Writing Seminars: Digital Childhood

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.


As digital technologies direct human thought processes, mediate interpersonal relationships, and enable unprecedented access to all types of information, how are notions of childhood changing, or, perhaps more surprisingly, remaining the same? Considering a variety of fields from politics to photography and pediatrics, in this course we investigate how developments such as Pokémon Go, Twitter, and iPhones impact the role of children, for example, in debates over privacy, violence, and inequality. As part of our exploration, we will practice with digital analytical tools, including Voyant and Google Books NGram Viewer, and hone our oral presentation skills through an academic mini-conference and TED-style talks. With your own experiences as so-called digital natives in mind, we will ask: do digital environments present vast frontiers of educational opportunity or incalculable threats to the innocence, health, and safety of society’s most vulnerable members?

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

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MW 11:35am-12:50pm