English 287 - Fall, 2018

Topics in Literature & Media

Class Information

Instructor: Boluk, Stephanie/LeMieux, Patrick,
CRN: 43036
Time: W 12:10-3, W 6:10-9
Location: 201 Sprocket


    Media Theory and Media Practice
    Stephanie Boluk and Patrick LeMieux
    This co-taught graduate level course introduces students to the interlinked fields of media theory and media practice. In this course we will read, think, talk, make, and critique media together. Starting with a range of historical and critical approaches to media, we will examine how the field of media studies has been shaped by multiple disciplines ranging from information theory and cybernetics to cultural studies and critical theory to infrastructure studies and environmentalism. Then, engaging practice-based research methodologies including media archaeology, platform/software/code studies, text mining and data analysis, video essay and game design, we will enrich our relationships to our objects of study. How do we think about issues of human embodiment, identity, materiality, economy, and ecology in relation to the history of media technologies? Beyond using the term media as a descriptor for either technological platforms or communication protocols, this course investigates what a practical and philosophical understanding of media offers us for living in the twentieth-first century. No technical experience is required but students should come to the class ready to engage not only the theoretical, but practical components of the course.

    Possible Texts (Excerpts and Selections)
    Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation.
    Browne, Simone. Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness.
    Chun, Wendy. Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media.
    Galloway, Alex. Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization.
    Hayles, Katherine. Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious.
    Malabou, Catherine. What Should We Do with our Brain?
    McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media.
    Nakamura, Lisa. Digitizing Race.
    Ong, Walter. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word.
    Shannon, Claude and Warren Weaver. A Mathematical Theory of Communication.
    Starosielski, Nicole. The Undersea Network.
    Stiegler, Bernard. Technics and Time.
    Tsing, Anna. The Mushroom at the End of the World.
    Hu, Tung-hui. A Prehistory of the Cloud.

    Possible Tools (Free or Open Source)
    Pure Data