Wednesday, December 08, 2004

It's the End of Democracy (and Rhetoric) as We Know It

...and I feel fine. This semester's English 1101 class has reached its conclusion, and for now, this entry will serve as a brief wrap-up to the course and some of the questions we've considered. After reviewing student's "discussion blogs" and group blog projects, I'm pretty convinced that blogging has serve an active role in the success of these sections of English 1101. The blogs were designed in part to grapple with the practice of writing for the public, as well as the role of rhetoric in democracy, specifically within the context of US elections, and many students seemed to grasp the value of blogging. In the words of Grant C:
In the future, blogging will only grow. I mean, where else can you publicly bitch about the government, or school, or about how bad the pizza you ate for lunch was?
After my experiences in English 1101, I hope to use this space to navigate questions about rhetoric and democracy, although I'm not sure what form that will take. I'll try to write several other entries that seek to make connections bewteen different students' observations and to work through their concepts to develop an overall narrative for the course. In the past, I've abandoned my course blogs at the end of the semester, often without any kind of signpost or explanation for what you're seeing.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Group Projects

Please check the list of links on teh right margin. If you do not see your group project blog listed, please email me the URL today so that I can include it on the roll. Re-opened

The second paper assignment for has been re-opened. If you need the user name and password, let me know.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Research Project

Here's a link to that graduate student research project on blogging that I mentioned a few weeks ago. If you're interested in participating, I know it would be much appreciated. There's an email address link on the blog if you'd rather submit your comments privately.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Do College Students Work Hard Enough?

Found this article on college student study habits in the Chronicle of Higher Education. It has nothing to do with the election, but I'm curious to know if you find it representative of your college experiences. Any comments on the article would be much apprecaited (eithe here on the blog or in class).

Thursday Articles

Possible articles for discussion:It might help class discussion to know which articles you find most interesting, so feel free to leave a comment. Or, if you can track down other suggestions, that would be great, too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Article Links

Quite a few of you haven't yet linked to articles for class discussion. Those of you in my afternoon classes should do so ASAP. Possible topic: what should teh Dems do in 2008 to increase their chances of winning?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Representing Voters

Just for entertainment: here's another webpage that collects different maps that attempt to prepresent the political affiliations of US voters (thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the link).

Journeys with George

This week in class we will be watching and discussing Alexandra Pelosi's documentary film, Journeys with George (IMDB), which focuses on George W. Bush's 2000 bid for President of the United States, starting with the Republican primaries. Pelosi, daughter of Democratic Congressperson Nancy Pelosi, works as a producer for NBC News, and is assigned to cover Bush's campaign for the network.

As you watch the film, I' dlike you to think about some of the issues we've discussed pertaining to this year's election: How, for example, does the film characterize the relationship between the press and the politicians they cover? Do you believe that this relationship will allow the media to be completely objective in their coverage of an election? Of specific candidates? How does the film characterize the future President? We know, for example, that Pelosi is a Democrat, and she discloses that news in the film (even noting that she voted for Bill Bradley in the primary), but how does that affect her portrayal of then-Governor Bush? Note here that many Republicans like Pelosi's film despite her politics. What do you think might account for their enjoyment of or appreciation for this film?

As with all other assignments, you're certainly encouraged to write a blog entry on your reaction to the film.

Monday, November 08, 2004

For Tuesday

Your assignment for is now ready. Please submit assignments ASAP.

For Tuesday, I will show a film on election issues, probably a documentary. More specifics forthcoming tonight.