Course blog for CSP 11 (Fall 2012) @ Occidental College

CSP 11: Copyright + Culture
Take-Home Midterm

DUE: Tuesday, 10/16 at 8pm

In lieu of an in-class “timed writing” assignment, this take-home midterm will challenge you to efficiently synthesize new content with readings and topics we’ve covered in the first half of the class.  You will compose 4-5 page essay in which you take on Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes, 1987) as a test case for fair use doctrine, taking into consideration questions of transformativity and the film’s use of music.  You are required to address specific examples from the film, and engage with the following texts to support your argument:

  • Aufderheide, Patricia and Peter Jaszi. Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright.  Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011.
  • Hilderbrand, Lucas. “Grainy Days and Mondays: Superstar and Bootleg Aesthetics.” Camera Obscura, 57 (Volume 19, Number 3), 2004: 56-91.

Hilderbrand’s article will be available through Moodle in the file “Week 7 Readings,” and will both give you background on the film’s legal struggles, and model how to perform a close textual analysis of the film.  I strongly recommending reading this article before you watch the film.  In addition to addressing these three texts, you are required to bring in ONE of the following course readings:

  • Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”
  • Virginia Kuhn, “The Rhetoric of Remix”

Your midterm will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Your ability to construct and support an original argument
  • How effectively you display your understanding of course readings and content
  • The critical dialogue created between your discussion of the readings and the film

Before you write (relevant pages from A Writer’s Reference):
– Read “Planning” (3-14) and “Drafting” (14-20)
– Read “Constructing Reasonable Arguments” (78-86)
– Revisit “Writing about texts” (67-68)
– Revisit “Analyze to demonstrate your critical thinking” (74-77)

Formatting Guidelines (relevant pages from A Writer’s Reference):
– Document formatting (55-56)
– Citations in MLA style (410-411)

Submission guidelines:
You will submit your midterm as a PDF via email by 8pm on 10/16 to, titled NameCSP11Midterm

If you have any questions or concerns, come see me during office hours Wednesday or Friday (2-3pm, at the Green Bean), or email me asap.

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