Category Archives: class logistics

Reminder: how to post (from Tug)

I think you reviewed this in section, but for a refresher, here are instructions:

Since many of you are new to WordPress, I thought it would be helpful to let you know how to post.

First, make sure to log in. After signing into your WordPress account, go to the class blog. Bring your cursor over “food and foodies in japan” in the top left corner of the screen. A menu should drop down…it looks like this–>the BOTTOM “food and foodies in Japan”

hover and click on the BOTTOM, dark grey "food and foodies" text

You should select the following:

New > Post

This will bring up a new window where you can input and edit text, images, and other media. On the upper righthand corner of the screen are boxes that you can click to “Save Draft” and “Preview.” You can use these features while working on your post. You can also add tags (keywords for your post) by entering words and phrases into the “Tags” box in the lower righthand corner. *Please do NOT add new categories; these are large, overall categories. Use tags to correspond to your particular essay.

When your post is ready to be published, click on the blue box that says “Publish,” and your post will be published to the blog. If you need to edit your post, you can click on the word “Edit” which will appear at the end of your post and then make any necessary changes.

Feel free to comment on each other’s posts.

Finally, I have added the “author widget,” which lists contributing authors and their most recent posts on the right side of the page. Hovering over an author’s name with your cursor will bring up his or her “hovercard” (a basic profile), while clicking on an author’s name will display all posts by that author.


Worksheet for Tampopo shot-by-shot analysis

Here’s the template we used in class.


Lunch for April 17–Tuesday

Here’s the menu, or list of available choices, for the Sunny Blue bentō lunch on April 17. They will run about $8–, for 2 onigiri (rice balls w/stuff inside), tsukemono (pickles), and edamame. Please email me and Tug by Friday 3pm if you’d like to join in. Tell me exactly which 2 onigiri you’d like (example: 1 hijiki, one spicy tuna). Full menu is here (click to make the one below bigger).

vegan options are duly noted above...

Reader ready @ ASUCLA bookstore

It should be on the shelves as of class time Tuesday. A message from the printer: “If your students can not find it on the shelves just have them ask for the APS office and we will be able to print it out for them as they wait.

PPT from class Thursday, April 5


?s to think of as you read My Year of Meats:
• What sorts of textual systems are at work? For example, what sorts of “text” are there–poems, faxes, diary entries…and how are they related?
• How do characters–especially Jane–see themselves as parts of systems? Does anything remind you of Schlosser in her tone?
• How is meat or “meat” involved in systems?
• What communications and media systems are at work?

Syllabus for S’12


If you are on the waiting list and do NOT have access to the CCLE site, email me or Tug to get access to the readings. Updated: April 15.


Voicethread Assignments

January 24—screen shot assignment                        

January 31—audio voiceover assignment

For each assignment, create one “slide” in Voicethread.

Give your project a title. It can be generic. I called my sample project “Voicethread project by Anne McKnight”

SCREEN SHOT example @
PROMPT–>Choose a screen shot that suggests or establishes what genre Tampopo is. Write a textual comment of 150-200 words that breaks down the image and then argues why it supports your reading. (MS Word will count your words for you, if you want to compose there, and then paste as a typed comment.)
–>By “breaks down,” I mean do a close reading of it: what’s in it, the kind of “shot” it is, what earlier genre elements it may recall, the size of the relative elements, the colors, the people, any movement of the contents or “camera,” the style or look, as well as what is happening. The example works like this…

[Description of what happens in the scene–>] This image comes from the opening sequence of Tampopo and features a dapper gangster who confronts both fellow spectators in the film and viewers watching Tampopo, He demands that the chip-eating salaryman stop crunching, and insists that all viewers must turn off “the most annoying thing” he can imagine in a pre-cell-phone era, the blare of wristwatch alarms going off before the lights go down. [What in the image/sequence is worth paying attention to, so that the viewer/reader gets your point] The gangster directly addresses the living viewer using the second-person pronoun “you.” A close-up depicts him staring directly into the living spectators’ face, a sheer closeness and intensity that breaks the imaginary barrier that usually separates the audience from a feature film.  [Significance] The gangster’s monologue the bears a striking resemblance to avant-garde or experimental cinema. He refuses to blend into the scenery and allow the spectator to passively slide into the world of the film. The gangster’s initial challenge to the viewer suggests a question that runs throughout the film’s vignettes: how can–or how MUST–viewers actively engage with cinema in order to properly appreciate it.

AUDIO voiceover example @

PROMPT–>Analyze a passage that conveys the genre and formal characteristics of diary literature.

This slide should be an image of a passage from My Year of Meats. (You may need to type this in MS Word, and then save it as a .pdf or use Grab to make an image out of it.) After you upload it, make a 1-minute audio commentary that performs a reading of the passage.  (In my example, 1 minute was about 115 words.)

–>Just like we do in class, tell us why you chose that passage, give some context in terms of the story, and then really focus on how the language, rhetoric and style work. Conclude by giving a brief mention of why it is important or interesting/weird/provocative in the context of the work as a whole.


One day Lord Korechika, the Minister of the Center, brought the Empress a bundle of notebooks. “What shall we do with them?” Her Majesty asked me…
“Let me make them into a pillow,” I said.
“Very well,” said Her Majesty. “You may have them.”
I now had a vast quantity of paper at my disposal, and I set about filling the notebooks with odd facts, stories from the past, and all sorts of other things, often including the most trivial material. On the whole I concentrated on things and people that I found charming and splendid; my notes are also full of poems and observations on trees and plants, birds and insects. I was sure that when people saw my book they would say, “It’s even worse than I expected. Now one can really tell what she really is like.” After all, it is written entirely for my own amusement, and I put things down exactly as they came to me…
As will be gathered from these notes of mine, I am the sort of person who approves of what others abhor and detests the things they like.
—Sei Shōnagon, The Pillow Book
Voiceover 1: sounds like “written English”
This passage is an epigraph to MYOM, the very first thing you see upon opening the book. It is a short excerpt from The Pillow Book, a diary written over 1000 years before Ruth Ozeki’s novel was published. Most chapters of MYOM begin with epigraphs like this, a pattern that suggests that the diary of Sei Shōnagon is still relevant to the story and style of the novel’s first-person narrator Jane. Though she calls them “notes” that are put down without calculation or pre-meditation, these improvised scribblings suggest that we can find both a rare kind of cleverness and, maybe, a rare kind of contrariness in her pre-modern “documentary” writing. Jane’s consistent use of Shōnagan’s work to frame her own suggests that Shōnagan offers a model for her own independent and idiosyncratic voice as a documentarian and writer.
Voiceover 2: sounds more like “spoken” English, and is a bit longer…
This passage is an epigraph to My Year of Meats. It’s the very first thing you see when you open the book. The passage is cut from The Pillow Book, a diary written over 1000 years before Ruth Ozeki put out her own novel. Most chapters of MYOM start with epigraphs like this, excerpts of first-person commentary. Here, Shonagon tells us about the composition of her diary: how she came to write what she did, what she covers, and how she expects people to react. This pattern resonates with Ozeki’s opening chapters, and makes us think that that the diary of Sei Shōnagon is still linked to the story and style that Jane uses to narrate MYOM. Shōnagon calls her comments “notes,” maybe because she pretends to put them down without strategy or over-thinking in advance. But the degree and depth of style in her scribblings might suggest otherwise–might highlight to us a rare kind of cleverness and, maybe, a rare kind of contrariness that makes her pre-modern “documentary” writing stand out. She “approves” what others “detest,” after all. Jane’s use of Shōnagan’s work in chapter after chapter to frame her own “voice” suggests that Shōnagan offers a model for her own craft as a documentarian and writer even in the late 20th century.
Note: You only get 3 minutes of “phone time” in total to record.

General prompt for blog assignment

Assignment: Discuss how a significant idea, ideology or issue regarding food is presented in the film of your choice. Summarize the content of the film–whether fiction or documentary–selectively and only insofar as you need to, in order to foreground your own interpretation. Use the critical vocabulary that has appeared to date in class readings and discussion.

Use at least one screen shot to illustrate your point. Make sure you read your image, and don’t just post it. Your post should include and make precise use of: a title that is specific to your post (not just “J70”), at least one screen shot with a caption, tags, and a category. It should have a consistent argument that holds it together, and should not be a series of isolated points or a list.

The post is due on the Friday of the week that follows the film screening (i.e. 8 days later). You choose the films and need not notify us ahead of time. Post and email your completed essay to both the professor and TA in MS Word or another word-processing program by 5pm on the day due.

Section location for Wednesday, January 18

Please go to the CDH labs–LuValle B01, located in the basement of LuValle Commons. You can see a map here, if you are not familiar with the location. Type “LuValle” in the box, and it will highlight the building on the map. A photo of the building is here.

Video Furnace links–now “live”

Video Furnace is now up and running. It allows you to access all the films for class (except 2 still on order). You need to be on a UCLA network, though (copyright complications).

You can link in by going to the CCLE page for the course. Sign in. It will shoot you into a menu that looks like this:

<--Video Furnace link is on the left, under "Week 10." Click, and you get the films for class.

Let me know if you encounter any problems…