undergraduate section

Upcoming Courses

What can you take when you are ready to go beyond first-year composition? Here are some great courses that we are offering in Spring 2017.

ENGCMP/HAA 0425: Digital Humanity
Annette Vee and Alison Langmead    MW 11-11:50 plus recitation either M 12-12:50 or W 10-10:50

How have computational devices affected the way we think about our own humanity? This course prepares students to critically examine the intersections between digital devices and human life. Covering topics such as the relationship between computers and humans, surveillance, big data, and interactivity and games, we question what it means to be human in a space of pervasive digitality. Assessment will be based on regular online posts, midterm examination, a final curation project, and class participation, both digital and face-to-face. The course fills the Philosophy General Education requirement and meets three times per week: twice for lecture, once for recitation/lab.

ENGCMP 1200 Advanced Topics in Composition: Advanced Composing Digital Media

Matt Lavin

This section will be focused on communicating with data. For the past decade, magazines like ForbesFortune, and Wired have called data "the new oil." In 2012, Harvard Business Review named data scientist the "sexiest job of the 21st century." In Spring 2017, the first ever section of Advanced Composing Digital Media will follow a critical making approach to engage with the role that data have played in contemporary communications. Students will learn the crucial components of data-driven journalism, digital humanities analysis, and information visualization. Emphasized throughout the course will be composition as a means to supplement and extend critical thought, especially how data-driven communications methods are reshaping public discourse.

ENGCMP 1220 Art of the Essay
Jennifer Lee   
Art of the Essay is a course that invites you to look at the world as an essayist—to consider your own interests and obsessions, the things that bother and amuse you, as material for writing. The essay is a wonderfully open form, and in Art of the Essay we explore all manner of approaches: portrait, list, meditation, argument, poem, and complaint. This is a course that asks you to be thoughtful, but also imaginative and playful.
ENGCMP 1510 Writing with Style
Ellen Smith  

Do you feel the force of great writing, but worry that you can’t control it? Have you wondered about your commas, then just shrugged it off and guessed? Through a focus on the moving parts of the sentence – where and why to expand or contract, to elaborate in place or to accumulate in series – students in this course will learn to build coherence and shift emphasis in their writing. Exercises in imitation and variation, derived in part from readings by acclaimed prose stylists, will alternate with more extended writing and revision to allow sentence-level insights to scale up to paragraphs, sections, and beyond.

ENGCMP 1552: Language, Literacy, and Learning (formerly Uses of Literacy)
Beth Matway

This section of ENCMP 1552 is focused on Literacy Issues in Urban Education. Using the Pittsburgh Public Schools as a reference point, we will look at recent educational efforts to understand and address the “achievement gap” that persists across lines of race and class in the U.S.  We’ll examine national programs such as No Child Left Behind and Teach for America, and local programs such as the Pittsburgh Promise. Readings include Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Beautiful Struggle, Diane Ravitch’s The Death and Life of the Great American School System, and “Multiplication is for White People”: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children, by Lisa Delpit.