Green Media Syllabus Spring 2020

!!$%$% GREEN MEDIA SYLLABUS SPRING 2021!!$%$% (I sent the wrong url so please make sure you get to the correct page!)

  • Time: ONLINE plus group projects will be scheduled as needed on Mondays/Wednesdays between 11:00-12:20
  • Instructor: Josephine Anstey, jransteyATbuffalo
  • TA James Pollard jamespolATbuffalo
  • Office Hours: Email us to set up phone/skype meeting
  • UB Learns: Please contact Pollard for all issues relating to UB learns

Weekly Schedule


Polar bears pacing frantically on melting ice; SUVs gloriously conquering mountain terrain; post-civilization humans struggling for survival on a devastated earth: contemporary media reflects our fears and fantasies about our rapidly changing environment. This course analyzes fictional and documentary media that investigate our relationship to nature: climate change, pollution, environmental justice, wildlife extinction. The course interprets the word media broadly to include film, games, social media, media-art, big data visualization, simulation and sensing. It examines the consciousness-raising power of film, media and journalism; traces the ecological impact of our obsession with the latest media devices; and ponders the relationship between our feelings about our changing planet (denial, engagement, optimism, hopelessness) and our actions.

Upon Completion of the course student will be able to …
Instructional Method
1. Understand current environmental issues.Media, Web Lectures, ReadingsDiscussion circles, reading reactions, journal writing.
2. Employ a critical vocabulary in both the analysis of media and the discussion of environmental issues.Media, Web Lectures, ReadingsDiscussion circles, reading reactions, journal writing, work group projects 1 and 2.
3. Analyse the dominant role of media in society and culture.Media, Web Lectures, ReadingsDiscussion circles, journal writing, group project 2.
4. Evaluate the role and effectiveness of media in forming opinion and disseminating scientifically-backed information on environmental issues.Media, Web Lectures, ReadingsDiscussion circles, journal writing, group project 2
5. Communicate environmental concepts and concerns through media production.Media, Web Lectures, Readings, Group ProjectsGroup projects.


Course Requirements:. Students must view/interact with/read all weekly assignments in a timely fashion.

  • Course Text Book Staying with the Trouble,  Donna Haraway, 2016 (buy or electronic version available on library course reserve)
  • Excerpts:
  • Games: (students will be assigned one game only)
  • Broadcast Media: see schedule for streaming sources and fees, ~$12
  • Other Books of Interest electronic versions or two hour in library course reserve
    • Digital Rubbish, Jennifer Gabrys, 2011
    • Green Screen: Environmentalism and Hollywood Cinema, David Ingram, 2000
    • Eco Media, Sean Cubitt, 2005
    • This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, Naomi Klein, 2015
    • The Mushroom at the End of the World, Anna Tsing, 2015


Discussion Circles (DUE: TUESDAYS/FRIDAYS WEEKLY) : Post and discuss responses to the weekly media to your Discussion Circle on UB learns. (150 word min, 300 word max for initial post)

  • You will be assigned to a small discussion circle. (see UB learns)
  • Describe one small specific part/scene of the weekly media and show how it illustrates an important point/thread/idea that permeates the whole work. (DUE: 10 AM TUESDAYS)
  • During the rest of the week, review and comment on the posts of other members of your circle. Discuss connections between the media and the reading. (DUE: 11 PM FRIDAYS

Reading Reactions (DUE: 10 AM WEDNESDAYS WEEKLY): Post to Class Reading Reactions Blog on UB learns. 

  • Write or paste into the blog a short quote from the week’s reading with page number. Use this blog to indicate passages that you would like explained or that particularly drew your attention. Annotate with one word comment i.e. “explain,” “confusing,” “interesting,” “provocative” etc.
  • I will be reviewing this blog and posting my response every Wednesday. You are also responsible for reviewing my response to your response.

Journal (DUE: 11 PM FRIDAYS WEEKLY): Post on UB learns to be shared with instructors only (250 word min, 400 word max)

  • Each week you will a draw connections between the media, reading and web lectures.
  • Your journal entry should be written formally and include citations where necessary.
  • This journal entry can be a longer, re-edited, and reconsidered version of your other weekly posts. As the semester progresses you may want to refer to media, readings and web lectures from multiple weeks.

Group Projects ( Due Dates Below): Upload instruction will be posted on UB learns.

  • You will be assigned a project group of three or four students to make the following:
  • Group Project 1: Creatively visualize the concept of oddkin. Responses must include your own images, performances etc. Shoot and edit micro-videos (10-30 secs) in smart phone. DUE MONDAY MAR 2, 11PM
  • Group Project 2: Research, play, and present a video game with an environmental theme (Games to be allocated). Responses can be short video, powerpoint presentation, prezi, web pages etc. DUE MONDAY MARCH 23, 11 PM
  • Group Project 3: Visit local site, document and present an ecological issue you identify there (Sites TBA). Responses can be short video, powerpoint presentation, prezi, web pages etc. DUE SUNDAY MAY 3, 11 PM
  • Most jobs now require that you work well with others so collaborative skills are a necessity. Inappropriate media material which in anyway violates the student code of conduct will result in F for all those involved. Code of Conduct is at

UB Portfolio
If you are completing this course as part of your UB Curriculum requirements, please select an ‘artifact’ from this course that is representative of your learning and upload it to your UBPortfolio (powered by Digication) account.  Templates have been created for this purpose. Artifacts include homework assignments, exams, research papers, projects, lab reports, presentations, and other course materials. Your final UB Curriculum requirement, UBC 399: UB Curriculum Capstone, will require you to submit these ‘artifacts’ as you process and reflect on your achievement and growth through the UB Curriculum. For more information, see the UB Curriculum Capstone website:


25%Discussion Circle Posts
15%Reading Reactions
30%Group Assignments
Special Event Extra Credit
2% per event added to final grade

Letter Grade/Grade Point Average/Percentage

 A 4.093.0% -100.00%
 A- 3.67 90.0% – 92.9%
 B+ 3.33 87.0% – 89.9%
 B 3.00 83.0% – 86.9%
 B- 2.67 80.0% – 82.9%
 C+ 2.33 77.0% – 79.9%
 C 2.00 73.0% – 76.9%
 C- 1.67 70.0% – 72.9%
 D+ 1.33 67.0% – 69.9%
 D 1.00 60.0% – 66.9%
 F 0 59.9 or below

Grading Rubrics

DISCUSSION CIRCLES (possible 9 points per week)

3 Student describes a particular part/scene from media and explains its significance to whole.Student evaluates the effectiveness of part/scene in conveying ecological themes or concerns.Student respectfully and constructively offers suggestions, questions, or criticisms in replies to three or more posts.
2 Student describes a particular part/scene from media.Student explains what the chosen part or scene of media suggests about ecological themes or  concerns.Student responds to three or more posts.
1 Student describes media in a general sense.Student relates chosen part or scene of media to wider ecological themes or concerns.Student posts fewer than three comments on other students’ posts.
0 Student makes no reference to media.Student writing is purely descriptive.Student makes no posts or is disrespectful to others.

READING REACTIONS (possible 2 points per week)

1 A short quote is provided with page number
1 An annotation is provided

JOURNAL ENTRIES (possible 9 points per week)

3Writing draws in citations from readings or media, or makes connections to material from other weeks.Writing evaluates the applicability and usefulness of theory in approaching media.Writing is free of errors; citations are correctly formatted.
2Writing describes all readings and media assigned.Writing employs theoretical language and concepts in analysing media.Writing contains some errors OR citations are done improperly.
1Writing refers to only some of the week’s content (readings and media).Writing connects theoretical concepts to media.Writing contains some errors AND citations are done improperly.
0Writing does not refer to week’s content.No connections are drawn between sources.Writing lacks punctuation or is otherwise unreadable.


Missing or Late Assignments:

Every missed assignment will be registered in the online grade book (My Grades in UBL) as a 0. We will update grades promptly and as a running total, so you can track your progress throughout the semester. All entries are recorded by numerical grade according to the criteria for each assignment. You may miss one “Reading Blog” and one “Media Discussion Thread” without point deduction. Even if you are absent, you are expected to keep up with coursework and to submit assignments on time. If this becomes impossible for reasons related to illness, injury, or other extenuating circumstances, please contact the TA as soon as possible to arrange for an alternate deadline. An alternate deadline is not guaranteed and will depend on the circumstances.

Academic Dishonesty:

According to the University, academic dishonesty is defined as previously submitted work, plagiarism, cheating, falsification of academic materials, and misrepresentation of documents, selling academic assignments, and purchasing academic assignments.

Plagiarism is literary theft and a betrayal of trust. The term is derived from the Latin word for kidnapper and refers to the act of signing one’s own name to words, phrases, or ideas, which are the literary property of another. Plagiarism comes in many forms, all to be avoided: outright copying or disguised use of words and phrases from an unacknowledged source. This includes copying and pasting from any online source. It is also expected that all work for this course will be created originally for this course. You may not use work from previous courses, unchanged, as fulfillment of assignments in this course. To avoid Plagiarism, students are encouraged to make it their habit to put quotation marks around words and phrases, or to isolate and indent longer passages that you are using from someone else’s writing. Students may cite the source in either a footnote or endnote, or within parentheses in the text. The penalties for Plagiarism can be severe: from an F for the particular assignment, to an ‘F’ for the course and to referral for administrative judgment.

All students are expected to be familiar with and abide by the University’s academic integrity policies, available in the Undergraduate Catalog:

Criteria for Incomplete Grade:

It is the policy of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Media Study to grant incompletes for a semester only under exceptional circumstances. Under any circumstances, incompletes will be granted only to students currently in good standing (i.e., regular attendance and passing completion of assignments). Requests for a grade of incomplete need to be submitted in writing, and should include a rationale, documentation for the reason (if relevant), and a proposed schedule for completion.

Disclosure Statement:

This class will include issues of ethics, political and moral concerns. I will make every effort to advise of any content that may be disturbing.

Accessibility Resources:

If you have any disability which requires reasonable accommodations to enable you to participate in this course, please contact the Office of Accessibility Resources, 25 Capen Hall, 645-2608, and also the instructor of this course .. The office will provide you with information and review appropriate arrangements for reasonable accommodations.

Sexual harassment of employees and students, as defined at is contrary to university policy.

Other Resources:

Center for Excellence in Writing provides support for written work.


IF you are planning a student production that involves using any prop which could be interpreted to be a weapon [toy gun, BB gun, knife, etc.] AND you are planning to shoot on the UB campus or any other public place, you MUST obtain WRITTEN permission from the University Police or the equivalent authority before you shoot. If you do not, you will face serious problems, including possible expulsion from the University