Blog Post

12. Teaching Intertextuality in Practice

Course Readings:

Bakhitn, Mikhail. 2003. "Double-Voiced Disoucres in Dostoevsky." In The Bakhtin Reader: Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, Voloshinov. Pam Morris, ed. Pp.102-112. [10 pages]

Bauman, Richard. 2004. "Introduction: Genre, Performance, and the Production of Intertextuality." In A World of Others' Words. Pp. 1-14. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. [14 pages]

Gershon, Ilana. 2010. "Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Media Switching and Media Ideologies" Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 20(2): 389-405. [16 pages]

Additional Readings:

Barthes, Roland. 1977. "From Work to Text" In Image, Music, Text. Pp. 155-164. Stephen Heath, trans. New York: Hill and Wang.

Bauman, Richard and Charles Briggs. 1990. "Poetics and Performance as Critical Perspectives of Language and Social Life." Annual Review of Anthropology 19:59-88.

Genette, Gerard. 1997. Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree. Channa Newman and Claude Doubinsky, trans. Lincoln: University of Nebraka Press.

Gray, Jonathan. 2006. "Intertextuality and the Study of Texts." In Watching the Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality. Pp.19-40.


Lesson Plan: Intertextuality in Practice - Entextualization, De/Re-Contextualization, Power, and Play


Pre-Class Prep

Have students document acts of reported speech or intertextuality more broadly, over the course of a single day (you must, therefore, introduce the assignment at least one or two days before it will be due). They should write down instances where they, their friends, family, or a media text quote, re-voice, paraphrase, parody, imitate the speech acts or behaviors of another. This would include imitating, resituating, or re-voicing the speech of their friends, family, speaking for or through their pets, quoting dialogue from movies, television, comics, video games, internet memes, in-jokes, latrinalia (things written on bathroom stalls), graffiti, whatever.

Students should collect multiple instances of reported speech, but they must document at least TWO UTTERANCES/IMAGES and provide context for those utterances- think who, what, when, where, how, why?

In Class Activity
Break students into small groups to discuss their findings. They should try to distinguish between acts of entextualization and de/recontextualization within their examples. Then re-convene and discuss everything as an entire class. Have all of the students sign and turn in their collected texts.

Questions for Discussion:
Did students discover patterns of behavior? Creative ways of deploying the words of others? How do individuals re-use, appropriate, or recycle publicly circulating materials? How does power work within reported speech. How do individuals re-work some else's discourse to fit their own needs? Lastly, why should we care about reported speech/entextualization and de/re-contextualization?


Estimated Time: 40-50 Minutes (students tend to really enjoy discussing their everday lives and orindary activities and examining how and why individuals use texts that others' have created for their own purposes).







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