Thinking and Writing

ITW 101, Fall 2013

Through research and writing, we will consider cultural movements that have broken from the mainstream, emphasizing the role of counterculture and subcultures in American history, especially from 1960 to the present. Beats, Hippies, Black Panthers, Rastafarians, Punks, B-Boys, and Riot Grrls coalesced around artistic and political ideas and expressed their various critiques of mainstream society through innovative, often experimental, music, film, fashion, literature, and art. The central research assignment for the course asks students to interrogate the significance of race, class, and gender identities using specific examples drawn from discussions and individual research.

Over the course of the semester, students will complete a major research project, culminating in a 15-20 page essay. Students will choose topics in conversation with the professor and their peers. Final essays must engage previous research on the subject, focus on particular examples drawn from primary texts, and demonstrate an argumentative perspective. Through discussions and conferences we will collaboratively develop rhetorical and theoretical principles that will help students through the writing process. During the semester we will reflect on the process of building original knowledge that is vital to intellectual life at this moment.

Hacker and Sommers, A Pocket Style Manual
Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style
Graff and Birkenstein, They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing