Rhetoric and Composition
Contact
Department Chair:
Laurie McMillin

Administrative Assistant:
Linda Pardee

Department Email:


Phone: (440) 775-8907
Fax: (440) 775-8619

Location:
King Building 139
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Courses

Courses

FALL 2015

Courses for First-Year Students Only


The Rhetoric and Composition Department regularly offers at least one First-Year Seminar per year. First-year students seeking a small, writing-intensive course to orient them to the liberal arts at Oberlin College should seriously consider taking an FYSP. The First-Year Seminars offered by Rhetoric and Composition faculty for 2015-16 are listed below.

RHET 100 - Academic Writing for the American Classroom
This course is designed for multilingual and international students interested in exploring the writing process in English, with particular focus on American academic conventions and expectations of inquiry, argument, and attribution of sources. The class will serve as a writing community in which students read and discuss the work of classmates. Students will write often, reflect on their individual writing process, and meet regularly with the instructor to discuss progress. Instructor: N. Boutilier

FYSP 044 - Literary Journalism
Instructor: A. Trubek

FYSP 129 - Coming of Age in African Literature
This course focuses on African writing, examining a non-western body of work from a non-western perspective. A major theme is the challenges facing youth in colonial and postcolonial Africa: the struggle to balance tradition and change; the quest for education; the development of political awareness. Several books offer an African approach to what in the west is called a ‘Bildungsroman,’ or novel of youth’s coming of age. Texts include Laye’s L’Enfant Noir, Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions, and Okri’s Flowers and Shadows. Instructor: L. Podis

Writing Courses for First-and Second-Year Students


For first- or second-year students seeking an introduction to college writing. These courses focus on a variety of topics, but they all offer substantial attention to the process of writing and to critical thinking and reading. Many sections are interdisciplinary and employ a workshop/discussion format. Especially recommended for first- and second-year students who do not feel prepared to take other Writing Certification or Writing Intensive courses across the curriculum

RHET 103 - College Writing: Motives and Methods
In this course students explore their writing processes, learn how to read more critically, write in a variety of forms and develop research skills. The class serves as a writing community in which to discuss essays and writing strategies and share written work. Assignments are designed to challenge students and involve them in the kinds of reading, writing, and research that will serve them well at Oberlin and in their lives outside the college. Instructor: N. Boutilier

RHET 104 - College Writing and Beyond: Negotiating Language, Culture and Power  
In this course, students will work to create meaning and knowledge through reading and writing as they negotiate issues of language, culture, and power. Students will explore the challenges and possibilities of using multiple language and cultural resources when writing for diverse purposes and audiences. Assignments are also designed to prompt students to think critically and analytically about language use and writing strategies. Instructor: J. Karega

RHET 105 - Writing to Learn and Participate 
This course is about writing to accomplish something. Class activities emphasize strategies used in college papers and how non-academic writing requires similar skills in research, argument, and composition. Students write weekly drafts of several short papers, which are workshopped in class meetings and discussed in individual appointments with the instructor. P/NP Grading Instructor: J. Cooper

Courses for Students at any level


RHET 120 - Journalism Basics
This course will cover basic reporting, news and features writing, and ethics in journalism. In addition to course writing assignments, students will be encouraged to produce articles for student and local publications.  Instructor: F. Protzman

Writing Courses for Students Beyond the First Year


Rhetoric and Composition courses at the 200-level are intended for students beyond the first year who are interested in improving their writing skills. Issues in disciplinary discourses and composing and revising for a range of writing tasks are emphasized through frequent writing assignments, class discussions, and writing workshops. First-year students may enroll in these courses only by special consent of the instructor.

RHET 204 - Writing for Social Justice
In this course, we will explore the rhetorical aspects of social justice writing. As a class, we will critically analyze the strategies and ethics of a diverse range of activists and public intellectuals who use their writing as a form of social critique and to effect social change. Students will develop, negotiate, and revise their own writing strategies and ethics as they write on social justice issues relevant to their interests. Instructor: J. Karega

RHET 205/CHEM 029 - Science & The Perception of Color
The topic of color stands at a unique intersection of the sciences and arts. Beginning with the physics of light and historical development of technologies of color creation for artistic purposes, this course will also address the neuroscience of human color perception and uses in social stratification. Sophomores seeking a continuation of the interdisciplinary emphasis on learning and communication skills found in the First Year Seminar Program will especially benefit from taking this course. Field trips required. Instructors: A. Williams & J. Cooper

RHET 401 (-01 & -02) - Teaching and Tutoring Writing Across the Disciplines
In this course, students study composition theory and pedagogy and at the same time learn to work with with their peers on writing in either the writing center or in a writing-intensive/writing-advanced course offered in various disciplines. In the process of helping to educate others, students work toward a fuller understanding of their own educational experiences, particularly in writing. Instructor: L. Podis; L. McMillin

Practica


These courses offer students a chance to gain practical experience in writing either by working with an approved student publication or by developing a grant or fellowship application.

RTCP 107 - Practicum in Journalism
Through this course students earn academic credit working for an approved journalistic publication on campus. The course does not meet as a class, but students are expected to attend all required staff meetings and fulfill the assignments made by their editors. Students can earn a maximum of four hours credit toward graduation (a maximum of six hours credit for editors).  Instructor: L. McMillin


SPRING 2016

Writing Courses for First-and Second-Year Students


For first- or second-year students seeking an introduction to college writing. These courses focus on a variety of topics, but they all offer substantial attention to the process of writing and to critical thinking and reading. Many sections are interdisciplinary and employ a workshop/discussion format. Especially recommended for first- and second-year students who do not feel prepared to take other Writing Certification or Writing Intensive courses across the curriculum.

RHET 103 - College Writing: Motives and Methods
In this course students explore their writing processes, learn how to read more critically, write in a variety of forms and develop research skills. The class serves as a writing community in which to discuss essays and writing strategies and share written work. Assignments are designed to challenge students and involve them in the kinds of reading, writing, and research that will serve them well at Oberlin and in their lives outside the college. Instructor: N. Boutilier

RHET 104 - College Writing and Beyond: Negotiating Language, Culture and Power  
In this course, students will work to create meaning and knowledge through reading and writing as they negotiate issues of language, culture, and power. Students will explore the challenges and possibilities of using multiple language and cultural resources when writing for diverse purposes and audiences. Assignments are also designed to prompt students to think critically and analytically about language use and writing strategies. Instructor: J. Karega

Writing Courses for Students Beyond the First Year


Rhetoric and Composition courses at the 200-level are intended for students beyond the first year who are interested in improving their writing skills. Issues in disciplinary discourses and composing and revising for a range of writing tasks are emphasized through frequent writing assignments, class discussions, and writing workshops. First-year students may enroll in these courses only by special consent of the instructor.

RHET 201 - Writing in the Sciences
A course designed for students interested in developing their composing/revising skills for writing in natural science and mathematics disciplines or interpreting science topics for readers of general science issues.  Instructor: J. Cooper

RHET 204 - Writing for Social Justice
In this course, we will explore the rhetorical aspects of social justice writing. As a class, we will critically analyze the strategies and ethics of a diverse range of activists and public intellectuals who use their writing as a form of social critique and to effect social change. Students will develop, negotiate, and revise their own writing strategies and ethics as they write on social justice issues relevant to their interests. Instructor: J. Karega

RHET 207 - Literary Journalism
From New Journalism to the Lyric Essay, literary techniques are reshaping the way journalists write about sports, nature, politics, science, and the arts. This course will explore the way journalists use the tools of fiction and poetry in their writing while remaining true to the standards of reporting. Students will balance the reading of literary journalism and essays with time spent crafting their own writing. Instructor: N. Boutilier

RHET 301 - Seminar in Scholarly Writing
Intended as a capstone experience in the liberal arts, this course will enable seniors and second-semester juniors pursuing diverse majors to work in a common atmosphere. Through presentations and workshops focused on the drafts and revisions of their papers, students will learn from and teach each other about the rhetorical aspects of writing in their scholarly areas.We will explore-and attempt to consider critically-the history, epistemology, ethics, and rhetorical conventions of pertinent disciplinary discourses. Instructor: L. Podis

RHET 303 - Writing about Travel: Composing as Reflection on Time Abroad
Students returning from study abroad are often asked: ‘How was Peru/London/Tibet/Zanzibar?’ Frequently, after such students have replied ‘fine,’ ‘great,’ or ‘really tough,’ the conversation stops. How might students make sense of their journeys? How might we fashion our travels into coherent and compelling writing? This course creates a community of writers and travelers in which we will both read and create various genres of writing about travel. Instructor: L. McMillin

RHET 305 - Grant and Fellowship Proposal Writing
Sooner or later many professionals need to apply for grants. This course covers the basics of writing grant proposals or fellowship applications and researching funding sources. Students will learn to use the Cleveland Foundation Center’s database and work on a proposal to fund a community-based project or fellowship proposal in their area of interest. Instruction includes individual attention to fundamental college-level writing skills. Especially useful for artists, scientists, and community activists. Instructor: J. Cooper

RHET 306 - Writing about the Arts
An advanced writing seminar intended for juniors and seniors with strong writing skills. We will study and experiment with various genres of writing about the arts, including reviews, essays, features and profiles. We will look all around campus for topics to write about, from theatrical performances to Conservatory recitals to Creative Writing readings to the Allen Memorial Art Museum. As we do so, we will study examples of arts writing from the Ancient era to the present. Instructor: A. Trubek

RHET 401 - Teaching and Tutoring Writing Across the Disciplines
A course in which students will tutor at the writing center or assist one of the writing-intensive or writing-advanced courses offered in various disciplines while studying composition theory and pedagogy. In the process of helping to educate others, students work toward a fuller understanding of their own educational experiences, particularly in writing.  Instructor: L. Podis

Practica


These courses offer students a chance to gain practical experience in writing either by working with an approved student publication or by developing a grant or fellowship application.

RTCP 107 - Practicum in Journalism
Through this course students earn academic credit working for an approved journalistic publication on campus. The course does not meet as a class, but students are expected to attend all required staff meetings and fulfill the assignments made by their editors. Students can earn a maximum of four hours credit toward graduation (a maximum of six hours credit for editors).  Instructor: J. Cooper

RTCP 308 - Fellowship Writing
Second Semester, First Module
This course is for students interested in writing applications for awards committees. Sessions will combine discussions of successful applications, in-class tutorials, and limited lecturing. We will focus more on editing than on generating a first draft. To that end, students can expect to apply several critical methodologies to their materials including those from literary theory, theories of visual design, and logic. Those interested in Watson, Fulbright, or major UK awards are especially encouraged to enroll. P/NP grading. Instructor: N. Petzak