Summer 2018

Summer 2018

NWMEDIA R1B (4 units)

Is Technology Evil?
N. Gutierrez

Session D, MTWTh 11AM — 2 PM, Dwinelle 215

Digital Technology has profoundly influenced the ways we live, work and play. From the “disruptive innovations” of the sharing economy to workplace automatization, from social media to streaming entertainment, the standard narrative of new media and technologies tends to be aspirational: digital networks democratize access, increase efficiency and make life more convenient — in short, they change the world, usually for the better. But is the reality of this new technological world purely positive or does with it pose some problems as well?

In this course, we will practice the skills of college level writing and research by carefully questioning popular narratives of digital technology. Do the mass media make us into zombie consumers? Do social media cause isolation? Do search engine algorithms create filter bubbles that polarize culture? We will think about the role of mass media in the production of consuming subjects, of the representations of race, gender and sexuality in new media, of the nature and role of aesthetics and design in contemporary life.

NWMEDIA R1B (4 units)

What is an @uthor?
Justin Berner

Session D, MTWTh, 11AM — 1:30PM, GPB 107

If a robot wrote a poem, could it break your heart? If a text has no beginning and no end, who decides how it should be read? If a blog is written by a fictional persona, who do we define as the author? Using a combination of print and electronic literature, this course will explore the preceding questions as part of a more general investigation on what it means to be an author in the 21 st Century. Throughout the seminar, while challenging traditional and preconceived notions regarding what it means to be “an author,” students will use the literary and theoretical works as a means of understanding how to become a more effective writer.

Students will first gain a theoretical understanding of what is meant by authorship in western literature before complicating this idea with examples from both print and electronic literature. Starting out with printed works from the origins of authorship in the western tradition, students will then engage with various types of works that have questioned this concept, such as translation, parafiction, and testimonial. Working with electronic literature and new media theory, students will then explore the idea of authorship through bots, blogs, and other forms of digital literary production.

NWMEDIA 90 (4 units)

Movies and/as Media
Kaitlin Forcier

Session A, MWF 10AM — 1 PM, 340 Moffitt

At the beginning of the twentieth century the “new media” was film: heralded as the artistic medium for the industrial age, cinema became a nexus for anxieties and aspirations surrounding the cultural and social transformations wrought by modernity. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, as moving images migrate to the digital and the medium of film itself is transformed, film provides a productive site for theorizing media at moments of emergence. Moreover, since the very beginning (from technological pioneers such as Mélèis, to auteurs such as Stanley Kubrick and George Lucas, to the digital innovations of films such as The Matrix, Avatar, and Gravity), cinema has explored, formally and thematically, what new technologies mean for society.

This course takes a dual approach to analyzing new media through film: we will examine individual films that raise significant questions about our relationship with digital and networked media, at the same time as we consider moving images themselves as new media. Students will gain knowledge of classic and contemporary theories of new media and film as well as critical tools for analyzing a diverse range of new media objects, from digital images of all kinds (Hollywood film, streaming video, GIFs, photographs) to interfaces and mobile applications.