Over the past two posts, I’ve been sharing an interview my son, Charlie Jenkins, has been conducting with Survivor contestant Max Dawson, about what it was like to be an acs-fan who becomes part of a reality television phenomenon. Dawson is one of xx contestants who are competing to get a “second chance,” to be one of ten men and ten women who will have another shot at winning the million dollars next season. The public has a chance to vote here, so if you have heard Max’s story and want to support him, please do so. There are only a few days left and you can vote once each day.
A big part of Max’s story is the idea that he has “taught” Survivor: he is a “teacher of the game,” but of course, much of the public doesn’t really understand what it is we do in media studies and so they imagine he’s helping students acquire skills that they could use to become a reality television contestant. Because of the misunderstandings surrounding the class, we asked Max if we could repost his syllabus here. If nothing else, it might give other media scholars a starting point for thinking about how they might help students understand the place of reality television in contemporary media culture.