TOPICS WRDS 150B – Term 2

2022W Course Schedules & Course Descriptions

WRDS 150B is offered in a wide variety of topics for faculties and programs  across UBC.  Course topics and descriptions are subject to change depending on the instructor and their availability. Below is the schedule for the upcoming 2022W Term 2 winter session.

Sections are scheduled in the following patterns.
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays – MWF
Mondays, Wednesdays – MW
Tuesdays, Thursdays, – TR
Tuesdays – T
Wednesdays – W

 

MWF & W
Scheduling Patterns and  Course Descriptions

Instructor: Rohan Karpe

Sections: 825

In this WRDS 150 section we explore behaviours, norms, and behavioural change.

How do various disciplinary researchers study behaviours, norms, and behavioural change. What research writing practices do they engage in to communicate their findings about behaviours, norms, and behavioural change? Using peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles, writing exercises, discussions, and critical feedback on writing assignments, you will be able to construct your own text-based research proposal and research paper on a behaviour, norm that you’re keen to study. Your paper will assist keen readers to change their understanding of your chosen topic.

Instructor: Dennis Foung

Sections: 832, 842, 851

“Big data” is a term commonly used by laymen, scholars, and professionals to describe a wide range of technological innovations. Big data is, in fact, a big leap in scientific research, because the collection of primary data does not rely only on researchers conducting surveys or observing subjects, but on retrieving existing mega datasets from servers. In this course, we will examine how a range of disciplines conduct scientific enquiry using big data and how they present their research findings in scientific articles. For example, what can data scientists do with big data in general? How do educators identify at-risk students? How do marketing specialists profile their customers for improved business outcomes? More importantly, how do scholars in these disciplines answer their questions to extend their knowledge of the disciplines?

Instructor: Tom Andrews

Section: 852, 861, 881

This section of WRDS150 is focused on Critical Thinking in the Digital Era. These modules cover issues including social networking behavior and privacy, climate change denial and hyper-critical thinking, and ‘slacktivism’ and bandwagon political engagement in the 21st century.  We will read articles from scholarly and non-scholarly sources from social science, political science, and humanities backgrounds as well as watching interviews, Ted Talks, and discussion panels.  In doing so, we will endeavor to answer such questions as: does the internet still offer users a place to share and consume information honestly?  Do the harms caused by social media use outweigh its many advantages in contemporary society?  How have internet communication platforms changed political engagement and awareness?  What biases or fallacies are perpetuated by an online world?

Instructor: Andrew Connolly
Sections:  871, 882- MWF
891  - W  -  This section is scheduled to be taught online using synchronous and asynchronous components.  Online Attendance is required for this course.

“I don’t believe it.” That was Donald Trump’s response to a report on climate change prepared by more than 300 leading climate scientists. Trump is hardly the only person in the contemporary world to reject scientific findings. People dismiss evolution, the health benefits of vaccines, even that the earth is a sphere. This rejection of science can seem perplexing, especially for those who understand the rigorous process of producing scientific knowledge and theories. So why is it that some people simply do not believe in science?

This course looks at the ways scholars from various departments seek to answer that question. Some of the scholars develop wide ranging theories about why people believe what they believe. Others focus on specific people and the complexity of their belief systems. Some scholars even raise their own doubts about science and scientific methods. The differences in the approaches each scholar takes to this question sometimes relates to the discipline they are from. These scholars come from Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy, and English departments. Each of these disciplines has its own methods and conventions. In other words, a particular discipline influences what scholars ask questions about, how they phrase the questions, how they answer the questions, and how they present their findings. As a result, this course will not only introduce you to the academic study of science, politics, and belief. It will also introduce you to the various disciplinary approaches to research and writing.

Instructor: Laila Ferreira

Section: 824, 831

While universities such as UBC are building inclusion and accessibility into their strategic plans and policies, it is not always clear what this means for teaching and learning as well as research and writing practices across different disciplines. This section of WRDS 150 will take as its focus the concept of inclusive design to analyze what inclusive design is, how it is defined, and what actions it necessitates in the context of non-Arts disciplines such as Science, Engineering, Forestry, Math, and Computer Science. Throughout the term, we will evaluate the scholarly research and writing practices of these fields through academic articles that engage or engage with inclusive design. Students will have the opportunity to produce original research that brings inclusive design principles to the research and writing practices as well as the expected professional competencies of their fields.

Instructor: Susan Blake

Section: 810, 811, 821
Full title: Linguistic Landscapes — Scholarly Research Practices, Language Use, and Disciplinarity:
A Corpus-Based Discourse-Analytic Perspective

This course aims to explore the question of how scholars in a variety of different disciplines within the university use language to write up
their research results in the form of academic research articles (RAs). This course also connects scholarly writing practices (academic
literacy) with a wide-range of scholarly research practices, and views academic writing as a “complex social activity” that takes both content
and context into consideration.
We engage in asking the following kinds of questions: How do researchers from different disciplines formulate research questions? What
kinds of research methods do they use? What kinds of data (evidence) do they incorporate in scholarly research articles? How are those
scholarly research articles organized? How are the data and their research findings presented in written and/or visual form? What is the
relationship between the authors and their intended readers? What kinds of scholarly activities are researchers engaged in?
This course focuses on corpus construction and discourse analysis (method) & provides relevant examples from the STEM disciplines
(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) as a point of departure.
Students will build their own working corpus (research articles from their own discipline) and analyze this textual material. They will have
opportunities to draft and revise and present their own original research findings in both oral and written forms. Research will be carried out
either collaboratively (2-3 students per research team) or individually (1 student per team), and provides students with opportunities to
reflect on their own research and writing practices, as they become apprentice members of different research communities on campus.

Instructor:  Kimberly Richards

Sections:  813, 823, 843, 853

Oil is a fulcrum around which many of today’s most pressing social, economic, and political issues can be analyzed and understood. In the twenty-first century, we are finally beginning to realize the degree to which oil has transformed modern life while entangling us in unsustainable colonial systems of extraction and dispossession. The increasing recognition of oil’s central role in modernity is met with the awareness that over the next decade we need to transition to new energy sources and new ways of living that enable us to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of droughts, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. Extracting ourselves from our dependence on oil amounts to a social transformation of an unprecedented scale and scope; it entails not only to change the kinds of energy we use and depend on, but also a transformation in values. In this course we will consider some of the social and political challenges of the energy transition we face, and the accompanying cultural transformation.

Instructor: Laura Baumvol

Section: 812, 822, 841

In this section of WRDS 150, we will focus on how various disciplines, such as environmental sciences, natural sciences, and computer science investigate and write about the communication of scholarly knowledge. This communication involves knowledge popularization or dissemination to a broad, popular audience through a recontextualization process of text relocation from a primary scholarly context (e.g. academic journals) to a secondary popularized context, such as mass media, news media, magazines, YouTube, Twitter, blogs, Q&A websites, advertisements, etc. The replacement of the deficit model of science communication to a passive audience by one that includes a two-way interaction between the academic community and non-specialist audiences has promoted dialogue, empowerment, inclusion, and participation through public engagement with science. The readings in the course, along with the individual and collaborative writing assignments and activities, will allow students to engage in scholarly conversations and explore multiple research genres and methods, types of data, and writing practices.

Instructor: Deo Nizonkiza

Sections:  854

Everybody has a story to tell! In this section of WRDS 150B, students examine the questions related to storytelling across disciplines. By examining the way such questions have been explored by scholars from different disciplines, such as Information Communication Technology, Health Sciences, and Engineering, students are expected to learn and familiarize themselves with scholarly practices through this topic of storytelling. Among other things, students will explore the nature of research questions scholars from different disciplines ask, the methodologies devised to answer them, and how they report the results. Through readings and related writing tasks and discussions, students will get used to writing conventions and principles. Students will then develop their own writing strategies which they will apply as they develop their own research projects as the course progresses.

MW & TR
Scheduling Patterns and  Course Descriptions

Instructor: Mi-Young Kim

Section: 806, 807, 808, 809

Memes, K-pop, fidget spinner, Pokémon Go, virtual reality games, mindfulness, tattooing, and (social) media hype of certain news… what do these have in common? They were (or are) once a fad. When does a fad become a fashion and finally settle as a “fit”? (or does it?) Which one of these has informational social influence or normative social influence? How does this particular type of social influence affect us as producers, distributors, and/or consumers? In this section of WRDS150B, we will address some of these questions and explore how fad shapes and forms our identities and values.

We will also become familiar with the conventions of academic writing and the basic premise of research, as well as participate in academic conversations through our own research on the topic of “fad, fashion, or fit”. A selection of unabridged, peer-reviewed scholarly articles on the topic (for Winter I 2021, three subtopics of media hype, Korean Wave, and body modification (or eSports) from several disciplinary perspectives including but not limited to media studies, socioeconomics, science, and psychology will help us see how scholarly texts with various research methods and writing styles can produce different types of knowledge and understanding of this particular type of the social influence.

Instructor: Nazih El-Bezre

Sections:  901, 911, 921

This section of WRDS 150 focuses on the relationship among globalization, identity formation, and the literacy practices needed in the 21st century. In today’s technologically-interconnected world, people, ideologies, food habits, fashion, and movies flow easily through borders with a speed unforeseen in the recorded human history. Due to the shrinkage of our world—which has been called a global village—we are faced with questions concerning the knowledges or literacies required to succeed in a highly competitive world, and the impact of these knowledges on our own identities. The focus on the 21st century literacies operates in conjunction with crucial life literacies, such as health literacy, ecoliteracy, second/additional language literacies, religious literacy, financial literacies, and even food literacy studies. As a result of these multiliteracies, individuals in the 21st century are now required to possess and use a variety of literacy competencies that span across various academic disciplines. Individuals’ literacies are thus multiple, dynamic, adaptable, and multidimensional. Due to the significance of these literacies on identity formation, researchers, including novice university students, explore literacies to improve knowledge transmission at every stage of individuals’ lives.

Instructor:  Michael Schandorf

Sections: 912, 922, 931

The idea of competition is so fundamental to Western culture that we often take it for granted as a natural good. Nearly every aspect of our lives involves competition: we compete in school and for jobs, we compete both socially and at work, we compete in games for fun, and when we’re not competing ourselves we spend much of our time enjoying watching others compete. But our obsession with competition has complications. For example, a world divided into winners and losers is an inherently inequitable world: there will always be more “losers” than “winners”. Competition also has interesting relationships with our need for social cohesion. Attempting to disentangle cooperation from competition, in fact, can undermine both: a lack of either can lead to unproductive stasis, and worse, but a complete integration of cooperation and competition can lead to us-versus-them thinking and even war (which American rhetorical scholar Kenneth Burke called “the ultimate disease of cooperation”). This seminar will explore some of the ways that competition has been investigated in recent scholarship, and students will design and produce a research project of their own contributing to that scholarly conversation.

Instructor: Rebecca Carruthers den Hoed

Sections: 913, 923, 933

Together, we will explore the idea of resilience and how it is conceptualized and measured in different academic disciplines (engineering, economics, ecology, psychology). While resilience has been studied by scholars for centuries (the word can be traced back to the work of Francis Bacon in the 17th century), it has become especially popular since the mid-20th century, when the concept was used to study the behaviour of different complex systems: e.g., ecosystems, technical systems, cities, communities, developing human minds. While definitions vary, the term resilience generally refers to a complex system’s ability to bounce back to normal after a disaster or disruption, or a complex system’s ability to bounce forward to some ‘new normal.’ In either case, resilience is often (but not always) considered a good thing: a desirable quality, process, or goal that helps humans recover quickly and adapt productively after a shock or trauma— like a flood, hurricane, drought, power failure, financial crisis, disease outbreak, violent assault, forced relocation, terrorist attack, or even colonization, systematic oppression, symbolic violence. In response to readings, lectures, and class discussion, students will reflect on what it means to survive and thrive in the face of adversity and develop a research project that contributes to current scholarly conversations about resilience.

Instructor: Deo Nizonkiza

Sections:  942

Everybody has a story to tell! In this section of WRDS 150B, students examine the questions related to storytelling across disciplines. By examining the way such questions have been explored by scholars from different disciplines, such as Information Communication Technology, Health Sciences, and Engineering, students are expected to learn and familiarize themselves with scholarly practices through this topic of storytelling. Among other things, students will explore the nature of research questions scholars from different disciplines ask, the methodologies devised to answer them, and how they report the results. Through readings and related writing tasks and discussions, students will get used to writing conventions and principles. Students will then develop their own writing strategies which they will apply as they develop their own research projects as the course progresses.

Instructor: Jennifer Gagnon

Sections:  (932, 941 - TR) / (951 - T)
These sections are scheduled to be taught online using synchronous and asynchronous components.  Online Attendance is required for this course.

Video games are neither “just for kids,” nor simple escapist entertainment. Indeed, video games are fast becoming one of the most profitable and innovative forms of creative and artistic expression today. Deeper study reveals that video games as a genre are heavily influenced by social and political understandings of ability, gender, race, sexuality, and identity. Issues related to diversity and inclusion such as who gets to play, whose stories are told, and who is represented, have taken centre stage in recent explorations of the future of gaming at the intersections of fun, profit, and politics. While video games let the player be in control, not everyone’s stories are represented. The theme of this course will explore how aspects of identity such as gender, race, ability, and sexuality, influence the ways that we experience and respond to the genre of video games as a media making and political practice.

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