Guidelines for Seminar Presentations: English 555A/001

In this class, each member of the seminar will be make two presentations, one as an individual, and one as part of a collaborative small group. Please e-mail me to sign up for two dates, as listed on the course syllabus: one individual and one collaborative or co-creative.

For the first individual presentation, the presenter is responsible for about twenty minutes of class time, and will set the tone and direction for subsequent discussion. The presentation should focus on a particular aspect of the reading material or media assigned for that week. You should, for part of your talk, engage directly with the form or substance of those texts or of that media.(Please let us know in advance any specific readings on which you plan to focus, and I will forward this information to the class on the web-page.) You should also establish a clear focus for your presentation -- What main concept(s) do you want your listeners to come away with? What form do you want your presentation to take? -- although in a seminar you should also feel free to range widely and variously through the primary texts. Feel free to combine and hybridize creative and critical elements in your work.

Within one week of your presentation, please hand in to me a report (of no more than 1500 words), which can consist of some of the text from your presentation, or of your reactions to a particular issue that arose during your talk. This report can also consist of an investigation of a specific argument or a brief close reading of a particular text (or media artifact), or a definition of a particular theme or form pertinent to your presentation. Make sure that you present your material in a focused, critical manner. Please follow the current MLA guidelines on format. I will comment on your written work and on your presentation, and return this report to you, marked, within a week of its submission.

Think carefully about the format your presentation can take. What formats are most appropriate to the material, and to the kind of reading you want to offer? Please feel free to experiment with presentation format. Can you incorporate any sort of pedagogical (or even improvisational) performance into your work? What kinds of critical practices do you want to demonstrate?

The second presentation will involve collaborating with one or two other members of the class. Again, the presentation should focus on the material assigned as class readings for that week. If you choose to bring in other material, please let me know ahead of time, so that the other members of the seminar have time to read it as well. Again, think carefully about format. Most improvisations involve in-the-moment collaborations and interchange. How can you enact, pedagogically or critically, the work of collaboration or of community in the classroom? The collaborative team should hand in a co-written or collaboratively written report or response to their presentation, of no more than 1500 words, within one week of the presentation.