Course Syllabus



(5610 / FALL 2016)


Instructor: Fernando Pérez


Phone: 425-564-5210       

Office location: R230D

Office Hours: Tuesdays 9am to 11:30am ; Thursdays 9am to 11:30am ; *and by appt.


Course Information:


Introduces the critical study of the motion picture as an expressive medium comparable to literary art. Students review the history and cultural traditions of American film, with focus on the feature-length film as a novelistic form. Students analyze film adaptations of American literary texts. Also includes documentaries and other genres.




After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of their own previously-held perspectives on the theme and explain how those perspectives may have changed.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of trends in American thought and attitude regarding the theme.
  • Discuss, orally or in writing, the theme showing the interrelation of historical events, literary works and social changes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to synthesize information from various sources/media and communicate that insight effectively.

How Outcomes will be met:


  1. Attendance is key: showing up and on time will affect the nature of the class experience for yourself and others. It will ultimately affect your grade if it becomes habitual and isn’t discussed with me prior. (See Attendance policy in Grading)
  2. Professionalism: all assignments must be turned in on time and be thoughtful and complete.
  3. Respect: Listening to one another is important and difficult sometimes. Everyone has the right in this class to feel comfortable enough to make mistakes. It is up to all of us to keep the classroom safe.
  4. Participation: this course and your final grade require heavy participation and conversation. I expect you to be prepared for each class, and to contribute. Consider also “Me Then Three” which asks you to also exhibit self-awareness. “Me Then Three” means observing the space that you take up in class both physically and verbally—it requires you to allow for others (3 people) to speak before you contribute again.



College Grading Policy is located on page 10 of the Course Catalog: Grading Policy


ATTENDANCE: Unless students have accommodations regarding attendance that have been approved through the Disability Resource Center, they should not be absent more than 20% of the total class time scheduled. When absences go beyond 20%, instructors’ policies may result in one of the following: · Students may earn a grade of "F" for the course. · Students may earn a lower final grade.


PARTICIPATION: It is not enough to come and simply be a body in class. This course requires heavy participation and you will be evaluated on your attempts to present and work through ideas with others. Many of the issues discussed will be controversial and do not have one correct response or answer. Don’t be discouraged if a classmate or even the professor raises another questions or idea that may point out the flaws of your own argument, this is all part of the process. The more we question ourselves the more we can understand.


CLASS DIALOGUES: · Be prepared. · Articulate the concepts and principles of the issue(s) in question · Refer to the text when needed during the dialogue · Ask for clarification when confused · Stick to the point under discussion. You can make notes about ideas you want to bring up later. · Speak clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear · Listen carefully and respectfully · Engage your classmates in the dialogue, not just the teacher.


Remember, class dialogues are not a test of memory and you are not simply “learning a subject.” Here your goal should be to broaden your understanding of social issues we all face.


Want to check on your success in this class? Here’s a cheat-sheet of things to consider during class dialogues: Did I… · Come to class? · Prepare? · Speak clearly and loudly? · Cite reasons and evidence for my statements? · Listen respectfully? · Stay on point? · Talk to my classmates and not just the professor? · Paraphrase accurately? · Ask questions to clear up confusion? · Support my classmates? · Avoid hostile exchanges? · Raise questions in a civil manner?



LATE WORK: Consult your instructor regarding any late work. In general, late work may be a) downgraded as severely as the instructor chooses, b) given no credit, but still be required for passing the course, or c) not accepted at all.


It is the student's responsibility, not the instructor's, to initiate communication about progress or concerns with the course. Instructors are under no obligation to inform students that work is overdue, to nag students to complete assignments, or to call students who fail to attend class. Similarly, students need to keep themselves informed about syllabus changes that may have been made in class. We suggest finding a partner the first week of classes and keeping each other up to date if one is absent.


PROJECTS AND PAPERS: Each student will write 1, 3-5 page analytical essay. Each student will also write 1, 1-2 page reflection paper to the readings, films, and discussions every week. Each student will complete the class final.


  • Attendance / Participation 25%
  • Course Work / Reaction Papers 25%
  • Analytical Paper 25%
  • Final Paper 25%


Books and Materials Required: None.


Suggested, but not required:

  • The Spike Lee Reader, Massood
  • Black Film/White Money, Rhines
  • How to Analyze the Films of Spike Lee, Reynolds


*These are not available at the BC Bookstore but are on reserve in the library.


Help with Canvas

The following places are helpful for Students .

Classroom Learning Atmosphere


VALUES CONFLICTS: Essential to a liberal arts education is an open-minded tolerance for ideas and modes of expression that might conflict with one’s personal values. By being exposed to such ideas or expressions, students are not expected to endorse or adopt them but rather to understand that they are part of the free flow of information upon which higher education depends. TO THIS END, you may find that class requirements may include engaging certain materials, such as books, films, and art work, which may, in whole or in part, offend you. These materials are equivalent to required texts and are essential to the course content. If you decline to engage the required material by not reading, viewing, or performing material you consider offensive, you will still be required to meet class requirements in order to earn credit. This may require responding to the content of the material, and you may not be able to fully participate in required class discussions, exams, or assignments. Consult the syllabus and discuss such issues with the instructor.


Affirmation of Inclusion


Bellevue College is committed to maintaining an environment in which every member of the campus community feels welcome to participate in the life of the college, free from harassment and discrimination.


We value our different backgrounds at Bellevue College, and students, faculty, staff members, and administrators are to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Religious Holidays


Students who expect to miss classes, examinations, or any other assignments as a consequence of their religious observance should be provided with a reasonable alternative opportunity to complete such academic responsibilities. It is the obligation of students to provide faculty with reasonable notice of the dates of religious holidays on which they will be absent, preferably at the beginning of the term. Students who are absent on days of examinations or class assignments should be offered an opportunity to make up the work without penalty (if they have previously arranged to be absent), unless it can be demonstrated that a makeup opportunity would constitute an unreasonable burden on a member of the faculty. Should disagreement arise over what constitutes an unreasonable burden or any element of this policy, parties involved should consult the department chair, or Dean.


College Anti-Discrimination Statement


Bellevue College does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity; color; creed; national origin; sex; marital status; sexual orientation; age; religion; genetic information; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability; gender identity or veteran status in educational programs and activities which it operates.


Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting


As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, I am required to share with the Title IX Coordinator any and all information regarding sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct (e.g. dating violence, domestic violence, stalking) that may have occurred on campus or that impacts someone on campus. Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting the BC Counseling Center at (425) 564-2212. The Title IX Office can be contacted at 425-564-2441 and more information can be found at


For further information and contacts, please consult College Anti-Discrimination Statements.



Information about Bellevue College's copyright guidelines can be found at: College Copyright Policy This link provides a good, short summary of how to avoid plagiarism: Avoiding Plagiarism


This 22-minute video also provides a good overview of how to avoid trouble when using sources: From the college home page select SERVICES, then LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER, then DATABASES, then FILMS ON DEMAND. At their site, search by title for PLAGIARISM 2.0: ETHICS IN THE DIGITAL AGE.


The principle of academic honesty underlies all that we do and applies to all courses at Bellevue College. One kind of academic dishonesty is plagiarism, which may take many forms, including, but not limited to, using a paper written by someone else, using printed sources word-for-word without proper documentation, and paraphrasing or summarizing the ideas of others without acknowledging the source. Plagiarism can also occur when non-written ideas are taken without documentation--using someone else's design or performance idea, for example. In short, plagiarism is passing off someone else's ideas, words, or images as your own; it amounts to intellectual theft--whether or not it was your intention to steal. Bellevue College instructors have access to commercial plagiarism detection software, so please be advised that any work you submit may be tested for plagiarism. Participating in academic dishonesty in any way, including writing a paper or taking a test for someone else, may result in severe penalties. Dishonestly produced papers automatically receive a grade of "F" without the possibility of make-up. The Dean of Student Services will also be notified of such conduct, and repetition of the behavior will result in progressively more serious disciplinary action (for example, an instructor may recommend that the student fail the course for a second offense or even that a student be expelled for a serious offense, such as stealing an exam). Grades lowered for plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty may be appealed through the regular channels, and any further disciplinary action taken by the Dean may also be appealed through existing processes.



Student Code of Conduct and Academic Integrity


Any act of academic dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism (using the ideas or words of another as one’s own without crediting the source), and fabrication and inappropriate/disruptive classroom behavior are violations of the Student Code of Conduct at Bellevue College.  Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, talking out of turn, arriving late or leaving early without a valid reason, allowing cell phones/pagers to ring, and inappropriate behavior toward the instructor or classmates.  The instructor can refer any violation of the Student Code of Conduct to the Dean of Student Success for investigation.  Specific student rights, responsibilities, and appeal procedures are listed in the Student Code of Conduct at: Student Code


Bellevue College E-mail and access to MyBC

All students registered for classes at Bellevue College are entitled to a network and e-mail account. Your student network account can be used to access your student e-mail, log in to computers in labs and classrooms, connect to the BC wireless network and log in to MyBC. To create your account, go to: Create Email


BC offers a wide variety of computer and learning labs to enhance learning and student success. Find current campus locations for all student labs by visiting the Technology Help Desk


Disability Resource Center (DRC)


The Disability Resource Center serves students with disabilities. A disability includes any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Common disabilities include physical, neurological (e.g. Autism, ADD), and mental health (e.g. depression, anxiety). If you are a student who has a disability or if you think you may need accommodations in order to have equal access to programs, activities, and services, please contact the DRC.


If you require assistance in an emergency, please meet with your individual instructors to develop a safety plan for while in class and contact the DRC to develop a safety plan for while you are elsewhere on campus.


If you are a student with a documented autism spectrum disorder, there is an additional access program available to you. Contact Autism Spectrum Navigators (ASN). Email and phone number is on the web page. ASN is located in the Library Media Center in D125.


The DRC office is located in building B Room 132. You can contact the DRC by stopping by B132, calling our desk at 425-564-2498, emailing, and Deaf students can reach us by Skype (account name DRCatBC). For more information about the services we offer, including our Initial Access Application, visit our website at





The online elements of this course are designed to be welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by everyone, including students who are English-language learners, have a variety of learning styles, have disabilities, or are new to online learning. Be sure to let me know immediately if you encounter a required element or resource in the course that is not accessible to you. Also, let me know of changes I can make to the course so that it is more welcoming to, accessible to, or usable by students who take this course in the future.


Public Safety


Public Safety is located in the D building (D171) and can be reached at 425-564-2400 (easy to remember because it’s the only office on campus open 24 hours a day—2400).  Among other things, Public Safety serves as our Parking Permits, Lost and Found, and Emergency Notification center.  Please ensure you are signed up to receive alerts through our campus alerting system by registering at RAVE Alert Registration


If you work late and are uneasy about going to your car, Public Safety will escort you to your vehicle. To coordinate this, please phone ahead and let Public Safety know when and where you will need an escort.


Please familiarize yourself with the emergency postings by the door of every classroom and know where to go in the event of an evacuation.  Your instructor will be asked if anyone might still be in the building, so check in before you do anything else.  Emergency responders will search for anyone unaccounted for.


If a major emergency occurs, please follow these three rules:

  1. Take directions from those in charge of the response -We all need to be working together.
  2. Do not get in your car and leave campus (unless directed to) - Doing so will clog streets and prevent emergency vehicles from entering the scene.  Instead, follow directions from those in charge.
  3. In an emergency, call 911 first, then Public Safety.


Please do not hesitate to call Public Safety if you have safety questions or concerns at any time. You may also visit the Public Safety web page for answers to your questions.


Final Exam Schedule: Final Exam Schedule
In case of an emergency during finals your grades will be based on what you have earned to date.


Academic Calendar


The Bellevue College Academic Calendar is separated into two calendars. They provide information about holidays, closures and important enrollment dates such as the finals schedule.

  • Enrollment Calendar On this calendar you will find admissions and registration dates and important dates for withdrawing and receiving tuition refunds.
  • College CalendarThis calendar gives you the year at a glance and includes college holidays, scheduled closures, quarter end and start dates, and final exam dates.


Additional Information


All students should be aware of the many tutorial services provided by the Academic Success Center. If you need free tutorial help, please visit them in D204.


If you feel threatened or see something that may indicate trouble, please report it right away at Report Concerns. We all need to help keep our campus safe for everyone.






Course Summary:

Date Details Due