the big picture

the big picture

As far as possible, everything in this course will work on a weekly cycle.

  • class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • essay drafts are due on Tuesday morning (24 hrs before conference)
  • essay revision conferences are scheduled for Wednesdays/Thursdays

I will introduce each unit in class; I will introduce specific readings with one or more comments on the text using the web annotation tool. While we’ll still engage in face-to-face class discussion, I want one strand of our discussion to be detail-oriented, woven into the texture of the texts we read—which will then help you in making your essays part of “the conversation”!

Each of our units culminates with a major paper assignment. These will ask you to work with sources in different ways; the relationship between your text and your sources will increase in complexity as the semester unfolds.  The final phase of the class will be devoted to researching and writing an extended essay, which will involve working with a particular bibliography I provide and with texts you locate yourself.

You should keep up with the assigned texts, then, both to contribute to ongoing discussion, which is a significant part of your grade, and to prepare yourself to write the major essay assignments. All our readings will help make you an informed participant in the particular conversation this course is about; I hope the course persuades at least some of you that this conversation is a relevant one. But the primary goal of the course is to develop your ability to engage with complex material and construct well-organized arguments about that material–skills that will almost certainly sustain you in whatever future endeavor awaits you after university!