Class Agreements

As a participant in the course titled “Atlanta and the Black Atlantic” (referred to as ENGL 6025) at Boston College for the Fall 2020 academic, I acknowledge that . . .

With Regards to the Class Blog Site (aka Class Site) . . .
  • I have been provided with instructions on how to access, follow, and post to the class blog site.
  • I have the information and material needed to access and post to the class blog site in a timely fashion.
  • I am aware that the schedule of readings and assignments can be found on the class blog site on the “Syllabus” page. 
  • I have familiarized myself with the syllabus (schedule of assignments) page on this course site, and I am aware of the deadlines reading and other assignments.
  • I have read the “Assignments” page and the related pages in the drop down menu, and I have a general sense of the type and amount of work that will be required in this course over the course of the Fall 2020 semester.
  • I understand and agree to comply with the policies and procedures outlined under “Course Policies” on the class blog site.

With Regards to Expectations about Students’ Academic Readiness . . .

  • There are no official pre-requisites for this course. Prior experience examining the content, questions or methods of literary studies, performance studies, and/or black studies, though recommended, are not required.
  • Because this 6000-level course is not a survey course, the overarching course structure and the individual course “readings” have been selected based on their potential relation to the central themes and questions of the course rather than historical or field-specific coverage.
  • Because this 6000-level course is a high level course and can be taken as a graduate level course, the absence of official prerequisite does not mean that the course is an introductory or gateway course. Unless made otherwise aware, the professor will assume that the following are true of students enrolled in this course:
    • The student can craft a clear and cogent argument claim (i.e. thesis statements).
    • The student can supply relevant evidence to support their argument claim(s).
    • The student can provide clear, logically sound, and compelling explication of the evidence supplied in order to illustrate the grounds upon which their argument claim rests.
    • The student possess working facility with the grammatical conventions of standard English.
    • The student has at least some familiarity accessing basic library resources and services at BC (e.g. using the catalog; checking out books; consulting the reference librarians).
    • The student can (with the aid of an MLA style guide or like reference) generate accurate and thorough citations (e.g. Works Cited, Bibliographies, Footnotes, and in-text parenthetical citations) for any all sources referenced.
    • The student is aware that in addition to the curated list of resources provided by the professor on this class blog site, the a plethora of resource guides on research, brainstorming, thesis formation, argumentation, evidence integration, citation, and grammar and style can be found at the Writing Center, Academic Services, and Libraries at Boston College as well as through a whole host of other institutions that publish such resource online (i.e. The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Writing Center and OWL the writing center at Purdue University).
    • The student has an active BC username and BC email and can access Canvas and

With Regards to The Course Material . . .

  • For the purpose of this course (ENGL 6025), the terms “reading(s)” and “text(s)” refer not only to traditionally “literary” texts (i.e. novels, poems, etc.) but also to a variety of visual, sonic, performance, and/or social/cultural texts.
  • The core questions we ask in this class stem from the interdisciplinary field of black studies, but these questions as well as many of the methodologies we utilize and the source material we consult overlap with and/or draw heavily from the fields of performance and theater studies, visual studies, literary studies, and even dance studies.
  • The material in this course addresses the life and work of people living under violent duress. While violence and abjection are not the center of the course, they are largely unavoidable in the material the course examines. The difficult histories, complex figures, and vexed relations presented in the course material are further complicated by their potential relevance to various politically and personally charged issues of our current society. The instructor will endeavor to flag particular types of sensitive material in advance and will not intentionally expose students to sensitive material purely for shock value or rhetorical effect. But with few exceptions, the instructor will not censor the texts or make euphemistic adaptations to make it more palpable. Students should expect to encounter in the texts and our discussions of them, representations of and reflections on various forms of physical, psychological, political, and economic, and sexual violence. If you’re struggling to process your emotional response to a particular class text or discussion, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the instructor.
  • In different ways, and to varying degrees, the lives, events, concerns, and modes of expression that we encounter in the course material are foreign to everyone participating in the class (including the professor). As such course participants must approach the materials and discussions in this class with an openness to histories, philosophies, ethos, practices, and aesthetics that may be difficult for us and require more patience, attention, and work from us to recognize and appreciate.
  • In different ways, and to varying degrees, the course material may trigger intense emotions and reactions. We do not all have the same relationship to these texts, to this course, the campus, and the country. As such, we must treat each other as if each one of us is also a dynamic, historied, and not immediately knowable- but worth reading – text.

With Regards to Communicating with the Instructor . . .

  • If a student has a particular questions and/or is confused about the course material, assignment instructions, due dates, writing mechanics, argument development, or any other relevant aspect, at any point in the semester, the student should contact the professor via email and potentially plan to meet with the professor during virtual office hours.