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Attendance policy: Since there is no exam in this course, regular attendance and participation is a must (and will figure in the final grade).  To pass the course you must be in class the majority of the time (I allow a maximum of three absences).


Team Project Team Project

Students will group into teams of 3 to 4 each. Each team will design a project exploring one of the alternative paradigms of literary interpretation discussed in the course (e.g., graphing, mapping, modeling, simulating, text-analysis, gaming, deformance, etc.). Teams will be formed up in Class 6, January 24. Grading: 50% of the final grade of each student will be based on the team-wide grade for the project.


Team Preparatory Tasks


Team projects are due at the end of the quarter, but they require preliminary collaborative tasks on the following schedule:


  1. Class 6, Jan. 24: Teams to be formed in class on this date.
  2. Class 8, Jan. 31: By this date, teams must meet at least once outside class to brainstorm face-to-face. (Subsequent team collaboration can occur through any combination of face-to-face meetings, email, use of the class wiki, or in the UCSB English Department's Second Life campus (SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Kerlingarfjoll/179/245/46).  The instructor will check in periodically with each team to be sure that collaboration is in fact happening.)
  3. Classes 9-10, Feb. 5-7 -- Project Idea Presentations: Choose a literary work (or part of a work) that the team will work on.  We will set a schedule by which some teams make their presentations in class 9 while others do so in class 10.  Teams will present their candidate work to the class along with the reasons for its selection. For the presentation, prepare citations, excerpts, and/or summaries of the work as appropriate on your Team Project Page (so that people who don't know the work can get a sense of it and follow your presentation).  In addition, teams must present at least two ideas for a team project based on the chosen literary work.  Be prepared to answer the question "why?"  That is, have at least an initial hypothesis about what a project-idea might accomplish for our understanding, appreciation, of use of the literary work (or of literature in general).


Team Final Tasks Classes 19-20, March 11 & 13


Due to the shortness of development time during a 10-week quarter, teams are not necessarily expected to finish with a fully-realized, working product (though, of course, the closer to that goal the better). Instead, the goal is to finish with at least a publicly presentable "prototype," "demo," "model," "maquette," "draft," or whatever similar term fits the nature of the project. During the last week of the course, teams will make formal presentations of their prototypes.  By the the time of these final presentations, teams must have ready the following:

  1. A cohesive, well-designed Team Project Page on the course wiki that presents (or links to) the prototype and explains it. (If you were to pitch the project to a funding agency or venture capital firm, in other words, this would be your make-or-break page.) (Instructions for creating a Team Project Page)
  2. The prototype itself, existing in some combination of specifications, sketches, images, videos, web sites, demos, etc. (Projects involving large files--e.g., video, audio, or many images--will need to be put online on student UWeb or other sites outside this wiki, which has limited storage capacity.)
  3. Annotated bibliography of books, essays, software, other projects, etc., related to the project (created by linking to, or consolidating individual "Annotated Bibliography" assignments; see below). 
Teams will formally present their projects to the class in classes 19-20.  Presentations must be well prepared and timed to last no more than 13 minutes.


Solo Assignments Solo Project

Besides team work, each student has individual assignments that contribute to the class as a whole or to their team project but that are individually graded. A total of 50% of the final grade for each student derives from these solo assignments.


Student Bio

  • Class 4, Jan. 17: By this date, each student will create a bio (including a description of their intellectual interests) for the course wiki.  Aim for a middle point between a MySpace- or Facebook-style page and a career-oriented, professional bio. This assignment will not be graded as such,  unless it is not done.  (To create your bio page, follow the instructions on the Class Members page.)

Annotated Bibliography

  • Class 12, Feb. 14: Create an annotated bibliography of 5 items related to the literary work and/or technologies or research methods your team is working on (or to some other topic relevant to your team project). An "item" might be, for example, an essay, book, software tool, web site, related project, suggestive paradigm, etc. (There must be at least one print or originally-in-print item included. Wikipedia articles do not count as possible items, though Wikipedia may be used to supplement the description of an item if used according to the course Wikipedia Use Policy.) (10% of final grade) An annotated bibliography entry for an item consists of the following:


    • A bibliographical citation (in MLA style unless there is a reason to choose a different style). [See MLA Handbook. For rules and examples for citations of Web sites, see Transcriptions Guide to Evaluating and Citing Online Resources.]
    • A 200-600 word objective description or abstract of the work, including quotations and links as necessary (aim for one double-spaced page as the average for each entry).  Descriptions should be tightly and carefully written.

It is fine for more than one student on a team to include some items that are the same in their bibliography, so long as each student's annotations/descriptions of the items is different.  (Post your annotated bibliography on the wiki by following the instructions on the Bibliographies page.  Please also give the instructor a hard copy.)


Research Report

  • Class 14, Feb 21: Choosing one of the items in your individual annotated bibliography, write a 4-page research report on it that includes the following sections (15% of final grade.):
    1. Abstract (100 words or less). [An abstract is an efficient thumbnail summary of the item being reported on--a so-called "executive summary."
    2. Description.  The description is a fuller objective explanation fo the item being reported on (basically: who, what, when, how, and/or why).  It may include portions of the annotation you previously wrote for your annotated bibliography as well as quotations from the item in question (if properly cited). Please include screenshots or other images where appropriate.  The goal is to give your reader a good idea of what the item is.
    3. Commentary.  Your commentary should include an evaluation of  the opportunities/limitations of the item as applied to your team's project. (What possibilities does this item suggest for your project and its general idea? What problems or limitations does it also suggest?)
    4. Resources for Further Study.  This section of the report should be a brief set of follow-up citations or links (including the citation/link to the item under discussion). (Please note the course Wikipedia Use Policy.)

      (Post your research report on the wiki by following the instructions on the Research Reports page.  Please also give the instructor a hard copy.)


"Interpretive" Essay

  • Due the Monday after classes are over: March 17: 8-page essay about the literary work that is the basis of your team's project. The goal of the essay is to provide an understanding of the work--analytical, contextual, ethical, aesthetic, and/or technical--that benefits from (and may include discussion of) the team project. Important: your intended audience for this essay is a general scholarly audience, not the insiders in our class. So take care to provide the necessary context (i.e., explain the work and your project as if you were writing for another professor in the English department). So, too, speak of your project in the objective third-person (not "our project makes me think that . . ." but "the [project title] at UCSB shows that . . .). These essays, in other words, should be designed to be publicly presentable, and will be linked from your team's project page on the course wiki. (Please note the course Wikipedia Use Policy.) (25% of final grade.) (Post your essay on the wiki by following the instructions on the Interpretive Essays page.  Please also give the instructor a hard copy.)

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