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. This Fall 2020, we have offered an additional course as part of the TYS program of offerings, specifically RHET 315 "The Rhetoric of Caring: Environmental Stewardship".  This course is being made available only to Transfer students, as with any TYS course. 

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

Fall 2020

Core A2 - Rhetoric and Composition

RHET 295-01 Identity Rhetorics

CRN # 40501
Robert Bathrick
Tues. & Thu. 2:40–4:25 p.m.

This course will focus on investigating the role of identity labels/categories and how they influence public and private argument. As one of the three modes of rhetorical argument, ethos is often discussed in terms of “character and credibility.” In this class we’ll discover how “character and credibility” get defined, and how our own ethos affects our ability to write, argue, and view the world. Also, how does our ethos affect our audience – are they more likely to listen, or not? How can we negotiate our ethos to get our audience to listen and move their opinions? In other words, by exploring identity categories we’ll learn how our “character and credibility” gets established as well as others’.  While this course will introduce students to academic writing and research, it will also bring in conversations surrounding the politics of identity labels such as “Mexican-American,” “Woman,” “Voter,” “Hetero/Homosexual,” among a myriad of others. Utilizing the cultural diversity that SF has to offer, this course will ask students to consider how identity categories get disrupted, complicated, or even 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 effect of labeling one’s identity, and how labeling that identity aids in your ability to frame an argument toward a specific audience.

RHET 315-01 The Rhetoric of Caring: Environmental Stewardship

CRN # 42659
Ellen Thompson
Tue. & Thu. 4:35–6:20 p.m.

Students in this course will have the opportunity to work outdoors, learn about food production, build practical skills for environmental stewardship, make connections with local communities, and help youth build a stronger foundation in science. Through service, readings, research, and writing, this course will inspire a sense of responsibility for our fragile natural environment and our children who will inherit it. With a firm basis in the elements of rhetoric, critical reading, written argumentation, and library research, this interactive and experiential course engages students with hand-on environmental education. Students will work with Community Grows, a San Francisco-based organization serving youth ages 5-19, whose mission is to “cultivate healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities.”  Students will complete a minimum of 30 service hours at their site. [This course also fulfills the University Service Learning /Community Engaged Learning (SL/CEL) requirement.]

Core C1 - Literature

CMPL 295-01 Literature of the Child

CRN # 41017
Shawn Doubiago
Mon., Wed., & Fri. 3:30–4:35 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 295-02 Science Fiction

CRN # 41165
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 # 41578
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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