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Graduate Program in Communication & Culture

Fall Semester 2016

CMCT 6004/ CC8906 Interdisciplinary Approaches to

Communications & Culture

Thursdays 14:30 to 17:30 in Vari Hall 1154 *NB new classroom!

Dr. Jan Hadlaw (
Office: DB 4012
Office hours: (most weeks) Mondays 12:00 to 13:00; Wednesdays 12:30-13:30; by appointment

Course Description
This course introduces a critical approach to the three symbiotic areas of the program at the graduate level: media
and culture; politics and policy, and technology in practice: applied perspectives. The course explores each area in
modules that concentrate on four aspects: history; philosophy; theory; and principle concepts or issues, with one
week dedicated to each aspect in each area.
The course readings represent a range of the foundational theoretical and methodological approaches to the study
of communications and culture. They are intended to introduce students to the key debates in the field and
demonstrate the interdisciplinary evolution of the field.

Required Texts
Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas M. Kellner (eds.), Media and Cultural Studies: KeyWorks, (Oxford: Blackwell
Publishing, 2005).
The readings in the syllabus are available online. Weekly readings must be completed prior to class and in order to
contribute to class discussions. Supplementary readings or materials may be assigned by the instructor. Readings
are subject to change with notice.

Image: Domenico di Michelino, Seven Liberal Arts. Birmingham Museum of Art

Hadlaw| Fall 2016

Assessment schema
Class participation (10%) In seminar classes, everyone learns to the degree that each student contributes by
reading and engaging in discussion. Participation grades reflect a students engagement with fellow students and
course material. Students are expected to have read all assigned readings and be prepared to participate in class.
Contributions to classroom discussions, in the form of questions (esp. for your fellow student-presenters), relevant
comments, and healthy debate, are encouraged and expected. Attendance alone does not constitute class

Class moderation (15% + 15% = 30%) A 20-30 minute structured presentation based on assigned readings. Youll be
expected to begin your presentation with a thesis statement that articulates the key points youll be making about
the readings and then elaborate a coherent, sustained, instructive argument (in other words, dont merely summarize
the articles you are presenting). You may use/refer to images, films, other texts, etc. in your discussion. If these
materials form a substantive part of your presentation, you must make them available to class members at least one
full week before your presentation. Be prepared to lead the class discussion following your presentation. The quality of
the discussion that arises from the presentation will be factored into your grade.
Email me your presentation notes no later than noon the day of class (N.B. your presentation will not be graded if I
dont receive your presentation notes). The presentation notes can be typed or handwritten but they need to be
legible and complete (i.e. references to outside materials, including images). Bring and hand out (or email) a copy of
your presentation notes to your fellow class members.

Essay proposal (10%) An essay proposal (maximum 300 words) that describes concisely your essays topic,
argument, objective, and significance, and includes a bibliography of 10 scholarly sources, is due Thursday 6
October, no later than 2:30 pm. I encourage you to speak with me about your papers during my office hours.

Essay (20%) Your essay should be a critical engagement with a topic introduced in the readings during the first 6
weeks of the course. It may not be on the same topic/readings as your presentation. It can focus on locating the topic in
the context of relevant academic debates (including contemporary interpretations), or applying the concepts and
theoretical perspectives introduced in the topic week to an issue of special interest to you. You should consult 7-10
scholarly sources, in addition to the topic weeks course readings, to inform and support your papers argument.
Your essay will be evaluated for the quality of the ideas, the intellectual framing of the argument, and the clarity of
its written expression. The relevance and quality of the sources you choose will also be taken into account.
12-15 double-spaced pages maximum (3000-3750 words). Use a 12-point font and footnotes, Chicago-style citation
preferred. See Academic Conduct below. Due Wednesday 26 October, no later than 4:30 pm.

Exam (30%) The in-class exam is an open-notebook style exam comprised of two long-essay questions. Your
answers should demonstrate your understanding of the material introduced in course readings and class
discussions and your ability to synthesize key concepts and theories. Examination length: 2.5 hours.
Examination date: 1 December, 2:30 p.m.

N.B. File name convention for all e-submitted assignments: Lastname_Firstname_Assignment_Name

Hadlaw| Fall 2016

Tips on preparing your reading presentation

A moderators role is to summarize and assess the key ideas of their assigned reading, to bring the ideas in the
readings into play with each other, and to encourage class discussion. Dont summarize the readings. Avoid getting
caught up in overly-detailed descriptions. Use direct quotes sparingly and only if there is a compelling reason to do
so. Here are some questions to think about as you read organize your presentation.

Briefly state the key idea(s) of the readings

What is the authors key point or argument?
What is the authors methodological approach?
What evidence does s/he deploy to build her/his argument?

Assess the contribution of the readings

What are the strengths and weaknesses of each readings argument?
Does the evidence support the authors conclusion? (i.e. does the reading make its case?)
Is there something notable about the authors argument or approach?

Set the readings in context

How do the ideas and arguments presented in the assigned readings compare?
Are their approaches or findings complimentary or contradictory?
How do the readings relate to the literature on technological diffusion/media history?
How do the readings fit into the discussions developing in the classroom over the term?

What questions did the reading raise for you?

Did the argument presented in the reading make you reconsider a previously held view?
Did the reading provoke new questions on the topic or the methodological approach?

Policy on late assignments

It is each students responsibility to complete readings and assignments on time. Extensions are granted only in
very exceptional circumstances and entirely at the discretion of the professor. If you believe you will have trouble
meeting a deadline, speak to me as early as possible. Penalty for late submission is 2.5% per day (10% for 4 days
late). Work submitted late without permission will not receive comments.

Academic Conduct
Plagiarism is a serious academic offence and penalties range from zero on an assignment to expulsion. In any academic
exercise, plagiarism occurs when you offer as your own work the words, data, ideas, arguments, calculations,
designs or productions of another without appropriate attribution or when you allow your work to be copied.
Submitting the same work for credit in more than one course is not acceptable. If you have questions about
academic integrity, come and talk to me and/or consult
Last date to drop course without receiving a grade is 11 November

Hadlaw| Fall 2016

Course Readings (subject to change during the term)

01| 08-sep

Course Introduction: Themes, Assignments, Expectations

Marx, Karl. (1846). Ruling Class and Ruling Ideas, in Media and Cultural Studies:
KeyWorks, Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas M. Kellner (eds.), (Oxford: Blackwell
Publishing, 2005).

02| 15-sep

Cultural Studies: Some Key Texts M&C1

Antonio Gramsci, (i) History of the Subaltern Classes; (ii) The Concept of Ideology; (iii)
Cultural Themes: Ideological Material, M&CS: KeyWorks.


Louis Althusser, Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, M&CS: KeyWorks.


Roland Barthes, The Rhetoric of the Image, Image/Music/Text, (NY: Hill & Wang, 1964).


Douglas Kellner, Cultural Marxism and Cultural Studies,


Related Readings
Stuart Hall, "Gramsci's relevance for the study of race and ethnicity," Journal of
Communication Inquiry 10(2), June 1986: 5-27
03| 22-sep

Birmingham School: Race, Class, Gender M&C 2

Stuart Hall, C. Critcher, T. Jefferson, J. Clarke & B. Roberts, The Politics of Mugging in
Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order. (New York: Holmes & Meier
Publishers, 1978): 327-397



Angela McRobbie, Young Women And Consumer Culture: An Intervention, Cultural

Studies, 22(5), 2008: 531-550.

Dick Hebdige, Object as Image: The Italian Scooter Cycle, Hiding In The Light: On Images
And Things. (London: Psychology Press, 1988)
Related Readings
Stuart Hall, Encoding/Decoding, M&CS: KeyWorks.
Stuart Hall, Cultural Identity and Diaspora, in J. Rutherford (ed.), Identity: Community,
Culture, Difference (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1990): 222-237 .

Hadlaw| Fall 2016

04| 29-sep

Canadian Cultural Studies: Nationalism, Technology, Culture M&C3

Robert Babe, Foundations of Canadian Communication Thought, Canadian
Journal of Communication, 25, No 1 (2000)
Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Message, in M&CS: KeyWorks
McLuhan, M. (1969). Interview: Marshall McLuhan. Playboy Magazine.
Maurice Charland "Technological Nationalism," Canadian Journal of Political and
Social Theory 10(1),1986:196-220
Jody Berland, Nationalism and the Modernist Legacy: Dialogues with Innis, Capital
Culture, in J. Berland & S. Hornstein, eds. (McGill-Queens University Press, 2000): 1438





Related readings
Bonita Lawrence, Gender, Race, and the Regulation of Native Identity in Canada
and the United States: An Overview. Hypatia 18, 2 (2003): 3-31
05| 06-oct

The Liberal Public Sphere and its Critiques P&P1

** Essay
due today

Jurgen Habermas, The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article, in M&CS: KeyWorks


Nancy Fraser, "Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of

Actually Existing Democracy." Social Text, no. 25/26 (1990): 56-80.


Chantal Mouffe, "Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism?" Social Research

66, no. 3 (1999): 745-58.


Related readings
Michael Warner, Publics and Counterpublics. (New York: Zone Books, 2005)
Carl DiSalvo, Design and the Construction Of Publics, Design Issues: 25, 1 Winter
06| 13-oct

Neoliberalism & Its Discontents (Ryerson Reading Wk) P&P2

** Ioan Davies
speaker: Sarah

Maurizio Lazzarato, Immaterial Labor, in Virno Paolo and Hardt Michael (eds.)
Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics, (University of Minnesota Press, 1996).


Tiziana Terranova, Free Labor: Producing Culture For the Digital Economy, Social
Text, 18(2), 2000.


Hadlaw| Fall 2016

Sarah Brouillette. "Creative Labor." Mediations Volume 24, No. 2, 2009


G. Deleuze, Postscript to a Society of Control October 59 (1992): 3-7. Stable URL:


Related readings on the Neoliberal University

Sarah Brouilliette, Academic Labor, the Aesthetics of Management, and the
Promise of Autonomous Work \
Marc Bousquet & Tiziana Terranova (2004) Recomposing the University, in
Metamute: Culture and Politics After the Net, 28,
Nick Dyer-Witheford, Cognitive Capitalism And The Contested Campus, European
Journal of Higher Education(2)

07| 20-oct

Representation and Cultures of Display (York section only)

Roger Silverstone, Museums and the Media: A Theoretical & Methodological
Exploration, Intl Journal of Museum Management & Curatorship 7 (1988): 231-241


Susan Ashley, "State Authority and the Public Sphere: Ideas on the changing role of
the Museum as a Canadian social institution." Museum & Society 3:1 (2005): 517.


David Dean and Peter E Rider, Museums, Nation, and Political History in the
Australian National Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Museum
and Society 3, no. 1 (2005): 35-50
Jane Griffith, One Little, Two Little, Three Canadians: The Indians of Canada
Pavilion and Public Pedagogy, Expo 1967, Journal of Canadian Studies, 49, No. 2,
(Spring 2015): 171-204.
**| 26-oct

Essay due today (York section only)

08| 27-oct

Reading Days @ Yorkno class today

Hadlaw| Fall 2016



09| 03-nov

Histories of Communications Technologies TiP1

** Both sections
meet @ York

Carolyn Marvin, Dazzling the Multitudes in When Old Technologies Were New
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) [e-book available via York Library]


James W. Carey, Technology and Ideology in Communication As Culture (2e) (New

York: Routledge, 2008) [e-book available via York Library]


Lynn Spigel, Installing the Television Set [...]19481955, Camera Obscura, 6, no.1
(1988): 9-46


10| 10-nov

Relationships Between Technology And Society TiP2

Section The Relationship Between Technology And Society (Chapters 7-10, pp.
97-180; see below) in, Deborah G. Johnson and Jameson M. Wetmore (eds.),
Technology And Society (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009): 97-151.
7. Robert L. Heilbroner, Do Machines Make History?(97-106);
8. Bijker W & Pinch T, The Social Construction of Facts & Artifacts (107-140);
9. Thomas P. Hughes, Technological Momentum: (141-151);
10. Bruno Latour, Where Are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few
Mundane Artifacts (151-180)


Related readings:
Madeleine Akrich, The De-Scription of Technical Objects in Wiebe Bijker and John
Law (eds.), Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies In Sociotechnical Change
(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994): 205-224
Bruno Latour & M. Akrich, A Summary of a Convenient Vocabulary for the
Semiotics of Human and Nonhuman Assemblies in Wiebe Bijker and John Law
(eds.), Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies In Sociotechnical Change
(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994): 259-264
11| 17-nov

Digital Euphoria & the Dawn of Digital Distraction TiP3

** Both sections
meet @ Ryerson

J. Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace manifesto (1996)

Critical Art Ensemble, Appendix: Utopian PromisesNet Realities, Flesh Machine.
(New York: Autonomedia, 1997)
P. Schwartz, The Long Boom19802020, Wired, (1997).
Virilio, P. (1995). Speed and Information: Cyberspace Alarm! CTheory.
L. Lessig, Free Culture (2004). Introduction: pg. 7-11; Piracy: pg. 17-20; Chapter 1,
Creators: pg. 21-30; Chapter 10, Property: 116-124; Conclusion: p. 257-271 [ebook]

Hadlaw| Fall 2016

12| 24-nov

Propaganda and Public Opinion P&P3

Edward Herman & Noam Chomsky, A Propaganda Model, in M&CS: KeyWorks
Edward L. Bernays, Manipulating Public Opinion: The Why and The How,
American Journal of Sociology (1928): 958-971.



Edward L. Bernays, Molding Public Opinion. The Annals of the American Academy
of Political and Social Science 179 (1935): 82-87.
Guy Debord, Chapter 1 in The Society of the Spectacle (New York: Zone Books, 1994)


Screening: The Century of the Self: The Engineering of Consent

Final Exam Review
13| 01-dec

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In-Class Final Exam