Courses: Transfer Year Seminars

The Transfer-Year Seminar RHET 295 is offered exclusively to 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, Cathy Gabor.


Fall 2024

Core A2 - Rhetoric and Composition

RHET 295-01 Race, Media, and Popular Culture

CRN # 40231
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 295-03 Rhetoric of Free Expression

CRN # 40232
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.