“The Sociology and Anthropology of Things”
The focus of this course is the study of material objects and technology and their role in the production of social life and culture. This course argues for the importance of considering nonhuman things (particularly technologies) in sociology, anthropology and modern social theory and that no theory of society will be adequate without due attention to the ways in which human life is interwoven with the materiality of the object world around it. The course is structured around two components. The first is an overview of theoretical approaches to the study of technology and material culture through case studies and the second is an engagement with interpretive methodologies for the social study of material culture in which students will be required to complete an empirical research project on the sociology/anthropology of a “thing.”
What is media archaeology? As Jussi Parikka describes, it is a subfield of media history that scrutinizes contemporary media culture through investigations of past media technologies and creative media practices. Media archaeology takes a special interest in recondite and forgotten apparatuses, practices and inventions. Media Archaeology also encourages opening up and tinkering with the “black boxes” of media technologies, in order to develop a relationship to them that is not based on being a “consumer” or “end user.” At an historical moment when our own media technologies become obsolete with increasing rapidity, the study of residual forms and practices provides valuable context for analysis, and perhaps the possibility for the emergence of something new.
This course deals with the theory, current practice, and possible trajectories of media archaeology as a discipline. Our home base will be the research collection of the Residual Media Depot, a project of the Media History Research Centre at the Milieux Institute. Work will consist of a mix of writing, thinking, talking, and hands-on encounters with materials from the collection, according to student skills and interests.
Instructor: Bruno Campos
CART 433 / DART 455 (fall)
Thursdays 18:30 - 22:30pm
EV 5.615 / EV 5.635 (SWG)
Tuesdays 8:30AM – 12:30PM | EV 5.615 SGW
This course is an introduction to the design of playful activities and games in particular. Students are introduced to terminology, conceptual frameworks, and critical approaches in order to develop a precise understanding of games at a formal and pragmatic level. Students acquire and develop tools to conceive, formalize, and communicate game design ideas.
Prerequisite: Enrolment in a Computation Arts program or the Minor in Game Design or written permission of the Department.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a CART 398 number may not take this course for credit.
Thursdays 18:30 – 22:30
EV 5.615 / EV 5.635
This studio course focuses on rhetoric, visualization of information, instructions and complex text-based content. Issues of communication, simplification and clarification of content, and information architecture will be addressed through diagrams, maps, and visualization of statistics.
All the content and concepts will turn to the production of Infographics – statics and interactives – with the well-balanced combination of text and images (graphics, charts, pictures).
Videogames and/as Literature
Instructor: Jess Marcotte
ENGL 255/2 A (fall)
This course will introduce students to the history of critical discourse surrounding video games and literature. We will explore a range of topics, including the formal, political, economic, and cultural aspects of video games, issues of authorship, representation, and ownership, and the expressive potential of games and play. In particular we will be looking at how the critical analysis of procedures and systems can inform our understanding of structural oppression, institutional spaces, systems of circulation, and cultural reproduction.
NB: While no previous experience with video games is necessary, students should be prepared to devote a substantial amount of time outside of class to both the playing of video games on OSX or Windows (although in some cases games will also be available on Linux or mobile phones) and to the serious critical reading and writing that this class will involve.