Communication and Culture | New Media
C337 | 23804 | Mary L. Gray

CMCL-C C337: New Media
(Topic: History and Contemporary Experiences of New Media)
Class number:  23804

MW 9:30A-10:45A,  Room TBA

(A portion of this class reserved for majors)

Professor: Mary L. Gray
Office: Mottier 214
Office Hours: MW 2:00P-3:30P and by appointment
Phone: 5-4379

This course explores the cultural meaning and significance of
calling media “new.” We will examine how the histories of other
media introductions offer models for thinking about the newest “new
media” on the block—the Internet and other digital media. We will
look at how the introduction of media technologies shape and are
shaped by many aspects of modern life from how we keep the lights on
to how we see ourselves culturally. We will question how the World
Wide Web and other electronic media become part of daily life, what
is different about goods, services, and events that transpire
online, and what theories of communication and social interaction
are useful in understanding online behavior. We will examine
questions about the impact of network technology and digital media
on social, political, economic, and cultural institutions that
comprise modern society. We will explore the above through a close
reading of social critics and social scientific writing on the
sociology, anthropology, and psychology of new media technologies
with an eye towards current controversies regarding technology’s

• Because this is a 300-level course, it will provide a focused
interrogation of current scholarship in the field.
• Course will be a mixture of lecture, small group discussion, and
online participation in a course listserv; attendance will be taken
daily and count towards final course evaluation.
• Authors studied will include William Gibson, Carolyn Marvin,
Alondra Nelson, David E. Nye, and Howard Rheingold.
• Continues themes and ideas presented in C205: Introduction to
Communication and Culture.
• Designed to improve students’ abilities to critically examine the
cultural implications of technologies and the dialectic between
social meanings and technological innovation.
• Assignments will include written daily reading summaries submitted
to the class listserv (1-2 pages per entry), an in-class midterm,
and a final paper approximately 8-10 pages in length.