Rhetoric 306: Costs & Crisis in Higher education
UT’s motto is “What starts here changes the world.” In RHE 306, you will take the first step in changing the world by learning how to argue effectively in the public sphere.
In this class, you will learn how to examine a public controversy, analyze various positions that people hold in that controversy, and effectively advocate your own position. You will also explore the ethics of argumentation, explaining what it means to “fairly” represent someone with whom you disagree, or how to responsibly address a community with particular values and interests. Your work in this course will help you advance the critical writing and reading skills you will need to succeed in courses for your major and university degree.
This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the communication component of the university core curriculum and addresses four core course objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, teamwork, and personal responsibility.
rhetoric 309K: Rhetoric of (In)Justice in Comics
In the midst of police brutality, mass incarceration, and constant racial controversies executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker felt “the world is ready for a bulletproof black hero.” As a result, he resurrected one of the most iconic black superheroes, giving us Luke Cage the Netflix series. Although Luke Cage the comic book first appeared in 1972, a comparison will show that not much has changed between then and now. Unfortunately, Luke Cage is still trying to fight the same crimes; illegal activity, racism, and injustice. While the newly, re-appropriated Netflix Luke Cage reveals our society’s lack of progression, the series also shows us that we can be the heroes our communities need. More importantly, Luke Cage illustrates that not everyone in prison is guilty, not all authority figures are trustworthy, not every black man is a threat, and that there are ways to make the system value us.
In class, we will use the comic book hero Luke Cage to investigate how comic book characters rhetorically tackle issues related to race, crime, and politics. Although Luke Cage will serve as the main case for class discussions, you are allowed to focus your assignments on any comic book character you want. Our main goal is to analyze the measures comic book characters take to bring justice to their communities. By exploring and critiquing how popular culture frames conversations regarding Luke Cage, you will learn to identify and analyze rhetorical appeals and fallacies, in both traditional and visual texts. You will then take the analytic skills, critical thinking skills, and research methods developed from having these discussions, and use them to examine how a comic book character of your choice also addresses and solves social issues. At the end of the course, you will be asked to join in on this fight for justice, by taking action towards solving a social issue in your local community.
Sociology 307E: Contemporary U.S. Social Problems (Co-taught)
This course provides a survey of some of the most pressing social problems facing the United States today. Throughout the course you will learn how to apply sociological concepts and perspectives to unpack a number of contemporary social issues. Topics we will examine include: immigration, crime and punishment, culture and media, health inequality, and education inequality. We will take an intersectional approach to consider how race, gender, class, sexuality, and immigration status shape how these social trends and issues emerge, are experienced, and influence our individual and collective futures.