In 2011, The People Say Project partnered with Loyola University of New Orleans’ English Department to produce a series of live events and a student-driven website that served as a focus for two courses taught by People Say Producer Jarret Lofstead. With the guests and topics of the live events as their central subject, students were given a unique opportunity not only to research individual genres and artists and their roles within a larger critical and cultural framework, but also to interact directly with the artists as well as the greater New Orleans community.
Writing for Digital Media employs a collaborative curriculum, combining academic research methods, expository writing, and multimedia authoring skills. Students research and develop one article for each of The People Say events during the semester, employing text, infographics, and multimedia compositions to package the article for online distribution, providing valuable, practical research as well as publication credit for those pursuing careers in media/writing.
Throughout the course, students are encouraged to ask the question “What is the ‘Cultural Economy’?” and to gather research that helps to define the relationship between making money and making culture. Each student’s work culminates in a final, self-driven project that investigates the concept of ‘Cultural Economy’ itself.
Click here to view sample student project reflections.
“The People Say Project gave me a swift reality check when I was forced to really examine the culture of the city. It is easy to assume that New Orleans is Mardi Gras and the citizens are all characters from Treme. Clearly these ideas are far from correct, and my coursework has shown me that it’s these notions that are the source of many problems within the city…The fact that this class approaches writing from a business standpoint is what makes it so valuable for those of us attempting to make this our career.” -Courtney O’Donnell
“Professor Lofstead taught me things about my city that even I as a local was shamefully ignorant of, bits of information that I am glad to have acquired. And if I didn’t learn it directly from him, I learned it due to my own volition in researching the topics we had to write professional articles about…Professor Lofstead guided us, but ultimately it was up to us to use the tools and information he provided us to produce meaningful, professional level work.” -Sheila Tahir
“I was expecting something along the lines of the Introduction into Film and Digital Media course. That would entail movie watching, blog writing, and the occasional internet adventure. What I got was a course that was structured outside of the curriculum and in the real world, something concrete, substantial. Fortunately for me, this is exactly what I was looking for. This course was taking something that someone would be paid to do and bringing it into the classroom. Someone with an English, Film and Digital Media degree would be hired to do. Finally, an example of what this major entails and what the future could hold for someone with it.” -Keller Fisher
Interested in partnering your school with the People Say Project? Contact us here.