Communication and Culture | Media Theory (Topic: Cyberpublics)
C410 | 27835 | Gray, M.

TuTh, 2:30 PM-3:45 PM, C2 203

Instructor: Mary Gray
Office: C2 243
Phone: 855-4379

The introduction of digital technologies, from the early uses of the
Internet to the rapid expansion of mobile devices for day-to-day
(moment-to-moment) interaction call into question what we mean when
we talk about doing something in "public." This advanced media
theory course will consider the assumptions about the relationship
between media and "being public" that shape our experiences of
everyday life.

We will focus on four sets of assumptions that structure our
experience of public life: publics as places (what is marked as
public space?), publics as cultures (what do we do and create in
public?) , publics as politics (how do we deliberate, mobilize, and
dissent in public?), and publics as infrastructure (what structures
must be in place to make public engagement possible?) We will
examine different theories of media's relationship to public life
and use what media scholars increasingly refer to as "social media"--
social networking sites like Facebook, microblogging interfaces like
Twitter, mobile phone applications for Blackberries and iPhones like
Grinder, user- generated content aggregated through sites like
wikis, YouTube,, and think through and
theorize the current shifts in how we talk about being or doing
something "in public" and digital media's part in highlighting or
overshadowing those shifts.