Assignments

  • Class Participation—Because this course is a speaking intensive seminar, students are expected to contribute to class discussions once daily to receive the minimum passing grade. Grades will be based on whether a student participated and the substance of his/her comments.
  • Classroom Discussion Facilitation—Each student along with a partner(s) will lead class discussion of one reading assignment. Students can lecture, do role-playing, analyze primary documents, or stage a debate. At least one day must be reserved for a general discussion of the text(s). Students must meet prepared to meet with me in class on Friday prior to their facilitation to discuss their plans. Grades will also be based on the following criteria:
    • Meets with me to discuss their facilitation plans on Friday prior to their facilitation.
    • Has a working facilitation plan to present at Friday’s meeting.
    • Responds to feedback and makes appropriate changes prior to their facilitation.
    • On the first day of their facilitation, lay out their classroom activities for the week.
    • Generates discussion questions that address larger themes within the reading(s) to promote debate and conversation. (NOTE: Avoid questions that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no.”)
    • Writes questions that address particular details within the reading(s) that facilitators believe to be significant.
    • Develops a classroom activity that creatively enhances information/knowledge from the text(s).
    • Appropriately handles student participation/lack of participation.
    • Speaks loudly and coherently.
    • Uses suitable posture and gestures.
    • Answers questions competently.

See the Schedule for the specific reading assignments.

  • Introductory Presentation—During the second week of classes, students will give a five-minute presentation about themselves and how they relate to food. As part of this assignment, students will need to incorporate multimedia into their presentation (e.g. Prezi, Google Slides, Pinterest, etc.). This assignment counts towards your participation grade.
    • Includes at least 5 images.
    • Gives an introduction and conclusion to presentation.
    • Meets the 5-minute criteria.
    • Speaks loudly and coherently.
    • Uses suitable posture and gestures.
    • Answers questions competently.
  • Reflection Blogs—Students will write a one-paragraph (5+ sentences) reflection on the week’s reading assignments. Posts must demonstrate that you have read all assignments. See the Schedule for specific deadlines. No late blog posts will be accepted.
  • American Food Digital Project—Over the course of the semester, students will use two types of digital technologies to explore American foodways. The course will start with a training session on designing a 3D print and another session on Timeline JS, both of which students are required to use in the course. By February 12, all students must have a food or drink approved by the instructor. Students will then produce a timeline and design a 3D print related to that food/drink item. NOTE: because of the closure of the ThinkLab due to the pandemic, students will not be able to print their 3D designs.

Over the course of the semester, students will have several deadlines for slides on their timelines (see Schedule for specific workshop days). For each workshop day, one additional slide must be added to your timeline. A select number of students will also sign up to discuss their timelines in class on those days. This will be another informal presentation, and will be expected to meet the following criteria:

    • Includes an introduction and conclusion.
    • Discusses most recent additions to their timeline.
    • Discusses any issues with their timeline.
    • Discusses the reputability of sources. Why is it reputable?  How do you know? See discussion of primary and secondary sources below.
    • Speaks loudly and coherently.
    • Uses suitable posture and gestures.
    • Answer questions competently.
    • Speaks for at least 5 minutes.

All slides must include an appropriate narrative and image/video. To find these materials, students will need to research the following topics:

    • History
    • Regional/Ethnic/Religious Traditions
    • Produced and/or Eaten Today
    • Food Components
    • Processes
    • Variations

At least five slides are to be included in the timeline to receive a passing grade. Be aware that secondary sources must meet the following criteria: 1) authors are experts in their field; 2) it is published with a reputable press; and 3) the author includes footnotes or endnotes. Primary sources—which do not follow the same criteria–must be from the periodization from which you are writing. Citations–which are required–can be inserted below the timeline on the class timeline page. Students are expected to follow guidelines on citations format in Chicago Manual of Style.

Midway through the semester, students will finalize their 3D print designs and give informal presentations about their experiences. Informal presentations will be expected to meet the following criteria:

    • Has an introduction/conclusion.
    • Discusses why the student chose this particular food item.
    • Shows the class their 3D print design (and email a copy to the professor prior to their presentation).
    • Discusses why the student chose this particular 3D print design.
    • Discusses what hurdles/issues they faced.
    • Speaks loudly and coherently.
    • Use suitable posture and gestures.
    • Answers questions competently.
    • Meets 5 minutes criteria.

At the end of the semester, students will be graded on their final timeline, which should incorporate feedback from workshops. They will be graded on the following:

    • Includes at least five slides.
    • Has a title slide.
    • Has a concluding slide.
    • Visual images (still photography or video) on every slide with appropriate attribution.
    • Mechanics: spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar are correct.
    • Correct sentence structure and paragraphing.
    • Inserts an appropriately formatted bibliography under the timeline on the class website.

At the end of the semester, students will also give a formal, 5-minute presentation on their timelines. They will be graded on the following criteria:

    • Include an introduction and conclusion.
    • Give an overview.
    • Highlight specific plot points that relates to the food item’s history, regional/ethnic background, and current production/usage.
    • List the components of the food and the process(es) in which it is made.
    • Meets the 5-minute criteria.
    • Speak loudly and coherently.
    • Use suitable posture and gestures.
    • Answer questions competently.

See the Schedule for presentation dates.

  • Speaking Center—Because this is a speaking intensive course, students are required to visit the Speaking Center before the last day of class for any of our speaking-related assignments—classroom facilitation, informal class discussion, 3D presentations, and/or final research presentations (NOTE: visiting the Center after an assignment is completed will not be accepted). Be sure to schedule appointments early!!! The Speaking Center’s schedule fills up fast, especially at the end of the semester. Failure to attend to the Speaking Center reduces your participation grade by a full letter grade.
  • Final Essay—Students will write a 7-page essay (not including the bibliography or citations) on the relationship between American society/culture and foodways based on the readings, videos, activities, and discussions as their final exam for the course. The essay must incorporate at least five reading assignments to receive a passing grade. All assignments are to be emailed (kmoon@umw.edu). Only Chicago Manual of Style is accepted. The depth of analysis, development of a cogent thesis, and overall writing mechanics will also impact the grade for this assignment. For a specific deadline, see the Schedule.

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