“On the Syllabus” is a new forum for discussing a genre of text that is central to our lives as graduate students and yet often under-discussed: the syllabus. This group has multiple, complementary aims:
-- to critically attend to the syllabus as textual object, and ask: how can we read a syllabus as a bibliography, as a contract, or as a manifesto? How do we read them as prescriptive or descriptive, provocative or coercive?
-- to discuss the phenomena behind crowd-sourced and open-source syllabuses. How might we participate in these kind of projects, if we wish to? How do such syllabuses and their developers identify the kinds of learning opportunities (and teaching responsibilities) afforded and provoked by different cultural, political or historical moments?
-- to expose participants to new clusters of texts and ways of teaching, and to provide a forum for discussing different pedagogical approaches, centering our perspectives as both students and early-stage teachers.
In a typical meeting we will read and discuss two complementary syllabuses alongside one or two short texts featured in them. We welcome participants from all disciplines and hope this becomes a forum for students across the department (and outside of it) to meet and discuss their experiences as teachers, students, and researchers. We do not anticipate to settle on a plural for "syllabus". In the 2018-2019 year we will have a particular focus on crowd-sourced and responsive syllabuses (like #CharlestonSyllabus or #StandingRockSyllabus) culminating in an event in the spring term. For more information or to get involved, contact Rebecca Thursten at email@example.com.