The most interesting and challenging learning activity in my opinion for Crim 4121 will be the development of a public criminology strategy. The activity builds on students’ understanding of what it means to be a public criminologist and how to get academic information about crime and justice out of the ivory tower in order to challenge dominant discourses that may be misleading, discriminatory, or otherwise flawed. Students will be invited to come up with a way to use a freely available media platform in order to disseminate knowledge or challenge taken-for-granted perspectives about a crime and justice issue.
Because students have a lot of freedom in this activity to be creative and think outside the box, they may flounder and have difficulty circumscribing the parameters of what is expected. Even though the expectations are clearly laid out for them in the guidelines, I think this is one activity where they would like to see some examples. Thankfully, my brilliant friend and colleague, with whom I initially worked on the development of this course, thought to have a recording made of a presentation she gave to her department about using this learning activity in the f2f course. Students will be able to view the video of her presentation, which contains several examples of students’ work in developing their own public criminology media strategies.
Students can also refer to The Society Pages blog on crime (mentioned in the video) to see how people have used this accessible forum in order to discuss criminology in the public sphere:
Some other public criminology efforts can be seen in these blogs:
The Media in Minutes series by Brett Lamb (a couple of episodes of which are part of the course material for Crim 4121) explains key concepts and theories related to the role of media in society and how it may relate to perceptions of crime and other topics. These short episodes may also help students to see how they can convey concise information, related to current topics, in a way that is easy for the uninitiated to grasp: