WRIT 1733 syllabus, spring 2012 by writRHET


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writ 1733: honors writing ✪   ✪ john tiedemann
           t/r 12:00–1:50 ✪   ✪ john.tiedemann@du.edu
                sturm 210 ✪   ✪ office hours: w 12-3; r 2-4
1733artact.blogspot.com ✪       (email to make an appt.)
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✪ the class                                             CTIVISM
   Since Socrates banished poets and painters from his ideal republic
   twenty-five hundred years ago, the relationship between artistic
   expression and political activism has remained a controversial one. In
   this class, we’ll explore some of that history, employing a variety of
   research methods to examine activist art from the French
   Revolutionary period to the Harlem Renaissance to contemporary
   work by street artist Banksy, musicians Rage Against the Machine,
   graphic novelist Cristy Road, and local artist-activists.

✪ assignments
   We’ll spend a good deal of time discussing the relationship between
   art and activism together in class. But the bulk of our time will be spent
   researching, composing, and revising four writing projects:
   1. interpreting activist art: In this project, you’ll interpret the political
      significance of a classic instance of activist art.
   2. historicizing activist art: This project asks you to investigate the
      historical significance of an activist art movement.
   3. activist art ethnography: In this project, you’ll create a rich
      description and interpretation of a local, public art object, event, or
   4. reflecting as writers: This project asks you to consolidate your writing
      and research skills by reflecting on what you’ve learned this term.
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✪ texts                                             CTIVISM
   The books listed below are available at the University Book Store:
   •   Inventing Human Rights: A History, by Lynn Hunt
   •   The Harlem Renaissance: A Brief History with Documents, by Jeffrey
       Brown Ferguson
   •   Indestructible, by Cristy Road.
   •   Waste Land, by Lucy Walker (a film, available on DU CourseMedia).
   I’ll supplement these readings and viewings l with materials that I’ll post
   to Blackboard or our blog: 1733artact.blogspot.com.
   Your own texts are a vital part of our class, so please bring your laptop
   to every class meeting.

✪ goals
   Honors Writing is designed for students who will benefit from a
   particularly rigorous and in-depth experience with language. Students
   read serious and challenging texts and write at least 25 pages of
   polished prose, with additional, less formal writings. The course offers
   advanced instruction in rhetorical theory and practice, as well as
   writing in multiple research traditions in the academy.
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✪ format                                          CTIVISM
  •   class-time
  Thinking and composing well take practice, practice, and more
  practice. So, as a general rule, we’ll spend the half of our time
  discussing readings and viewings and the half composing works of our
  own. The composing may involve responding to a prompt, completing
  an exercise, drafting or revising, or helping each other to brainstorm or
  revise in small groups. You can also expect to spend an hour or so
  each day working at home, and more than that when you’re working
  on a graded project. Finally, because a quality composition results
  from many revisions, you will revise each of your projects severally, with
  guidance from me and your classmates.
  •   conferences
  I’m available for conferences in the dining area in Nagel Hall between
  12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  on Thursdays. It’s to your advantage to make an appointment to talk
  with me about your work; serious students are serious about seeking
  out guidance. To make an appointment, please send me an email
  letting me know when you’re free during office hours, and I’ll schedule
  a time for us to meet.
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✪ policies                                          CTIVISM
   •   engagement
   I expect you all to be active, engaged learners and thoughtful, helpful
   collaborators, committed to the material, your projects, and your
   peers. Your level of engagement is made manifest in a number of
   ways, including participation in classroom discussion, online
   discussions, and in conferences, as well as in peer review feedback,
   group work, and your efforts to improve not only your own learning
   experience but the learning experience of the entire class. I will assess
   your engagement as follows:
   •   “Superior” engagement means that the student is always
       prepared, often adding additional insights to a class or online
       discussion and providing extensive feedback to writing. S/he
       demonstrates active learning via consistently perceptive and
       energetic engagement with the material, his or her peers, and me.
   •    “Average” engagement means that the student seems prepared,
       although he or she sometimes needs to be prompted to
       participate. Generally, his or her participation in discussion, online
       comments, and feedback on writing seem to encourage and
       support others in the class. The student’s presence is productive.
   •   “Weak” engagement means that the student comes to class but
       does not seem to be prepared. His or her participation is listless,
       lackluster, or only intermittent.
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✪ policies                                         CTIVISM
   •   absences
   Because interaction with others is a vital part of learning, I expect you
   to attend every class meeting, scheduled conference, and online
   activity. You are allowed two absences without penalty; for each
   absence after the second one, your final grade will drop by one third
   of a letter (e.g., from an A to an A–, from an A– to a B+, etc.) Should
   you miss four class meetings, I will suggest that you consider dropping
   the course and re-enrolling in a quarter during which you can devote
   the necessary effort. If I determine that excessive absences have
   prevented you from meeting the goals of the course, you may fail. If
   you miss a class, you are personally responsible for learning about any
   missed material or assignments, either from classmates or our blog. I
   make no distinction between excused and unexcused absences, so
   save your absences for illness or emergency.
   •   late work
   Assignments are due when they are due. I will accept late work only if
   you have cleared the lateness with me in advance, and then only
   under the most extenuating circumstances. An assignment that is
   turned in late without advance clearance will be graded down a third
   of letter (e.g., from an A to an A–, from an A– to a B+) for each day it’s
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✪ policies                                        CTIVISM
   •   plagiarism
   The Writing Program follows the Council of Writing Program
   Administrators policy “Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism,” which states,
   “In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer
   deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original
   (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source”
   (http://wpacouncil.org/node/9). DU’s Honor Code also maintains that
   all members of the University must responsibly use the work of others.
   Students who have plagiarized a project will receive an F on that
   project, and the instructor will inform the Director of Writing and the
   Office of Community and Citizenship Standards, which may take
   further action. Any documented acts of plagiarism after the first may
   be subject to more severe actions.
   •   accommodations for students with disabilities
   The Writing Program will provide reasonable accommodations to
   every student who has a disability that has been documented by The
   University of Denver Disability Services Program
   (www.du.edu/disability/dsp or 303.871.2455).
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✪ policies                                         CTIVISM
   •   civility and tolerance
   The Writing Program affirms DU’s Code of Student Conduct
   (http://www.du.edu/ccs/code.html), which in part “expects students
   to recognize the strength of personal differences while respecting
   institutional values.” Because writing courses rely heavily on
   interactions between all members of the class, students and faculty
   must act in a manner respectful of different positions and perspectives.
   A student who behaves in an uncivil or intolerant manner will be asked
   to stop and/or formally reprimanded and/or subject to action by the
   Office of Citizenship and Community Standards.
   Becoming educated requires encountering new ideas and
   information, some of which may conflict with an individual’s existing
   knowledge or perspectives. I expect students to engage such
   materials thoughtfully, in ways that reflect the values and mission of
   the University of Denver.
   Finally, I expect you to respect the classroom environment. In class, all
   cell phones and electronic devices shall be turned off; students shall
   not from use email, instant messages, Facebook, etc.; and engaging
   in other activities (reading non-course materials, conducting private
   conversations and so on) that disrespect the classroom environment
   and learning conditions for others is strictly prohibited. A student who
   fails to show such respect will receive a lowered grade and may fail
   the course.
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✪ grades                                                 CTIVISM
   For each of your compositions, you will receive a provisional grade on
   the draft preceding the final draft, along with suggestions for revision
   from me. That provisional grade will rise, fall, or stay the same
   depending upon how effectively you revise as you complete your final
   draft. All final drafts of all essays is due to me via Google Docs by noon
   on Thursday, June 7.
   assignment                   relevant dates               % of final grade
  project 1        First draft: 4/10; revised draft: 4/12;   25%
                   final draft: 6/7
  project 2        First draft: 4/26; revised draft: 5/1;    25%
                   final draft: 6/7
  project 3        First draft: 5/22; revised draft: 5/24;   25%
                   final draft: 6/7
  project 4        First draft: 5/29; final draft: 6/7       15%
  engagement                           —                     10%
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✪ course calendar                                       CTIVISM
  T March 27        Introduction
  R March 29        Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, Introduction and ch. 1
  T April 3         Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, chapters 2 and 3
  R April 5         Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, chapters 4 and 5
  T April 10        Project 1 workshop
  R April 12        Introduction to the Harlem Renaissance
                    • Revised draft of Project 1 due on Google Docs
  T April 17        Ferguson, from Harlem Renaissance
  R April 19        Ferguson, from Harlem Renaissance
  T April 24        Ferguson, from Harlem Renaissance
  R April 26        Project 2 workshop
  T May 1           Introduction to contemporary activist art
                    • Revised draft of Project 2 due on Google Docs
  R May 3           Cristy Road, Indestructible
  T May 8           Cristy Road, Indestructible
  R May 10          Lucy Walker, Waste Land (on DU CourseMedia)
  T May 15          Lucy Walker, Waste Land (on DU CourseMedia)
  R May 17          Class cancelled for Friday’s Honors Celebration.
  F May 18          Honors Celebration, 11:00–3:00, Craig Hall.
  T May 22          Project 3 workshop
  R May 24          Introducing Project 4
                    • Revised draft of Project 3 due on Google Docs
  T May 29          Project 4 workshop
  R May 31          Revisions

  Final drafts of all projects due on Google Docs by noon, Thurs., June 7.

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