Whether we like it or not, we live in a world that inundates our lives with language. Social media, the twenty-four-hour news cycle, your favorite sitcom, the texts you send your best friend, this syllabus – language is inescapable, and it has profound and powerful effects on how we understand ourselves and our place in the world.
In this course, we will explore this phenomenon and attempt to better understand the relationship and implications of identity and language. We will do this by engaging with a variety of texts, appearing in multiple genres and produced by authors with differing perspectives.
Through our contemplation of the complex issues presented in these texts – i.e. the validity of dialectical English, the dangers of language that imposes or subverts identity, and the evolution and reclamation of language previously used to disempower – you can expect to become a better thinker and reader.
Since the primary focus of this class is writing, you can also expect to develop as a writer. Beyond the assignments, you will be writing in class and thinking daily about the choices you, and other writers, make. Overall, you will hone your abilities:
- Outcome 1: To compose strategically for a variety of audiences and contexts, both within and outside the university
- Outcome 2: To work strategically with complex information in order to generate and support inquiry
- Outcome 3: To craft persuasive, complex, inquiry-driven arguments that matter
- Outcome 4: To practice composing as a recursive, collaborative process and to develop flexible strategies for revising throughout the composition process
These skills will be helpful to you throughout and beyond your academic career. As you combine the critical thinking, reading, writing and revising skills emphasized in this class, you will be equipped to produce rhetorically-sensitive, contextually-aware, and stakes-driven texts in a variety of situations. You will be able to think about the implications of your and other writers’ choices on the identities of others, especially groups who have been historically and systemically oppressed, and you will be able to think critically about your own identity.