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.