XARK 3.0

  • Xark began as a group blog in June 2005 but continues today as founder Dan Conover's primary blog-home. Posts by longtime Xark authors Janet Edens and John Sloop may also appear alongside Dan's here from time to time, depending on whatever.

Xark media

  • ALIENS! SEX! MORE ALIENS! AND DUBYA, TOO! Handcrafted, xarky science fiction, lovingly typeset for your home printer!



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Saturday, August 05, 2006


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Janet Edens

sounds intriguing ...


What kinds of high-level theories would these students be using, and where do I find a book that would help me learn them? Because I think I need to learn how to do systematic analysis, just to know how.

Enjoyed the audio interview, and I thought the press release delivered the "not-gimmicky-but-instructive" message well, as one would expect from a university press office.

A newspaper article should be expected to emphasize the novelty of this idea -- and, if you really score -- the creativity of the combination. What I'd expect as a baseline is that you'll get a "bright" writing style (breezy, casual, a little cute), a little bit of substance to go with the froth, your quote about how you can use it to study formal ideas about criticism, etc., and no more than about 12 column inches.

That's a win if you're looking for some exposure for the program. It's a strike against you if you see that kind of lightweight attention as harmful to your reputation, or if some anti-intellectual partisan seizes on it to make a case against loony professors teaching TV series instead of serious subjects, like Intelligent Design.

But I think you're doing fine with this, and that you're explaining yourself well. One suggestion: it doesn't hurt to have a tag line description for these kinds of things, a short-but-colorful response to some basic question that is so obviously quotable that the reporter uses it verbatim. This is particularly useful in TV.


Well, here is the link to today's Tennessean article. The guy did an OK job, as well as I would have hoped.


Moreover, the internet being what it is, I've already received about 20 different notes from people about the course. At any rate, if you want to see a bad picture of me and want to see how a "Higher Ed" journalist covered the story, have a go at it.


Oh, come on John, that's not such a bad picture of you. You were just never that pretty to begin with. Unlike moi...


Hey gang:

A list of the Top Ten Moronic College courses. Guess who is number 1? I expect flowers and telegrams:



ooops. that's supposed to end with the_10_most_moronic_college_courses_in_america.php


Thank goodness Radar didn't hear about the media criticism course you taught last winter. Remember? "The Anchor as Text: Reading the Visual Syntax of Expressions and Wardrobe in the Work of Anderson Cooper." Anyway, you've almost reached the pantheon of academic celebrity. We're all very, very proud.

By the way, here's a 24-character version of the 94-character web address John provided above:


Remember, you can always convert any long web address to a shorter one at tinyurl.com...


Atlanta XARKERS (is that only Ben?): I'll be doing an interview with Radio Station Q100, Tuesday morning, Oct. 3 at about 8:15 AM. Listen in and see if I get ambushed.


I'll try to tune in. Put up a comment the day before to remind me, if you remember.

I don't think I've ever listened to Q100. Is it talk radio? Can I call in? I really hope its not the one with the billboards that say "Liberals Hate It!" Or maybe that would be fun.


I don't want this to come off as shameless self-promotion, but here is my interview with the campus tv station, again attempting to provide an apologia for the class. I'm slowly getting better at this:


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