Influence Theory from Plato to Battlefield 2
Lectures are Tu/Th 2-3:20 PM in Ledden Auditorium
Contact: lizlosh (at) ucsd (dot) edu
Office Hours: Tu/Th 11:30-12:30 249 Pepper Canyon Hall
Q&A Sessions about Writing Assignments: 10/9 6PM and 11/20 6PM in the Dogg House
Q&A Session about Readings Mid-Quarter 11/13 6PM in the Smart Classroom
Review Session for the Final Examination:12/9 6PM in the Dogg House
In the fifth century B.C.E. the Greek philosopher Plato warned that seemingly positive innovations that allowed human beings to represent, record, and communicate their experiences in new ways might have unexpected negative consequences. He cautioned that the “new media” of ancient Athens might corrupt the young with images of sex and violence, dumb down popular culture into a state of amnesia, foster the moral deception of a gullible citizenry, and encourage blasphemous behavior that would destabilize society. In the millennia since Plato, we have seen moral panics about paintings, novels, plays, newspapers, photographs, films, comic books, television shows, videogames, and social network sites that have galvanized public opinion, spurred policy-making decisions, and fostered philosophical reflection and scientific inquiry. This course on the culture, art, and technology of media influence looks at many kinds of texts that have been associated with powerful forms of persuasion – both in the present and in the past. Such new media have been credited with ending slavery and colonialism, but they have also been blamed for murderous obedience to totalitarian leaders and violent martyrdom in the name of global jihad.
Austen, Jane. 2004. Northanger Abbey: A Longman Cultural Edition. Pearson Education, Inc./Longman.
Carr, Nicholas. 2010. The shallows: what the Internet is doing to our brains. New York: W.W. Norton.
Mccloud, Scott. 1994. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Harper Paperbacks.
Richards, Jeffrey. 1997. Early American drama. New York: Penguin Books (not as necessary as the others, because a good hypertext is available online)
Sontag, Susan. Regarding the Pain of Others. Picador, 2004.
Materials on Electronic Reserves(password protected!)
20%: Assignment 1 (Summarizing: Providing an overview of a chapter from Carr) and Grading Rubric
10%: Library Assignment (Explication: Analyzing details of an object in the Dr. Seuss Collection) and Grading Rubric
30%: Assignment 2 (Curation: Integrating multiple sources about the comic book panic) and Grading Rubric
25%: Final Examination
15%: Class Participation (although numerically participation accounts for a minor percentage of your grade, failure to participate is grounds for failure in the class; participation includes attending lectures and discussion section and avoiding lateness)
Week 0: Introduction
Reading: The Syllabus!
Opening song: "Rasputin" by Boney M.
Closing song: "Technologic" by Daft Punk
Week 1: The Internet
Reading: Reading: The Shallows 1-2
Bonus Case Study: V.S. Ramachandran of the Center for Brain and Cognition
Opening song: "Hypnotize" by System of a Down
Reading: The Shallows 3-4
Opening song: "Computer World" by Kraftwerk
Week 2: Culture, Art, and Technology
Smart Classroom Exercise
Reading: The Shallows 7-10 (Slides for Lecture 4)
Opening song: "I Hate My Frickin I.S.P." by Todd Rundgren
10/16 Thursday: No Class, Sections Meet
Week 3: Theatre
Mimesis and Catharsis
Required Reading: Plato Phaedrus (257c-279c) and Aristotle Poetics (1448a-1454a)
Optional Reading: Plato Republic (2.377a-379e, 3.387a-392c, 7.514a-7.518d, and 10.595a-10.603e) and Aristotle Rhetoric Book I, Chapter 2)
Opening song: "Kids with Guns" by the Gorillaz
Ideas Draft of Assignment 1 Due!
10/23 Thursday: No Class, Sections Meet
Week 4: Novels
10/28 Tuesday: Reading the text as satire: Bath and reading practices in contemporary England
Reading: Volume I (pages 1-102) in the Longman Cultural Edition) of Northanger Abbey.
Opening song: "Rage over a Lost Penny" by The Jane Austen Era
Opening Song: "I Died So I Could Haunt You" by Stars
Working Draft of Assignment 1 Due!
10/30 Thursday:Reading the text as parody; gothic novels
Reading: Volume II (pages 102-198) in the Longman Cultural Edition) of Northanger Abbey.
Opening song: "Gothic Vimperg" by Novel 23
Closing Song: "My Wife and My Dead Wife" by Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians
Week 5: Visual Culture and Persuasion
11/4 Tuesday: Political Cartoons
Reading: Dr. Seuss Went to War
Opening song: "Kodachrome" by Paul Simon
11/6 Thursday: Plays, Popular Songs, and Melodrama in the story of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Slides for Lecture 10 and Podcast for Lecture 10)
Reading: George Aiken, Uncle Tom's Cabin
Opening Song: "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy
Assignment 1 due!
Week 6: Photography
11/11 Tuesday: No Class
11/13 Thursday Photography and the Spanish Civil War
Reading: Ch 1-4 of Regarding the Pain of Others and Shots of War: Photojournalism During the Spanish Civil War
Bonus Case Study: Luis Martin-Cabrera of the Department of Literature and the Spanish Civil War Memory Project
Opening Song: "Spanish Bombs" by The Clash
Closing Song: "Jarama Valley" by Woody Guthrie
Week 7: Democracy and Human Rights
11/18 Tuesday: Media and Human Rights
Reading: Ch 5-9 of Regarding the Pain of Others
Bonus Case Study: Sam Gregory of WITNESS
Opening Song: "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday
Pick up German Identities in Lecture! Don't Miss Class!
11/20 Thursday:Media and the Nazi Racial State: Degenerate Art and Patriotic Melodrama
Viewing: Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss
Viewing: Degenerate Art
Opening song: "Springtime for Hitler" from The Producers
Closing song: Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera): Act II Finale [Trenk-Trebitsch] by Berliner Staatsoper Orchester, Bertolt Brecht, Lotte Lenya & Otto Klemperer
Library Assignment Due!
Week 8: Comics
11/25 Tuesday: From Hot Media to Cool Media: Horror Comics of the Fifties
Viewing: Confidential File
Reading:the Testimony of William Gaines and Frederic Wertham, and materials from Four Color Fear: forgotten horror comics of the 1950s and The Horror: comic books the government didn't want you to read on TED
Opening song: "Midnight Stroll" by the Revels
Closing Song: "Dancing in the Moonlight" by Toploader
11/27 Thursday: Thanksgiving! No Class!
Week 9: Comics Continued
12/1 Tuesday: The Comics Code and Underground Comics
Reading: Understanding Comics and exploration of Underground & Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels
Opening song: "In the Garage" by Weezer
Closing Song: "Comic Book Love" by Allegra
Ideas Draft of Assignment 2 Due!
12/3 Thursday A Clockwork Orange
Viewing: A Clockwork Orange
Working Draft of Assignment 2 Due!
Opening Song: Theme from A Clockwork Orange (based on Henry Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary) by The Starshine Orchestra/Singers
Closing Song: A Clockwork Orange (based on Beethoven's Finale 9th Symphony) by the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Bonus Track: "Alex Descends Into Hell for a Bottle of Milk Korova" by U2
Week 10: Videogames
12/8 Tuesday The Contemporary Debate about Videogames
Opening Song: "Video Games" by Lana Del Rey
Closing Song: "Bored of Everything" by Ellegarden
12/10: Thursday Final Review
Monday of Examination Week: Final Draft of Assignment 2 Due in the CAT Offices by 12 Noon!
Enjoy the Boney M. Christmas Album over Winter Break!