Class Calendar (1143)


Wednesday, January 22, 2014
  • Introductions, syllabus review
  • Activity: notecard introductions
  • Activity: reading the room
  • Homework: review the class syllabus and bring questions/comments to class Wednesday, January 29, 2014
  • Homework: print, read, annotate and bring your copy of Longinus, On the Sublime, sections I–VIII to class for Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
  • “University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus to cancel day and evening classes on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 due to extreme weather.”

Writing Instruction

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cultural Toolbox: the Modern Subject, the Science of Signs, Etc., Etc.

Monday, February 17, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Search the Web for a provocative or interesting television advertisement (video). Create a new page on your blog and title it according to your ad. Copy and paste a link to your ad on the new page. Add the new page to your menu under “Assignments” by 8:00 am on Sunday, February 23, 2014. Come to class prepared to discuss your ad in terms of the tools we are building in our Cultural Studies 101 Toolbox (Longinus: the sublime, Plato: dialectic, Aristotle: logos/pathos, Descartes: priority of the subject, Barthes: agency, Saussure: capital-T Truth and “truths”).

Monday, February 24, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
  • Ad presentations, continued
  • Homework: review Hall, Stuart_”Encoding, Decoding” and The Circuit of Culture for quiz on Monday, March 3, 2014; hand in annotated copies.
  • Homework: Post a 500-word paragraph essay to your blog, due 8:00 am on Sunday, March 2, 2014, on the  prompt located under “Part II: Read an Ad” on the Read an Ad Web page. Post your reading on the same page as your ad, and double check that I can access your work. Print and bring a copy of your blog post to class for group feedback on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
  • Discuss Horkheimer and Adorno, The Culture Industry and The Communist Manifesto and  Capital, Volume 1
  • Homework: Revolution! This decade is shaping up to be the decade of revolution. Find, read, print and bring to class an article addressing one aspect of one of the revolutions that has occurred since 2010. The article can address political, economic or social aspects of the revolution. It can offer critique from any opinion, country or side. Be prepared to talk about a) the content of the article, b) the slant/opinion/spin and c) your relationship to the article.
Monday, March 10, 2014
  • Watch Occupy Unmasked (in-class)
  • Homework: post your article to your blog. Create a new page, “nest” it under “Assignments,” and post a link to your article on revolution; review at least three of your classmates articles on revolution. Links to your classmates’ blogs can be found on the bottom of the “A re-revolution in writing technology” page.
  • Homework: be prepared to discuss revolution in light of our materials including: Horkheimer and Adorno, The Culture Industry and The Communist Manifesto and  Capital, Volume 1, Occupy Unmasked, and your classmates’ articles.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
  • Discuss “A decade of revolution”
  • Homework: post a 500-word blog post to the “revolution” page on your blog addressing the following prompt:

Viva la revolución! . . . as long as it is not in the United States of America. Write a 500-page reflection piece on the differences in media representation of revolutions in and outside of the USA. When revolution occurs in an “Arab” or “Communist” nation, the media tends to represent sympathy for the revolutionaries, justification for their actions, and condemnation of those in power. However, revolution on home soil is represented very differently. Discuss revolution at home and abroad in the second decade of the 21st century and see if you can work out some of the contrasting messages being encoded. Do Marx’s definitions of the bourgeoisie and proletariat apply? What is the reaction to individuals who fall outside of what Horkheimer and Adorno would call a culture of sameness?

Post to your blog by 11:59 pm on Friday, March 14, 2014.

Spring Break!

Monday, March 24, 2014
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
  • Quiz on Horkheimer and Adorno, The Culture Industry and The Communist Manifesto and  Capital, Volume 1
  • Finish watching (in-class) Zeitgeist: The Movie
  • Homework: post a 500-word blog post to a “Zeitgeist” page on your blog addressing one aspect of the film: Zeitgeist: The Movie. Your post can be for or against one of the three main topics in the film: religion, 911 or the banks. You must supply evidence (in the form of a book reference, article, video, etc.) to support your claim. Blog posts are due by 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 30, 2014. Print and bring to class a copy of your blog post for peer review on Monday, March 31, 2014.
  • Homework: hand in annotated copies of Horkheimer and Adorno, The Culture Industry and The Communist Manifesto and  Capital, Volume 1
Monday, March 31, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Prompt #1

What are the cultural implications of a Bible written by multiple sources? We have read multiple sources that support the notion that the creation story in the book of Genesis has multiple layers, whether at the level of authorship, influence or poetic license. Using the material available to you in Genesis 6:1 – 8:22 and John J. Collin’s A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (pages 28-35), first demonstrate–using specific examples–how biblical scholars identify different strands of the flood story before meditating on some of the implications for 21st-century American society.

Paragraph 1: show your audience where some of the similarities and differences are in the creation story between the J, E, D and P sources. Collins’s work is there to help you, but please cite his references (see MLA Style for citation help).

Paragraph 2: accepting that multiple sources exist in the book of Genesis, what are the cultural implications of an edited Bible? How is religion represented in the public sphere? What is the relationship between politics and religion? What religious issues exist in public debate? How do traditional views about religion influence the tenor of discussion in America and how would diverse interpretations effect the conversation?


Prompt #2

Find a current article (within the last two years) that deals specifically with  conflict between religion and 21st-century American culture. Evolution, abortion, terrorism, separation of church and state, gay marriage, etc. More than just an opinion piece, analyze the article from a cultural studies/critical theory perspective. What representations are being presented? How are encoding and decoding working behind the scenes? How are capital-Truth and “truths” being bandied about? Analyze the power structure–who has agency?

Paragraph 1: present a general overview of the article as well as the main issue you wish to analyze. Analyze the article according to the facts: what has occurred? What has been said about it? How are authoritative voices represented? Etc.

Paragraph 2: discuss  meaning as interpreted from the article. Choose one “side,” then choose the other. Represent an analysis of opposing viewpoints and discuss how each of them attempt to work on groups and individuals who are both for and against each viewpoint. You must represent both sides in order to satisfy the requirements of this essay.

Monday, April 7, 2014
  • Class cancelled
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
  • The Debate!
  • Homework: find interesting material re: women’s rights, capitalism, vices, race, youth rights, religion and technology and send it to
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
  • Discussion
  • Homework: find interesting material re: women’s rights, capitalism, vices, race, youth rights, religion and technology and send it to
Monday, April 21, 2014
  • Watch Crips and Bloods: Made in America
  • Homework: begin reading Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism for Monday, April 28, 2014.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
  • Finish watching Crips and Bloods: Made in America
  • Homework: read Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism for Monday, April 28, 2014.
  • Homework: revision essay:
  • One of the requirements of a writing-intensive course at the University of Minnesota is to submit a revision of one of your writing assignments. Revisit/reread Free-Thinking, Free-Wheeling, Free-Writing. I will hand back your original free-writing exercises in class. Review your old writing and reflect on what you have learned this semester:
    • Choose one of the three free-writing prompts to revise.
    • Post a 500-word essay to your blog describing how what you have learned in this class has  changed the way you thought at the beginning of the semester. Be specific, make reference to specific content covered in class, and describe how specific content has worked on your view of our culture. Use concepts from our Cultural Studies 101 Toolbox (Longinus: the sublime, Plato: dialectic, Aristotle: logos/pathos, Descartes: priority of the subject, Barthes: agency, Saussure: capital-T Truth and “truths,” Marx: economics, etc.). You must also use specific references from your original free-writing exercise.
    • Post your essay to the “Free-writing” page on your Website by 11:59 pm Sunday, April 27, 2014.

    Please note: if you are not in class to receive your free-writing assignments, in order to receive credit on this assignment and your writing portfolio, you must make other arrangements (via email) to pick them up from me in 235 Nicholson Hall or 212 Johnston Hall before 12:00 noon on Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Monday, April 28, 2014
  • Discuss Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism and Crips and Bloods: Made in America
  • Homework: None
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
  • Discussion
  • Homework: post a 500-word essay to your blog due Sunday, May 4 at 11:59 pm addressing the prompt, Live and Let Live, located under the “Writing” dropdown menu on this Website.
Monday, May 5, 2014
  • Study Day
  • Homework: study for final exam
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
  • Final Exam

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