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UNM CJ 413 - CJ 413 Syllabus

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Course content and objectives:Communication & Journalism 413: EcoCulture: Humans, Culture, & “The Environment”Spring 2010Instructor: Dr. Tema MilsteinClass meeting location & hours: Communication & Journalism, Room 256Tuesdays, 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.Contact info: [email protected]:// content and objectives:This course explores how culture and communication inform, shape, and shift our relations with “the environment.” We look at human-nature relations as both actively socially constructed and as deeply materially experienced, focusing on the global manifestations and reverberations of environmental communication and examining international, regional, local, and subculture eco-discourses. The class especially investigates cultural discourses that might support more sustainable or restorative human-nature relations. Critical and creative exploration as well as out-of-the-classroom experiences in the wider community will be central to the learning experience. Together, through readings, examples, discussion, research, and experiential field studies, we will expand our repertoire to begin to understand how:1) cultural and communication processes and contexts inform, construct, and produce perceptions of and actions toward nature;2) cultural and communication research can be used to deconstruct and critically investigate cultural perceptions and practices of nature Required texts: Finish all assigned readings before you come to class. Be prepared to discuss, question, and build on the readings. Each day will begin with a readings quiz. E-Reserves for C&J 413 (password: lobo413): All readings are located on the course EReserves page. See schedule below for weekly reading assignmentsCourse and Teaching Style: The learning focus in this course is on student-driven exploration. While we utilize a wide variety of learning approaches – including interactive lectures, guided freewriting, small group activities, field studies, and independent creative projects – this course is essentially discussion-based and experiential. This sort of learning requires active individual and group participation. Each of you will get out of this class what you put into it. And your experience will be a collective one. To have successful experiential learning:- Prepare yourselves by reading and involving yourselves in the readings.“…the culture of nature – the ways we think, teach, talk about, and construct the natural world – is as important a terrainfor struggle as the land itself.” – Alexander Wilson- Engage in the class and actively participate in discussion, exercises, and outings.Course Grade Requirements: Reading Quizzes, Participation, Field Study Reflection Papers, Final Project1. Reading Quizzes (at start of every class): Quizzes are not surprises in this class. You should expect a quiz near the start of each class that covers your readings for the day, is graded by other students, and serves as your reading review before lecture and discussion. Quizzes may not be made up. To prepare, read carefully, outlining main points and concepts. Your one lowest quiz grade will be dropped.2. Participation (throughout semester): You are expected to be an engaged and constructive participator in class. If you are present but not participating, this will count as a zero. In addition to discussion, we will have a variety of in-class and out-of-class exercises, etc. Some of these require you to prepare before class and bring in written work to turn in for participation points, and some involve creatingand turning written work in during class. 3. Two Field Study Reflection Papers (due posted on Web CT on dates in class schedule): You will engage in two field studies, picking from the following three options: #1 constructed nature, #2 a sustainable/restorative experience, and #3 “wild” nature. More detailed instructions for each assignment will be posted on Web CT. During each self-guided field experience, bring a notebook and take detailed notes of your observations. The observations and ideas you write in the notebook will provide grounded specifics (e.g., examples and details) to explore in your paper. a. In your 3-page reflection papers, put your observations in conversation with concepts from class readings and meetings to analyze your experiences through the lenses of culture and environmental communication. These papers are meant for you to creatively and criticallyreflect on your field experience as it relates to your own discovery processsurrounding themes in this course. Papers should put your personal reflection (your own emotional, sensory, and cognitive observations and interpretations that you take notes on within the field) in interaction with two or more class readings. Choose the readings that best help you interpret, reflect upon, and analyze your particular field experience. b. Grading criteria for the Reflection Papers: i. Originality – I expect and appreciate creative approaches to these papers; ii. Depth of Critical Thinking – Use evidence to support your claims, develop your ideas in depth and explain the implications of your ideas; iii. Accuracy of Analysis – Use helpful concepts from readings and class meetings accurately and do not repeat what authors or others say. Instead, explicitly cite and engage core class concepts to analyze your own individual experience;iv. Grammar/Spelling – As with all your college assignments, edit carefully to show you fully respect your work and to be certain your work, in turn, receives the respect and consideration it deserves; v. Organization of thoughts – Your papers should exhibit a clear flow of thought. A thesis statement and a one-sentence preview of the structure of the ideas in the entry will help here, as will a conclusion. 4. Final Project (due posted on Web CT on date in class schedule): You can do a group project or an individual project. Either way, you have three choices of project form. This assignment can be in the form of: a. A conventional 10-page research paper on a communication, culture, sustainability topic that explicitly utilizes concepts from class (include at least 3 scholarly sources in addition to the course readings you use). Group research papers should be an additional 5 pages per additional person; b. A (5-10 minute) video documentary posted on youtube or a posted, live, and interactive web site on a communication, culture, sustainability topic or action

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