UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2017

R1B - 002 | CCN: 14782

The Craft of Writing - “We Have the Technology”: Anxieties about New Media

Jianqing Chen & Renée Pastel

4 Units

  This course asks students to consider “new media” in a critical way. As a class, we will question what is “new” about new media, and how discourse around new technologies today fits into a longer legacy of such discussions. We will consider how to classify “new media,” and how new media is perceived. How does the new become familiar? What kinds of anxieties arise around new technologies, and what do those anxieties expose about larger cultural anxieties? How do new media improve upon older technologies and how do new media transform how we function in the world?
We will study films, television shows, and other forms of media that work through these questions, focusing on issues such as surveillance, censorship, manipulation, and memory. The class will reconsider how moving images help us to process concerns about new technologies and the opposing potential uses for societal benefit. By analyzing theoretical and philosophical texts about technology and its impact on society in conjunction with filmic texts, the class will turn a critical eye on the the ways in which we use new media available to us today.
     This course fulfills the second part of the Reading and Composition requirement, with an emphasis on research. Students will learn to generate research topics, locate and evaluate sources, and write analytical, original paper with arguments supported by those sources. Students will base their writings on close readings of filmic texts.