Course Requirements

Attendance and in-class active participation (5%): I expect students to arrive having read all materials listed for that day and ready to contribute to a lively, engaged discussion of the topics at hand. Consistent attendance is therefore crucial. After two absences, students’ grades will be adversely affected. Leaving early is considered an absence. The only exception is with documented emergencies. You are responsible for all materials covered in class, regardless of attendance.

In-class Weekly Quizzes (20%): In lieu of a midterm exam, you will have brief weekly quizzes (max. 15 minutes) on the reading and discussion material. Quizzes may ask questions from both the previous day’s discussion as well as the reading to be discussed that day. Quizzes may be given on either Tuesdays or Thursdays (or both!) so you should come to class prepared each day. The goal of these quizzes is to ensure active reading and to gauge comprehension of course concepts—they are not meant to be punitive. You are allowed to make-up a maximum of two quizzes.

Brief Essay (14%): You will be asked to compose a short (3-4 page) response paper that demonstrates your understanding of the first two sections of the course. You will be provided with prompt choices on April 30 and the paper will be due by Monday, May 6.

Blog Participation (6%): Even though we will meet for two hours at a time, this will not be enough time to fully engage course concepts and hear everyone’s opinions. In order to accommodate those who are not comfortable initially speaking up in class, as well as to offer us a non-institutional space in which to discuss course issues, I have set up this course blog.. I will be posting videos, songs, images, etc here in order to spark dialogue. You are asked to post comments and discussion questions twice before Monday, May 6.

The blog is not meant to be like standard journal entries (read solely by the instructor), but to share your experiences with fellow students. This exercise is meant to help you engage the class materials outside of an academic context and to foster communication with fellow students. We will discuss further instructions for this blog on the first day of class.

Generating Discussion (9%): Once during the last six weeks of the quarter, you will be responsible for a 500-word blog post summarizing the day’s readings and connecting them to a specific example, as well as generating 2-3 discussion questions for the rest of the class. I will model this assignment during the first four weeks of the class on the blog. In addition to posting once on the blog (5%), you should respond to other students’ questions twice (4%).

Your posts can be informal (written in a non- academic tone), but this does not mean they shouldn’t be intellectually rigorous. The posts should direct questions and commentary to the readings, as well as provide further questions for discussion. Ideally, your posts will encourage responses from other students and engender a conversation. Your responses to other students should indicate you’ve read their posts and they should further the conversation. These responses should be a minimum of 200 words.

Final Project (46%): For details, click here.


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