Telecommunications | Media History
T311 | 16286 | Terry, H

TEL-T 311 is an overview of U.S. elecronic media history, primarily
covering the period from the mid-19th century through the end of the
20th century.  While the focus is on U.S. electronic media history,
we'll also consider non-electronic media history in order and non-
U.S. media history where it helps us understand U.S. developments.

The prerequisite is completion of either TEL-T 205 or TEL-T 207 with
a grade of C- or higher.  If you will not have completed one of
these courses prior to the start of the Fall, 2010 semester, you
can contact me ( and I will consider requests,
enrollment limits permitting, to let you in without having completed
the prereqisites.  I'm most likely to consider this favorably if you
are not a Telecommunications major or minor, since the major (and,
typically, a minor) requires that you complete these two courses
anyway.  I welcome qualified and well prepared students from outside
Telecommunications, however, so please --if you fall in that
category, contact me and give me an opportunity to assess your
prepararation for the class.

Good background for this class is a sound prior knowledge of U.S.
history, since we'll often set electronic media history in that
historical context and will not have the time, obviously, to
comprehensively cover general U.S. media history of this period.

We plan to cover telegraphy, telephony, broadcasting, cable-TV,
satellite services, the Internet, and interactive electronic media
(including games).  We won't move much into the 21st century because
it's premature to have historical perspective on such recent

Sterling and Kittross' Stay Tuned and Patrick Parsons' Blue Skies: A
History of Cable Television are probably going to be the basic texts
for this class.  However, I don't decide that until I see how these
texts have worked out in the version of TEL-T 311 that I am teaching
Spring, 2010.  I am using Parsons at this time, but don't know how
well it is working out and won't know until the end of the Spring,
2010 semmester.

There will be both a midterm and a final exam -- both essay (and, in
the case of the final, to some extent comprehensive).  There will
probably be papers, but their nature (and length) can only be
determined after we see how many people this class enrolls. This
will also be decided after I see how things worked in Spring, 2010
when I added Parsons as a text and did not require a research
paper.  If TEL-T 311  goes to maximum capacity, I still will not
have an A.I. and will have to have shorter papers than if it runs 25
persons or so.  We'll just have to see how that goes.

This course counts toward Social and Historical Studies distribution
requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences. It may, or may
not, also count toward other degree requirements. For more
information about which requirements this course could fulfill see
the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin at
If you have questions, or need additional help, see your academic

Class meets 1:00pm-2:15pm MW.

Please contact me at if you have any additional