Disaggregating and Course Readings

We are coming into the home stretch now for the Com Theory course. This semester I abandoned earlier, more formal reading schedules to provide more flexibility. Won’t do that again, I don’t think. While having a reading schedule and feeling “behind” seemed to produce anxiety for the students, this way of deciding on the fly (well, not exactly, but drawing a bit from earlier syllabi and feeding a few weeks at a time) has induced anxiety on my side. I like it better the other way.

I also think this is the end of the posts that are teaching specific getting mixed up with everything else on the blog. There is value there, and I have heard from several people who like to see these posts who are not in the classes, but as I sat down to write this I realized that it really mattered only to the nine people still in the seminar, and that the couple thousand other readers of my blog probably are not very interested. Instead, I am thinking I will probably include a sidebar (though I was trying to avoid cruft…) of “other stuff I’ve written.” This would be titles and links to posts I make on other blogs, and possibly online articles and any longer comments I make on other people’s blogs. I’m not sure quite how I’ll do this, maybe a del.icio.us tag with associated RSS feed. I’ll think on it.

Anyway, if you are one of the nine and not the 1,991, you should go to the regular place we keep articles. In addition to finishing up the Bourdieu, if you haven’t already, you should go over the three short articles there: the Playboy interview with McLuhan, Minerva’s Owl by Innis, and a chapter from Ong’s Orality and Literacy. These are a bit lighter weight than we are used to, I think/hope. Since the doctoral students have been charged with briefing the Bourdieu (sounds a bit like a bad pick-up line: “hey baby, want to help me brief my Bourdieu?”), the three masters students ought to negotiate amongst yourselves who wants to be ready to give a mini-lecture on each of these three. I guess you can lay claim to one of them with a quick blog post. Something along the lines of “Ong’s mine.”

I’ve also put up some things we will probably be reading as we start to talk about meta-theory, as well as some things that we have hit en passant (Benjamin, Huberman, Tarde, etc.) that are there for your spare-time reading enjoyment. If you are ready to plow forward, we are sure to be reading the Craig piece and the Chaffee. We may hit the Streeter, but probably not. I really want to read the Habermas and the Lyotard that are up there, but I am thinking that something more in are of policy theory might be more useful to more of you. We’ll chat about that on Wednesday.

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