Rail yard background, from the Library of Congress

Connections

A Hypertext Resource for Literature

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Word and Image

Sunday, August 23

First pre-semester meeting, 1:00

We will introduce ourselves, go over some information for registration, and discuss course planning in terms of majors, concentrations, spikes, and bumps. We will also discuss content- and process-related goals for our class time.


Monday, August 24

Note that these first few days are not normal course meetings. The first regular meeting is Thursday morning.

For today, three short readings to set the stage for course selection:

First assignment!

I know your schedules are tight between our first meeting on Sunday and our advising meetings on Monday . Make some time for these readings; use them (with direct quotations or specific references as appropriate) to create some kind of visual representation of classes you are interested in taking during your first semester.

I mean this assignment to be serious but flexible. On one sheet of paper, create some combination of words and visual elements that shows me the three main courses you're thinking of taking, some backup courses, and something about the reasons for your choices. I am not asking you to create gallery-quality art but rather any useful way of helping yourself think about your course choices in light of the readings. (At least one of the readings should appear directly on your sheet, in whatever way you find useful.)

AFTER you do this assignment, use it as a starting point for creating your draft of a preregistration card for our advising meeting. Bring your assignment and your card to your first advising meeting.


Monday and Tuesday, August 24 and 25

Advising meetings! Your time is on the schedule I handed out Sunday. My office is Mears 313.

PREREGISTRATION CARDS DUE TO THE REGISTRAR BY 3:45 ON TUESDAY


Wednesday, August 26

Post-registration course adjustments in the Harris Center for those who need them, 3:00.
Thursday, August 27
  • Writing Analytically, beginning of Chapter 2: Overview, "Becoming Conversant Instead of Reading for the Gist" (3-page section) and the first two subsections of "Focus on Individual Sentences" ("Pointing" and "Using Quotation")

This is the first regular meeting of the course. We will go over course assignments and policies, acquaint you with the Baggie of Destiny, and do our first "pointing" exercise.

Before today's class, write a paragraph introducing yourself to the class. (This will not only create a record of your introductions but also show that everyone is OK using the Pioneer Web discussion boards.) First, write your paragraph in a word processor, so you don't lose it if something goes wrong with Pioneer Web. To share your paragraph, go to Pioneer Web, select our course, select "Discussion Boards," click on the "Introductory Paragraphs" forum, click "Create Thread," enter a subject line, and paste your paragraph.


Tuesday, September 1
  • Hiawatha Brey, You Are Here, Chapters 1-3

Read the assigned parts of You Are Here and come to class ready to participate in two conversations: 1. a pointing exercise as described in Writing Analytically and 2. a discussion of sentences you think work especially well and why you like them.


Thursday, September 4

Note: here and throughout this syllabus, when there are two kinds of readings for a given day, the first (less indented) list of readings is required, while the second (more indented) list of readings is supplemental and optional. Here, for example, the first three items are required readings, but the article on recent events is optional.

To prepare for today's class, in addition to reading You Are Here and coming to class ready for pointing and discussion, create a simple Google map for yourself and add a couple of locations to it. If you want another (optional) mapping challenge, you might also try embedding photos or videos to a map. In class, we will decide on a collective mapping project for Tuesday.


Tuesday, September 8

You will work on our collective map for today. We will determine the assignment together during the previous Thursday's class period.


Thursday, September 10

  • John Berger, Ways of Seeing, through page 82 (the end of Chapter 4)

  • Writing Analytically, Chapter 4, "Reasoning from Evidence to Claims," first few sections stopping at "The Rules of Argument" (about six pages in)

We will work on using quoted evidence in our writing today. Come to class ready to use selections you have chosen from Ways of Seeing that you want to use as evidence by linking them to some visual object. The visual object can be in nature, in a text, on the Internet--whatever you like. Just be ready to talk about it in relation to your chosen passages from Ways of Seeing.


Tuesday, September 15

  • Writing Analytically, Chapter 1: "The Analytical Frame of Mind" (whole chapter)

This chapter of Writing Analytically will be central to our experience of reading and writing for the rest of the semester. Read it carefully and come to class ready to apply The Method in a group exercise.


Thursday, September 17

We will spend the first half of today's class working on citation and academic honesty. During the second half, we will do an exercise about thesis construction and evaluation. Bring to class one idea for a thesis for a short essay linking our classroom, the New Yorker cover, or another visual object to one of the readings we have done so far. This is a low-pressure assignment; you will talk about your draft thesis with your classmates as a way to start thinking about the paper due on Monday.


Monday, September 21

FIRST PAPER DUE BY 2:00 IN THE AFTERNOON.
Place a hard copy (printout) under my office door or in the box on the wall outside the door.


Tuesday, September 22

In class today, we will do an introductory exercise on creating presentation slides in multiple styles, following Bryan Alexander's points in his essay.


Thursday, September 24 Today's class will be a making session for presentation slides. During Tuesday's class, you will each give a short presentation (up to four minutes) that includes at least five slides. In the presentation, you should describe a piece of culture (book, music, film, art, etc) that you find compelling and explain to the group why they should want to experience the piece of culture themselves.

These are the rules for the presentation:

  1. The text of your presentation should be carefully prepared but not read directly. You may use note cards, but they should have only a few key words, not sentences that you read.
  2. At least one slide should have an image but no text.
  3. At least one slide should have text but no image (other than the presentation theme).
  4. At least one slide should combine text and image.
  5. At least one slide should have an ironic relationship to what you say in the presentation. In other words, rather than simply supporting your words, the slide should create a tension with your words. Stephen Colbert's "The Word" segments use text and images in this way; they create a commentary that resists the words of Colbert's character.


Tuesday, September 29

Short presentations! Come to class ready to give your presentation. Professor Simpson will be the Keeper of Time.


Thursday, October 1

Your assignment today is to create a representation of your assignment schedule for the rest of the semester. Go to each of your course schedules, see when the regular and major assignments are due, and create some way of understanding how they fit together. You can use a planner or online calendar if those work well for you, or you can create a drawing or other visualization of the semester. Nobody will read or grade this work, but it is required, and I ask you to take it seriously. We may use some class time to discuss the choices you made about how to complete the assigment.

In class today, we will talk about excellent slides from Tuesday's presentation and why they worked well.


Tuesday, October 6

  • Mike Rhode, The Sketchnote Handboook, chapters 1-5

In class today, you will apply Rhode's methods of graphical note-taking to two podcasts about emoji that we will listen to in class. You will need to do the reading well so that we are ready to use it in class.


Thursday, October 8

  • Patrick Davison, "The Language of Memes" from The Social Media Reader
  • Bradley Wiggins and G. Bret Bowers, "Memes as Genre: A Structurational Analysis of the Memescape" from New Media & Society (May 2014), in the Documents section of our Pioneer Web site
    • Optional: if you're getting excited about graphical note-taking, read the rest of The Sketchnote Handbook to put more tools in your toolbox.

In class today, we will talk about the two readings, and you will try to take real-time graphical notes on them. Prepare for the session by creating a structure for your notes based on the reading you do; when you take notes in class, you will add to the graphical notes you created in advance.


Friday, October 9th

FIRST PAPER REVISION DUE BY 2:00 IN THE AFTERNOON.
Place a hard copy (printout) under my office door or in the box on the wall outside the door.


Tuesday, October 13

Come to class ready to share a bad meme that you have created. You are welcome to use any meme generator (such as this one) or to create your own meme out of image and text in Photoshop, PowerPoint, or other software. In class, we will talk about how we learn about a subject through negation and parody.

(Hat tip for this assignment to Mark Sample.)


Thursday, October 15

In today's class, we will celebrate excellent sentences from your first papers. Rather than doing an assignment for the day, you will have a midsemester conference with me.

Note: after break, we'll be reading Understanding Comics and Fun Home. The reading load will be a little heavier than usual. You may (but are not required to) get a head start over break.


FALL BREAK
Tuesday, October 27

  • Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, Chapters 1-4

Come to class ready to discuss the readings from McCloud and apply them to a text.


Thursday, October 29

  • McCloud, Understanding Comics, Chapters 5-9
  • Allison Bechdel, Fun Home, Chapter 1

We will build on Tuesday's conversation by using McCloud's work as a frame for looking at the beginning of Fun Home.


Tuesday, November 3
  • Bechdel, Fun Home, Chapters 2-4

Group 1: Bring to class a one-page piece of graphical note-taking that illustrates some way you are thinking about a connection between Understanding Comics and this section of Fun Home.


Thursday, November 5

  • Bechdel, Fun Home, Chapters 5-7

Group 2: Bring to class a one-page piece of graphical note-taking that illustrates some way you are thinking about a connection between Understanding Comics and this section of Fun Home.


Tuesday, November 10

Group 3: Bring to class a one-page piece of graphical note-taking that illustrates some way you are thinking about a connection between Understanding Comics and this section of Fist Stick Knife Gun.


Thursday, November 12

  • William Blake, "Introduction," "The Lamb," "The Chimney-Sweeper," and "The Little Black Boy" of Songs of Innocence from Songs of Innocence and of Experience
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, short biography of Blake

By 9:00 the night before class, post to our Pioneer Web discussion board a paragraph describing the relationship you perceive between the text and image in any one of the assigned poems.

Tuesday, November 17

  • Blake, "Introduction," "Earth's Answer," "The Sick Rose," "The Tyger," and "A Little Girl Lost" of Songs of Experience from Songs of Innocence and of Experience

By 9:00 the night before class, post to our Pioneer Web discussion board a paragraph describing the relationship you perceive between the text and image in any one of the assigned poems.


Thursday, November 19

  • Matthea Harvey, Table of Contents, "M Is for Martian" (pages 22-44), and other works (pages 61-95) from If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?"

By 9:00 the night before class, post to our Pioneer Web discussion board a paragraph describing the relationship you perceive between the text and image in any part of the assigned readings.


Monday, November 23

SECOND PAPER DUE BY 2:00 IN THE AFTERNOON.
Place a hard copy (printout) under my office door or in the box on the wall outside the door.


Tuesday, November 24

Since you have just turned in papers, we will take a break from class assignments today. Come to class ready to concentrate on a discussion of time, values, and college life.


THANKSGIVING BREAK


Tuesday, December 1
  • Writing Analytically, beginning of Chapter 5: Overview, "Making Interpretations" through "Making an Interpretation: The Example of a New Yorker Cover" (stop at "Making Interpretations Plausible Across the Curriculum"--about 18 pages overall)

Bring a copy of your second paper to class. You will do some work marking up the paper and share some of your thinking in a workshop format.


Thursday, December 3

REVISION OF SECOND PAPER DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS.

In class today, we will have a workshop session that begins to move us in the direction of the final presentation. These presentations will invite you to do a research-based presentation that extends our class conversations about Word and Image to some new topic. You might present about another poet or artist who combines words and images, for instance. You could investigate another digital medium, such as Pinterest or Instagram. You could examine the comics of another era or culture. The presentations can also come from group projects if class members' interests overlap. Come to class with a few preliminary ideas to get you started.


Tuesday, December 8

Bring to class a plan for your final presentation. This plan should include two sections. The first will be a description of the content of your presentation that draws on The Method. In other words, what interesting pattern do you want to share with your audience, and what breaks in the pattern will give the presentation depth and complexity? The second section will be a description of your approach to the presentation itself. Drawing on Bryan Alexander's post and our previous discussions, articulate a strategy for creating a great experience for your audience.


Thursday, December 10

Today will be a workshop session as you prepare slides and other materials for the final presentations.


Thursday, December 17

FINAL PRESENTATIONS FROM 2:00 to 5:00 P.M.

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