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Environmental Media

ENGL 392.402
crosslisted as: CIMS 392
instructor(s):
W 2-5:00
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

We will be engaging with an array of film and media texts and objects to understand the mutual entanglements of media and environment. Media Infrastructures like fiber optic cables are part of the environment and elements mined from the environment find themselves in digital media devices. In this course, we ask:  In what ways does the environment shape media? How can we connect the aesthetics and politics of ecocinema? How are theories of viral media and microbial contagion related? How do vulnerable communities document their struggles against resource extractivism? The course is organized in three sections. In the first part, we will be engaging with mediated representations and visualizations of the environment including depictions of ecological disasters and GIS modeling of climate change. The second section shall deal with the environmental impact of media infrastructures such as the energy dynamics of data servers/cloud computing. Towards the end of the course, we examine ways of conceptualizing media as environment with a particular focus on media geology and media ecology as research methods to study media phenomena.