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ANTHR 440 Assignments


Grade Distribution​ and Due Dates

Grades in this course will be made up of four components: (1) Class attendance, participation and a few minor miscellaneous assignments related to millenarianism that will be assigned at appropriate times throughout the course; (2) Critiques/summaries of readings (to be turned in as an annotated bibliography); (3) at least one presentation during a class period, where you present the core arguments of a set of readings and provide a substantive analysis of both the core reading and some additional reading that helps us gain greater ethnographic or analytic depth for that day; and (4) a final research paper in which you dig more deeply into a particular millenarian movement. 


What will I turn in?


(1) Attendance / Participation. The regular seminar discussions in this course are critical to helping you understand millenarianism, the various ethnographic and historical examples we will cover, and the variety of theoretical frameworks that have been developed to understand millenarianism as a phenomenon. On occasion I may assign miscellaneous tasks with a short write-up related to millenarianism. These will be due as they are assigned. It is also essential that all readings are completed before each lecture/discussion in order to facilitate productive discussion and critiques of the various research approaches we will cover. Both attendance and participation in discussions will factor into these considerations. Participation in seminar discussions will be graded on the following dimensions by the instructor for each student at the end of the semester:


1. Comes to class clearly having engaged with the text(s) for that day, ready to summarize, question, critique, debate, or ask clarifying questions about the reading (5 points possible)

2. Makes specific references to the readings (including citing page numbers) in the seminar discussion (5 points possible)

3. Productively makes connections across readings, helping the seminar group develop a comprehensive understanding and analysis that draws connections and comparisons across the literature (5 points possible)

4. Undertakes miscellaneous assignments in good faith, and brings substantive insights and results to the seminar discussion to productively contribute to the seminar (5 points possible)


(2) Critiques & Summaries (annotated bibliography)


Annotated Bibliography: You will produce an annotated bibliography of the readings for this course in which you write summaries of the central argument of each piece, and at least one point of critique for each reading. For each week choose at least two pieces to write on. You will make the document available to me via Box as you compose it throughout the semester, and you will turn in the complete annotated bibliography at the end of the class (due the last day of classes). In some cases where a week includes more than two readings, I may highlight one or two that may be best to focus on when making your decisions as to what reading to emphasize in your annotated bibliography. 


Format: The annotated bibliography will list at the top of the first page the TOTAL page count for all of the pieces included in the bibliography (summed together) which the student has actually read, and the TOTAL number of pieces read. For each piece in the bibliography you will give 1) the full citation for each source you read in Chicago Author-Date citation format (see, 2) the total number of pages in the piece, 3) the summary paragraph(s), and 4) the short critique paragraph(s).


(3) Presentation(s) and analysis. Each of you will prepare a formal presentation of the material to be discussed for at least two seminar sessions over the course of the semester. Prior to midnight the night before each session where you present, you will send to the instructor a prepared, formal analysis of the material. You will direct the conversation on the readings for a portion of the class period (typically half). You will be responsible for guiding the seminar participants to critically engage the material, compare and contrast it to other works, and otherwise analyze the arguments presented and how they help us understand millenarianism, or how the ethnographic and historical data we are reading challenge the frameworks discussed. Rather than focusing solely on the readings for a single day, each student will be expected to lead discussion on a series of readings (over several days), seeking some type of synthesis that draws out the relevant ethnographic observations, theoretical lines of thought, and points of debate common to a set of readings. THE IDEA HERE IS TO DERIVE SOME SYNTHETIC UNDERSTANDING OF THE READINGS. Each student will both present their ideas and facilitate discussion to this end. This portion of the final grade (a total of 20%) will be made up of equal parts of the written product and the oral presentation and facilitation. In other words, each presentation (2 total) and written product (2 total) will make up 5% of the final grade. A rubric is provided at the end of this syllabus.


(4) Empirical project / Research paper. You will write up a comprehensive analysis of some millenarian or revitalization movement. You can choose any movement, and you may use academic, historical, or ethnographic sources to research the group that you choose to write on. You must use the analytic tools that we develop in the seminar to provide more than just a description of the group’s practices and outlook. You must provide a theoretical understanding of the rituals, beliefs, and practices of the movement and place it in the context of religious studies scholarship on millenarianism. This paper is due by April 19, and would appropriately be between 4,000 to 7,000 words in length. As with any research paper, make sure to appropriately document your sources, and draw from the literature on the reading schedule where appropriate in your analysis. If there are clearly relevant sources on the reading list that bear on your analysis and these are not included or cited, this will work against you. Use Chicago formatting conventions and the “Chicago Author-Date” citation format.

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