Theories of Media and Technology
date_range Starts on December 13, 2019
event_note End date March 28, 2020
list 14 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
card_giftcard 896 points
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Key information

credit_card Free access
verified_user Fee-based Certificate
timer 112 hours in total

About the content

In this course, students will examine and analyze the history and theoretical discourse of media and technology, while connecting these studies to contemporary trends and issues. Students will also explore the cultural impact of media and technology. Lectures, discussions, readings, research, and writing constitute the body of this course.

  • Explain contemporary issues and trends in the theoretical analysis of media
  • Gain exposure to a range of theoreticians and practitioners relevant to media theory
  • Cultivate a vocabulary that allows for the critical description and discussion of media concepts, theories, and projects
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically apply media theory and context to past, present, and future work
  • Apply existing media-theoretical frameworks to objects, texts, and technologies

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We strongly recommend taking the Integrated Digital Media MicroMasters in the following sequence:

  1. Creative Coding
  2. Theories of Media and Technology
  3. Media Law
  4. Integrated Digital Media Capstone



Week 1: Seminal Theory
  • The origins of media theory, and how these thinkers have influenced contemporary thought
  • A brief look at ‘new’ modes of thought that expand on these earlier ones
Week 2: Cybernetics
  • The thinking behind cybernetics, and the technological and social implications of this method of thinking
Week 3: Computation
  • The origins of computational thinking, how it relates to cybernetic systems, and what implications it has for media production and consumption
Week 4: Interaction/Interface
  • How interaction and interfaces has led to new understanding of how people consume, create, and use media
Week 5: Networks
  • How interaction and interfaces has led to new understanding of how people consume, create, and use media
Week 6: Control
  • The ways in which computational systems can be used as agents of control, implied and explicit
Week 7: Affect Theory
  • How theorists understand the self embodied in the machine
Week 8: Actor - Network Theory
  • How ANT is not so much a theory as it is a method for understanding the world around us and the relationship between human and non-human objects
Week 9: Cyborg Life
  • The boundaries of our bodies in relation to the world of technology we have designed around us, what is permeable, what is fixed?
Week 10: Media Archaeology
  • How it’s possible to think about aspects of media through physical artifacts like infrastructure, software, and machines themselves
Week 11: Queer & Feminist Theory
  • How thinking about media has been transformed by, and in turn changed, queer and feminist theory
Week 12: Games
  • How games provide a rich area for different kinds of media study such as platforms studies, software studies, and media archeology
Week 13: Sound & Image
  • How theory has transformed our understanding of ‘traditional’ forms of media like video, sound, and still images
Week 14: Media Now
  • Emerging theories surrounding media studies like Object Oriented Ontology and Post-digitalism


Scott Fitzgerald
Industry Assistant Professor
New York University




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