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ENGLISH 4DD3 Canadian Documentary

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Roger Hyman

Email: hymanr@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 302

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23732

Website:

Office Hours: TBA



Course Objectives:

Course Description:

This course discusses the theory of documentary art and the art of documentary as found in Canadian fiction, poetry, music and film.

 

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course student should be able to read and think critically, discuss and take positions on various aspects and implications of issues under consideration, and write clearly.

 


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Texts:
These are available at Titles, the university bookstore.

  • English 4DD3 Coursepack.
  • Joy Kogawa, Obasan
  • Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy


Method of Assessment:

Class Presentations:

Each student is expected to do one class presentation, and to hand in his or her notes for that presentation. The notes may be in point form and should be about two typed pages in length. The presentations may be formal or informal, and should be no more than fifteen minutes in length. Biographies of authors are not desirable. Close attention should be paid to the specifics of the text, or to the way the text relates to other materials on the course. It is essential that the presentation involve the seminar in discussing and questioning the text. To that end, it is expected that a “heads-up” to the key points of the presentation’s subject matter be distributed to all seminar members a couple of days prior to the presentation. Presentations may be used as the basis for essays. Sign-up sheets for presentations will be posted on my office door on the first day of class.

 

Assignments and Evaluations:

Participation:                          25%

Seminar Presentation(s):       40% (2 x 20)

Essay:                                    35% (10-12 pages, due November 7)

Student Choice of Essay Topics:

Students are expected to design their own topics in consultation with the instructor


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Written Work and Late Submissions:

Course papers are to be handed in on the due date in class.  Late papers will not be accepted without consultation with the instructor. Late papers will receive a grade but usually will receive no marginal or final comments.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.


Topics and Readings:

SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND VIEWING

Section One: Theory and Practice

Week 1:  Sept. 5

Introduction

Films for Next Week:

Colin Low “Billy Crane Moves Away” NFB, 1968.

Katerina Cizek, “Unexpected,” NFB, 2008.

Music for Next week: Stan Rogers: “Free in the Harbour” (from “Northwest Passage”) – available on YouTube.

 

Week Two: Sept. 12:

Discussion of Low and Cizek films; Stan Rogers song.

Pryluck, Calvin. “Ultimately We Are all Outsiders: The Ethics of Documentary Filming.” 255 – 268. New Challenges in Documentary. Ed. Alan Rosenthal. Los Angeles: U of California Press, 1988. (Coursepack).

Renov, Michael. “Towards a Poetics of Documentary.” Theorizing Documentary. Ed. Michael Renov. 12-36. (Coursepack).

Film for Next Week: Brian McKenna, “Death by Moonlight”: Part Two of the trilogy: “The Valour and the Horror,” NFB, 1991.

 

Week Three: Sept. 19

Discussion of “Death by Moonlight.”

Grierson, John. “First Principles of Documentary.” Grierson on Documentary. Ed. Forsyth Hardy. Revised ed. Los Angeles: U of California P, 1996. 145-56. (Coursepack)

Livesay, Dorothy. “The Documentary Poem: A Canadian Genre.” Contexts of Canadian Criticism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971. (Coursepack)

Film for Next Week: “Canadian Steel, Chinese Grit.

Music for next week: Gordon Lightfoot, “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” (available on YouTube).

 

Week Four: Sept. 26

Discussion of “Canadian Steel, Chinese Grit”; “Canadian Railroad Trilogy.”

E. J. Pratt, excerpts from “Towards the Last Spike”; F. R. Scott, “All the Spikes But the Last” (Coursepack).

Film for Next Week: Alexis Obomsawin, “Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance,” NFB.

 

Section Two: Documenting Trauma

Part One: Indigeneity

Week Five: Oct. 3

Discussion of “Kanehsatake.”

Jacques Cartier: Letter from Gaspé from his “Journals,” (Coursepack).

Oliver Goldsmith: Excerpt from “The Rising Village,” (Coursepack).

Duncan Campbell Scott, “The Onondaga Madonna” (Coursepack).

Films for Next Week: “Where the Spirit Lives,” CBC, 1989 (https://archive.org/details/WhereTheSpiritLives1989);

“Round Up,” NFB.

 

Week Six: Oct. 17

Discussion of “Where the Spirit Lives” and “Round Up”

Excerpt from Joseph Augie Merasty, The Education of Augie Merasty: pp. 41-50 (Coursepack)

From Residential Schools: The Stolen Years: Maria Campbell, “Jacob”; Elise Charland, “Courage to Change” (Coursepack).

A.M. Klein “Indian Reservation: Caughnawaga,” (Coursepack).

[Begin reading Funny Boy]

 

Week Seven: Oct. 24

Excerpts from Basil Johnston, Indian School Days.  Pp. 13-18; 28-47 (Coursepack).

Beth Brant, “A Short Story” (Coursepack).

Buffy Sainte-Marie, “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” (available on YouTube with lyrics).

The art of Kent Monkman

Film for next week:  Jose Torrealba, “Open Secrets,” NFB, 2003.

 

Part Two: Marginalization, Prejudice and Racism

Week Eight: Oct. 31

Discussion of “Open Secrets” and Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy.

Film for next week: Richard Fung, “Sea in the Blood,” NFB, 2000. [Begin reading Obasan]

 

Week Nine: Nov. 7

Discussion of Funny Boy (continued) and “Sea in the Blood.”

Film for next week: Linda Ohama, “Obachan’s Garden,” NFB 2001.

 

Week Ten: Nov. 14

Discussion of “Obachan’s Garden.” and Joy Kogawa, Obasan

Film for next week:  “Sleeping Tigers: The Asahi Baseball Story,” NFB, 2003.

 

Week Eleven: Nov. 21

Discussion of Obasan (continued) and “Sleeping Tigers.”

Kogawa poetry (Coursepack).

Film for next week: Donald Brittain and John Spotton, “Memorandum,” NFB, 1965.

 

Week Twelve: Nov. 28

Discussion of “Memorandum.”

A. M.  Klein, Excerpt from The Second Scroll: “Gloss Gimel: On First Seeing the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel” (Coursepack).

 

Week Thirteen: Dec.5

Discussion of Klein; Wrap up

 

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.


Other Course Information:

Important Note 1: In the event of class cancellations, students will be notified on Avenue to Learn and the English Department Website.  It is your responsibility to check these sites regularly for any such announcements.

 

Link: http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~english/  (Department)

Link:  http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/ (Avenue)

 

Important Note 2: Email Policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from the student's own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

 

*          Students will be requested to complete a online course evaluation at the end of the course.