180.503 (20S) Media Theory

Sommersemester 2020

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Erster Termin der LV
19.06.2020 12:00 - 18:00 , V.1.34
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LV-Titel englisch
Media Theory
Vorlesung-Kurs (prüfungsimmanente LV )
10 (30 max.)
zum Moodle-Kurs

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Lehrmethodik inkl. Einsatz von eLearning-Tools

Lecture inputs, group presentations, breakout group discussions, papers


We live in a world in which media may have become more real than society itself. How then do media work?  They seem to work less through meaning (literature), or even truth (science) than something like ‘operationality’.  Does the media age, very much unlike the industrial age or peasant age presume that we are technical animals?  In some ways from the domestication of fire, genus homo was always a technical animal.  But not like now!  Marcel Mauss saw ‘the gift’ as the original social bond.  Later this is displaced by the commodity.  But what is the ‘mediatic bond’?  


So, this course describes a condition in which the mediatic has in large part displaced the social, and even the psychological, in the sense of artificial intelligence.  Indeed, the mediascape has displaced literally the landscape.  So, this course will inquire into the mediatization of our reality, of our world, or worlds.  This mediatisation and informationalization can be seen in many senses as one and the same thing. 


There is an informationalization of the body with genetic information, with the body with organs displacement by a body without organs, i.e a body of not organs but information.  Of genetic information that is in fact nucleic acid sequence. The sequence is the order of nucleotides within a DNA or RNA molecule.  The sequence defines the structure if the molecule. The sequence represents information, biological DNA represents the functions (or operations) of a living thing.  Here there are processes of ‘transcription’, in which a segment of DNA is copied into RNA. Nucleic acid contains information used by the living cell to construct specific proteins. The cell in its operations uses the information in a literal autopoiesis to construct the proteins that are the building blocks of our bodily functions.  Cell machinery translates a sequence of nucleobases on a nucleic acid stars into a sequence of amino acids making up a protein strand.  The point is that even the body, and indeed viruses are comprised of genetic material, of long molecules of DNA or RNA - that is information of nucleic acid sequences that encode (code again) the structure of the proteins by which the virus acts. So Covid 19 itself is information, is bio-media.  This is an example of an operational system, one that can extend to all of today’s media.

Students in this course will learn about AI, China and our media worlds which should be useful in future PhD study or employment.



Marking will be on a 3500-word essay in English or German. 80% of mark based on the essay, 20% on the presentation. PowerPoints can be sent to me and uploaded to Moodle during the course and I’ll mark them and essays at the same time.


Note/Grade Benotungsschema

Position im Curriculum

  • Masterstudium Medien, Kommunikation und Kultur (SKZ: 841, Version: 09W.1)
    • Fach: Theorien der Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaften (Pflichtfach)
      • Vorlesung mit Kurs ( 2.0h VK / 6.0 ECTS)
        • 180.503 Media Theory (2.0h VC / 6.0 ECTS)
  • Masterstudium Medien, Kommunikation und Kultur (SKZ: 841, Version: 09W.1)
    • Fach: Cultural Studies und Medien (Wahlfach)
      • Kurs ( 2.0h KU / 6.0 ECTS)
        • 180.503 Media Theory (2.0h VC / 6.0 ECTS)

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