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writ 1733: honors writing ✪ t/r 12:00–1:50 ✪ sturm 210 ✪ 1733artact.blogspot.com ✪

✪ john tiedemann ✪ john.tiedemann@du.edu ✪ office hours: w 12-3; r 2-4 (email to make an appt.)

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✪ the class

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.

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✪ 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 performance. 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
• • • •

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).

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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
• 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
• 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
• 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 late.

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✪ policies
• 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
• 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

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 project 1 project 2 project 3 project 4 engagement relevant dates First draft: 4/10; revised draft: 4/12; final draft: 6/7 First draft: 4/26; revised draft: 5/1; final draft: 6/7 First draft: 5/22; revised draft: 5/24; final draft: 6/7 First draft: 5/29; final draft: 6/7 — % of final grade 25% 25% 25% 15% 10%

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✪ course calendar
T March 27 R March 29 T April 3 R April 5 T April 10 R April 12 T April 17 R April 19 T April 24 R April 26 T May 1 R May 3 T May 8 R May 10 T May 15 R May 17 F May 18 T May 22 R May 24 T May 29 R May 31

Introduction Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, Introduction and ch. 1 Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, chapters 2 and 3 Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights, chapters 4 and 5 Project 1 workshop Introduction to the Harlem Renaissance • Revised draft of Project 1 due on Google Docs Ferguson, from Harlem Renaissance Ferguson, from Harlem Renaissance Ferguson, from Harlem Renaissance Project 2 workshop Introduction to contemporary activist art • Revised draft of Project 2 due on Google Docs Cristy Road, Indestructible Cristy Road, Indestructible Lucy Walker, Waste Land (on DU CourseMedia) Lucy Walker, Waste Land (on DU CourseMedia) Class cancelled for Friday’s Honors Celebration. Honors Celebration, 11:00–3:00, Craig Hall. Project 3 workshop Introducing Project 4 • Revised draft of Project 3 due on Google Docs Project 4 workshop Revisions

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