SRP, ENG , PHL 435: LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY, AND ECONOMICS: CRITICAL REPRESENTATIONS OF COMMERCIAL LIFE
Emphasizing critical 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 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) (notice this is a custom-made course pack including readings from various authors and sources -- it is expensive because of the copyrights involved and the fees required by the copyright holders, the company that produces the pack, and the bookstore-- the instructor does NOT receive any part of the purchase price)
SRP 435 Course Pack Supplement (this will be distributed as a handout on the first day of class)
Films (on Reserve for 4-hour and overnight checkout at the Reinert Alumni Library -- may also be purchased or rented from commercial outlets at the student's choice)
A Beautiful Mind (2001), dir. Ron Howard, starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, based on Sylvia Nassar's biography of John Forbes Nash (Reinert Library Media Collection #4022)
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 Statistics Division (Economic, Demographic, Social, Environmental, Energy and Development Statistics)
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
1) Two In-Class Essays (25% each)
Topics to be assigned by the instructor. Each in-class essay exercise will involve reading and analysis of relevant material related to the lectures, readings and class discussions. Students can expect to be handed out or asked to read in advance a passage from a literary text, an essay, a news feature, or other material and will be asked to write, in about an hour, a well-developed essay (about 5 pages) commenting on the nature and implications of the material read. The instructor will provide guiding questions and suggested points of emphasis for the given essay.
2) Term Project and Presentation
All students will be required to design, complete and present in class a term project. This may be an original paper or other work of a creative, analytical and/or research character (acceptable media include poetry, fiction, painting, drawing, music, sculpture, collages, websites, photography, film, documentaries, performance pieces, etc.). Written works are expected to be at least 10 pages in length. All projects must involve the following:
a) Addressing of a specific problem or problems (past, present or future) of the economic practices of commercial societies.
b) Objective research into the facts involved in the specific problem under analysis (all projects must include a bibliography of works or sources consulted)
c) Significant personal insight and reflection on the nature and implications of the problem examined.
d) Constructive reasoning regarding possible solutions to the problem analyzed.
will make a 5-10 minute in-class presentation describing and/or performing their
work (see Schedule below). All projects must
be approved by the instructor in advance (see Schedule below for deadline for submission of project proposal ).
Projects may be undertaken individually or in groups (group projects need to be substantial and extensive enough to justify the participation of two or more people). Students choosing to write a formal paper must follow the MLA, APA, or Chicago formatting styles 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.
3) Participation and Other Performance (25%)
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.
4) Other Policies
Make-ups/extensions for a missed deadline will only be given in cases of documented serious illness, family emergency, 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), inattentiveness, or disruptive behavior of any kind may adversely affect the attendance grade, the class participation grade, and may also result, at the discretion of the instructor,in more severe penalties, including failing the 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. For details of the criteria used to establish grades see: Grading Standards and Procedures, and Grading of Essays and Other Written Work. At the discretion of the instructor, a normative curve may be applied to the grades at the end of the term. Course grades will be calculated according to the following formula:
|Two In-Class Essays||50%|
|Term Project and Presentation||25%|
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 and can also motivate your journal writing. All reading must be completed BEFORE the day when it is scheduled for discussion.
Wed Jan 10
Wed Jan 17
Wed Jan 24
Wed Jan 31
Wed Feb 07
Wed Feb 14
Wed Feb 21
Wed Feb 28
Wed Mar 07
Wed Mar 14
Wed Mar 21
Wed Mar 28
Wed Apr 04
Wed Apr 11
Wed Apr 18
Wed Apr 25
Wed May 02 4:00-7:30 PM
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Last updated: 04/05/2007