Course Catalog Information
The Arts of Survival: Civilization in Soviet Times - Writing Intensive
Historical, social, and artistic topics. No foreign language credit.
Lecture/Standard with Discussion
A-F (allow student to choose S/U option)
The Campus Writing Program conducts a two-day faculty workshop to assist with the design and implementation of your writing intensive course. Once your course proposal has been approved by the Campus Writing Program, you will receive information on time, date and location of the workshop.
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Honors Course Information
Answer the questions below as they would apply to one section. For all other sections, provide similar information in the Additional Sections Information box below.
Writing Intensive Course Information
In this second installment of a 2-semester Russian Civilization series, students encounter Russian culture of the twentieth-and twenty-first centuries, via a wide variety of texts and contexts--from Chekhov short stories, modernist poems, political speeches, prison camp narratives, essays and blogs to painting, film and sculpture to propaganda posters and avant-garde artists' books. We will consider many of these texts through the lens of social justice, with attention to issues of race and ethnicity. We will also have occasion to compare and contrast Russian and American culture. The course is "hybrid" with "flipped" lectures, meaning that students will access informational lectures online, and in-person lectures will be dedicated to more interactive activities and demonstrations that help develop analytical, argumentative and other kinds of writing-related skills. In discussion sections students will further develop these skills. The course will offer students engaging and accessible ways of learning about Russian culture; applying critical practices to Russian visual and verbal texts, as well as their own cultural assumptions; and developing skills in ?close analysis,? interpretation, evidence-based argumentation that are crucial for literary studies but applicable in innumerable contexts.
NA - filling out Administratively - PL 10/17/16
Should this course be considered for funding?
Large Enrollment Courses:
2 informational Tegrity lectures a week, which students will watch and prepare to be quizzed on in in-person lecture; 2 in-person lectures, consisting of skill-building, discussion, demonstration, and informal lecture; 1 discussion section per week where students discuss materials (lectures and texts) and work on writing assignments.
B. I will be monitoring student performance via discussion in in-person lecture; discussion and writing assignments my own weekly section meeting; weekly meetings with GTAs, where we share feedback on lectures, sections, assignments and students.
C. When I work with GTAs, I ensure equitable grading in a variety of ways. For argumentative papers, I provide a detailed rubric with numerous grading categories and points apportioned for each category. We discuss these carefull when the first draft is assigned. In addition, I give TAs a narrative rubric for argumentative papers to help them think about grade categories more generally as they apply to these argumentative papers. We also grade-norm each draft of both of the argumentative papers. For the response papers, I provide TAs with a detailed rubrics via email, and they check in with me about any questions. The 1-page drafted portions for peer review are completion grades.
Textual Responses: 10 1-page responses to visual or verbal texts. In these writing-to-learn assignments, students will summarize and interpret visual, literary and historical texts, ranging from posters to short stories to essays to historic speeches. A set of course themes will help them draw these texts together. They will also be provided with ways to begin practicing close analysis on these texts in order to build toward their learning-to-write assignments. Students will revise two of these responses. Submitted assignments will be evaluated by each student's respective section leader, in close consultation with the professor.(10 original assignments, 2 revised (10 pages first drafts/2 pages revision) Visual Text Analysis: a 3-page paper using close analysis to discern and make an argument about how a visual text (a propaganda poster or leaf from an avant-garde artist's book) represents or deploys values, identity or power. This learning-to-write assignment will help students work in even more focused ways on close literary (or rhetorical) analysis, through which they will begin to draw their own conclusions and build interpretive arguments. Students will produce 2 drafts, both 3 pages. Prior to turning in their first draft, they will also bring it for peer review, and then turn in, 1 page containing drafted portions of the paper. Full drafts will be evaluated by each student's respective section leader, in close consultation with the professor. (1 page for peer review /3 pages 1st draft + 3 pages revision draft ) Verbal Text Analysis: a 3-page paper using close analysis to discern and make an argument about how a verbal text (a short story, poem or speech) represents or deploys values, identity or power. This assignment will help students deploy the skills of close observation that they have developed in making, detailing and explaining an argument. Students will produce 2 drafts, both 3 pages. Drafts will be evaluated by each student's respective section leader, in close consultation with the professor. (1 page for peer review + 3 pages 1st draft = 4 first draft pages/ 3 pages revision draft )
Length of assignment:
Writing Intensive Teaching
Instructor provided feedback
My TAs and I will work closely with a very detailed set of rubrics for each writing assignment. When students receive their grade, they will also receive detailed feedback about what they need to improve, via the categories on the rubrics. (For the 1-page papers, instructor-evaluators will list what needs improvement. For the 3-page papers, students will receive a filled-out table with all rubrics categories and the points they received for each category.) We will also grade-norm each 3-page paper. Additionally, students will have opportunities for peer review (for the 3-page papers) in section. They will be assigned portions or elements of the paper to draft in advance and will be given specifics in section on what kind of feedback to give each other.
All of the assignments in this class address questions with a multitude of possible and diverse answers. Each writing assignment students will work on asks them to describe, analyze and interpret a cultural text and to draw interpretations from what they themselves observe in that text. Because all perspectives are unique, each answer is necessarily unique. Their task will be to describe their observations with precision and to formulate and support their individual arguments in clear and compelling ways.
Students will have weekly writing assignments for every section. Most of these will be comprised of 1-page textual responses, as described above. Some of these will consist of 1-page drafts of portions of their argumentative papers. Two 3-page papers will be assigned, one in each half of the semester. Students will write 2 drafts of each of these papers and will have several weeks to produce each draft.
All GTAs for this course are Masters students in the Russian Studies program. When we select students for our Masters student, we take into account their capacity for teaching. I work closely with my GTAs, meeting with them weekly to discuss assignments as well as section plans and practices, and to check in and trade notes about how students are doing in the course. I offer TAs a basic lesson plan for each section, each week that they can work with, though they are allowed to make variations, as long as they cover the main topics. I also speak early-on with them about leading and grading section discussion, and I provide them and all students with a participation rubric. In general, I encourage TAs (and this is implicit in the lesson plans) to move between large-group and small-group discussion and to vary classroom tasks in order to keep students engaged and allow for different learning styles. I work especially closely with GTAs when it comes to grading papers, especially the argumentative papers. We meet when the first draft of the first 3-page paper is assigned in order to discuss how to help students develop their papers. We also meet before grading and go carefully through the detailed rubrics. We also grade-norm each draft of both of the argumentative papers.