English 602 Fall 2016

Literature and Society

For Tuesday, finish reading The Circle.

Also, we need to bring the Uber-Transmission project to a close.  At this point, you should be synthesizing your sources and writing up a commentary on the Uber-Transmission connections that you’ve discovered.  Remember: your Uber research should help you to understand Transmission more deeply; and, Transmission should help you to frame and interpret Uber more deeply.  I suggest that each group create a new google doc – – linked from our shared doc – -and use that new doc as a place to start writing things up.

The ultimate product of your group efforts should be: a 750 word summary of the Transmission-Uber connections that you’ve found.  This summary should, obviously, be organized according to your group’s main ideas about Transmission-Uber connections. (See above for the substance of these ideas.)  It should also cite sources (from articles etc. about Uber and from Kunzru’s novel) to illustrate or develop your main ideas.  This document should be completed by Thursday, November 3 and published as a separate Google doc.

October 26th, 2016

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(Thanks to Kyleigh for the video tip-off.)

For Tuesday, let’s read to page 355 of The Circle.

And, let’s start bringing our Uber project toward a conclusion.  That means: each member of your group should have chipped in at least two (2) articles and commentary to the collective Uber document.  Next, it might be helpful to go back to Kunzru’s Transmission and skim through the novel to refresh your memory for the next stage of things.  I.e. after building up your topic collection (“disruption,” “consumption,” etc.), you’ll now want to connect your Uber knowledge to Transmission.  I think the best way to do this is to start a discussion/new paragraph within your google doc section on the themes, ideas, and arguments that connect your Uber work to Transmission.  In other words, what does Uber show us about Kunzru’s novel, and what does Kunzru’s novel show us about Uber?

October 22nd, 2016

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For Thursday, let’s read up to around page 261 of Eggers’ The Circle.

Also, don’t forget to keep working on your Uber-Transmission project.  At this stage, you should probably be sifting through our collected articles to search for information, arguments, and examples of your topics.  In other words, what is the connection between your topics and Uber?  As you develop your research, be sure to write it up for your colleagues by adding to your google doc.  In this model of writing, everybody contributes something to the topic and many smaller pieces will – – eventually – – be synthesized into a richer, deeper sense of the Uber-Transmission connections.

Remember our ultimate goal is to answer a two-way question: what does Uber tell us about Kunzru’s novel? and, how does Transmission help us to understand “uberization”?

October 19th, 2016

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Remember: no class on Thursday.  I’ll be at a conference in San Diego.

Until Tuesday, here’s what you’ll want to do:

Keep working on our Uber project.  Within the next 24 hours, I’ll create a new google doc organized by group and topic.  Sign up for a group or topic and start working through the articles we’ve assembled via our google form.  (I’ve created a spreadsheet of your collected responses.  You can comment on the entries, but not edit them.  The spreadsheet should update automatically if and when new articles are added via the form. Let me know if I need to fine tune access or etc.)  I think the first step for your group is to collect the articles from our master list that are relevant to your group/topic.  E.g. cut and paste article title, url, summary, and comments into your group space on the google doc.

Keep adding to our Guy-speak compendium.  Nota bene: I’ve tried to offer some more guidance about what kind of quotes/examples might be most helpful to the project at the top of the document.

Start in on Dave Eggers’ The Circle.  You’ll want to get up to page 158 – – the end of Mae’s check-up with Dr. Villalobos.  Enjoy.

October 12th, 2016

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Continue adding to our compendium of Guy-speak.  Look at the notes I’ve left at the top of the document.  For the purposes of this project, we’re going to approach Guy as a type, the type of the “new economy” techie-enrepreneur.  In other words, we’ll be using Guy to start building a linguistic and rhetorical profile of “Silicon Valley” discourse.

And, don’t forget our Uber project.  You should start finding and harvesting articles related to Uber.  Use our google form to add your articles (at least 2) to the project.  Remember, the ultimate goal here is: to use Transmission to think about Uber (and the much-touted “sharing economy” in general) and to use Uber to think about Transmission (and its vision of the society and culture of “futurist accumulation,” as Dyer-Witheford calls it).

October 10th, 2016

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For Thursday, let’s definitely finish talking about Transmission!

And, let’s start gathering information for our Uber-Transmission project.  What project?

Transmission is a novel about work, technology, culture, and class (and probably some other things).  Let’s see how what Kunzru’s novel can tell us about our contemporary situation, especially our contemporary relation to technology.  We’re going to focus on Uber, the “ride-sharing” business, because it’s technology-driven, familiar, and seems to share some possible features with the novel.

Uber-Transmission project: Phase 1.  Our first step will be to collect as much information about Uber as we can, most of it drawn from web and newspaper and other articles and sources.  To start, here’s the very good Wikipedia entry on Uber.  (Read this for class on Thursday.)

After we’ve talked a little about the Wikipedia piece, we can start googling, searching, and harvesting other sources for insight into Uber. To aid this effort, I’ve created a handy-dandy form to organize our research.  (Take a look at the form and let me know what you think.)

Our project will end with a collectively-authored essay.  For now, we’ll use Google Docs to write this.  (This will help us ramp up to using Scalar for later projects.)

October 5th, 2016

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Let’s finish up our discussion of Kunzru’s Transmission,  e.g. try to finish reading the novel.

October 2nd, 2016

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