ENGL-255 History of New Media
Fall for 2013-2014
This course explores the relationship between communications technology and culture, focusing on the period from electronic industrialization through Web 2.0. This is not a class in the history of the web or technology, however; rather it is a historiography, a study of how we obtain and transmit historical knowledge. Thus we will interrogate how media history gets written, by whom, and in the service of what commercial interests or intellectual traditions. In order to destabilize assumptions of progress—the cult of the “new and improved”—we will explore the design and reception of media technologies in reverse chronological order and through five thematic matrices: distance, screens, copyright, interactivity, and mass culture. We will study a wide range of communications devices, from the telegraph to the smart phone, the remote control to the graphic-user interface, and expand our historical interpretations of them through blogs, techno-memoirs, written exams, and class discussion.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '13: Benson-Allott, C (description)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.