The Posthuman

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." ~ George Orwell

Assignments

Worksheet #1:
1. Start by going to the course blog and reading my first entry there. I will put up a new entry each week, one that either offers my own thoughts or poses questions about the reading and film for that week.

2. Register for a Disqus commenter account if you don't already have one: http://disqus.com/profile/signup/. I recommend uploading a picture to your profile. Your comments will be public on the web to anyone that visits our site. And, perhaps, others not in our class may even join in. If you'd like to remain anonymous, feel free to use a pseudonym. Just let me know what it is. Even if you don't want a picture of yourself in your Disqus profile, I recommend using an avatar of some sort, a picture that stands in for you.

3. Put some initial thoughts as a comment on the blog by Monday night of each week, then come back at some point during the week to foliow-up by replying to the ideas of your peers. You should write at least 2-3 comments each week of approximately 100 - 150 words each. (I don't actually count the words, btw. Just make sure you're engaging thoughtfully with each other, rather than just throwing your ideas into a vacuum.)
Mid-term Self-evaluation: Write a short letter to me (the equivalent of about 1 page), an informal letter that responds to, discusses or questions your experience so far in the class. You are welcome to speak your mind about anything going on in class. You have creative license in the letter, as well, and may respond in any style, voice, or genre that you find best suited to the task. The letter is your chance to make the course content personal. I will frame comments to you as a response to this letter, so if there are particular things you’d like me to address about your work thus far, your writing, your blog comments, etc., this is the place to let me know.

Finally, what letter grade would you give yourself for the first half of this course and why? Consider attendance, preparedness for class, the strength of your work and other assignments, and your participation in the large group, small groups, and on the blog. (Ideally, I would give everyone the grade they give themselves, but I reserve the right to raise or lower grades as appropriate.)

Along with (or as part of) your letter, send me a 1-paragraph to 1-page sketch of your ideas for the final project. Nothing needs to be set in stone at this point. Just an idea about what topic / texts you might want to explore, what medium you might want to work in, etc.

Send the letter and sketch to me by e-mail (jstommel@marylhurst.edu). If you want to chat in person about any of this, feel free to make an appointment.
Final Project: The goal of your final project is to investigate one of the important subjects of this course. There will be two components of the final project: a creative component and an analytical component. The degree to which these two elements overlap is up to you.

The creative component can take any of a number of forms, including but not limited to fiction, film, video, photography, Powerpoint, painting, sculpture, poetry, screenplay, etc. The idea here is for you to do a bit of creative work yourself, investigating one or more of the subjects of the course, using whatever style/form/medium you find best suited to the task. For example, you might address ideas from the course through a series of still photographs accompanied by written captions. Or, you might produce a short film that explores or complicates one of the subjects that arises in our discussion. We’ll consider more examples together as the term proceeds.

The other component of the final project will be an analytical paper. The length of this paper depends on the nature of your creative work. For example, if you do an elaborate creative project, you might write a short analytical work, drawing connections between your creative work and one or more of the texts we’ve read. On the other hand, you might write a longer analytical paper about a particular text (or film), accompanied by a more simple creative project that illustrates your points.

Feel free to develop your project from one of your worksheets or responses, broadening its scope or reinventing it in some significant way. You may also collaborate on this project, if you’d like. A 1-page plan or sketch of your final project will be due in advance of the finished product.
Final Self-evaluation: Write a letter to me (jstommel@marylhurst.edu) with answers to each of the following questions. No need to use an attachment. Just write or cut and paste your answers directly into the e-mail. Again, you have creative license in the letter, and may respond in any style, voice, or genre that you find best suited to the task. If you create a digital final project, please include a link or attachment in your letter.

1. Write a short evaluation of your work in this class, addressing the following sorts of questions: How many absences did you have? How many blog responses did you write? Were you prepared for each class? Did you do all of the required assignments? How would you characterize your overall effort, interest, commitment to the midterm and final projects? Did your engagement increase or decrease as the semester went along? How did you meet the goals for the course?

2. What letter grade would you give yourself for the term and why? Consider attendance, preparedness for class, the strength of your written work and other assignments, and your participation in group discussions and on the blog. (Ideally, I would give everyone the grade they give themselves, but I reserve the right to raise or lower grades as appropriate.)