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



Second Review Due on Week 8 Thursday, Feb. 27th

Required Readings:

Bill Kovarik, Revolutions in Communications: Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age. 2nd ed. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015. (Available at the Lu Valle Commons UCLA Student Book Store).

Selections from the class website Reader, User is "creader" and the password is "Winter20” (case matters).

Week 1:

Jan 7 – What Are Media Anyway? --- Lecture slides W1.1
Freidrich Kittler, selections from Optical Media (suggested)

Jan 9 - 1000 Years of Media History --- Lecture Slides W1.2
Kovarik, 27-36 (1: “The Divine Art”-2.1 “Initial Effects of Printing”).

Week 2:

Jan 14 - First Wave: Photography (1850-1900) --- Lecture slides W2.1
Kovarik, 139-161 (Part II: “The Visual Revolution”-8: “Photographic Magazines”)
John Berger, "Understanding a Photograph”
Susan Sontag, On Photography (excerpt)

Jan 16 - The Photography Effect --- Lecture slides W2.2
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida (excerpt)

Week 3:

Jan 21 – THE SECOND WAVE: CINEMA (1900-1950) --- Lecture slides W3.1
Kovarik, 181-191 (5: “Cinema: The Image Comes Alive”- “Alice Guy-Blaché”)
“How to Write a Review.”

Jan 23 – How to Talk About Movies 1 --- Lecture slides W3.2
Kovarik, 191-206 (4: “The Silent Film Era”- 8.1: “Fighting Fascism with Film”)
Sergei Eisenstein, "A Dialectic Approach to Film Form."

Week 4:

Jan 28 - How to Talk about Movies 2 --- Lecture slides W4.1
Viewing: Billy Wilder, Double Indemnity, 1941.
[Use either Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge if Google Chrome does not work for streaming. If you are off campus, you must be logged into the Virtual Private Network (VPN).]

Jan 30 - How to Look At Movies 1 --- Lecture slides W4.2

Week 5:

Feb 4 - How to Look At Movies 2: --- Lecture slides W5.1
Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure in the Narrative Cinema”

Feb 6 – How to Look Beyond Hollywood --- Lecture slides W5.2
Kovarik, 212-215 (12: “Independent and International Films”-14 “End of the Mass Audience”).
Kara Keeling, “School of Life: The L.A. Rebellion.”

Assignment: Take-Home Midterm prompt

Week 6:

Feb 11 - THE THIRD WAVE: TELEVISION (1950-2000) --- Lecture slides W6.1
Kovarik 287-288 (7: “The Golden Age of Radio”), 309-321 (9: Television: A New Window on the World”-6.2 “Vast Wasteland”).
Brian Winston, Media Technology and Society. A History: From the Telegraph to the Internet, 88-143.
Lynn Spigel, “Television in the Family Circle: The Popular Reception of a New Medium.”

Feb 13 – Flow --- Lecture slides W6.2
Kovarik, 217-240 (6: “Advertising, Public Relations, and the Crafted Image”- 10: Broadcast Advertising”), 324-330 (8: “Vietnam: The First Living Room War”-“Television Stars Join Activists”).
Raymond Williams, “Programming: Distribution and Flow”
Miranda J. Banks, “I Love Lucy: The Writer-Producer”

Week 7:

Feb 18 - Television as a Ubiquitous Medium --- Lecture slides W7.1
Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man:
“1. The Medium Is the Message”
“2. Media Hot and Cold”
“31. Television: The Timid Giant”

Feb 20 – TV and Postmodernism --- Lecture slides W7.2
Kovarik, 333-341 (10: “Public Broadcasting”-“YouTube, Music, and Cultural Creators”).

Week 8:

Kovarik 349-374 (Part IV: “The Digital Revolution”-8: “Apple Dominates the Twenty-first Century”).
Peter Lunenfeld, “Generations,” from The Secret War Between Downloading & Uploading

Feb 27 - Unimodernism
Peter Lunenfeld, “Unimoderism,” from The Secret War Between Downloading & Uploading;
Safiya Umoja Noble, “Introduction: The Power of Algorithms,” from Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism.

Week 9:

Mar 3 – The Social Photograph – with Nathan Jurgenson
Nathan Jurgenson, excerpt from Social Photography:
“The IRL Fetish,”
“The Facebook Eye.”

Mar 5 - Meetings with TAs

Week 10:

Mar 10 - Digital Humanities
Digital_Humanities (MIT, 2012) excerpts

Mar 12 - DH 2 + Wrap Up