Courses

GSAH 230: Power, Culture and Identity in the Global City

What makes a good city? What kinds of social and political identities exist in a global, information- driven economy? How do we reconcile different visions of the future.

This class will explore communication spaces communities need to respond to the challenges of glob- alization. In part, we will explore the big picture–the technological and economic logics, contrasting regulatory regimes, and styles of cultural production in the move from an industrial to an experience economy. We will pay special attention to the distinctive arts culture across a range of global cities.

But this course will also focus on the local, as we focus on changes in urban experience with the rise of ubiquitous internet access, smart phones, and location-aware technologies. In mapping local cul- tural activities, students will develop new media literacies needed for effective participation in a world of big data and smart cities. We will develop technical skills relevant to a creative economy: ethnographic skills needed to understand specific cultural meanings and values, photographic skills able to represent culture, and multimedia skills needed to craft usable digital narratives.

WRA 415 Digital Rhetoric

We will examine how these forms of rhetorical action function in digital environments.  By focusing on the Greater Lansing community, we have a real audience that consists of a diversity of stake holders and interest groups, we will work with a diversity of kinds of technical knowledge, we will work with a set of sophisticated interactions including text, comments, voting, images, tagging, and mapping, and we will design something that will be used by the community.

WRA 882 Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric

For the R&W program, WRA 882 serves as “a survey of modern, postmodern, contemporary rhetoric theories;” for PhD students the course provides an opportunity for you to gain a sense of what it means to engage in rhetorical theorizing and to understand theory rhetorically.

Most importantly, students will study theoretical perspectives to help them to understand how knowledge is made in the field and to participate in the scholarly conversations of the discipline. This course will cover the major movements in intellectual history over the 2oth and 21st centuries. Students will read both theory and practice (e.g., case studies, ethnographies, narratives, material culture, historiography, essays) from a wide range of perspectives and approaches. This course will help you develop a foundation for your intellectual projects as a graduate student and beyond.

My approach is especially interdisciplinary, integrating perspectives from sociology, anthropology, history and philosophy. This approach will serve to highlight why theories are seen as advances from the past, reveal empirical and normative assumptions, and map the alliances and disagreements across individual theorists.

WRA 330 Writing Communities and Culture

This course will focus on writing and research methods in and with local, global, and online communities and organizations. We have always lived in a world where collective stories provide our lives with meaning and identity. Who gets to tell these stories today? What makes a powerful story? How do stories circulate through digital flows and social relationships?

The course is meant to give you the skills you will need as a creative professional, which include sophisticated theories to make sense of culture, community, and identity; research skills to answer complex questions through data collection, analysis, and theory building; a deep understanding of new media affordances for presenting content.

This course will introduce students to a range of research practices in writing. Students will study both methods (ways of conducting research) and methodologies (theoretical perspectives on research methods). Students will read both theory and practice (e.g., case studies, ethnography, narratives, material culture, historiography, essays) from a wide range of perspectives and approaches (e.g., anthropology, sociology, feminism, ethnic studies, cultural studies). We will literally be writing the future of East Lansing as we coordinate our work with the East Lansing 2030: Collegeville Re-Envisioned exhibition at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

GSAH 312 Media Mobility

How do new communication technologies transform community? This class will explore communica- tion spaces communities need to respond to the challenges of globalization. In part, we will explore the big picture–the technological and economic logics, contrasting regulatory regimes, and styles of cultural production in the move from an industrial to an experience economy. We will pay special attention to the distinctive arts culture across a range of global cities.

But this course will also focus on the local, as we focus on changes in urban experience with the rise of ubiquitous internet access, smart phones, and location-aware technologies. In mapping local cul- tural activities, students will develop new media literacies needed for effective participation in a world of user generated content and will gain a deeper sense of the professional practice of local artists in the Greater Lansing community. The semester will culminate in a video profile designed for The Ave, (http://theave.us/).

TC 491 Ethnography and Interaction Design

Advanced user research methods and agile software development approaches will be used to create a web site to support community deliberation about the Michigan Avenue corridor project.
We will be experimental, collaborative, and multidisciplinary.  There will be a lot of room for you to dream, code, explore and fail.  And try again.  You will be out in the complex world, learning how to understand the world from the perspective of a government planner, small business owner, community leader, and citizen.  You will be an interaction designer, database programmer, and Ruby on Rails developer.
We will build something important together.