Media Histories 1850 - 2050

Winter 2020







Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:00pm -3:15pm

Fowler A103B

Dr.Peter Lunenfeld

Design | Media Arts Department
Teaching Assistants

Alvaro Azcarraga

Alisha Cunzio

Tristan Espinoza

Zhengzhou Huang

Sam Malabre



Final due Mar. 12, Week 10 Thursday.

Final Prompt

Readings and Slides are in Reader section

DESMA 8: Media Histories 1850 - 2050

In a nutshell:
This class offers a synthetic overview of optical media and aesthetic movements covering the past two centuries: photography & industrialization/romanticism (1850-1900), cinema & modernism (1900-1950), television & postmodernism (1950-2000), and digital media & what I have termed unimodernism (2000-2050). We will conclude by discussing how such a history can inform our own, generative work and how understanding these optical media becomes essential in the emerging era of the digital humanities.

Learning Objectives:
Students are expected to be able to…
1) demonstrate familiarity with the history of photography, film, television and digital media
2) analyze individual media works using appropriate terminology, and place them in their aesthetic, historical, cultural, and critical contexts.
3) understand how issues of diversity and inclusion impact the production, consumption, and discussion of optical media.
4) critically evaluate arguments based on evidence.
5) explore and develop critical language by observing patterns in exhibitions, screening and talks on and off campus.