Texts and Concepts in Media Studies: Remediation

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSCC2FS2054

Semester and Year Offered: Winter

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Rajan Krishnan and team

Email of course coordinator: rajan[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in


Course Objectives/Description:

The emergence and heavy-duty proliferation of new/digital/web-based media over the last two decades has split open the conceptualization of media. It compels us to establish, investigate and reconfigure the idea of what old and new media are and if they could be understood independent of one another. In this course, we will be studying some key texts in Media Studies exploring the historical and theoretical questions around a variety of media. We shall assess how and why media aggregate, appropriate and comment upon other media, how ways of seeing and listening are consolidated via other media as modes of address. In this way, we probe whether media are ever truly autonomous of competing counterparts, or we must provide critical theoretical accounts delivered from outside specific media histories. Investigating approaches such as media archaeology, media history and anthropology, we will try to establish a dialogue across old and new media, sound- and image-based analyses of media, and media as technology vis-à-vis media as infrastructure. Gradually, through the course, we will progress towards a richer and more complex understanding of what media are, how they interact with other media and how they make meaning within historical time but also through technological leaps. This may lead to newer understandings about a richer and more complex understanding of what media are, how they interact with other media and how they make meaning within historical time but also through technological leaps.

Course Outcomes:

  • Enable students to understand historical and theoretical ways of thinking about media. Thus, producing disciplinary knowledge of media studies.
  • Media is part of the socio-political-cultural habitation. In asking students to investigate media this course promotes ethical awareness and reasoning in the use of media.
  • Given that this course engages with media in relationship to everyday lived experience, it allows for reflective thinking.
  • The course in its teaching-learning transaction as well as prompting students to engage with specific media objects encourages digital literacy in various ways.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Please see below.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Class presentations (40%)
  • Attendance and Participation (20%)
  • Final Paper (40%)

Reading List:

1) Remediation

Bolter and Grusin – Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999.

2) Media Anthropology/History

Brian Larkin – Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria. Durham/London: Duke University Press, 2008.

3) Media Archaeology

Thomas Elsaesser. 2016. Media archaeology as symptom, New Review of Film and Television Studies 14 (2): 181-215,

2004. The New Film History as Media Archaeology, Cinémas: Journal of Film Studies

14 (2-3): 75-117,

[Thomas Elsaesser, “Early Film History and Multi-Media: An Archaeology of Possible Futures?” In Wendy Hui Kyong Chun & Thomas Keenan, Eds., New Media Old Media: A History and Theory Reader (New York: Routledge, 2006): 13-25.]

4) Attention Economy

Jonathan Beller – The Cinematic Mode of Production: Attention Economy and the Society of Spectacle

“The Cinematic Mode of Production: Towards a Political Economy of the
Postmodern,” in Culture, Theory & Critique, 44(1) (2003), p. 91-106.



5) Post-Cinema

Shane Denson & Julia Leyda - Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st Century Film. Falmer: REFRAME Books, 2016. (

6) From Video to File Sharing

Caetlin Benson Allott “Introduction: Opening up to Home Video” from her book Killer Tapes and Shattered Screens: Video Spectatorship from VHS to File Sharing. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2013, 1-24.

7) Convergence Culture

Henri Jenkins “Worship at the Altar of Convergence: A New Paradigm for Understanding Media Change” from his book Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York and London: New York University Press, 2006, 1-24

Supplementary Cluster:

1) Jonathan Sterne – The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction. Durham/ London: Duke University Press, 2003.

2) Lisa Gitelman – Always Already New: Media, History and the Data of Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006.

3) Siegfried Zielinski – Deep Time of the Media: Towards an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means, Trans. Gloria Custance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006. (

4) D.N Rodowick “The Virtual Life of Film”, chapter from his book The Virtual Life of Film Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, 1-25.

5) John Belton “If Film is Dead, What is Cinema?” in Screen 55(4), Winter 2014, 460-470.

6) Laura Mulvey “Passing Time: Reflections on the Old and the New” in Clive Myer ed. Critical Cinema: Beyond the Theory of Practice. London and New York: Wallflower Press, 2011, 71-81.

7) Barney Wharf, Time-Space Compression: Historical Geographies, London and New York, Routledge, 2008, chapter 4, `Late modern time-space compression’.

List of Screenings (tentative):

  • The Man with the Movie Camera (1929)
  • The Act of Killing (2013)
  • Black Mirror – Season 1 Episode 2 (2011)
  • Living in Bondage (1992)
  • Any Newshour (TimesNow) episode with the TVF Spoof
  • The Thick of It – Season 1 Episode 1 (2005)
  • Gravity (2013)
  • Ghost in the Shell (1995)
  • The Conversation (1974)
  • A Man Escaped (1956)
  • Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989)
  • The Thin Blue Line (1988)
  • Late Spring (1949)
  • Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
  • The Grizzly Man (2005)
  • Where’s the Friend’s Home (1987)
  • Woman in the Dunes (1964)
  • The Battle of Chile (1975)
  • City of Photos (2004)
  • Bidesia in Bambai (2013)
  • Red Road (2006)
  • Love Sex Aur Dhokha (2010)
  • Wall-E (2008)
  • Calendar (1993)
  • Supermen of Malegaon (2008)
  • Benny's Video (1992)/ Cache (2005)