Instructional Materials for Instructors

This Nietzsche hypertext is intended to help students understand how rich and varied may be the connections they can discover or create between one text and others. The hypertext is in no way intended to explain Nietzsche or to fully explicate On the Genealogy of Morals. The authors began by acknowledging that too many Core students read each text as though it were a discrete unit, not often understanding that ideas grow from text to text as authors grapple with the issues that their predecessors have left unresolved or incomplete. They decided to work from Nietzsche's text because his language is challenging, his ideas are deeply rooted in philosophical discourse, and his influence has been widespread.

There is no "right" way to use this set of exercises. Indeed, each Core instructor should tailor the material to her or his own version of the course. If you do develop a unique approach to using the Nietzsche project, please send an electronic copy of your instructions to Joe Essid, so that he can put on the website as many sets of class instructions as possible.

Suggestions for Use:

  1. Use the introduction as an initial reading assignment before using the hypertext. Gary Shapiro provides useful background material on Nietzsche's life and work that will help students avoid misreading the author.
  2. The only directly interactive part of the Nietzsche project is the "WebBoard." In this section of the project, an instructor may post questions for on-line discussion. Every response will appear for all members of the class to read, almost like a listserv list. Instructors with experience in such activities say that students must be required to contribute to the webboard at first, but once they have gotten their feet wet, they will almost certainly participate without further prodding. You can read a brief introduction about logging on to the WebBoard and about posting to the discussion, and you may send Joe Essid questions to be posted in a conference under your name. Brief workshops will be offered periodically on hypertext Core projects.
  3. The gray buttons [] are links between a passage in Genealogy and a similar or related passage in another work by Nietzsche including Thus Spoke Zarathustra and the aphorisms following the Genealogy in the Kaufmann edition.. These links are intended to help the student recognize that Nietzsche wrote extensively about the themes found in Genealogy. Instructors who assign the aphorisms might want the students to explain how one or more of the aphorisms connect to particular passages in the Genealogy.
  4. The blue buttons [] link passages in different parts of the Genealogy, in the attempt to persuade students to make such linkages as they read. A related homework exercise would have the students make three or four such linkages in the text assigned for the day.
  5. The yellow buttons [] are used for definitions and links to outside materials. Students are given the definitions for some words and are asked to define others. The goal is to encourage students to use the dictionary or encyclopedia while they read and to expand their vocabularies.
  6. Perhaps the most important part of the Nietzsche project are the connections with passages in Core texts that appear earlier in the common syllabus, indicated by red buttons []. This exercise is intended to develop awareness that serious literature, both fiction and non-fiction, creates a kind of dialogue among authors of differing times and places, all of them seeking to understand the world and the place of humans in it. Instructors might assign students a similar exercise on a later text by having them describe connections between that text and one or more previously read ones.

The authors hope this hypertext project will help your students better grasp connections between and among other works and texts. After using this hypertext with your students, please take a few moments to complete an online Instructor's Evaluation. Your valuable feedback will inform and guide the creation of future projects such as this.

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