Courses: Transfer Year Seminars

Select Transfer-Year Seminars - usually covering Core Areas such as C1 Literature, D1 Philosophy, and D3 Ethics, along with Core A2 Rhetoric and Composition - are offered every Fall semester for incoming Transfer students.  In Spring semesters, only RHET 295 courses are offered for those Transfer students new to USF or those, typically in their second semester, who may still be in need of their Core A2 requirement.

Questions can be addressed to the Associate Dean for Arts & Humanities, Jeffrey Paris.


Fall 2021

Core A2 - Rhetoric and Composition

RHET 295-01 How Language Works

CRN # 40107
Doreen Ewert
Mon. & Wed. 4:45–6:25 p.m.

We live our lives surrounded by language. Because we regularly think, dream, and engage others with it, most of us have developed a wide range of ideas about its nature. However, many of these ideas are based on naïve assumptions from experience and unexamined cultural and social notions. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Through the lens and methods of linguistics, we can step back from the immediacy of our own experiences and gain a broader perspective on how language works, both in mind and in life. With this deeper understanding, we may better be able to recognize the consequences of language attitudes and language choices in relationships and endeavors: some more personal, and some more social, political, or cultural. For instance, locally this includes how we talk/write about the unhoused in San Francisco, or globally how we talk/write about climate change. It will be your choice which language-related topic to investigate.

RHET 295-02 New Media / You Media

CRN # 42235
Leigh Meredith
Mon., Wed., & Fri. 2:15–3:20 p.m.

Do you change how you write when you switch from the pencil to the pixel, from the page to the screen? Do you feel like an “author” when you post on Facebook? When you  retweet? Are you reader or a writer on Tumblr, Reddit, or Snapchat? What is your role in social media: are you a producer or a consumer of text? Or are you a “produser”? These  are the questions we will take up in this seminar as we try out a range of electronic writing tools and explore the role of digital spaces for writing and reading (in San Francisco/the Bay Area and around the world). These experiences will be supported by reading books and websites that help us critique and analyze digital rhetoric and notions of what it means to “be a writer” in the Web 2.0 era.

Core C1 - Literature

CMPL 295-01 Literature of the Child

CRN # 40506
Shawn Doubiago
Mon., Wed., & Fri. 11:45 a.m.–12:50 p.m.

What is it about childhood that leaves such an indelible mark on our lives? And how has growing up been perceived in other eras and cultures? In this course you are invited to consider these questions and more by examining literary representations of childhood in various genres such as poems, short stories, plays, the Bildungsroman, the memoir, and novels. In our quest to better understand the role childhood plays in our lives, and the ways childhood has been perceived historically, we will also examine  parent-child relationships, family dynamics, society, culture, history, trauma, and theories that affect our early experiences. We will trace these issues in global literature, film, and culture. [Also meets Cultural Diversity Core Requirement]

ENGL 295-01 Science Fiction

CRN # 40521
Patrick Schwieterman
Mon., Wed., & Fri. 1:00–2:05 p.m.

Science fiction has long been seen as an “escapist” literature that actively avoids engagement with the most pressing concerns of contemporary life. However, the futuristic or extra-planetary settings of the genre actually offer writers opportunities to explore abiding concerns through “thought experiments” that heighten the tensions implicit in a given topic. For example, Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? explores the nature of humanness through the dilemma of a police detective charged with hunting down and “retiring” androids who are identical to humans in nearly every respect. Besides Dick’s work, the syllabus will feature texts by Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, Pat Murphy, Naomi Kritzer, Mercurio D. Rivera, James Patrick Kelly, Ian McDonald, and others. We’ll also make trips off-campus for movies and readings by science fiction authors.