demonstrating your understanding of their arguments

Your response should demonstrate that you have carefully studied and understood class
readings, lectures and discussion, and can apply ideas from the course to individual texts.
When questions refer to specific authors, you should clearly address the ideas of those authors,
demonstrating your understanding of their arguments


1. Pick any comic book or animated text. Drawing on Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics,
discuss the “pictorial vocabulary” of the artwork. Draw a triangle on the page and show where
the art fits in relation the vertices of “reality,” “language,” and “the picture plane,” then explain

2. Pick any game. Drawing on Ralph Koster’s A Theory of Fun for Video Games, discuss what
makes the game fun.

3. Compare your own experience with social media to the observations of danah boyd in It’s
Complicated and/or Sherry Turkle in her TED talk, “Connected, But Alone?” What do they get
right? What do they get wrong?

4. Pick any contemporary media text. Drawing on Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities,
discuss how the text helps create a sense of national identity.

5. Pick any contemporary media text. Drawing on Arjun Appadurai’s Modernity at Large, discuss
the flows of each of Appadurai’s five “-scapes” in relation to the text.

6. Pick an example of online activism. Drawing on Jodi Dean’s “Communicative Capitalism” and/
or Manuel Castell’s Networks of Outrage and Hope, assess the political effeciveness of the

7. Pick any contemporary media text. Make a “culture-jammed” version of the text.

8. Pick any contemporary media text. Pick one of the following concepts that you did not
address on the midterm, and discuss how it relates to the text: sentimental education,
subculture, semiotics, audience, commodity fetishism, ideology, cultural capital, racial formation,
postfeminism, queer theory.

9. Visit a park, garden, or other nature space. Turn off all electronic devices. Sit quietly for at
least 10 minutes observing the landscape and animals. Compare your experience to that
described by David Abram in “The Ecology of Magic.” How does the experience compare to
your usual pace of life?


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