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WRT 400: Writing with Video and Across Media

Fall 2011, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00-8:20 p.m., HBC 227 http://patrickberry.com/wwv  

Course Overview How often do you stop to think about the medium in which you are communicating? How does using a specific medium affect the way you write? What does it mean to “write” with video? The ability to communicate effectively through multiple types of media is a crucial part of literacy in our society. In Writing with Video and Across Media,1 we will explore the intersections between various media: print, film, images, sound, etc. Using video production as a central mode of communication, we will consider the extent to which, to use Marshall McLuhan’s famous mantra, “the medium is the message.” We will engage in several remakes—or “remediations,” as they are sometimes called—with words, images, sound, and video in order to explore the benefits and limitations of different productions. No prior experience is necessary. Course readings are available on Blackboard. Additional information is available on the course website, http://patrickberry.com/wwv and on the class blog, http://patrickberry.com/wwv/blog.

Course Goals 1. Students will learn critical theories of digital writing as well as practical skills in video production. 2. Students will learn rhetorical strategies for creating persuasive video projects that employ a range of media. 3. Students will learn techniques for constructing narratives with video, including a communitybased video project.

Requirements 1. responses to readings (approximately 600 words unless otherwise noted) 2. participation in workshop critiques Patrick W. Berry
pwberry@syr.edu, office: HBC 235 office hours: Mondays 4:00-6:00 p.m. and by appointment  

                                                                                                               
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This course was inspired by Writing with Video and Writing Across Media, two courses offered at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign.

 

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3. four video-based projects/presentations You will create four video-based projects/presentations that will go through a revision process: 1) Private Lives, Social Media; 2) Mapping the University; 3) Remediating Theory; 4) Communities at Work. Most projects will include a written component. Submitting Assignments Projects, reading responses, and other written work are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date. This work will often connect with class activities (and your participation grade) so it’s important that you meet all due dates. Readings and Responses to Readings Please plan on having each week’s reading and your response, when applicable, done when you come to class. At the beginning of each class for which reading has been assigned, you will sometimes be required to write a short response to a classmate’s posting. Attendance Since this course involves regular in-class tutorials, assignments, and workshops, regular attendance is required in order to be successful. If you miss a class, you are expected to stay current by checking the class website, contacting me, and/or speaking with a classmate. Coming to class unprepared, unresponsive, or more than 20 minutes late will be considered an absence. If you miss more than three classes, you run the risk of failing the class. Participation Class participation is critical for success in this course. Class discussions will give you an opportunity to better understand the theories that will inform your work. They will also give everyone the opportunity to share his or her personal experience writing with video and across media. Class participation accounts for 20% of your grade. In order to get full credit for participation, you must complete all assigned reading before class, attend class regularly, complete all in-class assignments, and participate attentively in discussions and workshops. Online participation on the blogs is also required for success in this class. You will be expected to visit the course website and blog on a regular basis to check for news updates and to view assignment prompts.

 

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Grading The relative weight of each assignment is as follows: Project 1, Private Lives, Social Media: 10% Project 2 Mapping the University: 10% Project 3 Now You See It: Remediating Theory: 20% Project 4 Communities at Work: 20% Responses: 20% Participation/attendance: 20% Grades for all projects factor in the quality of first drafts and attention to revision suggestions. You must complete all projects to receive a passing grade. Course Materials It is recommended that you invest in a USB jump drive or some other portable storage device (8 to 16 gigabytes) on which to save video files. The Writing Center If you need any help with your writing, the Writing Center (http://wc.syr.edu) is an excellent resource. Workshop consultants can help you learn how to improve your writing by offering assistance with planning, drafting, and revising. This resource is free, and I highly recommend it. You are also always welcome to utilize my office hours for help with assignments. Disability If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS), http://disabilityservices.syr.edu, located in Room 309 of 804 University Avenue, or call (315) 443-4498 for an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. ODS is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations and will issue students with documented disabilities Accommodation Authorization Letters as appropriate. Since accommodations may require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact ODS as soon as possible. Syracuse University and I are committed to your success and to supporting Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This means that in general no individual who is otherwise qualified shall be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity solely by reason of having a disability. Academic Integrity The Syracuse University Academic Integrity Policy holds students accountable for the integrity of the work they submit. Students should be familiar with the Policy and know that it is their responsibility to learn about instructor and general academic expectations with regard to proper citation of sources in written work. The policy also governs the integrity of work submitted in exams and assignments as well as the veracity of signatures on attendance sheets and other

 

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verifications of participation in class activities. Serious sanctions can result from academic dishonesty of any sort. For more information and the complete policy, see the Academic Integrity Policy at http://academicintegrity.syr.edu/. Religious Observance SU’s religious observances policy, found at http://supolicies.syr.edu/emp_ben/religious_observance.htm, recognizes the diversity of faiths represented among the campus community and protects the rights of students, faculty, and staff to observe religious holy days according to their tradition. Under the policy, students are provided an opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirements that may be missed due to a religious observance, provided they notify their instructors before the end of the second week of classes. For fall and spring semesters, an online notification process is available through MySlice/Student Services/Enrollment/My Religious Observances from the first day of class until the end of the second week of class.

 

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Course Schedule (subject to change) 1. Tuesday, August 30: Introductions Exploring writing processes (drawing activity) and course introduction Thursday, September 1: “You have one identity”: Facebook and Privacy Kirkpatrick, David. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 199-214. Assignment due: Write a two-minute audio track that narrates a particular experience you’ve had with social media (broadly conceived) and issues of privacy. Try to be as specific as possible. Be prepared to read your piece in class. Also, bring in a hard copy. 2. Tuesday, September 6: Sounding Board Kirkpatrick, David. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. 287-317. Assignment due: Revise your two-minute track based on feedback received and bring in an audio recording of it. Thursday, September 8: Free Culture and Copyright Aoki, Keith, James Boyle, and Jennifer Jenkins. Bound by Law? Tales from the Public Domain. Durham, NC: Duke Law School Center for the Study of the Public Domain, 2006. Available at http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/ Assignments due: Open blog post and a one-page reflection (hard copy) on what images or video you might add to your audio track. 3. Tuesday, September 13: Workshop Assignments due: Bring draft of project #1 or at least complete footage. Thursday, September 15: Private Lives, Social Media Preview movies Assignment due: Post movie drafts to http://gallery.me.com/pb112233/100289 and email me a draft of your essay.

 

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Tuesday, September 20, The Map as Art Introduction to Project 2 Assignment due: Post final movies to http://gallery.me.com/pb112233/100301 and email me your final essay. Thursday, September 22, Figuring the World Harmon, Katharine. Introduction. The Map as Art. Princeton: Architectural Press, 2009. 9-18, and 19-27. Drucker, Johanna. Figuring the Word: Essays on Books, Writing, and Visual Poetics. New York: Granary Books, 1998. 90-99. Assignment due: With the Drucker and Harmon readings in mind, I’d like you to think of your experiences at Syracuse, how you came here. If you were telling the story in the form of a map, what would you include? Think about how you might convey this map by video. Post a response to the class blog. (approximately 600 words).

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Tuesday, September 27, Visual Evidence Hampe, Barry. “Visual Evidence.” Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning, Filming and Editing Documentaries of Real Events. New York: Henry Holt, 1997. 49-68. Assignment due: Post footage of place to http://gallery.me.com/pb112233/100305 Thursday, September 29, From Video to Writing Hawisher, Gail E., Paul Prior, Patrick Berry, Amber Buck, Steven E. Gump, Cory Holding, Hannah Lee, Christa Olson, and Janine Solberg. “Ubiquitous Writing and Learning: Digital Media as Tools for Reflection and Research on Literate Activity.” Ubiquitous Learning. Ed. Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 254-64. Assignment due: Prepare two-minute script to share in class. Readings will be audio recorded.

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Tuesday, October 4, Mapping the University Movie previews Assignment due: Post draft of movie to http://gallery.me.com/pb112233/100316

 

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Thursday, October 6, Documentary Storytelling Hampe, Barry. “The Documentary Interview.” Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning, Filming and Editing Documentaries of Real Events. New York: Henry Holt, 1997. 263-71. Assignment due: Read the Hampe selection and consider his suggestions for conducting interviews. I’d like you to consider the two projects that you’ve worked on so far, and how the incorporation of interviews might have changed your representation. 7. Tuesday, October 11, Now You See It: Remediating Theory Davidson, Cathy N. Now Your See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. New York: Viking, 2011. 1-20. Assignment due: Post final movie to http://gallery.me.com/pb112233/100337 and email me final essay. Thursday, October 13, Now You See It: Remediating Theory Davidson, Cathy N. Now Your See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. New York: Viking, 2011. 23-58. Assignment due: 1) Write an essay (approximately 600 words) that explains what these chapters are really about and how you might explore them in your movie. Post your response to the class blog by 7pm. 2) Email me an idea or two of who would like to interview and why they might make a good subject. You need to make sure that you can accomplish the interview sometime during the week of October 17. 3) Read the responses and comment on two of them sometime after 7pm.

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Tuesday, October 18, Now You See It: Remediating Theory Assignment due: Proposal due (see handout) Thursday, October 20, Now You See It: Remediating Theory Assignment due: Create a three-minute script introducing your movie. Post to class blog.

 

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Tuesday, October 25, Now You See It: Remediating Theory Recommended reading: Davidson, Cathy N. Now Your See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. New York: Viking, 2011. 23-58. Assignment due: Bring footage to class for workshop. Thursday, October 27, Now You See It: Remediating Theory Assignment due: Bring footage to class for workshop.

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Tuesday, November 1, Now You See It: Remediating Theory Assignment due: Post Project 3 draft to http://gallery.me.com/pb112233/100345 Thursday, November 3, Now You See It: Remediating Theory Assignment due: Bring footage to class for workshop.

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Tuesday, November 8, Now You See It: Remediating Theory Assignment due: Post Project 3 final to http://gallery.me.com/pb112233/100357 Thursday, November 10, Communities at Work Assignment due: Brainstorm ideas on blog.

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Tuesday, November 15, Communities at Work Assignment due: Submit a proposal discussing your idea for project 4 (approximately two pages). Identify an example or examples that illustrate some of the techniques you’d like to achieve. Thursday, November 17, Communities at Work Bernard, Sheila Curran. “Narration and Voice-Over.” Documentary Storytelling: Creative Nonfiction on Screen. Burlington: Focal Point, 2011. 205-221. Assignment due: Post response to class blog; submit proposal revisions (if required) Thanksgiving break (November 20-27)

 

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Tuesday, November 29, Communities at Work Assignment due: video draft due Thursday, December 1, Communities at Work Bernard, Sheila Curran. Documentary Storytelling: Creative Nonfiction on Screen. Burlington: Focal Point, 2011. Interview with Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan. 228-238. Assignment due: Post response to class blog.

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Tuesday, December 6, Communities at Work Workshop Thursday, December 8 Communities at Work Assignment due: final video Final essay due on Friday, December 9.

 

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