Eng 122CC, Fall 2016

The Rhetoric of Climate Change

In this course, we will be critically reading a variety of contemporary texts that deal with the issue of climate change. In the process, we will be honing our skills as critical, active readers. One of the keys to effective reading, regardless of whether the text at hand is a Victorian novel or content on a website, is that the process be active. When reading for pleasure, it is perfectly fine to enter into an imaginative world and just enjoy your time there. However, in reading critically—which is, or at least should be, an essential skill taught in university literature departments—it is necessary to carefully consider what an author and text are doing. Authors have enormous power, as they can, one word at a time, influence each step of a reader’s experience of a text. In this sense, an author is like a guide walking you through what may be unknown territory. They not only decide what you see (and don’t) and when you see it, they are also in a position to influence how you see it though their careful representations. The more skillful the author, the more power they have over the representation and hence also over the reader. (Note that for our purposes a “text” can be a written work, a photograph or painting, a film or video, a musical composition, or a range of additional creations and that any of these can be “read” in our sense of being actively studied.)

Please note: The UCSB Current published an article on this course entitled “Case Closed? Depends on Who You Ask.”

“Please rate the overall quality of the instructor’s teaching”

Average rating: 4.3 of 5 (♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent; ♣♣♣♣ Very Good; ♣♣♣ Good; ♣♣ Fair; ♣ Poor)

♣♣♣♣♣ I really enjoyed how extremely relevant this course was. It was quite fascinating to analyze the tactics of writers from both sides. In this political climate, it was a relief to have a place where I knew there would be logical and sound discussions about climate change. Thank you for providing that place and your insights!

♣♣♣♣♣ Well organized, well spoken, knowledgeable on more than just the course material. Very well done.

♣♣♣♣♣ I really enjoyed this discussion lecture class. The topic was interesting. Readings were chosen well and I enjoyed learning Ken’s opinion and being able to ask him questions (especially in light of the election). I do wish the class had a bit more structure but overall enjoyed.

♣♣♣♣♣ I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot. I would suggest having specific discussion prompts prepared to address each reading to try and engage more of the class in the discussion.

♣♣♣♣♣ Maybe would be helpful to have just a few lectures that are prepared and not fully discussion based. But really interesting class, I liked having the reader (rather than online readings).

♣♣♣♣♣ Loved how this material was examined in real time context. The election was relevant to how denier literature will be viewed and considered credible.

♣♣♣♣♣ I enjoyed the class, but there was too much reading, I was expecting more PowerPoint presentations. Overall was good.

♣♣♣♣♣ Interesting lectures and discussions. Sometimes hard to hear.

♣♣♣♣ I really enjoyed this class and the opportunity to read and discuss opposing views on climate change. I wish there had been more discussion, maybe that could have been facilitated by small nightly assignments for participation credit or asking more specific questions during class time.

♣♣♣♣ Wish there was more clear format in the class. Professor clearly has fantastic, vast knowledge on subject matter, and is kind and supportive to encourage discussion participation.

♣♣♣♣ Very interesting and intriguing class. Different than generic climate change courses.

♣♣♣♣ The class would’ve been more interesting if we looked into other types of media dealing with climate change rhetoric/deniers like videos, documentaries.

♣♣♣♣ The material presented in this course should be information every person should know. Thank you for offering this course.

♣♣♣♣ This class is very interesting/frustrating/depressing. I looked forward to attend class but frustrations come from the literature.

♣♣♣♣ I thought the instructor did a good job at discussing and helping us understand the material.

♣♣♣♣ Great teacher! Enjoyed how he brought real world examples.

♣♣♣ Content is great—however class discussion feels somewhat disorganized—which can be good to a certain extent. Readings were really interesting. I think for the final project you should require a creative project (not a paper) because I think some great community projects and ideas can flourish from this class!

♣♣♣ Prepare lectures.  Have slides or any type of visuals. Was not able to take notes from lecture.

No rating It would be great if we were given additional instructor notes.

No rating Class was very interesting and thought provoking. Discussion of current events made the class engaging. Only suggestion would be better-defined expectations and grading policy.

No rating Interesting class, not really my ideal type of class as a math major, but thoroughly enjoyed the varying opinions on climate change and learned a lot. Thanks!

No rating This class was very informative and allowed students to see both sides of the climate debate and hopefully decide climate change is real and anthropocentric. He allows for creative freedom when doing assignments and is overall a good person.