Blog Post Prompt for Week Two  (Due February 4 and 5):

In “Why I Blog” Andrew Sullivan argues that blogging is “writing about yourself,” combining “the confessional genre with the log form and exposes the author in a manner no author has ever been exposed before.”  When blogging, exposure is determined by the information writers reveal about themselves, both consciously and unconsciously.  Your first blog post will allow you to begin thinking through our course topic of identity formation.  How would you articulate your life up to this point in a single blog post?  Imagine this one post is all you have to discuss who you are in a world where the dominate form of communication is through digital profiles you read online.  What would you want the world to know about you?  Incorporate all the elements of a successful post we discussed in class, including other forms of media (images, videos, hyperlinks, etc.).  At the end of the semester we will return to these first posts and compare what you write with your final project blogs.

Blog Post Prompt for Week Three (Due February 11 and 12):

Your first blog prompt was intentionally broad, allowing you to be creative to express yourself in a variety of forms.  For the second post, however, you will need to follow a form closer to the model I used for “Magna Carta: Jay-Z’s Declaration of Independence” (click here to access the post).  After the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency in 2008, commentators wondered about the possibility of a post-racial society in the United States. Considering Toure’s argument for a Post-Black identity in “Forty Million Ways to be Black” and the unconscious prejudices that Hiben Nigatu argues we encounter on a daily basis, is it possible for America to ever become truly post-racial?  How does our increasing reliance on digital networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc. for communication complicate this conversation? Engage quotes from this week’s readings as support and locate at least one other article of your own that furthers or challenges your point.  You will need to insert your Micro-Aggression meme at the beginning of your post and add a video and hyperlinks that support your position.  In your comments to each other, make sure to add a helpful website or article in your response.

Blog Post Prompt for Week Four (Due February 18 and 19)

Use your mobile device or camera to take one photo that corresponds with our class discussion based on Susan Sontag’s argument for why we take photos in “In Plato’s Cave” or John Berger’s first chapter of Ways of Seeing. This can be a selfie that exhibits a part of yourself you are insecure about, a current event you capture in real time, someone you look up to, a beautiful geographical space you encounter, or an image that simply exhibits your unique perspective of looking at the world.  This must be a photo you take yourself.  Post the photo on our course blog and describe it in one to three sentences.  This will help you begin thinking about how to structure your photo essay projects.

Blog Post Prompt for Week Five (Due February 25 and 26)

This week’s blog assignment is to post your individual Photo Essays, which are due on February 25 and 26 respectively.  Use our class discussion, the readings, the New York Times Magazine photo essays, and my comments on your proposals to create a visual narrative using 10 to 15 images.  You will want to do some research on your topic to flesh out your understanding, and consider how you will use text to guide or complement the narrative in your essay.  Remember that the order of your photos will tell a story about your subject.

Blog Post Prompt for Week Six (Due March 4 and 5)

This is an individual assignment to help you practice analyzing music from a  cultural studies perspective.  It will prepare you for work you will do during the Collaborative Podcast Projects.  Choose one of your favorite songs and analyze it according to the model we used for discussing Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet (2013).  Some research will be required.  You should take into account the song’s historical background and cultural context, its title, the cover art from the album which the song was drawn, how the song sounds, its lyrical content,  the ideas it is presenting, and your personal connection to the song.  As always, any information you locate should be referenced in embedded links or a footnote if you are quoting from a non-online source.  Make sure to post a video of your song so everyone can hear it.

Blog Post Prompt for Week Seven (Due March 11 and 12)

No post is due this week.  Use this time to plan and record your Collaborative Podcast Projects.

Blog Post Prompt for Week Eight – Nothing Due, Spring Break

Blog Post Prompt for Week Nine (Due March 25 and 26)

Conventional communicative practices from purchasing products to falling in love have to be renegotiated in the 21st century thanks to wide-spread use of the Internet.  How do Erich R. Merkle and Rhonda A. Richardson suggest that computer mediated relationships (CMR) complicate the way we traditionally form interpersonal romantic relationships in “Digital Dating and Virtual Relating: Conceptualizing Computer Mediated Romantic Relationships“?  Do you believe it is possible to have a truly fulfilling emotional and sexual relationship with a partner when there is no body present and your interactions play out online?  Cite specific examples  from the film Noah (2013) that either support or complicate your idea.  Finally, consider your personal experiences as a college student.  Are your dating methods traditional, or do they include digital courtship?  What does this transformation mean for the way future generations will understand intimacy?

Blog Post Prompt for Week Ten (Due April -May)

For the rest of the semester your blogging work will be concentrated on your individual blogsites.  Contribute to them as often as possible to flesh out your topic.  Your basic requirement is one post a week, but keep in mind, this is only the basic requirement.  A thorough, well-constructed blog will investigate your topic consistently on a regular basis.  Make sure to create your individual sites as soon as possible and email me the URLs so I can put together a group directory and follow your progress.



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