Digital Media and 

Participatory Culture

Georgia Tech | Fall 2010
 

Course Description:


Building on the WOVEN (Written/Oral/Visual/Electronic/Non-verbal) model of communication, this course is an exploration of how we use digital media to participate in various aspects of contemporary culture. During the first half of the semester, we will examine social networks on the internet. Specifically, we will look at matters of privacy, identity, and community formation.


In the second half of the semester, we will focus on how we use digital media to participate in culture. Our focus here will be on remixing, mash-ups, digital video production, and other forms of transforming existing media texts. We will also consider how copyright regulations impact remix cultures. Our class concludes with a unit on gaming.


As part of this class, you will actively use a variety of social networking sites and other digital media to participate in class discussions and to complete assignments. You will develop and improve skills in written, oral, visual, electronic, and non-verbal communication by learning about photography, sound editing, web design, and online presentation tools.


PDFDownload syllabus as PDF


 

Assignments:


Visual Essay

The goal of this assignment is to construct a sequence of ten images as a visual essay that explores a participatory culture theme of your choice (for example, social networks; privacy; remixing; race and digital media; copyright). You will explain your essay's themes and conceptualizations in 1,000-word project statements.


Multimodal Manifesto

In this group project, you will create a manifesto on digital media and participatory culture that uses at least three different modes/media of communication (including digital or analog photography, video, audio, writing) and critically engages with course readings.


Presentation

You will team up with a classmate to give a 10-15min presentation about the main topic of the week. Include visual aids such as a PowerPoint or a Prezi presentation (FYI: we will have a workshop on how to use Prezi during the second week of class), images, websites, and video clips.


Class Recap

Once or twice during the semester, you will write a 500-word blog entry summarizing class discussion. You will post your recap to our blog before the next class. Use the digital capabilities of a blog post: add images, screencaps, videos or audio if you feel they enhance your recap.

 

Required Texts:

 

Reading Schedule Fall 2010


08/23/10

First class

08/25/10

Tour of the library: Meet librarian Sherri Brown in the rotunda

08/27/10

E-book: "Overview of Writing and Communication,"
p. 1-4; Ch. 45, "Synergy," Sections a) through d)

Week 2

Going Digital

08/30/10

John Naughton, "The Internet: Everything You Ever Need to Know." 

09/01/10

Naughton, continued

09/03/10

E-book, Chapter 89, 90, 92, 95 in the section on 
"Designing Pages and Screens"; Prezi workshop

Week 3

Everything's Connected

09/06/10

Holiday

09/08/10

Ted Nelson, excerpt from Computer Lib / Dream Machines (T)

Lev Manovich, excerpt from The Language of New Media: p. 3-8 (T)

09/10/10

Tim O'Reilly and Jon Battelle. Web 2.0 Five Years On

Week 4

Community

09/13/10

Craig S. Watkins, Introduction; Ch. 1 ("Digital Migration") in The Young and the Digital

09/15/10

Ch. 3 ("The Very Well Connected") in The Young and the Digital

09/17/10

Assignment 1 overview

Nicholas Mirzoeff, "What Is Visual Culture?" (T). 11p.

Week 5

Identity

09/20/10

Ch.4 ("Digital Gates") in The Young and the Digital

09/22/10

Ch. 4, cont.

danah boyd, "Race and Social Network Sites: Putting Facebook's Data in Context"

09/24/10

danah boyd, excerpts from "White Flight in Networked Publics?" 

Watch Parts 1+2 of Lisa Nakamura's talk "Illegal Workers in Virtual Worlds: Unfree Labor, Incivility, and the New Orientalism." 

Week 6


09/27/10

S. Craig Watkins, "Living on the Digital Margins: How Black and Latino Youth are Remaking the Participation Gap."

09/29/10

Virtual Class: Post your comments on Watkins' lecture

10/01/10

Virtual Class: Respond to your classmates' comments

Week 7

Privacy

10/04/10

1. danah boyd and Eszter Hargittai. "Facebook Privacy Settings—Who Cares?"
2. Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Quite Facebook
3. Nancy Baym, "Why, despite myself, I am not leaving Facebook. Yet."

10/06/10

Xiaochang Li. "Public=/=Property of Facebook."

10/08/10

Draft presentations and peer review

Week 8

Copyright

10/11/10

Lawrence Lessig, excerpts from Free Culture (online)

10/13/10

Lessig, excerpts from Free Culture

10/15/10

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, "Fair Use"

Week 9

Beyond Web 2.0

10/18/10

Fall Break

10/20/10

Group project FYI // Brainstorming

10/22/10

Henry Jenkins, "Why Participatory Culture is Not Web 2.0"

Week 10

Remix I: Video

10/25/10

Excerpts from Jean Burgess and Joshua Green,
Youtube: Online Video and Participatory Culture
. Polity Press, 2009

10/27/10

Jenkins, Henry. "What Happened Before YouTube." 
in
Youtube: Online Video and Participatory Culture.

10/29/10

1. Vimeo Staff. "Recycle, Remix, and Reuse with Creative Commons"

2. Jenkins, Henry. “How YouTube Became Our Tube. (Please watch at least one section of the embedded video)

Week 11

Remix II: Sound

11/01/10

No assigned reading

11/03/10

Excerpts from Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, Rhythm Science

11/05/10

Rhythmn Science II

Week 12

Tactical Media

11/08/10

1. Geert Lovink, The ABC of Tactical Media.

2. Lori Kido Lopez, Racebending: Fan Activists fight Racist Casting

3. Q. Le, "Facepainting"

11/10/10

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW).
Please read sections on "Who We Are" and "What We Believe" 

OTW, "Archive News Post #4: Colocation and Open Beta"

Political Remix Video. "Imeem removes fan vids along with all UGV

OTW, "OTW helps secure DMCA exemption for remix vidding"

11/12/10

Remix Video Showcase

Week 13

Remix III: Mapping

11/15/10

Urban Remix Project Week

11/17/10

Urban Remix Project Week

11/19/10

Urban Remix Project Week

Week 14


11/22/10

In-class project work

11/24/10

No class

11/26/10

Thanksgiving break

Week 15

Gaming

11/29/10

Gaming Day

12/01/10

Ch. 5 in The Young and the Digital

12/03/10

Excerpts from McKenzie Wark, Gamer Theory. Harvard University Press, 2007.

Week 16


12/06/10

Student presentations

12/08/10

Student presentations

12/10/10

Student presentations

12/13/10

E-portfolio deadline



Assignment Policy:

 

You must complete ALL assignments in order to successfully pass this course. You will receive detailed instructions about every assignment at least two weeks before the assignment is due (exception: quizzes). In addition to the assignments listed here, I might ask you to complete small homework tasks, such as bringing in examples to illustrate the essays we are reading.

Assignment schedule:

Assignment schedule (IC = due in class; T = due on T-square; Your choice = sign up during first two weeks of class):


Due Date

Assignment

Points

09/27/10, IC

Raw materials for visual essay

50

10/08/10, T

Draft of visual essay

50

10/20/10, T

Final version of visual essay

200

10/25/10, IC

Proposal for the Multimodal Manifesto

50

11/15/10, IC

First draft the Multimodal Manifesto

100

11/24/10, T

Final version of Multimodal Manifesto

200

Week of 12/06/10

Final presentation (based on Manifesto)

100

12/13/10, T

E-portfolio

50

Your choice, IC

Presentation

50

Your choice, T

Class Recap

50

Unannounced, IC

5 Reading Quizzes

100 (20 per quiz)


Total possible points:

1000



Attendance Policy

 

Attendance is mandatory. You are allowed three unexcused absences during the semester—use them wisely (if your unexcused absences exceed that limit, you put yourself at risk of failing the course). All other absences must be for valid, non-academic reasons, such as medical emergencies (confirmed by a doctor's note); family or personal emergencies (dean's note); athletic competitions/obligations (coach's note, due at the beginning of the semester).

 

If you miss class, it is your responsibility to catch up on the work we have done during class. Also note that showing up more than ten minutes late to class automatically translates into an unexcused absence for that class meeting.

 

Participation

 

This class is a discussion-based seminar. Consequently, your participation in class is crucial to the overall success of the class (and to your final grade). You are expected to keep up with the readings and come to class prepared for discussion. Consistent good participation (i.e. completing the readings and contributing insightful comments and questions during class) will earn you up to an additional 50 points towards your overall grade.

 

Plagiarism and the Honor Code

 

You are responsible for knowing and abiding by Tech's policy for academic integrity. Consult the Honor Code online at http://www.honor.gatech.edu. Work that violates the honor code will receive zero credit and may result in failure of the entire course. I will also report any serious misconduct to the Dean of Students.


 

Note on Discrimination and Appropriate Language in the Classroom

 

No form of harassment or discrimination is allowed in this class. In keeping with the professional nature of this course, only professional behavior is acceptable between the instructor and students and between students. No harassment of any kind is allowed in class including but not limited to gender, age, ability, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.