Arts One: Authority and Resistance (2018)

Crawford’s Seminar (LB2)

Course Description 

(abbreviated… full description on Arts One website)

In this course, we bring together a diverse collection of philosophical, political, historical and literary texts designed to facilitate and provoke critical exploration of the complicated relationship between authority and resistance. Such exploration is not always easy or welcome because, in much of the world, obedience to authority is thought to bring safety, security, and order, while resistance brings chaos, anxiety, even death. But we will consider where and when resistance might be justified, whether it is a futile and/or destructive impulse; and whether its persistence is evidence of an essential connection to human growth.

We invite you to join us in our attempt to better understand the principles at play where orders are issued, decisions are made, obedience demanded, and resistance ensues.


Robert Crawford


Office Hours 

Tues & Thurs 1 to 2 pm Buch C322

Wed 12-1 IBLC 374

Also by appointment



Seminar meetings

Tues/Thurs 11 to 12:20 in IBLC 158

Tutorial Meetings

TBD in IBLC 374


Digital Resources

Websites of possible use/interest for this course

  • I have an Arts One blog which is set up as a website and contains blog posts on course related stuff. Feel free to read and/or comment:
  • There’s the Arts One website, which has general course information and announcements for all students:
  • There’s also an “Arts One Open” site (separate from the Arts One main site for the moment, but we’re working on integrating it) that has all the blog posts from all the seminar groups that are doing blogs, and also lecture recordings:


Essays (65% of your final grade for the course; write 12, drop lowest two marks)

More specific information about writing essays will be given in seminar and tutorial

(a). Essays must be turned in by 12pm (the START of lecture) on Mondays on the scheduled due date.  Hard copy only please. Late essays will be penalized at 5% per day, without exception.

(b)  Essays that are not presented in tutorial will have 10% deducted from the mark for each such essay, except in cases of excused absence. This means that if you miss tutorial during a week when your essay is discussed, you will lose 10% on that essay if you don’t have an excused absence.

(c). During the year you will write a total of twelve essays. The lowest two marks will be dropped if you have submitted all twelve essays. If you do not submit twelve essays a mark of 0 will be factored for the missing paper(s), and you will not be able to drop that 0. In other words, if you fail to submit a paper, one of the ten essay marks used to calculate your final grade will be a 0. One of your 12 essays will be an in-class term end refection paper written during the final week of term 1. This essay result CANNOT be dropped.

(d). Essays are presented in 4 person tutorials, a distinctive and long standing practice at the core of Arts One. You will write and present essays every second week in a staggered rotation of two writing cohorts (e.g. 2 students will present one week, the other 2 students will present the next week). I will create a schedule in the first couple of weeks and tutorials will commence the first week essays are due. Click this Peer Review Guide for detailed advice on how to prepare and conduct yourselves in tutorials.

(e). Essays for Arts One are based on close and careful readings of the texts. You do not need to do additional research beyond the text studied in class (with the exception of the Capstone paper—see below for details). However, if you do use ANY secondary material (including the editor’s introduction to the edition of the text we read, or a website) you must cite your sources fully. Failure to do so is academic dishonesty (plagiarism) and is a serious offence. 

Please review the UBC Calendar Academic regulations for the university policy on cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty (see the UBC Calendar, under “Academic Regulations,” and “Student Conduct and Discipline” UBC Calendar & Learning Commons). There are also links on the course website about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

Participation (15% of your final grade for the course)

All of the following will factor into your participation grade for the course

(a). Attendance is expected at ALL lectures, and will be taken in seminars and tutorials.  If you cannot make it to a meeting, please talk to me in advance if possible, or as soon as you can afterwards. You can have up to three unexcused absences from seminars over the course of the year without affecting your participation grade, but anything over that will start to reduce your participation points.

Tutorial attendance is especially crucial, as there are only four students per tutorial group, and the two students presenting will be relying on your comments and questions.  Thus, any unexcused absences from tutorial meetings will negatively affect your participation grade.

(b).  Quality of participation: Just being in class is not enough to be “participating.”  For seminar meetings, you should come to class having done the reading for the week (it should be done or close to done before the Monday lecture on the reading), and having brought the relevant text with you. In seminars, I may ask you to do some in-class group work and/or writing as response to questions about the texts/lectures, or to prepare some responses at home to bring to the next class. Students will also be called on to lead aspects of discussion in seminar, both individually and in groups.

(c). Participation in tutorials: For tutorials, you should have read the other students’ papers and be ready to give them comments. See above for advice on effective peer review.

(e). Blogging: You are encouraged but NOT required to do blog posts, something that can only help your participation grade. You will need to set up your own blog site. I recommend you use UBC blogs, a very stable and user-friendly WordPress installation stored on servers in Canada. You can use other blogging sites if you wish, but there is a lot of support available for helping you with UBC Blogs. Here is how to set up your blog: ???? UBC Blogs: 5 Steps to Getting Started Send me URLs of each post as soon as it is published. There are options for staying private, or being anonymous if you wish ( can use a pseudonym, or you can use a password on your posts that can be shared with myself, the TA, and other members of the class). These do not need to be formal, elegant pieces (that’s not what blogs are for) but please be respectful and moderate in your expression. Click here for a PDF of the UBC Respectful Environment Statement. You can and should comment on other blogs, including mine or those of your peers. Again, this is NOT required. These are informal writing assignments—not graded—but can be use as an extension of the participation grade. In other words, you can only gain by blogging, both grade-wise and also by having a chance to think out loud about things that you find puzzling, or that you agree/disagree with, or that you’d like to talk about further in seminar, etc. This can also be a way to test drive or kick start ideas for essays.


Capstone Essay & Final Portfolio (20% of your final course mark)

Both Arts One streams require submission of a capstone paper assignment during the final exam period (deadline TBA). This important project promotes active reflection on learning derived from the entire year, and is designed to focus your attention on what you will take away from Arts One and apply to your future studies at UBC. The Capstone essay should be submitted as part of a Portfolio which will also include three of your “top 10” essays, your in-class refection paper and your response to my comments, and other materials of your choosing that you feel demonstrate and reflect your learning over the course as a whole (e.g. blog posts, self-reflective narratives/journals or similar writings, and individual and group presentations in seminar). More detailed instructions of this assignment will be made available later.

Capstone Essay Rubric

In a well-thought out essay of 3,000 – 4,000 words, examine the similarities or differences in the way five different works we have studied discuss authority and/or resistance. The essay should make an argument about the importance and consequences of the similarities/differences rather than simply identifying them.

Examples of questions an essay might answer include:

How do the works address the use of violence in resistance?

What is the primary purpose of political authority according to the works?

What are the limits of authority according to the works?

What kind of authority do resistance leaders have and/or claim?

Your essay must:

*   Draw upon five works we have reviewed this year.
*   Incorporate at least two works from each term.
*   Incorporate secondary sources (i.e., commentaries, historical contextualization, etc.) along with the primary or original texts. This research should be used to extend, deepen and test your original argument based primarily upon your own study of the primary texts, not as a substitute for that argument.

Deadline: TBD

To summarize, your final course mark will be determined according to the following percentages

Essays 65%

Capstone 20%

Participation 15%

In case you’re not familiar with UBC’s system of connecting letter marks to numbers, here it is: 

A+ 90-100 B+ 76-79 C+ 64-67 D 50-54

A 85-89 B 72-75 C 60-63 F 0-49

A- 80-84B-68-71C-55-59

Other important information

If you’re having some difficulties:

For accommodation related to disabilities, please see Access and Diversity in Brock Hall,

If you’re having trouble academically due to physical or mental health, family matters, and more, please see Arts Academic Advising, BUCH D111, 604.822.4028

  • Arts One and the Coordinated Arts Program have their own dedicated advisor who will have regular drop-in sessions for us in the Gateway Space. Check your email for announcements of when those are.
  • Make sure your email is up to date on the Student Service Centre, or you won’t get those announcements (or anything else coming out of the main office).

You should also be aware that UBC has set up an “Early Alert” system to help students when they are experiencing difficulties and that can get help to get back on track.

  • This is a confidential system that sends an email to advisors who will then contact students to offer them help, references to support services if need be, etc. Students can decide not to take the offer of help; this is a purely voluntary system. This information goes only to early alert advisors; it does not go to anyone else, and doesn’t end up on a permanent record anywhere.
  • Please see more about “early alert” here: and please note that I would never refer a student to the attention of “Early Alert” without their knowledge.

Authority and Resistance Topic/Lecture Schedule, 2018

Essay due dates for each stream, Term 1


Authority and Resistance Topic/Lecture Schedule, 2019

Essay due dates for each stream, Term 2


  • The Conference is a new Arts One initiative and will be discussed in class



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