• Flapper Lecture MP3, Conspiracy Theories, and Your Final Paper


    First off: here is a copy of the MP3 lecture on flappers that I mentioned in class, along with the powerpoint file I used. The MP3 and the PPT go together, so check them out at the same time.:

    These files are available at Mediafire; this site apparently is blocked on the campus servers, which is stupid considering plenty of legally uploaded material is available there (like, for example, the two files linked above). However, you can either download it on another network (say, at a cafe) or by using a proxy.

    Next, I asked you, last time, to think of some recent conspiracy theories in Korea as well as any conspiracy theories you know about from the English-speaking world. We will begin discussing conspiracy theories on our one class meeting in Week 11. (14 May.) 16 May there will be no class, due to the school festival.

    As for what we’ll discuss after that, I’ve been thinking about what to do, regarding your panel discussion/presentation grade, since it’s such a significant part of your mark. I thought about deleting it from the grading system, transferring those marks to your final exam, and more, but I thought completely removing it would be unfair.

    Therefore, I’ve come up with a compromise. For our class, you are going to write a final essay (not an exam, an essay) and you are going to present the basic points of your research, and your ideas, sometime in Weeks 13 and 14 (28/30 May and 4/6 April), and possibly into Week 15 if necessary. Each student will have eight to ten minutes to present the basis ideas of his or her paper, and there will be a few minutes for discussion. This will give you a chance to rethink your ideas, research more, and work on your thesis and argument before handing in your final essay.

    I will circulate a sign-up sheet on Monday, 14 May for you to choose the date and time for your presentation. You will not be required to specify the topic of your final paper until a week later, but it’s a good idea to start thinking about it now.

    Week 15 will be open for us, in case we need more time for presentations; if we don’t, then we can talk about one more topic, probably a comparative discussion of American and Korean pop music.

    Oh, and for the record, your final paper will be due on the Friday that marks the beginning of exam week. That is, 15 June 2012. The paper must be handed in to the Department of English Language & Culture office (IH341) by 5:00pm.

    Your paper should be from 1,250 words minimum, to 2,000 words maximum. It can be on any topic related to popular culture, not just the ones we have discussed — for example, we have not discussed sports, or modern fashions, or drug culture, but you can look at any of these (or other topics) if you want to.

    However, you should make an effort to approach these topics using the analytical tools we have developed in our class, like questioning about anxieties, discussing the idea of “social backlash” (I didn’t call it that in class, but that was the point of our analysis of the way men used to term “된장녀” or “flapper” to describe changes that made them uncomfortable), the formation of alternative communities or identities based on pop culture, and so on.

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