21W.784 Becoming Digital: Writing About Media Change

Fall 2005

Bridging the digital divide in ancient culture.

Bridging the digital divide in ancient culture. (Photo by Mali Oumar Doucouré. Image courtesy of the USAID.)

Course Highlights

This course features detailed assignments, including examples of student work.

Course Description

The computer and related technologies have invaded our daily lives, have changed the way we communicate, do business, gather information, entertain ourselves. Even technology once considered distinctly "modern" - photography, the telephone, movies, television - has been altered or replaced by faster and more dynamic media that allow more manipulation and control by the individual. Anyone can now create stunning photographic images without a processing lab; and film no longer earns its name, as the cinema often presents images that were never filmed to begin with, but created or doctored in the digital domain. What are the consequences of these changes for the media and arts they alter? How does digitizing affect the values, ethical and aesthetic, of images, texts, and sounds? How do these technologies change the way we spend our time and relate to other people? In the age of the digital, what becomes of property, of history, of identity? Through a series of careful comparisons of images, texts, movies, games, and music - pre-digital versus post-digital - this course will analyze the ways in which these media and our responses to them have changed in the digital era; and we will ask about the value of these changes.
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Prof. Aden Evens

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session