GER 389K: Fundamentals of Scholarship

Fall, 2007 Fall, 2007 Unique 39280 EPS 4.104 TTH 9:30-11

Katherine Arens


Assignment 1. Personal Bibliographic / Professional Resources Wiki Page

Your mission is to establish your own professional profile wiki page. There will be a page in the wiki at a link with your name. This assignment is to be completed in the first 11 weeks of the semester. Its goal is to define how you and your chosen areas of academic study need to be integrated into the professional landscape of US academia.

PART I: Write a paragraph introducing yourself and your major interest area. If you are not sure about a specific interest, you might take the topic of a course you are in this semester as your area of focus. This is the reference point from which the validity and completeness of the subsequent sections of your wikipage will be evaluated.

PART II: As we go through the areas of literary, linguistic, and cultural studies as they are configured in the academy today, you will take up the four major areas represented in any department, and identify how each contributes to your major area, and what kinds of professional resources you will need to keep in your active repertoire.

Start by gathering basic reference tips into an introductory section (eg. Catalog, Google Scholar), grouped according to major areas of department interest, listed in the hierarchy that most interest you (or that need to belong together most closely), from one to four, depending on what role each may play into your eventual work:

Follow the pattern of the handout: "BIBLIOGRAPHY ISSUES: My WIKI Page," attached to this syllabus. We will be going through each category to exemplify how and why each set of resources is used, and when, as part of credible scholarship. Your job is to establish a parallel set for your own area (and national literature, languages). Your page may or may not include what is presented in class; your goal is to make the basic HOW-TO page for your career.

As the class introduces the bibliography, reference, and information sources that you will have to master and have at your (mental) fingertips for credible professional work, add them to the appropriate sections of your page, with a brief commentary as to why there are there. You will have entries in each section (literary scholars need to know where to find information on language and the proper dictionary; linguists need to know where to find authoritative texts or text corpuses; everyone needs teaching resources; other disciplines work is drawn on to help understand texts); there will, of course, be more entries in your major area than in the ancillary ones. The results will also include professional organizations, conferences, and the like.

Not on the model handout, but necessary: also indicate what computer skills and training classes you will need to acquire or take (Powerpoint, html, Excel, classes) -- check out what is available for free or cheap through UT: Bevoware, and what training is offered free. See ITS Training and Computer Help.

Also check out PCL (Perry-CastaƱeda Library, the main library, and what it offers as training courses. Recommended is a library tour. Note that the campus will expect you to use software up to campus standards: MS- Office and operating systems that are compatible with UT online resources. They will help you do this; do NOT try cottage ware or other software packages, the frustration will not be worth it long term.

Don't forget to figure out, for example, if you need special fonts and what the standard are (for example, the Classics organizations have made specialized standard fonts available; the MLA has editing software and recommends certain bibliographic software -- the standard package is EndNote).

Overall, the result will provide a map for your professional world: the issues, groups, resources, and requirements that will mark you as a credible, engaged scholar.

As part of this assignment, you will be asked to read everyone else's page and offer constructive critique and/or suggestions, sending a copy to the professor. You will have a week after the date indicated on the Syllabus to send the emails. (They will also include comments on CV.)

This wiki page will be graded for consistency and feasibility.

You will not receive full marks if you do not read everyone else's page and offer comments/suggestions to them, either as part of wiki editing (put a flag on the page) or as a personal email, cc to the instructor. (See also Assignment 3.)

Assignment 2: CV and personal website on WEBSPACE

On your class CD, there is an essay and example of a proper academic CV.

From your UT Direct page, you can claim your WEBSPACE account (really good way to transfer files). In that directory, you can establish (or use) a file named www to establish a personal webpage.

By the date indicated on the syllabus, you will have to post a one-page (or longer) webpage introducing yourself, and attach to it as a download two versions of your CV: one as a MS-Word document and one as a PDF. The page must include one picture (not necessarily of you) and at least one hyperlink to another page, as well as an email utility (so you could be contacted off it).

You may NOT use the MS-Word converter to make that webpage. You must use either basic HTML or a program like Dreamweaver (the industry standard for webpages), which is available on computers in most campus labs.

Basic web training is available at: ITS Self-Paced Training and ITS Courses.

I'll be happy to critique CVs before you post them. Don't forget to put all your work experience, teaching, awards, etc.

Assignment 3: Help build the Wiki -- Mapping Scholarship in English and the Modern Foreign Languages

Part 1: Go through your Assignment 1, and add resources of general concern to the WIKI pages on the Profession, Practice, and Personal resources. As you go through, also annotate what you add, explaining why it's there (this might require you to make a new section). Use the guide to annotated bibliographies to see how to annotate.

Part 2: As indicated on syllabus -- begin to build wiki pages. You may work in groups of two or three to write pages (as long as you take primary authorship for two per section), and the idea is to use the writing of these pages to practice the bibliography techniques in the areas indicated. By the end of the semester, turn into me a list of the SIX (6) pages you added from scratch (at least one in each of the major areas of study), and let me know which pages you had to intervene heavily on or where you provided annotations (5 or 6 more, at least).

You may add a page linked to a name or item on any list of topics already in the Wiki, if one is not there already. If a link to an existing Wiki page is present, then add a second page with more specifics, like "x in country y" or "x in area studies" -- more specific applications of the topic. Make sure the page is place logically, and linked logically to other pages. Interesting pages to add often deal with reception ("x in country y"), or with specific concepts that might link to more than one theorist ("linguistic sign" in Saussure and Barthes, for example, with sections on each). Comparisons between the same topic or concept in two countries is also good (check out Wikis in different languages, for an idea).

The goal of this assignment is to help you become familiar with names, terms, and histories of the areas in which you are most interested, while practicing good research, documentation, and writing habits. Be sure you look at the handout on what constitutes a good Wiki page. Each section doesn't have to be long, but it needs to be precise and well-documented.

Part 3: add annotations, supplements, and/or corrections to at least 4 other pages developed by others in the class, and to at least 6 of the links provided in the portal pages. Submit a list of what you did.

Minimal standards will be correct bibliography, use of paper and electronic sources, and entries for each part of the Wiki page.

Assignment 4: two précis, teaching use of theory

See attached Précis descriptions. Each has two sections: one, an analysis of a theory text that you will use as a model to set up an interpretation -- an analytic précis, focused on a single theory text. Then the second section identifies what kind of text that theory might go well with, what research you'll need to do, and then set up an interpretive précis.

In the last few weeks of class, we are modeling précis along major methodological lines. You are to read a different theory essay from one of the schools, and try to apply it to one of the texts. Due as indicated on the syllabus. Use any essay in the assigned categories from class CD or Adams/Searle. Anthology.

Assignment 5: End of Semester Portfolios

1) Your complete Wiki page, with your professional profile and resources, all properly edited; your webpage with a CV.

2) TWO completely documented bibliography searches (see attached directions).

In-Class Final

Three hour exam; mostly short answer, on bibliography/reference, area studies and theory issues., and professional resources.

Please come prepared to identify significant items of bibliography, major names, concepts, etc., and to know when and how they are used. You will always have choices. Be sure you look at the bibliographic handbooks (Richardson, etc.) and Harner's Guide to Annotated Bibliographies to see what constitutes a proper identification of a reference source.