Welcome to Media History, Spring 2014.
So far: Chatham University (Prof. Melling’s students) and the University of Ljubljana (Andreja Trdina’s students) will be interacting with Radford University students about research, insights and topics of special interest. Other universities using this textbook or this broad approach to media history are invited to be involved.
Goals: The primary goal of a class in the history of any subject is, as Thucydides said 2,500 years ago, to provide a knowledge of the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future.
Instructor’s role: Guide and impressario. The instructor (Prof. Kovarik) will introduce you to the people, events and trends in media history. As impressario (producer), Prof. Kovarik will also coordinate reading plans and feedback loops within the Radford University and University of Ljubljana classes.
Guest instructors: From time to time we’ll be using new media to bring in guest instructors who are specialists in particular areas of media history. We would expect to hear from instructors in partner universities once or twice in a semester.
Students: You will be expected to:
- Read and watch films. Lots of reading. Quite a few films, too, for those interested.
- Help organize a group from within your concentration or discipline (advertising, journalism, public relations, visual communication, web design, etc). You will be expected to keep ahead of the reading and help outline the topics and resources for others outside your group.
- Be able to respond to Discussion Questions on the web site in class.
- Also, you should be able to question the material itself and present questions that could be used in tests.
- Help in construction of the web pages, including timelines, suggestions for further reading, questions for tests, and international history sections. This is not a drill. The second edition of Revolutions in Communication is under construction.
- Select an historical research topic and work with students from another university to learn more about the topic. At some point you will deliver a research presentation.
- Following Thucydides advice, can we use this history to help us interpret the future of the mass media? At some point you will deliver a futuristic prediction for your area of media based on historic trends.