Reading & Composition
Work. If you need to earn money to live you’ll have to do it. And it’s mandatory if you want to earn an undergraduate degree. But why do we have to work so hard? Are there any alternatives? And who gets a say in the conditions we work in anyway? These are some of the jumping off points for a class rooted in two ideas: first, that work and the paltry compensation that often accompanies it is too central to our lives to not talk about, and, second, that fictions are a way to think through these questions. We’ll examine work from a number of angles--as inseparable from US chattel slavery, a product of a specific global economic system, and ultimately changeable by the workers themselves. Throughout, we’ll be drawing on our own experiences to parse, challenge, and engage the fictions at hand.
This course aims to give you the conceptual tools to engage and evaluate other's ideas, as well as to form and present your own. People--whether in a university classroom, on twitter, or at lunch--make arguments, and we will work carefully to understand how that is done and how we can insert ourselves into the conversation: how to ask questions about the texts we read and the things we do; how to think about meaningful details; how to craft argumentative claims; and how to support those claims through close reading, research, engagement with other people’s arguments, and most importantly revision. By the semester’s end, you will be able to close read diverse works including novels, comics, and movies; find, select, and enlist evidence in a focused argument; and organize your thoughts into structured piece of writing. This course is meant to help you develop as a reader, thinker, writer, and speaker, and to give you diverse opportunities to put these skills to work.