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 also addressed to the Associate Dean for Arts & Humanities, Jeffrey Paris.

Spring 2020 Courses

Core A2 - Rhetoric and Composition

RHET 295-01 NewMedia/YouMedia

CRN # 42056
Leigh Meredith
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 295-02 Writing about Human Rights

CRN # 22558
Julie Sullivan
Tue. & Thu. 2:40–4:25 p.m.

What does it mean to have rights?  Do all humans share equal access to these rights? And, if they do, then why do we see human rights violations go unpunished throughout the world, including in our own country? In this class we will explore the sometimes broad and overwhelming topic of Human Rights through the different forms of media available. Based on timeliness and interest, the course will explore Human Rights issues in areas such as: Criminal Justice, Employment, Education, Gender equity, Healthcare, Hunger, and Immigration. This class requires all involved to be learners, teachers, and individuals willing to voice concerns and create awareness. How you choose to vocalize will be up to you.

RHET 295-03 Writing about Movements

CRN # 22671
Michael Rozendal
Tue. & Thu. 4:35–6:20 p.m.

The world changes through persuasion, through performance, through movement. This course will consider the provocation of global liberation movements that have resonated from the 20th to the 21st century and at times animated the local San Francisco Bay Area. This will fuel our classroom community’s attention to writing and research throughout the semester.  Our course will bridge rigorous reading, extensive discussion, exploration of San Francisco, inquiry into contemporary social justice movements, and techniques from the emerging digital humanities to synthesize these disparate concerns.  Over the semester, students will analyze key texts and speeches from the likes of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Edward Said. More locally, they will consider the late sixties Indian Occupation of Alcatraz and the San Francisco State Strike. Moving toward our present moment, we will consider some of the (dis)connections between movements like Occupy Wall Street and Idle No More.

Fall 2019

Core A2 - Rhetoric and Composition

RHET 295-01 Identity Rhetorics

CRN # 42056
Nicole Gonzales Howell
Tue. & Thu. 9:55–11:40 a.m.

Who are you and how do you know?  This course focuses on investigating the role of identity labels/categories and how they influence public and private argument. As a mode of rhetorical argument, ethos is often described as “character and credibility.” We’ll discover how “character and credibility” get defined, and how our own ethos affects our ability to write, argue, and view the world. By exploring identity categories we’ll learn how our “character and credibility” gets established as well as others’. We’ll also consider conversations surrounding the politics of identity labels such as “American,” “Man,” “Woman,” among many others. This course asks students to consider how identity categories get disrupted, complicated, or simplified for multiple purposes! What does it mean to be a “techie” in SF versus Minneapolis? Why might someone call herself Chicana, rather than Hispanic? These and many more questions will be explored while we consider the powerful affect of labeling ones identity.

Core C1 - Literature

ENGL 295-01 Science Fiction

CRN # 41354
Patrick Schwieterman
Tue. & Thu. 9:55–11:40 a.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.

Core D3 - Philosophy

PHIL 295-01 Moral Responsibility

CRN # 42246
Jacqueline Taylor
Mon., Wed., & Fri. 3:30–4:35 p.m.

Why do we hold one another morally accountable? What are we responsible for: our intentions? our actions and their consequences? How far does responsibility extend? Does it extend to nations, or corporations, or to entities other than individual persons? In this seminar, we consider different philosophical approaches to moral responsibility, and will read about and discuss concepts such as blame, shame, and guilt, praise, pride and moral confidence, perpetrators and victims, forgiveness and mercy, and responsibility and social relations. We will also look at works by experts in related disciplines such as legal theory and psychology.

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