Muhlenberg College Spring 2019

Week 2

For Tuesday, read Audrey Watters introductory chapter, “The Manila Envelope,” which is in the Files section of our Canvas course.  This is an introduction to her book, Claim Your Domain and Own Your Digital Presence.  Watters helps provide a framework for Domain of One’s Own, an initiative you will be introduced to on Tuesday, and that is designed to expand and amplify your voice and agency in owning your own learning, data, and digital presence.

We meet in the library, Trexler B06, on Tuesday!


 For Thursday, read Coles Chapter 1, pages 19-33; and excerpts from Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (handout in class).

The reading is available as a pdf file in Canvas. Bring your reading–either printed out or on your laptop–to class.

The following questions are meant to help guide your reading for Thursday’s class. They are not the only questions to ask of the text, just a few.  Read closely the entire 14 page section, but also pay particular attention to the following:

  • What is the two-fold struggle of documentary work?
  • How has the meaning of the term “document” changed historically?
  • What role does Agee play in this section of Chapter 1? What does Coles aim to show us through the work and experience of Agee?
  • What’s up with the word ‘poignant’? Why does Coles’ editor take issue with that word?
  • Circle or mark every instance that the term ‘location’ appears in these 14 pages.

Now that you’ve created your domain and course blog, your first assignment is to write and publish your first post, due before class on Thursday.  In this post, share a quote or passage from the Coles’ reading for the week, along with your reflections on that quote or passage, and what it conveys to you about about doing documentary work. Include an image in your post, related to the content of the chapter.  The Library of Congress holds all of the photos shot by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and others working for the Farm Security Administration during the period Coles writes about in this chapter.  Here is the link to the LOC collection, where all of the images are in the public domain and can be saved and published on your blog.  Please include a citation for your photo when you upload it to your post.  

Here is a very useful guide to the basics of WordPress, including short video tutorials on how to create a post and how to upload media:

Digital Learning Assistants–Muhlenberg peer tutors for digital projects–are available to help you with this work.  Their schedule for drop in hours is below: