Attendance at each class is mandatory. One unexcused absence is allowed per semester, after which any absences will require documentation or else they will severely impact your final grade. All absences (excused and unexcused) must be made-up with a 500-word response to the day or week’s readings that selects two of the major themes to analyze/critique/elaborate on, due within one week of the absence. Being on time is also part of attendance – if you show up late to class more than once, I will begin deducting points from your participation grade.
You are required to be respectful to your fellow classmates and professor: listening attentively, not interrupting, and maintaining a civil discourse. Bullying or personal attacks will not be tolerated. Learn names and always assume the best intentions in each other. If you have any issues, please talk to me directly so that I can address them. You are also welcome to eat food or drinks in class, provided they are not distracting.
You are welcome to bring a laptop, but please put away your mobile phones during the entirety of the class. I will keep close track of how actively you are engaging and listening to your peers. If I find anyone looking at a website, app, etc. that is unrelated to the discussion at hand, you will be asked to leave the classroom immediately and it will count as an unexcused absence. If you are making more eye contact with your computer screen than your classmates, your participation grade will also suffer.
Students are expected to come to class having read all assigned readings. These will be available either online or through the course website, with one exception: Elizabeth Hinton, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration (Harvard University Press, 2016). Please find a copy of this book at a local bookstore, through Amazon, or on course reserve at the library.
Written assignments should be composed in a Word document and are due to me electronically via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the specified day and time on the course website. Late assignments will be penalized by one half letter grade for each day they are late, starting immediately after the specified time (an A paper becomes an A-, an A- to B+, etc.). My feedback will consist of broad comments, more specific notes in the margins, and a rubric-based breakdown of scores for each category of evaluation, handed back to you in a Word document.
Drafts and Revisions
Students are encouraged to come to office hours to discuss upcoming assignments, and they may submit drafts of papers to the professor up to five days before the final assignment is due. Students may also revise and resubmit up to two assignments on which they received a grade of B+ or lower. I will then average the grade of the original and the revised versions for your final grade on that assignment. The revised version must be submitted within one week of receiving feedback on the original version.
My office is located in Room 237 in Meserve Hall. Take advantage of office hours as an opportunity to talk about any aspect of the class: the week’s reading, ideas and strategies your upcoming paper or project, feedback you have received, or difficult themes and concepts. If weekly office hours conflict with your schedule, please contact me to schedule a different time to meet. I look forward to getting to know each of you!
Course Content Note
This course will involve historical topics that you may find emotionally distressful. I have included these topics because they are foundational to understanding the history of the United States and many current events. If you have concerns about reading and discussing particular topics, please come talk to me at the beginning of the semester. I will work with you to find alternative readings or ways for you to participate on the days in which we discuss those particular topics.
Students with Disabilities
Students with documented learning disabilities will receive reasonable accommodation in this class. If you have a learning disability, please notify me and also register with Northeastern’s Disability Resource Center (http://www.northeastern.edu/drc/).
All students are responsible for understanding and complying with Northeastern University’s policy on Academic Integrity. Cheating or plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated and will be immediately referred to the Office of Student Council and Conflict Resolution, For more details, see http://www.northeastern.edu/osccr/academic-integrity-policy/.