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professional geek

Fandom class syllabus

I am super-embarrassed about the fact that I haven't responded to most of the comments on my last entry from over a month ago. *facepalm* The new semester is settling down now, so I should have a chance to get back to that... any day now...

Speaking of teaching: I'm teaching a class about fandom this semester! And it occurred to me that some of you might be interested in seeing what that class will entail (besides lots of classroom discussion, which sadly I cannot reproduce for you but which has thus far been pretty energetic and occasionally hilarious).

Syllabus: Fan Cultures and Fan Creativity

The class is exclusively for first-year students as part of UMM's Intellectual Community program, our version of the first-year seminar program that's common at many small liberal arts colleges. I have a really delightful group; as with any class, especially of first-year students, I have a mix of students who are reallyexcitedtotalkaboutthisstuffomg!, students who are visibly engaged but not as comfortable diving into the flow of discussion, and students who are clearly wishing that they could write down their thoughts and review them once or twice before hitting post. (Having been in the latter category for most of my college career, I empathize.) But we're working up to the first writing assignment, which I hope will give some of the hard-core introverts a better opportunity to show what they can do.

Thanks to everybody who suggested assignments, activities, and readings; I was unable to implement all the terrific ideas that people shared with me, largely because needing to stay focused on the book means I have to limit the number of things that require a lot of behind-the-scenes work for me. But I already have a list of things I want to do or try when teaching the course next time, and I welcome further input and suggestions!

This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments). Comment wherever you prefer.


Holy crap that course syllabus looks awesome. College years were generally not happy-fun times for me, but I wouldn't mind taking a time machine back to 20 years ago if it meant being able to attend a class like yours!

(I am particularly curious about the list of vids you're going to show on your vidshow night lecture!)

Edited at 2013-09-04 08:29 pm (UTC)
Well, the class is certainly going to be fun for ME. :D

I will post the list of vids once I know what it is. The problem, as always, is TOO MANY AWESOME CHOICES.
Oh man, I would have KILLED to take that class in college! Go you!
You know, I would have been totally uninterested in this class in college. I was still in that pretentious phase of Not Watching TV Because Literature Is More Important.

And now I do fan studies. That'll show me. *facepalm*
This looks like a fantastic course you've put together!
I hope so! Now let's just hope the students think so too...
That is beautiful.
I am super excited. :D

Also, did you see? We can haz Tumblr!
This class looks like something I wish I can take! Such a great syllabus :)
Aww, thanks! I've taught it twice now (slightly different syllabus the second time around), and it's been lots of fun both times.
Was it hard creating this syllabus?
It was! There were so many possible topics, and I had to choose among them and decide on an order for them; there are so many possible readings, and I had to choose among those too, keeping in mind that many of the essays I like best weren't written for students in their first year of college. I had to think about what kinds of assignments would make sense -- what would be accessible to students with limited knowledge of fandom yet encourage students already familiar with fandom to develop new ideas... It was definitely a lot of work, though very fun work!