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Writing and Rhetoric Program

 
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Writing Transgresses

Writing draws together different dialects, genres, and languages to create meaning for the reader. In that way, writing necessarily transgresses boundaries designed to separate, draw distinction, and exclude. To write is to imagine an alternative to the present.

Courses

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ENWR 1520-02: Where We Live: Writing about Housing Equity

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Why do we live where we do? How does housing impact our access to education, food, medical care, and other resources? What can the local built environment tell us about access to housing? Why are some people homeless? What is affordable housing and why is there so little of it? By volunteering at The Haven and using different types of writing, including journal entries, forum posts, peer reviews, and formal papers, we will explore topics like homelessness, affordable housing, privilege, food insecurity, the eviction crisis, systems of power, and community engagement.

Instructor: Professor Kate Stephenson
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ENWR 1510-03 and 1510-20: Writing about Work

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Approaches writing as a way of generating, representing, and reflecting on critical inquiry. Students contribute to an academic conversation about a specific subject of inquiry and learn to position their ideas and research in relation to the ideas and research of others.  Instructors place student writing at the center of the course, encourage students to think on the page, and prepare them to reflect on contemporary forms of expression.  Students read and respond to each other’s writing in class regularly, and they engage in thoughtful reflection on their own rhetorical choices as well as those of peers and published writers.  Additionally, the course requires students to give an oral presentation on their research and to assemble a digital portfolio of their writing.

Instructor: Piers Gelly
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ENWR 1520-01: You are What You Eat…or Are You?: Writing about Food Equity

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This course offers first-year students the chance to fulfill their first-year writing requirement through a community engagement experience. Questions guiding the course include: Why do we eat what we eat? Do poor people eat more fast food than wealthy people? Why do men like to eat steak more than women? Why are Cheetos cheaper than cherries? Do you have to be skinny to be hungry? By volunteering at The Haven, Loaves and Fishes, PB&J Fund or PVCC Community Garden and using different types of writing, including journal entries, forum posts, peer reviews, and formal papers, we will explore topics like hunger stereotypes, privilege, food insecurity, food production, and community engagement. 

Instructor: Professor Kate Stephenson
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ENWR 2510-06, Writing Human/Democratic Rights

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The course in highest demand for students on the FWR+ track is ENWR 2510, an Advanced Writing Seminar. Like ENWR 1510, ENWR 2510 approaches writing as a way of generating, representing, and reflecting on critical inquiry. Students contribute to an academic conversation about a specific subject of inquiry and learn to position their ideas and research in relation to the ideas and research of others.  Instructors place student writing at the center of course, encourage students to think on the page, and prepare them to reflect on contemporary forms of expression.  Students read and respond to each other’s writing in class regularly, and they engage in thoughtful reflection on their own rhetorical choices as well as those of peers and published writers.  Additionally, the course requires students to give an oral presentation on their research and to assemble a digital portfolio of their writing. While ENWR 2510 and ENWR 1510 share the same goals and practices, ENWR 2510 offers added rigor, often in the form of denser course texts and longer, more self-directed writing assignments.

Instructor: Professor Steve Parks
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ENWR 1510-08 and ENWR 1510-19: DIY

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D.I.Y., as it’s known today, has existed for nearly a century. Taking hold in the post-war American suburbs, D.I.Y. making has shifted dramatically through time—birthing the iconoclastic punk era, pinterest, GoFundMe healthcare, Tik Tok videos, soundcloud rap, and more. What do these materials, scenes, makers, and movements have in common? Rhetorically rich and culturally fraught, studying D.I.Y. will get us thinking about how ideas are crafted and cooked into the language of things. Through writing, reading, and discussion, we will carefully tease these ideas out to see what we really make of them. We’ll practice what we study as artists and writers, and we’ll also chat with visiting D.I.Y. artists, musicians, and writers. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll learn from D.I.Y. communities how to build supportive, inclusive, and non-judgmental creative spaces in which we can collaborate and share our work with one another.

Approaches writing as a way of generating, representing, and reflecting on critical inquiry. Students contribute to an academic conversation about a specific subject of inquiry and learn to position their ideas and research in relation to the ideas and research of others.  Instructors place student writing at the center of course, encourage students to think on the page, and prepare them to reflect on contemporary forms of expression.  Students read and respond to each other’s writing in class regularly, and they engage in thoughtful reflection on their own rhetorical choices as well as those of peers and published writers.  Additionally, the course requires students to give an oral presentation on their research and to assemble a digital portfolio of their writing.

Instructor: Professor Michelle Gottschlich
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All Hands In

ENWR 3620-01: Writing and Tutoring Across Cultures

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In this course, we’ll look at a variety of texts from academic arguments, narratives, and pedagogies, to consider what it means to write, communicate, and learn across cultures. Topics will include contrastive rhetorics, world Englishes, rhetorical listening, and tutoring multilingual writers. A service-learning component will require students to virtually tutor students in sections of ENWR1506, my first-year writing courses. We will discuss pedagogies and practical, strengths-based strategies in working with multi-lingual learners on their writing; tutor first-years; and create writing projects that convey learning from these experiences. While the course will specifically prepare students to tutor multilingual writers, these skills are adaptable and applicable across disciplines and discourses. Our techniques and pedagogies will also be applicable to native-speakers. Basically, students will learn how to use dialogic engagement to support collaboration and conversation across cultures. Self-designed final writing projects will give students from various majors—education, public policy, commerce, social sciences, and STEM—the opportunity to combine their specific discourse knowledge with our course content. Additionally, students who successfully complete the course are invited to apply to work on the UVa writing center.  

Instructor: Professor Kate Kostelnik
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ENWR 1510-24: Writing as Storytelling

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Approaches writing as a way of generating, representing, and reflecting on critical inquiry. Students contribute to an academic conversation about a specific subject of inquiry and learn to position their ideas and research in relation to the ideas and research of others.  Instructors place student writing at the center of course, encourage students to think on the page, and prepare them to reflect on contemporary forms of expression.  Students read and respond to each other’s writing in class regularly, and they engage in thoughtful reflection on their own rhetorical choices as well as those of peers and published writers.  Additionally, the course requires students to give an oral presentation on their research and to assemble a digital portfolio of their writing.

Instructor: Molly Kleuver
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ENWR 1510-27 and 1510-65: Beauty and Thievery in the Modern Museum

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Museums preserve rare, precious objects and make them accessible to new publics. Yet these institutions have also been sites of controversy, critiqued as storehouses of colonial looting and for presenting elite views of what constitutes nature and culture. In this section of ENWR 1510, we will consider how museums display objects and how visitors interact with these spaces. Your first writing process will begin in one of the three museums on the University of Virginia campus. Meanwhile, readings on contemporary museums of art, science, and history, as well as living museums such as colonial Williamsburg, will set a foundation for our collective inquiry. As we investigate experiences and values associated with museums, we will learn about—and practice—academic approaches to studying them. You will then develop your own research question related to any museum context, as you gain skills for writing with insight, nuance, clarity, and enjoyment.  

Instructor: Professor Rachel Kravetz
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ENWR 1510-46: Rewriting Race, Place, and History at UVA

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This course offers first-year students the chance to fulfill their first-year writing requirement through a community engagement experience. Questions guiding the course include:  

Instructor: Professor Anastatia Curley
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ENWR 1510-06: Your Fave is Problematic: Pop Culture Criticism in the 21st Century

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Whether we like it or not, popular culture dominates our lives. From Beyonce to The Office, no one can escape the powerful influence media has on our identities. This writing-intensive seminar is focused on challenging everything that we as a society deem popular – the movies, TV shows, and books that have become a part of our everyday conversations. For though popular culture excites us enough to share and discuss with others, we cannot ignore the problematic parts of it. 

In this course, we will explore what makes certain media in our culture “popular,” as well as what “popularity” means in general. We’ll also challenge and ask difficult questions about the culture we love so much. We’ll write essays about the pop culture we encounter throughout the course, becoming ourselves better critics and more aware of the media we encounter going forward. In doing so, we will learn more about what it means to be critics in a world where pop culture follows us wherever we go.

Instructor: Vallaire Wallace
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ENWR 1510-01:
Writing Charlottesville

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The course in highest demand for students on the FWR+ track is ENWR 2510, an Advanced Writing Seminar. Like ENWR 1510, ENWR 2510 approaches writing as a way of generating, representing, and reflecting on critical inquiry. Students contribute to an academic conversation about a specific subject of inquiry and learn to position their ideas and research in relation to the ideas and research of others.  Instructors place student writing at the center of course, encourage students to think on the page, and prepare them to reflect on contemporary forms of expression.  Students read and respond to each other’s writing in class regularly, and they engage in thoughtful reflection on their own rhetorical choices as well as those of peers and published writers.  Additionally, the course requires students to give an oral presentation on their research and to assemble a digital portfolio of their writing. While ENWR 2510 and ENWR 1510 share the same goals and practices, ENWR 2510 offers added rigor, often in the form of denser course texts and longer, more self-directed writing assignments.

Instructor: Professor Kevin Smith
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ENWR 1510-63: Writing Home

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This course offers first-year students the chance to fulfill their first-year writing requirement through a community engagement experience. Questions guiding the course include:  

Instructor: Nehali Patel
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ENWR 1510-22: The Contemplative Pause

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This course will borrow from contemplative practice to help students reflect upon, articulate, interrogate and deepen their understanding of community. We’ll work collaboratively to build a community of writers within the classroom. Using tenets of inquiry-based writing practice, we’ll explore and introduce each other to the variety of community experiences and identities we bring from outside the classroom. Together we’ll examine these groups from the perspective of both members (insiders) and outsiders to ask how these fields of affiliation produce and share knowledge, and how their language of practice impacts our perception as individuals.

Instructor: Professor Devin Donovan
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ENWR 1510-47: Writing Home

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This course offers first-year students the chance to fulfill their first-year writing requirement through a community engagement experience. Questions guiding the course include:  

Instructor: Rachel Retica
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Want to Build?

The Writing and Rhetoric Program provides a range of opportunities for undergraduate students to explore how their writing skills can support local, national, and international efforts for social justice and human rights. Through these opportunities, students can gain direct experience in how academic and professional writing can link to self-defined community goals and aspirations. In the process, students also can gain direct and extensive experience in print/digital publishing, community building strategies, and international human rights work.

If you are interested in joining any of the projects below, please write using the contact form.

Upcoming Events