The last week of classes is upon us!
The fall semester is almost over and finals are just beginning. This week, my schedule is packed with meetings, presentations, and lots of writing. The final assignments for the required CRS graduate courses are seminar papers and presentations.
For Proseminar in Social Communication, I am expanding my last paper to create a discourse analysis that can be used as a conference submission. I am working through theories from the top discourse analysis scholars to refine my discussion of interruption and overlap in conversation, using The Real Housewives of New Jersey as a text to analyze. I have found that in conversation, the women from the show engage in a process of overlap that functions as supportive of the speaker and interruption that detracts from conversation.
I also address mediated discourse on a larger scale for my Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric seminar paper. I’ve been working on the paper since the beginning of the semester when Dr. Demo asked the class to select a rhetorical concept for work with; I chose to study power and surveillance. Thus, I am investigating how media and digital technology employ surveillance to create, sustain, and perpetuate power.
In Cosmopolitanism & Communication, Dr. Rand created a seminar paper assignment that could be tailored to our individual interests. Based on the description of my first two papers, I am clearly interested in analyzing popular culture by engaging in a discussion of critical and cultural studies. Therefore, I am exploring how narrative operates as a tool for creating hegemony in holiday advertising campaigns. The timing of this paper is perfect as holiday advertising campaigns are currently bombarding television, mail, and shops.
While I truly find all three papers to be fascinating and enjoy working on each of them, I also know that I have to find a good balance during this time of the semester to avoid becoming overwhelmed with the workload. One way that I enjoy doing this is by going to the gym a couple days a week with my fellow graduate students to work out and play basketball. Even though my athletic ability is slim to none, I always enjoy spending time with my friends and working off some of my stress. Between my own course work and teaching, it can be hard to find time to do anything that doesn’t involve school but, when I do, I always feel refreshed and ready to tackle my work.
Until next time,