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Seminar Presentation 30%

Over the term, each student will do one seminar presentation in response to the readings in the unit of his or her choice. The seminar presentation will take an aspect of the unit’s readings as the point of departure. Each presentation (about 10 minutes) should act as an “intervention” and “provocation.” Thus it should push the class in a direction that is not immediately obvious, and it should encourage debate. The presenter will lead a discussion session (about 10 minutes) after the presentation. He/she should come with questions to stimulate discussion. Two students may work together to put opposing ideas/arguments is dialogue (as in a debate). Here the seminar presentation would be about 30 minutes.

DUE: Seminar Presentations will take place every week from Week 2 to Week 10. N.B. No class will have more than 2 presentations since presentations need to be distributed evenly over the term.


Assessment Criteria:

In general, the seminar presentation will be assessed on coherence, originality and clarity of argument. It should be a bit edgy and push the class in a direction that is not already obvious, so take sides, be partisan, argue about things that matter, and explain why they matter. Specific criteria include:

  • Evidence an original, thesis-driven presentation with a persuasive argument
  • Demonstrate clear critical analysis of material read
  • Demonstrate an ability to provoke and engage in debate
  • Evidence an ability to convince the class to adopt a particular view of some aspect of the material discussed


Essay (4000 words) 70%

Your 4000-word essay (due in January) will be a research paper (plus notes and bibliography) that applies one or more of the theories or theoretical trends to one or two plays or performances. The essay should be a thesis-driven argument that takes account of current scholarly debates. The introduction should also indicate the structure of the essay and its logic and introduce the essay’s governing thesis. Individual sections should clarify what they are intended to accomplish and how that relates to the essay’s overall argument. Throughout the essay your arguments should be punctuated by ample evidence that you are familiar with the theories that are related to your individual points. Use of quotations from other scholars need to be interpreted in a way that identifies their significance to the argument that you are trying to make at that particular moment in your paper. Do not let quotations speak for themselves or for you. Position them in a dialogue with your own ideas.


Assessment Criteria:

In general, the essay will be assessed on quality, coherence, originality and clarity of argument. Specific criteria include:

  • Evidence substantial independent research and critical thought
  • Demonstrate an ability to initiate and sustain a clear, original and rigorous critical argument
  • Evidence an ability to organize and support complex ideas in coherent academic prose
  • Demonstrate an ability to understand and critically interrogate research materials
  • Demonstrate an ability to write fluently and observe academic conventions