The Future . . . Day One

ᎣᏏᏲ, ᏙᎯᏧ? Brian Hudson ᏓᏆᏙ. ᏩᏙ.

Hello, how are you? My name is Brian Hudson. Thanks for coming to English 1102: Argumentative and Analytic Writing.

I’m originally from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, where I’m a citizen.

I’ve taught college writing for more than ten years now, and this is the beginning of my third here at CNM. I hold a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in literary and cultural studies from the University of Oklahoma. That means that I studied not only literature but other types of culture as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to share my interpretations in Germany about animals in Cherokee political texts and in Canada about technology in Cherokee sci-fi texts.

In this class we’re going to practice interpreting several kinds of texts using analysis and arguments. When I use the word “text,” I don’t just mean stories on paper. A text can be anything that can be interpreted: TV shows, video games, memes, movies. Anything that has meaning!

Can anyone think of more examples of texts? *writes them on board*

These are all good examples of texts. In this course, we’ll interpret songs, commercials, and literature (short stories and short films). The type of text you choose to interpret for your final research paper will be up to you.

Texts have a powerful way of shaping our opinions on things. Your opinions of texts are therefore very important, more important, I would argue, than the opinions of scholars or even the authors of the texts. Therefore, we are going to spend more time and pay more attention to your interpretations of the texts than we are going to spend discussing the texts themselves. But couldn’t this get real confusing, real quick? I mean, if you interpret a song, commercial, or story that nobody else has listened to/watched/read how can we have a meaningful discussion about it as a class?

One of the ways that this will work is that we will have a theme for the course, a larger conversation in which all our interpretations of the various texts fit. I can think of no more important theme than the future. I’m not talking about predicting the future but figuring out what these texts suggest about the future.

And the texts you interpret don’t necessarily have to be sci-fi (although that’s cool, too). They can be texts about the future five minutes from now.

The text could also be about retro-futures, or futures dreamed up in texts created in the past. Let’s pick examples of retro-futures from one type of text, political speeches.

Both of the men pictured above were very persuasive speakers who delivered powerful texts in the form of political speeches about the future. But the visions of the future suggested by those texts, as you can probably guess, are very different from one another. These quotes above are just two examples for why it is important for us to discuss what a text means when it suggests a particular future.

ᏙᏓᏓᎪᎲᎢ (See you all in the future),
Brian

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