Fall 2013 Course: Writing in the Community with Professor Deborah Mutnick

English 173 Writing in the Community
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Mondays 6-8:30 pm

This course will satisfy a Writing & Rhetoric elective requirement in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Writing & Rhetoric requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. English majors concentrating in Writing & Rhetoric may take this course a second time for credit.

Writing in the Community is a writing workshop in which students study the rhetoric and writing of community-based and other advocacy organizations. Topics vary from semester to semester and may include rhetorical analysis of community-based texts and strategies for the production of writing from flyers and pamphlets to oral histories, grant proposals, and essays.

Through course readings, library research, and fieldwork, students learn about community histories, issues, and channels of communication. Partnerships with local community organizations provide “real world” experience for students to engage in a range of activities that may include tutoring, interviewing, writing, editing, and multimodal composing. The course culminates in the production of a collection of digital essays for and about a specific community.

To see an example of a digital book created by students at Penn State Berks, scan the QR code, or visit http://www.readingnaacp.org/book.html.

Readings tentatively include Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloane’s Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America; Harvey Wang’s New York; Paul Kutsche’s Field Ethnography; and excerpts from Robert Perks and Alistair Thomson’sThe Oral History Reader. The emphasis of the class, however, is on your writing, which will be discussed at least twice in workshop during the semester.

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