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Writing with Digital and Social Media

Credits: 3 May be elected 3 times for credit May be elected more than once in the same term

In WRITING 200, students analyze and apply rhetorical principles in their writing with “new media.” As members of a media-saturated culture, we know that print text is only one form of writing, and sometimes it is not the most effective choice. Because all of us make sense of texts and issues in a variety of ways, these courses ask students to utilize multimodal (visual, aural, etc.) forms of communication and become more informed, critical consumers of new media writing themselves.

Writing 200.001 - The Art of Podcasting

This three-credit digital media course will introduce you to the genre of podcasting by deconstructing what makes an effective podcast work—and then making one! This podcasting course will focus on finding Michigan-related stories, and this season's particular theme is Art & Resistance, connecting to the LSA's theme semester. We’ll explore engaging podcasts to examine what makes them tick. We will practice the art of interviewing, asking questions and close listening; we will record hours of “tape” as our raw material. Along the way, we’ll write and revise scripts, design icons, and learn how to package episodes.

As a class we will envision, build and launch Season Five of Michigan Voices. To this end, everyone will draft and design a podcast episode (either individually or in a small group) that will be become the fifth season. Voice your voice this semester, and create a vehicle for others to share their voices, perspectives and stories. What do you believe about the power of art and its role in resistance? What are the stories that you believe ought to engage the University of Michigan community and, more broadly, Gen Z and the country/the world? What are you curious about? Discover your story, the story of others, and their value in public discourse and our civic space..

Writing 200.002 - Social Media Evolutions

Is this online universe burning you out? Does checking your phone feel more like an addiction than a tool-based technical action? Are you feeling less, instead of more trusting of news and relationships the more you use social media? Is it difficult to recall a time when it wasn’t like this? Would you like to?

This course traces the history of social media through a user-based perspective to learn and analyze the ways specific platforms have grown and evolved. It also considers the social and cultural dynamics that underpin these social media technologies. The primary goal of this course is to promote the critical thinking, media literacy, and mindfulness skills to effectively use and navigate social media spaces in purposeful, human ways.

Reading for this course is wide-ranging and includes work from theorists, platform developers, social scientists, and cultural critics. Projects include a social media log, an analysis of a recent social media platform change, and a disruption proposal for our end-of-the-term class conference.