Graduate - Fall - 2020
This course is designed to realize, study, and respond to media’s embeddedness in the overweening engines of modernity and the possibilities media hold for salutary innovation with regard to material histories, theories, practices, and processes. One premise of the seminar is that media themselves are infrastructural as well as representational. Another is the social ecological insight that groups and communities already subject to discriminatory acts and systemic inequality suffer more when disaster strikes, and that climate disruption is an accelerant.
From the perspective of media studies, the critical literature of which is necessarily transdisciplinary and inclusive, topics may encompass: ecomedia approaches to extraction, production, consumption, inhabitation, representation, wastage, and repurposing; the energy humanities; questions of nature and the more-than-human; “digital earth” and geolocational media (scientific visualization, public participatory GIS); and “disaster media” and activist response (social media, drones, web-based assemblages, films and videos). Authors may include: Yusoff, Mukherjee, Starosielski, Gómez-Barris, Finney, Dewey, Goeman, Chen, Han, among others.
Together we will consider: How do media and environment influence, shape, and inhabit one another? What would environmentally just and sustainable media look like? What are the questions that need to be posed about media objects—and media studies—if we are to intervene actively at this urgent moment of lifeworlds in crisis?