University of Kansas
How you'll be graded: On two 1250-1500-word term papers, due week 8 & week 16 (35% of your final grade each), eight one-page typed response papers (20%) as explained below, and class participation (10%). We aim to stimulate lively classroom discussion.
Possible paper topics will be discussed in class; check with me to approve a topic before your start writing.
There will be regular quizzes, but no mid-term exam. A final exam is possible.
Graduate students will be liable for one additional 1250-1500-word paper or a 30-minute classroom presentation; ask for details.
Response papers: Topics will be assigned in class, for papers due next class, by group according to rotation described below. If I don't assign a topic, you can pick your own. (Schedule subject to change.)
A: Last name begins with Q-Z
Papers are meant to prompt classroom discussion, so be prepared to talk on point.
Attendance policy: Attendance at every scheduled class is expected. To accommodate sick days, family emergencies, school-sanctioned trips, job interviews, etc, you may miss four classes without penalty. AFTER THAT EACH ABSENCE WILL COST YOU ONE FULL GRADE POINT (i.e., your A becomes a B, etc., and down the scale for each class missed). HOWEVER, if you attend every session, and complete all assignments in good faith, your lowest grade in any one category- response papers, either term paper, class participation-becomes an A.
If you do skip a class, you are responsible to find out what you missed from another student.
Late arrival may be counted as half an absence at my discretion.
Plagiarism warning: Stealing and passing off as your own someone else's ideas or words, or using information from another's work without crediting the source: that's plagiarism. Some specific examples include PASTING TOGETHER UNCREDITED INFORMATION FROM THE INTERNET or published sources, submitting an entire paper written by someone else, submitting a paper written for another class (and thus not original work), and copying another student's work (even with the student's permission). In order to avoid unintentional plagiarism and to represent your work honestly, you will need to be meticulous about giving credit to any and all sources, whether directly quoted (even a few words) or paraphrased.
The university avails itself of a sophisticated search engine to ferret out plagiarism; you may be asked to submit current or past papers electronically (via the Blackboard site) at any time during the semester, so keep computer files of all submissions until you receive a final grade. Failure to submit a paper electronically when requested to do so will be considered an admission of plagiarism.
All incidents of plagiarism will be penalized (i.e., with an F for the assignment), reported, and kept on file in the American Studies and English Departments and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
That said, here to help. If you're having a problem with some aspect of the course, let me know. We'll try to make it better.
(In the order we'll read them; any edition is fine, we can compare them)
Alan Lomax, Mr. Jelly Roll
Louis Armstrong, Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans
Armstrong, In His Own Words (ed. Thomas Brothers)
Mezz Mezzrow (with Bernard Wolfe), Really the Blues
Billie Holiday (with William Dufty), Lady Sings the Blues
Hampton Hawes (with Don Asher), Raise Up Off Me
Charles Mingus, Beneath the Underdog
Nina Simone (with Stephen Cleary), I Put a Spell on You
There may be additional, mostly shortish reading assignments from time to time, posted online at the class Blackboard site. You may be asked to print those out and bring them to class.
(Subject to change, improvisation, etc.)
Week 1A: Don't read this while I'm talking to you
Week 1B: Mister Jelly Roll to p. 60 (read the introductory stuff)
Week 2A: Jelly Roll > p. 176; RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP C
Week 2B: Jelly Roll > P. 261; RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP B
Week 3A: Jelly Roll: read end matter: appendices and afterword; RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP A
Week 3B: Satchmo > 135
Week 4A: Satchmo > 240 (end); RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP C
Week 4B: RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP B
Week 5A: In His Own Words vii-xxvi, 42-76, 200-204; RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP A
Week 5B: In His Own Words 82-144, 176-190, 204-209, 219-220; RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP C
Week 6A: Own Words 1-36, 191-196; RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP B
Week 6B: RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP A
Week 7A: His Eye Is on the Sparrow, complete
Week 7B: RESPONSE PAPERS DUE, GROUPS C, B,&A
Week 8B: TERM PAPER (I) DUE
Week 10A: Condon or Mezzrow, complete
Week 10B: RESPONSE PAPERS DUE, GROUP A
Week 11A: RESPONSE PAPERS DUE, GROUPS B & C
Week 11B: Lady Sings the Blues, complete
Week 12A: RESPONSE PAPERS DUE, GROUP A
Week 12B: RESPONSE PAPERS DUE, GROUPS B & C
Week 13A: Straight Life (to 243); RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP A
Week 13B: Straight Life (to end); RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP B
Week 14A: RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP C
Week 14B: Beneath the Underdog (complete); RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP A
Week 15A: RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP B
Week 15B: RESPONSE PAPER DUE, GROUP C; CLASS EVALUATIONS
Week 16B: TERM PAPER (II) DUE