Classroom Instructor: Robert Danberg
Section Numbers: Writ 381A-01
Section Day/Time: 1:15 to 2:40
Classroom Location: Eng. Bldg Q3
Instructor E-mail Address: ude.notmahgnib|grebnadr#ude.notmahgnib|grebnadr
Office and Office Hours: Library Tower 1304 T/Th 11:45 to 12:45

Writing Art, Film Literature, Music and Dance

Course Goal
This class is designed to help you learn to become flexible, adaptable writers for arts publication. Part of our work will be to familiarize you with common genre, such as reviews, profiles, and “topic” pieces. The majority of our work will focus on producing writing for a web-based publication you and your colleagues design. Writers in the arts must be able to do several things: analyze a publication and its audience, translate their knowledge, principles and expertise for an audience, write so that the audience can see, hear, or experience what the writer has read, and create a voice that is engaging, credible and appropriate for publication. They must be able to produce work in an efficient and timely way and negotiate relationships with editors.

Since you couldn’t possibly, in the course of just four months, learn every form that you will one day encounter, we focus in this course on the framework of publication and several key forms so that you’ll have an opportunity to develop skills and experiment.
You will be writing for different audiences at each stage of the project. Your colleagues on the publication form an editorial board who will review the work at different stages.

Your colleagues in class will be a critical audience for the work. I am the “publisher/teacher” of the publication. Anyone that you invite to read the work you publish forms another kind of audience, in a sense, the intended audience: people who don’t think of the work as an ongoing learning project, but take it on its own terms as a stand alone publication.

Primary Course Project
You will collaborate with members of a team on the design and production of an arts publication. You and your staff every aspect of the publication: design, use of the tools of the technology, editorial staff, proofreading and final publication.
Of course, simply stating the project belies the complexity of successfully completing it. For example, your team will need to develop a thorough understanding of what is involved producing your publication (the above elements of underlying form) for an audience that you identify. I can assure you that it will include a myriad of complex and interrelated tasks. Your team will need to develop a project plan for completing this article in an efficient (given your other obligations, classes, or semester projects) and effective (tangible progress with publication as the aim) way. And, you (your team) will need to develop relationships with people who might be able to help you. Perhaps the most important people are those fellow team members, whose expertise, hard work, good will and understanding you will surely come to need and rely on. Again, there is more that will be needed, and together we will discover it.
In addition to the publication itself, you will be asked to do other (mostly related) work.

Individual Assignments and Workshops

You’ll be expected to produce one of the required pieces for each of the first three publications over the course of the semester, plus two additional pieces you choose..
You’ll turn in one of each of the required pieces for me to comment on at specified times during the semester. In total, you’ll produce five pieces.

The portfolio collects your three best pieces, rewritten for final submission.
It will also contain analyses of the readings you’ve done this semester. You’re required to write ten.

Course Assignments
The list of course assignments (and their grade values) is below; descriptions are available under the "assignments" tab on the wiki.

Assignments Points Due Date
Publication Analysis 5 September 5
Professional Bio./Critic’s Statement 5 September 15
Workshop Submissions 15
Issue 1 5 September 22
Issue 2 5 October 13
Issue 3 5 October 27
Issue 4 5 November 10
Final Portfolio (Individual) 25 December 5
Class and Team Citizenship 20

Peer Evaluation
I take seriously the notion that this is a course about production for publication, which makes communication essential, including that which goes on at the group level. To this end, at three times during the semester, I will ask that you consider your team’s progress in the class and assess the contributions of the other members in your team—as well as your own. I do this in part to better understand the inner-workings of each team so that I can help them when and where they need it. I also do it to alleviate the concern of some students (not altogether unfounded) that team work is on occasion abused as a good excuse for someone to do less than his or her share of the work.
Note that “Class and Team Citizenship” accounts for 20% of the course grade. I use these assessments as one of several sources as I figure this part of your final grade. It is important that you as an individual team member fully understand the nature of your contributions, and that the other members of your team value those contributions. All of this being true, remember, not all team members’ contributions will or even should be identical, nor will those contributions always and in all ways be equal.

Submission Protocol
Whenever you have an assignment due (individually or in groups), I would like you to submit an electronic copy of it by email. You will also provide a hard copy for each member of the class.

Publication Critiques
After each issue is published, it will be the reading assignment for the next two or three classes. We will discuss each issue in class during the days following its publication so you will be expected to have read each issue and prepare a response to it in class.

At three points throughout the semester, I will ask your team to schedule conferences with me during class.

One Final Note
I suspect that your experience in this class may differ from that of your experiences of most other classes. For example, I will rarely “lecture”. Occasionally, I will do mini-lessons, 10-15 minute “just-in-time” instruction based on what folks seemed to need at that moment—usually in response to a question. You will likely spend class time working within your respective teams. Most days, I will be “roaming” from team to team, attempting to make contributions to the successful completion of your major project. In the same way that I feel responsible to “prepare” you (your team) to succeed, I would hope that you (individually and as a team) feel responsible to share with me what you think you need to succeed. Feel free, even obliged, to ask me questions, but also to make suggestions about what I might prepare for, provide to, or teach your group or team that would help you (your team) specifically.

So, in order to use this class time effectively and efficiently, you (individually and as a team) will have to engage in planning, organizing, and completing tasks important to your respective and collective performances.


Many of our readings will come from current periodicals. Readings will sometimes be distributed in class. Often you’ll be directed to the class wiki where you’ll find pdfs or links to follow. Sometimes, you’ll be given the author, title, and other bibliographic data and be asked to find the article on your own. You also may be asked to contribute things you’ve found interesting to class readings.

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