Communication and Culture | Media in the Global Context (Sounds of Globalization)
C202 | 28161 | Hagood, M

CMCL-C 202: Media in the Global Context
(Topic: Sounds of Globalization)
Class Number: 28161

MW, 2:30 PM-3:45 PM, LI 044B
Required film screening: Tu, 7:15 PM-10:15 PM, BH 140

Fulfills College S&H Requirement
Fulfills College Culture Studies Requirement (List A)

Instructor: Mark Hagood
Office: C2 279
Phone: 856-7385

In this introductory course we will explore changes in the human
experience of sound and music brought about by media and
globalization. We will take two fundamental premises as our starting
point: 1) Not only our musical tastes, but our perception and
evaluation of all sound is profoundly influenced by culture; 2) the
introduction of recording, playback, and distribution media have
turned sound and music into material objects that can be preserved,
compared, bought, and sold. The combination of these two factors is
seen in contemporary global media, through which sound and music
cultures influence—and perhaps dominate—one another, leading to new
and hybrid ways of hearing and “musicking.”

In the first section of the course, we will examine these two
premises of culture and mediation, considering their implications
and examples of their historical development in a global context. We
will cover key issues in the globalization of media, including
global culture industries, national and local sovereignty, global
and local flows of media, cultural identity and audience receptions,
and the effects of new technologies. As sound is rarely experienced
in isolation from the other senses and is involved in many types of
media, our readings and screenings in this section will concern
themselves not only with sound, but also with global media at
large.  Students will thus gain tools and opportunities to analyze
many types of media from many world regions.

In the second half of the course, we will zero in on sound,
exploring the modern, mediated aural world through a number of
intriguing theories and examples. Questions we will examine include:
Did early sound recording make social sciences like anthropology and
ethnomusicology possible? How was the shortwave radio of the 1920s
like the internet of today? Is “world music” a means of cultural
exploration or exploitation? What is the relationship between the
African American invention of hip hop and the Japanese technologies
that it is produced on—and how did hip hop become a dominant global
art form? Are punk and indie scenes global or local? How have cell
phones changed the sound of sociality? What is the importance and
meaning of silence in a hyper-mediated world? Do we use media
to “tune out” the sound of cultural difference? Our screenings of
films such as Rockers, Theremin, Into Great Silence, Planet B-Boy,
and Our Nation: A Korean Punk Rock Community will deepen our

This course requires no background in sound, music, media industries
and technologies, or world cultures—but students may expect to leave
this class with a good working knowledge of these topics. You will
also become familiar with anthropological, ethnomusicological,
sociological, and cultural studies approaches to sound and media.
Class grades will be based upon participation, tests, group
presentations, and a research paper.