Blog

Prompts

Blog Prompt 1, due T, Sept 8
Choose a chunk of dialogue or a single speech from The Tempest that is approx. 5-10 lines long. Introduce the citation in a few sentences; type the passage out; provide a short summary or overview of the citation you chose; point out at least two linguistic features (i.e. rhetorical figures, meter, homonyms, etc.); and lastly explain how the citation you chose compares to a theme in the modern world. You may write the post as a paragraph or a list. For full credit the post should be at least 300 words long, and include at least one image.

Blog Prompt 2, due T, Sept 29
Drawing on Donna Haraway’s “Encounters with Companion Species” as a template, choose a key term from Taming of the Shrew and complete the tasks listed below.
  • Provide a short overview and/or summery of what the term means in the play
  • Provide a short history (i.e. etymology) of the term. Include a link and/or MLA works cited for this source 
  • Search for the term in the Shakespeare Concordance and provide a short summary of your findings. For example, how often does the word show up in the Shakespeare canon? What can it tell you about the plays it shows up in? How does its connotations shift? Did you uncover meanings you did not expect?
  • Render one of the data points you generated visually with Piktochart or the infographic tool of your choice. You are also welcome to render a synthesis of your findings. Might also want to think about where you place the graphic in relation to the alphanumeric text.

Blog Prompt 3, due Oct 15
What contemporary environmental crisis can King Lear help you to illustrate and/or make sense of? For full credit, craft an argument in response to the question in at least 500 words; briefly describe a specific crisis; pair that crisis with a bit of text from Lear; and then elaborate on how Lear helps you think through the loss, confusion, terror, etc. of the present event.

Blog Prompt 4, due Oct 22
Post a draft of the introduction and a small portion of your glossed text (i.e. 25 or so lines with a few links and a few footnotes) to your blog before class. We will run a workshop on your drafts during class.

Blog Post 5, Due Nov 19
  • Step One: read through your entire website making note of themes, ideas, images, questions, problems, etc that overlap. Ex: What’s the relationship between your Taming of the Shrew visual rendering on the use and abuse of language and ways you frame contemporary eco/environmental crisis in your Digital Edition of King Lear? What do the overlapping ideas have to say about Shakespeare in general? What portions of your site are easy to navigate; what portions are hard to navigate? What pages look great? What pages lack interest? If you took the images you generated in through your presentation and used them to illustrate your site, where would you put them? Are you happy with your theme; background; and header? Are you making the best use of your theme and/or WordPress features?  
  • Step two: in 200 or so words draft out the final introductory reflective essay using some of the info. you generated from the questions above. May also want to include a list of revisions you plan to make for the final site. 

Blog Post 6, Due December 3
In his”Eleven Principles of the Elements“, Jeffrey Cohen argues that premodern literature “offers a storehouse of imaginings” (5) that contemporary people can use to think about the relationship between humans and nonhumans in a way that is more cooperative than exploitative. What alternatives to thinking about man’s relationship to nature (enmeshed versus dominance) does Titus Andronicus suggest? To answer this question in at min. 400 words, close read at least one example from Titus in which nonhuman, or more than human things, seem to take on agency and effect change. What resources does Titus provide to reconceptualize nature and man’s place in it?

Blog Post 7, Due Dec 8
Post a draft of your introductory/reflective essay to your blog before class for workshop. Also, post of list of design/content revisions you’ve made and/or plan to make to your site before the final due date. LOW STAKES POST: YOU JUST NEED A DRAFT AND MAYBE A QUESTION FOR US TO COVER IN WORKSHOP/DISCUSSION.

Extra Credit/Make-up Post, Due Dec 18, with final draft of site

Radically revise one of the five blog posts you wrote this semester according to one of the suggestions listed below. The Radical Revision is worth a total of 5 points, and must be posted to the post page of your site with a title on or before the last day of class. Since there is no word or time minimum or maximum, you must use your best judgment to determine the length required to meet the needs of the goals you establish for yourselves.

  1. Revise the genre: if the post you wrote is expository, then write it as a letter, a soliloquy, a dialogue, sermon, etc.
  2. Revise the mode: retaining the goal/purpose of the original, revise the post as a series of Tweets, a Vine video, screen cast, or an audio file/podcast
  3. Revise the perspective: drawing on concepts such as sympathetic imagination laid out by authors we’ve read such as Donna Haraway or Jeffrey Cohen, revise the post from the vantage point of an object in the original version. For instance, if you wrote about how it felt when you look at trees or mountains, write about yourself from the point of view of a tree or mountain looking back at you.
  4. Begin where you ended: start a new post with the last sentence of the first post. What evidence and rhetorical choices do you have to make to support the once concluding sentence? What does this exercise tell you about where you ended up in the original post?


Purpose

To develop critical skills and process course content, you write 7 blog posts over the course of the semester in response to a series of assigned prompts.

Projected Learning Outcomes

Posting a series of entries on course topics to a blog feed you maintain on your site meets the following projected learning outcomes: analysis, literacy, persuasion, and imagination. The posts help keep you accountable to the reading and course activities, while also allowing you to practice and develop skills in a low stakes environment. Skills emphasized in blog prompts scaffold major assignments.

Tools

WordPress post page. See Domain support documentation for reconfiguring reading settings in WordPress (i.e. reconfiguring the About page as a static page and the Posts page as a page of your choice). Note: different WP themes will offer different options for post pages and post page layout.

Audience

Your classmates and I are your primary audience, so the posts will become integrated course texts we will respond to and develop throughout the semester. While some of the prompts have very academic formal requirements, I invite you to shape your responses to appeal to an informed audience of non-experts. How do the blogs you read appeal to their audiences? What choices can you make to appeal to yours? Would you ever post an entry you wrote in class to your Facebook wall? Why or why not?

Assessment:
Please note that as long as you post your blog before its due you will earn 10 points. I will assess the blog according to the criteria below and provide brief comments. My comments are intended to provide you with writing strategies for future assignments.

    The following will be used to assess individual posts:
  • Was post up on or before the due date and time? 
  • Does the post meet the minimum requirements specified by the prompt: word count, genre, design requirements, etc.? Does post satisfy the baseline requirements, and then attempt something more experimental with varying results?  
  • Are format, style, tone, mechanics, grammar, and punctuation applied correctly and consistently throughout for ease of reading/use and faithful attribution? Has post been written with audience in mind?
  • Does the navigation lead to pages promised? Do all the links lead to pages promised?