Telecommunications | Interactivity and New Media
T585 | 27603 | Bucy, E


This seminar approaches the study of interactivity and new media
from both theoretical and applied perspectives, exploring the
implication of two-way communication as well as the social and
psychological effects of interactivity at different levels of
analysis. The central question organizing the seminar, where
interactivity resides  in media technology, mediated interactions,
message exchanges, or user cognitions  serves to structure our 15-
week exploration. Beyond defining and locating interactivity, this
seminar is concerned with the history, applications, benefits, and
drawbacks of interactive processes and media systems across a
variety of contexts, including entertainment, journalism and mass
communication, political communication, social life, education, and
the arts. Throughout the semester attention will also be paid to
related concepts relevant to new media, such as media evolution,
parasocial interaction, virtual reality, (tele)presence, flow,
remediation, and the merging of mass and interpersonal processes.

The seminar requires students to write a research paper in their
area of interest applying a model or theory of interactivity to a
research question about new media, including mobile communication
technologies, the Internet/World Wide Web, wearable devices,
immersive environments, videogrames, interactive television, and so
on. Although our emphasis throughout the semester will be on the
intersection of new media and communication theory, the readings,
discussion, and assignments provide a broad foundation for students
interested in thesis or dissertation work relating to interactivity,
regardless of their specific emphasis area or field of study.

Specific goals include:
 To introduce and compare different approaches to interactivity
found in the research and thoughtful trade literature;  To situate
these approaches in relation to traditional mass communication
theory and explore their further development;
 To apply conceptual understandings of interactivity to questions
of effectual communication across a variety of settings.