data journalism and to provide a wider understanding of the role of basic data analysis in society. To that end, the course will focus on developing a solid familiarity with basic data analysis and visualization software. It will also focus on developing the tools of journalism: retrieving public data, interviewing people and databases, and the basic principles of journalistic writing. By the end of the course, students will be able to analyze data, identify stories within the data, and create a news story complete with data visualizations of publishable quality--a skill transferable to many fields and disciplines. Both online and traditional print platforms will be covered.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-QAC
Identical With: QAC250, CSPL250
Prereq: None

WRCT250D Topics in Journalism: Writing (and Arguing) About Inequality: How to Make Your Case

In this nonfiction seminar, students will explore how to write about social issues by identifying inequity, understanding the logic and rhetoric used to both defend and criticize it, and developing their own skills to effectively communicate their opinion. Modeled after journalistic work, the course will also develop students' abilities to conduct first-person research and observation and then translate them into written form for use in nonfiction. We will also explore questions of authenticity, voice, and dominant narrative, allowing students to examine what it means to write about communities other than their own--and the issues implicit in doing that work. Work from across the political spectrum will be addressed.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT250N Writing Reality: Journalism in an Era of Polarization and "Fake News"

How should the news media cover Donald Trump? How did the Internet, the 24-hour news cycle, and rising polarization help change the nature of journalism itself, but also lead to an era of "Fake News" accusations in which Americans exposed to different sources of information come away with completely different sets of facts? This class will explore our new digital and highly partisan media landscape, grounded in a close study of current events. We will study the impact and consequences of today's media -- both how to consume it, and how to write for it.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: CSPL250N
Prereq: None

WRCT250P "It's a Mess": An Academic and Practical Look at Digital Media in the Late 2010s

Hot mess. Dumpster fire. Steaming turd pile. Commentators, journalists, and the public have all used these terms to describe the state of American digital media in 2018. While the profession of journalism is more noble in this era than in previous decades, the world of media creation and consumption is far more complicated than ever before. For young people hoping to get their start in the world of digital media in the late 2010s, catching a break is even harder.

The purpose of this class is twofold: It will introduce students to the larger issues spanning digital media--from a lack of diversity and inclusion to problems with monetization and "Fake News"--while also giving them the chance to walk through what it's actually like to pitch, write, and edit for an internet publication. Students will have the opportunity to write for a class blog using strategies that the digital media world uses today, and they'll spend time giving and receiving feedback on writing.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ALLB
Identical With: CSPL250P
Prereq: None

WRCT250Q The Journalist as Citizen

In this weekly writing seminar, we will explore how journalists exercise their roles as citizens and, in turn, how journalism affects the functioning of our democracy. Using historic and contemporary examples, we will examine how, at its best, the media exposes inequity, investigates wrongdoing, gives voice to ordinary people, and encourages active citizenship.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT250R First Person Singular

This course will examine the techniques and skills of first person reportage, where the writer is present and part of the story. We will find and hone your own voices and points of view. We will examine the myth of objectivity; issues of fairness, accuracy, and moral relativity; the perils of cultural appropriation; the savior complex; and exoticism.

The course will include several short essays and one longer final project. It will draw on readings from The London Review of Books, The New York Times magazine, National Geographic magazine, Granta, Paris Review, The New Yorker, and the following authors: Lyn Freed, Rian Malan, Jonny Steinberg, Doris Lessing, Ryszard Kapuscinski, W.G. Sebold, Bruce Chatwin, VS Naipaul, Justice Malala, George Orwell, Zawe Ashton, Julian Sayararer, Cathy Renzenbrink, Sisonke Msimang, Thomas Paige McBee, Ahmet Altan, and Peter Godwin.

This course is offered by 2019 Koeppel Journalism Fellow, Peter Godwin. He is the author of five nonfiction books and is an award-winning journalist, war correspondent, and documentary filmmaker. Godwin's bio can be found here: https://petergodwin.com/about/
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: None
Identical With: CSPL250R
Prereq: None

WRCT250T First Person Singular

This course will examine the techniques and skills of first person reportage, where the writer is present and part of the story. We will find and hone your own voices and points of view. We will examine the myth of objectivity; issues of fairness, accuracy, and moral relativity; the perils of cultural appropriation; the savior complex; and exoticism.

The course will include several short essays and one longer final project. It will draw on readings from The London Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, Granta, Paris Review, The New Yorker, and the following authors: Lyn Freed, Rian Malan, Jonny Steinberg, Doris Lessing, Ryszard Kapuscinski, W.G. Sebold, Bruce Chatwin, V.S. Naipaul, Justice Malala, George Orwell, Zawe Ashton, Julian Sayararer, Cathy Renzenbrink, Sisonke Msimang, Thomas Paige McBee, Ahmet Altan, and Peter Godwin.

This course is offered by 2020 Koeppel Journalism Fellow Peter Godwin. He is the author of five nonfiction books, and is an award-winning journalist, war correspondent, and documentary filmmaker. Godwin's bio can be found here: https://petergodwin.com/about/.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT250V The Voice(s) of Expertise: How Podcasting Is Changing the Way We Listen and Learn

In this course, students will examine the changing nature of audio news and storytelling, and the extent to which traditional understanding of the voice of expertise is being disrupted by the rise of podcasting and other on-demand audio forms. The evolving digital media landscape has brought about an historic shift in the delivery of news and information. The shift has been celebrated--"the media has been democratized"--and reviled--"the media is too fractured and people are living in information bubbles." The shift is, at the very least, unsettling, in particular for journalists who find themselves working in an environment where the old rules and training seem outdated. But it also presents significant opportunities, especially in audio and broadcast journalism. The rise of podcasting, in particular, may challenge norms on how journalists explore and explain complex issues, and on who we hear as voices of expertise. This course will be a combination of media criticism, a study of best practices in journalism, and design thinking. As students examine the impact of new media on news and journalism, they will also develop their own ideas for on-demand audio (including podcast design) throughout the semester, working on an individual project, and in collaboration with other students.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ALLB
Identical With: CSPL319
Prereq: None

WRCT250W Topics in Journalism: The Art and Craft of Journalistic Nonfiction

Journalistic nonfiction uses the tools of the newsroom to create long-form stories that read like novels. Students will learn the skills to ensnare readers in any medium of narrative nonfiction writing, from articles and books to screenplays and teleplays. Journalists excel in conducting interviews and marshaling facts. But few journos ever master the art of narrative storytelling. Nonfiction book writers can wield a narrative arc to tell a story. But many book writers are weak on basic reporting. We will read the work of newspaper reporters who learned to write long-form narratives, and magazine writers who learned the skills of the newsroom. By semester's end, students will know tools of both trades. We will hear from some of the writers about their work. To keep the focus on journalism, we will mostly skirt the genres of history and memoir. Students will write mostly in the third person, and primarily about events in living memory.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: CSPL250W
Prereq: None

WRCT256 Writing for Television

This demanding, writing-intensive course focuses on (1) the creative development of a script, individually and collaboratively; (2) scene structure, character development, plot, form and formula, dialogue, and the role of narrative and narrator; and (3) understanding the workings and business of television. Each student will conceive of, synopsize, and pitch a story idea with their "producing partners" to "network executives." Each student will also serve as producer and as an executive for others. After absorbing the feedback, students will construct a detailed beat outline and will turn in an original script at the end of the semester.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-FILM
Identical With: FILM455
Prereq: None

WRCT264 Creating Children's Books I

In this course each student will create and illustrate a children's book, at the picture book or illustrated chapter book level. Assignments include examining a variety of children's books (from 1930 to the present) and emulating specific authors and illustrative techniques as we develop original work. We will discuss both text and illustration in published picture books, and the creative assignments and workshop discussions will focus on both components, and their interaction. We will look at a range of questions: What is this book for? Who is it for? Does it appeal to children and adults in different ways? What assumptions does it make about the world of childhood and the relationships children have? How does it obscure, reveal, comment on, or attempt to change the truths of life--things like love, desire, satisfaction, hurt, difference, sickness, and death? What values or norms does it establish--or subvert? What do the words and pictures do to each other? What values or expectations are at stake as the story or pattern unfolds? We will use questions like these to help drive our experiments and revisions as we workshop all stages of our books.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: ENGL297
Prereq: None

WRCT300 Integrative Learning Project 2: Senior Capstone

The Integrative Learning Project is a .50 credit course that allows students to learn to describe in a coherent and engaging narrative the various academic and non-academic activities, projects, and experiences that have been important for them while in college and to practice doing so for a variety of audiences (e.g. employers, graduate schools, etc.). Participants should be students who are interested in crafting a narrative about their personal and intellectual development, and who want to be able to talk about what skills they have cultivated during their time at Wesleyan and what they still want to learn.

This course is intended for seniors who wish to document and reflect about their work in a single "capstone" experience. This course requires a willingness to discuss one's strengths, achievements, weaknesses, and failures. Students will not only engage in reflection about their skills and experiences, but will also have the opportunity to design an online portfolio in WordPress, the world¿s most popular content management software, and test the portfolio with different audiences by employing user experience design (UX) principles and research methodologies. Students can only take this course once.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 0.50
Gen Ed Area: None
Identical With: RL&L350, AFAM320, CSPL300
Prereq: None

WRCT301 Promoting Early Civic Engagement: The Middle School Debate Project

Civic participation starts early. Students begin to find their place in public life in middle school. Debate can provide students with tools and a platform for expressing their ideas in public. Through debate, students learn to critically analyze texts, see multiple perspectives, and advocate for change to the status quo. This service-learning course pairs civically-engaged Wesleyan students with middle and high school teachers and students. Wesleyan students will design and test parliamentary debate training materials on our campus. Then, the class will help to implement the training materials at public schools in Middletown and Hartford. Our class will also mentor high school student apprentices who will help to run two interscholastic debate competitions. Wesleyan students will be assessed on their: 1. contributions to training materials, 2. preparation for mentoring and coaching sessions, 3. contributions to middle school debate competitions and campus trips, 4. reflection papers/presentations on effectiveness in working with public school partners, and 5. contribution to the class report: "Supporting Middle School Debate Collaborations in Connecticut."
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT302 All the Feels: Affect Theory and Cultural Studies

Butterflies in your chest. Perspiration on your upper lip. A racing heart. Every day we witness and manage sensorial experiences; quite often these negotiations illuminate the ways in which powerful norms and institutions shape our daily lives. This course explores the relationship between the seemingly individualized experience of feeling and the social world of power by introducing students to the vibrant field of affect studies. A recent "turn" in critical theory, affect theory is interested in embodiment, the senses, and sensorial experience, questioning the dominance of rationality and cognition by exploring the role emotions and feelings play in our social worlds. This course will focus predominantly on affect theory as it emerged from queer, feminist, and racialized minoritarian discourses in order to ultimately contemplate the ways theories of affect, feeling, sensation, embodiment, and emotion open up literary and cultural texts.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: ENGL308, FGSS314
Prereq: None

WRCT303 Artifacts of US Empire: Post-Cold War Narratives of Migration and Multiethnic Literature

This course focuses on post-cold war literature about migrating to the US. By reading diasporic fiction coming out of and about Indian, Iranian, Cuban, Dominican, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Korean diasporas, students will examine how stories of migrating to the US are noteworthy artifacts of US empire. Importantly, we will question the ways in which these texts are tasked with the work of representing empire, imperialism, trauma, violence, and, for that matter, assimilation, meritocracy, and the US as benevolent nation-state. How do they challenge these expectations? Rescript them? Fall into their alluring traps?
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: AMST263, ENGL331
Prereq: None

WRCT347 Special Topics: Day Books, Diaries, Notebooks, Etc.

This class will take as its focus both creatively and critically the daily and episodic tracking of our own and others' insights, observations, inspirations, motivations; incidents and encounters that seem worthy of (personal) note, whether this be for instant gratification, imprint, or later expansion, simple records as well as flights of writing. We will read and keep journals of various kinds. Very little will be out of bounds.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: ENGL347
Prereq: ENGL292 OR ENGL296

WRCT350 Writing Certificate Senior Seminar: Writing and Publishing

This is the required capstone for the Writing Certificate Program. This new version of the course offers you an opportunity to develop your writing, work closely with other certificate seniors, and receive advice from professionals about editing and compiling work for publication. Visiting writers and editors will speak in class and the schedule includes several social occasions--receptions, talks, and dinners. Guest speakers from the world of writing and publishing will talk about their experiences with new media.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Prereq: None

WRCT357 Saving the Republic: Lessons from Plato for our Time

More than two thousand years ago, Plato addressed the pressing issues of the day: the rise of the oligarchy, dwindling of public deliberation, increasing political factionalism, and erosion of credible information. Some argue that the lessons of his Socratic exchanges, captured in The Republic, are valuable to this day. In this course, students will immerse themselves in 403 B.C.E., a crucial moment in Athenian democracy. Following a close reading of The Republic, the classroom will become the Athenian state. Each member of the class will assume a particular place in Athenian society and in the factions of the day using highly-developed roles from the Reacting to the Past curriculum. As members of the gathered assembly, students will debate divisive issues such as citizenship, elections, re-militarization, and the political process. Then, students will develop, rehearse, and publicly perform a one-act play at the Russell Library in Middletown. The play will be set in ancient Athens and will demonstrate factionalism, information asymmetry, political brokering, and other political issues of that era. Following the performance, the students will engage the audience in a Q&A about the relevance of the play's themes for today. Students will be assessed in five ways: 1. Content quizzes on The Republic, 2. Written preparation for debates/assemblies, 3. Oral presentations in debates/assemblies, 4. Contribution to the class public performance, and 5. A short paper analyzing The Republic's relevance for contemporary United States.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: CSPL357, GOVT357
Prereq: None

WRCT357Z Saving the Republic: Lessons from Plato for our Time

More than two thousand years ago, Plato addressed the pressing issues of the day: the rise of the oligarchy, dwindling of public deliberation, increasing political factionalism, and erosion of credible information. Some argue that the lessons of his Socratic exchanges, captured in The Republic, are valuable to this day. In this course, students will immerse themselves in 403 B.C.E., a crucial moment in Athenian democracy. Following a close reading of The Republic, the classroom will become the Athenian state. Each member of the class will assume a particular place in Athenian society and in the factions of the day using highly-developed roles from the Reacting to the Past curriculum. As members of the gathered assembly, students will debate divisive issues such as citizenship, elections, re-militarization, and the political process. Then, students will develop, rehearse, and publicly perform a one-act play at the Russell Library in Middletown. The play will be set in ancient Athens and will demonstrate factionalism, information asymmetry, political brokering, and other political issues of that era. Following the performance, the students will engage the audience in a Q&A about the relevance of the play's themes for today. Students will be assessed in five ways: 1. Content quizzes on The Republic, 2. Written preparation for debates/assemblies, 3. Oral presentations in debates/assemblies, 4. Contribution to the class public performance, and 5. A short paper analyzing The Republic's relevance for contemporary United States.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ALLB
Identical With: GOVT357Z, CSPL357Z
Prereq: None

WRCT400 Ford Seminar

The Ford Seminar continues the training and professional development of the Writing Workshop staff.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 0.50
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: EDST400
Prereq: None

WRCT401 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

WRCT402 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

WRCT411 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

WRCT412 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

WRCT419 Student Forum

Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

WRCT491 Teaching Apprentice Tutorial

The teaching apprentice program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to assist in teaching a faculty member's course for academic credit.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

WRCT492 Teaching Apprentice Tutorial

The teaching apprentice program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to assist in teaching a faculty member's course for academic credit.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

WRCT500 Writing as a Multilingual Graduate Student

This course is designed to support graduate students who do not speak English as their first language while writing about research in their graduate programs. Students will learn about the process of writing academic journal articles including writing an abstract, literature review, and methods, results, and discussion sections. They will also focus on sentence- and paragraph-level issues in their writing and elements of writing style such as conciseness, ambiguity, and clarity. Throughout the course, students will review and practice organizational skills for longer papers, summarize numerical and theoretical data, and practice the mechanics of writing.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U