Sound in Film

For today, you read two pieces by Michel Chion on the use of sound in film: “Birth of the Talkie or…

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Film Editing

For today, Laurier and Brown’s “The Reservations of the Editor” which should have given you a basic sense of how…

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Recent Lessons/Course Updates

Exit through the Gift Shop/Alvelos Discussion Questions

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For Thursday, answer the following questions in a forum post: Identify the central theme of the film. Identify Alvelos’s main argument What connections between the film and Alvelos do you see? What is the difference among graffiti, street art, and fine art? (think about this in terms of aesthetics) What is the difference between what Mr.…

Maps, Maps, and More Maps

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Below you will find examples of maps that extend beyond your traditional paper (or online) geographic schematic. Click on the description of each image to go to its website. Each site contains numerous examples of interesting and non-traditional maps. Some of these examples stay close to the traditional geographic style, while others veer wildly away. The takeaway…

Discussion Questions for Massey

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How does Massey define “space”? What is the difference between space and place (a specific location)? How does Massey relate the concepts of “space” and “time” How does Massey’s later discussion of the ideas of progress and developed/undeveloped countries? What does Massey mean when she uses the term “geography of power”? What does the “geography…

Ways of Seeing: Meaning Making through Visual Rhetoric

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For today, you  watched John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, Parts 1 and 2. To get us started thinking about the ideas from both pieces, here are some questions for you to discuss in your groups: What is Berger’s argument in episode 1? What is his argument in episode 2? How and why do reproductions multiply,…

The Sticky Embrace of Beauty, or, The Medium is the Message

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Anne Wysocki argues that all of the elements of a text—even ones that we consider to be simple, “natural,” or inconsequential—perform persuasive work. They indicate the genre, for example, and affect our reception and interpretation of a text (“text,” of course, is defined loosely). In “The Sticky Embrace of Beauty,” Wysocki discusses how our perceptions of beauty,…

Wysocki, Sticky Beauty Discussion Questions

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  What does Wysocki mean when saying our judgments of beauty “must be disinterested” (90)? Wysocki suggests that “Form is itself always a set of structuring principles, with different forms growing out of and reproducing different but specific values” (159). What does she mean? Why does Wysocki claim it’s “dangerous” “If we believe that to…

Basic Design Principles at Work

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For today, you read Robin Williams’s The Non-Designer’s Design Book, which gives a pretty good introduction to some basic design principles: Proximity Put like things together. Doing so will help readers more easily find and process the relationships between each design element. Alignment Keep different design elements/components aligned on at least one axis. Strong lines help to…

The Breath of Meaning

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Cynthia Selfe’s article “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning” has a lot going on. One of her central theses is that literacy– the ability to read and write–has become too closely linked to the material, visual text (that is, words on a page). Instead, Selfe argues, literacy has historically encompassed multiple ways of…

Wondering What Semiotics Are?

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As you read Cynthia Selfe’s “The Movement of Air, The Breath of Meaning” you may notice she employs a term you’re unfamiliar with: semiotics. As I mentioned briefly during our discussion yesterday, semiotics refers to the relationship between a thing or idea and its meaning. Semiotics is the study of how we know what something means. But, that definition…

Sounding Board: Anecdotes and Moments of Reflection

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Today you listened to/watched Ira Glass ruminate on “The Art of Storytelling,” where he talks about the importance of a good story and how one will prompt a moment of reflection on the part of listeners. During class, we’re going to listen to Al Sharpton’s discussion of Martin Luther King, which he recorded for The Moth,…

Announcement: New Forum Rules and Discussion Leader Signup

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Per the class vote on Tuesday, you will now need to sign up to lead discussion. See the revised forum rules below for the link: Forum Throughout the semester you will be required to post work to the class discussion forum (for which you will need to register). All projects, reflective writing, and analysis projects…

Aural Rhetoric Analysis

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Cynthia Selfe argues that the semiotics of sound afford a different way of meaning making than what we’re used to. For your aural rhetoric analysis, I’d like you to explore aurality as a way to reflect on important aspects of your identity. Your task seems simple. In no less than 5 sounds and no more…

Sound in Multimodal Webtexts

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Today, we’re going to look more specifically at the use of sound in multimodal webtexts and think about the frameworks McKee suggests for analyzing the use of sound. For voice, McKee identifies the following affordances: “tension—how tight or strained roughness—how raspy and throaty (with rougher tones being more associated with men) breathiness—how airy or intimate (the…

The Sounds of Language

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For homework, you read Jody Shipka’s “Sound Engineering,” which introduces you to a way to discuss how well a project is thought-out. I want to combine some of that discussion with a discussion of one of the most basic ways that sound operates in our lives: speech and vocal delivery. For class today, I want us…