Skip to main content
Indiana University
People  |  
Cultural Studies Program

Courses :: CULS C701 Topic: Ethnography of Media

What does the study of media reveal about culture, meaning and power? How does ethnography help us understand the social life of public signs?  By exploring various forms of media both as objects of ethnographic study, and as ethnographic tools that complement or substitute for writing, this course theorizes concepts such as the idea of community; representation and reception; textuality, intertextuality and performance in mass media; and the complex relationships between interpretation, hegemony and agency. Texts to be studied range from foundational theories of expressive practice,
to contemporary ethnographic works on the social life of media. While reading scholarly work on a variety of approaches to multiple forms of media, students will begin or continue to develop their own
ethnographic projects.

Texts will include:
Ginsburg, Faye, Lila Abu-Lughod and Brian Larkin, eds.  2002. Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain.
Morris, Rosalind C. 2000. In the Place of Origins: Modernity and its Mediums in Northern Thailand.
Meintjes, Louise.  2003. Sound of Africa! Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio.
Menkakar, Purnima. 1999. Screening Culture, Viewing Politics: An Ethnography of Television,     Womanhood, and Nation in Postclolonial India.
Bauman, Richard. 1977 “Verbal Art as Performance." In Verbal Art as Performance, edited by         Richard Bauman.
Jakobson, Roman. 1960. "Closing Statement: Linguistics and Poetics." In Style in Language, edited by T. A. Sebeok.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1993. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics.