Sunday, August 23, 2015

Writing Center usage up approximately 11% during Summer III 2015 compared to last year; number of different clients served up approximately 47%!

Our summer III clients are primarily students from the University's English Language Program and students writing their personal statements for their medical school applications.  

Great thanks to Prof. George Greaney, Prof. Olivia Perricone-Healy, Prof. Loretta Clemente, and Dean Ellen Miller for sending these students our way!

Thanks for helping us serve more members of the Hofstra community, everyone!
Our Summer III total usage was up approximately 11% over last Summer III term: last Summer III, we had 92 appointments; this Summer III, we had 102 appointments.

Our number of different clients served was up approximately 47% over last Summer III term: last Summer III, we served 34 different clients; this summer III, we served 50 different clients.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

We're OPEN for Summer III!

The Writing Center is OPEN for Summer III starting on Monday, August 3rd.  Register and log in today at to make an appointment!

Weekday daytime hours (appointments starting before 5PM) are held in our main office in 102 Mason Hall:

Evening (appointments starting at 5PM or later) and weekend appointments are held in our satellite office in 201G Axinn Library:

Summer II Writing Center Usage Up 24%; Number of Different Clients Served Up 9%

This Summer II, our Writing Center usage is up by approximately 24% over Summer II 2014, and our number of different clients served is up by approximately 9%.  Last Summer II, the Writing Center had 103 appointments, serving 57 different clients, while this Summer II, we had 128 appointments, serving 62 different clients.

Helping Biology Faculty Assess Curriculum Changes

The Writing Center has been happy to partner during summer 2015 with Dr. Jessica Santangelo of Hofstra's Biology faculty to assess the impact of Bio curriculum changes on students' writing.  Five Writing Center faculty tutors were guided by Dr. Santangelo in a blind assessment project examining the writing in students' lab reports under the old and new curricula.

We're looking forward to hearing the preliminary results of Dr. Santangelo's study and--if the initial results prove promising--to working further with her on this assessment project!

Writing Center Supports Aspiring Doctors Through Hofstra's Medical Scholars Pipeline Program

In Summer 2015, the Writing Center has been proud to partner for the second year with the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine's Medical Scholars Pipeline Program ( to provide five workshops for low-income pre-med high school students on quoting and citing, organization, grammar rules, and writing college application essays.

We also offered a hands-on personal statement workshop in which MSPP students brought in drafts of their college application essays and worked in small groups with our tutors to polish them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Writing Center Usage Up Around 2% in Summer I 2015

Our Writing Center usage is up slightly during Summer I.  During Summer I 2014, we had 145 appointments.  During Summer I 2015, we had 148 appointments, for a percentage increase of around 2 percent.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer Is a Great Time to Work on Your Personal Statements for Graduate and Professional School!

Medical Students
Ph.D. Students
M.B.A Students
Law Students

Summer is a great time to work on your personal statements for your applications for graduate and professional school. 

Consult your professors and Advisement, and then come to the Writing Center to polish your statements and help make your career dreams a reality!

Thank You for Our Best Year Yet!

Not only have we had our best spring yet, but we've also had our best year yet--thank you all for helping us get there!

More Appointments and More Clients

For the June 2014-May 2015 year, we had 4471 appointments serving 1329 different clients--our total yearly usage was up approximately 41% from the previous year, and our yearly number of different clients served was up approximately 26%.

More Research Help from Reference Librarians 

Our increased usage includes an increase in Writing Center reference appointments with librarians from Axinn Library: we had a total of 58 research appointments with reference librarians -- an approximately 70% increase in research appointments over last year.

Continuing Our "Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming" Events
This year, we hosted our third and fourth "Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming" late-night all-campus tutoring events, which provide drop-in tutoring and yummy snacks to students shortly before final exams.  This year included our most popular "Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming" event yet--we had 109 students join us for our Fall 2014 event! 
These events are inspired by the International Long Night Against Procrastination--a program in which Writing Centers around the world stay open late to help students get their work done and alleviate the stress of writing term papers!

More Handouts to Assist Writers

This year, we created the following handouts:
  • An APA version of our popular MLA style self-test handout on how to avoid plagiarism
  • Graduate faculty tips on thesis and dissertation writing
  • Faculty tips on Writing in the Social Sciences
  • Faculty tips on Writing in the School of Communication
(with librarians Amy Catalano and Gloria Roberson) Resources for Dissertation Writers
We also have had generous faculty create handouts for us to distribute: Dr. Bruce Torff created a handout for us on literature reviews, and Dr. Lisa DeTora created a handout on lab reports. 

Assisting Colleagues Across Campus

We helped colleagues across campus to foster good student writing:

  • With Dr. Phil Dalton (Chair, Rhetoric) and Dr. Susan Lorde Martin (Prof. Legal Studies in Business), we hosted a workshop for pre-law students on how to do well on the writing portion of the LSAT.
  • We provided dedicated tutors for classes in English, Political Science, Anthropology, Religion, and Biology.
  • We partnered with the Hofstra Northshore LIJ School of Medicine to present several writing workshops for pre-med students in the Medical Scholars Pipeline Program.
  • We gave workshops on literature reviews and revision to graduate and undergraduate classes in the School of Public Health.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

We're OPEN for the Summer I semester!

The Hofstra Writing Center is OPEN for limited hours during the Summer I semester. Log in at to see available tutoring hours.

Weekday daytime hours are in our main office in 102 Mason Hall:

Evening hours (5PM and later) and weekend hours are in our 201G office in Axinn Library:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Thank you for our best spring semester yet--Writing Center usage is up 33% over the same term last year!

A great big thank you to all of our dedicated tutors, librarians, tutees, and staff for helping us have our best semester yet.  This term, we've had 1916 writing center appointments that served 701 different clients!

That's a big increase from last spring -- the Spring 2014 term had 1441 appointments that served 514 different clients -- so our usage is up approximately 33% over the same term last year and our number of clients served is up approximately 36% over the same term last year.

Great work from our librarians!

Our figures from Spring 2015 include 35 intensive research appointments with our reference librarians from Axinn Library as opposed to 10 intensive research appointments during the Spring 2014 term -- a 250% increase!

Continuing our work with Hofstra's NCAA Athletes

The figure also includes 68 appointments serving our NCAA athletes at the Fried Athletic Center in an initiative that started last fall and that required getting the majority of our tutors certified to be eligible to work with NCAA athletes.

Continuing our world-wide connection serving Hofstra's non-Native English speakers

Approximately 36% of our appointments serve students whose native language is not English, with native Chinese speakers (Cantonese or Mandarin) being served though about 22% of our appointments. The native languages of our clients include Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, and Urdu.

Helping Hofstra's graduate students succeed

Around 27% of our appointments served graduate students, either for regular classwork or for dissertation/thesis work.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Writing Center Tutor Itiola Wins Provost Scholarship!

Congratulations to our Writing Center graduate tutor Itiola Jones, winner of the 2015 Provost Scholarship!

Monday, May 4, 2015

More photos are in from the Writing Center's Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming IV event on April 19th, 2015!

Our photographer Callie Cunningham has sent us these great pictures from our most recent Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming event.

Students hard at work at Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming IV. Photo Credit: Callie Cunningham

Photo Credit: Callie Cunningham

Photo Credit: Callie Cunningham

The cake is almost gone, but there are still plenty of fruit, veggies, chips, and cookies left halfway through Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming IV! Photo Credit: Callie Cunningham

Photo Credit: Callie Cunningham

Friday, May 1, 2015

Writing Tutor Melissa R. Lands a Job at McMillan!

Congratulations to our Writing Center tutor Melissa Rostek, who just landed a great job at McMillan Publishing after graduation!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Writing Tutor Theresa Wins Eugene Schneider Prose Competition!

Congratulations to our tutor Theresa Buchta for winning the English Department's Eugene Schneider Prose Competition for her piece entitled "It Might Be a Poem About Love"!

And congratulations to Theresa for having been accepted into Columbia University's M.F.A. program!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Writing Center and Phi Beta Kappa -- Perfect Together!

Congratulations to all of the folks affiliated with Hofstra's Writing Center who were inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society tonight!

Our graduating tutor Celia Sonnier, prospective tutor Madeleine Carroll, and longtime Writing Center client Cristina Cortez were all honored tonight at the Phi Beta Kappa induction dinner for their excellence in academic achievement in the liberal arts.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Thank You for Attending Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming IV

Thanks to all those wonderful students and tutors who helped make last night’s Coffee, Cookies and Cramming such a success! We had 55 students working on projects from all different areas, enjoying the food and drink, and just generally working companionably in a warm, supportive environment. It was great fun to meet next year’s tutors as well; they threw themselves into the mix with energy and enthusiasm. Several of our terrific tutors are busy working on a photomontage from the event. Keep an eye out for it on our website, and please come join us for our next CCC! We expect to host it again in the fall. In the mean time, if you’re working on writing for any classes or for summer jobs/internships (or for any writing project), log on to our schedule at and make an appointment. We’d love to see you at the Writing Center!

Here's the first picture from the event from tutor Michael Heiss:

Tasty snacks at Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming IV!

More pictures to follow!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming IV is almost here! Join Us Sunday, April 19th, 6PM-11PM, Student Center Multi-Purpose Room West

Don't be stressed out about writing your final papers!  Instead, join us Sunday, April 19th from 6PM-11PM in the Student Center Multi-Purpose Room West for "Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming IV: A Late-Night Writing Extravaganza."

The delicious snacks at CCC II last year!

There will be FREE yummy snacks and writing help (if you want it) for anyone bringing in and working on a writing project.  Just bring something that you need to write and your laptop and/or pen and paper.  We'll provide a friendly, encouraging space in which you can get your writing projects done!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

We are OPEN over Spring Break (except for Good Friday and Easter)

Spring Break is the perfect time to catch up with all of your work at the Writing Center!

Finish up that incomplete, write that term paper ahead of time, polish that resume, craft that great personal essay for graduate or professional school, get that literature review in good shape, write that persuasive letter to your landlord requesting repairs -- Spring Break is the perfect, relaxed time to get it all done so that you can end the semester feeling great about what you've accomplished.

Our hours are a little more limited on some days, and we're closed on Good Friday (Friday, April 3rd) and Easter (Sunday, April 5th), but we still have plenty of day, evening, and weekend coverage throughout Spring Break to help you work on all of your writing projects!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Closed Due to Snow on Thursday, March 5th

We're very sorry, but when the University closes due to snow, so do we, so all appointments for Thursday, March 5th are cancelled! 

Please log in at to re-schedule.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hofstra's opening at 10AM Monday, so we are too!

As usual, when Hofstra closes entirely or opens late, the Writing Center does too.  If you had a 9AM appointment, please re-schedule for a little later. 

We're opening at 10AM!
 Thanks, and stay safe getting to and around Hofstra in the ice Monday!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Research Librarians are back at the Writing Center to help with all of your research projects!

Do you have a research paper or project to complete?  Let us help you develop great research skills and impress your professors with the help of our awesome research librarians! 

Research librarians from Axinn Library are now expanding their hours at the Writing Center and taking appointments in our main office in 102 Mason Hall several afternoons each week from noon-4PM. 

To get help from a research librarian, just click on any appointment marked "For Research Help ONLY." Try to be as specific as possible about your topic and the kinds of sources you'd like to explore, and the librarian can come to your appointment ready to assist you.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow Days! We're closed 1PM and later Monday and all of Tuesday.

We're closed due to snow after 1PM Monday and all of Tuesday.  Please log back in at to reschedule for later in the week.  We apologize for the inconvenience!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

If the University closes for snow, so do we!

Just a reminder--if the University closes for snow, so do we!  In that case, we'll cancel your appointment and ask you to please log in again at to make another appointment.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope you enjoy your day off in the snow!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mini-Break! We're closed Sat., Jan. 24th-Sun., Jan. 25th!

The Writing Center will be taking a mini-break on Saturday, January 24th and Sunday, January 25th, since Axinn Library will be closed.  Please plan your appointments accordingly, and we'll be back to greet you on Monday, January 26th for the start of the new semester!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

We're closed Monday, January 19th for MLK Day!

The Writing Center (and Axinn Library) are closed on Monday, January 19th for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!  Please plan ahead to schedule your appointments accordingly, and enjoy the holiday!

Friday, January 9, 2015

All January Appointments are in 201G Axinn Library

All of our January appointments are in 201G Axinn Library.  To get to 201G, enter Axinn Library and take a left towards the cafe.  Take the elevator to the 2nd floor and take a right into the large glassed-in area.  We're the first cubicle on the right.  See you soon!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Writing Center is on Vacation from December 21st-January 4th

The Writing Center will be open through Saturday, Dec. 20th and will then re-open Monday, January 5th.  Meanwhile, we'll be on vacation.  Enjoy your Winter Break, and we'll see you in January!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Over 2100 Writing Center Appointments This Semester!

Updated as of December 21st, 2014. This fall, we had 2111 Writing Center appointments through our regular and NCAA athletes schedules (2021 through our regular schedule, and 90 through our NCAA athletes schedule)!  That's up approximately 41.6% from last fall's number of appointments, when we had 1491 appointments. We've also increased the number of different students whom we've served: this fall, we served 820 students.  That's up approximately 19% from last fall's number of students, when we served 688 different students. 

Thanks to our great tutors and clients for making the Writing Center work so well!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Over 100 students enjoy Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming III!

Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming III, our late-night Writing Center Extravaganza on Sunday, Dec. 7th, attracted over 109 students with our combination of tasty snacks, a friendly environment in which to work, and free writing tutoring. 

Great thanks to our co-sponsors, the Zeta chapter of Phi Iota Alpha fraternity, who were represented by the awesome Branden and Fernando.  And great thanks to our awesome tutors who worked this event--Christina, Melissa P. Theresa, Michelle, Michael, Nicole, Itiola, Kate G., Celia, Callie, David, and Julia!

Pictures coming soon!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming III is almost here! Join Us Sunday, Dec. 7th, 6PM-1AM, Student Center Multi-purpose Room West

Don't be stressed out about writing your final papers.  Join us Sunday, Dec. 7th from 6PM-1AM in the Student Center Multi-Purpose Room West for "Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming III: A Late-Night Writing Extravaganza."

There will be FREE snacks and writing help (if you want it) for anyone bringing in and working on a writing project.  Just bring something that you need to write and your laptop and/or pen and paper.  We'll provide a friendly, encouraging space in which you can get your writing projects done!

Last semester's yummy snacks at Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming II

 We're very pleased to have the fine members of the Zeta Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity as our excellent co-sponsors!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

We passed 1500 appointments today!

Last year, we had a slightly fewer than 1500 appointments per regular school-year term.  This semester, we're already past that -- we're at 1520 appointments as of today!

Thanks to all of our valued clients for using the Writing Center, and thanks to all of our valued tutors for your excellent work!

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's Baa-aack! Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming III is scheduled for Sunday, December 7th, 6PM-Midnight!

Your favorite late-night paper-writing party is back, just in time for finals.  Coffee, Cookies, and Cramming III is scheduled for Sunday, December 7th, 6PM-Midnight at the Student Center (Room TBA). 

Bring a paper (or anything else) that you're writing and enjoy free snacks and free writing tutoring (if you want it) as you work!

We're pleased to have the fine members of the Zeta Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha as our excellent co-sponsors!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mid-Term Paper Writing Party Postponed Until December

Alas, our mid-term paper writing party has been postponed until December, right before finals, but we're delighted to have the Zeta Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha as our co-sponsors for that event.  See you then!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New Video About the NCAA Athletes' Schedule

Our brilliant auteur David has made a great video (with our talented star Michelle) helping NCAA athletes get to their own Writing Center schedule.  Check it out below:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

There's a WSC 002 Course for Every Interest -- Check Out These Great Course Descriptions!

Not sure which WSC 002 course to take?  Check out these course descriptions and take a course that you'll truly enjoy next semester!

WSC 002 offers continued instruction in expository writing, and an introduction to writing in the disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Reading and writing assignments are organized around a central theme. You will find a description of central themes for the Spring 2015 semester below.
Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes:
WSC 1. May not be taken on a Pass/D+/D/Fail basis. The Writing Proficiency Exam is given as part of the course.

If you have questions, please contact the Writing Studies and Composition office in Mason 124 or call 516.463.5467.

The Art and Science of Making Meaning of Our Lives                                                                
002                  01                    21537              MWF   9:05-10:00                           DeCarlo
002                  04                    21534              MWF   10:10-11:05                                                    
How do we make sense of our lives? Who are we? Where are we? And where are we going -- and why?
These perennial questions will be addressed from the rhetorical and methodological perspectives of biology, psychology, and cognitive linguistics

Exploring our Technological Selves
002                  02                    21535              MWF   9:05-10:00                                  Lay
002                  03                    21548              MWF   10:10-11:05
What is our relationship with the screen?  How does the computer screen differ from the cinematic screen? Does it serve as a mirror or a veil?   What version of self is revealed or concealed, reflected or distorted by the screen?  How do we construe the multiple screens we view and interact with in public and in private?  How do we feel about the portable screens we carry with us?  What kind of self  (or selves) do we promote on screen?  How is our identity tied to such screenshots? By investigating the ways identity is presented -- by individuals and by groups – on screen, we will learn a lot about how our technological selves feel about words and images.  By such study, we can come to terms with the way writing can communicate what we know or what we wish to be true. 

The second course in composition is an opportunity to learn more strategies for gathering information, drafting, revising, and formalizing writing.  In this class, we will write in a variety of media, including print, digital, and visual modes. In addition to writing three formal, text-based, academic essays, students in this class will write a course blog, make a collaborative prezi, and prepare a visual montage.

Forgiveness: Issues and Perspectives
002                  05                    23798              TR       11:10-12:35                             Teller
Should we always forgive those who have hurt us? What is empathy? How do our childhood dramas live on in adulthood generating empathy and/or enemies? Can we forgive our own insensitivities and betrayals? What enables us to reopen our hearts? What are the biological, psychological, and social effects of prolonged anger? How is forgiving others a mirror image of forgiving oneself? How can groups divided by prejudice and hatred come to live together in peace? Aside from imprisonment, how can criminals be rehabilitated? How can parents, spouses, teachers, business leaders nurture empathy and social intelligence?

Sleep and Dreams:  An Inter-disciplinary Investigation
002                  06                    21560              MWF   10:10-11:05                             Jarvis  
Sleep. All living things require it in some form or other.  By rough estimate, human beings spend 1/3 of their lives doing it.  Next to love, but more than money, we crave it most.  You’d probably rather be doing it now than reading this, yes? So, to meet you half way, this semester our course theme is “Sleep and Dreams: An Inter-disciplinary Investigation.” Readings for our course will consist of texts in the Natural Sciences (Biology, Neurology), Social Sciences (Anthropology, Psychology) and Humanities (Literature).  We will engage with these texts through reading response, class discussion, and composition.  The composition portion of our course will focus on students’ continued practice in developing thesis and argument, through each stage of the composition process; discovery, organization, drafting and revision.   All major assignments are designed to give students a proper grounding in the kinds of academic writing with which they will be engaged during their Hofstra careers.

Making Digital Culture
002                  07                    21555              TR       11:10-12:35                        Gaughan
002                  14                    21554              TR       12:45-2:10
This course explores our relationship with digital tools that are changing the nature of reading, writing, and thinking (e.g., podcasting, screencasting, blogging, text mining, and collaborative platforms like wikis and GoogleDocs). Just as these tools are changing our relationships with one another, so too they are changing our relationship to textuality—and even knowledge itself.  Collectively, the users of these tools—scientists, artists, activists, and enthusiasts of all types—are making digital culture and changing the world before our eyes and our screens. With great changes, come great debates. We will use these debates to ground our exploration of digital culture and our experimentation with the digital tools that are transforming key terms like “reader,” “writer,” and “text.”

002                  09                    21546              MWF   1:55-2:50                                 Prinz
002                  13                    22345              MF       11:15-12:40                
The goal of this course is to make a critical assessment of popular culture over the past 50 years or so. We will focus on lifestyles, technology, music, film, TV, art et al with a possible comment on the direction pop culture is, will be and/or should be taking. There will be three (3) papers (in a way, one large paper in three parts) showing some logical progression/evolution/devolution of pop culture: a genesis, a turning point and the current state of affairs.

Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: The Woodstock Nation                                            
002                  10                    21557              MW     2:55-4:20                            Marinelli
002                  A                     21584              MW     4:30-5:55

The 60’s: the decade that shaped a generation and a nation (and do I dare say, the world?) will be our theme for the semester. Hippies, Flower Children, Freaks, Flower Power, Free Love, The Summer of Love, Make Love Not War, Turn on, Tune in, and Drop out: all terms you’ve heard before.  But “If you want to be experienced” as Jimi Hendrix once asked, burn your bras and draft cards and board our Magical Mystery Tour Bus for the “Trip” of your life.
In this section, we will study the 60’s counter-culture revolution by reading Tom Wolfe’s novel, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and by viewing such films as Woodstock, Alice’s Restaurant, Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke, and Across the Universe as it relates to the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences disciplines.

The Body and Technology: Our Cyborg Selves
002                  11                    21538              MWF    9:05-10:00                              Stephens
002                  27                    22344              MWF   12:50-1:45
Are cyborgs only characters in movies, or do half-humans, half-robots actually exist in our everyday reality? While we generally think of our bodies as natural, carbon-based flesh, our growing relationship with technology begs this question. In this course, we will examine the intersections between the body and technology: How does our use of technology change the “natural” makeup of the body? How do prosthetics and other aids for persons with disabilities affect our conception of where the body begins and ends? How do we define the body, and how do the ways we talk about the body affect what it is and does? This course will ask these and other questions about our cybernetic bodies and look to scholars in the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences to begin to find answers. We will develop our own answers in written response, analysis, and researched argument.

002                  12                    21543              TR       11:10-12:35                             TBA

Social Justice and Diversity
002                  15                    21549              TR       8:00-9:25                                 Montemurro    
Multicultural perspective on advocacy for social justice and an affinity to identify the appreciative value of diversity are still imbued within marginalized ethnic, racial, and gender differences.  This course examines how written discourse in the Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Humanities has contributed morally, legally, financially, politically, and scientifically either to exacerbate or to preclude bias. During the term, we will explore how individuals can empower themselves as conduits of civility, civil liberty, and civil rights.

Writing from Both Sides of the Brain
002                  16                    21540              TR       9:35-11:00                               Navarra
Constantin Stanislavski’s work on the actor’s effective memory parallels  the work of Sigmund Freud on transference; Sanford Meisner’s repetition exercises -- to act from the outside in – is echoed in recent research on Autism.  Michelangelo ‘s insight about painting and the brain prophesized the relation we now understand between the Sciences and the Arts.  And so our course in Composition will explore ways to get to good writing through both logical and intuitive intelligence.   Readings include and excerpts from Carl Jung’s dream work in Man and His Symbols; Josh Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein,  Kim Addonizo’s  Ordinary Genius;  David Jauss’s Words Overflown by Stars; and Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind.  (These excerpts and other articles will be on e-reserve  or posted electronically.  Do not buy these books.) 

Dust, Depression, and Drama
002                  17                    21551              TR       9:35-11:00                               Vestigo
002                  34                    21558              TR       12:45-2:10
A look at the 1930s through the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and a decade's worth of film, dance and music.  This semester we will look closely at these two major events that created nearly a decade's worth of trauma and change to life in America, and the entertainment that not only provided a much needed escape from the resulting hardships, but also reflected the shifting changes to societal attitudes and expectations. 

Parameters of the Mind                                                                                           
002                  18                    21559              TR       9:35-11:00                               Bengels
002                  22                    22454              TR       11:10-12:35
This is first and foremost a writing course which will explore man’s need to know the unknowable through the areas of fantasy, psychic phenomena, and scientific extrapolation,  We will be reading learned essays by scientists such as astronomers and psychiatrists, social scientists such as anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists, as well as some articles from magazines and newspapers.  Some works of fiction and art will also help us explore how people have responded to what is real and what isn’t.  We will explore through the literature why a recent essay in NEWSWEEK suggested that high schools need to include in their science courses the analytic ability to discern “good” science from “Bad” science (referred to in the article as “BS.”)  It is important for every member of our society to be able to differentiate between what we’d like to believe in and what is actually possible if we are to make wise choices and be wise citizens.  Too much is at stake if we don’t.

Dangerous Reproductions   
002                  19                    21553              TR       9:35-11:00                          Reesman
002                  25                    21562              TR       11:10-12:35
Our WSC002 theme for the semester is “dangerous reproductions.” Class discussions will evaluate the cross-disciplinary literature we read in class based on questions such as: what were the prevalent social attitudes during the period in which the literature was written? How did families, political leaders, writers, artists, scientists, and other individuals, live, dress, eat, and think during this period? What were the political and cultural views that influenced the author’s work? These perspectives will dominate class conversations as we examine the theme of “Dangerous Reproductions.” These issues will circulate around the major influential novel of nineteenth-century England written by Mary Shelley in 1818, Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus.

Mind, Memory and Molecules
002                  20                    21865              TR       9:35-11:00                               Stein
002                  26                    21561              TR       11:10-12:35
Memory seems to be essential to our identity as individuals so what happens if our memory becomes impaired or even lost?  How do we then define identity?  Why are we fascinated by stories of amnesia, recovered or false memories, or science-fiction tales of implanted or erased memories?  Should we bother to improve our memory when technological advances have allowed us to have external “memory storage devices”?  We’ll read and discuss texts about these and other issues, as well as the most recent scientific discoveries about what actually happens in our brains when we form memories.  

The Urban Millennium: Writing the Cities of the Past, Present, and Future
002                  21                    21567              TR       11:10-12:35                             Cole
002                  29                    21544              TR       9:35-11:00                  
002                  36                    21872              TR       12:45-2:10      
For the first time in human history, more than half of the people on earth live in cities, a phenomenon that’s come to be called the Urban Millennium.  Most of this growth is taking place in Asia and Africa, where cities are absorbing one million new people a week.  Such massive influxes both testify to the unique place cities hold in human imagination and experience, and also represent the challenges cities are facing for the future. This section of WSC 2 will use an exploration of the various ways that cities have been imagined, studied, and constructed as a touchstone for examining the conventions of writing and argumentation in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Writing about the Arts
002                  24                    21556              TR       11:10-12:35                             Janssen
Have you ever wondered why the arts have endured in various forms in human existence for 50,000 years or more? Are they mere decoration for human society? Or do they serve some deeper human needs that keep them alive? Do their forms and energies exist in areas of life (sports and games, for instance) that we don’t often associate with the arts? Why are the arts frequently disregarded, even disliked, by some people? Our discussions will explore such questions from perspectives shaped by the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences with additional attention to law and business. The instructor brings the burden of the past to this course; you the students, it is hoped, will bring the fresh and tumultuous air of the present to the study. What is happening in the arts you are interested in – video arts, street arts, body arts, photography, music, dance, writing, and more? Have the forms of the arts changed entirely? Do the arts retain anything that connects them with the past? In what sense do they point to the future? You will have lots of room and freedom to explore. There will be assigned readings, three or four graded papers, lots of discussion and experimental presentations (visual, oral, verbal). It’s a class geared to students who are driven by curiosity, diligence, creativity, and imagination.

Bits and Pieces:  Writing about Self
002                  38                    21547              TR       2:20-3:45                                 Janssen
When I asked my first-semester students what they thought would be a good theme for a second-semester course, most of them said they wanted to write about themselves. I thought that was a good idea, too. So, in this section of WSC 002 you will be asked to use texts in many disciplines (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences) to write about…well, about “you” (in quotation marks). What does it mean to put “you” in quotation marks? Doesn’t it suggest that “you” is something made up? Invented? Not quite real? Maybe you think you are a singular person, but I’ll bet that you are just a bunch of bits and pieces. Oh, you are probably pretending to be whole, one thing, the same person that you were when you went to bed last night. But I’ll bet you are really bits and pieces. For example, have you ever started and dropped several interests or hobbies or activities in your life? Have you ever had friends who were so incompatible with each other that all of you couldn’t really be together comfortably? Yet you felt quite at ease with all of them individually? Do you see what I’m getting at? Bits and pieces. You will have lots of room and freedom to explore. There will be assigned readings, three or four graded papers, lots of discussion and experimental presentations (visual, oral, verbal). It’s a class geared to students who are driven by curiosity, diligence, creativity, and imagination. Maybe you’ll come to know something new about “you.”

Mind Reading and Metacognition:  Constructing an Audience                                                            002                     28                    22366              TR       11:10-12:35                             Miller
002                  31                    22343              TR       12:45-2:10      
002                  32                    21539              TR       2:20-3:45
In a story, probably apocryphal, Henry Ford commissioned a survey asking which parts of the Model T Ford were most reliable. Almost every part, it was reported, was subject to breakdowns with one exception: the kingpins. As psychologist Nicholas Humphrey reports, “With ruthless logic Ford concluded that the kingpins on the Model T were too good for their job and ordered that in future they should be made to an inferior specification.” What kind of thinking is this? Is this “ruthless logic” exclusive to human beings? This WSC 2 class examines how we think and how we think about thinking. We will read texts from the Social Sciences, the Humanities and the Natural Sciences that either delve into meta-cognition (thinking about thinking) or apply some facet of it to the writing and subject. Much of this comes down to Theory of Mind, or “mind reading,” as it has been called. We will discuss how writers spend a lot of time “mind reading” their audiences and how this informs many of their rhetorical moves. Our essays will focus on how writers in their respective disciplines organize knowledge and construct their own ways of knowing and communicating.

002                  33                    21538              TR       12:45-2:10                               Harrison
002                  39                    21550              TR       2:20-3:45                    
002                  E                      21566              TR       4:30-5:55
The course focuses on the themes of work and the job.  The readings come from economics and history.  All of the writing assignments derive from these fields. One of the essay assignments allows students to incorporate their own work experiences into the essay, a so-called “autobiography of work.”  Most of the graded essays are thesis-driven, i.e., students will have to create a thesis and support it with evidence.  There will also be in-class essays, all of which are ungraded- -usually some form of reader response writing.          

Land Use and the Environment
002                  35                    21542              TR       12:45-2:10                           Anderson
002                  40                    21563              TR       11:10-12:35  
Writing about the environment, our notions of nature start with how we see ourselves and other creatures. How does the experience of place affect our inner lives, and how are we affected by natural versus artificial environments? Our economic ideas and values ultimately have consequences for the planetary ecosystem of which we are a part. What does our use of land say about who we are and what we value and believe? These questions and others about the environment will be explored through readings, field trips around the campus, and films.
Social Issues of Our Time
002                  41                    21568              TR       2:20-3:45                                 Brot
This course will explore major contemporary social issues of our time.  Topics of conversation and writing will be guided by up-to-the minute news, social media, and publications.  Class focus will weigh the legal, ethical, economic, social and political consequences of each issue, asking students to analyze the full context of each.

Decisions!  Decisions!  Decisions!
002                  42                    23653              MWF   9:05-10:00                               Schaffer
 The interactions and decisions of adolescents are often influenced by a combination of human nature, social interaction, and the physical environment.  In this course, we will examine the complexities of human nature and how personal experiences and human interaction coupled with inborn characteristics often influence adolescents in the difficult task of making moral and ethical decisions.

Using readings and writings in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, we will concentrate on this central theme and focus on critical reading, thinking, and writing.  Through written essays, creative projects, and research, we will explore the intricacies of the adolescent mind.

002                  08                                            MWF   1:55-2:50                     `           Rich
002                  B                      22346              MWF   10:10-11:05                            
In this class, we will consider the experience of trauma from a variety of disciplinary vantage points.  We will consider creative representations of trauma, historical experiences of trauma, the psychological effects of trauma and the science of trauma.  We will also work to concretize writing skills such as thesis development, effective syntax and essay organization.  

The Individual and Society
002                  C                      21565              MW     4:30-5:55                                 Gullen
002                  D                     22061              MW     6:30-7:55
The purpose of this course is to improve essay writing skills by close-reading and analysis of texts, reflecting the course theme of The Individual And Society, from the points of view of Society, the Humanities, and Science.

Writing Ourselves in a Post-human Digital World                                                                   002                       43                        22143              TR       11:10-12:35                             Carson
Every day we are writing our digital selves.  How much do we control the process of the creation of that self, and how much is that process controlled by digital media and the environment?  Howard Rheingold uses the word “infotention” to describe how information consumes our attention. To what are we paying attention? Are we in control of our own attention?  Or are we allowing the digital world to control that attention? Are we becoming post-human cyborgs?  And are we in control of that process? Are we writing ourselves or allowing ourselves to be written? We will look at writing across the curriculum to examine how we are writing ourselves.

Hacking the Climate: Geoengineering and the Coming Climate Crisis
002                  G                     21552              TR       6:30-7:55                                 Barbarello       
With carbon emissions continuing unabated, even after repeated efforts to reach global consensus on reducing them, scientists, economists, business leaders, environmentalists, and others are taking a hard look at methods of intervening in natural processes on a global scale to avert what many see as an impending ecological disaster. Call it hacking the planet, playing God, tuning the weather, fixing the sky, or simply madness, the debate over its viability has begun. This course weighs the legal, ethical, economic, political, and scientific arguments being made for and against geoengineering for their implicit assumptions, values, and rhetorical methods. Although the course addresses the scientific bases for various geoengineering proposals, its focus is on scrutinizing the logic and rhetoric of the arguments for and against geoengineering and on writing in response to these arguments.