Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

I have a video to share with you: If you haven’t seen it, take the eight minutes to watch & enjoy. But there’s a good chance you’ve seen it, as it’s been viewed over 72,000 times (and counting) in the three days it’s been online. It’s been written about on Buzzfeed, Jezebel, CBS News, CBC, Yahoo!, Mashable, and many other […]


For anyone keeping track, this blog’s hiatus is a sad signal that it’s been a busy couple of months for me re-entering to real life in Vermont, what with teaching, chairing my department, taking care of lots of personal projects, and obsessing over the election. (And thankfully, Super Storm Sandy had little personal impact on […]


Summer is over (even though it remains in the 80s in Vermont this week), which means my sabbatical is completely over. It was a great one, with a wonderful fellowship in Germany, a lot of writing, travel for lectures & conferences, and lots of quality family time. But yesterday, I returned to the Middlebury classroom […]


Recently, my friend Annie Petersen took advantage of one of Twitter’s best functions for academics: crowdsourcing syllabus recommendations. Annie was looking for readings that provide a good introduction to semiotics, but are not impenetrable to novice students. I recommended this online visual essay by Tom Streeter (another friend of mine), which I’ve found quite useful for […]


For the media academics reading my blog, I want to briefly point to a position that my department is searching for this Fall: Assistant Professor of Media Production, Middlebury College The Film and Media Culture Department invites applications for a tenure track position in Media Production beginning September 2012.  Appointment at the Assistant Professor level; […]


This past spring semester, I taught a course called Sustainable Television: Producing Environmental Media – I’d taught a version of the course back in January 2010 during Middlebury’s intensive Winter Term, and this year I ran it as a full semester course. The concept was the same: spend the term producing a magazine-style television program […]


I’m writing from the grading bunker, which seems like a fine place to contemplate the purpose of assignments we give our students. Usually, my assignments are fairly conventional in both form and goal, looking to synthesize specific ideas from the course in a way that allows students to apply them to an object or topic […]


As is my tradition, I’ve waited until the last possible moment to complete the syllabi and course sites for my classes this semester, both of which start meeting tomorrow. I’m teaching Television and American Culture, my annual fall ritual, and a new version of my course on narrative theory, Storytelling in Film & Media. Both […]


Fiske Matters

12Jun10

I am writing from a classroom that I spent many hours in in the 1990s, in Vilas Hall at University of Wisconsin. The occasion is Fiske Matters, a conference in honor of the ten-year anniversary of John Fiske’s retirement from academia. John was one of my graduate school mentors, and a key touchstone in both […]


Just a quick post to link to a couple of nice pieces about my class (and others) exploring The Wire. First off, last month Slate had the most detailed and substantive discussion of the range of courses that have developed across disciplines and institutions. A key issue that came through in my conversation with the […]


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 […]


Spring teaching

09Feb10

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 […]


At Middlebury, we have a month-long Winter Term in January, where students each take one course or do an independent project or internship. Faculty typically teach every other year, and there are widely divergent opinions about the system. Many hate it, as there is a lot of class time each week and not much time […]


Three months ago, I posted information about Middlebury’s search for a comparative media studies faculty member. I’ve been quite excited about the discussion and feedback I’ve gotten, highlighting the benefits of opening up the black box of the faculty hiring process. So as the search proceeds, I want to post an update. We have received […]


The semester launched this week at Middlebury. Due to a little enrollment shuffling, I’m only teaching one course this semester: Television and American Culture. (I’ll certainly be sufficiently busy reading the hundreds of job applicants and actively working on the college website makeover project!) This is the first time through using my textbook, Television and […]



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