|Participation (10% of course grade)||Resources|
|Regular Writing (25% of course grade)||Academic Integrity|
|Critical Writing (40% of course grade)||Grading scale|
|Exams (25% of course grade)|
An important feature of the experience of this course will be your ongoing conversation with your peers and with the artists and scholars whose work we will be engaging. The course schedule and assignments will, to some extent, structure the discussion that we have in this class, but how that discussion happens and the various directions it takes are determined by you, collectively. This, needless to say, requires your active presence and engaged participation in the discussion each class meeting.
Before each class, read the assigned material and come to class prepared to discuss it. Regardless of the nature of the material (written, visual, imaginative, critical) you should do more than simply glean the content of the text. Prepare to head to class each time with a couple of passages highlighted that you believe would generate fruitful discussion, and bring as well any questions that youhave run into as you read. Don’t imagine yourself preparing to come to class to respond to my questions and prompts, but instead come prepared to influence the direction of the discussion yourself. Your texts should be filled with your notes and responses before you arrive, and you should have generated some questions and comments that you think might encourage productive conversation in class. Ideally, I should be able to participate in the daily discussion to the same extent that each of you does.
To be considered “present,” do all of the following:
1. Arrive on time, with the day’s work prepared in advance.
2. Bring all texts that will be discussed.
3. Turn off your cell phone, iPod, and so on.
4. Give me and your classmates your full attention.
5. Do not text, chat, or surf the internet.
6. Remain in the room until the class ends.
7. Conduct yourself in a manner respectful to all present.
Meetings (20% of participation grade)
Many of you will find yourselves coming to meet with me regularly outside of class, but for those of you who wouldn’t automatically do so, I am requiring two out-of-class meetings with me in my office. These will be done individually and will address anything course-related that you find useful. Consider them a substitute for the day class will not meet. The first meetings must happen by Feb. 21 and the second by April 19.
REGULAR WRITING (25% of course grade)
Your weekly writing will take the form of once-a-week blog posts and one Review of the Week that you will create and publish on the blog over the course of the semester.
Weekly Blog Posts (15% of course grade)
[Due Friday night at 11pm.]
Each week you will make a post to the course blog. The aim of collective blogging is to produce a record of regular reading responses as part of an ongoing conversation with your peers. The post should address that week’s reading and/or class discussion. In other words, it needs, in some way, to be grounded in what we are doing that week. Feel free to reflect on any specific aspect of the assigned readings, tying your thoughts as closely as possible to the textual evidence. Present an observation or provocation that will encourage others to enter into conversation with you. You may choose more or less personal, informal, speculative, or creative forms of expression, and incorporate mixed media – there are few restrictions on the presentation of relevant content – but in any case your post should show evidence of serious critical engagement. Your final grade will reflect the quality of all posts and consistency with which you comment. (For some help with the logistics of blogging, see Get Blogging!)
The posts are to be around 350-400 words long. They are due by 8 am on Friday. They will be graded 0 (missing), 1 (just adequate), or 2 (fulfills expectations).
These posts may be of three types:
1. Present your thoughts on anything related to the reading or discussion for that week, connecting (as the semester progresses) to ideas and concepts addressed in previous weeks. Such posts may be formal analyses or they might be more personal and reflective. (Posts of this sort should be marked with the category “Musings.”)
2. Respond to questions I post in the “Previewing” section of each week’s “Weekly Review and Preview” post. Such posts may be formal analyses or they might be more personal and reflective. (Posts of this sort should be marked with the category “Response.”) Sometimes I will require everyone to respond, in their blog posts, to a particular prompt. In that case, I will email everyone at the start of the week with the particular instructions.
3. Note a challenging term, concept, or event in a text that we are reading for class. In your response, you will describe the kind of challenge it presents and offer some discussion of it–even if you don’t feel at all prepared to “answer” the challenge to which you’re drawing attention. (Posts of this sort should be marked with the category “Challenges.”)
These and all posts on the blog will need to be in academic English (rather than textspeak).
To get full credit, TAG your post with relevant key words (the name of the text and, where relevant, author of the items you’re discussing in that post is a place to start; note also any key concepts or issues, etc.), so that we can make good use of the archive we build up over the semester.
You will, of course, be expected to comment on others’ posts. Each substantial, worthwhile comment will earn you extra points on that week’s blog post grade.
Review of the Week (3% of course grade)
In addition to these weekly blog posts, you will at one point in the semester produce a “Review of the Week” in which you will generate a reflection on the week’s class discussions. This Review of the Week will include three sections: Overview, Noteworthy Quotes, and Key Terms. I will produce the Review of the Week for Week 1, as a model, and then the following weeks will be assigned.
You will submit your review in OAKS by Friday at 2 pm. Then I will post this Review, accompanied by my Preview of the coming week, on the course blog by Saturday afternoon. Where necessary, I will edit these Reviews before posting.
Ongoing Review Assignment (7% of course grade)
[Due Saturdays at 6pm.]
One of the texts that will provide source material for our investigation this semester is the Sci-Fi Channel’s TV series Battlestar Galactica. BSG will be a shared text for us as we consider themes encountered throughout the course, in imaginative literature both medieval and postmodern. To prepare for that discussion, you will watch on your own throughout the semester the miniseries that started it all as well as 6 episodes from different points in the series. (These episodes are available for viewing in the Media Center in Addlestone.) You will need to produce a one-page response to each episode after viewing it, submitting that response via OAKS. Due dates are noted on the course schedule, and the detailed assignment description lists the 4 episodes that are required of everyone and the episodes from which you will choose your remaining 2 episodes. Over the course of the semester, you will bring to the discussion 7 hours of shared material as well as a range of supplemental material based on the selections each of you makes.
For summaries of episodes you’re not watching, see the Battlestar Wiki.
Since the deadlines for written work are so clearly spelled out in the syllabus, late assignments will not be accepted except in very extraordinary circumstances.
Short Mid-term Paper (10% of course grade)
due Feb. 17 at 11 pm in OAKS
This paper will be 5-7 pages long. A complete assignment for the paper will be posted by the third week of class. You have the option of revising this paper. If you choose to revise, you must meet with me during office hours (or schedule an alternative time to meet) to discuss the revision. This revision will be due 10 days after the graded papers are returned to the class. The grade for the assignment will then be the average of the original grade and the revision grade.
Final Project (30% of course grade)
annotated bibliography due April 6 at 11 pm in OAKS
extended researched analysis due April 23 at 11 pm in OAKS (draft due April 18 at 11pm in OAKS)
creative response due April 10 or April 17 during class
The Final Project for this course consists of two parts: an extended researched analysis (65% of project grade) and accompanying annotated bibliography (10% of project grade) and a creative response (25% of project grade).
The extended researched analysis will be on a topic you develop to suit your interests, based on the ongoing focus of the course materials and discussion. You may find that a blog post and the comments it generates leads you toward a question you’d like to pursue in further depth, or you might investigate a particular theme or text addressed by the course, or you might make connections between medieval experiences and attitudes to something from another time and/or place, including our own.
The annotated bibliography is produced as part of your research for your final extended research analysis. The bibliography must contain at least 10 secondary sources (7 of these must be critical resources such as articles or book chapters; bear in mind that if you use two chapters from one book, that counts for two sources, with each one listed separately on the Annotated Bibliography). Only 1 of your sources may be an article assigned for class discussion. (Your final paper will include at least 5 of these or other such sources, 3 of which must be critical articles.) We will spend class time looking at sample annotated bibliographies.
The creative response is intended to encourage you to consider, beyond the confines of the traditional literary analysis or research paper, how you might express to a similarly informed audience your engagement with the texts and related concepts and ideas we are studying this semester.
A more detailed assignment for all 3 elements in the Final Project will appear on the blog later in the semester.
EXAMS (25% of course grade)
Midterm Exam (10% of course grade)
Cumulative Final Exam (15% of course grade)
Tuesday, May 1, 12-3 pm
Office hours are reserved for you to drop in as suits your schedule, to discuss your writing and/or the course: TR 1-1:30, TR 3-3:50, and R 5:20-5:50. Should that not suit your schedule, please email me to arrange an alternative time. Emailing is the most efficient way to communicate with me outside of class; I would discourage contacting me by phone except during office hours.
The Writing Lab is located on the first floor of Addlestone Library, within the Center for Student Learning. Here you will find many resources for your writing (for this and other classes): handouts, reference books, sample bibliographies, and consultants who have been trained to assist you in generating materials for your essay, organizing your ideas and materials, revising and editing your writing, and any step in the writing process. You can find information, including hours and schedule, at the link above.
Academic accommodation for a documented disability can be arranged through the Center for Disability Services: 953-1431, Lightsey Center, Suite 104. If you are approved for accommodations, you should let me know as soon as possible so we can organize appropriate arrangements.
All students, needless to say, must follow the College of Charleston’s academic integrity policy, which forbids cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism. Any case of suspected cheating or plagiarism (on any written response for the course) will be sent to the College’s Honor Board, and any student found guilty will receive a grade of XF, indicating failure of the course due to academic dishonesty.
“Recycled” papers written for other courses are not acceptable in this class.
College of Charleston Honor Code and Academic Integrity, from the Student Handbook:
Lying, cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism are violations of our Honor Code that, when identified, are investigated. Each incident will be examined to determine the degree of deception involved.
Incidents where the instructor determines the student’s actions are related more to a misunderstanding will handled by the instructor. A written intervention designed to help prevent the student from repeating the error will be given to the student. The intervention, submitted by form and signed both by the instructor and the student, will be forwarded to the Dean of Students and placed in the student’s file.
Cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be reported directly by the instructor and/or others having knowledge of the incident to the Dean of Students. A student found responsible by the Honor Board for academic dishonesty will receive a XF in the course, indicating failure of the course due to academic dishonesty. This grade will appear on the student’s transcript for two years after which the student may petition for the X to be expunged. The student may also be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended (temporary removal) or expelled (permanent removal) from the College by the Honor Board.
Students should be aware that unauthorized collaboration–working together without permission– is a form of cheating. Unless the instructor specifies that students can work together on an assignment, quiz and/or test, no collaboration during the completion of the assignment is permitted. Other forms of cheating include possessing or using an unauthorized study aid (which could include accessing information via a cell phone or computer), copying from others’ exams, fabricating data, and giving unauthorized assistance.