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 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.