MEDIA THEORY AND CRITICISM

(COM 7804/8804)

Week 1, January 22: Ideology, Commodity, Spectacle

Williams, “Ideology”

Marx and Engels, “The Ruling Class and the Ruling Ideas” (DK)

Marx, "The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof"

Debord, "The Commodity as Spectacle" (DK)

Recommended: Chandler, “Marxist Media Analysis”

 

Week 2, January 29: Medium Theory and "Technological Determinism"

Potts, "Who's Afraid of Technological Determinism?"

Innis, “Media in Ancient Empires”

Carey, “Time, Space, Telegraph”

McLuhan, “The Medium is the Message” (DK)

Williams, "The Political and Feminist Dimensions of Technological Determinism"

Recommended: Peters, "Calendar, Clock, Tower"

 

Week 3, February 5: The Frankfurt School and Mass Culture

Mattelart, “The Culture Industry,” 57-68

Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (DK)

Horkheimer and Adorno, “The Culture Industry as Mass Deception” (DK)

Kellner, "Nietzsche's Critique of Mass Culture"

Recommended: Ferreira, "Cultural Conservatism and Mass Culture: The Case Against Democracy"

 

Week 4, February 12: Hegemony, Popular Culture, and Ideology (revisited)

Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” (DK)

Williams, "Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory" (DK)

Bennett, “Popular Culture and the Turn to Gramsci”

Williams, “Hegemony”

Olick, "Popular Culture"

Recommended: Gramsci, “History of the Subaltern Classes,” “The Concept of ‘Ideology,’” and “Cultural Themes: Ideological Material” (DK)

Recommended: Hall, "Gramsci and Us"

 

Week 5, February 19: The Possibility of Ideology Critique: Gadamer, Habermas, and Donald Duck

Grossberg, "Strategies of Marxist Cultural Interpretation"

Jay, “Reflections on the Habermas-Gadamer Debate”

Recommended: Pierre Bourdieu and Terry Eagleton: “Doxa and Common Life: An Interview”

Recommended: Habermas, "On Hermeneutics' Claim to Universality"

Recommended: Gadamer, “Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and the Critique of Ideology”

Example: Dorfman and Mattelart, "How to Read Donald Duck" (DK)

Example: Jameson, "Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture"

 

Week 6, February 26: Resistance, Rupture, and "New" Media

Enzensberger, “Constituents of a Theory of the Media”

Baudrillard, “Requiem for the Media”

Andrejevic, "Surveillance and Alienation in the Online Economy"

Berardi, from Ethereal Shadows (115-32)

Deluca and Peeples, “Democracy, Activism, and the ‘Violence’ in Seattle”

 

Week 7, March 5: Political Economy vs. Cultural Studies

Calabrese, “Introduction: Political Economy of Communication and Culture”

Herman and Chomsky, “A Propaganda Model” (DK)

Garnham, “Political Economy and Cultural Studies: Reconciliation or Divorce?”

Grossberg, “Cultural Studies vs. Political Economy: Is Anyone Else Bored with This Debate?”

 

Week 8, March 12: SPRING BREAK: NO CLASS!!!

 

Week 9, March 19: Cultural Studies, Continued

Mattelart, "The Culture Industry," 83-90

Carey, “A Cultural Approach to Communication”

Williams, “Culture”

Treichler, "HIV, AIDS, and the Cultural Construction of Reality"

Levina, "Googling Your Genes"

Recommended: Williams, "The Analysis of Culture"

Recommended: Clifford, “Taking Identity Politics Seriously”

Recommended: Grossberg, “Identity and Cultural Studies: Is That All There Is?”

Recommended: Hall, “Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms”

 

Week 10, March 26: Governmentality and Media

Bennett, “Cultural Studies: The Foucault Effect”

Cruikshank, "Introduction: Small Things" and "Democratic Subjects"

Ouellette and Hay, “Makeover Television, Governmentality, and the Good Citizen”

Reeves and Packer, “Police Media: The Governance of Territory, Speed, and Communication”

Recommended: Foucault, "Governmentality Lecture"

Recommended: Miller and Rose, "Governing Economic Life"

 

Week 11, April 2: Friedrich Kittler

Packer, “Epistemology NOT Ideology; or, Why We Need New Germans”

Kittler, "The City is a Medium"

Kittler, “Theoretical Presuppositions” from Optical Media

Peters, "Strange Sympathies: Horizons of Media Theory in America and Germany"

Recommended: Krämer, "The Cultural Techniques of Time Axis Manipulation: On Friedrich Kittler's Conception of Media"

 

Week 12, April 9: Orality and Literacy

Ong, Orality and Literacy

Recommended: Havelock, "The Special Theory of Greek Orality"

Recommended: Havelock, “The Special Theory of Greek Literacy”

 

Week 13, April 16: Speed and Space

Mathiesen, "The Viewer Society"

Foucault, "Alternatives to the Prison"

Deleuze, “Postscript on Control Societies”

Andrejevic, "Surveillance in the Digital Enclosure"

Virilio, "Dromoscopy"

Recommended: Foucault, “Panopticism”

Recommended: Siegert, "Doors: On the Materiality of the Symbolic"

 

Week 14, April 23: Animals/Technology

Agamben, “Anthropological Machine” and “Animalization,” from The Open

Vehlken, “Zootechnologies: Swarming as a Cultural Technology”

Sloterdijk, “Rules for the Human Zoo”

Parikka, Introduction to Insect Media

Recommended: Uexküll, “A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men”

 

Week 15, April 30: Informatics and Biopolitics/Thanatopolitics

Agamben, "No to Biopolitical Tattooing"

Mattelart, “Information Theory”

Heidegger, “Traditional Language and Technological Language”

Campbell, “Divisions of the Proper: Heidegger, Technology, and the Biopolitical”

Recommended: Hayles, Introduction to How We Became Posthuman

Recommended: Shannon and Weaver, "A Mathematical Theory of Communication"