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 Time Table for AY2018/19 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

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

Heroes
UTW1001P

This module will explore the development and transformation of heroic figures across time and cultures, how people have reacted to these figures, and how these figures have been adapted. Students will engage with multiple versions of the “hero,” both male and female, from a variety of media (literature, film, television, graphic novel) and scholarly literature on the subject as a means to develop critical writing skills. Some questions we will ask include: What defines a heroic character? What do a society’s heroes reflect about its own values? What are the dangers of uncritical acceptance of heroes?

By Dr Jason Banta

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

The Detective
UTW1001U

The detective genre is well positioned to foreground the rhetorical situation in its concern with the generation of meaning. In this module students are invited to identify with the detective who offers a metaphor for the process of reading carefully for information, distinguishing between valid and inadequate evidence, and constructing a credible argument built on knowledge gleaned from careful observations. Students will engage in debates around what constitutes "knowledge", how (and whether) "truth" can be arrived at, and how the detective genre can illustrate these debates through an understanding of epistemology, i.e. the theory of knowledge.

By Ms Coleen Angove

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

Algorithmic Culture and its Discontents
UTW1001Y

We live in the age of Big Data, but where is our relationship with technology leading us? In this writing module, we interrogate the entity that we call the algorithm through the lens of the cultural meanings ascribed to it. We ask how those meanings shape our material reality. Various phenomena will be critically discussed, such as the lure of Netflix, the ubiquity of fitness trackers, and the use of smart technology by states to govern. Ultimately, through deep reading and analytical writing, we will engage with the question of what it means to be human in a technological society.

By Dr Shobha Avadhani

Colour: Theory, meaning and practice
UTW1001Z

Colour has fascinated humans for millennia, yet it is poorly understood. What is the symbolic meaning of colours across cultures? How do colours impact our psychological well-being and our consumer choices? From the earth pigments of the prehistoric painters, to the synthetic colours of the Impressionists, colour technology has developed to meet new communication and expression needs and in doing so, a whole repertoire of meanings has evolved. In this module, students will explore scholarly and popular texts from a range of disciplines including visual arts, fashion, psychology, marketing and anthropology to investigate the theory, meaning and practices of colour.

By Ms Laetitia Monbec

Ideas and Exposition 2

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

Sport and Socialisation
UTW2001M

Involvement in professional and amateur sports through competition, ludic activity or spectatorship is a social experience and thus connected to larger social and cultural formations. Students will engage with sociological research and develop their own critical positions grounded within functionalist, interactionist or critical theory frameworks in one of three areas: (1) Socialisation into sport; what factors may influence initiation and continuation? (2) Socialisation out of sport; in particular what are the causes and effects of burnout or retirement in competitive sport? (3) Socialisation through sport; how are dimensions of identity (embodiment, gender, race, social class) developed?

By Dr Mark Brooke

"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.