Audience 2.0: Changing Practices and Experiences of Audiencing in the Digital Age

Course Description

This is an introductory media/cultural studies course that looks at the changing contours of audiencehood in the digital age. Although the term "audience" seems outmoded in the era of social media, instead of abandoning the term altogether, we should perhaps expand its definitional boundary and infuse it with new meanings. Starting with a brief historical survey of major theoretical and methodological approaches to studying audiences of popular media and journalism, this course will mainly concentrate on approaches associated with cultural studies traditions and their applications to understanding media-audience relationships. The course situates audiencehood in a global and transnational context. Topics will include active audience and their roles in mass media age and digital era; debates about audience's power and resistance; fandom and participatory culture; the multifaceted roles of audiences (e.g. fans, activists, "producers", laborers etc.); consumerism and commodification; alternative and minority media; emerging journalism practices and corresponding visions of audiences in the digital age; meanings of participation; journalism, affects/emotions and networked publics; the ideal of conversation and filter bubble debates etc. The course consists of lectures and discussions: students are required to attend lectures, to participate in the discussions, and to do individual presentations. Assignments include several short response papers to study questions throughout the quarter and a final paper.

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