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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "AH 460"
COURSE NAME: "Research Practicum "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Lila Yawn
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 1:30-2:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Junior Standing
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This upper level seminar/practicum provides rigorous, practical preparation for the writing of professional art-historical research papers, including the Senior Thesis, through four discrete units: an individual portfolio review; a research tools and methods seminar; intensive, directed bibliographic research; and the formulation of a presentation to the class on the thesis topic, together with a new 'foundation' portfolio demonstrating mastery of the research skills, competencies, and bibliography necessary for advanced art-historical research writing.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
This seminar/practicum leads students through the process of self-review, practical skills acquisition, and bibliography building needed for a successful research and writing of their Senior Theses and other advanced projects in the history of art.  The course unfolds in four discrete units:  an individual portfolio review; a seminar in research tools and methods; intensive, directed bibliographic research; and the formulation of a presentation to the class on the thesis topic, together with a new 'foundation' portfolio demonstrating mastery of the research skills, competencies, and bibliography necessary for writing the thesis or another high-level research paper.  A highlight of the course will be visits to important research libraries in Rome, with hands-on exercises using.  While the course is aimed at degree-seeking art history majors, all students with the appropriate pre-requisites and an interest in refining their professional research and publication skills are welcome.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Students will:

·       formulate and refine a senior thesis topic through the evaluation of their own prior research, the keeping of a research diary, and  dentification and assessment of pertinent, peer-reviewed bibliography;

·       assemble an exhaustive bibliography pertinent to the thesis topic, together with a personal, professional research portfolio, or “tool box,” consisting of style sheets, library cards, and the like.

·       master the practical skills, especially bibliographic development, research-library use, record keeping and style-specific citation, required for writing the senior thesis and other professional-level publications in art history.

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral ThesisJoan BolkerHenry Holt (New York)ISBN-13: 978-0805048919 ISBN-10: 080504891XREF LB2369 .B57 1998 
How to Write a ThesisUmberto EcoMIT PressISBN: 9780262328746 Available as an ebook through the John Cabot University Frohring Library
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Students generate their own bibliographies as appropriate to their individual thesis topicsMultiple authorsvariesvaries  

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Final presentation to the classAn illustrated, state-of-the-question presentation to the class on the chosen thesis topic, in the form of a verbal grant application20
Research diary & toolkitA personal journal, kept daily, narrating progress on the choice and development of the thesis topic. Diaries should include daily entries through the term, recording ongoing thoughts about the project, the discovery of sources and resources, frustrations, road-blocks, questions and break-through discoveries, and the gradual formulation and refinement of the chief research questions. Diaries may be keep as digital files, blogs, or handwritten journals. Students are encouraged to illustrate and document the diaries with photographs and drawings. The diaries are a means of thinking and exploring in writing and have as their objectives: defining and refining a thesis topic, documenting the thought process, and 'forming a writing addiction' (Joan Bolker's term). In addition to the research diaries, students are required to write a brief summary (150-300 words) of each reading, in-class exercise, guest lecture, library lesson, or library visit undertaken during the course. These items are kept together in a dropbox folder and gradually come to constitute a 'toolkit' for reference during the thesis-writing process. 20
ProfessionalismWeekly exercises, collegiality, punctuality, presence at all class meetings, positive attitude and active engagement, contribution to discussion, constant inquiry, openness to new approaches and methods, independent exploration of resources for research: libraries, museums, galleries, attendance at scholarly conferences and talks, correspondence with other scholars, etc.20
Thesis prospectus & literature reviewA concise, written exposition of the thesis topic--the work(s) to be analysed and the guiding research questions--accompanied by a succinct review of the chief primary and secondary literature on the topic and a timetable for completion of the thesis. All elements must be approved by the student's First Reader before the end of term.20
Bibliography with content summariesFull bibliographic citations and content summaries of at least twenty-six substantial, scholarly, peer-reviewed sources (articles, books, book chapters) or scholarly editions of primary sources pertinent to the intended thesis topic. Two summaries are due at the end of each week during the term starting the second week of class and are kept in the student's personal dropbox folder for the course. Total minimum number of summaries required for the term: 26. For citations please use Chicago-Notes and Bibliography or Turabian style. Summaries should be 200-300 words long but may be more substantial. Important: this is not an annotated bibliography but rather a bibliography with summaries of real content. Reading the summary should be an adequate, if abbreviated, substitute for reading the source itself. 20

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Attendance and punctuality at all class meetings are mandatory.  Course grades and progress will depend heavily upon active participation.

Some class meetings will necessarily take place outside of the normal course schedule and will be decided in consultation with the students once the semester is underway.  Flexibility is of the essence.

If you have a mobile phone, please turn it off at the start of each class meeting and do not turn it on again until class has ended.  If you use a mobile phone during class, including for sms messaging, you will be asked to leave the class, with a resulting unexcused absence.  The same holds for computers, except on those occasions when the instructor authorizes their use for class exercises.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

AH460 Fall 2017 -  Syllabus of Meetings - Working Draft as of 28 August - THIS WILL CHANGE.  We will formulate dates together.

No

Mo

Dy

Agenda for the day

Site visits / guest speakers

To read/study in preparation

Written work to submit via dropbox

Special

Ongoing

Two bibliographic summaries with full source citations - weekly

Research diary entry - daily

1a

8

28

Introduction to the course: rationale, structure, assignments, goals. Assign thesis review topics.

 

 

Locate your past university-level research papers in art history and begin to read them.

 

What was your most exhilarating research experience to date.  Why?

1b

8

30

What is a senior thesis?  How do I go about developing a topic? Discuss Bolker.

 

Bolker Intro and Chs. 1-4

Written pro memoria: Bolker Chs. 1-4 (100-150 words/chapter)

 

What is the most thrilling, fascinating art-historical article or book you have ever read?

2a

9

4

What is a senior thesis?  How do I go about developing a topic? Discuss Eco

 

Eco, Chs. 1-2

Written pro memoria: Eco Chs. 1-2 (100-150 words/chapter). Contact JCU professors (potential thesis advisors) for consultation on possible thesis topics

 

What is your favorite work of art?  What would you most like to know about it that you don't?

2b

9

6

Past JCU Theses - topics, genres, parameters

 

Short presentations to the class (5 minutes) on past JCU theses

 JCU past theses - short written summary of your findings (150-300 words)

Two summaries due in dropbox

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

3a

9

11

Researching & writing your thesis. Discuss Bolker.



Bolker, Chs. 5-7

Written pro memoria: Bolker Chs. 5-7 (100-150 words/chapter)By this date, meet with JCU professors you contacted



Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

3b

9

13

Researching & writing your thesis. Discuss Eco.

 

Eco, Ch. 4

Written pro memoria of Eco, Ch. 4 (100-150 words/chapter)

Two summaries (minimum) due in dropbox

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

4a

9

18

Analysis of Your Past Research Papers - strengths, ideas, things to improve

 

Reports on your past JCU research papers

Written summary (150-300 words) of your findings on your past research papers

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

4b

9

20

Progress reports on thesis topic development

 

5-10 minute reports:   ideas to date for thesis topic: work of art, guiding questions, bibliography, advice from professors

Brief written summary of your report

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

 

9

22

UNIVERSITY MAKE-UP DAY - We will not hold class this day to compensate for future Friday library visits.

 

 

 

 

 

5a

9

25

Library lesson: Roman research libraries; digital resources; record keeping

 

 

Preliminary thesis proposal due

Two summaries (minimum) due in dropbox

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

5b

9

27

Assessing sources

 

Read:  http://www.elsevier.com/reviewers/what-is-peer-review . Scan Elsevier Peer Reivew Study (in class folder).

Pro memoria of library lesson

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

6a/b

9

28

Friday exercise in BIASA: 10:00-12:30 (to be confirmed): Using card catalogs: why on-line searching is not enough

BIASA in Palazzo di Venezia (to be confirmed)

Exercise:  compile a short bibliography of sources (5 minimum) related to your topic from before 1989 using the BIASA card catalog.  Deposit to dropbox.

 

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

7a

10

2

Writing a lit review

 

 

 

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

7b

10

4

Maximizing Creativity

 

Read and summarize (1-2 sentences):  J. Lehrer, "The Eureka Hunt," The New Yorker, 84 (2008), pp. 40-45 (in class folder); M. Gladwell, Outliers (selections in class folder).   Read and summarize each briefly: Come prepared also with 1-2 questions on each reading to stimulate discussion.

 

Two summaries (minimum) due in dropbox

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

8a

10

9

Library lesson or guest speaker

 

 

 

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

8b

10

11

Progress reports on thesis topic development

 

 

 

Two summaries (minimum) due in dropbox

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

9a

10

16

Prospectus presentations, pt. 1

 

Prelminary prospectuses - Prepare a brief summary (Powerpoint) of where you stand.  What work(s) will you concentrate on?  What are the main questions(s) you hope to answer about them?  What the the main sceondary (scholarly) sources about the topic?

 

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

9b

10

18

Prospectus presentations, pt. 2

 

 

 

Two summaries (minimum) due in dropbox

 

10a-b

10

20

OFF-CAMPUS LIBRARY VISIT:  GNAM/MAXXI (to be confirmed)

 

In-class exercises

 

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

11a

10

23

Library lesson or guest speaker

 

 

 

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

11b

11

25

Writing effective footnotes

 

In-class exercise

 

Two summaries (minimum) due in dropbox

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

12a

10

30

Foundation portfolio and final presentations - discussion

 

 

 

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

12b

11

6

Final presentations

 

Two summaries (minimum) due in dropbox

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

13a-13b

11

10

BNCR Library Session (Friday)

 

 

 

Two summaries (minimum) due in dropbox

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

14a

11

10

Final presentations

 

 

 

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

14b

 

 

Final presentations

 

 

 

Submit final prospectus in print, signed by first reader. 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources

FIN-AL EX-AMS

 

 

Final presentations

 

FINAL PORTFOLIOS DUE last day of final exam week

 

 

Thoughts / ideas from this week's bibliographic sources