Course Overview and Policy Statements



Defining the Humanities

Text Analysis

Individual Topics

Reflective Writing

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Authors & Contributors

Syllabus - Thomas

Jan 21-Mar. 4

Thurs., Jan. 21: Introduction to Web Forum and Dailies. What are the arts and humanities and why do we study them? Discussion of Edmundson and Shorris articles. Complete group survey.

Assignment DUE: Read two pieces "On the Uses of a Liberal Education": Mark Edmundson, "As Lite Entertainment for Bored College Students" and Earl Shorris "As a Weapon in the Hands of the Restless Poor." Briefly summarize each, identifying what each implies should be the purpose of studying the humanities as well as who is studying humanities and to what end. Write down questions about course policy and overview. Write 2-3 pages about yourself: previous writing classes taken, goals for the course and career, academic and outside interests, writing strengths and weaknesses.

Tues., Jan. 26: Further discussion of first analysis assignment. Using a grid to collect information. Groups meet to plan work and discuss articles.

Assignment: Read the following: George Orwell "Politics and the English Language," Susan Willis "Public Use/Private State," and Emily Hiestand "Hymn." Write one-paragraph summaries of each and make a list of what the pieces have in common.

Thurs., Jan. 28: Groups meet to discuss articles and collect material for the paper.

Assignment: Each group will determine its own assignment for today.

Tues., Feb. 2: Finish/polish papers and turn in. Introduction to second analysis.

Assignment: Bring "In the Garden of Tabloid Delight" by Lewis Lapham.

Thurs., Feb. 4: Read abstracts of first analysis paper and come to consensus definition of expository writing in the humanities. Discuss portfolio topics. Introduction to Analyzing a Written Text.

Assignment DUE: Postscript to Analysis Paper I. Post abstract of group paper.

Tues., Feb. 9: Answer questions about Analyzing a Written Text. Perform Publication Analysis on Harper's.

Assignment DUE: Read Lapham, "In the Garden of Tabloid Delight" and Analyzing a Written Text questions. Complete at least the following sections of Analyzing a Written Text re: Lapham's article: Purpose/Context, Author, Topic and Position.

Thurs., Feb. 11: Discuss analysis of Lapham's article.

Assignment DUE: Complete Analyzing a Written Text.

Tues., Feb. 16: Introduction to Exploratory Research for Portfolio: Review of research techniques.

Assignment DUE: Analyzing a Written Text answers. Topic Proposal (at least 5 potential topics with an explanation of your background and interest in at least 3 of these).

Tues., Feb. 16: Wrap up analysis of Lapham article. Introduce Context Analysis assignment. Collect analyses of Lapham and topic proposals.

Assignment DUE: Analysis of Lapham (final, typed version). Portfolio topic proposals.

Thurs., Feb. 18: Discuss "Cultural Literacy" and what the text tells us about its context.

Assignment DUE: Read "Cultural Literacy." Write a brief summary of its contents and take notes on the following questions: What is Hirsch's purpose? Who is his audience? How can you tell?

Tues., Feb. 23: Discuss "What Your Sixth Grader Should Know" and chapter 1 of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs To Know. Compare and contrast contexts of Hirsch's articles using a grid.

Assignment DUE: Read "What Your Sixth Grader Should Know" and chapter 1 of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. Summarize each briefly and take notes on the context of each.

Thurs., Feb. 25: Introduction to exploratory research (on portfolio topics).

Assignment DUE: Work on Context Analysis paper.

Tues., March 2 : Peer review workshop.

Assignment DUE: Bring a complete draft of your paper which is in as good shape as you can get it on your own to be reviewed by peers. (Bring a hard copy and a disk copy.)

Thurs., March 4: Wrap-up discussion of analysis. Review writing an annotated bibliography.

Assignment DUE: Bring your MLA handbook if you have one and at least two sources or models you've found in your exploratory research.

Context Analysis Paper due no later than 4 p.m. Friday, March 5.

ENJOY your Spring Break!