DIGITAL 201 - Writing with Digital and Social Media Mini Course
Fall 2022, Section 001 - The Rhetoric of Conspiracy Theories
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Digital Studies (DIGITAL)
Department: LSA Digital Studies Institute
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.

Details

Credits:
1
Other:
Minicourse
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Repeatability:
May be elected three times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Partial Term 8/29/22 - 10/14/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.

Description

The Rhetoric of Online Conspiracy Theories

The Wayfair furniture company is trafficking children inside overpriced cabinets. Covid-19 vaccines contain tracking microchips, poisonous graphene, and/or self-aware synthetic tentacled organisms. Cardi B, Iggy Azalea, Billie Eilish, and countless other pop stars are mind-controlled puppets of the CIA. And that’s just the beginning. A secret cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles that includes top-level Democratic politicians, deep-state agents, and Hollywood actors is secretly controlling our politics and media.

How do crackpot ideas like these originate? How do they spread online to millions of people? Who believes them, and why? In this half-term mini-course we’ll examine the ways conspiracy theories are built online, the rhetoric used to convey them across multiple platforms from 4chan and Reddit to Instagram and TikTok, and the causes and consequences of people’s belief in them.

Course Requirements:

Your final project: a portfolio of 3-5 artifacts in service of a fictional conspiracy theory that mimic the style of conspiracy theory rhetoric we’ve studied, along with a reflective statement outlining the rhetorical principles applied from our course in the making of these artifacts.

Weekly written assignments to analyze and/or deploy the rhetorical principles we’re studying.  Each weekly prompt has its own criteria; some will be critical responses to conspiracy texts and articles while others will be your own drafts of materials building toward your final portfolio.

Intended Audience:

Open to anyone interested

Class Format:

In person

Schedule

DIGITAL 201 - Writing with Digital and Social Media Mini Course
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
28171
Open
4
 
-
F 12:00PM - 2:00PM
Partial Term 8/29/22 - 10/14/22
Note: This class meets 09/06/19-10/11/19. As per Sweetland policy, students cannot add a mini course after the second class meeting (09/13/19).
002 (SEM)
 In Person
33407
Open
4
 
-
F 10:00AM - 12:00PM
Partial Term 8/29/22 - 10/14/22
003 (SEM)
 In Person
28172
Open
9
 
21
F 12:00PM - 2:00PM
Partial Term 10/21/22 - 12/9/22
Note: This class meets 10/25/19-12/06/19. As per Sweetland policy, students cannot add a mini course after the second class meeting (11/01/19).
004 (SEM)
 In Person
34363
Open
1
 
8
F 10:00AM - 12:00PM
Partial Term 10/21/22 - 12/9/22

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for DIGITAL 201 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)