The History of New Media

This Spring, I am teaching The History of New Media at the Film and Digital Media Department of the University of California Santa Cruz.

We work to interpret how technological history gets written in the face of certain ideas of information and definitions of freedom: in what context, by whom, and in the service of what commercial interests or intellectual traditions (and at the expense of what bodies). This course is largely a study of the history of cybernetics in the 20th-century, the conditions and ideologies which made it possible and then embraced by military, hippies, mass culture. As we unpack these conditions and ideologies, we apply our critical skills to unveil how these ideologies persevere in the everyday objects, interfaces and interactions of our new media. The materials supporting our inquiry are films, science fiction novels, theoretical texts, and essays. Our work will materialize as image analyses, reflective memoirs, collaborative presentations, and other writings.