Assignment One

Going Outside Your Pop Culture Comfort Zone

DUE Wednesday, September 14 at 11:59pm.
To turn it in:
1. Post your assignment to the blog. Tag your blog post “#Assignment1.”
2. Copy and paste a link to your blog post in Compass.
a) Scroll down and click on “Assignment 1”
b) Click on “Write submission”
c) Paste link into text box that appears (NOT under “Comments”)

Assignment:
Listen to the middle segment from Pop Culture Happy Hour about breaking out of a cultural rut. Time code is: 17:19-33:00.
http://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/2014/09/05/346055621/pop-culture-happy-hour-repurposing-the-simpsons-and-busting-out-of-a-rut

One of the objectives of this class is for you to learn to analyze the popular culture you are already consuming. However, ideally, you would also expose yourself to popular culture that you might not otherwise have sought out. Therefore, for this assignment, you are asked to go out and find/enjoy a piece of popular culture that is outside of your comfort zone and write about it.

This can be:
– A film from another country or in another language;
– Music from a genre you never listen to or you hate;
– A TV show on a network you’ve never watched;
-An online magazine, TV show, or movie aimed at a different demographic;
-A type of media technology or format you’ve never experienced (a podcast, a Youtube channel, a comic book or graphic novel, an audio book, a radio show, a documentary, an art film etc).

Be creative! And BE HONEST! I’ll likely be able to tell if you’re consuming something not very far outside your comfort zone.

Also remember to jazz up your post with relevant images, links, video, or audio, and to give your post a title.

Format of the assignment:
Section 1
Reflect on the podcast segment above – Why do you think it might be important to break out of a ‘cultural rut’? Have you ever found ourself in a similar rut? Are you in one now? Why do you think that is? Did you relate to anything or did anything strike you in particular in the podcast?

Section 2
What is your chosen piece of popular culture? Include all relevant information – format, title, where you accessed it etc.  Include an image that represents the piece of media. Why did you choose this particular piece of media? How exactly is it “outside of your wheelhouse”?

Section 3
Reflect on your experience consuming this piece of media. How did it make you feel? What was the experience like? Did you enjoy it, why or why not? Did it seem like this piece of media was made for someone like you? Why or why not? Would you seek out similar pop culture in the future? Did you learn anything new or expand your worldview in any way? (Feel free to talk about anything else you feel is relevant).

Section 4
As a brand new popular culture scholar, I want you to spend a few paragraphs analyzing this piece of media however you think is most interesting/relevant/productive. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but do  be sure to think about and draw the readings we’ve done thus far.  Pick the aspects you think are most interesting and expound upon them.

I’m interested in seeing how you each think about and analyze popular culture currently, and I want you to have a piece of writing to look back on at the end of the semester in order to see what skills you’ve gained and how your view on popular culture has changed. Think of this as “The Before Picture.”

Citations & Length

Even though you are writing a blog post, you should still think of it as formal academic writing. That means that you will need to properly cite your sources — specifically, readings from this course — both within the text of your blog post and at the end. Citations should be in APA style format.

The post should be the equivalent of two-three pages of text, double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman, 1-inch margins.
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