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We will read four books together, and the rest of course materials are available on the syllabus page. Please either buy or borrow the following books and always bring them to course discussions. All books held on reserve at the Shapiro Library reserves:

Yan, Yunxiang. 2003. Private Life Under Socialism: Love, Intimacy, and Family Change in a Chinese Village 1949-1999. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Radway, Janice. 1984. Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature. Durham: University of North Carolina Press.

Constable, Nicole. 2003. Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals, Virtual Ethnography, and "Mail Order" Marriages. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hoang, Kimberly Kay. 2015. Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies of Global Sex Work. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Grading and Requirements
Discussion Participation: 20% of final grade
Discussion Questions: 15% of final grade
Three Papers: 15% of final grade each
Process Writing Assignments for the Three Papers: 15% of final grade
News Quizzes: 5% of final grade

All short (weekly) writing assignments and papers need to be turned in through Canvas. Go to Canvas / Assignments and follow the instructions there to turn in work. The only exception is that discussion questions, the most regular assignment, should be sent to me via email.

Office Hours and Consultations
I am always happy to talk with you in office hours Please come to my office hours, and bring your ideas, musings, and / or rough drafts. I believe writing and learning are long-term processes and I will reward students who take this seriously. I am happy to talk through your ideas. You can sign up for office hours with me through Google Calendar. If you have any trouble signing up for meetings, please email me. Given the timing of my office hours this term, there is some chance that I will have to eat lunch while we talk, and if that grosses you out, I apologize.

Academic Honesty
My policies conform to the University’s policies. Let me know if you have any questions.

Course recordings
All class meetings are recorded (using an audio recorder). Those recordings are available through Canvas behind a firewall so they are only available to students registered in the class. To find them, log in to Canvas, click on this course, and then the Media Gallery tab.

Late Work
I will accept work turned in past its deadline but the grade will be reduced three points for each day late. If something is due at 5pm and it comes in at 5:01pm, it will lose 3 points. If you have trouble meeting deadlines, I strongly recommend you convince yourself that work is due earlier than it really is.

Luddite policy
Despite being a firm believer (and user) of technology, I have a strict policy against laptops and cell phones during our class meetings. Students are not permitted to use laptops to take notes. As I explain here, I believe we all learn better with fewer distractions and, unfortunately, laptops are a huge distraction. If you have a special circumstance that makes your laptop necessary for learning, please email me or come and talk with me about it.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
I share the University of Michigan’s commitment to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities.  Please talk with me if you have a disability and would be aided by any accommodation. Request for accommodations by persons with disabilities may be made by contacting the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office located at G664 Haven Hall.  The SSD phone number is 734-763-3000.  Once your eligibility for an accommodation has been determined you will be issued a verified individual services accommodation (VISA) form.  Please present this form to me at the beginning of the term, or as soon as you get it. Everything is confidential.

Discomfort, Safety, and Learning
Learning can be a simultaneously wonderful and difficult process. I’m sure you have already encountered both -- figuring out something that is undeniably cool or struggling with a task that makes no sense and never seems to end. I imagine you will have more of both experiences in college as well, but as we start thinking together, I want to call attention to a parallel paradox we will likely encounter as a group: the balance between productive discomfort and safety. Good learning can include some degree of discomfort but should never be or feel unsafe. If it’s not already clear to you, I think it’s very likely that learning about new materials -- perhaps things that you never even realized you didn’t know -- can easily make people uncomfortable. Having your world view, your sense of yourself in the world, shifted even a little bit can be a deeply emotional experience. My goal is never to shock you or make you feel uncomfortable, but I can imagine that might happen throughout the semester because it seems to be fundamental within the process of learning. To make such productive discomfort possible, I will work hard to make our course as safe a space as possible, and I ask you to do the same. I invite you to be kind, empathic, and honest, while sharing your perspectives, gut reactions, and analysis, and particularly any moments when you realize you have changed your mind. As you are working hard to engage new practices and beliefs, I will work hard to enable you to feel safe in the process of learning. If at any point, you feel that our classroom is lacking safety -- if it does not feel like a safe space -- please let me know immediately. I also ask you pay attention to your own moments of discomfort, to see how your thinking might be changing.

Other Problems and Dangers
With other members of our diverse community, I am working to make this university a safe space for all people. To those ends, please know that if you face violence, threats, bullying or other difficult situations, there are people trained to help you:

Confidential support and academic advocacy can be found with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) on their 24-hour crisis line, 734-936-3333 and at Alleged violations can be non-confidentially reported to the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) at Reports to law enforcement can be made to University of Michigan Police Department at 734-763-3434.

The Student Life office offers a portal to many services and types of support. Check out this long list of possibilities and feel free to contact them also if you, or someone you know, can’t figure out who to talk to.

If you are needing help and puzzled about where to go or who to talk with, feel free to reach out to me.