HS4014 New Media and Social Relations

Course Description

This course is designed to give students an advanced understanding of new media and its effects on social relations. At the end of the course, students will be:

  1. Well-versed in scholarly and popular debates on the social effects of new media
  2. Able to examine new media critically within a history of media
  3. Write capably about the ever changing landscape of new media

Relative to HS2018 – Media and Society, this course consists of readings that are more difficult and the assignments more writing-intensive. Intellectually, it begins with the question of what makes media “new” and what makes media “old.” From here, engaging recent scholarly literature in new media studies as well as new fields such as media archaeology, software studies, visual studies and cybernetics, the course tracks how we have arrived at the digital society we live in today. To tackle this, the readings rely on a perspective, which balances the technical aspects of media, alongside their social and cultural effects. By placing equal emphases on both, the course operates from the principle that understanding the technical aspects of media will also aid in coming to grips with their implications on society.


Course Requirements

Media criticism – Due February 20

In this assignment, the student is to select a recent issue from media and technology reporting and connect it to some of the early readings from the course. It is meant to be brief and a way of thinking about how to connect the theoretical debates at the front end of the syllabus with contemporary issues. (2,000 words)

Group presentations

Each week, a group is responsible for presenting the readings as well as offering up a few questions for discussion. Each group is also responsible for submitting its presentation slides.

Presentation Paper – Due April TBD

Unlike a traditional term paper, this assignment should encompass some themes addressed in the your presentation. It does not have to be a transcript of your presentation exactly but should be related in terms of theme. For those who are presenting as a pair, the paper is to be written collaboratively with the writing distributed evenly (total 4,000 words). For those presenting individually, the paper should contain 2,000 words.

Attendance and participation

This course will be conducted as a seminar. It will be successful only with the participation of its members.


Grading Breakdown

Final exam 30%

Media criticism 20%

Presentation Paper 30%

Group presentation 10%

Attendance and participation 10%