Attendance is required, and will be taken at the beginning of class. Absences are excused only if negotiated in advance or if there is a medical emergency. You will get one freebie absence this semester. Being late to class counts as only partial attendance.
You will also be graded on both oral and mental participation. Oral participation involves speaking in class, contributing to conversations, and actively listening to others. Mental participation involves “being with it,” and actively paying attention to the rest of the class. Laptops and cell phones are strictly disallowed; their use will result in a one-percentage-point drop from your grade each time.
Your Attendance/Participation grade will also be based on whether you come prepared to class with the readings in hand, having read the assignments.
Blog Comments: 10%.
We will use this blog as a way to share thoughts and questions about the reading, post relevant links, and increase general communication outside of the classroom. Each class day (with the exception of Film Response days) you will post a comment under the posts for that day's homework assignments. Posts could include comments about the readings, questions about the homework material, a link to something you’ve found online that relates to themes we covered in class, or a response to someone else’s post.
Posts are due by midnight each night and should be 2-5 sentences long.
Discussion Leadership: 10%.
You will also serve as a discussion leader for the class twice this semester. Discussion leaders facilitate conversation by steering dialogue, asking questions, and having quotes and ideas at the ready. To prepare to be a discussion leader, read the homework carefully and highlight the most important passages, and read your fellow student's comments under the blog. Prepare an outline for the discussion so that you can guide the class. Discussion leaders will meet with me at 9:45 to go over their plan (I am also available earlier).
5 Short Response Papers: 25%.
5 Response Papers (RP’s) will be due over the course of the semester, on topics that will be announced in class and via email. Response papers should be 400-700 words in length and must be typed, 1.5-spaced and turned in at the beginning of class in hard copy. Paper saving measures are encouraged. RP’s cannot be turned in late. RP’s should be well edited and must include at least one direct citation of the assigned readings.
3 Film Responses: 15%.
On 3 class days you will be required to bring a 400-700 word response to class based on an assigned film or television episode. Each class member will read their response out loud, with brief discussions between each reading. You are free to write on any elements you wish: it might be a scene, character, theme, dialogue, or anything else that you notice and find interesting. Try to focus on some of the themes of the class, though this is not strictly necessary. Film responses will be turned in and graded, so they should be typed and clearly written.
Final Paper: 15%.
In lieu of a final exam there will be a 1,000-1,500 word essay assignment due on the exam day. A handout detailing the assignment will be distributed in advance. Final papers must be turned in by 12:45 on Tuesday, August 7, submission details TBA.