Summer 2010 Course Descriptions

The Expository Writing Program offers summer courses in Academic Writing.  Classes are small, no more than 12 students, and are organized around three major sequences of instruction.  Students work closely with instructors on how to read and summarize texts, how to analyze texts, and how to organize their thinking in clearly written essays.  Courses are offered in one or more of three categories: Writing about History, Writing about Literature, and Writing about Social and Ethical Issues.  This summer we are offering a course in Writing about Social and Ethical Issues.  In all courses, however, the central subject is writing: the strategies and techniques of academic writing. 


060.105.01 Academic Writing: Writing about Social and Ethical Issues (MWTh 4:00-6:30)
George Oppel

How should we think about the relation between law and revenge?  We tend to assume that revenge is a primitive passion while law is concerned with the impartial settlement of disputes.  Yet closer examination reveals that vengeance can have a "law like" character while law can serve as an outlet for vengeful emotions.  In this course we shed light on the relation between law and revenge by reading excerpts from the Bible and Shakespeare; by examining the aruments of two philosophers; and by reading a Supreme Court decision that allows victimes to play a role in death penalty trials.  In writing about this Supreme Court case, students will advance an argument about the proper relation between law, revenge, and justice in the United States.