I also use Channels of Discourse, Stephen, as the second part of my
intro to TV studies course -- starting the semester immodestly with my
own textbook, Television: Critical Methods and Applications (
I'd be curious to hear your comments on how your students receive
Channels. I think it's a terrific book, although I wish Bobby Allen
would consider updating it as the "reassembled" edition is now 12 years
old. However, most of my undergraduate students would disagree. Each
time I use it, I have to cope with students (juniors and seniors)
complaining that its vocabulary is too hard. This always surprises me,
because I think it's quite lucidly written. I wonder if the mistake I
make, however, is including it in the FIRST TV-studies course we offer.
Perhaps it's too difficult for students who are unaccustomed to thinking
about TV in a critical fashion. Or perhaps it's just more of a
graduate-level book. I dunno.
This is all part of an on-going issue I'm struggling with: How does one
encourage students to do course readings?
I've relied on a variety of methods -- ranging from tests/quizzes only
on the readings to assigning specific students as discussion respondents
to hoping my own enthusiasm for the topic will inspire students to crack
open the books -- but lately, in some classes, nothing seems to work.
I'd be curious to hear what approaches others have taken.
In any event, you'll find my syllabus, with my choices for illustrative
examples, here, but wait until tomorrow (Tuesday) to check it out as I
just noticed that our Web server is down (which always happens during a
holiday when no one's there to fix it):
Also, there are several TV-studies syllabi listed on ScreenSite.org and
you can search for "channels" on it -- if it weren't on the same
off-line server that tcf.ua.edu is on:
> Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 12:34:08 -0800
> From: Stephen Tropiano <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: TEACHING TV: SERIES AND EPISODE TITLES
> I am currently putting a syllabus for my television studies course.
> I am using :Channels of Discourse" as my primary text. I would
> appreciate it anyone who teaches a similar course could share
> series and/or episode titles they have used in class in conjunction
> with the major methodologies ( SEMIOTICS, MARXISM,
> PSYCHOANALYSIS, NARRATIVE, FEMINISM, POST-
> Yours in the struggle,
> Stephen Tropiano
> Editor, Journal of Film and Video
> Director, Ithaca College LA Program
> [log in to unmask]
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite