Thursday, December 18, 2014

black mountain college in color

when we think of black mountain college, we think in black and white.

we think they taught in black and white,

learned in black and white,

worked in black and white,

and ate in black in white.

last spring, during a research visit to the western regional archives, i found the photographs of nell goldsmith. nell was a student at black mountain college from 1942-44. she studied architecture with larry kocher, drawing with josef albers, and weaving with anni albers. and in her spare time, she took photographs. color photographs.

(this photo and all the color photos that follow come from the nell goldsmith heyns collection at the western regional archives. i have archived a portion of the collection as a flickr set.)

through nell's lens, we get a whole new take on the college. we see the blues of lake eden and the beiges of the farm.

through nell's lens, we see black mountain college during the war years, when nearly all male students joined the war and the student population became almost entirely female.

with war-time restrictions on building materials and the studies building largely finished, the college shifted focus from building to farming. the farm was run by farmer ross penley, evangelized by college treasurer/math professor ted dreier, and managed by woodworking professor/BMC MVP molly gregory. in nell goldsmith's photo below, we see molly gregory (right) - in color! - with student patricia "patsy" lynch.

during the war years, the farm's student farmers were almost entirely female. i have been studying the farm for the last few years and i've always been struck by this unique stage of the farm's history. during the war, the farm was incredibly productive, supplying the college with seasonal vegetables, all of their dairy (milk and butter), and occasional beef, pork, and poultry.

i used to think of the war-time farm and its student farmers in black and white, like this

and this

now, through nell's lens, i see some of them -- including, below, jane "slats" slater (BMC student, 1940-45), patsy lynch (BMC student, 1942-48), and mary brett daniels (BMC student 1943-45) -- in color.

Monday, November 24, 2014

final project / final reflection

final project / reflection for intro to media studies

1. as we have been working towards in the last few days, select an app, a web site, or a platform that you love, love to hate, are bewildered by, can't be without, or can't stop thinking about.


2a. write a 2-page typed reflection about it. be sure to include at least one terrifyingly interesting reading about your selection and one connection to another once-new media technologies discussed in class this semester.


2b. create a project about it. make sure your project includes some form of dimensionality (discussed in class). group projects highly encouraged. be imaginative!

3. on monday, december 1, bring your paper, your project, or a part of your project to class. during class you will give and receive feedback from others.

4. incorporate at least one piece of feedback into your project.

5. bring your paper or project to class on wednesday, december 3. somewhere on your paper or project, acknowledge the source of your feedback. be ready to discuss.

keep in mind: wednesday, december 3rd is the last day of class for intro to media studies. this class has no final exam. GOOD LUCK.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

media fast homework assignment

media fast homework assignment for intro to media studies

1. sometime between monday, november 17, and sunday, november 23, stop using all modern media. you can read books and magazines and newspapers and comics, but stop using media that is electronic or digital. no iphones, no facebook, no text. no tablets, laptops, desktops, TVs, record players, or radios. no CD players, digital cameras, or tape recorders. stop using media that runs on a power cord or batteries. mark the time your media fast begins.

2. continue your fast for as long as possible - the longer, the better.

3. when your absence from media becomes dangerous, impossible, or unbearable, return to them. note which device you broke your fast with and record the time.

4. calculate how long your media fast lasted.

5. take some time -- a few hours, a day -- to reflect upon what just happened.

6. in one page -- and no more -- share your findings. make sure your name is on the page and bring it to class on monday, november 24.

tip: think about the timing of your media fast and strategize accordingly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

popular music exhibit project

Popular music exhibit project for Intro to Media Studies

1. For your next project, you will design a pop-up exhibit devoted to popular music.

2. Your topic can be your favorite band, your all-time favorite song or album, your favorite genre, or something else ("3 metal bands I can't live without!"). Your approach can be objective (what makes the band great) or subjective (what makes the band great to you).

3. Your exhibit can feature digital stuff (screens, MP3s, video, digital photos) but it must also include tangible stuff (an album review from an old issue of Rolling Stone, a ticket stub of that concert that changed your life, a t-shirt, you name it). Put another way, your exhibit can be comprised of entirely tangible stuff or be a mixture of tangible and digital but it can't be entirely digital. A open laptop blaring a song and streaming a video does not make an exhibit.

4. Your exhibit must contain at least three interesting artifacts. We've been discussing artifacts in class for a while so think hard and creatively about what you use. This is the portion of the exhibit that will make or break your project.

5. The exhibit should be cohesive. Your artifacts should speak to one another and they should follow a similar style or pattern. The pieces of your exhibit should be put together smartly and with thought.

6. The exhibit should tell anyone looking at it something about its designer (you). In other words, use the exhibit to share something about yourself.

7. For ideas and inspiration, take a look at the flickr set "the classroom as museum" from when I assigned this project three years ago.

8. Exhibit due in class on Friday, October 31. No late work accepted.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

moving image of students and faculty on the farm truck at black mountain college

photograph by helen post, circa 1936-37. animation by brent brafford, NCSU libraries.

(Image from Helen P. Modley Collection, Black Mountain College Collection, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, North Carolina.)

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. Read Mark Taylor, "It Lives: Artists’ Television Access Turns Thirty," KQED Arts, September 4, 2014

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

Mon, 9/29: No class. In place of class, students will work on their comic/graphic novel reflections and begin reading Wednesday's Campbell et al chapter.

Wed, 10/1: Read Richard Campbell et al, “Television and cable: The Power of Visual Culture,” Media & Culture (2010): pp. 193-218.

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: In-class group exhibits about the history of radio.

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: Guest lecture: Shawn Calhoun, Associate Dean, Gleeson Library.
Mon, 10/27: Guest lecture: Marjorie Schwarzer, administrative director of University of San Francisco's graduate museum studies program. 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: Brent Malin, associate professor of communication and affiliate faculty of cultural studies, University of Pittsburgh. 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 Zadie Smith, “Generation Why?” New York Review of Books, November 25, 2010,

Mon, 11/17: Read Dave Eggers, “We like you so much and want to know you better,” excerpt from the novel The Circle (2013),

Wed, 11/19: Student-sourced "terrifyingly interesting" reading about favorite/most interesting/go-to app, platform, or web site.

Fri, 11/21: Read: Joseph Bathanti's The Mythic School of the Mountain: Black Mountain College, Our State, Spring 2014.

Mon, 11/24: Media Fast homework assignment due in class.

Wed, 11/26: To be determined.

Fri, 11/28: Thanksgiving break: 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.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

golden gate park syllabus, spring 2014

Golden Gate Park
First-Year Seminar
Lone Mountain 345
Tues & Thurs 12:45-2:30 pm

Professor David Silver
Office: Kalmanavitz 141
Office hours: Tues & Thurs 3-4 pm
Contact: dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu

Golden Gate Park is a First-Year Seminar that explores the history, built environment, popular narratives, and mixed uses of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Through readings, class discussions, and library workshops, students will develop a broad and keen understanding of the park; through field trips and park walks, students will gain valuable on-site experience in and with the park. An accelerated writing seminar, Golden Gate Park fulfills USF’s Core A2 requirement.

Learning Outcomes
In this class, students will learn:
1. How to read, analyze, and summarize complex texts from multiple fields and subjects; 
2. How to develop interesting research questions based on outside research and individual interests; 
3. How to use Gleeson Library and online tools to find relevant material from a range of sources and disciplines; 
4. How to write, edit, revise, and polish clear and compelling essays that, when necessary, keep with the conventions of academic writing; and
5. How some sand dunes called the Outside Lands became Golden Gate Park.

Required Text
Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 2nd Edition (W. W. Norton, 2009).

Course Schedule
Tuesday, 1/21: Introductions

Thursday, 1/23: Twitter workshop

Cluster 1: The History of Golden Gate Park
This cluster begins on Tuesday, January 28 and lasts for three weeks, or six class periods. During this cluster, we will read, research, and write about the history of Golden Gate Park, have at least one workshop in Gleeson Library, and take field trips to the Horseshoe Pits, Fuchsia Dell, and the de Young Tower. Readings, which will be assigned at least two days in advance, include:
  • Raymond H. Clary, Making of Golden Gate Park: The Early Years: 1865-1906, pp. 6-27.
  • Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, “‘They Say’: Starting with What Others Are Saying,” in They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (or TSIS), pp. 19-29.
  • Graff and Birkenstein, “‘Her Point Is’: The Art of Summarizing,” in TSIS, pp. 30-41; and
  • Graff and Birkenstein, “‘As He Himself Puts It’: The Art of Quoting,” in TSIS, pp. 42-51.
Paper 1 is due at the start of class on Thursday, February 13.

Cluster 2: California Midwinter International Exposition
This cluster begins on Tuesday, February 18 and lasts for three weeks. During this cluster, we will explore the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, have two library workshops (one in Gleeson and one at the downtown branch of San Francisco Public Library), and take field trips to the Music Concourse, Shakespeare Garden, Japanese Tea Garden, and the downtown library. Readings include:
  • Raymond H. Clary, “Midwinter Fair,” in Making of Golden Gate Park: The Early Years: 1865-1906, pp. 111-125.
  • James R. Smith, “California Midwinter International Exposition – 1894,” in San Francisco’s Lost Landmarks, pp. 111-126.
  • Graff and Birkenstein, “‘Yes / No / Okay, But’: Three Ways to Respond,” in TSIS, pp. 55-67;
  • Graff and Birkenstein, “‘And Yet’: Distinguishing What You Say from What They Say,” in TSIS, pp. 68-77;
  • Graff and Birkenstein, “‘Skeptics May Object’: Planting a Naysayer in Your Text,” in TSIS, pp. 78-91; and
  • Graff and Birkenstein, “‘So What? Who Cares?’: Saying Why It Matters,” in TSIS, pp. 92-101.
Paper 2 is due at the start of class on Thursday, March 6.

SPRING BREAK (March 10-14)

Cluster 3: Golden Gate Park in the Modern Era
This cluster begins on Tuesday, March 18 and lasts for four weeks. In this cluster, we will explore recent developments in the park, have a zotero workshop, and take field trips to the Panhandle, Hippy Hill, and the de Young Museum. Readings include:
  • Selected articles about the Diggers;
  • Jacqueline Hoefer, “Ruth Asawa: A Working Life,” in The Sculpture of Ruth Asawa: Contours in the Air, edited by Daniell Cornell, pp. 10-29;
  • Graff and Birkenstein, “‘As a Result’: Connecting the Parts,” in TSIS, pp. 105-120;
  • Graff and Birkenstein, “‘Ain’t So / Is Not’: Academic Writing Doesn’t Always Mean Setting Aside Your Own Voice,” in TSIS, pp. 121-128; and
  • Graff and Birkenstein, “‘But Don’t Get Me Wrong’: The Art of Metacommentary,” in TSIS, pp. 129-138.
Paper 3 is due at the start of class on Thursday, April 10.

Cluster 4: Lost/Virtual/Invisible Golden Gate Park
This cluster begins on Tuesday, April 15 and lasts for four weeks. During this cluster, we will explore lost, less seen, virtual, and memorialized elements of the park. We will take park tours using the Golden Gate Park Field Guide (an app developed by the California Academy of Sciences) and An Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park (a virtual tour developed by the Studio for Urban Projects). We will also take field trips to the National AIDS Memorial Grove, the Beach Chalet, and the Park Chalet, and enjoy an end-of-the-semester celebration at Ocean Beach. Readings include:
  • James R. Smith, “Playland at the Beach,” in San Francisco's Lost Landmarks, pp. 44-53;
  • Josh Sides, “The Unspoken Sexuality of Golden Gate Park,” in Erotic City: Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco, pp. 123-140; &
  • Andy Abrahams Wilson and Tom Shepard, The Grove: AIDS and the Politics of Remembrance (DVD), 2011.
Paper 4 is due at the start of class on Thursday, May 8.

There is no final exam in this class.

Paper 1                                                             15%
Paper 2                                                             20%
Paper 3                                                             20%
Paper 4                                                             25%
Class participation (which includes homework,      20%
         quizzes, in-class assignments, and active
involvement in discussions and field trips)

Attendance Policy
  • Because this is an accelerated writing seminar, attendance is crucial. Students are expected to attend each class and field trip, have all readings finished prior to class or field trip, and be ready to participate in class discussions. Missing class, or attending class unprepared, will significantly affect your final grade.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Academic Integrity
Plagiarism is using another person’s words and/or ideas without giving appropriate credit.  Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic honor and personal integrity and can result in failing an assignment, being removed from this course, or even being asked to leave USF.

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