Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Syllabus for Higher Ed in Film and Fiction

I just started my new course tonight, handing out this syllabus:

Purdue University
College of Education
Department of Educational Studies
Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations

Higher Education in Film and Fiction

Spring 2005
Tuesday, 5:30 – 8:20 pm
Beering Hall B255


Professor A. G. Rud
Beering Hall 5142
rud@purdue.edu (best option)
moo2 (my blog on higher education): http://moodeuce.blogspot.com/

Office Hours

By appointment. I am on e-mail every day, so feel free to contact me. Unless I have to get somewhere, I usually should be able to chat after class.

Course Description and Rationale

In this new course, we will examine college and university life through the lenses provided by writers and filmmakers. Fiction and film provide ways to investigate character and motive, as well as cultural context, allowing us to access meaning and significance beyond theoretical and analytic inquiry. We will become more sophisticated observers of higher education, as well as more effective in our careers in higher education, as we seek to understand the complexity of higher education through artistic representation. Current theoretical descriptions and analyses of higher education will form the context for our discussions of art. The following questions plus others shall guide our inquiry:

What images of university life are presented by fiction writers and filmmakers?
How are different institutions (liberal arts colleges, land grant universities, and such) portrayed?
How do these portrayals match other descriptions and analyses?
What can we learn as higher education professionals about our chosen workplace from film and fictional presentations?

Course Activities

Weekly meetings will alternate between a film, which we will watch in class and then discuss, and a student presentation and discussion of a novel. Should you not be present for one of the films, these are generally readily available for rent at video stores, or for checking out at the university or local public libraries

Dialogue and the formation of a community of inquiry around student presentations will be central. I ask that you share any articles, websites, or book chapters with me and others, either in class, on the discussion list, or as comments on my blog, so that we can further our understanding of the topics.

Course Requirements

You will lead the class in discussion of one of the novels. You will team up with classmates to do this, and you should coordinate what component each will take. Discussion should include a synopsis of the book, and a relation of its themes to higher education and your experiences as a student or employee of a college or university. You should also have questions for your classmates that can spark discussion. Please prepare this brief set of questions and topics in advance (which may be shorter than what you present in class) and submit them by e-mail to everyone on our course discussion list by Monday noon prior to the class, so we can think about how we can contribute to the discussion you will lead before we meet the next day. 25 points

You will make regular contributions to class discussion in class, or online on the course discussion list and/or my blog. (I do not take attendance but please do let me know if you need to miss a class) 5 points

You will write two 2000 word papers, to be submitted as e-mail attachments to rud@purdue.edu (no paper, please) by the due dates listed below. Late assignments will be docked 10 points. Paper guidelines will be distributed. 35 points each, 70 points total

Course Schedule (subject to revision)

OOPS, looks like the table didn't copy...oh well, you get the idea...

Read Novel Prior or Watch Film In Class
January 11
Introduction and Overview of the Academic Novel and Film

January 18
Film and Discussion
Educating Rita
January 25
Student Novel Presentation and Discussion
Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim
February 1
Film and Discussion
Mona Lisa Smile
February 8
Student Novel Presentation and Discussion
David Lodge’s Changing Places
February 15
Film and Discussion
Wonder Boys

February 22
Student Novel Presentation and Discussion
Philip Roth’s The Human Stain
March 1
Film and Discussion
The Human Stain

March 8
Film and Discussion

Higher Learning
March 15

March 22
Student Novel Presentation and Discussion
Richard Russo’s Straight Man
March 29
Film and Discussion
Dead Poets Society
April 5
Student Novel Presentation and Discussion
Jane Smiley’s Moo
April 12
May Sarton’s The Small Room
April 19
Film and Discussion
April 26
TV Episodes and Discussion; Course Wrap-up
The Education of Max Bickford
April 29

Books (Available at Von’s Bookstore)

Amis: Lucky Jim (Penguin, 0-14-018630-1)
Lodge: Changing Places (Penguin, 0-14-017098-7)
Roth: The Human Stain (Random House, 0-375-72634-9)
Russo: Straight Man (Random House, 0-375-70190-7)
Sarton: The Small Room (Norton, 0-393-00832-0)
Smiley: Moo (Random House, 0-8041-1768-3)

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