ENGL 302 B: Critical Practice

Meeting Time: 
MW 10:30am - 12:20pm
Location: 
SAV 132
SLN: 
14527
Instructor:
Shawn Wong
Shawn Wong

Syllabus Description:

Shawn Wong

Office Hours: 1:00-3:00 MW and by appointment.  

B423 Padelford Hall

206-616-0941

homebase@uw.edu

Writing the Writing Prompt:  The Critical Economy of Narrative Storytelling

 

Course Description:

This course will examine and put into practice theories about writing and storytelling by using recent research and studies in the field of narrative medicine and the healing powers of storytelling.  The class will focus on three aspects of effective storytelling and the teaching of effective storytelling:  (1) all writing must show what it is you're trying to learn and understand rather than what it is you already know, (2) you cannot control what happened to you in the past, but you can control the message of those events which will give you power over the story, and (3) tell the truth, not the facts.  How do you shape a story and/or elicit a story from someone unwilling to tell their story?  Students will design and implement sequential writing prompts that first builds a safe place for storytelling and then allows for that story to exist. 

This is not a course that teaches what your beliefs are, instead it teaches you how to tell the story of what you believe in.  The class is more than writing the personal memoir, it's also about teaching and/or accompanying another writer in shaping their story.  Think of this course as teaching you, at one end, how to write your personal statement for graduate school or for a job and, at the other end, writing a story that has gone untold because it isn't safe to tell it.  Readers want to know how you acquire knowledge, what you do with that knowledge, and what are your motivations, beliefs, and influences.

Much of the philosophy and theory of the course comes from the instructor's 6-7 years of teaching a storytelling workshop as part of the Red Badge Project (theredbadgeproject.com) to wounded veterans and active duty soldiers recovering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and emotional, mental and physical disabilities.

Course Structure:

This course requires that everyone in the class buy into a flexible and changing reading schedule from week to week because of changing research and new discoveries in the field.  Work in the class is very collaborative and small team oriented.  Each group will present and lead a class that will "field test" a sequential writing prompt and evaluate it's effectiveness.    

There are two required texts on story structure and two literary works and several linked readings and/or podcasts:

The Golden Theme: How to Make Your Writing Appeal to the Highest Common Denominator by Brian McDonald

No-No Boy by John Okada

Other reading TBA

A Canvas online reader will be compiled with various articles and essays on narrative medicine and articles about trauma and healing.

Reading links (a dynamic list which is always being updated as new articles are published):

"Every Woman Keeps a Flame Against the Wind" by Kristen Millares Young

http://true.proximitymagazine.org/2018/11/15/every-woman-keeps-a-flame-against-the-wind/ (Links to an external site.)

"New Study Says That Writing Can Help You Stop Worrying"

https://www.pulseheadlines.com/study-writing-stop-worrying/67140/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The Red Badge Project website

http://www.theredbadgeproject.com/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

"Crusoe in England" by Elizabeth Bishop

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48287/crusoe-in-england (Links to an external site.)

"The Cure for Racism is Cancer" by Tony Hoagland

https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/513/the-cure-for-racism-is-cancer (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Hannah Gadsby "Nanette"

https://www.netflix.com/title/80233611 (Links to an external site.)

"Slow" Radio Lab

https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/165190-slow (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

"Eat, Memory" by David Wong Louie (in Course Canvas under "Files")

 

Assignments:

Part 1: Group Assignments

The two group assignments below have a class presentation component to them.  Groups should use either Power Point or a Word document to help lead discussion.

A.  Presentations and Class Discussion:

The class will be divided up into small discussion groups of two to three students (see below).  Each group will be assigned to lead class discussion on the assigned readings listed in the course schedule, develop at least six discussion questions on the reading, take notes of the discussion and any additional information following your presentation, upload those notes to "Discussions" on Canvas within two days following your presentation.    During class discussion one member of the group will take notes and upload those notes on Canvas under "Discussions".

Your discussion should include the following:

  • At least six discussion questions either uploaded to Canvas "Discussions" prior to the presentation or just after the presentation.  Include the questions in your discussion notes as well.
  • One member of your group should be the presentation notetaker of both the class discussion in the first hour and the discussion of the historical or other relevant content in the second half of class.
  • The notes from the discussion and the discussion questions should be uploaded to Canvas Discussions under your group name.

B.  Development of Writing Prompts:

Each group will design at least two writing prompts that are sequential.  For example, the writing prompts that you design must have three components to them: (1) an easy to write, benign, non-threatening and safe (something real and easily accessible) first part (make a list, describe something such as a photograph, etc.), (2) a second part that requires the writer/student to use their imagination and/or generate a fictional element to the writing assignment, and (3) a third part that requires a resolution or conclusion of some kind from the writer/student (what does it all mean or a "coming to terms" with what they have written).  This writing prompt must be "field tested" with other fellow students, friends, relatives, etc.  Each group should submit both the writing prompts and an analysis of the field trial and/or examples of what was written in response to the writing prompt.  Each group will also present their findings and analysis in class for the whole class.

Part 2: Individual Writing Assignments:

Each student must submit a final project that is a personal essay, memoir on a topic that relates to our class focus and discussion.  This "essay" can be an essay, an audio story (in the style of a podcast such as "This American Life," etc.), a video.  If you do an audio story or video, it should also be accompanied by a written script or prose narrative of the audio or video project (this is a W-course...).  If you choose the audio or video option, it should be 5-10 minutes long.  The personal memoir/essay should be approximately 1400-1500 words (about 5-6 pages double-spaced).  Also required is for this final project to be peer reviewed by your group members (on Canvas). 

All assignments are turned in on Canvas.  Comments and grades will be in Canvas as well.  We're going paperless.

The writing assignments will have rubric for grading, which will be posted on Canvas assignments.

 

Exams:

There will be three exams.  Two of the exams will be in class and collaborative, which means that each of your small groups will discuss the exam questions and turn in one exam per group.  All exams are open book, open notes, and open discussion.  The third online exam will be an individual exam taken during finals week.  It will go live right after the last class session and students will have an opportunity to take the online exam on Canvas over a period of two or three days.  The exams will focus on the reading and class discussion.

Grading:

60% of your total course grade is based on the two group projects and your final written project (20% each), 15% on the three exams, 15% on participation and 10% on meeting all the due dates on time. 

Assignments:

Part 1: Group Assignments

The two group assignments below have a class presentation component to them.  Groups should use either Power Point or a Word document to help lead discussion.

A.  Presentations and Class Discussion:

The class will be divided up into small discussion groups of four students (see below).  Each group will be assigned to lead class discussion on the assigned readings listed in the course schedule, develop at least six discussion questions on the reading, take notes of the discussion and any additional information following your presentation, upload those notes to "Discussions" on Canvas within two days following your presentation.    During class discussion one member of the group will take notes and upload those notes on Canvas under "Discussions".

Your discussion should include the following:

  • At least six discussion questions either uploaded to Canvas "Discussions" prior to the presentation or just after the presentation.  Include the questions in your discussion notes as well.
  • One member of your group should be the presentation notetaker of both the class discussion in the first hour and the discussion of the historical or other relevant content in the second half of class.
  • The notes from the discussion and the discussion questions should be uploaded to Canvas Discussions under your group name.

B.  Development of Writing Prompts:

Each group will design at least two writing prompts that are sequential.  For example, the writing prompts that you design must have three components to them: (1) and easy to write, benign, non-threatening and safe (something real and easily accessible) first part (make a list, describe something such as a photograph, etc.), (2) a second part that requires the writer/student to use their imagination and/or generate a fictional element to the writing assignment, and (3) a third part that requires a resolution or conclusion of some kind from the writer/student (what does it all mean or a "coming to terms" with what they have written).  This writing prompt must be "field tested" with other fellow students, friends, relatives, etc.  Each group should submit both the writing prompts and an analysis of the field trial and/or examples of what was written in response to the writing prompt.  Each group will also present their findings and analysis in class for the whole class.

Part 2: Individual Writing Assignments:

Each student must submit a final project that is a personal essay, memoir on a topic that relates to our class focus and discussion.  This "essay" can be an essay, an audio story (in the style of a podcast such as "This American Life," etc.), a video.  If you do an audio story or video, it should also be accompanied by a written script or prose narrative of the audio or video project (this is a W-course...).  If you choose the audio or video option, it should be 5-10 minutes long.  The personal memoir/essay should be approximately 1400-1500 words (about 5-6 pages double-spaced).  Also required is for this final project to be peer reviewed by your group members (on Canvas). 

All assignments are turned in on Canvas.  Comments and grades will be in Canvas as well.  We're going paperless.

The writing assignments will have rubric for grading, which will be posted on Canvas assignments.

UW Religious Accommodation Policy:

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy (https://registrar.washington.edu/staffandfaculty/religious-accommodations-policy/). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (https://registrar.washington.edu/students/religious-accommodations-request/).

 

Due Dates & Course Schedule:

Sept. 25:  Introductions, Review of course concept & storytelling theory and practice.

Sept 30:  Formation of storytelling teams and working groups, background on The Red Badge Project and narrative medicine. 

Oct. 2:  Storytelling Structure

Read:  "Eat, Memory" by David Wong Louie (in course Canvas under "files")

Oct. 7: Storytelling Structure

Read:  "New Study Says That Writing Can Help You Stop Worrying"

https://www.pulseheadlines.com/study-writing-stop-worrying/67140/ (Links to an external site.)

Oct. 9:  Storytelling Structure--discussion of The Golden Theme (the entire book)

               Discussion led by: The Bois (5) (pages 1-48)

               Discussion led by: Group Rad (6) (pages 49-104)

Oct. 14:  

Listen to podcast: 

"Slow" Radio Lab

https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/165190-slow (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Discussion led by: Zomiqaa (1)

Read: "The Cure for Racism is Cancer" by Tony Hoagland

Discussion led by: Gabby & The Rutabagas (10)

https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/513/the-cure-for-racism-is-cancer (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

 

Oct. 16:  

Watch video:  Hannah Gadsby "Nanette"

https://www.netflix.com/title/80233611 (Links to an external site.)          

Discussion led by: The Nick Nacks (2)

Oct. 21:  Exam #1: The Golden Theme

Read:  "Every Woman Keeps a Flame Against the Wind" by Kristen Millares Young

http://true.proximitymagazine.org/2018/11/15/every-woman-keeps-a-flame-against-the-wind/ (Links to an external site.)

               Presentation and Discussion led by: The Dixie Chicks (9)

Read:  "Crusoe in England" by Elizabeth Bishop

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48287/crusoe-in-england (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

               Presentation and Discussion led by: Shawn Wong

Oct. 23:  Japanese American Internment History and Background & No-No Boy Introductions, Foreward, and Afterward

Read:  No-No Boy Chapters 1-3 

          Discussion led by: Me and Yoo (3)

Oct. 28:  No-No Boy

Read: No-No Boy Chapters 4-7

             Discussion led by: Cowboy Emoji (4)

Oct. 30:  No-No Boy

Read: No-No Boy Chapters 8-10

              Discussion led by: GuChiBro (7)

Nov. 4:  Group work on the writing prompt

Nov. 6: No class.  First drafts of your personal essay/project are due today.

EXAM #2:  No-No Boy

Writing Prompt Presentations:

A Power Point version of your presentation should be uploaded to Assignments in Canvas.

Nov. 11:  Holiday

Nov. 13:

Group 1: Zomiqaa

Group 10: Gabby & The Rutabagas

Nov. 18:

Group 2: The Nick Nacks

Group 9: The Dixie Chicks

Nov. 20:

Group 3: Me & Yoo

Group 5: The Bois

Nov. 25:

Group 7: GuChiBro

Nov. 27:  NO CLASS

 

 

Dec. 2:

Group 6: Group Rad

Group 4: Cowboy Emoji

Review

Dec. 4-6: Exam #3 available online (topic of exam TBA)

Dec. 10: all final versions of assignments due

 

 

ENGL 302 Storytelling Teams:

Group 1: Zomiqaa

Wiqaa Al Jubeer, Micah Lusignan, Zoe Mikuta

Group 2: The Nick Nacks

Niko Maclean-Vernic, Nathan Saeturn, Nicki Pierce,

Group 3: Me and Yoo

 Andrew Ronstadt, Kyle Yoo, Katherine D'Amore

Group 4: Cowboy Emoji

Jaime Brown, Will St. Pierre Nelson, Salome Seifu

Group 5: The Bois

Caitlin McKeand, Nelyann Pereira, Gabriella Watt

Group 6: Group Rad

Alia Levi, Deanna Robles, Rosie Xiu

Group 7: GuChiBro

Chelsea Brogan, Sidney Ching, Tristan Gutbezhal

Group 8:

 

Group 9: The Dixie Chicks

Kayla Kendrick, Kaley Aldrich, Kylie Kepl

Group 10: Gabby & The Rutabagas

Gabby Grimstead, Daniel O'Connell, Eric Yocom,  

Catalog Description: 
Intensive study of, and exercise in, applying important or influential interpretive practices for studying language, literature, and culture, along with consideration of their powers/limits. Focuses on developing critical writing abilities. Topics vary and may include critical and interpretive practice from scripture and myth to more contemporary approaches, including newer interdisciplinary practices. Prerequisite: minimum 2.0 in ENGL 202.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 11:00pm