Media & American Modernity

Term: Spring 2010

Subject Code: GSOC

Course Number: 5989

This course, serves as a continuation and development of the courses such as Foundations of Media Theory and Media and Social Theory, the courses which are offered usually during fall semester. This course aims to provide students with the broader applications of media theory into various - yet distinct - dimensions of American society with a particular focus on culture and politics. It also aims to help students elaborate theoretical topics for master's theses and prepare for an advanced seminar such as Media and Critical Theory. The course explores the impact of various forms of media (newspapers, radio, TV, the Internet) on the transformation of American modernity via critical perspectives made by significant philosophers, anthropologists, literary critics, and media theorists. The course will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the key contributions of a number of writers to the critical understanding of the complex interplay between a particular medium and distinct forms of 'American' experience. During the course, we will reexamine some of the key issues and concepts in social theories (such as hyperreality, network society, mediated public space, urban spectacle, etc) as particularly applied to American media phenomena, including newspapers and the origin of American democracy; radio and propaganda; televised sports events and social identity; the Internet and mediated politics; online games and everyday life, and so on.


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