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Course 2021-2022 a.y.

30469 - CRITICAL APPROACHES TO THE ARTS II - MODULE I (TELEVISION AND CULTURE)

CLEACC
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 31

CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  L-ART/06)
Course Director:
ANDREA QUARTARONE

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: ANDREA QUARTARONE


Suggested background knowledge

The course does not require proficiency in communication, mass media or contemporary history. However a genuine interest in all these subjectsand a constant monitoring of national and international news are strongly recommended.


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

TRAUMA TELEVISION As the most important mainstream media, television has always had an extraordinary capability in amplifying the actuality depicted, determining the reality perception and influencing public opinion. And even if this power is expressed in any program, even in the lightest entertainment, in the media events realm it expresses its magnitude at best. The first objective of the course is to make students explore and understand the storytelling epic, the symbolic imaginaries and the ideological architectures of media events, both planned and unplanned. The specific focus on the recent ‘trauma television’, the coverage of dramatic moments in human and medium history will provide students a further direct-experience based occasion to develop a critical and meaning creation oriented approach towards the medium. The final goal is to let students appreciate how television works, how it’s able to take a precise picture of constitutive parameters, problematic conjunctions, practices, moods and contradictions of society, and why it still plays such a strategic role in social, cultural, political issues in national and international contexts.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The course main subject is essentially the relation of reciprocal influence between television and society. Built on a solid critical basis, mostly linked to cultural studies, sociology and journalism theories, the programme is designed under the theoretical umbrella of the most important medium scholars, from McLuhan to Beaudrillard, from Kellner to Dayan and Katz.

 

More specifically, the course texture is made by three conceptual layers:

1) The television communication in general, its main theories, its complex spectrum of meanings, its storytelling processes, its numerous social implications

2) The media events field, with ritual planned events (typically contests, conquests, coronations) and disruptive unplanned ones (disaster, terror, and war) – several examples will be shown, analysed and explained in class

3) The ‘trauma television’ of the last two years that is putting unexpected events in the television central stage as never before, even in some cases questioning their very notion – specifically the pandemic, the Capitol Hill riots, the various natural disasters caused by the climate change and the Taliban takeover of Aghanistan – ground-breaking examples of the link between medium, contemporary history and our everyday life


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Identify and illustrate the complexity of television communication spectrum
  • Define and summarize the historical and actual role of television in societies
  • Explore and explain the relation between television and audiences, politics, cultures
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analyze, understand and possibly govern the ideological and symbolic architecture of television
  • Evaluate and interpret opportunities, challenges and implications given by the social dimension of the medium
  • Develop a full awarness of the potentialities of the medium and a full consciousness of the social and civil responsabilities involved in media production

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
DETAILS

The teaching style is characterized by the regular screening of audiovisual materials and a strong, continuous, meaning-creation oriented interaction between teacher-students. In addition to this:

  • Guest speakers will provide a different (broader, narrower or lateral) perspectives on the course topics
  • Case studies will be analysed and discussed through interactive orgnized class activities (e.g. workshop)
  • Individual assignments will provide students the possibility to develop and express their own critical skills (for attending students)

 

Generally speaking, students’ contributes are important for the success of the course, and they could guide it to new, unexpected, welcomed didactical path.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Oral individual exam
  •     x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •     x
    ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • Individual assignment: a 2-pages critical essay - delivered some weeks before the exam - about one of the topics discussed in class choosen by the student, in order to evaluate her/his capabilities in: 
      • Evaluate and interpret opportunities, challenges and implications given by the social dimension of the medium
      • Analyze and understand the ideological and symbolic architecture of television.
    • Oral individual exam about the course topics. The exam is designed to evaluate student capabilities in:
      • Identify and illustrate the complexity of television communication spectrum
      • Define and summarize the historical and actual role of television in societies
      • Explore and explain the relation between television and audiences, politics, cultures
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • A final, oral exam about two books (more detailed aspects are included in the syllabus). It's designed to evaluate candidate capabilities in:
      • Identify and illustrate the complexity of television communication spectrum
      • Define and summarize the historical and actual role of television in societies
      • Explore and explain the relation between television and audiences, politics, cultures

    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Slides, personal notes and a bibliography as indicated in the syllabus at the beginning of the course.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Bibliography is indicated in the syllabus at the beginning of the course.

    Last change 21/07/2021 16:12