A course exploring the 20th and 21st century media technologies, and various understandings of their social significance. Beginning with the development of radio and television, through the emergence of the computer and network technologies such as the internet and social media – this course takes up the questions of the transition from mechanical technologies to signal-based communication to data-centered media. We examine the social, cultural, political and even economic effects of these technologies on individuals, communities, and societies in general. We use ‘media archaeology’ to describe the way in which the lens of media history offers us a way to ask important questions connected to our present circumstance: How did the influences of commerce and corporate structures influence the evolution of our media ecosystem? How do states or government regulations affect engagement with media? How has the shift toward data-driven technologies changed the nature of the boundaries between public and private life? How does instantaneous communication alter the perception of time and space? How has the long evolution toward life with screens altered the perception of the real?
This course may stand alone, or follow directly from the 2000-level “Media Archaeology: Signs and Representation.” See prerequisite.