Multimedia Composition Courses

Spring 2020

In these classes, we will be examining different ways in which digital media has contributed to new modes of thinking about topics of social and cultural importance . Through assigned texts and selected videos, podcasts, and other examples of popular digital media we will be meditating on what creativity and communication means in the 21st century. In addition to working with the assigned course texts, students will have the opportunity to develop projects that utilize digital media in order to generate their own ideas around the question, what does it mean to be connected in the digital age?

This course satisfies one SAS Core Requirements
Area of Inquiry: Arts and Humanities; Critical and Creative Expression [AHr]

Section                          Subtitle                           Instructor Day/Period Location Index Campus
01 Documenting YOUR World Chambers W/3,4 MU-305 07782 CAC
02 Finding Your Voice in the Digital Age Hobayan M,Th/2 MU-038 07888 CAC
03 Friendship, Engagement, Collaboration Hughes T,F/2 MU-003 08077 CAC
04 Turn on Your Radio and Hide! Dawson W/2,3 MU-038 08762 CAC
05 Documenting YOUR World Hulme  T/6,7 MU-038 08763 CAC
07 Memoirist's Mixtape Lowe T/4,5 MU-038 10256 CAC
08 Documenting YOUR World Chambers M/2,3 MU-302 11562 CAC
10 Digital Identity: Public and Private Bielecki Th/2,3 MU-305 10446 CAC
11 Documenting YOUR World Chambers M/4,5 MU-038 11887 CAC
12 Millenials and Multimedia Fitzgerald M,W/6 MU-038 12934 CAC
13 At Home: What Does it Mean?  Kearney W/4,5 MU-038 13032 CAC
14 Documenting YOUR World Bryan  M/3,4 MU-305 13033 CAC
15  Storytelling in the Digital Age Ahmed H/4,5 MU-038 13230  CAC
16  Storytelling in the Digital Age Ahmed  T/2,3 MU-302 13255  CAC
17 Documenting YOUR World Kearney W/7,8 MU-038 17359 CAC
18  Documenting YOUR World Chambers W/6,7 MU-305 31706  CAC

*Honors College students and SAS Honors students enroll in Section H1

H1 Curiosity and Expression Bielecki T/2,3 MU-305 10447  CAC

Documenting YOUR World
Sometimes, it feels like the news has everything covered: politics, entertainment, climate change, business. But there’s something only you can report on: The story of your everyday life. How your immediate world keeps changing. Is there a new graffiti artist in town? Is something fresh happening in the local music scene? Has your circle of friends changed its view on an issue? Is a new fashion trend emerging on campus? Through blog posts, a podcast, and a video project, we’ll keep track of micro-stories like these, analyzing and exploring them in different ways.

Finding Your Voice in the Digital Age 

In the hubris of social media, we often find ourselves lost in the shuffle: scrolling and comparing ourselves to what others post, despite knowing what we see isn’t the whole picture, but rather, a polished version of other people’s lives where everything is perfect. And in this comparison, many of us work towards becoming like the people we follow on social media. We begin to lose our sense of who we are, what we want to express, and how we express it.  In short, we lose our voices. How can we peel away the layers of artifice to undercover our truest selves? How can we home in on this and express who we are in an authentic way? How can we use social media as a tool—rather than a burden or a drain— to uplift our voices as well as the voices of others? In this course, we’ll explore various expressions of identity, from video poetry to podcast stories to inspirational blog & Instagram posts, looking at what examples are already out there and considering how we can create our own voices –both speaking and singing—to stand out in the crowd of meaningless buzz.

Turn on your Radio and Hide!
The age of the iPod is over, but a genre of narrative audio that took its name — “podcasting” — is thriving. The course focuses on the rise of the modern fictional podcast from its roots in Golden Age radio drama. Students will listen/respond to several vintage radio dramas and modern podcasts, prepare a handful of sonic adaptations (from visual or textual sources), then write/produce two original podcasts (i.e. a "sound story" and an "ear movie"), as well as one video (in which the visual information doesn't compromise the work's integrity as audio narrative). The course also includes visits with a variety of podcast professionals (and at least one live performance of a classic radio drama). The great strength of audio storytelling, is the mind's innate willingness to try to see whatever someone suggests it see, no matter how bizarre. So come on, folks, let's get crazy!

Storytelling in the Digital Age
Students will hone their creative writing and critical thinking skills, to learn the various styles and formats of storytelling in the digital age. You will create a digital portfolio which is a personal blog of your work throughout the semester. The portfolio will include – personal narrative, podcast, video essay, film critique, blog posts on current events, well-thought-out final essays or short fiction. How do we tell stories in the digital age? Are the possibilities endless? Let’s find out!

Digital Identity: Public and Private
Thanks to the ubiquity of social media platforms and the power of pocket sized computing tools, immersion in a digital world is no longer exclusive to the realm of speculative science fiction.  In this class, we will examine how activity within the world of social media and web based interactions have come to dramatically shift what we share with the world and how we define what is public and what is private.  Course work will include written reading responses and online postings, a video essay project, and a podcast project. 

 Millenials and Multimedia
Through blog posts, video essays, podcasts, and other multimedia projects, you will explore the ways you define yourselves within and against the millennial generation that is being actively discussed in the blogosphere. According to a 2014 White House report, one quarter of millennials—Americans born between 1980 and 2000—“believe that their relationship to technology is what makes their generation unique.” In this course, you will use multimedia composition—that is, writing and creating using digital technologies—in order to analyze, define, and ultimately contribute to millennial culture. You will theorize how millennials differ from Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and from other generational groups, considering questions not only of technology but also of race, gender, class, employment, education, health, family, community, and attitude.

Memoirist's Mixtape: Digital Writings as Audio Video Assemblage

This introductory workshop explores writing as a multi-media entity, offers exciting ground for experimentation and is, in a Dadaist sense, a portrait of the writer. You will explore hybrid, multi-media texts by twentieth- and twenty-first-century writer-performers and installation artists. Writing produced in the workshop will be collaged or remixed into multi-media projects such as sound-text pieces, video poems and podcast episodes. Practice will include audio and video assemblage, experimenting with found language, cross-genre collaboration, playing with possibilities of music-text-video interaction, and critical engagement. 

At Home: What Does it Mean?
What is home? Is it a place of belonging, of safety, of refuge? Must it be something that we call ours, that we identify with? Or can home be a dwelling in bewilderment? What happens when we don’t feel at home, when we don’t belong? In this class, we will develop work that documents the shapes and contours of our intimate dwellings and the stories of those who inhabit them. Through videos, podcasts, and graphic illustrations, students will develop narratives around questions of home and estrangement, investigating how each specific digital media employed can serve as a unique lens to view both feeling at home and feeling estranged. Students of all backgrounds and disciplines welcome!

Curiosity and Expression 
How are our perceptions of art, communications, and information changing as a result of wide spread access to digital technologies and various digital media platforms? This course provides students the opportunity to explore the conceptual challenges that have emerged from the ever expanding digital world that we inhabit through blog postings, group exercises, and individual digital media projects that provide hands on experience of what it is like to compose and share works that are both thought provoking and entertaining.

* Honors College students and SAS Honors students enroll in Section H1

(Honors) - Curiosity and Expression
How are our perceptions of art, communications, and information changing as a result of wide spread access to digital technologies and various digital media platforms? This course provides students the opportunity to explore the conceptual challenges that have emerged from the ever expanding digital world that we inhabit through blog postings, group exercises, and individual digital media projects that provide hands on experience of what it is like to compose and share works that are both thought provoking and entertaining. Taught at Honors level.