Performance reading journal, participation (MUCommons blog, class attendance, quizzes)                                                                20%
Midterm and Final Exam                                       20%
Annotated bibliography and project proposal        15%
Final Project & Presentation                                   30%
Discussion Facilitation & response blog                 15%

Your MU Blog
Set up an MU Commons site the first week of class to post thoughts on the readings each week, and to post a more formal essay the week of your discussion facilitation, as well as your final essay.  Send a link to your site to me via email the first week, or post the link as a comment on this course site.  Your MU Commons Blog must have the following features (although it may have more materials as well).

1. Page or series of posts that consist of your “Reading journal” or responses. New  posts due on Saturdays
2. Separate page containing reflections on your Discussion Facilitation topic
3. Separate page with Annotated Bibliography / Research Proposal
4. Separate page with Final research paper (link to presentation is optional)

Discussion Facilitation
2-3 students each week will facilitate our discussion of the assigned text. To do this you will work with your other group members that week to take the following steps:

1.) Review the critical article from the bibliography on Blackboard that pertains to the text for that week
2.) Find one other article, review, short story or poem that adds insight to the week’s topic
3.) Provide the class with copies of the readings by posting a pdf or link on Blackboard by Wednesday evening at 5pm
4.) Review class responses to these materials posted by Saturday evening at 5pm
5.) Lead the class discussion by opening with small group activities that address the following concepts:

  1. Raise 3-5 key points about the text/performance from the week and how it portrays certain values surrounding illness (positive or negative, through character development theme, image or another route)
  2. Discuss 2 key connections between the materials for the week (cite specific moments in the text to discuss)

6.) By 5pm on the Wednesday following your class discussion, you will post a researched 750-100 word response to the week’s topic and discussion on your MU Blog site, including bibliographic listings of the supplemental readings you posted on Blackboard.

Your reflection essay, posted on MU Blogs, should consider the following topics: What did you learn that surprised you? How was your reaction to the performance material affected by the critical article and other readings for the week? Include a works cited list, cite all paraphrased and directly quoted material according to MLA format. (15% of overall grade)

Final Projects
See expanded assignment sheet on this link

Using the bibliography and suggested viewings as a starting point, choose one of the unit topics and watch one other performance on this topic, preferably from the suggested viewing list. Bring in at least one critical reading from the bibliography, plus 7-9 additional sources on this topic. Develop a proposal (250 words) and annotated bibliography listing a potential 8-10 sources based on your research about how these two performances portray illness in similar or different ways, and how they reflect or shape cultural values of the audiences that view them. (Bibliography and proposal 15%)

Based on your research, write a 2,500-4,5000 word paper and develop a 5 minute presentation in pecha kucha style that reflects your findings on the topic of how this particular disease is portrayed in these 2 key cultural performances. Your presentation should focus on your findings regarding not only the artistic merits of the performance, but its cultural context. What anxieties does it express or relieve? How does it function to represent specific values through characters, themes, or images? How does its choice of genre (documentary, lyric narrative, or realist drama, for example) affect how the audience “reads” this image of disease? (Final research paper & presentation 30% of final grade)

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