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English 160: Popular Music and Politics

Course Description

In “Popular Music and Politics,” we will investigate subjects that may find us debating such questions as: “How does popular music reflect and comment on contemporaneous social and political issues?” “What might something so basic, so essential, as the music we listen to reveal about our social class or political beliefs?” “Can mere ideas or artistic creations ever be dangerous enough to warrant regulation?”  While these questions provide the context for our writing, our goal is to learn about the conventions of academic discourse and writing, not just about pop music or politics.  Therefore, in addition to our inquiries into these subjects, we will also spend time learning to engage actively with course texts, to work on sharpening mechanics, and to write effectively in a variety of genres.  All of this will culminate in a final reflective project pertaining to your experiences in English 160.

This class will meet in person for the semester unless the university moves us to hybrid or remote instruction. Given the continuing, evolving, and exhausting nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will all need to roll with whatever situation we are presented. Please stay in contact should you or your home life be affected in any way. I am committed to helping everyone complete the work in this course—even if that means we need to make some adjustments along the way.

Masks covering both the mouth and nose must be worn at all times by all students, faculty, and staff while on campus and inside any building regardless of vaccination status. If you do not wear a mask, you will be asked to leave the classroom and will not be allowed back in class until you wear a mask. If you have forgotten your mask, you may pick one up from one of the student information desk in the Student Center East during the first two weeks of the semester. Students who do not comply with the mask wearing policy will be reported to the Dean of Students. Eating and drinking is not allowed in classrooms.

English 160 Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
After completing English 160, you will be able to:
Demonstrate rhetorical awareness of audience through different genre-based assignments.
Read texts in a variety of disciplines and genres, using critical reading strategies. 
Draw connections at the level of ideas across multiple texts.
Defend a position in relation to the range of ideas surrounding a topic.
Demonstrate knowledge of writing as a process, including consideration of peer and instructor   feedback, from initial draft to final revision.
Demonstrate sentence-level correctness.

Course Method of Instruction

All required texts and links to video-conferencing tools will be available on our course Blackboard (BB) site. See Table of Contents at end of syllabus for details.

Because there are no required texts to buy, students are strongly encouraged to print materials and organize and annotate them. ?Research shows—and my students and I have noticed—that we understand and retain significantly more of what we read when we use multiple senses to engage with a text, kinesthetic as well as visual and auditory. Hard copy texts work better than online texts because they allow us to use more senses to engage: we annotate, color code, physically sort texts into groups. So, in exchange for making all our required readings free, you are encouraged to print out hard copies of all the assigned readings and bring them to class organized in a fashion that works for you.

Student Accountability
It is your responsibility to read all of the information in this syllabus carefully and ask for clarification, if necessary. University, program, and course policies are not negotiable. By remaining enrolled in this course, you are implicitly agreeing to abide by these policies and accept the consequences if you violate them.

UIC Add/Drop Policy
Students enrolled in First-Year Writing courses may add, drop, or switch their FYW classes during the first two weeks of the semester. After the second week, however, students may neither add nor switch classes.

Name and Pronoun Use
If your name does not match the name on my course schedule (and my class roster), please let me know as soon as possible so I may adjust my records. My pronouns are he, him, his. If you would like to share your pronouns with me, I welcome that. For more information about pronouns

Attendance and Course Engagement
Students are allowed up to two weeks of absence from the course without penalty. However, each additional absence will reduce a student’s final grade by one letter. For example, a student earning a B at the end of the semester with one absence beyond two weeks will receive a C. Students who miss four sessions beyond the two weeks will not receive credit for the course.

You are required to let me know as soon as possible if you have health-related or other concerns that keep you from attending class and participating in the coursework so that we may make additional arrangements if you’ll be absent for more than two weeks. 

Emailing Your Instructor
Please be professional in all email correspondence with me.  Being professional means that your email should have a proper greeting, such as “Dear Prof. Glomski” and a proper closing (“Sincerely,” etc.).  Try to word your email in a way that reflects common courtesy and respect.  You can expect the same from me in return.  I will respond to all emails within 24 hours during the regular school week; on the weekends, I may take a bit of a break from my UIC email; however, I will try to be as timely as the situation warrants.

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