December 09, 2004
For our weekly schedule, I'm going to try a couple of different things. This entry will evolve over the course of the semester; initially, I will sketch out some of the topics and readings we will cover, but those may change as the semester progresses. In addition to maintaining this entry, I will post an initial entry each Friday (for the upcoming week) with some general questions that you may consider as you blog each week and read for class. Finally, we will be maintaining a collaborative account at del.icio.us, a social bookmarking application. In addition to providing a clearinghouse for the links each of you finds this semester, I will use the del.icio.us account as a way of providing online references, resources, and additional readings for each week.
For example, we will be talking about RSS feeds during our first class meeting, and so I've bookmarked an Introduction to RSS from webreference.com. When you go to our del.icio.us page, you'll have the option of selecting the tag for the first week, "wk1," which will pick out for you the resources and optional readings for that week's discussion. And during the semester, when you come across a site that you think is relevant for the week's readings, you can tag it as such for the rest of us. This will make more sense as we put it into practice.
Here's how I see the semester laying out, bearing in mind that this document will evolve substantially:
Week 1, January 20, Course Introduction
Our first class session will be spent familiarizing you with a suite of applications that you'll be using throughout the course, including
- Movable Type, the content management system (CMS) driving this site
- Bloglines, a web-based RSS aggregator (or feed reader)
- del.icio.us, a social bookmarking application/site
We may look at other applications or sites as time permits, but we will start with these three.
Lilia Efimova, Blogging as breathing
Week 2, January 27, Academic Blogging
This is the first of two weeks we'll spend considering the practice of blogging in the context of the academy. This week, we'll be examining some conversations about the challenges that blogging poses to the traditional print-centric economy of research. We'll draw on some reading from KM (knowledge management) and think about the relationship between blogging and scholarly writing.
José van Dijck, Composing the Self: Of Diaries and Lifelogs
Torill Mortensen & Jill Walker, Blogging thoughts: personal publication as an online research tool (pdf)
K. Andrew Edmonds, James Blustein, & Don Turnbull, A Personal Information and Knowledge Infrastructure Integrator
Week 3, February 3, Peda-blogging
How might weblogs affect the way we think about the writing classroom? This week, we'll look both at some articles about adopting weblogs in the classroom and some exemplars of their adoption. We'll be thinking about what weblogs (and the read/write web more broadly) might have to contribute to our pedagogies.
Charles Lowe & Terra Williams, Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom
Kevin Brooks, Cindy Nichols, & Sybil Priebe, Remediation, Genre, and Motivation: Key Concepts for Teaching with Weblogs
"Why Weblogs?," collected by Will Richardson
Week 4, February 10, Network Literacies
Drawing on our discussions of the previous two weeks, we will spend this week speculating about what post-print, network(ed) literacies might look like. We'll look at some sites (Wikipedia, e.g.) where clashes are occurring between networks and more traditional conceptions of literacy.
Week 5, February 17, The Web as Network
This week, we'll be reading David Weinberger's Small Pieces Loosely Joined, and thinking about what happens when we consider the Web in light of network literacies (as opposed to some of the dominant metaphors that still receive attention, such as the Web-as-library or the Web-as-mall).
Week 6, February 24
Week 7, March 3, Network Studies
We will be spending two weeks with Duncan Watts's Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age, another of the central texts in network studies. Our focus will be on familiarizing ourselves with Watts's vocabulary and concepts, and we will spend some time looking at various applications of his ideas.
Duncan Watts, Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (chs. 1-5 due 2/24; chs. 6-10 due 3/3)
Week 8, March 10, Networks as Epistemic
We will spend this week as something of a prelude to our after-break discussions, synthesizing some of the concepts from the previous weeks and considering them in terms of the epistemic character of rhetoric. In other words, we will turn this week from treating networks as objects of study to treating them as epistemelogical or methodological. We will begin asking how network studies might help us to see rhetoric in different ways.
Week 9, March 17, No Class -- Spring Break, CCCC
Week 10, March 24, Power Laws & Long Tails
One of the most popular concepts to emerge from network studies is the power law, which suggests that social phenomena, when examined on a large scale, occur according to very specific and predictable patterns. We will be looking at how this idea has been taken up across the blogosphere.
Bernardo Huberman, The Laws of the Web (Chs. 3 & 4)
Clay Shirky, Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality
Chris Anderson, The Long Tail, (Wired)
Adina Levin, The Long Tail, Creative Commons, and Peer Production
Bnoopy, The Long Tail of Software
Week 11, March 31, Network Properties: Structure
This week, we will look at network studies as it connects with methods of cognitive mapping. How might networks assist us in understanding the structure of our institutions?
James Porter & Patricia Sullivan, Opening Spaces (Chapter 4)
Ronald Burt, The Social Capital of Structural Holes (pdf)
Kenneth Burke, Selections from The Philosophy of Literary Form
James Porter, et al., "Institutional Critique:A Rhetorical Methodology for Change"
Week 12, April 7, Network Properties: Dynamics
Networks help us to see structures, but they also are sites of change, and so this week, we'll be considering that element. How might networks help us to map, perceive, and understand change?
Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point (selections)
Aaron Lynch, Thought Contagion (Chs. 1-2)
Everett Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations (Ch. 3: Contributions and Criticisms of Diffusion Research)
Greg Urban, Metaculture: How Culture Moves through the World (Ch. 1: The Once and Future Thing)
Week 13, April 14, Network Analysis
We will spend this week in an attempt to synthesize both the synchronic and diachronic elements of networks, and draw on the field of social network analysis in a discussion of network analysis as a method, and as a method suited to certain contexts within the study of rhetoric.
Rob Cross, et al., Supporting Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Social Networks
Valdis Krebs, An Introduction to Social Network Analysis and Knowledge Networks
Peter Morville, Social Network Analysis
Week 14, April 21, Information Visualization
We will spend this week looking at numerous examples of how network analysis might be expressed, focusing particularly on the visualization of information or data.
Johanna Drucker, "Graphesis" (see me for handout)
Week 15, April 28
Work on course projects
Whew. This entry is already long, and it will only get longer as I add in readings. Right now, this is my best guess as to how the semester will break down. It looks like there are three major movements--network literacies, network studies, and network methods--but this may change as I add readings, move stuff around, etc.
Posted by cgbrooke at December 9, 2004 12:59 AM