Spring 2013: Thursdays 3:05PM - 5:35 PM
Smith Warehouse, Bay 4, Room C104

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 A241
919-668-0276 (office)
Office hours: By appointment


ISIS 250S / LIT621S / ARTHIST 537S / VMS 561S
Critical Studies in New Media
Spring 2013 Thursdays 3:05-5:35 PM
Smith Warehouse, Bay 4, Room C104

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 15 FEB 2013 @ 18:01)

Week 1: Thursday, Jan 10: Course Introduction and Organization

Week 2: Thursday Jan 17: 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.
  • Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception." In Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002, pp. 94-136.
  • Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," in Illuminations, New York ; Harcourt Brace & World, 1968, pp. 217-251.
  • 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.
  • Film: Videodrome

Week 3: Thursday, Jan 24: 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.
  • Read one of the two following chapters from Kittler's work:
  • Friedrich Kittler, Discourse Networks 1800/1900, Stanford; Stanford University Press, 1990, "The Great Lalula,"pp. 206-264.
  • Friedrich Kittler, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter, Stanford; Stanford University Press, 1999, "Introduction," pp. 1-19.
  • Read:
  • 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 4: Thursday, Jan 31:As We May Think

This week's presentation: OPEN

  • 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 5: Thursday, Feb 7: Postmodern Subjects

This week's presentation: OPEN

  • Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: a Report on Knowledge, Minneapolis; University of Minnesota Press, 1985, pp. 3-67.
  • David Harvey, "2. Modernity and Modernism; 3. Postmodernism; 6. POSTmodernism or PostMODERNISM? 10. Theorizing the Transition." In The Condition of Postmodernity, 10-38; 39-65; 113-20; 173-188. Oxford/Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1989.
  • Frederic Jameson, "Postmodernism: Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism." New Left Review 146, no. July-August (1984): 53-92.
  • Charles Jencks, "Introduction: The New Paradigm in Architecture; The Death of Modern Architecture; Post-Modern Architecture; Complexity Architecture." In The New Paradigm in Architecture: The Language of Post-Modernism. 1-24; 53-96; 207-234. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
  • Jean Baudrillard, "Simulations and Simulacra," in Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings, ed. Mark Poster. Stanford; Stanford University Press, 1988, pp. 166-184.
  • Film: Moon, dir. Duncan Jones, 2009.
    Jones_Moon_2009.avi (right click to download)
  • Film: Blade Runner, dir. Ridley Scott, 1982 (Final Cut, 2007)
    BladeRunner_FinalCut_2007_MQ.mkv (right click to download)

Week 6: Thursday, Feb 14: CAA (No Class)

Week 7: Thursday, Feb 21: Rhizomes and the Machinic Phylum

This week's presentation: OPEN

Week 8: Thursday, Feb 28: The Medium is the Body

This week's presentation: OPEN

Week 9: Thursday, Mar 7: Encoding the Posthuman

This week's presentation: OPEN

  • Claude E. Shannon and Warren Weaver. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Chicago; University of Illinois, 1998. "Recent Contributions to the Mathematical Theory of Communication," pp. 1-28.
  • N. Katherine Hayles, My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts, Chicago; University of Chicago Press, 2005, chapters 1, 2, 7, 8 (pp. 15-38; 39-61; 171-192; 193-213.
  • Mark Hansen, Bodies in Code: Interfaces with Digital Media, New York; Routledge, 2006, pp. 25-103
  • Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham, NC; Duke University Press, 2002, pp. 1-45.

Week 10: Thursday, Mar 14: Spring Break: No Class

Week 11: Thursday, Mar 21: Writing Machines

This week's presentation: OPEN

  • 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.
  • 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: Thursday, Mar 28: Becoming Beside Ourselves

This week's presentation: OPEN

  • 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.
  • Jeff Hawkins, On Intelligence, New York; Henry Holt & Co., 2004 (selections forthcoming).
  • Ray Kurzweil, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought, New York; Viking, 2012, pp. 34-92; 121-178.

Week 13: Thursday, Apr 4: Affective Networks and Neurofutures

This week's presentation: OPEN

Week 14: Thursday, Apr 11: Networked Subjects

This week's presentation: OPEN

  • Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations, 1972-1990, New York ; Columbia University Press, 1995, "Control and Becoming" and "Postscript on Control Societies," pp. 169-182.
  • 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.
  • Alexander Galloway, Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization, Cambridge, Mass.; MIT University Press, 2004, pp. 3-27; pp. 81-115; pp. 175-206.
  • Nigel Thrift, "From born to made: technology, biology, and space," and "Spatialities of feeling," Non-Representational Theory, New York; Routlege, 2008: pp.153-197.

Week 15: Thursday, Apr 18: Surveillance Networks

This week's presentation: OPEN