Communication And Culture | Intro Media Theory & Aesthetics
C503 | 1207 | James Naremore


This course provides an introductory survey of theoretical writings
about cinema and mass media from the beginnings of the 20th century
until the present day. Beginning with the question of what
constitutes a "theoretical" approach to the subject, we will trace
some persistent issues. Are there essential features of the media
that determine their form, artistic status, or cultural function?
What is the relation of the photographic/electronic image
to "reality"? How do moving images and editing create meaning? Is the
cinema an art form or a new kind of "mass" consciousness and
communication? How is the form of the medium affected by property
relations, class conflict, and identity politics?

Reading for this course is intensive, touching on virutally every
major theorist. Texts will include one or two anthologies, a couple
of books, and a packet of essays. There are no film screenings for
the class, but students are expected to view some videos in the
library. Written requirements are two take-home exams (mid-term and
final) and a 7-10 page paper.