FWIS 112 001/002 F18
FWIS 112 001/002 F18
FWIS 112: Curating Civil War Photographs, Harry C Wiess College 146
Rachel Hooper, PhD ⎜ Fondren 414 (by appointment) ⎜ Rachel.L.Hooper@rice.edu
Course resources: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cPGkEQfms9rqN2Ue3AkyNgtrdrnsPih-
The title “curator” comes from a latin root meaning “to care.” In this course, you will care for a collection of Civil War photographs in the Woodson Research Center by giving them historical context and presenting them to the Rice community. Throughout the semester, you will learn professional language and practices used everyday in museums including “provenance,” “object files,” and “checklists.”
In the first week, you will choose a previously unidentified photograph from the Woodson Research Center collection to work with for the rest of the semester. By the end of the seminar, you will know how to thoroughly research an unidentified photograph, write your own interpretation of the image for various audiences, professionally edit your work, and present your findings to the public.
The first quarter of the semester (August 21-September 11) will hone your research skills so you can gather materials to be used in the second quarter (September 13-October 4) to write an academic research paper. The second half of the semester will prepare you to present your writing to the public. Editing processes will be taught in the third quarter (October 16-November 5) so your work will be ready to share with various audiences in the final quarter (November 8-29). This division of time into quarters mimics professional project planning by museum curators to prepare catalogues, didactics, and public lectures. This training will prepare you to be informed viewers of museum exhibitions or apply for curatorial internships.
Responsibly interpret a photograph from the U.S. Civil War in the Woodson Research Center collection for a range of audiences, from archivists to academics to the general public.
By taking this course, students will:
- Enhance their understanding of the central place of writing and communication in the learning process and in academic life.
- Learn strategies for analyzing, synthesizing, and responding to college-level readings.
- Improve their ability to communicate correctly and effectively in writing and in speech, taking into account audience and purpose.
- Become comfortable with writing as a process and learn strategies— for instance, prewriting, outlining, and revision— for working through that process.
- Learn appropriate use of the work of others and, where necessary, specific practices of citation.
- Learn to articulate oral arguments and to respond productively to arguments of others in formal presentations and in class discussion.
As stated in the Honor System Constitution, "The purpose of the Honor System is to allow maximum freedom for students, undergraduate and graduate, in the completion of all academic work and to ensure the integrity of the work. When students accept this freedom and trust, they are placed on their honor by the group neither to cheat on any assignment nor to violate the trust placed in them in any way. Students demonstrate their responsibilities to their fellow students under the Honor System when they can pledge, in good conscience, that their work is their own and that they have neither witnessed nor suspect violations by others."
One of the purposes of FWIS is to help new students understand the Rice Honor Code and, more explicitly, to teach students the rules of paraphrasing and scholarly attribution, and the appropriate uses of different types of evidence. Accordingly, FWIS instructors take an educational approach to transgressions of these rules and respond to errors in these areas as issues for grading and opportunities to correct errors, rather than as instances of academic dishonesty. At the same time, all FWIS instructors retain the authority to treat instances of repeat or egregious violations as matters for the attention of the Rice Honor Council.
In this course, students are expected to do the actual writing of assignments on their own, with no outside help from anyone else. However, students are strongly encouraged to collaborate on all other aspects of their coursework; including discussing assignments, reading each other’s work, and making suggestions for editing and revision. Please note that you are not allowed to resubmit any work that has been used in identical or similar form in fulfillment of any academic requirement at this or another institution.
You are encouraged to make appointments with the peer consultants at the Center for Written, Oral, and Visual Communication for your assignments in this course. These consultants do not proofread or edit your work, but they will provide feedback on topics such as the organization of your paper or presentation, the coherence of your argument, appropriate sentence structure, and consistent grammatical errors.
Everyone has different needs for learning. If you have substantial non-academic obligations or other concerns that make learning difficult, I invite you to contact me as soon as possible. I want to make sure you are successful in this course and will work with you to help you achieve your goals. All discussions will remain as confidential as possible.
If you have a documented disability that may affect academic performance, you should: 1) make sure this documentation is on file with Disability Resource Center (Allen Center, Room 111 / firstname.lastname@example.org / x5841) to determine the accommodations you need; and 2) meet with me to discuss your accommodation needs.
Absence Policy, as stated at https://ga.rice.edu/UG_attendance/
“Students are expected to attend all scheduled activities for all of the classes for which they are registered during the entire course of the academic semester for which they are enrolled. The academic calendar indicates normal class days, recesses, and holidays. . .
The university understands that students participating in university-sponsored extracurricular activities may, on rare occasions, need to miss a class session during the semester. As a matter of course, students should inform their instructors in advance of absences resulting from participation in university-sponsored activities. . .
Absences for activities other than university-sponsored events may be negotiated on an informal basis between the student and the faculty member. Alternatively, absences may be formally excused on a case-by-case basis if a petition explaining the nature of the event, accompanied by suitable documentation, is submitted to the Committee on Examinations and Standing at least two weeks before the event.”
Our course will use Canvas as the main point of communication where the syllabus, readings, and your grade can be found. All assignments are to be submitted through Canvas before class on the date on which they are due.
During your first year at Rice, you may find it challenging to balance coursework and extracurricular activities. In recognition of the fact that time management is a learning process, you may submit one written assignment up to two days late with no grading penalty. Any additional assignments that are turned in late will have 10% of the grade deducted for every day after the due date up to 50% off your assignment grade. Any assignments that are late due to medical conditions or other urgent causes will not be penalized but must be discussed with me in advance of the assignment due date.
Learning Objectives and Supporting Assessments
20 % Learn strategies for analyzing, synthesizing, and responding to college-level readings
4% (x5) Precis of Reading Assignments
One page summary of an academic text that analyzes the author’s perspective
20% Improve their ability to communicate correctly and effectively in writing and in speech, taking into account audience and purpose.
5% Final Draft of Wall Label/Omeka Summary
Half page interpretive text that will be presented to the public in the exhibition and accompanying website
15% Final Draft of Research Paper
Eight to ten page academic research paper that follows the format and guidelines for a paper that would be submitted in the context of an art history seminar
20% Become comfortable with writing as a process and learn strategies— for instance, prewriting, outlining, and revision— for working through that process.
1% Freewriting on a photograph of your choosing
Timed writing exercise where any and all ideas are committed to text
1% Research Question
Interrogative sentence that will determine the direction of your research
1% Outline for Research Paper
Map of paper that connects relevant research into a coherent argument
1% Draft Introduction to your paper
Compelling paragraph that introduces your thesis and major points of evidence
1% Draft Conclusion to your paper
Satisfying paragraph that ties up any loose ends in your research
5% Rough Draft of Research Paper
Complete eight to ten page research paper that will receive extensive feedback from your classmates
5% Rough Draft of Wall Label/Omeka Summary
Complete half page text that will receive extensive feedback from your classmates
5% Revised Draft of Research Paper
Complete eight to ten page research paper that will receive extensive feedback from me
20% Learn appropriate use of the work of others and, where necessary, specific practices of citation.
10% Annotated Bibliography of Secondary Sources
Bibliography of three secondary sources with short entries that outline how the sources are relevant to your research question
10% Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources
Bibliography of three primary sources with short entries that outline how the sources are relevant to your research question
20% Learn to articulate oral arguments and to respond productively to arguments of others in formal presentations and in class discussion.
2% Peer-review of Wall Label/Omeka Summary
Brief questionnaire answered that gives feedback to classmates
2% Peer-review of research paper
Brief questionnaire answered that gives feedback to classmates
5% Five minute presentation of your thesis and main points of evidence
Five minute oral presentation accompanied by powerpoint slides
11% Ten minute gallery talk on your photograph
Ten minute oral presentation read from a typed script and delivered in front of the photograph you researched throughout the semester
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
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