Course Description

The seminar will examine the pedagogical and cultural implications of new media and digital, ‘silicon literacies.’ A transformative cultural logic is altering hte balance and ratio of the visual and the image in relation to the world and text.  Through critical examinations of emergent ‘cultural software’ and media formats, including Facebook, Twitter, instagram, websites such as CNN, and the proliferation of apps, we will investigate the potentials of new media in their function as supplements, replacements, or remediations of traditional text based learning environments.  The sociocultural changes that the new media represent compel educators to assess the novel challenges current media practices present to all textual communities in the formation of literate identities.

Core themes that will orient our investigation of media will include aspects of the cultural frames and technologies of the sign; historically situated technology as specific modes of human technics, and their formative role in shaping the cultural conditions for cognition, perception and embodiment.

Contemporary social theory, including work by Bourdieu, Steigler, Debray, Foucault and Manovich, will provide an aperture for rethinking multimodal media literacies as specific historical and social changes in the acquisition, production and transmission of information and disciplinary knowledges, including differentials in social and symbolic capital.

Working from the premises regarding oral and literate cultural frames, this seminar is intended to provide a critical historical appreciation of the shifting relations between textuality and sense knowledge, emphasizing the renewed power of the mediated image in its relations with textual knowledge, practice and pedagogy.  Significant degrees of qualitative cultural and cognitive change, as well as modes of perception and embodiment, emerge from consideration of the materiality of media.



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