Course Schedule & Reading

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Course syllabus

NEW! Full bibliography for course reader

Course reader file - this is a pdf of the syllabus and all the course readings together, in order. If you like having a reader, you can take this file to your favorite copy shop and have it printed and bound for you. I reserve the right to change, add or delete any of these readings, so keep an eye on the course announcements.

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Course Schedule & Reading List

This list is subject to change. You are responsible for checking the website regularly and keeping abreast of all reading and viewing assignments.

Note: unless it says NO CLASS, class will always be held, even if nothing is listed under a particular date on the syllabus.

Week 1: Introduction to the course

Wednesday, January 4:
Discussion of the syllabus and course expectations
Introduction to media ethnography

Week 2: What is media ethnography?

Monday, January 9
Site study selections due
Introduction to blogging and posting sound, videos and photos online
Required reading:
Brian Hoey, “What is Ethnography?”
Jay Ruby, “Visual Anthropology”
Sarah Pink, Doing Visual Ethnography, Ch. 1

Sarah Pink, Doing Visual Ethnography, Ch. 2

Mark Curran, “The Breathing Factory”
Optional reading:
Clifford Geertz, “Thick Description” (just here for your reference – we’ll be discussing his most important points in class)
Required web viewing:
“One Below the Queen” []

Wednesday, January 11
Discussion and finalization of study sites
Formation of focus groups

Week 3: What is space?

Monday, January 16: NO CLASS

Wednesday, January 18
Blog entry due by 11:30am
Required reading:
Christian Norberg-Schultz, “The Phenomenon of Place”
Doreen Massey, “Philosophy and the Politics of Spatiality”

Required web viewing:
The Places We Live []
The Highrise Project [] – look especially at the piece “Out My Window”

Week 4: Do spaces have agency?

Monday, January 23
Revised! everything is now due on Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 25
Blog entry due by 11:30am
Required reading:
Michel Foucault, “Panopticism”
Bruno Latour, “Where are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts”
Optional reading:
Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon
Required viewing: Attack the Block – on reserve at Odegaard Media Center

Week 5: What are media?

Monday, January 30
Blog entry due by 11:30am
Required reading:
Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, introduction
Stuart Hall, “Encoding/Decoding”
Marshall McLuhan, interview in Playboy magazine, 1969
Optional reading:
Cristina Grasseni, “Skilled Vision in the Practice of Breeding”
Required web viewing:
“Welcome to Pine Point” []

Wednesday, February 1

Week 6: Do media have agency?

Monday, February 6
Blog entry due by 11:30am
Required reading:
John Berger, Ways of Seeing, Chapter 3
John Berger, Ways of Seeing, Chapter 7

Stuart Hall, The Spectacle of the Other, Intro
Stuart Hall, The Spectacle of the Other, Ch. 5.1

Stuart Hall, missing page
Optional reading:
Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”
Required web viewing:
Life in a Day []

Wednesday, February 8
Critical spatial analysis paper due

Week 7: The Politics of Space and Media

Monday, February 13
Blog entry due by 11:30am
Required reading:
Daniel Kerr, “We Know What the Problem Is”
Paul Virilio, “The Overexposed City”
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (you should have this)
Required web viewing:
“23rd and Union” []

Wednesday, February 15
Assign presentation schedule

Week 8: Interventions

Monday, February 20: NO CLASS

Wednesday, February 22
Blog entry due by 11:30am
Critical media analysis paper due
Required reading:
Michel De Certeau, “Walking in the City”
The Situationist Manifesto (excerpt)
Robert Smithson, “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey”
Required web viewing:
“Crack the Surface, Episode I” [] – you can also see the Placehacking website []
“Place In Place Of: Alexandria”
[] – you can also see Jeremy Beaudry’s site []
Please pay attention to the ways that these two practitioners approach the city differently.

Week 9: Student presentations

Monday, February 27
Student presentations
Please present your field diary to me during your presentation. You’ll get it back at the end of class. If it’s in digital format, email it to me by the day you do your presentation.

Wednesday, February 29
Student presentations

Week 10: Student presentations

Monday, March 5
Student presentations

Wednesday, March 7
Student presentations

Wednesday, March 14: NO CLASS
Final papers due
You may either email me your paper/project, or leave it in my mailbox in the CHID office.

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