Key Concepts in New Media

Th 6:00PM - 9:50PM / 306 Cathedral of Learning / CRN 31158

What exactly is "information"? What is an “interface”? What does it mean when we speak of a “media platform”? These terms and concepts form the backbone of the major theories and discourses in new media, which produce a rich vocabulary that has yet to be rigorously defined. This course aims to provide a theoretical map to navigate the rapidly expanding fields of media studies by critically interrogating a set of key concepts that have been extensively used to deal with the technologies, forms, materials and cultures of new media. We will discuss the meaning, usage, and genealogy of such concepts as “network,” “cybernetics,” “hardwire,” “infrastructure,” and “system,” which have animated a wide range of researches and debates. By critically engaging with these key concepts, we hope to not only reconstitute a framework for theorizing contemporary media, but to explore the very notion of “media” as a discursive formation.

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Jinying Li

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Category A: Text and Theory

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