Communication and Culture | Media Theory and Aesthetics
C503 | 1168 | Naremore

	This course provides an intensive survey of major writings on
the theory and aesthetics of film and other mass media, arranged in
roughly chronological order. We will begin with the early 20th century
attempts to theorize cinema and other forms of mechanical
reproduction, and end with present-day writings about digital media
and global capital. Along the
way, certain questions will recur: Do the modern media have essential
qualities that distinguish them from one another? What is the relation
between "reality" and mechanical reproduction? Should we view the mass
media in dystopian or utopian terms? What kind of radical or resistant
politics do the contemporary media allow? Do cinema and television
render traditional notions of art and aesthetics irrelevant, or do
they provide new grounds for aesthetics?
	Most of the class meetings will involve a brief introductory
lecture, followed by discussion of the reading assignments. Students
are required to write two take-home exams based on the readings (one
at mid term and one at the final), plus one short essay (8-10 pages).