Rhetorical Comparison of HSAM texts

In this post you will be writing a comparative analysis of 3 texts, all of which treat a specific memory disorder called HSAM, Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, or in medical terms, Hyperthymnesia.We’ve looked at several other problems of memory involving forgetting (Alzheimer’s) or faulty memory (source confusion and the malleability of memory). As you’ll see, patients with HSAM have problems in the other direction–they can’t forget.First, read the academic article by James McGaugh. “Remembrance of All Things Past” which documents the condition. [Sidenote: the link under Unit 4 should take you there, but you may need to log into the cofc library databases to access it.] Next, listen to the NPR podcast reporting on the condition. From here, check out the two 60 minutes episodes (part 1 and 2), featuring McGaugh’s HSAM subjects. Finally, watch the episode of House which explores a fictional case of HSAM.As you are reading, listening, and watching, try noticing the different audiences these three pieces are written/produced for. The disorder, HSAM, remains the same, but the way it gets described and represented changes in each “text.” As yourself questions like: What’s different about the podcast verses the article? What gets emphasized in each rendition? Who is the intended audience for each piece and how does that inform the choices each writer/producer makes in exploring HSAM?In watching the House episode, look for choices the writer/director made, not just in terms of content, but also in terms of editing, music, camera work. Once you’ve got a handle on each of these representations, compose a post that compares any 3 of the 4 sources.

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