Environmental Media

ENGL 392-402 / CIMS 392-402

Rahul Mukherjee

Wednesday 2:00-5:00 PM

We will be engaging with an array of film and media texts and objects to understand the mutual entanglements of media and environment. Media Infrastructures like fiber optic cables are part of the environment and elements mined from the environment find themselves in digital media devices. In this course, we ask:  In what ways does the environment shape media? How can we connect the aesthetics and politics of ecocinema? How are theories of viral media and microbial contagion related? How do human and animal bodies live in irradiated environments?  How do vulnerable communities document their struggles against resource extractivism? The course is organized in three sections. In the first part, we will be engaging with mediated representations and visualizations of the environment including depictions of ecological disasters and GIS modeling of climate change. What can radiation detectors and mapping technologies tell us about the interaction between bodies and radiation? The second section shall deal with the environmental impact of media infrastructures such as the energy dynamics of data servers/cloud computing. Towards the end of the course, we examine ways of conceptualizing media as environment with a particular focus on media geology and media ecology as research methods to study media phenomena.

This course is a Ben Franklin Seminar.

Fall 2019