Race and Mediation (MS4102.01)

Brian Michael Murphy

Media technologies, such as photography, were instrumental in establishing modern conceptions of race. But the reverse is also true—racial ideas deeply shaped our belief that media technologies have the ability to faithfully represent reality. In this advanced course, we will engage an exciting area of scholarship and artistic practice, located at the intersection of media archaeology, race theory, material culture, and visuality. We will pay particular attention to the co-emergence of modern conceptions of race and contemporary media technology. We will expand the category of “media” to include not only print, photography, and sound recording, but also taxidermy, arterial embalming, refrigeration, and digitization. How did race shape popular understandings of media technologies, and even substances, such as coal, gold, and cotton, in the 19th century? How does race continue to influence our conceptions of time-based media in the era of live-streamed violence and political protest? What role do racialized bodies now play in establishing the truth-value of digital media?

Prerequisites: permission of instructor. Please contact the instructor at bmurphy@bennington.edu and include a short statement on the reasons for your interest in the course, or its relation to your Plan, or previous coursework in Media Studies, race, or other related fields and topics.
Credits: 4
T/F 2:10-4:00
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years
This course is categorized as All courses, Media Studies, and tagged , , , .