SRP, ENG , PHL 435: LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY, AND ECONOMICS: CRITICAL REPRESENTATIONS OF COMMERCIAL LIFE
Emphasizing ethical approaches to the analysis of human ways of making a living, this course examines the representation economic phenomena in selected literary and philosophical texts from antiquity to the present. Giving special attention to critical representations of commercial life, the course undertakes a characterization of its underlying social forms as well as the specification of how these ethically consequential forms tie in with problems of poverty, unequal distributions of wealth and income, overconsumption, depletion of natural resources, conflict and social instability.
Texts (available at University Bookstore)
Patrick Murray, ed., Reflections on Commercial Life: An Anthology of Classic Texts from Plato to the Present (Routledge) ISBN 0-415-91196-6
Charles Dickens, Hard Times (W.W. Norton/Norton Critical Edition), ISBN 0-393-95900-7
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin/Viking Critical Library), ISBN 0-14-024775-0
SRP 435 Course Pack (containing a variety of readings not included in the anthology)
Films (may be purchased or rented, also available at Reinert Alumni Library)
Wall Street (1987), dir. Oliver Stone, starring Michael Douglas & Charlie Sheen (Reinert Library Media Collection #3626).
The Matrix (1999), dir. Andy & Larry Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves & Carrie-Anne Moss (Reinert Library Media Collection #3629).
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
World Bank, Global Poverty Monitoring
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau: World Population "Clock"
U.S. Census Bureau: World Population Past and Future
United Nations: Social Indicators
United Nations: Income and Economic Activity Indicators
United Nations Population Information Network
US Economic Indicators (including Sales Figures, Gross Domestic Product, Corporate Profits and Other Statistics)
The National Debt
Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Dept of Commerce
Federal Reserve, US Flow of Funds Accounts
World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers
1) Essays (40%)
The essay exercises will ask students to read closely, analyze, and comment on a particular passage from one of the texts studied and/or a theme/issue related to the readings, lectures, or class discussions. Both essays will be take-home papers (see deadlines for Essay #1 and Essay #2 in the Schedule below). The essay topics will be distributed a week in advance of the deadline. Essays will be graded on the basis of relevance, clarity, analytical depth, use of evidence, persuasiveness of arguments, and constructive engagement of the material under examination. For other criteria used in the grading of essays. Essay length should be around 4-5 pages, approx. 1,000-1,500 words.
2) Quizzes (20%)
Two quizzes will be administered to monitor students' reading and comprehension of assigned material and lecture topics. Quizzes will be brief (15 minutes maximum) and will require short answers (around 1-paragraph) to specific questions on the main ideas, situations or themes in given texts, as well as definitions of concepts and explanation of ideas or background information covered in class. See schedule below for quiz dates (Quiz #1, Quiz #2).
3) Term Project and Presentation
All students will be required to design and complete a project which may be an original paper or a creative work such as a short story, play, or set of poems (5-10 written pages or equivalent). Also acceptable are substantial and original art works (performance pieces, painting, drawing, photography, music, film, videotaped documentaries, websites, etc.). ALL PROJECTS MUST INVOLVE PERSONAL REFLECTION AS WELL AS OBJECTIVE RESEARCH AND CRITICAL TREATMENT OF SOME ASPECT OF COMMERCIAL LIFE. All creative options must be clearly relevant and related to the class materials. All works must be created during and for the specific purposes of the course. Students will make a 5-minute in-class presentation describing and/or performing their projects (see Schedule below). All projects must be approved by the instructor in advance (see Schedule below). Students choosing to write a paper must follow MLA, APA or the guidelines provided by the instructor. For further information on the writing and grading of essays see Grading Standards and Procedures, and Grading of Essays and Other Written Work.
4) Participation and Other Performance (20%)
In addition to other grades, the instructor will assess and grade each student's overall accomplishment, development, and involvement in the course. This grade will take into account aspects of a student's performance such as class participation, preparation, contributions, effort, attentiveness, interest, improvement, responsibility, etc.
5) Other Policies
Make-ups/extensions for a missed deadline will only be given in cases of documented serious illness or other valid, non-frivolous excuse such as documented participation in official University academic, service or sports events (it will be up to the instructor to determine and decide on the acceptability of an excuse). Otherwise, students must meet all deadlines specified in the syllabus.
Honesty and Class Conduct Policy
All students in the class are expected to observe the University's guidelines on student conduct as described in the Code of Conduct and Creighton University's Student Handbook (especially the section on "Academic Honesty Policy" dealing with problems of plagiarism, cheating, etc.). All work turned in for credit in this course must be personal and original, produced during the course of the semester and for the specific purposes and according to the guidelines of the given assignments. Any misrepresentations, concealments, or distortions of source, origin, collaboration or authorship of such materials will be considered forms of academic dishonesty and will result in failing the given assignment or, at the discretion of the instructor, the entire course. Problems such as repeated lateness arriving to class (or departing early), inatentiveness, or disruptive behavior may adversely affect attendance and/or the class participation grade. Seriously disruptive behavior can also result, at the discretion of the instructor, in more severe penalties, including failing the entire course.
An attendance measurement will be calculated equal to the percentage of total class time attended. The course grade may not exceed that percentage (i.e. if a student attended only 75% of the total class time, the course grade may not be higher than 75 or C). Notice also that, at the discretion of the instructor, any student missing more than 30% of the total class time may fail the course.
The University considers a student's Creighton email address the official means of communication with faculty and administrators. All students are responsible for checking their email messages as they might contain important and time-sensitive information relevant to the course, including notifications on changes to reading and other assignments, deadlines, class cancellations or reschedulings, etc. A student who prefers to receive email at a different address must inform the instructor.
All aspects of the course will be graded on a 100-point scale where 90-100 = A, 87-89 = B+, 80-86 = B, 77-79 = C+, 70-76 = C, 60-69 = D, and 0-59 = F. At the discretion of the instructor, a normative curve may be applied to the grades at the end of the term. The course grade will be calculated according to the following formula:
|Term Project and Presentation||20%|
Participation and Other Performance
READING AND DISCUSSION SCHEDULE
In the online version of the syllabus you may click on selected individual subjects for study questions (whenever available). These questions will guide class discussions. All reading must be completed BEFORE the day when it is scheduled for discussion.
Tue Aug 30
Tue Sep 06
Tue Sep 13
Tue Sep 20
Tue Sep 27
Tue Oct 04
Tue Oct 11
Tue Oct 18
Tue Oct 25
Tue Nov 01
Tue Nov 08
Tue Nov 15
Tue Nov 22
Tue Nov 29
Tue Dec 06
Tue Dec 13
Recommended Further Readings
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Last updated: 12/13/2005