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ENG 343 AA: Contemporary American Culture, Fall 2019

Instructor: Dr. Mary Wheeling


Office Location: Arts & Sciences Suite, #6, Fulmer Center Annex (top floor suite across from
water fountains)
Office Hours: drop-in visits, MW 12:30-2:30, TR 2:00-3:00, F 9:00-12:00; or we can set up
an appointment for another time
Phone: 302-225-6361 (leave voice mail)
E-mail: wheeling@gbc.edu (I check it at least once every 24 hours)
Contact Hours: 42
Credits: 3

Textbooks:
Instructor-supplied and widely available public-domain textual and audio-visual materials.

Course Description:
Meeting at the crossroads of philosophy and cultural studies, this course examines excerpts
from contemporary literature, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as contemporary film, to
detect trends in cultural beliefs and world views, especially those pertaining to personal and
social responsibility. (3 hrs.)

Prerequisite:
ENG 175, ENG 176

Course Materials:
See above, also online resources, handouts, and audio-visual materials.

Learning Objectives/Goals:
Upon completion of Contemporary American Culture, students should be able to

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1. Discuss knowledgably aspects of and significant developments in contemporary
American culture.
2. Identify and define key terms and concepts in the field of Cultural Studies.
3. Analyze contemporary cultural texts using the tools of the discipline: close reading,
critical thinking, critical approaches, key terms and concepts, secondary texts, academic
writing.

Topics Covered:
1. Cultural Studies as an Academic Discipline
2. Contemporary American Culture
3. Thematic Focus Exploration
4. Research, Writing, and Presentations in Cultural Studies

Course Format:
ENG 343, Contemporary American Culture, will offer lecture, discussion, and individual and
group activities at every class meeting. Course requirements (explained below) will include
multiple brief assignments, a midterm and a final exam, and a researched essay.

Course Policies
Attendance
Attendance is required. If you know in advance that you must miss classes for reasons such as
GBC athletics, a scheduled medical procedure, etc., please notify me in writing. It is your
responsibility to submit your work or take your test BEFORE such absence occurs. The
absence will still count toward the absence maximum. GBC athletes who have games taking
them out of class during the semester must present the professor with a game schedule,
showing what days and times the student will need to miss.

Late and Missed Assignments


Late researched essays and brief assignments will be penalized the longer they are overdue.
Some missed assignments cannot be made up. I will drop the lowest brief assignment score.

Make-Up Tests
Make-up exams are only permitted for valid emergencies, at the professor’s discretion. If you
have an athletic event scheduled for the same time as an exam, it is your responsibility to alert
your professor before your absence, in enough time to schedule a make-up exam in the ARC.

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Course Requirements
Following are descriptions of the major requirements meant to foster achievement of the
course’s Learning Objectives:
Brief Assignments (30% of final grade):
Students will complete multiple brief assignments including quizzes, memorization
activities, and writing exercises. These will be averaged together to count for 30% of the
final course grade. (The lowest brief assignment grade will be dropped.)
Two Essay Exams (50% of final grade):
The class will take two essay exams, one at the midterm and one at the end of term.
Each exam will count for 25% of the final course grade; together they are worth 50%.
Researched Essay (20% of final grade):
Students will write a researched essay on an approved topic to count for 20% of the
final course grade. This essay will include several preliminary components (topic
proposal, conference, annotated bibliography, etc.), the timely completion of which is
necessary in order for a student to continue with the assignment. Students will use the
MLA (Modern Language Association) documentation style for academic writing in
literature courses.

Grading Policy
See the Course Requirements section above for the grade percentage breakdown. I follow
GBC’s undergraduate grading scale for issuing final letter grades. Select "Grading System" at
http://catalog.gbc.edu/content.php?catoid=1&navoid=27 to see the scale.

Getting Extra Help


You are encouraged to email or see me in person with any questions about the course or our
classroom space (for ex., need to sit closer to the board). I’m available on a drop-in basis
during my office hours (see page 1 of syllabus) or at other times by appointment. Please email
ahead to schedule outside of office hours.
If you have a physical, learning, or other disability that might hinder your access to or
performance in the class, please visit your Advisor whose office is located on the first floor of
the Fulmer Center.
At the Academic Resource Center (ARC) in the Hirons Library and Learning Center, you can
schedule tutoring, reviews, or proctored tests. For location, hours, and appointment procedure,
visit the ARC website (https://www.gbc.edu/academics/academic-resources/tutoring-
support.html). Phone the ARC at 302-225-6229.

Classroom Behavior Expectations


This will be an amazing class if we all

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1. Keep our electronic devices on silent and out of sight during class instruction.
2. Arrive on time to class and after break and staying until class is dismissed.
3. Limit talking to others during class unless part of the assigned activity.

Academic Integrity
All courses taught at Goldey-Beacom College are governed by the GBC Academic Honor
Code. A full description of the Honor Code and related procedures is available on the web at
Goldey-Beacom College Academic Honor Code (http://go.gbc.edu/honor-code).
Remember that ignorance of the proper use of sources is no excuse for a violation. Any
alleged academic dishonesty in this class will be addressed according to official procedures. It
is the professor’s prerogative to determine the appropriate penalty for academic offenses.
Penalties for violations of the Honor Code in my class can range from a zero on the work in
question to an F for the entire course.
I require all work submitted to be produced originally for this course. Recycling old
assignments or simultaneously submitting the same work to ENG 274 and another class
defeats the purpose of our unique learning process and gives you unfair academic advantage.

College Policies & Resources

Academic Honor Code


Please familiarize yourself with the Goldey-Beacom College Academic Honor Code
(http://go.gbc.edu/honor-code). All courses are governed by this policy.

Student Accommodations
The Advisors in the Financial Aid/Advisement Office serve as the first point of contact for
students requesting reasonable accommodations at GBC. For more information, please visit
your Advisor whose office is located on the first floor of the Fulmer Center.

Hirons Library & Learning Center


The Hirons Library and Learning Center (HLCC), located in the Jones Center, contains a
variety resources to support your research throughout your time at Goldey-Beacom College.
 Search for information to help you complete your next class assignment using our
robust discover tool (https://www.gbc.edu/academics/academic-resources/library-
technology-services/), which includes over half a million full-text journal articles, eBooks,
print books, and government documents. We also have individual databases
(http://gbc.libguides.com/az.php) like Mergent Online and RIA Checkpoint that support
specific majors such as accounting.

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 Within the HLLC, the Academic Resource Center (ARC) is available to assist you with
your tutoring needs. Visit the ARC website (https://www.gbc.edu/academics/academic-
resources/tutoring-support.html) to learn more about the services the ARC provides.
 Computers, printers, and a scanner are available for you to use to complete
assignments as well. Visit the Library and Technology Services website
(https://www.gbc.edu/academics/academic-resources/library-technology-services/) for
details regarding computing options and hours of operation within the HLLC.

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