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INDIGENOUS NEW MEDIA

INSTRUCTOR: CHELSEA J. MURDOCK


EMAIL:
OFFICE: TBA
VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS: TBA

COURSE DESCRIPTION
In todays digitally-mediated world, conversations often take place through new media.
Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms are essential ongoing discourse regarding
indigenous issues, from water protector movements to the stereotypes. These platforms
provide a space for dialogue in which indigenous people may to, as The Indigenous New
Media Symposium argues, educate, organize, entertain, and advocate. New media
may be a new way of approaching issues, but it is not wholly disconnected from the
past. New media and digital landscapes provide an innovative platform for the
expression of many peoples and cultures worldwidefrom Twitter to YouTube to blogs to
digital art.
The Native peoples of various regions have embraced the usage of new media since its
advent. This course seeks to open up examination of Native American media presence
and practice through engagement with various modes of digital creation and
communication. Native American and First Nations actively use social media platforms
and various other new medias to communicate various perspectives on indigenous
cultures and issues, allowing communities to raise their voices on the web. Indigenous
activists use online platforms to organize their movements in order to affect change in
modern times. This is seen through the social media movements: #NoDAPL,
#IDLENOMORE and #CHANGETHENAME. Furthermore, new medias have served as an
instrument for connecting communities to common causes, such as cross-tribal and
transnational movements. The question arises: how is media being used within and by
indigenous communities and how can examinations of creation and composition be
relevant to discussions held within those communities?
By the conclusion of this course, students will:

Understand the history and context of Indigenous new media


Consider various theoretical lenses regarding indigenous new media
Gain familiarity with the production of various media and social media platforms,

particular as these production practices align with cultural conventions


Develop critical reading and writing skills

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
TEXTBOOKS
Textbooks will vary depending on class choice and geographic location. A large majority
of readings will be PDFs, supplied on the course website.
Berglund, Jeff, Jan Johnson, and Kimberli Lee. Indigenous Pop: Native American Music
from Jazz to Hip Hop.
Cummings, Denise. Visualities: Perspectives on Contemporary American Indian Film and
Art.

COMPUTER REQUIREMENTS
If you do not have access to a computer off campus, there are many computer labs on
campus to use to participate in the course. Most public libraries also have computers
with internet access that you can use for free. You have to have access to a computer
to participate in this course. You should also have access to a high-speed internet
connection.
You will need to have an up-to-date web browser, operating system, and some
additional software on your computer to take this class. Check KU Blackboard Learn for
hardware and system requirements. Some of the documents in this course will be
available to you in PDF form. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader software on your
computer, you can download it by going to http://get.adobe.com/reader/ .
This course will also use video and sound in various capacities throughout the course.
Make certain that you have the ability to listen to the videos of YouTube. Headphones
are suggested but not required.

COURSE COMMUNICATION
ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announcements will be posted Blackboard on a regular basis. They will appear on your
Blackboard dashboard when you log in and/or will be sent to you directly through your
email from Blackboard. Usually these announcements will bring attention to deadlines.
Please make certain to check them regularly, as they will contain any important
information about upcoming projects or class concerns.

EMAIL
You can contact me at any time through the KU email system. My email address is XXX.
Emails are answered pretty quickly, but please allow for a 12 hour turnaround on
responses. I do answer emails over the weekend. When emailing, please do the
following:
Put a subject in the subject box that describes the email content with your name,
week of the course, and message subject. For example: WK2ASSIGNMENT.
Send email only to XXX.
Do not submit your assignments by email, unless otherwise instructed.

Make certain to check your email frequently.

DISCUSSION BOARD
You can access each forum by clicking on the Discussion Board link in the Quick
Access links. In order to get full credit for each discussion, you will need to post a
thoughtful, well-written response to the question and respond to two of your
classmates answers. Word count will be listed with each prompt. Make certain to check
the schedule for days when the discussion board is due.

OFFICE HOURS

Once a week I will be available for virtual office hours one evening session using Skype
for Business. Click SKYPE FOR BUSINESS button in the Quick Access. You must have
a Skype/Microsoft account to use this function. During virtual office hours, I will respond
to chats and to video conference requests. This expands my ability to engage with your
work and your ability to seek aid and feedback. You must contact me via chat,
video conference, or email at least once in the semester.
Regular, in-person office hours will be held ____.

TURNAROUND/FEEDBACK

During the week (M-F), I will check the Discussion Board and monitor task completion
several times a day. If you have a concern and send me a message, you can expect a
response within 12 hours.

COURSE ASSIGNMENTS
You will be required to write in a course journal, which can be accessed through
Blackboard. Prompts can be found in the online journal folder. All occasions of online
journal assignments will be noted in the course schedule.

MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS

In addition to your weekly assignments, there will be four unit projects/papers for this
course:

Blog Development and Maintenance Develop and maintain a blog


throughout the course, write blog posts as indicated in the course scheduled,
curate media included on blog.
Discussion Leading // Tweet-along Lead class discussion for a single day of
class while maintaining an ongoing Twitter-based dialogue with corresponding
class hashtag.
Conversation Essay You will choose a topic discussed in class and ground
discussion of the chosen topic in an article in the class bibliography.
Digital Humanities Project This will vary with each given semester, to be
decided with students and with community needs.

Details on all these projects will be provided as the semester progresses.


Additional information about each project can be found under the Major Assignments
link in the Quick Access section. You will need to turn each project in using the drop
box provided in each unit. For these assignments, you will simply upload your
assignment into the Blackboard system.

GRADING
Your final grade for the course will be based on the following weights for your
graded work.

Blog
Discussion Lead/Twitter
Digital Humanities Project

15%
20%
35%

Conversation Essay

20%

I will grade using +/- letter grading system on both individual projects and your final
grade. To calculate your final grade, your letter grade will translate into numbers
according to the following scale:
A=94-100%
A-=90-93%
B+=88-89%
B=84-87%
B-=80-83%
C+=78-79%

C=74-77%
C-=70-73%
D+=68-69%
D=64-67%
D-=60-63%
F=0-59%

After a major grade is returned, I will not discuss the grade for 24 hours. If you have
any questions regarding your grade, please email me or sign on during virtual office
hours.

OTHER COURSE POLICIES


ATTENDANCE
You are allowed three absences to do with as you wish. You do not even need to contact
me to use them. When you hit five absences, you will reported through MySuccess,
which will alert your advisor of your absences. Six absences will lower the grade by a
whole letter. Seven absences will result in a failing grade for the course.

CHANGES TO THE SYLLABUS

Changes to the syllabus will be rare. When they do occur, you will be informed in writing
through Blackboard Announcements. I reserve the right to change the syllabus at
any time.

LATE WORK

Late work will not be accepted. Assignments will not be available after the deadline.
If you have an extenuating circumstance, please contact me by private message
before the assignment is due to make alternate arrangements.

DISABILITIES

The Academic Achievement & Access Center (AAAC) coordinates accommodations and
services for all KU students who are eligible. If you have a disability for which you wish

to request accommodations and have not contacted the AAAC, please do so as soon as
possible. Their office is located in 22 Strong Hall; their phone number is 785-864-4064
(V/TTY).
Information about their services can be found at http://disability.ku.edu . Please contact
me privately in regard to your needs in this course.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
Intellectual property and integrity are important values for the university community, so
cheating in any form, including plagiarism, will not be tolerated. Any time a writer uses
someone else's idea, words, or work without explicitly citing the source, the writer has
been academically dishonest. Some specific examples of actions that constitute
plagiarism include pasting together uncredited information or ideas from the Internet or
published sources, submitting an entire paper written by someone else, submitting a
paper written for another class (and thus not original work), and copying another
students work (even with the students permission). In order to avoid unintentional
plagiarism and to represent your work honestly, you will need to be meticulous about
giving credit to any and all sources, whether directly quoted (even a few words) or
paraphrased. Please study the University's description of and rules concerning
academic dishonesty in the Student Handbook as well as the English Department's
description in Composition & Literature. All incidents of plagiarism will be penalized,
reported, and kept on file in the English Department, the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences, and the University Provosts Office.

POLICY ON STUDENT ACADEMIC CREATIONS


Since one of the aims of this course is to teach students to write for specific audiences,
ungraded student-authored work will be shared with other class members during the
semester in which you are enrolled in the class. Please do not submit materials on
sensitive subjects that you would not want your classmates to see or read, unless you
inform the instructor in advance that you do not want your work shared with others.
This class, due to its online nature, is going to be very open and community-driven.
Reading peer work will be required. Bear this in mind when writing for the course. When
we start fan fiction, make sure that your fiction is friendly to a wide audience. Keep it
the equivalent of PG-13 or below.
OTHER POLICIES
Be sure to read Composition & Literature thoroughly for all other Departmental policies.

WRITING CENTER

For help with your writing, I strongly encourage you to contact the KU Writing Center. At
the Writing Center you can talk about your writing with trained tutors or consult
reference materials in a comfortable working environment. You may ask for feedback on
your papers, advice and tips on writing (for all your courses), or for guidance on special
writing tasks. Please check the website at <http://www.writing.ku.edu/students/> for
current locations and hours. The Writing Center welcomes both drop-ins and
appointments, and there is no charge for their services. For more information, please
call (785) 864-2399 or send an e-mail to
<writing@ku.edu>. The website is loaded with helpful information about writing of all
sorts.