The course will focus on the tactical, strategic, and organizational uses of artistic aesthetic taken up by the activist for the purpose of social change. The course will rely on both a survey of the existing theory and scholarship on “artistic activism,” as well as close analyses of contemporary practices on a local, national and global scale. Special attention will be paid to issues of creativity and efficacy, addressing questions concerning the value of this hybrid practice as both an aesthetic and political activity.
This class reads architecture and the built environment through the lenses of media, communication, and culture. Through analyses of a range of spaces - from Gothic cathedrals to suburban shopping malls to homes, factories, skyscrapers and digital cities - students will acquire a vocabulary for relating representations and practices, symbols and structures, and for identifying the ideological and aesthetic positions that produce settings for everyday life.
This course examines censorship in American culture, from the late 19th century to the present and surveys areas where debates about censorship have been urgently contested, from discussion about birth control, to literature, film, theater, art galleries and history museums, to public sidewalks, lecture halls, to the internet. students will explore the historical contexts in which important cultural and legal struggles over censorship took place, and how this history effects contemporary debates about the arts, sexuality, national security, technology, privacy, and government involvement in the marketplace of ideas and images.
A series of analyses of the history, theories, techniques, and results of propaganda in society with special focus on the relationship between interaction (sociological) propaganda and communication in our increasingly technological society; case studies drawn from public relations, commercial advertising, social movements, and the mass media.
A series of analyses of the history, theories, techniques, and results of propaganda in society with special focus on the relationship between agitation (political) propaganda and communication in our increasingly technological society; case studies drawn from national and international sources.
Course examines past and current studies on language, communication theories, speech perception, and other aspects of verbal and nonverbal behavior. Students relate these studies to how gender, race, culture and sexual orientation are developed and reflected in society in both personal and professional relationships.
This course examines theories of consumption, consumer culture, commodification, branding, and the changing patterns of media consumption. We will investigate the history of consumer society from the nineteenth century through contemporary consumer practices shaped by digital media, changing spaces of consumerism, taste and lifestyle, the consumption of entertainment media, and critiques and resistances to consumerism.
This course seeks to cover the landscape in contemporary theorizing and research on cultural globalization. It is organized broadly around three partially competing/partially complementary theories of globalization - homogenization, enduring cultural differences, and hybridization. We will attempt to bring each of these theories to life with case studies of the production, distribution, and reception of cultural forms and experiences from across the globe. We will also review research methods, including cross-national comparative research design, ethnography, in-depth interviews, content analysis, and historical/archival research methods, focusing in particular on the methods used in course readings.
This course will introduce students to critical video—the use of documentary, ethnographic, and research-based video to investigate and critique contemporary culture. The class offers students a theoretical overview of documentary video, a set of conceptual tools to analyze video, and an introduction to the practice of video production for small and mobile screens. Students will apply texts on video’s history, culture and distribution, as well as on the ethical challenges of video production, to their own research-based video project. No prior experience in video production is required.
Data is often considered the domain of scientists and statisticians, but its increasing dominance across nearly all aspects of life – from political and advertising campaigns to social media, dating, education, and public health — has social, political, and ethical consequences, presenting both new possibilities and new hazards. In this course we think critically about how collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data affects individual and social life, with a focus on the ways in which it reproduces and creates new structural inequalities and power asymmetries.
Production-based course designed as a structured classroom environment for hands-on, critical inquiry. Students receive research guidance, feedback and support for individually-designed and executed digital media/computational projects. May be taken in conjunction with another MCC course or as a stand-alone course in which students develop an independent project that may be an outgrowth of a previous MCC course.
There has been much public outcry over the data-tracking practices of governments and corporations and how these threaten civil liberties. Meanwhile, people have increasingly embraced wearable technologies and smartphone apps to monitor and analyze their own bodies and lives. How do individuals "datafy" themselves and how, in turn, does data intimately shape their experience, identity, and life chances? What does contemporary self-tracking (and its pre-digital antecedents) reveal about changing cultural values, political contexts, and understandings of the self?
This seminar explores how ethnographers of technology and media conceptualize, conduct, and analyze their research. Students gain familiarity with a range of key qualitative field methods – taking fieldnotes, conducting participant observation, conducting interviews, writing thick descriptions of events, processes, and encounters – both through close readings of exemplary ethnographic work and through a sequence of hands-on exercises that allow students to apply these methods through their own original fieldwork.
In Shanghai, food stalls, restaurants and marketplaces have migrated online. The Coronavirus pandemic intensified this virtualization. This course treats mobile food delivery as a media infrastructure and examines how new delivery systems form part of a distributed urban ecosystem. Students use critical cartography and digital storytelling to explore cultural, economic and political issues raised by the growth of food delivery apps, such as food production reorganization, socio-economic conditions of delivery workers, and shifts in the city's built environment.
This course examines how gender and sexuality are being reconfigured in the context of globalization and transnational flows. We will examine key texts drawn from feminist/global cultural studies and engage with topics concerning citizenship, modernity, global labor flows, migration and activism. Through a reading of theoretical texts and ethnographic case studies, we will track the politics and performance of gender and sexuality within transnational and mediatized environments.
It should be noted that independent study requires a minimum of 45 hours of work per point. Independent study cannot be applied to the established professional education sequence in teaching curricula. Each departmental program has established its own maximum credit allowance for independent study. This information may be obtained from a student?s department. Prior to registering for independent study, each student should obtain an Independent Study Approval Form from the adviser.
This course explores interpersonal communication choices and outcomes in our ever-changing digital landscape. The class focuses on interpersonal relationships such as family, friends, and romantic relationships and will tackle topics such as online identity, listening, starting and ending relationships, social saturation, parasocial relationships, conflict, and deception. The class will critically discuss how today’s technology (e.g., social media, email) impacts the quality of our interactions so that we have the tools needed to create successful relationships.