Monthly Archives: January 2015

Your First Essay (HUM415)

At 8 pm on Tuesday your first essay is due to ilearn. Barring a catastrophic event no late papers will be accepted. The prompt is located on the course information page.

The purpose of the assignment is to

1. assess your level of reading comprehension and academic writing

2. establish a firm theoretical foundation for the study of the culture of contemporary capitalism

3. nudge the unmotivated into either dropping the class or shaking off their lethargy.

I am asking you to provide a précis of the articles by Harvey and Hall (which can be found in the hardcopy reader from Dragon Printing and on the HUM415READER page).

To see what I mean by a précis, click on the following link:

Consult the Paper Guidelines page for specific information on format and an explanation of my grading rubric.

Any questions? Please address them to the comments field of this post.

What is American…? (HUM225)

… I asked. And you responded, “American is…”

“… anything made or produced specifically in America.”

“…a term for the cultures that exist in NA. However American in terms of ethnicity can apply to North and South America.”

“… living in the US  under American laws and government systems. America is a melting pot of cultures and different traditions and values. America was influenced by Christian ideals, however you have the freedom to have other views. (guns, food, beauty, money)”

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What is Crime…? (HUM303)

… I asked. And you wrote, “Crime is…”

“… anything not sanctioned or permitted by the laws of society– though the definition is not black and white.”

“… breaking the law and there is usually a victim involved.”

“… an illegal action committed intentionally or unintentionally that causes harm, grief, havoc, or distress amongst others.”

“… from pg. 18 of The Kite Runner: ‘Now no matter what the Mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft… When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness… There is no act more wretched than stealing, Amir.'”

“… an action that is considered wrong or an action that brings punishment as a result.”

“… a person hurting another person, or disturbing or destroying their property.”

“… an action or series of actions taken by an individual or (organized) group of individuals that defies/ does not comply with the established laws of a sovereign state.”

“… injustice.”


Images of Crime (HUM303)

If you go to “Supplemental Resources” on the course information page you can find links to crime images such as this one by Javier Arcenillas:

A "sicario" is pointing Luis Esteban in the neck asking for his money back.

A “sicario” is pointing Luis Esteban in the neck asking for his money back.

One of the questions we’ll be asking in days to come is to what extent a still image can function as a narrative.

Essay One, etc. (HUM303)

Your first major writing assignment is due in electronic format to ilearn by 8pm on Tuesday 2/3. Barring exceptional (and documented) circumstances, no late papers will be accepted. As I said in class, this assignment is intended to fulfill several functions:

1. Frankly, to encourage unmotivated students to drop the course.

2. As a writing diagnostic.

3. To build a solid theoretical foundation for our primary project: the study of the relationship between culture and history through the lens of crime fiction and “crime in literature.”

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Responses (HUM415)

I’ve pulled a few responses to the prompt I gave you on Tuesday– “What is capitalism?” You might consider whether or not you agree with some of these definitions (and, crucially why/not).

Capitalism is…

“…one of the many types of government where money has big influences on things.”

“…an economic system which relies on the free market and supply & demand in order to create economic growth.”

“…a term used for a society with no maximum to how much you can make or own.”

“…government stuff.”

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