Jump to list of English 102 Topics
Each instructor’s section of English 102 is organized around a distinctive topic; please choose one that appeals to you and your interests. All English 102 sections teach archival, qualitative, and secondary source research and writing.
If the description of a 102 section in the Timetable of Classes is not listed below, please contact the English Department at 865/974-5401 to get it. Topics for sections that currently do not have an instructor listed in Banner will be updated closer to the beginning of the semester or as sections are assigned.
All English 102 sections require 2 textbooks, Rhetoric of Inquiry, 5th edition, and The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook, 6th edition. Each section may have additional required texts; please check with the Bookstore to see whether additional texts are required for your section.
English 102 Inquiry Topics
Heather Akers | Inquiry into Food
TR | 9:45-11:00 & 11:20-12:35
Inquiry into Food examines the issue of food and our relationship to it. Food is a subject that necessarily concerns every human on earth. It is key to our survival, but also to our sense of pleasure in life. It can bring delight and joy, and it can also bring challenges and problems. Food is one of the key aspects that give identity, structure, and sustenance to a particular culture. It is big business. It concerns the global economy. It can also be a deeply personal matter of health, ethics, and belief systems. This semester, we will use the topic of food to develop our research and writing skills. To accomplish this goal, we will conduct three kinds of research: secondary source, archival, and qualitative. The secondary source project will examine a current debate surrounding agriculture, nutrition, or a related issue. In the archival project, we will explore the historical significance of a particular recipe or dish over the past century. Finally, we will conduct qualitative research by interviewing, surveying, and/or observing participants in order to investigate their experiences, opinions, behaviors, and/or beliefs about food.
The point of this course is to develop your academic research, writing, and communication skills. We’ll learn about our course topic through each other’s research and writing. You’ll be able to investigate the topic from any academic perspective that interests you (hopefully, but not necessarily, your major). You’ll learn how to conduct archival, qualitative, and secondary source research and will present what you’ve learned to academic audiences in traditional discipline-appropriate papers and a poster presentation.
Luci Brown | Inquiry into Lore
MWF | 12:40-1:30 & 1:50-2:40
This section of English 102 will explore lore. This subject spans across many interests, from mythology to conspiracy theory to oral traditions. Throughout this course we will use lore to develop research and writing skills through three kinds of research: secondary source, qualitative, and archival.
Andrew Butler | Inquiry into Authenticity
TR | 11:20-12:35 & 12:55-2:10
We use authenticity as a compliment. To say that an experience or a person is ‘authentic’ is to say that they possess some quality that we seek out and admire. We use ‘inauthentic’ as a putdown, a way of saying that the Mexican restaurant in the suburb is missing some vital trait of Mexican food-iness. But what do we truly mean when we label something as authentic? Is Dollywood authentic? Is professional wrestling authentic? Does true authenticity even exist? In this 102 course, we will identify the various ways in which the concept of authenticity manifests itself, and develop varied research and writing skills geared toward examining how it affects our expectations, behaviors, beliefs, and more.
Rachel Dunsmore | Inquiry into Myths and Monsters
MWF | 10:20-11:10, 11:30-12:20, & 1:50-2:40
Inquiry into Myths and Monsters examines the issues of myths and monsters in relation to cultural, social, and historical concepts. We will use this topic to develop research and writing skills. To accomplish this goal, we will conduct secondary source, qualitative, and archival research. We will start with secondary source research by examining and engaging with current academic scholarship about myths, monsters, and cultural significance. The qualitative research will require interviewing participants. The purpose of this assignment is to explore the experiences, feelings, and/or beliefs about myths and monsters. Then, we conclude with archival research, where we will explore historical representations of myths and monsters and what those representations mean for historical and cultural contexts.
Bre Lillie | Inquiry in Memoir
MWF | 8:00-8:50, 9:10-10:00
Memoir is the murky place where memory, research, and storytelling intersect, and in this section of English 102 we will focus on crafting writing driven by our memories and experiences. We will examine examples of stories, primarily nonfictional and a few fictional, that teach us how emotional truth and fact often intertwine. We will examine the memoir genre and will practice personal writing with special attention to the roles of history, place, and identity in our lives.
The goals of this course are to develop your academic research, analysis, and communication skills. You will have the opportunity to gather information by searching your family archives, conducting interviews with family and friends, and employing traditional research methods. Additional emphasis will be placed on prewriting, reflection, and revision, so we can consider how writing evolves as an ongoing process. You will practice presenting what you have learned using several academic genres, such as an archival research paper, a qualitative research paper, an annotated bibliography, and a secondary source paper.
Julia P. McLeod | Inquiry into Food and Culture
TR | 9:45-11:00, 2:30-3:45 & 4:05-5:20
If we are what we eat, then what do the choices we make on a daily basis say about us? This writing and research course is an investigation of the complex relationship that humans have with food. We’ll look at what, when, with whom, and how we eat and what these choices reveal about ourselves and our culture. You’ll formulate your own research questions about the collective and individual effects of food on culture, which you’ll then investigate through qualitative, archival, and secondary source research. For the qualitative project, you’ll gather your own data through interviews to examine how a food or food practice has impacted a specific group of people or aspect of society.
You’ll continue that line of inquiry with your archival project by creating a digital museum exhibit that highlights and examines a food or food practice’s effects upon a particular community. In the secondary source project, you’ll locate and analyze scholarly sources to explore a food-related line of inquiry relevant to today’s culture.
Olivia Snow | Myths and Monsters
MWF | 10:20-11:10 & 11:30-12:20