I’ve been informed that we’re going to all online classes. It’s no longer a matter of “if we are” but “when we are.” I wouldn’t be surprised if this is our final face-to-face meeting until late April. The UNC System higher-ups are meeting today, and their decree will pass down to us. The English Dept Chair has asked us to be ready. Fortunately, our moving to completely online won’t be as difficult as other classes, but there will be changes:
- You will have additional Canvas Posts requiring you to respond (at least once) to another classmate’s reflection
- All assignments from this point forward will be online
The show might go on…As of today, I haven’t heard whether or not “Tales from Down There” has been canceled. It’s still on for Friday, 3/13, in McKnight Auditorium (Cone Center) at 7:00 pm (usually it’s an hour and a half). The Southeastern Women’s Studies Conference (SEWSA) was just canceled as have many academic conferences and entertainment gatherings.
Below are links to resources about the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- General Information for UNC Charlotte (faculty, staff, students)
- Self-Quarantine Form to inform the University your status (Google Docs)
- Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center
Today we’re going to do a peer-review workshop. You’ll read 2 different drafts from your classmates and offer specific kinds of feedback based on the directions below. I know, I know, you’re thinking you could read 2 drafts and offer feedback in 10 mins. Well, not today. Remember, I always have things for us to do that will take up 75 mins, so take this
peer-review seriously. You’ll be spending roughly 30 min on each draft. The left over time is for you to revise your essays. There is never a time when you’re through with revision…we often stop revising because there’s a deadline. Also, you can always write more. If you think you’re done, consider doing some historical research about the value and/or technology that will bolster your argument. This essay will eventually be 12 pages, so do the work now to get your page count up.
Remember, I’ll be coming around to see who has a draft and who doesn’t. This is an in-class participation grade.
Peer Review Round 1
Exchange your essay (hard copy or electronic) with a classmate. Read the draft once. Try to get a sense of the purpose for the draft. A thesis statement could clue you into what the main idea of the essay is, but try to determine the main point from the material.
- In one to two sentences, restate the main point of the paper. After that restating, list the main supports (3-4 will suffice) for the purpose.
- In other words, write down what further explains the main point. You will have additionally Canvas Posts requiring you to respond (at least once) to another classmate’s reflection
- Discuss these with the writer.
- Explain why you feel those are the main points.
- If the writer disagrees, that’s fine; they will just need to consider whether or not more explanation is needed in the essay.
Cultural Analysis Cultural Analysis Cultural Analysis
Make sure the essay has at least 3 pages devoted to cultural analysis…yes, make sure the essay has at least 3 pages devoted to cultural analysis. These essays must begin the following way (after some reasonable introduction):
- Identify a cultural value or multiple values
- Explain how that value(s) is pervasive or prevalent in the culture–give examples
- Consider 3 places where this value appears
- American History
- Media, education, Family, or any institution would be a good place to find reinforcement of this value
- Then, after all the previous information, the essay should discuss how the technology you’re covering embodies those values
You should be able to find 3-4 supports for why the writer claims a particular value or ideology is prevalent in the culture they’re focusing on. If the writer brings up multiple values, that’s fine, but you should still be able to find 3-4 supports for EACH value. If not, you’ll need to help by offering ways to analyze culture. Help the writer think about how to incorporate more cultural analysis to fulfill the essay goal of explaining how a technology is a product of the culture from which it comes. Remember, you find prevailing cultural values by noticing what narratives get retold over and over and through your own critical thinking. Commercials, TV shows, films, novels, etc. all hold cultural values, and they can support a writer’s claim about culture.
This should take you 25-30 min. I’ll want to check in and ask global questions around this time and help us expand our discussions of American Values.
Peer Review Round 2
Exchange your essay with another classmate. Do your best not to read what the previous reviewer wrote. Read the draft once. Try to get a sense of the purpose for the draft. A thesis statement could clue you into what the main idea of the essay is, but try to determine the main point from the material. In one to two sentences, restate the main point of the paper. At this point, the writer should have two separate readers giving their opinions on what the main purpose of the paper is. If these two reviews align, that’s fine. If not, the writer will have to consider why there’s a disconnect between the reviewers.*
Everyone can do this unless you weren’t reading. David F. Noble traces a thousand years of history, demonstrating that technological and scientific pursuits were conditioned by cultural forces and, more importantly, hegemony (the elite run things, and their values are considered over the masses). Find two passages (quotations) from Noble or our other readings that can contribute to an analysis on how the technology has or had an origin that was not common (for the everyday person at first) but stemmed from a powerful group. Even if the technology appears to be for anyone, we know that technologies are often pursued by the interests of those more powerful first; then, the technology makes its way to the everyday consumer.
For instance, we’ve talked about how military applications such as the precursor to the Internet was researched and developed by the government. The Internet wasn’t developed to allow online shopping; it started as a way for the military to share information about research. Remember, technologies often trickle down to consumers, and, as we’ve read, it’s not unusual for technologies to be used by powerful groups (the government, the rich, etc.) before being commonplace.
If a discussion on hegemony doesn’t make sense for the essay’s context, help the writer with adding examples of how the technology embodies cultural values. Notice this is different from the 1st peer-review round: In Peer-Review Round 1, you need to focus on culture–not technology; in Peer-Review Round 2, you focus on the technology.
This 2nd peer review round should take you 25-30 min. Make sure the writer follows the formatting directions for the essay.
*Yes, reviewers disagree. Sometimes they disagree so much you’d think they were reading different versions of a piece of writing. In future discussions on writing, we’ll get into some of this. I have examples from my own work.
After you’re done, work on your papers or do this week’s Canvas post! I expect we’ll be in class until 3:45.
Whether we meet face to face or not, we’ll be getting into Neuromancer. Your should be finished with it by Monday. Remember, I’m asking you to read and think critically about the text. Keep up with your Online Postings…I may be adding another one.