Seminar in Media Studies
Term: Fall 2023 - Full Term (08/28/2023 - 12/11/2023)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|Start Date||End Date||Days||Time||Location|
|8/28/2023||12/11/2023||TR||11:10am - 12:30pm||HORT 215|
CMN 696: Theorizing YouTube: How many YouTube videos have you watched today? How about videos on Instagram or TikTok? What about live streams on platforms like Twitch or Facebook? Digital video, much of it amateur or semi-professional, has come to dominate social media and the internet—accounting for everything from entertainment to political activism. YouTube, founded in 2005, began the transformation of the primarily text and image-based internet to a more video-heavy experience. This class is designed around studying the history and cultural impact of YouTube, as well as social media-based video more generally. We’ll study the history of YouTube, and immerse ourselves the present culture, forms, and genres of YouTube. We’ll look at the phenomenon of ‘YouTube stars’ and the emergence of influencer culture on the platform. We’ll study the growing body of scholarship and popular commentary and criticism of YouTube and related platforms. We’ll look at the debates around free speech and concerns over political extremism and conspiracy theories. YouTube will be our focal point through which we will examine
many of the larger topics related to video-based social media platforms: entertainment, identity, journalism, education, cultural production, fandom, politics, community, marketing, and public discourse. In addition to the expected components of a writing intensive class, students will also have the opportunity to use the modality of video to enhance their scholarship: curating, remixing, and even creating original critical video pieces.