HC 444H/421H Calderwood Seminars Public Writing: Bridging the Public Divide: Translation, Argument, and Democratic Deliberation in Oregon

Professor: David Frank

4.00 credits

• CRN 32565: Wednesday, 1415-1715 @ REMOTE

Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing are advanced-level, writing-intensive courses that engage students in a review of areas of special interest. These seminars emphasize public writing—the ability to translate complex arguments and professional jargon to a broad audience— which is a central feature of a liberal arts education. These seminars will have a collaborative format, with students writing frequently and rewriting their work in response to comments by their professors and input from classmates. You have learned how to write for college, now learn how to write for life.

Graduation Requirement: This class will fulfill both of the following requirements: an Arts & Letters Colloquium and US: Difference, Inequality, Agency (US) Cultural Literacy. If the student has already taken an Arts & Letters Colloquium, this class will fulfill an Elective Colloquium and US Cultural Literacy. 

The mission of the Calderwood seminar program is to teach students the art of “translating complex arguments and professional jargon to a broad audience.” This audience should, according to Professor David Lindauer, Stanford Calderwood Professor of Economics, resemble the readership of the New York Times. This course seeks to fulfill the Calderwood mission by equipping students with the tools they need to better bridge Oregon’s economic, political, cultural, and rhetorical divides. The American public is said to be polarized, divided beyond repair. In contrast, recent research suggests there is an “exhausted majority” of Americans and Oregonians constituting what Phil Keisling, former Secretary of State of Oregon, calls the “radical middle,” ready for argument, debate, and deliberation designed to promote the common welfare. This course will help students develop the habits of mind and expression necessary for democratic deliberation:  citizens translating expert reasoning and research into argument intended to persuade the public to endorse humane values and effective policy.