Course Descriptions and Materials

Below, I have the major descriptions and course materials from my more recent courses, as well as potential planned courses. There are a blend of Google Docs, PDFs, and sites, but let me know if you have any further questions or requests (bekeegan [at] syr.edu). I totally believe in sharing materials. For student feedback on particular courses, please e-mail.

Taught

WRT 307: Advanced Writing Studio: Professional Writing (Syracuse, Fall 2018)

Description: This course helps prepare students to function as writers in workplaces that are increasingly networked and transnational, providing a space to produce common workplace genres and incorporate writing across professionally minded formats and contexts. Students take responsibility for their own learning through project planning, revision, deadline compliance, managing team dynamics, and seeking expertise when needed. Students will also collaborate responsibly and manage tasks concurrently. They will learn to ethically consider yourself as global citizens working in transnational workplaces, making issues of corporate conduct, intellectual property, usability, accessibility, and equality central parts of the composing process.

WRT 307 Syllabus and Calendar

WRT 104: The Practice of Academic Writing (Syracuse, Summer 2018)

Description: This class is meant to be an introduction to college-level reading and writing practices. In it, students learn to compose for college audiences, to read texts actively, to make interpretations and claims, and to collaborate with others in different rhetorical situations. I hope to help build foundational skills for students to become more rhetorically astute and empowered learners, readers, and writers. I want to be inclusive as an instructor and help them meet individual writing goals, even as we meet more general objectives.

WRT 104 Syllabus and Calendar

WRT 302: Advanced Studio: Digital Writing (Syracuse, Spring 2018)

Description: This course focuses around “digital writing,” a range of situations, literacies, and modalites centered around digital technology, ranging from image editing to web design. The course creates a concrete exposure to digital writing skills, giving a chance to produce a website and use various design and multi-modal digital tools. The course also hopes to explore the theoretical, ethical, and rhetorical implications behind those skills and their role in our personal, professional, and civic lives. While any prior familiarity to digital composing is welcome, it is not a requirement and the course should attend to a range of abilities.

WRT 302 Course Site

WRT 205: Advanced Research Writing (Syracuse, Summer 2017)

Description: As the capstone to the writing requirement at SU, this course focuses on research-based writing across different contexts, genres, and audiences. The course emphasizes the social and rhetorical dimensions of research writing, exploring how research-driven writing works in varied communities with different goals. I take a more process and reflection-focused approach, culminating in a final “inquiry project” and a portfolio that builds from writing and process work throughout the semester. The course includes more practical elements of research writing, like source gathering and evaluation, as well as deeper theoretical concerns regarding the ethics and rhetoric of research. In particular, this unit of inquiry centers on writing and technology, using design-driven thinking to consider issues at the intersection of technology and society.

WRT 205 Course Syllabus and Calendar

WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing (Syracuse, Fall 2016)

Description: WRT 105 is an introduction to literacy and its relationship to cultures, communities, identities, media, and technology. Students write, revise, edit, and reflect with the support of instructor and peers. They will also engage critically with the opinions and voices of others as you develop a greater understanding of how your writing can affect yourself and your audiences. The course will engage with literacy, analysis, and argument, practices that carry across academic disciplinary lines and into professional and civic writing.

WRT 105 Syllabus, Calendar, and Projects

CLARE 110 (St. Bonaventure, Fall 2014): Composition and Critical Thinking

Description: The primary first-year writing course at St. Bonaventure, this was meant as a class to focus on more fundamental writing skills, the conventions of academic writing, and slightly more rhetorical and critical set of literacies. The primary structure was around the semiotics of various domains, from space to music, and the readings covered both fundamentals of academic writing, like They Say/I Say, and more critical issues, like gender and race. The syllabus was a centralized document, which we edited to individual tastes; therefore, it primarily represents department goals and values.

CLARE 110 Syllabus, Calendar, and Projects

Planned

Rhetorics of Play

As the overview highlights, the class is meant to look at the intersection of game studies and writing studies, opening up the interrogation of games from the level of literacy to their communities and histories. As such, it is a bit of a survey course and could likely be edited to focus on particular aspects. Unit one focuses more on the rhetorical aspects of game and play as largely understood in composition and rhetoric. Unit two expands from beyond game interfaces and literacies to discuss the histories and communities created by videogames. Unit 3, the longest, looks at game design, focusing it down with a hands on iterative project, but also adding readings of different design mechanics and philosophies. The course wraps up going back to the foundational texts of game studies to revisit the original question: What can rhetoric teach us about play, and what can play teach us about rhetoric? While fitting under a primarily digital scope, it also involves the analysis of analogue games and play more generally.

WRT Overview, Syllabus, Calendar, and Projects

Rhetoric and Ethics: From Aristotle to Google

Description: For a rhetoric and ethics class, I would want to look at the basic ethical core Western Rhetorical Cannon texts like Plato, Cicero, and Quintilian, but also try to complicate these traditional texts with those from the Confucian tradition, Latin America, and elsewhere. The primary focus is what our civic and moral responsibility is as rhetors to our society and the environment. I also focus on authorship, particularly who is considered an author and who is not, and digital rhetoric, culminating in the  civic and authorial challenges that this work brings.

Composition History

Description: With history, I tend to draw from central texts in the field’s history, like Berlin and Harris, but also include Gold’s micro-histories and work by scholars like Carmen Kynard that expands the history of composition beyond its traditional scope. Ryan Skinnell’s work on assessment and Strickland’s Managerial Unconscious helps round out an administrative history, while Jason Palmeri’s Remixing Composition, Byron Hawk’s A Counter-History to Composition, and Lisa Ede’s Situating Composition offer helpful supplements to Berlin’s traditional taxonomies.

My main goal is to instruct on the “Canonical” history of the field and situate it in terms of its lineage in American literacy traditions, but exemplify the capacity to complicate that history and what it (re)produces.

Composition Theory and Pedagogy

I would want to focus on more praxis-oriented issues, especially genre, feedback, assessment, and disability rhetoric. For genre, my main goal is to highlight the rhetorical foundation to genre understanding, while highlighting potential applications, drawing from Anis Bawarshi, Mary Jo Reiff, Mary Soliday, Suresh Canagarajah, and others. With feedback, I think core texts like Nancy Sommers and Joseph Williams may set a foundation, but work by Chris Anson, Asao Inoue, Arnetha Ball, Jane Mathison Fife, and Peggy O’Neill offer depth, nuance, and complication. In a similar mode, I scholars on disability–like Jay Dolmage, Margaret Price, Allison Hitt, Melanie Yergeau, and Brenda Bruggeman–present a key component to current and future composition pedagogy.

Again, I want to give a firm foundational understanding, as traditionally understood, and complicate that understanding with other work to give students a space to reflect on their own pedagogy.

Rhetorical Theory and History

Description: Rather than focus on particular texts on a linear or subject-oriented history, I focus on three core topics: embodiment, identity/identification, and persuasion.

For embodiment, Quintilian, Debra Hawhee, Anthony Corbeill, and the elocutionary movement provide a foundation. Disability studies, feminist rhetorics, and other cultural rhetorics, long focused on embodiment, extend this. And new materialism, like Rickert’s Ambient Rhetoric, complicate the situatedness of rhetoric and the body’s role in it.

For identity/identification, Burke and Aristotle provides and obvious touchstones, but Rickert and Diane Davis have complicated the rational nature of identification in a more new materialist sense, while Amy Wan, Kevin Browne, and Ralph Cintron have explored how different rhetorical tactics construct identities within and across different communities in a more cultural and historical sense

With persuasion, I would include the more traditional approaches of Aristotle and Cicero, but I would also want to bring in the role of affect and visual rhetoric through Laurie Gries, Brock and Shepherd, and others, which may not rely on alphabetic approaches.

As with my general approach to teaching, I want to focus on the diverse and often contradictory uptake across different contexts and modes of understanding.

Rhetoric and the News

Description: Rhetoric and the News would focus on the history of news media, its particular rhetorical traits, and broader theories about its role in democracy. Mitchell Stevens’ text and Paul Stars’ text may provide a general history, while a text like Andie Tucher‘s Froth and Scum or a related account may be an informative historical case study. Review of the AP Style Guide, AP Guide to News Writing, the NYT style guide, and The Economist style guide would look at the conventions of the genre, including its historical and ideological implications. Last, a critical examination of the media, including its role in politics and its intersection with social media, would round out the course. My goal would for this to be a media literacy course with a pointed focus on information literacy.