Global and Regional Studies: Haiti's Unnatural Disaster

GRS 096 WQ1 (CRN: 14658)

2 Credit Hours

About GRS 096 WQ1

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Winter Session Online Course; 12/26/13 - 1/10/14. Open to both CE and Degree students. This course may or may not fulfill degree requirements for UVM students. Please consult with your Dean's Office if you have any questions about applicability of winter session courses toward graduation requirements.

Section Description

Haiti's Unnatural Disaster GRS 96 Global and Regional Studies Instructor: Corbett McP. Torrence Office Location: Blackboard, Email, and/or Telephone Office Hours: Monday through Friday 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Email: I will check and respond to email each afternoon between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. Phone: 802-673-3689 Meeting Time and Location: December 26 to January 10, 2014 Class Blackboard Course Description Why is it that Haiti suffers far greater catastrophe from natural disasters than it neighbors with which it shares similar geology and climate? Clearly, forces other than nature must be at play. This course explores the cultural, political, economic, and social forces that have shaped the modern Haitian landscape. How did the richest colony in all the America's become the Hemisphere's poorest country? After a brief review of current environmental and social conditions in Haiti, the course engages in a historical journey that identifies the evolutionary roots of the Haitian situation and brings discussion full circle back to the present. What can or should be done to help the peoples of Haiti? This is a collective and collaborative investigation! Learning Objectives This course provides students an appreciation of the complex issues that exacerbate Haiti's "unnatural" disasters and encourages an interdisciplinary and multi-scalier understanding of the forces that have brought forth the present conditions in Haiti. Comprehend how cultural, political, economic, social, and environmental issues are inseparable and intertwined. Recognize that these forces operate at family, village, national, international, and global levels. Gain compassion and respect for the people of Haiti, who in the midst of poverty and frequent oppression and exploitation, demonstrate resilience, passion, and happiness rarely seen amongst the populace of wealth nations. What is development and progress and how should these terms be defined and measured? Student Responsibilities ? Read all material in the course including Getting Started, Course Outline, and Terms of Engagement. ? As part of the Terms of Engagement, you need to email me a confirmation of agreement and sign UVM's academic policy form before posting any materials on the blackboard. ? The Course Outline summarizes daily topics and assignment due dates. Specific assignment instructions, expectations, due dates and assignment point values are provided in the Assignment folder. ? The Getting Started document explains the structure of the course; rational for course format, assignment expectations, grading guidelines, and other information that will help you succeed and enrich our exploration. Fundamental Responsibilities ? Students are required to complete all assignments and log into the course every day school is in session. ? You need to complete all readings and assignments as outlined in the Assignment folder. Assignments must be submitted by 6:00 p.m. on the required due date. No late assignments will be accepted unless an extension is granted by the instructor at least six hours prior to the due date and all non-approved absent submittals due to medical emergency or excuse must be documented in writing by appropriate authorities Grading Criteria Assignment Scoring Test Post ???????.... 5 points Biography ??.????? 5 points Class Discussion Posts (4)?. 40 points Response Journal (2)..??? 30 points First Reaction Paper???... 35 points Second Reaction paper ?.? 40 points Third Reaction Paper ??.... 45 points Total Available Points ?..? 200 points Class Discussion and Response Journal entries are conversational in format, which means content is of primary importance. These may be informally written, but need to be intelligible. Text abbreviations and acronyms are unacceptable. For the discussion board, your initial discussion posts should not exceed a page of text in 12-pitch font with one inch margins. Your responses in total should also not exceed a page in length. What I am looking for in these posts is quality not quantity; a thoughtful relevant reflection on the discussion topic that also evidences that you have completed the assigned material and understand central concepts. As we have all read or viewed the same stimulus material, you do no need to reiterate there entire content. The goal of discussions is to identify key concepts and discuss your reflections and reactions. Students are not to dominate the discussion board by making excessive posts. Think carefully before you write. Discussion posts and responses must address the designated topic, which I will identify each week. This is not to say that you can not ask or raise alternative questions, and, I am certain, that many concepts and ideas you post will become foci of future discussions. Citations are generally only required in reaction papers. Think about citations as appeals to authority. Thus, if you want to refer to a study or an article in your discussion posts, then a citation would be helpful as it identifies the source of the knowledge you put forth and allows others to review it in its original format and context. Reaction Papers require formal, college level writing skills and organization. In addition, they must in 12 pitch black font, double spaced with one inch margins, left justified and, if necessary, include a references cited section. Grading Reaction Papers All written works requiring formal, college level writing skills and are subject to four equally weighted grading criteria. Content refers to the ideas and concepts contained in your paper. For your reaction papers, you need to demonstrate an understanding of relevant course material including readings and instructor posts and explain how this information influenced the way you think and feel about Haiti and or the world around you. Format refers to the organization of ideas and concepts. In addition to having an introduction, body, and conclusions, your paper should follow a logical sequence of topics. In your introduction identify your topic, major topics/concepts of discussion, and conclusions you plan to draw. In the body of the paper identify, explain, and summarize major topics and concepts. In your conclusion, summarize your position. Style is your ability to use correctly the English language including proper use of punctuation, grammar, and vocabulary. Scientific writing is specific and as efficient as possible References and Citations . In your Reaction Papers, citations are not necessary, but maybe helpful at times. In any and all situations, they are required in accordance to UVM's academic Honesty policies and, in particular, in accordance to plagiarism. If you use material from the Internet you must supply a full copy of the pages you have cited in your text. You must follow the The American Anthropologist text and bibliographic referencing style. Samples of in-text citations and how references should be cited in a bibliography will be forth coming. Papers may be resubmitted for grade-change anytime prior to January, 10 2014. Grade/Points Grade/Points A+ 194-200 C+ 152-158 A 180-194 C 144-152 A- 176-180 C- 138-144 B+ 170-176 D+ 130-138 B 164-170 D 120-130 B- 158-164 F >120 Reading and Film Assignments Required Texts: You should order these on-line or from your local book store immediately. Danticat, Edwidge Krick? Krak! 1991 Vintage Books, New York ISBN 978-0-679-76657-5 Dubois, Laurent The Story of the Haitian Revolution: Avengers of the New World, 2004 The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge ISBN 0-674-01826-5 Herskovits, Melville J. Life in a Haitian Valley, 1937 Markus Wiener Publishers, Princeton ISBN978-1-55876-455-2 PDF Files: These articles will be pasted to the Blackboard Torrence, Corbett McP. nd Part 1: The Physical Geography of Haiti Part 2: From Explorers to Conquistadors: Columbus and the Destruction of Taino Part 3: Piracy on the High Seas Part 4: Toussaint Louveture Part 5: The Marines, Bad Parsley, and New U.S. Opportunities in Haiti: Who is Aiding Who? Articles: These are available as PDF files through an on-line library search. Go to UVM's library web site, click ?articles and more,? select ?premier academic search? and then enter the title of the article and hit search. Bankoff, Gregory Rendering the World Unsafe: 'Vulnerability' as Western Discourse. Disasters, 2001, Volume 25(1) pp 19-35 Bell, Beverly We Bend but do not Break: Fighting for a Just Reconstruction in Haiti After the Earthquake. NACLA Report on the Americas, July?Aig 2010 Volume 156 Issue 4 pp28-31 Brown, Geradine and Jo-Ann Brown-Murray The Tragedy of Haiti: A Reason for Major Culture Change ABNF Journal Fall 2010, Volume 21, Issue 4 pp90-93 Cronk, Lee Strings Attached The Sciences 1989 Volume 3 pp 2-4 Dupuy, Alex Disaster Capitalism to the Rescue: The International Community and Haiti After the Earthquake. NACLA Report on the Americas July/Aug 2010, Volume 43, Issue 4 pp14-19 Farmer, Paul Haiti's Unnatural Disaster Nation 10/6/2008 Volume 287 Issue 10 p6-8 Interlandi, Jeneen A Tree Grows in Haiti Newsweek 7/26/2010 Volume 156 Issue 4 49-50 Quinn, Joanna R. Haiti?s Failed Truth Commission: Lessons in Transitional Justice, Journal of Human Rights Sept/Oct 2009 Volume 8, Issue 3 pp265-281. Anonymous The U.S. Occupation of Haiti. Congressional Digest 1994 Volume 73(8/9):197 Films are available through the sources identified, and some of the films maybe available though interlibrary loan. Acquire copies as soon as possible. Every Trees Has a Spirit, 2010 youtube (google) Bitter Cane UVM library Stream Black Dawn UVM library stream The Agronomist NetFlix Aristide and the Endless Revolution Netflix Poto Mitan UVM library stream Academic Problems If you are having academic difficulty with this course or have other problems that are preventing you from performing to your potential, it is advised that you inform the University, and me, of your situation as soon as you recognize the problem. UVM student counseling is readily available, caring, and concerned. Do not wait until the last minute, or the end of the semester, as academic solutions are monitored and limited.


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