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Monday, May 18, 2009

Blog Post #2: Media Collage & Brief Written Component Due Thursday, May 21st by 9pm


Blog Post #2: Media Collage & Brief Written Component Due Thursday, May 21st by 9pm
Gender & Pop Culture
Summer 2009

For the assignment, you have two options to choose from (but you’ll need to determine your focus…and remember think narrow for the focus).

Collage Options
1. Conflict in media messages about gender— Look for conflicting messages sent by the images you find in the media you’ve chosen to create your collage. You can use any source of media for this collage (so think about using your favorite/love to hate magazine, TV show, music genre, video game, movie, sport, etc—it’s not necessary to use ads), in order to illustrate a few key strands of contradiction/conflict/paradoxical expectations. Think of the points made by Kilbourne (among others) regarding the conflicts with “be sexy, but not too sexy,” “be thin, but not too thin,” “be smart, but not too smart,” etc. Also consider using the Hesse-Biber material to look at the ideal in relation to the ideal taken to a dystopian-seeming extreme.
These “key strands” should help support an overall argument that is specific about the focus of the collage and illustrate the ways in which conflicting messages are powerful sources of information about hegemonic beliefs about gender and consumption, social ideals, and/or normative gendered behavior, actions, lifestyles, etc.

2. (Dis)embodied gendered objectification in images of masculinity and femininity—If “sex sells” is cliché and trite, so commonplace in the media that sexualized bodies appearing in advertisements barely merit notice, then it’s time to look at the concept and take notice of what it means when “sex” is “selling” something. How does this concept appear in the images of men and women when sex is being used to sell? It’ll help to remember that sex and related objectification is relevant for both men and women. Choose either the masculine or feminine to analyze specific representations in your collage. Directly analyze the ramifications of the one you chose (i.e. femininity or masculinity as it relates to ideas in the 2nd option). Additionally, sex is not always overtly sexual, so stay open to the many ways that a person can be commodified/objectified in the images you find while creating your collage.

Written Component Requirements
(Your title is the post’s title & after the collage, three paragraphs and a works cited list at the end)

The written component is required and related to the option chosen for the collage.

Title of Blog Post
Make sure you entitle the blog post for your write-up and collage in a way that reflects the thesis/argument that you make via your collage.

Intro with Thesis (1st paragraph)
The thesis is going to be crucial here, because you will need to include it as a written component of the assignment. Your thesis should be as nuanced and analytically deep as you can find images and quotes to support.

2 Readings Cited in a 2 paragraph statement of your work as it relates to the course readings (1 reading per paragraph)
You will also need to cite the work of 2 course readings related to media, ‘the body,’ gender, and advertising (use the readings after the section used for the first assignment).

For most students, it may help to use the readings to find quotes to inspire the collage. Use the quotes to contextualize the collage(s) in relation to the point you are making.

Works Cited/List of References
Use the MLA!
Make sure you include the two readings (in the parenthetical references in your two paragraphs) and the sources of media that you used for the assignment in a separate “Works Cited” list at the end of the blog post.

Analysis (the main goal of the assignment through your three paragraphs and the collage with an overarching title)
You’ll be graded on the level of analysis (not artistic ability☺) that you’ve demonstrated based on the relevant use of quotes, thesis, title, and through your visual collage.

Think of the collage as the body of the paper (for the most part), which stands in where the first three paragraphs would not be able to provide a cohesive argument/set of points for the entirety of the thesis.

Getting the collage on the blog with your write-up
You can scan a paper/glue/scissors collage or you can perform this component of the assignment digitally, without the glue, paper, and scissors by using digital pictures/images/etc to create your collage using Picasa (a free download from Google for photo editing and is capable of making collages), Photoshop, or other software. Any method for creating the collage is fine as long as it will allow you to create an image file that ends in .jpg, .gif, .png, .tif, or .bmp).

Remember that the collage will need to be inserted as an image in the blog post.

If you’re scanning, remember that you’ll need to be able to fit it on the bed of the scanner.
Therefore, do not use paper larger than 8.5”x11” (standard printer paper size aka: letter-size)

If multiple sheets of standard printer paper are used, scan them in order, keep them flat, and don’t attach them to each other. Scan each separately, save each page as its own file, and then upload them to a single blog post using the “add image” icon in the usual “compose” screen used in blogger (just like you used for the first post) with the written components listed above. If you need to add more than one image to complete your collage, the pop-up window will show “add an image from your computer” and once you’ve clicked “browse” to find the first image, click the link above the browse for file area, which is labeled “Add another image” and use that until all images are uploaded and then hit the orange button as the last step.

If you need a step-by-step guide to uploading the images, click on the link below:
Blogger Help - Multi-Media Blogging - Images

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