21L.015 | Fall 2005 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Media Studies


This course contains lectures, lab sessions and recitations, which are presented in the table using the following abbreviations.

L - Lecture
Lab - Lab
R - Recitation

L1 Introduction Doctorow, Cory. Eastern Standard Tribe. New York, NY: Tor, 2004, pp. 108-115. ISBN: 0765307596.
L2 Media Convergence Jenkins, Henry. Towards Media Convergence. Chapter 1. (Forthcoming Book)
R1 Media Convergence - What is Jenkins’ Argument? What are Counter Examples?  
Lab 1 The Society of Spectacle Screening Debord, Guy. La Société du spectacle, 1973.
L3 Origins of Media and Media Theory Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” In Illuminations. New York, NY: Schocken Books, 1968, pp. 217-251.

Debord, Guy-Ernest. Society of the Spectacle. Detroit, MI: Black and Red, 1983, parts 1-42. ISBN: 0934868077.

R2 Reading Response Discussion  
Lab 2 Blade Runner Screening Scott, Ridley. Blade Runner, 1982.
L4 Library Research

What is Authoritative Information in the Age of the Network?

L5 Game Mod (Guest Lecture by Paul Marino)  
L6 Media is the Message / Simulacra and Simulation Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1994. ISBN: 0472065211.

Herbert Marshall McLuhan

Wikipedia contributors. “Simulacra and Simulation.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

R3 Discussion of Media Projects and Modes of Working  
R4 Working Groups  
Lab 3 Battle of Algiers Screening Pontecorvo, Gillo. La Battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers), 1965.
L7 Theory of Media: Terrorism as Media Tool Kittler, Friedrich. “History of Communications Media.” Web site compiled by Peter Krapp, 2000.
R5 History of Media: Kittler  
Lab 4 eXistenZ Screening Cronenberg, David. eXistenZ, 1999.
L8 Media Lab Field Trip Shaviro, Steven. Connected, or What It Means to Live in the Network Society. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2003. ISBN: 0816643636.
R6 Media Acts  
Lab 5 Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y Screening Grimonprez, Johan. Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, 1998.
L9 Media and Property: Creative Commons

Guest Lecture by Hal Abelson

Assigned Reading

Lessig, Lawrence. “The People Own Ideas!” Technology Review 108, no. 6 (June 2005): 46-63.

Epstein, Richard. “The Creators Own Ideas.” Technology Review 108, no. 6 (June 2005): 56-60.

Suggested Reading

Creative Commons

Wark, McKenzie. “Hacker Manifesto [version 4.0].” Subsol.

R7 Politics of Media: Discussion of Creative Commons License  
Lab 6 Sonic Outlaws Screening Baldwin, Craig. Sonic Outlaws, 1995.
L10 Audio Media: History of Mechanical Audio

Guest Lectur by Lisa Gitelman

Buy at MIT Press Gitelman, Lisa. “How Users Define New Media: A History of the Amusement Phonograph.” In Rethinking Media Change. Edited by David Thorburn and Henry Jenkins. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004, pp. 61-79. ISBN: 0262701073.
R8 Independent Work Group Meetings  
L11 Television’s Past, the Actualization of Mass Media Uricchio, William. “The Trouble with Television.” Screening The Past, no. 4 (1998). (First Release)

Hirschberg, Lynn. “Giving Them What They Want.” New York Times Magazine, September 4, 2005, 29-35, 50, and 54-55.

McHugh, Josh. “The Super Network: Why Yahoo! Will be the center of the million-channel universe.” Wired Issue 13.09 (September 2005): 107-111. (Wired article on the development in television technology and view habits in the post-wired age. HDTV, IPTV, on-demand, etc.)

Siklos, Richard. “First for Free, Then for Pay At 2 Networks.” The New York Times, November 8, 2005. (NYT’s business section on the November, 2005 announcement of on-demand services by CBS & NBC.)

Gray, Herman. “The Politics of Representation in Network Television.” In Watching Race: Television and the Struggle for “Blackness.” Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1995, pp. 70-92. ISBN: 0816622507.

Suggested Reading

McCarthy, Anna. “Shaping Public and Private Space with TV Screens.” In Ambient Television. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001, pp. 115-153. ISBN: 0822326922.

Schwartz, Evan. “Fields of Vision.” In The Last Lone Inventor. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2002, pp. 9-27. ISBN: 0066210690.

R9 The Future of Television

Discussion Led by Tom Levenson.

Lab 7 Eyes on the Prize Screening Hampton, Henry. Eyes on the Prize, 1987. (Television images of broadcast of civil rights movement.)
L12 Postmedia Production: Electronic Music Culture / Digital Radio

Student Podcast Demo

Suggested Reading

Russolo, Luigi. “The Art of Noises, Futurist Manifesto.” In Audio Culture. Edited by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner. New York, NY: Continuum, 2004. ISBN: 0826416144.

Video Selections to be Screened in Class

Cunningham, Chris. Windowlicker, 1999.

———. Björk: All is full of Love, Music video.

Williams, Hype. Belly, 1998. (Excerpt)

Gondry, Michel. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004.

L13 Final Project: Class Presentations  

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2005
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments
Media Assignments
Presentation Assignments