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 AY17/18 Semester 1

Ideas and Exposition 1

Eating Right(s): The Politics of Food
UTW1001H

Do you know where your last meal came from? Have you ever wondered how your dietary choices affect communities, species and landscapes worldwide? This interdisciplinary writing course examines some human and ecological impacts of contemporary food-related practices and interactions. Readings from different perspectives focus critical attention on industrial agriculture, factory farming, packaging/distribution networks and international trade agreements in relation to issues of hunger, obesity, food security and environmental sustainability. In small collaborative classes, you will examine the strategies used by individual authors to construct persuasive arguments and learn to incorporate these rhetorical skills into your own writing about food.

By Dr Anuradha Ramanujan

Photography and Society
UTW1001K

Photography is a powerful force in contemporary society. Photographs can be found in advertisements, newspapers, photo albums, museums, archives, websites, and more. In this course, you will learn to think and write critically about such photographs. Are they objective copies or artistic transformations of the world? Is photography a democratic art, accessible to all, or is it an instrument of surveillance and social control? What other social purposes does photography serve? We will address these questions and more by discussing the work of photography critics and by examining documentary, advertising, fashion, art, archival, and amateur photography.

By Dr Patrick Wade

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

Women in Film
UTW1001S

Are films mere entertainment and the images that they project harmless in their effect on society? When we watch a film, we enter a world where certain values and beliefs are communicated. These messages can either support or challenge the prevailing ideas that exist in society. Since the 1970s, and to the present, images of women in films have been the site of ideological struggle. This course introduces you to the debates surrounding the representation of women in film, and invites you to formulate perspectives that engage with the issues raised as you critically analyze these images in selected viewings.

By Dr Lynette Tan Yuen Ling

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

Ideas and Exposition 2

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

Discourse, Citizenship and Society
UTW2001R

Citizens participate in society through discourse -- talk and texts. How citizens speak and write about social issues in face-to-face and online platforms therefore warrant careful reflection. This course aims to enable students to examine how individuals enact their citizenship through language and other symbols. Students will investigate how citizens mobilize language, voice, body and other resources to deal with issues pertaining to social differences, processes of exclusion, and participation in local, regional and global contexts, among others. By the end of the module, the students should be able to develop critical awareness of how civic discourse shapes public issues.

By Dr. Gene Segarra Navera

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.