Disaster Media

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Culture and Media

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Disaster Media
Spring 2023
Taught By: Rory Solomon
Section: A

CRN: 13633

Credits: 4

How can you act normal at a time like this? In this class we will investigate the cultural and technological conditions of normalcy amid abnormal times by studying how we mediate disaster and other exceptional circumstances such as emergency, crisis, and catastrophe. We will examine media as both representational and infrastructural in order to consider how we depict and discuss such events, as well as how we communicate and coordinate during them. Examples considered will include the COVID-19 pandemic, our ongoing and escalating climate crisis, catastrophic weather events, terrorist attacks such as 9/11, and Cold War threats of nuclear attack, among others. Disaster may be acute or gradual in its onset, and sudden events often reveal latent systemic failures. Disaster is also a social justice issue as people of different identities and subject positions experience it differently. The more vulnerable among us may suffer greater harms, or may be better equipped to weather such crises having already developed resiliency in the face of failed systems, while still others may see crisis as opportunity to rebuild with greater fairness and resiliency. We will read texts in media and cultural studies, communications, the environmental humanities, and political theory, in addition to examining feature films, popular press, memes, so-called "disaster porn", and slide presentations of political leaders. Coursework will also include hands-on experiments with wireless devices like ham and CB radio in nearby outdoor areas, and project work designing communication responses to a sample disaster scenario. All necessary equipment will be provided. [Tracks C, M]

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Culture and Media (LCST)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 6:22am EST 2/7/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday, Thursday
Times: 12:00pm - 1:40pm
Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th
Room: 458
Date Range: 1/24/2023 - 5/11/2023