Media Studies Development Project

180a. Approaches to Media Studies (1)

This course explores concepts and issues in the study of media, attentive to but not limited by the question of the "new" posed by new media technologies. Our survey of key critical approaches to media is anchored in specific case studies drawn from a diverse archive of media artifacts, industries, and technologies: from phonograph to photography, from cinema to networked hypermedia, from typewriter to digital code. We examine the historical and material specificity of different media technologies and the forms of social life they enable, engage critical debates about media, culture and power, and consider problems of reading posed by specific media objects and processes, new and old. We take the multi-valence of "media"- a term designating text and apparatus of textual transmission, content and conduit-as a central problem of knowledge for the class. Our goal throughout is to develop the research tools, modes of reading, and forms of critical practice that help us aptly to describe and there by begin to understand the increasingly mediated world in which we live. Ms. Brawley and Mr. Lipton

Open to all classes