Sunday, November 02, 2008

paper 2: 1984 in popular media

last week, i assigned my intro to media studies students their second paper.

Paper 2: 1984 in Popular Media
Intro to Media Studies
Professor Silver

For the last week and a half, we have been reading, discussing, and deciphering George Orwell’s 1984. We’ve discussed the Ministry of Truth, two-minute hate, telescreens, and surveillance society. We’ve analyzed the role of sex, the potential of the proles, and the purpose of war. And we’ve interpreted the symbolism of food, the othering of enemies, and the power of collective memory.

We’ve also been interpreting instances of 1984 in popular media, including Rage Against the Machine’s song and video “Testify” and Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil. Indeed, the wikipedia page “1984 in Popular Media” lists over a hundred uses of and references to Orwell’s 1984 in television, radio, film, music, books, comics, and video games.

For project two, I want you to select one element or scene from 1984 and one element or scene from another media text (book, film, music, poster, billboard, computer game) and say something original and interesting.

Things to consider:

o Select an element or scene from 1984 that interests you. Be sure to describe the scene with direct examples from the book.

o Select a media text that interests you. Your media text does not have to be from the “1984 in Popular Media” wikipedia page. When discussing your media text, assume your readers have little if any familiarity with it.

o In this paper, I am expecting three things from you: a) an excellent description and analysis of a particular scene from 1984; b) an excellent description and analysis of a particular scene from another media text; and c) most importantly something interesting about the two.

o Before you write your paper, think about your paper. Go to a park. Go to the ocean. Go to your favorite café. Think hard and creatively about the ideas you wish to discuss in your paper. Then write it.

o I expect zero grammar and editing mistakes. If I find more than three errors in your paper, I will stop grading it and require a second draft.

o Your paper must not be longer than three double-spaced pages (including a bibliography) and is due at the beginning of class on Thursday, November 6.


Anonymous said...

My comment has nothing to do with this assignment. But isn't your trigger finger getting just a little itchy, hovering over the "GONE" button, wiating for Tuesday night? What a delightful rogues' gallery that will be!!!!

Amber said...

Very cool assignment.

david silver said...

thanks amber. i came home this evening with about 80 essays to grade so i'll soon know if the assignment worked or not!

btw, thanks for your election day post which helped me a lot on a few issues.

Anonymous said...

What I like so much about this assignment is -- i) it is creative; ii) it is detailed/text-specific; and iii) it doesn't ask for something that pre-programs the student's assignment, it instead asks the author of the paper to write something original and interesting.

I am stealing this assignment for Intro! (Due credit is always given. For real.)

david silver said...

cool! i'll look forward to hearing how it goes in your class Andrew.