The Semester Project – Spring 2013

We’ve talked for the last couple of weeks about different divergent voices, and how they are seen and heard through convergent media. Now it’s time to start finding your own divergent voice.

We’ll be spending some time in each of the next four weeks reading and discussing chapters of Alternative and Activist Media that will give you an idea of some genres you may wish to work within. In addition, here is a loose collection of guidelines for your semester project:

  • Submit a written proposal for your project to me anytime before Thursday, 2/21 either in class, on the blog, or via email, including a summary of the project and the steps you’ll take in doing it from 2/28-5/6.
  • You should choose which media you’ll work within for your project (print, audio, video, online) based on your own strengths. Remember, this is a seminar, not a technical writing or production course, so don’t choose a medium that you will need technical instruction on. If you choose anything which needs equipment, you are responsible for stating your equipment needs in your project proposal. If you’ve taken or are currently enrolled in a production class, you might be able to check out equipment from the COMM department, but equipment is limited.
  • This is may be either an individual project, or you may do it with a partner. If you choose to do the project with a partner, both of you must show me the scope of the work and each of your tasks within that scope. I am much more likely to approve  a team project in which each person works in a different technical medium (e.g., one person does the writing, one does the video production), as this would be right in line with the convergent element of the media.
  • BE UNIQUE! Try to do something you’re interested in, something you feel needs to be said or done in the media that has not already been done in the way you want to do it.
  • Every week after Spring Break I expect a weekly update on your progress on your project, including what you’ve done that week, what the next steps are, and any questions you may have as you go along. You should do this via the blog, and we’ll also use Thursdays as workshops.

Keep in mind that while the guidelines are loose, the attention and direction you put to the project should be rigorous.


Thursday, 2/21 – Class discussion of ideas for Semester Projects – have 2 or 3 ideas ready to talk about.

Thursday, 2/28 – Have your semester project proposal approved by me. This means you should send your proposal to me well before this date, so you can begin work on the project upon approval.

Monday, 3/18-Thursday, 4/4 – Semester Project Critical Background Presentations – for these, you’ll present, in roughly 15 minutes, the background research you did for your Semester Project. This should include examples of similar voices you’ve found, academic or popular analysis of the type of work you’re doing, and correspondence you’ve had with other people about the type of work you’re doing. We’ll talk more about this in class over the next few weeks, as you develop your respective Semester Projects.



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