Assignment Overview

  • Weekly or twice weekly, depending on the number of reading discussion sessions scheduled
  • Students work individually
  • Posted to the discussion thread in Canvas for each class with assigned reading
  • Due prior to the beginning of the pertinent class period


For each discussion session in this class, you will be assigned articles or books to read, files to watch, websites to browse, etc. In order to help you attend closely to our course texts and prepare for our discussions, you should prepare 3 questions or observations prior to each discussion session on the class syllabus (i.e. for each day with assigned reading). This means three questions/observations in total, not three per reading.

These responses will serve as prompts for our conversations together and demonstrate your initial engagement with the ideas of our class. I will create a thread on Canvas for each discussion class period, and your prep should be posted there before a given session starts. In order for your questions/observations to be “Satisfactory,” they should, in general:

  1. Get beyond basic questions or observations of fact and instead work toward questions or observations of significance.
  2. Demonstrate close thought about the themes, style, arguments and other elements of our texts, as well as about the relationships among them.
  3. Emerge from (and refer to) specific ideas, pages, quotations, scenes, &c. from our assigned texts rather than broad or generic concepts.
  4. Genuinely open toward discussion and debate during class (i.e. no leading the witness, your honor).

Discussion prep will be deemed “Unsatisfactory” when it indicates lack of preparation or inattentive reading, and will have consequences as outlined in your grading contract.