Summer 2017 Course Descriptions

All students with more than 90 cumulative units (completed + enrolled) MUST SEND AN EMAIL WITH THEIR PID TO MUIRWRITING@UCSD.EDU TO BE PREAUTHORIZED TO ENROLL.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Students on the waitlist who miss any class meeting of Muir Writing will be considered NOT ELIGIBLE TO ENROLL in the course. Enrolled students who miss the first two class sessions will be dropped. Responsibility for dropping the class from the Registrar’s records belongs solely to the student.

The reading and writing requirements are the same for all sections. 

MCWP 40 (Summer Session 1)

Perspectives on Climate Change: Impacts and Challenges

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

909238

A00

MW 2:00-4:50

HSS 2346A

Thomas Conner

917923

C00

TTH 8:00-10:50

HSS 2152

Megan Haugh

MCWP 50 (Summer Session 1) 

Art, Architecture, and the Politics of Space

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

909239

A00

TuTh 2:00-4:50

HSS 2346A

Elizabeth Miller

917924

F00

TuTh 8:00-11:50

HSS 2346A

Melinda Guillen

SPACE: the final frontier? . . . not quite. The idea of space has been widely contested over the centuries, particularly with regard to the built environment and cultural production. This course explores some of the key thinkers and cultural producers implicated in the discourses about public space during the latter half of the 20th century. This topic spans the fields of urban studies, geography, art history, architecture and cultural theory, and the course will engage texts by figures as diverse as urban theorist Mike Davis, Marxist sociologist Henri Lefebvre and artists Robert Smithson and Suzanne Lacy, among others. We will consider: How do notions of public vs. private mediate our experiences of art and architecture? How do different geographies of the mid- to late 20th century--the modern city, the desert and the ‘burbs--influence our conception of space? What are the political systems that define and control space? And how have artists, architects, urban theorists, and other cultural producers expanded our understanding of space and its tenuous political history?

Translating Monstrosity: Affect and the Making of Modern Monsters

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

909240

B00

TuTh 11:00-1:50

HSS 2346A

Jennifer Marchisotto

What makes someone or something monstrous? Can you tell just by looking at them? Not all monsters have fangs, and they are not always fictional. We will look at vampires, werewolves, and ogres, but also think about how we as a culture apply their characteristics to certain communities. How do figures from myths and fairy tales inform our understandings of people different than us? What makes certain monsters more sympathetic than others? Why do types of monsters, zombies for example, become popular at certain moments in history? Why do news outlets and political figures consistently use language that implies monstrous behavior to describe both individuals and groups, labeling them as deviant? We will read scholarship from different perspectives analyzing the way society marks certain bodies as monstrous, and how those markings delineate social power dynamics. Drawing support from course readings as well as individual research, students will apply their knowledge to a primary text and construct an academic argument that engages the tension between monstrous facts and monstrous fictions.

Oppressive Visuality: The Representational Politics of Photography and Film

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

909241

C00

MW 8:00-10:50

HSS 2346A

Alex Kershaw

Subject/Object. Predator/Prey. Mimesis/Diegesis. Camera/Image. Although images seem to be impartial recordings of conflict, encounters mediated via the camera can exacerbate or even placate tensions by demanding justice. This course explores the ways film and photography represent, enact, and counteract forms of oppression in contexts ranging from Hollywood cinema to photojournalism. Students will develop skills in visual analysis—by experimenting with a variety of lenses for reading images within their cultural and political moments.  By taking into account issues like gender, race, sexuality, class, religion or disability, students will argue for how social justice and visual culture are intertwined. Students will develop individualized arguments, through a focused research paper project, and contribute to the ongoing academic discourse related to how film, photos, and cameras simultaneously critique and catalyze forms of oppression in diverse cultural spheres.

More Human than Human: Making Meanings from Visions of Dystopia in Literature and Film

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

909242

D00

MW 11:00-1:50

HSS 2346A

Camielyn West

From Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, visions of dystopia have been inspiring artists and terrifying audiences since the 19th century. In this class, we will examine literary and visual depictions of dystopia, or societies where social, political, and environmental conditions have degraded to the point of abjection. We will analyze texts in order to reveal the way arguments of dystopia change over time, and what those arguments reveal to us about the societies that produced and consumed these texts. Through the guided interpretation of sources, students will acquire the tools to execute a research paper based on their own arguments about one written or visual text that depicts dystopia, ultimately analyzing how their chosen text reflects contemporary social anxieties.

MCWP 125 (Summer Session 2) 

Title TBD

SECTION ID

SECTION

DAY/TIME

ROOM

INSTRUCTOR

909599

A00

TuTh 11:00-1:50

HSS 2346A

Marion Wilson

Course Description TBD

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