There are 10 assignments in the course. These assignments are of varying shapes, sizes, textures, and tastes.  These tasks are straight-forward, but never simple because they require critical engagement with fiction, film and culture.  They will be due according to a submission timeline documented in our schedule and submitted to the course website.  As such, you’ll be granted permissions to edit this course website.  You will also need to polish up on (or acquire) a modicum of web-development literacy.  I expect responses to be polished yet sincere, or, as Kurt Vonnegut once wrote in an assignment for his “Form of Fiction” class at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop,

I should like them to be both cynical and religious. I want you to adore the Universe, to be easily delighted, but to be prompt as well with impatience with those artists who offend your own deep notions of what the Universe is or should be.

Or something along those lines.

I use the term, “essay,” loosely, leaning toward the word’s French origins, meaning any attempt or effort at communicating ideas through language or the arts.  I expect most of these attempts to be in the written form (from blurb to brief to literary essay) but I want to encourage other means of engaging with the texts we’ll read and talk about throughout the semester.

Essays will be written, recorded, or filmed, but they must be able to be uploaded to the course website in some fashion:

4 Short Reflections–to be posted on our course website–using the materials we talk about to analyze a “text” (a film, novel, tv show, non-fiction essay, short fiction, podcast, tweet, song, commercial, editorial, or other “happening”) that is NOT ON the syllabus.  These short reflections should in some way try to use the “tools” of literary analysis – the lenses we discuss surrounding issues of cultural difference – to further comment on the texts, contexts, or concepts we encounter on the syllabus.
~250-700 words
§ images, video, audio, etc. a plus

3 GROUP Podcast Episodes – working in groups of 2-3 people, you will complete four episodes of a podcast on “Literary Analysis” covering the texts we talk about in the classroom as well as those outside of class. These podcasts can be critical, comical, investigative, moving, or otherwise.  The particular flavor of these podcasts will be the jurisdiction of each group; groups can hone their podcasting aesthetic between episodes or completely transform this aesthetic from episode to episode, but consider developing a consistent theme or stylistic approach.  This will allow you to pre-plan your podcasting workflow, making the production of multiple episodes more efficient and less time-consuming.
~10-20 minutes
§ uploaded to soundcloud and posted to course website as a “post”

Use Nate Corddry’s Reading Aloud Podcast, the Banging Book Club,  for both example and inspiration.  Other inspiring podcasts include How Did This Get Made?Molton on MoviesCriminal.

1 LONGFORM Essay – Your longform essay must be in response to one or more of the “Recommended” texts though it can use any additional material deemed necessary for the genre of longform essay you wish to create be it personal essay, commentary, review, memoir, creative non-fiction, interactive, investigative, literary, expository, argumentative, and so on.
~1,800-2,500 words
§ posted to course website, visuals not necessary but always encouraged

1 Midterm – to be given in class and consisting of identification of terms and short essays

1 Final exam – to be given during our final exam period and consisting of identification of terms and short essays