Imagination, Memory, and the Sacred

Spring Semester 2014


Course Outline:

Beginnings

 

Week One

Topics

Readings and Assignments

Readings are due for the day
on which they are listed

 

Jan. 23:  Questions, Orientation, Guidelines

 

 

           

 

Week Two

Jan. 28: Religion and the Sacred

 

Š      Livingston, What is Religion? [BB] [SQ1]

Š      Livingston, Deity: Concepts of the Divine and Ultimate Reality [BB] [SQ2]

Jan. 30: The Reality of the Unseen
                  & The Analytic Situation

 

 

Š      James, The Reality of the Unseen [BB] [SQ3]




Sigmund Freud

 

Week Three

Feb. 06:  The Unconscious

 

Š      M&B Preface, pp. 1-10 [SQ4]

Š      Freud, “Recollection, Repetition, and Working Through” [BB] [SQ5]

Š      Freud, “A Religious Experience” [BB] [SQ6]

 

 

Week Four

Feb 11: Pleasure and Reality

Š      M&B ch. 1, pp. 10-22 [SQ7]

Š      Freud, “Observations on Transference Love” [BB] [SQ8]


Feb. 13: Religion as Illusion (1)

 

Š      Freud, Future of an Illusion [SQ9]

 

 

Melanie Klein

 

Week five

Feb. 18: Religion as Illusion (2)

Š      Freud, Future of an Illusion (SQ9)

Š      Freud, “A Religious Experience” [BB] (SQ6)

Feb. 20: The Paranoid-Schizoid Position

 

 

Š      M&B, ch. 4, pp. 85-94 [SQ10]

Š      Klein, M (1975) A contribution to the psychogenesis of manic depressive states. [BB] [SQ11]

 

Analytical Essay 1:  Write a Kleinian analysis of Scott Ridley’s film “Alien.”  Due in class on February 27.  Essays should be a minimum of 1200 words, double-spaced, with your name and a title at the top.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, February 23rd, 8:00 – 10:00 PM:  Viewing of Scott Ridley’s Alien

 

Margaret Brent Hall

 

 

 

Week six

Feb 25: The Depressive Position

 

Discussion of “Alien.”

{Come prepared with your
initial Kleinian formulations
}

 

Š      M&B, ch. 4, pp. 94-99 [SQ12]

Š      Klein, Love, guilt and reparation (pp. 306-343). [BB] [SQ13]

Feb. 27: Forgiveness and the Depressive Position

 

 

 

 

Š      Gartner, The Capacity to Forgive [BB] [SQ14]

Š       Analytical Essay 1 due at beginning of class

\

 

Week seven

Mar. 04: No Class

 

 

Mar. 06: Splitting the Goddess: Psychological Dimensions of Misogyny and Sexual Anxiety in Hindu Men

 

Take-Home Exam 1 posted here by 12:00 PM on March 7.  Due on March 15.

 

Š      Carstairs, Hindu Personality Formation: Unconscious Processes [BB] [SQ15]

Š      Kakar, Mothers and Infants, pp. 79-103 [BB] [SQ16]

 

Fairbairn

Week eight

Mar. 11: Fairbairn and the British Object Relations School

 

 

 

Š      M&B, Ch. 5,pp. 112-123 [SQ17]

Mar. 13:  Fairbairn (continued)

 

Sophie

 

 

 

 

Saturday, March 15:  Take-Home Exam 1 due by 11:59 PM.

 

Please email the exam to me as an attachment (in Word) at djmeckel@smcm.edu.  Please title the document as follows: IMNS EXAM 1 – [your last name].doc

 



Donald Winnicott

 

Week nine

Mar. 18 & 20: No Class (Spring Recess)


Week ten

Mar. 25: Introduction to Winnicott: False Self Disorder

 

Š       M&B, ch. 5,pp. 124-127 [SQ18]

Š       Winnicott, “Ego distortion in terms of true and false self” [BB] [SQ19]

Š       Winnicott, “From dependence towards independence in the development of the individual” [BB] [SQ20]

Mar. 27: The Image of God (1): A God in the Mirror

 

 

Š       Rizzuto [BLG], ch. 1, Introduction [SQ21]

Š      Rizzuto [BLG], ch. 7, A God in the Mirror [SQ22]

 

 

Week eleven

April 01: No Class (All Day Advising)

 

 

April 03: Transitional Phenomena (1)

 

 

Š       M&B, ch. 5,pp. 127-138 [SQ23]

Š       Winnicott [P&R], ch. 1, Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena, pp. 1-25. [SQ24]

 

 

Week twelve

April 08: Transitional Phenomena (2)

 

Š      Winnicott, [P&R], chs. 6 [SQ25]

April 10: Creativity

 

 

Š      Winnicott, [P&R], ch. 5 [SQ26]

 

Analytical Essay 2:  Write a Winnicottian analysis of the film “Lars and the Real Girl.”  Due in class on April 17.  Essays should be a minimum of 1200 words, double-spaced, with your name and a title at the top.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, April 13th: Dinner and Film at Dan’s Home

7:00 -- 8:00 PM: Dinner

8:00 – 10:00 PM: Viewing of Lars and the Real Girl

 

Drivers (& Riders):

Sarah (Mason & Megan)
Patrick (Natalie & Clifton)

Emily (Alex & Katie)

 

Plan for a 50 minute drive from the college

Directions will be provided in class

 

 

 

Week thirteen

April 15: The Image of God (2): A God Without Whiskers

 

Discussion Leaders: Mason and Sarah

Respondents: Patrick and Natalie

 

Discussion of “Lars and the Real Girl.”

 

Š       Rizzuto [BLG], ch. 5 & 6 [SQ27]

April 17: Cultural Experience

 

Presenters: Yvonne and Alex

 

Š       Winnicott, [P&R], chs. 7 & 8 [SQ28]

Š       Analytical Essay 1 due at beginning of class

 

 

Week fourteen

April 22: The Image of God (3): God, the Enigma

 

Discussion Leaders: Patrick and Katie

Respondents: Yvonne and Mason

 

Presenters: Natalie and Megan

 

 

Š       Rizzuto [BLG], ch. 8 [SQ29]

April 24: The Deep Structure of Religious Representations

 

Discussion Leaders: Clifton and Emily

Respondents: Katie and Sarah

 

Presenters: Patrick and Mason

 

 

Š      McDargh, The Deep Structure of Religious Representations [BB] [SQ30]

 

 

 

Week fifteen

April 29: The Image of God (4): God, My Enemy

 

Discussion Leaders: Natalie and Megan

Respondents: Clifton and Alex

 

Presenters:  Sarah and Emily

 

 

Š       Rizzuto [BLG], ch. 9 [SQ31]

May 1: Religion and Illusion Revisited

 

Discussion Leaders: Yvonne and Alex

Respondents: Emily and Megan

 

Presenters: Katie and Clifton

 

Š      Pruyser, Forms and Functions of the Imagination in Religion [BB] [SQ32]

 

 

Take-Home Final Exam

Deadline: 11:59 PM May 11

 

The exam is posted on Blackboard under “Exams.”  Please send your completed exam to me via email as one attached document (Word compatible).  Do not paste your essays into the email message or send two separate documents.  Title the document “imnsfinal_[your last name].”  Include your name at the beginning of the document itself.  Type “IMNS Final [your last name ]” in the subject line of the email message.  I will return your exams with the portfolio.

 

 

 

 

Portfolio Assignment

Deadline: Noon on May 14

Please place your portfolio in the box outside of my office (MB 104)

Be sure to include a piece of paper with your address on it, so that I can send the portfolio to you.

 

The portfolio will help me to grade holistically, taking into consideration the overall trajectory in the level and quality of your work.  The 40 point score will reflect the apparent care that went into creating the portfolio, and the apparent thoughtfulness that went into your integrative reflections.

 

The contents of the portfolio should be bound in a ring folder and organized into the following sections, which should be divided by labeled tabs:

 

1.    Table of Contents

2.    Summary and Questions pages for all reading assignments.

3.    Discussion leading and response paragraphs

4.    Two Analytical Essays

5.    Two Exams – The first exam should include my comments. Include a pocket page for me to insert your take home exam with my comments before I return the portfolio to you.

6.    Integrative reflections – two parts.  Minimum 300 words.

a.    For this section, please compose a set of broad reflections on what you take to be the major insights (if any) that you have gained from the readings and discussions.  Be specific about authors and works.   In your reflections, consider the implications for your life outside of academia.  There are no right answers and absolutely no need to seem more positive than you actually feel about the materials and the class.

b.    Evaluate your own work in the class.  How do you think you did in listening, presenting, reading, and writing?  What would you do differently?

 

 

 

 

 


Assignments and Grading

Summaries and Questions [SQ]

120 (4 pts each)

Discussion Leading [DL]

50

Discussion Responses [DR]

40

Analytical Essays [AE]

150 (75 pts each)

Self Study Presentation [SSP]

50

Exam 1

150

Exam 2

200

Participation

200

Portfolio

40

 

 

Final Grade Values
1000 Points Possible


920 to 1000 = A

         900 to 919 = A-

880 to 899 = B+

820 to 879 = B

800 to 819 = B-

780 to 799 = C+

 


720 to 779 = C

700 to 719 = C-

680 to 699 = D+

620 to 679 = D

600 to 619 = D-

599 & below = F

 

Track your progress on Blackboard

 

My Office Hours:

My office number and hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM.  Please make an appointment if you can, but feel completely free to drop by with your concerns, ideas, questions, etc. 
I will always make time if I can.  If need be, we can certainly communicate by email, but in-person is always best.



Descriptions of Assignments

Summary and Questions:  This should be done for each reading assignment on the syllabus.  The summary and questions should include one single-spaced page on which the student summarizes -- separately and in the student’s own words (full sentences) -- the central points of the reading.  Please number each central point. After the summary page there should be a separate page with three of your own discussion questions.  These must not be factual questions.  Each question should be written to lead a discussion into a deeper consideration of the reading )see the link below for how to compose a good discussion question).  Label the first page of each assignment at the top with the exact reading title, taken from the syllabus.  If  the reading is a selection from M&B, please label the assignment with the major sub-headings.  All of the summary and questions assignments must be in print, single-spaced with 12-point font and 1” margins.

 

Discussion Questions: Each student will co-direct a discussion session in class, each time in cooperation with two other student respondents.  I will assign the dates and the specific students for each discussion.  The two students should come up with four discussions questions (two each) and consult with each other in advance to be sure that the questions are sufficiently different and that together they should generate a comprehensive discussion of the reading assignment(s) for that day.  After completing the questions, one of the two students should compile them into a single document.  That document must be sent to me via email by 5:00 PM, two days before the class discussion.  I will approve the questions or suggest alterations.  The final list of four questions should be posted as one document on the discussion board by 8:00 PM the evening before the discussion.  List each pair of questions under the name of the discussion leader who wrote them.  Each student should then write responses to his or her own two questions.  Those responses should be at least one substantial paragraph each.  Do not post these responses but bring a printed copy to class.  At the end of class on the day of the discussion, one of the two students should give me a paper copy of the four questions along with the responses from both students.

Š      Any of the following will result in a 10 point reduction each: late submission of the questions for my approval, late posting of the questions on the question board, late submission of the responses.

Š      If a student does not show up in class to lead a discussion, s/he receives no points for the assignment, a 10 point reduction from the participation score, and an undocumented absence.

Š      For a good explanation of how to compose a good discussion question, go to http://homepages.wmich.edu/~acareywe/discussion.html

 

Discussion Responses:  I will assign a date for each student to act as respondent, in cooperation with another student.  Each time, students will compose written responses of no less than one full paragraph for each of the four posted questions.  These responses should be submitted to me on the day of the discussion, at the end of class.  No need to post the responses.  Late responses will not be accepted.

Š      Any of the following will result in a 10 point reduction: late posting of the questions on the question board.

Š      If a student does not show up in class to act as respondent, s/he receives no points for the assignment, a 20 point reduction from the basic participation score, and an undocumented absence.

 

Analytical Essays: The paper counts for 40% of the total grade.  It is an opportunity to develop your knowledge and thinking about a focused topic concerning possession, divine madness, or ecstatic states in South Asia. I also ask you to bring in at least two different approaches to your

 

Exams: The two take-home exams give you the opportunity to show your knowledge of the content of the course readings and lectures, and to apply their theoretical aspects to case studies that we have studied in class.

 

Self Study: Included as part of Exam 2, the self study invites you to explore your own experience and representation of God, irrespective of whether you are a believer or not.  

 

 

The Portfolio:

 

Students will compile a portfolio of their work through the semester.  The portfolio will help me to grade holistically, taking into consideration the overall trajectory in the level and quality of your work.  The 40 point score will reflect the apparent care that went into creating the portfolio, and the apparent thoughtfulness that went into your integrative reflections.  The contents of the portfolio should be organized into the following sections, divided by labeled tabs for each section:

 

1.    Table of Contents

2.    Summary and Questions pages for all reading assignments.

3.    Discussion leading and response paragraphs

4.    Two Analytical Essays

5.    Two Exams – Include a pocket page for me to insert your take home exam with my comments before I return the portfolio to you.

6.    Integrative reflections – two parts.  Minimum 300 words.

c.    For this section, please compose a set of broad reflections on what you take to be the major insights (if any) that you have gained from the readings and discussions.  Be specific about authors and works.   In your reflections, consider the implications for your life outside of academia.  There are no right answers and absolutely no need to seem more positive than you actually feel about the materials and the class.

d.    Evaluate your own work in the class.  How do you think you did in listening, presenting, reading, and writing?  What would you do differently?


Class Policies


Participation:
Participation” means (1) wakeful presence, (2) preparation of reading assignments, (3) active involvement in class interactions, (4) punctual arrival at the beginning of class, (5) having the assigned text and/or printed article in hand (running out of pay-for-print does not justify coming without the text), and (6) completion of all in-class writing assignments, (7) keeping of any appointments made outside of class.  Lack of any of these will affect the grade, excessive lack is reason for dismissal from the class. Participation will be evaluated after the last class before Spring Recess and at the end of the class.  For this purpose there will be two participation scores.


Attendance:
Attendance is required, though I will allow two free days-off during the semester.  Without regular attendance, students do not tend to do well in the class.  A note from a doctor, dentist, coach, or funeral director will render any absence excused.  The note is due to me within one week of the absence.  Without such a note, of after the one week period, the absence will not be excused.  Please note that a phone call or email message saying that you are ill is not sufficient, nor is a note from the health center confirming an appointment. Leaving class early will result in an absence.  Each unexcused absence results in a 20 point reduction from the final score. 


Website, Online Syllabus, and Computer Failure. 
This online syllabus can be accessed through the Blackboard course page but I recommend that you bookmark it so as to bypass BB when it goes down.  Computer failure is not a valid excuse for a late assignment.  Broken or unreliable computer?  Use the computers at the college.  The syllabus is my best projection of how our time will be organized.  I might alter the assignment schedule as appropriate or necessary, but I will not change the grading policies.

Academic dishonesty
in any form -- including plagiarism of self or others, falsified documentation of a doctor
s note, etc. -- will not be tolerated.  Cheating of any kind results, without exception, in an F” for the course.


Food in class:
Class is not the place to have lunch.  Very quiet snacks are acceptable.

Electronics in the class: 

 

Š      Use of cell phones and smart phones is not allowed in the classroom at any times (please turn them off at the beginning of each class period).  Anyone who is seen texting will be asked to leave the classroom and will be counted as absent for that day.  Continued use is grounds for dismissal from the class.

Š      Use of computers and readers is not allowed in the classroom at any time, unless the student is authorized through student services to use one as a result of a disability.  The reason for this policy is the widespread misuse of computers in class when allowed.  The reduced cost in using downloaded texts does not outweigh this problem; plus it is important for students to be able to make notes and marks in their texts.

Email:  Please Note

 

Š      Students are responsible for checking the online syllabus and their email every day.  I will announce any and all changes via email -- e.g., a changed deadline or altered reading assignment.

Š      I do not accept any assignments by email unless I have indicated in the syllabus that the assignment should be sent by email, or we have made prior arrangements.