2009-2010: Winter Quarter

English 147: Media History and Theory: Social Media (instructor: Rita Raley)

Our topic for the term is social media, with a particular emphasis on issues of work, affect, and community. We will think about ideologies of individualism (neoliberalism, “bowling alone”) and concepts of the collective (hives, swarms, the multitude, the people, crowds). We will also study participatory culture (especially fandom), flash mobs, and peer property. As one might expect, we will be using and thinking about blogs, wikis, Facebook, and Twitter and one of the primary assignments will be collaborative. Texts by Robert Putnam, Geert Lovink, Henry Jenkins, Constance Penley, Howard Rheingold, Michael Warner, Lev Manovich, McKenzie Wark, Trebor Scholz, Tiziana Terranova, and many others.

Note: it seems necessary to crowdsource the syllabus for this course in some fashion, so feel free to send suggestions for essays, books, films, websites, and tools to raley at english dot ucsb dot edu.

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