Anthropology of and as Media (ANTH-UH 1102)

How do media representations reflect and affect communities? How do people exploit old and new forms of communication? How do technological mediation channel and reshape social relations? This course reviews ethnographic literature on a wide range of media including print, photography, film, television, radio, cell phones, and internet-based social networks. Each week, we explore how media use redefines a central anthropological concern, such as kinship, colonialism, mobility, religion, or violence. We continuously interrogate the diverse effects of technology, infrastructure, reception, sensation, and interaction. Engaging with both “live” and “virtual” communities, we revisit the methods and ethics of studying mediated relations. Students deliver an initial critical auto-ethnography of their own media consumption, a detailed assessment of a debate in the field, and a final project investigating a specific media community using original ethnographic research. Throughout the course, we collaboratively develop our own experimental virtual community based on the priorities and interests of the class participants. Innovative integrations of art and interactivity will be encouraged.

Anthropology (Undergraduate)
4 credits – 15 Weeks