This humanities module critically explores key issues related to the use of interactive media in a range of social contexts. Through detailed consideration of the histories, myths, and ideologies associated with certain technologies – as well as those associated with technology in general – we will question ideas of technological determinism and digital utopianism, and interrogate the ways interactive media shape culture, politics, visuality, and identity today.
Module will run
Semester 1 2023-24
The module aims:
To discuss the socio-cultural impact of film, television, gaming and web-based technologies.
To enable comprehension of the social uses of digital technologies according to gender, race, age, sexuality and social class.
To provide case studies of particular film, television, gaming and web traditions and forms at specific periods and in different social contexts.
Module learning outcomes
By the end of the module you should be able to:
Demonstrate an ability to use critical thinking to reason about the socio-cultural impact of interactive media.
Gain an understanding of the development of media technology, social theory and cultural studies in the 20th and 21st century.
Become familiar with key issues and ideas in media studies and new media theory
Demonstrate skills in managing a range of information sources to analyse a relevant domain in interactive media and synthesise a view on its impact in society.
Develop critical skills in analysing digital tools and environments and understanding their roles throughout contemporary society.
Develop research skills, including skills in writing, reading and referencing.
% of module mark
Special assessment rules
% of module mark
Students will receive written feedback in line with university guidelines.
Chun, W. (2016). Remain the Same: Habitual New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Joyce, M. (ed). (2010). Digital Activism Decoded: The New Mechanics of Change. New York: IDEA.
Manovich, L. (2001). The Language of New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Noble, S. (2018). Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. New York: NYU Press.
Taylor, A. (2014). The People's Platform. London: Harper Collins.
Zuboff, S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. London: Profile.