Critical Studies in New Media

ISIS250/LIT261S - Graduate Seminar
Fall Semester 2007
Instructor: Timothy Lenoir
Duke University

Course Information

Wednesdays 6:15 - 8:15 PM
230 Franklin Center (IMPS)

Timothy Lenoir
Kimberly J. Jenkins Chair in
New Technologies & Society
lenoir A-T duke D-O-T edu

223 Franklin Center
919-668-1952 (office)

Office hours: TBD

Course email list: TBD

Selected Texts:


ISIS 250. Critical Studies in New Media. Addresses key issues in the philosophy of new media. Central themes include the materiality of media; media configurations and the co-evolution of human being; computational media and recent discussions of posthumanism; the merger of nano-bio-info-technology and the ubiquity of code; media convergence and the political uses of new media. Examines new media technologies from a transdisciplinary perspective. Builds upon existing expertise in film, literature, and media studies to analyze what is ?new? about new media and how they compare with, transform, and remediate earlier media practices. Proposes the development of a critical analytical framework for approaching new media and relating them to other areas of academic discourse. Promotes a hands-on, active engagement with the technologies as a means for analysis and critique of new media innovations in contemporary academic research. Instructor: Tim Lenoir; Assistants: Tony Tost and Patrick Herron.
  • Videodrome (1983) by David Cronenberg
    First it controls your mind...then it destroys your body

    Lowlife cable TV operator Max Renn discovers a "snuff TV" broadcast called Videodrome. But Videodrome is more than a TV show - it's an experiment that uses regular TV transmissions to permanently alter the viewer's perceptions by giving them brain damage. Max is caught in the middle of the forces that created Videodrome and the forces that want to control it, his body itself turning into the ultimate weapon to fight them.

  • Kino-Eye (1999) by Dziga Vertov
    The final reel no longer exists but has been approximated through the use of carefully selected outtake footage

    A collection of excerpts from newsreels and documentary films of Soviet life in the early 1920s made by Vertov and his "Kino-Eye" group. Highlighted are the activities of Soviet children and youth of the Young Pioneers and Young Leninists interwoven with cinematic experiments as when Vertov charts the evolution of hamburger and bread by following its trail back to the farms and wheat fields from whence it came. An honest documentary of a society fresh from revolution, buoyed by idealism.

  • SRI Presentation (RIGHT CLICK TO DOWNLOAD) (1968) by Douglas Engelbart
    At the heart of this vision was the computer as an extension of human communication capabilities and resource for the augmentation of human intellect.

    By 1968 Engelbart and a group of young computer scientists and electrical engineers he assembled in the Augmentation Research Center at SRI were able to stage a 90-minute public multimedia demonstration of a networked computer system. This was the world debut of the computer mouse, 2-dimensional display editing, hypermedia--including in-file object addressing and linking, multiple windows with flexible view control, and on-screen video teleconferencing.

  • Video Game Revolution (2004) by PBS - KCTS/Seattle
    Examines the evolution and history of the video game industry, from the 1950s through today, the impact of video games on society and culture, and the future of electronic gaming.

    The Video Game Revolution is primarily an entertaining look at the world of games, but all is not fun and frolic in that world, and the program touches on that as well. Many games are extremely violent - and that violence is rewarded, which deeply concerns parents like program guest Pamela Eakes of Mothers Against Violence in America and legislators like Senator Joe Lieberman. Games can also be dangerously addictive, and are getting more so through continuous on-line playing. - PBS Website