Cultural and Media Theory: Media in Transition

Course description for a seminar I’ll be teaching in the summer semester (April – July 2012):

Cultural and Media Theory: Media in Transition

SE 2: Di 10:00/12:00 Raum: 1502.615, Beginn: 10.04.2012

Veranstalter/in: Denson

AmerA; AAS1.2

With regard to the structural roles and relations of media in virtually every aspect of our lives, ours is an era of significant — perhaps even fundamental — change. Digital media, in particular, have transformed entertainment, social interaction, politics, art, and academia, among other areas of human activity. About that, there is widespread agreement; there is little consensus, though, when it comes to assessing the significance of these changes or determining their exact nature. Does “media convergence” characterize something unique about our culture? What is new about “new media”? To begin answering these questions, we must take a broader look at the history of media and media change. In this course, we will therefore focus not only on contemporary media phenomena, but also on a variety of earlier media transformations and transitions in an effort to better understand our present situation. With a primary emphasis on American (popular) culture, but with an eye towards global changes, we will consider moments of change and transition in a wide range of media, including the book, the cinema, recorded music, and television. Please be aware that this is an intensive theory course; there will be a heavy workload in terms of reading assignments, comprising quite a number of difficult theoretical texts. Please enroll only if you are willing to do the readings and participate actively in theoretical discussions.

Required Reading

Please purchase a copy of the following book prior to the beginning of the course: David Thorburn and Henry Jenkins, eds. Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2003. (ISBN: 0262701073). Please read Chapter 1, “Introduction: Toward an Aesthetics of Transition,” and be prepared to discuss it on the first day of class!

Recommended Reading


Assessment Tasks – will be specified ● Registration – StudIP 1.3.2012 – 31.3.2012 ● Size restriction – 25 ● Prerequisites – Studienleistung(en) of “Intermediate Literature and Culture” ● Studiengänge – FüB.A., M Ed. LG, 3. Fach LG, MA AAS ● Further Information – shane.denson@engsem.~

One response to “Cultural and Media Theory: Media in Transition

  1. Pingback: Independent Study: Digital Media and Humanities Research | initiative für interdisziplinäre medienforschung

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