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CAT 2

CAT 2 courses (six units, winter quarter) are writing intensive, foregrounding argumentation, revision, and writing as process by examining case studies of culture, art, and technology interacting in the present moment. Students must have passed CAT 1 in order to enroll in CAT 2.

Learning Objectives

Building off what you learned in CAT 1, in CAT 2 you will:

  • Practice clear prose that advances the rhetorical purpose and choose a tone that is appropriate to the subject and audience.

  • Craft and organize a compelling argument and support it with relevant and carefully-evaluated evidence.

  • Synthesize a variety of sources and points of view on a single topic (i.e. in service of an argument).

  • Practice proper citation and documentation of sources, including in multimodal assignments.

  • Develop your own writing voice, using revision to hone your argument and reflect on your own writing practice.

Core Concepts

By the end of CAT 2, students should be able to understand and define the following terms and ideas:

  • Genre and medium/mode.

  • Interdisciplinarity.

  • Form and content.

  • Parts of an argument.

Winter 2022 Courses

CAT 2: The Process of Music: A Study of Listening, Composing, and Performing

Joe Bigham

Lecturer, CAT
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

This course examines how we actively negotiate music as listeners and performers by examining music's layers of process and procedure. Our focus on process allows us to understand and historicize debates regarding the nature of music consumption and creation. We will give special attention to technologies, ranging from Auto-Tune to YouTube, that have transformed musical processes. We will consider how music is learned, performed, composed, recorded, and experienced in examples including jazz (Miles Davis' Bitches Brew), hip-hop (J-Dilla's Donuts), rock (The Beatle's "Strawberry Fields" and Radiohead's In Rainbows), and art-music (Terry Riley's In C). We will develop our writing abilities through describing subjective experiences and use of music, analyzing the sociocultural context of a live concert, and hypothesizing the role of technology in various musical activities.

CAT 2: Media-Made America: America's Small-Screen Geographies

Phoebe Bronstein

Assistant Teaching Professor, CAT
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:00-10:50 a.m.

This CAT 2 course will focus on how we imagine place, nation, and America—from country to city and suburb and even outer-space—as imagined in past and contemporary American culture for and through television. As we hone our communication and critical thinking skills, we will explore the construction and evolution of American landscapes. We will approach this process of inquiry from a feminist and critical race studies perspective, wherein we imagine social geographies as raced and gendered. We will begin with discussions of how the American frontier is mobilized both historically and on contemporary television (via shows like Have Gun, WIll Travel, Gunsmoke, and Westworld). Then, we will consider American cities, white flight, and the suburbs past and present, ending with a case study of Southern California and San Diego, as it has been imagined by film and television (i.e. we might watch Veronica Mars and/or Anchorman). We will read a combination of academic and popular press articles and critically engage with a lot of television.

CAT 2: Art and Brain

Pinar Yoldas

Assistant Professor, Visual Arts
Tuesday/Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m.

Our topic is brains, and the study of brains which is neuroscience. Neuroscience is one of the most rapidly developing areas in biological sciences with major projects like the White House BRAIN Initiative or the Allen Brain Atlas. It is no surprise that many subfields of neuroscience have emerged within the last decade such as neuroeconomics, neurophilosophy, and neuroaesthetics. In this class we will be focusing on the interactions between neuroscience and art, primarily looking at studies that focus on how art is represented in the brain. The course will focus on perception, emotion, memory, and creativity to offer a scientific understanding of art.

CAT 2: Disability Rhetoric

Jennifer Marchisotto

Lecturer, CAT
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 1:00-1:50 p.m.

From "lame" to "insane," the language of disability is consistently tied to negative opinions, often without thought. Much of popular culture's depiction of disability is underpinned by ableist assumptions; however, in recent years we have seen increased critical attention to the way popular media talks about disability. In this class, we will analyze the different ways popular culture invokes disability as a way of reinforcing or challenging ableist histories of representation. We will read and discuss work from contemporary disability scholars and use those ideas as a framework through which to understand the multifaceted way disability appears in popular culture. In keeping with the goals of CAT 2, we will read and watch creative texts that draw on the language of disability for entertainment purposes to think critically about the relationship between public media and cultural understandings of ability. Students will be required to complete both formal and informal writing assignments throughout the quarter to better hone their skills as critical thinkers and develop their own analytical voice. Possible authors and texts include Catherine Prendergast, Nirmala Erevelles, Melanie Yergeau, Roxane Gay, Rivers Solomon, Ellen Forney, Glee, Crip Camp, and Game of Thrones.