Communication and Culture | Seminar in Media Theory: The Problem of the Media in Deleuze and Guattari
C792 | 14953 | Ted Striphas

Topic: The Problem of the Media in Deleuze & Guattari
Class Number: 14953
Meeting time TBA

Open to Graduates Only!

Professor: Ted Striphas
Office: 200 Mottier Hall
Office Hours: TBA
Phone: 856-7868

Mediation, representation, form, meaning, communication: these
terms, and perhaps a handful of others, comprise a conceptual core
for (humanistic) media studies.  In the last 50 years or so they
have helped to gather disparate researchers together as a field and
have facilitated the proliferation of rigorous, politically engaged
media scholarship.  Inasmuch as these concepts have proven useful
both institutionally and analytically, however, their givenness has
gone more or less unquestioned  The rapidly shifting media landscape
and the emergence of new modes of thought suggest that the time has
come to asses the capabilities and limitations of these concepts
and, as necessary, to imagine how to do media studies otherwise.

The individual and collaborative writings of Gilles Deleuze (1925-
1995) and Félix Guattari (1930-1992) provide a powerful frame of
reference for beginning this inquiry.  Their philosophy consists in
part of a sustained critique of forms of mediation, logics of
representation, and structures of signification, which in turn opens
up a host of urgent questions to which media researchers ought to be
responding: other than signifying, what do media do? what’s at stake
in conceiving of mediated sounds, words, and images not as
representations but as original presentations in their own right? is
the primary function of media to communicate, and if not, what then
is their main purpose? what would it mean to study “media” without
presuming that they indeed mediate?  This class will explore these
and other questions about the future of media studies through an
intensive engagement with key writings by Deleuze and Guattari and
those of media scholars whose research has been inspired by their

Required reading [all by Gilles Deleuze]: Cinema 1: The Movement-
Image; Cinema 2: The Time-Image; Difference and Repetition; Francis
Bacon: The Logic of Sensation; and Proust and Signs: The Complete
Text.  Also required: John Marks, Gilles Deleuze: Vitalism and
Multiplicity; Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual: Movement,
Affect, Sensation; Jennifer Daryl Slack (ed.) Animations [Of Deleuze
and Guattari]; McKenzie Wark, A Hacker Manifesto; and J. Macgregor
Wise, Exploring Technology and Social Space.  Additional required
readings will be drawn from the collaborative writings of Deleuze
and Guattari.

Assessment likely will be based on: active and engaged seminar
participation; one or more in-class facilitations (which will
include short essays); and a substantial semester writing assignment.