ICS Calendar Title: The Observant Participant

ICS Course Code: ICSDH 132501/232501 F18

Instructor: Dr. Gideon Strauss

Term and Year: Fall 2018 - Hybrid

Last Updated: September 17, 2018

1. Course Description

2. Course Learning Goals

3. Course Requirements and Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

4. Required Readings

5. Some Recommended Readings

6. Course Schedule

1. Course Description

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” (Simone Weil)

“Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love.” (Simone Weil)

How do I get at the meaning of things? How do I make sense of how people experience the world? How do I make sense of my own experience of the world? Is it possible to do rigorous research into human experience without de-humanizing human experience? What can I learn from the scholarly study of human experience that will inform the ways in which I give attention to human experience in my own professional practices?

In this course we will consider these kinds of questions. Together we will explore phenomenologically-informed human science research practices that have been shaped by these kinds of concerns. We will experiment with our own small-scale research projects, which we will bring into juxtaposition with the exploration of meaning in extracts from texts in the phenomenological philosophical tradition. Doing this course together, we will become more observant participants and strengthen our capacity as reflective practitioners.

While the focus of this course is on applying research craft to professional practice, the course is also a solid introduction to graduate level qualitative research and key perspectives from phenomenological philosophy. This version of the course will take a hybrid format, with three bi-weekly in-person classroom sessions as well as weekly structured interactive online forum discussions in response to reading assignments. The in-person sessions will take place on Mondays, 6:00pm - 9:00pm (October 1, October 29, November 19). There will be no assignments due during ICS’s reading week, October 22-26, 2018. For participants doing the course for credit all outstanding work will be due by no later than January 25, 2019.

2. Course Learning Goals

Upon completion of this course you will have:

  1. Gained a critical and comparative understanding of phenomenologically-informed human sciences research approaches and the capacity to articulate your understanding in short reading responses;
  2. Developed the capacity to apply phenomenologically-informed research craft to your own professional practice along with the capacity to discuss your application in online forums; and,
  3. Experimented with a personal approach to the application of research craft to professional practice and developed the capacity to demonstrate this application in a research project documented in a long paper.

3. Course Requirements and Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

  1. Written responses (as detailed in the course schedule below) to about 1,250 pages of reading  
  2. Active participation (as detailed in the course schedule below) in the weekly structured interactive online forum discussions         
  3. Timely completion of a paper of 3,000 to 4,000 words        
  4. Description and weighting of elements to be evaluated:
  1. Timely completion of viewing and reading responses:                 50%
  2. Participation in online forum discussions:         20%
  3. First draft of paper:                 15%
  4. Final draft of paper:                 15%

  1. In this course we will use the grading scale of the Toronto School of Theology:

Letter Grade

Numerical Equivalents

Grade Point

Grasp of Subject Matter

Other Qualities Expected of Students

A RANGE: Excellent: Student shows original  thinking, analytic and synthetic ability,  critical evaluations, broad knowledge base

A+

90-100

4.0

Profound and Creative

Strong evidence of original thought, of analytic and synthetic ability; sound and penetrating critical evaluations which identify assumptions of those they study as well as their own; mastery of an extensive knowledge base

A

85-89

4.0

Outstanding

A-

80-84

3.7

Excellent

Clear evidence of original thinking, of analytic and synthetic ability; sound critical evaluations; broad knowledge base

B RANGE: Good: Student shows critical capacity and analytic ability, understanding

of relevant issues, familiarity with the literature

B+

77-79

3.3

Very Good

Good critical capacity and analytic ability; reasonable understanding of relevant issues; good familiarity with the literature

B

73-76

3.0

Good

B-

70-72

2.7

Satisfactory at a post-baccalaureate level

Adequate critical capacity and analytic ability; some understanding of relevant issues; some familiarity with the literature

F

0-69

0

Failure

Failure to meet the above criteria

  1. You should plan to commit between 9 and 12 hours a week to completing the coursework. If you find you need substantially more time than this every week, please contact the instructor to discuss. Please also see the note at the end of this syllabus with regard to disability or health considerations that may require accommodations.

4. Required Readings

Texts to be purchased:

Ahmed, Sara. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others. Duke University Press, 2006.

Emerson, Robert M., Rachel I. Fretz, Linda Shaw (editors). Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Second Edition. The University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Van Manen, Max. Phenomenology of Practice: Meaning-Giving Methods in Phenomenological Research and Writing. Left Coast Press, 2014.

Other required reading:

Behar, Ruth. The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart. Beacon Press, 1996. [Chapter 1, “The Vulnerable Observer,” and Chapter 6, “Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart”]

Culhane, Dara. “Imagining: An Introduction,” in Denielle Elliott and Dara Culhane (editors), A Different Kind of Ethnography: Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies. University of Toronto Press, 2017.

Dahlberg, Karin, Helena Dahlberg, and Maria Nystrom. Reflective Lifeworld Research. 2nd Revised edition. Studentlitteratur AB, 2008. [Chapter 2, “An open lifeworld approach,” and Chapter 3, “An approach of ‘bridling,”pp. 95 to 170: 75 pages]

Glas, Gerrit. “Elements of a phenomenology of evil and forgiveness,” in Nancy Potter (ed.), Trauma, Truth and Reconciliation. Oxford University Press, 2006. [pp. 171 to 200: 29 pages]

Glas, Gerrit. “Persons and their lives: Reformational philosophy on man, ethics, and beyond,” in Philosophia Reformata 71 (2006), pages 31-57. [26 pages]

Harris, Joseph. “Forwarding” (Chapter 2) in Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts. Utah State University Press, 2006.

Madsbjerg, Christian, and Mikkel B. Rasmussen. The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems. Harvard Business School Press, 2014. [Chapter 4, “The Human Sciences,” pp. 75 to 105, and Chapter 8, “How to Lead to Your Moment of Clarity,” pp. 153 to 155 and 158 to 169: 43 pages]  

Moran, Dermot, and Timothy Mooney (eds.). The Phenomenology Reader. Routledge, 2002. [“Editor’s Introduction,” pp. 1 to 22, “Edith Stein,” pp. 231 to 241, Hannah Arendt on “What is Existenz Philosophy?,” pp. 345 to 361, and Jean-Paul Sartre on “Intentionality: A Fundamental Idea of Husserl’s Phenomenology,” pp. 382-384: 47 pages]

Palmer, Parker J. “The Heart of a Teacher” (Chapter 1) in The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life. Jossey-Bass, 2007. (http://www.couragerenewal.org/PDFs/Parker-Palmer_The-Heart-of-a-Teacher.pdf)

Schall, Ellen. “Learning to Love the Swamp: Reshaping Education for Public Service.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 14 (2), 1995, pp. 202-220. (http://www.appam.org/assets/1/7/Schall_Learning_to_Love_the_Swamp_Reshaping_Education_for_Public_Service.pdf)

Wacquant, Loïc. “Habitus as Topic and Tool: Reflections on Becoming a Prizefighter.” Qualitative Research in Psychology 8 (2011), pp. 81–92. (http://loicwacquant.net/assets/Papers/HABITUSASTOPICTOOL-QRP.pdf) (available electronically through the UTL catalogue: http://go.utlib.ca/cat/7747896; DOI: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14780887.2010.544176)

Wigg-Stevenson, Natalie. “You Don’t Look Like a Baptist Minister: An Autoethnographic Retrieval of ‘Women’s Experience’ as an Analytic Category for Feminist Theology.” Feminist Theology 25 (2), January 3, 2017. pp. 182-197.

5. Some Recommended Readings

Those portions not required in the books mentioned above.

Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Penguin Classics, 2014.

Bakewell, Sarah. At The Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails. Other Books, 2016.

Dooyeweerd, Herman. A New Critique of Theoretical Thought. Paideia Press, 1984. (The instructor shall provide recommendations about selections particularly relevant to this course upon request.)

Dreyfus, Hubert L. Skillful Coping: Essays on the phenomenology of everyday perception and action. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Gosetti-Ferencei, Jennifer Anna. Heidegger, Hölderlin, and the Subject of Poetic Language: Toward a new Poetics of Dasein. Fordham University Press, 2004.

Kurtz, Glenn. Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music. Knopf, 2008.

Laidlaw, James. The Subject of Virtue: An Anthropology of Ethics and Freedom. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Lorenz, Konrad. King Solomon’s Ring: New Light on Animal Ways. Blackwell’s, 2002.

March, James G. The Ambiguities of Experience. Cornell University Press, 2010.

Marsh, Charles, Peter Slade, Sarah Azaransky (editors). Lived Theology: New Perspectives on Method, Style, and Pedagogy. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Martin, Steve. Born Standing Up. Scribner, 2007.

Mattingly, Cheryl. Moral Laboratories: Family Peril and the Struggle for a Good Life. University of California Press, 2014.

Riedelsheimer, Thomas, Annedore Donop, Andy Goldsworthy, Trevor Davies, Leslie Hills, and Fred Frith. Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time. Docurama, 2004.

Scharen, Christian. Fieldwork in Theology: Exploring the Social Context of God’s Work in the World. Baker Academic, 2015.

Schein, Edgar H. Humble Inquiry. Berrett-Koehler, 2013.

Smith, Jonathan A., Paul Flowers, Michael Larkin. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Theory, Method and Research. Sage, 2009.

Vagle, Mark D. Crafting Phenomenological Research. Left Coast Press, 2014.

Wearne, Bruce C. “Research note: The Christian critique of phenomenology,” in Philosophia Reformata 65 (2000), pages 189-194.

Wigg-Stevenson, Natalie. Ethnographic Theology: An Inquiry into the Production of Theological Knowledge. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

I also recommend reading poetry, for example that of Jack Gilbert, Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, and Mary Oliver, and the Psalms.

6. Course Schedule

All assignments must be completed by the deadlines provided in the Google Classroom, although emergency exceptions to this requirement may be arranged by means of email correspondence with the instructor. In the absence of such arrangements, assignments not completed by the required due date will automatically lose half a letter grade.

Week 1: Introduction / On Writing

Week starting September 17, 2018

  1. Read the Welcome Message in the Google Classroom for this course.
  2. Introduce yourself to the other course participants in the Introductions assignment in the Google Classroom (responding to the particular questions asked in that assignment).
  3. Read through the course syllabus carefully and ask any initial questions you have about the syllabus and the course in the Syllabus Review and Course Questions assignment in the Google Classroom.
  4. Read:

    Harris, Joseph. Chapter 1, “Coming to Terms,” and Chapter 2, “Forwarding,” in
    Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts. Utah State University Press, 2006.
  5. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  6. Post comments to the Reading Response assignment in the Google Classroom.
  7. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 2: Reflective Practice

Week starting September 24, 2018

  1. Read:

Palmer, Parker J. Chapter 1, “The Heart of a Teacher,” in The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life. Jossey-Bass, 2007. (http://www.couragerenewal.org/PDFs/Parker-Palmer_The-Heart-of-a-Teacher.pdf)

Schall, Ellen. “Learning to Love the Swamp: Reshaping Education for Public Service.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 14 (2), 1995, pp. 202-220. (http://www.appam.org/assets/1/7/Schall_Learning_to_Love_the_Swamp_Reshaping_Education_for_Public_Service.pdf

Wigg-Stevenson, Natalie. “You Don’t Look Like a Baptist Minister: An Autoethnographic Retrieval of ‘Women’s Experience’ as an Analytic Category for Feminist Theology.” Feminist Theology 25 (2), January 3, 2017. pp. 182-197.

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignments in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 3: Technologies of Attention

Week starting October 1, 2018

  1. Participate in the in-person session on Monday, October 1, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, in the ICS Boardroom at Knox College, 59 St. George St. Toronto, M5S 2E6.
  2. Read

Emerson, Robert M., Rachel I. Fretz, Linda Shaw (editors). Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Second Edition. The University of Chicago Press, 2011. [Chapter 1, “Fieldnotes in Ethnographic Research,” Chapter 2, “In the Field: Participating, Observing, and Jotting Notes,” Chapter 3, “Writing Fieldnotes I: At the Desk, Creating Scenes on a Page,” Chapter 4, “Writing Fieldnotes II: Multiple Purposes and Stylistic Options.”]

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignments in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 4: Technologies of Attention

Week starting October 8, 2018 

  1. Read:

Culhane, Dara. “Imagining: An Introduction,” in Denielle Elliott and Dara Culhane (editors), A Different Kind of Ethnography: Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies. University of Toronto Press, 2017.

Dahlberg, Karin, Helena Dahlberg, and Maria Nystrom. Reflective Lifeworld Research. 2nd Revised edition. Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur AB, 2008. [Chapter 2, “An open lifeworld approach,” and Chapter 3, “An approach of ‘bridling,”pp. 95 to 170: 75 pages]

Madsbjerg, Christian, and Mikkel B. Rasmussen. The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems. Harvard Business School Press, 2014. [Chapter 4, “The Human Sciences,” pp. 75 to 105, and Chapter 8, “How to Lead to Your Moment of Clarity,” pp. 153 to 155 and 158 to 169: 43 pages]  

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignments in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the questions raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 5: Vulnerability

Week starting October 15, 2018

  1. Read:

Behar, Ruth. The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart. Beacon Press, 1996. [Chapter 1, “The Vulnerable Observer,” and Chapter 6, “Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart”]

Wacquant, Loïc. “Habitus as Topic and Tool: Reflections on Becoming a Prizefighter.” Qualitative Research in Psychology 8 (2011), pp. 81–92. (http://loicwacquant.net/assets/Papers/HABITUSASTOPICTOOL-QRP.pdf)

(available electronically through the UTL catalogue: http://go.utlib.ca/cat/7747896; DOI: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14780887.2010.544176)

 

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignments in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 6: What is it like? / Applying research craft to my own professional practice

Week starting October 29, 2018

  1. Participate in the in-person session on Monday, October 29, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, in the ICS Boardroom at Knox College, 59 St. George St. Toronto, M5S 2E6.
  2. Read:

Van Manen, Max. Phenomenology of Practice: Meaning-Giving Methods in Phenomenological Research and Writing. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press, 2014. [Chapter 1, “Phenomenology of Practice,” pp. 15 to 25, Chapter 2, “Meaning and Method,” pp. 26 to 71, Chapter 3, “Opening,” pp. 72 to 87, Chapter 8, “Philosophical Methods,” pp. 215 to 239, Chapter 10, “Conditions for the Possibility of Doing Phenomenological Analysis,” pp. 297 to 310, Chapter 13, “Phenomenological Writing,” pp. 357 to 374: 199 pages]

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignments in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.
  4. Submit first draft of paper as instructed in the First Draft of Paper assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 7: What is it like?

Week starting November 5, 2018

  1. Read:

Ahmed, Sara. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others. Duke University Press, 2006. [“Introduction: Find Your Way,” Chapter 1, “Orientations Toward Objects,” Chapter 3, “The Orient and Other Others.”]

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignments in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 8: What is it like?

Week starting November 12, 2018

  1. Read:

Moran, Dermot, and Timothy Mooney (eds.). The Phenomenology Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 2002. [“Editor’s Introduction,” “Edith Stein”]

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignments in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 9: What is it like?

Week starting November 19, 2018

  1. Participate in the in-person session on Monday, October 1, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, in the ICS Boardroom at Knox College, 59 St. George St. Toronto, M5S 2E6.
  2. Read:

Moran, Dermot, and Timothy Mooney (eds.). The Phenomenology Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 2002. [Hannah Arendt on “What is Existenz Philosophy?”]

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignment in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 10: What is it like?

Week starting November 26, 2018

  1. Read:

Moran, Dermot, and Timothy Mooney (eds.). The Phenomenology Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 2002. [Jean-Paul Sartre on “Intentionality: A Fundamental Idea of Husserl’s Phenomenology”]

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignment in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 11: Persons and our lives

Week starting December 3, 2018

  1. Read:

Glas, Gerrit. “Elements of a phenomenology of evil and forgiveness,” in Nancy Potter (ed.), Trauma, Truth and Reconciliation. Oxford: University Press, 2006. [pp. 171 to 200: 29 pages]

Glas, Gerrit. “Persons and their lives: Reformational philosophy on man, ethics, and beyond,” in Philosophia Reformata 71 (2006), pages 31-57. [26 pages]

  1. Watch any instructor videos that may be posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  2. Post comments to the Reading Response assignments in the Google Classroom.
  3. Post responses to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom.

Week 12: Applying research craft to my own professional practice

Week starting December 10, 2018

  1. Submit final draft of paper as instructed in the Final Draft of Paper assignment in the Google Classroom by Friday.

Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability or health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach Gideon Strauss and/or Student Services as soon as possible.


Copyright, Institute for Christian Studies. All Rights Reserved.