Very short survey for Online Students/Visitors–PLEASE CLICK HERE

You have found the class project website for Oscar Wilde and the French Decadents, a traditional humanities seminar in Comparative Literature and French currently taught at Stanford University (in Fall 2012).  We will be reading and studying works by Oscar Wilde along various French and French-speaking authors affiliated with the 19th-century Decadent and Symbolist movements, such as Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Rachilde [Marguerite Eymery], Gustave Flaubert, Joris-Karl Huysmans, André Gide, and others.

This course is an experiment in opening up a typical comparative literature seminar, taught at Stanford University in the Fall of 2012,  for a dialogue with the larger public.  Anyone who is interested in our readings, our topic, the materials we’ll be developing throughout the course, the close reading and writing exercises, or the discussions we will engage in, is welcome to join us, regardless of background or expertise.  Most of our online visitors’ participation will take place via the comment section on the blog, but the Stanford students and I will also occasionally set up collaborative Google documents, wikis, organize live Twitter chats (via hash tags), and offer virtual office hours via Google hangouts.  All such activity will be advertised on relevant academic listservs such as VICTORIA and social media such as Twitter and Facebook (our Facebook page for the course will be up soon).

Even though this class has some MOOC-like features, it is not a full-fledged MOOC because it lacks (and elegantly sidesteps) the big questions of meaningful assessment of humanities contents and learning, which remain very much unresolved and problematic at this early point in higher ed’s MOOC history.  Even though the public can  see all writing and close reading assignments the Stanford-enrolled students will tackle in this course (as well as most of the work resulting from it), there will be no graded quizzes, online essays, or mandatory discussion fora in this version of the course, although future versions may experiment with those as well.  One step at a time!

In the meantime, we invite you to engage with us in thinking, writing, and reading about some really great literature and culture: Oscar Wilde and the French Decadents. Whether you are an Oscar Wilde or Decadence novice, a die-hard fan, or a teacher curious about identifying and testing out some initial strategies and ideas for MOOCs in the humanities, we hope you will join us.

4 responses to “Welcome!

  1. I am so excited by your course. On Monday, I will be at a university in Wisconsin, Carroll University, giving a two-hour workshop for faculty who want to have a public, online presence for their work. This website is one I will use to show them that it is good to know how to do an online course—and it is even better to learn together, experiment, and think deeply together about how the experience of “going public” changes the classroom. This is such an imaginative, compelling course.

  2. I’ve seen about 300 new hits on your site since I tweeted the url to my followers, about 5000+, and it’s now been RT’d maybe to about 20,000+. The generosity of starting at the beginning and learning together is absolutely captivating to all of us. It was when Professor Dierkes-Thrun spoke at Duke, it will be in my workshop at Carroll University on Monday, and it is to lots of Tweeps out there. You Stanford students and profs rock! Thanks for including all the rest of us in your learning. *_* (by the way, that is the Japanese emoticom for a smiley face :)–how’s that for a bit of esoteric digital learning?)

    • Thank you so much for your warm and enthusiastic responses! We looked at them in class today and truly appreciate them as we continue learning together.
      -The Stanford students and the instructor of “Oscar Wilde and the French Decadents”

  3. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I might check things out.

    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking at your web page for a second time.

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