Policies & Other Details

[The image in the header is "Nature Self-Portrait #2" by Laura Aguilar (1996). The description of a retrospective of her work introduces her and work saying, "Aguilar set the stage for her future work by using her nude body as an overt and courageous rebellion against the colonization of Chicana identities: racial, gendered, cultural, and sexual. Despite using the body to center her visual discourse, Aguilar never intended to speak for any specific political or feminist ideology. On the contrary, her practice intuitively evolved as she sought to negotiate and navigate her ethnic and sexual identity, her challenges with depression and auditory dyslexia, and the acceptance of her physique." For more, please check out this summary of her art projects and substantial influence.]

All project assignments need to be turned in through Canvas. Go to Canvas / Assignments and follow the instructions there to turn in work. Please note that you will see two Canvas pages for this course – one for the lectures, and another for your specific discussion section. I know this is confusing but it's the way Canvas is structured.

On the lecture Canvas page - links to films you can stream, links to the lectures and recordings, where you turn in any extra credit assignments.
On your section Canvas page - where to turn in all assignments, addition details from your GSI.

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

Late Work
We 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.

Please note - If an assignment is credit / no credit it cannot be turned in late.

Students are expected to attend all class meetings, and be prepared to think, talk, and reflect in them. I will record all the course lectures. If you miss class you have the responsibility to listen to what you missed.

Illness and Missing Work
We understand that everyone in this class is living through and dealing with the ongoing global pandemic. Even beyond Covid, we understand that human can get sick or have to miss class work while dealing with other things. If you need to miss class or work, please reach out to me or your GSI as soon as you can. We are happy to figure out a plan with you. If you are dealing with an ongoing problem, it might be a good idea to reach out to your academic advisor (often someone in the Newnan Advising Center, for instance). They can send a mass email to all your instructors so you don't have to contact us each individually.

Lecture Recordings
All class lectures are video recorded. Those recordings are available through Canvas. To find them, log in to Canvas, click on the lecture page, and then Media Gallery. Please note that it can sometimes take a few hours for the recording to appear, especially when Canvas is busy with lots of users.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
I am deeply committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Please talk with me if you would be aided by any accommodation. I am happy to help you navigate the systems at UM. Beyond me, requests 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. 

Difficult and Triggering Topics
In this course, we will consider some truly difficult topics. Please look over the syllabus and email me and / or your GSI if there is some topic that you know you are unable to engage. Because we cannot predict what will come up in our conversations, we always invite you to do what you need to do: please get up and leave the discussion, for instance, if that will help you at any given moment. Please reach out to me or your GSI with any questions or concerns you have. We are always happy to offer alternative assignments.

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. 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 worldview, 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. 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 http://sapac.umich.edu/. Alleged violations can be non-confidentially reported to the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) at institutional.equity@umich.edu.

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.