Friday, February 20, 2004
This is cool:
Logic and Rhetoric has gone the way of the way of the five-paragraph high school essay. It's time for entering students to start writing like they're at a university. And Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature Joseph Bizup, who created and is now the director of University Writing, is attempting to invigorate not just student term papers, but the entire Undergraduate Writing Program.Quite right. Logic has no place in the modern university and I have no doubt that Foucault and Said are the perfect role models for students hoping to outgrow it.
So far, many students seem pleased with the change. The new course, which was tested as a pilot course last year, is now beginning its second semester as a first-year Core requirement for Columbia College and SEAS students. Unlike L&R, for which student writings were supposed to be the only class texts, University Writing focuses on the interaction between reading and writing through assigning academic texts, including Edward Said's Orientalism and Michel Foucault's "Panopticism," and encouraging students to explore with their own writing the methods employed therein.
(*Although this hasn't stopped him from suing me for sexual harrassment in order to publicize his latest book, "Post-Modern Carn(iv)alities: Jean-Francois Lyotard, Maurice Chevalier and the Hermeneutics of the Void".)