RAMONAT SEMINAR 2018-19:
CATHOLICS AND CATHOLICISM IN AMERICAN POLITICS
Mondays and Wednesdays
5pm – 615pm in Mundelein 203
Professor: Elizabeth Tandy Shermer
Office: 473 Crown Center
Office Hours: Monday 3-4:30pm (or by appointment)
Teaching Assistant: Ruby Oram
Office: 334E Crown Center
Office Hours: Wednesday 3-4:30 pm (or by appointment)
Building on the work of the Fall seminar, we devote the Spring semester to individual research papers. The instructor will guide the students through the process of finding a topic, developing a research question, and finding sources in the first month of the course. Students go to archives and libraries in the middle of the semester for independent research while meeting with the professor and blogging about the process and their reflections. They will conduct research on an ongoing basis. They will learn story-specific research skills, including: mining primary sources in archives, finding secondary sources in circulating libraries, and developing historiographic reviews of relevant literature. In addition to group discussions of each other’s work, the students will meet with the instructor for one-on-one advising on their projects. Students are also encouraged to work with an additional specialist in this history department or, if appropriate, another discipline. Students will spend the last third of the semester writing and sharing their work.
For 2018-19, the Ramonat Seminar is cross-listed with the following departments and programs: Political Science, Theology, Religious Studies, Urban Studies, Sociolegal Studies, and Catholic Studies.
There are no textbooks to buy for this course. Your readings will instead be available electronically through Sakai.
Students must produce a substantial research paper by the end of the Spring semester and will need to complete all of the writing assignments and blog posts associated with that outcome.
We won’t meet nearly as frequently as a class during the Spring semester. Students will need to attend all scheduled class sessions (including the “Behind the Tweets” event) and individual meetings.
Please be in touch and provide documentation if you are a student with a disability who may have difficulty meeting the course requirements.
40% – Blogs (5pts each, must do all 8 blogs)
40% – Research Paper
10% – Class Participation
10% – Oral Presentation
I reserve the right to make changes to the syllabus.
By the end of the Spring semester, students will be able to: a.) research primary sources in historical archives and find secondary sources in circulating libraries from which they develop a historical argument b.) write an original piece of historical research and c.) speak with confidence in a public forum about their own research and pose questions about their peers’ projects.
Week 1: Welcome Back & Let’s Get (Re)Started
14 January: No Formal Class Meeting. First Blog Post Due by 11:59pm: Explain your research topic.
16 January: Introduction to Zotero & Sharing Preliminary Research Topics
For next week: Start thinking about your research questions for the 2nd blog post.
Week 2: Asking Questions & Giving Feedback
21 January: NO CLASS, Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
22 January: Second Blog Post Due by 11:59pm: Introduce readers to your topic, the five questions that you would like to ask of it, and where you are looking to find sources for your topic.
23 January: Funding & Starting Research
Dr. Kyle Roberts joins us to explain how to tap Ramonat funds
Share & discuss research questions
For next week: Gather a preliminary bibliography of at least 15 items that seem relevant. Some must be articles (try Article Quick-Search on the library web page); some must be primary sources. Recall books on loan to someone else. (On the left-hand side of the library web page [http://libraries.luc.edu/] click “Request Forms”; then click “Recall/Hold.”) Immediately order articles etc. that Cudahy Library does not have through Inter-library Loan. (On the left-hand side of the library web page, click “Interlibrary Loan.”) Start reading some of the works Cudahy does have. Explore the possibilities in Chicago for archival work.
Week 3: Bibliography Week
28 January: No Formal Class Meeting – Due in Professor Shermer’s mailbox by 4pm: Bibliographies, which should be divided into 2 parts: primary sources and secondary sources. Bibliographies should be annotated to briefly explain what that source is, its potential relevance to your project, the status of obtaining this source, and status of reading/taking notes on it.
30 January: Discuss how topics have been defined, research questions honed, and bibliographies built. Be prepared to discuss your topic with the class explaining how you moved from your interest in the broad subject to the specific topic.
Week 4: Working with Primary Sources
4 February: No Formal Class Meeting – Due in Professor Shermer’s mailbox by 4pm:
1) One page of the notes you have already taken (Do not write “special notes” for this task) as well as a very short primary source sample for your research project. Make enough copies of both to share with the entire class on 6 February.
2) If you were supposed to consult a specialist in the History department on your topic, include a report on that meeting.
3) Outline of the scholarly outline of the scholarly article assigned. This outline must explain and define the key sections that helped the author(s) develop the overall argument.
4) An explanation of how the author used the primary sources assigned with this research paper (please highlight where the author quoted and summarized sources).
6 February: Discussion of note-taking techniques & reading/using primary sources. Don’t be miffed if we don’t get to your primary source.
Week 5: Individual Meetings to Discuss Progress
11 February: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on project/attend individual meeting with Shermer/Oram!
13 February: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on project/attend individual meeting with Shermer/Oram!
Week 6: Library Week
18 February: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on your project!
20 February: No Formal Class Meeting. Due in Professor Shermer’s mailbox by 4pm: Introduction & Detailed Outline. Bring several copies to 25 February class.
Week 7: The Art of the Introduction & Detailed Outlines
25 February: Meet to discuss & share introductions and outlines
27 February: Class meets at the Behind the Tweets: Mayoral Race Postmortem (there will be snacks!)
1 March: Third Blog Post Due: Mayoral Campaign Reflection. What did you learn about the 2019 mayoral race and how did the outcome and commentary reflect themes and trends that we discussed in the Fall semester?
Week 8: SPRING BREAK!
Week 9: The First Chunk
11 March: No Formal Class Meeting. Due in Professor Shermer’s mailbox by 4pm: A chunk of your first draft. This section should be copy and pasted into your introduction and outline. Please be sure to edit your introduction and outline to show how your project is evolving as you research and write.
13 March: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on your project! Due by 11:59pm Fourth Blog Post: Reflect on the process of starting to write your paper. What was satisfying about the experience? What was frustrating? How do you see your ideas evolving?
Week 10: Interim Feedback
18 March: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on project/attend individual meeting with Shermer/Oram!
20 March: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on project/attend individual meeting with Shermer/Oram!
Week 11: First Draft Due & Peer Review
25 March: Due in class: First draft. We will briefly meet to go over the peer review exercise.
27 March: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on your project and Post Fifth Blog by 11:59pm: Write about the process of creating the first draft of your paper. What was satisfying about the experience? What was frustrating? Where do you think you need to do more work?
Week 12: The Editing Process
1 April: No Formal Class Meeting: Due in Professor Shermer’s mailbox: Peer Reviews.
3 April: Class meets to discuss editing tips & tricks, talk about oral presentations, and sign up for individual meetings with Shermer/Oram.
Week 13: Individual Meetings
8 April: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on project/attend individual meeting with Shermer/Oram!
10 April: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on project/attend individual meeting with Shermer/Oram!
Sixth Blog Post due by 11:59pm: Write about your experience of receiving feedback on your first draft from both the instructors and your peers. Explain your plan and process for revising.
APRIL 11-14: WEEKEND OF EXCELLENCE
Week 14: Revising
15 April: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on project!
17 April: No Formal Class Meeting – Work on project!
Seventh Blog Post: How is the revising process going? What have you been doing to incorporate the feedback from the instructors and your peers? What was satisfying about the experience? What was frustrating? Where do you think you need to do more work?
Week 15: Oral Presentations
22 April: First Group of Presentations. Due in class: Engaged Learning Assessment
24 April: Second Group of Presentations. Due in class: Engaged Learning Assessment
26 April: Final Papers Due in Professor Shermer’s mailbox. Also due: Eighth Blog Post: What was your experience giving your oral presentation? Reflect on your experience with the class as a whole.
27 April: Ramonat Symposium
Members of the History Dept., administrators in the College of Arts and Sciences, and other faculty will be invited. Please invite your family and friends. There will be refreshments.