Your grade will be assessed as follows:
Political and Biophysical Map Quiz 5%
Reading Questions/Class Responses 40%
Documentary Annotation Project 10%
Interview Project 30%
All assignments must be completed in order to receive a passing grade.
Grades are assigned according to the following point system:
A 93-100 B 83-86 C 73-76 D 63-66
A- 90-92 B- 80-82 C- 70-72 F 62 or below
B+ 87-89 C+ 77-79 D+ 67-69
C work means adequate and satisfactory completion of assignments. It indicates you were able to recall the basic subject matter of the course, apply that knowledge in discussions and written assignments, and express your ideas and arguments in an intelligible but otherwise undistinguished manner.
B work is good. It means you recall more than just the basic facts and that you can apply that knowledge in a way that makes connections with your own ideas and observations. You express your ideas and arguments with great clarity and concision.
A work is excellent. It means that you have an absolute mastery of the subject matter. You can apply your knowledge in critical and original ways, and express your ideas in a very clear and persuasive manner while drawing on a variety of sources to support your arguments.
Class Participation & Attendance 15%. Woody Allen once said 90% of success in life is just showing up. Well, the sentiment is right even if the percentage is a bit off. IES has a strict attendance policy for Area Studies classes and it will be enforced in this class. EACH unexcused absence will lower your overall grade by a step (e.g. a B becomes a B-). Please see the IES Handbook for further guidelines on documenting absences. Please show up to class on time, three times being tardy without a proper excuse will count as an unexcused absence (see above).
Preparation is essential to participation. There is a lot of reading for this class. Some of it is mandatory, some of it is optional. Homework assignments and the occasional pop quiz will no doubt contribute to your motivation to plow through it, but I also feel that to truly get something out of this course and to promote an atmosphere of lively discussion and debate in the class, it is imperative that you have done the day’s reading and carefully considered the information in the overall context of that day’s class and the course in general.
Reading Questions/Class Responses 40%: These are short assignments to get you thinking about the readings and site visits for that week. Your total answers need not be extensive (500-750 words total) but should show careful thought and consideration of the readings and the questions asked. Questions will be sent out following class and are due by email (to [email protected] by the start of the next class.
Map Quiz 5%: This quiz will test your knowledge of China’s geography. A study sheet will be provided prior to the quiz.
Interview Project 30%: Students will formulate their own question or set of questions and conduct a series of interviews in the local community. Students will then write a short (1500 word) report of their findings due the last week of class.
Keeping Current: As this class is about contemporary China, it is important that students keep abreast of ongoing stories, themes, and events. The following websites are HIGHLY recommended and I will assume that students are checking them regularly and will refer to stories posted their from time to time. You may need a VPN to access some of these sites.
- China Beat – More academic, with contributions from many authors on a wide range of topics.
- China Dialogue – bilingual site focusing on environmental and development issues in China
- China Geeks – run by recent college graduates, does translations of interesting/important pieces from the Chinese media and Internet
- China Law Blog – follows legal and business trends in the PRC
- China Media Project – tracking news stories, journalism, and censorship in China. Based at Hong Kong University.
- ChinaSmack – The “Jerry Springer” to ChinaGeeks “PBS.” Always entertaining.
- Danwei – Tracks Chinese media and culture. Very influential. Blocked.
- EastSouthWestNorth Tracks and translates the Chinese media and Internet.
- Forbes China Tracker – Business, politics, and news from Forbes commentators
- New Yorker Blog: Letter from China – Written by Evan Osnos. Thoughtful and timely commentary on China
- Sinica Podcast --Also available on iTunes, this weekly roundup of Chinese news and views is required listening.
- Sinocism – Smart commentary and links from a veteran China watcher.
- Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report – Good journalist blog on Chinese current events
Deadline Extensions must be requested in advance, and will be granted only in exceptional cases. If you are not granted an extension in advance, your grade will be lowered by one step for every 24 hour period after the due date. Homework assignments lose one step (check plus becomes check, etc.) for every 24-hour period late with a maximum of three days. Homework overdue by more than 72 hours will not be accepted for credit.
Academic Integrity All students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Cheating or plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated and will result in substantial penalty to your course grade as well as lead to further administrative sanctions. If you are unsure what constitutes plagiarism, check with me before you submit your work.