HSTA 321 Assignments

Attendance and Participation (20%)

Participation is vital to your success in this course. You are expected to attend all course meetings and to come to class prepared. That is, you should have completed the assigned reading, have it with you in class, and be prepared to participate actively in class discussion through comments and questions. You will lose credit for participation after three absences, except in documented cases for extended family or medical emergencies, religious observances, or school events. NOTE: Absence from more than 30% of class meetings without documentation will be grounds for failure of the course.

Course Blog (35%)

The majority of your writing in the course will come via a course blog. Over the course of the semester, you will write a total of eight posts of approximately 600-800 words each selected from weekly topics/prompts. Five of these posts are required for all students, as noted on the course schedule. For the remaining three, you may choose from among seven options, spread throughout the semester. Blog posts are due 24 hours before the class session for which they are assigned (i.e., most are due Sunday by 8:30am), and will be assessed according to a standardized rubric.

The schedule of posts is available here.

In addition, you are also required to make a minimum of ten comments on your colleagues’ posts. These must be on at least five different posts. The comments will be assessed on their number, their intellectual engagement, and their timeliness in relation to the post to which they respond.

Keep in mind that you are expected to adhere to the norms of standard written English and to provide citations for any evidence you use in your posts. In addition, please be polite and respectful of your classmates and colleagues in both posts and any comments that may ensue.

Book Review – due Wednesday, Dec. 7 (20%)

You will select one of the following two books:

  • Jeff Jarvis, What Would Google Do? (New York: HarperCollins, 2009)
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012)

Each book responds to a new technology (the Internet) and a new media company (Google) and the role of both in contemporary society. Your assignment will be to consider your selected book as history for a review of approximately 800-1,000 words.

A fuller explanation of the assignment is available on the course blog.

Final Paper: Historiography (25%)

The final paper will invite you to consider the historiographic debates in the history of media and communications. It will be due via dropitto.me by the end of the exam period appointed by the Registrar, Friday, December 15, 2016 at 2:30pm. The paper should be between 2500-3000 words. Further details will be distributed shortly after Thanksgiving.