FMS 110 Syllabus: Introduction to New Media (Spring 2014)


Tuesday/Thursday, 10:30-11:45 am (SCOB 250)

Professor: Suzanne Scott, PhD  •  • @iheartfatapollo

Office hours: Tuesdays 3-5pm in LL 645D or by appointment

Course blog: http://

Course twitter hashtag: #fms110

Teaching Assistant: Jessica Boykin • (Office Hours: T/W 3-4pm in LL 350)


Discourses of “newness” and “obsolescence” have always circulated around emergent technologies. This course will consider the desires and anxieties that underpin these discussions in the digital age, and offer a critical introduction to new media technologies and digital cultures.  Because technology informs our everyday interactions with media texts, it is crucial to gain an understanding of both the history of “new” media, and the industrial and socio-political infrastructures that mediate these interactions.  This course will touch on the major themes that have preoccupied new media scholars, from the impact of digital culture on intelligence, identity, and surveillance, to the politics of participatory culture amongst gamers, remixers, and pirates. In order for students to become more critical “users” of digital platforms, and more active participants in digital culture, many of the assignments in this course take a hands-on approach to media criticism.  This emphasis on writing for the web will come in a number of forms, including blog posts, memes, and remix videos.


  • To become conversant in the central themes of new media and digital culture studies
  • To consider how our understanding of technology is informed by cultural commentary and media representations
  • To learn to write critical, multimodal media criticism for the web
  • To develop fluencies in the tools, technologies, and practices that support participatory culture


Details on all your course assignments, including instruction handouts, submission guidelines, and due dates, can be found under the “Assignments” tab of our course blog. I would encourage (nay, insist) that you plug all these due dates into your personal calendars now, to help manage your workflow.  Your final grade for the course will consist of seven elements/assignments, enumerated below:

First, your attendance and active participation (10%), both in class and on the course blog, is central to the class’ success and to your success in the class. Time will be allotted to discuss your response to the readings and screenings, but you’re encouraged to post any additional material you come across that you think might be relevant to the class (blog posts, videos, articles, etc.) to our course blog.  This will earn you participation credit, so it’s a good option if you’re not comfortable speaking up in class. You can also send me comments and links via Twitter @iheartfatapollo, using our course hashtag (#fms110).

You will be tested on the course materials (including readings, lectures, and screenings) twice during the semester.  Test I (20%) will cover content from weeks 1-8, and Test II (20%) will cover content from weeks 10-14, and both will be comprised of short identifications and essay questions.  In addition to these exams, you have four assignments: two blog posts (10% each), passing the basic HTML course in Code Academy (10%), and a group video essay project (20%). More detailed instructions for all of these assignments are available on our course blog.

All assignments must be handed in on time, and turning in assignments late will be detrimental to your grade.  For each week your assignment is late, you will be docked one full letter grade.  All assignments must be completed to pass the course.  Exceptions will be made and extensions will be given only for medical or family emergencies (provided you can offer documentation).

Grading breakdown:

Attendance/Participation = 10%

Blog Post I = 10%

Blog Post II = 10%

Test I = 20%

Code Academy = 10%

Video Essay (Group Project) = 20%

Test II  = 20% 


Readings are listed below on the course schedule; assigned chapters and articles are to be read before class each Tuesday (unless noted otherwise below). The weekly readings are available on the course’s Blackboard site, under “Contents.” You can download and print out each article at your convenience, along with other course documents. Note that a direct link will be provided for several of the assigned readings.


Qualified students who will require disability accommodations in this class are encouraged to make their requests to me at the beginning of the semester either during office hours or by appointment. Note: Prior to receiving disability accommodations, verification of eligibility from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) is required. Disability information is confidential.


Academic honesty is expected of all students in all examinations, papers, laboratory work, academic transactions and records. The possible sanctions include, but are not limited to, appropriate grade penalties, course failure (indicated on the transcript as a grade of E), course failure due to academic dishonesty (indicated on the transcript as a grade of XE), loss of registration privileges, disqualification and dismissal.  For more information, see 


Week 1 •  Introductions

Tuesday, 1/14          Introduction to the Course, Goals, and Assignments

Thursday, 1/16:     WordPress primer and writing for the web


– Wednesday, 1/15 by noon: Create a wordpress username (use a pseudonym, do NOT use “suzannescott,” “sscott,” etc.), email your username to me (  Once you’re received and accepted your invitation to join the blog, familiarize yourself with the dashboard.  A wordpress tutorial is available on the course blog under “Tools.”

Week 2 • Old/New Media

Tuesday, 1/21:           Discourses of newness and obsolescence

Thursday, 1/23:        Screening: Frontline: Digital Nation (2010)


– Lev Manovich, “How Media Became New” + “Principles of New Media”

– Tom Gunning “Re-Newing Old Technologies”

Week 3 • Convergence

Tuesday, 1/28:          Industrial and Technological Convergence

Thursday, 1/30:        Cultural Convergence


– Joshua Green, Sam Ford, and Henry Jenkins, “Where Web 2.0 Went Wrong”

– Mark Andrejevic, “iMedia”


– Blog Post (Option 1): Old/New Media meme [2/2 by 8pm]

Week 4 • Cyborgs

Tuesday, 2/4:        Cyborgs and Posthumanity

Thursday, 2/6:       Screening: Black Mirror (“Be Right Back,” 2013)


– Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the 1980s”

– N. Katherine Hayles, “Towards Embodied Virtuality”


Week 5 • Intelligence

Tuesday, 2/11:       How Machines Think

Thursday, 2/13:    How Machines Change the Way We Think


For Tuesday’s class…

– A.M. Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”

For Thursday’s class…

– Siva Vaidhyanathan, “The Gospel of Google”

– Henry Jenkins, “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About New Media Literacies,” Parts One and Two (for 2/13)


– Blog Post (Option 2): Wikipedia + Collective Intelligence [2/16 by 8pm]

Week 6 • Narrative

Tuesday, 2/18:          Hypertext to Transmedia Storytelling

Thursday, 2/20:      Screening: The Lizzie Bennett Diaries (select webisodes, 2012)


– Janet H. Murray “Harbingers of the Holodeck”

– Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling 101”


Week 7 •  Surveillance

Tuesday, 2/25:        #Panopticism

Thursday, 2/27:      Screening: Pretty Little Liars (“Know Your Frenemies,” 2011)


– Mark Andrejevic, “Surveillance in the Digital Enclosure”

– Sarah Banet-Weiser, “Branding the Post-Feminist Self: Girls’ Video Production and YouTube”


– Blog Post (Option 3): Transmedia Extension [3/2 by 8pm]

Week 8 • Archives

Tuesday, 3/4:           Curation and Memory

Thursday, 3/6:         Screening: Black Mirror (“The Entire History of You,” 2011)


– Nicholas Gane and David Beer, “Archive”

– Jens Schroter, “On the Logic of the Digital Archive”

Week 9 • Spring Break

Due:                        Code Academy Badges [3/16 by 8pm]


Week 10 • Literacies and Test I

Tuesday, 3/18:           Read/Write Culture, The (New) Digital Divide and the Participation Gap

Thursday, 3/20:        Test I


– James Paul Gee, “Digital Media & Learning: A Prospective Retrospective”

– Susan P. Crawford, “The New Digital Divide”

– Brendan I. Koerner, “Forget Foreign Languages and Music. Teach Our Kids to Code.”

Week 11 • Ownership

Tuesday, 3/25:     Copyright(s) and Piracy

Thursday, 3/27:    Screening: RiP: A Remix Manifesto (2009)


– William Patry, “How the Copyright Wars Are Being Fought and Why”

– Lawrence Lessig, “Pirates” + “Piracy”


– Video Project (pt I): Sign up for groups for video project [3/30 by 8pm]


Week 12 • Remix

Tuesday, 4/1:      Transformative Works and Cultures

Thursday, 4/3:    Screening: Fan Vids, Remix Videos + discussion of group video project


– Virginia Kuhn, “The Rhetoric of Remix”

– Francesca Coppa, “Women, Star Trek, and the Early Development of Fannish Vidding”


– Video Project (pt II): Co-Authored video concept pitch [4/6 by 8pm]

Week 13 • Identity

Tuesday, 4/8:       Gender, Race, and Sexuality

Thursday, 4/10:    Screening: Catfish: The TV Show (“Kya and Alyx,” 2012)


– danah boyd, “Why Youth Heart Social Network Sites”

– Lisa Nakamura, “Race In/For Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet”

– Daren C. Brabham, “The Potential of Vernacular Video for Queer Youth”

Week 14 • Play

Tuesday, 4/15:     Gaming

Thursday, 4/17:   Screening: Gameplay Clips


–  Henry Jenkins, “Game Design as Narrative Architecture”

– Alexander R. Galloway, “Gamic Action: Four Moments”


-Video Project (pt III): Upload to YouTube + Email link, AND send your 1 paragraph description of your contributions to the video via email [4/20 by 8pm]

Week 15 • Video Project Screenings

Tuesday, 4/22:     Screen and discuss group video projects

Thursday, 4/24:   Screen and discuss group video projects

Week 16 • Video Project Screenings (cont.) and Test II

Tuesday, 4/29:    Screen and discuss group video projects

Thursday, 5/1:    Test II


One comment on “Syllabus

  1. Pingback: A post on blog posts | Course blog for ASU's Intro to New Media

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