Writing Seminars: What is Identity?

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.

Is identity a deeply felt inner sense of your unique self, “a subjective feeling of self-sameness” in the words of psychologist Jane Kroger?  Or is it primarily social, cultural, or political (as in “identity politics”), derived from your relation to a group that pre-exists you and is external to you?  In this course we will read, talk, and write about different understandings of identity and how they diverge and connect.  We will explore many varieties of identity, including racial, ethnic, national, gendered, sexual, class, and ability/disability-related; and we will explore them through the lenses provided by scholarly disciplines such as psychology, social history, anthropology, philosophy, gender studies, critical race studies, and political theory and by genres such as memoir, documentary film, fiction, the personal essay, and the editorial.

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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WF 1:00pm-2:15pm