Saturday, August 20, 2011

introduction to media studies, fall 2011

Introduction to Media Studies
Section 01: Tues & Thurs 9:55-11:10 am, Cowell 106
Section 02: Tues & Thurs 12:45-2:00 pm, Cowell 106

Professor David Silver
Office: Kalmanovitz 141
Office Hours: Tues & Thurs 2-3 pm & by appointment
Contact: dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu

Introduction to Media Studies introduces students to the field of media studies in general and media studies at USF in particular. Throughout the semester, we will read, listen, watch, research, discuss, create, and write about the printing press, newspapers, magazines, books, comics, the telegraph, popular music, radio, telephones, film, television, cable television, computers, computer games, the internet, social media, and mobile devices.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will:
1. Be able to explain the key developments and social actors of media history, from the printing press to social media;
2. Be able to explain how these key developments were and continue to be embedded within larger cultural, economic, political, and social conditions; and
3. Become more familiar with USF media studies professors and Gleeson librarians and their different approaches to studying and making media.

Tuesday, August 23
Introduction, distribute syllabi.

Thursday, August 25
Prior to class, listen to: Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Late Night "Thank You Notes" From Jimmy Fallon, NPR, May 23, 2011 (45 minutes).

Tuesday, August 30
Read: J. Charles Sterin, “Early American Newspaper Publishing,” from Mass Media Revolution (Allyn & Bacon, 2012), pp. 96-101.

Thursday, September 1
Read: Brooke Gladstone, Discussion with Steve Coll and Matthew Yglesias, On the Media, February 20, 2009; and How News Happens: A Study of the News Ecosystem of One American City,, January 11, 2010; and listen to: Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Covering "Tainted Justice" And Winning A Pulitzer, NPR, May 3, 2010 (38 minutes).
Guest in morning section: Professor Teresa Moore (Media Studies & Journalism, USF)

Tuesday, September 6
Read: Tom Standage, A special report on the news industry: Bulletins from the future (This includes: A little local difficulty; Reinventing the newspaper; The people formerly known as the audience; Julian Assange and the new wave; Coming full circle; and The Foxification of news), The Economist, July 7, 2011.
Guest: Professor Michael Robertson (Media Studies & Journalism, USF)

Thursday, September 8
Read: Richard Campbell, Christopher R. Martin, and Bettina Fabos, “Magazines in the Age of Specialization,” Media & Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication, 7th edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010), pp. 280-303.

Tuesday, September 13
Purchase and read, cover to cover, the current issue of Adbusters magazine.

Thursday, September 15
Read selections from Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (University of California Press, 2010).

Tuesday, September 20
Mid-term 1

Thursday, September 22
Field trip to Gleeson Library to see Monsters on the Bookshelf exhibit.
Guest: J.H. Everett, visual storyteller and writer who has worked with the Jim Henson Company.

Tuesday, September 27
Read: Steven Lubar, “Radio,” in InfoCulture: The Smithsonian Book of Information Age Inventions (Houghton Mifflin Co, 1993), pp. 213-241.
Guest: Joe Garity, Reference Librarian and Media Studies Library Liaison, Gleeson Library

Thursday, September 29
Read: Jennifer Waits, Radio Station Field Trip 9 - University of San Francisco's KUSF, Spinning Indie blog, February 3, 2009; Jennifer Waits, Students Hold Wake for KUSF, Radio Survivor blog, March 25, 2011; and Reyhan Harmanci, Battle over KUSF’s Future Rages On, The Bay Citizen, March 19, 2011.
Guest in afternoon section: Professor Steve Runyon (Media Studies and KUSF, USF)

Tuesday, October 4
Read/Watch: Sami Grover, Cutting-Edge Animation & Video, Made in Off-Grid Treehouses, Treehugger blog, July 20, 2011; Anastasia Van Wingerden, Home Haircut, How-to Homestead, 2011 (4 minutes); and Melinda Sk8, Sk8 Sisters on the Farm, How-to Homestead, 2009 (2:15 minutes). Also, spend some time with How-to Homestead and be ready to discuss.
Guest: Professor Melinda Stone (Media Studies, Film Studies, and Environmental Studies, USF)

Thursday, October 6
Robert A. Rosentone, “The Historical Film: Looking at the Past in a Postliterate Age,” in Marcia Landy (ed), The Historical Film: History and Memory in Media (Rutgers University Press, 2000): pp. 50-66.
Guest: Professor Susana Kaiser (Media Studies and Latin American Studies, USF)

Tuesday, October 11
No class: Fall Break

Thursday, October 13
Guest: Alex Hochman, Assistant Director of Career Services, USF

Tuesday, October 18
Read: Richard Campbell, Christopher R. Martin, and Bettina Fabos, “Television and the Power of Visual Culture,” Media & Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication, 7th edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010), pp. 143-171.

Thursday, October 20
Joseph Turow, “Understanding the Strategies of Media Giants,” Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication, 4th edition (Routledge, 2011): pp. 192-223.

Tuesday, October 25
Watch selections from Martin Scorcese, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005; 208 mins).

Thursday, October 27
Popular music group projects due in class.

Tuesday, November 1
Media fast assignment due in class.

Thursday, November 3
Mid-term 2

Tuesday, November 8
Read: J. Charles Sterin, “New Media,” from Mass Media Revolution (Allyn & Bacon, 2012), pp. 194-215.

Thursday, November 10
Read: Ashley Parker, Twitter’s Secret Handshake, New York Times, June 10, 2011 ; and Tina Rosenberg, Crowdsourcing a Better World, New York Times, March 28, 2011.

Tuesday, November 15
Read: Malcolm Gladwell, "Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted," The New Yorker, October, 2010; Henry Jenkins, Nine Propositions Towards a Cultural Theory of YouTube, Confessions of an Aca-Fan, 2007; and Eli Pariser, Beware online "filter bubbles," Presentation at TED 2011.
Guest: Michael Stevenson, lecturer and PhD candidate at the Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam.

Thursday, November 17
Read: Rob Walker, Inside the Wild, Wacky, Profitable World of Boing Boing, Fast Company, November 30, 2010; Phillip Mlynar, The Cool Kids: Cool with Recording for Mountain Dew, SF Weekly, July 27, 2011; and Kim Severson, Neighbor, Can You Spare a Plum? New York Times, June 10, 2009.

Tuesday, November 22
USF alumni panel featuring:
o Aaron Dias-Melim, Marketing Associate, Square, Inc.;
o Travis Hayes Busse, Production Manager / Assistant Booker, Thee Parkside;
o Sara LaFassett, Interactive Media Specialist, Saint Mary's College of California; and
o Joseph Montana, Marketing Media Coordinator, Rickshaw Bagworks.

Thursday, November 24
No class: Thanksgiving Break

Tuesday, November 29
Read: Zadie Smith, Generation Why? New York Review of Books, November 25, 2010.

Thursday, December 1
Review for final.

Tuesday, December 6

30% -- Quizzes, homework, in-class assignments, and group projects
20% -- Mid-term 1
20% -- Mid-term 2
30% -- Final

Attendance Policies
1. Missing class, or attending class unprepared, will significantly affect your final grade.
2. If you do miss class, contact a classmate to find out what we discussed in class and ask to borrow his or her notes. Then, do the same with a second classmate. After doing this, if you have questions about missed material, visit me during office hours or send me an email.
3. On days that assignments are due in class, a complete assignment is your ticket to ride. In other words, if you have not completed the assignment, do not come to class.

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


Katherine D. Harris said...

The Bodleian Library in Oxford has an entire basement of printing presses. I got to play on some of them during a visit. Your class might be interested in taking a look at the various types in these pictures:

Amber said...

Looks fun!

david silver said...

Kathy - great resource! thanks for posting this.

Amber - i agree! i'm really excited about teaching this course.

Anonymous said...

Nice approach. I very much like the new mix of elements and strategies. The ratio of fun:learning and also difficulty:accessibility.

I believe that this is a model Intro To Media Studies syllabus.

Perfect for USF undergrads but also something others could learn from beyond the confines of Parker-Masonic-Golden Gate-Turk.

Anonymous said...

Oh and you smash the sociology paradigm while leaving it to have a convo with the arts, humane sciences and eco-media.

Like we always said: culture = cultivation = nature.

Now nature = media too.

Media studies will wither on the vine (pun not intended, honest) unless it leaves the socio-ghetto and thinks about nature and art.

david silver said...

thanks Andrew.

yes, that fun:learning & difficulty:accessibility spectrum is what i'm after and i think/hope it works, especially for an intro class. we'll see soon: classes start tomorrow.

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Anna Elena said...

Saturday morning I was downtown by Market St. taking a test and needed to get back home. I decided to walk because I had never been phoneless or ipodless for an extended period of time around the city. The houses were brilliant colors of yellow, blue, white, and the trees were so green. Also, I saw the faces of numerous fellow walkers or joggers. I realized that with my headphones I had created my own world, which in turn secluded me from others. Inevitably, the distractions created barriers between the real world and I, which is unfortunately the generation we live in.

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