Center for Asian American Studies
Center for Asian American Studies

Jo Hsu


Jo Hsu

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Courses


RHE 330C • Podcasts & Paradigms

43940 • Fall 2021
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 104
CDWr

This class examines storytelling’s influence on cultural and political struggles, focusing on the genre of podcasts. By listening to a range of podcasts, we will explore how different interview, research, and narrative techniques can affect public perception and policies. Students will study rhetorical criticism and narrative craft while developing hands-on experience in producing their own podcasts. Questions driving our activities throughout the semester include:

  • How does storytelling impact cultural expectations, institutional structures, and distributions of precarity and privilege?
  • How have the histories that preceded us shaped our story ecologies—that is, whose stories are readily accessible, and whose are rarely heard?
  • How do we seek out and amplify stories that we find meaningful?
  • To whom are we accountable in our storytelling, and how do we take responsibility for the effects of our words?

 

Assignments and Grading      

Labor in this course will follow this approximate breakdown, but if students feel that these expectations impede their ability to learn, I encourage them to speak with me:

  • Reading responses – brief engagements with assigned readings/listenings (15%)
  • Participation – regular attendance and active engagement with class discussions (15%)
  • Production exercises – smaller, mini-podcast experiments to hone your production skills (30%)
  • Podcast – (40%)

 

 

Required Texts and Course Readings

Jessica Abel’s Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio and a wide array of podcasts including ThroughlineCode SwitchThe 1619 ProjectMaintenance PhaseBodies, and Rabbit Hole.

RHE 330D • Transgender Rhetorics

43960 • Fall 2021
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 104
CDWr

This course will examine rhetorics that (re)shape normative and transgressive conceptions of gender, focusing especially on how they affect the lives of transgender people. With a deliberately intersectional perspective, we will consider how gender interlaces with discourses of race, Indigeneity, dis/ability, class, nationality, and other vectors of identity. Students will learn about the histories through which gender and gender norms have been constructed in popular and political conversations, as well as how trans activists have agitated for more expansive conceptions and practices of gender. Though our focus will be primarily on North American histories of gender, we will also explore how those values are transmitted through global circulations of power. Examining a wide array of settings, we will consider how gender pervades everyday life—through healthcare, legal, and educational settings; through news and popular media; and through interpersonal relationships.

 

The central questions that will drive our discussions include:

  • When and where is gender made apparent in everyday life, and whom does that affect and how?
  • What are the explicit and implicit rhetorics that affect the lives and well-being of transgender people?
  • What rhetorical strategies have trans and gender-variant people used to build solidarity, to protect one another, and to challenge social and state structures that reinforce cisgender privilege?
  • How is gender always interacting with histories and expectations around race/ethnicity, Indigeneity, class, citizenship, dis/ability, and sexuality?

 

Assignments and Grading      

Labor in this course will follow this approximate breakdown, but if students feel that these expectations impede their ability to learn, I encourage them to speak with me:

  • Reading responses – brief engagements with assigned readings (15%)
  • Application & Inquiry response – a longer reading response that requires students to apply trans theory to a text of their choosing (15%)
  • Participation – regular attendance and active engagement with class discussions (20%)
  • Gender audit – a close study of how and when gender is made apparent in a particular organization or setting (20%)
  • Final Project – a final critical or artistic project that engages with the core questions of the class (traditionally an essay, but the genre is open to creative options) (30%)

 

Required Texts and Course Readings

Readings will include excerpts from Susan Stryker’s Transgender History, Heath Fogg Davis’s Beyond Trans, Dean Spade’s Normal Life, Jian Neo Chen’s Trans Exploits, Anne Fausto-Sterling’s Sexing the Body, and Hil Malatino’s Trans Care. Articles include Qwo-Li Driskill’s “Doubleweaving Two-Spirit Critiques” and Patterson and Spencer’s “Toward Trans Rhetorical Agency.”

RHE 321 • Principles Of Rhetoric-Wb

43710 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts (along with logic, grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), has a  long and proud history, stretching back to the 5th century BCE and up to the present day.  Both a productive and interpretive art, it is decidedly cross-disciplinary: the principles of rhetoric (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethos, pathos, logos, and so forth) are consistently employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, science, and religion.

 

This course introduces students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and writing studies.  Assignments in the class will offer students the chance to identify and apply these rhetorical principles while composing, interpreting, and presenting “texts”—oral, print, and/or electronic.   The course will meet all necessary requirements to qualify as an SWC/writing flag course.

 

At the end of the term, students should be able to:

(1) Write an effective rhetorical analysis.

(2) Write a responsible argument relevant to a contested issue.

(3) Discourse about some of the major issues in the field (such as: What is the relationship between truth and language? How do technologies of communication affect discourse? What is "good" public argument? What constitutes a quality rhetorical education? and so on.)

(4) Situate the significance of some of the canonical figures in rhetorical studies.

(5) Apply the basic principles of rhetorical study, as mentioned above, to contemporary situations.

RHE 330E • Rhetoric And Narrative-Wb

43770 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

“The truth about stories is, that’s all we are.” – Thomas King

 

            History comes to us through stories—about who we are, whose land we occupy, and why we are here. Current events, too, are deliberated through stories. Journalism, political campaigns, and even scientific findings compete to shape public narratives. Climate change is a plot that connects rising seas levels, extreme weather events, and the spread of disease to human impact. Stories, then, are never neutral and inevitably affect the shape of our lives. The futures we create depend on whether and how storytellers cast individuals and states as responsible actors. Cultural evolution emerges from our collective ability to imagine and narrate new ways of engaging with the earth and with one another. What, then, are the ethics of reading, sharing, and composing stories? Our class will attend to this question, focusing on how narratives create shared norms as well as how they enable and constrain social change. Throughout the semester, students will expand their understanding of rhetoric and narrative by:

  • Exploring a diverse range of storytelling strategies and how they participate in normalizing and resistive politics
  • Applying analytical lenses from rhetorical, critical race, gender, and disability studies to examine how narrative affects social engagements and structures
  • Exploring how social inequities are embedded in a wide range of cultural settings through narrative
  • Considering the possibilities and limitations of storytelling as a strategy for social and institutional change
  • Practicing their analytical skills on small case studies and an extended project
  • Becoming active members of a classroom community that facilitates one another’s intellectual and emotional growth

 

Assignments and Grading*

  • Two brief (1-2 paged) Response Papers with which you will initiate class discussion (30%)
  • Narrative Investigation – you will examine a prevalent narrative of your choosing for its underlying assumptions and present your findings to the class. This may be done individually or in small groups. (20%)
  • Final Project – either a narrative-based undertaking or a critical examination of a narrative or narratives and their consequences for people’s lives (40%)
  • Participation (10%)

* If any student finds that the nature of the assignments or the grading policy inhibits their ability to learn, I encourage them to speak with me so that we can find alternatives.

 

Required Texts and Course Readings

Possible readings include:

  • Excerpts from: Jeong-Hee Kim, Understanding Narrative Inquiry; Herman et al., Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates; Eduardo Bonilla Silva, Racism Without Racists; Aja Martinez, Counterstory: The Rhetoric and Writing of Critical Race Theory; Delgado and Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction; Zeynep Tufekci, Twitter and Tear Gas; Sujatha Fernandes, Curated Stories; and Eli Clare, Brilliant Imperfection

Articles: LeAnne Howe, “The Story of America”; Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersections of Race and Sex”; Jim Corder, “Argument as Emergency, Rhetoric as Love”; Walter Fisher, “Narration as a Human Communication Paradigm”; Krista Ratcliffe, “Rhetorical Listening”; Romeo García, “Creating Presence from Absence and Sound from Silence”; LeMaster et al., “Unlearning Cisheteronormativity at the Intersections of Difference”; Margaret Price, “The Bodymind Problem and the Possibilities of Pain”; and Alyson Patsavas, “Recovering a Cripstemology of Pain”

RHE 330E • Rhetoric And Narrative-Wb

42369 • Fall 2020
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

“The truth about stories is, that’s all we are.” – Thomas King

            History comes to us through stories—about who we are, whose land we occupy, and why we are here. Current events, too, are deliberated through stories. Journalism, political campaigns, and even scientific findings compete to shape public narratives. Climate change is a plot that connects rising seas levels, extreme weather events, and the spread of disease to human impact. Stories, then, are never neutral and inevitably affect the shape of our lives. The futures we create depend on whether and how storytellers cast individuals and states as responsible actors. Cultural evolution emerges from our collective ability to imagine and narrate new ways of engaging with the earth and with one another. What, then, are the ethics of reading, sharing, and composing stories? Our class will attend to this question, focusing on how narratives create shared norms as well as how they enable and constrain social change. Throughout the semester, students will expand their understanding of rhetoric and narrative by:

  • Exploring a diverse range of storytelling strategies and how they participate in normalizing and resistive politics
  • Applying analytical lenses from rhetorical, critical race, gender, and disability studies to examine how narrative affects social engagements and structures
  • Exploring how social inequities are embedded in a wide range of cultural settings through narrative
  • Considering the possibilities and limitations of storytelling as a strategy for social and institutional change
  • Practicing their analytical skills on small case studies and an extended project
  • Becoming active members of a classroom community that facilitates one another’s intellectual and emotional growth

Assignments and Grading*

  • Two brief (1-2 paged) Response Papers with which you will initiate class discussion (30%)
  • Narrative Investigation – you will examine a prevalent narrative of your choosing for its underlying assumptions and present your findings to the class. This may be done individually or in small groups. (20%)
  • Final Project – either a narrative-based undertaking or a critical examination of a narrative or narratives and their consequences for people’s lives (40%)
  • Participation (10%)

* If any student finds that the nature of the assignments or the grading policy inhibits their ability to learn, I encourage them to speak with me so that we can find alternatives.

Required Texts and Course Readings

Possible readings include:

  • Excerpts from: Jeong-Hee Kim, Understanding Narrative Inquiry; Herman et al., Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates; Eduardo Bonilla Silva, Racism Without Racists; Aja Martinez, Counterstory: The Rhetoric and Writing of Critical Race Theory; Delgado and Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction; Zeynep Tufekci, Twitter and Tear Gas; Sujatha Fernandes, Curated Stories; and Eli Clare, Brilliant Imperfection
  • Articles: LeAnne Howe, “The Story of America”; Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersections of Race and Sex”; Jim Corder, “Argument as Emergency, Rhetoric as Love”; Walter Fisher, “Narration as a Human Communication Paradigm”; Krista Ratcliffe, “Rhetorical Listening”; Romeo García, “Creating Presence from Absence and Sound from Silence”; LeMaster et al., “Unlearning Cisheteronormativity at the Intersections of Difference”; Margaret Price, “The Bodymind Problem and the Possibilities of Pain”; and Alyson Patsavas, “Recovering a Cripstemology of Pain”

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