Taught January 2015 to May 2015
Considering media as diverse as photography, film, radio, television, video, sound recording, and the Internet, this course is an introduction to the major theoretical works of media theory through a close attention to both texts and media artifacts. Topics include theories of ideology, spectatorship and reception, structuralism and poststructuralism, modernism and postmodernism, semiotics, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, feminism, and queer theory. Through class discussions and writing assignments, students will consider both prevailing conceptual currents as well as alternative formulations in order to question the various forces that work to shape media as material and discursive systems. Readings will be structured so that media works are paired with historical and contemporary texts in order to draw out the connections between the theory, history, and practice of media.