Course Requirements

The key to success in this course is to attend all lectures, participate actively in recitation sections, and keep up with the readings and assignments. (Late essays will receive a 1/3 grade penalty for each day past the deadline: e.g. an assignment that earns an A- but is two days late will be recorded as a B.)

Attendance and participation in recitation sessions are essential. Oral participation in recitation counts for 10% of your grade. After two unexcused absences, unexcused absences will be penalized 20 points each. (Please note that some weeks we will have Friday lecture in lieu of recitations; consult the course schedule for specific dates.)

Short quizzes: These will consist of objective questions aimed at assessing your basic knowledge of the assigned reading. There will be 10 brief quizzes given at the beginning of lecture, scattered across the semester for a total of 10% of your final grade. There are no make-up quizzes. If you miss a lecture quiz you may submit an extra reading response (<300 words) focused on that day’s assigned texts; this is due in class at the next class.

Attendance and Participation: We will take your attendance in lecture and recitation from before spring break, any make up posts, and your score for the 3 quizzes all in consideration when calculating your 10% participation grade. If there was a class or recitation that you missed, you can write a blog post (~250 words) on the reading due that day.

Discussion Forums: Your TAs will create a discussion forum for each recitation group. Over the remaining four weeks, we ask that you each post two responses to the readings and reply to one of your classmates’ postings (within 72 hours of “class”). This will be worth 10% of your grade.

Reading Responses. These short assignments (<300 words each) will help you develop your understanding of the texts and prepare for discussion in recitations. You will receive a reading worksheet to help you respond to literature and for some of the anthropological readings, 1-2 prompts to choose from. Reading response essays are due 3 times per semester according to the assignment schedule and must be handed in to the TA at the start of recitation. These are time-sensitive, so no late papers accepted. Each of the 3 reading responses is worth 5%, for a total of 15% of your final grade.

Close Reading/Analytic Essays: Twice in the course of the semester you will write an essay of 4-5 pages comparing and contrasting a set of readings in light of the theoretical and analytical concepts the class has examined. Each essay is worth 20% of the final grade; these are due on Friday 2/7 and Friday 3/21.

Final Exam: A comprehensive take home final exam due Thursday, April 30 at 3:00pm and is worth 25% of your final grade.


Original Paper: Students who wish to write an original final paper exploring the themes of the class in lieu of a final exam may submit a proposal to do so. This may take the form of a personal Illness narrative, a memoir, or graphic novel, and must be accompanied by a discussion of class concepts and analytical frameworks. You are required to meet with at least one of the professors to discuss your ideas prior to submitting the proposal and must receive permission to pursue the requested topic. If your idea is deemed feasible, the paper proposal will be due to both professors no later than April 23. Detailed instructions for the final paper will be posted on Website. The final paper will be due on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00pm  and will count for 25% of your final grade. (No late papers will be accepted: students who miss this deadline must take the final exam instead.)