“In their own way as complex as the language of scientific papers or policy documents, popular media think aloud and in public about who we are, where we are going, and what debts we owe to the world we live in.”
–Sean Cubitt, Eco Media (Amsterdam and New York: Rodolpi, 2005): 1.
This section of ENGL 1102 develops communication strategies through a consideration of “ecomedia,” a label that most readily refers to popular media (movies, blogs, video games, tv shows, etc.) that address environmental issues and, more often than not, advocate for changes that will improve environmental conditions. More broadly, “ecomedia” refers to media that express an “ecocritical imagination” and to a critical scholarly outlook that is attuned to media’s material effects on environment. We will explore all of these strands as we practice WOVEN communication strategies and apply them to a diverse grouping of media texts. Students in the course will also produce ecomedia in the form of public service announcement videos produced in partnership with the community organization Trees Atlanta.
This course is part of Georgia Tech’s Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS) initiative, which provides students with opportunities inside and outside the classroom designed to help them combine their academic and career interests with their desire to improve the human condition, allowing them to help build healthier, more sustainable communities where people and nature thrive. More information about SLS can be found at serve-learn-sustain.gatech.edu. Visit the website to sign up for the SLS ListServ and find links to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
WOVEN Communication: You will continue to hone the WOVEN communication skills you began to develop in ENG1101. Below are some of the highlights:
- Written communication: (a) develop a recognizable critical voice and the ability to use it to make effective argumentative claims in a range of genres and subgenres of academic writing; (b) foreground the value of your contributions to the discourse; and (c) identify legitimate sources, use them to further your own argumentative claims, and cite them correctly.
- Oral communication: (a) deliver a group presentation to a professional client that highlights the intention behind your creative work; (b) “move the conversation” in class discussions; (c) develop a reflective awareness of your speech patterns and how you communicate with various audiences.
- Visual communication: (a) analyze visual style in a range of media (film, television, online essays); (b) use the juxtaposition of text and image to support your argumentative claims.
- Electronic communication: (a) produce PSA videos using iMovie or Adobe Premiere; (b) compose blog entries in WordPress; (3) use a variety of digital tools to access, annotate, and analyze texts.
- Nonverbal communication: (a) use eye contact and body language effectively in classroom presentations and discussions; (b) practice attentive and responsive engagement with others’ nonverbal communication.
Ecomedia: In addition to the course outcomes for all English 1102 courses, this course includes the following outcomes:
- Interrogate commonsense terms such as nature, culture, and wilderness/wildness.
- Cultivate an informed interest in how media act on the environment and environmental issues.
- Learn how to work collaboratively to produce short educational films.
Serve-Learn-Sustain/Public Service Pathway: The support of the Office of Serve-Learn-Sustain will facilitate several exciting additional outcomes:
- Familiarize yourself with the larger community of Atlanta.
- Understand the historical, social, and environmental elements that shape the city’s present.
- Contribute to that present by disseminating local scientific knowledge to the public.