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Classes and Workshops


GS 205: On Difficulty: Critical Reading and Analysis across Genres (Reading Practicum)

Offered Blocks 3-4, 2013

GS 205 (.25 units) provides an introduction to critical reading and analysis in a variety of disciplines. The course focuses on strategies for engaging with texts and topics across the curriculum. Emphasis will be placed on approaches to college-level reading and inquiry, and on the acquisition of tools and techniques for reading a range of texts, with particular focus on “difficult” texts and how we can better engage with their frictions to produce meaning and augment understanding and analysis.

This section of GS 205 will focus on the theme of formal, conceptual, stylistic, and rhetorical difficulty. Readings and discussion will take up challenges presented by different genres— from “expert” and coterie texts to experimental forms—and will interrogate how different conventions for communication and critique influence the way we use and interact with text.  Attention to strategic and adaptive readings of different genres and formats will guide class discussion and activities. Designed to support effective, informed reading across the liberal arts curriculum, the course will draw on a broad range of sources to focus on what makes reading work.

GS 222-Reading and Rhetoric in the Liberal Arts: The Rhetoric of Health and Illness

(Writing Intensive)

Offered Block 4, 2013

This course investigates representations of health and illness in works from a range of genres—creative to scientific—in order to develop and foster student skills in rhetorical analysis, critical close reading, and academic argument. Readings will address the attitudes and assumptions that shape our understanding and expression of pain, contagion, recovery and cure. We will examine how the physical, emotional, and intellectual experience of wellness and debility is narrated and made known, and how our ways of talking about illness and health impact our broader understanding of the human condition. Texts include works by William Styron, Susan Sontag, Paul Farmer, Albert Camus, Anne Fadiman, Abraham Verghese, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande, as well as selected articles from the medical literature (JAMA, Lancet) and contemporary public and political discourse on the state of healthcare today.


Critical Reading on the Block

Thursday, October 10, 1:30 - 3:00

Worner 211

Facilitated by Jessie Dubreuil

Are you seeking strategies for reading more effectively? Come and discuss practices that will make you a more engaged, analytical, and critical reader of texts across the curriculum.