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COURSE NAME: "Research and Writing in the Humanities"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: W 8:30-11:15 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Senior Standing or Permission of the student's Advisor and Department
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment--Ask me just after class or e-mail me.

This course provides practical preparation for designing and carrying out a significant thesis-length research project and a brief, but sophisticated introduction to key methodologies and theoretical approaches used in humanities disciplines. Students will be guided through the processes of setting up a problem to investigate; determining what kind of sources, how many, and which sources are appropriate to use; evaluating and analyzing those sources; reviewing academic literature in the Humanities on their topics; developing a clear and well-researched thesis proposal; and formulating and writing convincing arguments.
Topics directly relating to humanities research and writing to be discussed may include, but are not limited to, working in an archive, deconstructive reading, iconography, anthropological “thick description,” making the most of internet sources, and carrying out interdisciplinary research and analysis effectively.
In successfully completing this course, you should learn how to prepare for and carry out a significant research project (such as a senior thesis).  You should also enrich your understandings of how to critically build on both scholarship and primary sources to produce your own well-supported, well-researched, well-organized, and well-written arguments.

ParticipationYour participation grade will primarily be determined by your active participation in our classroom discussions. To do so in an adequate manner, you absolutely must do the assigned class readings and the homework/research journal assignments by the dates on which they are due. You also must bring copies of those readings to class so that you may consult them during our discussions and may be asked to leave the classroom should you fail to do so. Please note that behaving in ways that create distractions for other members of the class (including the professor) will lower your participation grade. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to: messaging, checking Facebook or other social networks, catching up on e-mail, watching on-line videos, reading non-class related materials, studying for other courses, shopping on-line, and generally any activity that detracts from your or any other classmate's full participation in what we are doing in the classroom.15%
‘Homework’/Research JournalYou are required to keep (and hand in for my review once per week) a research journal. You should use this journal in three manners. First, it will be a log of how your research is proceeding and of your plans for the following week (e.g., “This week I did a summary review of X, Y, Z primary sources and I believe I’ll be able to use them in manner A, B, C…Next week I’ll read source X more closely, attempting to analyze how it characterizes M, and trying to apply what I think a ‘deconstructive reading’ is…”. Second, it should be a place to write down the thoughts that occur to you as you reflect upon your topic/project/problems in carrying out your research—in other words, it will be the place where you keep much of the preliminary writing that many researchers regularly engage in long before they start drafting their ‘real’ paper. Finally, I will regularly ask you to carry out specific homework assignments that should be written up in your journal and that will provide the basis for many of our classroom discussions.15%
Methodology/Theory Paper (4-5 pages)In the Methodology/Theory paper, you will briefly examine a particular methodological/theoretical approach used in Humanities research and analysis of interest to you. You will also briefly present your conclusions regarding the methodology/theory to the rest of the class and lead the class through a discussion focusing on it.10%
Methodology/Theory Presentation and Discussion Leadership See above. 5%
Literature Review (10-12 pages)In the literature review (10-12 pages), you will review the most important scholarship on the topic that you develop for your larger research project (for many of you your senior thesis or what you think that it will be). Your grade on this assignment will be determined by the strength of your analysis, the persuasiveness of your argument (including quality of writing), and the originality of your thought.25%
‘Chapter Portion’ (both first draft and revision, c. 15 pages) For the ‘Chapter Portion,’ you will prepare a research paper (approximately 15 pages) that ideally will also serve as a significant portion of a chapter for your senior thesis. This chapter portion should build on both primary and secondary sources, and in preparing it, I will guide you through the processes of preparing a first draft and revising that draft to produce a stronger final paper. You also will present this chapter portion to the rest of the class for discussion. For these discussions, each of you will also review at least one of your colleagues’ papers, preparing both a written review (for the author and for me) and an oral commentary during the discussion of her/his paper in class.30%

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.

There are no specific attendance requirements for this course.  See above on participation, keeping in mind that to participate adequately you of course need to be present on a regular basis.
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.
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.


Important Course Policies

All assignments must be handed in the form of both hard and electronic copies (e-mail them to me).

All late work will be penalized by at least one letter grade.  No late work will be accepted following the date set for the final examination.

Any documented case of academic dishonesty on any assignment will result not only in a failing grade for the assignment in question but also in a failing grade for the course as a whole.  If you have questions about how to cite material properly, refer to the appropriate sections of the MLA Style Manual or Chicago Manual of Style (or make an appointment to speak with me).  There are copies of both in the reference section of the library.  Submitting work that you have previously submitted (or plan to submit) for credit in another course is also a form of academic dishonesty, unless you obtain explicit approval from both instructors to do so.  For this course, the only such double submission allowed is the probable inclusion of the chapter portion you prepare (and perhaps some part of your literature review) in your senior thesis.

Please note that your work may be submitted to turnitin.com to check their content for plagiarism.

ccessing Shared Documents on MyJCU 

1. Go to the internal web site (MY JCU).
2. After you have logged in, click on the course post-it for Fall 2018, HM 460. Then click on shared files.
3. Please note that handouts in the form of pdf documents may not open with some internet browsers (in particular there seem to be incompatibilities with Chrome).  If a source doesn't open, try another browser; if the problem persists please e-mail me.
4. Be sure to check the handouts page frequently for changes and updates. Similarly, I will post messages on the MyJCU board should I need to contact you in between class meetings (e.g., in the case of an unexpected class cancellation).
5. All other course readings are either in the form of the books listed above or available on-line through the links on this syllabus.
6. J-Stor Readings--While on campus, you should be able to access these readings simply by clicking on the links on the syllabus.  On the page that appears, you can find links to download the full article as a PDF file or to print it out.  Off-campus you may need to go to the website for the Frohring Library, click on the link for "Databases" and "J-Stor" and then if need be search for the article manually.

Course Schedule.  Please note that the following is subject to change--any updates will be made to the on-line syllabus, available on the University's webpage: http://www.johncabot.edu/academics/courses/course-schedules-syllabi.aspx. (LAST UPDATED October 12)

Part I:  Getting Started

Sept 5.  Introductions--What is Research?

Sept. 12.  What’s the Purpose?: Thinking and Research in the Humanities; Formulating Topics and Presentations
Barnes ‘Shipwreck,’ 115-139 (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Booth, et al, The Craft of Research, 35-67 (Shared Files, MyJCU)     
Journal Entry Due 

Sept. 19.  NO CLASS--We will schedule individual meetings to discuss potential topics.
Journal Assignment Due by 3 p.m. on Friday Sept. 21: Fully Developed Statement of Research Problem (and, if different, of actual planned thesis topic in whatever state it’s in)

Part II:  Finding and Using Sources

Sept. 26.  Finding Sources, Using the Library
Barzun and Graff, The Modern Researcher, 37-66 (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Guest Instructor:  Research Librarian
Meeting in the Library
Journal Entry Due

Oct. 3.  What is Theory? What is Methodology?  What are they good for?--Three Examples
Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (Excerpts) (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Darnton, "The Great Cat Massacre," (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Scott, "Domination, Acting and Fantasy" (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Journal Entry Due

Oct. 10.  Scholarly Knowledge, Popular Knowledge, 'Cranky' Knowledge
Trouillot, "The Power in the Story" (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Journal Assignment Due:  Identify and briefly analyze one reliable and one unreliable website relating to your topic along with one website that may be useful, but only when used with particular care--explain how you drew your conclusions about their reliability (be prepared to present this to the rest of the class).
During today's class we'll also discuss what literature reviews are (Please look at the guidelines on MyJCU).

Oct. 17.  Methodology/Theory Presentations (3 per class)
Q. Davenport (Modernization Theory): Phon-amnuai "Rethinking Modernization Theory" (Shared Files, MyJCU)
A. Epifani (Microhistory):  Miller, "Why the Bishop of Florence Had to Get Married"   https://www.jstor.org/stable/20463931?seq=16#metadata_info_tab_contents
A. Costantino (Gender and Discourse Analysis): Mills, "Gender, Identity and Discourse Analysis" (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Methodology/Theory Paper Due

Oct. 24.  Methodology/Theory Presentations (3 per class)
N. Ciniglio (Pattern Analysis/'Big Data' Approaches); Morris, "Document to Database and Spreadsheet (Shared Files, MyJCU)
M. Quinn (Utilitarianism and Ethics): Carens, "Aliens and Citizens" (Shared Files, MyJCU)
A. Mixson, (Biography and Ancient History: Plutarch "The Life of Marius" (Excerpt, Shared Files, MyJCU)
AND Chrysanthou, "Review: Ancient Biography and Fictionalisation" https://research.ncl.ac.uk/histos/documents/2017RR24ChrysanthouonDeTemmerman.pdf
Journal Entry Due

Oct. 31.  Methodology/Theory Presentations (3 per class)
S. Marcet ('Conceptual Metaphors'): Coyle, "Good Tree, Bad Tree," 65-88 https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.jcu.idm.oclc.org/lib/johncabot/reader.action?ppg=89&docID=634991&tm=1540361146779

B. Gedizlioglu (Analytical Philsophy and the 'Similitude' Theory): Putnam, "Two Philosophical Perspectives," Required: 50-59, Recommended: All (Shared Files, MyJCU)
A. Wignall (Historical Materialism): Habermas, "Towards A Reconstruction of Historical Materialism" https://www.jstor.org/stable/656775?Search=yes&resultItemClick=true&searchText=historical&searchText=materialism&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dhistorical%2Bmaterialism&refreqid=search%3Aca742ae616553e0f3c44aa60ae83ae24&seq=14#metadata_info_tab_contents

Journal Assignment Due:  Provide a listing of how you plan to divide your larger research topic into probable chapters (or better, chapter length segments for the purposes of both research and writing up the preliminary results).  Explain your reasons for making the divisions as you do. 

Part IV:  Developing and Presenting Arguments

Nov. 7.  Making Arguments/Making Claims; Organizing
Booth et al, The Craft of Research,  "108-129, 152-170 (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Individual Meetings During the Second Half of Class
Literature Review is Due

Nov. 14.  Bringing Out The Dead?:  The Ethics of Humanities Research
Barzun and Graff, The Modern Researcher, 153-165 (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Booth et al, The Craft of Research, 273-276 (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Todorov, “The Moral and Political Sciences” (Shared Files, MyJCU)
Journal Entry Due

Part V:  Is the Proof in the Pudding?--First Draft of Your Chapter Portion is Due One Week Before Your Presentation Date

Nov. 21.  Chapter Presentations and Peer Commentaries

Nov. 28.  Chapter Presentations and Peer Commentaries

Dec. 5.  Chapter Presentations and Peer Commentaries

Final Draft of Chapter Portion Due on Date of Final Examination--Remember that class will meet during time scheduled for the Final Examination.  TBA (Final Exam Period December 10-14)