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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
UTW1001H
Eating Right(s): The Politics of Food
Dr Anuradha Ramanujan
Do you know where your last meal came from? Have you ever wondered how your dietary choices affect communities, species and landscapes worldwide? This interdisciplinary writing course examines some human and ecological impacts of contemporary food-related practices and interactions. Readings from different perspectives focus critical attention on industrial agriculture, factory farming, packaging/distribution networks and international trade agreements in relation to issues of hunger, obesity, food security and environmental sustainability. In small collaborative classes, you will examine the strategies used by individual authors to construct persuasive arguments and learn to incorporate these rhetorical skills into your own writing about food.
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 Maria Luisa Culiat 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?
UTW1001S
Women in Film
Dr Tan Yuen Ling Lynette
This module explores the representation of women in film as a site of ideological struggle. Students will investigate the multi-facetted images of women that appear in selected films and engage in critical debates about the messages that these images convey, as well as the extent to which they are influenced by history and culture. With an understanding of film analysis and the concept of ideology, students will examine how diverse viewpoints are expressed in key scholarly readings and contemporary articles, and develop writing skills that enunciate their own position within the debates.
UTW1001U
The Detective
Ms Coleen Angove
The detective genre is well positioned to foreground the rhetorical situation in its concern with the generation of meaning. In this module students are invited to identify with the detective who offers a metaphor for the process of reading carefully for information, distinguishing between valid and inadequate evidence, and constructing a credible argument built on knowledge gleaned from careful observations. Students will engage in debates around what constitutes “knowledge”, how (and whether) “truth” can be arrived at, and how the detective genre can illustrate these debates through an understanding of epistemology, i.e. the theory of knowledge.
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.
UTW1001Y
Algorithmic Culture and its Discontents
Dr Shobha Avadhani
We live in the age of Big Data, but where is our relationship with technology leading us? In this writing module, we interrogate the entity that we call the algorithm through the lens of the cultural meanings ascribed to it. We ask how those meanings shape our material reality. Various phenomena will be critically discussed, such as the lure of Netflix, the ubiquity of fitness trackers, and the use of smart technology by states to govern. Ultimately, through deep reading and analytical writing, we will engage with the question of what it means to be human in a technological society.
UTW1001Z
Colour: Theory, meaning and practice
Ms Laetitia Monbec
Colour has fascinated humans for millennia, yet it is poorly understood. What is the symbolic meaning of colours across cultures? How do colours impact our psychological well-being and our consumer choices? From the earth pigments of the prehistoric painters, to the synthetic colours of the Impressionists, colour technology has developed to meet new communication and expression needs and in doing so, a whole repertoire of meanings has evolved. In this module, students will explore scholarly and popular texts from a range of disciplines including visual arts, fashion, psychology, marketing and anthropology to investigate the theory, meaning and practices of colour.

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.
UTW2001K
Public Memory, Identity and Rhetoric
Dr Walter Patrick Wade
This research-based writing module examines the intersections of public memory, identity, and rhetoric in contemporary Singapore. In the module, students will consider theories and methodologies drawn from the interdisciplinary field of memory studies and pratice applying them in a variety of Singaporean contexts—considering, for example, the Singapore Memory Project, local museums, plays, political speeches, the preservation and transformation of memorial spaces or historical sites such as Bukit Brown cemetery, and more. Students will use their new knowledge of the rhetorical power of memory to embark on their own research project examining course themes.
UTW2001M
Sport and Socialization
Dr Mark Brooke
Involvement in professional and amateur sports through competition, ludic activity or spectatorship is a social experience and thus connected to larger social and cultural formations. Students will engage with sociological research and develop their own critical positions grounded within functionalist, interactionist or critical theory frameworks in one of three areas: (1) Socialization into sport; what factors may influence initiation and continuation? (2) Socialization out of sport; in particular what are the causes and effects of burnout or retirement in competitive sport? (3) Socialization through sport; how are dimensions of identity (embodiment, gender, race, social class) developed?
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.
UTW2001R
Discourse, Citizenship, and Society
Dr Gene Segarra Navera
Citizens participate in society through discourse -- talk and texts. How citizens speak and write about social issues in face-to-face and online platforms therefore warrant careful reflection. This course aims to enable students to examine how individuals enact their citizenship through language and other symbols. Students will investigate how citizens mobilize language, voice, body and other resources to deal with issues pertaining to social differences, processes of exclusion, and participation in local, regional and global contexts, among others. By the end of the module, the students should be able to develop critical awareness of how civic discourse shapes public issues.
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.