Spring 2014 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This course is intended to introduce students to the intellectual and professional requirements of advanced study in literature, history, and the visual and performing arts; the course serves as the core course in the graduate program in the School of Arts and Humanities and is required. The recommendation is that students take it earlier rather than later in their degree plans; the assumption is that students in the course have not mastered the skills the course is supposed to develop. These skills include but are not limited to critical reading, explication and interpretation of literary and historical texts and visual and performing artifacts, and the production of analytical discussion.
The theme of this course will be predicated upon the proposition that the contemporary perception of the American hero is derived from a traditional image that was born, developed, and nurtured by the mythos of the American frontier. By examining historical texts, fictional representations, and artistic renderings, students will determine the origins of values and traits associated with the concept of "the American hero" in the context of the American West. Included in this approach will be evaluations of different times, geographies, ethnic and racial distinctions, as well as the formation of cliches and accepted properties of the American character.
TBA. Watch this space for notifications of advanced readings to be posted during the month of December.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
The University of Texas at Dallas requires that a student pass this course with a grade of B or better for the course to fulfill a graduate degree plan.
Students will be required to attend all class meetings and to participate in all lectures and discussions, to read all assigned work, and to be prepared without notice to offer written evaluations and commentary on assigned work.
Each student will prepare a short oral presentation for the class on the course topic; the purpose of this presentation will be to stimulate discussion as well as to bring ancillary information to the course.
Each student will be asked to prepare a "model proposal" of between twelve and fifteen pages, plus bibliography, based on a thesis that has grown out of the course topic. This proposal will be designed to be used as a basis for a longer study that might run to a book-length examination of the topic. The proposal may or may not be associated with the oral presentation.