CCTP-615 New Media & Texts Across Cultures
Fall for 2016-2017
This course explores the field of Comparative Media Studies. Each unit pairs an English text with a non-English one—and then asks what the contrasts tell us about each respective culture. Such texts emerge in a variety of New Media—including, for instance, Graphic Novels (Comic Books), Videogames, Anime, Fan Fiction, Fan-Vidding, Mash-ups, Blogging, Online Journalism, RSS-Feeds, Podcasting, Wikis, Online Communities, Web 2.0, Hypertexts, the new E-books—as well as in other recent movements and experimental forms.

Here's the way the class works: after covering the general background and foundations of the field, we develop special topics in the seminar according to the particular research interests of each class member. For the Fall 2016 semester, we will also be adding short units on New Media in Asia: including the pan-Asian influence of Korean television and K-Pop; Japanese anime and manga; and Chinese developments in cinema and reality shows. (In this context, we will also review advances in Alibaba, Sina Weibo, Baida, Youku, Tudou, and Taobao.) More generally, we will also be considering such media in light of Gender Identity, Cross-Cultural Understanding, Political Communication, and Adaptation Studies (that is, the adaptation of literature to film, television, and YouTube—such as the “Lizzie Bennet Diaries” riff on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice). Other units will compare graphic novels from several cultures, including (potentially) Akira, Boys Over Flowers, Persepolis, and The Watchmen. Here again, we consider all texts from a comparative, cross-cultural perspective, including American versions of Japanese anime, Korean drama, and other non-Western genres.

Later in the term, each student in the class choses a research topic of his or her own interest—the choice is completely open--and makes it their central project for the semester. Once we have a list of these individual topics, part of our syllabus shifts in order to incorporate these specific interests of the students enrolled that semester. Individual projects might include, for instance, cross-cultural comparisons of museums, libraries, and art collections. They might also include cross-cultural analyses of digital copyright, digital “texts,” and internet adaptations of literary works. Students might ask, for instance, how “graphic” texts by Lewis Carroll, Dickens, Thackeray, Woolf, Sterne, Danielewski, Austen, Byron, Dickinson, and Charlotte Bronte compare cross-culturally with works like The Dream of the Red Chamber and “Farewell, My Concubine.”
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

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Fall '16: Macovski, M (file download)
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