ENGL 298 B: Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing - Social Sciences

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:00pm - 2:20pm
ECE 054
photo of Lily Shapiro
Lily Shapiro

Syllabus Description:

ENGL 298 B: Writing in Anthropology Spring 2019

Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00-2:20pm, ECE 054


Instructor: Lily Shapiro, lshapiro@uw.edu

Office: Padelford B12

Office Hours: Mondays 10:50-12:50, and by appointment

Course Website: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1271286


“I chose cultural anthropology, since it offered the greatest opportunity to write high-minded balderdash” –Kurt Vonnegut


“I’ve often been accused of making anthropology into literature, but anthropology is also field research. Writing is central to it. “ –Clifford Geertz



ENGL 298B is a 5-credit writing seminar linked to, but distinct from, ANTH 215. Building on the themes, concepts, and content from ANTH 215, this course is designed to increase your understanding of and comfort with both the writing process and writing standards in anthropology. This is a writing-intensive class, but not to be confused with a class on grammar or standard edited American English (about which we will mount a critique as the quarter progresses). Rather it is designed to grow your writing abilities at a higher level—focusing on writing as craft and process. As such a large focus of the class will be on feedback, conferencing, and peer review, and will offer the opportunity to develop an intellectual community focused on writing, and in turn the chance to delve deeper into the content from ANTH 215 as well.


Learning Objectives

Through this course, you will be able to:

  • Practice writing (and reading!) in several genres of anthropology and for various audiences
  • Understand the value of writing as a process that is used for communication, thinking and reflection
  • Examine and strengthen your ‘voice’ through writing
  • Take part in the process of peer review, offering worthwhile suggestions and critiques of colleagues’ work
  • Edit and revise your writing



  • Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers by Kate Turabian (optional)

    • Available at U Bookstore (look under ENGL 197)
  • Other readings will be posted on the course Canvas site



Since this is a writing course that focuses on peer feedback and writing process, you are expected to actively participate in class discussions, activities and peer reviews and attend three conference sessions, spaced throughout the quarter, with the instructor and a small group of peers. Pursuant to the course goals, I expect that you will come to class prepared, meaning that you have completed writing assignments and/or carefully done assigned readings. I also expect that you will show respect for all individuals and focus any writing critiques on ideas in a draft, not on the writer.


Typically assignments should be posted on Canvas the night before by 9pm and brought to class as well. You may bring assignments to class in hard copy or soft. But only bring them on your computer/tablet if you’re comfortable passing it around.



Notes on the Class Community

This class is an inclusive learning community that will frequently function as a writing workshop. Because of that, I will often ask you to post your writing on our class Canvas site and share your writing with your peers in class. Please respect the parameters of our class community and do not share your classmates’ writing with people outside the course unless you have their permission to do so in writing.

It is important for us to be clear about the rules of conduct for our discussions, because some of the readings are difficult, and some of the lectures, films, and readings raise issues that are emotional because they impact us in intense, personal ways. This classroom will be a place where viewpoints and the people that hold them are respected and listened to. Please help to create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable to participate. Hate speech or bullying will not be tolerated.



In this course, there will be three writing sequences comprised of a series of small assignments, which will culminate in major papers. I will give you a detailed calendar at the beginning of each sequence, and the major deadlines on Wednesday.


Please Note: There is no class Monday, May 25


Late work

Because the success of this class will depend upon your careful engagement with each other’s work, late assignments will affect your grade, and will not receive feedback. If you have planned absences or other scheduling conflicts, please email or come see me as soon as you can and we will work something out. Of course if emergencies arise, we can work around those, too; let me know as soon as possible.


Computers, food, etc

Please make yourself comfortable in our classroom, while adhering to guidelines of respect and community that we’ll be developing and fostering. In other words, you may use laptops or tablets for note taking if you like; however, I request that you use them in such a way that they do not become a barrier between yourself and your classmates. I reserve the right to request students put away electronics if they are being used in a distracting manner. Cell phones should remain away during class sessions. Our class meets late in the day; feel free to bring a snack/coffee/etc to help you get through it as long as it doesn’t become a distraction.



Email or office hours are the best ways to reach me. If you cannot attend my scheduled office hours, email me and I’ll be happy to find another time. I try my best to respond to emails M-F within 24 hours. On weekends and holidays, do not expect an answer within 24 hours.


Academic Honesty

You are assumed to be familiar with the university’s policies on cheating and plagiarism and the potential penalties involved (you can find these policies at: https://depts.washington.edu/grading/pdf/AcademicResponsibility.pdf ). When in doubt, cite. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask!


For most assignments, and when you are citing something we read for ANTH 215, I would recommend simply citing in text after direct quotes or paraphrases with the author’s last name and page number in parentheses:


“Culture is also dynamic, responding to innovation, creativity, and struggles over meaning” (Welsch and Vivanco, 39).


For longer assignments, or if you are bringing in a source that is not one of the readings from the ANTH 215 syllabus, then please include a Works Cited section at the end of your paper.


Students with Disabilities

I am committed to making this classroom accessible in the broadest sense of the term. I do get emails from DRS if you have an accessibility issue registered with them; however, these emails sometimes are late and oftentimes folks have accessibility issues that may not be registered with DRS. I am happy to work with you in either case, and I strive to make sure the course materials are accessible. Please let me know if there are any accommodations you need that are not being taken care of. More information on support at UW may be found on the DSO web site at http://www.washington.edu/admin/dso/


Support for Undocumented Students

I am proud to work with and for undocumented students. Please let me know if you need help getting connected with the resources available at UW.






Additional Resources


The Anthropology Writing & Research Center

**This is a great place to get additional help with your writing for this and other anthropology/social science classes!**


The Anthropology Writing & Research Center (AWRC) provides assistance and support with research, composition, rhetoric, and other similar skills to Anthropology undergraduates and graduate students. We can help you improve writing assignments you may have, enhance your writing and research skills in general, and increase your comfort with the both the writing and research processes. We provide assistance at all points in research in and writing, from brainstorming ideas to outlining to specific skills (e.g. writing effective introductions, evaluating arguments, proper citation and referencing, etc.). We also have a number of useful reference materials for your perusal. You can make an appointment with us, or walk in during our office hours in Denny 423. Further details about making appointments, AWRC hours, appointment length, and center policies can be found at the URL below. If you have any questions, feel free to email the AWRC at anthwrc@uw.edu.


Center Website: https://catalyst.uw.edu/workspace/anthwrc/33110/

Scheduling: https://anthwrc.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php


The Q Center

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CLUE and other Academic Support Programs

CLUE is the UW's free, late-night, multidisciplinary study center located in Mary Gates Hall. It is an inclusive space for all students to receive academic support. We offer drop-in tutoring, discussion sessions led by graduate and senior undergraduate students, as well as a writing center.


See http://webster.uaa.washington.edu/asp/website/ for more info/other academic support options.



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Hall Health Mental Health Clinic

Hall Health Mental Health Clinic provides mental health services to students, faculty and staff, including assessments; individual, couple, family and group therapy; medication evaluation and management; and referrals when appropriate to other campus or community resources.


Let’s Talk -- Drop in consultation with a counselor

  • Tuesdays 2-4pm with Iris Song at the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center
  • Wednesdays 2-4pm with Kate Fredenberg at the Q Center in the HUB
  • Offered during the 10 weeks of each quarter


Any Hungry Husky – UW food pantry

In the US, an estimated 15-25% of college students do not get enough food due to affordability and other costs associated with a college education. Food insecurity negatively affects physical, mental and emotional health, making it difficult for people to perform well at school and work. Any Hungry Husky relieves this issue by providing nutritious, wholesome food to anyone in the UW community.


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Bias Reporting Tools

Multiple outlets exist for campus stakeholders to report incidents of bias or violations of UW policies for non-discrimination.



Questions or Concerns

If you have questions or concerns about this course, please do come talk with me during office hours or email me. If you are not comfortable discussing your concerns with me, you may wish to contact Interdisciplinary Writing Program Director Megan Callow at mcallow@uw.edu


Catalog Description: 
Expository writing based on materials presented in a specified social science course. Assignments include drafts of papers to be submitted in the specified course, and other pieces of analytical prose. Concurrent registration in the specified course required. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 10:30pm