Hi, all. The Berger citation we were talking about in class yesterday is:
John Berger, “Che Guevara Dead,” in Aperture Vol. 13, no. 4 (1968).
Unfortunately, the text doesn’t seem to be available in the library, but it could be requested via interlibrary loan, if you’re interested…
Hi, all. I thought I’d drop a quick post here (which will remain sticky so that it stays visible) about the status of the blog — or, more specifically, about what your status should be as of right now with respect to the blog. We’re 8 weeks into the semester, which means that, given one post off for fall break, one post off if you’ve taken your freebie, and a couple of comments off just for fun, you should each have produced at least 6 blog posts and 14 comments. You should be able to check your status by clicking on “posts” and “comments” on the dashboard. Remember that the number of blog posts doesn’t include your term paper proposals or bibliographies, which are add-ons.
Most of you are in reasonable shape, but there are a couple of you who are a bit behind. We’ve only got 5 weeks left in the semester, so there’s not much time to get caught up — and I really, really don’t want a flood of posts in the last week of classes to which no one can respond, given that the purpose of the blog is ongoing, consistent discussion. So do try to catch up sooner rather than later.
Yikes! You guys all took off so quickly that I didn’t get a chance to do any of the closing announcements that I really needed to get out there.
Here they are:
1. The first stage of the term paper assignment is due on Monday. The assignment itself is posted under Resources as a Word document, as well as being posted as a page on the blog. The link is up near “Syllabus.” Please read through that assignment ASAP and send me any questions you may have.
2. The reading for next time is
Horkheimer & Adorno and Benjamin. Many of you will have read these essays before. Please read them again, and in particular with an eye toward what they’ve inherited from Marxist thought. (sigh) Adorno Arnold, Williams, and Geertz. The deleted instructions apply to Wednesday, not Monday. (I really am not with the program.)
3. I’m happy to take any lingering questions from this week’s reading and attempt to work them into a mini-lecture for Monday, but I need you to tell me what you need to know. So post your questions on the blog, or email them to me.
See you Monday, I really really really hope….
There’s an interesting article by Michael Bérubé in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education, entitled “What’s the Matter With Cultural Studies?,” which explores the failures of cultural studies to have its intended impact on either the academy or the wider political world. It might give you a sense of where we’re headed this semester — less in Bérubé’s sense of the field’s failures, than in the sense of what it ought to be. It would be good for us to keep this in view this semester, and keep in mind how the future of cultural studies might help correct these failures.
This site is yours to make of what you want, a space for further interaction, for exploration, for testing out some of the ideas that come up in our discussions or in your papers. You’ll be expected to post your responses to our class reading here on the blog, but I also want to see you trying things out here for yourselves, working actively to make this blog a useful space for discussing the texts we’re reading this semester.
So any number of things might provide a good topic for a blog post. Here are a few suggestions (slightly modified from a similar list my colleague Meg Worley gave a class of hers):
- Isn’t it interesting the way that passage X seems to predict contemporary phenomenon Y?
- I found this cool article online that you should all read!
- Does “jargonterm” mean P or Q — or something else entirely?
- Wow, Reading Z really reminds me of last week’s episode of Lost.
- I could use some feedback on this idea I’ve been wrestling with…
- Did she say A or B in class yesterday? I forgot to write it down.
- Hey, I’m in a play this weekend, and y’all should come!
You’ll no doubt find other things you want to post about, too — things you stumble across on the web that the rest of the class should see, things you find in your research that the rest of the class might be interested in. This kind of sharing is what makes group blogs exciting; I’ll look forward to seeing what you come up with.