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English 138: Winter 2010
A&S 128, the journalism lab
Section 1: Mon 530-830
Section 2: Wed 530-830

ASSIGNMENTS This course is in part a "practicum," meaning that it emphasizes practicing or participating in the the object of study. In this case, what you'll "practice" is composing for digital publication to the world wide web:

Personal Hypertext Project. This should express an aspect of your "networked self” and involve some form of research/information gathering (broadly construed). You should include at least 1800 words of your own writing. This can be a service project for an organization with which you're involved, or a fan site for an author, band, or sports team that you admire. It can be creative writing, an autobiographical photo-essay or travelogue, family genealogy project, or a tribute to a relative who has passed away. It can be an annotated edition of a favorite text, such as a poem, song lyric, or photograph. You will probably want to link this hypertext project to a personal home page, which you can use as a hub for your other projects for this class, pages for other interests, schoolwork, career needs (such as a resume, recommendations, or writing sample) etc. See plenty of examples and learn more here.

Hypertext Response Essay. Thoughtful discussion of course readings with citations for brief quotations and paraphrases hyperlinked back to source material.

Civic-engagement project: on individual topics generated in class exercises. All topics require my advance approval. Will incorporate a 2000-word critical hyperessay (academic writing involving research), spread out over fifteen or more web pages. Must include other design elements encouraging or enabling civic engagement. The supported activity will be the use of web-published video in some form (public service announcement, interview, testimony, journalism, guerilla theater, dramatization, etc). But with my approval you can use some technology other than video to satisfy the engagement portion: social media, weblog, wiki, graphic display, web-delivered video, photography, sound, etc. There will be a revision stage leading to a printable (linear) version of the hyperessay.

Analytical "hyper" essay: an academic website comprised of at least 1800 words, spread out over twelve or more web pages hyperlinked together. The goal is to do an analytical reading of Cory Doctorow's novel Little Brother, using two or three themes of the course as a lens for critically reading the book. You should have a bibliography of at least 6 items from the course reading. Additional source material is okay but not required. Include a printable version. Due Monday March 22 by 5pm. EXTRA CREDIT: Incorporate a thoughtful remix of some portion of the book.

Informal Writing, Discussion, Independent Reading, and other forms of Participation. In preparation for (and during) some class discussions of homework reading, you will be expected to participate in informal online writing and other activities.

FEEDBACK AND GRADING. Because this is a practicum, you should expect to have direct, personal feedback from me in at least every other weekly class meeting. In addition, we will have at least two required conferences outside of class time and I am always available for help and additional feedback. Technology specialists will have special lab hours designated for individual assistance with the technological aspects of your work.

Attendance, academic integrity, and disability accomodation.  Because of the participatory and hands-on nature of the learning you'll do in this class, I suggest that you miss no more than 1 3-hour class, and arrive late no more than once. You will need to get notes and make up the work in missed classes. Unexcused attendence problems beyond these guidelines will be reflected by a reduction in your final grade (usually 1/2 to 1 1/2 letter grades); attendance issues affecting 30% of scheduled classes (that's 3 sessions) will usually result in a failing grade. SCU maintains a detailed policy on academic integrity that applies to this course and which you may consult in the University Bulletin or on the Provost's web site. Students who experience a circumstance or condition that may affect their ability to complete assignments or otherwise satisfy course criteria are encouraged to meet with me to identify, discuss, and document any feasible instructional modifications or accommodations. You may contact the Disabilities Resource Center in 214 Benson (extension 4111, TTY ext 5445). Any other issues? Please email or drop by the office to talk.

Grading Philosophy. You’ll prepare multiple versions of major class projects in response to feedback from me, technology trainers, other students and, possibly, from viewers of your projects online. At the end of the term, you’ll prepare a hypertext letter (a learning essay) linking to your web-published class work and discussing what you’ve learned. If you like, you can also send me an email proposing a final grade, based on assessment criteria we’ll develop over the course of the term. I'm always available to talk if you have questions about your grade and will always take time to help you figure out how to do as well as possible.  As long as your participation remains satisfactory, extra credit is usually available.  

My approach to grading is holistic: I prefer to take all of the assignments together, including participation, and consider the context of your personal goals for the class, your growth as a writer and, especially, your self-assessment. There are many good things about this approach: most people feel that it’s fair and they appreciate that it’s individualized, and they usually appreciate that I take their opinions seriously.  Most people also feel that it helps to keep the focus on the writing process.  On the negative side, we sometimes prefer what feels like the clarity, simplicity, and familiarity of a universal grading rubric that focuses on the results of your efforts:  (“A C paper fulfills the assignment, but lacks sophistication,” etc). 

My way of handling that is to ask you to develop a set of goals for yourself this quarter, and to describe the way those goals connect to the sort of grading possibilities you envision for yourself.  You’ll share those goals and ideas with others and with me, and those exchanges may motivate you to revise your goals. Eventually that statement will be part of your portfolio: your concluding letter will reflect on the work you’ve done and on your goals.   While I retain full responsibility for assessing your final grade, I take your assessments and grade proposals seriously. In most cases where there appears the possibility of a substantially different assessment, or in cases where you feel that you haven’t been meeting your goals for a variety of reasons, you can request (or I may suggest) extra credit activities.

 

 

 

Laura Dwyer Nicolas Feigenbaum Kate Fideler Caitlin Gambee Chris Nguyen Melea O'Dell Kanwal Palla Adam Ringler Alycia Rose Jessica Cuadra Megan Curtis Connor Kelliher Michael Kent Nitasha Khetarpal Rachel Saunders Justine Schiele Collen Sinsky Randy Holaday Kate Lanier Brad Lawler Tara Manny Maggie Ryan Danny Sofer Jamie Spiegel Lauren Tsugawa Cristina Wong Alonzo Barry Catherine Carr Eunjey Cho Sean Lee Marianne Ly Craig Benko Kate Bradley Jamie Coakley Peter Miller Myrna Mungal Allen Munoz

INTERNET CULTURE. This course explores major issues of the digital public sphere, especially the rising interest in electronically-mediated civic engagement and collaborative participation in cultural production. We'll study the electronic mediation of identity, culture, and social action. Participants will play social impact electronic games, interact in virtual communities, use digital tools for collaboration and assisted creativity, and learn some of the major uses, features, and forms of writing for electronic media.

Unit 1 Hypermedia, Publicity, and Participatory Culture
Week 1 Introduction: What is Participatory Culture?
Week 2 Pajamas Media Convergence
Week 3 Creative Commons: Remixing vs. Crowdsourcing
Week 4 Media Ownership, Insurgency, Culture Jamming

Unit 2 All Media are Social Media
Week 5 Virtual Worlds, Real Money
Week 6 Games, Change, Early Learning
Week 7 Youth and Digital Publicity

Unit 3 Networks from Below
Week 8 Globalization, Technology, and Counterpower
Week 9 Digerati or Cybertariat?
Week 10 Little Brother

This course meets weekly in the journalism laboratory (A&S 128). It fulfills the university core technology requirement, the core "third writing" requirement, and the rhetoric and writing requirement for English majors. Four books have been ordered for this class; you will need to have a copy in your possession during class. (Doctorow is available as free download; you can bring this text on a laptop or netbook.) We'll use a variety of web-authoring tools, principally the widely-used html editor in Macromedia's Dreamweaver Studio, available for free use in several on-campus labs. It may be necessary to share the expenses of some additional software for group projects. You will need a flash “thumb,” “stick,” or “keychain” drive to store your work in progress.

Cory Doctorow, Little Brother
Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody
Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture
David Williamson Shaffer, How Computer Games Help Children Learn

Week 1 Hypertext, Publicity, and Participatory Culture
Discussion. What is the internet made of? Who “composes” the artifacts that are internet “places” and internet “culture”? How is the composition of internet culture different from the composition of television, radio, or mass-market book culture? Is “publishing” your music, poetry, memoirs, or political views on the internet different from other kinds of publicity? What do we mean by an internet “public”?  In what ways do we people “read” or “view” internet culture differently from other forms of reading and viewing?

THEME: What is an information society? Is it a place where information technology creates a vast new “digital public sphere”? If so, who’s left out and whose voice matters? What difference does the electronic mediation of everyday activities make in such areas as communication, leisure, political organizing,and the generation and distribution of academic and professional knowledge? What is the the relationship between "knowledge workers" and other kinds of workers? How do we live out in our own lives the tension between intellectual property claims and the hopes for a "knowledge commons"? What are the consequences of an internet-mediated community and sociability, including the proliferation of subcultures and countercultures? In what ways did activities we associate with the internet take place at other times and with other technologies—was there a Victorian internet and a Victorian YouTube?

ACTIVITY: View examples of the Hitler meme. What are memes? What are the limits of their circulation? What do memes say about the culture in which they circulate? Jenna Wortham, Hitler Remixes Are Big On YouTube

ACTIVITY: Sketch your “networked self”--the web of associations, interests, passions, and commitments through which you express your individuality, emphasizing the institutions, organizations, and groups that structure and support your beliefs, interests and values.

ACTIVITY: In class: plan a website devoted to one aspect of your networked self. (This is your “personal hypertext project,” described above.) Begin by writing the splash page on a plain piece of paper, indicating any images you plan to add and underlining the places you think links are appropriate. If you don't have the links you need to move on, re-write. Then, on new pieces of paper, create the pages to which you projected links on the front page. Write the text and describe the images you imagine for these pages. Indicate further links—and create the next layer of pages, as before. Keep going until you have a paper model of a functioning website. Consider: what sort of navigation bar would help readers navigate this site.

ACTIVITY: Introduction to Assisted Creativity. Cartoons: Bitstrips, especially Bitstrips for Schools. Video: Xtranormal and Animoto. Music: JamStudio, SoundJunction, Garage Band; for young children, the San Francisco Symphony Music Lab's Composerizor. Presentations: Glogster and Voicethread(for commenting and collaborating on digital documents). We'll also request our web authoring accounts at http://webpages.scu.edu

Homework:
1. Watch the film Julie & Julia. You can rent this film, get it on demand or rent it online at services like Roxio and Amazon. Pay special attention to the parallels drawn between the blogger as author and Julia Child as cookbook author.
2. Read pages 1-11 of Henry Jenkins et al, "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture."
3. Complete a paper mock-up draft of your Personal Hypertext Project including the full text and images you would like to use. You must use at least one assisted creativity tool to create an element in your website.

Week 2 Julie & Julia: Pajamas Media Convergence
Part 1 (2 hours) Web Authoring and Dreamweaver Tutorial Dreamweaver tutorial; publish your personal hypertext projects, using the images and text you brought to class on your keychain drives. Teri Escobar will lead this section. Note: this class is almost impossible to make up. Attendance is mandatory. Technology Training has lab assistance in the Harrington Learning Commons Multi-Media Lab 135 every Sunday through Thursday evening from 7-10 pm and day hours as well. Contact Teri Escobar for news (tescobar@scu.edu).

Part 2: Discussion of Jenkins and the film Julie & Julia--when a blog about interacting with a book becomes a book about blogging and then a movie about the relationship between blogging, books, and book authors. What is writing? What counts as originality and creativity? What is the relationship of writing creatively to other activities (such as cooking)? How does the film show media converging? What opportunities, conflicts and crises of identity, legitimacy, and power arise from that convergence? The film shows two projects becoming books--are the books the goals of the processes that gave rise to them?

Homework:
1. Read chapters 4 and 5 in Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture. Skim these short takes on vidding, fan and slash fiction at the MIT Communications Forum, in wired, glbtq.com and The Guardian, including the entries on fan fiction and associated legal issues in Wikipedia. Browse the Organization for Transformative Works, Fanlore, Remix America, and Fan Fiction index.
2. View the film Be Kind, Rewind. (Make sure you read Jenkins first.) Pay particular attention to the practice of "sweding"--the recreation/re-shooting of existing films in an obviously amateurish way. What is gained by amateur re-creation of highly professionalized and industrialized art forms like Hollywood film?
3. Complete the publishing and revision of your personal hypertext projects. You should count on doing this during the scheduled lab-assistance hours until you become comfortable with Dreamweaver.

Week 3 Creative Commons: Remixing vs. Crowdsourcing
Part 1 (1 hour). Present and discuss personal hypertext projects, discuss typography and design. We'll look at Jacob Gube, 20 Websites with Beautiful Typography and font image generators such as interactimage.com. We'll use a font generator to create unique and appropriate headlines for your site. Later you may wish to explore two or three of Gube's 25 Excellent Typography Tools.

Part 2: (2 hours) Discussion of Jenkins, the film Be Kind, Rewind, and the idea of a creative commons. How are the ideas of remixing and fan fiction different from the notion of "crowdsourcing"? View in class: (remix) Star Trek Meets Monty Python and (remix) One Week: Literal Video, and Abigail de Kosnik, Fan Labor as Paid Labor?

Also:
Stephen Colbert's' Remix Challenge with remixes by Eclectic Method, Ludachrist, Mastgrrr, Alexxx, and EmJ's This is Artistic Socialism.

We'll also have a brief discussion of intellectual property issues: a) creative commonscopyleft or other choices regarding your own work and b) the use of an image credit and link to the source page for borrowed noncopyrighted images on all of your pages using such material for educational and noncommercial purposes. 

Homework:
1. Read the one-page manifesto by John Perry Barlow, Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Lev Manovich's brief Models of Authorship in New Media and chapters 1 Creators and 4 Pirates in Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture (also very short). Take a look at this 1-page interview with Jonathan Coulton, as well as his letter for Creative Commons, website, and both of these animations of his song Code Monkey, as well as this fan tribute video.

2. Comprehensively redesign your personal hypertext, revising the writing, image selection, organization and typography. For inspiration, you can browse the Webby Awards, plus Gube's 20 Fresh and New Design Galleries and 10 Unusual Places to Get Design Inspiration. Publish the redesigned site, adding a page with a 300 word discussion of your redesign, linking to five or six sites that inspired your choices. Extra credit: use a second "assisted creativity" tool to make a thoughtful addition to your project.

Week 4 Media Ownership, Insurgency, Culture Jamming
Discussion of Lessig vs Colbert, Coulton's business model, indymedia and insurgency. Presentation of redesigned sites.

Homework:
1) Visit Political Remix Video, the Bitfilm Politicool Awards, and Indymedia US, as well as sites covering the Zapatistas (background, further links and photo essay)and the Durban Shack Dwellers' Movement the RTmark project list, the YesMen, Adbusters and the smartmeme website.

Select at least one story or video from each and publish a 1000-word response essay to your website, describing some of the tensions between media ownership and our hopes for a more democratic society. Be sure to briefly quote or paraphrase from Lessig, Barlow, Jenkins and the videos and stories you've chosen, providing links and citations in your hypertextual response paper.

2. In preparation for next week, read this short discussion of Learning in Second Life and watch 1/2 hour of video in these short clips: Virtual Guantanamo and the Daily Show report on Second Life & the video embedded on this short story about Second Life as a research environment. Watch the first five minutes of Webvolution and the first five minutes of Virtual Social Worlds and the Future of Learning.

Week 5: Virtual Worlds, Real Money
Different Location--Multimedia Lab, Library 1st floor. Tour of Top 20 educational locations in Second Life. Introduction to academic and commercial uses of Second Life and commercial uses of virtual worlds for training and collaboration. Introduction to use of voicethread.

Sign up for out-of-class introduction to shooting and editing video (2 hours). Attending one of these sessions is required. They will be held in the library multimedia lab (same location as Week 5 class) at the following four times:
Thursday, Feb 4, 5:30-7PM
Friday Feb 5, 5:30-7PM
Monday Feb. 8th 5:30-7PM
Wed. Feb. 10th 5:30-7PM

Homework: Shaffer, How Computer Games Help Children Learn: Introduction and Chs 1, 2, and 5. Also read James Paul Gee, Why are Video Games Good for Learning? and (very short) Daniel Terdiman's Games That Stick it to The Man and Ian Bogost's "Persuasive Games: Designing For Tragedy."

Also download and play the demo version of Crayon Physics. You can do this with a friend. (You'll enjoy it!). Also play at least one game each at lecielestblue and Persuasive Games and Molleindustria and Games For Change. OPTIONAL: more on gaming at Games For Change, Penn State, Games, Learning, and Society, and SIGGRAPH.


Week 6: Games, Change, Early Learning

Discussion of reading and gaming. In class: play and discuss toddler and literacy games at Starfall, poissonrouge, WGBH/TV Ontario, physicsgames.net, literactive and jacksonpollack.org. Discussion of civic engagement project, brainstorming ideas and screenplays.

ACTIVITY: discussion of cognition ("critical thinking") and hypertext composition

Homework: 1) Read chapters 1-3 in Shirky; danah boyd, "Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenaged Social Life"; Henry Jenkins, Nine Propositions Toward A Cultural Theory of Youtube (short).
2) Draft a proposal for your civic engagement project with video.

Week 7: Youth and Digital Publicity
Discussion of Shirky, boyd, and Jenkins. Discussion of scriptwriting, and in-class scriptwriting workshop. Discussion of annotated bibliographies and reviews of the literature.

Homework:
1) Prepare an annotated bibliography AND review of the literature on the topic of your civic engagement hypertext. You should survey at least six to eight items. Online materials and course readings are okay, but try to have at least two additional scholarly references beyond course readings.
2) Manuel Castells, The Network Society: From Knowledge to Policy (numbered pp 3-21 only); Jeffrey Juris, Networked Social Movements; Rosalind Gill, Technobohemians or the New Cybertariat?
3)If you're ready, it's a good idea to complete primary photography for your video.

OPTIONAL further reading: The Internet as Factory (hint: lots of good scholarly remix material in these conference videos, featuring Tiziana Terranova, Andrew Ross, Jodi Dean, and many others); Juris, Social Forums and their Margins; Castells, Information Technology, Globalization and Social Development (pdf)

Week 8: Globalization, Counterpower, and the Cybertariat Discussion of Castells, Juris, and Gill. Workshop civic engagement hypertext, including how to review the scholarly literature. In class: complete draft paper mockups of civic engagement hypertext. (note: I've combined weeks 8 & 9 to accommodate the two major holidays this term, and abbreviated the normal reading.)

Homework:1) Edit video, publish it to Youtube and publish your civic engagement hypertext (12-15 web pages, 2000 words in addition to the review of lit and bibliography).
2) Read pp 1-200, or a bit more than half, of Doctorow, Little Brother

Week 9: Little Brother
Presentation of civic engagement projects in progress, discussion of Doctorow, learning essays.

Week 10 (office meetings only; exam week)

1) Revise your civic engagement hypertext, including a linear (printable version). Meet with me for feedback.

2. Finish reading Little Brother and complete an analytical hypertext of 1800 words and at least 12 web pages, using two or three themes of the course as a lens for critically reading the book. You should have a bibliography of at least 6 items from the course reading and a review of this literature; annotation of the bibliography and additional source material is okay but not required. Include a printable version and remember to make use of the printable version to revise the hypertext. Due Monday March 22 by 5pm.

EXTRA CREDIT: Incorporate a thoughtful remix of some portion of the book in your hypertext. This optional remix can deal directly with Doctorow's characters and take them in a new direction or place them in a new situation, as in fan fiction and fan filmmaking. Or it can present entirely new characters and situations, addressing a question, theme or event raised by Doctorow's novel in ways that the novel does not.


Checklist for last project:
>bibliography of 6 items from course readingand review of literature
>1800 words of original writing (equiv. 5 linear pp), spread out over 12 web pages
>printable version
>revise hypertext after doing linear version
>have you linked to your previous projects?
>learning essay for term
>published by 5 pm PST, Monday March 22
>email the link of your main page to me (very important)
>congratulations!

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

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