Communication and Culture | Publics
C637 | 30194 | Gershon, I
CMCL-C 637: Publics
Class Number: 30194
M, 4:00 PM-6:30 PM, C2 272
Open to Graduates Only!
Instructor: Ilana Gershon
Office: C2 215
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.