Definitions of Course Formats/Instruction Modes for Fall 2020

Definitions of Instruction Modes:

In-person only = Intend to hold the class in-person on campus until Thanksgiving, remotely after Thanksgiving, and cannot accept any online students who would participate remotely.

In-person with remote students = Intend to hold the class in-person on campus until Thanksgiving, remotely after Thanksgiving, and will accept students who are unable to participate in-person and need to participate remotely.

Online only = Intend to hold the course online for the entire semester.

Hybrid in-person only = Intend to offer a course that will include some in-person sessions and some sessions online until Thanksgiving, fully online after Thanksgiving, and cannot accept any students who would not be able to participate in the in-person sessions.

Hybrid with remote students = Intend to offer a course that will include some in-person sessions and some sessions online until Thanksgiving, fully online after Thanksgiving, and will accept students who are unable to participate in-person and need to participate in all sessions remotely.

You may access this listing from the Office of the Registrar here.

Notes from the Class Dean – 7/22

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

I hope you are doing well as you consider your plans for the fall semester. I also want to take this time to draw your attention to information and resources that may be helpful.

WEBINARS

The university will host several webinars and town halls before the start of the fall semester. Several of you have asked me about testing, and a webinar is scheduled to address your questions and concerns on Thursday, July 23rd (see details below). A webinar for the arts at Wesleyan is scheduled for today, July 22nd at 2:00pm, EST.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Testing
2 p.m. ET
Webinar ID: 939 7310 4846
Password: 222623
Find your local number

You may find a complete list of the webinars on the Town Halls/Webinars page of the Reactivating Campus website.

COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT

Prof. Kolcio announced a new course that may be of interest as you contemplate modifications to your Fall 2020 schedule.

“CSPL/CGST480 ENGAGED PROJECTS is  a 1-credit course in which students design a semester-long project around a topic of their choice that engages the broader public. EPs respond to this critical moment in history by empowering students to connect their academic pursuits to what is happening in the world around them; they deepen student learning and self-reflection, ease the undeniable challenges of online and hybrid learning, and introduce students to their own agency and positionality in society.”

More background is here and here.

GRADING MODES FOR FALL 2020

Students have asked me about grading modes and whether the full range of grading options will be available for their courses this fall. Currently, grading modes for courses are not based upon the format(s) in which they are offered and they are up to the discretion of each instructor. Some courses are still letter graded only, credit/no credit only (CR/U), or students have the option to choose between the two by the posted deadline (i.e. student option). It’s my understanding that the deadline to choose a mode (with the student option) will not be the end of classes as it was for the spring, but the change of grading mode deadline, which is usually two weeks after the end of the drop/add period.

I do know there are ongoing conversations within our division of Academic Affairs about grading modes for the fall, but I have not been apprised of any modifications to the policy as of now. Additionally, changes will most likely still be up to the discretion of instructors, but there is a push to encourage them to offer letter grading and the CR/U option to students. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that each instructor will adopt the full range of grading options for each course. More definitive details are forthcoming.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE VS. DEFERRALS

This is a quick reminder that returning students (i.e. sophomores, juniors, and seniors) are not eligible for deferrals as the university currently defines them. Incoming first-year students may request deferrals for their enrollment at Wesleyan. Returning students may request leaves of absence. This may seem like the university is splitting hairs, but clarifying the terminology will help minimize confusion, especially as it relates to how we process these requests.

Returning students may request to take a leave of absence (which effectively terminates course registration and housing assignments) by August 30th to avoid prorated charges for the Fall 2020 semester; these charges (i.e. tuition, room, board, fees) commence on August 31st. Requests to take a leave of absence are not official unless you submit them through the appropriate form in WesPortal. F-1 visa holders should also consult with my colleagues in the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) if you plan to take a leave of absence to discuss the potential impact on your visa status, eligibility for CPT/OPT, etc.

Students may access more information about taking a leave of absence here.

BILLING QUESTIONS & FINANCIAL AID

Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Accounts offered a joint webinar earlier this week to discuss questions that students and their families have about financial aid packages, costs for the Fall 2020 semester (and beyond), and financial aid. I’ve also fielded questions about billing, costs, and financial aid packages, and I will do my best to provide support where I can to help you address your concerns. However, I’m limited in how (and if) I can address specific questions about billing and financial aid packaging for any given semester. I don’t have access to information on each student’s account (e.g. balances, credits), and I can’t confirm whether a student will receive a material refund given their financial aid packaging for this academic year. The last thing I want to do is create or add to any confusion, and it’s important that I defer to my colleagues in the appropriate finance units to work with you to resolve issues/concerns in these areas.

Alyssa Corvi is the Financial Aid liaison for the Class of 2021 and can assist you in answering specific questions about your aid. However, I encourage you to allow at least a couple of business days for her to respond as the volume of inquiries has increased dramatically since the end of last semester.

I’ve also received specific questions about billing and the Residential Comprehensive Fee (RCF), and the information provided by my colleague in Student Accounts may offer more clarity:

Residential Comprehensive Fee

  • On-Campus (…the full RCF will be charged whether your courses are in-person, online or a hybrid.)
  • Off campus/Commuter (…if approved [by Res Life] to be off-campus, a 60% credit will be applied to your student account for the housing portion of the RCF. A request for a meal plan exemption must be submitted to Michelle Myers-Brown in dining services.
  • Remote (…fully remote, from home, no on-campus services utilized, no RCF charges)

Questions about your bill can be addressed to Student Accounts, but I encourage you to check your student account online for updates before any outreach. As Student Accounts and Financial Aid learn of official changes in the statuses of student plans (e.g. transitions to remote learning or off-campus status; leaves of absence), accounts will be adjusted accordingly. It could take 3-5 business days from the time a student submits a request to change their status for their account/financial aid package to reflect the change. I know this entire process can be stressful and frustrating, but I encourage you to be patient and to keep checking your student account online for updates.

My apologies for the length of this email, but hopefully, the information provided above is helpful. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Wishing you and your families good health,

Dean Leathers

Reactivating Campus in Fall – A Message from President Michael Roth

President Roth sent the following message to the campus community on July 8, 2020. I have posted it on our class blog for your convenience.

Wishing you good health,

Dean Leathers

Dear friends,

As promised in my June message, I am writing now with more specificity concerning our plans to reactivate campus in late August. Since our first priority is the health and safety of our community members, these plans may have to be adjusted in response to changing public health conditions. Whatever these challenging conditions may be, we intend to provide an excellent educational experience (on campus or remotely).

We have developed a robust set of resources on our website about our campus reactivation, including information on instruction and campus life, health and safety, and returning to work on campus. Here are some highlights:

We will begin fall classes on August 31 (one week earlier than initially scheduled), with the possibility of finishing the semester online after Thanksgiving (there will be no traditional fall break). Students will be asked to avoid large gatherings in the weeks before coming to campus and to take increasing precautions, in addition to wearing masks and social distancing. Students who are able to get tested will be encouraged to determine that they are negative for Covid-19 within 48 hours of traveling to campus. Everyone on campus will be tested shortly after arrival, and there will be frequent testing on a regular basis thereafter. Those on campus who test positive for Covid-19 will be provided with supportive isolation until they are no longer contagious. Students who test positive will be able to continue their coursework remotely.

Faculty have been given the choice as to whether they will teach their classes in person, remotely, or in some combination. It is likely that many students will have a portion of their instruction online, whether they return to campus or not. While some staff members will continue to work remotely, there will be a presence of staff on campus.  Apart from the commuting of employees (who will be tested for the virus), we expect little travel to campus.  There will be no program of intercollegiate sports or club sports, but we do plan to have safe athletic training on campus.

Despite the economic challenges we are all contending with, Wesleyan remains firmly committed to both enrolling a socio-economically diverse student body and meeting the full demonstrated need of our financial aid students. Given new regulations from Washington, Wesleyan is particularly concerned about our international students, and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure that they can continue to make academic progress in Fall 2020.

Please consult the website for detailed information most relevant to your own circumstances, and feel free to reach out to the appropriate department with your questions. We will continually update this site with more information as it becomes available. We will send out another community message in August, or sooner depending on the public health trajectory. Obviously, we are very concerned about the recent surge in cases in the South and West and are monitoring the situation closely. Our plans may have to change.

We believe in the value of an on-campus education, and the basic steps we need to take are clear. The simple act of wearing a mask consistently reduces the likelihood of transmission. Masks combined with rigorous testing, tracing and supportive isolation will make our campus safer. I look forward to a fall semester in which we take good care of one another and continue to excel in learning together.

Sincerely,

Michael S. Roth

President

Preparing for Your Thesis Virtual Info Session – This Friday (4/3/20)

 

Preparing for Your Thesis Virtual Info Session

Friday, April 3, 2020, 3pm – 4pm, EST

Join representatives from the faculty, Office of the Registrar, Olin Library, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and the Office of Academic Advancement/Class Deans to discuss how to prepare for pursuing a thesis next academic year.

The info session will be offered online through Zoom, and you will be emailed the session access information after you submit your RSVP: https://tinyurl.com/westhesis.

We understand not every student interested in the session will be available to participate at the designated time. The session will be recorded and posted online for students to access before the end of the semester.

You may contact Dean Leathers at tleathers@wesleyan.edu if you have any questions or concerns about your RSVP and/or the scheduled session.

We look forward to hosting you on April 3rd!

Dean Leathers

 

New Course: CHUM302–Black Speculative Fictions and the Anthropocene

Black Speculative Fictions and the Anthropocene

(Thurs., 1:20-4:10pm, CFH 106)

CHUM 302 (AFAM 312; E&ES 125; FGSS 301)

SR non-major: 8 JR non-major: 7 SO: 0 FR: X

The genre of black speculative fiction–in the form of literature, art, music, and theory–provides a generative framework through which to (re)think understandings of race, gender, sexuality, class, the body, disability, citizenship, and the human. Often couched as taking place in the “future,” black speculative fictions also engage the past and critique the present. This makes the genre a critical resource for addressing the Anthropocene. The term “Anthropocene” first emerged from the discipline of geology in 2000. Scientists proposed that Earth had entered a new epoch (following the Holocene) in which “humans” had become geological forces, impacting the planet itself. However, the term Anthropocene raises numerous questions. What does it mean to think about the human at the level of a “species”? What constitutes evidence of the Anthropocene and when did it begin? Who is responsible for the Anthropocene’s attendant catastrophes, which include earthquakes, altered ocean waters, and massive storms? Does the Anthropocene overemphasize the human and thus downplay other interspecies and human-nonhuman, animate-inanimate relations? Or does it demand a (potentially fruitful) reconceptualization of the human? Further, how does artificial intelligence complicate definitions of the human and, by extension, of the Anthropocene? Centering the work of black speculative thinkers and placing it in conversation with scientific studies ranging from marine biology and geology to cybernetics, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the Anthropocene that endeavors to (re)conceptualize the human, ecological relations, and Earth itself. Texts engaged will include: novels, art, music, theory, and scientific studies.

Major Readings:

Select primary sources: Octavia Butler, DAWN; N. K. Jemisin, THE FIFTH SEASON; Samuel Delany, STARS IN MY POCKET LIKE GRAINS OF SAND; Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, and Halley Wegryn Gross, WESTWORLD; Sun Ra, SPACE IS THE PLACE; Bina48; Wangechi Mutu; Ellen Gallagher; Janelle Monae; Grace Jones; Drexciya
Select secondary sources:
Joni Adamson et al., eds., KEYWORDS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
Alexander Weheliye, HABEAS VISCUS: RACIALIZING ASSEMBLAGES, BIOPOLITICS, AND BLACK FEMINIST THEORIES OF THE HUMAN
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, M ARCHIVE: AFTER THE END OF THE WORLD
Anna Tsing et al., eds., ARTS OF LIVING ON A DAMAGED PLANET

New Course: HIST291/FGSS296–Gender and History

A great new History course was added over the summer: “Gender and History: Women Working, the U.S. and Global Capitalism since 1900” (described below and in the attached flyer), which also satisfies the requirements for the FGSS gateway.

Because it was added to WesMaps during the summer after frosh had registered, many seats are available for frosh and sophomores.

The instructor, Aimee Loiselle, is a PhD student from the University of Connecticut’s History Dept. who is finishing a dissertation this year titled: “Creating Norma Rae: The Erasure of Puerto Rican Needleworkers & Southern Labor Activists in the Making of a Neoliberal Icon.” Aimee will be sharing her research with faculty and students this fall; more details will be forthcoming. Her email so you have it if you or your students have questions is: aloiselle@wesleyan.edu.

HIST 291/FGSS 269

Gender and History: Women Working, the U.S. and Global Capitalism since 1900

TuesThur 1:20-2:50, PAC 422

This seminar will introduce students to histories of gender and sexuality in the context of women’s paid work, the U.S., and global capitalism since 1900. In this perspective, “U.S.” does not denote only the geographic, bordered United States, but also a political, economic, and cultural hub for currents of transnational capital and labor. While women have always worked, ideas about “woman’s work” shift across race, class, region, and time. Feminist historians have examined the dynamics between gender, work, and labor activism, and the ways that women earning wages in turn change notions of gender, sexuality, and the body. Yet recent histories of capitalism too often ignore women’s history, gender analysis, and sexualities.

We will discuss influential theories in the field of gender and sexuality studies and how they apply to the writing of such history. All students interested in gender as a category of historical analysis for their scholarly work in any field, as well as prospective history and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies majors, will benefit from this course.

Important questions push beyond a simplistic gender binary division of work, labor, or class to ask: how do gender, race, and class impact sex work; how do notions of femininity obscure the significant role of women workers in U.S. imperialism; what happens to ideas of gender, sexuality, and race when women join currents of migrating workers; what are perceptions of the “right work” for women’s bodies and how do these change across other categories like race, class, and size; what has the “feminization” of paid work with the rise of service industries meant for men and masculinity in different regions? This course seeks to reinforce recent scholarly attention to the connections between workers, labor, and economic and social structures through the study of women, gender, and sexuality.