Taught January 2016 to May 2016
This course will examine how media (such as print, the telephone, radio, film, television, video, mobile phones, and the Internet, among others) intersect with civil society. We will explore how these media function in the development of publics and counterpublics, and how communities repurpose these media for their own ends. While we regularly hear how some new form of social media is going to "revolutionize'' public participation by fostering the development of new communities and toppling repressive regimes, we will take a more skeptical stance, examining how "new'' media have always been imbued with revolutionary potential, but also how they often fall prey to entrenched commercial interests. Nevertheless, we will examine cases where bottom-up development of new forms of participation and engagement with media have enabled otherwise marginalized voices to be expressed. Students will have the opportunity to create their own civic media projects for the public(s) of their choice.