Green Media Syllabus 2021

  • DMS 201 Green Media Lecture, Spring 2021, 19891, 3 credits
  • Instructor: Josephine Anstey, jransteyATbuffalo
  • Time: Asynchronous online course. However I will be setting up a weekly zoom meeting to respond to your reactions to the week’s reading. All are invited to attend. The meeting will be recorded for those that cannot attend.
  • Office Hours: Email to set up zoom meeting

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, ReadingsMedia blog, reading blog, journal
2. Employ a critical vocabulary in both the analysis of media and the discussion of environmental issues.Media, Web Lectures, ReadingsMedia blog, reading blog, journal, group projects 1 and 2.
3. Analyse the dominant role of media in society and culture.Media, Web Lectures, ReadingsMedia blog, journal, 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, ReadingsMedia blog, journal writing, group project 2
5. Communicate environmental concepts and concerns through media production.Media, Web Lectures, Readings, Group ProjectsJournal, group projects.

Students must view/interact with/read all weekly material in a timely fashion.

  • Course Text Book Staying with the Trouble,  Donna Haraway, 2016 (buy or electronic version available in library)
  • Excerpts:
  • Games: (students will be assigned one game only)
  • Broadcast Media: see schedule for streaming sources and fees, ~$12
  • Other Books of Interest check UB library for electronic versions
    • 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


Reading Blog (DUE: 11 PM TUESDAYS): Post to Reading 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 responding to questions and comments in a zoom meeting every Wednesday (time TBA, meeting will be recorded). You are responsible for attending the meeting or viewing the recording.

Media Blog  (DUE: 11 PM Wednesdays) : Post to Media Blog on UB learns. (150 word min, 300 word max for initial post)

  • This is an informal blog for students to reflect on the week’s media and to share ideas and comments freely. (Although this is an informal space and discussion may be robust, make sure your submissions are respectful of other students and follow the student code of conduct especially as regards discrimination, disruption, and sexual harassment.)
  • One post is mandatory but for full points actively engage with the blog, commenting on posts, creating your own threads, and pursuing topics with students who have similar interests. This is a space to develop ideas that you will share more formally in the journal.

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

  • Use the journal to demonstrate that you have read/watched/played the weekly material and understood it by:
    • Describing a specific part/scene of the weekly media and showing how it illustrates an important ecological point/thread/idea that permeates the whole work.
    • Briefly explaining one or more of the theoretical concerns/ideas/key-words from the reading or web-lectures.
    • Drawing connections between the media you describe and the idea you explain. The media may illustrate or exemplify the theory – say how. The theory may be of use in analyzing the media – say how.
  • Your journal entry should be written formally and include citations where necessary. Write carefully. Read. Re-write.
  • 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: Micro-Video: 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 8, 11PM
  • Group Project 2: Video game Presentation: 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 FRIDAY APRIL 2, 11 PM
  • Group Project 3: Social Media Posts: research evidence-based events, stories, products that contribute to a sustainable future, check for any downsides or adverse side effects. Craft posts with summary, image/video, urls etc. DUE WEEKLY APRIL 19 – MAY 3, 11 PM Mondays
  • 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

Special Events – Extra Credit – I will notify you of events pertinent to this class.

ACADEMIC CONTENT – see Weekly Schedule

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. 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:


20%Media Blog
10%Reading Blog
30%Group Assignments
Special Event Extra Credit (covid willing)
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

MEDIA BLOG (possible 4 points per week)

PointsInitial PostActive Engagement
2 Student’s comment on weekly media demonstrates understanding and insight.Student respectfully and constructively offers suggestions, questions, or criticisms in replies or amplifications to multiple posts.
1 Student comments on weekly media.Student responds to other posts.
0 Student makes no comment or does not reference weekly media in comment. 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)




3Accurate description of a specific part/scene of weekly media showing how it illustrates an ecological point/thread/idea that permeates the whole work.Accurate and concise explanation of theoretical concept/key-word with citations as appropriate.Makes and explains connection between media description theoretical explanation.
2Description of a specific part/scene of weekly media showing how it illustrates an important point/thread/idea.Explanation of theoretical concept/key-word with citations as appropriate which is only not wholly accurate.
Employs theoretical language and general concepts in analysing media.
1General description of weekly media.Identification of important theoretical concept/key-word.
Writing connects theoretical concepts to media.
0Writing does not refer to weekly media.Writing does not include theoretical concept/key-word
No connections are drawn between sources.


Zoom Policies

  • Video:: ON.
  • Head in the middle of the frame.
  • Camera steady/fixed in quiet and well lit space.
  • Stay muted unless talking to reduce background noise.
  • All materials shared on zoom will be applicable to the class and appropriate according to student code of conduct.

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 me as soon as possible to arrange for an alternate deadline. An alternate deadline is not guaranteed and will depend on the circumstances.

Academic Integrity:

Students must be familiar with and abide by the university’s policies and procedures on Academic Integrity, available at the following link: Academic Integrity:

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 in 60 Capen Hall, 716-645-2608 and also the instructor of this course during the first week of class. The office will provide you with information and review appropriate arrangements for reasonable accommodations, which can be found on the web at:

Critical Campus Resources:

Sexual Violence
UB is committed to providing a safe learning environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic and dating violence and stalking. If you have experienced gender-based violence (intimate partner violence, attempted or completed sexual assault, harassment, coercion, stalking, etc.), UB has resources to help. This includes academic accommodations, health and counseling services, housing accommodations, helping with legal protective orders, and assistance with reporting the incident to police or other UB officials if you so choose. Please contact UB’s Title IX Coordinator at 716-645-2266 for more information. For confidential assistance, you may also contact a Crisis Services Campus Advocate at 716-796-4399.

Mental Health
As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. These might include strained relationships, anxiety, high levels of stress, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, health concerns, or unwanted sexual experiences. Counseling, Health Services, and Health Promotion are here to help with these or other issues you may experience. You can learn more about these programs and services by contacting:

Counseling Services:

  • 120 Richmond Quad (North Campus), 716-645-2720
  • 202 Michael Hall (South Campus), 716-829-5800    

Health Services:
Michael Hall (South Campus), 716-829-3316

Health Promotion:
114 Student Union (North Campus), 716-645-2837


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

DISCUSSION CIRCLES (possible 9 points per week)