Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
history masthead
Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2008


Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

We live in a mediated environment: one in which much, perhaps the majority, of our interaction with other people and society in general is shaped by what we ingest from print media, radio, television, cinema and the internet. The lattermost has grown at such an explosive rate that today news travels the globe at lighting speed, much of the information and many of the commodities we desire are only a few mouse-clicks away, and new forms of political and social interactionfrom to MMORGsare limited not by location or language, but bandwidth. Our world is at the same time one in which a handful of corporations, governments, and other powerful social groups control the information available to us, and one in which much of the world (and also our own society) is being left behind due to political, social, or economic reasons. In a sense, the ongoing information revolution only began in 1969 when ARPANET, the precursor to today's internet, went online. However, its roots go back to the early nineteenth century, when the invention of the steam-powered press and the telegraph ushered in the era of globalization and mass media. In this course we will investigate the evolution of our modern media world from about 1814when the first steam-powered press went "online"to the present.

You will complete the reading for each week beforehand. The final will be cumulative, and it will occur during the regular finals period. Your term paper will be your opportunity to investigate a topic of interest to you in greater detail. You will decide on a topic in consultation with me, and it will involve additional reading and/or research on your part. I will offer numerous opportunities for extra credit throughout the semester.

Grading Policy

Midterm: 20% Final: 30% Term paper (10-12 pp): 30% Participation: 20%


Chapman, Jane. Comparative Media History: An Introduction from 1789 to the Present Lessig, Lawrence. Code v2.0 Standage, Tom. The Victorian Internet Other texts, TBA. A course reading packet, available at Speedway Copies in the Dobie Mall. Collins, Michael. Guerilla Radio: Rock n' Roll and Serbias Underground Resistance RECOMMENDED TEXT: Cook, David A. A History of Narrative Film, 4th edition


bottom border