Program in Comparative Literature

Claudio Moura de Oliveira


MA Comparative Literature, University College London

Claudio Moura de Oliveira

Contact

Interests


Hermeneutics; psychoanalysis; semiotics; post-structuralism; education; rhetoric studies; Medieval Iberian Peninsula; Women and Gender Studies

Biography


I have an MA in Comparative Literature from University College London and another in Language Studies from PUC-Rio, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My research focuses on Women's writing and education in Medieval and Golden Age Spain, the digital humanities, and studies of metadata

Courses


RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Ambiguity

43375 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM FAC 9

Clear writing is usually defined as easily understandable, coherent and intelligible. But understanding  a message depends on interpretation, and there is no right way of interpreting. Or is there? What does it mean to comprehend? Is there something inherently factual to be unraveled in a message or must we, as receivers, come up with it? What challenges does misinterpretation force us to face? Is clarity always the best choice? Or is there a use for ambiguity?

In this course, we will examine what it means to be clear, when it is beneficial and when it might not be. We will read philosophical texts and discuss what are and what leads to (mis)understandings. Persuasion and argumentation will be thought in the paradigm of clarity/ambiguity and we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of adhering to each side into the writing process. Students will read and respond to a public apology made by a public figure of their choice, investigating the factors that lead to them; write short analyses, summaries, recaps, digested reads, and other forms of accounts of an understanding of a text. Students will also explore what strategies can afford clarity to a text and how to avoid confusion, as well as analyze and compare different interpretations of a same text. Ultimately, students will put forth either an encyclopedia entry or an instructional text (in any media) considering the mechanisms that lead to precision and simplicity in writing. The final goal will be to provide students with the tools to produce clear writing, understand the uses of ambiguity, and make students able to apply coherence and transparency to a text.

Assignments

  • Paper 1: Open Letter (15%)
  • Paper 2.1: Analysis and Comparison (10%)
  • Paper 2.2: Revision (15%)
  • Paper 3.1: Encyclopedia Article / Instructional Text (10%)
  • Paper 3.2: Revision (15%)
  • In Class Presentation (10%)
  • Short Writing Assignments (25%)
  • Peer Reviews (Mandatory)
  • Participation (Required)

Required texts:

  • Williams, Joseph M, and Joseph Bizup., Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 2017.
  • The Little Longhorn Handbook. Norton, 2014. 
  • Eco, Umberto,  Metaphor, Dictionary, and Encyclopedia (provided by the instructor)
  • Plato, The Apology of Socrates (provided by the instructor)
  • John Locke, "Of Words", from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (provided by the instructor)
  • Additional readings as provided by the instructor

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Ambiguity

43745 • Fall 2018
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM FAC 7

Clear writing is usually defined as easily understandable, coherent and intelligible. But understanding  a message depends on interpretation, and there is no right way of interpreting. Or is there? What does it mean to comprehend? Is there something inherently factual to be unraveled in a message or must we, as receivers, come up with it? What challenges does misinterpretation force us to face? Is clarity always the best choice? Or is there a use for ambiguity?

In this course, we will examine what it means to be clear, when it is beneficial and when it might not be. We will read philosophical texts and discuss what are and what leads to (mis)understandings. Persuasion and argumentation will be thought in the paradigm of clarity/ambiguity and we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of adhering to each side into the writing process. Students will read and respond to a public apology made by a public figure of their choice, investigating the factors that lead to them; write short analyses, summaries, recaps, digested reads, and other forms of accounts of an understanding of a text. Students will also explore what strategies can afford clarity to a text and how to avoid confusion, as well as analyze and compare different interpretations of a same text. Ultimately, students will put forth either an encyclopedia entry or an instructional text (in any media) considering the mechanisms that lead to precision and simplicity in writing. The final goal will be to provide students with the tools to produce clear writing, understand the uses of ambiguity, and make students able to apply coherence and transparency to a text.

Assignments

  • Paper 1: Open Letter (15%)
  • Paper 2.1: Analysis and Comparison (10%)
  • Paper 2.2: Revision (15%)
  • Paper 3.1: Encyclopedia Article / Instructional Text (10%)
  • Paper 3.2: Revision (15%)
  • In Class Presentation (10%)
  • Short Writing Assignments (25%)
  • Peer Reviews (Mandatory)
  • Participation (Required)

Required texts:

  • Williams, Joseph M, and Joseph Bizup., Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 2017.
  • The Little Longhorn Handbook. Norton, 2014. 
  • Eco, Umberto,  Metaphor, Dictionary, and Encyclopedia (provided by the instructor)
  • Plato, The Apology of Socrates (provided by the instructor)
  • John Locke, "Of Words", from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (provided by the instructor)
  • Additional readings as provided by the instructor

POR 610S • Portuguese For Spanish Spkr I

45920 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 2:00PM-4:00PM BEN 1.104

Designed to provide qualified Spanish-speaking students a rapid introduction to Portuguese language. Development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills; building vocabulary, learning basic rules and terminology of grammar; and gaining a better understanding of Portuguese-speaking cultures, with a focus on Brazil, in order to communicate in an accurate, effective, and informed manner within a variety of socio-cultural situations.

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