In recent years, the accessibility of video and computer equipment has forced academics to seriously consider multi-media's potential impact on education. Film theory has always focused on cinema as an educational apparatus--agitating, propagandizing, or positioning. This course is an introduction to the discipline of media studies in the Liberal Arts. We will study the current and potential impact of film, photography, video, and computing on the humanities and liberal arts.
The course will focus on the theme of media literacy (electracy?). That focus will allow us to experiment with ways to translate ideas, concepts, and knowledge into new cinematic and electronic forms. The course is called "Picture Theory" to suggest both the theories of pictures we will study, and the theory-that-uses-pictures that you will learn to construct. In our examinations we will read about strategies for developing visual ideas and general theories of media in the humanities. Most of the reading will be in the first part of the course, and the final part of the course is dedicated to the time consuming production of your picture theory project. If you do not like to attend class, participate, and do all the readings, then you will find this course impossible to pass.