Welcome to English 131! English 131 is a writing class designed to meet your composition requirement by teaching you how to practice the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills typically valued in the university. This means you will read texts in a number of genres, learn to analyze different writing situations, and respond appropriately. You will ultimately learn how to better adapt what you say and write to fit your particular audience, and to think critically about the shared values and assumptions on which textual expression, whether in a marketing brochure, blog, academic article, or news piece, depends. As such, you will examine, make, and refine arguments at the university level, and gain confidence as a writer in a variety of academic and community contexts.
In this course, we will be exploring the social and economic dynamics of food. Whether we think about food as symbolic or substantive, something that defines us culturally or ideologically, or something without which our populations will collapse, we cannot deny the presence, prevalence, and significance of food in our lives. The topic of food offers so many rich avenues for exploration – from Seattle’s foodie culture to those struggling with hunger and food insecurity. We will first examine how social and cultural factors are embedded in the food industry, and then encourage you to pursue lines of inquiry of interest to you at the local, national or global level, ranging from organic farming to food policy to obesity and food justice. We will be focusing heavily on language and rhetoric as tools you can use to engage with your community—to act and spur action.