106 slides 1 2013: Introduction and Faux Friendship

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Mapping the essay, key ideas and counterarguments, reading assignment for next week

Mapping the essay, key ideas and counterarguments, reading assignment for next week

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  • 1. BIU English 106 Introduction to Literary Forms and Critical Writing I Dr. Daniel Feldman danielb.feldman@gmail.com
  • 2. Writing Blurbs 1 Recent research demonstrates how effectively and efficiently writing can improve comprehension of content in any discipline. Writing also enables students to practice analysis, synthesis, and other skills that constitute critical, creative, and even civic thinking. If writing provides one of our best means to enhance learning outcomes across the curriculum, then more writing equals more learning. Why would we design writing assignments with obstacles that discourage students from learning? --Curt Schick
  • 3. Before we begin…It’s not all bad! Programming is a whole new kind of problem. Even if we spend half our time looking at those busy screens, most of us would be none the wiser. Watching The Social Network, even though you know the filmmakers want your disapproval, you can’t help feel a little swell of pride in this 2.0 generation. They’ve spent a decade being berated for not making the right sorts of paintings or novels or music or politics. Turns out the brightest 2.0 kids have been doing something else extraordinary. They’ve been making a world. --Zadie Smith, “Generation Why?”
  • 4. The Facebook Phenomenon, or Friendship in Crisis 1. Friendship all and nothing: friendship characteristic relationship of our day. 2. Friendship means nothing in an age of Facebook and hundreds of friends. 3. Fr-ship was once subversive and rare. 4. Friendship suppressed by Christianity and Medievalism. 5. Friendship redux with classical revival.
  • 5. The Facebook Phenomenon, or Friendship in Crisis 6. Friendship becomes quintessential modern relationship, for good and ill. 7. And with it an enervation of friendship --no longer about frank criticism, but shallow affirmation. 8. Aspect of modernity: circle of friends 9. But all false: Facebook friendships a mirage 10. Ubiquity of friendship hides a hunger for relationship in an age of solitude.
  • 6. The Facebook Phenomenon, or Friendship in Crisis 11. In truth, crippling isolation prevails. “The more people we know, the lonelier we get.” 12. Exhibitionism: no privacy means no friends. 13. Shallowness: “People doing their best to impersonate themselves.” 14. Other FB vices: warps memory and cheapens identity by reducing it to tags and posts.
  • 7. The Facebook Phenomenon, or Friendship in Crisis Conclusion: “Posting information is like pornography, a slick, impersonal exhibition. Exchanging stories is like making love: probing, questing, questioning, caressing. It is mutual. It is intimate. It takes patience, devotion, sensitivity, subtlety, skill—and it teaches them all, too.”
  • 8. Before we write…maybe all wrong! World makers, social network makers, ask one question first: How can I do it? Zuckerberg solved that one in about three weeks. The other question, the ethical question, he came to later: Why? Why Facebook? Why this format? Why do it like that? Why not do it another way? The striking thing about the real Zuckerberg, in video and in print, is the relative banality of his ideas concerning the “Why” of Facebook.
  • 9. Before we write…maybe all wrong! He uses the word “connect” as believers use the word “Jesus,” as if it were sacred in and of itself: “So the idea is really that, um, the site helps everyone connect with people and share information with the people they want to stay connected with….” Connection is the goal. The quality of that connection, the quality of the information that passes through it, the quality of the relationship that connection permits—none of this is important. That a lot of social networking software explicitly encourages people to make weak, superficial connections with each other (as Malcolm Gladwell has recently argued), and that this might not be an entirely positive thing, seem to never have occurred to him.
  • 10. Doesn’t fiction say the same thing?
  • 11. In-class sample essay assignment Facebook and social networking media are corrupting the institution and experience of friendship. • Do you agree or disagree? State and support your opinion in a brief, wellreasoned essay. • Use Deresiewicz’s essay or your own knowledge to support your argument.
  • 12. For Next Week 21.10 & 23.10 Monday: Sample essay and peer editing • No writing assignment for this week!!!! • In-class writing and revision drill Monday Wednesday: Begin James Joyce’s Dubliners • For next week: “An Encounter” http://www.literaturecollection.com/a/james-joyce/