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Film and Visual Culture: Narratives of the Virtual (Instructor: James Tobias, UCR) (Fall 2006) (graduate seminar)

[.pdf course description]

This seminar will examine both narrative form in cybernetic media and cultural narratives of cybernetics, virtuality, digital networks. Digital media and networks mediate globally extensive processes of cultural production, indicating changing dynamics amidst networks of technologies, cultures, states, and power. The formal specificities of digital cultural forms (such as the graphical interface, interactive narrative, or networked authorship, distribution, and response, for example) allow significant shifts in the temporo-spatial dynamics of cultural production and reception, so that digital media works have prompted large-scale re-evaluation of accounts of subjectivity, authorship, agency, textual form, and audience response. At the same time, cultural narratives of the cybernetic media provide an important object of study for contemporary critical studies of narrative and of media generally. This seminar will explore the specificities of networked digital media and the way we situate these theories and practices within larger cultural narratives about changing local and global relationships. Seminar topics will include virtual reality, digital cinema, networked authorship, multilinear narrative, interactive gesture, the narratology versus ludology debate, modular or re- configurable media, and other emergent forms specific to the digital media context.

  tl, 09.23.06

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