Spring 2011: Tuesdays 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Friedl Bldg., Rm 118

Timothy Lenoir
Kimberly J. Jenkins Chair in
New Technologies & Society
lenoir A-T duke D-O-T edu
Smith Warehouse Bay 11 Room A231
919-668-1952 (office)
Office hours: By appointment

Patrick Herron
Research Analyst/Technologist
Jenkins Collaboratory
patrick D-O-T h A-T duke D-O-T edu
Smith Warehouse Bay 11 Room A232
919-668-0276 (office)
Office hours: By appointment


Critical Studies in New Media
Spring 2011 Tuesdays 6:00-8:30 PM
Friedl Bldg., Rm 118

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. Instructors: Timothy Lenoir and Patrick Herron.

Download syllabus (pdf; REVISED 17 JAN 2011 @ 15:59)

Week 1: Tuesday Jan 18: Course Introduction: What Are Media?

  • Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994), pp. 3-61.
  • Mark Hansen, "Media Theory," Theory Culture & Society 23(2-3) (2006): 297-306.
  • Film: Videodrome

Week 2: Tuesday, Jan 25: What are New Media?

Special Guest: Sha Xin Wei

  • Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media, Cambridge, Mass.; MIT University Press, 1999, pp. 2-87; pp. 230-271
  • Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media , Cambridge , Mass. ; MIT Press, 2001, Introduction and Ch. 1-2, pp. 3-115, and Ch. 5-6, pp 212-333.

Week 3: Tuesday, Feb 1: Writing Différance

This week's presentation: OPEN

  • Jacques Derrida, "Différance", Margins of Philosophy , translated by Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), pp. 3-27.
  • Brian Rotman, "The Emergence of the Metasubject," in Signifying Nothing: The Semiotics of Zero (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987), pp. 27-56; "Absence of an Origin," pp. 87-107.
  • Stuart Hall, "Encoding/Decoding," in Stuart Hall, Dorothy Hobson, Andrew Lowe, Paul Willis, eds., Culture, Media, Language, London; Hutchinson, 1980, pp. 128-138,. Also anthologized in Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas M. Kellner, Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks , London; Blackwell, 2001, pp. 166-176.

Week 4: Tuesday, Feb 8: There is No Software

This week's presentation: OPEN

  • David Wellbery, "Post-Hermeneutic Criticism," Forward to Discourse Networks, pp.vii-xxxiii.
  • Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Nicholas Gane, "Friedrich Kittler: An Introduction," Theory, Culture & Society 2006, Vol. 23(7-8): 5-16
  • Friedrich Kittler, Discourse Networks: 1800/1900, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1990, Section II 1900, pp. 177-368.
  • Friedrich Kittler, "There is No Software," in John Johnston, ed., Friedrich A. Kittler: Essays. Literature, Media, Information Systems, Amsterdam , G+B Arts International, 1997, pp. 147-155.
  • Friedrich Kittler, "Protected Mode," in Kittler: Essays, pp. 156-168.

Week 5: Tuesday, Feb 15: Cinematic Embodiment

This week's presentation: Andrew Hibbard

  • Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," in Illuminations, New York ; Harcourt Brace & World, 1968, pp. 217-251.
  • Dziga Vertov, Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov, Berkeley ; University of California Press, 1995, Annette Michelson, ed., "We: Variant of a Manifesto," pp. 5-9; "The Birth of Kino-Eye," pp. 40-42; Kino-Eye, pp. 60-79.
  • Steven Shaviro, The Cinematic Body, Minneapolis; University of Minnesota Press, 1993, pp. 1-64.
  • Michael Taussig, "Physiognomic Aspects of Visual Worlds," in Lucien Taylor, ed., Visualizing Theory: Selected Essays from V.A.R. 1990-1994, New York and London ; Routledge, 1994, pp. 205-213.
  • Matthew Fuller, Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture, Cambridge, Mass.; MIT Press, 2007, pp. 13-84.
  • Film: Blue Steel

Week 6: Tuesday, Feb 22: As We May Think

This week's presentation: Eliza French

  • Vannevar Bush, "As We May Think," Atlantic Magazine , August, 1945.
  • J.C.R. Licklider, "Man-Computer Symbiosis," in In Memoriam: J.C.R. Licklider, Report to Digital Systems Research Center, August 7, 1990, pp. 1-19.
  • Douglas Engelbart, "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework," Stanford Research Institute Report AF 49(63-8)-1024.
  • Alan Kay, "User Interface: A Personal View," in Multimedia from Wagner to Virtual Reality, pp. 121-131.
  • Video: SRI Presentation - Doug Engelbart's 1968 Demo of mouse, hypertext, and collaborative online work environments.

Week 7: Tuesday, Mar 1: Postmodern Subjects

This week's presentation: Lanjun Qin

  • Jean Baudrillard, Simulations, New York; Semiotext(e), 1983.
  • Frederic Jameson, Postmodernism: Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Durham, NC; Duke University Press, 1991, pp. 1-54; 55-66.
  • Scott Bukatman, Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, Durham , NC ; Duke University Press, 1993, "Introduction," pp. 1-22; Chapter 1, "Terminal Image," pp. 23-99; Chapter 5, "Terminal Resistance/Cyborg Acceptance," pp. 300-329.
  • Films: Blade Runner (1982; 1992 Director's Cut Remastered), TRON

Week 8: Tuesday, Mar 8: Spring Break: No Class

Week 9: Tuesday, Mar 15: The Medium is the Body

This week's presentation: Kevin Wu

  • Laura Marks, "Video's Body, Analog and Digital," "How Electrons Remember," and "Immanence Online," in Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media, Minneapolis; University of Minnesota Press, 2002, pp. 147-191.
  • Bernadette Wegenstein, "The Medium is the Body," in Getting Under the Skin: Body and Media Theory, Cambridge, Mass.; MIT Press, 2006, pp. 119-162.
  • Adrian Mackenzie, Cutting Code: Software and Sociality, New York; Peter Lang, 2006, pp. 1-42.
  • N. Katherine Hayles, "Print Is Flat, Code Is Deep: The Importance of Media-Specific Analysis," Poetics Today, 25:1 (Spring, 2004), pp. 67-90

Week 10: Tuesday, Mar 22: Encoding the Posthuman

This week's presentation: Luke Caldwell, John Stadtler

Week 11: Tuesday, Mar 29: Writing Machines

This week's presentation: Patrick LeMieux

  • André Leroi-Gourhan, Speech and Gesture. Cambridge, Mass; MIT Press, 1993, pp. 187-266.
  • Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 1: the Fault of Epimetheus. Stanford; Stanford University Press, 1998, Ch. 3, "Who? What? The Invention of the Human," pp. 134-179.
  • Terrence Deacon, "Why a Brain Capable of Language Evolved Only Once: Prefrontal Cortex and Symbol Learning." Zygon, Vol. 31(4), 1996: 635-670.
  • Terrence Deacon, "What is Missing from Theories of Information?" in Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen, eds., Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics, Cambridge; Camridge University Press, 2010, pp. 146-169.
  • Adrian Mackenzie, Transductions: Bodies and Machines at Speed, London; Continuum, 2002: Introduction, pp. 1-27; Chapter 1, pp. 29-56; Chapter 6, pp. 171-204.
  • Recommended: Terrence Deacon, The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain, New York; Norton, 1997, Ch. 3, pp. 69-101; Ch. 4, pp. 102-115; Ch. 11, pp. 321-375; Ch. 12, pp. 376-410; Ch. 13, pp. 411-419 & 423-432; Ch. 14, pp. 433-464.

Week 12: Tuesday, Apr 5: Becoming Beside Ourselves

This week's presentation: Jodi-Renee Hyman

  • Rodney Brooks, "Intelligence without representation." Artificial Intelligence 47(1991): 139-159.
  • Rodney Brooks and L. A. Stein, "Building Brains for Bodies," Autonomous Robots 1(1994): 7-25.
  • N. Katherine Hayles, "Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere," Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 23(7-8) 2006: 159-166.
  • N. Katherine Hayles, "Narrating Bits: Encounters between Humans and Intelligent Machines," Comparative Critical Studies 2.2 (2005):165-90
  • Andy Clark, Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds Technologies and the Future of Human Intelligence, Oxford; Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 13-34; 115-142; 197-198.
  • Brian Rotman, "Corporeal or Gesturo-haptic Writing," Configurations, 10(2002): 423-438.

Week 13: Tuesday, Apr 12: The Rise of Finance Machines

  • Karin Knorr Cetina and Urs Bruegger, "Traders' Engagement with Markets: A Postsocial Relationship." Theory Culture Society 2002 19:161. Link: http://tcs.sagepub.com/content/19/5-6/161.
  • Saskia Sassen. "The Embeddedness of Electronic Markets: The Case of Global Capital Markets," in The Sociology of Financial Markets. Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 15-37.
  • Saskia Sassen, "Assemblages of a Global Digital Age," in Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblage. Princeton; Princeton University Press, 2006: pp. 323-377.
  • Greta R. Krippner, The financialization of the American economy (May 2005). Socio-Economic Review, Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp. 173-208, 2005. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=811461.
  • Saskia Sassen, "A Savage Sorting of Winners and Losers: Contemporary Versions of Primitive Accumulation." Globalizations, March-June 2010, Vol. 7, Nos. 1-2, pp. 23-50.
  • Brian Rotman, "Interlude, Technologized Mathematics." Becoming Beside Ourselves: The Alphabet, Ghosts, and Distributed Human Beings. Duke University Press, 2008, pp. 55-77.
  • Benoit Mandelbrot, The (Mis)behavior of Markets, Basic Books, 2004. Preface; Chapter 1; Chapters 10-13.
  • Lenglet, Marc, The 'Algo Revolution': Rising Machines and the Coding of Practices (May 01, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1616043.
  • Friedrich Kittler, "Computers." Optical Media, Cambridge UK: Polity Books, 2010, pp. 225-230.

Week 14: Tuesday, Apr 19: Political Engagements of Networked Subjects

This week's presentation: OPEN

  • Felix Guattari, "Machinic Junkies," and "Integrated World Capitalism," Soft Subversions. Los Angeles; Semiotext(e), 2009: pp. 158-161; pp. 227-309.
  • Frédéric Vandenberghe, "Deleuzian Capitalism," Philosophy & Social Criticism. Vol. 34, No. 8(2008): 877-903.
  • Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations, 1972-1990, New York ; Columbia University Press, 1995, "Control and Becoming" and "Postscript on Control Societies," pp. 169-182.
  • Alexander Galloway, Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization, Cambridge, Mass.; MIT University Press, 2004, pp. 3-27; pp. 81-115; pp. 175-206.
  • Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker, The Exploit, Minneapolis; University of Minnesota Press, 2007.
  • Alex Pentland, Honest Signals, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008: Chapters 1 & 2, pp.1-31; Chapters 5-7 and Appendix A, pp. 57-111.
  • Nigel Thrift, "From born to made: technology, biology, and space," and "Spatialities of feeling," Non-Representational Theory, New York; Routlege, 2008: pp.153-197.
  • Matthew Fuller, Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture, Cambridge, Mass.; MIT Press, 2007, pp. 109-165.
  • Recommended Background Reading: Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, New York; Penguin, 2004, "Preface," pp. xi-xviii; Part 2, "Multitude," pp. 99-227.