Schedule

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. If you are in need of an extension at any point during the course, see the course syllabus for instructions.

For Georgia Tech’s academic calendar, click here.


WEEK ONE

AUGUST 21 — Course Introduction

Readings: Course Syllabus, Common First Week (CFW) Video Assignment, Course Topic: A Rationale

AUGUST 23 — WOVEN+ 

Readings: WOVENText Part 1 (through p. 26) AND WOVENText Chapter 4 (p. 99-103)
Assignments Due: 

  • Complete syllabus forms and submit in class.
  • WORKSHOP: Bring complete digital draft of your CFW Video script to class. Yes, you can bring your laptop/tablet to class.

WEEK TWO

AUGUST 28 — Defining Media/Fandom + Reaction Video

Readings: Convergence Culture “Introduction” AND WOVENText Chapter 2
Assignments Due: None.

AUGUST 30

CFW Video due on Canvas by 11:59pm EST.  If you encounter any issues while submitting your assignment, email Dr. Murdock immediately.

AUGUST 30 — Dissonance (Flashback: 2006)

Readings: Convergence Culture Chapter 1
Assignments Due: 

  • Get a Twitter account. Follow the directions on the “Twitter Instructions” page.
  • 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 by class time. The subject of this blog post is: Reflect on the reaction video we filmed in the last class and put that process of reaction into conversation with your readings. Why create a reaction video in a class like this? What did you notice about our discussions in class with the lecture and the reaction video? Did we utilize any specific modes? Were those important? Did you see any connection between the lecture discussion and the video? (You can answer any of these questions.) Remember to consult the “Blog Instructions” page as you get started.

WEEK THREE

SEPTEMBER 4 — Knowledge Communities

Readings: Convergence Culture Chapter 2 AND WOVENText Chapter 3: The Synergy of Modes and Media in Academic and Professional Communication
Assignments Due: 

  • #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 6 — Intro: Transmedia

Readings: Convergence Culture Chapter 3 AND “We Write About Things People Don’t Want to Say” AND WOVENText Chapter 9

Media: Begin exploring BTS’s music videos on YouTube, what is generally referred to as the “Bangtan Universe.” (Check out this playlist.) It is suggested that you watch the music videos twice: the first time without translation/captions/subtitles and the second time with translation/captions/subtitles, if they are provided. If not, seek out translations.
Assignments Due:

  • #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.

WEEK FOUR

SEPTEMBER 11 — Paratexts + GUEST SPEAKER

Readings: “Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts” [PDF, on Canvas under “Course Readings”]
Assignments Due:

  • 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?

GUEST SPEAKER: DJ Sassy from 107.3 Kiss FM Chattanooga

SEPTEMBER 13 — LOVE YOURSELF Transmedia Paratexts 

Readings: The Notes 花樣年華 (This PDF is interactive. I recommend downloading and then clicking on images, which will take you to the highlight reels mentioned below. This text is fan-made and linked with permission of the creator.)
Watch: BTS — LOVE YOURSELF Series 
Assignments Due: 

  • BLOG: For this major project, you will be creating your own transmedia storytelling experience, with one element being a short podcast. 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.)
  • #Convergence1101GROUP 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.

WEEK FIVE

SEPTEMBER 18 — The Ones Who Walk Away…

Readings: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas [PDF, on Canvas] AND 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.

Assignments Due:

  • 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 potential 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 20 — Enter the Magic Shop

Readings: Convergence Culture Chapter 4 and “The Magic Shop” [PDF on Canvas].
Watch: BTS (방탄소년단) — “Fake Love Official Teaser 1” (with lyric captions in English) – Watch the music video before reading “Into the Magic Shop.” Once you have read “The Magic Shop,” rewatch the music video.

Assignments Due:

  • Come to class prepared to work on and discuss your project proposal. You will have time in class to work with your groups.
  • BLOG: This week, we’ve been focusing particularly on the concept of “additive comprehension.” With each text we have read in addition to BTS’s discography, the meaning has been modified. In the same way, our knowledge, experiences, and stories affect the way that we read texts. Those texts do not necessarily have to be “creative.” Our way of reading and understanding the world changes based upon the lenses we use. For example, has your engagement with the various lead-up materials this changed the way you “read” the “IDOL” music video? Can you think of an instance in which additional experiences change the way you interact with something? If so, write a short summary explaining it.

Seven Korean men stand inside a technicolor traditional Korean pavilion.

SEPTEMBER 21 — Composition Project #1 Proposal due on Canvas 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 encounter any issues while submitting your assignment, email Dr. Murdock immediately.


WEEK SIX

SEPTEMBER 25 — Project Statements

Readings: WovenTEXT pgs. 501-514
Assignments Due: 

  • Come prepared to work in groups to compose your transmedia storytelling project. You absolutely must bring your laptop/tablet to class. 

SEPTEMBER 27 – Workshop

  • 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.

WEEK SEVEN

OCTOBER 2 — Workshop

Readings: No readings.
Assignments Due: 

  • 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.

OCTOBER 4 — Workshop

Readings:  No readings. 

Assignments Due: 

  • 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.

OCTOBER 5

Composition Project #1 is due on Canvas by 11:59pm EST. The project statement document should be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format with all necessary links/images provided in the “Creative Components” document. The project statement and creative components 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 are submitting a material component, Dr. Murdock will be in her office October 5 from 9am – 3pm. If you encounter any issues while submitting your assignment, email Dr. Murdock immediately.


WEEK EIGHT

OCTOBER 9 — FALL BREAK — No class meeting.

A man holds a cellphone to his ear and says "Mom I need to call you back. Something magical is happening." The man's dialogue appears in white font at the bottom of the moving image.

This guy’s name is Gary, by the way.

OCTOBER 11 — Outro: Participation AND Grassroots/Corporate — ONLINE CLASS!!! [Click here to access the online class.]

Readings: Convergence Culture, Chapter 4 and 5 AND WOVENText Chapter 13 AND “Social Media, Promotional Culture, and Participatory Fandom” [pgs. 8-11] + Fandom “Introduction”
Assignments Due:

  • #Convergence1101 – FULL CLASS – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion.
  • Reaction video stats will be released today for Composition Project #2. Make sure that you check Canvas for the document with all of the video stats.

WEEK NINE

OCTOBER 16 — The Fan Awakens + Transformative Works

Readings: WOVENText Chapter 6 + Fandom 
Watch:  Star Wars: The Force Awakens AND Kylo Ren: The Awakening.
Assignments Due: 

  • #Convergence1101GROUP 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?
  • 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 18 — Fan Labor

Readings: WOVENText Chapter 18 AND “Fan edits and the legacy of the Phantom Edit”
Assignments Due:

  • #Convergence1101GROUP 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 ensuing ten years, have our notions of how knowledge is shared or “educated” evolved? How do you think media has influenced this change or lack thereof?

IN-CLASS GUEST SPEAKER: Ryan Whitaker, Fan Film Writer/Director


WEEK TEN

OCTOBER 23 — Intellectual Property Rights & Fandom

Readings: None.
Assignments Due: You will have time to work on Composition Project #2 in class after the guest speaker and a short lecture. Bring your draft with you.

OCTOBER 25 — FIC + Literacy Narratives

Readings: WOVENText Chapter 13
Assignments Due:

  • 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 WOVENText, 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. 


WEEK ELEVEN

OCTOBER 30 — Economics of Fan Labor

Readings: Fandom and/as labor
Assignments Due:

  • #Convergence1101GROUP THREE – Tweet your thoughts, questions, and any items you feel relevant to discussion. Particularly, you are encouraged to think more on #fanlabor.

IN-CLASS GUEST SPEAKER: Eule Fawkes Cosplay

NOVEMBER 1 — MEDIA/Culture

Readings: None.
Assignments Due:

You will be presenting your pitch for Composition Project #3.1 today in class.

  • 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 2
Composition Project #2 is due on Canvas 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.


WEEK TWELVE

NOVEMBER 6 — Workshop

Readings: No readings.
Assignments Due:

  • WORKSHOP:  We will be workshop-ing 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 8 —  Peer Review

Readings: No readings.
Assignments Due:

  • PEER REVIEW:  Bring a COMPLETE digital copy of your project statement to class.

WEEK THIRTEEN

NOVEMBER 13 — The Politics of Fandoms

Readings: Convergence Culture, Chapter 6
Assignments Due:

  • #Convergence1101GROUP 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 14 

If you are submitting a material object as your creation for Composition Project #3.1, you will submit that object by 5:00pm. This should be delivered to my office, CULC 447A, no later than 5pm. 

NOVEMBER 15 — Socio-Cultural Implications — ONLINE CLASS!!! [Click here to access the online class.]

Readings: Convergence Culture, Conclusion AND Fandom, Chapter 19
Assignments Due:

  • #Convergence1101GROUP 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.

NOVEMBER 16

The COMPLETE collection for Composition Project #3.1 is due by 11:59pm EST on Canvas (or, if components of the fan media are material, they must be submitted to my office by 5:00pm EST on WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 14). The collection includes the fan production (in whatever mode you have chosen) and project statement.


WEEK FOURTEEN

NOVEMBER 20 — Fan Activism

Readings: “Fandom Meets Activism: Rethinking Civic and Political Participation” AND explore The Harry Potter Alliance webpage AND WOVENText Chapter 12
Assignments Due:

  • #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 22 — THANKSGIVING BREAK — No class meeting.

BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens responds to Finn's thumbs-up signal by extending a lighter and pointing it upward .


WEEK FIFTEEN

November 26 — Exhibit summary due. Submit on Canvas by 11:59pm. Not sure what to do? Click here.

Alexander Hamilton, from the musical Hamilton, declares: "I am not throwing away my shot!"

NOVEMBER 27 — Fan Creation Exhibit

WHERE: Crescent Room, Student Center

WHEN: I have reserved the space from 12:30 – 3:45 to allow time for set-up and breakdown. You may arrive early to drop off your work.

This will be open to the public. Encourage your friends to come by! There will be food. (If you have a food allergy, let me know ASAP.)

Readings: No readings.
Assignments Due:

  • 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 9am-11:30am. If you are unable to stop by to pick up your piece, email Dr. Murdock. She’ll grab a hand-truck and bring it over.
  • #Convergence1101FULL 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.

NOVEMBER 29 — Portfolio Workshop Part I

Readings: No readings.
Assignments Due:

  • Bring digital copies of your work throughout the semester to begin curating your final portfolio. This includes 

WEEK SIXTEEN

DECEMBER 4 — Portfolio Workshop: Part II + Epilogue

Readings: No readings.
Assignments Due:

  • Bring digital copies of your work throughout the semester to continue curating your final portfolio.

DECEMBER 10

Your final portfolio is due by the end of your final time period at 5:30pm EST through Mahara. 

A man slides into homebase while people in the crowd respond negatively behind him.

(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!)