Why do audiences tend to experience both fascination and despair when viewing disasters from afar? How does such ambivalence complicate our understanding of the viewer’s ethical responsibility to others? And how should audiences cope with the moral and emotional problems associated with watching real-life tragedies unfold? These questions may seem unique to our hyper-mediated age, but scholars have debated them for centuries.
This course site served as a final writing project for a course on the conventions of academic writing when discussing highly charged topics. Students were invited to create a space on the site that allowed for an emotional response, be it through essay, poetry, music, or other creative endeavor, for the disaster they had already studiedin other more formal writing assignments.
Instructor: Timothy Recuber, The Writing Program.