Grading & Assignments

All assignments will be scored numerically (e.g. 8/10).  Accumulated points will be weighted by grade category according to the following system in order to calculate a final percentage for the course.  This percentage will then be converted to a letter grade (and curved if necessary).

Participation and Attendance (10%)

Because of its seminar format, attendance and active participation in discussions are critical to the course’s effectiveness.  Students are expected to attend all class meetings, to be prepared to discuss the materials, and to actively participate in seminar discussions.  Please note:  I do not track excused/unexcused absences except in accordance with university policies (e.g. an extended illness).  Instead, I expect from time to time people will need to miss class and take this understanding into account when I calculate the attendance grade.  

Weekly Writing Assignments (25%)

Each week, the instructor will pose a question related to the course materials assigned.  Students will prepare a short blog post (about 300-500 words), which will be used to direct and focus the course discussions.  Students should therefore be prepared to comment on one another’s work in class.  Students will also be required to make weekly comments on other student’s posts (about 200 words) on the course blog.  Blog posts are due on the course website by 5 pm every Monday and comments are due by 5 pm every Wednesday (unless otherwise noted). Late assignments will not be accepted.

Research Presentations (15%)

Working in groups, students will make bi-weekly research presentations on topics related to the course materials to the class. The topics for these presentations will be developed cooperatively by the class and will involve research beyond the course materials.  Summaries of the presentations will be posted on the course blog.

Book Review Essay (25%) 

Students will choose a book from a supplemental reading list of anthropological works on socialism and post-socialism (located at the end of the syllabus and on the course blog) and will write an academic review (approximately 1500-2000 words) analyzing its themes and arguments.  Students will present a summary of this essay to the class and will post the entire essay on the course blog. Due Nov 1.  Late assignments will be penalized.

Final Essay (25%)

Students will write a critical essay (about 2500-3000 words) reflecting more deeply on one of the course themes.  This essay will be posted on a course wiki (more info forthcoming).  Students should meet to discuss their topic with the instructor no later than week 8.  Due Dec. 6.  Late assignments will be penalized.

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