Seminar Presentation and Paper
Mar 19 by
a file upload
Feb 18 at 1:30pm - Mar 23 at 11:59pm
about 1 month
This assignment was locked Mar 23 at 11:59pm.
Here's some guidance on your presentations and ensuing seminar paper:
The first order of business is to decide what you want to do...some of you have already done this. But if you haven't, please let me know what you intend to do by Friday, March 5 at the latest with some sort of preliminary title. I'm always happy to have a conversation with you about this in case you're stumped or just want to run an idea by me.
Now, I have not provided in written form a list of suggested topics (as I have often done in other seminars) and I have done this deliberately in order to encourage you to come up with an idea on your own. I have, however, suggested along the way a few things that might be paper-worthy, e.g.:
- Caesar's motivations (where does he tell us, explicitly, why he is undertaking a particular plan?); the role of 'fear' in the BG; 'Fortuna' in the BG; or a word study generally (e.g., humanitas and its cognates); how he characterizes specific characters or groups of characters (e.g., Gauls) -- this could be very broadly construed; Caesar's 'gnomic' sayings (places where he expresses what appear to be universal truths); aspects of C's language and style you find especially interesting; a comparative study of specific episodes in the BG (e.g., what battle scenes have in common, speeches, etc.); 'religion' in the BG. You might also pick up on some of the ideas we've run across in the secondary reading, either that assigned/suggested or something you read on your own: for instance, 'allusion' in the BG (either intratextual or intertextual) or aspects of the several 'ethnographies' we've encountered). I am also quite open to topics that broach historical, political, or socio-cultural issues. The Caesarian world is your oyster.
- I have not, by the way, forgotten the gauntlet I cavalierly tossed out at the beginning of the quarter: is there any good reason why we should continue to read Caesar? Does he in fact have any place in the modern Classics curriculum...or in any curriculum, for that matter? If this is a challenge you want to tackle in your paper -- either writing in defense of Caesar...or not -- then have at it.
We will spend our final two seminar meetings in Week 10 hearing presentations about your paper. There will be no assigned reading for Week 10, so you will be able to devote that week (and exam week as well) to working on the paper.
What it should be: a roughly 10-15 minute presentation (no longer, please...time yourself) of what you're planning to write on with at least some evidence of preliminary work on it, including some canvassing of potentially useful secondary sources (you do not necessarily have to have read those sources, but you should have started poking around). I do not expect a presentation about a completed paper/project (though it can be that, if you wish!) but rather the presentation of an idea you've worked out to some extent and made a start on in terms of researching it. By the way, you may want to use a 'handout' or a Powerpoint, which is fine (not required, but fine if you choose to do so): please let me know in advance so I can arrange it so you can 'share' your screen (or send me what you have in advance).
When (choose a date!): I am aiming to have two presentations on M (3/8) and three on W 3/10). Please let me know if you have a preference (first come, first served...and please note that you can't all do it on the Wednesday!). I'll add your name and presentation date on the Canvas home/syllabus so you all know who's doing what and when.
What to expect: Part of the point of the presentation is to allow us to offer suggestions and, as warranted, helpful criticism. So this should be a group effort...in others words, be prepared to both offer and receive suggestions on your paper.
The Seminar Paper
Due date: Please submit your paper to me through Canvas (please don't email it to me if you can avoid it) by 6 PM on Friday, March 19. Now, I'm actually a bit flexible about this: if you need an extra day or two, please let me know. Grades are due Tuesday, 3/23, so I do need some time to be able to read your paper (if I receive the paper too late to do that, I'll assign an INC and change it later, assuming, of course, you've submitted a paper!)
What it should look like: The paper should be roughly 8-10 pages in length (typed, of course, and double spaced)....please don't include your 'List of Works Cited' or 'Bibliography' as part of the final page count; ditto if you use endnotes. If you do not do so already, you should get in the habit of following standard practice in the discipline for citing primary and secondary sources etc. One such 'stylesheet' is that used by the SCS' Transactions of the American Philological Association.
You've already rated students with this rubric. Any major changes could affect their assessment results.