The first thing I want to say is: If you are having any problems with the course—with course materials, the format of the class, the amount of readings, other commitments—please do not simply vanish! Do come and talk with me and we will work out a way of making the course work for you. I also strongly urge you to draw on the resources of the Brooklyn College Learning Center as you write your papers. Their website is http://lc.brooklyn.cuny.edu/ and you can reach them at 718-951-5821 or drop by1300 Boylan Hall to make an appointment.
All assignments will receive a number grade (0-100). This number grade will be converted to your final letter grade for this course using the following scale:
You must complete all assignments in order to receive a passing grade. Any assignment handed in late will be marked down by one grade for each day it is late (e.g. from a B+ to a B). I will not accept any assignment handed in more than a week late. However, if you hand them in on time, you will have the opportunity to revise the media reviews, theory paper, and the proposal for the final paper. The revised grade will replace the original—so, hand your work in on time! (You will have one week for the revision.) I will not accept assignments by e-mail under any circumstances. You may request an extension, but only if the request is made at least 3 days before the due date—in other words, plan ahead! (This, of course, does not apply for unforeseen personal or family emergencies.) In-class exercises cannot be rescheduled so do not miss class on those days.
In addition to any further action at the College level, you will automatically receive a failing grade on any assignment that is even slightly plagiarized. Therefore, please read the section on Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct very carefully.
- Reading Responses (20%) You will be responsible for leading discussion on two readings over the course of the semester. This involves writing a response paper that you will read out in class as well as creating online annotations of the reading on the course website. You will sign up for readings on 8/30. (Course Objective 3).
- Media Review (20%) You will write two reviews of a media text of your choice (an episode of a television or radio program, film, social media account, video game etc.). These should be modeled after professional reviews and should demonstrate your understanding of key concepts in critical media studies. (Course Objective 1 and 4).
- Discussion Prompts (10%) This is essentially your class participation grade. You are expected to annotate the readings with your comments and questions on a weekly basis for at least 7 of the 14 weeks of this semester. This can include links to relevant news stories. We will use these discussion prompts to guide our class sessions. (Course Objective 3).
- Theory Essay (10%) You will write a brief (750 to 1000 words) essay explaining the meaning, intellectual history, and contemporary relevance of any one of the key theoretical approaches that we will discuss in class. (Course Objectives 2 and 3).
- Final Project (40%) This has two parts: A 7-9 page paper that presents original analysis of some aspect of media texts, industries, audiences, or social context; and a creative project (video, artwork, script, social media site etc.) that engages with, or responds to, the aspect of media that you have decided to study. You will work on this project in a series of smaller exercises. (Course Objectives 1-4).
You will receive detailed descriptions of all these assignments by the second week of class. The assessment rubric for attendance and class participation are included at the end of this syllabus.