The Consumerist Gaze was a course taught by Prof. Lisa Daily in the Spring 2017 term that focused on how commodity images play a role in the process of production and consumption. This course was particularly focused on exploring the notion of “the gaze” from different theoretical and cultural stances with regard to global capitalism. The course structure required students to go through different kinds of textual materials, videos, movies, case studies, and images, an approach that enables students to take a reflective approach while analyzing these resources. As part of the weekly assignments, students were required to write blog posts based on their critical evaluation of the readings and other cultural materials. Such blogging assignments can act as pre-writing activities for longer writing assignments, and have the additional benefits of facilitating close reading, creating transparency and dialogue between students, and encouraging the development of learning communities.
Professor Daily and her students used NYU’s Web Publishing platform to share the readings, blog entries, ethnographic studies and final projects. Students also created an archive of images that they had collected throughout the semester. The images were based on the theme of the role of the consumer’s gaze in commodity markets and capitalist economies. To execute these tasks effectively, some of the plugins that were used while creating the course site were NextGEN Gallery by Photocrati, User-Submitted Posts, Image Wall, Doc Embedder, Attachment Importer, etc. The use of different kinds of technological resources helped the students and instructor share their work and engage in meaningful class discussions.