Assignments & Grading

25%        Class participation: Includes offering generative, genuine, & relative questions; contributing thoughtful and informed ideas to class discussions; sharing relevant historical and current texts on the class website; active listening; thoughtful and respectful responses to others’ comments;  and of course the timely and thorough completion of course readings and exercises.  You should be complete readings before 4:30 pm (the class start time) the day they appear on the syllabus. Unless otherwise noted, all other assignments should be submitted at least 24 hours prior to the date they appear on the syllabus.

25%      Blackness, Performance, Freedom – Journal Assignments: While you will not be responsible for posting every week, you will be responsible for journaling every week. Approximately half the weeks you will be provided with specific prompts that will encourage if not require a variety of different types of responses (analytical, evaluative, reflective, creative, visual, sonic, etc.). The other half of the time you will create and respond to your own prompt. You may use previous weeks prompts as models for your response, but you should make sure your prompt is adopted to the particular texts you’re reading. For more information about the Black Performance Journal assignment, please consult the “Journal Assignment” page. For more details, visit the BPF Journal Assignments Page.

25%        Post Assignments : Each student will be assigned a post group [A, B, C or D]. On the far right column of the syllabus, you will see the class date for which your post group is responsible for providing well-constructed, thoughtful posts, that will help guide our in-class discussion. Because we need to read your post prior to the class period, you should plan to publish your post on the site, 36 hours before the start of class in which we will discuss it. (For example: If you see your post group on the 10/13 day on the syllabus, your post should be posted by 4:30 AM on 10/12 or really late Sunday night). Your post is an elaboration of your journal response for that week. It is not a substitute for your journal. So make sure that at least some initial version of your post exists in your journal before you elaborate and/or revise that version to share on the class blog.

Every week you are responsible for reading your classmates’ posts. Your post can be a response to the prompt for that week, or you may choose to revise a previous journal entry that you believe is relevant to the current week’s readings and discussions. Remember: You will still be responsible for a journal entry for that week. Basically even though the assignments should help you build on an idea, you cannot double dip between the assignments. responses for the The week that you’re posting you are responsible for reading one less posts, blog post about a specific textual aspect of one of the dramatic texts on the syllabus OR a textual analysis focusing on the particular performative aspect of a non-dramatic text on the syllabus. For more details, visit the Post Assignments page.

25%       Blackness, Performance, Freedom: Take Three (Final Project):

  •   The final project extends the class focus on the various mediums and forms of black performance. For this project you will endeavor to explore the same critical question in three different forms: academic analysis, artistic representation, and everyday performance. Your academic analysis should take the form of a 4-5 page close reading analysis paper (i.e. a more flushed out close reading post). Your close reading may be drawn from a journal entry and/or a post assignment. Similarly you may develop your artistic representation and your quotidian performance takes from a prior journal or post assignment. I require that at least on of the takes be drawn from a previous journal entry in some way, but I do not specify which take. It’s perfectly possible to start from an artistic representation entry and then develop a close reading and quotidian performance entry. For more details, visit Take Three assignment page.