This course presents an advanced introduction to media studies in the context of social, political, and environmental movements that make use of, and in the process transform, the new media environments in which social and political life increasingly takes place. We will study debates in “media ecology” and the cultural politics of new media, from Marshall McLuhan’s notion of media as sensory extensions of humanity to theories of “media convergence” and of new media as open, dynamic, and complex socio-techno-ecological systems. We will draw on these theories to study and assess media use in such social movements as the anti-corporate globalization movement, the Occupy movement, Wikileaks, the “Arab Spring,” backlash to the “Innocence of Muslims” film trailer, the climate justice movement, “tactical media” interventions such as “culture jamming” and “hacktivism,” and various forms of “ecomedia” and “biomedia” activism. In addition to readings, discussions, and writing exercises, students will be expected to carry out, individually or in teams, an in-depth critical analysis of some media form, product, or text, and an applied media production project. Available for graduate credit.
ENVS 1,2, Senior standing major, coordinate major, or minor in Environmental Studies.