New Media Theory Syllabus

This spring I’m teaching my first graduate seminar called New Media Theory. Writing the syllabus was harder than I anticipated and I went through many iterations until I finally figured out a structure that I like. It’s more or less done, but I’m always open to feedback and suggestions. Thanks!

Course Description
This graduate level seminar critically examines key theoretical approaches to understanding and analyzing the role of digital and interactive media in contemporary society and culture. The course is designed to introduce students to theoretical ideas that can be used as analytical tools for understanding, explaining, and predicting media development, control, uses,  and practices. The theories and concepts also provide ways to make meaning out of everyday interactions with media technologies and cultures. The course takes an historical perspective that situates new media and theory within broader understandings of technology and its relationship to culture and social change. Theories and literature draw from multiple disciplines and perspectives including media studies, communication, anthropology, sociology, computer science, science and technology studies, cultural and critical studies, economics, and law.

The course is divided into three distinct, yet related sections. Section I – Foundations and Theories of Media, Technology, and Society – provides an historical and foundational understanding of the relationship between media technology and society. It introduces key “big picture” theories and provides the imperative groundwork for discussing all other aspects of the course. Section II – Using the Network – theorizes specific media practices and engagement with media platforms.  Section III – Controlling the Network – considers the different modes of power, control, and regulation that shape media development, practices, and access.
The entire syllabusalso on Academia.

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