All posts are due by the date and time listed on this page. Keep in mind that these deadlines are typically set twenty-four hours before a class meeting.
[Note: The assignments will be updated no later than a week before the due date for each post.]
9/10 Introduction (Required 1)
For the first post I’d like each of you to introduce yourself. Explain why you’re taking the course and what you hope to get out of it. You could discuss any questions you may have about the history of media and communications coming into the course.
9/17 Definitions (Required 2)
Offer a brief definition of the economics term you were assigned in class. Further details will be explained in class. In your post, you must use at least two sources (which you may cite using hyperlinks or footnotes). In addition, you may make use of the Wikipedia entry for your term, if it exists.
9/19 Printing in Colonial America (Required 3)
Both Grandjean and Dubcovsky published their work about a decade after Starr’s Creation of the Media appeared. Based on the chapters we’ve read by each scholar, in what ways do you think Grandjean and Dubcovsky force us to reconsider or revise Starr’s argument?
9/26 Reaction to Franklin (Option 1)
Choose a paragraph from the Autobiography that you found particularly moving and thought-provoking on the issue of media and communications. Discuss what you found intriguing and use the selection to raise one or two questions you think are important in discussing Franklin.
10/10 Reaction to The Coquette (Option 2)
For this response, you should consider how The Coquette represented the state of American media in the 1790s. You may do so with a general consideration of the book as a whole or select a single passage to evaluate carefully. In your response, you should also provide one or two questions you’d like the class to discuss about the novel.
10/17 Reaction to Walker (Option 3)
Scholars have focused considerable attention to the typography of Walker’s Appeal, that is, the layout of text on the page, the use of gratuitous punctuation, and so on. In your post, discuss the ways in which those choices had an impact in how to read the text.
10/31 Mid-Semester Reflection (Option 4)
At this point in the semester, we have moved into the electronic era of communications. Looking back at the first eight weeks of the course, select one issue from our reading of Paul Starr that you would like to learn more about. Write a post about the issue, including what about it you find interesting and what more you would like to discuss about it.
11/12 AAS Visit (Required 4)
During the visit to AAS, we will be examining a number of items from its collection of print and manuscript materials. For the blog post, you should select three items that you viewed and discuss how seeing them in their material form influences the way in which you think about them as artifacts of the history of media and communications.
11/21 The Motion Picture Industry (Option 5)
Movies as they developed did not include the conveyance of information as one of their primary purposes for existence. Based on our reading of both both Creation of the Media and “Morality and Entertainment” by Vaughn, discuss how that fact (and difference from other media) shaped the growth of movies in American society.