Mens et Manus in Prison
ESG Seminar (SP274):

Political Prisoners:
Personalities, Principles, & Politics


The seminar counts as six units of pass/fail credit. It meets for two hours a week; readings and other assignments will amount to about four hours per week.


Readings assigned each week will be the focus of the following week's discussion. Doing the readings is very important because it enables to fully contribute to the discussion.

At the end of each class, we will set aside ten minutes for free-writing: each of us will write two or three paragraphs to put down our thoughts about the day's readings and discussion.

During the course of the semester, each student will give two presentations. In the first one, she will present her interpretation of an assigned reading and will lead the ensuing discussion. The week before the second presentation, the student will assign readings so that the class knows what to expect. The second presentation will then be a progress report on the final project; it will show what information the student has collected and present a tentative outline of the final paper.

By the fifth meeting, students will choose a case to study in depth over the course of the semester. As the final project, students will (a) hand in a 5-7-page paper on the selected case, and (b) present their findings and conclusions to the class. (A visual display (posterboard, etc.) in the final presentation is strongly recommended.) (The final project can also take other forms, by arrangement with the instructor.)

If students so choose, their final papers can be combined into a booklet as the "product" of the seminar. In some sense, this booklet is the goal of the seminar; time and thought should be dedicated to its development and coherence.


The grade will depend on attendance (20%), class participation (20%), completion of weekly assignments (20%), and completion of final project (40%). A passing grade will require a score of 65% or higher.

Last modified on Monday, February 11, 2002 at 1:11:39 PM EST