Classes

Gramophone, Radio, MP3: Selected Issues in the Techno-Politics of the Acoustic (Undergraduate)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2018

Acoustic issues have become central to fields such as media studies, literature, art and art history, architecture and cultural theory, serving as a testing ground for anxieties and hopes about the consequences of key socio-political shifts (globalism, digitization, etc.). Analyzing the role of sound within histories of (post-)modernity, this seminar will examine technologies of production, transmission and reception; the geo-political roles and uses of sonic materials; the dynamics of social and individual...

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Regimes of Spectacle in Weimar Cinema (Undergraduate)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2017
Is film ideological? What is propaganda? How do mass media structure values and desires? Is there a politics of narration? These deeply contemporary questions will inform this interdisciplinary seminar in film history and theory and its interrogation of key works of expressionist, documentary, proletarian, avant-garde, queer, horror, and paranoid-thriller cinema from the Weimar Republic (1919-1933). Films and texts will be subject to socio-political, media-historical, and film theoretical analysis.

Frankfurt School Cultural Theory (Graduate; co-taught with Mike Jennings)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

This seminar on the critical theory of the Frankfurt School undertakes a close examination of the textual debates between Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Siegfried Kracauer and others on questions of "aesthetics and politics," a body of often polemical socio-philosophical attempts to map a contemporary cultural landscape reconfigured by "culture industry," transformations in perception, the emergence of the mass, and new technologies of reproduction such as radio,...

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Introduction to Media Theory (Undergraduate)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017
Through careful readings of a wide range of media theoretical texts from the late 19th to early 21st century, this seminar will trace the development of critical reflection on technologies and media ranging from the printing press to photography, from gramophones to radio technologies, from pre-cinematic optical devices to film and television, and from telephony and typewriters to cyberspace. Topics include the relationship between representation and technology, the historicity of perception, the interplay of aesthetics, technology and politics, and the transformation of notions of... Read more about Introduction to Media Theory (Undergraduate)

Aesthetics of Surveillance (Graduate)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Taking up Orwell's master trope of distopic futurity, this seminar in comparative media aesthetics and theory explores the paranoid logic of surveillance in its literary, architectural, artistic and, above all, technological (photographic, cinematic, digital) manifestations in order to unpack a category that is at once a political tactic, a narrative strategy, a theory of the subject, an architectural model, a mode of spectatorship and, quite possibly, the paradigmatic epistemology of the cinematic medium....

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Cinema Philosophy: Aesthetics and Politics (Undergraduate)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Can cinema be philosophical? What is film anyway? Is it a language and, if so, how does it produce meaning? What are the formal and cognitive features of filmic narration? What does it mean to "read" a film or to speak of "cinematic literacy"? How is film political? Is there such a thing as "responsible" or "critical" viewing? Is there a media archeology of the virtual? To address such increasingly urgent questions for today's media culture this seminar will explore a wide range of canonical and contemporary works...

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Signal to Noise -Vicissitudes of the Acoustic (Graduate)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2015

Insisting on the (long-ignored) importance of the acoustic in fields such as film & media studies, architecture, literature, art history, and cultural theory, this seminar will interrogate sound as a testing ground for key socio-political shifts such as globalism, digitization, etc. Exploring the role of sound within histories of (post-)modernity, it will examine technologies of production, transmission and reception; the geo-political roles and uses of sonic materials; the dynamics...

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Early German Cinema (Graduate)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2014

This seminar in media history, theory and criticism will subject a rediscovered cache of rare silent films to a variety of critical interrogations, exploring the complex intermedial dynamics (relations to theater, variété, literature), establishment of key legitimation discourses (film criticism and theory, the Autorenfilm), development of new narrative forms ("birth" of the feature film the serial detective genre), work of ignored pioneers (the Brothers Skladanowsky, Oskar Messter),...

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Film Theory (Undergraduate)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2014

What is film? Is it a language? Can one speak of cinematic literacy? Does film transform perception? Is there filmic thinking? This seminar on the theory and poetics of cinema will examine the varieties of ways -- semiotic, psychoanalytic, narratological - that filmmakers, philosophers and critics have analyzed film form, the cinematic experience, the construction of cinematic subjectivity, questions of aesthetic politics and notions of medium specificity....

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