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Semester 1 - Online
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This subject explores the ecological implications of media technologies and the ways they mediate the world around us. We will investigate the materials and energy used in screen media today, and the ecological consequences of work practices and design choices. Far from dematerialising culture, the rapid evolution of personal computing, internet, mobile media and games intensify the involvement of production, distribution and viewing media in the physical world. At the same time, film, TV and other screen media makers respond to environmental crises and their own involvement in them. Applying diverse and interdisciplinary interpretative tools to global fiction, news, documentary, online and public screen media, we will explore how ecocritical aesthetics can address pollution, waste and the Anthropocene, and develop ways of bridging the gulf between human and non-human worlds.
Can media mediate between human and non-human? Can they do so without exploitation and extractivism? Is a capitalist ecomedia possible? What can feminist, anti-racist and decolonial perspectives tell us about environmentalism and ecomedia?
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- developed an understanding of the historical implication of screen technologies in the environment;
- accounted for the impact that digital technology has had on the natural world;
- an understanding of how screen technologies implicate the social and natural environments in each other; and
- a knowledge of key interpretative and theoretical models that have emerged in response to the ecological crisis.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- a capacity for critical thinking through the use of readings and discussion to develop an understanding of the considerations that underpin ecocritical media studies;
- high-level written and oral communication skills through contribution to class discussions and the completion of assignments;
- skills in research through the preparation of class papers and assignments, including the use of online as well as print-based materials;
- skills in time management and planning through managing workloads for recommended reading, tutorial presentations and assessment requirements; and
- a capacity for theoretical analysis through engagement with a range of texts that offer different perspectives on screens as a component of the wider field of cultural practices.
Last updated: 9 September 2021