I have my schedule for Spring 2015. I’m teaching three classes at Loyola Marymount — two sections of Rhetorical Arts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons and one section of Intro to Chicana/o Studies on Thursday evenings. I may also be teaching an online or weekend course on American Ethnic Literature at CSU-Dominguez Hills, we’ll see how that goes.
I taught Rhetorical Arts with the theme of “Digital Divides” last year. It worked well, but I’d like to spend more time studying rhetorical theory. I’m torn about what rhetoric book to use. I liked the book we used, Jason del Gandio’s Rhetoric for Radicals, but the university program is centering itself around The Rhetorical Act: Thinking, Speaking and Writing Critically by Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Susan Schultz Huxman. On the one hand, The Rhetorical Act is clearly set up as a course book, which could make it easier to use. On the other hand, Rhetoric for Radicals deals a with digital rhetoric and the construction and influence of movements in a way that’s great for my topic. There’s also a huge price difference. The one the university is recommending is $172, whereas Rhetoric for Radicals is $16. Actually, as I write this, I’ve realized I want to stick with Rhetoric for Radicals, but I suspect I’m going to have to make a case for going against the rest of the program.
The Intro to Chicana/o Studies is a new prep for me. The people I teach with at LMU have been great about sharing their syllabi, but I want to put my own stamp on it. What I’ve realized though is that I need to get a better sense of what I think Chicana/o studies is. I’m tempted to start with Elizabeth Martinez’s “A Word about the Great Terminology Question” and have the students crowd source definitions of Chicana/o, Latina/o and Hispanic. I also want them to try writing their own version of El Plan de Aztlan. But mostly I’m feeling the pressure of teaching a class that only meets once a week. I want to make sure there’s enough variety of activities going on each week so we get enough done and it isn’t boring. One nice thing about the large chunk of time is that I’ll be able to show some films.