Here’s what I want you to do. You will conduct a genre analysis of a science fi
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Here’s what I want you to do. You will conduct a genre analysis of a science fiction film, television series, radio show, podcast, or video game that we haven’t considered in class. That means you’ll be analyzing how your chosen text was constructed with stylistic techniques like story, editing, camera work, special effects, costuming, etc., how it draws on sf themes, tropes and conventions, and how it serves as a window to broader social issues. Here’s why I want you to do it. By researching and closely analyzing a media sf text, you will hone your critical analysis skills that you will apply in your other FTVM classes and in your life beyond graduation. Specifically, in completing this assignment, you’ll be working on the learning objectives of our class, including how to:
1) Describe how media sf texts are constructed through the use of creative stylistic techniques. 2) Analyze how media sf texts are developed and shaped by cultural contexts, production, distribution and exhibition.
3) Evaluate ways in which media sf texts draw upon and diverge from established histories, traditions, movements, and modes. 4) Argue for a critical interpretation of media sf texts using stylistic, historical, and/or theoretical evidence.
You’ll also be co-creating the knowledge of our class by sharing your analysis with your colleagues and expanding our understanding of media sf.
Here’s how to do it. Step 1. Choose a media sf television show, film, video game, radio show or podcast that you have access to and would like to analyze. (I chose the sci-fi movie Battleship from 2012)
Step 2. Do your research. Try to find one scholarly source (such as a peer-reviewed journal article, scholarly book chapter or scholarly book) or one popular source (newspaper or magazine article) to inform your analysis. Find out some background information on the show such as its production and distribution information and what critics and other scholars have said about it. Do not simply use Wikipedia as a source or do a Google search for this information. Practice locating some quality sources to inform your analysis (published articles and books)
Step 3. Sign up for Padlet and design your project. Using the Padlet “stream” layout, organize your posts on your board by including the following sections, using as many posts as needed for each section, and including images, videos, audio recordings, websites, etc.:
• Tell us about your text and your argument about it. What’s the basic premise? What is the medium (film, tv series, video game, etc.). Explain the type of sf storytelling it uses: Extraordinary voyage? Invasion story? Tale of science? Tale of the future? Space opera? Dystopian tale? Utopian tale? Nuclear apocalypse story? Alternate history? Alternative futurism? What is your claim about the social issue(s) it is taking on and how?
• When was it made and who made it? Give some information on when it was made, where it was distributed and who made it (production company, and any notable cast and crew members).
• What sf tropes, themes, and/or conventions does your text employ or rework? Cognitive estrangement? Colonial gaze? Genre hybridity? Does it have cyborgs, robots, aliens, mad scientists, interplanetary travel, futuristic technologies, marvelous inventions, etc.?
Sf social issues
• What social issue is the text working through using those sf elements and how? Identify the social issue that you think the text is referencing and explain how it is representing it. Provide background information on the social issue if needed. This is where it is helpful to refer to sources you have researched using the library.
• Choose one or more scenes, segments, episodes or other evidence to analyze to show us how the series is representing the social issue. Be sure to include video links if available and/or images to support your analysis. Write at least one paragraph or provide a video or audio recording of yourself talking for the equivalent of that paragraph to walk us through the analysis.
• Provide a conclusion by reminding us of the most important points that you have made in the analysis.
Step 4. Post a link to your project on the Genre Analysis Project Padlet board.
• Your project should include images, videos, and articles that illustrate your analysis. • You should use at least one credible source such as a scholarly peer-reviewed journal article, book, or book chapter or a newspaper or magazine article that you have located using the Library One Search database. This type of source will be useful for finding out production information, backing up a point about the social issue(s) the text is addressing, and/or when discussing the style of the series (sf story type/convention, etc.). Be sure to cite these sources using MLA citation style (see OWL Purdue MLA citation guide for how to cite in Assignments). Do not use Wikipedia for this!
• Links to videos, images, imdb credits, audio that illustrate your analysis can be added with the Google search function of Padlet. The links here serve as the citations.
• Be sure to refer to the concepts defined in the lecture videos and reading assignments from class and be sure to cite them, referring to the Course Bibliography posted in Assignments. Do not Google class concepts and use what you find on Google. Show me what you have learned from the lectures and the reading instead.
• You have the option of writing on each post or recording yourself speaking (voice only or voice + video). • Be sure to carefully proofread your project – there’s no spellcheck on Padlet.
• This is an example of what the finished product can look like. Have fun and be creative with your project – just make sure that you have the required sections and materials.