Robertson Lee Allen
Examines a variety of issues involved in understanding different forms of media and their impact on our lives, in contexts spanning from local to global, using a wide range of theoretical, disciplinary, and methodological approaches.
War and media technologies have nearly always been interconnected in one way or another, but in this era of instantaneous news and interactive entertainment, these connections have risen to the forefront in the daily lives of a variety of media consumers. Why is militarized violence such a compelling topic of entertainment for many, and why is it a profitable industry? How true are the virtual representations of war in media products to the actual practices of war$B!=(Bor are these becoming one in the same thing? This course attempts to address these and other questions by exploring the variety of current and historical relations between the military and entertainment industries. The media and entertainment technologies we will investigate range across a wide spectrum, and will include popular video games, war simulations, air shows, sports, films, television, youtube, and military training/recruiting technologies. Throughout the quarter we will be interacting with and critically viewing a variety of these military entertainment media. Course readings are selected on their ability to informatively structure our understandings about these representations of war and militarized violence.
Student learning goals
• To discover the historical and contemporary connections between the media entertainment industry and war;
• To enable students to research, discuss, and compose analyses of everyday media phenomena using the theoretical concepts, such as militarization, presented in the class;
• And to offer students the experience of presenting their analyses to a broader audience.
General method of instruction
lectures, student presentations, films, small group work, class discussion
Class assignments and grading
25% Quizzes on readings (5 x 6.25%, dropping lowest; 2 announced, 3 unnanounced) 20% Reading analyses (2 x 10%; 800-1000 words) 15% Co-presentation and discussion (20-25 minutes) 20% Final paper (1500-2000 words) 20% Class participation