Not to be a kiss ass (excuse my language), but this class ties with History of Architecture for my favorite class this semester. Of my three years at NYU, I have never had a class this early in the day and I am still amazed at myself for not missing a single class.
What I think contributed to this class being AMAZING is that Professor Marwick is pretty kick ass (again, excuse my language). I have never had any professor who knew about pop culture and mass media as extensively as Alice. This made the class extremely relatable. Further, it made me excited to go to class, knowing that I will be able to contribute to class discussions.
I really like our discussion driven class. I like that I learned new things from my classmates, like the art scene from Dylan or the music scene from Jonathan and Caroline just posts really cool things. Everyone in class is really pretty cool. I also like the presentations that Alice has prepared for us because it really drove the discussions home with the technical aspects and methods of media analysis. This class really opened my eyes about the relevance of pop culture and mass media on an academic level. It made me think about popular phenomenon in a different way; that there might be social relevance as to why Gossip Girl is so popular, etc. I have never thought of myself as a scholar, but this class sparked my interest about pursuing graduate level in this field.
I am not sure if I like the blog or not. On one hand, it is infinitely better than boring and technically problematic blackboard where you cannot attach relevant media. On the other hand, I sometimes found it difficult to post a blog on some of the readings and almost felt the pressure to have to post some sort of media to back up my entry because everyone else was doing it. Further, I have always found posting for the Thursday reading very difficult. I guess a big part of it is my poor time management. And I think the whole 2 comments a week thing is a bit forced. I think good comments are generated from actual readers’ interest, not from requirements.
I absolutely hated reading Chandler’s Semiotics for Beginners. I definitely think that Sturken & Cartwright explained semiotics infinitely better. I also felt most of the readings constructed themselves too much against the identity of black or white. Like with class, it was the class differences with the whites and with masculinity, it was really white masculinity. I don’t like bell hooks. Nothing personal, just scarred from reading her writings in Writing the Essay classes in freshman year.
I really like all the assignments so far. I mean, who can really complain about writing about their favorite television show? However, I find this last assignment problematic. It is worth more than the previous two essays, but we don’t get to pick what we want to write about. I think presentations would be a lot more interesting if people got to pick which movies they want and then collaborate. I also find a problem with the films that are subtitled because it is hard to write about their cultural context since we have limited understanding.
Regardless, the awesomeness of this class clearly outweighs the minor problems. Further, the problems are mostly preference problems and have nothing to do with the success of this class. I would just like to end this feedback with the fact that over this semester, I have proven that you can explain every aspect of media criticism with Mean Girls. Mean Girls can definitely serve as the bible (I mean, if bibles are done in form of a two hour film?) for this class.