Thursday, January 12, 2006

Method of Approach

Update: Engl-394-D2 students are encouraged to use this post as a "suggestion box" for comments -- anonoymous or otherwise -- on how the course may be improved as it goes on. (20/01/06)

It would be good to hear from each of severally you on what you think would be the method most beneficial to you of working directly with our central text, Tales of Genji, over the course of the term.

My plan is this. Each class will have one hour of lecture from me and one hour of seminar discussion. In the lecture, I will give background information relating to Heian life and society, introduce and explain important Japanese aesthetic and cultural concepts, and generally keep the variety of material and ideas that our course contains within a cohesive dialectic.

Each class will explore one or more chapters according to a schedule on the course syllabus shortly to be blogged. For each, I will first give an overview, explain its progression in terms of theme and character from preceeding chapters, elaborate on new or salient concepts and any departures within the text, note where and how important themes are developed or repeated, and highlight and explain key lexical elements.

The move, in other words, will be from the general to the specific. What I would appreciate from you at the early stage is a comment to this post -- anonymously by all means -- to , as I say, offer any alternative methods of approach that would benefit you perhaps more. It would also be valauable for each of you to indicate what you would not like to experience: methods of approach that you would find unbeneficial (or just boring!)

Though it is impossible to please everyone perfectly, individual ideas can certainly be incorporated, and a strong concensus would certainly be accomodated.


kristal said...

i really like the idea of spliting each of the 2 hour classes into an hour each of lecture and discussion... it seems as though it will make it less boring and monotonous (excuse my spelling if incorrect)
other than that perhaps more comments to come in the future! for now all sounds as though it will be interesting and definately enjoyable!

Anonymous said...

I think we should split the two 2 hour classes into lecture and discussion.

Anonymous said...

When bringing to the class seminar discussion results, I think you've set a good precedent in asking each group member to contribute. Choosing group representatives--given infrequent consensus--is unproductive. Also, moving on--so to ensure no one person yammers in spotlight the whole class--will be good for everyone's morale.

Ann said...

I would like to learn about the Japanese culture more so I can better understand the material.
Ie: Marriage rites(Who is Genji's mother? A second wife.. a whore.. is she born into it? etc)
Significance of dates (Pillow book - #9 On the first day of the month.. etc)

Deep said...

After being in a few courses that you have taught I find this structure for lesture and seminar is very helpful and also the your technique of discussing the book form one general idea to specifics is also very helpful because it gives students a step by step reading of the literature which in turn helps students to interpret and undersand the literature.

Deep said...

I wrote that last comment quickly before class so ignore the spelling and grammar.