Thursday, February 25, 2010

"experimental" English 150 course?

Among the many exciting things in my life right now, I am excited about my experimental section of English 150. If they let me, I'll teach a class centered around pop culture - its rhetoric, and by extension, our view of it. Instead of doing a weird op-ed on something annoying on campus, students will get to reflect on their experience with a piece of art in their lives (including a Disney movie, if they so wish). Basically I just changed the course content to be stuff in popular culture, but I think this will encourage students to write (or make them hate their favorite TV show, either one). I only wish I had found a textbook of some sort that would guide us... but I know what we want to do, and the current text isn't bad. I'm still hoping to write a text-based adventure game to use in ANY English 150 course, and we'll see if I can get any outside funding for it (even though I know it's a long shot). By a great stroke of luck, Acius seems to have a lot of experience programming text adventures...

Oh, and if you haven't already, check out Braid. My sister bought me a copy and it is awesome.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Heh, yay, this sounds awesome! I know UNM has an "American Studies" department that does a lot of this, but I don't see any textbooks listed on their website . . .
http://www.unm.edu/~amstudy/index.html

I've read some of these, and they're pretty good analytical essays of pop culture. You could use something everyone (?) knows about, like Star Wars or something. I think they have a few essays online for free:
http://www.smartpopbooks.com/

Good luck, this sounds awesome!