World is a Text, The: Writing, Reading and Thinking About Visual and Popular Culture, 3rd Edition
©2009 |Pearson | Out of print
Jonathan Silverman, University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Dean Rader, University of San Francisco
©2009 |Pearson | Out of print
Themes from popular culture- Focuses exclusively on engaging, relevant themes such as movies, relationships, media, music, race and gender to best connect with students’ direct experiences, facilitating critical thinking and cultural and visual analysis.
Visual Orientation- More than 100 vibrant images, most in full color, serve as visual texts for student reaction, analysis and writing.
"The World is a Text: Writing"- A compact academic writing guide section includes thorough instruction in and examples of how to write about culture.
Extensive writing prompts- “This Text: Reading” and “Your Text: Writing” at the end of each reading, and “Reading Outside the Lines” at the end of each chapter provide hundreds of opportunities for critical writing and reading and direct engagement of culture and classmates.
Semiotics approach- Accessible discussion of “signifiers” and “signified” equips students to directly engage the world as a text. Most readings draw on semiotics directly or indirectly as the means of analyzing and directly engaging popular culture.
Suites of readings- Each themed chapter includes a subset of several readings and images on the same topic, exposing students to multiple perspectives and encouraging writing from sources.
Diverse selections— Features varied readings that range from short pieces to funny pieces to longer, theoretical works to documented essays to student essays.
Student essay in every chapter- Presents models of the high quality of work that first-year students are capable of. An annotated student essay in "The World is a Text: Writing" provides a clear example of rhetoric and structure.
NEW! Innovative chapter entitled “Reading and Writing about the World around You” challenges students to take a look at the world around them and analyze it in a thought-provoking and articulate manner.
NEW! Updated reading selections ensure that students are reading, writing, and learning from up-to-date pop culture selections, enabling them to engage more fully with more relevant readings.
NEW! Expanded introductions and thematic follow up questions that focus on reading media and individual texts to give students the ability to both read and write more completely about the world around them.
NEW! Illustrations and a thoroughly expanded chapter on Visual Arts emphasize the importance of visual rhetoric.
NEW! Online only chapter entitled “Reading and Writing about Technology” engages students with available technology and utilizes it in an educationally stimulating manner.
NEW! Enhanced pedagogical theory grounded in the idea that writing is fundamentally linked to critical inquiry — reading, listening, thinking, and speaking.
NEW! Student essays provide relevant instructional models for students.
NEW! Current event suites, such as “The Iraqi War,” “Authenticity,” “Is It Art?” and “Reading and Photographs” provide the framework for engaging class discussion and thought-provoking student essays.
Reading, Writing, Culture, and Texts: An Introduction to the Introduction
Semiotics: The Study of Signs (and Texts)
Systems of Reading: Making Sense of Cultural Texts
The “Semiotic Situation” (or the “Moving Text”)
Texts, the World, You, and Your Papers
Rhetoric: Writing’s Soundtrack
From Rhetoric to Writing
Reading the World as a Text: Writing’s Overture — Three Case Studies
CASE STUDY - Reading Public Space: Starbucks
CASE STUDY — Reading Fonts: How Type Can Say a lot about Type
CASE STUDY - Can We Laugh?: Reading Art and Humor in Geico Commercials
Reading This Text as a Text: Tips on Using this Book
The World Is a Text: Writing
The World Is a Text: Reading
So, the World Is a Text: What Can You Do With It?
SECTION ONE - The World Is a Text: Writing
A Short Guide to The World Is a Text: Writing
PART I. How Do I Write a Text for College? Making the Transition from High School Writing by Patti Strong
PART II. From Semiotics to Lenses: Finding an Approach for your Essays
by Dean Rader and Jonathan Silverman
Lenses, microscopes, and windows
Language and elements of literary interpretation
Context, historical and other
Race, class, gender, sexual orientation, region, age–and more
Landing on an Approach: An Entrée to the Essay Itself
Part III. How Do I Write About Popular Culture Texts? A Tour Through the Writing Process
Understanding the Assignment
Freewriting and Brainstorming
Constructing a Good Thesis
Building an Opening Paragraph: A Case Study
Building Good Paragraphs
Drafting the Whole Essay
Editing and Revising, Editing and Revising, Editing and Revising
Turning in the Finished Product
Some Final Tips–A Recap
PART IV. How Do I Argue About Popular Culture Texts? A Guide for Building Good Arguments
Knowing Your Arguments
Using Claims and Support to Make Arguments: Some Helpful Tips
Synthesis: Pulling it all together
Know Your Audience
Use Common Sense
PART V. How Do I Get Info on Songs? Researching Popular Culture Texts
Researching Non-Traditional Texts: One Method
Nuts and Bolts Research
PART VI. How Do I Know What a Good Paper Looks Like? An Annotated Student Essay
PART VII. How Do I Cite This Car? Guidelines for Citing Popular Culture Texts
Using Parenthetical References
Building the Works Cited Page
Works Cited Examples
PART VIII. How Am I a Text? On Writing Personal Essays
SECTION TWO — THE WORLD IS A TEXT: READING
1. Reading and Writing about the World around You
Dean Rader, Reading and Writing about Your Campus
Jonathan Silverman, Reading and Writing about The Road
Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton, Reading and Writing about Fashion
Jonathan Hunt, Reading and Writing about a Bicycle
Peter Hartlaub, Reading and Writing about Video Games
Cristina Deluca, Reading and Writing about Social Networking Sites: Making Friends and
Lee Transue, Reading and Writing about Family Guy: The Semiotics of Stream of
Brandon Brown, Reading and Writing about a Laboratory
Catherine Zimmer, Reading and Writing about YouTube: The You in YouTube
Dean Rader and Jonathan Silverman, Reading and Writing about Advertising: Two Case
2. Reading And Writing About Television
Harry Waters, “Life According To Tv”
Garance Franke-Ruta, “Beyond Fear: Heroes vs. 24 ”
Peter Parisi, “‘Black Bart’ Simpson: Appropriation And Revitalization In Commodity
Katherine Gantz, “Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That”
Archana Mehta , Society’s Need For A Queer Solution: The Media’s Reinforcement Of
Homophobia Through Traditional Gender Roles
Student Essay: Dave Rinehart, Sex Sells: A Marxist Criticism of Sex and the City
Student Assignment: Hillary West, Media Journal: The Rosie O’donnell Show
The Reality Tv Suite
Henry Goldblatt And Ken Tucker, “Reality Tv Bites–Or Does It: The New Soap Opera Or
The End Of Civilization. A Point-Counterpoint”
[US1] Laurie Ouelette And Susan Murray, “Reality Tv: Remaking Television Culture”
Richard M. Huff, “Real Or Not, It Doesn’t Matter”
Stephanie Greco Larson, “Reality Television: American Myths And Racial Ideology”
3. Reading and Writing about the Visual Arts
The Is it Art? Suite
E. G. Chrichton, “Is The Names Quilt Art?”
Diana Mack, "It Isn't Pretty But Is It Art?"
Steve Grody, “Graffiti: The Anatomy Of A Piece”
Student Essay: Theresa George, “The Multifacted Nature Of Street Art”
Alan Pratt, “Andy Warhol: The Most Controversial Artist Of The Century?”
Student Essay: Anne Darby, “#27: Reading And Writing About Cindy Sherman And
Scott Mccloud, "Sequential Art"
The Reading A Photograph Suite
Thomas Hoepker, Frank Rich, And David Plotz, “One Photo, Two Lenses: Frank
Rich And David Plotz On One Of The Most Controversial Photos of 9/11 ”
Gert Van Langendonck, “Award-Winning Photo Puts Subjects On Defensive”
Errol Morris, “Liar, Liar Pants On Fire”
The Censorship Suite
J. S. G. Boggs, Life Size & In Color/American Supreme Justice
Andres Serrano, Piss Christ
Dread Scott, What Is The Proper Way To Display A Us Flag
Avalos, Hock And Sisco, Welcome To America’s Finest Tourist Plantation
Grany Fury, Kissing Doesn’t Kill
Andy Cox, Citybank Posters
Kara Walker, Camptown Ladies
Chris Ofili, The Holy Virgin
Alma Lopez, Our Lady
Renee Cox, Yo Mama’s Last Supper
The Boondocks Cartoon
4. Reading And Writing about Race And Ethnicity
Michael Omi, "In Living Color: Race And American Culture"
Amy Tan, "Mother Tongue"
Jim Mahfood, "True Tales Of Amerikkkan History Part Ii: The True
Beverly Daniel Tatum, “Why Are All The Blacks Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?”
Malcolm Gladwell, "The Sports Taboo"
Zebedee Nungak, “Qallunaat : Inuits Study White Folks In This New Academic Field”
Teja Arboleda, "Race Is A Four-Letter Word"
Betty Shameih: Censoring Myself
Student Essay: Amy Truong, “Gender Expectations and Familial Roles within Asian American Culture”
The Native American Mascot Suite
C. Richard King And Charles Fruehling Springwood, “Imagined Indians Social Identities
Ellen J. Staurowsky, “You Know, We Are All Indian:” Exploring White Power And
Privilege In Reaction To The Ncaa Native American Mascot Policy”
S. L, Price, “The Indian Wars”
A Suite of Mascot Poems
by LeAnne Howe
A Suite Of Cartoons
"Dude, I'm Honoring You."
"Way Cool Outfit"
"Can You Imagine"
5. Reading And Writing About Movies
Roger Ebert, “Great Movies: The First 100 ”
Mary C. Beltrán, “The New Hollywood Racelessness: Only The Fast, Furious, (And
Multiracial) Will Survive”
Bell Hooks, "Mock Feminism"
Louise Erdrich, "Dear John Wayne" & Sherman Alexie, "My Heroes Have Never Been
Jason Silverman, “Deciphering I: Robot- Random Thoughts From An Evolving Film Critic”
Jill Birnie Henke, Diane Zimmerman Umble, And Nancy J. Smith, “Construction Of The
Female Self: Feminist Reading And Writing About Of The Disney Heroine”
Student Essay: Whitney Black, Star Wars And America
The Sicko Suite
Mick Lasalle, “Need A Doctor, That’s Too Bad”
Kyle Smith, “Botched Operation”
Maggie Mahar, “Sicko And Healthcare Reform”
Arthur Caplan, “Nothing Funny About Sicko”
Interchapter: Reading And Writing About Images
America, Cowboys, The West, And Race
The Images Of Gender
The Semiotics Of Architecture
Landscape, Earth, And Excavation
Private Symbol/Public Space: The Virgen Of Guadalupe
Two Photos By Diane Arbus
Signs?: Two Murals By Rigo
The American Signs On Route 66 Suite
6. Reading And Writing About GenderDeborah Tannen, "Marked Women, Unmarked Men" Annette Fuentes, “Out Of Style Thinking: Female Politicians And Fashion”
Paul Theroux, "Being A Man"
Student Essay: Pjeter Dushku, “Pedro Almodovar and Gender”
Alfonsina Storni, “You Would Have Me White”Maxine Kingston, “No Name Woman”
Siobhan O’ Connor: “Playing Doctor: The Pro-Life Movement’s New Plan For Family
Student Essay: Elizabeth Greenwood, “Unreal City: Gender And War”
Third Wave Feminism Suite
Patricia Pender, “Buffy as Third Wave Feminist Icon”
Student Essay: Lara Hayhurst, Putting the “Me” Back in Medical Drama: Grey’s Anatomy’s
Adventures in McFeminism
Student Essay: Gwendolyn Limbach, “La Femme Veronica”: Intelligence as Power in
Student Essay: Catherine Kirifides, Classically Different:, Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette
Takes a New Look at What It Means to Be a Girl
7. Reading And Writing About Space: Public And Private
Frances Halsband, “Campuses In Place”
Daphne Spain, Spatial Segregation And Gender Stratification In The Workplace
William L. Hamilton, “How Suburban Design Is Failing Teenagers”
Kenneth Meeks, “Shopping In A Group While Black: A Coach’s Story”
Robert Bednar, Making Space On The Side Of The Road: Towards A Cultural Study Of
Roadside Car Crash Memorials”
Hugh Hardy, “Media And The City”
Student Essay: Matt King, “Reading The Nautical Star”
The Mall Suite
Nancy Backes, “Reading The Shopping Mall City”
Dolores Hayden, “’Planned Sprawl’ And The Rise Of The Mall”
James Farrell, “The Politics Of No Politics”
William Severini Kowinski, “D. C. Panoply–And The First Black Mall”
8. Reading And Writing About Advertising And Journalism
Robert Love, “Before Jon Stewart: The Growth Of Fake News. Believe It”
Clint C. Wilson And Felix Gutierrez, "Advertising And People Of Color"
William Lutz, "Weasel Words"
David Mcgowan, “The America The Media Don't Want You To See”
Teresa J. Donzal and Jerome Kernan, “Reading Advertising: The Why And How Of Product
Student Essay: Brittany Gray, “Hanes Her Way”
Student Essay: Arianne Galino, “Sister Act: A Destructive Form Of Writing”
The Future Of Journalism Suite
Mark Glaser, “Techno-Optimism: Reasons There’s a Bright Future for Journalism”
Paul Farhi, “Rolling the Dice”
Jay Rosen: “Bloggers vs. Journalists is over”
Michael Kinsley, “Extra! Extra! The future of Newspapers”
Jeremy Caplan, “Forum: the Future of Newspapers”
The Iraq War Suite
Daniel Schulman, “Mind Games”
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR): Media Advisory, Iraq and the Media A Critical
Matt Sanchez, Live from Baghdad: The press’s war.
Jack Shafer, “The press dun good in Iraq. But they could have dun better”
Meteor Blades, “Red State, Blue State: Hometown News”
John Hockenberry, “The Blogs of War”
9. Reading And Writing About Relationships
Margaret Atwood, “Fiction: Happy Endings”
Andrew Sullivan, “If Love Were All”
David Sedaris, “To Make A Friend, Be A Friend”
Tracy Seeley, “My Mother’s Hands”
Emily Nussbaum, “Say Everything”
The College Relationship Suite
Student Essay: Emily Littlewood, “Can You Handle The Commitment?: Three Types
of College Relationships”
Libby Copeland, “Boy Friend; Between Those Two Words, A Guy Can Get Crushed”
Laura Kipnis, “Off Limits: Should Students Be Allowed To Hook Up With Professors?”
Kathleen Dean More And Lani Roberts, “Case Study # : Harmful Hug”
Deni Elliot And Paul Martin Lester, “When Is It Ok To Invite A Student To Dinner?”
10. Reading And Writing About Music
Kevin J.H. Dettmar And William Richey, "Musical Cheese: The Appropriation Of Seventies
Music In Nineties Movies"
Student Essay: Fouzia Baber, "Is Tupac Dead?"
Student Essay: Sarah Hawkins, "Right On Target: Revisiting Elvis Costello's My Aim Is
Student Essay: "Smells Like Teen Spirit," By Matt Compton
Alessandro Portelli, "Coal Miner's Daughter"
The Authenticity Suite
David Sanjek “All the Memories Money Can Buy)
Stephen Metcalf, “Faux Americana: Why I Still Love Bruce Springsteen”
Carrie Brownstein “More Rock, Less Talk: Live Music Turns Off the Voices in Our Heads”
Kelefa Sanneh, “The Rap Against Rockism”
11. Reading and Writing about Technology
[This chapter is on line at www.prenhall.com/silverman .]
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