“Life is bewildering, and what’s interesting, it seems to me, about coming to new places, as well as about coming to writing, is that you get to feel things that are altogether strange and unfamiliar to you. One mark of a novice traveler is his impulse to attribute qualities to places that then allow him to feel at home. By insisting that places conform to the truth he already knows, he is imposing upon them a whole series of expectations, untenable and invariable, that the locations cannot accommodate. . . .The real story lurks underneath—in history, in the environment itself, and in the people living there now.” —Frances McCue. The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs: Revisiting the Northwest Towns of Richard Hugo. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2010. 4.
Course description: In this course students will work individually and in groups to research Seattle communities such as Capitol Hill, the Chinatown/International District, the Central District, and the Pike Market neighborhood. The instructor and UW librarians will train students in using a variety of research methods and resources including observation, census data, local history, local and regional newspapers, interviews and mapping. Students will write in a range of genres inluding ethnographic field notes, individual research reports, group projects and reflective analyses. Students will receive frequent peer and instructor feedback on their written work, and groups will present their preliminary conclusions during an in-class Research Conference. The design and topic of this course support students in developing critical awareness and skill as collaborative researchers and writers, and accommodate a broad range of disciplinary approaches to understanding! urban communities.
Readings: available electronically
Prerequisites: While 281 has no formal prerequisite, this is an intermediate writing course, and instructors expect entering students to know how to formulate claims, integrate evidence, demonstrate awareness of audience, and structure coherent sentences, paragraphs and essays. Thus we strongly encourage students to complete a Composition course in the Interdisciplinary Writing Program or Expository Writing Program before enrolling in English 281.
Questions? Contact the instructor: Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill, firstname.lastname@example.org