Assignments and Evaluation
As this course is a graduate seminar, thorough preparation of assigned material (careful “reading” and thoughtful reflection) along with consistent and vigorous participation in the weekly meetings are the primary requirements for success. In addition to this work, you will be asked to complete several assignments at specific points (whether by a date or within a time frame) over the course of the semester. Additional information about each of these assignments may be provided in class or via the Moodle course site. In the meantime, here are some brief descriptions of the main objectives and requirements for each.
Posts in Weekly Discussion Forums
Four times throughout the semester, you should post an analysis of an assigned work. Your post can be relatively informal (i.e. similar to the style and tone of an in-class comment), but it should be clearly organized. Each post should have a clear assertion, posit a question to be analyzed, or establish a point of dialogue with previous works or class discussions that it explores briefly. Posts must be uploaded by the end of the day on Tuesday.
You will also be expected to respond to a colleague’s post four times throughout the semester. Responses should be similar in style to original posts. They do not need to be as critically developed, and they need not expressly agree or disagree with the previous post, but they should add something substantive to the conversation. They should explore a relevant question, idea, or issue that dialogues with the original post but that had not been not fully addressed either in the original post or in any of the existing responses. Responses must be posted by the end of the day on Saturday.
In Class Presentation
You will be required to deliver one in-class presentation based on a relevant secondary source. A brief list of suggested texts will be provided. You may select an article or book chapter from that list or identify an alternative source to present. Your presentation should include a brief summary of the main argument of the selected source and an analysis of its relevance to that week's assigned material.
The primary written work for this seminar will be a final research paper of approximately 20 pages. It should focus on one of the primary works discussed in class. (If you would like to focus on another work, please consult with me.) The scope and rigor of the essay should be comparable to a scholarly article in a peer-reviewed journal.
During the second half of the semester, you will be asked to submit an abstract and annotated bibliography for your final paper. These components will be graded, but they are principally intended to help you develop the argument and materials for your final paper.
You are not required to submit a rough draft of your paper. Students who would like early feedback, however, will be asked to submit their work by a specific date (to be announced on Moodle).