SCIENCE/FICTION/EXPERIENCE

Syllabus

Meeting Time/Place:Tuesdays 5:00-7:40pm, 312 Art & Design Bldg

Instructor: Ryan Griffis
rgriffis[at]illinois[dot]edu
Office: A&D 117
Hours: By Appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course will examine some of the processes that have standardized and governed our experiences of space and time as well as practices that violate and resist that governance. We will read texts, watch films, and participate in exercises that borrow from a broad sampling of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Science Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Contemporary Art, and other discursive and practice-based forms. The seminar format will privilege group discussions and activities, while outcomes will draw from individual students’ areas of study and could include written papers, video essays, creative visual/performance projects, and conceptual designs.

GOALS & OBJECTIVES

This course aims to introduce students to several common (and some not-so-common) understandings of time & space as a subject for creative inquiry and production.
These will be achieved in the context of a class structured to facilitate both conceptual and practical forms of knowledge.

General Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe concepts of time & space used across multiple genres (humanities and social sciences, poetry, fiction, cinema, art and more)
  2. Identify commonalities and differences in such concepts across genres, theories, and individual works.
  3. Identify the methodological, ideological, cosmological, and/or “common-sense” foundations for different practices of time/space.
  4. Describe the ways that concepts of space/time contribute to forms of bias against marginalized forms of knowledge and culture.
  5. Create synthetic/cross-disciplinary interpretations of space/time concepts introduced in readings.
  6. Use deliverable forms relevant to the students’ discipline, or otherwise identifiable field of study to communicate this synthesis.

STRUCTURE

The structure of this course is a variation of the seminar model, meaning there are select readings on a theme/topic that provide the foundation for group discussion and debate. In addition to a shared reading and film list, followed by group discussions, we will develop forms of practicing what we are learning from the readings/films. In other words, each of us will develop an individual understanding of, and response to, the things we read/watch, but we will also produce a shared and cummulative knowledge.

For this class to work, everyone must be willing to work thoughtfully, keeping the larger process in sight and being accountable to both yourself and others in the class.

EXERCISES AND ASSIGNMENTS

Reading Discussions: Each student is responsible for reading the entirety of every assigned reading and posting responses on the course discussion forum. Responses should typically be 1-2 paragraphs (150-300 words) and directly address the content of the readings. Sometimes a specific question will be posted for consideration.
Throughout the semester, students will also be required to lead the discussion of a set of readings. Discussion leaders will work in teams of two and are expected to initiate the class discussion with a broad summary of the readings and a few prepared questions.
Creative final assignments will be art/design/performance/writing-based exercises involving "projects" created individually and collaboratively in response to specifically posed problems. There will be very few restrictions or requirements related to form, media and technique. It is expected that students will bring existing proficiencies and skills, while expanding the application of skills in new directions relevant to the course topic.

REQUIRED TEXTS

Readings will be supplied in the form of downloadable PDF files or links that correspond to a schedule.
Some films will be required viewing outside of class and may need to be rented individually or otherwise viewed outside of class.

SUPPLIES

You will need basic supplies - notebook, things to write with.

GRADING POLICY & EVALUATION

This course will employ methods of evaluation commonly referred to as ungrading.

Evaluations will be carried out through a combination of self-assessment and the use of simple rubrics that document participation.

There are two primary expectations for enrolling in this course:

1. Participation in course activities that happen in the classroom. These include group discussions, workshops, and other forms of real-time engagement. A large part of the course content is time spent together, so being present in class is important.
2. Engaging and responding to the provided course content. Course content includes readings, films, and other materials that are provided and available through the course website. One aspect of this will take the form of written responses submitted to our Canvas course space. Another is a final creative project.

It is expected that students will miss a small number of meetings due to illness, family concerns, and/or other life demands. The impact of absences on participation varies from student to student, depending on the level of consistent participation and active engagement in course content. However, it might be useful to consider the number of course meetings as a percentage of a total: this class has 16 course meetings in a semester, so each meeting is 6.25% of the total. Missing three courses would equal missing 18.75% of the class, or in the positive, attending 81.25%.

At regular intervals throughout the semester, students will be asked to evaluate their performance in course relative to the two expectations above using a provided rubric.

UNIVERSITY ACADEMIC POLICIES

Be aware of the University's Policy on Academic Integrity + attendance + nondiscrimination as they apply to this class.
Students are expected to respect all students in the class, as well as any other individuals that we encounter in course activities. Any consciously and continued disrespectful conduct will not be tolerated and will result in removal from the course. This includes egregiously disruptive behavior as well as any insulting actions or comments.

ACCESSIBILITY

I take accessibility of the content in this class seriously, and will make every effort to ensure accessibility is considered with respect and as a standard, rather than an exception.
Some aspects of this class will utilize techniques that rely on varying forms of mobility and/or specific senses. Most of these can be engaged with in ways appropriate to a diverse set of abilities. If you believe you will encounter any difficulties in participating in specific activities, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can find ways to create accessible arrangements whenever possible.

The University's policies on accessibility and disability are: To insure that disability-related concerns are properly addressed from the beginning, students with disabilities who require assistance to participate in this class are asked to see me as soon as possible.
To obtain disability-related academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids, students with disabilities must contact the course instructor and the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) as soon as possible. To contact DRES, you may visit 1207 S. Oak St., Champaign, call 333-1970, e-mail disability@illinois.edu or go to the DRES website.  If you are concerned you have a disability-related condition that is impacting your academic progress, you can talk with someone at the Counseling Center, McKinley Mental Health, or DRES about how to see a provider in order to obtain a diagnosis or get your questions answered

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY AND REPORTING

The University of Illinois is committed to combating sexual misconduct. As such, you should know that faculty and staff members are required to report any instances of sexual misconduct (which also includes dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking) to the University's Title IX and Disability Office. What this means is that as your instructor, I am required to report any incidents of sexual misconduct that are directly reported to me, or of which I am somehow made aware. When a report is received, an individual with the Title IX and Disability Office reaches out to provide information about rights and options, including accommodations, support services, the campus disciplinary process, and law enforcement options.
There is an exception to this reporting requirement about which you should be aware. A list of the designated University employees who, as counselors, confidential advisors, and medical professionals, do not have this reporting responsibility and can maintain confidentiality, can be found here: wecare.illinois.edu/resources/students/#confidential.
Other information about resources and reporting is available here: wecare.illinois.edu.