Writing Fellows Courses

One of many student-driven organizations at Brown, Writing Fellows work in a spirit of collegiality, helping to extend intellectual discourse beyond the classroom. Mutually engaged, Fellows and Fellowees ultimately do more than focus on writing; they shape their own and each other’s education, and in so doing they help to keep vibrant what is most unique and valuable about Brown. As peers, Fellows serve as sympathetic readers, providing informed, constructive criticism directed toward the argumentation, analysis, organization, clarity and style of papers. After drafts of papers are returned, Writing Fellows meet with each of their Fellowees in conference. These conferences provide a chance to discuss revision strategies and work through additional concerns.


AFRI 1330: Africana Studies Junior Seminar

  • Professors: Lisa Biggs and Austin Jackson
  • Course Description: This junior seminar course is designed to support students’ growth as academic writers and will prepare them to better complete their culminating senior thesis projects. While specifically geared towards Africana Studies concentrators, the class is open to any undergraduate student who has successfully completed AFRI 0090: An Introduction to Africana Studies and at least four semesters of coursework overall towards the Bachelor’s degree. Course materials will delve deeply into the history, spaces, peoples and cultures of the African Diaspora, exploring a selection of critical writings, performance pieces, fiction and non-fiction works by leading scholars and artists.

CZCH1000:  Dimensions of Czech Animation

  • Professor: Masako Fidler
  • Course Description: What are our expectations of animation films? This course will help you rethink and learn to “read” animation as an artistic and politically inspired form. Czech animation, with its long tradition and international reputation, is a vibrant branch of visual arts. Yet this artistic form has not only been extensively studied nor noticed until recently. We will study cultural-historical contexts that gave rise to the internationally acclaimed Czech animation by Trnka, Svankmajer and others. Fascination with Czech animation in Japan used as an example to illustrate the mechanism of cross-cultural reception of Czech animation. Readings of related Czech culture/metaphor/animation techniques. Selected Japanese animation films will also be discussed. Readings in English. Films are dubbed or subtitled in English. No prerequisites.

EDUC 1645-S01: Moral Development and Education

  • Professor: Jin Li
  • Course Description: This course focuses on the acquisition of moral values within the home, school, and peer groups. We will examine contending approaches to moral development and its fostering. Topics include the philosophical underpinnings of moral theory, the cognitive and behavioral dynamics of moral growth, the values climate of contemporary American society, and the role of education in the moral development of children. We will also consider cultural, ethnic, and gender differences.

ENGN 1010: The Entrepreneurial Process

  • Professor: Danny Warshay
  • Course Description: Entrepreneurship is innovation in practice: transforming ideas into opportunities, and, through a deliberate process, opportunities into commercial realities. These entrepreneurial activities can take place in two contexts: the creation of new organizations; and within existing organizations. This course will present an entrepreneurial framework for these entrepreneurial processes, supported by case studies that illustrate essential elements. Successful entrepreneurs and expert practitioners will be introduced who will highlight practical approaches to entrepreneurial success.

HIST0250: American Exceptionalism: The History of an Idea

  • Professor: Michael Vorenberg
  • Course Description: For four centuries, the theme of America having a special place in the world has dominated American politics and culture, though many have questioned or challenged American distinctiveness. This course examines articulations and critiques of American exceptionalism, using sources from American history and literature, from comparative history and literature, and from modern U.S. culture and politics. Although it offers an introduction to American history, it is different from a traditional high school or introductory college course because of its thematic focus and its emphasis on U.S. history in a global context. Intended for students in any discipline and in any year at Brown.

ITAL 1262-01 / HIST 1262 F-01: Women Gender Feminism in Early Modern Italy

  • Professor: Caroline Castiglione
  • Course Description: This course explores the variety of Italian women’s histories, issues of gender and sexuality, and ingenious responses to circumvent the social, economic, religious, and political limitations placed upon them during the early modern period (1400-1800). Italian women produced some of the foundational texts of historical feminism, the intellectual and cultural movement that advanced the idea of equality across genders and the necessity of equal access to opportunity and education. This course surveys the alternatives proposed to the gender hierarchies of Italian society and will include selections from archival documents, letters, literature, treatises, and the visual arts. Taught in English.

POLS 0920I: The Politics, Ethics, and Art of Corruption

  • Professor: Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro
  • Course Description: What explains variation in corruption across and within democratic countries? What motivates the citizens and officials who engage in corrupt acts? Is there such a thing as a “culture of corruption”? In order to understand these questions (and attempt to answer them), this course takes a somewhat unconventional approach. While we use the analytical approach of the social sciences as our foundation, we also draw on films (documentary and fiction), interviews, and journalistic reporting to understand the individual and systemic causes and consequences of corruption, as well as the narratives citizens create surrounding corruption. Some weeks we focus on a particular country, while in other weeks we take a thematic approach. Throughout the course, we will draw on examples from across the globe, including Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

RELS 0095B: Islam in Fiction: History, Romance, Satire

  • Professor: Shahzad Bashir
  • Course Description: For Muslims and non-Muslims alike, modern fiction has been a dynamic and inspiring arena to express understandings of Islam. We will concentrate on works remarkable for the virtuosity of literary expression and the religious, social, and political issues they treat while speaking from, and to, specific societies. Readings include works in English and translations from Arabic, Bosnian, French, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Urdu/Hindi, and Turkish. No prior knowledge of Islam is presumed. The course will be conducted in an exploratory spirit, welcoming all who are interested in Islam and/or fiction as a means for exploring major issues in human existence.

SOC1871O: Law, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

  • Professor: Mark Suchman
  • Course Description: This seminar explores the relationship between law and organizational change, with particular attention to the emergence of new technologies, new enterprises, and new fields. Topics focus on underlying sociological processes, not on technical or practical details of particular legal or industrial settings. The seminar is aimed at advanced students who are familiar with organizational sociology; familiarity with law is helpful, but not essential. Through shared and individual readings, weekly discussions, and e-mail dialogs, this course helps students to refine and extend their thinking on important and controversial topics at the intersection of contemporary organizational and socio-legal studies.


Past Writing Fellows Course Descriptions