robin_anne_reid: (Treehouse)
I've been very much consumed with other stuff during the past few years (including a tornado that took out a chunk of our roof in 2014--nobody hurt in the whole area which means we were incredibly lucky--and health problems). But I have a resolution this fall to start making more use of this academic journal, focusing specifically on one of my favorite (and often most frustrating) graduate courses: Texts and Genders.

Here is the basic information about the class:

Required Reading:

Sara Ahmed. Queer Phenomenology. Duke UP. ISBN-10: 0-8223-3914-5. ISBN-13:978-0-8223-3914-4
Sara Ahmed. Willful Subjects. Duke UP. ISBN-10: 0-8223-5783-6. ISBN-13: 978-0-8223-5783-4
Ann Leckie. Ancillary Justice. Little Brown & Co. ISBN-10: 0-316-24662-X. ISBN-13: 978-0-316-24662-0
Ann Leckie. Ancillary Sword. Little Brown & Co. ISBN-10: 0-316-24665-4. ISBN-13: 978-0-316-24665-1
Ann Leckie. Ancillary Mercy. Little Brown & Co. ISBN-10: 0-316-24668-9. ISBN-13: 978-0-316-24668-2

Reading Schedule:

Weeks 2-3-4: Queer Phenomenology
Weeks 5-6-7: Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, Ancillary Mercy
Weeks 8-9: Willful Subjects
Weeks 10-11-12: Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, Ancillary Mercy

Course Description

Graduate Catalog: Three semester hours. A critical examination of how gender differences influence reading and writing strategies of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and film, including issues of gender and style, gender and usage, and gender stereotyping. This course is recommended for doctoral students planning to teach and/or produce scholarship on the college level.

The catalog description is written with an intentionally broad focus to allow different faculty to teach with their own areas of specialization.

Here's my specific course description for this class:

Fall 2016 Focus: The focus this fall is on an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach to gender theory and how to apply theory to literary works. The class will be a focus on two monographs by Sara Ahmed and a science fiction trilogy by Ann Leckie in order to explore how the theory and narrative of Ahmed's work are in conversation with the narrative and theory of Leckie's work.

Assignments:

Online Discussions: Six @ 200 points. 1200 points. One introduction and five on Ahmed's books.

Writing Journal: Seven entries @ 200 points 1400 points. Exploratory entries on the ways in which Ahmed's work is in conversation with Leckie's.

Paper (12-15 pages): A queer and/or willful reading of Leckie's work. Three assignments: Plan (200 pts); First Draft (400 pts); Final Draft (1000 pts). 1600 total.

Educating About Plagiarism Unit: Extra Credit quizzes and summaries.

Here are some first thoughts as I work on finalizing the materials to upload to the course shell:

More and more I have come to realize that it's important for me as a teacher to explain not only what I want students to do, but why I am having them do it the way I am asking, especially since I do all sorts of new and weird (to them) stuff.

That means a real shift in pedagogical choices from even ten years ago. One thing I've been working on, especially driven by teaching primarily online (which I mostly do because I *like* it, I know I'm weird, I did say weird, right), is embedding process writing in my theory and literature courses. The classes cannot be as writing intensive as the creative writing and composition courses I teach, but I'm working to get a balance in by using more focused discussion questions, and more journal entries which can also involve self assessment of process and learning.

So, for your fun this rainy (in Texas) Saturday morning, some text I just wrote for my Leckie Paper assignment lecture. I'm trying to break my long assignment handups into a lecture plus a shorter assignment handout that refers students to the lecture for explanation and process information.

Part of the lecture will be explaining how they're working on their final paper from the first discussion. (I'm gathering that my approach is very different from many my students report having had in their journals, so I'm hoping this will help those who find it so different to understand the method in my weirdness).

First: "Good" final drafts (defined as meeting my assignment criteria which are based on my knowledge of and experience with academic writing and publishing) come from an extensive and recursive writing process that takes place over time.

Second: Graduate students who carry a heavy weight of coursework and teaching responsibilities in their professional lives may have difficulty starting the writing process early enough on their own time.

Third: Even an extensive writing process can fail to generate a final draft that meets the standards for final drafts if students are dealing with texts and approaches that are new to them.

Fourth: An online course which does not allow for the face/face extended discussions of the traditional seminar does allow for online discussions that can be more focused and comprehensive, allowing for responses and analysis to readings to take place in a group setting where ideas can be shared and reviewed at a later time.

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robin_anne_reid

May 2017

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