This unit builds on our thinking about creativity by turning to creative works in the culture around us. We will continue to draw on readings that give us helpful concepts and perspectives about culture, but we will be more interested in using them to analyze a cultural text than putting them into conversation with one another. New concepts for this unit include gender (in terms of “masculinity” and “the cool girl”), maturity and adulthood, morality, empathy, and diversity. We can continue to draw on our creativity readings from the first unit as well. As we work toward this cultural analysis, we will continue to develop our proficiency with our three main sets of writing practices.
In the first unit, we developed strategies for different aspects of the writing process: invention (generating ideas and content), drafting, organization, peer review, revising, and reflection. In this unit, we will expand on these strategies and include more of an emphasis on research. Specifically, our thinking on invention will expand from summarizing texts and putting them into conversation with one another to analyzing a primary text through the lens of secondary texts. Also, the challenge of organization will shift from addressing three main texts to addressing one main text from multiple perspectives.
We started the first unit by making observations about our own experience and the world around us. We then shifted our attention to making observations about texts and their purposes. We considered how the concept of creativity could be understood through the lens of different concepts, such as borrowing, incubating, meditating, and cultural appropriation. We analyzed texts to assess their uses and limits and to note their similarities and differences. We applied our thinking to articulate new understandings of creativity based on our analysis.
For this unit, we will continue to think about the literacy practices of observing, conceptualizing, analyzing, and applying. Our observations will focus on cultural texts, and our analysis will shift from rhetorical analysis, which helped us address the arguments and effectiveness of our readings in the first unit, to cultural analysis, which helps us better understand how cultural texts embody and negotiate different meanings and concepts.
Our third set of writing practices helps us better participate in academic conversations. Harris’s “coming to terms” helped foreground the importance of understanding and responding to other authors as we develop our own ideas. In this unit, Harris’s notion of “forwarding” will help us build upon this foundation in the thinking of others. This move involves taking a helpful aspect of an author’s thinking and developing it further, opening new possibilities for how the idea could be applied or expanded upon.