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Ideas and Exposition Modules

The UTCP curriculum includes two academic writing modules titled “Ideas and Exposition”. The I&E modules are offered by the Centre for English Language Communication (CELC). Please visit I&E Module for timetable updates

Ideas and Exposition I

Ideas and Exposition I / FacultySynopses
UTW1001M
Sport and Competition
Dr Mark Brooke
In professional, competitive sport, there appear to be fundamentally distinct ideas concerning human endeavour and the nature of competition that are worthy of critical examination. Is winning everything? Should participation or self-defining achievement be more valued? Is sport becoming too elitist? Does the obsession to win create the need for performance-enhancing drugs? Should we legalize doping or tighten control measures? Should we change the nature of professional competitive sport? Students will explore these questions through close analysis of viewpoints expressed in both scholarly literature and popular media, ultimately developing their own positions in written arguments.
UTW1001N
Public Persona and Self-presentations
Dr Ma. Luisa C. Sadorra
Public persona is a fundamental yet unarticulated aspect of persuasion in spoken discourse. In this course, students will explore and examine speakers’ public persona with a focus on interactional and social roles in performed presentations before a public audience. What does it mean to perform a public persona? How is public persona shaped, strengthened, or attenuated? Is there such a thing as an “authentic” public persona? In seminar-type classes and, subsequently, in writing assignments, students will analyse verbal and nonverbal performance of a speaker or speakers in mediated and/or non-mediated contexts, and develop informed views of their public persona.
UTW1001P
Heroes
Dr Jason Banta
This module will explore the development and transformation of heroic figures across time and cultures, how people have reacted to these figures, and how these figures have been adapted. Students will engage with multiple versions of the “hero,” both male and female, from a variety of media (literature, film, television, graphic novel) and scholarly literature on the subject as a means to develop critical writing skills. Some questions we will ask include: What defines a heroic character? What do a society’s heroes reflect about its own values? What are the dangers of uncritical acceptance of heroes?
UTW1001R
Oratory and the Public Mind
Dr Gene Segarra Navera
This course discusses the nature of oratory and how it potentially influences the public mind, that is, how the public perceives, understands, and acts upon social and political realities. Students will be introduced to ways of critically analyzing speeches as they interrogate the power and limitations of oratory in influencing audiences. Students will consider the following questions: What elements in the speeches enable speakers to ‘adjust ideas to people and people to ideas’? How do speeches shape and are shaped by their contexts? How are ideas expressed in the speeches transformed to create impact on the public mind?
UTW1001V
Exploring Blogs as Form of Communication
Dr Lalitha Velautham
Blogs have become an important part of modern life. Short for weblog, blogs originated as a medium through which authors of personal websites expressed their views on a range of issues. Today, a variety of organizations from universities, the media, business, personal and professional networking sites use blogs to communicate with their target audience. Are institutional and personal blogs performing strategic communication goals such as promoting particular ideologies? Are these blog representations authentic? What other social purposes do blogs serve? In this module, we examine the role of blogs through a critical engagement with the literature and an analysis of blogs from different organizations.
UTW1001W
The Online Politician: The Use of Social Media in Political Communication
Ms Nazarene Ibrahim
Using social media as a political battleground during the 2011 General Election changed Singapore’s political landscape indelibly. It exemplified an emerging trend: the increasing use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat by politicians to gain greater political support and popularity. In fact, using social media for political communication has gone viral in Singapore, Asia-Pacific and beyond. This module explores the dynamics of social media in political communication, with a focus on Singapore, as well as the United States as case studies. Students will analyse the impact of conventional means of political communication as opposed to those using social media.

Ideas and Exposition II

Ideas and Exposition II / FacultySynopses
UTW2001H
Risk and Popular Culture
Dr Anuradha Ramanujan
We live in a time characterized by an intensified awareness of risk. Our perception of risk, whether related to new technology or social activity, is greatly influenced by how mass media represents it. Taking prominent social theories of risk as its critical frame of reference, this course will explore the role of news, television shows, popular fiction and films in shaping public opinion on, and responses to, potential and presumed threats. These range from environmental pollution, pathogens and medical procedures to terrorism, cybercrime, immigration/immigrants and un(der)employment. Case studies may include Fukushima, Chernobyl and the Y2K phenomenon.
UTW2001J
Blood, Death and Desire, Interpreting the Vampire
Ms Coleen Angove
Vampire literature has undergone a twenty-first Century resuscitation, evident in novels such as Twilight and television series including The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. But how similar are these vampires to the traditional vampire in Western and other cultures? In this module you will explore different explanations for the role/function of the Vampire and have the opportunity to research manifestations of the Vampire across cultures, genres and historical periods. You will review different research methodologies, and compile a list of terms and ideas that enable you to participate in the conversation to understand the ongoing fascination with the Vampire.
UTW2001Q
‘What’s in a word?’ Meaning across cultures
Dr Wong Jock Onn
It is often assumed that there is a common understanding of what specific words mean. However, can one assume a common understanding across cultures of words describing colour, such as ‘red’ or ‘maroon,’ or emotion, such as ‘happiness,’ ‘pleasure,’ or ‘disgust’? Are forms of address, such as nicknames, or interjections, such as ‘damn’ or the ‘F’ word, used in similar ways across cultures? Are there differences between the ways that speakers of different varieties of English understand the meanings of such words? This module explores how meaning is culture-bound, and helps students understand cultural differences in the choice and use of words.
UTW2001S
Masculinities on Film
Dr Lynette Tan
The traditional notion of masculinity as homogenous has given way in recent decades to a proliferation of multiple masculinities that questions the relationship between gender and power. This socio-cultural phenomenon is manifested on film. Masculinity can be seen as a contested space where different masculinities fight for dominance, and older forms of masculinity are displaced by new ones. This module invites you to consider social, cultural and historical influences on constructions of masculinity on film, as well as textual contexts such as genre, as you critically reflect on the diversity of masculinities that are represented.
UTW2001T
Nobodiness: The Self as Story
Dr Andrew Yerkes
The sense of having a self pervades everyday experience as well as the stories we encounter in fiction, film, television, and video games. On the other hand, the self has been called into question from various scientific, religious, and philosophical perspectives. This module examines the concept of selfhood, considering the possibility that it may be a fabrication, and examines the positive and negative aspects of positing the existence of selfhood. The module culminates in student research projects that apply critiques of the self from cognitive psychology, Eastern religion, and/or continental and analytic philosophy to a text of their choosing.