#cmf21 course calendar

About the Course Calendar

Texts are to be read/watched/listened to for day they are listed. 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: Introductions

M 8/23: Brief Intros; Community of Learning

Assignment for Wednesday, 8/25
Please read through the course web site carefully and post two questions you have about it to this anonymous form:


In class on Wednesday we’ll be addressing the question, What is Civic Media by looking at this definition by media scholar, Henry Jenkins:

[Civic media is] any use of any technology for the purposes of increasing civic engagement and public participation, enabling the exchange of meaningful information, fostering social connectivity, constructing critical perspectives, insuring transparency and accountability, or strengthening citizen agency.

We’ll also look at several media objects to try to determine if they are examples of civic media and what, exactly, makes them civic media.

Please come to class ready to participate.

W 8/25: What is Civic Media?; what is civic media examples
Hand Out Reading Response Assignment
F 8/27: Class Canceled

Week Two: Start Talking SJU! and Co-Creation

Assignment for Monday, 8/30
Please read the Reading Response Assignment carefully, noting the two different parts of each response (Response and Reflection), the word counts, and the assessment criteria. Email me any questions you might have about it. By Saturday, you will receive a shared GoogleDoc (accessible only to Bill and that student) for you to complete your reading responses. If you did not get it, please let me know immediately and I will re-share it with you.

For Monday, we are going to jump right in by watching, discussing, and reflecting on last semester’s installation of Start Talking SJU! as well as one of the main ideas we’ll be using to frame the semester: co-creation. This could all take some time, so please don’t wait until the last minute. And please complete each in order.

First, go to the Start Talking SJU website, watch the Living in Fear, Striving for Hope trailer. Then, watch the first 5 videos that play next to the trailer (the videos are on a loop). You might also be interested in watching some of the videos from other campaigns, and I recommend doing so to get a feel for the project.

Second, go to the Start Talking Instagram page and find the videos for the same people you’ve just watched and look at the captions and watch the videos.

Third, I’d like you to watch the first 30:08 of The Art of Co-Creation: A Storytelling Model for Impact and Engagement, which is a 2018 panel discussion hosted by the Skoll Foundation and moderated by Tabitha Jackson, director of the Documentary Film Program at Sundance Institute. That segment includes a wonderful discussion among Tabitha Jackson and Katerina Cizek, Artistic Director, MIT Co-Creation Studio, MIT, and Fred Dust, Partner and Global Managing Director, IDEO LLC. While watching I’d like you to keep in mind the Start Talking SJU! stories you just watched. 

Fourth, for your first reading response, please respond to the following prompt:

At 5:08 in the The Art of Co-Creation, Tabitha Jackson says, “At the Sundance Institute we believe in story, we believe in storytelling, storytellers most importantly; and the importance of the independent voice in culture. We know that storytelling is a transmission system for values. That it is the most effective delivery system for an idea.  And so so the phrase “the power of story” which is being used and commodified and its meaning has been lost to some extent—the phrase is correct but the power isn’t necessarily a benevolent one depending on how you exercise it.”

In your response, I’d like you to consider how (and/or if) the Start Talking SJU is a “transmission system for values,” what those values might be, and what role you think co-creation might have played in allowing the stories and the values to emerge. Please reference at least oneLiving in Fear, Striving for Hope video you watched and at least one statement from Jackson, Cizek, and Dust’s discussion.

Your response is due by the start of class on Monday.

M 8/30Start Talking SJU! and first half of The Art of Co-Creation; notes-for-starttalking-cocreation.docx
Reading Response 1 Due

Assignment for Wednesday, 9/1
Please watch 55:50 – 1:10:33 of The Art of Co-Creation: A Storytelling Model for Impact and Engagement, which we started for Monday. This time we’re watching the end, but feel free to watch the middle portion, as well, if you’d like. Featured in this segment are: Tabitha Jackson, the moderator; Tashka Yawanawa, Chief of the Yawanawa, Acre, Brazil; and Lynette Wallworth, Artist/Filmmaker, Studio Wallworth.

I’d also like you to read pages 1 – 12 of the Collective Wisdom Field Study, by Cizek, K., & Uricchio, W. (2019). See the Readings and Texts page for the link. Also read the MIT Co-Creation Studio Media Lab Co-Creation Manifesto:

Come to class prepared to discuss these texts and, especially, how co-creation intersects with collaboration and participation.

W 9/1Collective Wisdom Field Study and second half of The Art of Co-Creation

Assignment for Friday, 9/3
For Friday, we have two kinds of texts–a theory-based text (Sasha Costanza-Chock’s) and primary source texts (the Start Talking SJU videos). When we read these two kinds of texts, we often try to use the theory to help us understand the primary texts. Costanza-Chock is currently the Director of Research & Design, Algorithmic Justice League.

For your second Reading Response, I’d like you to unpack what Costanza-Chock (using Henry Jenkin’s definition) means by “transmedia storytelling” and how her definition of “transmedia organizing” builds on his. Then, I’d like you to consider if the Start Talking SJU campaigns contain characteristics of transmedia storytelling and/or organizing. (When considering, don’t just stay on the main Start Talking web site; explore associated spaces, as well.) If they do, what are those characteristics? And what characteristics are missing (discuss this even if you find characteristics present).

And, as with all reading responses, make sure you have the Reflection portion completed, as well.

On Thursday, I will share with you your My Story of Learning GoogleDoc. That document is only available to me and each individual student; no one else can see it. Please watch this important video about the Story of Learning and come to class with any questions you have.

Part 1 and your first Weekly Update are due 9/10. If you are completing a Story of Learning for Web Design, as well, you can borrow portions of your Part 1 that connect to both classes, such as Collaboration and Risk-Taking.

F 9/3: selections from Costanza-Chock (2014) on transmedia storytelling and organizing;
Reading Response 2 Due
Hand out Story of Learning Assignment Video

Week Three: Publics and Organizing

M 9/6: Labor Day — No Class

Assignment for Wednesday, 9/8
For Wednesday, we are going to add two new concepts to our discussion of Start Talking SJU: publics and counter-publics. To help us think about the publics and/or counter-publics associated with Start Talking SJU (and SJU overall), we’ll be reading selections from Catherine Squires’ article on the Black public sphere.

In the article, Squires advocates for a new vocabulary to help us understand the experiences of marginal publics — enclave, counterpublic, and satellite. In your third reading response, I’d like you to break down how Squires understands: marginal public, enclave, counterpublic, and satellite. Then, I’d like you to think about how Start Talking SJU fits within those sub-headings. Is, for example, Start Talking SJU by co-creating with others to tell stories, representing a marginal public, enclave, counterpublic, and/or satellite? If so, how is it functioning with and for those publics? If not, what is missing?

These are not easy concepts to grasp, so take your time with it.

W 9/8: selections from Squires (2002); notes-for-transmedia-storytelling.docx
Reading Response 3 Due
F 9/10:selections from Squires (2002); Using media to create change; bringing co-creation, counter-publics, and transmedia together
Hand out Social Media Impact Campaign Assignment
Story of Learning Weekly Update Due by 5:00pm
Story of Learning Part 1 Due by 11:00pm

Week Four: Storytelling, Social Movements, and Semester Topic

Assignment for Monday, 9/13
Your My Story of Learning Part 1 and your first weekly update are due by 11:00pm on Friday evening. For your Weekly Updates, students often worry that there is nothing to write about because they haven’t “done” anything, meaning that they haven’t created or designed anything. Use the space to write about what you have learned based on the readings and the conversations in class and not just what you have created.

Please read the articles by Davis (2002) and Fine (2002) on narrative, storytelling, and social movements. They are on the Readings and Texts page. In your Reading Response, pull out of each reading 1 passage that you think is significant and discuss why. If possible, try to connect the passages to the texts and our discussions about co-creation and/or publics/counterpublics/enclaves.

Make sure you have completed the Response and the Reflection portions of your reading response.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

M 9/13: Davis (2002) and Fine (2002); notes-for-narrative-davis-fine.docx
Reading Response 4 Due

Assignment for Wednesday, 9/15
Please read Fosl (2008) on the role of personal narratives in building social movements (see the Readings and Texts page). We will discuss Fosl in relation to Fine and Davis, as well as hear a personal narrative from one of the women Fosl writes about, Fannie Lou Hamer.

There is no reading response due, but this will be first of several opportunities to compose additional reading responses. As stated in the grading criteria for the A-level (on the last page of your Story of Learning document), “The Story of Learning at this level demonstrates activity that goes significantly beyond the required course work in one or more course objectives.” One way to have activity that goes beyond the required coursework is complete additional reading responses, which will show additional Reflection and perhaps Risk-taking.

So, if you would like to do that, Reading Response 4 Extra, I’d like you to think about what Davis and Fine write about the social and rhetorical nature of narratives and Fosl’s discussion of narratives as political acts that empower. As you think about these issues, try to connect them to social movements with which you are familiar. Be sure to complete both the Response and Reflection parts.

W 9/15: Fosl (2008) and Fannie Lou Hamer DNC (testifying at the Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, NJ, 1964);  some video of her testimony); Fannie Lou Hamer Harlem Audio and Transcript; about the 1964 DNC Convention; Notes for Fosl and Hamer Discussion (GoogleDoc); Hamer singing “This Little Light of Mine”

Assignment for Friday, 9/17
On Friday, we’re going to start narrowing down out Start Talking SJU topic for the semester. To help us get started thinking about it, I’d like you to address the following questions before class on Friday:

  • What are the hidden narratives that people know about SJU but are not part of the official, broadcast, public-relations narrative?
  • What issues or concerns are important to the conversations taking place at SJU right now?
  • Who are the people who are having those conversations and who should also be having them?
  • Where are those conversations taking place and where would you like to see them taking place.
  • What conversations would you like to see happening that are not and who would you like to see having them?

Though this is not an official Reading Response because there is no actual reading, I’d like you to address each question in your Reading Response document. Be thorough. The more ideas to brainstorm as a class the more nuanced our project will be.

If you have any questions, let me know.

F 9/17: Brainstorming Semester Topicsnotes-for-starttalking-brainstorming.docx

Week Five: Power of Storytelling

Assignment for Monday, 9/20
The stories for this week are going to be about Black Lives Matter (Monday) and the #metoo and #notokay hashtag movements (Friday). That is, the readings are going to be about difficult, often traumatizing subject-matter, sometimes overtly so. There is no getting around this; stories are powerful because of their honesty and, sometimes, their rawness. The content may make you angry, heartbroken, emotional, enraged—it makes me each of these no matter how many times I read it. It is okay to step away from it for a while and focus on something else. Indeed, self care is of paramount importance (in all you do, not just with these readings, but in all aspects of your life). But they also bring me hope, for reasons we’ll no doubt discuss.

For Monday, please read Khan-Cullors and Bandele (2017) and Stephen (2015), in that order (see the Readings and Texts page). If you choose to complete this Reading Response (Response 5), I’d like you to think about their discussions in terms of Fosl’s discussion of personal narrative and Squires discussion of enclaves and counterpublics. (Feel free to refer back to the Notes document we used in class last Wed.) And, as with all reading responses, make sure you complete the Reflection portion.

And, don’t forget to complete your Story of Learning Week 4 Weekly Update.

M 9/20: Khan-Cullors and Bandele (2017); Stephen (2015)
Reading Response 5 Due

Assignment for Wednesday, 9/22
I’ve made a slight change to the course calendar for Wednesday. Instead of finalizing the project, we are going to talk a bit about possible content and media for the semester, as I think it’s important to consider that as we are considering topics. Toward that end, I’d like you to consider the work of two transformative Black photographers: Gordon Parks and Ruddy Roye.

Gordon Parks
Please read “Gordon Parks and ‘Harlem Gang Leader,'” which details Parks’ photographic approach to documenting the life of Leonard “Red” Jackson and the way that Life magazine chose to present that life. When reading, I’d like you to think about what we have been talking about co-creation, storytelling, etc. Also do some background research on Gordon Parks.

Ruddy Roye
Please go to Ruddy Roye’s professional site and look at the images under the series “When Living is a Protest.” Then, watch this 3:20 video Time magazine spotlight video on Roye. Then, spend some time on Roye’s Instagram page, exploring the posts, stories, reels, etc.

We’ll talk about this and more in class on Wed.

W 9/22: Talking about the Project: Content and Media; notes-for-montgomery-parks-roye.docx

Assignment for Friday, 9/24
Please read Oxford (2018) and Zacharek, Dockterman, & Edwards (2017) on the #notokay and #metoo hashtags and movements. Please note that the readings include direct quotes and summaries of the tweets shared in those movements, often including details of sexual assault. They also include graphic quotes from Donald Trump. Zacharek, Dockterman, & Edwards is somewhat lengthy, so give yourself some time. As with the other readings, if you need to stop and put this aside, please do.

If you choose to complete Reading Response 6, please discuss the #notokay and #metoo in terms of Fosl’s discussion of narrative in movements and what Fine called “bundles of narratives.” Then consider the importance of “bundles of narratives” for moving from enclaves to counterpublics. And remember to complete the Reflection portion of the response, as well.

F 9/24: Oxford (2018); Zacharek, Dockterman, & Edwards (2018)
Reading Response 6 Due

Week Six: Structure of the Project and Interviewing

M 9/27: Finalizing the Semester Topic; Topics
W 9/29: Talking about the Project: Content and Media (cont)notes-for-stsju-media.docx
F 10/1: Continue Content and Medium discussion
Hand out Practice Media Making Assignment

Week Seven: Who Tells Stories? and How We Will Present Theirs

Assignment for Monday, 10/4
Please read the articles (in this order) by Portelli (1998) and Terkel (1994) on the subject of oral history. If you choose to complete Reading Response 7, I’d like you to consider these readings in relation to our prior readings on empowerment narratives. In part of your response, I’d like you to discuss the question of credibility that Portelli raises at the top of page 37, again in relation to the other articles we have read this semester. Don’t forgot to complete the Reflection portion of the Reading Response.

I’d like each of you to have with with you a list of 10 oral history-based interviewing and listening tips based on the readings. Imagine you are providing the list to people who are just learning about the oral history interviewing and listening practices. We will discuss interviewing in great detail.

Also, don’t forget to complete your Story of Learning weekly update. And please get started on the Practice Media Making Assignment.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

M 10/4: Terkel (1998) and Portelli (1998) Anderson and Jack (1998) (and maybe Sangster)
Reading Response 7 Due

Assignment for Wednesday, 10/6
Were goingto continue with oral history for Wednesday, specifically on the subject of listening. Please read Anderson and Jack (1998) and build on/hone the list of tips you started for Monday’s class.

We’ll discus Terkel (1998) and Anderson and Jack (1998) in class, and perhaps do some mock interviews.

W 10/6: Anderson and Jack (1998) on interviewing
F 10/8: Prior Student Guests
Midterm Story of Learning Due by 11:00pm

Fall Break, October 10 – 15

Week Eight: Midterm Conferences

M 10/18: Class Canceled for Midterm Conferences 
W 10/20: Class Canceled for Midterm Conferences
F 10/22: Video and Photo aesthetics
Sample Media Making Assignment Due: Video and Photo

Week Nine: TBD about project

M 10/25: Captions and Subtitles
Sample Media Making Assignment Due: Captions and Subtitles

W 10/27: Work with interview gear
F 10/29: Work with interview gear

Week Ten: TBD about project

M 11/1: Discuss video samples from Friday
W 11/3: Gotta Make Decisions
F  11/5: Finalizing Decisions

Week Eleven: TBD about project

M 11/8: Talking about the project: interviewing; Nolan raw footage; sample-interview-f21.docx; interview characteristics; consent form; Stryker Farm Final Video
W 11/10: work in groups on project (possibly more interviewing practice)
Interviews scheduled
F 11/12: NURSE statements (.pdf); template teams

Week Twelve: TBD about project

Assignment for Monday, 11/15
Please read the online articles by Teju Cole (2012), Lauren Wissot (2017), and Darya Marchenkova (2017) on extractive and community storytelling (see the Readings and Texts page). There is no required Reading Response, but still need to complete some, label it Reading Response 8, consider the texts in terms of what we have read and discussed on co-creation, narrative, empowerment narratives, and oral history. Be prepared to discuss those topics in class.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

M 11/15: Cole (2012), Wissot (2017), and Marchenkova (2017) on Extractive and Community Storytelling; notes-for-extractive-storytelling.docx
Reading Response 8 Due
W 11/17:
work in groups on project
F 11/19: work in groups on project
Interviews to be completed.

Week Thirteen: TBD about project

M 11/22: peer review drafts; cmf21-empowerment-narrative-prep.docx
Drafts Due

W 11/24: No Class — Thanksgiving Break 
F 11/26: No Class — Thanksgiving Break

Week Fourteen: Project Launched

M 11/29:  work on project
W 12/1: work on project
F 12/3: work on project

Week Fifteen: TBD about project

M 12/6: work on project
Tuesday, 12/7: 
Release Trailer
W 12/8: web page goes live
Thursday, 12/9: First Posts
F 12/10:

Project release during finals week

Final Stories of Learning are due Saturday, 12/18 at noon.

Comments are closed.