Fall 2018 Undergraduate English Courses

351:209 Intro to Multimedia Composition

Fall 2018

In these classes, we will be examining different ways in which digital media has contributed to new modes of thinking about topics of social and cultural importance . Through assigned texts and selected videos, podcasts, and other examples of popular digital media we will be meditating on what creativity and communication means in the 21st century. In addition to working with the assigned course texts, students will have the opportunity to develop projects that utilize digital media in order to generate their own ideas around the question, what does it mean to be connected in the digital age?

This course satisfies two SAS Core Requirements
Area of Inquiry: Arts and Humanities; Critical and Creative Expression [AHr]
Cognitive Skills and Processes: Information Technology and Research [ITR] 

Fall 2018










209 01 At Home: What Does It Mean? Kearney Th 3, 4 MU 038 09859 CAC
209 02 Food, Culture & Politics in the Digital Age Hobayan M, Th 2 MU 038 09860 CAC
209 03 Storytelling in the Digital Age Ahmed Th 2, 3 MU 305 09861 CAC
209 04 Documenting Your World McCarter M 3, 4 MU 038 10259 CAC
209 06 The Fluid Page Standridge M, W 6 MU 038 10949 CAC
209 07 Words About Music Warren F 2, 3 MU 038 14218 CAC
209 08 DocumentingYOUR World Sugarman M, W 8 MU 038 10950 CAC
209 09 The Fluid Page Standridge M, W 5 MU 038 11447 CAC
209 10 Public Intellectuals and Mass Protests in the Age of Social Media Fitzgerald M, W 7 MU 038 11484 CAC
209 11 Rethinking Place: Walking and Mapping Fuhrman T 3, 4 MU 302 13332 CAC
209 12 Storytelling in the Digital Age Ahmed M 2, 3 MU 305 14599 CAC
209 13 DocumentingYOUR World Bryan Th 4, 5 MU 305 16643 CAC
209 14 DocumentingYOUR World LaBrie T 6, 7 MU 038 16644 CAC
209 15 DocumentingYOUR World Bryan T 4, 5 MU 038 16645 CAC
209 16 Documenting YOUR World McCarter W 3, 4 MU 305 16646 CAC
209 H1* Curiosity and Expression Bielecki T 2, 3 AB 1100 12829 CAC

*Honors College students and SAS Honors students enroll in Section H1


01 - At Home: What Does it Mean?
What is home? Is it a place of belonging, of safety, of refuge? Must it be something that we call ours, that we identify with? Or can home be a dwelling in bewilderment? What happens when we don’t feel at home, when we don’t belong? In this class, we will develop work that documents the shapes and contours of our intimate dwellings and the stories of those who inhabit them. Through videos, podcasts, and graphic illustrations, students will develop narratives around questions of home and estrangement, investigating how each specific digital media employed can serve as a unique lens to view both feeling at home and feeling estranged. Students of all backgrounds and disciplines welcome!

02 - Food, Culture & Politics in the Digital Age 
Multimedia appeals to various senses, but not all of them at once. How can students use digital platforms to create something that comes close to experiencing the real thing of food? Additionally, how can social media disseminate information about the food world, specifically agriculture and the politics that surround it? How can these media bring awareness to the forefront and encourage social action? In this course, students will consider these questions as they engage with all varieties of food literature (novels, restaurant reviews, political essays, how-to videos, food blogs) and how their own identities are created through food. As a result of our discussions, students will create a podcast, a video essay, and other related assignments.

03, 12 - Storytelling in the Digital Age
Students will hone their creative writing and critical thinking skills, to learn the various styles and formats of storytelling in the digital age. You will create a digital portfolio which is a personal blog of your work throughout the semester. The portfolio will include – personal narrative, podcast, video essay, film critique, blog posts on current events, well-thought-out final essays or short fiction. How do we tell stories in the digital age? Are the possibilities endless? Let’s find out!

04, 08, 13, 14, 15, 16 - Documenting YOUR World
Sometimes, it feels like The News has everything covered: politics, entertainment, climate change, business. But there’s something only you can report on: The story of your everyday life. How your immediate world keeps changing. Is there a new graffiti artist in town? Is something fresh happening in the local music scene? Has your circle of friends changed its view on an issue? Is a new fashion trend emerging on campus? Through blog posts, a podcast, and a video project, we’ll keep track of micro-stories like these, analyzing and exploring them in different ways.

06, 09 - The Fluid Page 
Digital media has altered not only the way we create and consume information, but it has also profoundly altered how we value that information; furthermore, it has changed the way we think. The realm of digital media is growing and changing so rapidly that even the experts often have trouble making sense of what tools like blogs, social media, and digital publishing mean for the future of human communication. In this class, we will be critically examining the ways that digital media has inspired us to reconsider permanence and fluidity, as they relate to information. Through assigned texts, websites, videos, and podcasts, students will rethink the modes of presenting information and find what it means to contribute to the perpetually updated World Wide Web. Students will also develop projects using digital media in order to explore their own personal questions about what it means to create and consume media in the Digital Age. 

07 - Words About Music
“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture” (Martin Mull, Frank Zappa, Elvis Costello, etc.). From the earliest days of concert reviews and album liner notes, journalists have been struggling to find words to describe the sounds that they hear when listening to music. The blogging world has brought many more voices into this cultural conversation, which at times can be both perplexing and fascinating. The current digital music landscape has become a thriving and vibrant community that has its roots in a long tradition of fanzines, concert bootlegs and mix tapes. Now more than ever, both artists and their respective audiences are engaged in a dynamic conversation that is not only changing how we talk about music, but also how artists are creating music. Through careful study of texts, blogs, podcasts, videos and recordings, students will evaluate how music is discussed and written about and become active participants in the larger social media conversation. Over the course of the semester, students will produce several blog posts that critique live musical performances, review albums and explore their deeper thoughts on musical style and culture. In addition, each student will produce a podcast and a video essay that takes traditional musical journalism off the page and into the aural and visual domains.

10 - Public Intellectuals and Mass Protests in the Age of Social Media 
As our national and global politics have rapidly transformed through the platforms of social media (Arab Spring, Iranian revolution, Occupy, Black Lives Matter), public intellectuals have repurposed social media to launch their commentary, analysis, protests and online grassroots movements. In this course, we'll track the social media lives of several contemporary influential intellectuals of all ages and backgrounds who have relied upon social media to engage issues of civic responsibility and political awareness, as well as transformed it.  Students will blog, record, interview, opine, research and analyze contemporary social justice activism.

11 - Rethinking Place: Walking and Mapping  
How can a map be a way of capturing not only the physical contours of a place but also the emotional, historical, ecological and spiritual aspects? In this class, we will be studying and creating works that rethink the parameters of what it means to walk through and think about a city or a town.  Can a map also be a poem or a work of fiction? We will explore how artists and writers envision space as both a palimpsest of the past and an arena for defamiliarization. Projects will include a website, an audio tour/podcast, and a video essay or video poem.

* Honors College students and SAS Honors students enroll in Section H1

*H1 (Honors) - Curiosity and Expression
How are our perceptions of art, communications, and information changing as a result of wide spread access to digital technologies and various digital media platforms? This course provides students the opportunity to explore the conceptual challenges that have emerged from the ever expanding digital world that we inhabit through blog postings, group exercises, and individual digital media projects that provide hands on experience of what it is like to compose and share works that are both thought provoking and entertaining. Taught at Honors level.