MCMA 550 History of Media Arts & Culture
Prof. Michele Leigh (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fall 2013 Location: COMM 2216
Monday, 3:00 – 5:30 PM Office: Communications 1121L
Office Hours: M 1-3 PM, T/Th 12-2
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND SYLLABUS
This course introduces students to the history of the reproducible media arts, beginning with their prehistory in printmaking, and focusing on photography, cinema, radio, television, video and other visual, audio, and digital media. We locate media technologies in the historical and material conditions of their emergence. We investigate how various media interact with and make history. We explore how media art forms and movements arise historically and how these relate to expansion/evolution of mass media and popular culture.
This course is a collaborative learning experiment in reading, research, writing and presentation. When it is over, we shall have collectively constructed a historical sketch and timeline of media arts and culture. Each participant will prepare an introductory lecture and bibliography on a historical development in media art history, identifying the technological, social and aesthetic origins of media when they were new, and then track the history and context of those media throughout the semester, as others introduce new/er media. The effect will be an illuminating, fun acceleration and intensification of media, art and culture.
This course will provide students with:
- an understanding of the main trajectories of media history
- the tools for evaluating primary and secondary historical sources
- the foundation necessary for fitting their own artistic/scholarly practice within an historical framework
- prepare students for teaching a variety of topics on the history of media arts
Students are expected to attend class sessions and participate in class discussions. Active participation means prior reading of assigned materials and sharing of relevant thoughts and experiences both in class and on-line on Dr. Leigh’s website. Students are encouraged to bring to class or post examples of alternative media from a variety of sources to further class discussions. You must check your email and my site regularly for announcements. If you miss a class it is YOUR responsibility to get notes or materials from a classmate. Assignments are due as indicated on the course calendar. All assignments must be turned in prior to the beginning of class. Assignments turned in during or after class will be considered late. Late assignments will lose 10 points for each day they are late. ALL assignments MUST be turned in, regardless of how late they are. Failure to turn in an assignment will result in an F for the course.
Historical Topic Presentations – You will each have to give one presentation on one of the media covered in class. The topics will be randomly assigned.
Lead Discussion – You will each choose one week in which you will lead discussion on the course readings.
Weekly Blog Postings – Each week you must post comments and/or questions on at least two of the readings on the class Blog. Feel free to post media examples that might be pertinent to discussion. Your questions/comments MUST be posted by 9 am on Mondays before each class.
Participation – You are required to come prepared to class and to speak regularly. One of the best ways to process difficult concepts and material is to talk about it and to listen to what others have to say.
Final Project – You will each research and prepare a syllabus for an undergraduate course on the history and theory of a media related to your research/creative interests. You will also prepare notes for a lecture and a presentation one of topics on your syllabus.
Final Exam – You will each give a presentation on your pedagogical approach to creating your syllabus and lecture.
Historical Topic Presentation 25%
Lead Discussion 15%
Blog Postings 15%
Final Project 25%
Final Exam 10%
Date Topic(s) Reading
8/19 Introduction Benjamin/Pooke
8/26 Printing and the Industrial Revolution Hamilton/Lovejoy/Saff1, Saff3, Saff5, Saff7
9/2 LABOR DAY/NO CLASS
9/9 Photography – Lauren leads discussion on the readings Benjamin/Emerling/McQuire/Kroes
9/23 Sound Recording – Jay leads discussion on the reading // Mickey presents a history of sound recording//Doron presents a history of radio Sterne/Ch.2 of Sound Business by Michael Stamm (available on line through Morris Library)/ Mileham
10/14 FALL BREAK/NO CLASS
11/11 VETERANS DAY/NO CLASS
FINAL EXAM: Dec 11, 2013 3:10-5:10