Course Requirements and Grading
Readings (password protected)
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
Preparation and engaged class participation (including wiki) – 15%
Writing Assignment #1 – 15%
Writing Assignment #2 – 25%
Writing Assignment #3 – 25%
Final Exam – 20%
Class participation (15% of your final grade) will be assessed not simply on the volume of one’s participation in discussions but on the quality and thoughtfulness of a student’s contribution. This is invariably a subjective measure, but it is important for students to consider whether they have a particular question that they want to address and how that relates to the readings. What I particularly want to see is that students demonstrate close reading skills by drawing on the texts themselves and offering analysis of an author’s argument. This might be in the form of showing how the archaeological evidence does not support the substantive claims of an article, or to ask for clarification of technical terms or theoretical concepts. Included in the class participation grade are the various non-graded short assignments that will be part of the course which may include in-class debates, short presentations, or course wiki postings.
Attendance is absolutely mandatory. After the first two weeks of shopping period you will have two days of unexcused absences (use them wisely). Each additional unexcused absence will result in 1 point subtracted from your final total out of 100. Absences due to illness, personal/family emergency will be excused given sufficient verification. Excessive tardiness (10 minutes or more after the start of class) will result in ½ point subtracted from your final grade. It will be hard to learn much from this class if you don’t show up!
As part of the course we will be working with some actual artifacts collected from later period sites in Egypt – primarily Fustat. These were made available as a bequest from Dr. Florence Day who worked for many years as a pottery specialist at site’s throughout the region and was a curator of Islamic antiquities at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. This collection will serve as a spring board for visualizing the material culture of one of the most important sites of later Egypt.
This is an integral part of the course and will be your window into the material as well as many of the assignments. The goal of the wiki is to provide a venue for building this course as a collaborative project. In particular this will require your input in aspects of the course such as the glossary of terms and weblog of many of the images shown in class. We will discuss this in greater detail as the course progresses.<o:p></o:p>
This course will consist of three writing assignments.
Essay 1 will deal with the city of Alexandria
Essay 2 will deal with a topic in the archaeology of Egypt during the periods covered by the course
Essay 3 will be a topic of student’s choosing
Further details of each essay will be provided closer to the time of the actual assignment.
Writing assignments will be evaluated for both content and style. By style I mean that I expect papers to be rigorously edited professional pieces of writing with proper citation formats, page numbers, title pages etc. In terms of content (and this will be the subject of separate handout) what I am looking for is a well structured argument that demonstrates a critical close engagement with the readings. I would much rather a paper that analyzed just two sentences of an article with close attention to language and their relationship to the author’s thesis than a personal commentary or literature review.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any incidents of dishonest work will be reported to your academic advisor and the appropriate dean. I take all these matters seriously. If you feel that you are headed in this direction, see me immediately and we can solve this together, before it leads down the road of disciplinary action.
This will include both short answer identifications and several thematically based essays drawn from the course material. Those questions will be drawn from a study guide which you will collectively develop on the course wiki.
Since one of the goals of this course is for you to learn key terms and issues important for the archaeological study of later Egypt we will be building a glossary of important terminology and topics that emerge from readings and discussion during the semester. This syllabus itself is an important reference for what some of these items are. These will be collected as a collaborative document on the wiki. This will serve as the basis from which identifications for the exam will be taken. It may not be absolutely comprehensive, but the vast majority of what is on the exams will come from this glossary.