Senior Seminar Projects, Spring 2009

A week from today, the students in my senior seminar course will share the results of their hard work this semester. This event will differ from the traditional structure of scholarly presentations in in the following ways:

  1. The students have identified faculty, students, friends, and family members to read their project materials in advance of this event.
  2. Those audience members will come prepared to discuss the senior seminar projects in a roundtable-style session.
  3. Two panels will run concurrently during two time slots (see below).
  4. Each panel session will begin with a 5-minute presentation by each panelist.
  5. Following the presentations, the student’s reader/director will have the traditional “right” to ask the first question.
  6. Next, other audience members who have read the material in advance will ask questions and discuss the topics.
  7. Panelists are encouraged to think synthetically about how that panel’s projects all share certain qualities or approaches and to ask questions of each other.
  8. Finally, any other audience members who attend will ask questions, if time allows.

The students decided to pilot this roundtable discussion format after I described the ways in which some academic conferences (including, but not limited to, the Modernist Studies Association and the Shakespeare Association of America) eschew the “20 minutes of reading my written essay out loud” model for a discussion-oriented model in which the essay is distributed ahead of time.

What follows is the schedule of events.

2:00-3:00: The first time slot

Panel 1a in HPAC 219 :: gender, sexuality, disability, postmodernism, literary history, film

Alice Austin, “Breaking the Structure: Angela Carter’s The Magic Toybox.”
Jason Funderburk, “Copies of Copies of Copies: Tableaus of Performing Disability in Four Contemporary Films.”
Lindsay Harris, “’Wording Us Home’: The (Re)Positioning of the Queer-Girl Poet within American Literary Lineage.”

Panel 1b in HPAC 220 :: language, literature, socialization, isolation

Lydia Gosnell, “’Victim is a State of Mind’: The Study of Survival Literature”
Katie Swinyer, “Feral Children and Language Development.”

3:00-3:15: Break

3:15-4:15: The second time slot

Panel 2a in HPAC 219 :: identity, rhetoric, narrative, oration, race, gender

Christopher Kowalczyk, “Political Rhetoric as Literary Narrative: Barack Obama as Case Study.”
Leondria Adams, “Making An Identity of Her Own: The Slave Narrative of Harriet Ann Jacobs.”
Archie Means, “Barack Obama and the Tradition of African-American Male Oratory.”

Panel 2b in HPAC 220 :: pedagogy, language, literacy, media

D.J. Booker, “Face Time with Facebook: Teaching Adolescent Digital Literacy.”
Bree Stack, “Turning Teaching Philosophy Into Practice: Creating Lifelong Readers Using Harry Potter in the Classroom.”
Timothy Vera, “Using Opera to Teach English as a Second Language.”

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