syllabus

introduction to mass media |  home

This course has four units, each one devoted to one of media's affordances.  (An affordance is a potential for use.)   All readings are on electronic reserve except for those that are linked directly from this page.  

(To print this syllabus, download the 101_syl_spring09.pdf version, which includes course policies and other info.)

Day 1: Course Introduction (M 1/26)

unit i: media to sell

Day 2: Today's Media Companies and their Strategies  (W 1/28) Read David Croteau & William Hoynes, "Introduction" and "Chapter 4: Strategies of the New Media Giants"

Day 3: Media Company: Disney (M 2/2) Read Janet Wasko, "The Disney Empire"; View "Disneyland Intro" (additional in-class videos: Weddings of a Lifetime clip 1 and Weddings of a Lifetime clip 2)

Day 4: Media Franchise: Batman (W 2/4) Read Eileen Meehan, "'Holy Commodity Fetish, Batman!': The Political Economy of a Commercial Intertext"; View "Batdance", Batman (1989) trailer (Recommended: Wikipedia, "Batman", "Batman Franchise Media")

Day 5: Advertising (M 2/11) Read Inger L. Stole, "Advertising"; View "Chanel No. 5" ad

Day 6: MTV I (W 2/13) In-class screening of music videos

Day 7: MTV II (M 2/18) Read Ed Levine, "TV Rocks With Music" and Janet Maslin, "TV View; A Song is No Longer Strictly a Song, Now It's a 'Video'"

Day 8: Google (W 2/20) Read Randall Stross, "Introduction" and "Open and Closed"

unit ii: media to entertain

Day 9: Entertainment (M 2/23) Read Neal Gabler, "The Republic of Entertainment"

Day 10: Hollywood I (W 2/25) Read Douglas Gomery, "The Triumph of Hollywood"

Day 11 Hollywood II (M 3/2) First paper due; View Singin' in the Rain (a special screening will be arranged, and this movie will be on reserve at the library)

Day 12: Television Drama (W 3/4) View one-hour TV drama TBA; Read Michael Z. Newman, "From Beats to Arcs"

Day 13: Videogames (M 3/9) Read Steven R. Poole, "The Origin of Species" and "The Player of Games"

Day 14: Midterm Exam (W 3/11) sections will not meet this week

unit iii: media as civic culture

Day 15: Media for Citizens (M 3/23) Read Peter Dahlgren, "Media, Citizenship and Civic Culture"

No lecture 3/25; sections will meet this week

Day 16: Newspapers and their Public (M 3/30) Read Michael Schudson, "The Revolution in American Journalism in the Age of Egalitarianism: The Penny Press"

Day 17: News Culture and New Technologies (W 4/1) Read Michael Schudson, "National News Culture and the Informational Citizen"

Day 18: "Fake" News (M  4/6) Read Geoffrey Baym, "The Daily Show: Discursive Integration and the Reinvention of Political Journalism"

Day 19: Digital Publics (W 4/8) Read Howard Rheingold, "A Slice of Life in My Virtual Community"

Day 20: Media by Citizens (M 4/13) Read Wikipedia, "Citizen Journalism"; Steve Outing, "The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism"; Jay Rosen, "The People Formerly Known as the Audience"; Jeff Jarvis, "Networked Journalism"

Day 21: Newspapers in Crisis (W 4/15) Read Eric Alterman, "Out of Print"; Marc Eisen, "Paperless Future"

 unit iv: media to document reality

Day 22: Representing Experience + Photography (M 4/20) Second Paper Due; Read Anthony Lane, "Candid Camera: The Cult of Leica"; Read John Szarkowski, "The Photographer's Eye"

Day 23: Sound Recording and Music I (W 4/22) Read Michael Chanan, "Record Culture"

Day 24: The Moving Image (M 4/27) View Early Lumière Films; Early Edison Films; Méliès's The Black Imp; Read Eric Barnouw, Documentary, pp. 1-51

Day 25: Reality TV (W 4/29) Read Susan Murray, "“’I Think We Need a New Name For It’: The Meeting of Documentary and Reality TV” and Michael Hirschorn, "The Case for Reality TV"

Day 26: Sound Recording and Music II (M 5/4) Read Mark Katz, "Music in 1s and 0s"; Listen to Paul Lansky, "notjustmoreidlechatter"; Camille Yarbrough, "Take Yo' Praise"; Fatboy Slim, "Praise You"; Public Enemy, "Fight the Power" 

Day 27: Course Summary (W 5/6)

Final Exam Thursday, May 14,12:30-2:30

readings: bibliographic info

Eric Alterman, "Out of Print: The Death and Life of the American Newspaper" The New Yorker (31 March 2008).

Erik Barnow, Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film (New York: Oxford UP, 1974).

Geoffrey Baym, "The Daily Show: Discursive Integration and the Reinvention of Political Journalism" Political Communication 22.3 (2005), 259-276.

Michael Chanan, "Record Culture," Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording and Its Effects on Music (London: Verso, 1995).

"Citizen Journalism," Wikipedia.

David Croteau and William Hoynes, The Business of Media: Corporate Media and the Public Interest (Pine Forge, 2005).

Peter Dahlgren, "Media, Citizenship, and Civic Culture," in James Curran and Michael Gurevitch, eds., Mass Media and Society 3rd ed. (London: Arnold, 2000), 310-328.

Marc Eisen, "Paperless Future," Wisconsin Interest 18.1 (March 2009).

Neal Gabler, "The Republic of Entertainment," Life: The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality (New York: Vintage, 2000).

Douglas Gomery, "The Triumph of Hollywood," Movie History: A Survey (Wadsworth, 1991).

Michael Hirschorn, "The Case for Reality TV," Atlantic Monthly (May 2007).

Jeff Jarvis, "Networked Journalism," BuzzMachine (5 July 2006). 

Mark Katz, "Music in 1s and 0s," Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music (Berkeley: U of California P, 2004).

Anthony Lane, "Candid Camera: The Cult of Leica," The New Yorker (24 September 2007). 

Ed Levine, "TV Rocks With Music," New York Times (8 May 1983).

Janet Maslin, "TV View; A Song is No Longer Strictly a Song, Now It's a 'Video,'" New York Times (23 January 1983).

Eileen Meehan, "Holy Commodity Fetish, Batman!" in Roberta E. Pearson and William Uricchio, eds., The Many Lives of the Batman: Critical Approaches to a Superhero and his Media (New York: Routledge, 1991).

Susan Murray, "“’I Think We Need a New Name For It’: The Meeting of Documentary and Reality TV” in Susan Murray and Laurie Ouelette, eds., Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture (New York: New York UP, 2004), 40-56.

Michael Z. Newman, "From Beats to Arcs: Toward a Poetics of Television Narrative," The Velvet Light Trap 58 (Fall 2006), 16-28.

Steve Outing, "The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism," Poynter Online (15 June 2005). 

Stephen R. Poole, Trigger Happy (Fourth Estate, 2001).

Howard Rheingold, "A Slice of Life in My Virtual Community," The Virtual Community: Homesteading On The Electronic Fronier (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1993).

Jay Rosen, "The People Formerly Known as the Audience," PressThink (27 June 2006).

Michael Schudson, "The Revolution in American Journalism in the Age of Egalitarianism: The Penny Press," Discovering The News: A Social History of American Newspapers (Basic Books, 1980).

Michael Schudson, "National News Culture and the Informational Citizen," The Power of News (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1996).

Inger L. Stole, "Advertising," in Richard Maxwell, Ed., Culture Works: The Political Economy of Culture (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2001).

Randall Stross, "Introduction" and "Open and Closed," Planet Google: One Company's Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know (New York: Free Press, 2008).

John Szarkowski, The Photographer's Eye (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1966/2007).

Janet Wasko, Understanding Disney: The Manufacture of Fantasy (Polity, 2001).