Words, Words, Words

While I still have a ways to go in terms of getting a course materials list together, I am at the point where my thoughts on what I actually want students to get out of this class are becoming clear. I think that in a week or two I will be able to start putting together a draft of the annotated syllabus.

Course Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to identify the fears and fantasies about women (from both genders) through analyzing texts/sources and using historical/theoretical context from other readings.
  2. Students will be able to assess how different forms of media affect the content within and discuss the effectiveness of those different forms in relation to one another.
  3. Students will be able to discuss the witch archetype both as a created myth/personal narrative as well as the possibility of a new archetype that draws from tradition, but is breaking away from its ties to women.

 

Course Style:

I am modeling this course off of previous ones I have taken, specifically, Dr. Richard Chess’ “Holocaust and the Arts” Honors Special Topic class. Dr. Chess’ class focused on class discussion and allowing students to process material in their own various ways, which allowed the course environment to be highly creative and very stress free.

This course will be built to be very much the same. Most of the reading will be done outside of the class (certain smaller pieces will be read in class )so that the majority of the class time can be used to facilitate discussion about the readings. Some class periods will be lecture days in order to give students necessary context for the readings without having to assign them excess reading.

In addition, as there will be a few visual sources, a few extra sessions will need to be scheduled so that students can more easily view those sources.

Assignments: 

  1. Journals: Students will be required to keep a journal full of thoughts/doodles that are related to the class. Entries do not have to be on one specific class or lecture, but the hope is that thoughts and questions the students have will be collected here to document their thought process throughout the semester. These journals will be collected every two weeks for grading, and it is expected that students have at least three entries per week. However, there will be plenty of chances in class to add to those entries such as free writes based off of music, quotes, or questions posed by the class. Journals can be handwritten, typed, or a mix of both. They can include pictures,  music, pressed flowers, essentially anything the student believes is necessary and related. The hope is for the journals to provide a creative outlet for the students to process their thoughts in.
  2. Workshops: For certain texts, the students will be split into groups and assigned portions to workshop before class. That group will then help lead the class discussion for that day. By workshopping the section, it will give students experience with close readings of the text as well as analysis. In addition, if any other students had trouble with this particular section, there will always be a group of students who have insight and can give insight into the reading. Students will be graded on how prepared they are overall for leading discussion and whether or not they touch on the key points of the section.
  3. Midterm Paper: For the midterm in this course I will ask students to pick a source of their own and write an analysis paper on it. All sources and thesis statements will be approved prior to starting the actual writing process, and there will be several checkpoints that students will need to hit such as handing in outlines and various drafts so that I have knowledge of their progress and no one ends up in over their head. (Something that happens very easily when you give students free reign in any assignment. They get excited and bite off a lot more than they can chew.)
  4. Collage Essay: This essay will be due at the end of the semester. Students will be asked to create an essay drawn primarily from their journal entries, although they can write new pieces for the purpose of the essay. While they will be asked to focus on one central theme, this essay will not be structured in the usual format. I will be asking them to create an essay that has impact not jut in the words, but visually. It will be a good way for them to summarize and collect their thoughts from the semester as well as put into practice the discussions concerning form, function, and different types of media.
  5. Final Project: I also feel that there should be some sort of final presentation that is based more in the academic side of the class than the collage essay. However, I do not yet know what this project should look like.

 

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