Media Fandom Syllabus
Henry Jenkins recently posted the syllabus for his freshly revised doctoral seminar in fandom studies, along with some reflections on how he’s registering recent debates about the field. As it happens, I’m also teaching a seminar in fan studies this term, and since this is a first for me in two ways, I thought I’d share my syllabus for COMS 4800B Special Topics in Communication & Media Studies (Media Fandom), too.
Since starting at Carleton, a lot of my teaching assignment has been focused on our first year intro course. Having handed that class off to a colleague this year, I’m free to explore some new teaching opportunities. I’m really excited to be teaching a course in one of my areas of specialization, and, specifically, to be teaching the work of scholars I know and admire. My goal in putting the reading list together was to provide some historical and contextual material on the development of the field but also reflect recent scholarship on fans and fandom (I only wish I had more weeks to work with!).
This is also my first crack at a specifications grading course design. It’s part of a pilot program coming out of a community of practice I convened using funds from a Teaching Achievement Award. My aim here is to make the relationship between learning outcomes and the final grade achieved in the course clearer, streamline the assessment process and make it transparent, and give students tools to be responsible for their own performance in the class within a flexible framework. (My thinking on this design is also really influenced by playing D&D.) If you’re interested in a deeper dive on the course design, check out the assignment specs documents.