November 18, 2003

Inquiring minds want to know…

I found out today that I’ll be teaching LS 301 Contemporary Issues next semester. I assume, then, that I’ll have one section each of EN105 (my blogging class) and EN106 (my rhetoric class).

So, now I have to get to work developing a new course (I prefer not to use another instructor’s syllabus). In keeping with my interests, I’ll be using rhetorical analysis as the lens and focus the class on the primary campaign. Here is the course description from the catalog:

Studies in leading contemporary issues, problems, and concerns viewed from interdisciplinary perspectives. The course also reviews different types of writing essential to success in college and professions.

This class is part of Park’s liberal studies sequence (we offer an LS major). I need a textbook that will provide some kind of intellectual foundation and one or more disciplinary perspectives beyond rhetoric and political science. Two titles came readily to mind (because I’ve used them before): Michael Schudson’s The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life and Neil Postman’s Building a Bridge to the 18th Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future. Schudson’s book would add the discipline of history, specifically looking at how citizenship has evolved in America. Postman’s book makes an excellent argument for the cultural, social, and political utility of Enlightenment thinking for the 21st Century. Postman brings history, science (through his critique of technology), and education.

For writing assignments, my first thoughts are to assign a book review (requiring them to read an additional text of their choosing), a personal essay, and a rhetorical analysis.

Okay, so why did I tell you all of this? I’m thinking there are few of you out there who just might have a better idea for a textbook.

One Response

  1. Citizenship? I didn’t know it exists.

    Prof Rhetorica wants to know about textbooks that he can use in his course. He wrote the following: This class is part of Park’s liberal studies sequence (we offer an LS major). I need a textbook that will provide some kind of intellectual foundation a…