Communication and Culture | Topics in Media History (Topic: Media Technologies and American Culture)
C420 | 12328 | Keeler, A.

MTuWThF, 10:20 AM-11:35 AM, C2 203

Fulfills College S&H Requirement

Instructor: Amanda Keeler

In the past 150 years the United States has undergone an array of
industrial, cultural and technological changes. In the same years
that these foundational changes have occurred Americans have
increasingly filled their growing leisure time with a variety of
media objects. The unparalleled success of the multi-faceted media
industries during this same time period speaks to how integral media
has become in our daily lives.

This class explores the ways in which Americans have encountered,
and continue to experience, consume, use, create and fear emergent
media technologies. By exploring the emergence of new media from the
nineteenth century to the present this class will contemplate how
new media are received into our daily lives, from the phonograph, to
film, radio, television, the VCR, the DVR and the Internet. We will
address the ways in which we integrate media into our daily lives,
as well as how they are marketed to us as media consumers.

With these explorations in mind we will contemplate questions such
as: How did new media emerge, and why? What effects did new media
have on American society? What types of products (e.g. records,
films, television and radio shows) were designed and marketed with
these new technologies? How have these media become such a huge
part, all the while growing even larger, in our daily lives? How and
why did each of these new technologies incite “utopian” ideals?

The assignments for the class will include participation in class
discussions, a midterm exam and a final exam.