PWR 2 Summer 2020: The Rhetorics of Science, Culture, and Research (Ruth Starkman)

PWR 2 Summer 2020: The Rhetorics of Science, Culture, and Research (Ruth Starkman)

Course Description


In this writing and speaking course, you'll explore your own research project related to science and culture. You'll be encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach to examine an issue that matters to you. Exploring new modes in written and oral communication, you will have the opportunity to consider a wide range of genres and translate your argument and findings into a presentation for live audiences. Through oral presentations and in-class workshops, we'll focus on presentation, organization, body language, and slide design.

Major Assignments

Research Proposal (5-minute live oral presentation; written text of 600-1200 words): You will propose a topic for an interdisciplinary research project that will address a scientific or social science project Proposals will identify relevant scholarship and primary sources, and will pose focused research questions. Potential topics include the autonomous cars, bot-fueled political campaigns; women and data science; machine learning; algorithms and bias; cybersecurity and the grid; the civil rights of sentient artificial life forms; Brain-Computer Interfaces; algorithms and personal privacy.

Written Research-Based Argument (3000-3600 words; 10-12 pages): After presenting your proposal, you will pursue research on your topic and craft a convincing and well-researched academic essay. Your essay will draw on analysis of primary sources and relevant secondary sources to support and contextualize its argument.

Delivery of Research (10-minute live oral presentation with appropriate multimedia support): You will translate your research-based argument into an oral presentation, which you will deliver at the end of the quarter.

Genre/Modes assignment (5 minute podcast or videocast): For this project, you will translate your research project on Ethics and AI into a short podcast or videocast in MP3 or video file format, with an option to post to the Internet. If you love making short audio or video recordings you can develop an RSS feed. This is your chance to communicate your research to a wide audience in another genre with a more conversational style.