[Amy Sherald]

In this course, I ask you to complete six small projects. They are designed to give you contexts in which to engage the theory we read in whatever ways feel most necessary, honest, or productive to you. By this I mean, please use these projects to express ideas you have about what we have read and discussed together. I am not seeking particular answers and there is no singular “right” answer. Precisely because I cannot anticipate what theories you will love or hate, or what will grab you and make you want to engage, these assignments are designed to enable you to react when and how you see fit.

Although there are specific instructions for each project, in general, stronger projects (i.e. those more likely to get a higher grade) will:
1) demonstrate that the author has been engaged with course materials and discussions;
2) demonstrate that the author has a working familiarity with the theory they chose to include (i.e. they get it, whether or not they agree with it);
3) do more than merely summarize theories and / or our discussions;
4) articulate a main point or argument.

With the exception of the first assignment, which is due on Friday 1/5, these projects do not have a specific due date before April 25. That said, I highly recommend you turn them in steadily over the course of the semester, and I will remind you to work on individual projects. If it helps you to create deadlines for yourself, I would be happy to help with that in office hours. In general, my very strong suspicion is that projects that are turned in steadily over the semester will earn higher grades because you will give yourself more time and space to work on them. You are welcome to turn in the projects in any order you see fit.

I designed these assignments because it is my experience that many people have emotional reactions to theory. Reading particular theory, I’ve known students to become incensed, epically confused, or comforted. These assignments ask you to build on those feelings, if you have them.

As always, I am more than happy to discuss anything in office hours. Please sign up using this google link. If you have questions that would be helpful to all students, please ask them in class.