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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Benjamin Richard Gardner
BCULST 510
Bothell Campus

Engaging Cultural Studies

Focuses on the design, development, and piloting of students' individual or collaborative capstone projects and the development of their program portfolio. Initiates the first phase of the capstone project. Prerequisite: BCULST 502. Offered: AWSpS.

Class description

This seminar is intended to support the development of your capstone and portfolio in multiple ways. Intellectually, it will help you situate your work and research within cultural studies theories, methods and debates. It will also support writing on and about your capstone and portfolio, which will be work-shopped in our course and then handed in to the appropriate advisors at the respective deadlines in the syllabus. By the end of the course you should be able to apply cultural studies theories and methods to problems and questions that you want to address. You should understand how your capstone and portfolio work in the program contribute both to the production of knowledge and public action on specific issues.

This seminar is the first of a series of three second-year seminars designed to help you achieve your goals in producing and completing your capstone projects and MACS program portfolios. The course will facilitate your meeting MACS program deadlines for your portfolio and capstone. On several occasions we will use class time and assignments to help you complete assignments for your program portfolio, including your capstone. The final products will be evaluated by your advisors (portfolio and capstone), however, I will also evaluate your work by assessing your collaborative efforts, including peer reviews. There are also specific assignments due for this course, including weekly responses to the readings, and engaging cultural studies scholars and practitioners in debates most relevant to your work.

The format of this course emphasizes collaboration. As a result, a significant portion of your final grade depends on your overall contributions to the course and your ability to facilitate the learning of others. This capacity to create generative learning environments is one of the core learning outcomes for all Master of Arts in Cultural Studies (MACS) courses.

Student learning goals

Identify the key questions and problems that animate cultural studies inquiry

Apply the theoretical insights of cultural studies to your own cultural analysis and action

Move from broad interests to focused research questions and methods

Identify your audiences and collaborators and disseminate your work in multiple forums

Apply insights from the course to address contemporary political, economic and social problems

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

30% - weekly response papers and overall course contributions 20% - peer review of capstone and portfolio 50% - course assignments


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Benjamin Richard Gardner
Date: 09/22/2009