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: Women & Trauma Please join this group no later than Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Instructor: Ami Blue Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/abluedude Skype:
WGS Course Description: Formerly WMS 300. Intensive study of selected topics highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of gender studies, including feminist theory and practice. Special topics courses include, but are not limited to: Gender, Sexuality and Homophobia; Masculinity and Contemporary Culture; Gender and Terrorism; and many others. May be retaken for a maximum of six hours, provided the topics are different. Materials Herman, Judith. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence—From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. 2nd ed. New York: Basic Books, 1997. Allison, Dorothy. Bastard Out of Carolina. New York: Plume, 1993. Additional readings made available through email attachment, Facebook links to free online content, and Blackboard. Other required materials: EKU email address, Internet access, Facebook account, YouTube account, access to webcam (optional, for optional video uploads). Course Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to 1. Identify trauma symptoms in bodies, texts, and films; analyze those symptoms according to multiple trauma theories; and synthesize primary/secondary “texts”; 2. Identify and analyze multiple types of psychological trauma, including personal, betrayal, vicarious, cultural, and intergenerational; 3. Discuss various traumata in their social, historical, and political contexts; 4. Analyze personal archives (music, movies, books, etc) for “hidden” selfhatred (internalized homophobia, for example) and synthesize according to principles of trauma theories; 5. Produce written analyses of scriptotherapeutic artwork; 6. Participate in an informed way in WGS programming, including an end-ofsemester class project; 7. Investigate as a group and individually multiple themes evident in trauma theory texts, including rapeability/unrapeability, identity crises, psychosomatic connections, partner response/responsibility, hypervigilance/hyperarousal, performance, safety, and narrative (story telling); and 8. Articulate trauma’s immediate and prolonged impact, particularly on attitudes, beliefs, self-esteem, decision making, synthesis abilities, and goal setting; and General Course Overview
The original course title, “American Trauma Narratives: Gender(ed) Violence and Healing,” sets an ambitious trajectory for a single semester: it demands that we examine American writings, bodies, films, and music to find clues not only about the writers’ own trauma but also about your own. In this brief summer term, we’ll watch video clips, read books and poetry, and scour contemporary American culture for signs of trauma-awareness and the will (backed by a feminist political movement) to heal. Throughout our search, we’ll discuss the way that gender intersects with trauma, healing, and recovery in order to understand the myriad ways males, females, transgenders, and intersexes experience our/their bodies, minds, and sexualities. We’re not all having “male” and “female” experiences, as it turns out; we’re all experiencing our genders differently, some vastly so. This course seeks to better understand what causes psychological trauma, how those traumas are stereotyped with gender biases, and how linking gender and trauma leads us to unfairly labele some people “untraumatizable.” Relying heavily on technology and self-education through participation and activism, this course is designed to guide you through an introduction to the ever-expanding and diverse fields of Women and Gender studies, particularly feminism’s current focus on gendered psychological trauma. As academic study of trauma is relatively new, textbooks are expensive and hard to find, so in addition to the textbooks you should purchase (see above), each of you will build your own reference manual that includes sources not found in your textbook. I’ll help you to compile readings and videos on women, men, feminism, masculinity, and sexuality so that by the time the semester is over, you will understand the broad scope of the intersecting and overlapping disciplines. This secondary text that you will build yourself from extra class stuff as well as research you gather on your own will aid you in your final project, a thorough study of one of the sub-themes of this course: Rapeability/Unrapeability, Identity Crisis, Psychosomatic connections, Intimate Partner response/responsibility, Hypervigilance/hyperarousal, Performance, Safety, and Narrative (storytelling) (see below for assignment description). Each week, you will be responsible for 100-150 pages of reading from the textbook, free Internet, novels, and PDF’d articles that I’ll send you through your EKU email account. You should critically read each article and watch any accompanying videos I post on Facebook, sometimes rereading or rewatching until you’re sure you understand the scope of the readings. This class depends on your enthusiastic engagement, so it’s up to you how much effort you put into understanding difficult vocabulary or heretofore foreign concepts; you’d be surprised at how much better you’ll understand new information if you keep a dictionary site and a Google search screen up on your nearby computer. Take the initiative in online summer classes to teach yourself. Each week, Monday through Wednesday, you will have conversations with the instructor and other students through informal, loose Facebook Wall chatter; this will take place on Facebook Discussion Boards clearly labeled for each specific topic. At the end of each week, on Thursdays and Fridays, you’ll post a more formal, academic response to the wall of that week’s Facebook Event (see details below in Assignment Descriptions). You can navigate to these separate sections of our Facebook Group using the tabs at the top of the Facebook Group wall, primarily “Discussions” and “Events.” (Note that you must mark Events as “Attending” before you can access the Events wall.)
At the end of the semester, you will post a final project that you will work on throughout the semester (I will post the assignment description for this project no later than week 2 of the semester as an email attachment; I will post on the Facebook wall once I’ve sent the email so that you can get started right away). In week three, you’ll post your research question, and by the last week, you’ll submit a thorough response to your own question. Your semester grade will be determined based on your weekly participation and active engagement on the Discussion Boards and Events walls, as well as your creativity and presentation of your final project. You should always keep in mind as you’re creating each week’s informal and formal responses that your goal in doing so is to engage other thinking minds in academic discussion about gender; mindless bickering should be avoided. Technology and Reading Component This course depends heavily on technology and on reading. You will read resources from the Internet, participate in Fb discussion boards, access information through a variety of electronic means, prepare YouTube.com presentations, check your email and spend a significant amount of time on Facebook daily. You will read each week from the textbook or materials I link/send. I will say again: this course relies heavily on reading and reading comprehension; in addition to the 100-or-so pages you’ll read more formally for the class, you’ll also get to know other classmates and the instructor primarily through textual interactions. Please be aware before we even begin this semester that you will spend the majority of your time interacting with me through writing and reading, although you have the option of using alternative media for your responses (such as YouTube.com, see below). This, of course, is to be expected from an online class of this duration. Assignment Descriptions Facebook Discussion Board Chatter Mondays through Wednesdays, you will participate in a Discussion Board on Fb by chiming in with your comments, concerns, questions, reactions, responses, etc. These are informal, friendly discussions like the ones you would have in a lecture classroom, a place where students should feel free to say what they want as long as it’s respectful, thoughtful, and moves the conversation about gender forward into new and unexplored territories (this can mean a variety of things to each person in the course, as we all come from different gender histories). To prepare for these DBs, you should read all or part of the material, stop in and browse the site, then go back and finish reading or skim the readings for the week. You should stop in and add your thoughts to the wall more than once a week; rather, you should stay active on the walls and help others examine their own topics or questions by constantly referring back to the text and to your own independent research. You should avoid making a lot of statements that begin with “I believe,” challenging yourself instead to ask questions of the text or to apply the texts’ ideas to your own field of study, experiences, or observations. You should post links to videos and websites you’ve found that address the topic under discussion as well as responses to other students’ comments and questions; if you post something, you should always contextualize it by telling why you’re posting it, how it fits into the discussion we’re already having, or why it affirms/contests a topic
we’ve been considering. Similarly, be sure if you are responding to someone you make it clear to whom and to what you’re responding so the students and I know where your comment fits in to the larger discussion. So much of our class depends on your ability to keep up with the readings and forum-like discussions, so to facilitate that, you should make at least three responses to each weekly Discussion Board and you should check back a few times a week to read what others have said (and respond to others if you so choose). I will also be contributing to the chatter with news articles, YouTube videos, and other posts to expand our discussion outside of the confines of our textbook. So should you! Discussion board chatter will count toward your weekly attendance and in-class participation. You should spend approximately 45 minutes a day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday catching up with the Fb chatter on DB walls, which means you should be reading them thoroughly and offering thoughtful and possibly even researched responses that will help us dive further into the notion of psychological trauma. These DBs are supposed to help each one of us as we conduct our own research on our theme throughout the semester. Present some thoughts you’re trying to work out in your mind and let other people react. Ask questions that your research is bringing up and see how others, with their own research in mind, responds. It’s meant to be a place for intellectual banter, much like a professional listserv, but that means that your job is to bring research and helpful information, not your personal beliefs, complaints, or stereotypes. Keeping the level of these DBs “academic” and “professional” will require some boundary-setting and policing in the first few weeks, but we’ll get it worked out together. End-of-the-Week Facebook Events At the end of each week, you will post a 500-word formal discussion of the week’s topics onto the Event marked for that week. In this response, you should reference all of the sources we’ve read from that week’s syllabus. You do not need to include a Works Cited, but you should make sure that readers know which source you’re using by supplying us with the name of the author as well as the title of the work. You might even include a page number in parentheses if you’re referring to a specific page. I’ll post new events weekly with questions for you to consider as you’re reading, but you should feel free to take your own approach to these endof-week responses if you’ve really been pondering something and feel like you need to express your thoughts about it. These Events postings might also be a way for you to explore the theme you’ve chosen to research this semester; though you can’t simply reproduce these shorter posts in your final paper, they could be good places to work out some thoughts and keep track of how Herman’s or Allison’s texts inform your theme of choice. These reflections should be academic in nature, critically engaged, mature, and thoughtful. Your responses should be composed in a word processor (like MS Word) so that you can insure good spelling and grammar, then you should copy/paste them onto the wall of that week’s event. To respond, you’ll first have to mark that you’re “Attending” the week’s events. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find the opportunity to add comments to the wall. Your first posted comment should be the title of your posting; beneath the title, you should “respond” to your own post with the body of your essay. I’ve given an example of this on week one’s Events wall.
Alternately, you can choose to respond each week via a video response, but you must master YouTube on your own as we do not have time to teach it in this course. If you choose to upload a video response rather than a written one, your video must still reference all of the week’s readings, as explained above, and it should be 5-7 minutes in duration. You can record yourself speaking into a webcam or you can use video editing software to come up with something more creative and dynamic. If you use YouTube.com, you should create an account, upload, and then link us to the video in the appropriate Discussion Board or Event. If you choose to create a video, you should insure that the video is of high quality, that you’ve practiced what you will say so that your argument is cogent and wellarticulated. In short, your video should be as well-polished, revised, and edited as the written work that you’d submit. I will respond to these posts over the weekend, and in addition to grading the responses with a point value (see below), I will let you know in my response what you’re doing really well and where you might improve in the future. Your course grade will reflect your ability to take my advice and suggestions and to build on them in order to become a more academic and critically-engaged Women’s Studies student. Final Project: Theme Interrogations This project will be announced shortly after the semester begins, and you will have until the end of the term to complete it. It can be completed in the form of a 7-10 page essay response or a 10-15 minute YouTube video upload. Course Policies General Questions I’ve created a Discussion Board on Facebook called “General Discussion” for your general questions, comments, and concerns. Rather than emailing the instructor to ask general questions or make general observations, you should post them here so that other students can benefit from your questions and the responses that the instructor or other students post. Feel free to ask anything here, and you should also feel free to answer questions or comment if you know how to help a student in need. Facebook, Skype, and “Office Hours” Because we will be using Facebook to conduct class, those who do not feel comfortable sharing their “real” Facebook page with the group should create a new account for the purposes of this class. If you choose to use your real Facebook page, you should be aware of your privacy settings, which dictate who can see what on your Facebook page, including wall posts, photos, comments, updates, notes, etc. You can limit who sees what, and you do not have to ‘friend’ anyone in our class in order to participate in Discussion Boards and Events in our group. As the first block of information at the top of this document suggests, I will be holding office hours throughout the semester via Facebook chat and Skype. These office hours will not be scheduled, but if I’m at my computer reading your responses, I will have both Facebook chat and Skype open; if you’ve friended me on Facebook, or if you’ve added me on Skype, you should feel free to chat with me when you see me online so that you can ask me questions about the course or just
talk through some issues you’re having with the work load, readings, and Facebook layout. If you would like to meet with me at a specific time, send me a Facebook or email message and we can negotiate a time to text chat using either of these services. My Facebook address and Skype account are listed at the top of this document. Late Work Absolutely no late work will be accepted during the semester without an extremely worthwhile excuse (I’ll judge). Computer and technology problems are not worthwhile excuses, so you should always be sure to save often and occasionally email yourself assignments or upload the important ones to a web server or hard drive. You can contact EKU’s ITDS at (859) 622-3000 for assistance with oncampus Internet connections. Grading The semester’s assignments are listed below alongside their point values. You should assume that you’re in good standing in the course unless I email you specifically to encourage you to engage more specifically in some aspect of the class. There’s no competition for grades here; everyone can get an A if each of you demonstrates a willingness to think, participate, and critically engage the readings and classroom discussions. Your grade will be lowered if you fail to participate, critically read and respond, or fall behind in the assignments. Weekly Participation and Engagement points End-of-the-week Events Wall Postings points Final Project A B C D F 90-100% 80-89% 70-79% 60-69% below 60% 10 points 20 points 60 points @ 7 weeks = @ 6 weeks = 70 120
Academic Honesty Students are advised that EKU's Academic Integrity Policy will strictly be enforced in this course. The Academic Integrity policy is available at www.academicintegrity.eku.edu. Questions regarding the policy may be directed to the Office of Academic Integrity. I consider academic dishonesty at this level of education to be any use of anyone else’s words or work without giving them proper credit (in this class, this means citing the name of your source and its author, either through parenthetical citations or through speaking their names in video posts). It also means you can’t reuse assignments from other classes or concurrently submit assignments in two classes. If you plagiarize, you will receive an F on the assignment. Attendance I’ll take attendance every week to insure that you’re responding to one another and keeping up with the online chatter. You should strive to spend approximately 45 minutes to one hour a day on Facebook catching up and adding your voice in
the form of comments, questions, and critical interpretations, both of the content you’ve read and the content that’s been posted by myself and your classmates. This one hour a day on Facebook is the equivalent to the one hour a day you would spend in a summer class. The readings are, of course, to be done outside of this class time, much like they’d be done outside of class were we meeting face-toface. As you know if you’ve taken summer classes before, keeping up with the pace of the work is half the battle. You should set aside approximately 2.5 hours each weekday to complete all of the assigned readings, viewings, chatter, and discussion. Respect Clause Class time is for sharing ideas about the topic at hand. Respect your classmates and me by treating people kindly. This means reading each others’ posts with open minds, critically thinking instead of dismissing comments without thought. I have the right to ask you to leave if you continuously disrespect the class. Also remember that Facebook and MySpace are public networks, and the things you say or post on these sites get around. Respect yourself and respect others. Disabilities Statement If you are registered with the Office of Services for Individuals with Disabilities, please make an appointment with the course instructor to discuss any academic accommodations you need. If you need academic accommodations and are not registered with the Office of Services for Individuals with Disabilities, please contact the office on the third floor of the Student Services Building, by email at email@example.com or by telephone at (859) 622-2933 V/TDD. Upon individual request, this syllabus can be made available in alternative forms. Tentative Schedule of Readings and Assignments Below, you’ll find the tentative schedule of assignments. Readings or postings below marked with an asterisk (*) will be posted on Facebook as links to the free Internet or they will be sent to you at the beginning of the week as a PDF through your EKU email. Those not marked with an asterisk can be found in your textbooks. Some readings are extremely short; others are a bit longer. I ask that you read and reread each article until you understand the content (some are more difficult than others). The four columns are as follows: Week/Date—this gives the calendar week of the course. Topic—this column briefly notes the general topic the week’s readings and discussions will address Readings—this column spells out for you the readings or videos you should read and/or view Response Assignments—reminds you of each week’s Fb responsibilities Week/Date 1 June 7-11 Topic Introduction to Psychological Trauma Readings Herman, pages 1-32 *Caruth, “Violence and Time: Traumatic Survivals” (JSTOR) Response Assignments Mon-Wed – DB/Wall chatter Thur-Fri – Events
*Komunyakaa, “After Summer Fell Apart” Herman, 33-74 *Turner, 3 selections (Fb) *Hecht, “A Hill” (Fb) *Komunyakaa, “Facing It” (Fb) Herman, 74-114 Allison, chapters 1-5 *Olds, “I Go Back to May 1937” (Fb)
Posting Mon-Wed – DB/Wall chatter Thur-Fri – Events Posting Mon-Wed – DB/Wall chatter Thur-Fri – Events Posting: Research Question Mon-Wed – DB/Wall chatter Thur-Fri – Events Posting Mon-Wed – DB/Wall chatter Thur-Fri – Events Posting
2 June 14-18
Terror, Disconnection & War Trauma
3 June 21-25
Powerlessness & Childhood
4 June 28July 2
Recovery, Safety, & Mourning
Herman, 155-95 Allison, chapters 6-10 *Lorde, “A Litany for Survival” (Fb) Herman, 197-247 Allison, chapters 11-15
5 July 5-9
Reconnecting to The World Allison, chapters 16-22 (end) *Bouson, “White Trash Shame” (Project Muse) *BalladofBirmingham.or g (Fb) *Young, “Children of a Lesser God” (Fb) *Pellegrinelli, “Artist Tattoos Indelible Iraq Memorial Into His Skin” (Fb) Reread your notes for the theme you chose and write/record your synthesis of this theme.
6 July 12-16
Bastard Out of Carolina Wrapup
Mon-Wed – DB/Wall chatter Thur-Fri – Events Posting Mon-Wed – DB/Wall chatter
7 July 19-23
Survivor Poetry/ Commemoration
Final Theme Presentation
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