Communication and Culture | Media Theory
C410 | 3006 | Madhavi Mallapragada
CMCL-C 410: Media Theory
(Topic: Web Cultures)
Class number: 3006
TuTh 9:30A-10:45A, Room TBA
Professor: Madhavi Mallapragada
Office: Mottier 208
Office Hours: W 2:30P-4:30P
This course will introduce you to the key theories and practices of
the World Wide Web. Since the “Web revolution” of the early
nineties, the Web has emerged as a popular medium of communication,
commerce, culture and community. Media and cultural studies scholars
have engaged with issues such as “new media”, digital divide,
virtual reality, cyborg identity, cyber-community, e-commerce and
media convergence to name a few. This course will deal with such
issues within the framework of the transnational flows of media,
technologies, capital, culture and communities. It will address the
ways in which the so-called “new” medium of the Web is also shaped
by the politics and practices of the “old” or “traditional” media
such as film and television. At the same time the course will
foreground the very innovative, oftentimes unexpected ways in which
the Web is being mobilized to address and negotiate issues of
culture, identity and capital in the contemporary world.
• This is a 400- level media theory course and accordingly,
the readings will offer a strong foundation in the current
scholarship addressing issues of digital culture and cyberspace.
• There will be a combination of lectures and discussion in
• The readings will include the works of Sherry Turkle, Howard
Rheingold, Michel Foucault, Raymond Williams, Ananda Mitra, Stuart
Hall, Paul du Gay, Arturo Escobar and Tim Jordan.
• During the course of the semester, we will critically engage
with several web sites, video games and sci-fi and cyberpunk films.
• Students will be evaluated based on their performance in the
following assignments: (1) Class Participation (2) Midterm (3) Final
Exam (4) Research Paper and Presentation.