NEW 1000-level COURSE:
Media (Word, Image, Sound)
CSCL 1202W: Prof. Meredith Gill
*LE requirement in Arts/Humanities*
We often talk about the “mediated” environment in which we live. We complain about “the media” and its biases. Artists describe themselves as working within a specific “medium” (painting, sculpture, novels, video, etc.) But to what, precisely, do we mean by the term “media”? This course begins by posing a philosophical question central to the study of human culture, technology, and society: What is a tool, and how can it serve as a media device? Who makes it and how do we share it? Does it have power? How is it part of a system?
We will then turn to six inventions that dramatically altered the transmission of words, images and sounds: the printing press, sound recording, radio, the amplifier, the still camera, and the movie camera. In the second half of the course, we will shift our focus to the modern media age since World War II, one that has seen the rise of television, Hollywood, the record industry, the modern news media, corporate media conglomerates, and the internet.
This course favors “deep cuts” over comprehensive knowledge; our focus will be on short but challenging texts and objects that require critical thinking and provocative discussions. It is also writing intensive; the submission of well-written, thoughtful papers will be crucial to your successful completion.