Special Themes in Literature: A Brief History of Your Digital Future
A Brief History of Your Digital Future (A Media Theory Experience)
This course introduces students to contemporary discussions in film and digital media theory, with a strong emphasis on issues of representation. Our conversations will revolve around the social dimensions of our relationships with screens. How are images--and our production and reception of those images--affected by our institutions? How are they affected by systems of power based on race, gender, class, and histories of colonialism? How and when do digital media and screen images intervene in such systems? We begin with these important questions in screen and image studies, exploring areas of film theory such as spectatorship, genres, stars and performance, stereotypes, and cinema aesthetics. We then consider other dynamics emerging from our digital world—one in which the camera is only a minor player—taking up questions about 360-degree virtual reality and gamic space; interactivity; mobile computing; spatial tagging and locative media; asynchronous and networked communication (such as texting); the archival, sonic, and visual collage aesthetics of sampling, mashups, and remixes; big data and data surveillance; changing software, platforms, and interfaces; hypermedia documents in Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML); GIS and digital mapping; ecomedia and the planned obsolescence of hardware; and digital media’s privileging of animation and graphic design. Course work includes weekly papers as well as presentations and research projects based on our reading, screenings and various digital adventures.