Communication and Culture | Intro to Media Theory and Aesthetics
C503 | 1184 | James Naremore


	This course provides an intensive survey of major writings on
the theory and aesthetics of film and other mass media, arranged in
roughly chronological order. We will begin with the early 20th century
attempts to theorize cinema and other forms of mechanical
reproduction, and end with present-day writings about digital media
and global capital. Along the way, certain questions will recur: Do
the modern media have essential qualities that distinguish them from
one another? What is the relation between reality and mechanical
reproduction? Should we view the mass media in dystopian or utopian
terms? What kind of radical or resistant politics do the contemporary
media allow? Do cinema and television render traditional notions of
art and aesthetics irrelevant, or do they provide new grounds for
aesthetics?
	Most of the class meetings will involve a brief introductory
lecture, followed by discussion of the reading assignments. Students
are required to write two take-home exams based on the readings (one
at mid term and one at the final), plus one short essay (8-10 pages).