I am working on proposing a roundtable for the 2010 Flow Conference on the topic of digital publishing and television criticism, building on some of the thoughts explored in my recent post. If you’re not familiar with the Flow Conference, the idea is that instead of formal papers, there are roundtable structured conversations from invited and interested participants centering around a core topical prompt. ... read more »
I’ve just finished the fifth and final day of the marathon Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in LA, and it was by far one of the best large-scale conferences I’ve ever been to. I attended no bad panels, and only a couple of weak papers – which is pretty rare! Either I got really lucky, my standards have dropped, or the quality of the conference was strong (let’s be generous and assume the third). ... read more »
In teaching my course on The Wire last year, I had my students do collaborative research & writing projects on various “contexts” that the show engages with, such as urban education, the drug war, and Baltimore history. This year, I’ve decided not to use that assignment – in part because the old projects are still online, and because I’ve thought of other assignments to try.
But I am having them read the first contextual essay from last year, one that I wrote about the relationship of the show to 21st century television. It’s nothing that warrants publication in more formal academic outlets, but I thought it would be useful pedagogically for other people teaching the show or just for a basic background for fans who might stumble upon my blog. So beneath the fold, I’m “reprinting” it here from my course site. As always, I welcome feedback and comments to improve the material. ... read more »
As always, I post my syllabi online for the world to follow along or poach from my work as they see fit. This spring semester features two courses: today I started teaching Media Technology & Cultural Change, my course on new media using all media-based critical assignments. And tomorrow I return to Baltimore via Watching The Wire for a second time. ... read more »
So thus begins season 6 of Lost. I give “LA X” two big thumbs up (one in 2004 & one in 2007!), but to read why, you need to go over to Antenna, a newish online venture out of my graduate alma mater, University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Media & Cultural Studies program. The goal of Antenna is to have brief posts by a range of authors on interesting new developments in the world of media, prompting conversations and community. I’ve happily agreed to write about Lost’s final season there, so be sure to subscribe to its feed for many great voices on a range of media.
While that post focuses on issues of narrative and fan expectations, I wanted to offer some additional commentary on how Lost’s ratings successes or failures are being discussed. ... read more »
Last summer, I was invited as a keynote presenter for a conference on serial form at the University of Zurich – I blogged previously about the conference and my presentation. Now the conference organizers are publishing the proceedings, translating all of the English papers into German. Since I spoke off an outline, I needed to write up the whole essay, which involved a lot of updating and rethinking in light of my recent Lost rewatch, taking most of my non-grading work time in December and early January. Below is a draft of the essay, entitled “Serial Boxes: The Cultural Values of Long-Form American Television” – as always, any feedback is welcome!