Choose an essay prompt
Decoding Controversial Media: Apply Hall’s encoding/decoding model to a media text widely argued to be controversial. What is the media producers’ preferred meaning? What is one popular negotiated or oppositional reading? Use mainstream reviews and criticism, news pieces, fan pages, and/or other sources to illustrate the decoding position. Ultimately, what does your research reveal about the balance of power between producers and audiences in determining meaning?
Genre Mutation: Choose a medium-specific genre or subgenre and trace how it has changed. Start off by defining your genre and its traditional codes and conventions before describing how these have mutated over time. What specific changes have influenced these transformations? Focus on two particular case studies from the same genre. How do they represent your argument? Ultimately, what do your examples illustrate about how genre must be understood?
The Adaptation: Analyze a text adapted from one medium to another. What were the economic motivations behind its adaptation, and what challenges did producers face? How specifically did the mediamakers “squeeze” or “stretch” the adaptation, and why? How did fans of the adapted text respond to the adaptation, especially regarding its squeezing or stretching? Ultimately, what does your case study show about the benefits and challenges behind adaptations?
Requirement: Write a five page essay (12-point font, double-spaced, 1-inch margins) responding to one of the prompts below. It will be evaluated on the basis of your argumentation, use of supporting materials, and clarity and organization. Write as if for a general audience. You will be expected to perform research by consulting appropriate sources (trade, popular, academic publications, and/or other applicable material).
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