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Media & Materiality
ENGL 236 - Fall 2007,  Rita Raley

  • The contents of the syllabus will be somewhat flexible. We may decide we want to read more; we may want to read less. We will discuss as the quarter proceeds.

  • The "recommended readings" sections will develop throughout the quarter. At times they will be quite extensive: these mini-bibliographies will provide context for some of the primary readings and class discussion. Some of the links will be used as illustrations in seminar and will appear in our "class notes" sub-pages.

  • The address for our class listserv is mediamatters at english dot ucsb dot edu.

Participation & Presentation
Weight: 25% of final grade

- Each member of the seminar will be responsible for a presentation based on a set of discussion questions (limited to one page) during one of our sessions. One copy of the questions will be due to me at least 24 hours before the scheduled presentation; other copies will be distributed during class.


Final paper/project
Weight: 75% of final grade

- Various writing options are available to us -- wikis and blogging to name just two -- but this course will emphasize the kind of critical writing you will do for your dissertations and the job market. I would be happy to discuss other modes of argumentation for advanced graduate students; for alternative assignments, Vectors might be a model.

- Seminar papers should engage the texts and issues covered in the course. External research is welcome and even encouraged, but the link between your chosen topic and the syllabus should be clear.

- Your overall grade for this course will essentially correspond with your grade on the paper, which should be of professional quality (carefully crafted, polished prose). An exceptionally strong presentation and performance in class discussion, however, could raise your grade by one third (thus, an A- paper could potentially result in a final grade of A). Similarly, a weak performance in class discussion (poor attendance, failure to complete the reading, insufficiently prepared presentation) could potentially lower your grade by one third.



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