#storyf17 course calendar

About the Course Calendar

Texts are to be read/watched/listened to for day they are listed. For example,Branch; Deziel; Kaufman; and Phillips are to be read for Wednesday, September 6. Homework in addition to texts will be presented in yellow. The schedule is subject to change; it is your responsibility to check it regularly.

Week One: Beginnings / Digital Storytelling

M 8/28: Introductions, Syllabus, Example: Gold Million Records

Assignment for Wednesday, 8/30
Please read/watch/listen to and be prepared to discuss articles by Griffins & Kaminer; Ashkenas et al; Einhorn, Ward, & Williams; Lambert. All articles can be access on the Readings page. Bring with you a list of 5 – 7 ways the articles by Griffins & Kaminer; Ashkenas et al; and Einhorn, Ward, & Williams can be considered examples of digital storytelling, as defined by Lambert.

For each of the online articles, make sure you listen to the audio that accompany nearly all the images. In “Foot Soldiers,” be sure to read the Introductory text that can be accessed by clicking on “Introduction by Ariel Kaminer” in the bottom left.

Click through the course web site, getting familiar with the layout and read the Syllabus carefully. Come to class with any questions you might have.

If you do not yet have a Twitter account, please sign up for one at http://twitter.com. Twitter works best (especially for our purposes) when the username is professional and you are authentic. For example, my username is: billwolffsju (http://twitter.com/billwolffsju), and I use my full name to show who I am. My account is unlocked. Please sign up with a professional username and keep your account unlocked. We’ll be using Twitter in a professional way so there is no need to keep anything private. Make sure you have your username with you. The shorter the username the better and please avoid underscores (_); they are hard to type on smartphones.

Create an Instagram account, as well, if you don’t yet have one using the same professional criteria as described for Twitter.

Important: If you have let your web site domain expire, please re-register it (or create a new one) with Reclaim Hosting, which is $25 for a year. Make your domain name professional and easily identified with you, like williamwolff.org is identified with me. Choose a .com or .net domain, not .org. If you did not create a web site with your own domain name in COM 200, please let me know.

To create an account and install WordPress, you can follow this tutorial:

W 8/30: Griffins & Kaminer; Ashkenas et al; Einhorn, Ward, & Williams; Lambert on digital storytelling
F 9/1: Continue Griffins & Kaminer; Ashkenas et al; Einhorn, Ward, & Williams; Lambert on digital storytelling
Hand out Social Media and Photography assignments

Week Two: Digital and Transmedia Storytelling

Assignment for Wednesday, 9/6
Please read/watch/listen to and be ready to discuss articles by Branch; Deziel; Kaufman; and Phillips. As you engage with the articles (which are more robust than the ones we read for last week) consider how they might extend our understanding of Digital Storytelling as described by Lambert.

Specifically, I’d like you to tweet about 3 or 4 places in Branch, Deziel, or Kaufman, where Voice is leading to Emotion that helps us better understand the Point and the Dramatic Question. What is it about the Voice that gives us the emotion? Add #storyf17 to all your tweets.

Remember we said that Lambert’s definitions were a starting point and that in class on Wednesday we would expand his definition, in part using Phillips discussion of transmedia storytelling.

So, please be prepared to discuss how Branch’s, Deziel’s, and Kaufman’s might be considered transmedia storytelling.

Please read the Social Media and Photography assignments. We’ll address any questions you have next Wednesday.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

M 9/4: Labor Day — No Class
W 9/6: Branch; Deziel; Kaufman; and Phillips; notes-for-transmedia-storytelling.pdf

Assignment for Friday, September 8
Please read Semester-Long Investigation Project Assignment and the Blogging Assignment.

We will discuss both assignments in class.

Make sure you have your Reclaim Hosting username and password with you in class.

F 9/8: Discuss Semester-Long Investigation Project and Blogging Assignment
Hand out Semester-long Investigative Project

Week Three: Topics, Assignments, and Conferences

M 9/11: Discuss Semester-Long Investigation Project
Hand out Blogging Assignment
Hand out Story of Learning Assignment
W 9/13: Discuss Blogging and Story of Learning Assignments
F 9/15: Class Canceled for Conferences (held 9/18 & 9/19)
My Story up Until This Moment due by 11:00pm
Investigation Proposal due on blog by 11:00pm

Week Four: Interviewing

M 9/18: Class Canceled for Conferences

Assignment for Wednesday, 9/20
Please read and come to class ready to discuss Haley, “Black History, Oral History, and Geneology”; Thompson, “The Voice of the Past”; and Sangster, “Telling Our Stories: Feminist Debates and the use of Oral History” (see the Readings page).

These readings serve as our introduction to Oral History and, eventually, the oral history interview process. In response to the readings, I’d like to start to engage your classmates in a conversation about oral history. Some questions to spark conversation: What does oral history reveal that other forms of history might not? What questions do you have about it? What is intriguing but confusing? What passages might you need help understanding? Tweet 3 times starting a conversation and reply to at least 3 tweets. Please don’t ask yes/no questions and don’t give one-word answers.

W 9/20: Oral history intro with Haley; Thompson; and Sangster; oh-1.pdf

Assignment for Friday, 9/22
Please read the articles by Portelli and Studs Terkel with Tony Parker. Listen to Terkel’s oral history interviews with Joseph Moore and Leola Spann:

Joseph Moore:


Leola Spann:

Please watch at least the first 35 minutes of Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts:

Tweet five thoughts about the interviews and Spike Lee’s interview subjects in relation to the ideas expressed by Portelli and Terkel in which you engage your classmates in discussion. Try to reply to at least 3 tweets. Use the #storyf17 hashtag. Complete well before class time.

If you have yet to start the photography assignment, you are getting behind. Please start immediately.

F 9/22: Portelli; Studs Terkel with Tony Parker, Spike Lee’s When the Levee’s Broke
Hand out Video Interview Assignment

Assignment for Monday, 9/25
As a result of it being Parents’ Weekend and of the conversations we’ve been having, I decided to switch around some readings for this coming week.

For Monday, please read Anderson & Jack on listening (see Readings page). Continue the kind of tweeting you’ve been doing this last week, where you try to start a dialogue outside of class. It’s been wonderful to see. Please excuse my underlines and annotations; I couldn’t locate a clean copy.

In class we’re going to take their advice and do some very basic mock interview and we’ll see what we learn.

Remember your Story of Learning update is due on Saturday.

Have a great weekend!

Week Five: Looking and Audio Stories

M 9/25: Anderson and Jack on Listening; mock interviews using oral history interview techniques

Assignment for Wednesday, 9/27
Please read Horowitz, which includes 4 chapters from her book, On Looking (see the Readings page). The reading totals 29 pages, but its a conversational read; no heavy theory or anything like that.

While reading the chapters, I’d like you to think about connections between her observations of looking at spaces and objects in new ways and what we’ve learned/talked about oral history interview techniques. Start 3 Twitter conversations where you tweet about similarities and, perhaps, some unique differences. Use the #storyf17 hashtag throughout.

Come to class ready to discuss the chapters is great detail.

If you haven’t contacted a potential client yet, please do so immediately. If you haven’t heard back from an initial contact, try again immediately. If they don’t get back by Tuesday afternoon, email Bill with a second research subject idea by noon Wednesday.

W 9/27: selections from Horowitz

Assignment for Friday, 9/29
Please read Ira Glass on Transom. Ira Glass is the creator of This American Life, one of the most important radio programs ever (if you have time, you might browse their archives; we’ll listen to some episodes later in the semester). Listen to the first 7.41 of the Stochasticity episode of RadioLab:


Note: The first 30 seconds or so is an ad. Then the introduction starts.

Please also listen to Rosenthal, Story Dissection, “Dead Animal Man” (note: 29 minutes; this is an episode that dissects an Ira Glass story about a man who cleans up deceased animals along highways).

For your tweets for Friday, I’d like you to think about overlaps between Ira Glass’s discussion of “What’s a Story” and Lambert’s elements of digital storytelling. Also, where do we see examples of Glass’s discussion in the “Stochasticity” RadioLab story and Glass’s “Dead Animal Man.” As before, share tweets as a way to start a conversation.

F 9/29: Audio stories to be added
Hand out Lookings Audio Assignment

Assignment for Monday, 10/2
Please read Emerson, Fritz, & Shaw, pages pages 1 – 44 on fieldnotes. Come to class with a list of 10 strategies Emerson, Fritz, & Shaw, suggest for participating in the research process, observing the spaces in which you find yourself, and composing jottings in your notebooks (jottings are distinct from fieldnotes). Tweet 5 strategies as you are completing your reading. The reading is dense, so don’t wait until the last minute to complete it.

Read through the Lookings Audio Assignment. Remember, too, according to the Blogging Assignment you are required to have at least TWO blog posts associated with your investigation. Start thinking about possible topics or subjects associated with your research subject that you can write about. See the assignment page for details and specifics.

If you have not been keeping up with your tweeting, Story of Learning Weekly Updates, and/or the Photography Assignment, please remember to keep up with those.

Week Six: Fieldnotes & Video Setup Sessions

M 10/2: Emerson, Fritz, & Shaw, pages 1 – 44; student-center-fieldnotes.pdf

Assignment for Wednesday, 10/4
Start thinking about the expanded research necessary for the project, as we discussed in class on Monday. Tweet a picture of your investigation mind map similar to the one we invented in class and think about the direction you’d like to start exploring first. Remember, too, according to the Blogging Assignment you are required to have at least TWO blog posts associated with your investigation.

On Wed, 10/4, We will be meeting in the Campion Student Center Sun Room 1. Please plan to arrive early in case it is hard to find.

Please remember to bring your small fieldnotes notebook.

W 10/4Meet in Campion Student Center Sun Room 1

Assignment for Friday, 10/6
Complete your second field recording experience, as described on the back of the student-center-fieldnotes.pdf handout.

Please read and tweet about Emerson, Fritz, & Shaw, pages 45 – 89. Photograph and tweet one or two pages of the jottings you recorded when we meet in Campion on Wednesday.

In class on Friday, we will discuss your experiences in Campion and talk about translating jottings to sentences and sentences to scenes. Remember to bring your field notebook with you to class.

F 10/6: Emerson, Fritz, & Shaw, pages 45 – 89
Hand out Fieldnotes assignment
Discuss Midterm Story of Learning Assignment

Week Seven: Objects and Photography

M 10/9: Fall Break — No Class

Assignment for Wednesday, 10/11
Please read Strohecker, Beinhart, Mitchell, and then read Turkle. They are all included in the PDF under Turkle, Sherry on the Readings page. Be sure to read Turkle last, because you need to be familiar with the others texts to fully appreciate hers. They are all short reads. Post to Instagram with the #storyf17 hashtag a photograph of one evocative object in your life and discuss what makes it evocative.

If you have received your business cards, please bring them in to show them off and share with BW and your classmates.

Don’t forget to complete your Story of Learning weekly update. This weekend is also a good time to catch up on the Photography assignment.

W 10/11:Readings on Objects: Strohecker, Beinhart, Mitchell, and then read Turkle

Assignment for Friday, 10/13
Please read the selections from duChemin’s book, The Soul of the Camera (see the Readings page) and tweet 5 questions in response. Your questions should push his ideas further, explore their implications, and, perhaps, a few could connect to the prior reading on evocative objects. Please reply to at least 3 of your classmate’s questions, as well.

F 10/13: duChemin on Photography; photographic objects; samples; Soiling of Old Glory by Stanley Forman; Pepper Number 30 by Edward Weston; Citizens Protesting Anti-Semitic Acts Billings, Montana by Frédéric Brenner; Susan Burnstine, Absence of Being; The Tonic of Wilderness by Ina Echternacht 
Hand out Objects Photography Assignment

Week Eight: Midterm Conferences

M 10/16: Class canceled for conferences
Midterm Story of Learning Due by noon
W 10/18: Class canceled for conferences
F 10/20: Class canceled for conferences

Week Nine: Graphics

M 10/23: Thinking about stats.

Assignment for Wednesday, 10/25
Please read “7 Elements of Design and How to Use Them Properly” and each of the Read More sections at the bottom of the article:

Part 1: Alignment
Part 2: Consistency & Repetition
Part 3: Gestalt Theory
Part 4: Rule of Thirds
Part 5: Balance
Part 6: White Space
Part 7: Proximity

Please read “Color Theory: Introduction to Color Theory and the Color Wheel” and each of the Read More sections at the bottom of the article:

Part 2: Active versus Passive Colors
Part 3: Warm and Cool Colors
Part 4: Additive and Subtractive Colors
Part 5: Color Harmonies

Though there are a lot of pages, they aren’t onerous and I suspect this is review for many of you.

Come to class with at least 3 statistics that help provide a global understanding of the issues surrounding your research topic. Be sure to have the citation information, as well, including author, date, and URL. Use the questions you generated in class as a guide to locating the stats.

In class, we’ll start designing a basic statistical graphic.

W 10/25: Creating a statistical graphic
F 10/27: Designing the story site

Week Ten: The Design of a Story

Assignment for Monday, 10/30
Please re-watch at least the first 35 minutes of Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, paying specific attention to the opening 4 minute sequence and how Lee is using various footage:

In response, please tweet conversations in which you think about how and why Spike Lee is using the various texts. By texts, I am referring to the multiple instances of found, archival, and news footage Lee mashes together, along with the thunderous opening soundtrack, which moves into Louis Armstrong’s “How I Miss New Orleans.” Think back to Lambert’s 7 elements of digital storytelling and, perhaps, the readings on evocative objects. Please reply to your classmates tweets.

If you have completed your interview, please start watching those interviews and taking notes by writing down:

  • each question asked
  • time at which the question was asked
  • a summary of the answer

These notes will be essential later when you start editing the video down. Instead of having to watch the video over and again to find that one place where the person discusses that one thing, you will be able look at your notes, find the exact time, and zoom right to it in the video. The note-taking is not due Monday, but it is something you should get started on sooner rather than later.

Don’t forget to start adding to your Story of Learning weekly updates and work on the photography assignment.

M 10/30: Creating the Video Story

Assignment for Wednesday, 11/1
Please read pages 1 – 23 of Radio: An Illustrated Guide, by Abel and Glass, paying attention to how Glass discusses the structure of audio stories and transcript creation.

Listen to Part Six “Color Days” of This American Life Episode 109. Notes on Camp (starts at 37.48), noting the ways Julie Snyder incorporates various texts: interview, recorded sounds, soundtrack, and her own narration.

Listen to former students Julia’s and Danielle’s audio stories, as well, noting similar things.

Think about how the stories embody many of Lambert’s seven elements of digital storytelling.

W 11/1: Creating the Audio Story; audio-story-questions.pdf

Assignment for Friday, 11/3
Please read/interact with Danielle’s transmediated digital story, “A New Spin on Old Music: How Gold Million Records Keeps Reinvigorating Vinyl.” While engaging with the story, I’d like you to note and tweet about the role of each of the following story modes: the alphabetic text; the video text; the 3 audio stories; and the photo essay. What does each mode do that the others do not? Do they compliment each other? Is there redundancy? Does the redundancy serve any kind of purpose (such as allowing a viewed to start the story with any of the modes)?

Also think about each of the 7 Elements of Digital Storytelling. Where do you see them? What is the dramatic question? What is the point (of view)?

Please come to class ready to discuss how and why this piece is organized the way it is.

F 11/3: “A New Spin on Old Music: How Gold Million Records Keeps Reinvigorating Vinyl.”; story with tweets (pdf); story with tweets (png)
Interview Blog Posts Due

Week Eleven: Project Status Conferences

M 11/6:Class canceled for conferences
Fieldnotes Blog Post Due by 9:00am
W 11/8: Class canceled for conferences
F 11/10: Class canceled for conferences

Week Twelve: Project Designs

M 11/13: Work on subdomain setup
W 11/15: Alphabetic draft Story due
F 11/17: Workshop Alphabetic Story; first-draft-first-sentences.pdf  Audio Story Due

Week Thirteen: Project Designs

M 11/20: Video Story due
W 11/22: Thanksgiving Break — No Class
F 11/24: Thanksgiving Break — No Class

Week Fourteen: Project Designs

M 11/27: Photo story due
W 11/29: Audio Story Due Graphics due
F 12/1: Graphics & Mode of Choice due

Week Fifteen: Draft Week

M 12/4: Transmediated Rough Draft workshops
W 12/6: Draft Workshops continued
F 12/8: Course Evals; Final Questions

Week Sixteen: Last Week

M 12/11: Final Project Showcase

Friday, 12/15: Final Story of Learning due by noon

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