Ideas and Exposition Modules

The Tembusu College curriculum includes two modules on Ideas and Exposition. These modules are taught by professional writing instructors with advanced degrees attached to the Centre for English Language Communication (CELC). The modules are designed to enable students to produce expository writing, and increase general understanding of a given interdisciplinary topic.

The I&E I modules help students to produce expository writing that readers will recognise as increasing their understanding of a given topic while the I&E II modules will help students learn and apply five core strategies that underlie successful scholarly research and writing. For further details please take a look at the CELC page for Ideas & Exposition modules.

Ideas and Exposition modules can meet the NUS Breadth requirement. The modules are graded but students may choose to exercise the pass / fail option. Completing QET requirements is a pre-requisite for reading I&E modules.

View I&E Timetable for AY16/17 Semester 2

Ideas and Exposition 1

Sport and Competition
UTW1001M

In professional, competitive sport, there appear to be fundamentally distinct ideas concerning human endeavour and the nature of competition that are worthy of critical examination. Is winning everything? Should participation or self-defining achievement be more valued? Is sport becoming too elitist? Does the obsession to win create the need for performance-enhancing drugs? Should we legalise doping or tighten control measures? Should we change the nature of professional competitive sport? Students will explore these questions through close analysis of viewpoints expressed in both scholarly literature and popular media, ultimately developing their own positions in written arguments.

By Dr Mark Brooke

Public Persona and Self-presentation
UTW1001N

Public persona is a fundamental yet unarticulated aspect of persuasion in spoken discourse. In this course, students will explore and examine speaker public persona/e with a focus on interactional and social roles in mediated presentations. What does it mean to perform a public persona? How do speaker personality and communication shape persona? What is the nature of the interplay between persona and roles in mediated presentations? How does speaker persona generate persuasiveness? Is there an authentic public persona? In discussions and, subsequently, in writing assignments, students will analyse verbal and nonverbal dimensions of speaker performance in mediated contexts.

By Dr Maria Luisa C. Sadorra

Oratory and the Public Mind
UTW1001R

This course discusses the nature of oratory and how it potentially influences the public mind, that is, how the public perceives, understands, and acts upon social and political realities. Students will be introduced to ways of critically analysing speeches as they interrogate the power and limitations of oratory in influencing audiences. Students will consider the following questions: What elements in the speeches enable speakers to 'adjust ideas to people and people to ideas'? How do speeches shape and are shaped by their contexts? How are ideas expressed in the speeches transformed to create impact on the public mind?

By Dr Gene Segarra Navera

Exploring Blogs as a Form of Communication
UTW1001V

Blogs have become an important part of modern life. Short for weblog, blogs originated as a medium through which authors of personal websites expressed their views on a range of issues. Today, a variety of organisations from universities, the media, business, personal and professional networking sites use blogs to communicate with their target audience. Are institutional and personal blogs performing strategic communication goals such as promoting particular ideologies? Are these blog representations authentic? What other social purposes do blogs serve? In this module, we examine the role of blogs through a critical engagement with the literature and an analysis of blogs from different organisations.

By Dr Lalitha Velautham

The Online Politician: Use of the Social Media in Political Communication
UTW1001W

       

Using social media as a political battleground during the 2011 General Election changed Singapore's political landscape indelibly. It exemplified an emerging trend: the increasing use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat by politicians to gain greater political support and popularity. In fact, using social media for political communication has gone viral in Singapore, Asia-Pacific and beyond. This module explores the dynamics of social media in political communication, with a focus on Singapore, as well as the United States as case studies. Students will analyse the impact of conventional means of political communication as opposed to those using social media.

By Ms Nazerene Ibrahim

Ideas and Exposition 2

Risk and Popular Culture
UTW2001H

We live in a time characterized by an intensified awareness of risk. Our perception of risk, whether related to new technology or social activity, is greatly influenced by how mass media represents it. Taking prominent social theories of risk as its critical frame of reference, this course will explore the role of news, television shows, popular fiction and films in shaping public opinion on, and responses to, potential and presumed threats. These range from environmental pollution, pathogens and medical procedures to terrorism, cybercrime, immigration/immigrants and un(der)employment. Case studies may include Fukushima, Chernobyl and the Y2K phenomenon.

By Dr Anuradha Ramanujan

Public Memory, Identity, Rhetoric
UTW2001K

How do we make the past useful for the needs of the present? And how do we decide what from the past is worthy of preserving today? This module addresses these questions by examining the intersections of public memory, identity, and rhetoric in Singapore. Students will consider ideas drawn from the interdisciplinary field of memory studies and practice applying them in a variety of local contexts—considering museums and monuments, political speeches and popular narratives, historical and heritage sites, cemeteries, and more. Students will use their new knowledge of course themes to embark on their own research project examining the many uses of memory in Singapore.

[the module image is entitled ‘National Museum of Singapore’ and was taken by Terence Ong in June 2006]

By Dr Patrick Wade

Blood, Death and Desire, Interpreting the Vampire
UTW2001J

Vampire literature has undergone a twenty-first Century resuscitation, evident in novels such as Twilight and television series including The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. But how similar are these vampires to the traditional vampire in Western and other cultures? In this module you will explore different explanations for the role/function of the Vampire and have the opportunity to research manifestations of the Vampire across cultures, genres and historical periods. You will review different research methodologies, and compile a list of terms and ideas that enable you to participate in the conversation to understand the ongoing fascination with the Vampire.

By Ms. Coleen Angove

Science Fiction and Empire
UTW2001P

Science fiction is less about the future than it is about the present. Many science fiction narratives critique contemporary social issues, particularly imperialism and colonialism. This course will introduce students to the theories of colonialism and their importance in a modern context. Armed with this knowledge, students will engage with classic and contemporary science fiction texts in order to understand, as well as question, how such narratives describe and proscribe ways of ordering the world. In developing their original research projects, students will explore how this intersection between popular narrative and ideology influences many of the ways we think about culture today.

By Dr Jason Banta

"What’s in a word?" Meaning across Cultures
UTW2001Q

It is often assumed that there is a common understanding of what specific words mean. However, can one assume a common understanding across cultures of words describing colour, such as ‘red’ or ‘maroon,’ or emotion, such as ‘happiness,’ ‘pleasure,’ or ‘disgust’? Are forms of address, such as nicknames, or interjections, such as ‘damn’ or the ‘F’ word, used in similar ways across cultures? Are there differences between the ways that speakers of different varieties of English understand the meanings of such words? This module explores how meaning is culture-bound, and helps students understand cultural differences in the choice and use of words.

By Dr Wong Jock Onn

Masculinities on Film
UTW2001S

The traditional notion of masculinity as homogenous has given way in recent decades to a proliferation of multiple masculinities that questions the relationship between gender and power. This socio-cultural phenomenon is manifested on film. Masculinity can be seen as a contested space where different masculinities fight for dominance, and older forms of masculinity are displaced by new ones. This module invites you to consider social, cultural and historical influences on constructions of masculinity on film, as well as textual contexts such as genre, as you critically reflect on the diversity of masculinities that are represented.

By Dr Lynette Tan

Nobodiness: The Self as Story
UTW2001T

The sense of having a self pervades everyday experience as well as the stories we encounter in fiction, film, television, and video games. On the other hand, the self has been called into question from various scientific, religious, and philosophical perspectives. This module examines the concept of selfhood, considering the possibility that it may be a fabrication, and examines the positive and negative aspects of positing the existence of selfhood. The module culminates in student research projects that apply critiques of the self from cognitive psychology, Eastern religion, and/or continental and analytic philosophy to a text of their choosing.

By Dr Andrew Corey Yerkes
The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.