Attendance and Participation (10%)
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 can also earn participation credit in a variety of ways outside of class: attending supplemental instruction sessions; visiting office hours; and asking questions via email or Twitter. If you think you will miss more than one class period in a row, please contact me to make arrangements. In cases of extended family or medical emergencies, you should also contact the Dean of Students, who can help you navigate the process of verifying your absence and contact professors on your behalf.
Course Blog (30%)
Much of your writing in the course will come via a course blog. Over the course of the semester, you will write a total of six posts of approximately 400-600 words each selected from weekly topics/prompts. Four of these posts are required for all students, as noted on the course schedule. For the remaining two posts, you may choose from among five options, spread throughout the semester. Except as otherwise noted, blog posts are due by 11:59 p.m. on the date for which they are assigned, which means that you can choose whether to write your post in advance of our class meeting or wait and engage with the conversation in class when you write. Each post 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 eight comments on your colleagues’ posts. You should offer a comment at least five different posts and do so within ten days of the initial post. 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.
During the semester you will engage in a research project based on nineteenth-century American newspapers (available via the Chronicling America project at the Library of Congress). Several class meetings have been set aside for work on the project, which will be divided into several steps. The final project will include an online component as well as an in-class presentation.
The final paper will invite you to consider the historiographic debates in the history of media and communications. It will be due via Dropbox by the end of the exam period appointed by the Registrar, Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 2:30pm. The paper should be between 2500-3000 words. Further details will be distributed shortly after Thanksgiving.
Hannah W. Foster, The Coquette, introduction by Cathy N. Davidson (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), ISBN: 978-0-195-04239-9
Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications (New York: Basic Books, 2005), ISBN: 978-0-465-08194-3