Sunday, 4 September 2011

Course Procedure

During this MA seminar, students will work in a collaborative fashion on the development of a curatorial program about historical and recent film sessions. For VU students, this course is a seminar offered under the “Bijzondere vraagstukken” umbrella for 9 ECTS.  For Leiden students, this is an elective for 5 ECTS, but there is the possibility of extending it to the full 9 ECTS.

During the run of the class, each student will give a public presentation on his/her case study. These are short talks (15 minutes) in which the student discusses a specific object (film, text, photograph, installation, etc.) in relation to the literature and, where possible, archival research. These are presentations of research-in-progress, and your fellow students may offer valuable feedback; try to facilitate this process by not only presenting your line of questioning and preliminary findings, but also open questions and methodological issues.

For the final paper students are asked to elaborate the presentation into a short essay of ca. 2000-2500 words (5 ECTS) or 3000-3500 words (9 ECTS). Essays are to submitted on December 14 (5 ECTS) or January 2 (9 ECTS) at the latest.

 For the presentations, please pay attention to the following:

·    Select a research topic from the list.
·    Select a limited problem. Which question does a text or artwork trigger in you?
·    When presenting in the classroom, announce the object of study, the problem and the conceptual framework at the beginning. Then proceed with the elaboration of your arguments and analysis, making sure you stay focused on your case/problem/concept.
·    When you give quotes, or show visuals, you have to do something with them. Analyze them, tell us why they are important, what is in them that is relevant to the argument you are making. Of course this also applies to moving mages. Also: if you integrate moving images into your talk, make sure you solve technical issues before the actual presentation.
·    Avoid powerpoint presentations in which you just read what is on the slides. Powerpoint is a support, not the central means, of your analysis. It should be used selectively.
·    Avoid presentations in which you just read what you have written in advance. Speak to us loud and clear, don’t go too fast. Stay within the amount of time given to you. Try out your talk at home, keeping an eye on the clock.

Respond actively and engage in discussions whenever you feel you have something to say, or to ask. Asking for clarification is not shameful. 

For format and style of the essay, please follow your department’s guidelines. Plagiarism (=copying texts and ideas without acknowledging reference) will not be tolerated and may lead to exclusion from the course. Quotes, acknowledged as such, can be no more than 10% of your text.

Final evaluations

Final grades will be based on your presence and participation in class including the presentation (no more than 1 absence during class is allowed), the conference presentation, and your final essay. Each part stands for 1/3 of the final grade. You have to fulfill the in-class obligations before handing in your essay.

Image: Hans Richter, Dreams that Money Can Buy (1997).

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