"Intergenerational Writing"

WRTG 3020, 036 Fall 2022
M/W 3:35-4:50--MUEN E131

We’ve all probably rolled our eyes at characterizations of our own generation from time to time, yet many of us have likely also stereotyped other generations. This class seeks to disrupt our tendencies to talk about other generations rather than sharing ideas with them. In the spirit of developing mutual understanding and new perspectives, our class pairs students with community members from previous generations as co-mentors.  This shared approach to learning facilitates conversations about personal experiences and perspectives as we explore what the American Dream means to the world, the nation, and to each of us.

This course is rooted in the idea that all people collaborate to construct and maintain knowledge through a process resembling an evolving conversation inherited and passed on by each generation. Our understanding of this inheritance and potential to relay it relies on our willingness to interact and share ideas with people who are different from us. Inherited knowledge may be treasured or forgotten over time. Generations all too often appraise these inheritances only after those who left them are no longer with us. Without generational memories to offer context, the meaning of generational experiences and aspirations is fragmented and lost to nostalgia, historical revision, and obscurity.

The class is designed to help you successfully enter and contribute to academic and civic conversations by enhancing your abilities to conduct rigorous inquiry, and participate in open, critical discussions with classmates and community members. You will learn to use writing as a tool not only for expression, but for reflection and refinement of your thinking.