Organizer. Curriculum Innovations. December 31, 2013 - December 31, 2013
Curriculum Innovations ; In the fall of 2013, I taught a new course entitled "Anthropology of Media." This graduate seminar tracks some of the central themes, arguments, and debates within contemporary anthropological scholarship on media culture. The anthropological understanding of media – and the very notion of which media are worthy of scholarly engagement – has shifted dramatically over the last few decades. Our work in this seminar focuses on the most recent and influential of such interventions, with attention to the new ways that media scholars in the discipline are addressing questions of visual culture and visuality, cultures of sound, agency and the subject, violence and human rights, politics and history. Along the way, we will be particularly attentive to anthropology’s relationship to the growing fields of visual studies, sound studies, digital and new media studies. The bulk of our work will be focused on ethnographic engagements with media of varying kinds with attention to the highly variable ways that anthropologists have grappled with questions of medium, meditation and circulation through their fieldwork. This course will place questions of scholarly professionalization at the forefront of our collective work. In addition to developing a critical theoretical toolbox that might be employed in their own scholarship, students will be asked to read with an eye to scholars’ formal approach to matters of argumentation, citation, and ethnographic narrative and the ways that varying scholars approach questions of disciplinary methodology and epistemology (e.g. how they frame and delimit their objects of analysis, how they navigate the interplay between anthropological and interdisciplinary methodologies and theories, etc.). To further the ends of professional development, students will be asked write a research paper that mimics a publishable journal manuscript -- that is, one that both employs a portion of the theory studied together, but also produced in compliance with the protocols of a particular journal (its preferred argumentative structure, literature review, citational style and politics, etc).
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