- TOPIC: you are a reviewer for a publication like our campus newspaper and your job each week is to recommend to your readers two literary magazines or literary web resources that are really worth reading. This is a weekly column and you have tons of devoted readers. People count on your judgment and opinions.
- The journals/ web resources you recommend can be small or big, similar or different. Maybe you will pick two different kinds of journals (that would be fun). or one web resource and one journal. Most important: you have to love them and know why you love them. I wouldn’t choose more than two, so you have time to offer specific examples and do detailed analysis. Yes, please do draw on the work you’ve already been doing in your hybrid postings. But also read more, think more, and expand.
- For each journal or web resource, give your reader at least three criteria explaining why you chose these journals. Then in body paragraphs, please give very specific examples supporting your points.
- In your analysis, tell us why you love the examples you chose. But also tell us why the craft and content matter. Why is this valuable culture work? Why is this resource not only cool, but also important for us to read and know about? So analysis of each carefully chosen example may take 2-3 paragraphs!
- In other words, when you offer very specific examples of the points you are making, and do close analysis, also step back and say why the example matters in terms of values. What values do the selection, craft, voice, theme, subject, imagery suggest? What is fun and entertaining could also be understood as valuable meaningful. Can you make that connection? It’s possible!
- Remember that literary magazine and literary web resources create subcultures and countercultures that do “culture work”—work that can matter a lot especially in a democracy that values “freedom” and human dignity and the importance of each individual voice. If work in your magazine rehumanizes the dehumanized or pushes the reader to challenge false binaries or stereotypes or false assumptions of the dominant/ prevailing cultural discourse, or takes important risks that you don’t find elsewhere, then say so!
- Connecting the big ideas with the specific examples can be the fun part.
- Also, in your analysis, beware the affective fallacy and tautologies of arguments like “I love it because I’ve felt or done that same thing before,” or just “I love it because I love it.” As you dig deeper into specific works, you’re also digging out into contexts and saying why this work matters—what values it champions, what critical thinking it provokes.
- Yes, feel free to also talk about the digital or visual/ design strengths of the magazine or literary web resource! Many of you have done so in your hybrid postings. But again, can you make the connection between that beauty, use of different mediums, ease of use, look and design, and the meaning and importance of the culture work? It’s that next step—that your reader is looking for.
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