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CW R4B - Reading, Composition, and Research

Fall 2018
Description 

This writing seminar satisfies the second half (Part B) of the Reading & Composition Requirement. It offers students structured, sustained, and highly articulated practice in the recursive processes entailed in reading and composing, as well as critical analysis. The seminar affords students guided practice through the stages involved in creating a research paper. Students read five thematically related book-length texts, or the equivalent, drawn from a range of genres, in addition to various non-print sources. In response to these materials, students craft several short pieces leading up to two longer essays—works of exposition and/or argumentation. Students also draft a research paper, developing a research question, gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing information from texts and other sources. Elements of the research process, such as proposals, annotated bibliographies, an abstracts, "works cited" lists, and the like, are submitted, along with the final report, in a research portfolio. Students write a minimum of 32 pages of expository prose during the semester.

Note: Specialized sections are available for multilingual student writers.  These sections are marked (MSW) below.

Available in 
Fall and Spring
Prerequisites 
Satisfaction of the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement and the first half (Part A) of the Reading & Composition Requirement
Units and Format 
4 units – Three hours of seminar/discussion per week
Grading Option 
Must be taken for a letter grade for R&C credit
Fulfills 
Reading & Composition: 2nd half (Part B)

Section

Theme

Time

Instructor

Class Number: 21003
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 9:00am - 10:00am @ 89 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: Stories of Sustainability
Instructor: Kim Freeman
Section Description:

Stories of sustainability, be they about climate change, peak oil, clean water, or population growth, are all around us. Not only are they a common occurrence on newspaper front pages and a popular theme in social media like Twitter, but it is also an issue that affects an array of subcultures, from nations and neighborhoods to academic disciplines and the arts. One of the key issues is whether or not various societies will be able to maintain their current ways of living. The aim of this course is not to prove or disprove any particular aspect of sustainability. Rather the theme of this course focuses on how various cultures tell stories about sustainability. We’ll read and watch an array of media, from popular forms, such as Pinterest posts, films, and, as well novels, and newspapers. We’ll also look at some academic forms, such as research articles and reviews, from a variety of disciplines, such as biology, international relations, economics, as well as fiction and art. Authors likely to be included are Elizabeth Kolbert, Alan Weisman, and Naomi Klein and, among others. Students will writing a variety of analytical essays, as well as write their own research project.

Book List:

Phillip Squarzoni Climate Changed

Joseph Harris Rewriting: How to do Things with Text

Booth et al. The Craft of Research.

Class Number: 25151
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 11:00am @ 262 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: Modern Love, Ancient Brains
Instructor: David Wiese
Section Description:

Evolutionary psychology reveals that most of us approach our quest for love with the mindset of a prehistoric cave dweller. And yet, while our base desires have not changed over the millennia, the manner in which we go about mating and dating has. In this course, you will explore the impact of economic and technological development on sexual impulses that evolved over millions of years. You will explore questions such as: How and why have conceptions of an ideal mate changed over time – and how have they not? Is love real, and if so… is there a scientific explanation for it? Why are there so few women in STEM? What are the causes of - and most effective solutions to - sexual harassment and gender discrimination? How are smart phone apps and social media transforming romantic relationships? As you explore these questions, you will develop skills and strategies for effective reading, writing and research at Berkeley.

Book List:

a. Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire (Alan Miller, Satoshi Kanazawa)

b. Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (Steven Pinker) 

c. Modern Romance (Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg)

d. Course Reader texts (available on bCourses)

Class Number: 21004
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 11:00am - 12:00pm @ 54 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: The High Stakes in Sports Culture
Instructor: Chisako Cole
Section Description:

Don’t worry, you don’t necessarily have to be athletic to take this class- you don’t even have to like sports (although you can)! Professional and collegiate sports are based on ability and talent, but it can deviate, influenced by various social structures. Key questions guiding the course include: what is the role of sports in educational institutions? How about in politics? How is the culture of sports disneyified and commercialized? How does the sports culture influence our body image and how do fans impact the culture? In this course, we’ll explore this divergence in the culture of sports and its relationship with education, media, gentrification, body and fandom.

Book List:

Booth, Colomb & Williams (2008). The Craft of Research, 3rd Edition. University of Chicago Press

Other links to online texts on bCourses 

Class Number: 21005
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 1:00pm @ 115 Kroeber Hall
Section Theme: Science Friday/Hidden Brain/Breaking Research
Instructor: Belinda Kremer
Section Description:

Two credible, popularizing podcasts, Science Friday & Hidden Brain, will weekly deliver us breaking news in the sciences and the social sciences -- new research; complications; understandings; questions; knowledge gaps; data; metadata; ethical dilemmas; difficult decisions; futuristic possibilities; emerging practices: all will fuel your research questions. You will enhance your research strategies & "toolkit";  the ways you evaluate, understand, compare, & synthesize sources; and your expertise in reading and composing texts, with special emphasis on research-related texts. Finally, we will "break" research itself, problematizing "search" and "research," and engaging in active remedies.

More About Some of Our Multi-Modal Texts:

Science Friday  "Covering the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies..."

Hidden Brain  "[Helping] curious people understand the world – and themselves.  ... Shankar Vedantam reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships."

The Algorithmic Justice League  Mission: "To highlight algorithmic bias through media, art, and science; to provide space for people to voice concerns and experiences with coded bias; to develop practices for accountability during the design, development, and deployment of coded stystems."

Book List:

1. Hope Jahren Lab Girl     paperback (or hardcover or e-book)

Vintage; Reprint edition (February 28, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1101873728

2. Julia Chinyere Oparah et al  Battling Over Birth: Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis     paperback (or e-book)

Praeclarus Press (December 2, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1946665118

3. Wayne C. Booth et al The Craft of Research     paperback (or hardcover or e-book)  4th edition

University of Chicago Press  2016
ISBN: 9780226239569

Texts we will access at no cost:

Science Friday      Check out an April 2018 episode here:   https://www.sciencefriday.com/episodes/april-20-2018/

Hidden Brain: A Conversation about Life's Unseen Patterns        Check out an April 2018 episode here:  https://www.npr.org/2018/04/16/602872309/romeo-juliet-in-kigali-how-a-so...

Safiya Umoja Noble   Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism   UC Berkeley is providing unlimited, free acess to this text for our campus community. We will access it through our library, in the medium and platform of your choosing. 

     New York University Press 2018  

    ISBN 978147984949

AJL: Algorithmic Justice League_Fighting Bias in Algorithms     https://www.ajlunited.org

Class Number: 21006
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 2:00pm - 3:00pm @ 54 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: Our World Today: Global Issues, Local Contexts
Instructor: Ben Spanbock
Section Description:

With a focus on current events at both global and local levels, this class teaches students how to be rigorous and effective investigators. To better frame the concept of “our world,” we will begin with a brief history of place, taking UC Berkeley as a case study and discussing the role that the university and its research has played and continues to play in public life. This history will be complimented by close examinations of primary sources and discussions on finding and utilizing primary sources effectively. Tracking this history to the present moment, we will then map our conversations onto current events for a larger discussion on writing research papers using primary and secondary sources. Some of the issues that we will cover in our readings and discussions will include: how and where we find our information, what types of information and what sources of information we find valuable, and what we do with the information we have access to. Over the course of the semester, students will embark on a process of discovery related to a key issue within their chosen topic, to determine where, how, and why their research holds particular relevance to our world today.

Book List:

Course Reader (available online)

The Craft of Research, 3rd edition (Booth, Wayne C.)

Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era (Levitan, Daniel J.)

Class Number: 21007
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 2:00pm - 3:00pm @ 80 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: Race, Gender and Sexuality in African American writings
Instructor: Aparajita Nanda
Section Description:

In this course we will study writings by African American authors. The focus of this course will primarily be on developing your critical thinking, reading and writing skills.  Basic rhetorical tools such as description, analysis, explanation, narration, speculation and argument will be used to share your experiences, information and views with others. The emphasis will be on provocative theses, strategies of argument and competent analysis of evidence. It will also introduce you to research techniques that would involve evaluation and synthesis of primary and secondary source material into your argument. 

Book List:

Author: Barak Obama, Title: Dreams from my Father, ISBN: 1400082773

Author: Gloria Naylor Title: Mama Day, ISBN: 0679721819

Author: Zora Neale Hurston, Title: Their Eyes Were Watching God, ISBN : 0-06-083867-1

Class Number: 21008
Meeting time @ place:
TUTH 8:00am - 9:30am @ 89 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: The Machine Starts: Technology and its (Dis)contents
Instructor: Michael Larkin
Section Description:

Many of us spend hours upon hours every day at our computers and smart phones connecting to the world and to each other through the rapidly proliferating "apps" of technology, from the "old school" Web 1.0 of email to the ever-evolving world of social networking, e-commerce, and data collection. In these fractious times, what does the increased use of these tools mean for the ways we communicate with one another, the ways we read and write and learn, the ways we define what it means to be an individual, what it means to be human? And who has power in these spaces? Where does all of our data go, and how does it get used? In this course, you will engage with texts that consider these and other related questions; you will work on reading and writing skills by writing a series of essays about those texts (and those questions); and you'll learn the rudiments of academic research as you craft a research project centered on a subject of your own choosing that fits within our course theme. And who knows—maybe we'll answer some of those questions too.

Book List:

"The Machine Stops" (E.M. Forster); Weapons of Math Destruction:  How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (Cathy O'Neil); Deep Lab book and video talks; The Craft of Research, 4th edition (Booth, et al.); Course Reader, including works by Safiya Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression:  How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

Class Number: 20994
Meeting time @ place:
TUTH 9:30am - 11:00am @ 89 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: The Machine Starts: Technology and its (Dis)contents
Instructor: Michael Larkin
Section Description:

Many of us spend hours upon hours every day at our computers and smart phones connecting to the world and to each other through the rapidly proliferating "apps" of technology, from the "old school" Web 1.0 of email to the ever-evolving world of social networking, e-commerce, and data collection. In these fractious times, what does the increased use of these tools mean for the ways we communicate with one another, the ways we read and write and learn, the ways we define what it means to be an individual, what it means to be human? And who has power in these spaces? Where does all of our data go, and how does it get used? In this course, you will engage with texts that consider these and other related questions; you will work on reading and writing skills by writing a series of essays about those texts (and those questions); and you'll learn the rudiments of academic research as you craft a research project centered on a subject of your own choosing that fits within our course theme. And who knows—maybe we'll answer some of those questions too.

 

Book List:

"The Machine Stops" (E.M. Forster); Weapons of Math Destruction:  How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (Cathy O'Neil); Deep Lab book and video talksThe Craft of Research, 4th edition (Booth, et al.); Course Reader, including works by Safiya Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression:  How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

Class Number: 20995
Meeting time @ place:
TUTH 11:00am - 12:30pm @ 50 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: Monsters and Modernity
Instructor: Jonathan Lang
Section Description:

Monsters used to represent fear of the unknown: unmapped regions in the medieval period were marked by dragons; imperialists in the 19th century bringing the "light" of civilization into the dark continent of Africa feared cannibals. Given the scientific basis of the modern period, would it not be accurate to say that we no longer believe in monsters, that they survive in the modern period if only so that they can serve as the very sign of an unenlightened, and superstitious past? No. Monsters have not been banished to the regions of superstition; they have not been relegated entirely to the past. Once we get over the fear that they might pop out from under our beds, we run to the cinema to delight in observing their contemporary manifestations: as mad scientists, bestial men and women, re-animated corpses, and cyborgs. In the modern period, monsters remain as figures not simply of fear and fascination but of real use. Monsters persist as an emblem of anxiety about a past that is too rapidly disintegrating so as to compromise the very structures of society; or alternatively as a mode of protest against the modernity of the modern period with its new forms of regulation and social control; or then again as the sign of a compromised future wherein the representation of the monster serves to question the "progress of progress," and direct suspicion onto the modern projects of science, industry, and technology. Two analytical papers; one research paper. Literature and film focus.

Book List:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson), Dracula (Bram Stoker), Beloved (Toni Morrison), Craft of Research (Wayne Booth). Film: Alien (Ridley Scott). Video: Dexter season 1

Class Number: 20996
Meeting time @ place:
TUTH 12:30pm - 2:00pm @ 50 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: Monsters and Modernity
Instructor: Jonathan Lang
Section Description:

Monsters used to represent fear of the unknown: unmapped regions in the medieval period were marked by dragons; imperialists in the 19th century bringing the "light" of civilization into the dark continent of Africa feared cannibals. Given the scientific basis of the modern period, would it not be accurate to say that we no longer believe in monsters, that they survive in the modern period if only so that they can serve as the very sign of an unenlightened, and superstitious past? No. Monsters have not been banished to the regions of superstition; they have not been relegated entirely to the past. Once we get over the fear that they might pop out from under our beds, we run to the cinema to delight in observing their contemporary manifestations: as mad scientists, bestial men and women, re-animated corpses, and cyborgs. In the modern period, monsters remain as figures not simply of fear and fascination but of real use. Monsters persist as an emblem of anxiety about a past that is too rapidly disintegrating so as to compromise the very structures of society; or alternatively as a mode of protest against the modernity of the modern period with its new forms of regulation and social control; or then again as the sign of a compromised future wherein the representation of the monster serves to question the "progress of progress," and direct suspicion onto the modern projects of science, industry, and technology. Two analytical papers; one research paper. Literature and film focus.

Book List:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson), Dracula (Bram Stoker), Beloved (Toni Morrison), Craft of Research (Wayne Booth). Film: Alien (Ridley Scott). Video: Dexter season 1

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