About Citizens!

Expository Writing 1213-003: Citizens!
Class Meetings: T/R 10:30-11:45 in PHSC 228
Dr. Catherine R. Mintler

Course Topic Description

“As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State “What does it matter to me?” the State may be given up for lost.” -Jean Jacques Rousseau

“Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” -John F. Kennedy

What is the role of the twenty-first century citizen? Does citizenship involve action or engagement, or is it merely an identity marker or state of being? Is being or becoming a citizen a privilege or an entitlement? Is it earned or bestowed? Who gets to be or to become a citizen and who decides? As citizens, to what or whom are we accountable? What rights and/or responsibilities should citizens have? Freedom? Equality? Work? Suffrage? Due process? Why is it that citizen status not only can be conferred, but also can be revoked or denied? What does it mean to be a second-class citizen? What does it mean to be a stateless person? Reconsidering historical documents from the Constitution to the Voting Rights Act, while also revisiting historical periods of civic engagement, such as Reconstruction, ERA, & the Civil Rights Movement, we will explore key historical episodes and cultural forms in order to revisit the citizen as symbolic, as an identity marker, as involving the activity of civic engagement, etc. Dr. Mintler, Interim Director of the Expository Writing Program, supports Veteran and ROTC students through service as a Green Zone member and as a writing mentor and consultant on OU’s Pat Tillman Fellowship Committee. Dr. Mintler also co-teaches Writing Classes & Writing Workshop for the Warrior Scholar Project at OU.

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