banner image: Tuesday Smillie, Again, 2017

UMD’s general policies can be found at this link. The text below is a supplement to these policies and describes the principles I aim to follow in classroom world building.

This basic rubric describes my interpretation of the Marking System in UMCP’s Undergraduate Catalog. Detailed expectations for each graded element of the course can be found in the online syllabus.

A range (A+, A, A-): Denotes excellent mastery of the subject and outstanding scholarship. A-range work in feminist studies is likely to be described as: comprehensively researched; deeply thought through; nuanced understanding of key concepts; writing that is complex but not confusing; moves scholarly and/or activist conversations in new directions.

B range (B+, B, B-): Denotes good mastery of the subject and good scholarship. B-range work in feminist studies likely to be described as: well researched; fairly thoughtful; good understanding of key concepts; clearly written, but sometimes missing out on complexity, or complex but becoming a little confusing at times; summarizes scholarly and/or activist conversations well but does not push them further.

C range (C+, C, C-): Denotes acceptable mastery of the subject. C-range work is likely to be described as: barely sufficiently researched; interesting but not fully thought through; confusing; simplistic understanding of key concepts; frequent factual or mechanical errors; some gaps in understanding of scholarly and/or activist conversations.

D range (D+, D, D-): Denotes borderline understanding of the subject. It denotes marginal performance, and it does not represent satisfactory progress towards a degree. D-range work is likely to be described as: insufficiently researched; poorly thought through; severe misunderstanding of key concepts; failing to meet all requirements of the assignment; difficult to understand due to writing, formatting, or technical errors.

F grade: Denotes failure to understand the subject and unsatisfactory performance. F work is likely to be described as: failing to meet any basic requirements of the assignment; plagiarized or absent research; very difficult to read due to writing, formatting, or technical errors.

Grade percentage ranges (will be rounded at professor’s discretion):
A+ 98-100 / A 93-97 / A- 90-92
B+ 87-89 / B 83-86 / B- 80-82
C+ 77-79 / C 73-76 / C- 70-72
D+ 67-69 / D 63-66 / D- 60-62
F 0-60

Attendance and participation
This is your senior seminar. I assume that you to want to be here and that you care about this field, about your colleagues, and about the work that we are doing individually and collectively. If you are failing to attend or to turn your work in on time and you haven’t checked in to let me know why, I might assume that you do not care about or respect the class, me, or your fellow students. At the same time, I do know that we all have lives outside of the classroom and I have no interest in penalizing you for being a person with a body and personal commitments. If you are having problems that are affecting your attendance and participation, or if you have to miss class for any reason, please let me know as soon as you can. If you are absent for any reason, I expect you to do the reading and to discuss what you miss with one or more of your classmates. Absences without make-up work will affect your participation grade.

Late work
On formal submissions, I will give short extensions on request provided you ask for them in advance of the deadline. Assignments turned in late will lose points equal to one letter grade per day unless you have been given an extension. If you miss a deadline, turn in the assignment to the best of your ability as soon as you can for partial credit.

There are no extensions for blog entries and comments because these are part of the ongoing flow of the class and the deadlines have been selected so we can all engage with them. Online responses submitted late will receive half credit.

In-class media
I expect you to be present, punctual, prepared, and ready to engage in every scheduled class session. Bring the texts under discussion, in hardcopy or digital format, every day, and be ready to discuss what you have read. You are welcome to bring your laptop or tablet, but please use it to participate: to access readings and the class website, to take notes, or to find information that will add to the discussion. If I notice that you’re focused on something other than what we are discussing in class, I may invite you to give a short impromptu presentation on the relationship between digital distraction and feminist praxis. Know yourself: if you won’t be able to resist the internet’s siren call, turn off your wireless or take notes on paper.

The course website, at, is where class material will be hosted; it is a living document and so you should make sure you check the schedule page regularly for updates to readings. Make sure that you are logged in when you visit the website, as much important material is only available to registered students. Your initial username is your last name, and your initial password is the course code; make sure to change the password after your initial login.

I expect you to be checking your university email (or the address to which you have university email forwarded) regularly, and to respond promptly when asked to do so. I will respond to email queries within 24 hours (48 over the weekend) and I expect you to do the same.

Emergency protocol
In the event of emergency campus university closures, I will send an email explaining how lost material will be made up. We may meet online, reschedule class, or make adjustments to the syllabus.