Only available for Book and Digital Media Studies students and BDMS exchange students. Others may contact the course organiser.
Communication is an essential and basic characteristic of the human species. Developments in communication technologies, from writing to digital media, have influenced the inscription and transmission of human culture through the ages. The nature of the technology used for communication has a major impact, both on society and on the content of cultural expressions. A change of medium is a sociotechnical process characterised by a mixture of continuities and discontinuities, much of which can be shown to follow directly from technological properties of the technologies involved. Today, digital media influence and disrupt existing patterns of storage, distribution and access to information. Digitisation is changing the role of all traditional media, including books. The position of authors, publishers, booksellers as well as that of readers is affected. Existing categorisations of media blur, new content genres come available on-line and the media industries are restructured by the process. Moreover, in the age of interactive media the audience is taking a new role as a producer of content. On-line media also provide new chances to access historical collections, including those containing books and manuscripts. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to medial change in general, and to the significance of the digital medium for present-day culture and society in particular.
Students learn to understand the broad social and cultural implications of the introduction and advance of new mediums and the recurring patterns that characterise medial change as a sociotechnical process. To gain insight in the role of media as ‘transformative technologies’ in social and cultural history students will study the transmission ‘cycle’ of text and the other information modalities (sound, still and moving images), and familiarise themselves with key concepts, definitions and models in the study of textual transmission and communication. In the analysis of the role of the media in the transmission of information and knowledge particular emphasis will be on the current wholesale adoption of digital technology in information and communication.
The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website.
Mode of instruction
One-hour lecture plus one-hour seminar per week.
The course load of this course is 140 hours.
hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 26
time for studying the compulsory literature: 64
time to prepare for the exam and/or write a paper (including reading / research): 50
Participation in all sessions of this course is compulsory. Upon prior consultation, the lecturer can permit absence at one session for compelling reasons. Students who are absent twice in a half-semester course (7 weeks) will be excluded from further participation and will have to re-take the course. Students who are absent twice in a semester course (13 weeks) will be given an complementary assignment by the lecturer. Absence on three sessions in such a course will lead to exclusion from it.
Essay (75%) and assignment (25%).
This course is supported by blackboard.
Van der Weel, Adriaan, Changing Our Textual Minds: Towards a Digital Order of Knowledge, Manchester UP, 2011
Briggs, Asa, and Peter Burke, A Social History of the Media, from Gutenberg to the Internet (London: Polity Press, 2005 [or later])
Selected articles to be provided.
Students should register through uSis. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail: email@example.com.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
MA Media Studies departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Participation in all sessions of this course is compulsory. Upon prior consultation, the lecturer can permit absence at one session for compelling reasons. Students who are absent twice in a half-semester course (7 weeks) will be excluded from further participation and will have to re-take the course. Students who are absent twice in a semester course (13 weeks) will be given an complementary assignment by the lecturer. Absence on three sessions in such a course will lead to exclusion from it.”