Course Requirements

Participation and Weekly Reflections: 25%

Blog Posts: 20%

Analyze/Respond Papers (3): 40% (1 = 8%; 2 = 14%; and 3 = 18%)

“Gender in Society” Reports: 15%

On Participation and Weekly Reflections (25%)

This class is a community in which we can develop our critical thinking skills. In order to be able to think critically about what we have read, we must first understand what we have read and be able to accurately explain the text’s main points and its logic. Some of the material is demanding and requires patience and often repeated readings. Prepare yourself by taking notes as you read (as well as in class). I expect you to come to class having read and thought about the assigned reading so that you are prepared to participate in discussion—any lectures in class will not take the place of, nor give a comprehensive summary of, the text assigned. I expect you to complete all of the reading assignments. The emphasis on writing and discussion will help you to develop your oral and written communication skills as well as your ability to understand complex arguments.

There will be periodic reading quizzes that are meant to test whether or not you read the material; they will be unannounced and will count toward your participation grade. Quizzes will be distributed at the start of class and will be collected promptly, five minutes after distribution. Thus, the unannounced quizzes will encourage you to arrive to class on time and read the assigned material before coming to class.

I will keep a record of your attendance in class. Poor attendance will be reflected in your participation grade as well as in your quiz scores as you cannot make up a quiz unless you have a medical or family emergency and a note from a medical doctor or family guardian backing it up, and give such documentation to me in the class directly following the one that you missed. No exceptions will be considered. Unless your absence is due to a documented medical or family emergency, you are responsible for turning in (electronically, if need be) an assignment BEFORE the start of the class on the day it is due. You will be given one, no-questions-asked unexcused absence per semester. This absence will not negatively impact your grade as long as it is not on the day of a quiz, written assignment, or group presentation. You get one of these for the whole semester, including add/drop days at the beginning of the course. Each subsequent unexcused absence will result in the lowering of your participation grade by one-half of a letter grade. However, IF YOU HAVE FOUR OR MORE UNEXCUSED ABSENCES YOU WILL FAIL THE COURSE.

Excused absences include observance of religious holidays, participation in athletic events, job or graduate school interviews for seniors (2 maximum per student for interview-related absences). For ANY/ALL of these types of absences to be considered excused, you must inform me of your absence no later than the class prior to your absence. Emailing me the day before or telling me after the class you missed will result in your absence being unexcused.

Every Friday, beginning 9/6 for GSWS002-001 and 9/20 for GSWS002-601, students will be required to submit a brief reflection (1-2 pages, typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, Times New Roman, 12 font) on a piece of media. “Media” is to be broadly interpreted: you may use film, television (e.g., commercials, sitcoms, news broadcasts, YouTube videos gone viral), print advertisement, etc. The week’s reading should inform your reflection; i.e. you should bring the week’s reading into dialogue with your piece of media. The piece of media should be current. I expect you to be reading the newspaper, listening to the radio, watching movies and/or watching television with the themes of our course in mind. We are not learning in a bubble. Reflections are due Fridays by 11:59pm.


On Blog Posts (20%)

Once per unit you will need to create one “big question” reflection in relation to particular readings on our class blog. This will be graded on a scale of 0-4 (see the website for more detail on the grading scale for big question posts). You need to comment on someone else’s post two times throughout the semester. Comments will be graded on a scale of 0-2 (see website for more detail on the grading scale for comments). You will also be required to post a critique of an advertisement/commercial and include the photo, video, or link to the ad/commercial in your post once each unit. You will be given more explicit instructions for this assignment in class. At any time throughout the semester, you may post something categorized as a “spark post” in which you prompt discussion among your peers relative to the topics and themes of our course. Spark posts are not required.

Required posts & comments:

-One big question reflection post

-One ad critique post

-Two comments on others’ posts

Non-required posts & comments: When any of your non-required posts merit at least a “3” and when your non-required comments merit a “2,” such additional participation on our class blog will boost your overall participation grade for the course.

-Spark posts

-More than one big question reflection

-More than one ad critique

-More than two comments

On Analyze/Respond Papers (3) (40% (1 = 8%; 2 = 14%; and 3 = 18%))

I will assign these three times throughout the semester. For the first two, I will ask you to apply a particular question set to two or three texts from the Unit we just completed. It will be your job to a) write about how the authors answer or respond to this particular set of questions in their texts and b) discuss how the authors’ treatments of the question influence your response to this particular set of questions. The paper must be typed in Times New Roman size 12 font, double-spaced, and 3-4 pages in length. The third and final paper will be 5-7 pages in length and you will be responsible for selecting a question or topic that you will discuss and analyze through two to three texts from the entire semester. You are required to meet with me before the paper is due to discuss this final paper topic. More detailed instructions will be given at the time the papers are assigned. Please note that you must submit these papers as Microsoft Word documents on Canvas before class on the day they are due.

On “Gender in Society” Reports (15%)

You are required to submit four reports over the course of the semester that reflect your engagement with “Gender in Society.” These reports should assume a feminist journalistic tone. I ask you to report on

-a cultural event on campus or in Philadelphia (concert, art opening, book talk);

-an academic event on campus (*not* related to the Queer Method Conference or Alison Bechdel keynote);

-a class-pertinent issue on campus (a news story, crime, problem, human interest);

-and a class-pertinent issue in Philadelphia (a news story, crime, problem, human interest).

The order in which you complete these reports is up to you, but I will set four deadlines in the assignment schedule by which you need to complete each one. The reports should be 1-2 pages and be submitted on Canvas. Pictures where relevant are encouraged, but should not be counted toward the page count.

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