COURSE GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS
Participation and attendance (10%). Students are expected to
attend every class and actively contribute to discussion.
There are no unexcused absences, and I should be notified in
advance if an absence is unavoidable. Call my office or let
me know by e-mail if you cannot attend a class.
contribution takes several forms. Students may ask questions
at any point during a class; students and teacher may engage
in question-and-answer dialogue; the class as a whole may
engage in open discussion, sharing ideas and attempting as a
group to deepen its understanding of the material. Students
should work at participating effectively in all these
formats. Class participation will be evaluated on the basis
of evidence of preparation and thoughtfulness about the
material. The most important criterion, in my view, is
whether one’s contribution to class discussion contributes
to the learning of others, including myself. I encourage
students who are willing to disagree, to share their
opinions, and to back them up. I like vigorous and civilized
From time to
time out-of-class screenings will be scheduled as needed.
Advance notice will be given, and attendance will be
and exams (30%). Quizzes and exams on the reading
assignments will be given on the class day on which reading
assignments are to be completed. These quizzes and exams
will be factual, not interpretive, and will be considered
indications of preparation for class. There will be quizzes
on Giannetti (chapters 1-5) and the fiction and drama
readings. Note also that the use of Giannetti will be
required as a basis for a film-literate vocabulary on all
papers. Students in this course are expected to read
Giannetti (as assigned) in conjunction with class
work (60%). Two critical papers involving research will be
assigned on themes and topics to be discussed; the length of
the first paper will be approximately five pages, the length
of the second paper between eight and ten pages. Both
papers will involve research (the use of at least two
off-line sources other than the primary works discussed).
The due date of the final paper will be the final exam date
of the course. These papers are to be well organized and
papers the format of the first sample student paper in
The Little, Brown Handbook in the chapter entitled “Two
Research Papers in the MLA Style,” is to be followed;
bibliographic and “Works Cited” formats are to be found in
the chapter entitled “Using MLA Documentation and Format.”
Any paper that has not been spell-checked or does not follow
the assigned formats will receive an automatic “F.” No
exceptions. All corrections and editorial changes indicated
by the instructor must be made before the next paper is
submitted, otherwise the grade on the following paper will
be "F." I call this the “Magic Check” process. Again, no
second paper is submitted, it must be accompanied in a plain
tab folder by the first paper. A third, optional paper may
also be done. I will discuss the dates for this with the
class. When the optional paper is submitted, it, too, must
be accompanied in the folder by previous work. All papers
are due at the start of class from the author on the
specified due date; papers not handed in on time will be
penalized one letter grade per day.
grading philosophy. Grades on papers, quizzes, and
participation will not be strictly averaged; much weight
will be given to improvement. Each student's work will be
assessed on an individual basis, with emphasis on
consistency and the ability to achieve higher standards as
the course proceeds. This is called “outcome grading.” I
regard it as a truer measure of student learning than the
averaging method. It isn’t as tidy, but it’s more individual
and more closely reflects the learning curve in a course. In
my experience, this method achieves more accurate results
than the traditional averaging method.
averaging method may be elected by a student if that student
so chooses; this must be done at the start of the course.
Notify me within a week of the start of the semester. After
one week, there can be no changes in the grading system.
it is course policy that all assigned work (papers, quizzes,
exams, etc.) must be completed in order for a student to
pass the course.
note: An optional final exam is available for those who
select it. In my opinion, only those students who feel they
are between grades should select this option. The grade on
this exam will be used to determine which of two grades
(higher or lower) the student will receive.
5. The Mercer
Honor Code is in effect at all times in this course. The
consequences of violating this code are serious, and all
students should be aware of this.
6. The course
schedule is attached. See next page.
with a documented disability should inform the instructor at
the close of the first class meeting or as soon as
possible. If you are not registered with Disability
Services, the instructor will refer you to the Student
Support Services office for consultation regarding
documentation of your disability and eligibility for
accommodations under the ADA/504. In order to receive
accommodations, eligible students must provide each
instructor with a Faculty Accommodation Form from Disability
Services. Students must return the completed and signed
form to the
Services office on the 3rd floor of the Connell Student
Center. Students with a documented disability who do not
wish to use accommodations are strongly encouraged to
register with Disability Services and complete a Faculty
Accommodation Form each semester. For further information
please contact Disability Services at 301-2778 or visit the
web site at http://www.mercer.edu/stu_support/swd.htm.
this schedule is intended as a flexible plan, not a rigid
sequence. I am willing to expand discussion times if that
seems appropriate. After long experience, I have found that
the best way to teach a film and literature course is to
keep an open mind about the schedule. I have therefore
included a number of “buffer classes” at the end.
Tues. 21 Aug.
Course Intro. Reading assignment Giannetti, chapter 1.
Thurs. 23 Aug. Start Welles, Citizen Kane.
Tues. 28 Aug. Discussion. Continue Citizen Kane.
Giannetti Quiz 1. Giannetti assignment, ch. 2. Screening:
A Journey through Film with Martin Scorsese. 7 p.m.,
Thurs. 30 Aug. Citizen Kane.
Tues. 4 Sept. Citizen Kane. Reading assignment
Walkabout. Giannetti Quiz 2. Thurs. 6 Sept. Citizen
Tues. 11 Sept. Start Walkabout. Quiz on
Walkabout. Continue A Journey through Film
with Martin Scorsese.7 p.m., Stetson 158.
Thurs. 13 Sept. Walkabout.
Tues. 18 Sept. Walkabout. Reading assignment The
Thurs. 20 Sept. Walkabout.
Tues. 25 Sept. Walkabout. Reading assignment
Giannetti, ch. 3.
Thurs. 27 Sept. Start The Maltese Falcon. Quiz on
The Maltese Falcon.
Tues. 2 Oct. The Maltese Falcon.
Thurs. 4 Oct. The Maltese Falcon. Giannetti Quiz 3.
Reading assignment Hamlet.
Tues. 9 Oct. No class.
Thurs. 11 Oct. The Maltese Falcon. Paper
assignment. Reading assignment Giannetti, ch 4.
Tues. 16 Oct. Discussion Hamlet. Quiz on Hamlet.
Thurs 18 Oct. Let the Devil Wear Black. Giannetti
Tues. 23 Oct. Let the Devil Wear Black. Paper due.
Reading assignment A Clockwork Orange.
Thurs. 25 Oct. Let the Devil Wear Black.
Tues. 30 Oct. Let the Devil Wear Black.
Thurs. 1 Nov. Start A Clockwork Orange. Quiz on A
Tues. 6 Nov. A Clockwork Orange. Reading
assignment Giannetti, ch 5.
Thurs. 8 Nov. A Clockwork Orange.
Tues. 13 Nov. A Clockwork Orange. Giannetti Quiz
Thurs. 15 Nov. A Clockwork Orange.
Tues. 20 Nov. A Clockwork Orange. Final paper
Thurs. 22 Nov. No class.
Tues. 27 Nov. Discussion Last date for optional paper.
Thurs. 29 Nov. Discussion.
Tues. 4 Dec. Discussion.
Thurs. 6 Dec. Last class day.