Dispatches from Room 101: Course Blog


As this class is an attempt to consider how the imaginary can be demonstrative of the real, it is important for us to share our learning not just with each other, but with anyone willing to listen. To that end, we will regularly contribute to a course blog as a way to reflect upon our learning within the public sphere. Your blog posts will allow you to practice your analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills, as it allows you to share your thoughts on how our study of the nature of dystopias impacts the mission of the university. These posts will also give you the opportunity to improve your skills as a responsible worker, a self-regulated learner, and a technology user.

Connected Course Outcomes

  1. Identify the defining characteristics of dystopia & analyze real & imagery contexts against that definition.
  2. Communicate effectively through writing & speaking.
  3. Use quantitative, empirical, and critical reasoning skills to solve problems.
  4. Apply socially responsible & ethical principles to promote equity & sustainability in ways that align with our mission as a historically Black and Catholic Institution.
  5. Demonstrate personal accountability & effective work habits.


Blog posts are meant to be well-written, thoughtful, and thought-provoking; the best will stimulate discussion in other posts and in the classroom. Feel free to end your post with questions you haven’t answered yet or would like to hear your classmates answer. Images and videos are awesome, but they must be classroom-appropriate. Blogs should be at least 300 words and 2-3 paragraphs long, and you want most of your post to be content (don’t waste time on empty statements and repetition). The best blog posts will both demonstrate you’ve done the reading and will show you have understood and analyzed it. Blogs should never be a summary of what you’ve read or heard.

You must complete any eight of the blog posts below; however, #1 and #14 are required of all students. Posts must be made before 10:00 pm on the designated Saturday night.

  1. Jan. 15: How do you define dystopia? [REQUIRED]
  2. Jan. 22: How many faces of oppression exist in America today?
  3. Jan. 29: Was Freud right?
  4. Feb. 5: Podcast Pre-Production
  5. Feb. 12: Does Ur-Fascism exist in the US today?
  6. Feb. 19: What form of government should we choose?
  7. Feb. 26: Movie Review
  8. Mar. 12: Is American Higher Education a dystopia?
  9. Mar. 19: Is Edward Snowden right?
  10. Mar. 26: Podcast Production Update
  11. Apr. 2: Where is learning going?
  12. Apr. 9: Movie Review
  13. Apr. 16: Podcast Post-production
  14. Apr. 23: How do you define dystopia? [REQUIRED]

Getting Started

  1. Be sure you have logged into our blog using the link emailed to your XULA account and have changed your password.
  2. If you are not familiar with posting to WordPress, watch the tutorial video.
  3. If you haven’t already, read “Interrogating Texts” & “Reflecting on Learning” on the course web site.
  4. Read the prompt for the given blog post carefully and be sure you understand what is being asked.
  5. Be sure to follow the minimum requirements above (but don’t feel constrained by those).
  6. Set the category of your post using the label(s) designated in the prompt.


Evaluation: Blog posts are assessed using the ungrading model. Your post will receive one of the following assessments in Brightspace:

  • Completed, meets all expectations
  • Completed, does not meet all expectations
  • Not completed

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