Fall 2016

MSCH-F 420 Topics in Media History: Game Preservation

MSCH-D 337 New Media


Previous Courses taught at Stony Brook University

Spring 2016: CCS 401 Senior Seminar

CST/CLT 680 Research Seminar

Course Description

The aim of this course is two-fold: 1) to study the writing of research and; 2) to provide support for the production of your dissertation prospectus. To achieve our aim the course is divided into three sections:

Researching: Doing and Writing. Here we will read the following books: Harry Brown’s Golf Ball (2015), Jeff Ferrell’s Empire of Scrounge (2006), William Davies King’s Collections of Nothing (2008), Fiona Candlin’s Micromuseology (2015), Rebecca Solnit. Wanderlust (2001), Arlette Farge’s The Allure of the Archives (2015), and Carl Wilson. Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste (2014). All of these have been selected for their subjective approach to their unique subject matter and methods.

Articulating Research. In this part of our course we will focus on the forms that research commonly takes: journal articles, book proposals, as well as study the function of an introduction.

Prospecting: Writing the Dissertation Prospectus. The final part of our course is devoted to workshopping your dissertation prospectus on the edge of your qualifying examination.

Together we will study the pitfalls and pleasures of “doing research”…

Fall 2015 : CCS/DIA 396 Video Game History & CCS 202 Film Genres: The Exploitation Film

Spring 2015: CCS/DIA 396 Video Game History & CCS 401 Video Games in Museums

Fall 2014: Sabbatical

Spring 2014: CST 609 Life History of Objects


Course Description

Objects experience a complex, relational, fluidic, unstable, or even multistable lifecycle across their history.  To gain an understanding of any object’s social and cultural life history requires that we map its biography or career “before the cradle and beyond the grave”. After all, objects are conceptualized, designed and developed, born, manufactured, commodified, marketed, advertised, distributed, consumed, used, neglected, stored, forgotten, rendered obsolete, trashed, retired, recycled, lost, disposed of, and destroyed. They enter into a variety of afterlife situations, where they live in museums, lay in ruin, or haunt our memories. Moreover, their life cycles are neither tidy nor linear. A trashed object can “spring” back into a market economy when sold and reused, or even reemerge from “rubbish” to “museum object”. To study the life history of an object, type of object, or series of objects is an ambitious affair when the “total trajectory of a thing” may be beyond our reach, proving elusive if not impossible to capture. In identifying specific formative situations within which to engage with objects, we edit/script their life histories to help reveal a particular experience and relationship within a much larger life span. In this course we will study the transformative shifts and phases in value (understood as a “fluid aggregate relation”), uses, meanings, identities and taxonomies of material objects across their existence via multi-disciplinary works from design studies, anthropology, science and technology studies, philosophy, conservation practice, museum studies, material cultural studies and cultural studies. Our goal is not to ask: “what is an object” but “how”, “where”, and “when” is an object.

In preparation for this class each student is expected to commit to a specific object, or type of object for study across the semester. Your object will attend class with you on Jan 23rd where you will orate a life history of your particular object.

This course will also hold a Saturday grad conference on May 10th at SBU-Manhattan where each student will present a 20-minute paper and a Saturday workshop at SBU-Manhattan with Professor Don Ihde on March 8th.

Spring 2013: CST 510 History of Cultural Studies

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Course Description

“There aren’t any good, brave causes left.”

– Jimmy Porter from John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger (1956)

Let me begin by asserting that the history of Cultural Studies is not commensurate with its historiography. Said history is and is more than what has been written about Cultural Studies for the history of cultural studies is as much the ideas that have animated it, the practices that have shaped it, and the hopes that have sustained it. In this class, we will examine each of these. Our intention is not so much to define Cultural Studies as to study the polemics that sparked its delineations within the U.K. during the post-war period: specifically we will begin with the Worker’s Education Movement/Adult Education and the emergence of the “New Left” in the late 1950s and proceed to work our way through to the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at Birmingham University. One aim is to familiarize students with thinkers, primary texts, and problems within the field. It is an attempt to foster an awareness of Cultural Studies’ history, key debates, projects, practices, and the formations of thought that helped establish the project and politics of Cultural Studies. A second aim is to enable students to negotiate their own intellectual responsibility to a tradition to ensure that work produced by the next generation of scholars is aware of the interventions that have impacted what Cultural Studies was/is and what it was/is meant to do. With these aims in mind, we will: read in their entirety (or near entirety) Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy (1957), Raymond Williams’ Culture and Society: 1780 – 1950 (1958) along with articles from key journals such as the New Left Review and Universities and Left Review; pair writing by cultural critics like Arnold, Eliot, and Leavis with our reading of Williams’ Culture and Society; examine selections from CCCS Working Papers/Research Groups, articles articulating the project of Cultural Studies at Birmingham [ex: CCCS First Report from 1964] and CCCS’s theories and methods under the directorship of Stuart Hall; and lastly we conclude by reading three examples of CCCS methodologies expressed in the work of Paul Willis’s Learning to Labour (1977), Dick Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979), and Paul Gilroy’s There Ain’t no Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation (1987). It’s fair to say that this will be a “reading intensive” course!

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