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Pwr91 syllabus

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Pwr91 syllabus

  1. 1. PWR91: Farmers, Scientists, & Activists: Public Discourse of Food Economies ERICA CIRILLO-MCCARTHY, PHD ECIRILLO@STANFORD.EDU/ HUME CENTER, 207 OFFICE HOURS: MON & WED, 3:30-4:30PM AND BY APPOINTMENT PLEASE NOTE: I AM ON CAMPUS MOST DAYS OF THE WEEK; PLEASE FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT OUTSIDE OF OFFICE HOURS IF THEY DO NOT WORK FOR YOU. GRANT MEANS, B.S.’16, M.S. ’17 COMMUNITY ENGAGED LEARNING COORDINATOR GHMEANS@STANFORD.EDU 1
  2. 2. Course Description What are the possibilities in rethinking our food, the way we talk about it, the way we grow it, and the way we eat it? Food has long been identified as a socioeconomic marker, tied to income in ways that have material effects for individuals and communities, e.g. health disparities and food deserts. But who are the people and organizations working on the intersection of food and justice, and how can we as writers work with them to further their goals? In this advanced PWR class, you will be paired with identified local (Bay Area) non-profits concerned with food economies, such as food activists, food banks, farmers, and farm collectives to collaborate and produce websites, promotional materials, press releases and other public documents. You will engage in food activist projects that offer you opportunities to identify a client’s needs and analyze audience, genre, and mode possibilities in order to collaboratively produce public writing for a real audience. Course objectives include: • Communicate with a local community partner working on food production for the 21st c or seeking to improve access for under-resourced communities; • Analyze and respond to a community partner’s interests and writing needs; • Design and compose a customized document or set of documents suitable for a variety of professional writing situations, such as a PR campaign, a policy brief and accompanying white paper, or a grant proposal, in the voice of an organization, incorporating feedback from the partner, your peers, and me throughout the composing process. At the end of the course, you will be able to: • Recognize the affordances and limitations of various public writing genres and articulate when particular communicative strategies are appropriate; • Adapt academic writing for public and online audiences, using rhetorical and visual design principles; • Identify and apply best practices of project management, focusing on deliverables and benchmarking; • Develop collaboration skills, such as teamwork and active rhetorical listening; • Critically consider the role rhetoric can play in social change. The final public composition project will be a multimodal, collaboratively-produced document or set of documents you can add to your NSC writing portfolio and other public-facing portfolios. What I love about this course is that it complicates the idea of audience, writer, and text so that it more closely matches rhetorical situations outside of the university and asks us to consider: how do we identify the audience and author in collaboratively written, client-based writing contexts? As a class, we will continue throughout the term to explore this and other questions concerned with rhetorical situations. Ultimately, you will gain new rhetorical listening strategies and understand the concept of distributed expertise in complex ways. Rhetoric is… “…the art, practice, and study of human communication.” –Andrea Lunsford ”…the study of misunderstandings and their remedies.”—I.A. Richards “…a form of reasoning about probabilities, based on assumptions people share as members of a community.”—Erika Lindemann ”…the art of framing an argument so that it can be appreciated by an audience.”—Philip Johnson 2
  3. 3. 3 My Teaching Philosophy: I extend the goal of rhetorical acumen in all writing courses I develop, for rhetorical acumen transcends disciplinary genres to assist students in understanding the rhetorical context of any writing or communicating situation. Self-reflection aids students in developing rhetorical knowledge, and this practice extends to other aspects of my writing courses, such as close reading, critical analysis, and reflection and revision as part of the writing process. My experience working in writing centers also informs the ways I teach the writing process and facilitate rhetorical knowledge. Two things I emphasize throughout the term include: 1. writing is not a solitary act; 2. the writing process must always take into account the relationship between author and audience. The writing classroom I attempt to create with students is one that challenges students to explore new knowledge about the world they inhabit. More importantly, I encourage students to understand their rhetorical choices and subsequent implications, and anticipate the audience’s reaction to each choice. Multimodality offers a way for students to make new meaning, of themselves and of their world. Cynthia Selfe has encouraged the creation of curriculum that engages students in multiple modes of communication, “so that they can function as literate citizens in a world where communications cross geopolitical, cultural, and linguistic borders and are enriched rather than diminished by semiotic dimensionality” (p. 618). I respond to Selfe’s call by crafting a multimodal curriculum which positions students to not only function in more engaged ways with their world but to also critique their world. My goal, as a teacher, is to help students transform their composing practices so that they approach research, writing, and representation in more inclusive and ethical ways as they strengthen their rhetorical acumen.
  4. 4. Assignments Major Projects Proposal PowerPoint: Our course’s community partners have asked us to create public writing projects for them, including videos, webpage content, and newsletters. Collaborating with your group, you will create a PowerPoint presentation detailing your plan for your project and present it to your non-profit partner for feedback. This is a scaffolding assignment to ensure open communication between the community partner and your group. Public Project: Based on the plan presented in your group’s Proposal PowerPoint, your group will create a written or multimodal composition for your food economy organization that they can use to influence a public audience here in the Bay area and beyond. Final Reflective Paper: Drawing on themes and theories from the course, you will analyze your major assignments and group collaboration process, reflecting on five key takeaways from the course and one goal for continued growth. Ongoing Writing Assignments Reader Responses: You will respond to each set of readings via the Discussion tab in Canvas, six reader responses in total. My hope is that the responses will lead to fruitful in class discussions. Reflections: In addition to the Final Reflective Paper, you will have the opportunity throughout the term to reflect on various moments in working with and listening to partners, drafting, and revising larger projects. "...rhetoric is a mode of altering reality, not by the direct application of energy to objects, but by the creation of discourse which changes reality through the mediation of thought and action.“— Lloyd Bitzer 4
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  7. 7. 7 Conferences & Office Hours: Please feel free to visit me during my office hours, no appointment necessary, to talk over your writing assignments at any stage of the writing process. I will also answer short questions over email, but I am unable to read and respond to all revisions and drafts of assignments. Instead, come on in to office hours with specific questions regarding your writing and we can talk about it. --- The Hume Center for Writing and Speaking works with all Stanford students to help them develop rich and varied abilities in every aspect of written and oral communication. In free one-to-one sessions, trained consultants help students get started on assignments; address and overcome writer’s block and speech anxiety; learn strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading; refine their delivery; and understand academic conventions in their fields. Whether students are working on a PWR or Thinking Matters essay, a writing project or presentation in the major, a digital media project such as a website or PowerPoint, an Honors thesis, a creative project, or a fellowship or job application, the Hume Center can help them develop effective strategies to improve their written, spoken, and multimedia arguments. Students can make an appointment or visit a drop-in writing or speaking consultant in the Center, as well as writing tutors in many residences and at several satellite locations across campus. For further information, to see hours and locations, or to schedule an appointment with a consultant, visit the Hume Center website at: http://hume.stanford.edu. --- Accommodations: Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is made. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066, URL: http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu). --- Financial Access Statement: Stanford University and its faculty are committed to ensuring that all courses are financially accessible to all students. If you are an undergraduate who needs assistance with the cost of course textbooks, supplies, materials and/or fees, you are welcome to approach the course instructors directly. We have received a grant for the course that covers almost all expenses. If would prefer not to approach us directly, please note that you can ask the Diversity & First-Gen Office for assistance by completing their questionnaire on course textbooks & supplies: http://tinyurl.com/jpqbarn or by contacting Joseph Brown, the Associate Director of the Diversity and First-Gen Office (jlbrown@stanford.edu; Old Union Room 207), he is available to connect you with resources and support while ensuring your privacy.
  8. 8. 8 Winter quarter timeline:* Week 1: Introduction to course goals and objectives; community partner visit; choose your community partner and collab group. Theoretical framing readings: Bowden & Scott “Service Learning in Technical and Professional Communication;” Ellen Cushman “The Rhetorician as an Agent of Social Change;” T.P.Miller “Treating Professional Writing as Social Praxis;” and Carol Rodgers “Defining Reflection.” Complete reader responses in “Discussion” section of our Canvas site. Start planning your site visit. Week 2 (no class on Monday): Visit your community partner for info gathering and brainstorming session. This will be a listening visit. First opportunity for volunteer service. Prepping for site visit readings: L.M. Kastman Breuch “The Overruled Dust Mite;” K. Ratcliffe “Rhetorical Listening;” R. Pope Ruark “A Case for Metic Intelligence in Technical and Professional Communication Programs.” Complete reader responses in “Discussion” section of our Canvas site. Reflection #1 (listening and site visits) due. Week 3: First draft of Proposal PowerPoint due in class at end of week 3. You will receive feedback from me and your classmates. Skype or conference call with your community partner to address any questions. Drafting your proposal readings: Bowden & Scott “Refining Your Project;” Mara “Using Charettes to Perform Civic Engagement in Technical Communication Classrooms and Workplaces.” Complete reader responses in “Discussion” section of our Canvas site. Week 4: Present Proposal PowerPoint to your community partners in person. Take careful notes and ask to clarify any ambiguities, due dates, missions and goals of the documents. Reflection #2 (PPP) due at end of week. No readings this week. Week 5: Tech/Drafting Week. Begin drafting the Public Project. Conduct research, find models, skype or conference call with community partner. Meet with me for conferences. Drafting your public project readings: Bowden & Scott “Designing your Project;” Lupia “Communicating Science in Politicized Environments;” Dixon “Rewriting the Call to Charity.” Complete reader responses in “Discussion” section of our Canvas site. Mid term reflection due at end of week 5.
  9. 9. 9 Winter quarter timeline cont’d: Week 6: Present first draft of Public Project to you peers and to me. Receive feedback from all of us. Set up presentation and volunteer visit with community partner for week 8. No readings this week. Week 7 (no class on Monday): Revision week. Consider multiple modalities, publishing opportunities, frame alignment for amplification. Final revision and reflection readings: Scott “Rearticulating Civic Engagement;” R.W. McEachern “Problems in Service Learning and Techinical/Professional Writing: Incorporating;” Turnley “Integrating Critical Approaches to Technology and Service-Learning Projects;” Blouin & Perry “Whom Does Service Learning Really Serve?” Complete reader responses in “Discussion” section of our Canvas site. Reflection #4 (PP) due end of week 7. Week 8: Present your revision of Public Project to community partner at site. Take careful notes and ask to clarify any ambiguities, address any changes. Second opportunity for volunteer service. Week 9: Presentation and revision: Site visit to present final draft of Public Project to community partners. Receive and incorporate feedback. Week 10: Complete Final reflection; Complete final revisions; Celebration dinner/public works presentation with students and partners (Date and time TBD). *Please note: this schedule is subject to change. The most updated version will be on our Canvas site. One final word on collaborative work: Collaborative work is a key element of this course. In fact, two major assignments will require you to act as co-developer. You and your team members are responsible for updating one another and me about assignment progress. In addition, you are responsible for negotiating all aspects of your work, including planning, drafting, revising, file managing, and scheduling of tasks. If your group is experiencing challenges in collaboration or work distribution, you are responsible for contacting me early in the process, so I can support your group. Do not wait until the group work distribution form due at the end of the to share problems with me.

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