Humanitarian Aid in the 20th and 21st Centuries
History 1140 Freshman Writing Seminar Spring 2012 MWF 9:05-9:55 Instructor: Julie Jacoby McGraw Hall B34
Office Hours: M 2-3, W 10-11 and by appointment
Course Introduction What do a Nebraskan farmer, a Guatemalan Red Cross nurse, and Bill Gates have in common? They all increase the global community’s ability to respond to the tragic aftermath of disasters and wars. In this course, you will learn about the history of and theory behind humanitarian aid through the use of case studies from around the world. Readings emphasize the historical and contemporary debate about humanitarian relief. They include diaries, memoirs, newspaper articles, think-tank briefings, and academic articles. The course will consider several major questions: What does humanitarian mean? How has the theory and practice of humanitarian aid changed over the last century? What are our responsibilities to our fellow human beings when disaster strikes? Does humanitarian aid work? If so, who should provide it and under what circumstances? What are the moral implications of providing/failing to provide aid? Learning Objectives Over the course of the semester you will: Learn how to make a historical argument, evaluate primary and secondary sources, and conduct basic historical research in campus libraries. Improve reading skills. Learn effective use of preparatory writing strategies. Feel more confident in your writing ability, and learn why writing is important for effective communication. Assignments and Grading Formal writing assignments: 70% o Essays 2-5: 10% each o Essay 6: 20% o Portfolio: 10% Class participation and oral presentations: 20% Reflective Journal and other informal/creative writing: 10% Formal (graded) writing: You will produce 4 formal essays (1-5pgs) and one research paper (810pgs). All papers must be typed, double-spaced, 1in. margin, 12 pt Times New Roman. At the top of the first page include your name, assignment number, date, and essay title. Staple your pages together. Each paper will include substantial preparatory work. You must include this work in your final submission. Late work at any stage of the writing process or missing prep
work will lower the final grade for the paper by one half grade. At the end of the semester, you will collect all course work into a portfolio and write a reflective essay Oral Presentations: Throughout the semester, I will ask you to read your writing out loud in small groups and to the entire class. You will lead class discussion at least once, in groups of two or three, on a day where the topic interests you. You will make one semi-formal presentation of your research. Reflective Journal: I will post reading guides, study questions, and reflective questions on Blackboard. You must also write at least one entry per week on any topic you like. You may keep a file on your computer with your reflections and answers or you may use a regular notebook. Each entry should be one page handwritten or half a page typed. I will periodically read these journals. You will need a notebook for in-class free-writing and exercises. Please Note: I will not “negotiate” grades or have discussions focused solely on grades. If you believe I have graded a paper incorrectly, you MUST submit a minimum 1 ½ page written request detailing your case with supporting evidence. Expectations To have productive classes and create an environment where we feel comfortable sharing our written work, we must treat each other with respect. This includes listening attentively to the speaker and responding appropriately, even when you disagree. Turn off your cell phones and only use your laptop for designated purposes. Regular attendance and active participation are crucial to effective learning. I expect you to come to class prepared for discussions. You are allowed one unexcused absence. Each extra unexcused absence lowers your final grade by one half...
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