Communication and Culture | Introduction to Media Theory and Aesthetics
C503 | 22112 | Barbara Klinger

Class Number: 22112
Tu 1:00 PM-3:30 PM
Required Film Screenings Mondays 7:00 PM-10:30 PM

Open to graduate students only

Professor: Barbara Klinger
Office: 201 Mottier Hall
Office hours:
Phone: 855-1796

This course introduces students to discussions in the fields of
film, television, and new media concerning three central issues:
(1). the experiential and aesthetic status of the visual image (2).
narrative and counter-narrative strategies within and across media,
and (3). the nature of spectatorship and audience response. We will
examine the work of major media theorists as they have addressed
these issues. Among topics we’ll consider are: the issues of realism
and spectacle in relation to film, television, video, and digital
images; the differences between classical Hollywood, serial
television, and “virtual” narratives engendered by new media; and
the definition of spectators, variably, as passive consumers,
oppositional viewers, and interactive partners in media production.
Throughout the course we will explore the specificity of each medium
we discuss, while analyzing the interrelationships between media–an
especially important task given that the rise of huge entertainment
conglomerates and new technologies has made it increasingly
difficult to maintain clear boundaries between different media
industries and their texts.

Among theorists we will read are: Andre Bazin, Sergei Eisenstein,
Christian Metz, Raymond Williams, John Ellis, Marie Gillespie, John
Caldwell, Robert Allen, Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Jean
Baudrillard, David Bordwell, Laura Mulvey, Peter Wollen, Jay Bolter
and Richard Grusin, Tania Modleski, Henry Jenkins, Stuart Hall, Tony
Bennett, David Morley, and Janet Murray.

Films, television shows, and other media will be shown weekly in
relation to the theories under discussion. Work will include an oral
presentation, a short paper, and a final research paper.