Welcome to the web site for “Introducing (New) Media” (ENG48A),  a course offered by the English Department at Brandeis University in the Spring of 2009, taught by  Elizabeth Swanstrom.

The past decade has seen an enormous surge in scholarship devoted to the study of “New Media” within the humanities, and this course offers an orientation to the field. Throughout “Introducing (New) Media” we will consider important theoretical frameworks for understanding the manner in which digital technology relates to cultural production, aesthetic expression, and prior media forms.  Throughout our discussions we will engage with the following broad set of questions: What is (or what are) new media? How does computer technology contribute to the creation and dissemination of literary works?  What happens to categories such as “author,” “producer,” “product,” “reader,” and “consumer” in light of works that are generated collectively on line?  What happens to the concept of an “original” in a medium that appears to afford perfect and swift reproducibility?  How are ideas about identity, race, ethnicity, gender, and class challenged, deferred, and/or re-inscribed in digital works?  What, if anything at all, distinguishes the “new” media from its analog predecessors—or can we view it more fruitfully as one component within a diverse “media ecology”?

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