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German 453 Spring 2011 Syllabus

German 453 Spring 2011 Syllabus

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Published by: Brenda Bethman on Jan 24, 2011
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German453/English450/WGS405:
Women’sVoicesinGermanyandAustria
UniversityofMissouri-KansasCity
Spring2011
Instructor:
Dr.BrendaBethman
Email:
bethmanb@umkc.edu
Classroom:
315HaagHall
ClassTime:
Monday/Wednesday,5:30-6:45p.m.
Office:
105HaagHall
OfficePhone(withvoicemail):
816-235-1643
OfficeHours:
Monday/Wednesday,4:00-5:00p.m.orbyappointment
Women’sCenterMainLine:
816-235-1638
CoursePrerequisites:
German221(onlyforstudentstakingthecourseforGermancredit).
SyllabusDisclaimer:
Astheinstructorofthiscourse,Ireservetherighttomakechangestothesyllabusasneeded.Iwillinformstudentsofanychangesattheearliestdatepossibleinclassorviaemail.
CourseDescription:
ThecoursefocusesontheroleofwomeninGermanandAustriansocietyfromtheRomaneratothepresent,primarilythroughtheexaminationofliterarytextsbywomen.Itwillalsolookatquestionsofwhatconstitutes“women’swriting”(
Frauenliteratur 
).TaughtinEnglish(noGermanrequiredforstudentsenrollingintheEnglishorWGSsections).StudentsenrollingforGermancreditmustdothereadingandwritinginGerman.AlsocountstowardstheWomen’s&GenderStudies&GermanStudiesminors.Animportantnote:wewillbetalkingalotaboutfeminismandwomen’swriting,butthatdoesnotmeanthatyoumustidentifyasafeministinordertotakethecourse.Anyandall
considered 
opinionsaboutthetextswereadwillbewelcome.However,IdohaveoneexpectationthatIwouldliketomakeclearatthestart,whichisthatyoumustbepreparedtotreatwomen’swritingnotasasingleentitythatcanbeembracedorrejectedatonce,butratherasalargenetworkofdifferentassumptions,beliefs,andarguments,manyofthematoddswitheachother.Inotherwords,thereisnorequiredideologicalstance,butthereisarequiredintellectual
approach
,onethatisdeductive(reasoningfromageneralprincipletoaspecificcase)orinductive(reasoningfromaknownfacttoageneralprinciple)butneverreductive(decreasinginsizeorscope,usuallywithacorrespondinglossofcomplexity).Whateveryourtakeonthematerials,thisisagoodintellectualapproachtopractice.
CourseObjectivesandLearningOutcomes:
Uponcompletionofthiscourse,studentsshouldbeableto:
 
RecognizewhosomeofthemostimportantwomenwritersoftheGerman-speakingworldare;
 
Evaluate,compare,anddiscussrepresentationsofwomeninliterature;
 
Makeconnectionsbetweenculturalbackgroundandliteraryproduction;
 
Performacloseanalysisofatext;
 
Completearesearchportfolio(includingapaper)onatopicrelatingtothecoursematerial.
CourseRequirementsandGrading
 AttendanceandClassParticipation(20%)Regularattendanceisrequired 
.Pleasebeontime:Ifindtardinessbothrudeanddisruptive.Excessiveabsenteeism(morethan
two
instances)willaffectyourgrade.Iwilldeductpoints
 fromyour finalgrade
formorethan
two
unexcusedabsences,asfollows:foreachunexcusedabsencebeyondthesecond,onepoint
 perabsence
willbedeductedfromyourfinalgrade.Itisthuspossibleforyourgradetodropalettergradeormore(orevenforyoutofailthecourse)becauseofabsenteeism.Youare
 
 
2responsibleforanymaterialcoveredandassignmentsduewhenyouarenotinclass.Excusedabsencesincludeabsencesduetoillnessofthestudent,illnessofanimmediatefamilymemberforwhomthestudentmustcare,deathofanimmediatefamilymember,religiousobservance(wherethenatureoftheobservancepreventsthestudentfrombeingpresentduringclass),representationofUMKCinanofficialcapacity,andothercompellingcircumstancesbeyondthestudent’scontrol.Studentsseekinganexcusedabsencemustprovidedocumentationuponrequesttosubstantiatetheexcuse.Thisdocumentationmustbeprovided
before
yourabsence,exceptinanemergency.Studentswithexcusedabsencesshallundertakeappropriatemake-uporalternativework.Ifyoumiss(unexcused)ascheduledorunannouncedexamorquiz,nomake-upwillbegivenandyouwillreceivea“zero”(F).Formoreinformation,seetheUMKCUndergraduateCatalogavailableonlineat:http://www.umkc.edu/UMKC/catalog/html/append/policy/0060.htmlThisclassmaydifferfromsomeofyourothercoursesinthatitrequiresaconsiderableamountofactiveandsustainedclassparticipation.Themajorityofourclasstimewillbespentinsmallgroupandwholeclassdiscussion.Bepreparedtotakemoreinitiativeinjoiningtheclassroomdiscussionthanyoumaydoinotherclasses.Thisisnotoptionalorrecommendedbutessentialandrequired.Ifyouarenotthekindofpersonwhogenerallyspeaksupinclass,pleasemakethiscourseanexception.Ifyoufinditdifficulttospeakinclass,pleasecomeseemesoIcanhelpyou.Theknowledgethatisproducedinfeministclassroomsdoesnotfollowa“banking”model,inwhichaprofessordepositsbitsofinformationintotheaccountsofyourmindsandthenasksyoutowithdrawtheinformationlaterinanexam.Rather,thisclassisbaseduponacommunemodel.Wemustalltakeresponsibilityfortheactivityoflearning.Idowantyoutoleavethisclasswithnewinformation,butmoreimportantly,Iwantyoutoleavethisclasswiththeabilityto
thinkcritically
aboutthewaysyoulearn,andaboutthewayknowledgeisproducedbothforandaboutyou.IwillconsiderboththequantityandqualityofyourcontributionswhenIevaluateyourparticipation(seetheendofthissyllabusforspecificguidelinesonthegradingofclassparticipation).
OralPresentation(20%)
Eachstudentwillpresentoneauthortotherestofclassbymeansofanoralpresentationandabibliographyofsources.Thepresentationwillcompriseseveralelements:
 
Biographicalmaterialabouttheauthor;
 
Overviewofthetextreadbythatauthor(thesis/themes,typeofnarration,setting,etc);
 
Discussionofonearticlethatyoufindviaanonlinedatabaseorfromajournalinthelibraryorabookchapterthatisrelatedtoanissueaddressedbythetext.Inyourpresentation,discusshowthearticlecanbeusedasalensforreadingthetext;
 
Abriefclassdiscussionthatyoulead(create3-4questionsweshouldconsider.);
 
Thepresentationshouldlastaminimumof30-40minutesincludingtheclassdiscussionthatyoulead.Youshouldcreateahardcopyofthebibliographythatliststhesourcesusedinthepresentationandmakeenoughcopiesforthewholeclass;
 
Asign-upsheetforpresentationswillbemadeavailableduringthesecondorthirdweekofthesemester.
Forgradingyoushouldsubmittome:
 
ElectroniccopyofyourPrezi/Keynote/PowerPointpresentation(ifyouhaveone)senttomeviaemail;
 
Hardcopyofyourbibliography;
 
Hardcopyofthearticleyouusedtopairupwiththetext;
 
Alistofthediscussionquestionsyoucreated.
 
 
3
ReadingandReadingResponseBlogs(20%)
Thiscourserequiresasubstantialamountofreading.Togainanadequateunderstandingofthecomplexsubjectmatterthatinformsthiscourseandtocultivatetheskillsofliteraryexplicationagreatdealofreadingandpracticingisnecessary.Youareexpectedtoread
all 
ofthecoursematerialbeforethedayitislistedfordiscussion.Youmustkeepupwiththeassignmentsoryouwillbelost.Ialso
stronglysuggest 
thatafteryoufinisheachtextyouaskyourself:“Whatwasimportantinthistext?”&“Whatarethemainthemesinthistext?”Writedownwhatyouthinkwasimportantandwhatyouthinkthemainthemeswereinasentenceortwo.Thisdoesnothavetobeformalorelaborate,justnotestoyourselfthatwillhelpyougraspthemostimportantpointsofthetextsandthatwillbehelpfulinpreparingyourblogposts.Also,writedownanyquestionsthatcomeupasyouarereadingandbringthemtoclass.Icannothelpyouifyoudon’ttellmewhathelpyouneed.Eachstudentwillwriteatotalof10blogentries(postedtothecoursegroupblog)ofapproximately300wordseachoverthecourseofthesemester.Blogentriesareintendedtohelpextendourclassdiscussionsbyprovidingyouwithanoccasiontoreflectuponaquestionorissueintheworkunderconsideration.Blogsshouldbepostedby
9p.m.
ontheduedateslistedinthesyllabus(seecoursecalendarbelow).Youshouldalso
r
espondtoatleastoneofyourclassmates’postseachweekthatablogisdue
.
Youdon’thavetorespondtothesameclassmateeachtime,andyoucanwriteabriefresponseoranextensiveone.Commentsforoneweek’spostsareduethefollowingweekon
Fridayby9p.m.
Althoughyourblogpostsaren’tdueuntil9p.m.,don’twaituntilthelastminutetopostyourmessages.Thecoursesitesometimesgoesdownormaybeofflineformaintenance,andyoumaymissadeadlineifyouwaituntilthelastminute.Blogentriesshouldanalyze—ratherthanmerelydescribe—someaspectofthetextwearereading.Informingawrittenresponsetoatext,youshouldmakeanargumentaboutit,avoidingexcessivesummary.YoushouldimaginethatyourclassmatesandIareyouraudience.Sincewewillallbereadingwhatyouwriteaboutourselves,whywouldwebeinterestedinreadingasummary?Themovefromdescriptiontoanalysiswillbecomeeasierwithpractice.Writingblogentrieswillhelpyoudevelopyourskillsasareader,writer,andthinker.Thinksmall.Trytonarrowinonsomethingthatyoulikedorhated,somethingthatyoudidnotunderstandorwantedtoexplorefurther.Youmightwanttochoosearecurringtheme,animage,ascene,acharacter,orevenasinglelinetoanalyze.Pickingonepassageorsceneandreallythinkinghardaboutitisoftenthebestwaytostart.Whateveryouchoose,besurethatyoucitespecificmomentsfromthetexttobackupmoregeneralclaimsyoumightbemaking.Whatyoudon’twanttodoisrambleaboutthetextorjumpfromtopictotopicwithoutreallyanalyzinganyofit.Youalsodonotwanttorepeatthatyouhatedorloveditwithoutsayingwhy.Passionatefeelings,bothpositiveandnegative,oftenleadtogoodresponses,andpersonalreactionstoatextareoftenanexcellentplacetostart.Inyourresponsepapers,however,youneedtobesuretoexpresshowatextmadeyouuncomfortableorwhyacharacterwasparticularlymeaningfultoyou.Thepointoftheblogentriesistoanalyzeyourreactionstoatextandconsiderhowatextworkedonyou.Theseareshortassignmentssoyoumaynotcometofinalanswers,butyoucanbeginspeculating.Tohelpgetyoustarted,hereare
somesuggestionsforblogposts(notethatyouare
not
requiredtouseanyofthem):

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