Throughout the posts on this blog i have discussed a changing media culture, defined certain key elements of the emerging system (participation, remediation, bricolage), ways in which these characteristics get articulated in for example online (bloglogic) and offline (convergence) phenomena.

As i start my new job at Indiana University's Department of Telecommunications, i will offer two seminars (in Fall 2005 and Spring 2006) where we will index, map, and analyze particular examples of this changing media culture. Below is the preliminary course description of the Fall class. Any comments are appreciated. Most of these ideas are heavily influenced by the upcoming new book of Henry Jenkins called "Convergence Culture" (NYU Press, see also this essay in Receiver), the 2005 volume on "Creative Industries" (Blackwell Publishing) edited by John Hartley, and my own work on online journalisms.

Telecommunications - Global Media Issues (T413)

The global media environment is changing - but perhaps not in ways that we may think. Whether it is participatory journalism, participatory advertising or participatory economics in specific, or
a participatory media culture in general, people from a wild variety of disciplines. industries and places from all over the world are currently talking about the same issue. It all seems to boil down to what Douglas Rushkoff describes as the emergence of "new possibilities for collaborative action - networked collectivism and a society of authorship."

Even more bewildering, these global phenomenona are taking place in the context of an increasingly 'hyperindividualized' society, where (quoting Zygmunt Bauman): "the way individual people define individually their individual problems and try to tackle them deploying individual skills and resources is the sole remaining 'public issue' and the sole object of 'public interest'." Participation and individualization thus go hand in hand - tendencies that are both embraced and feared by global media corporations such as News Corp or Viacom.

Although none of this is necessarily new, nor particular to the World Wide Web, it can be argued that what is currently emerging in the ways people interact with, give meaning to, and become the media is amplified and supercharged by the 'superabundance' of information and communication technologies and the convergence of new media artifacts, activities and arrangements. In T413 we will discuss and map this emerging convergence culture in all its manifestations, meanings and (inter)actions.