Politial Science at Huntingdon College
Huntingdon College: Political Science Program

LASM 102: Justice Section Syllabus, Spring 2004

By Dr. Jeremy LewisRevised 28 April 2004 with new links.
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    extract from the College syllabus web page:
    Liberal Arts Symposium: Values, Inquiry, and Meaning
    "The Liberal Arts Symposium introduces students to the liberal arts through the Bible and its influence in culture. The Symposia will trace various themes across cultures, historical periods, texts, and disciplines. Students will read texts drawn from the Bible, literature, philosophy, psychology, history, economics, and the sciences. In addition students will examine art, music, dance, film, drama and other expressions that help to illuminate the particular theme for that semester. Examples of themes include the following: origins, values and change, good and evil, nature and human nature, innocence and experience, and God and history."

    Explanation based on College's LAS Guidelines:

    1. The topic must be biblically based and 2. interdisciplinary.
    The whole class syllabus uses Bible readings and materials from numerous disciplines. 

    3. The teaching methods and texts should vary.
    The whole class events will include lectures, films, music and video showings. Our section, like the others, will emphasize discussion, oral presentations, and debate. There will be occasional mini-lectures by faculty -- usually in response to student discussion -- to explain the background and context of the readings and authors.

    4. The syllabus must contain a description of the purpose and nature of the course, the objectives of the course, and the textbooks required.

    • Justice, Fourth Edition (Huntingdon College /Copley, about $40.)
    • The New Oxford Annotated Bible (N.O.A.B., Oxford, $29.95)
    • Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, (NAL, $9.75) -- read by Feb. 23.
    • Elie Wiesel, Night, Bantam, $4.25) -- read by March 15.
    5. The syllabus must be specific about the written and oral assignments made.
    You will be invited frequently to make oral presentations on the readings and other course materials, and to contribute questions for discussion as well as involving yourself in discussion. You will make one formal presentation for a grade.  There will be an essay test, homework essay and a final comprehensive essay examination. The essays will help you find connections among the course materials.
    6. LAS 102 shall require a research paper, which shall be a minimum of 750 words and comply with the standard form as illustrated in the Harbrace Handbook. The total amount of graded work in LAS 102 shall be a minimum of 2000 words inclusive of the research paper."
    8. Every LAS section must include some sort of oral presentation by students as a part of the graded work. The syllabus must show that sufficient and equal time is afforded to all students for their oral presentations.
    Give the class an outline (on web, in powerpoint or hardcopy) of your formal presentation.
    9. Every LAS section must have a final examination....
    The section's grading formula will be as follows:
    • 20% Friday Week 5 & Monday, week 6:essay test, covering all since the beginning. 
    • 20% Friday Week 12: paper of four standard double-spaced pages (with page numbers) plus bibliography of at least four academic, hardcopy sources.  Use the Harbrace MLA citation style.  Keep a backup.
    • 20% class participation in discussion. In addition to recognizing attendance less any absences and tardiness, this assesses frequency and quality of questions and comments in (and out) of class. You are expected to remain alert and respectful of others in the seminar, and may be penalized for poor decorum in the classroom. 
    • 10% Formal Presentations about course materials should be researched and rehearsed carefully, and limited to 5 minutes per person.
    • 30% Final comprehensive essay examination in Finals week. About four essays (from a choice of about 5) will explore connections among the course materials.
    11. Competency in basic computer skills will be demonstrated by a student's
    (1) successful access via the Internet to the LAS syllabus and associated websites, ...
    You must regularly use the online LAS syllabus and materials.
    (2) use of electronic mail to communicate with the instructor(s) in the course as well as to communicate in one or more of several LAS newsgroups, and ...
    We hope you will use e-mail with your classmates to discuss the readings. 
    (3) use of a computer as a word processor to produce all written assignments for the course.
    Homework must be typed on the computer, spelling checked, printed out, named, pages numbered, and handed in at the start of the class session listed at the deadline. The in-class test and final examination will be handwritten.

    College LAS Attendance Policy: from Web page.

    1. All students ... are required to attend all events ... for LAS as a whole.
    2. ... Students ... must notify ... if they have missed an event ... [which must be] made up....
    3. ... Students should present evidence [of make-up].
    4. Students ... are responsible for the academic consequences of absence.
    You are reminded of Huntingdon's attendance policy; excessive absences and tardiness will be penalized via the class participation score. Unexcused missed tests cannot be made-up.

    Dr. Lewis explains:

    This course provides a brief look at the wide variety of moral questions under the rubric of Justice -- as seen through multiple cultures, periods and disciplines. As with other LAS courses, it uses biblical texts as a springboard for understanding broader aspects of society.

    The style of the course will be a symposium, that is, a forum where various ideas are put into play simultaneously. You will be expected to present a summary of the main points of some readings, offer questions for discussion and debate, and discuss readings actively. There will be occasional writing assignments and essay tests. The thrust of the writing will be to find connections and contrasts among the course materials. Where do the authors agree, disagree, or echo each other's ideas?

    There will be some lecture or film events for the whole class, usually on Mondays. On Wednesdays and Fridays we will usually enjoy our section's symposium with occasional mini-lectures by instructors on the key points of the main readings, placing the week's readings in context. Sometimes a session will a discuss a film in addition to readings; film or video showings are at times and places posted on the main syllabus on the web.

    You should be ready to use the web actively to seek background readings relating to our weekly topics, exploring (at least) the web links from the college 101 syllabus page. Since web links often change, we recommend you "File | Save As" onto your hard drive - or even print interesting pages out and save them in an Justice ring binder, the old fashioned way! You should also actively discuss the current topics with your class mates using e-mail or in person.