Courses / Undergraduate

Spring 2020

  • The Craft of Writing 2 – Film Focus: Technophilia/Technophobia: Anxieties about New Media

    R1B-001 | CCN: 19757

    Morgan Jennings & Renée Pastel

    4 Units

    Tu/Th 3:30pm-5pm, Location: Dwinelle 188

    Screening: Tu 5:30pm-8:30pm, Location: Dwinelle 188

         This course asks students to consider “new media” in a critical way. As a class, we will question what is “new” about new media by exploring how contemporary discourse on new technologies 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, memory, and desire. The class will reconsider how moving images help us to frame our hopes for and concerns about the dangers of the potential these new technologies might hold. By analyzing theoretical and philosophical texts about technology and its impact on society in conjunction with filmic texts, the class will look closely and critically at the ways in which we relate to 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 papers with arguments supported by those sources. Students will base their writings on close readings of media objects. In addition to encouraging critical and analytical engagement and thinking, this course aims to develop student fluency in composing longer and more complex papers than R1A, with specific attention to the development of research skills and the ability to incorporate source material effectively. Because learning to write cannot be done outside of a context of reading, the development of critical reading and re-reading skills is also a key objective and will be emphasized and encouraged throughout the semester.