Community Projects in the Arts and Humanities
T, Th 10-11:30
Ostafin Room, West Quad
Arts of Citizenship: 232C West Hall
This course is an experiment in community-based teaching and learning. On the one hand, it is a practicum for collaborative public projects in the arts and humanities; on the other hand, it is a seminar that explores the significance of culture in community life and the promise and problems of collaboration between universities and communities to create new cultural resources.
The Projects Practicum: This section of UC 313 sponsors four projects, all organized by the UM Arts of Citizenship Program. Each of you will work on a single project of your choosing for the whole term; project teams will typically have from two to five students on them. All the projects have faculty supervisors and project coordinators, and all of them bring student teams together with community partners such as K- 12 teachers, theater groups, or museums. Although the projects are varied in their partners, themes, and products, all of them involve the collaborative creation of cultural resources: new public school curricula, historical exhibits, dramas, Websites. Your project work will entail using various academic skills – research, teaching, writing, interviewing, design to create public goods useful to the larger community. All the projects require you to travel to off-campus sites, but you do not need to have a car- or van- training to take the course. The projects are described in the last part of this syllabus.
The Weekly Seminar: The course meets twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for ninety minutes. Thursday meetings are reserved for project team meetings and occasional training presentations. On Tuesdays, the class will meet in seminar format to discuss assigned readings, reflect on the larger themes of community-based cultural work and report on the progress and problems of the projects. These seminar meetings are essential to the educational goals of UC 313, and your attendance and participation are required. You are also required to help lead the discussion for one of the Tuesday seminar sessions.
Work Responsibilities and Credit-Hours: You may take UC 313 for three or four credits; you are expected to commit three hours per week of work time (team meetings, community work, seminar, and readings) for each credit-hour. With one-and-a-half hours a week in seminar, and two-three hours of class reading and writing, you will probably work on your project an average of 5-9 hours a week, depending on your credit-hours.
More important than the hours you put in is your commitment to be a responsible, accountable member of the project team. Your fellow students, your project leaders, and your community collaborators must be able to depend on you; in an important sense, you are representing the University in the larger community. It is essential that you attend project meetings and follow through on commitments.
Readings: The seminar readings average 50-75 pages a week; they are meant as brief but significant explorations of the themes of the course. Please come to class having read and thought about them and prepared to talk about them. The readings include three books available at
Shaman Drum bookstore:
Jane Addams, Twenty Years At Hull-House
Anna Deavere Smith, Fires In the Mirror
Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins, My Place
Other reading assignments include online materials and a coursepack that will be available at Accucopy (518 East William Street). In addition, each project team will have a coursepack and perhaps other readings of its own; Project Coordinators will arrange for these materials.
Project and Seminar Writing: UC 313 asks you to do two, equally valuable types of writing. First of all, each project culminates in the production of some publicly useful product: for instance, a curriculum guide for a third-grade environmental education unit; a Website on the history of the Underground Railroad; or an exhibit to accompany a youth theater piece on Detroit in the 1940s. At the same time, you are asked to keep a project journal in which you write reflectively about your experience and your engagement with the themes of the course. The journal will work best for you as a tool for exploration if you make the writing straightforward but analytically serious, neither I. academic’ nor casual: think with it. You will be required to complete and submit four 23 page journal entries over the course of the term-although you may write as much as you like, of course-and to culminate the journal with a 6-8 page “think-piece” analyzing and assessing your project work at the end of the term.
Grading: Both your project work (60%) and seminar work (40%) will be taken into account in your grade. My assessment of your project work will include the effectiveness of your work with your team. your collaboration with other project partners, and the quality and timeliness of the product you create. My assessment of your seminar work will include your journal, your participation in class, and your leadership of discussion.
NOTE: WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THURSDAY, JANUARY 11,
ALL THURSDAYS ARE RESERVED FOR PROJECT MEETINGS, NOT SEMINAR.
Readings marked (SD) are books available for purchase at Shaman Drum
Readings marked (AoC) are available at Arts of Citizenship, 232C West Hall
Readings marked (X) are in the seminar coursepack at Accucopy
Readings marked (W) are on the World Wide Web
ALL READINGS ARE REQUIRED
Th Jan 4: Introduction
T Jan 9: The Five P’s: An Overview of Project-Based Learning
These readings are a sample of work already produced for UC 313 projects:
Rebecca Poyourow, ‘Ifistorical Primer: 2001 Hastings Street” (AoC)
Students On Site Website, virtual historical bus tour of Ann Arbor
“Midnight Journey,” draft script of youth exhibit on Underground Railroad (AoC)
“Condition of Slaves,” Signal of Liberty (May 22, 1843), to be found in Students On Site Website (www.artsofcitizensbip.umich-edu/sos) (W)
“The Underground Railroad In Washtenaw County” (AoC)
“Environmental Legacies” curriculum plan (AoC)
Th Jan 11: Practices: Doing Archival Research
Presentation at Bentley Historical Library, 1150 Beal Avenue, North Campus
PLEASE BE ON TIME – EMAIL ME IF YOU NEED A RIDE
BY NOW, YOU SHOULD VE CHOSEN A PARTICULAR PROJECT
T Jan 16: Themes: What Is a Community?
Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins, My Place (SD)
T Jan 23: Practices: Collaboration and Conflict In Public
Casey Nelson Blake, “An Atmosphere of Effrontery,” in Power of Culture: Critical Essays In American History (X)
Harry Boyte and Nancy Kari, Building America (X)
YOUR FIRST PROJECT JOURNAL IS DUE BY NOW AT THE LATEST
T Jan 30: Practices: Working With Teachers and School Children
Selected materials and journals from previous project teams (X)
T Feb 6: Practices: Researching Community History
Dolores Hayden, The Power of Place, 139-87 (X)
Wayne Booth et al., The Craft of Research (X)
T Feb 13: Practices: Telling Public Stories
William Cronon., “A Place For Stories: Nature, History, and Narrative,” Journal of American History (March, 1992), 1347-76 (X)
Jack Kugelmass, “Turfing the Slum: New York City’s Tenement Museum and the
Politics of Heritage,” in Remembering the Lower East Side 179-212 (X)
T Feb 20: Works in Progress: Project Team Presentations
YOUR SECOND PROJECT JOURNAL IS DUE BY NOW AT THE LATEST
T Feb 27: No class – MIDTERM BREAK
T Mar 6: Public Culture and the Crisis of the Public Sphere
Anna Deavere Smith, Fires In the Mirror (SD)
T Mar 13: Bridging the Divide: Community Boundaries and Personal Transformation
Jane Addams, Twenty Years At Hull-House, 3-104 (SD)
T Mar 20: Bridging the Divide: The Civic University and Institutional Transformation
Ira Harkavy, ” School-Community-University Partnerships: Effectively Integrating Community Building and Education Reform” (W)
David Scobey, “Put the Academy In Its Place” (X)
YOUR THIRD PROJECT JOURNAL IS DUE BY NOW AT THE LATEST
T Mar 27: No class
T Apr 3: No class
T Apr 10: No class
T April 17: Project forum
YOUR FOURTH PROJECT JOURNAL IS DUE BY NOW AT THE LATEST
YOUR FINAL ESSAY, SUBMITTED ALONG WITH COPIES OF ALL FOUR
JOURNAL ENTRIES, ARE DUE APRIL 23. TEAM PROJECT PRODUCTS ARE DUE APRIL 23.
In UC 313: Community Projects in the Arts and Humanities, you will work in teams with community partners in Ann Arbor and Detroit to create history exhibits, community-based drama, radio documentaries, websites, curricula, and other cultural resources. The seminar is designed to be interdisciplinary and to include undergraduates of all levels. No previous expertise is required, only an interest in using the arts and humanities to enrich public life.
You may select UC 313 for either three or four credits; the seminar asks you to do three hours of work weekly for each credit hour. This includes work on your chosen project (which may include time on research, team meetings, community fieldwork ‘ and other activities) and a two-hour weekly seminar meeting for all members of the course. The seminar meetings will give you general training in community work, review the progress of class projects, and discuss short readings that explore the themes of the course. Participation in both the weekly seminar and a particular project team is required.
Each student in UC 313 will select one community project. All projects are designed for teams of 3-8 students, and all are designed to extend over the whole term. All projects have either a Faculty Supervisor or a Project Coordinator (generally a graduate student), and most have both. In short, you will work with other UM students and faculty, as well as with community partners.
You don’t need to choose a particular project now–or even know which one you want to do-in order to sign up for the course. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You don’t need to choose a project in order to sign up for the course. In Spring Term 2001, UC 313 will offer eight different projects:
1) The Underground Railroad in Washtenaw County: This project explores the history of the Underground Railroad, antislavery activism, and African-American community life in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Students will do research and help to create a traveling exhibit.
2) Emerging Voices: Life Stories and Youth Theater: This partnership with Detroit’s Mosaic Youth Theater and the Residential College explores what it has been like to come of age in Detroit over the past several generations. Students will help Mosaic Youth Theater create a new, play about growing up in Detroit in the 1940s and develop, exhibit, and curricular materials for the play’s May debut.
3) Students On Site: A Community History Curriculum: This team of UM students will teach a multi-week, local-history curriculum to several 3rd and 4th, grade classrooms, in the Ann Arbor -schools, as well as help to revise and complete a curriculum guide for the unit.
4) Students On Site: A Community History Website: This project will help to research, write, and complete an online collection of historical materials about Ann Arbor’s community history. You can view the Students On Site Website in its current stage of development at www.artsofcitizenship.umich.edu/sos. No technical expertise is required.
5) Environmental Legacies: This is a four-week pilot curriculum, aimed at 3rd graders in Ann Arbor, that combines local history with environmental education. Students will work Ann Arbor teachers and local environmental educators to revise and complete a pilot curriculum, aimed at 3rd graders in Ann Arbor, that combines local history with environmental education. Students will complete a curriculum guide and test the unit in one or two classrooms.
SECTION 002 (Note: No dance or performance experience is needed.)
1) Dance/Politics: Working with a team of students from Marygrove College, this project will do research about the links between dance and community politics in Detroit’s history, culminating in an exhibit or performance piece. This partnership with Detroit’s Mosaic Youth Theater and the Residential College explores what it has been like to come of age in Detroit over the past several generations. Students will help Mosaic Youth Theater produce a play about Detroit in the 1940s, as well as researching and creating an exhibit to accompany the production, slated for the Detroit 300 celebration this summer.
2) Afterschool Arts: This team will work with two Detroit neighborhood centers to create afterschool dance, writing, and arts programs.
3) Video Storytelling: This team will document the larger collaboration with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, involving four classes and a wide range of Detroit arts and community groups.
Professor: David Scobey
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