Friday, August 15, 2014

intro to media studies, fall 2014

MS 100: Intro to Media Studies
Section 1: MWF 10:30-11:35 am, Cowell 417
Section 2: MWF 11:45 am-12:50 pm, Harney 143

Professor David Silver
Office/Hours: Kalmanovitz 141, MW 9-10 am & by appointment
Contact: dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu / @davidmsilver

This course
introduces students to the field of media studies with a focus on media history and cultural studies. Beginning with the printing press and ending with social media, students will examine various media eras and developments and begin to appreciate the complex interactions between media and larger cultural, artistic, economic, political, and social conditions. Along the way, students will be introduce to USF media studies professors and various media-making opportunities on campus.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will:

Be able to explain the key developments and social actors of media history;

Be able to explain how these key developments were and continue to be embedded within larger cultural, artistic, economic, political, and social conditions; and

Become familiar with USF media studies professors and various media-making opportunities on campus and in the city.

Wed, 8/20: Introduction, distribute syllabi.

Fri, 8/22: Read Ken Auletta, “Outside the Box: Netflix and the Future of Television,” The New Yorker, February 3, 2014,

Unit One: Words

Mon, 8/25: Read Richard Campbell, Christopher R. Martin, and Bettina Fabos, "Newspapers: The Rise and Decline of Modern Journalism," Media & Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication (2010): pp. 278-291.

Wed, 8/27: Read Jim Forest, "Servant of God Dorothy Day," The Catholic Worker Movement, 2013,

Fri, 8/29: Read Eric Alterman, "Out of Print: The death and life of the American newspaper," The New Yorker, March 31, 2008,

Mon, 9/1: Labor Day: No class

Wed, 9/3: Read, front to back, a 9/1 or 9/2 print issue of the San Francisco Chronicle. Observe everything. Bring entire paper to class and be prepared to discuss.

Fri, 9/5: Guest lecture: Teresa Moore, associate professor of media studies and faculty advisor to the Foghorn. Readings to be determined.

Mon, 9/8: Read Campbell et al, “Magazines in the age of specialization,” Media & Culture (2010): pp. 312-336.

Wed, 9/10: Read Jean Kilbourne, “‘The more you subtract, the more you add’: Cutting girls down to size,” Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel (1999): pp. 128-154

Fri, 9/12: Midterm 1

Unit Two: Images

Mon, 9/15: Read Steven Lubar, “Pictures,” in InfoCulture: The Smithsonian Book of Information Age Inventions (1993), pp. 51-64.

Wed, 9/17: Read Kate Bevan, “Instagram is debasing real photography,” The Guardian, July 19, 2012,; Clive Thompson, “The Instagram Effect,” Wired, December 27, 2011,; and Olivier Laurent, “The New Economics of Photojournalism: The rise of Instagram,” British Journal of Photography, September 3, 2012,

Fri, 9/19: Read Scott McCloud, “Setting the record straight,” from Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (1993), pp. 2-23.

Mon, 9/22: Read Steven Lubar, “Movies,” in InfoCulture (1993), pp. 199-211.

Wed, 9/24: Guest lecture: Danny Plotnick, adjunct professor in media studies and director of film studies minor. Readings to be determined.

Fri, 9/26: Visit from Career Services Center.

Mon, 9/29: No class. In place of class, students will select one educational video or documentary from USF's online video collections - including Film On Demand, Kanopy, and Media Education Foundation Collection - watch it, and be ready to discuss.

Wed, 10/1: Read Richard Campbell et al, “Television and cable: The Power of Visual Culture,” Media & Culture (2010): pp. 193-235.

Fri, 10/3: Read course-sourced readings on cable/long-form series like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black, and The Wire.

Mon, 10/6: Read Emily Nussbaum, "The Host in the Machine: Late-night blahs," The New Yorker, May 19, 2014,; Terry Gross, "Late Night 'Thank You Notes' From Jimmy Fallon" (39 minutes), Fresh Air, NPR, May 23, 2011,; Jacob Bernstein, "The Morning Muse of Television," New York Times, May 9, 2014,

Wed, 10/8: Guest lecture: Dorothy Kidd, professor and chair of media studies and faculty advisor to KUSF. Read Dorothy Kidd's "'We Can Live without Gold, but We Can't Live without Water': Contesting Big Mining in the Americas," forthcoming in Andy Lee Roth and Mickey Huff, editors, Project Censored 2015 (2015), pp. 223-243.

Fri, 10/10: Midterm 2

Unit Three: Sounds

Mon, 10/13 Fall Break: No class.

Wed, 10/15: Read Steven Lubar, “Radio,” in InfoCulture (1993), pp. 213-241.

Fri, 10/17: Read: Lubar, “Radio” (continued).

Mon, 10/20: Read Susan J. Douglas, “Amateur Operators and American Broadcasting: Shaping the Future of Radio,” in Joseph J. Corn, editor, Imagining Tomorrow: History, Technology, and the American Future (1986), pp. 35-56.

Wed, 10/22: Guest lecture: Miranda Morris, Coordinator of KUSF. In preparation for Miranda’s visit, take some time to list to Also, watch Kim Kinkaid’s “How to become a KUSF DJ” (2:06 minutes), USFtv, May 6, 2014,; and Cristina Pachano-Lauderdale’s “KUSF Rock-n-Swap” (3:59 minutes), USFtv, September 30, 2013,

Fri, 10/24: No class. Students watch individually or group-selected documentaries on popular music. Students can select a doc from USF's online video collections (Film On Demand, Kanopy, and Media Education Foundation Collection); from San Francisco Public Library or LINK+; or from whatever platform you use to get good free stuff.
Mon, 10/27: Guest lecture: Marjorie Schwarzer, administrative director of University of San Francisco's graduate museum studies program. Read Marjorie Schwarzer, "Broadcasting Dialogue: Citizen Journalism, Public Radio, and Museums, Museums & Social Issues, fall 2007, pp. 221-232; and watch “Riches Rivals & Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America” (57 minutes),

Wed, 10/29: Read course-sourced readings on popular music and culture.

Fri, 10/31: Individual popular music exhibit due in class.

Unit Four: Putting it all together

Mon, 11/3: Guest lecture: Brenton Malin, associate professor of communication and affiliate faculty of cultural studies, University of Iowa. Readings to be determined.

Wed, 11/5: Read Dr. Suess, "The Lorax" (1971); and Jennifer Lance, "Selling Out the Lorax: 70 Different Product Tie Ins," Eco Child's Play, March 1, 2012,

Fri, 11/7: Readings on Disney and convergence from Richard Campbell et al, Media & Culture (2010): pp. 11-14, 58-62, and 462-466.

Mon, 11/10: Class prep for group Thacher Gallery pop-up exhibit.

Wed, 11/12: Group Thacher Gallery pop-up exhibit.

Fri, 11/14: Read Stacy Schiff’s “Know It All: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?” The New Yorker, July 31, 2006,

Mon, 11/17: Read Margaret Talbot, "The Teen Whisperer: How the author of 'The Fault in Our Stars' built an ardent army of fans," The New Yorker, June 9, 2014,

Wed, 11/19: Media Fast assignment

Fri, 11/21: Read Yiren Lu, “Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem,” New York Times Magazine, March 12, 2014,

Mon, 11/24: Read Dave Eggers, “We like you so much and want to know you better,” excerpt from the novel The Circle (2013),

Wed, 11/26: Watch The Social Network (2010) and read Zadie Smith, “Generation Why?” New York Review of Books, November 25, 2010,

Fri, 11/28: Thanksgiving: No class

Mon, 12/1: Final review and class party

Wed, 12/3: Final exam

20% -- Quizzes, homework, and in-class assignments
15% -- Midterm 1
15% -- Midterm 2
15% -- Individual popular music exhibit
15% -- Group Thacher Gallery pop-up exhibit
20% -- Final exam

Course Costs
All readings will be provided to students as PDFs or are available for free online. I may require students to print out some of the readings. Finally, students are required to purchase one print version of the San Francisco Chronicle for a whopping one doallar.

Attendance Policy
Missing class, or attending class unprepared, will significantly affect your final grade. If you do miss class, contact a classmate to find out what we discussed in class and ask to borrow her or his notes. Then, do the same with a second classmate. After doing this, if you still have questions about missed material, visit me during office hours or email me.

Course Rules
1. No late work accepted.
2. No drinking out of non-reusable containers during class.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

summer undergraduate research assistantships with the USF community garden

The Urban Ag minor at USF is looking to hire three undergraduate research assistants to manage the USF Community Garden this summer. The RAships run from May 19, 2014 - August 8, 2014.

RA duties include:

1. Plan and plant summer garden beds;
2. Maintain garden - weeding, watering, oversee irrigation, manage compost;
3. Plan, manage, and implement weekly community work days - publicize work days, organize group tasks, and hold open garden hours;
4. Work on monthly community dinners at St. Cyprian's;
5. Work with Upward Bound students teaching garden skills;
6. Harvest and deliver fresh produce to Booker T. Washington Community Service Center's food pantry;
7. Maintain @USFGarden's multiple social media platforms;
8. Start starts for fall classes; and
9. Keep the garden kitchen clean.

Ideal candidates have experience in the USF Garden (either through workdays and/or classes), work well in collaborative situations, are self-directed, and enjoy working with the public. Each summer research assistant will work a total of 100 hours over the summer and be paid $10.55/hour. Undergraduate RAs will report to Novella Carpenter.

Interested USF students must email David Silver (dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu) no later that 5 pm on Wednesday, May 7. In your email, please describe your qualifications, state your availability for summer, and tell us why you want the job. After consulting with Novella Carpenter and Justin Valone, David will notify all candidates by Friday, May 9. Good luck!

Friday, April 11, 2014

urban ag course offerings (summer & fall, 2014)

Summer and fall, 2014

Summer 2014

ENVA 390: Urban Agriculture Intensive
Professor Novella Carpenter
MWF 9:50 am – 4:45 pm, July 22 – August 8

Fall 2014

ENVA 130: Urban Ag: Fall
Professor Novella Carpenter
Wednesdays, 11:45 am – 3:25 pm

ENVA 145: Community Garden Outreach
Professor Rachel Brand Lee
Thursdays, 11:45 am – 3:25 pm

ENVA 220: Intro to Urban Agriculture
Professor Rue Ziegler
MW 4:45 – 6:25 pm

ARCD 400 (section 01): Community Design Outreach
Professor Seth Wachtel
TTH 9:55 am – 12:40 pm

ARCD 400 (section 02): Community Design Outreach
Professor Seth Wachtel
TTH 12:45 – 3:30 pm

BUS 389: Fundamentals of Culinary Skills
Professor Jean-Marc Fullsack
TH 12:45 - 3:30 pm

HIST 341: Feast and Famine: A History of Food
Professor Heather Hoag
TTH 8:00 – 9:45 am

For more information, please contact Professor David Silver (dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot] edu)

Saturday, March 01, 2014

homework assignment for golden gate park first-year seminar

Homework assignment for Golden Gate Park first-year seminar

Last week, we read the preface and two chapters of Gary Kamiya's Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco. In one of the chapters, we learned that the Human Be-In took place in Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967.

For class on Tuesday, please research some element of the Human Be-In and be ready to share your findings in class. Also, please tweet your findings, or a portion of your findings, prior to class. Be sure to use our class hashtag #fysggp in your tweet.

Finally, bring a typed draft of your paper one - at least one page, more if you got it - to class and be ready to share it with classmates.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

twitter assignment

twitter assignment for golden gate park first-year seminar students:

1. if you have not yet joined twitter, join twitter.

2. create a profile. you are not required to use your real name in your profile but you certainly can.

3. make your profile public. if you already have a twitter account that is private and wish to keep it that way, create a new account for this class.

4. find and follow all members (students and professor) of our class.

5. also follow @GoldenGatePark, @GleesonLibrary, @itweetUSF, and @usfca.

6. get into the habit of checking twitter at least once a day.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

paper 1 for golden gate park first-year seminar

Paper 1 for Golden Gate Park

1. For the last five weeks, we have been reading about, discussing, and visiting Golden Gate Park. We have learned about the park's history and early hurdles, the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, and the Japanese Tea Garden. We have taken field trips to the Horseshoe Pits, The Conservatory of Flowers, the de Young Tower, the Fuchsia Dell, and the Japanese Tea Garden.

2. Now it's time to write. Select an aspect about the history of Golden Gate Park, the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, or the Japanese Tea Garden. Write a 3-4 page, typed, and double-spaced paper about it.

3. In your paper, you must use three sources. Two of these sources must be readings assigned in class. The third source must come from you.

4. Think a bit about that third source. Do not select the first one you find. Do not select one that does not interest you. Take some time with this third source.

5. What I am looking for more than anything in this paper is your ability to summarize and quote from readings. In other words, I am looking for your successful application of the ideas found in Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein's chapters, "'Her Point Is': The Art of Summarizing" and "'As He Himself Puts It': The Art of Quoting," both found in They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing.

6. Pro tip: Although you will have plenty of opportunities this semester to explore creatively and in depth the past, present, and future of Golden Gate Park, the purpose of this paper is less about the park and more about highlighting your understanding and mastery of the writing moves discussed in They Say/I Say.

7. I expect and require you to thoroughly edit your paper. If I find three or more errors - spelling, grammar - I will stop reading your paper, return it to you, and ask you to re-edit and re-submit. When editing your paper, please consider reading it out loud. Also, consider swapping your paper with another student or students and edit each others' work.

8. It is extremely important to follow directions. Please consider reading this paper assignment a second time. Go crazy and read it a third time.

9. Paper 1 is due in class on Thursday, March 6. No late work accepted.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

environmental sustainability cornerstone seminar, spring 2014

ENVA 311: Environmental Sustainability Cornerstone Seminar
Lone Mountain 345
Tues & Thurs 9:55-11:40

Professor David Silver
Office: Kalmanavitz 141
Office hours: Tues & Thurs 3-4 pm

Course Description
In this course, students synthesize issues, theories, and methods learned thus far in the Environmental Studies major or minor and develop a research topic and approach suitable for an ENVA pathways proposal. Through readings, class discussions, workshops, and guest lectures, students learn how to clarify and refine a research topic, write a literature review or environmental scan, and develop a pathways proposal. By the end of the semester, students present their pathways proposals to their peers and a panel of ENVA professors.

In addition to developing a pathways proposal, students learn about, work on, and complete the grant-writing cycle. With help from Career Services Center and Gleeson librarians, students learn how to find, research, write, and submit a grant. Ideally, the grant will fund some portion of the student’s pathways proposal.

Finally, students create an e-portfolio - an online, publicly accessible portfolio that features a student’s past, present, and future work. In general, the e-portfolio will highlight a student’s course and community work and serve as an ongoing depository for students’ projects, papers, and personal and professional reflections. In addition to mastering various 21st century tools of creation, communication, and collaboration, students engage with a public audience and, in the process, reflect upon larger digital literacy issues like participatory media, personal “branding,” and online privacy.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completing this course, students will be able to:
1.   Clarify, research, and refine a topic and related set of questions suitable for a Environmental Studies pathways proposal;
2.   Write a literature review or environmental scan that demonstrates a grasp of the range of projects and knowledge relevant to your chosen topic and questions;
3.   Find, research, write, and complete an application for a grant related to your Environmental Studies interests;
4.   Create a digital archive of your work, in the form of an e-portfolio, that creatively and professionally showcases your past, present, and future work and interests; and
5.   Engage constructively and critically in peer-produced work and provide and receive thoughtful feedback to and from your peers and professor.

Course Components
Reflection papers - An integral part of the Cornerstone experience is the opportunity to reflect on the kinds of knowledge and skills you have acquired through the Environmental Studies curriculum, and identify specific interests, skills, concerns, problems, or focus areas that you would like to explore further. Short reflection papers will require you to demonstrate your reflection process as you consider these questions.

Literature Review/Environmental Scan - A well-designed lit review or environmental scan demonstrates your ability to synthesize literature and projects from across the disciplines, and identify opportunities for asking new questions or proposing new approaches to old or unanswered questions. A 5-7 page paper will reflect your grasp of existing projects, research, and knowledge in your chosen problem or topic area.

Pathways Proposal - This is the proposal that students, if they wish, may submit for review by the Environmental Studies Advisory Board to be considered for the Pathways track. Whether you decide to submit your proposal for consideration or not, the proposal must demonstrate your identification of a particular problem or focus area; a question that arises out of your analysis of the problem or focus area; and, most importantly, the design of a course of study and path of investigation (equaling 20 units) that could lead you toward answers.

Grant Cycle – For students interested in pursuing advanced projects and research, securing funding is imperative. In this class, you will learn about, write, work on, and submit a grant related to your area of interests.

E-portfolio design and set up - Students will submit a design proposal or template for their e-portfolio, along with brief reflections on what your want your e-portfolio to communicate about yourself and your work. You will present your design proposal in class, with plenty of time given for peer feedback.

E-portfolio semester wrap up - Near the end of the semester, you will submit a “final” e-portfolio that includes documentation of your work in the major to date, showcases your plans and proposals for the future, and conveys your personal voice or “brand.” The assignment also requires planned build-out of the areas of your portfolio that you aim to fill over your final two years.

Participation - Students will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of their participation in classroom reflection exercises, discussions, workshops, and other activities, including homework, quizzes, and in-class assignments.

10%    Reflection papers
15%    Literature review/environmental scan
20%    Pathways proposal
15%    Grant cycle
15%    E-portfolio design and set up
15%    E-portfolio semester wrap up
10%    Participation                   

Course Schedule
Tuesday, 1/21: Introductions to course, ourselves

Thursday, 1/23: Mapping our interests exercise; Twitter workshop

Cluster 1: The Past
This 3-week cluster focuses on salient issues, theories, and ideas gleaned from past Environmental Studies (and related) courses. Which courses, projects, experiences, and internships have contributed to your interest in environmental sustainability? With visits from Career Services, students will reflect upon past coursework and professional experiences. By the end of the cluster, students will complete a resume, begin/update a LinkedIn profile, and write a brief reflection paper.

Cluster 2: The Present
This 4-week cluster asks students to consider their current interests and to map existing projects and research in these areas. With help from Gleeson librarians, students will begin working on their literature reviews/environmental scans. With readings and social media tools, students will map their various social networks. With visits from the Center for Instruction and Technology, students will begin designing their e-portfolios. By the end of the cluster, students will complete a social networks mapping exercise, their e-portfolio design and set up, and a significant portion of their lit reviews/environmental scans.

Cluster 3: The Future
This 5-week cluster encourages students to think about the future – their future Pathways coursework, their future internships and jobs, and their future contributions to the field of environmental sustainability. To help reach these visions, students will visit relevant Environmental Studies upper division courses, meet and interview ENVA professors with related interests, and submit a grant application related to their area of interest. By the end of the cluster, students will have completed their lit reviews/environmental scans and grant cycle. Further, they will have designed, built, and tested their e-portfolios. Finally, they will turn in a reflection paper on what was learned and next steps.

Cluster 4: Peer Review
This 2-week cluster asks students to present both their Pathways Proposals and e-portfolios to their peers and a panel of ENVA professors. Plenty of time will be given for constructive feedback and discussion. By the end of the cluster, students will have completed their Pathways Proposals and e-portfolios.

There is no final in this course.

Attendance Policies
1.    Missing class, or attending class unprepared, will significantly affect your final grade.
2.    If you do miss class, contact a classmate to find out what you missed and ask to borrow her or his notes. Then, do it again with a different classmate. After doing this, if you have questions about missed material, visit me during office hours.
3.    On days that assignments are due in class, a complete assignment is your ticket to ride. In other words, if you have not completed the assignment, do not come to class.

1.    No late work accepted.
2.    In class and on field trips, no drinking out of non-reusable containers.