Teens interested in Ender’s Game—both the acclaimed science fiction novel and its big budget film adaptation opening this weekend—may be curious about the recent controversy surrounding author Orson Scott Card’s outspoken views. Fortunately, the library offers an ideal safe intellectual harbor for teaching the media literacy skills that allow them to explore critical thinking questions about the role of social politics and media, and to examine ways in which we might begin to separate art from the artist.
It’s all too easy to dismiss colorful, fun books of this sort, with their brief chunks of text and apparently oversized photos, as merely motivational in nature.
Can creators in essence separate the “super” from the “hero” and still be said to be working with the same character?
Many popular fanfiction stories are based on books that can be found in school libraries: The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, and, of course, Harry Potter. For most fanfiction authors, though, that’s where the connection between fanfiction and school ends: they’ve never been asked by a teacher or librarian about their out-of-school writing.
When it comes to fanfiction and academics, there is a long history of non-fans writing and doing things that fans don’t particularly like, so you should be extraordinarily careful when you introduce fanfiction-based exercises to wary young fans.
Do young fanfiction authors seek the kind of feedback that educators would find “useful” in K-12 settings, and are fanfiction communities really the nurturing environments of peer-critique that some make them out to be?
“We can look at cosplay as a medium that assists other media, anime and manga, by targeting a certain audience segment related to fandom.”
“The key idea is actually a media literacy one related to representation: no one in real life actually looks like an anime or manga character.”
Filmmaker Cullen Hoback’s work represents a treasure trove of ideas for those who want to connect domestic spying and the death of privacy to civics, media studies, ICT, and political theory—not to mention information literacy and digital literacy specifically.
The reason such overt silliness is nonetheless so effective is that we all connect with the fantasy of controlling a creature much, much larger than we could ever hope to be.
“Young people are pretty savvy about marketing…They don’t consider something ‘bad’ or ‘annoying’ just because it’s marketing, the way many of us in the previous generation did.”
These posters’ apparently value-free aspect is perhaps what’s most worth exploring with young people…
It’s okay to find the villain appealing in certain respects—in fact, much of pop culture depends on our doing just that.
Media literacy discussion points covering novel-to-film adaptations, marketing, genre, screen violence, and more.
More than just a craze, the interest in zombies points the way towards a new kind of literacy engagement.
Both curriculum and pop culture, perhaps not coincidentally, have no problem dealing with class systems when they’re at a remove.
Quick, what do these have in common… the ‘dingy basements’ in ‘Fight Club’ (the film), the video game Flower, a couple of novels by Harumi Murakami and E.L. Konigsburg, the bathroom in HBO’s ‘Girls,’ Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’s ‘Empire State of Mind,’ and Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’?
I guess there was some cosplay going on, but most participating attendees chose to dress up as publishing executives for some reason.