Skip Navigation
The University of Oklahoma
Expository Writing
THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

Courses for Fall 2013

EXPO 1213 meets the GenEd Core I Second Semester Composition requirement.

EXPO 1223 meets the GenEd Core IV Lower Division Western Civ. & Culture requirement.

 

Every section of EXPO 1213/1223 features:
    •      a guided investigation of a special topic (see course listing below)
    •      a seminar-sized class of no more than 16 students
    •      an emphasis on individual instruction with plenty of feedback
    •      a lecturer who is a seasoned teacher with an advanced degree
    •      an open, interactive classroom atmosphere

 

Immigrant America

Section 008: MWF 1:30PM-2:20PM
Instructor: David Long

This course measures the importance of immigration in the history and practice of civic life in the United States, with a focus on the period from 1875 to the present. Course texts include landmark legal documents, newspaper articles, a novella and a novel, poetry and music, three films, OU-archived photographs, and model essays from several academic fields.

 

Games People Play

Section 025: TR 10:30-11:45
Instructor: George Cusack

Game theorist Jane McGonigal argues that human beings devote billions of hours to games each is year because "reality is broken." According to McGonigal, games give us a sense of purpose and accomplishment that most people find lacking in their everyday lives. In this course, we’ll examine the ways that games can make us feel smarter, more powerful, and more capable. We'll see how games can distract us from the "real world," but also how they can help us to learn, collaborate, and express ourselves more effectively. Finally, we'll think of ways to "gamify" the university experience in order to address specific problems faced by OU students.

Back to top

American Gangster

Section 016: TR 1:30-2:45
Section 017: TR 3:00-4:15

Instructor: Catherine Mintler

The iconic gangster figure in America has achieved a mythic stature, whereby both real and fictional gangsters, like Clyde Barrow and Michael Corleone, have been idolized into cultish popularity. Whether belonging to criminal organizations (mafia) or acting alone (outlaw), the American Gangster's roots in 19th century ethnic, immigrant and class subcultures have expanded to influence urban street gangs, French noir /Japanese Yakuza films, and "Gangsta Rap", and is continually recycled as commodified Hollywood entertainment. In this course, students will examine America's fascination with various manifestations of the gangster figure in journalism, literature, various graphic media, and music.

Back to top

From Poets to Rockstars: Creative Artists as Celebrities

Section 022: TH 3:00-4:15
Section 023: TH 4:30-5:45

Instructor: Nick LoLordo


Why are so many of our celebrities artists? Why do so many of these famous artists have famously difficult lives? Why do we hunger for every possible detail about those lives? And how does our obsession help us understand their art?

Beginning with the Romantic poet Lord Byron (who was called "mad, bad, and dangerous to know"--by his lover!), and ending with Tupac Shakur (who remains famous enough to need no further advertisement), we will look for answers to these and related questions, to better understand the co-dependent relationship between art and fame that characterizes modern cultural life.

Back to top

 

Japan in Disaster

Section 009: TR 9:00-10:15

Section 010: TR 10:30-11:45
Instructor: Bridget Love

Japan in Disaster: The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan's northeastern coast on March 11, 2011 stunned the world, as did the chain of events that followed. Mega-tsunami pummeled Japan's coastline, killing and displacing hundreds of thousands and sparking a nuclear meltdown. These triple disasters have raised difficult questions about the ability of contemporary societies to control natural hazards and to recover in their aftermath. This course takes up these questions by investigating survivor and journalist accounts, social media, film, and emerging scholarship on the disasters. As students explore March 11 in the context of this writing course, they will contemplate its wide-ranging implications in Japan and beyond.

Back to top

The Jane Austen Meme

Section 003: MW 1:30-2:45

Section 004: MW 3:00-4:15
Instructor: Kathryn Steele

Jane Austen’s novels remain popular 200 years after their publication, and — intriguingly—continue to spawn revisions, mash-ups, and film versions. What do these revisions tell us about ourselves? Why do we retell, repeat, and remake some stories? This course takes the ongoing revision of Austen’s work as a test case for the new perspectives that emerge when objects of “high” culture are appropriated by popular cultures. How do revisions—such as the films Clueless or Bride and Prejudice, or the mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies—reveal changing assumptions and beliefs about gender, family, class, and education? Course readings will help us situate these texts within their historical and contemporary contexts. We will read one of Austen’s novels in its entirety (Northanger Abbey). Writing and research possibilities, however, will extend well beyond Austen.

 

Back to top

 

Living Dangerously

Section 018: TR 12:00-1:15

Section 019: TR 1:30-2:45
Instructor: Sam Temple

What does it mean to take risks, as individuals and as societies? Through a variety of sources (articles, blogs, podcasts, primary documents, and film) this course examines changing attitudes towards danger and risk in modern life. Several questions guide our investigation: How do we perceive danger? Why do we endorse some risks and not others? What are the effects, direct and indirect, of our risk-taking? How do we attempt to manage risk? In considering these questions, we will touch on a range of topics, from fast cars, the poker boom, and the recent mortgage crisis to toxins, disasters, and climate change.

 

Back to top

 

Modern Monsters

Section 011: MWF 10:30-11:20
Instructor: David Long

Our world and our minds have always been populated by monsters.  Not only do they both horrify and fascinate us, but monsters may be said to shape and express the lives we lead—socially, politically, and psychologically.  From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Nazi death camps to 70s horror films and beyond, this course will investigate the birth and career of the modern monster in the Western world.  What is a monster?  In what ways are the monsters of a scientific, technological age different than their ancestors?  What do those differences reveal about the times in which we live?  How does our sense of what’s monstrous change as we move from fictional narrative and to actual history?  Why are monsters indispensable to our culture?  And why, no matter how fast we run or how carefully we bolt the door, can we never really escape them?

Back to top

 

Games People Play

Section 007: TR 6:00-7:15pm
Instructor: Jennifer Shaiman

Game theorist Jane McGonigal argues that human beings devote billions of hours to games each is year because "reality is broken." According to McGonigal, games give us a sense of purpose and accomplishment that most people find lacking in their everyday lives. In this course, we’ll examine the ways that games can make us feel smarter, more powerful, and more capable. We'll see how games can distract us from the "real world," but also how they can help us to learn, collaborate, and express ourselves more effectively. Finally, we'll think of ways to "gamify" the university experience in order to address specific problems faced by OU students.

 

Back to top

Music, Sound, and Noise

Section 012: MWF 11:30-12:20
Section 013: MWF 2:30-3:20

Instructor: Robert Scafe

This course examines political and social struggles over music and the sonic environment. Students will be asked to tune into the music, sounds, and noises of their daily lives, and to write about how their experience is shaped by the "soundscape" in ways that often go unnoticed. Assisting us in this effort will be the anthropologists, historians, and sociologists who have written about music from its folk origins through classical and contemporary "pop" and "alternative" genres. Why do people identify so strongly with their musical tastes-and react so strongly to music they dislike? How has music informed social movements and regimes of oppression? Who owns the soundscape, and how should we negotiate disputes over public "noise"?

Back to top

 

Myth and Hero

Section 001: MWF 12:30-1:20
Section 002: MWF 2:30-3:20

Instructor: Liz Locke

 

After discussing some of the ways in which scholars define and think about the word “myth,” we meet Theseus, a classical Greek hero, and his transformations into the iconic American Cowboy Hero. We then discover the significance of comic book superheroes in our popular, moral, and political cultures: How do “truth, justice, and the American Way” figure in our current narratives about American identity, power, law, vigilantism, heroism, and immigration? Finally, we consult representations of women superheroes, still asking: how do both our new and traditional hero myths mold our thinking on individual autonomy, community, suffering, justice, violence, and virtue? How do they influence our behaviors and attitudes about power, gender, ethnicity, class, citizenship, conflict, and peace?


In addition to your regular class attendance, you will be screening three films: The Virginian (1929), Unforgiven (1992), and The Dark Knight (2008), plus the last two episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2003).

 

Back to top

 

Transcending Gender

Section 005: MW 3:00-4:15

Section 006: MW 1:30-2:45
Instructor: Eric Bosse

How does gender shape our lives? How do we define, interpret, manipulate, and regulate gender? How do we respond to those who do not conform to our culture’s traditional gender binary? Gender confers privilege and power on some and subjects others to subtle and not-so-subtle acts of oppression. And even as transgender figures pervade our culture, they retain the status of outsiders. This interdisciplinary course explores debates surrounding traditional gender roles, feminism, privilege, intersectionality, homophobia, transvestitism, transsexuality, androgyny, and transphobia, through texts drawn from women’s studies, men’s studies, LGBT studies, psychology, neuroscience, journalism, legislation, public policy, literature, and popular culture.

Back to top

Guns and Democracy

Section 020: TR 10:30-11:45
Section 021: TR 12:00-1:15

Instructor: Matthias Rudolf

The recent shootings in Aurora CO and Newtown CT have revived the debate about the right to bear arms. “Guns and Democracy” invites students to reflect on and develop their own positions on the role of guns in American society by focusing on the second amendment’s political history and the questions of individual freedom and social obligation it raises. Students will explore the historical background of the second amendment and its changing interpretation by US courts, investigate the civil rights context of the modern gun-control and gun-right movements, conduct an independent research project, and pen an editorial that responds to a contemporary event.

 

Back to top