wrt fall 2011 remix the book assignment

Assignment Overview

Our readings and videos on the subject of remix have focused primarily on video and music. We are, however, going to see what happens when we grab work in the public domain or has been given the appropriate Creative Commons license and remix into the books we are creating.

There are two main reasons for this portion of the assignment: first, it is important to learn about remix theory and the practice of remixing. That is, to feel first-hand what it is like to knowingly and legally use a prior author’s work as your own and consider what happens when it co-mingles with new submitted content. Second, we have to anticipate the possibility that the number of and/or the quality of the submissions we receive will be below what is expected. If this happens, we will have the remix material to create the book. In many ways, because you are going to go out and find the material to be remixed, the book could be even closer to your original vision. Plus, as we learned in our readings, publishers do quite well re-packaging (remixing) work that is in the public domain.

This assignment will bring you to work you never thought you would have been looking at in a course on Technology and Writing (of course, you may have thought that already when looking at ancient scrolls). Never before have so many texts be available with such ease. The key is going to be able to use your creativity to find material that is appropriate to your book’s theme and to not find just the same old thing. You want there to be variety in type, time period, genre, and so on.

In the end, remixing is about having a great time with text. So, enjoy it!

Strongly Suggested Resources

  • Creative Commons Search: Please note that search.creativecommons.org is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations. CC has no control over the results that are returned. Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license. You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link. Since there is no registration to use a CC license, CC has no way to determine what has and hasn’t been placed under the terms of a CC license. If you are in doubt you should contact the copyright holder directly, or try to contact the site where you found the content.
  • The Internet Archive: The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.
  • The Flickr Commons: The key goals of The Commons on Flickr are to firstly show you hidden treasures in the world’s public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer.
  • Media History Digital Library: We are a non-profit initiative dedicated to digitizing collections of classic media periodicals that belong in the public domain for full public access. The project is supported by owners of materials who loan them for scanning, and donors who contribute funds to cover the cost of scanning. We have currently scanned over 200,000 pages, and that number is growing.
  • Project Gutenberg: Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.
  • Google Books: To find public domain books, use the Advanced Search, select Full View Only and/or limit your search to before 1923.

More sites to be added as they are found.

Assignment Specifics

Each member of your group will find, download, store, and so on, at least 20 pieces of work that they would like to remix. These can be writings, photographs, images, stills from TV and movies, lyrics, and so on—anything that is the public domain or has been attributed with the appropriate Creative Commons license.

Download the documents and store them in a folder on your computer. You will share these with the group during the process of evaluating the submissions.

Due date: Tuesday, 10/19. Have your remix folder with you in class.

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