The FaceBook Storm

On Tuesday, March 30, I’ll ask my students to read an introductory collection of essays that introduces the “Adding to a Conversation” essay, where they survey the breadth of research and discourse and written conversation (in academic journals, popular press, and elsewhere) on a topic of interest, attempt to find the lacunae and interstices in that conversation, and add their own perspectives. The current edition of the textbook that I helped our Writing Program to construct includes model or sample conversations about guns and school violence, censorship and youth culture, and debates about stem cell research and evolution. I’ll have left the program by the time next year when they start thinking about revising the textbook, but on March 30, I think I might test-run an initial unit of readings that focus on the recent two-month perfect storm of controversy swirling around the Facebook and notions of academic and pedagogical freedom and restraint, with an eye towards suggesting it as a possible addition to the textbook.

Student Life on the Facebook
Teens’ Bold Blogs Alarm Area Schools
Facebook Face-Off
Facebook Drama at SU
Of Free Speech and Student Materiality
When Journalists Attack!
Facebook, Online Student Networking, and Strategically Designed Student Selves

There are interesting subtle resonances, for me, with the things I’ve had to say about affectual labor and the commodification of identity, so I’ll be curious to see how it plays out and what my students’ reactions might be. Additionally, while I never, ever want to be the kind of teacher who requires his students to read his own texts, I wonder if there might be some way to get that article Casey and I did (if you want to make me happy, ask me for the link) on commodification and online identity in there, since it seems to be on (rather long) hold in terms of publication.

The FaceBook Storm

6 thoughts on “The FaceBook Storm

  • February 14, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    I’d love the link to your article. I’m all of these articles for my own use next fall.

  • February 14, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    The link’s on its way. For some reason, WP badly mangled your comment; I apologize — I really need to update the version I’ve got running now. But in any case — thanks, and I’d love to hear what you think!

  • February 15, 2006 at 10:02 am

    Keep us updated on how the unit plays out. I’ve been following the facebook stories with much interest and am anxious to hear more response–from academics, students, mass culture, etc.

  • February 15, 2006 at 1:01 pm

    The facebook unit sounds very interesting. I always think it’s a good idea to use current controversies in our teaching to help students see the conversations around them.

  • February 18, 2006 at 1:05 am

    Thanks for this list–I’ve been amazed at how resistant my students are talking about their technological literacy yet they’re all MySpace fanatics. Vanity Fair has a great article on it but I don’t think it’s online yet…

  • February 19, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    I don’t pay much attention to the current trends on MySpace or Facebooks, however I thought you might find it interesting to see how a current student from my own college decided to use his facebook. Here is the URL to the story. (Mike feel free to make it a linky linky!)

    Sorry…I’m not that adept with posting links within a single word. Going to have to work on that one. Regardless, I hate posting this story but I thought it would fit. Miami had a bad week in January and the last thing they needed was 1. a fake assault report & 2. a bozo pasting his own picture on facebook as a rape suspect.

    Love and Honor…

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