Communication and Culture | Studies in Contemporary Communication (Topic: Publics)
C626 | 14259 | Gershon, I.

M, 2:30 PM-5:00 PM, 800 E. 3rd St.  room 272

Open to Graduates Only!
Meets with AMST-G 620 and CULS-C 701

Instructor: Ilana Gershon
Office: 800 E. 3rd St.  room 215
Phone: 856-3728

How can we understand the different ways that publics are composed?
This course takes publics to be a distinctive way for linking selves
and social unities which relies on technologies, loosely defined. To
ask about publics one must analyze the techniques by which they are
constituted. As a result the technological medium becomes central to
the question of what is a public. That is to say, the medium through
which the circulation and creation of a public occurs is central to
constituting a public. How are publics constituted using different
technologies, and how do these socially constituted technologies
affect the publics and people using them?

This course sets out to answer this question by exploring publics
from a variety of theoretical and ethnographic angles. Topics
covered include the importance of technological structures in
shaping publics, the ways in which publics transcend the here-and-
now, and the complex relationship between publics and persons. We
consider the ways in which personhood is evoked by different
publics, as well as exploring how and when publics are culturally
specific. In short, we discuss the benefits and costs of using
publics as an analytical lens for understanding historically
contingent commonalities and the technologies that enable these
commonalities to emerge.