GENERAL INFORMATION FOR THE COURSE: Rape! Wake up India. Wake up America.
Instructor: C. Mackenzie Brown
Peer Tutor: Nupur Agrawal
Office: CC 250 C
Meeting place: Java City
Hours: MWF; 12:30-3:50; and by appointment
Hours: Thrs & Sun 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and by appointment
Phone: x-8429; e-mail:
Phone:210-837-5561; e-mail:

On December 16 of 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was gang-raped in Delhi, India.  Thirteen days later, she died in a Singapore hospital where she was being treated for rape and gastrointestinal injuries caused by insertion of an iron rod by the six men responsible for the attack. The brutal attack and death of the woman set off nation-wide protests calling for the hanging or chemical castration of the rapists, reform of the police and court systems, the acculturation of boys in the society to new norms regarding the rights of women and women's equality, and holding politicians to account, many of whom are themselves charged with rape but whose cases have languished for years in the dysfunctional court system.   The rape/murder made headlines not only in India but around the world.  In India itself, many viewed the incident as cause for national shame, and billboards carried messages imploring, "Wake Up, India.  She's dead."  This seminar will utilize the above tragic events to examine contemporary Indian and American views on rape and perceptions of women, taking into account historical, political, religio-cultural, and legal perspectives.  Does America, too, need to wake up? Does Trinity?


The basic goals of the course are to:

  1. Explore a sensitive and controversial topic both with empathy and critical perspective
  2. Learn something of the cultural, social, political and religious aspects of two distinctive cultures: India and the West
  3. Improve speaking and discussion skills
  4. Improve writing skills
  5. Develop critical thinking skills
  6. Learn to exercise fairness in the presentation of views not one's own
  7. Develop research and bibliographical skills
  8. Broaden intellectual horizons


Following are the speaking and writing requirements for the seminar:

  1. Four group projects to be presented in class (12 points, plus 2 possible extra credit points)
  2. Four individual written projects (60 points, plus 4 possible extra credit points)
  3. Twenty reading, film, and image responses (10 points; half a point each)
  4. Three facilitations of class discussion (6 points; 2 points for each discussion)
  5. One individual film or image commentary to be presented in class (4 points)
  6. General participation in class discussion (8 points)
  7. Extra credit journal: up to 4 points of extra credit


Attendance is required. Three unexcused absences are allowed for the semester. Unexcused absences beyond the three will result in a 2 point reduction in course grade for each occurrence. Late arrival to class may also count as an absence.


Trinity students are expected to be thoroughly familiar with the Honor Code. With use of Internet sources and "cut and paste" technology, it is all too easy to plagiarize the work of others.  This can happen especially when you are rushed, tired, and generally stressed. Whether intentional, or due simply to forgetting to include proper citations, or especially to failing to exercise due caution in using your own wording when paraphrasing another's words, or neglecting to indicate by quotation marks the actual words of another author, it is still plagiarism!  

For this seminar, in particular, several of the projects offer a number of temptations for the harried student to take shortcuts. Many of the readings and viewings for this seminar are well-known, and thus are not only available on the Internet, but also have been summarized, analyzed, critiqued, and reviewed on-line. The instructor has no problem with your accessing these summaries and reviews, but expects that consultation of these sources, if you choose to do so, is in addition to completing the reading or viewing of the original assigned text or film. Any submitted written work, including both reading responses and major projects, must acknowledge any such help (ideas, analyses) obtained, whether from the Internet or from books and articles. Such help should be acknowledged by appropriate citations.

Needless to say, there are other forms of academic dishonesty than plagiarizing from the Internet.  On individual projects. if you consult with another student, any notes and ideas should be shared only verbally. Such consultation must be acknowledged and fully described.  Verbal consultation is encouraged by the instructor, since we often learn best from our peers.

Do not allow others, whether friends or relatives, to proofread your written work.

The instructor has a basic faith in the integrity of students and their desire to live in a world where fairness and trust are dominant features of the way we conduct our lives in community with others.  Understanding and observing academic integrity are part of building that world of fairness and trust, right here at Trinity.  However, should the instructor become aware of violations of academic integrity, he will file the necessary charges. All students are under the jurisdiction of the Honor Council.  Remember: one of the penalties for any violation of academic integrity is an F for the course.

If you have any questions or doubts relating to academic integrity regarding any assignment for this class, including what help you may or may not receive on projects, PLEASE ASK THE INSTRUCTOR OF THE SEMINAR!


There are only two required books for the course, available at the Trinity bookstore

All other readings will be available through the course website.

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