HIST 4600: Writing Women’s Biography
Professor Karen L. Cox
Office: 122A Garinger Hall
Office hours: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 1-2pm and by appointment
This course will involve reading women’s biography and about the unique aspects of writing women’s biography. Students will also learn how to use databases like HeritageQuest to assist them in fleshing out the lives of women whose stories might otherwise go unnoticed, for example, poor and uneducated women who left no record of their lives. Students will write a biographical paper of a woman based on primary and secondary source research. HISTORY MAJORS ONLY. Must have completed History 4000, 4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, or 4797 with grade of C or higher.
Heilbrun, Writing a Woman’s Life
Lee, Biography: A Very Short Introduction
Shetterly, Hidden Figures
Varon, Southern Lady, Yankee Spy
Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Reading Reflections (3 total @10% each) 30%
Primary Sources Assignment 15%
Biographical sketch (based on Primary Sources assignment) 15%
Final Paper/Biography of a Woman 30%
(12-15 pages, see guidelines)
Grading policy: Grading for this course is based on a 10-point scale, such that (A=90-100; B=80-89; C=70-79, and so on). However, individual assignments will be provided with a numerical grade, based on the following (A+=98-100; A=94-97; A-=90-93; B+=88-89; B=84-87, and so on). Thus, your course average could be a 90, but would appear on your transcript as an “A.”
All written assignments will be graded for clarity of composition and grammar as well as content. All assignments must be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins, stapled, and include page numbers. Since this is a history course, your citations (use footnotes) must meet the guidelines established in The Chicago Manual of Style. See: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-1.html
If you turn in an assignment after it is due, expect a grade penalty.
Plagiarism: Please note that plagiarism is not tolerated. Those who violate this rule run the risk of failing the assignment, the class or worse. The Department of History strictly enforces the UNC Charlotte Code of Student Academic Integrity. Any violation results in penalty and may lead to failure of the course. See http://www.legal.uncc.edu/policies/ps-105.html.
Class Participation/Discussion: This class is a seminar, not a lecture class, therefore important emphasis is placed on student discussion of the reading. In order to insure this occurs, you will be required to write reflections on the readings. I strive for a class environment in which everybody regardless their age, background, orientation, gender identity, preferences, or personal circumstance, feels included and free to express themselves; i.e. an optimal learning experience for all. I look forward to your contributions towards this goal. Academic test and notetaking accommodation due to disability may occur upon letter from Disability Services from that day forward.
Attendance policy: In a class that only meets once a week, it goes without saying that you are expected to attend class. 1 unexcused absence; 3 unexcused absences automatic failure. Attendance counted from Jan 16 on. Excused absences to be documented and cleared. Religious accommodation requests must be submitted by January 22, 2018 (https://legal.uncc.edu/policies/up-409. )
General Class Etiquette: Be respectful of other students and avoid distracting them and hindering their opportunity to learn. Refrain from making comments or remarks while the professor is teaching. All students should be given the opportunity to participate in a discussion.
Running late to class? I can accept being a few minutes late, however, beyond that it is rude and disruptive. Make the effort to get to class on time. Thank you.
Electronic distractions (NO): This should go without saying, but let’s say it anyway: you should turn off your cellphone and/or other devices before you enter the classroom. I understand that your phones connect you with your friends and family, but the classroom should be a place apart, however briefly, from the outside world. You will learn more if you can concentrate on the course while you’re in the course. Sorry, but laptops are forbidden for purposes of note taking. Go old school and take notes with pen and paper, studies show that you will retain the information better. While I’d prefer that you read the paper version of a book, if you are using an e-reader, please request permission to use it for class.
Emailing your professor: There should be a salutation (Dear Professor or just Professor). Your subject line should be specific and not something like “class.” And you should sign your name. Always use your UNCC email and not some address like “firstname.lastname@example.org.” If you skip any of these steps, then don’t expect a reply.