Academic  Integrity

CAE Links






University of Idaho


Contemporary American Experience

Fall 2011

T/Th 11-12:15, Admin. 227

Patricia Hart, Associate Professor, Journalism and American Studies

Administration 337 Office hours: - Wednesday 10:30-noon


Contemporary American Experience website:

Welcome ISEM Contemporary American Experience. This semester CAE explores how Americans are shaped by social concepts and experiences of class, gender, race and citizenship. We explore contemporary American experience using interdisciplinary methods applied to a variety of "texts," including essay, memoir, documentary film, and the mass media. The goal is to help you improve your strategic reading, critical thinking, writing, and oral communication skills while you deepen your understanding of significant and enduring influences in American culture.

Preparation, attendance, and meaningful participation are required and are the keys to successful completion of the course. I reserve the right to adjust the final grade for lack of attendance and participation. If you miss more than five classes, you will likely fail the class. Core discovery classes are intentionally designed to help you develop competence and confidence in analysis and the development and expression of coherent thought.

Always read assignments before you get here and bring the assigned text to class with you. You must be prepared by reading assignments before you come to class because class time is spent in analysis, discussion, and presentation.

Your considered opinions are highly valued, and the rules of civil discourse guide the give and take of discussion. By this we mean the obvious, such as respect, consideration, and toleranceóthe basics that create a safe place for wide-ranging, intense, and creative sharing of ideas. We help each other learn in this class through careful listening and collaborative interaction. Click here for the UI Classroom Learning Civility Clause.

Late work is not accepted.

All assignments are due at class time on the date due; work may not submitted as email attachments. Each assignment will be described separately in detail, but generally, all written assignments should be double-spaced in 12-point type, on one side of white paper, stapled once in the upper left-hand corner, without cover or binders, and turned in at class time on the date indicated on the syllabus.

No portable electronic devices are permitted during class time, including cell phones, computers, or ipods/ipads.

Academic honesty is essential to intellectual growth and academic exchange. All rules of originality pertain. Those who transgress will be reported directly to the Dean of Students, according to university practice. I donít expect you to have a problem; however, if you have any questions about academic honesty, please contact me. Iím happy to provide guidance and help you sort out these important matters. Meantime, click and read each item linked under Academic Integrity (from this link or from the menu in the blue bar at left.

Required texts available (inexpensively) online and from the UI Bookstore:

Correspondents of the New York Times, Class Matters (NY: Times Books, paperback 2005)

Stephanie Coontz: A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s (NY: Basic Books, hardcover, 2011)

Tracy Kidder: Strength in What Remains (NY: Random House, paperback 2010)

Readings on line (OL) at our web site will be added as the course progresses. Click here for readings and updates (same as clicking on Links on the blue column at left).

Some assignments have associated with them web site especially created for this class by the UI Library. The links to these web site are embedded in the assignments.

Course requirements, in brief:

Three (3) 3-page topical papers, special topics essays or research presentations (10 each): 30 percent

Three (3) reading essays (10 points each): 30 percent

Media Notebook and analysis, handed in twice during the semester (10 each) 20 percent

Two (2) 2-page response papers on on-campus events to be announced (5 each): 10 percent

Preparation, attendance, and participation 10 percent


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