In the course of our studies, we will be questioning
deeply held beliefs and ideologies. Some students may feel uncomfortable with
some of the questions we will be asking. While some of this discomfort is an
expected aspect of learning, a few ground rules will help us delve into and
engage with these issues and topics productively:
Speak respectfully to and about everyone in the
class. Racist, sexist, heterosexist, ableist, anti-Semitic, and
other prejudiced remarks are absolutely inappropriate for our classroom
discussions. This does not mean that we must be “politically correct” or
refuse to comment, but remarks that stereotype people are not necessary to make
your point as we analyze these issues in our classroom. Likewise, be considerate
of differences among us; when we assume that everyone else is just like us (for
example, when we assume that everyone shares our own religious beliefs, or that
everyone can walk or see or hear), we unavoidably exclude those who are not like
us—even when we think we are speaking for everyone. Part of the objective of
this course is for us all (myself
included) to more fully recognize our false assumptions about others and how we
speak and think about others.
Keeping this policy of respect in mind, I encourage
you to express your disagreement with anything said in the readings or in class,
including anything I say. (Don’t worry about your
grade; you will be graded based on your knowledge of and willingness to engage
with the course material, not on whether you agree with me. You can disagree
with me and still earn an excellent grade in the course.) Criticize points of
view, opinions, statements, behaviors, social patterns, and institutions (just
avoid criticizing people.) A good
strategy here is to always verbally locate yourself in your argument, and never
put the other person on the defensive. For example, you might say “I think
that statement is sexist because it . . .” rather than “You are sexist if
you think that.” The other person may then offer a rebuttal about the statement,
rather than having to defend herself or himself personally.
Your own experiences are welcome in our
discussions, but please be sure that they are relevant to the topic being
discussed. This is a classroom—not a group therapy session or
confessional, so please do not share any experiences that will make you feel
unsafe, and keep information shared by others confidential. (If you decide to
discuss this shared information outside the classroom, please omit names and
other identifying characteristics of classmates.) Of course, you are in no way
expected to volunteer personal information, and you should not demand it from
other class members. Avoid essentializing others’ experiences (or your own)
based on superficial characteristics such as gender, race, etc. That is, please
don’t expect others to “represent” certain groups, or assume that your
statements necessarily represent others. Assertions such as “Well I’m a
woman/lesbian/Asian-American/etc., and so I speak for all women/etc. when I say
. . .” rarely represent others at all.
Everyone in the class has the right to make
mistakes, including the instructor. In fact, making mistakes is
one of the most effective learning strategies. We are all engaged in a learning
process here, so be kind to others—and to yourself—when mistakes are made.
· Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated; violators will be reported and prosecuted. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the definitions of plagiarism, cheating, illegal collaboration, etc. in the CSU Student Handbook and the Basic Undergraduate Student Responsibilities. Students who violate these policies may be formally charged with academic misconduct. The minimum penalty in such cases will be a zero on the assignment and an F in the course. As university regulations stipulate, students guilty of academic misconduct may also be suspended or expelled. All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of Student Life/Judicial Affairs. Judicial procedures are described at http://adminservices.clayton.edu/judicial/.
Unless otherwise noted, papers should be word-processed,
double-spaced, in a standard 12 point font, and with a one-inch margin. Staple
pages together in the upper left corner.
save paper. I cannot stress this enough. Do not append cover pages,
folders/binders, etc. to your papers, and please try to use recycled paper. I
will award extra credit to those who print multiple-page assignments
Proof-read and edit all assignments, and be sure to
provide proper bibliographical citations for any sources referenced. Please use
MLA style. (Refer to The MLA Handbook
in the library for correct formatting.)
Don’t waste space rephrasing questions or formulating
lengthy introduction and/or conclusion sections in your assignments; you will
often have a limited page allowance, so use your space wisely.
· For clarity, please use correct grammar and spelling, and write in active voice (rather than passive voice). Be sure to italicize or underline all titles, and watch your use of gendered language (e.g., do not refer to “he/him” or “man/Man” when you mean “she or he,” “they,” or “human”).
· I encourage you to visit The Writers’ Studio, located in the A&S building, room 224. There you can talk with trained writing tutors about your writing projects for other courses or to improve your writing in general. They are available to work with you at any stage of your paper, from generating ideas to organizing your paper to understanding how to format it correctly. The service is free; you may drop in and wait for a tutor or sign up for a regular appointment. But remember: you, not your tutor, are ultimately responsible for the quality and content of the papers you submit. http://www.clayton.edu/arts-sciences/english/writersstudio
Turn off cell phones, beepers, and any other distractions
during class & screenings.