American Culture & Post-Truth: Conspiracies

One student/one question

Open your “one student/one question” Google Doc and write down one thing that is lingering from Anderson’s “How America Lost Its Mind” which you read for today. Again, this can be a striking detail, question, a response, an objection, a passionate agreement, anything that is sticking with you after the reading. Once you are finished paste it into this document.

Holistic annotation feedback on “The Business of Internet Outrage”

Yesterday I graded your holistic annotations from the Daily podcast. Again, most received 10/10 but if you scored less than perfect you either did not follow the format I asked for or you did not include sources that were used by the podcast itself.

Chemtrails (the idea that the water vapor that leaves airplanes as they fly are part of a government plot to test chemical and biological agents) are one popular conspiracy theory that Anderson notes in “How America Lost Its Mind”

Anderson’s “How America Lost Its Mind”

Let’s take a look at the common threads in our one student/one question document. How can we integrate some of these threads into a social annotation, into a textual space that leaves a record of our conversation? and social annotations, continued

At this point most of you have:

Let’s take some time to troubleshoot this and try to get everyone on the same page (see what I did there? 😜 ). Note: if you are having trouble getting to load on The Atlantic here’s what their support told me:

“We do have a known issue with The Atlantic, where some of their ad code interferes with the Hypothesis sidebar. Using an ad blocker or adding “” in front of the URL should take care of it!”

As you transpose our discussion of Anderson into collaborative notes, you need to consider some of the moves we’ve practiced in the marginalia and holistic methods, as well as build some new ones since the key difference is that these annotations have an external audience (that is, someone other than the reader herself). Consider these for instance (I credit Professor Nathaniel Rivers for this concise, helpful taxonomy):

Direct Questions (for instructor or classmates)
Open Ended Questions (to prompt further conversation)
Definitions (key terms or just unfamiliar terms)
Etymologies (explore the history and origins of key terms)
Paraphrases (restate what you think a key claim is)
Internal Connections (draw lines within the text)
External Connections (link text with related texts)
News Stories (events that speak to or are spoken to by the readings)
Relevant Academic Work (other courses taken or projects undertaken)
Resonant Art (poetry, literature, film, music)

There are also some great tips for using from the app developers. Check out their Annotation Tips for Students post.

Activity: Spend the rest of class time contributing 3-5 annotations to this document. Try to add a mix of replies to new threads. As you create new threads, consider some of the possibilities from the list above.

Homework for Tuesday, 2/5

  • Read and annotate Beck’s “This Article Won’t Change Your Mind” (The Atlantic) using Add 3-5 annotations, aiming to balance your timing (that is, first to the document ⇆ last to the document) with the above list of possible ways you might contribute.