English 654

English 654: Literacy, Diversity, and Technology

Instructor: Dr. Santosh Khadka

Email: santosh.khadka@csun.edu

Office: Sierra 834

Office hours: MW 11:00-12:30

Classroom Location: ED 2121B (Mac Lab)

Course Description

This hybrid course incorporates topics both from literary studies and rhetoric and composition, and focuses primarily on new media composition, grant writing,sci-fi movies,postcolonial fiction, and diversity as it pertains to creative and academic writing practices. The course aims to foster knowledge and praxis of critical and reflective analysis of fiction and non-fiction texts as well as an actual production of a range of texts in multiple media and modes–audio movie review, website, digital portfolio, documentary movie, and non-profit grant proposals. And, the course materials include, among other things, readings on new media composition, some sci-fi movies (such as Her), postcolonial fiction (such as V.S. Naipaul’s Half A Life, literary theories, books and videos on new media and multimodal composition, and some theories and samples of non-profit grant writing.

1. Audio Movie Review (10%)
2. Documentary Production (20%)
3. Literary Analysis (20%)
4. Collaborative Grant writing (20%)
5. Digital Portfolio Assignment (10%)
6. Blogging (10%)
7. Facilitation (10%)—co-facilitating  discussion in the class.

Required Texts
Guerin, Wilfred L, et al. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2011.(selections PDF available in Moodle)
Hempe, Barry. Making Documentary Films and Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning,
Filming, and Editing Documentaries
. New York: Macmillan, 2007.
Kress, Gunther. Literacy in the New Media Age. New York: Routledge, 2003.
Naipaul, V.S. Half A Life. New York: Vintage International, 2001.
O’Neal-McElrath, Tori and Mim Carlson. Winning Grants Step by Step: The Complete
Workbook for Planning, Developing, and Writing Successful Proposals.
Fourth Edition. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass, 2013.

Journal articles and other texts will be made available via Moodle.

Service Learning Component

This course is designated as a service learning course, which means it is connected with programs and projects of two outside community organizations–Central American Resource Center <http://www.carecen-la.org/> and We LIFT LA <http://www.weliftla.org/>, both located in Los Angeles. We will collaborate with them to write some grant proposals for their proposed projects.

Our course calendar will have some deadlines for paperwork for service learning-related activities.

What is “Service Learning”? Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful civic engagement activities with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

Through service learning, young people—from kindergarteners to college students—use what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. They not only learn the practical applications of their studies, they become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform.

Service learning can be applied in a wide variety of settings, including schools, universities, community-based and faith-based organizations. It can involve a group of students, a classroom or an entire school. Students build character and become active participants as they work with others in their school and community to create service projects in areas such as education, public safety, and the environment.

For resources and information on the Community Engagement Program at CSUN, including the Handbook, go to: www.csun.edu/communityengagement/


Participant Digital Portfolios

1. Jordan Puga: http://jedijordan.wordpress.com
2. Jesse Gray: https://jessegrayy.wordpress.com/
3. Duke Marine: https://dukemarine.wordpress.com/
4. Megan Tierney: http://Megantierney.co.vu/
5. Christopher Rosas:https://theteethbeneath.wordpress.com
6. Fowza Sharmeen:http://fowziasharmeen.weebly.com



Attendance will be recorded at the start of each class. Missing more than 2 class meetings will result in you failing the class–regardless of the reason. I do not respond to emails asking what you missed in class; it is your responsibility to find out from a fellow classmate.

Classroom Conduct

Each student is expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner. If you are disruptive or inconsiderate in any way (talking, texting, doing work for another class, etc.) you will be asked to leave. Dismissal from the class will count as one absence.

Submitting Assignments

Post (or embed) all your home works and projects to your site. A section on your site should serve as your final portfolio. We will discuss how you can create final portfolio in your site.

Office Hour Policy

Although I have a set time for office hours, I can also arrange appointments. If you need to visit me at a time that is not within my scheduled office hours, please email me or talk to me after class.


Simply put—don’t do it! Plagiarism is the act of “intentionally or knowingly representing the words, ideas, or works of another as one’s own in any academic exercise” (CSUN catalog 553). Specific forms of plagiarism include:

Turning in material that was written for any other class (high school included). Offering a restructured, reworded, version of someone else’s text as your original work. Downloading essays from the Internet, or purchasing papers, and offering them as your own work. Practicing any variation of not turning in original work for grades.

If you do plagiarize it will result in a failing grade on the plagiarized assignment and is grounds for disciplinary action by the university. Any instance of plagiarism will be reported to the Assistant Vice President for Student Life. If you are unsure how to avoid plagiarism when incorporating other sources into your writing, please meet with me. We will spend time in class reviewing how to properly cite sources. Remember, when in doubt, don’t do it! You cannot become a better writer if you don’t do the writing yourself. Furthermore, I check for inconsistencies and if I feel that your paper may be plagiarized I may ask you to submit your work electronically tohttp://www.turnitin.com (a website that checks for plagiarized material).