Assignments (Engl468@UVic)

You are expected to complete all the assignments to receive a mark in the class.

  • Participation:  5%
  • Presentation:  15%
  • Short Paper: 10%
  • Questionable Quotations:  10%
  • Term Paper:  30%
  • Take-Home Final: 30%

Participation:  (5%) – This is a seminar class, rx so you must participate. I will grade your participation on attendance, check quantity and quality of contributions, tadalafil evidence that you have read and thought about the material thoroughly, and how you contribute to a constructive learning space.

Presentation: (15%) – You will prepare a 30-minute presentation which uses the work of one of the theorists to read a cultural, political, or broadly textual (i.e., discursive) phenomenon. You will need to demonstrate an excellent understanding of the theory you select, as well as showing how it can be used to comprehend more fully the “text” you designate. The choice of “text” is up to you, but you must use the ideas of one of the theorists we are studying in the week for which you sign up. Keep in mind that your presentation is meant to provoke and stimulate discussion, not simply to inform or present an air-tight argument. You will, in effect, be teaching your classmates about the week’s theory by using it to analyse a “text.” Remember that these are oral presentations — keep your sentences short and make sure to be very clear when you present. Remember also that they are presentations to a group; you should dress professionally and conduct yourself formally. Feel free to use audio-visual materials, but let me know in advance if you need any equipment.

Short Paper: (1500 wds) 10% – This paper requires you to explicate clearly Saussure’s theory of the linguistic sign, and Derrida’s development of it. The paper should be illustrated with quotations that you take time to parse and unpack, and should demonstrate that you understand both theories thoroughly.

Questionable Quotations: (10%) – Out of each week’s readings, you must extract at least one quotation (more is welcome) that you found particularly difficult to understand and/or which you would like to discuss further for clarification. These quotations should be relatively short – around 50 words – but we can of course flesh out their contexts in class. Your quotation must be emailed to me by noon each Tuesday so I can compile them before we meet. You may be asked to contextualize the quotation and indicate both why you found it difficult and why you think it is significant. Not all of you will be asked every week, but each of you will be asked at least twice during the term. There are ten weeks; the assignment’s worth 10%.

Term Paper: (2500 words) 30% – For this assignment, you will be required to treat the work of at least two theorists, comparing and contrasting their views on one or more of aesthetics, ethics, politics, literature, the literary, language, ideology, and so forth. This paper requires that you formulate a rigorous argument about the theories we have studied, and undertake a close critical examination of their hidden assumptions, implications, and consequences. Nuance and sophistication are the hallmarks of good papers. I urge you to come to office hours and consult with me before proceeding. Of course, it goes without saying that spelling and grammar are of paramount importance.

Take-Home Final exam: (2500 words) 30% – The final assignment for this course is a take-home exam in which students must synthesize and analyze course material. It is a chance to demonstrate how our curriculum has come to settle in your mind. All course material is relevant to the assignment (i.e., lectures, discussions, required readings, and any research you have undertaken). The purpose of the assignment is to

  • organize a large body of acquired knowledge
  • articulate key ideas that recur within and between texts
  • demonstrate intelligent and creative engagement with course material

You have a lot of freedom in deciding how to meet these goals, but no matter how you proceed the aim is to demonstrate a fine grasp of the term’s content.

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