The classes in the "Present" category each have syllabi and other material at my teaching blog. If you'd like more information on any of the others, please contact me. You may also be interested in my teaching philosophy.
Engl 1001 or 1002(CAI) -- First Year Composition, (computer assisted instruction)
Technology and “new media”have changed how we communicate, how we compose, and what it means to be literate. In this course we explore how new technologies and the texts we create with them impact various aspects of our social life and creative activities. Further, we consider in how new media has altered the way academic work and research are being conducted. Students develop critical analytical skills while becoming familiar with a variety of digital media; become familiar with media theories and concepts from diverse fields; and create concise descriptive, persuasive, and analytical texts.
Engl 2000 -- Critical Inquiry
Lower division undergraduates build on the skills developed in First Year Composition by focusing in this class on argument and critical thinking. To this end, we explore issues such as the state of public higher education, healthcare reform, gay marriage rights, and other topics as suggested by current debates in our society. Students write essays, make presentations, and work on collaborative projects in order to practice researching, analyzing, and communicating in an academic discourse community.
Engl 5001 -- Rhetoric and Composition History and Methods
This is a great big survey class (large in coverage, not size). We start with classical rhetoric in the Greek/Roman, Chinese, Indian, and Persian/Arabic traditions and come all the way up to the present, maintaining multiple national perspectives as we go. Toward the end of class we also take up the impact of technology. This class is generally taken in the first year of graduate study for those grad students who plan to concentrate in Rhetoric and Teaching Writing (RTW)
Engl 5010 -- New Media: Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy
Graduate Students explore how technology and new media are changing the ways people learn; study core debates surrounding the value of bringing new media technologies into the classroom; comprehend the framework of basic social skills and cultural skills associated with the new media literacies; consider how technology impacts our students, educational institutions, and culture; practice using technology in teaching and curricular design; and deploy course concepts in the development of an independent research project which makes a substantive scholarly or pedagogical contribution.
Engl 5894 -- Teaching Composition and Literature
Most of the grad. students in English aim to be or are teachers at the secondary or post-secondary levels. This class introduces them to pedagogical theories and the associated practices, as well as taking up contemporary issues of particular concern. One of these latter has consistently been teaching with and about technology. By the end of class, students will have created a teaching portfolio that includes a statement of teaching philosophy, a sample syllabus, several sample assignments, and a technology project to be used in that class.
Engl 5010 -- Non-Western Rhetorics
What's the problen with this title? It reflects the orientalism that inheres in rhetorical studies as they are currently defined in the American Academy. In this class we look at Chinese, Indian, and Persian/Arabic traditions and consider their shared and differing concerns. We also consider whether we can construct a global theory of rhetoric, and the relation of local to larger concerns. Students produce an article-sized piece of research and collaborate on a Wiki. Visitors and contributions are welcome.
Engl 5020 -- Assessment in English
For as long as teachers have taught students, they have tried to determine if and what those students were learning. Many kinds of assessment have been tried, each reflecting political views and beliefs about teaching and learning. Ongoing concern over students' literacy has made writing assessment a particularly contentious issue at every level of the American educational system. In this class we consider historical patterns and current trends in writing assessment. Students also observe and participate in assessment activities underway at Cal. State Stanislaus, at the class, departmental, and institutional levels.
Engl 3150 -- Approaches to Literary Studies
This is the gateway course to the undergraduate English major. We practice working with a number of different genres in both traditional and digital forms. Students are also introduced to a range of theories, write several literary analyses, and become more skilled with the MLA citation style. This class is designated as one aimed to help students develop writing proficiency in the discipline, so a number of essays go through multiple drafts, receiving feedback from me and from class members along the way.
Scientists are often called on to provide evidence in public debates that range from the global to the local. The presentation and interpretation of these data shape both public opinion and public policy, and put a heavy responsibility on scientists and technical communicators to explain science accurately and ethically to non-experts. In this class we will consider the forces at work when scientists must communicate about matters of grave importance. What is the role of the scientists' own opinions? How can they explain complex problems to the general public without over- simplifying? How are scientists and their research used by politicians, the media, and other special interests, and how can scientists better control their own communication? To explore these questions we will focus on current debates on topics such as global warming, genetically modified food, and the distortion of science for political ends. Readings will be drawn from a variety of sources including scientific journals, popular media, government reports, and the research of bodies such as the National Academies of Science and the World Health Organization.
12.410J - 8.287J introduces students to the fundamentals of planning an astronomical observing project, obtaining the data, reducing the data, drawing conclusions from the results, and writing a project report. The material taught in the subject is geared toward allowing participants to carry out an independent research project that meets the Institute laboratory requirement. It is typically taken by sophomores, juniors, and seniors in EAPS, Physics, and Mathematics, especially those who are concentrating in astrophysics or planetary science. For majors it serves as the basis for more advanced subjects, UROP projects, and/or undergraduate theses. This is a communication intensive course for EAPS and Physics majors. --I teach the communication intensive aspect.
Speculative texts occupy an important role in any culture; from their earliest appearance, they have served to express our hopes for and fears of the human spirit. Often, creators use their stories as a way to address issues of grave concern such as war, oppression, industrialization, or a search for identity. Though speculative texts are often seen as escapist and thus not taken seriously by critics, these works can teach us as much as any other more respected texts about the culture that produced them. As works in this genre has been steadily growing, and growing more popular, during our own time, we should explore them, and learn whatever they can teach us about ourselves. In this class we focus on how particular worlds, characters, and stories are used by both creators and audiences to create, maintain, and express personal identity. Texts drawn from authors such as Samuel R. Delany, Ursula Le Guin, Larissa Lai; comic books like Transmetropolitan, and films such as the Matrix Trilogy and Spirited Away. Some works will be chosen by the students.