Courses: Transfer Year Seminars

Select Transfer-Year Seminars - covering Core Areas such as A2 Rhetoric and Composition, C1 Literature, D1 Philosophy, or D3 Ethics - 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 2023

Core A2 - Rhetoric and Composition

RHET 295-01 Race, Media, and Popular Culture

CRN # 40096
Gina Arnold
Mon. & Wed. 4:45–6:25 p.m

When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, many believed that we had entered an idyllic “post race” society. This, however, has not been the case, as countless comedy routines and political advertisements remind us on a daily basis. From professional sports to the VMA awards, race makes itself known, creating statements that are well worth examining in a classroom setting. That is why this course examines the way that race gets performed in American popular culture. The course combines the study of literary texts by authors like Toni Morrison, Sherman Alexie and Junot Diaz with poems, speeches, films, video memes, and rap music in order to study the way that language, drama, and visual arts can enable historically marginalized individuals to articulate traumatic experiences, protest unjust conditions, and reshape others' perceptions. In addition, students will have the opportunity to attend several local theater and dance company performances.

RHET 295-02 New Media / You Media

CRN # 41976
Cathy Gabor
Mon., Wed., & Fri. 9:15–10:20 a.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.

RHET 295-03 Rhetoric of Free Expression

CRN # 42107
Ted Matula
Tue. & Thu. 9:55–11:40 a.m

Free expression is a cornerstone of any democratic society, yet history is littered with attempts to limit, constrain, or outright ban speech that is considered harmful, dangerous, obscene, or inappropriate to one political group or another. In this class, we'll look at free expression from legal, ethical, and political standpoints, studying court cases and philosophical arguments about the limits of free speech. We'll examine arguments about how to balance the need for free expression with the perceived harms (to democracy, to equality, to truth) of certain kinds of "dangerous" speech, from microaggressions to false advertising to anti-government rhetoric to hate speech to pornography.  We'll also cover the role of free and open expression in a democratic society, examining the forces that hinder the free and fair exchange of ideas--including corporate interests, anti-science rhetoric, and the inherent biases of the "marketplace" of ideas.