Week 9 - Simulacra & Simulation, Final Considerations

This week, we'll explore the third and final part of Baudrillard's text via a discussion of the following themes: The Hypperreal & Simulacra – Baudrillard, Part 3 (p. 129-164).  A more detailed outline is available under the "Guide Questions" heading on the left.  We'll also do the screenings of Kill Bill, Hero & House of Flying Daggers from last session.

  • 1. The Animals: the ethical consequences of simulation, dehumanization and questions about the status of the "unconscious."
  • 2. The Remainder: residue & repression p. 143-146
  • 3. The Spiraling Cadaver: Is Baudrillard's critique of higher education relevant?  Accurate?  Is the university or post-secondary education a farce given the economy and employment patterns? (p. 149-154)
  • 4.  Value's Last Tango: Our discussion will focus on the process of credentialing and its purpose in the 21st century economy.(p. 155-157)
  • 5. On Nihilism: involuntary transparency, surveillance and the movie that watches you....
    We'll discuss the relevancy of Baudrillard's thesis that all meaning and reference to truth has disappeared in the hypperreal.  Our concluding discussion will be used to tie the major themes of the text together.
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Week 8: Simulacra & Simulation, Part 2

This week, we'll explore the second part of Baudrillard's text via a discussion of the following themes listed below.  Please also visit the detailed outline for the Simulacra & Simulation, Part 2 - Discussion Seminar (also linked in the column on the left):
The Hypperreal & Simulacra – Baudrillard, Part 2 (p. 79-128)
  1. Hypermarkets & Hypercommodities: East & West p. 75-78
  2. The Implosion of Meaning & Advertising, p. 79-94
  3. Holograms & Science Fiction, p. 105-110 & 121-128
At this point your chief concerns should be:
  1. completing the reading , and
  2. working on your final project for presentation.
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Week 7 Latest News & Events

We had a great discussion about the closing arguments in Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media during Wednesday, Week 6.  this week we will begin Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation.  Please read pages 1 through 78.  The guide questions are linked in the column on the left and on the Guide Questions page under "Simulacra and Simulation, Part 1. "  This week's discussion will focus on linking our initial lecture on Plato's Allegory of the Cave (Republic, Book VII) to the first section of Baudrillard's text.

At this point your chief concerns should be:

  1. completing the guide questions due this week, and
  2. working on your final project for presentation.
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Week 3 - Thinking about the project...

This week we will continue our explorations of Understanding Media and discuss the project proposal due Week 4. Please read Chapters 9-16 in McLuhan and complete the guide questions for the same (linked in the left column).

Stay warm & know that I look forward to our discussions on Wednesday evening.

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Welcome to our site!

Week 1, Winter 2011

Welcome to the web site for Media Theory & Criticism @ AIP.  This is the place to visit for the latest news, guide questions, project information and to download an extra copy of the syllabus.  In case of winter storms, this is also the place to check for alternate assignments.  I look forward to meeting everyone and getting started this week!


Tonight we are going to discuss the role of the media in the production of reality by reading Plato's Cave and comparing it to the Matrix.

Please be sure to get a copy of the texts for our course.  They are:

1.       Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Marshall McLuhan) MIT Press Edition ISBN: 0262631598 (Under $20 @ Amazon.com)

2.       Simulacra and Simulation (Jean Baudrillard)-University of Michigan Press, 1995 ISBN: 0472065211 (Under $12.00 @ Amazon.com)

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