Thursday, April 10, 2008

A new advanced composition course

If you are looking for a W course outside the major, this looks interesting:

NEW COURSE FOCUS FOR ENGCMP 1220: Advanced Composition: Writing the Past
Instructor: Prof. Jessica Enoch

History, for many people, is the accurate recording of the past, pure and
simple: historians take up their work by first consulting archival and secondary sources and then composing a text that represents the factual chronology of a person¹s life or a particular event. These historical texts find their way into our daily lives through a number of venues. We encounter ³history² when we visit museums, monuments, and libraries; when we watch programs on the History Channel; and, of course, when we take courses in the history department.

This semester, we will trouble this perception of how the past is written.
Our project will be to consider how any historical representation is
rhetorical: meaning, every history makes an argument and attempts to persuade readers of a text, students in a classroom, or visitors to a museum to ³see² the past from a certain perspective. When these texts persuade us to see a historical moment in a particular way, they move us both to remember and to forget, and they call us to think as much about the present and future as about the past. The focus of this class, then, will be on
historiography: the complicated process of writing the past, and our investigations will range from investigating the arguments that emerge from historical writings to analyzing the arguments we produce through our own historiographies.

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