Course Details


You can download the syllabus as a PDF as it was on the first day of class. But it’s worth noting that the authoritative version of the schedule and syllabus is this website.


The required texts for this course are the following:

md tww hol

There is one recommended text for this course:


You are welcome to purchase these books from the Emory Bookstore; I’ve also provided links if you prefer to buy them on Amazon. Please make sure that you buy the editions listed here, so we’ll all be on the same page—literally and metaphorically. You’re welcome to read these texts as ebooks, on whatever device you’d like. Just make sure you get the same edition as listed here. Whatever you do, be sure that you have your copy of the text by the assigned dates.

Finally, there are a number of texts that are only available from Reserves Direct or online. You must bring a copy of these texts to class with you on the day that we will discuss them, whether it is a hard copy or a copy on a portable device like a laptop or tablet.

My Course Policies


The best time to get in touch with me is during my office hours. I consider this your time, and I encourage you to make use of it. Please don’t think of meeting with me as something to do only as a last resort but rather as an important and integral part of your learning.

During the Spring 2014 semester my office hours are from 4:00-5:00pm on Tuesday and Thursday. I’m also happy to make appointments at other times—just email me with at least three possible meeting times. I can schedule in-person or virtual meetings.

The next best way to get in touch with me is by sending me an email. When you write to me: consider your tone and your audience. An email to your professor shouldn’t read the same as your emails to friends. For help, see this guide to emailing your professors. I will do my best to respond to any email within 48 hours, but know that I try to take an email hiatus on the weekend. Often I will respond more quickly, but you should not send me an urgent email, for example, the night before an assignment is due.

Participation and Attendance

Our class relies on your active, collaborative, and engaged participation in activities and discussions. You should come to every class having read, annotated, and thought about the assignments carefully and be ready to discuss them with your colleagues. Your thoughts and questions will provide the starting point for many of our discussions. Your active participation will be consequently factored into your final grade for the course. If you’re reluctant to speak up, please talk to me and we’ll figure out a way for you to participate.

Participating in class of course requires that you be present. In short: you may miss three class sessions without penalty. Each additional absence beyond these three will lower your final grade in the course. If you must miss a class, you are responsible for obtaining the relevant notes and information from your classmates.

“Attendance” of course means more than your body being in a seat. You must also be mentally present, which means you must do the following:

  1. Be awake and attentive to the conversation of the day;
  2. Prepare assigned texts before class begins;
  3. Bring your assigned texts to class. If we’re reading online articles, you should either bring a device on which to read them or print them and bring that hard copy;
  4. Bring your assigned texts to class!
  5. and, finally, bring your assigned texts to class!!!!!! I mean it. Seriously.

If you don’t meet these requirements, I will consider you mentally absent, even if you’re present. Please note that I make no distinction between “excused” from “unexcused” absences, so use your absences wisely (or not at all!).


Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due at the beginning of class. If you will miss class the day an assignment is due it is still your responsibility to it in before class. Late work will not be accepted, except at my discretion and with a significant grading penalty.

Late Instructor

In the unlikely event that I am late to class, you may feel free to leave 10 minutes after the scheduled start of the class. Don’t count on this happening, though.

Digital Etiquette


This should go without saying, but let’s say it anyway: you should turn off your cellphone and/or other devices (iPods, etc) before you enter the classroom. If your phone rings once during class this semester, we’ll all laugh and I’ll ask you to turn it off. If your phone rings again during class this semester, I’ll ask you to leave and will count you as absent. Though it may seem unthinkable, your friends and family may actually survive three hours each week without direct updates as to your whereabouts and doings. They probably won’t call the police to report you missing. If they do, it’s on me.

FYI: You’re not as sneaky texting under the table as you think you are. 


You may use a laptop to take notes during this class. Indeed, having a computer on hand will often be an asset in a course like this one, which will make use of web resources frequently. However, in-class laptops also present temptations that many students find irresistible. You may not use a laptop during class to follow a game, text (see the phones policy above), check your friends’ Tumblrs, play DOTA 2, Pin things, or post on Reddit. Such activities not only distract you—meaning you will be less able to participate meaningfully in the class’ conversation—they also distract anyone around or behind you. If you choose to virtually exit the class, I will ask you to physically leave as well and this will count as an absence. If you often seem distracted by what’s on your screen, I reserve the right to ask you to put your laptop away, perhaps for the duration of the semester.

Periodically I will ask you all to put “lids down.” This means I want everyone—myself included—to put away screens in order to focus our attention on another aspect of class.

Technical Snafus

This course relies heavily on access to computers, specific software, and the Internet. At some point during the semester you WILL have a problem with technology: your laptop will crash, a file will become corrupted, a server somewhere will go down, a piece of software will not act as you expect it to, your printer will run out of ink, you’ll lose a password, or something else will occur. These are facts of twenty-first-century life, not emergencies.

To succeed in college and in your career you should develop work habits that take such snafus into account. Start assignments early and save often. Always keep a backup copy of your work saved somewhere secure (preferably offsite). It is entirely your responsibility to take the proper steps to ensure your work will not be lost irretrievably; if one device or service isn’t working, find another that does. I will not grant you an extension based on problems you may be having with technological devices or the Internet services you happen to use.


Despite what you might think, professors don’t know everything. This course and syllabus are the product of my talking with colleagues and looking at their syllabis. You can read about the history of this class at My revisions this time around owe special thanks to Ryan Cordell, Miriam Posner, David Mimno, Ted Underwood, Stewart Varner, and basically all of Twitter.

Emory Boilerplate

Academic Integrity

For over half a century, academic integrity has been maintained on the Emory Campus through the student initiated and regulated Honor Code.  Every student who applies to and is accepted by Emory College, as a condition of acceptance, agrees to abide by the provisions of the Honor Code so long as he or she remains a student at Emory College. By his or her continued attendance at Emory College, a student reaffirms his or her pledge to adhere to the provisions of the Honor Code.  Plagiarism is a serious offense and will be treated as such by both the University and myself. While we will be using other people’s work in our research papers, there is a fundamental difference between drawing on those sources and documenting them appropriately, and representing them as your own.  The Honor Code is also detailed at

Students with Disabilities

Any student who, because of a disability or any other circumstance, may require special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should let the professor know and should register with the Office of Disability Services:

Counseling Services

Free and confidential counseling services are available from the Emory Counseling Center. You can reach them at 404-727-7450.

Writing Center

The Emory Writing Center offers 45-minute individual conferences to Emory College and Laney Graduate School students. Our discussion- and workshop-based approach enables writers of all levels to see their writing with fresh eyes and to practice a variety of strategies for writing, revising, and editing. The EWC can work with you on any project—from traditional papers to lab reports to websites—at any stage in your composing process. EWC tutors can talk with you about your purpose, organization, audience, design choices, or use of sources. They can also work with you on sentence-level concerns (including grammar and word choice), but they won’t proofread for you. Instead, they’ll discuss strategies and resources you can use to become a better editor of your own work.

The EWC is located in Callaway N-212. We encourage writers to schedule appointments in advance as we can take walk-ins on a limited basis only. We require hard copies of traditional paper drafts and encourage you to bring a laptop if you’re working on a digital or multi-modal text. Please bring a copy of your assignment instructions, too. In addition to our regular conferences in Callaway, we host Studio Hours every Tuesday from 7-9 pm in Woodruff Library 214. Studio Hours provide a supportive, focused workspace and are open to all students. EWC tutors circulate to encourage writers, provide resources, and address questions. For more information about the EWC, or to make an appointment, visit