Communication and Culture | Introduction to Media Theory and Aesthetics
C503 | 11038 | Deboer, S.

Tu, 1:00 PM-3:30 PM, C2 272
Required film screening: M, 7:15 PM-10:15 PM, LH 102

Open to Graduates Only!

Instructor: Stephanie Deboer
Office: C2 251
Phone: 856-3708

This course meets one of the requirements for the MA degree and is
strongly recommended for students intending to study media at the
doctoral level.  C503 introduces students to major schools of
thought in the fields of film, television, and emerging media. We
will ask what aspects of cinema, television, and digital media are
specific to the medium and how thinking about them interrelationally
can be productive.  We will consider the epistemological and
affective relationship between screens and viewers by examining
theoretical and critical analyses alongside ethnographic studies on
audience response.  We will consider the significance of
understanding the theoretical and material contexts of film and
media within particular contexts of gender, race, sexuality and
location (transnational or otherwise).  Finally, we will address the
opportunities and challenges of producing criticism and scholarship
in our contemporary age.

With the aim of providing a broad theoretical background for
understanding and engaging in theoretical and critical work,
readings will include articles on formal film aesthetics (including
Eisenstein, Brecht and Godard), feminist film theory (including
Mulvey, Doane, etc.), and essays by such historically important
Frankfurt School writers as Adorno and Benjamin.  In addition, we’ll
read more contemporary cultural and media theorists: Stuart Hall on
race and ideology, Baudrillard and Jameson on postmodernism,
Habermas and McCarthy on public space and ambient TV, Friedberg and
Manovich on new media, Jenkins on participatory culture, Klinger on
home viewing, Parks and Curtin on global TV, Zhang and Hansen on
transnational film and vernacular culture, and contemporary writers
on gender, race and queer theory including hooks, Penley and
others.  Course work will include one short paper, one conference
abstract, an oral presentation and a seminar paper.