Digital Life (MS2104.01)

Brian Michael Murphy

Digital technology is changing our understanding of what it means to be human, and rewriting our definitions of life, the body, love, death, and other concepts and embodied experiences. Through engaging contemporary narratives like The Circle and Black Mirror, we will explore the theory of technogenesis—the idea that humans have always coevolved with their tools. We will read key works in media studies to historically contextualize contemporary changes within a longer range of technological shifts, from the emergence of written alphabets to the invention of moveable type, from cave paintings to moving images. What effect have these media technologies had on human consciousness, cognition, sensation, and experience? How does digitization preserve or change the meaning of analog archives and objects? Now that scientists have managed to store digital images in strands of synthetic DNA, what is happening to the boundary between digital technology and what we might have previously called “life itself”?

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
T 8:00am - 9:50am; F 8:00am - 9:50am
Maximum Enrollment: 20
This course is categorized as All courses, CAPA, Four Credit, 2000, Tuesday and/or Friday Mornings, Media Studies, Brian Michael Murphy.