21L.015   Introduction to Media Studies:  Syllabus | Classes | Labs | Papers | Resources


Th Sept. 10 The Concept of Media (Jenkins )

T Sept. 15 The Concept of Culture (Jenkins)

T Sept 15 LAB: Show and Tell

Th Sept. 17 The Concept of Commodity (Raman)

  • Bernard Gendron, "Theodor Adorno Meets the Cadillacs," in Tania Modleski ed. Studies in Entertainment: Critical Approaches to Mass Culture (Madison, University Of Wisconsin Press, 1986) 18- 36.

T Sept. 22 Case Study Radio (Jenkins) - First Paper Due*

  • Susan Douglas, "Popular Culture and Populist Technology: The Amateur Operators, 1906-1912," in Inventing American Broadcasting, 1899-1922 (Baltimore, London: John Hopkins University Press) pp. 187-215.
  • Michele Hilmes, Radio Voices: American Broadcasting, 1922- 1952 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997) pp. 183- 229.

T Sept. 22 LAB: Early Radio Shows

Th. Sept. 24 From Orality to Print (Ravell)

  • Walter J. Ong, "Some psychodynamics of orality," in Orality and Literacy: the technologizing of the word (London; New York: Methuen, 1982) pp. 31-77.
  • Donald McKenzie, "The Sociology of a Text: Oral Culture, Literacy, and Print in Early New Zealand," in THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF LANGUAGE, eds. Peter Burke and Roy Porter, 161-97.


T Sept. 29 The Rise and Decline of the Book (Donaldson) - Second Paper Due*

  • George Landow, "Reconfiguing Narrative," Hypertext (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1991).

T Sept. 29 Theatre and Theatricality (Henderson)

  • John Barish, selections from The Antitheatrical Prejudice, (University of California Press, 1981) pp.20

Th Oct.1 Media in Transition

T Oct. 6 The Rise of Modern Mass Media (Jenkins)

  • Howard P. Segal, "The Technological Utopians," in Joseph J. Corn, Imagining Tomorrow: History, Technology and the American Future, (Cambridge, London: MIT Press, 1986) pp.119- 136.
  • Ben Singer, "Modernity, Hyperstimulus, and the Rise of Popular Sensationalism," in Leo Charney and Vanessa R. Schwartz (ed.) Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995) pp. 72-99.
  • Tom Gunning, "An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator," in Linda Williams (ed.) Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995) pp. 114-133.

LAB: Early Cinema; excerpt from WAYS OF SEEING

TH Oct. 8 Media in Transition

  • TBA

(T, Oct. 13th, Monday Schedule of Classes to Be Held)

Th Oct. 15 Photography and Modernity (Kinney) - Third Paper Due*

  • Charles Baudelaire, selections from "The Salon of 1859," in Art in Paris (1945-1862): Salons and other Exhibitions (Cornell University Press, 1965) pp. 291-298.
  • Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," in Illuminations (New York, 1969) pp. 217-251.

T. Oct. 20 Modern Art and Mass Media (Leja)

  • Michael Budd, "The German film Industry and the Making of Caligari," in Mike Budd (ed.) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990), pp. 8-25.

T Oct. 20 Lab: Silent Cinema, Marty Marks. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Th Oct. 22 The Sounds of Silence (Marty Marks)

  • Martin Marks, "Music and the Silent Film" in THE OXFORD HISTORY OF WORLD CINEMA Edited by Geoffrey Nowell- Smith. Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 183-192.
  • Claudia Gorbman, "Why Music? The Sound Film and Its Spectator." in UNHEARD MELODIES: NARRATIVE FILM MUSIC Indian University Press, 1987. pp.53-69.
  • Aaron Copland, "Film Music." in WHAT TO LISTEN FOR IN MUSIC.Revised edition. 1957.(McGraw-Hill was the publisher in 1957) pp. 152-147.

T Oct. 27 Narrative Form in Digital Media (Murray)

  • Janet Murray, Hamlet on the Holodeck

T Oct. 27 LAB: Projects From Writing Across Cyberspace (Barrett)



Th. Oct. 29 Projects from Workshop in Elastic Movie Time (Davenport)

T Nov. 3 Detective I (Thorburn) - Fourth Paper Due*

  • Edgar Allan Poe, "Introduction," and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," in Tales of Mystery and Imagination, (London and New York: Everyman's Library) pp. 378-511.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of the Blue Caruncle," The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, (Collier Books: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.) pp. 137-157.
  • Steven Marcus, "Introduction," in Dashiell Hammett The Continental Op (New York: Vintage Books, 1974) pp. vii-xxix.

T Nov. 3 LAB: Chinatown


Th Nov. 5 Propaganda (Widdig)

  • David Welch, "The Conquest of the Masses," in The Third Reich: Politics and Propaganda (London: Routledge, 1993) pp.8-49.

T Nov. 10 National Identity/Foreign Policy (Tina Klien)

  • Emily S. Rosenberg, ""Foreign Affairs" After World War II: Connecting Sexual and International Politics."
  • Selections from Diplomatic History, Vol. Winter, 1994, pp. 59- 105.
  • Elaine Tyler May, "Commentary: Ideology and Foreign Policy: Culture and Gender in Diplomatic History."
  • Geoffrey S. Smith, "Commentary: Security, Gender, and Historical Process."
  • Susan Jeffords, "Commentary: Culture and National Identity in U.S. Foreign Policy."
  • Amy Kaplan, "Commentary: Domesticating Foreign Policy."

T Nov. 10 LAB: American Television


Th Nov. 12 Media in Transition - Fifth Paper Due*

T Nov. 17 Transnational Media (Ken Kenniston)

T Nov. 17 LAB International Television


Th. Nov. 19 Network Television (Thorburn)

  • John Fiske and John Hartley, "Bardic Television," in Reading Television (London and New York: Methuen, 1978) pp.85-100.
  • David Thorburn, "Television as an Aesthetic Medium," Critical Studies in Mass Communication 4(1987), 167-173.

T Nov. 24 The Documentary Impulse (Slymovich) - Sixth Paper Due*

  • Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Dell, 1973) pp.3-24.
  • Annette Kuhn, Remembrance," in Liz Heron and Val Williams (ed.) Illuminations: Women Writing on Photography from the 1850s to the Present (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996) pp.471-478.
  • Susan Slyomovics, "Memory of Place," The Object of Memory: Arab and Jew Narrate The Palestinian Village (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996).

T Nov. 24 LAB: Blow Up

T Dec. 1 Digital Photography (Mitchell)

  • William J. Mitchell, "How to Do Things with Pictures," in The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era, (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1992).
  • William J. Mitchell, "When Seeing is Believing?" in Scientific American Feb. 1994, pp. 44-49.

T. Dec. 1 LAB: Film Musical


Th Dec. 3 The Hollywood Studio System (Turk) - Final Paper Due*

  • Thomas Schatz, "MGM: Life After Thalberg,"in Thomas Schatz (ed.) The Genius of the System (Pantheon Books, 1988).
  • Rick Altman, "Symbolic Spectatorship," in Rick Altman, (ed.) The American Film Musical (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989) pp.334-344.

T Dec. 8 Media Conglomerates (Cushman)

  • Eileen R. Meehan, "Holy Commodity Fetish, Batman!": The Political Economy of a Commercial Intertext," in Roberta E. Pearson and William Uricchio (ed.) The Many Lives of the Batman (Routledge, 1991) pp. 47-65.

Lecture Dec. 8

Tues. Dec. 8 LAB: Culture Jamming

Th Dec. 10 Fandom (Jenkins)

  • Henry Jenkins, "Welcome to Bisexuality, Captain Kirk": Slash and the Fan-Writing Community," in Textual Poachers: Television Fan and Participatory Culture (Routledge, 1992) pp.185-222.
  • Henry Jenkins, " Out of the Closet and into the Universe' Queers and Star Trek," in John Tulloch and Henry Jenkins (ed.) Science Fiction Audiences (Routledge, 1995) pp. 237-265.

Th Dec. 16 Final