Tentative Syllabus: A Request

Because one of my students in my spring semester graduate course, “Technology and the Language Arts Curriculum,” requested that I provide her with a reading list in advance, I’ve put together a tentative syllabus (or at least a reading list) for the class. One of the stated goals of the course is to provide high school teachers with a few strategies for using technology in the classroom, and I’ve been working to balance theoretical debates in media studies with the specific, practical problems that my students will face in the classroom. I’ve added the reading list below the fold, and I’d very much welcome any suggestions my readers might have. And of course I’m very grateful for interesting courses by Kathleen and Scot (among many others) that have informed my thinking about this course.

To name one example, I’m considering spending one week of class discussing the debates about plagiarism detection services, drawing in part from Clancy’s discussion of that topic a few weeks ago. But I’m very much looking forward to teaching this course, so I’ve enjoyed taking a break from grading today to put this reading list together.

January 16: Introduction to Course

January 23: Blogging and Writing Instruction:
Julian Dibbell, “Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Man.”
Charles Lowe and Terra Williams, “Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom.”
Rebecca Mead, “You’ve Got Blog: How to Put Your Boy Friend, Your Business, and Your Life On-Line,”
Chuck Tryon, “Writing and Citizenship: Using Blogs to Teach First-Year Composition.” Pedagogy 6.1 (Winter 2006): 128-32.

January 30: Understanding Media Change
Marshall McLuhan, “The Medium is the Message,” Understanding Media. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994. 7-21.
Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, “Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation,” Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1999. 20-51.
Raymond Williams. “The Technology and the Society.” Television: Technology and Cultural Form. New York: Schocken, 1974. 9-31.

February 6: What is New Media?
Lev Manovich, “What is New Media?” The Language of New Media. Cambridge: The MIT Press 19-61.
N. Katherine Hayles, “Material Metaphors, Technotexts, and Media-Specific Analysis.” Writing Machines. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2002. 18-33.

February 13: New Media and Authorship
Jay David Bolter, “Seeing and Writing.” The New Media Reader. Ed. Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2003. 679-90.
Lev Manovich, “Models of Authorship in New Media.”
Jill Walker, “Feral Hypertexts: When Hypertext Literature Escapes Control.”

February 20: Composition and New Media
Geoffrey Sirc, “Box Logic.” Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Ed. Anne Frances Wysocki, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Cynthia L. Selfe, and Geoffrey Sirc. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2004. 111-146.
Anne Frances Wysocki, “With Eyes That Think, and Compose, and Think: On Visual Rhetoric.” Teaching Writing with Computers: An Introduction. Ed. Pamela Takayoshi and Brian Huot. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. 182-201.

February 27: New Media Cultures
Richard A. Lanham, “Stuff and Fluff.” The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. 1-41.
Lev Manovich, “Generation Flash.”
Jeff Rice, “21st Century Graffiti: Detroit Tagging.” CTheory.net. June 7, 2005.

March 6: Spring Break

March 13: Interactivity
Luis Arata, “Reflections about Interactivity,” MIT Communications Forum.
Dan Gillmor, “The Read-Write Web,” We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People. Cambridge: O’Reilly Press, 2004.
Cass Sunstein, “The Daily Me.” Republic.com. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001. 3-22.

March 20: Participatory Cultures

Henry Jenkins, “Why Heather Can Write: Media Literacy and the Harry Potter Wars.” Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press, 2006. 169-205.

March 27: New Media and Democracy
Henry Jenkins, “Photoshop for Democracy.” Technology Review. June 4, 2004.
Patricia R. Zimmermann, “Digital Deployment(s).” Contemporary American Independent Film: From the Margins to the Mainstream. Ed. Chris Holmlund and Justin Wyatt. London: Routledge, 2005. 245-64.
JibJab and other videos TBA.

April 3: Video Sharing
Joshua Davis, “The Secret World of LonelyGirl.” Wired 14.12 (December 2006).
Bob Garfield, “YouTube vs. Boob Tube.” Wired 14.12 (December 2006).
Christopher Conway, “YouTube and the Cultural Studies Classroom,” Inside Higher Ed, November 16, 2006.
Selected YouTube videos TBA.

April 10: Digging Through the Archives
Browse the following web resources:
American Memory Project
Making MediaCommons

April 17: Wikiality
Brock Read, “Can Wikipedia Ever Make the Grade?” Chronicle of Higher Education. October 27, 2006.
Alan Liu “Developing a Wikipedia Research Policy.” Kairosnews. June 29, 2006.
Jeff Rice, “Wikiality.” Yellow Dog. August 3, 2006.

April 24: Computer Classrooms and Writing
Richard Selfe, “Goals in Action: Student Workers at the Center of Things.” Sustainable Computer Environments for Teachers of English and Language Arts: Creating a Culture of Support.

May 1: Student Presentations.


  1. Nels Said,

    December 10, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

    Looks fantastic!

  2. jeff Said,

    December 11, 2006 @ 8:24 am

    Double inclusion!


    While not for high school teachers, my practicum syllabi are on my own website and the current one is here:

    You’ve already got a solid list of readings. But here are some more things mixed w/composition theory.
    In my previous position, I taught high school teachers to-be and did some of this stuff as well

  3. McChris Said,

    December 11, 2006 @ 1:13 pm

    Unless you think your students will have read it many times before, I might add Benjamin’s “Work of Art…” to the week on media change. When I assigned it to lower-division students in “Intro to Digital Media,” I was surprised at how well they responded in discussion and it helped foreground a lot of the issues we dealt with in digital media production.

    Looks good!

  4. Mike Duvall Said,

    December 11, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

    These are not necessarily “must-haves” for reading on Wikipedia, but NPR has a couple streaming reports on Wikipedia that might be worth your or your students’ looking into. Search “wikipedia” on the NPR main page.

  5. Chuck Said,

    December 11, 2006 @ 1:42 pm

    Chris, I’ve had mixed experiences with Benjamin, but I’ll probably try to work “Mechanical Reproduction” in.

    Jeff, thanks for the suggestions. I’ve only glanced at your syllabus, but I’m sure I’ll borrow a couple of readings. This course is completely new to me, so those suggestions help quite a bit.

  6. Chuck Said,

    December 11, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

    Mike, missed your comment before: I’ll check the NPR shows out. I seem to remember hearing (or hearing about) them when they originally aired.

    Just thinking out loud: I’d like that week to focus less on Wikipedia and perhaps more on strategies for teaching research.

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