Aside from in-class conversations, there are four ways to contribute to this course. Each way will ultimately be assessed.
As we view films in this course, we will stop them periodically to discuss them and their relation to history, aesthetics, and politics. However, as we watch, we will also be contributing to (or having a conversation on) a Twitter backchannel (#bis397). You will be expected to frequently contribute to the backchannel, posing questions, chatting with others, providing links, and the like. You are welcome to invite those from outside of the class to participate (via Twitter). In fact, I encourage you to. (I will do the same.) Your participation in the Twitter backchannel will be included in your participation grade. Like conversations during class, I expect you to be respectful on Twitter. Thanks! (My handle is @jenterysayers, by the way.)
Response Papers (All Submitted in Print)
Each Tuesday, you will submit a short response paper. It should be one-page, single-spaced. Each paper will engage one or two questions we collectively raise and decide upon during class (usually the Thursday prior). These questions will be based on issues in and approaches to computer culture.
Response papers 1, 4, and 7 should engage the assigned question (using evidence from the films we view) and be written with a general academic audience in mind. On the day they are due, you should submit them to a peer, not me. (Although I will look at them first.)
Response papers 2, 5, and 8 should respond to papers 1, 4, and 7 (respectively) in the form of a letter to your peer. While these papers will continue addressing questions and issues raised during class, the audience will (of course) be more concrete. These letters may be less formal than those papers written for an academic audience. On the day they are due, you should submit them to a peer, not me. (Although I will look at them first.)
Response papers 3, 6, and 9 should respond to paper couplings 1-2, 4-5, and 7-8 in the form of a letter to me. While these papers will continue addressing questions and issues raised during class, the audience will (of course) be concrete. These papers should take the opportunity to clarify what you are learning during the course, what questions you have, and what you still want to learn. They should also reference the paper couplings preceding them, quoting your writing (or your peer’s) when necessary. These letters may be less formal than those papers written for an academic audience, but more formal than a letter to your peer. In class, you should submit them to me, attaching to them the corresponding paper couplings (i.e., 1-2, 4-5, or 7-8).
I will respond, in writing, to papers 3, 6, and 9, which will serve as a mechanism for you to gauge your progress in the course. I will assign a grade to each group of three papers (i.e., 1-2-3, 4-5-6, and 7-8-9).
No worries, before these papers are due, I will provide a quick, detailed review of what you should do for each.
In a collaborative group, you will be given the opportunity to “VJ” (or video jockey) a class meeting, leading us through snippets of films (or even an entire film / TV show) you think is relevant. You will not only be responsible for providing the content for the class viewing; you will also be asked to facilitate our conversations in-class and on Twitter. During class meetings, you will have opportunities to prepare for your VJ session.
Your final paper will be a reflection on the course; however, it will assume the form of an argument for a particular approach to computer culture we discussed during class. The paper will be two-pages, single-spaced. During the second half of the quarter, I will provide a detailed prompt for it.