Course Requirements and Grading
Attendance and Participation: As our work here will revolve around discussion, your participation and preparedness are indispensable, and will be graded. You will be permitted one unexcused absence; each additional unexcused absence lowers your final grade one step. Moreover, chronic late arrivals will not be tolerated; for every three late arrivals, one unexcused absence will accrue. Finally, be aware that presence without preparedness does not count. Do the reading. (15%)
Group Work: During the second week of classes, I will divide the class into groups of 4 students. These working groups will serve multiple purposes during the semester: you will do some in-class discussion in these groups, you will share the burden of reading assignments within the groups, and you will work on group projects together. Among these projects will be an in-class presentation requirement; on two occasions this semester, your group will be called upon to lead our class discussion by giving a brief presentation and directing the ensuing conversation. This presentation and facilitation will be peer evaluated. Your overall work in the group will be evaluated by the group's other members. More information to follow. (25%)
Papers: Shortly before the mid-point of the semester, you will produce an 8-page paper in which you will carefully consider some aspect of the theoretical discourse we have covered to that point. The term paper, due at the end of the semester, will be 15 pages long, will involve substantial research, and will make a complex, well-defined argument in which you seek to apply the theoretical material we have covered to the cultural object or phenomenon of your choosing. You will submit a proposal and an annotated bibliography for this paper several weeks in advance of the paper itself; shortly before the paper itself is due, you will submit a draft to a peer reviewer. All papers must use proper MLA format. Late papers will only be accepted by prior arrangement. Again, more details to follow. (brief paper, 20%; term paper, 40%)
N.B.: There are currently no exams scheduled for this class. I reserve the right to change my mind, however, if I feel an insufficient number of people are completing the readings each week. Do your friends a favor: do the reading, talk in class, and avoid a nasty final exam.