Media Studies Ideas Blog

Class 14

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:16 PM by Priya Nayar   [ updated Dec 7, 2010, 8:38 PM ]

Media and Life

   Surrealism and approaches to everyday life: A brief introduction--The Indeterminacy of the Everyday
   Rhetorical approaches toward everyday life: A brief introduction--Emphasis on Kenneth Burke (Pentad, Symbolic Interaction, Consubstantiation, Identification)
   Essay 2 due
Questions to Consider in Week 14
What pragmatic purpose does Blanchot’s notion of the quotidien have for the everyday person?
How does Marx’s theory of alienation fuel Blanchot’s notion of indeterminacy?
Is it that nothing happens, or are we becoming numb to and disengaged from our organic environment?
Or is this just another French/metaphysical problem? 

The panopticon as metaphor

Contemporary social critics often assert that technology has allowed for the deployment of panoptic structures invisibly throughout society.Surveillance by closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in public spaces is an example of a technology that brings the gaze of a superior into the daily lives of the populace. Furthermore, a number of cities in England (UK), including Middlesbrough, Bristol, Brighton and London have recently added loudspeakers to a number of their existing CCTV cameras. They can transmit the voice of a camera supervisor to issue audible messages to the public.[8][9] Similarly, critical analyses of internet practice have suggested that the internet allows for a panopticon form of observation.[10] ISPs are able to track users' activities, while user-generated content means that daily social activity may be recorded and broadcast online.[11]

Shoshana Zuboff used the metaphor of the panopticon in her 1988 book In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power to describe how computer technology makes work more visible. In 1991 Mohammad Kowsar used the metaphor in the title of his book "The Critical Panopticon: Essays in the Theatre and Contemporary Aesthetics" (American University Studies Series Xxvi Theatre Arts). Earlier,Michel Foucault used the term more generally as a metaphor in describing Western society

While researching about media and life - I came across THIS website. Unmasking Evolution - I especially like his free posters. 

Class 13

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:15 PM by Priya Nayar   [ updated Dec 3, 2010, 11:03 PM ]

Networks, Swarms, and Multitude

   Deluze, “Post-script on the Societies of Control” (PDF)

   Warkm “A Hacker Manifesto” (PDF)

   Linklater, Waking Life

 Questions to Consider in Week 13
What is the symbiotic relationship between the discourse of control and fear? To what end do they serve?

How do these mechanisms shape our views of morality, sexuality, consumerism, health, education, politics, etc.? Look at the BIG PICTURE. 

Email Update: 

You can find a clear explanation of Cultural Contract Negotiation Theory in my book- A Rhetoric of Symbolic (google books) Identity and also in the journal article I have attached by Mark Orbe. You should read the portion in my book on the theory and Orbe's explanation of Cultural Contracts in the article

The theory is important to the film and makes viewing it enjoyable--enjoy. 

Happy Turkey Day,

Class 12

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:14 PM by Priya Nayar

Hybrid Media

   Pieterse, “Globalization as Hybridization” (MCS)

   Topic of Discussion: “Media and the Construction of the Other”

   Lee, “Bamboozled”

   Paper for conference presentation due (abstract, theoretical framework, brief literature review)

  Questions to Consider in Week 1
What is essentialism and what role does it play with the symbolic construction of the “Other,” and what role does discourse play in the homogenization of cultural practices, values, etc.?

Discuss Jackson’s cultural contract theory, particularly the cultural quagmire that underscores the character Delacroix.

Beyond the film, do you see how the theory extends into other realms of culture?

Class 11

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:12 PM by Priya Nayar

Global Media; Guest Lecture (Group Discussions Continue)

   Granham, “Contribution to a Political Economy of Mass Communication” (MCS)

   Barber, Consumed (Handout)

   Bobos in Paradise (Handout)

   Welles, “Citizen Kane”

Questions to Consider in Week 11

Compulsive shopping speaks to new forms of market coercion that are difficult to discern, let alone contend with, because they allow us to feel free even as we yield gently to their subtle bottom-up compulsion. What’s the big deal?

Western society does not reward second-place finishers and reminds us that vanity, appearance, money, and power are signifiers of success. As long as you are a commodity and have fiscal value that can be capitalized upon, there seems to be two set of rules. Is this just a byproduct of living in a capitalistic society with values that permeate or even dominate other cultural sensibilities?

Class 10

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:11 PM by Priya Nayar

Media as Science Fiction (Group Discussions Continue)

   Jameson, “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” (MCS)

   Baudrillard, “The Precision of Simulacra” (MCS)

   Neveldine, “Gamer,” 2009

 Questions to Consider in Week 10

Is Baudrillard playing “musical metaphysical chairs” in so much that he is replacing one metaphysical system for another? Are we ultimately left where we started, non-beings instead of being?

If reality has been replaced by hyper-reality or an ongoing synergy of the two, what and where is the metaphysical center, or is any metaphysical system, including postmodernism, a historical relic--a psychosis of desire?

In the context of the aforementioned idea, how does the movie “Gamer” and gaming in general fit into the equation?

Class 9

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:11 PM by Priya Nayar

Active and Passive Media (Group Discussions Continue)

    Hall, Encoding/Decoding (MCS)

   Hebdige, “From Culture to Hegemony and Subculture” (MCS)

   Beavour, “The Second Sex” (hand out)

Questions to Consider in Week 9

As consumers of messages and meanings who actively decode messages, how do we discern what value something has, its utility, and its relevance?

It often seems that while reading these guys we are altogether zombies, strings on a puppet, even the most intelligent of us are seduced. Maybe it is a matter of choosing our poison (code) and hoping for the best. Are we all that helpless; is our fate left to those who control the discourse? Is resistance futile? Even if we choose a discourse or ideology of reprieve, is it still a temporary refuge offered by the hegemony?

What would be Ciroan’s retort to the aforementioned ideas.

Class 8

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:10 PM by Priya Nayar   [ updated Oct 28, 2010, 12:32 PM ]

Myth, Society, and Mass Media (Group Discussions Continue)

   Boorstin, “The Image” pp. 109-123, 181-239 (handout)

   Brookes, “On Paradise Drive” (handout)

   Barthes “Myth Today” (MCS)

   Bordieu “The Aristocracy of Culture” (MCS)

The Second Sex (handout)

Eros & Pathos (handout)

Second Link for Eros & Pathos

 Questions to Consider and Discuss in Week 8

Discuss the claim that the satisfaction of primary human needs [is] now met in the most summary manner, by a ceaseless manufacture of pseudo needs.

Are pseudo events a result of our desire to want more than what reality has to offer?

Discuss the semiological relationship of what Bathes calls “myth” in the context of pseudo events, pseudo needs.

Class 7

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:08 PM by Priya Nayar   [ updated Oct 28, 2010, 12:25 PM ]

Thursday, October 21st 2010

Class Cancelled

(Group Discussions Continue)

   Essay 1 Due

   Paper for conference presentation (abstract, theoretical framework, brief literature review). Discuss.

Class 6

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:06 PM by Priya Nayar   [ updated Oct 28, 2010, 12:25 PM ]

Thursday, October 14th 2010

Missed Class 

The Wagers of Ineractivity. Please complete the readings for the week. (Group Discussions will begin.)

   Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (MCS)

   Kahn and Kellner, “Oppositional Politics and the Internet” (MCS)

   Bergman, Persona

Questions to Consider in Week 6

Does Bergman’s montage effects with Bibi Anderson and Liv Ullman position women as the male ‘Other’, one that symbolizes women as a second sex or as Aristotle posits “half a man”? In your discussion, think about the female archetypes represented.

How do  silence, violent oscillations between distance and close-ups, and lighting impact Bergman’s depiction of women in the film? (In your discussion, you might want to consider the “gaze” as a weapon.)

Class 5

posted Oct 28, 2010, 12:05 PM by Priya Nayar   [ updated Oct 28, 2010, 12:24 PM ]

Thursday, October 7th 2010

Real and Virtual Media

   Bourdieu, “On Television” (MCS)

   Poster, “Postmodern Virtualities” (MCS)

   Huxley, Brave New World (handout)

   Film - Matrix Clips

   Welles, Citizen Kane


Questions to Consider in Week 5

 Speed, and our obsession with it, seems to be an obvious attraction to virtual reality—speed’s ability to generate ongoing pleasure without interruption. Discuss the present and future problems with humans’ desire for speed; or is speed, once a desire, now a need?

Are we witnessing just another evolutionary shift in humankind; if so, nothing to worry about, right?

Technology, as envisaged, helps facilitate the everyday ongoings of human affairs. Beyond the perfunctory aspects of everydayness, do you see humans using technology in more radical ways (e.g., sociological, political, religious, biological)?

To what does technology serve?

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