Course Descriptions

New Courses

CSC-604 Advanced Introduction to Coding for the Arts and Humanities

(3 Credits) In this course students learn the fundamentals of programming with an emphasis on application. Students learn about variables, functions, control structures, and object-oriented programming while making use of software libraries to create interactive graphical experiences, data visualizations, databases, and other projects. Note: No credit toward computer science graduate program.

LIT-609 Textual Production: Theory and Practice

(3 Credits)Textual production refers to the process of producing a text in any medium. In today’s vast digital and technological world, “texts” can be anything from a book to a blog post to a tweet to a meme to a music video to a film to…the list goes on. These texts arise from—and help construct—social and professional relationships. The skills required to cross rhetorical boundaries, gather information, and translate specialized knowledge into the appropriate language and modes are increasingly necessary in this moment of growing social and technological complexity. This course grounds students in the theories and approaches of writing and rhetoric to provide a foundational body of knowledge from which to develop their own research and ideas. Students will explore rhetorical situations, genres, and modes in the professional, technical, and academic realms, with particular attention to digital rhetoric, information literacy, and literary and cultural studies.

WRT-610 Technical Writing and Rhetoric

(3 credits) In a technologized world that has become increasingly complex to navigate, technical writing and rhetoric are essential tools in interpreting this world for its users. Whether users are visiting websites, viewing videos, or reading manuals, these tools crucially shape users’ experiences. Through collaboration with stakeholders and practitioners, technical communicators must address issues of agency, ethics, usability, and accessibility using a variety of technologies. This interactive, open-ended course provides the strategies and skills necessary to produce effective, high-quality technical multi-modal and digital documents. Students engage and experiment, as both scholars and communicators, and produce texts for industry contexts. Calling on the evolution of technical communication theory, the course reconciles diverse perspectives and needs, and looks toward the future of the field in an age of ever-changing technology and emergent users.

LIT-611 Literary Editing and Publishing

(3 credits) The first literary magazine, Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres, was established in 1684. The oldest literary journal, North American Review, has been published since 1815. Literary journals have endured as they continue to adapt to new technologies; they are often first to discover and publish tomorrow’s literary voices. This course explores the many paths of literary editing and publishing with an eye to the past, the changing present, and the future of digital and print mediums. The course grounds students in the theories and approaches of editing and publishing to provide a foundational body of knowledge from which to develop their own creative and academic writing. Students study rhetorical situations, genres, and modes in the technical, creative, and academic realms, with particular attention to digital rhetoric, information literacy, and cultural studies.

LIT-613 Cultures of Information and Technology

(3 Credits) This course focuses on the ways in which technology informs cultural structures and productions from business and entertainment to medicine, popular culture, and everyday life. While we are surrounded by technological objects, concepts, and experiences, we often either take them for granted or imagine them as self-explanatory. The course studies the realities and fantasies of our technological world and investigates the impact of technological innovation, the ways technology talks about itself, and the tools it gives us for making sense of the world. Texts include foundational and contemporary readings in the history and theory of technological change and also writing, film, and other media related to contemporary topics in technological cultures. Students research relevant physical and digital archives; conduct fieldwork on current technological trends; present their findings in a range of formats; and engage in discussion and reflection on the theoretical and methodological questions raised by the readings and their research.

LIT-656 Advanced Studies in Form

(3 Credits) The study of form—the ordered ways in which something is put together—is crucial to any understanding of a text, a genre, or a medium. Understanding how form functions in different texts, genres, media, technologies, and social practices requires a wide and diverse range of critical tools. This course provides students with these tools through rotating topics of a specific form, such as poetry, the novel, drama, and cinema, or of a variety of literary and nonliterary forms (video games, podcasts, television, etc.).

LIT-668 Global Texts, Global Convergences

(3 Credits) One of the hallmarks of modernity is the gradual integration of local and national communities into a single worldwide network. This phenomenon, which has come to be known as globalization, has created the cultural conditions for both intercultural exchange and exploitation. This course applies humanistic methodologies to investigate the causes and consequences of globalization. Additionally, students analyze cultural and literary theories to interpret the various narratives we tell ourselves about our world. Themes addressed include (im)migration; colonialism and postcolonialism; the rise of global capitalism; the interrelationship between the national and the transnational; the effect of technology on culture in a global context; global inequalities; and the implications of globalization for formations of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

LIT-681 Advanced Studies in Culture

(3 Credits) Advanced Studies in Culture (3) Topics vary by section. Rotating topics deal broadly with the intersection of aesthetics, politics, and culture, covering race, gender, sexuality, popular culture, or history, with emphasis on research. Crosslist: LIT-481. Usually Offered: fall and spring. Repeatable for credit with different topic.

LIT-682 Emotions, Texts, and Subtexts

(3 Credits) Literary texts hone our emotional intelligence by giving us imaginative access to the interiority of other human beings, giving us a chance to see the world from perspectives sometimes markedly different from our own. This course analyzes representations of emotion in literature and film in light of both historical and contemporary theories, including the science of emotions. Students investigate the extent to which emotions are shaped by societal attitudes as well as new technologies and consider the implications of our findings. They also explore the ethics of emotions and best practices in communicating them. Literary texts are read in conjunction with theoretical texts that inform one another. Building on this foundation in literature and theory, students gain a fuller and clearer understanding of the complexity of our modern emotional lives. 

LIT-683 Technological Imaginations: Past, Present, and Future

(3 Credits) This course explores the meanings of technology in the broad sense of the word’s origins in the Greek "techne": things people make, from tools, craft, art and artifice, to the complex technologies that permeate the world today. Students examine how various historical periods grappled with the hopes and anxieties generated by new crafts, new technologies, and new art forms. Within the long history of emerging technological imaginaries, the course studies their relationship to specific material cultures and conditions. The phonetic Greek alphabet, for instance, gave rise to the written and performed tragedies that in turn gave expression to ideas debated within the polis. Technologies of reproduction and circulation thus stabilize and perpetuate the texts a culture deems foundational to its understanding of itself: techne as artistic craft cannot exist without the techne of material reproducibility. Engaging with the historical archive and historical texts develops valuable research skills, connects with key moments of excitement, invention, and change, and provides essential context to today’s debates about emerging arts, technologies, and social practices.