The lion’s share of your work this semester will take place on the course blogs, which will be a single blog network hosted on Scott’s website: (Scott’s main site is here: Instructions on how to set them up will be forthcoming. Setting them up will be your first obligation as a student in the class.

Since we have so little time in class together, blog posts are a really significant aspect of the course. We will not have presentations in class—rather, we will rely on what students write outside of class to drive our discussions.

The framework for the blog posts is as follows:

Regular, weekly blog posts. These are the bread and butter of the course. Each post should be at minimum 300 words (I do mean this as a minimum), and should address, in a substantial, sophisticated, and engaged manner, one (or more) of the texts we are reading for that week. In addition, each post must also refer, in a specific and substantial way, to one or more posts by one or more other student(s). tl;dr: more than 300 words, at least one link, posted well before class.

Do read the comments! Do write them, too. Students are also required to write at least two comments on other students’ posts each week. Comments need not be long, but they must be engaged and substantive. Scott will also participate in commenting, albeit in a limited manner. tl;dr: 2 comments per week; read the comments.

Significant posts. Students will be responsible for two longer, more significant blog posts over the course of the semester. These should be at least 1000 words (the rough equivalent of a 3-page paper). Early in the semester, students will select two texts (primary or secondary) as the material about which they write their significant posts. These are prospective, due before the class in which we discuss the text in question. They are also retrospective, considering the text in question in the context of previous course material. They also carry a commensurate reference requirement as regular posts: 3x the length, 3x the references to other students’ work. These stand in for the regular, weekly posts in the weeks that they come due. tl;dr: 2 posts have to be much longer.

• Research posts. As we move into the back half of the semester, various scaffolded parts of the research project will come due as blog posts. These will be in addition to the regular, weekly blog posts. The commenting obligation extends to these blog posts, as well. tl;dr: the research project is bloggy, too.

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In general, blog posts are due at least three hours before the relevant class period. Our class meets 4:30–5:50pm; this entails that blog posts are to be made not later than 1:30pm on the relevant day.

Relevance here can mean one of two things. Blog posts can be prospective or retrospective. Prospective blog posts are written about an object before the class in which we discuss it; retrospective posts are written after a discussion. I expect each student to keep a balance of prospective and retrospective posts, with about twice as many prospective posts as retrospective ones. Retrospective posts must not only deal with a text and what we said about it in class, but pose further questions about it, bringing to light something we passed over in class.

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Finally, students are expected to customize their blog in some way. This probably will mean customizing the default themes in small ways: changing images, colors, fonts, or what have you. I want some evidence that you are engaging with the medium of our coursework together.