Friday, 29 January 2010

MAC281 Cybercultures - Module Overview

Not to be left out, any of my Level 2 students signed up to take MAC281 Cyberculture can now take a preview of the module below. The full module guide is a little more uptodate and is subject to change before teaching starts. There's a Facebook study group setup here. It's empty now but classes haven't started yet. Be sure to join and post/share anything you think your fellow classmates might be interested in.

FACULTY: Arts, Design, & Media
MODULE BOARD: Media and Cultural Studies
LEARNING HOURS: 100 hours, the exact nature of which is specified in the module guide

On successful completion of the module, students will have demonstrated:

1. knowledge and critical understanding of the theoretical concepts and issues and debates relating to the study of cyberculture;
2. an understanding of the history and key concepts of cyberculture;
3. the ability to apply these concepts in the critical analysis of various forms of cyberculture;
4. the ability to communicate information, arguments and analysis cogently and fluently

This module allows students to continue their study of cybercultures from level 1 (MAC129). Students will explore topics such as: the relationship between the internet and the music, film and television industries, blogging and journalism, cybersex, podcasting, digital art, the representation of virtual reality in popular culture, cyber-nations, and open source communities.

Illustrated lectures will demonstrate key concepts while tutor-led seminars will provide a forum in which to explore and critically discuss these issues.

Lectures: 12 hours
Seminars: 12 hours
Self-directed study: 76 hours

End of Semester Written Assignment (2000 words) 100%
(assesses Learning outcomes 1,2,3,4)

MAC281 Week by Week Schedule:

Week 1: Introduction to the module & a short history of Cyberculture – An overview of the module content and assessment

Week 2: The Music Industry and the Net Part 1: Producers, Profits, Pirates & Peers - This session will consider the crisis facing the music industry posed by recent changes in the organisation and distribution of music in the age of the Internet. The primary focus will be on the industry. It will consider the impact of peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange and the role played by BitTorrent technology upon the music industry’s traditional business model.

Week 3: The Music Industry and the Net Part 2: The Suits vs The Scene – This session will consider the new opportunities presented to music fans provided by the Internet. It will reassess some of the claims made by the music industry in context of actual audience members and analyse some of the reasons "pirates" give regarding ‘sharing’ music via the Internet.

Week 4: Podcasting: Radio and Convergence - An increasing amount of radio is now consumed via platforms other than the traditional wireless, with both streamed audio and now podcasting becoming more mainstream. New platforms have also offered new opportunities to new players and new media forms that can be shifted in both time and place.

Week 5: ‘Wikinomics’, Crowdsourcing & Participatory Culture – The knowledge and resources of millions of people can now be harnessed through self-organising groups via blogs, wikis, chat rooms, forums, peer-to-peer networks, and personal broadcasting platforms, etc. This session will consider the impact of low-cost collaborative production tools via the Web.

Week 6: Weblogs and the Rise of Citizen Journalism - Today, thanks to weblogs and mobile phones that can send photographs, anyone can be a journalist. New media evangelists claim traditional structures are crumbling as digital technology breaks down barriers and heralds a new age of transparency and participatory democracy. Will citizen journalists change our view of the world?

Week 7: The 'Actualities' of Virtual Realities - An exploration into the history, application and cultural and social impact and implications of virtual reality. The lecture will draw on key examples of VR from popular culture and industry as well as its use as an actual technology.

Week 8: Video Games, Narrative and ‘Play’ – The history of digital games stretches back over the best part of half a century yet academia has been slow to engage with this interactive form beyond offering moral objections. Currently, gaming is one of the most profitable media industries. This session will consider the ways game scholars have attempted to situate and explain this ‘new’ medium.

Week 9: Virtual Sex - This session will examine the representations of sex and sexual practices as facilitated by virtual worlds such as Second Life. We’ll examine some of the contemporary debates made around virtual worlds including claims made about its liberating potentials for sexual expression.

=====SPRING BREAK=====

Week 10: Digital Photographic Cultures Online – Are we all photographers now? With photographic technology becoming cheaper and more accessible we can capture, store, print, upload and distribute our images like never before. This session will examine the explosion of amateur photography, looking at the different impacts and varying aesthetics of the photograph online.

Week 11: ‘Net Neutrality’ and the Future of the Internet - Network neutrality is a complex issue that has generated intense levels of political discussion in the United States in recent years, but relatively little attention from regulators in the UK. This session will consider the whether network operators should be prevented from blocking or prioritising certain network traffic or traffic from particular sources – effectively creating a two-tiered Internet – and who stands to gain from this

Week 12: Open Source Communities – The open source revolution is underway. Many digital media products (software and hardware) include some form of open source technology, which has helped keep the price down to an affordable level and push research and development forward. Who are the winners and losers in this brave new world?
Lectures run 2-3pm in the cinema (207) on Monday afternoon. You are also expected to attend the seminar at 11am (rm214) or 1pm (rm214) following day - Tuesday. Attendance is compulsory.
MAC281 Indicitive Reading

Week 1: Introduction to the module & a short history of Cyberculture

  • David Bell (2001), An Introduction to Cybercultures. London: Routledge
  • David Bell (2004), Cyberculture: the key concepts. New York : Routledge
  • David Bell & Kennedy, B. (2000). The Cybercultures Reader. Routledge: London
  • David Gauntlett (2004), web.studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital Age (second edition). Arnold: London

Week 2: The Music Industry and the Net Part 1: Producers, Profits, Pirates & Peers

  • Andrew Leyshon et al. (2005). ‘On the reproduction of the musical economy after the Internet’ in Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp 177-209.
  • Lawrence Lessig (2004), Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity, London: Penguin Press (ebook available here)
  • Felix Oberholzer & Koleman Strumpf. (2004). ‘The Effect of File-sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis (March):
  • Wiliam Patry (2009), Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Andrew Sparrow (2006), Music Distribution and the Internet: A legal guide for the music business’ Aldershot: Gower

Week 3: The Music Industry and the Net Part 2: The Suits vs The Scene

  • Ian Condry (2004). 'Cultures of music piracy: An ethnographic comparison of the US and Japan' in International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 7, No. 3 pp 343-363.
  • Matt Mason (2008), The Pirate’s Dilemma: How hackers, punk capitalists and graffiti millionaires are remixing our culture and changing the world, London: Allen Lane (ebook available here)
  • Lawrence Lessig (2009), Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, London: Bloomsbury (ebook available here)
  • Chris Rojek (2005), ‘P2P Leisure Exchange: Net Banditry and the Policing of Intellectual Property’ in Leisure Studies, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp 357-369.
  • G. W. Woodsworth (2004), ‘Hackers, Users, and Suits: Napster and Representations of Identity’ in Popular Music and Society, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp 161-184.

Week 4: Podcasting: Radio and Convergence

  • Richard Berry (2006), ‘Will the iPod Kill the Radio Star? Profiling Podcasting as Radio’, Convergence, Vol. 12, No. 2.
  • Chris Priestman (2001). Web Radio. Focal Press
  • Henry Jenkins (2004). ‘The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence’ in The International Journal of Cultural Studies Vol.7, No.1 (Spring 2004)
  • Henry Jenkins (2006) Convergence Culture. New York University Press.

Week 5: ‘Wikinomics’, Crowdsourcing & Participatory Culture

  • Jean Burgess & Joshua Green (2009), Youtube: Online Video and Participatory Culture, Cambridge: Polity
  • Jeff Howe (2008), Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business, London: Random House
  • Henry Jenkins (2006) ‘Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century’, MacArthur Foundation white paper:
  • Charles Leadbetter (2008), We/Think: Mass innovation, not mass production, London: Profile.
  • Clay Shirky (2008), Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, London: Allen Lane
  • Don Tapscott & Anthony D Williams (2008), Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything – Expanded Edition, London: Atlantic Books

Week 6: Weblogs and the Rise of Citizen Journalism

  • Mark Deuze (2007), Media Work, Cambridge: Polity
  • Dan Gillmor (2004) We the Media. USA: O’Reilly
  • Andrew Keen (2008), The Cult of the Amateur: How blogs, MySpace, YouTube and the rest of today’s user-generated media are killing our culture and economy, London: Nicholas Brealy
  • Steve Outing: What Journalists Can Learn From Bloggers and What Bloggers Can Learn From Journalists

Week 7: The 'Actualities' of Virtual Realities

  • Howard Rheingold (1992), Virtual Reality. Simon & Schuster Inc
  • Steve Jones (2006) ‘Reality and Virtual Reality: When virtual and real worlds collide’, Cultural Studies, Vol 20, Nos 2-3: pp.211-226

Week 8: Video Games, Narrative and ‘Play’

  • Mia Consalvo & Nathan Dutton (2006). ‘Game analysis: Developing a methodological toolkit for the qualitative study of games’ in Game Studies: the international journal of computer game research, Volume 6, Issue 1.
  • John Dovey & Helen Kennedy (2006), Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media, Open University Press
  • Aphra Kerr (2006), The Business and Culture of Digital Games: Gamework and Gameplay, London: Sage
  • Simons, J. (2007), ‘Narrative, Games, and Theory’ in Game Studies: the international journal of computer game research, Volume 7, Issue 1.
  • Jason Rutter & Jo Bryce (eds) (2006), Understanding Digital Games, London: Sage

Week 9: Virtual sex

  • Feona Atwood (2009), ‘Intimate adventures: Sex blogs, sex “blooks” and women’s sexual narration’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol 12 (1): pp. 5-20
  • Feona Attwood (2009), “‘deepthroatfucker’ and ‘Discerning Adonis’: Men and cybersex’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp.279-294
  • Robert Alan Brookey & Kristopher L Cannon (2009), ‘Sex Lives in Second Life’, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Vol 26, No 2, pp. 145-164, 10.1080/15295030902860260

Week 10: Digital Photographic Cultures Online

Week 11: ‘Net Neutrality’ and the Future of the Internet

  • Paul Ganley & Ben Allgrove (2006), ‘Net neutrality: A user’s guide’, Computer Law and Security Report 22, Vol 22 Iss 6, doi:10.1016/j.clsr.2006.09.005
  • Lawrence Lessig & Robert W. McChesney (2006), ‘No Tolls on The Internet’, Washington Post
  • Gireesh Shrimali (2008), ‘Surplus extraction by network providers: Implications for net neutrality and innovation’, Telecommunications Policy, Volume 32, Issue 8, doi:10.1016/j.telpol.2008.06.005
  • Dave Everitt & Simon Mills (2009), ‘Cultural Anxiety 2.0’, Media, Culture & Society, Vol 31 (5): pp. 749-768
  • Jonathan Zittrain (2008), The Future of the Internet – And How To Stop It, London: Yale University Press (ebook available here)

Week 12: Open Source Communities

  • Chirs DiBona, Mark Stone & Danese Cooper (2005), Open Sources 2.0. USA: O'Reilly
  • OSBR.CA The Open Source Business Resource (2007), ‘Defining Open Source’
  • Steven Weber (2005), The Success of Open Source, London: Harvard University Press

See you next week...

1 comment:

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