A note about assignments: Historians read and write and talk. That’s what we do. Consequently, a history class, by definition, requires more reading and writing and talking than most college courses. It is imperative, therefore that you keep up with the assignments. Helping you learn to handle a high volume of work is one of the goals of the course. I can not recommend highly enough resources like the Learning Center and Writing Center to help you learn to master time management, note-taking, outlining, drafting. There are two Teaching Apprentices for this course, each has had me as a professor in multiple classes and are very familiar with the sorts of assignments I give and my expectations for class work. They are also good writers and researchers and I urge you to meet with them with any questions you might have. I keep office hours each week for the express purpose of helping students in my classes. It’s the literal reason I’m in my office. You can come to me with any questions or to ask for advice on any aspect of the course. Each of these assignments is designed to help students become better researchers, analysts, and communicators. They are also designed to give you particular tools and skill sets that you should find useful in both college and professional life. And they are meant to provide a foundational way of understanding the past and its relationship to our world.
I follow the College of Wooster guidelines for grading. “A” grades reflect excellent work, “B” grades very good work, “C” grades adequate work, and “D” minimal work. “F” grades are unsatisfactory in content and/or degree of effort. Plagiarism will always result in a failing grade.
Grade Components and Assignment Descriptions:
Professionalism and Participation (15%)
Your active participation in class activities and discussion are crucial to the success of the course. You are expected to come to class fully prepared, this means bringing copies of your reading assignments, facts at your disposal, ideas and questions. Being a professional means treating this class like it’s your job. Don’t miss class without an excellent reason. Be on time. Do the work. Pay attention. Listen when other people speak. Don’t make excuses. Working hard on this particular grade has always proven to be directly correlated to the overall grade in the class. Work like a professional and participate in our larger intellectual project and every other grade component goes up correspondingly. Every time.
Documentary Film Worksheets (15%):
Each week, you will watch a documentary film. We will have public screenings on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Most are available online or in Kanopy. After viewing the film you will fill out a worksheet. These will be no more than one-page and you will answer four out of eight questions. You will turn in ten. Documentarians will turn in eight.
response papers (15%):
You will write a two-page response paper to the the Didion and Lasch texts. These response papers will address a particular prompt.
Each Thursday we will begin class by taking a short quiz on that week’s readings, documentary, media, and when applicable lecture. Your lowest two quiz scores will be dropped. Documentarians will have their lowest four quiz scores dropped.
Four-minute movie (10%)
Each student will over the course of the semester produce a very short film on a particularly important intellectual work of the 1960s and 1970s. These were books that influenced millions, created movements, or revolutionized entire fields of intellectual endeavor. They are some of the most important books ever written. In your movie you will explain how and why.
The documentary (30%)*
Contribution to the group (5%). Twice during the semester I will hand out evaluation forms for each student to comment/evaluate (anonymously) the other members of their group. Those will consistently low scores will be required to meet with me. Groups will meet regularly with their assigned T.A. as a group to coordinate plans. Pull your weight and do what you agree to do.
Prospectus (5%). Before Spring Break groups will turn in a prospectus of their project. It will include a short history of their subject, a bibliography, a research program and project outline.
Storyboard/Script/Footage (5%). In the eleventh week, groups will present their storyboards and distribute their working script. At these presentations, they will also show some of their original footage.
Final Cut (15%). The finished product. A 10-12-minute documentary screened publicly at a class film festival with juried prizes.
* Documentarians (35%): Those enrolled in history 202, workshop in historical documentary, receive five extra points.