Professors Lindsay Ceballos (Russian and East European studies), Sarah Dimick (environmental science and studies), and Caroline Séquin (history) have been awarded Information Literacy Grants for Spring 2020.

For her CL/REES/ENG265 Dostoevsky in Context course, Professor Lindsay Ceballos has designed several projects to help students chart the migration of Dostoevsky’s ideas across the globe and to speculate about his continuing appeal. Throughout the semester, students will use a “thinking journal” to respond to key ideas and themes in their course readings and to examine scholarly and critical arguments. In the midterm assignment, students will explore a local example of literary reception using the teaching materials of the late comparative literature professor Ed Brown at Lafayette. After looking at a selection of Professor Brown’s materials in Special Collections, students will locate landmark scholarly readings of Dostoevsky in Professor Brown’s teaching materials. At the end of the semester, students will engage in an assignment inspired by the book The Hundreds by Lauren Berlant and Kathleen Stewart, for which they will write a series of essays in one-hundred word increments based on the semester’s readings and thinkings. Along with their writings, students will keep a “thinking bibliography.” They will also index a peer’s writing, present their indexes, and write a short piece explaining their organizational choices. Professor Ceballos will collaborate with Terese Heidenwolf on her course.

Students in Professor Sarah Dimick’s EVST 350 Works of Toxic Resistance course will engage in three activities directly addressing information literacy. Through the first two projects, they will examine how sexism and racism impact the reception and circulation of information about public health and chemical exposure, particularly how ideas of gender and race were embedded in public perceptions of DDT prior to Rachel Carson and Dolores Huerta’s work and how conceptions of gender and race were weaponized in discussions following the publication of Silent Spring and the United Farm Workers’ anti-pesticide campaigns. Students will first write a rhetorical analysis of a DDT advertisement from the 1940s and 1950s, which will help lay the groundwork of their rhetorical analysis of Silent Spring as a text. To deepen their understanding of how public discourse about scientific information is filtered through gender, politics, and corporate interests, the second project will require students to locate and analyze reviews of or response to Silent Spring. For the third project, students will research and assess the cleaning products used by custodial staff on the Lafayette campus, using reports from the Environmental Protection Agency, material data safety sheets, and publications on endocrine disrupting chemicals. Kylie Bailin will be the librarian for the course.

In Professor Caroline Séquin’s HIST 350 Modern France and French Empire course, she plans to dedicate significant time to the process of developing a research topic, formulating a conceptual question, locating and interpreting primary and secondary sources, designing an effective outline, and writing and revising a historical essay. To that end, students will complete multiple projects, culminating in a 20-page research paper. During the first half of the semester, students will engage in a critical reading exercise to put the texts assigned in conversation with each other. They will then learn to analyze primary sources and complete one analysis of a primary source of their own choosing. The annotated bibliography and historiographical essay assignments will require students to identify key published works that are in conversation with the topic of their final paper and write a historiographical essay that will help them to situate their argument within the existing literature. In addition, students will identify, share, and present on a scholarly article published about France that discusses the period from 2010 to the present day. Throughout the semester, students will keep an informal journal in which they will write about the process of doing research and writing. They will use their entries as a starting point to discuss the research process and challenges. Lijuan Xu will be collaborating with Professor Séquin.