English R1A

Reading and Composition: Human Resources: Problems in the American Workplace

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2019 Ramm, Gerard
MWF 9-10 211 Dwinelle

Book List

Steinbeck, John: Of Mice and Men


Fiction has provided a means for workers to re-imagine or even escape their everyday issues from the dawn of the labor movement to the heyday of the tech startup. Across a long history of media about work—including the muckraking of Upton Sinclair, the 1980 Dolly Parton star vehicle 9-to-5, and select episodes of the American sitcom The Office—this course will train us not only to read and write reflectively about labor, but hopefully to look differently at the daily torments and rewards of our own work. In all, by going beyond the purview of the average HR office, we will be thinking together about what essential human resources we access to survive in the workplace.

This course will teach analytical writing through a range of different assignments. We will be engaging one another in critical conversations on literature, film, and media to distill our arguments on different works, themes, and issues. Through short writing reflections as well as two paper-length analyses, students will hone their rhetorical skills and learn to express new insights on art, entertainment, and the working world around them.

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