Tristan Pope, "Not Just Another Love Story"

Film Studies 203A

The Consumer as Creator in Contemporary Media

Spring 2006

Instructor: Henry Lowood Office: M 9.30-11; W 2.30-4, Green Library 321C 

Tues, 9am-noon

Cummings Art Building, Art 103

On this page you will find:

(1) this week's assignment.
(2) the final paper assignment.
(3) the formula for the final grade in the class.

June 6

Paper presentations -- 12 minute (maximum) presentations of arguments, each followed by 8 minutes of questions. 20 minutes maximum for each presenter.

This week: Matteo, Alice, Kara, Matt, Nick, Tony, Parul.

For the last hour of class, we'll be joined by by Graham Leggat, SF Film Society

As a concluding text for the seminar, please read, Lev Manovich, "Remix and Remixability," <nettime> (16 Nov. 2005).

Papers due June 15!!! Please return via Coursework.

Final paper assignment.

The final paper can be on any topic related to the course themes. I encourage you not to start with the goal of touching every theme, but instead trying to work with one theme in-depth. However, given the course topic, I am duty-bound to be open to creative remixes, right? So feel free to be creative.

Please clear your topic with me by the May 9th meeting of the seminar. Be prepared to present a paper proposal in quickfire fashion on May 23d, for mutual critique and suggestions for improvement, research sources, etc. On May 30th and June 7th, we will listen to your first drafts and provide more feedback; based on the papers presented, I will try to find a reading or two that sums up these groups of papers for follow-up discussion (wish me luck). The goal is to have us work in loose synchronization towards the final papers over the last 3-4 weeks of the quarter.

In terms of requirements, I expect a minimum length for the final paper will be in the area of 3000 words, exclusive of bibliography or footnotes. Some of you will be inspired to write at greater length. As long as the length of the paper is justified by the content, this is fine with me, so use as many words as you need. Padding, however, will certainly be noticed and not be beneficial for your grade. The quality of your writing is important, so write clearly and cogently.

It is required that you provide a bibliography of print and electronic materials and cite them appropriately. Include URLs for websites. Note any interviews or other sources. Just be sure in other words to treat this as a research paper. FYI, here is some guidance on "Using Primary Sources on the Web":

A few hints for the paper:

1. Identify your topic clearly in the introduction. Briefly sketch your topic and tell how you intend to organize it.

2. Why is this topic significant? How is it related to readings, discussions or class sessions in this course.

3. The conclusion should reiterate the significance of your topic and provide a chance to speculate a little about how what you have learned might lead to further work, a revision of previous research by others, a new theoretical take, or whatever you have in mind.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware of the Stanford Honor Code .

Finally, if you are really stuck for a topic, an easy starting-point might be comparision of two of the media discussed in the seminar (e.g., music and computer games) with respect to a theme (e.g., open source, or fan communities). Start with an idea like that, then see where it might lead you.

Final grade.

The success or failure of this seminar depends almost entirely on every one of us attending regularly, keeping up with weekly assignments, and contributing to in-class discussion. Your final paper (described above) is a chance to take what you have learned and thought about in seminar to a personal project. The final grade is thus a mix of these two elements:

* participation (40%), made of presence, participation, and engagement with the week-to-week readings and topics.
* final paper (60%)

I will track attendance at the weekly meetings. Missing more than one meeting over the course of the quarter will degrade your participation, both figuratively and literally.