LIS 585 - Multimedia Literacies
An introduction to the theories, practices and implications of multimedia literacies. Examples of multimedia texts include print, video, audio, CD-ROM, DVD, computer programs, digital games, hypermedia, Internet sites, graphic forms, electronic books, and text-based toys, games, and commodities. The course will explore the cultural, social, commercial, and educational issues raised by the proliferation of such texts.
- To explore a variety of texts produced in different media.
- To investigate changing forms of reception and production of contemporary media.
- To expand understanding of the implications of widely accessible multiple media for literate habits, behaviours, and strategies.
- To develop insight into the implications of transmedia productions, multiple adaptations and transformations (including the creation of text-based artifacts) on the aesthetic and/or informative impact of particular texts.
- To explore the commercial base of the text industry as it affects interpreters.
- To consider implications of current developments for individuals and institutions.
- To develop criteria for selection and use of multimedia materials.
- Study of a range of texts in a variety of media.
- Close exploration of a small number of texts that have been adapted into a large number of different media.
- Investigation of interpreters’ text processing behaviours in the context of domestic media consumption and production.
- Analysis of changing commercial frameworks of recreational and utilitarian texts
- Exploration of the broad cultural landscape of converging multimodal texts.
Seminar discussions, lectures, work with extracts and full texts in different media, small group work, student presentations.
LIS 501 is a pre-requisite. Students outside of the MLIS program are encouraged to inquire about special permission to take this course.
Note: Days, Hours, Penalties and Percentages N/A
Power Point Presentations Illegal
Select one week’s readings and record your responses to them in detail before the beginning of the class in which they are to be discussed. You may choose a format that suits you, but everything must be written in complete sentences; point form is not acceptable. After the class discussion, return to your record and discuss if and how your responses are changed as a consequence of the class discussion. It should be very clear which parts of the reading journal were written before and which after the class discussion. Obviously it is in your interest to promote a vigorous class discussion during “your” week.
This assignment should be a minimum of 2000 words long (about 10 pages double-spaced) and no longer than 2500 words. It is due one week after the relevant class discussion.
Final essay/media presentation
Pick a topic relevant to this course and of interest to you, and discuss it in an essay of at least 3000 words, or in a presentation in a different medium (e.g., video, hypertext, website) that is roughly equivalent in weight and substance to such an essay. You must clear your topic with the instructor in advance of working on it, no later than Thursday, September. This presentation may be submitted at any time during the month of October.
This class is a seminar and relies on student contributions to discussions. Your mark for this part of the class will be based on your responses to the readings, your ability to consider and respond to other people’s arguments, and your general contribution to class work. It is absolutely essential that you have completed all the readings before each class.
Class presentation 30%
Presentation (in group of 4) 20%
Handout (group or individual) 5%
Process report (individual) 5%
With three partners, choose either a textual format (e.g., computer games, movies, websites, series books, etc.) OR a title that appears in a variety of media (e.g., as a television program, books, board games, etc.) Prepare a class presentation of NO MORE than half an hour in length, in which you demonstrate to your classmates what is interesting and important about your selection. What does your choice tell us about contemporary culture, and what are the implications of what you present for those professionals who work with cultural materials (librarians, teachers, cultural producers, etc. – you need not address every profession)?
The class of Thursday October is available for three hours of planning time as the instructor will be out of town. You are expected to attend and participate as this will be your main class-time opportunity to work together. The week before the presentations begin, Thursday November, there is no class and further planning is possible if all participants are available but it is reasonable to expect that some group members will be out of town for that long weekend.
Because of time constraints, running over time will be penalized. You must plan the contribution of each member of your group so that the final presentation is tight and polished.
Your presentation should be supported by a handout of 2-4 pages in length (photocopying arrangements will be organized in class), in which you outline the highlights of your presentation and provide useful supplementary information. If you choose, each member of the group can create a different handout but there will be no extra credit, or penalty, for taking this option; it is designed mainly to facilitate group organization.
Each member of the group must separately submit a 1-2 page personal narrative on how the group collaborated, on the information sources consulted, and on the kinds of decisions that had to be made on what to include and what to omit.
Due date: A sign-up sheet will be made available. Presentations will take place on Thursday November and Thursday November. Once arrangements are settled, you can change your date only by organizing a swap with another, willing group and you must then clear that change with the instructor.
On the sign-up sheet you must include the members of your group, and your topic. Topics will work on a first-come first-served basis, with no duplication permitted, so it is in your interest to make your preliminary decisions quickly. It is possible for you to change your mind about your topic before your presentation date but any such changes must be cleared with the instructor and must not duplicate the choices of your classmates. If you need to change a presentation date, you must find a team willing to trade slots with you and that change must also be cleared with the instructor.
Late penalty: Failure to be ready to present on the day of your choice without a reasonable documented reason will involve a penalty of 25% of the presentation mark for the absentee, and your group must then accept any presentation arrangements that can be squeezed into the schedule.
Final reflection 7%
This final assignment should present your own thoughts on your own learning throughout the course, or more specifically on one or more aspect(s) of it that really made you think anew. You need not cite any outside literature, though if you do mention a particular class reading, give enough information to identify it properly. This assignment is designed to enable you to draw some threads together at the end of the course; it is not the same as the official course evaluation but rather a chance to do some further thinking.
It is due Monday December 5 by 4 p.m. Late penalty: 1 mark per day
Tentative, provisional schedule
September introduction, assignments, etc.
literacy asset audit
sample cross-media adaptations:
Green Eggs and Ham
The Hockey Sweater
September adaptations – history and significance
example: The Wizard of Oz
“Out of Kansas.” Salman Rushdie. In Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2002, 3-30.
“Wicked and Wonderful Witches : Narrative and Gender Negotiations from The Wizard of Oz to Wicked.” Alissa Burger. In Beyond Adaptation: Essays on Radical Transformations of Original Works, ed. P. Frus & C. Williams. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010, 123-132.
“How? (Audiences)” Linda Hutcheon. A Theory of Adaptation. New York: Routledge, 2006, 113-139.
“Playing in the Phase Space: Contemporary Forms of Narrative Pleasure.” Margaret Mackey. Signal 88, January 1999, 16-33.
September television and video
“Programming as Sequence or Flow.” Raymond Williams. In Television: Technology and Cultural Form. London: Fontana/Collins, 1974, 86-96.
“Television’s Next Generation: Technology/Interface Culture/Flow.” William Uricchio. In Television after TV: Essays on a Medium in Transition, ed. Lynn Spigel and Jan Olsson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004, 163-182.
“Conclusion.” Television and New Media: Must-Click TV. Jennifer Gillan. New York: Routledge, 2011, 221-236.
“YouTube’s Cultural Politics.” Jean Burgess & Joshua Green. In YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009, 75-99.
September advertising, merchandising, branding, and participation
example: Peter Rabbit
“More than a (Video) Game.” Alissa Quart. Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers. Cambridge, MA: Perseus, 2003, 97-109.
“Unfinished Business.” Peter Lunenfeld. In The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media, ed. Peter Lunenfeld. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000/1999, 6-22.
“From Shoebox to Performative Agent: The Computer as Personal Memory Machine.” Jose van Dijck. New Media & Society 7(3), 2005, 311-332.
“The Juggler’s Brain.” Nicholas Carr. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010, 115-143.
October audio texts and the power of recording
“Record Culture.” Michael Chanan. Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording and its Effects on Music. London: Verso, 1-22.
“Music as a Technology of Self.” Tia DeNora. Music in Everyday Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, 46-74.
“Pathways to Music Exploration in a Digital Age.” Steven J. Tepper & Eszter Hargittai. Poetics 37, 2009, 227-249.
“As Good as Reading? Kids and the Audiobook Revolution.” Pamela Varley. Horn Book Magazine 78(3), May/June 2002, 251-262.
“Blurring and Breaking through the Boundaries of Narrative, Literacy, and Identity in Adolescent Fan Fiction.” Angela Thomas. In A New Literacies Sampler, ed. Michele Knobel & Colin Lankshear. New York: Peter Lang, 2007, 137-165.
“Copyright Law, Fan Practices, and the Rights of the Author.” Rebecca Tushnet. In Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, ed. Jonathan Gray, Cornell Sandvoss, & C.Lee Harrington. New York: New York University Press, 2007, 60-71.
“English-Language Learners, Fan Communities, and 21st Century Skills.” Rebecca W. Black. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 52(8), May 2009, 688-697.
“Sampling “the New” in New Literacies.” Colin Lankshear & Michele Knobel. In A New Literacies Sampler, ed. Michele Knobel & Colin Lankshear. New York: Peter Lang, 2007, 1-24.
October computer and video games
video: Video Games
“Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs.” Richard Bartle. 1996. http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm
“What Are We Really Looking At?: The Future-Orientation of Video Game Play.” Barry Atkins. Games and Culture 1(2), 2006, 127-140.
“Media Literacy 2.0: Unique Characteristics of Video Games.” Aaron Delwiche. In Media Literacy: New Agendas in Communication, ed. K. Tyner. New York: Routledge, 2010, 175-191.
“’Wonderland’s become quite strange’: From Lewis Carroll’s Alice to American McGee’s Alice.” Cathlena Martin. In Beyond Adaptation: Essays on Radical Transformations of Original Works, ed. P. Frus & C. Williams. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010, 133-143.
October NO FORMAL CLASS –
planning night for presentations
- attendance is expected
November toys and texts
examples: Barbie, Arthur, American Girl
“Teddy Bears, Television and Play: Rethinking Semiotics in Children’s Media Culture.” Matt Briggs. Social Semiotics 17(4), December 2007, 503-524.
“Authenticity in the Age of Digital Companions.” Sherry Turkle. Interaction Studies 8(3), 2007, 501-517.
“I’m an American Girl. . . Whatever That Means: Girls Consuming Pleasant Company’s American Girl Identity.” Carolina Acosta-Alzuru & Peggy J. Kreshel. Journal of Communication, March 2002, 139-161.
“From Solitary to Networked Geographies of Play.” Maaike Lauwaert. The Place of Play: Toys and Digital Cultures. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009, 45-69.
November NO CLASS – Remembrance Day
November GROUP PRESENTATIONS
November GROUP PRESENTATIONS
December issues of ownership, convergence, and multiliteracies
“Media Influence on Sports.” W. James Potter. Media Literacy, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005, 328-341.
“MediaSport: Technology and the Commodification of Postmodern Sport.” Michael R. Real. In MediaSport, ed. Lawrence A. Wenner. London: Routledge, 1998, 14-26.
“Narrative in Real Time.” Marie-Laure Ryan. In Avatars of Story. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006, 78-93.
“A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures.” The New London Group. Harvard Educational Review 66(1), Spring 1996, 60-91.