Below, you will find the schedule for this course. This schedule is subject to change, so please check it regularly. No changes will be made that are disadvantageous to you as a student. For example, readings may be reordered, but not added. Deadlines may be pushed back, but not pushed forward. The images that precede a series of weeks indicates the general theoretical focus of the weeks that follow the image.
*** There will be one additional Mini-Composition Project due date which has yet to be determined. As soon as the due date for the Mini-Composition Project is decided, the date will be added.
AUGUST 22 — Course Introduction
Readings: Course Syllabus, Common First Week (CFW) Video Assignment, Course Topic: Convergence Culture and Media Rationale
AUGUST 24 — WOVEN
Readings: WOVENText Part 1 (through p. 26) AND WOVENText Chapter 7
- Complete syllabus forms and submit in class.
- WORKSHOP: Bring complete digital draft of your CFW Video script to class (on your laptop).
AUGUST 29 — Defining Media
Readings: Convergence Culture “Introduction” AND WOVENText Chapter 2
Assignments Due: None.
CFW Video due on T-Square by 11:59pm EST. If you encounter any issues while submitting your assignment, email Dr. Murdock immediately.
AUGUST 31 — Dissonance (Circa 2006)
Readings: Convergence Culture, Chapter 1
- BLOG: First blog post on T-Square is due by 9:00am the day of class, as well as comments on the posts of two peers. The subject of this blog post is: Do you consider yourself a “fan” of any media? Would you say that you “engage” that interest, whether it be a television show, a video game, or some other form of popular culture? How do you “engage” your interest? Likewise, if you do not consider yourself a consumer or “fan” of popular culture, what is an interest in which you do invest yourself?
(This week is reading-heavy. Make sure you plan ahead.)
SEPTEMBER 5 — Knowledge Community
Readings: Convergence Culture, Chapter 2 AND WOVENText Chapter 3 (pp. 43-64)
- #Convergence1101 – GROUP ONE – The first of our Twitter discussion groups will start this week, tweeting their thoughts, questions, and any items they feel relevant to discussion of #knowledgecommunities. You might even find some 2010s examples to bring this 2006 text into today!
SEPTEMBER 7 — Transmedia
Readings: Convergence Culture, Chapter 3; Creative Production Inspirations and Lessons from BTS in KPop, Pt. 1 (Watch the music videos that accompany the article as well.); WOVENText Chapter 9
- #Convergence1101 – GROUP TWO – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion of #transmedia. Use of gifs for this conversation is encouraged. Make sure that your gifs fit the discussion at hand, and adhere to the class guidelines for usage.
SEPTEMBER 12 — CLASS CANCELLED — HURRICANE IRMA
SEPTEMBER 14 — The Origami Unicorn
Readings: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas [PDF] (Read instructions in red below.) + WOVENText Chapter 4
Watch: BTS — “Spring Day” (with lyric captions in English) – Watch the music video before reading “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” Once you have read “Omelas,” rewatch the music video.
- BLOG: From your readings, you should be aware of the “origami unicorn.” Jenkins describes the origami unicorn as an element in a transmedia text that shapes the audience’s perception of the text’s meaning–only if the audience catches that particular element. Jenkins states, “if creators do not ultimately control what we take from their transmedia stories, this does not prevent them from trying to shape our interpretations” (127). There are several origami unicorns in BTS’s “Spring Day,” in reference to “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” Did your comprehension of the music video change at all after having read “Omelas”? How did your understanding of “Spring Day” develop? Describe elements that you might have understood better– perhaps even other origami unicorns that you saw in the music video.
SEPTEMBER 19 — REACTION VIDEO + Workshop
Readings: “Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts” [PDF, on T-Square under “Course Readings”]
- Bring your full proposal draft for Composition Project #1 to class and we will workshop during class time. You will sit with your groups while I move from group to group to provide feedback.
- BLOG: It’s all about the hype. Textual ecology is the study of a circuit of texts, the way those texts interact, support, and build upon each other. This collection of various different modal texts creates a landscape. In this, paratexts “establish frames and filters through which we look at, listen to, and interpret the texts that they hype” (3). A “hook” can build “hype.” In many modes of composing, a hook is needed to get the audience interested. What alignments can you see between the discussion of paratexts in your reading and the chapters from your WOVENText book?
SEPTEMBER 21 — WINGS Transmedia Paratexts — ONLINE CLASS!!
Readings: Removed. No readings.
Watch: BTS — WINGS Short Films #1-7 (Click here for a playlist.) – Then watch BTS — “Blood, Sweat, and Tears,” the video which was the “main” music video released following the short films.
- BLOG: For this major project, you will be creating your own transmedia storytelling experience. In and outside of class, you have already been brainstorming with your group about the possibilities of a transmedia set of texts. We have discussed potential ways to approach this project in class. In this blog post, write a short summary (about 300 words) regarding how your group intends to approach this project. What media (or modes) will your group use? What is your source material? How do you intend to expand the “storyworld” or create “additive comprehension” in your transmedia texts? (The blog posts will be written individually and will count as individual blog post grades.)
- #Convergence1101 – GROUP THREE – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion of #BTSparatexts. Use of gifs for this conversation is encouraged. Make sure that your gifs fit the discussion at hand, and adhere to the class guidelines for usage.
Composition Project #1 Proposal due on T-Square by 11:59pm EST. The document should be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. Any other format will not be accepted, per syllabus requirements. If you have a physical or material component, this should be dropped off to my office by 2pm. If you encounter any issues while submitting your assignment, email Dr. Murdock immediately.
SEPTEMBER 26 — Project Statements
Readings: WovenTEXT pgs. 501-514
- Come prepared to work in groups as you compose your project statement for the transmedia storytelling project. You absolutely must bring your laptop to class.
SEPTEMBER 28 – Workshop + Guest Speakers!
- WORKSHOP: Bring a digital copy of at least one “creative component” of your group transmedia storytelling project. We will be workshopping during the class period. You absolutely must have at least ONE complete draft of a creative component by this class period.
IN-CLASS GUEST SPEAKERS: Classical Musicians React (ReacttotheK), YouTube Content Creators and Reactors
OCTOBER 3 — Reaction, Movement, Knowledge
Readings: “Social Media, Promotional Culture, and Participatory Fandom” [pgs. 8-11]
- #Convergence1101 – FULL CLASS – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion.
IN-CLASS GUEST SPEAKER: Josh Binder (@JoshingTweets), a YouTube Content Creator and Reactor
OCTOBER 5 — Transmedia Workshop
Readings: No readings.
- WORKSHOP: Bring a digital copy of your group’s creative collection components as well as your project proposal from Composition Project #1. We will be workshopping during the class period. You absolutely must have at least ONE complete draft of the creative component by this class period.
Composition Project #1 is due on T-Square by 11:59pm EST. The document should be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format with all necessary links/images provided in the “Creative Components” document. The project statement should be submitted by one member of the group. Any other format outside of the above listed formats will not be accepted, per syllabus requirements. If you encounter any issues while submitting your assignment, email Dr. Murdock immediately.
OCTOBER 10 — FALL BREAK — No class meeting.
OCTOBER 12 — Grassroots/Corporate
Readings: Convergence Culture, Chapter 4 AND WOVENText Chapter 13
- #Convergence1101 – GROUP ONE – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion. Particularly, you are encouraged to think more on #participation. How might intellectual property discussions factor into this conversation?
OCTOBER 17 — The Fan Awakens + Transformative Works
Readings: WOVENText Chapter 6
Watch: Star Wars: The Force Awakens AND Kylo Ren: The Awakening.
- BLOG: In this week’s reading from WOVENText, it is stated that you can just be a writer or a designer– you’re always both. You must think in terms of the whole package: what you say, how you say it. So far this semester, we’ve considered the various different modes that may help you to best communicate your content. The genre matters. Genres– as we have discussed in class– have conventions. Your challenge in this blog is to search for and summarize the genre conventions of a single genre within your chosen knowledge community. You may choose to write about a genre associated with your professional/academic field or you may choose to describe the conventions of a genre in your chosen fandom. Either way, use the write/design assignment questions on pp. 139 of your textbook to guide your description.
OCTOBER 19 — Fan Labor
Readings: Convergence Culture, Chapter 5 AND WOVENText Chapter 18 AND “Fan edits and the legacy of the Phantom Edit”
- #Convergence1101 – GROUP TWO – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion. Particularly, you are encouraged to think more on #participation.
- BLOG: Consider some of the arguments made by Jenkins in Chapter 5 of Convergence Culture. Jenkins states that “in a participatory culture, the entire community takes on some responsibility for helping newbies find their way.” He likens this to a classroom environment where teachers act as a “singular” guide. Do you think that this notion has shifted or changed since this book was published in 2006? In the ten years following, have our notions of how knowledge is shared or “educated” evolved? How do you think media has influenced this change or lack thereof?
Mini-Composition Project is due on T-Square by 11:59pm EST. The document should be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. If you encounter any issues in the submission of your analysis, contact Dr. Murdock.
OCTOBER 24 — Intellectual Property Rights & Fandom
IN-CLASS GUEST SPEAKER: Josh Binder (@JoshingTweets), a YouTube Content Creator and Reactor with an engineering background.
OCTOBER 26 — FIC + Literacy Narratives
Readings: WOVENText Chapter 13
- BLOG: In your reading for today, you learned about literacy narratives. In this blog post, I want you to write a short literacy narrative. On page 266 of your text, there is a heuristic for drafting a literacy narrative. Think of one memory associated with reading, speaking, or writing and how that event shaped your attitudes and experiences with language. You might theme this toward media consumption. Tell the story of it. Make specific points about how that experience shaped you as a reader, writer, and/or speaker. For an example, check out the sample post on the course blog from the Instructor.
OCTOBER 31 — Economics of Fan Labor
Readings: Fandom and/as labor
- #Convergence1101 – GROUP THREE – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion. Particularly, you are encouraged to think more on #fanlabor.
NOVEMBER 2 — MEDIA/Culture
Readings: No readings.
- BLOG: In class, we have been discussing how labor factors into fan communities and fan production. Likewise, we have been discussing the various possibilities at hand for your fan productions (some of you are composing fan films, fan sites, creating materials or architectural mock-ups, the list goes on). How you design your project determines the labor you perform, how that labor benefits specific communities, and what cultural/societal values are enacted or embodied in that labor. Write a short reflection (about 300 words) on this topic. How do you see your fan production as “labor” in the ways we have discussed in class?
NOVEMBER 7 — Workshop
Readings: No readings.
- WORKSHOP: We will be workshopping during the class period. You absolutely must have at least the draft of your fan media production by this class period. If it is a material version, then you should bring a component you may work on during the class period.
NOVEMBER 9 — Peer Review
Readings: No readings.
- PEER REVIEW: Bring a COMPLETE digital copy of your project statement to class.
NOVEMBER 14 — The Politics of Convergence
Readings: Convergence Culture, Chapter 6 AND WOVENText, Chapter 10
- #Convergence1101 – GROUP ONE – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion. Remember to be respectful and courteous to others (as noted in the course syllabus). Refer to the classroom interactions/civility clause in the syllabus.
NOVEMBER 16 — Socio-Cultural Implications
Readings: Convergence Culture, Conclusion AND WOVENText Chapter 11
- #Convergence1101 – GROUP TWO – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion. Remember to be respectful and courteous to others (as noted in the course syllabus). Refer to the classroom interactions/civility clause in the syllabus.
The COMPLETE collection for Composition Project #2.1 is due by 11:59pm EST on T-Square (or, if components of the fan media are material, they must be submitted to my office by 3:00pm EST). The collection includes the fan production (in whatever mode you have chosen) and project statement.
NOVEMBER 21 — Fan Activism — ONLINE CLASS!!
Information regarding this online class will be posted Friday, November 17 at 5pm.
Readings: “Fandom Meets Activism: Rethinking Civic and Political Participation”AND Explore The Harry Potter Alliance webpage AND WOVENText Chapter 12
- #Convergence1101 – GROUP THREE – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion. #acrossfandoms, if you see the conversation moving between lots of different knowledge communities.
- BLOG (LAST ONE!): We’re ending our semester on convergence culture by exploring at how fans are involved in political and civic discussions. That is, how fans take action, mobilize action, and inspire action. Across the fandoms we’ve explored– from BTS fandom (ARMY) donating money to cancer societies to Star Wars’ 501st Legion supporting local communities, fandoms often seek to be equitable in their interests. In this blog post, write 300 words considering and reflecting on the following quotes:
- [Fandom] is built on psychological mechanisms that are relevant to political involvement: these are concerned with the realm of fantasy and imagination on the one hand, and with emotional processes on the other…The remaining question then becomes whether and how politics can borrow from the elements of popular culture that produce these intense audience investments, so that citizenship becomes entertaining. (Liesbeth van Zoonen, Entertaining the Citizen).
- Scratch an activist and you’re apt to find a fan. It’s no mystery why: fandom provides a space to explore fabricated worlds that operate according to different norms, laws, and structures than those we experience in our “real” lives. Fandom also necessitates relationships with others: fellow fans with whom to share interests, develop networks and institutions, and create a common culture. This ability to imagine alternatives and build community, not coincidentally, is a basic prerequisite for political activism. (Steven Duncombe, “Imagining No-Place”)
NOVEMBER 23 — THANKSGIVING BREAK — No class meeting.
NOVEMBER 28 — Fan Creation Exhibit
Readings: No readings.
- Bring your materials to exhibit and present the creative component of Composition Project #2.1 to the class. You may need to swing by Dr. Murdock’s office to pick up your piece– between 8am-11:30am. If you are unable to stop by to pick up your piece, email Dr. Murdock.
- #Convergence1101 – FULL CLASS – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion. This will be our last Twitter engagement assignment of the semester. Use the hashtag #fancreationexhibit.
Composition Project #2.2 (including exhibit materials and elevator speech) is due during class.
NOVEMBER 29 — ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING
For more information on this extra credit opportunity, check your email.
NOVEMBER 30 — Portfolio Workshop
Readings: No readings.
- Bring digital copies of your work throughout the semester to begin curating your final portfolio. This includes
DECEMBER 5 — Portfolio Workshop: Part II
Readings: No readings.
- Bring digital copies of your work throughout the semester to continue curating your final portfolio.
Your final portfolio is due by the end of your final time period.
N2: December 8 by 2:20pm EST.
D6: December 7 by 5:40pm EST.
(In case sports aren’t your thing [or baseball isn’t], this is the tying run from the final game of the 2015 Word Series. Go Royals!)