English 125.2 “Debating Empire”
Professor Jennifer Jackson 637-5278 Professor Steve Macek 637-5369
Office Hours: MWF 10:30 - noon Office Hours: MWF 10:30 – noon
& by appointment & by appointment
Crusius, Timothy and Carolyn Channell. The Aims of Argument: Brief Guide. 4th Ed. McGraw- Hill, 2002.
Brodhead, Judith, ed. NCC Guide to Writing, Documentation, and Information Resources. 2004-05.
Maimon, Elaine and Janice Peritz. A Writer’s Resource: A Handbook for Writing and Research. McGraw-Hill, 2003.
This term you will
practice critical reading, writing, argument, and research related to the topic
“Debating Empire.” Through intensive
reading, frequent writing and discussion, research, and by looking at other
sources, you’ll study varying perspectives on the
We will cover three broad themes: historical contexts, current debates, and writing dissent.
The course readings encourage
you to develop a more complex understanding of the world, For example, what are
the consequences of sorting nations or individuals into “evil” or “good”? Why and how should the
You’ll analyze how arguments are made this term, learning to summarize, paraphrase, and evaluate claims. You’ll locate relevant research in order to write well-reasoned, persuasively developed arguments. You’ll acquire a language and set of strategies as writers, participating in peer reviews, discussions, and an oral presentation.
This seminar introduces you to ways of arguing and writing in college. We’ll describe and model “interdisciplinary work,” an essential skill for liberally educated persons. While “Debating Empire” is our particular focus, your class shares goals with all other seminars: we support careful reading, arguing to inquire and persuade, a desire to collaborate across disciplines (as evidenced in team teaching), and rigorous practice in writing and research.
You’ll write three formal papers this term, with the goal of becoming a
more effective writer and competent researcher. You’ll prepare short response papers in and
out of class on a regular basis, and give an oral presentation on your final
research project. You’ll critique one
another’s drafts and contribute to discussions. We’ll meet with you to provide individual help
in a scheduled conference Wednesday of Week Six, but you are encouraged to visit
our offices during posted hours or meet with both of us as you wish. You’ll be required to attend one or more activities
sponsored by the Globalization Learning Community and Cultural Events. You’ll also be expected to visit the
Paper 1 Analysis: 50 points
Paper 2 Mediation essay: 70 points
Paper 3 Research: 100 points
Short responses: 40 points
Presentation: 30 points
300 possible points
Descriptions of formal papers
#1: Analysis(4-5 pages)
What is the thesis—what is the argument in play? How does the writer develop a case? How is content organized, and with what effects? What evidence is used? How does the writer establish credibility? How are we persuaded to believe claims? Assess ideas, as well as the rhetoric deployed to advance those ideas.
Draft due: Monday, 9/27; final version due: Friday, 10/1. 50 possible points
#2: Mediation Essay on “Clash of Civilizations” (5-6 pages)
Compare and contrast Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilization with Edward Said’s “The Class of Ignorance.” What are their disagreements? What accounts for their different opinions? What does each seem to believe, value, and assume? Can these positions be mediated? If common ground is possible, how to negotiate it?
Draft due: Wednesday, 10/20; final version due: Friday, 10/22.
#3: Research Paper (8-10 pages) Gather information drawing on at least seven sources; topics to be discussed as the term unfolds. Proposal, annotated lists of sources.
Draft due: Wednesday, 11/10; final version due: Wednesday, 11/24, exam week
The work you submit for this course must be your own. As outlined in the NCC Guide to
Writing, you must cite sources for words, ideas, summaries, uncommon facts or statistics, and references to other works not your own. Exact wording needs to be placed within quotations. Using someone else’s words or ideas without proper documentation is plagiarism. Written work that contains plagiarized language or ideas will receive a failing grade. In addition, you will be reported to the Office of Academic Affairs. Please speak with us if you have questions, confusion, or concerns about this important matter.
Links and Learning Communities
Please speak with us following class today if you are not sure whether two of your courses have been or should be linked, either this or next term.
Please also note that
International Programs is focusing on
Ø If you’re absent more than twice we will lower your final course grade by ½ letter for each subsequent absence. Late papers will have a 10-point deduction for each 24 hour period beyond the deadline, beginning at the time due.
Ø If you must miss class, you’re responsible for that day’s work; we won’t keep track of missed assignments for you. Be prepared for the next class, and please do not ask if you missed anything important.
Ø You should be ready to write about and discuss readings assigned each day. Participation is assumed.
Ø Incompletes can only be granted if serious illness or situations prevent a timely completion of the work and if you have already completed all work up to the time you request an incomplete.
Ø We all work hard; we all have multiple commitments. Anticipate the crunch at term’s end by working systematically on the final project. Please do not share that you failed to do work for this course because of other classes’ demands, extra-curricular commitments, your job, or miscellaneous pleasures/woes.
Freshman Seminar 125.H2: Debating Empire
Week One Defining Terms: introducing the debates
M 9/13 Intro to course; syllabus; in-class writing.
W 9/15 Intro to rhetoric; overview of keywords; read articles introducing issues:
Niall Ferguson “The End of Power”
and “The Reluctant Empire”
Arundhati Roy “The New American Century”
and “An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire.”
F 9/17 Aims of Argument, Chapter 2, 3-46; discussion; short response to articles due.
Week Two Historical contexts concerning empire/imperialism
M 9/20 Read essays examining historical responses to empire:
Mark Twain To the Person Sitting in Darkness
and “The War Prayer”
Rudyard KiplingThe"The White Man's Burden" and Its Critics Kipling, the White Man's Burden and US Imperialism
W 9/22 “Hope and Memory” http://www.adbusters.org/jams/history/flash.html
F 9/24 Library session: meet at Oesterle Library with flash history assignment
Week Three Historical contexts continued; justifications for empire
M 9/27 Aims of Argument Chapter 6, “Arguing to Inquire” 161-208.
Paper # 1 drafts due: workshop.
W 9/29 Martin
Luther King “Beyond
F 10/1 Paper
# 1 due; read
Said video viewed and discussed in class
F 10/1 con’t. Samuel Huntington
The Clash of Civilizations (Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993)
Clash of Ignorance (The Nation
Week Four Confronting empire now: current issues, policies, and critique
M 10/4 Continue discussing
Chapter 9, “Arguing to Negotiate and Mediate,” 293-339.
W 10/6 Michael Ignatieff
Recommended reading: Zakaria:
F 10/8 Michael Klare
U.S.: Procuring the
World's Oil (Foreign Policy in
The New Geopolitics (Monthly Review, July/August 2003)
The Two Wings of the Eagle (Monthly Review, July/August 2003)
US Weakness and the Struggle for Hegemony (Monthly Review, 2003)
Week Five Confronting empire now: Neoliberal policies. Henry Giroux lecture 10/14
M 10/11 Read the executive summaries of each of the following:
Rebuilding America's Defenses Project for the New American Century
Globalization: Threat or Opportunity International Monetary Fund briefing on "free trade" Distills neo-liberal ideology about benefits of corporate-driven globalization.
The Unipolar Moment Charles Krauthammer
W 10/13 Henry Giroux (visit with class Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday) Freshman English Anthology, 53-76; further readings to be distributed.
F 10/15 Chalmers Johnson America's Empire of Bases
Week Six Weighing the rhetoric; conferences as scheduled on final project proposals
M 10/18 How to Judge Globalism
Nawal El Saadawi War Against Women and Women Against War
Amy Bartholomew and Jennifer Breakspear
“Human Rights as Swords of Empire” (to be distributed)
Recommended: Jedediah Purdy Liberal Empire: Assessing the Arguments
W 10/20 No class meeting (to accommodate individual conferences)
Paper # 2 drafts exchanged for out-of-class peer workshop
F 10/22 Library session: meet at Oesterle Library; Paper # 2 due
Week Seven Researching arguments and writing dissent
M 10/25 Aims of Argument, Chapter 5, “Writing Research-based Arguments” 107-58.
W 10/27 Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber How to Sell a War
George Monbiot The Moral Myth
F 10/29 Bernardine Dohrn Homeland Imperialism: Fear and Resistance
Annotated sources (3 minimum) for Paper # 3 due.
M 11/1 Aims of Argument, Chapter 8, 251-292.
W 11/3 Omar Barghouti Whither Empire?
Annotated sources (3-5 additional) for Paper # 3 due.
F 11/5 Writing for social change (packet to be distributed).
M 11/ 8 Aims of Argument, “Appendix:: Editing and Proofreading,” A1-A-18.
W 11/10 Paper # 3 drafts due; peer workshop (review Aims of Argument, 244-45)
F 11/12 Presentations (4)
M 11/15 Presentations (4)
W 11/17 Presentations (3); class evaluations.
F 11/19 Presentations (3); summary of course.
W 11/24 Paper # 3 due - (final exam)
English 125 H2: Debating Empire
Keywords and Contested Terms
The following terms will come up in our class with some regularity; we’ll discuss these and others. Add to this list from our readings, discussions, lectures, and other Learning Community linked courses (if applicable) as the term progresses. Be sure to have a working definition for each.
Neoliberalism/Free Market Capitalism
Western Civilization and its Others