Discussion Sections

[The banner image depicts the Guerrilla Girls, a collective of anonymous feminist activist artists who have been critiquing gender disparities in art for decades. For instance, Naked, one of their most recognizable pieces comments on the huge gap between when women are recognized as artists and women recognized as objects.]

Discussion Sections

Discussion sections are a fundamental part of this course and are designed to add tremendously to your learning. As you might have already noticed, our discussion sections are atypically long. We ask that students spend the same amount of time every week in lecture and section - two hours total in each. Hopefully this makes clear our sense of the value of section and how much great thinking can be done in conversation with each other.

Discussion sections will include different activities each week but share a general format. In every discussion section, you will:

- take a 5 to 10 minute reading quiz that covers that week's homework. These quizzes will be closed book but we are not asking you to memorize small details of your homework. The best way to prepare is to do the homework, take notes for yourself, and read those to jog your memory before you arrive in section. Please note that many weeks your homework will include something other than reading prose - you will be watching films, reading comics, listening to a podcast, among other things. All those materials are fair game for the weekly quiz, too. Anything assigned for homework will be included on the reading quiz.

- participate in a discussion based on "discussion questions" you have written. (See more about these questions below.)

- engage that week's key topics and questions through a group activity organized by your GSI.

- have lots of opportunities to share your thoughts or half-thoughts, reactions, and feelings about what we are learning together.

- frame your discussion through collective ground rules that each section will set up at the beginning of the semester.

Reading Quiz in Week 1

In the first week of the semester, our discussion sections will meet. There will be a reading quiz and it will be focused on this course website as well as the article you read for Wednesday's class. The quiz questions about the course website will concern how the course is set up, your requirements, and the work you will be asked to do. The best way to do well on this quiz is to complete the assigned reading and spend about 30 minute exploring this website, paying attention to the assignments, the course materials, and the overall requirements. Of course, if you have any questions about the course, please share them in section.

This first reading quiz is designed to offer some motivation to take time to look through the course materials, assignments, and plans.