Spring, 2004

WGS 391 (unique 44590)

Foundations II: Theories of Knowledge and Praxis

Instructor: Katherine Arens
Office: E. P. Schoch 3.128
TTH 1100 -1230P NOA 1.110


Assignments for Foundations II are constructed to evolve stepwise. The touchstone for success in a research or practical project is its ability to account for its embodiment:

To sensitize you to these factors, you will be required to work out a project in phases and present those phases to your peers in the class for comment and critique.

You will be required to post materials to the class website, and offer critiques.

The assignments are due on the dates indicated on the syllabus. Postings on Blackboard and the class website should be available to other class members by 5:00 pm the day before they are due. Late postings will not receive full credit; late classroom presentations will not be made up. In case of illness or family emergency (documented), decisions about credit will be made on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon how the student manages the pragmatics of the situation.

ASSIGNMENT 1: History of Gender in Your Field

Go to the Reader's Guide to Women's Studies (ed. Eleanor B. Amico [Chicago: Fitzroy-Dearborn, 1998).

Prepare a presentation of 3 minutes max in length (e.g. less than 500 words), and a handout (max 1 side of 1 sheet of paper) that summarizes the who, what, where and when facts of how the gender optic entered your individual field. Stress landmark texts or projects, and what forms/areas/representations WS takes in your discipline. Be prepared to present it orally in class.

Professor will post a version for either German studies or Comp lit online as sample.

ASSIGNMENT 2: Position Paper

Post a personal reflection (up to 500 words), indicating what problems you feel, think, or know work on gender will encounter in your field of choice -- what your particular challenge will be as a professional, as you define what kind of professional you want to be.

ASSIGNMENT 3: PrÈcis (I have separate handout on them)

ASSIGNMENT 4: Abstract for Semester Project

An abstract for a research project/paper/ extended grant proposal/annotated bibliography / practical or teaching project to be turned out by the end of the semester. An abstract, in professional form (data method goal) of between 250 and 500 words, should indicate the topic, strategy, goal, and form that your semester's work will assume. The final project, like this abstract, may be done in a group.

Possible forms (others exist, if you get approval from instructor)

In the abstract, you must specify population (level, demographics, place in curriculum, etc.) for whom the project is designed; design criteria; goal of the presentation. At this point, you may not be able to choose between a brochure or a website (for example); indicating your thinking to this point is sufficient for your audience to judge appropriateness.

An abstract is necessary in all these cases (e.g. even inquiry letters about if you can submit a grant proposal or present your work to a group require about 250 words to "sell" your topic). For general directions, see the Germanic Studies Dept.'s homepage, which has a link to a handout on how to do abstracts.

TO COMPLETE this assignment, you will also be required to:

**You will not get full credit for the abstract assignment unless you post comments on the other abstracts. [these comments will be set up as discussion threads]

If you propose a group project, each member of the group will have to turn in, with the final project, an individual assessment of how the work was divided up and a statement of personal accountability for what was achieved (this is for professor's eyes only, as a protection for group members).

The goal of this choice of semester projects is to give students a choice of ways to craft their own interventions, as they engage in various forms of professional communication, engaging with what profession they choose to be responsible to, inside or outside the academy, while they learn to transpose feminist and gender studies perspectives into practical work. The critiques from the class constitute peer feedback, delivered early enough in the semester so that problems will be minimized.

ASSIGNMENT 5: Research/Procedural and Outcome Plan

This assignment is a follow-up on the abstract, which must also be posted. Describe in it what your plan of research and action are, specifying

This should be done in 1-2 pp (i.e. less than 500 words), which may be lists or outlines or bullets, not necessarily connected prose. Indicate hang-ups, loose threads you have left, dead-ends.

Note that this is the kind of interim report required in many long-term group projects done in teams -- to apprise co-workers where you're headed, solicit help, etc. This can be in a table, or disjunct, as long as it gets the job done.

**You will not get full credit for the Research Plan assignment unless you post comments on the others.

ASSIGNMENT 6: Poster Session

Post on Blackboard a short version of your final work (outline plus samples of pages for website or powerpoint; 2-3 page introduction and outline of rest of report or paper, sample of entries for annotated bibliography. In class, bring samples and be prepared to present them in 3-5 minutes, for questions and comments. If we have a "smart classroom," we can use the hardware to show what you post, instead of you bringing copies.

**You will not get full credit for the Poster assignment unless you post comments on the others.


Post on website (Geocities.com has free personal space; many departments do), and/or as a .pdf document on Classroom blackboard site (note that all UT dissertations now have to be submitted electronically, such as in .pdf format)

Note that there is a how-to document for writing academic CVs on Germanic Studies website (http://www.utexas.edu/depts/german/main.html); CVs for business and government may look different. Specify in header or footer Professional CV or Academic CV.

**You will not get full credit for the CV assignment unless you post comments on the others.

ASSIGNMENT 8: Final Paper, Report, Grant Proposal, or Other Project

Due on posted final exam date. No late work accepted.

Final projects done in media form must be on a cd-rom, playable by MAC and ordinary software (e.g. standard web browser, PowerPoint). Check it before you hand it in; I am not chasing you down if it doesn't play easily (remember, I'm simulating a grant agency or project jury -- they'll try to plug it into exactly 2 machines, and then use it as a coaster if it doesn't work).

Text submissions must be in hard copy. If standard MS formatting is not followed (1.5 or double spaced, PAGE NUMBERS, indented quotations, notes and/or works cited, proofread, no funny fonts or odd layout) are not followed, you will be docked a grade. Period. You're graduate students, and "properly typed" is a minimum requirement. If no one has ever mentioned this, there are Style Manuals for formatting of notes, bibliography, etc. For an introduction, see library website.