Sunday, January 22, 2017

intro to media studies syllabus (spring 2017)

Introduction to Media Studies
Section 1: MWF 9:15-10:20 am
Section 2: MWF 10:30-11:35 am
Kalmanovitz 311

Professor David Silver
Office / hours: Kalmanovitz 141, MW, 1-2 & by appointment
Contact: dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu

This course introduces students to the field of media studies. Beginning with the printing press and ending with social media, students will examine various media developments and eras and begin to appreciate the complex interactions between media and larger cultural, economic, political, and social conditions.

Upon completion of this course, students will:
o   Be able to explain the key developments and social actors of media history;
o   Be able to explain how these developments were and continue to be embedded within key cultural, economic, political, and social conditions; and
o   Be able to read various media texts critically and creatively.

Course Costs
o   All readings will be emailed to you as PDFs or are available online for free.
o   Documentaries like The Sun Never Sets and Women in Comedy are available for free on Kanopy and Films on Demand via Gleeson Library’s web site.
o   For class on February 3, you are required to purchase one print version of the San Francisco Chronicle. It will cost between $1 and $1.50.
o   Finally, you are required, by April 7, to watch a film at a “movie palace” like San Francisco’s Castro Theater or Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater. General admission is $12. (Castro matinees are $9; Grand Lake’s cost $6.)

30% — Midterms (10% x 3)
20% — Exhibits (10% x 2)
20% — Group Exhibit (Trump’s First 100 Days)
30% — Homework, quizzes, and in class assignments

Attendance Policy
Missing class, or attending class unprepared, will significantly affect your final grade. If you do miss class, contact a classmate to find out what we discussed in class and ask to borrow her or his notes. Then, do the same with a second classmate. After this, if you still have questions about missed material, visit me during office hours or email me.

Course Rules
1.     No late work accepted.
2.     No drinking out of non-reusable containers during class.

Course Calendar
Mon, 1/23: Introduction, distribute syllabi.
Wed, 1/25: Read Ken Auletta, “Outside the Box: Netflix and the Future of Television,” The New Yorker, February 3, 2014.
Fri, 1/27: Read Mara Einstein, “Introduction: Why Ads Don’t Look Like Ads,” in Black Ops Advertising (2016), pp. 1-23.

Unit One: Words

Mon, 1/30: Read Michael Schudson, “The Revolution of the Penny Press,” in Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers (1978): pp. 14-31, 196-7.
Wed, 2/1: Watch The Sun Never Sets: A Small Town Newspaper (2012, 55 mins) Video available on Kanopy via Gleeson Library. Watch selections, in class, from Stop the Presses (2008; 48 mins).
Fri, 2/3: Read, front to back, the Thursday, February 2 print edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. Observe everything. Bring entire paper to class and be prepared to discuss.

Mon, 2/6: Read Ellen Gruber Garvey, “Reframing the Bicycle: Magazines and Scorching Women,” in The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910s (1996): pp. 106-134.
Wed, 2/8: Midterm 1 review.
Fri, 2/10: MIDTERM 1

Unit Two: Sounds

Mon, 2/13: Read Edward D. Miller, “David Bowie, Alladin Sane, and America,” in Tomboys, Pretty Boys, and Outspoken Women: The Media Revolution of 1973 (2011): pp. 83-118.
Wed, 2/15: Exhibit workshop
Fri, 2/17: POPULAR MUSIC EXHIBIT (to get ideas flowing, check out 60+ student exhibits from spring 2016 and 70 student projects from fall 2015)

Mon, 2/20: No Class: Presidents’ Day Holiday
Wed, 2/22: Read Susan J. Douglas, “Amateur Operators and American Broadcasting: Shaping the Future of Radio,” in Joseph J. Corn, ed., Imagining Tomorrow: History, Technology, and the American Future (1986), pp:  35-57.
Fri, 2/24: Read Michael Brian Schiffer, “The Radio Craze,” in The Portable Radio in American Life (1991): pp. 48-62.

Mon, 2/27: Read Susan Smulyan, “Toward National Radio,” in Selling Radio: The Commercialization of American Broadcasting, 1920-1934 (1994): pp. 11-36.
Wed, 3/1: Read Melvin Patrick Ely, “White Men, Black Voices,” in The Adventures of Amos ‘n’ Andy: A Social History of an American Phenomenon (1991): pp. 1-10.
Fri, 3/3: Guest lecture: Miranda Morris, KUSF General Manager. In preparation for Miranda’s visit, take some time to listen to KUSF. Also, watch Basile Inman's “Sister Lazarus" and Cristina Pachano-Lauderdale's “Rock N Swap." And then read Kevin Lozano's “Does College Radio Even Matter Anymore?Pitchfork, February 8, 2017

Mon, 3/6: To be determined
Wed, 3/8: Midterm review
Fri, 3/10: MIDTERM 2

Spring Break

Unit Three: Images

Mon, 3/20: Read Steven Lubar, “Pictures,” in InfoCulture: The Smithsonian Book of Information Age Inventions (1993), pp. 51-64.
Wed, 3/22: Watch John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, Part I (YouTube)
Fri, 3/24: Photography workshop

Mon, 3/27: William Boddy, “The Beginnings of American Television,” in Anthony Smith, ed., Television: An International History (1995): pp. 35-61.
Wed, 3/39: Kristen Hatch, “Selling Soap: Post-war Television Soap Opera and the American Housewife,” in Janet Thumim, ed., Small Screens, Big Ideas: Television in the 1950s (2002): pp. 35-49
Fri, 3/31: Susan J. Douglas, “Sex and the Single Teenager,” in Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media (1994): pp. 61-81.

Mon, 4/3: Class-generated readings on Reality Shows.
Wed, 4/5: Watch Pioneers of Television. / Game Shows (56 mins).
Fri, 4/7: By today’s class, you are required to have to watched a film at a “movie palace” like San Francisco’s Castro Theater or Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater. This is required. Also, read Laurel Hennen Vigil, “Why the Curtain Fell: During the Golden Age of cinema, Oakland and Berkeley boasted dozens of grand, historic movie palaces,” East Bay Express, December 16, 2015.

Mon, 4/10: Watch Women in Comedy (PBS, 2014: 54 mins).
Wed, 4/12: Read Andrew Marantz, “Ready for Prime Time: After twenty-five years as a road comic, Leslie Jones becomes a star,” The New Yorker, January 4, 2016, pp. 22-29; and Amanda Hess, “Asian-American Actors Are Fighting for Visibility. They Will Not Be Ignored,” New York Times, May 25, 2016.
Fri, 4/14: No class: Easter Holiday

Mon, 4/17: Guest lecture: Michael Robertson, professor of Media Studies and Journalism, USF. Readings to be determined.
Wed, 4/19: Midterm review
Fri, 4/21: MIDTERM 3

Mon, 4/24: Guest lecture: Danny Plotnick, director of Film Studies minor, USF. Readings to be determined.
Wed, 4/26: Exhibit workshop
Fri, 4/28: FAVE FILM EXHIBIT (here’s 62 student exhibits from last year’s class)

Mon, 5/1: Trump’s First 100 Days research workshop
Wed, 5/3: (continued)
Fri, 5/5: (continued)

Mon, 5/8: Trump group exhibit workshop
TUESDAY, 5/9: Pop-up group exhibit (“Trump’s First 100 Days”) in Thacher Gallery in Gleeson Library (here’s some examples from fall 2014’s #everydaymedia pop-up)
Wed, 5/10: End-of-the-semester party

There is no final in this class.

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