Course Requirements:

Marx’s Challenge to the Good Life in Modern Societies

a) Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions, 20%

This course is conceptualized as a seminar that is discussion- (and not lecture-) based. Students are expected to come to class prepared and in a position to discuss the assigned texts. Being prepared implies first, that students need to have read all the assigned texts before our class meets. Second, that students answer, prior to class and in writing, a set of questions (posted on blackboard) on the assigned texts. During class they will be asked to outline their written answers to advance our in-classroom discussions. Third, it means that students are ready to refer to passages in the texts that pertain to the questions and come up with new questions to frame our discussions.

Attendance: Each student will be allowed up to three absences (regardless of reason). The class participation grade will be reduced by 1/3 of a letter grade for each additional absence. After four absences, the student will receive a formal warning, which is also sent to their advisors and the registrar’s office; two more absences after such warning will cause the instructor, in conformance with College policies, to drop the student from the course. The student will receive a DF (drop fail).

The absence policy implies that students need to save their absences for emergencies, such as sickness. If you must miss a class due to an emergency, please email me about it, preferably before you miss the class. 

Lateness: Three times late equals one absence.

b) Two papers (6-7 pages, double-spaced), on assigned topics, 40 %     

Students need to first, provide a clear statement of their question and thesis; second, outline a thorough reconstruction of the thinker’s arguments; third, engage in a critical evaluation of the discussed thinker; fourth, provide a clear conclusion. Students also need to properly cite and use textual evidence to support their arguments (20 % for each paper).

You will receive the topics two weeks before the paper is due. You can provide me with a draft of your paper one week before the paper is due. We will discuss your draft in my office hours. 

Late Papers: Late papers will be penalized 1/3 of a letter grade for each day that they are late. Extensions will be granted only if you have made arrangements with me at least 24 hours in advance of the due date and ONLY in exceptional circumstances.

c) Three in-class oral presentations, 20%

1) Each student will be responsible for presenting (maximum 10 minutes) the main ideas/arguments and a critical evaluation of the arguments found in the assigned text for one session. The student will also pose three questions that will contribute to framing our discussions and distribute an outline of her/his presentation for all members of the class at the time of presentation (10 % of grade).

2) Each student will also be responsible for presenting (maximum 3 minutes) her/his two papers (5 % of grade for each paper).

Missed Presentation: A make-up presentation will be granted only if you have made arrangements with me at least 24 hours in advance of the due date and ONLY in exceptional circumstances.

d) Several pop-up exams, 20%

The pop up exams refer to the grades you receive for a) the assigned written homework (questions posed on blackboard). I will, at certain points, collect the homework and grade it; and b) at certain points I will ask you to write down the five main points of the reading for the day. All your pop-up exams will count as 20% of the grade.

General Course Policies:

Absences: You can only complete the course if you complete ALL requirements (satisfactory class participation, 2 papers, 3 oral presentations). 

Professionalism: Students need to come to class on time and prepared, contribute to class discussions, take notes in class, listen to others while they speak, not sleep in class, not interrupt the class by talking to peers, and not leave the room during sessions, except in the event of an “emergency.”

Electronic Devices: No electronic devices may be used in class and during tests. Cell phones must be silenced prior to class. Absolutely no texting!

Academic Integrity: Enrollment constitutes acknowledgement of the rules and standards pertaining to academic integrity at Roanoke College. Students are expected to be aware of the principles in the College Academic Integrity Handbook.