What's Due:
Wednesday, March 7 - Final Paper, 'What's Good and What's Problematic about the Reality Genre?'

For sources, see the 'Reality Genre Texts and Other Resources,' 'Final Paper' and What Is the Reality Genre? pages on the Wiki.

Tuesday-Friday: Visit me at lunch downstairs at my desk for help with your papers or any questions you might have.

Want to see Miss Representation for free? There are several screenings coming up on campus at CU: http://www.colorado.edu/womensresourcecenter/events/events.htm#MissRep

The Cult of Reality

How – and more importantly, why – did the Kardashians become so popular? The “reality” genre exploded in popularity at the turn of the 21st century, with American audiences in droves tuning into TV shows such as “American Idol,” frequenting online blogs – “The Julie/Julia Project” became a best-selling book and movie – and reading memoirs and autobiographies, which dominate the New York Times non-fiction best-sellers list. This course will ask you to critically consider: What do these texts say about our modern culture? Why might reality as an idea have become so important and popular in the current century? How is reality as a storytelling genre different from fiction? Or is it?

The core objective of this course is for you to be able to apply the rhetorical questions, ‘Who is saying what to whom and why?’ to any text in order to assess author, message, audience, and purpose. Based on this overarching analytical structure, the class is broken into five central questions that will be explored over 10 weeks:

What is the Reality Genre?
Who is creating it?
For whom has its various forms been created?
Why has this kind of storytelling become so popular in the 21st century?
What is good about it, and what is problematic?

Course syllabus: