Writing Assignments
Students can decide between two choices for course writing: the first option is to write a final term paper at the end of the semester. I expect these papers to be between 25 and 30 pages and to be an insightful analysis of some aspect of the course. I imagine this option being most attractive and productive for more advanced students who can roll this writing into a significant portion of a dissertation chapter. The second option is to write four short (five page) papers over the course of the semester. I imagine this writing to be more helpful to students at earlier moments in their careers who might want to explore more topics with less depth. In either case, you will create your own topics, although I am always happy to be one voice in any conversation you have about it.

Discussion Questions
The most regular assignment in this course should take no more than a few minutes a week: By 12 midnight the night before our class meets, every student must upload to dropbox FOUR open-ended discussion questions that directly concerns the reading due. These questions should not be inquiries for more factual information. One quick way to decide if you have generated a discussion question is to ask yourself if you could find the answer to your question by searching the internet. If you could – if you are asking for facts – then it is not a discussion question. All questions will be graded on a credit / no credit basis, which means as long as you turn something in on time, you will receive full credit.

I ask you to send me your questions because I am interested in what has made you think, what you think deserves more attention, or what is puzzling. More generally, I want to reinforce the idea that we should all be generating questions as we read, rather than looking for the "right" answers. Further, as I will discuss in class, it is actually quite difficult to come up with good questions and learning to do so is a skill. Please take this opportunity to be creative. Don't be afraid to ask big questions, but please keep that day's readings in mind. Always feel free to think across the readings and discussions.

I also think the discussion questions can be a helpful resource when you’re trying to figure out a paper topic. Think through the questions that have been posed (your own or those written by your colleagues) and see what sparks a possible paper.

Final Presentations
Like all graduate seminars, this course furthers the production of knowledge but should also contribute to professionalization. To those ends, the last weeks of our semester together will give students the opportunity to practice public speaking in formats that will be expected at national conferences. Imaging that our course themes make up a conference panel, each student will give a 10-minute presentation that fits within the themes. You are welcome to draw on your own fieldwork, outside research, or further theorizing. The ideas you present are certainly important – you need a thesis! – but the style of your presentation is equally vital. We will discuss the process in class and more details will be on the course website.

Office Hours and Consultations
I am always happy to talk with you, via email or in person. 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 consider revisions or second drafts of writing assignments, as long as students spend mental energy substantially reconsidering what they write.

Grading and Requirements
Discussion Questions 25% of final grade
Class Participation 25% of final grade
Semester writing (Short papers or long paper) 25% of final grade
Final Presentation 25% of final grade