HONR-L 1302 Seminar: Habitats

Tim Morris

Spring 2010

0930-1050 Tuesday / Thursday

office hours: 203-C Carlisle Hall 1300-1800 MTW, and by appointment

tmorris at uta dot edu

office phone: 817.272.2692

office mailbox 203 Carlisle Hall

mailing address Box 19035, UTA 76019

to the schedule of readings and assignments

required texts: Factory Girls (Chang), The Outlaw Sea (Langewiesche), Abandoned Tulsa (Zarrow), The Orchid Thief (Orlean), Second Nature (Pollan), Majordomo (Crawford), Fruitless Fall (Jacobsen), Last Chance to See (Adams & Carwardine)

assignments: There are two major "papers" and five short "papers" due by the end of the semester. The writing process for each of the major papers will include a peer workshop, so drafts of those are due, respectively, on 9 March and 15 April. Final versions of all seven papers are due as a "portfolio" no later than Tuesday 11 May. (If you turn in the portfolio by class time on Thursday 6 May, it will be returned to you with comments and grade by Tuesday 11 May. If you turn in the portfolio between 6 May and 11 May, it might be a while before it is returned, and certainly not before the start of Summer I on 7 June.)

Major Paper One should be in the range of ten (10) pages, or 2,500 words. It should be a reflection, in the mode of the writers we study this semester, on some kind of habitat: your own, or one that you observe closely from the outside. This paper is welcome to include a photographic component, though that is not mandatory. If photographs are included, the text of the paper should still come to about 2,500 words.

Major Paper Two should be in the range of seven (7) pages, or 1,750 words. This paper should be a more academic critique of some aspect of one of the texts we read this semester. It should include some use of other sources to develop that critique, and should try to assess, positively or negatively, the author's exposition and argument. Note that "academic" writing is not synonymous with "boring" writing! In fact, Paper Two is not limited to a completely impersonal tone, nor is Paper One to be devoid of "hard facts."

ALTERNATIVE MAJOR PAPER TWO: Seven (7), ~1,750 words, of reflection on a different aspect of "habitat" than you wrote on for Major Paper One. Multi-media composition welcome.

The five short papers should be brief (~500 words) reflective pieces on issues raised by our readings. Feel free to range from our readings into the local, and the timely. At least two of these short papers must be in blog-post form, with links to relevant Web materials. Two must be in text-only prose form, suitable for print. (The fifth can be either; or, surprise us!) In terms of content, two of the short papers must be book reviews; two must not be book reviews.

grading: You will receive only one grade this semester: a final grade that reflects the quality of your entire completed portfolio.

attendance: Constant attendance is essential for a course like this to work properly. The attendance policy, set collaboratively by the class and with our mutual agreement, is that attendance will be mandatory at the two workshop meetings and otherwise unmonitored. Students expect themselves and one another to be present at, and prepared for, all discussion meetings.

academic dishonesty policy: All your work must be original. If you submit work that is copied from someone else's text in any medium, or written by somebody else, or otherwise in violation of the following academic dishonesty policy, you will receive a grade of F for the course, and you will be subject to the disciplinary procedures of the UTA Office of Student Conduct: It is the philosophy of The University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." [Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter Vi, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22]

disability policy: The University of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 93112--The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act - (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens. As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty at the beginning of the semester and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels.

schedule of assignments and readings:

Tues 19 Jan: Introductions

Thurs 21 Jan: Collaborative Syllabus Construction

Tues 26 Jan: Factory Girls, first third

Thurs 28 Jan: Factory Girls, second third

Tues 2 Feb: Factory Girls, last third


Tues 9 Feb: The Outlaw Sea, first third

Thurs 11 Feb: The Outlaw Sea, second third

Tues 16 Feb: The Outlaw Sea, last third

Thurs 18 Feb: Abandoned Tulsa, first half

Tues 23 Feb: Abandoned Tulsa, second half

Thurs 25 Feb: The Orchid Thief, first half

Tues 2 Mar: The Orchid Thief, second half


Tues 9 Mar: WORKSHOP

Thurs 11 Mar: Individual Instructor Conferences


Tues 23 Mar: Second Nature, first third

Thurs 25 Mar: Second Nature, second third

Tues 30 Mar: Second Nature, last third

Thurs 1 Apr: Majordomo, first half

Tues 6 Apr: Majordomo, second half

Thurs 8 Apr: Fruitless Fall, first half

Tues 13 Apr: Fruitless Fall, second half

Thurs 15 Apr: WORKSHOP

Tues 20 Apr: Last Chance to See, first third

Thurs 22 Apr: Last Chance to See, second third

Tues 27 Apr: Last Chance to See, last third

Thurs 29 Apr: OPEN DATE, for snow or other emergencies

Tues 4 May: review session

Thurs 6 May: course evaluations; portfolios due for express return

Tues 11 May: portfolios due for more dilatory return

Top of Syllabus

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