vrmc s10 assignment 1: analysis of post secret’s or legofesto’s semiotics

Assignment Description

printable version of the assignment (.pdf)

The goal of this assignment is to gain analytical familiarity with semiotic and multimodal theories and begin to create multimodal texts. We will be doing this through an analysis of two blogs that engage/critique pop-culture, politics, gender, war—too many facets of society to list. The blogs are:

  • Post Secret: The blog is described as “an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.” The blog is updated every Sunday. Below is an archive of Post Secret images starting the week of Jan 23, 2010. You may also use postcards found in the Internet Archive or the Post Secret Archive.
  • Legofesto: The blog describes Legofesto as “a politics-junkie and news-hound, with a thing for [L]ego. This is not a blog for children.” The blog is updated whenever Legofesto creates a new Lego scene.

For this assignment: Using the semiotic and multimodality theories we have learned over the first four weeks of the semester, I would like you to analyze Post Secret OR Legofesto to make a point about how the interplay of visuals and/or alphabetic texts help construct the commentary being made. To complete your analysis, you may focus on one of the following:

  • One particular Post Secret postcard or Legofesto image,
  • A series of related Post Secret postcards or Legofesto images, or
  • The Post Secret blog or Legofesto blog as a single text itself.

Things to Keep in Mind

There are many ways to approach this assignment, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Include the image(s) in your paper at points in the paper where it makes sense to have them appear. That is, don’t just put them at the end.
  • Make sure that all theories you use are clearly defined and used appropriately.
  • Think about what the images ask you to know prior to their analysis (just as we noted the first day of class with the magazine covers). LegoFesto helps the reader quite a bit by including text and links relating to the scenes she depicts. Sometimes, Frank, the creator of Post Secret, will post email responses to individual postcards. Feel free to use them, as well.
  • Please use outside sources (scholarly preferred) to support your ideas where needed. For example, if you’re analyzing a Post Secret postcard that includes a commentary about the pharmaceutical industry, you might find some scholarly sources that help you make and build on your points.
  • You could also consider the participatory nature of the blogs. Does, for example, the fact that these secrets are selected by one person to be posted online change the way we understand them?
  • Use APA (6th edition) citation format.
  • For Legofesto, you might try juxtaposing the scenes she depicts in Lego with photographs of the events, such as:

Specifics and Due Dates

Page Length: 6 – 8 pages of text (not including images), double-spaced, Times New Roman, font size 12, 1” margins
Due date: Feb 25; email the document to BW by 11:00pm.

Post Secret postcards

from January 24, 2010, January 31, 2010

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