Friday, January 30, 2009

new reviews in cyberculture studies (february 2009)

(nearly) each month, RCCS publishes a set of book reviews and author responses. books of the month for february 2009 are:

Double Click: Romance and Commitment Among Online Couples
Author: Andrea J. Baker
Publisher: Hampton Press, 2005
Review: M. Carmen Gomez-Galisteo
Author Response: Andrea J. Baker

Living on Cybermind: Categories, Communications, and Control
Author: Jonathan Paul Marshall
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2007
Review: Alan Sondheim
Author Response: Jonathan Paul Marshall

enjoy. there's more where that came from.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

bake it: oatmeal buttermilk bread in 8 easy steps


1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons salt

1. in a large mixing bowl, place 1 1/4 cups oats. pour 1 cup boiling water over the oats. gently mix, for about 10 seconds, with wooden spoon to moisten all the oats. let sit in bowl, gently stirring once or twice, for ten minutes.

2. in a small mixing bowl, place 2 teaspoons of yeast. add 1/4 cup of warm water. whisk it for ten seconds or until the yeast mixes into the water. let rest for 5 minutes.

3. return your attention to the large mixing bowl with (now) soaked oats. add: the yeast mixture, 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup canola oil, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 3 1/2 cups white flour, and 2 teaspoons salt. mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon for about 5-7 minutes or when the mixture falls off the side of the bowl and begins to converge as a manageable blob-like structure.

4. take the manageable blob-like structure from the mixing bowl and place it onto a clean, well floured surface. knead it for 10 - 12 minutes. while kneading, add about a 1/2 a cup, 1/8 cup at a time, of white flour. the dough is ready when it becomes ball-like. also: when poked with a finger, it bounces quickly back to shape.

5. place dough in oiled (lightly, either with butter or oil) medium bowl and cover with a towel. put the towel-covered bowl in a place where it's warm and not subject to sudden breezes. let the dough do its thing for 1 hour. go have fun.

6. transfer dough from bowl to floured surface. knead and coddle dough for 1-2 minutes, or until all the air bubbles are worked out of the dough. cut resulting dough into two same-sized chunks. gently smoosh and guide dough into bread-like loaves. place loaves into oiled bread pans. cover pans with a towel and place where it's warm for 35-45 minutes or when the dough has nearly doubled in size.

7. at some point during step 6, preheat oven to 385 F.

8. remove the towel from the bread pans. with your hands or a water sprayer, flick drops of water on the top of the loaves. with the flicked water serving as a glue, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of oats on the top of each loaf. place into oven and cook at 385 F for 1 hour. remove loaves from oven and let sit, still in pans, for 30 minutes. run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen and then flip the pan to remove loaf. let the loaves sit for at least 15 minutes (preferably) before diving into it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

the day before the first day of classes

one of the magical things about working at USF is its proximity to golden gate park. the western tip of campus is a whopping one block away from the north-eastern tip of the park. east to west, golden gate park stretches around 3.5 miles and leads directly to the pacific ocean. weather permitting, this is the walk i always try to take on the day before the first day of classes.

in fall, i taught two sections (nearly 80 students) of intro to media studies. starting tomorrow, i am teaching two smaller, seminar-like classes: digital media production (12 students) and eating san francisco (15 students).

in some ways, the two classes are totally different. in digital media production, or dmp, all of the readings are online, free, and in multiple forms of media; in eating san francisco, or esf, nearly all of our reading comes from three books. in dmp, students will log on, tune in, and create, participate, and collaborate; in esf, we'll spend a lot of our time logged off, eating real food and doing walkabouts around the city.

in another way, though, the classes are extremely similar. both require students to learn and use digital platforms to research, present, and share their work. although dmp will be more systematic in its coverage of web 2.0 tools, students in both courses will design, create, and publicly share their findings via platforms like flickr, facebook, twitter, blogs, google maps, yelp, and zotero.

with new classes, new students, and a new president, spring has potential.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

eating san francisco (spring 09)

i'm teaching two new special topics courses this spring. one of them is called eating san francisco. classes begin january 28.

Eating San Francisco
Weds, 6:15-9:00 pm, Cowell Hall 413

Professor: David Silver
Office hours: Tues & Thurs, 10-11 am, Kalmanavitz 141
Contact: dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu

EATING SAN FRANCISCO is a special topics media studies seminar focusing on food, culture, and the city of San Francisco. In this course, we will a) read books and watch films to better appreciate the relationships between food and culture, b) take field trips and arrange dinners to better understand San Francisco's diverse neighborhoods and cultures, c) learn how to cook and document a delicious meal made entirely of seasonal, regional ingredients, and d) learn about and how to use appropriate forms of social media to present and share our findings.

o Reel Food: Essays on Food and Film, edited by Anne L. Bower (Routledge, 2004)
o Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture, edited by James Brook, Chris Carlsson & Nancy J. Peters (City Lights Books, 1998)
o The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (Penguin, 2006)

January 28
Introduce ourselves, distribute syllabi, and discuss course expectations

February 4
o Anne L. Bower, “Watching Food: The Production of Food, Film, and Values,” from Reel Food, pp. 1-13.
o Richard A. Walker, “An Appetite for the City,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 1-19.
o Michael Pollan, “Our National Eating Disorder,” from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, pp. 1-11.

February 11
o Margaret Coyle, “Il Timpano - To Eat Good Food Is to Be Close to God”: The Italian-American Reconciliation of Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s Big Night,” from Reel Food, pp. 41-59.
o Marlisa Santos, “Leave the Gun; Take the Cannoli: Food and Family in the Modern American Mafia Film,” from Reel Food, pp. 209-218.
o Bernie Lubell, Dean MacCannell, and Juliet Flower MacCannell, “You Are Here (You Think): A San Francisco Bus Tour,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 137-150.
Watch (prior to class):
o Big Night (Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott, 1996).

February 18
o Nancy J. Peters, “The Beat Generation and San Francisco’s Culture of Dissent,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 199-215.
o James Brook, “Remarks on the Poetic Transformation of San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 123-135.
Field trip: class meets in North Beach for dinner and walkabout.

February 25
o Miriam Lopez-Rodriquez, “Cooking Mexicanness: Shaping National Identity in Alfonso Arau’s Como aqua para chocolate, from Reel Food, pp. 61-73.
o Margaret H. McFadden, “Gendering the Feast: Women, Spirituality, and Grace in Three Food Films,” from Reel Food, pp. 117-128.
o Carole Counihan, “Food, Feelings and Film: Women’s Power in Like Water for Chocolate,” Food, Culture & Society 8.2 (Fall 2005): pp. 201-214.
o Like Water for Chocolate (Alfonso Arau, 1993).

March 4
o Timothy W. Drescher, “Street Subversion: The Political Geography of Murals and Graffiti,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 231-246.
o Juan Felipe Herrera, “Riffs on Mission District Raza Writers,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 217-230.
o Randy Shaw, “Tenant Power in San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 287-300.
Field trip: class meets in the Mission for dinner and walkabout.

March 11
o Raymond Armstrong, “All-Consuming Passions: Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover,” from Reel Food, pp. 219-234.
o Rebecca L. Epstein, “Appetite for Destruction: Gangster Food and Genre Convention in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction,” from Reel Food, pp. 195-208.
o Ann Garrison, “Suicide in the City,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 115-121.
o The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Peter Greenaway, 1989).

March 18
o Readings, film, and meeting place to be determined by students.


April 1
o David Greven, “Engorged with Desire: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock and the Gendered Politics of Eating,” from Reel Food, pp. 297-310.
o Gayle S. Rubin, “The Miracle Mile: South of Market and Gay Male Leather, 1962-1997," from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 247-272.
o Marina McDougall and Hope Mitnick, “Location: San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 151-161.

April 8
o The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein, 1984).
o Milk (Gus Van Sant, 2008).
Field trip: class meets in the Castro for dinner and a walkabout.

April 15
o Michael Ashkenazi, “Food, Play, Business, and the Image of Japan in Itami Juzo’s Tampopo,” from Reel Food, pp. 27-40.
o Pete Holloran, “Seeing the Trees Through the Forest: Oaks and History in the Presidio,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 333-352.
o James Lyons, “What About the Popcorn? Food and the Film-Watching Experience,” from Reel Food, pp. 311-333.
o Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985).

April 22 (Most likely, class will meet Saturday, April 25)
o Anthony W. Lee, “Another View of Chinatown: Yun Gee and the Chinese Revolutionary Artists’ Club," from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 163-182.
o James Sobredo, “From Manila Bay to Daly City: Filipinos in San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 273-287.
o Susan Schwartzenberg, “Going Public: The San Francisco Civic Center,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 21-34.
Field trip: class meets for dim sum and walkabout in Chinatown.

April 29
o Michael Pollan, “Industrial Corn,” from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, pp. 15-119.
o Julie Guthman, “Can’t Stomach It: How Michael Pollan et al. Made Me Want to Eat Cheetos,” from Gastronomica (Summer 2007), pp. 75-79.
o King Corn (Aaron Woolf, 2007).
Field trip: class meets at McDonald’s on Haight Street for dinner and walkabout.

May 6
o Michael Pollan, “Pastoral Grass,” from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, pp. 123-273.
o Jesse Drew, “Call Any Vegetable: The Politics of Food in San Francisco,” from Reclaiming San Francisco, pp. 317-331.
o The Real Dirt on Farmer John (Taggart Siegel, 2005).

May 13
o Michael Pollan, “Personal - The Forest,” from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, pp. 277-411.
Field trip: class meets in USF’s organic garden for dinner and revelry.

Each of the following constitute roughly 10% of your final grade:

Reading and film-related quizzes and exercises
Class participation and collaboration
North Beach project
Mission project
Castro project
Chinatown project
McDonald’s on Haight Street project
USF’s Organic Garden project
Cook and document a delicious dish project
Cook and document a localvore meal project

If you are concerned about your grade, you may request a meeting with me anytime during the semester.

1. No late work accepted.
2. In class and during field trips, try your best to listen to and learn from everyone.
3. Starting February 4, no drinking out of non-reusable containers in class. Be creative with your thirst-quenching solutions.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

designing a syllabus for eating san francisco

this spring i'm teaching two new special topics courses - digital media production and eating san francisco.

eating san francisco requires students a) to read books and watch films to better understand the relationships between food and culture, b) to take field trips and arrange dinners to better understand san francisco's diverse neighborhoods and cultures, c) to learn how to cook and document at least one delicious meal, and d) to learn and use appropriate forms of social media to present and share their findings.

nearly all of our reading comes from three books: reel food: essays on food and film, edited by anne l. bower (routledge, 2004); reclaiming san francisco: history, politics, culture, edited by james brook, chris carlsson & nancy j. peters (city lights books, 1998); and the omnivore’s dilemma: a natural history of four meals, by michael pollan (penguin, 2006). and along the way, we'll watch films like big night (stanley tucci and campbell scott, 1996); like water for chocolate (alfonso arau, 1993); the cook, the thief, his wife and her lover (peter greenaway, 1989); and the real dirt on farmer john (taggart siegel, 2005).

eating san francisco includes multiple field trips. because the class meets in the evening (weds, 6:15-9 pm), our field trips will include dinners and walkabouts. probable destinations are north beach, the mission, castro, haight-ashbury, and USF's organic garden. and i hope students will agree to meet once on a saturday, for dim sum, in chinatown.

eating san francisco will no doubt be delicious, but it will also be demanding. i expect students to fully research san francisco's diverse histories, foods, cultures, and neighborhoods. i expect students to creatively and collaboratively document, through words, photography, and video, their experiences and explorations across the city. and i expect students to learn how to cook and document a delicious meal made entirely of seasonal, regional ingredients.

with sarah away at a library conference in denver, i've been working day and night on the syllabus. with luck, i'll post it this weekend.

Friday, January 16, 2009

digital media production (spring 09)

(update jan 27, 2009: added alice marwick as a guest judge for our yelp demo day; added readings for april 28)
(update march 5, 2009: added white whale's jason pontius and donald tetto as class guests for march 10; added a link to assigned readings for that day)

i'm teaching two new special topics courses this spring. one of them is digital media production. classes begin january 27.

digital media production
Tues & Thurs, 1:30 - 3:15 pm, Cowell Hall 325

Professor: David Silver
Office hours: Tues & Thurs, 10-11 am, Kalmanavitz 141
Contact: dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu

Digital Media Production is a special topics course designed around making and sharing digital media. In the next fifteen weeks, we will make digital media using facebook, twitter, flickr, blogs, google maps, online video, yelp, zotero, google docs, and wikipedia. Readings and discussions about digital media culture and theory will accompany our production and participation. On Tuesdays, we will discuss the readings. On Thursdays, we will demo our work. If you have no new work on Demo Day, do not come to class.

Learning Goals (in order of increasing importance):
1. To learn a bit about digital media culture and theory;
2. To learn a lot about digital media modes of participation;
3. To learn how to use digital media creatively and effectively;
4. To learn how to use digital media collectively and collaboratively; and
5. To learn how to learn new tools quickly and independently.

Course Schedule
Week 1
Tuesday, Jan 27
o Introduce ourselves, distribute syllabus, and discuss course expectations.
Thursday, Jan 29
o Kathleen Parker, Mainstream Media on Life Support, Washington Post, January 2, 2009.
o Clive Thompson, Brave New World of Digital Intimacy, New York Times Magazine, September 5, 2008.
o Nicholas Carr, Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Atlantic, July/August 2008.

Week 2
Tuesday, Feb 3
o Sherry Turkle, Can You Hear Me Now? Forbes, May 5, 2007.
o Zachary McCune, noe web day - 24 hours w/o the internet.
o Jenna Wortham, The Value of a Facebook Friend? About 37 Cents, Bits blog, January 9, 2009.
o Selections from Adam Curtis, The Century of the Self, 2002.
o Alan Sipress and Sam Diaz, A Casualty Of War: MySpace - U.S. Military Blocks Popular Web Sites, Cutting Ties to Home, Washington Post, May 15, 2007.
Thursday, Feb 5
o Demo Day: facebook

Week 3
Tuesday, Feb 10
o Lee and Sachi LeFever, Twitter in Plain English, Common Craft, March 5, 2008.
o David Pogue, Twittering Tips for Beginners, Pogue's Posts blog (New York Times), January 15, 2009.
o Laura Fitton, Twitter is my Village, Pistachio, January 10, 2009.
o Corey Flintoff, Gaza Conflict Plays Out Online Through Social Media,, January 6, 2009.
o Craig Colgan, How Frozen Peas Started A Movement: Cancer Patient's Blog Builds Web Community, (Washington Post), January 10, 2008.
o Xeni Jardin, Tweethearts: blogger proposes to nerd girlfriend over Twitter, she tweets back acceptance, Boing Boing, October 10, 2008.
o Lindy Brown, Twittering Libraries, fall 2008.
Thursday, Feb 12
o Demo Day: twitter

Week 4
Tuesday, Feb 17 (Guest: Brenda Hough, MaintainIT Project & PhD student, Library and Information Management, Emporia State University)
o Stacy Schiff, Know it All: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise? The New Yorker, July 31, 2006.
o Yochai Benkler, Open-source Economics, Ted Talks, July 2005 (Video: 17:53).
o Ira Glass, On good taste ... This American Life (Video: 5:20).
Thursday, Feb 19
o Demo Day: flickr

Week 5
Tuesday, Feb 24:
o Paul Boutin, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004, Wired, November 2008.
o Andrew Sullivan, Why I Blog, The Atlantic, November 2008.
o Gabriel Cohen, You Talkin’ to Me? New York's Brash, Boisterous Blogosphere, New York Times, January 9, 2009.
o Tom Coates, (Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything..., September 3, 2003.
o Shaun Huston, Why I was Tweeting while this blog lay dying, Short-Circuit Signs blog, December 22, 2008.
o Amanda Lenhart, Adults and Social Network Websites, Pew Internet and American Life Project, January 14, 2009.
Thursday, Feb 26:
o In place of Thursday’s class, you are required to attend and document at least two films in USF’s Human Rights Film Festival that runs from February 24-26th.

Week 6
Tuesday, March 3
o Henry Jenkins, Why Heather Can Write, Technology Review, February 6, 2004.
o Sharon Otterman, Haste, Scorned: Blogging at a Snail’s Pace, New York Times, November 21, 2008.
o Eugenio Tisselli, "thinkflickrthink": a case study on strategic tagging, 2009.
Thursday, March 5
o Demo Day: blogs

Week 7
Tuesday, March 10 (Guests: Jason Pontius (president/creative director, White Whale) and Donald Tetto (developer/jack-of-all-trades, White Whale)
o Readings here.
Thursday, March 12
o Demo Day: google maps

Week 8
Tuesday, March 17
o Fred Endres and Kent State University, Newsroom Convergence: A Shotgun Wedding?, 2009.
o Read a healthy selection of the San Francisco Foghorn.
o Listen to at least one hour of KUSF and/or KDNZ.
o View a healthy selection of clips from USFtv.
Thursday, March 19 (Guest: Alex Hochman, Assistant Director, Career Services Center)
o Demo Day: professional portfolios

Week 9
Tuesday, March 24: SPRING BREAK
Thursday, March 26: SPRING BREAK

Week 10
Tuesday, March 31
o Michael Wesch, An anthropological introduction to YouTube, presented at the Library of Congress, June 23, 2008 (Video: 55.33).
o Graham Meikle, “Whacking Bush: Tactical Media as Play,” in Megan Boler, ed., Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times (MIT Press, 2008): pp. 367-382. (Accessed through Gleeson Library Reserves.)
o Perez Hilton, We All Made a Difference! PerezHilton, November 16, 2008.
Thursday, April 2
o Demo Day: online video

Week 11:
Tuesday, April 7
o Field trip: class meets for lunch at a place selected by us (with help from yelp).
o Stephen Baker, Will Work for Praise: The Web's Free-Labor Economy, Business Week, December 28, 2008.
o Deborah Gage, S.F. Yelp user faces lawsuit over review, San Francisco Chronicle, January 8, 2009.
o Students responsible for finding and sharing at least two other Yelp-related readings.
Thursday, April 9 (Guest: Alice Marwick, PhD candidate, Media, Culture and Communication, NYU)
o Demo Day: yelp

Week 12
Tuesday, April 14
o Topic/s and readings generated by students
Thursday, April 16
o Demo Day: decided by students

Week 13
Tuesday, April 21
o David Parry, Wikipedia and the New Curriculum: Digital Literacy Is Knowing How We Store What We Know, Science Progress blog, February 11, 2008.
o Whitney Matheson, Ahoy! Delve into these pirate picks, USA Today blog, December 4, 2008.
o Anne-Marie Deitering, discovery and creation and ... lies! info-fetishist blog, January 3, 2009.
o Michael Feldstein, The Pirate Hoax, e-Literate blog, December 20, 2008.
o Mills Kelly, You Were Warned, edwired blog, December 18, 2008.
Thursday, April 23
o Demo Day: zotero

Week 14
Tuesday, April 28 (Guest: Sara Bassett, Membership Services Assistant, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and recent USF alumnus)
o Lawrence Lessig, "Fair Use Elaborated,” Lessig blog, August 23, 2004.
o Lawrence Lessig, "Constraining Creators," section from Freeculture (2004).
o Cory Doctorow, "Scroogled," Radar, September 12, 2007.
o Justin Cone, "Building on the Past," 2003 (Video: 2:00).
Thursday, April 30
o Demo Day: google docs

Week 15:
Tuesday, May 5
o Marshall Poe, The Hive, The Atlantic, September 2006.
o Selections from Alan Ziajka, Legacy & Promise: 150 years of Jesuit education at the University of San Francisco (Association of Jesuit University Presses, 2005).
Thursday, May 7
o Demo Day: wikipedia

Week 16
Tuesday, May 12
o Ian Parker, Absolute Powerpoint: Can a software package edit our thoughts?, The New Yorker, May 28, 2001.
Thursday, May 14
o Demo Day: wikipedia, two

This class has no final exam.

25% - Quizzes and in-class assignments
25% - Homework projects
25% - Class and online participation
25% - Demo Days

If you are concerned about your grade, you can request a meeting with me anytime during the semester.

1. Read all assigned readings prior to class.
2. In class, listen to and learn from everyone.
3. No late work accepted.
4. Starting January 29, no drinking out of non-reusable containers in class. Be creative with your thirst-quenching solutions.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

designing a syllabus for digital media production

i've been working hard on the syllabus for one of my two new spring courses - digital media production. the syllabus is about two-thirds finished. classes begin january 26.

it's a media production class and i expect my students to produce a lot of media. for fifteen weeks, we will make digital media using facebook, flickr, blogs, twitter, google maps, online video, yelp, zotero, google docs, and wikipedia. readings and discussions about digital media culture and theory will accompany our production and participation.

the course readings come more from popular magazines than academic articles or books. for example, to better understand facebook and flickr, we are reading clive thompson's "brave new world of digital intimacy" from new york times magazine. to learn about blogs, we'll read emily gould's "exposed" from new york times magazine and andrew sullivan's "why i blog" from the atlantic. to help us understand wikipedia, we'll be reading stacy schiff's "know it all: can wikipedia conquer expertise?" from the new yorker and marshall poe's "the hive" from the atlantic. and to further our understanding of fanfic and user-generated content, we'll read henry jenkins's "why heather can write" from technology review. course readings also include short (think common craft), shorter (10-20 minute), and longer (one hour) videos to be watched prior to class.

question: can you suggest any other feature articles from similar sources that explore twitter or yelp?

over winter break, i've been reading books about black mountain college, the unique and inspiring experimental college (1933-1957) near asheville, north carolina. i am particularly struck by the teaching practices of josef albers. albers' class met twice a week and classtime was spent not making art but discussing art - student art. as martin duberman notes in his book black mountain, albers' students were admitted into class only if they brought with them some work they had done in the interval between classes. albers would then spread all the art on the floor and each student would take turns explaining his or her work. after the brief presentation, the student was critiqued, challenged, and praised by their fellow students as well as by albers.

digital media production meets on tuesdays and thursdays. on tuesdays, we'll discuss the readings. on thursdays - demo days! - we'll demo our work.


gone gallery