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Course Details

Spring 2015-2016
* ANT 356 (SA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Technologies of Communication

Perry M. Sherouse

From the telegraph to snapchat, technologies of communication have been heralded as progress, yet also denounced as catalyzing negative social and linguistic changes. Discussions about communicative technologies reflect values of the present, and anxieties and hopes about possible futures. In this course, we query claims about interfaces among communicative practices, technologies, and social life. After a theoretical overview of mediated communication, we turn to specific technologies: the telegraph, radio, telephone, mobile phone, television, and internet.

Sample reading list:
Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey, The Great Indian Phone Book: How Cheap Mobile Phones Change
Dominic Boyer, Understanding Media: A Popular Philosophy
Saussure; Jakobson; Eco; Fiske; Shannon; Hymes, Excerpts
McLuhan; Turkle; Negroponte, Excerpts
Swinehart; Gilmore; Kottak; Standage; Abu-Lughod, Excerpts
Eisenlohr; Nardi; Rheingold and others, Excerpts
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Readings are about 75-100 pages a week. Weekly submissions to website (250 words each, 15%), two reading summaries (750 words each, 20%), midterm paper (6-8 pages, 15%), final multimedia project in lieu of exam (proposal 5%, project 20%, presentation 5%).

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 15%
Papers - 20%
Oral Presentation(s) - 5%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%
Other (See Instructor) - 40%

Other Requirements:
Multimedia Student Project Required

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
This course will especially interest students in anthropology, history, and linguistics. There are no prerequisites or restrictions..

Other information:
The final project will engage digital technologies as both objects of inquiry and mediums of presentation. Students can create a podcast, a video, a multimedia project, a website, or some combination. The project must substantively engage the theoretical materials from the course. The challenge is to be intellectually thorough in a format other than a term paper. Instructor will provide more information in class.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43566 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W   Aaron Burr Hall   213   Enrolled:9 Limit:15