For this hybrid course, I’m creating a hybrid version of OSU’s First-Year Seminar course (commonly called U-Engage). U-Engage are all built around some common learning outcomes, and there are some required activities that support these outcomes. They are all different, though, focused on an academic theme or significant question.
I’ve taught U-Engage before, so I am drawing on that experience. But the specific focus of this class, remixing Jane Austen, is something new. While the focus of the course will be the novels of Jane Austen, these texts are really a jumping off point to examine the broader question of how culture is made, and how creativity builds on the past. This topic lends itself well to a close examination of how information is organized, preserved and used – on both a practice and a policy level.
The works of Jane Austen are, of course in the public domain and in the last two decades they’ve been remixed and re-created into an astonishing variety of forms — written as mysteries, romances, graphic novels, picture books and choose-your-own adventures. The stories have been remixed as board games and role-playing games — and filmed in modern settings, as period pieces, turned into web series and more. Part of the out-of-classroom work in this course will be exploring some of these many forms.
For their primary project, students will create their own remixed narratives using a variety of tools. In-class time will be largely be focused on hands-on activities in a digital lab-type setting. In these labs we will explore different tools and how they can be used to create narratives, and dive into the legal/economic frameworks that affect creative work – particularly fair use and copyright.