Semester: Fall, Spring, Summer
What is a CVSP Course?
CVSP courses deal with primary texts from different historical and cultural backgrounds and pursue an interdisciplinary approach. Their aim is to introduce the students to diverse world views and to a variety of methodological approaches.
Sequence one courses (201, 202, 205) focus on the ancient world up to the Renaissance, sequence two courses (203, 204, 206) on the pre-modern to contemporary world. Students have to take a sequence one course, before enrolling in a sequence two course. Sequence two courses aim at more complex critical skills, such as points 9 and 10 in # 1.b.
1. Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will have acquired:
a. KNOWLEDGE AND COMPREHENSION:
about some of the most seminal influences that have shaped our contemporary world from the late 19 th Century to the present time:
▪ Evolutionary theory (Darwin)
▪ Astro-physics (Hawking) / philosophy of science (Popper)
▪ Radical social and intellectual critique (Nietzsche)
▪ Depth Psychology (Freud)
▪ Literature and the twilight of the modern world (Mann)
▪ Literature and the absurd (Beckett)
▪ Literature and political dissent (Solzhenitsyn)
▪ Existentialist philosophy and feminism (de Beauvoir)
▪ Postcolonial literature and criticism (Edward Said, Mahfouz, Tayeb Salih)
b. CRITICAL SKILLS:
such as the ability:
(1) to listen to and recall salient features of an academic lecture
(2) to read a text in different ways and appreciate it in its own historical and cultural context – an
exercise in empathy;
(3) to identify basic elements of a text;
(4) to formulate questions about a lecture/a text;
(5) to discuss ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect and freedom;
(6) to ground one’s arguments in a text;
(7) to analyze in depth excerpts of a text in English in both verbal presentation and written form;
(8) to relate a text to the contemporary world/one’s own life;
(9) to compare texts and shuttle between different historical and cultural contexts;
(10) to evaluate texts with increasing complexity;
2. Resources Available to Students
The emphasis in all CVSP core courses (201 - 208) is on developing the student's ability to deal with primary texts (written by the authors themselves: see schedule below). Thus no particular resources other than the works under study are a set part of the courses. Individual instructors will help guide the student in the judicious use of secondary sources.
3. Grading Criteria
A student’s performance is graded according to the level of critical skills (see 1.b) he/she reached in class.
a. Written work: normally, two 'midterms' and a Final Exam are graded on a basis of 20% for each of the midterms and 40-50% for the Final Exam.
b. Oral presentations, drop quizzes, class attendance and participation normally are the basis for the remaining 10-20% of the Final Grade.
c. Teacher discretion: individual instructors may choose to vary the above criteria. In every case, they must
announce any diversion from the above clearly and in writing to the students at the outset of the
4. Schedule (at http://staff.aub.edu.lb/~webcsp/lecture204.htm)
Classes meet three times a week: one common lecture and two discussion sessions.
Note: the CVSP reserves the right to alter specific readings for any given semester. This is part of the dynamism of ongoing evaluation and improvement of course offerings. Such changes will always be in line with the general stated course objectives as described in # 1 above.
5. Course Policy
Academic integrity and honesty are central components of a student's education. Ethical conduct maintained in an academic context will be taken eventually into a student's professional career. Academic honesty is essential to a community of scholars searching for and learning to seek the truth. Anything less than total commitment to honesty undermines the efforts of the entire academic community. Both students and faculty are responsible for ensuring the academic integrity of the University. (AUB Student Handbook, p. 33)
For definitions of cheating and plagiarism as well as the consequences for such, see the AUB "Student Code of Conduct" as found in the Student Handbook (esp. pp. 85-86 and 88) and on the AUB website. http://pnp.aub.edu.lb/general/conductcode/158010081.html
At minimum, anyone caught in violation of academic integrity will receive, as per the "Student Code of Conduct", a failing grade of forty points for the assignment in question. Should the violation deserve greater punishment, it will be referred to the Dean and the Dean's Administrative Committee.